It's Not Easy Being Greenish-Brown

Who doesn't like turtles, kid?

By Janie Campbell
|  Sunday, Nov 1, 2009  |  Updated 3:35 PM EDT
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Webcam Records Loggerhead Turtles Hatching

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Go, loggerhead, go!

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Webcam Records Loggerhead Turtles Hatching

A live streaming turtlecam recorded baby loggerhead turtles emerging from their nest and making their way to the ocean in the lower Keys.
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If we could just get them into a nuclear waste-filled sewer, they could fight their own fights. But right now, turtles could use a little help from the government.

Florida, home to 90% of loggerhead sea turtle nests in the U.S., has just recorded its fourth-worst nesting season on record, and in spite of protective vigilantes and light polution rules, the situation is precarious enough to prompt observers to petition the Feds to reclassify the poor little guys from threatened to endangered.

Experts with environmental group Oceana say the number of nests has plunged 40% over the past decade, and 2009's further 15% drop has put the creatures in watery grave danger.

Similar numbers are coming in from surveys in North and South Carolina.

"We're finally getting below 400 nests, which is scary," Kirt Rusenko, a marine conservationist at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton told the Palm Beach Post. "When I first started here 14 years ago, our nest number was more like 900.''

The turtles have been impacted by overdevelopment, commercial line fishing, and beach erosion, something we'd only wish on visiting "celebrities." Though they've been classified threatened since 1978's Endangered Species Act, loggerheads have struggled to survive.

It's a problem, Oceana believes, that needs government intervention so that increased protections and areas of critical habitat can be created and enforced. They, along with The Center for Biological Diversity and the Turtle Island Restoration Network, are awaiting a response to their joint petition.

Perhaps a celebrity spokesperson could aid the cause? Like most turtles (awwww), this never gets old:

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