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TS Andrea wipes out 15 AMI sea turtle nests, all shorebird nests

By Mark Young, Islander Reporter

Green sea turtle eggs lay at the bottom of a nest discovered June 7 in Bradenton Beach. It is the fifth recorded green sea turtle nest on Anna Maria Island in 30 years.

Glenn Wiseman confirms a green sea turtle nest June 7 seaward of the escarpment left June 6 by Tropical Storm Andrea in Bradenton Beach. Islander Photos: Mark Young

      Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring confirmed 50 sea turtle nests as of June 7, but lost 15 nests to the storm surge created by Tropical Storm Andrea.

      AMITW executive director Suzi Fox said the losses were not as bad she expected.

      “It’s never good to lose any nests,” she said. “But it could have been worse. The good news is that a storm like this one generates a lot of activity and there has been quite an upsurge in nesting.”

      Fox said there were eight nests the day before the storm and AMITW volunteers confirmed eight more the day after Andrea.

      While Andrea took a toll, AMITW volunteers had added good news June 7 with the discovery of a rare green sea turtle nest in Bradenton Beach, on the beach near the Cortez Road and Gulf Drive intersection.

      It is the fifth green sea turtle nest in 30 years of recording sea turtle activity on the island. Four of them have occurred in the last three years with two during the 2012 nesting season.

            Besides losing 15 sea turtle nests, the entire nesting colony of the black skimmer population in Anna Maria was wiped out. Fox said the good news is that more than 200 skimmers have returned to try again.

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