Growth in sea turtle population astounds conservation group - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Growth in sea turtle population astounds conservation commission

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(SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. WFLA/NBC) Biologists have documented more than 25,000 green sea turtle nests this year in Florida, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

FWC said the number has doubled since the previous highest count year. Researchers documented the nests in the 26 index beaches in Florida.

"We are astounded and pleased by the high number of green turtle nests documented in 2013," said Dr. Blair Witherington, a FWC research scientist. "It looks like the years of conservation efforts for this endangered species are paying off."

FWC scientists started surveying the index beaches in 1989. They count the nests following a set of guidelines. They use the results to identify trends.

The trend for the green and leatherback sea turtles shows an increase in recent years. Loggerhead sea turtle nest count has gone down since 2012.

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