Florida Turtle Walk Code of Conduct - Turtle Walk Restrictions and Limitations


What You Can and
Cannot Do on
a Florida Sea Turtle Walk

If you want to take photos or film the experience,
you may be out of luck

 

 

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Florida Turtle Walk Rules and Restrictions

All sea turtles except loggerheads are endangered species; loggerheads are classified as threatened. Because of the turtles' special status, organized turtle walks (watches) in Florida are tightly controlled.

Anyone conducting a turtle walk must have a permit from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Touching a sea turtle or handling its eggs without a permit is unlawful.

On a turtle walk, participants are not allowed to use a flashlight personally. Only the guide(s) will have one and its lens is filtered. (See Nesting Sea Turtle Photos)

Flash photography of the egg laying also is not allowed. The rules for using a digital camera or smart phone for photos differs from location to location. Some places do not allow the use of any device with an illuminated screen.

Even then, in some instances, you may not be allowed to take pictures, only act as a spectator. To be certain, check ahead.

Whatever else, be sure to bring repellent for mosquitoes, which can be fierce without a breeze, and a water bottle.

Turtle walk guides always do their best to find a turtle, but since sea turtles are wild animals with minds of their own, there are no guarantees. This is why they are best called a turtle "walk" and not a turtle "watch." 


Except at Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, which uses a term containing an impossible promise. Archie Carr may be one of the richest viewing places in the world, but "walk" and "watch" are similar the to the difference between "fishing" and "catching." You can only hope for the "watch."

To Join a Florida Sea Turtle Walk (Watch)

To Sea Turtle Life Cycle