ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. -- It's sea turtle nesting season and St. Johns County is seeing a sharp decline in the number of sea turtle nests this year.

So far, there are 432 sea turtle nests in St. Johns County, according to county figures. However, last year at this time there were 713.

St. Johns County Habitat Conservation Coordinator Tara Dodson says that's a 65 percent drop in nesting.

She and state biologists are not sure why there is a decrease.

2010 was a record setting year in St. Johns County for sea turtle nests, hitting 885 nests, up from 249 nests in 2009.

"Following that year (2010), we had numbers in the 700's, and 600's and now we're in the 400's so it's almost like were leveling out completely," Dodson said.

The big question is, why the drop?

Dodson said, "To speculate why that's happening is really difficult."

What's more, she said other northeast Florida counties like Duval and Flagler are also seeing a decrease in sea turtle nests this year, but south Florida counties are seeing increases.


Watch: Baby sea turtles crawl to the ocean

Lights out, turtles still hatching

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