After years of protecting loggerhead nests from predators and hatchlings from commercial fishing, wildlife researchers last month reveled in a new finding — nest numbers on Georgia’s beaches are the highest they've been in 20 years. As of July 30, researchers had spotted more than 2,000 nests.
While it's premature to say that this encouraging news signals a species' rebound, researchers hope soon to see the loggerhead taken off the Endangered Species Act listing. For this to happen, nest numbers will need to grow at a constant 2% rate during the coming decades and then stabilize at 2,800 nests a year.
From requiring shrimp trawlers to install turtle excluder devices to limiting beach lighting so that hatchlings can easily find their way to the ocean, the Georgia Sea Turtle Cooperative and volunteer groups have over the years supported a variety of preservation efforts to encourage these nesting numbers.