Conservationists in Georgia and the Carolinas are hoping rare sea turtles have another strong nesting season on the Southern Atlantic coast after posting nest numbers above or near record levels in 2015.

At least 60 nests filled with eggs by loggerhead sea turtles have been tallied on beaches in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina since the nesting season began May 1.

Mark Dodd, the biologist who coordinates Georgia's sea turtle program, said the early numbers don't indicate much about whether 2016 will be a strong nesting year. But Dodd says he expects an above average year based on past trends.

The vast majority of loggerhead sea turtles nest in Florida. Ann Meylan of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission says the state's 216 beaches haven't begun reporting nesting numbers.