BIG PINE KEY – A live-streaming webcam has recorded loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest on a Florida Keys beach.
About 100 three-inch-long infants emerged from the mound Friday night and headed to the ocean under faint moonlight.
The high-definition camera recorded the scene and broadcast it online. The camera uses infrared lighting so hatchlings will make their way to sea without being confused by the artificial light.
The webcam is part of efforts in the Keys to raise awareness about the need to protect sea turtles.
Loggerheads are among five threatened or endangered sea turtle species that nest on Keys beaches and other Florida shorelines.
The webcam is funded by the Florida Keys tourism council. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission approved it.