2019 Nesting Season Wrap-Up
The 2019 sea turtle nesting season on the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge was record breaking! Although we had hiccups from the hurricane season, we still had a great year for sea turtle nesting on the refuge!

Nesting season runs from March 1st to October 31st and while there may still be a few turtles
nesting, the turtle mommy's are ready to regain their energy for the next season.

Nests are still hatching on the refuge however, so keep your eyes
out for any weak hatchlings or wash backs.

If you find a sea turtle needing assistance, call FWC at 888-404-3922.
Nesting Counts
A record breaking number of 30,848 nests in the Archie Carr Refuge for this 2019 season!

Green sea turtles also broke a record this year at 17,445 total number of nests this season, last record was broken in 2017. Since green sea turtles nest every two years, we continuously see this record breaking trend every other year. What a great recovery story for green sea turtles!

Although loggerheads didn't break a record, it was still an amazing year for them at 13,349 nests this season. The Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge is the most significant nesting location for loggerhead sea turtles in the whole world! For that, we will always celebrate loggerheads.

We are at the northern end for leatherback sea turtles to nest, so we love to see an average nesting total of 53 leatherback nests on the refuge for this season!

Kemp's Ridley sea turtles are very rare to nest on Florida's east coast, but we had one nest on April 27th! We are happy to share that the hatchlings from this critically endangered species successfully made their way to the ocean on June 24th.
Photo: E. Seney/UCF MTRG
Hurricane Dorian
Hurricane Dorian was a powerful storm that was devastating to the Bahamas and across the east coast of the United States. Unfortunately, it was also a slow moving storm that sat off the coast of Florida for many days.

This hurricane paired with king tides at the time ripped through the beaches of the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge. There was significant erosion to many parts of the refuge, shown to the left, but there were also some areas not as effected. Thankfully the dune did its job of preventing any further erosion in those areas.

UCF Marine Turtle Research Group reported that the storm caused an estimated loss of 8,000 sea turtle nests on the Brevard County portion of the refuge. With Hurricane Dorian occurring later in the nesting season, green sea turtle nests were of those most impacted.

Even with this loss of 8,000 nests we were spared by the hurricane and thankful there wasn't any further devastation.

Read about the Hurricane Dorian's effects to sea turtles in this article from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Turtle Walks and Digs
Thank you to all who signed up and attended our Turtle Walks and Turtle Digs for this season. There was an estimated 400 attendees in total! We had a great time getting to know some members, and potential new members, while educating them on the refuge and our sea turtles! We apologize if you were not able to reserve a spot for this season, but keep us in mind for next year! Members of Friends of the Carr Refuge get first access to register, and then we share it to all. Registration usually begins in May for Turtle Walks and July for Turtle Digs.

As mentioned before, this nesting season was a little crazy. Between the hurricane and record breaking nesting counts, not all of our Turtle Walks and Digs were successful. On two Turtle Walks, guests were unable to witness a nesting loggerhead sea turtle because of all the green sea turtles slowing down our scouts. We only had one successful Turtle Dig where we were able to locate the hatched nest, inventory, and release 8 hatchlings that were still in the nest. The other 5 Turtle Digs were unsuccessful either from green sea turtles throwing stakes that marked our nest, high tides covering the nest in water, or from being cancelled due to the hurricane. Unfortunately we can not control nature, so we apologize to all of those looking forward to their walk/dig and it be unsuccessful. This was definitely not a normal year on the refuge, so we hope you join us again next year and appreciate your patience through it all!
Photo's: Victoria Escandell
Thank you FOCR volunteers!

We can not thank our volunteers enough for all the hard work they put in each season. These volunteers braved mosquitoes, rain, and late nights to ensure our Turtle Walks and Digs were perfect for our guests!
Thank you UCF, Sebastian Inlet State Park, and EAI!
These awesome partners are out on the beach every morning conducting nesting surveys and collecting important data. Each group has their own portion of the refuge to patrol and without them we would not be able to report these nesting counts!
Special thanks to the Archie Carr Working Group!

This Refuge depends on the support from all partners involved
with the Archie Carr NWR. These partners make up the working group
which enhances the coordination, collaboration, and communication among
these diverse interest groups to guide management practices.
Friends of the Carr Refuge | Website