Turtle Talk Archive

Cold-stunned sea turtles washing ashore

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

Cape Cod Mystery: A Surge of Stranded Turtles
By JAMES GORMAN
DEC. 12, 2014

WELLFLEET, Mass. — For as long as anyone knows, young sea turtles have ventured up the East Coast, leaving warm seas to feed on crabs and other prey. And some of them have lingered too long in northern waters and been stunned when the season turns cold.

Around this time of year, volunteers regularly patrol the beaches of Cape Cod Bay to rescue turtles that wash up at high tide — six of seven species of sea turtles are endangered — so they can be rehabilitated and relocated to warmer shores in the South.

But this year the usual trickle of stranded turtles has turned into a flood, and nobody seems to know why.

Since mid-November, volunteers on turtle patrol have found nearly 1,200, almost all young Kemp’s ridley turtles, the most endangered of turtle species. That is almost three times as many as in the previous record year, and many more times the number in an average year. More turtles are being found every day.

Most of them have survived, but hundreds have not.

The stranded turtles, typically 2 to 3 years old and each of them between the size of a dinner plate and a serving platter, have stretched the abilities of the veterinarians and volunteers who rescued them, and the capacities of aquariums as far away as Texas to care for the survivors until they can be released.

Read the full New York Times article by clicking here.

Loggerheads win new protection in Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico

Monday, July 14th, 2014

NOAA and USFWS established critical habitat for loggerhead sea turtles in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.

The federal government this week initiated protection of 685 miles of beaches from Mississippi to North Carolina and more than 300,000 square miles of ocean as “critical habitat” for loggerhead sea turtles along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is the largest designation of critical habitat ever.

To view the final NOAA Fisheries rule for marine critical habitat, visit www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/turtles/criticalhabitat_loggerhead.htm.

To view the final USFWS rule for terrestrial critical habitat and the associated final economic analysis and maps, visit www.fws.gov/northflorida/SeaTurtles/2014_Loggerhead_CH/Terrestrial_critical_habitat_loggerhead.html.

Out of the Light and Into the Darkness: Managing the Impacts of Artificial Light on Sea Turtles

Sunday, May 18th, 2014

It is sea turtle nesting season, the time when threatened and endangered sea turtles come ashore to nest to ensure future generations of their species.

Lights act like magnets to turtles! Watch and learn how you can help them to survive.

Ocean Health Index article “Out Of the Light and Into the Darkness” : http://www.oceanhealthindex.org/News/Out_Of_The_Light_And_Into_The_Darkness

Scientific American article on lighting work in Florida

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

From Marydele Donnelly
Director of International Policy
Sea Turtle Conservancy:

This is a short but valuable article on recent efforts to reduce light pollution on Florida’s beaches. More than 30 years ago Dr. David Ehrenfeld wrote the following about beachfront lighting, “With good will and good science people and sea turtles can use the beaches together.” That is still true about much of what our community does. But sometimes mandatory requirements and fines for crimes against our environment also are important.

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/extinction-countdown/2014/05/01/sea-turtle-hatchlings-saved/

First Nest of 2014

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

The first nest in Lee County was found this morning on Sanibel Island! The fun begins!