August 8, 2016: From Alabama Ecological Services FIeld Office
It’s an exciting time for sea turtle lovers across the Gulf Coast. Nests are hatching, and it’s understandable that many of us want to witness such an event. But it’s come to our attention that some beach-goers are picking up the hatchlings as they crawl out of the nests. Even with good intentions, picking up, touching, or handling a sea turtle is against the law and strictly forbidden. Never touch a sea turtle.
If you see a nesting sea turtle or hatchlings on the beach [in Alabama]:
Report it ASAP to Hotline: 1-866-SEA-TURTLE (732-8878).
Stand back. Observe from a distance.
-Do not use flash photography or any flashlights. Mute cell phone screens.
-Do not block their access to the ocean.
-Do not lead them to the water with flashlights.
– It is a Federal offense to touch/pick up endangered/threatened species unless approved under USFWS permit.
– Only the Share the Beach Team (green shirts), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employees and Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources employees are permitted to touch sea turtles in Alabama.
– Help by reporting sea turtles on the beach – immediately call 1-866-SEA-TURTLE (732-8878).
– Sea turtles do not need to be rescued unless crawling towards the street or lost in the dunes – Report this – Do not pick them up.
Please share this post and help us spread the word! (Photos by Share the Beach)