More than 10,000 sea turtle hatchlings reported at Cape Romano, a record high

More than 10,000 loggerhead sea turtles hatched this season at Cape Romano, almost twice as many as the previous record since monitoring began 12 years ago, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection reported this week.

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The record number of hatchlings at the Cape Romano Complex, south of Marco Island, comes as a welcomed bit of good news after a difficult summer where dozens of sea turtles were found dead along Collier shores, likely victims of a red tide bloom that persisted along the Gulf Coast for months.

A recent Rookery Bay Research Reserve assessment of the Cape Romano Complex found 10,752 hatchlings emerged this nesting season from 146 nests, with an estimated 74 percent emergence success, DEP reported.

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