See, no touch: It's turtle nesting season in Florida
MIAMI (AP) - It's turtle-nesting season in Florida, when sea turtles lay their eggs and hatchlings head for the water.
A number of parks, beaches and conservation groups around the state run programmes where nature-lovers can learn about the phenomenon and even watch baby turtles - without disturbing them - as they emerge from the nests and make their way to the water.
The Miami-Dade County Sea Turtle Conservation Programme offers presentations and turtle walks certain evenings in July to September, at the Crandon Park Visitor and Nature Centre in Key Biscayne and Haulover Park. But like many of the other programmes offered around the state, the Miami-Dade walks are so popular that they fill up months in advance.
Three species of sea turtles regularly nest on Florida beaches, the loggerhead, leatherback, and green. More than 90 per cent of US loggerhead nesting takes place in Florida. A count on 26 Florida beaches in 2012 found 58,172 loggerhead nests, the second-highest number in 24 years, according to the Fish and Wildlife Commission.