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Web cams show loggerhead turtles hatching in Florida

Funded by a local tourism council, the videos were considered a tool to show off South Florida's beauty and a way to attract nature lovers to the Keys.
By Brooks Hays   |   July 28, 2014 at 10:41 AM

KEY WEST, Fla., July 28 (UPI) -- Over the weekend, roughly 100 loggerhead turtles hatched on the beaches of the Florida Keys. Guided by the light of the moon reflecting off the water, the turtles made their way to the ocean where they'll spend the rest of their lives. The little turtles' mad dash for the waves was caught on camera.

The cameras have been trained on the turtle nests for two weeks now, anticipating some action. The camera feeds are uploaded to the web in real time, so the hatch was live streaming for at least a few turtle lovers. For everyone else, the videos have been uploaded to YouTube.

"This webcam is high-definition, the first time ever used (to record a turtle hatch), and also an infrared IR-emitting light that is so important because it does not disturb any of the activities of the turtle trying to find the ambient light of the moon," explained Harry Appel, president of the Keys-based conservation group Save-a-Turtle.

Appel's group helped set up the remote webcams. The effort was funded by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council -- the videos a tool to show off South Florida's beauty and a way to attract nature lovers to the Keys.

The webcams were approved by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission.

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