2016 has been a record setting year for loggerhead turlte nests at MacArthur Park.
1,762 nests inhabit the 1.6 miles of beach just to the north of Singer Island. That number surpasses the previous record of 1,675 nests that were found at the park in 2012. Since loggerheads return to where they were born when they turn 25, that means the turtles that are currently laying the eggs were born at MacArthur park in the early 1990s. Each turtle can lay up to 125 eggs that take about two months to hatch.
MacArthur Park is not the only sea turtle nesting area that is seeing record numbers. Biologists at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center just up the road in Juno Beach are also reporting a record number of loggerhead turtle nests along their 10 mile stretch of beach. As of the middle of July, they found 11,710 nests, up over 1,000 from 2015.
MacArthur Park has a citizen science program where volunteers work with the park rangers to evacuate loggerhead turtle nests after the eggs have hatched.