Leatherback Turtle Hits Fernandina Beach

Written by

Susan Hardee Steger

Photos Courtesy of Len Kreger

Leatherback Turtle on North End Beach - Photos Courtesy of Len Kreger

On June 1, a leatherback turtle laid its eggs in the daylight, much to the delight of onlookers and volunteers with the Amelia Island Sea Turtle Watch.   Area sea turtle volunteers keep crowds at a distance during the nesting process.

This past April,  Pompano Beach, Florida beach-goers spotted a leatherback on its way  to lay eggs, but fish and wildlife officials believe the large crowd that followed her arrival caused the leatherback to avoid depositing its eggs.  The leatherback simply headed back to the water.


It isn’t too often that a leatherback comes to the beaches of Amelia Island.  The species is endangered.   Leatherbacks can weigh up to 2000 pounds and average 6 feet in length.  They are the largest of turtles, and can dive to depths of 4000 feet.

We thank Len Kreger, Sea Turtle Permit Holder, avid community volunteer, and nature lover for submitting these photos and for calling the recent arrival of this leatherback to our attention.