FWC seeks video from Anna Maria businesses showing destruction of sea turtle nests, skimmer chicks
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) investigators are asking businesses on Anna Maria Island to check video surveillance records for any sign of an all-terrain vehicle that destroyed five sea turtle nests and killed three black skimmer chicks on the night of June 27.
Specifically, investigators are interested in surveillance video taken in the area between State Road 64 and Cortez Road, between 10 p.m. and midnight, showing an all-terrain vehicle. Anyone having video or other information about the incident is urged to report it to the Wildlife Alert reward program anytime, day or night, by texting or emailing Tip@MyFWC.com or calling 888-404-3922. Those reporting wildlife and fisheries law violations may remain anonymous and be may eligible for a reward upon the conviction of a violator.
Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach police departments are also investigating, along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Sea turtles, their eggs and their nests are protected under state and federal law. Under state law, destroying a sea turtle nest or eggs is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to a $5,000 fine and/or five years in prison. Black skimmers are listed by the state as a Species of Special Concern.
For information on imperiled species and efforts to protect them, visit myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/imperiled/ or call the FWC regional office in Lakeland at 863-648-3200.