Florida is an important place for the endangered and threatened sea turtles of the world. Sea turtles nest on our beaches, forage for food in our estuaries, and all too often wash-up dead on our shoreline. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission staff are dedicated to protecting sea turtles in Florida and learning as much as possible about the biology and life history of these elusive animals.
Florida's Sea Turtles
Five species of sea turtles are found swimming in Florida's waters and nesting on Florida's beaches. All sea turtles found in Florida are protected under state statutes.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute coordinates nesting beach survey programs around the state.
Mortality in Florida
FWRI staff members coordinate the Florida Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network (FLSTSSN), which is responsible for gathering data on dead or debilitated (i.e., stranded) sea turtles found in Florida. Debilitated turtles are rescued and transported to rehabilitation facilities.
FWRI marine turtle program staff conduct research on the distribution, abundance, life histories, ecology, migrations, and threats to marine turtles in Florida and contiguous western Atlantic and Caribbean waters.
Threats to Sea Turtles
Illegal harvesting, habitat encroachment, and pollution are only some of the things sea turtles must fight against to stay alive. Researchers at FWRI are studying these threats and finding ways to help the population survive.