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Sea Turtle Nest Losses To Hurricane Matthew Minor Considering Species' Comeback In Florida

Photo courtesy The Nature Conservancy.
Photo courtesy The Nature Conservancy.

Some 200 sea turtle nests are believed to have been lost to Hurricane Matthew at the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge in Melbourne Beach.

But Llew Ehrhart of the University of Central Florida says the number is small considering the comeback by the federally threatened and endangered animals.

"The turtles have been dealing with these kinds of storms and wash-outs and so forth for millions of years, and their biology, their reproductive strategy, is adapted to that."

The Archie Carr refuge is among the world's most popular sea turtle nesting sites. Ehrhart says the losses are similar across the state's east coast.

This year's 17,000 loggerhead nests ties with the previous annual record set in 1998.

Amy Green covered the environment for WMFE until 2023. Her work included the 2020 podcast DRAINED.