CHARLESTON, S.C. - South Carolina says more than half a million loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings have made it to the sea during a record-breaking year, despite losses during Hurricane Dorian.
The Post and Courier reports that preliminary data from the state Natural Resources Department counts about 525,500 turtles emerged from their nests. The previous record was set in 2016, when eggshell counts showed about 396,400 turtles emerged. This year’s numbers are still being verified.
Though the department says all sea turtle species found in South Carolina are threatened, the newspaper says state, federal and citizen efforts dating back to the 1970s could be reversing the once gradual decline. Hundreds of volunteers help mark and monitor the nests through a recovery program, along with biologists who relocate and cage in endangered nests.
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