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Florida’s sand shortage could affect nesting habitat


Cara J
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As spring moves closer, many types of wildlife are preparing for the breeding season. Unfortunately, species that nest along Florida’s coasts may face some challenges due to a sand shortage. Florida has roughly 663 miles of beaches, and many experienced severe erosion due to Hurricane Irma in September 2017 and Hurricane Matthew in October 2016. Storms of the magnitude of Irma and Matthew cause widespread damage, and many beach repairs have been hampered by high costs due to high demand and a lack of quality sand. Conservation concerns for beach-nesting species like sea turtles and shorebirds provide added complications. Five species of sea turtle nest along Florida’s coasts, and all of them are federally threatened or endangered. Since nesting success and hatchling sex ratios are closely linked to conditions in the nest, the types of sand that can be used in beach restoration in nesting areas are regulated. A dark sand would absorb more energy and stay warmer, causing a higher proportion of female hatchlings or even making conditions too warm for nests to survive. Towns must finish their beach repairs before the sea turtle nesting season, which begins on March 1 in South Florida, April 1 on Florida’s Atlantic [...]

 

Read more: http://wildlife.org/floridas-sand-shortage-could-affect-nesting-habitat/

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