51ºF

Florida wildlife officials release guidelines on handling turtles

Photo: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Easily one of the best seasons is sea turtle nesting season, so what’s the best way to help the endangered species?

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conversation Commission has some guidelines on what to do to help. 

Turn off the lights. Officials say lights can confuse sea turtles. The same goes for flash photography. It can disorient the turtles and make them crawl away from the water.

Give them some space. Sea turtles are a protected species, so it’s illegal to disturb the nesting area, nests, eggs and hatchlings. 

SLIDESHOW: Sea turtles hatch on Florida beaches

Lastly, clear the way at the end of the day. Be sure to pick up all beach furniture and toys left behind. These can be obstacles that block nesting areas and hatchling turtles. 

The FWC also asks you to fill in any holes dug in the sand. 

If you come across a sick or injured sea turtle, call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Alert Hotline by dialing 1-888-404-3922. 

Sea turtle nesting season continues through October.