Sea turtle hatchlings on Amelia Island
On Amelia Island, the protected sea turtle species nesting season begins in May and ends in October. Sea turtle eggs start to hatch in July. The most common type of sea turtles that lay eggs here are loggerheads but we also have green sea turtles and leatherback sea turtles that nest on our beach. Nests are marked off with orange tape and the date laid is marked on the post, please do not disturb the marked off areas.
After the eggs have been laid, they take about 55 days to hatch. During this time, the naturalists at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Nature Center ask that bright lights (including flashlights) are kept off the beach. If you spot a sea turtle, you should not disturb her or try to put her back in the water. Sandcastles should always be filled in after playing; hatchlings get stuck in the holes and are easy prey for predators. Please also keep in mind that any litter left on the beach can blow into the ocean and kill sea turtles and other marine life. If you notice any sea turtles that you believe to be injured or deceased, please call the Nature Center at (904) 321-5082.
There are numerous groups who help with the research of these unique reptiles. If you would like to observe as the volunteers at the Amelia Island Sea Turtle Watch help the baby turtles, visit www.ameliaislandseaturtlewatch.com. Click on “excavation schedule” to find the location and time.
If you have questions or want to learn more about sea turtles, contact the Nature Center or you can book our Sea Turtle Discovery tour here!