Rare loggerhead sea turtles are laying eggs along the Georgia coast.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources says the first loggerhead nest of the 2019 season was discovered Friday on Cumberland Island. Typically, the season runs from May through August in Georgia and the Carolinas.

Mark Dodd is the wildlife biologist who oversees Georgia’s sea turtle recovery program. He says he expects more nests this season than the 1,735 found on Georgia beaches last year.

Loggerhead sea turtles are a threatened species in the U.S. But nesting numbers in recent years indicate the population is rebounding. Georgia in 2016 had a record 3,289 nests — a number that far surpassed the 2,800 nests state biologists had set as a recovery goal. The nest count dipped to 2,155 in 2017.

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