You can help protect Florida's endangered and threatened marine turtles by making a donation to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Your donation will help fund research at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute and conservation efforts by the Imperiled Species Management Section. With each donation of five dollars or more, you will receive your choice of one of the waterproof decals featured. Current year marine turtle decals are available at Florida County Tax Offices.
FWC has a limited supply of some of the earlier decals. We would like to offer them to individuals who are interested in collecting them. Please indicate the decals you would like to obtain by checking the appropriate area on the order form and sending a check for the number of decals selected. The decals will be sent to you within 4-6 weeks.
2014-2015 Leatherback Sea Turtle
artwork by Ann Marie Tavares, FWC
The Leatherback Sea Turtle
The giant leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) is larger, dives deeper, travels farther and is able to live in colder water than any other sea turtle. Most adult leatherbacks are up to six feet long and weigh from 500 to 1,500 pounds, but the largest leatherback on record was more than seven feet long and weighed more than 2,000 pounds. Leatherbacks are primarily black with white, pink, and blue patches. Unlike other sea turtles, leatherbacks lack a true hard shell. Instead, they have a much-reduced shell covered by a thick, leathery skin. Leatherbacks forage in deep open ocean waters, using their sharp jaws to capture and swallow soft-bodied jellyfish and other zooplankton. During spring and summer, male and female leatherbacks are found close to Florida’s beaches, where they are vulnerable to collisions with boats. Adult females will move onto the beach at night to nest, leaving circular, looping tracks across the sand. In 2013, more than 800 leatherback nests were documented on Atlantic coast beaches from Duval to Monroe counties. Each nest will produce dozens of small hatchlings that emerge at night and must move quickly to the water before predators can find them. Beachfront residents and towns can help the safe passage of the tiny hatchlings by ensuring there are no bright lights along the beach to delay or confuse them.
Previous Years Decals