How Artificial Light Affects Nesting Sea Turtles

Sea turtles today face many, many threats. From ocean predators, to plastic pollution. But what about artificial lighting?

The Loggerhead Turtles that nest on the beaches of Jacksonville Florida are a vulnerable endangered species and they are now facing the threat of artificial light.

Why is Artificial Light a problem for Sea Turtles?

Artificial lighting can have a big impact on turtle populations as it not only affects sea turtle hatchlings but also mother turtles trying to nest.

When mother turtles come to shore to nest at night they can be disorientated by the artificial lighting when they try to lay their eggs and this can cause 'False Crawl' - this is when the mother turtle tries multiple times to nest on the beach, but it is too bright, so they return to the ocean and deposit their eggs there. This kills the baby sea turtles instantly, before they even have a chance to see the world.

It's just as dangerous for the sea turtle hatchlings that emerge from success nests. The artificial lighting also disorientates the hatchlings and as a result they travel away from the oceans, in land, and tragically they can end up in the roads and streets, with such a tiny chance of survival.

What is Turtle Friendly Lighting?

Turtle Friendly Lighting is lighting that is specifically designed to reduce the impact of lighting on wildlife, specifically sea turtles. 

Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commissions solutions to reducing the effects of light pollution include:

  • Turning off all unnecessary lights - this is especially in areas near and visible to the beach. 

  • Shield brighter light sources - used to direct light away from the beach.

  • Replacing tall, highlights with low level lamps which aren't visible from the beach.

  • Replacing high intensity, fluorescent lighting with soft, low-wattage amber lights.

What can we do?

More needs to be done to protect these Loggerhead sea turtles, if you want to help make a change then please consider signing this petition Casey Jones to Mayor Charlie Latham (Mayor of Jax Beach).

Sign the Petition

Please also consider sharing this with friends and family too and spread awareness about the threats that these loggerhead turtles face.

Every Purchase Saves A Sea Turtle

Did you know that every purchase made through Ocean Helper saves at least one baby sea turtle, through our partnership with the Billion Baby Turtles project.

Support the campaign and get a Turtle Rescue Bracelet for just $1! Free shipping is available if you buy one of our multipacks to share with your friends and family. 

Save a sea turtle

Click here to claim your bracelet for just $1 & save a turtle!

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