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Date of Issue: October 25, 2007

Turtle season nears close

Anna Maria Turtle Watch members are watching and waiting for the nesting season’s end.

As of Oct. 14, the team of volunteers was waiting for two nests to hatch.

The group also was anticipating an end-of-season celebration. Turtle Watch will hold a party for its volunteers at 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, at the Moose Lodge, 110 Gulf Drive S., Bradenton Beach.

During the party, at which celebrants will bring dishes to share, Turtle Watch executive director Suzi Fox will deliver a report on the 2007 season.

With the final data still to be tabulated, Turtle Watch reported finding 132 nests from May 1 through mid-October.

Turtle Watch members also documented 181 false crawls for the season. In those incidents, female adult sea turtles came ashore from the Gulf of Mexico to nest but returned to the water without leaving eggs.

From the nests made on Anna Maria Island, 10,245 hatchlings emerged to crawl to the sea, according to Fox.

She also reported 20 disorientations, incidents in which hatchlings emerged from nests but were distracted and crawled away from the Gulf. Such incidents often occur because hatchlings become disorientated by artificial light, including porch lights and street lamps.

For more information about Turtle Watch, visit www.islandturtles.com or call 941-778-5638.