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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) – Nearly 60,000 loggerhead turtle nests were found this year along Florida’s beaches, making it one of the strongest years in the last decade.

State wildlife researchers surveyed 250 miles of beaches and counted 58,172 loggerhead nests.

Nesting on the same beaches peaked in 1998 with 59,918 nests. The low was 28,074 nests counted in 2007.

Loggerhead turtles are a threatened species, and almost all of their nesting in the U.S. occurs in Florida. Blair Witherington of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says loggerhead nesting has risen in Florida over the last five years, but the turtles still face many challenges.

Hatchlings will continue to emerge from loggerhead nests through November.
Researchers also counted 6,054 green turtle nests and 515 leatherback turtle nests on Florida beaches this year.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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