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Record Number Of Green Sea Turtles Return To Florida


OK. This morning, we have some good news for a sea creature who seemed in really big trouble. 2015, things looked up for the green sea turtle. These 300-pound vegetarians have been on the endangered species list for decades.


Today, they are a little less endangered.

LOU EARHART: I think it's one of the really great stories in the history of the North American Wildlife Conservation.

MONTAGNE: There are more than 14,000 - conservation. That's Lou Earhart (ph). He's professor emeritus at the University of Central Florida.

EARHART: And I've been working with sea turtles for more than 40 years.

MONTAGNE: He's been seeing a lot more turtle nests on the beach at the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge in Florida now. There were more than 14,000 nests last year, way more than the 200 counted some 15 years ago.

GREENE: A combination of fishing, human development and predators had threatened this population.

EARHART: By all rights and what we know about extinction vortex, they should have just slid into oblivion. But they didn't.

GREENE: Earhart says that is because conservation efforts that started decades ago are finally taking hold, clearing the way for these female turtles that can lay up to 1,000 eggs in a season.

EARHART: Here's one example where we took action soon enough and the species responded.

GREENE: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services is responding as well. It is considering an upgrade for the green sea turtle from endangered to just threatened.

And we appreciate you hearing that news and all the other news from us here on MORNING EDITION this morning. Later today, on "All Things Considered," we're going to learn why kindergarten is becoming the new first grade. Think about it. It's more math and reading and less finger-paint. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.