Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Race on To Save Sea Turtles (Via Herp Digest)

Race on To Save Sea Turtles , S. Padre Island, TX
2/4/11, Valley Star, TX, by Steve Sinclair

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND - From Boca Chica beach to South Padre Island, cold-stunned sea turtles are being found by the dozens and fears are the numbers could swell by the time the cold front leaves the Rio Grande Valley.

As of noon Thursday, 100 cold-stunned sea turtles had been found. That number swelled to 330, seven of which died. Volunteers are racing the clock to save as many turtles as possible.
"This is really a bad one," Sea Turtle Inc. curator Jeff George said.

"If the sea turtles are in this 20-degree temperature tonight (Thursday), they're going to die. I don't think the little ones will survive."

As many as 40 volunteers are looking for the turtles, but the U.S. Coast Guard and Texas Parks & Wildlife Department have also reported finding cold-stranded turtles.

Plans were to keep searching for more turtles until sunset on Thursday, then resuming the search this morning. Boats are also being used in the search.

All the turtles found thus far have been green sea turtles, which are an endangered species. George said the turtles range in size from 8 or 9 pounds to 100 pounds.
Rescue facilities are strained. Besides Sea Turtle Inc. on the Island, turtles are being sent to the University of Texas-Pan American Coastal Studies lab on the Island and Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville. Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge also has an emergency facility available.
The record number of cold-stunned sea turtles found came following a freeze in the 1980s when 300 were discovered.

According to the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission, when the water temperature drops, stunned sea turtles may float listlessly or wash onto shore. Although these turtles may appear to be dead, they are often still alive. However, in this listless condition, they are especially vulnerable to further impacts from the weather and may become prey to scavengers.
George said it is critically important to find the sea turtles as soon as possible. He said the longer they remain in the listless state, their chances of recovery drop.

Sea turtle experts, including a veterinarian, are available to offer assistance.

People who find cold-stunned or dead turtles should immediately call Sea Turtle Inc., day or night, at 956-761-4511 and they will be advised of an emergency number to call.
36 photo slide show of rescue as of 2/4/11

No comments:

Post a Comment

You only need to enter your comment once! Comments will appear once they have been moderated. This is so as to stop the would-be comedian who has been spamming the comments here with inane and often offensive remarks. You know who you are!

Related Posts with Thumbnails