SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Rare loggerhead sea turtles are nesting in healthy numbers this year on Georgia beaches.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources reports more than 2,200 loggerhead nests have been counted along the state’s 100-mile coast since the nesting season began in May.

The biologist who oversees the agency’s sea turtle program, Mark Dodd, tells the Savannah Morning News he expects the number of nests this year will be on track for the species’ recovery.

Loggerhead sea turtles nest on beaches from Florida to the Carolinas. They are protected as a threatened species by the Endangered Species Act.