By Hank Tester

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Anyone who goes to the beach this time of year knows we have to share the sand – not only with each other, but also with nesting sea turtles.

Sadly, one of those endangered turtles just died because someone ran it over on Miami Beach.

Loggerheads nests are protected by local, state and federal law.

“We do not know exactly what happened why she died,” said Teal Kawcana.

The members of the Miami-Dade Turtle Conservation team found here and noticed something else.

“We also noticed ATV tracks through the nest mound and through another next mound a little further down,” Kawcana said.

So two nest mounds destroyed, one loggerhead dead and tourists concerned.

“That’s terrible! Animals are a sacred part of our ecosystem and need to protect them,” said Veronica Paterno.

Any death or destruction of eggs is a blow to the loggerhead conservation effort, especially because the loggerheads have a low reproductive rate – two to three years between nestings.

All sea turtle species in U.S. waters are listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

“Our total number of next in the county is 284 we are getting nests every day and we just hit peak season,” Kawcana said.

The Fish and Wildlife Commission is investigating to determine how and why the turtle died and who may be responsible.

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