Thursday, July 31, 2008

Birth Announcement!

(file photo)

It is with great pleasure I announce the arrival of 82 Loggerhead hatchlings on July 30, 2008 between 10:50 - 11:05 p.m. at Nest 527-1 - SS on the Calle Hermosa neighborhood section of Pensacola Beach, Florida.

The first hatchling to emerge was given the fitting and proper name of 'Scout' Loggerhead. Scout weighed approximately one ounce and was two inches in length. He/she presented as a lovely dark gray specimen with an adorable light-colored tummy. Quickly following Scout were 81 equally adorable hatchlings.

In attendance were 15 - 20 fabulous people who were instructed throughout the event by Ms. Kirsten Dahlen of the National Parks Service, Gulf Islands National Seashore. Immediately after the emergence, Ms. Dahlen directed the group as they carefully supervised the hatchlings march into the Gulf of Mexico.

Sadly, the evening was not without incident as more than half of the hatchlings attempted to head east toward the lights of occupied units at Portofino, but the efforts of the attendants prevailed and all 82 hatchlings eventually found their way into the Gulf of Mexico.

In lieu of gifts, please contribute by shutting off or shielding all lights (including balcony lights) that are visible from the beach and close your drapes or blinds after dark!

These majestic creatures are being moved from the threatened to the endangered list due to a significant drop in the number of nests in recent years. Over ninety percent of all Loggerheads in the United States nest in Florida, and Florida beaches account for one-third of the Loggerhead population world-wide. Their fate is in our hands.

Research and learn more about Loggerhead turtles in the Panhandle, visit Traveling Turtle Girl's blog, pick up trash on the beach, or become a volunteer. You can even do something simple and easy, but extremely important by extinguishing as many lights as you can to make our beach turtle-friendly as we head into the height of our nesting season on Pensacola Beach.

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