Sea Turtle Nests at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort
The Wonder of Sea Turtle Nests at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort
When you visit Disney’s Vero Beach Resort it’s important to know that you will be sharing this beautiful sandy stretch of Atlantic Ocean beach with many other visitors–but probably not the kind of visitors you think. This stretch of Florida’s Treasure Coast is one of the Western Hemisphere’s busiest beaches for turtle nesting activity, with 26 miles of virtually unspoiled sand. Disney’s Vero Beach Resort sits right in the midst of this area meaning that there is always a lot of turtle nesting activity underway during the nesting season.
If you visit during the turtle nesting season, you are in for a treat
Pretty much on any given night between March and October a mama turtle will be making her way quietly out of the surf and on to shore to build a nest for her precious cargo. To help ensure that as many newborn baby turtles as possible make it back to the ocean upon hatching, Disney Conservation has a great program in place to protect the nests and as a guest of this great resort, you can see exactly how it’s done.
Every morning at the crack of dawn Disney Conservation staff are on the beach looking for evidence of the nesting activity that occurred overnight. To the untrained eye, the subtle clues would go unnoticed — which is exactly what the turtles are aiming to achieve. Lucky for us (and the turtles), Disney Conservation staff are experts at spotting the hidden signs in the sand that allow them to follow the clues to the probable nesting spot.
You can watch as a Disney Conservation specialist shows you how they find the nest and then dig to verify that the eggs are there. While the sea turtles do their best to hide their nesting site (or fake you out will false nests), the Conservationists will find the actual nest. Once this is confirmed, the Cast Member goes to great lengths to record the location data of the nest site, including the type of turtle, the date, numbers of eggs etc., and then they mark the area so that guests will not disturb it before hatching time.
It’s really amazing what a great job they do on this beach and I am always impressed that guests fully respect the nests and co-habit the beach with their hidden visitors who are waiting to enter the world from beneath the sand.
Guests do their part to protect the turtle nesting activity on Vero Beach
In order to ensure that the mama turtles can go about their business undisturbed, guests with ocean view rooms are encouraged to close their blinds at night and flashlights and flash photography are not allowed on or near the beach after dark. These sources of light can confuse hatchlings into heading the wrong way–away from the surf–and they can also disturb mama turtles that are nesting (the babies head towards light sources, since the moon reflects off of the water). For a chance to see a nesting turtle in action at night, Disney’s Vero Beach Resort holds a special lottery for interested hotel guests and a limited number of lucky guests will be selected at random to head out at night to witness the event. So be sure to ask about this if you think it’s something you may want to do.
To see how the Disney Conservation folks find and mark the new nests, you can sign up for a formal Turtle Walk or simply head down to the beach at the crack of dawn to watch for the Disney staff who go about their business. You are more than welcome to watch and learn as they explain the whole process of nest tracking and protection.
There are three species of sea turtles that nest on the beach at the resort: loggerhead sea turtles, green sea turtles and leatherback sea turtles and turtle activity is very high. It is not unusual for Disney Conservationists to mark over 1,000 nests in a season.
Disney’s Vero Beach Resort is a great oceanfront destination for a dedicated trip or in combination with a visit to Walt Disney World. Even without the added aspect of the turtle activity, the Resort offers tons of things to see and do. However, if you like sea turtles and nature conservancy, then be sure to head down to the beach on at least one morning of your stay to witness and take part in the amazing work that these folks do at Disney Conservation, Vero Beach Resort.
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