The first turtle of the 2020 nesting season has made her way to Longboat Key.
The first nest of the season, made by a loggerhead, was recorded by Longboat Key Turtle Watch (LBKTW) volunteers on Saturday, April 25 on the Sarasota County side of the island, said LBKTW vice president Cyndi Seamon.
Though turtle season does not officially start until May 1, Longboat Key Turtle Watch volunteers typically begin patrolling for nesting activity on April 15 for this very reason — turtles don't know how to read a calendar.
Siesta Key had the first nest of the season in the area, which was discovered on April 20. Longboat Key had already seen false crawls, but April 25 marked the first productive nesting activity of the season for the island.
If you live on the beach, follow Longboat Key town turtle codes outlined in its "Flip a Switch, Make a Move!" program. Turn off exterior lights, draw curtains or use approved turtle-safe light to ensure that nesters and hatchlings follow the brightest natural light — the moon — back to the gulf, and make sure to move beach furniture and toys off the beach at night to erase any obstacles for turtles.
Click here for a preview of the 2020 turtle season on Longboat Key.