Loggerhead sea turtles have had another record-setting nesting season in Georgia, where the number of nests counted has increased each of the past four years.
The unofficial count along Georgia's 100-mile coastline for the season that runs from May through August is 2,284 nests. That's up from a total of 2,241 nests last year. The official 2013 count could go up when it's released in mid-October.
Mark Dodd, the wildlife biologist who heads Georgia's sea turtle recovery program, says a fourth straight year of increasing nest numbers is another sign the state's loggerhead population is recovering after two decades of up-and-down fluctuations.
Loggerhead sea turtles are protected as a threatened species by federal law. Dodd says it's possible Georgia could hit its recovery goal of 2,800 nests within five years.