While it's been a record year for sea turtle hatchlings in Sanibel Florida, the news is not all good. Because there are larger numbers of eggs and baby turtles on the beaches around Captiva Island and Sanibel, predators are increasing as well. Conservationists report that a bumper crop of turtles has brought coyotes to the beaches in larger numbers as well.
The scent of the turtle eggs is pretty much a dinner bell for coyotes and estimates are that these hungry coyotes have eaten close to 60 nests out of the 400 that are currently on the beaches. While coyotes will usually only eat a portion of one nest, as opposed to raccoons who will destroy the entire nest, volunteers and conservation professionals are taking it seriously. Instead of the usual yellow caution tape and signs, which the coyotes don't seem to heed, cages are being built over the nests to keep predators away.