Green sea turtles have reclaimed the beaches of a South Atlantic island, University of Exeter ecologists recently reported in the journal Biodiversity and Conservation. Some 24,000 nests dot Ascension Island's shores every year, making the U.K. territory one of the largest nesting sites for green sea turtles in the Atlantic.
"The increase has been dramatic," says Sam Weber, an ecologist at the University of Exeter and an author of the study, in a press release. "Whereas in the 1970s and ‘80s you would have been lucky to find 30 turtles on the Island's main nesting beach on any night, in 2013 we had more than 400 females nesting in a single evening." Yesterday, Ascension Island enacted legislation that establishes nature reserves along three beaches, where the turtles nest in large numbers.