Volusia County: Rare Kemp’s ridley sea turtle spotted on the beach in Ponce Inlet

Photo by Mindy Whitmore, a Marine Science Center volunteer /
YouTube download / Video by Turtle Patrol Webmaster / Raw video from June of last year shows rare Kemp's Ridley sea turtle coming into digital focus with Volusia/Flagler Turtle Patrol.​
 
By HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer

PONCE INLET, Fla -- A rare Kemp’s ridley sea turtle was spotted on the beach Thursday, and based on photos, it's believed the nesting turtle was initially tagged in 2005, revisited Volusia County in 2010, 2012, twice in 2017, and yet again here in 2019.

The Kemp’s ridley, the smallest and most imperiled of all sea turtle species, is unique among species found in Florida in that it nests almost exclusively during daylight hours. Its primary breeding grounds are in Mexico, and very few nests have been documented in Florida.

"A record four Kemp’s ridley nests were documented on Volusia County beaches in 2017— one in Ormond Beach and three in Ponce Inlet," Volusia County spokeswoman Kate Stark told Headline Surfer. "Prior to 2017, Kemp’s ridley nesting records of two nests in a season were last documented in 2014 and 1996."

Lepidochelys kempiiThe Kemp’s ridley, the smallest and most imperiled of all sea turtle species, is unique among species found in Florida in that it nests almost exclusively during daylight hours. Its primary breeding grounds are in Mexico, and very few nests have been documented in Florida.

"A record four Kemp’s ridley nests were documented on Volusia County beaches in 2017— one in Ormond Beach and three in Ponce Inlet," Volusia County spokeswoman Kate Stark told Headline Surfer. "Prior to 2017, Kemp’s ridley nesting records of two nests in a season were last documented in 2014 and 1996."

So far this season, 58 nests have been documented in Volusia County, Stark added, including the Kemp’s ridley, one leatherback, and 56 loggerheads. 

Sea turtle nesting season along Volusia County's 45-plus miles of beaches along the Atlantic runs from May 1 through Oct. 31.

For more information about Volusia County’s sea turtle program, residents and tourists alike are encouraged to please please call 386-238-4668 or online via www.volusiaseaturtles.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories narly eveenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in Wst Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.