DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Wildlife officials say sea turtle nest counts are up, particularly on central Florida beaches.
In Volusia County, turtles have dug 2,884 nests so far this year, up from 2,356 nests all last year. That includes nests dug on Canaveral National Seashore, which stretches into Brevard County.
In Flagler County, turtles have dug 555 nests so far this year, compared with 444 in 2011.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission scientist Blair Witherington says Flagler and Volusia beaches help the state gauge how sea turtles are doing overall. Witherington tells The Daytona Beach News-Journal that nest counts are up about 50 percent statewide over last year.
It's not clear what's behind the nesting boom. Volusia County officials say they believe the higher nest counts show that conservation efforts are working.