A high-definition turtle webcam funded by the Florida Keys Tourism Council has been put into place in the Florida Keys to to enable researchers to observe the hatching of baby loggerhead turtles and also allow viewers online to see them hatching and leaving the nest. The turtle webcam is streaming live. It is focused on a single nest containing eggs that researchers think will hatch within a week’s time.
The turtle webcam will use natural light during the daytime and infrared light at night, allowing it to capture video images around the clock. Also, the turtle webcam will not disturb any turtles which hatch at night from finding their way to the ocean in the ambient light provided by the moon and stars, according to Harry Appel, president of the Keys-based Save-a-Turtle organization. Both the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission approved the the webcam and its installation.
Appel stated that what online viewers will see through checking out the loggerhead turtle webcam that is currently streaming live. It will be something that resembles “a small miniature volcano cave-in.” That would be the nest, with the baby turtles about to hatch and emerge. Then, people will see dozens of baby loggerhead turtles making their way from the beach down to the ocean.
Researchers and anyone else who is interested will be able to go online and watch live-streaming video of the baby loggerheads hatching and their leaving the nest. Though loggerhead turtles are the most common ones in the Florida Keys and the mainland, the area is also home to hawksbill, green, Kemp’s Ridley, leatherback and other turtle species.
Loggerhead turtles, which have been considered as either being threatened or endangered or both since the late 1970s, still remain a threatened and endangered species, according to the National Geographic. That is because of various factors such as human development in areas where the turtles have traditionally nested and turtles being killed from increased pollution in the water.
Through the use of the turtle webcam, researchers can reach a better understanding of loggerhead turtles by documenting how they behave in the wild. The researchers will also analyze the movements of the loggerhead turtles and any potential threats to them captured on the turtle webcam, in a less intrusive manner than if they were personally on the beach around the nest when the loggerheads hatch.
The researchers also hope that people viewing the turtle webcam, which is currently streaming live online, will become better informed as to the care and welfare of not just loggerhead turtles, but sea turtles, in general. Seeing the baby loggerhead turtles hatch will be interesting for people of all ages to watch. Simply click on the last link below to view the loggerhead turtle nest and watch for signs of the baby turtles hatching, streaming live from the high-definition turtle webcam on a Florida Keys beach.
Written By Douglas Cobb