Turtle Walk

Turtle Walk Information:

Sebastian Inlet State Park conducts park ranger guided educational sea turtle walks.  These turtle walks offer you a possibility to witness a loggerhead sea turtle lay her eggs, cover and disguise her nest, crawl down the beach and swim away in to the Atlantic Ocean.  Turtle walks are five nights a week, Friday through Tuesday, during the months of June and July.  The program starts at 9 PM and may last until 1 AM.  Unlike any other permitted sea turtle walk offered in Florida you may walk up to three miles while searching for a sea turtle.

 

Reservations are required for turtle walks.  All of Sebastian Inlet State Park’s turtle walk reservations are made online.  Beginning on May 1, online turtle walk reservations can be made by clicking http://www.fsispturtlewalk.org/  

There is a $10.00 donation per person to reserve a space for a park ranger guided turtle walk.

2018 Turtle Walk

A Loggerhead turtle was seen on 38 of 45 turtle walks, making an average on turtle seen on 84.4% of the turtle walks.  716 guests attended the turtle walk tours.

31 turtle scout volunteers made this year’s turtle walks a success!  We are always looking for volunteers.  For information e-mail terry.otoole@dep.state.fl.us

Park ranger Addy turtle walk guests witnessed a beautiful tagged turtle on Friday, June 29, 2018.   The youngest child in the group named her “Shelly Mc Shell”.  She was originally tagged on July 23, 1992 after laying a clutch of eggs in the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge.  She was captured in a pound net north of Hoopers Island, Chesapeake Bay on 13 July 2001.

The turtle walk trifecta; The group was watching a nesting loggerhead, a full red moon was rising over the ocean and a rocket launched from Cape Kennedy.   Guests did not know what to watch.

On the last two turtle walks guests came from China, England, France and Panama.

2018 Turtle Walk Scouts

Rare Kemps Ridley Sea Turtle

Sebastian Inlet State Park witnessed a Kemps Ridley sea turtle nest 4-30-18.  It is the same female Kemps Ridley that nested twice in 2013, on May 2 and May 25.  After reviewing photos from the previous visit a biologist stated it is the same turtle.  Photos from 2013 were compared with the 2018 and the head scute patterns match!  She returned to nest in nearly the identical place she did the previous two times in 2013, and almost to the day!  (4-30 vs. 5-2)  Kemps Ridley hatchling from 6-28-18 nest had 108 hatchlings.  Her first nest in 2013 had 116 eggs.  Kemps are the world’s most endangered sea turtle with only a handful of nests in Florida.

Kemps Ridley Sea Turtle 2013 vs 2018

Sea Turtle Nesting Statistics for Sebastian Inlet State Park’s three miles of beach:

                                             2014          2015              2016            2017            2018

Loggerhead nests              755             855                  976               903

Green nests                              41            351                    50               715

Leatherback nests                11                 6                     5                    3