Sea turtles, a marine reptile, are one of the planet's most ancient creatures, having been around since the time when dinosaurs roamed - over 110 million years ago. Escambia County beaches are home to four of the six species of sea turtles found in U.S. waters. The loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), the leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) and the Kemp's Ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) nest annually on Escambia County's beaches from March through September.
Loggerhead sea turtle nests are the most commonly found in the area, historically accounting for over 90 percent of all sea turtle nests in Escambia County. All species of sea turtles are listed as threatened or endangered and protected by the Endangered Species Act. Only an estimated 1 in 1,000 sea turtle hatchlings survive to reach adulthood.