Sarasota, Florida -- Florida beaches weathered storms and some suffered severe erosion, but state wildlife officials say loggerhead sea turtles still had a very successful nesting season.
Trained surveyors, walking some 250 miles of Florida beach, counted 58,172 loggerhead nests. That's near a 24-year high.
"We're pleased to see this increase, but we recognize that loggerheads and other sea turtle species still face many challenges," said Blair Witherington, an FWC research scientist in a release. The loggerhead is listed federally as a threatened species.
About 90 percent of loggerhead nesting in the U.S. takes place in Florida and the loggerhead is the most common sea turtle in the state. As hatchlings will continue to emerge from nests through November, people are asked to stay at a distance if they spot sea turtles on the beach.