You can help protect Florida's endangered and threatened marine turtles by making a donation to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Your donation will help fund research at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute and conservation efforts by the Imperiled Species Management Section. With each donation of five dollars or more, you will receive your choice of one of the waterproof decals featured. Current year marine turtle decals are available at Florida County Tax Offices.
FWC has a limited supply of some of the earlier decals. We would like to offer them to individuals who are interested in collecting them. Please indicate the decals you would like to obtain by checking the appropriate area on the order form and sending a check for the number of decals selected. The decals will be sent to you within 4-6 weeks.
2013-2014 Loggerhead turtle hatchling
artwork by Ann Marie Tavares, FWC.
Tortugas Marinas de la Florida
Loggerhead Turtle - Florida's State Saltwater Reptile
Sea turtles were among the native wildlife seen by Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon and his crew in 1513, when he named the peninsula La Florida, land of the flowers. Ponce de Leon also designated a cluster of islands 70 miles west of Key West as Las Tortugas, because of sea turtles nesting there. As with other Florida beaches, the islands of Dry Tortugas National Park still have loggerhead, leatherback, green and hawksbill turtles coming back year after year to lay their eggs.
The loggerhead turtle visited Florida beaches long before Spanish explorers arrived 500 years ago. This hard-shell sea turtle weighs about 250 pounds as an adult, with a reddish-brown, heart-shaped shell and pale yellow bottom. Its large head and strong jaws enable loggerheads to eat conch, whelk, crabs and other hard-shelled prey. Adult and juvenile loggerheads occur in many coastal habitats, including near shore reefs, seagrass, oyster beds and estuaries. Loggerheads also forage on deep reefs and at the surface of open sea. Females emerge at night to nest on Florida’s sandy beaches from April to September; hatchlings also typically emerge from nests at night. Sea turtles on the beach at night can be confused by oceanfront lights, which pose significant risk to adults and hatchlings. In 2012, 98,601 loggerhead nests were documented on Florida’s east and west coast beaches, the highest count in 33 years!
Previous Years Decals