Someone ran over multiple sea turtle nests on Captiva Island
CAPTIVA ISLAND, Fla. – The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is looking for someone who ran over six sea turtle nests on Sunday morning,
FWC officers think a golf cart or similar vehicle was used near Captiva Drive and Paige Court on where the nests were found disturbed.
An SCCF Sea Turtle Volunteer found the damage. Their sea turtle hotline also received two phone calls reporting the damage: one was from a resident and the other was from a visitor. Stakes were removed from the nests and thrown into the sand dune.
“These criminal actions clearly do not represent the intent of the rest of us, and they do feel like an invasion of sorts,” SCCF said in a statement. “This upends the joy and hope that these turtles represent for us all. I urge us all to channel this outrage by aiming it toward something good.”
According to Florida law, any person, firm, or corporation that illegally takes, disturbs, mutilates, destroys, causes to be destroyed, transfers, sells, offers to sell, molests, or harasses any marine turtle species, or the eggs or nest of any marine turtle species commits a third-degree felony, which has a maximum penalty of a fine up to $5,000 and up to five years in prison.
Officers said it’s unclear if any eggs were damaged because digging them up to find out could cause even more harm.
All sea turtle species in Florida are listed as endangered or threatened, and it is illegal to harm, harass, or kill any sea turtles or their eggs.
The Linsmayer Family has pledged a $1,000 gift towards SCCF’s coastal wildlife monitoring costs, and hope other concerned islanders will join them.
CLICK HERE to donate to SCCF.
For more information about Florida’s sea turtles, click here.