Selasa, 03 November 2020

Cold-stunned sea turtles rescued from Cape beaches - Cape Cod Times

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WELLFLEET —  Seven cold-stunned sea turtles are under care after being located on the Lower Cape's bayside beaches.

Seven live Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, the world’s most endangered sea turtle species, were found on beaches from Eastham to Brewster Tuesday by trained volunteers for Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.

An eighth turtle, a dead Kemp's ridley, was found at Race Point in Provincetown.

Karen Dourdeville, the sanctuary's sea turtle stranding coordinator, said strong winds over the last 24 hours likely helped bring the turtles ashore.

“These sea turtles were probably slowing down since the bay’s water temperature is now 55 degrees," she said. "When they get cold enough, sea turtles will stop feeding and swimming. Two or three days of strong winds can help blow them ashore where we’re able to rescue them.”

Sea turtles have been stranding on Cape Cod beaches from late October through December for more than 30 years. Last year, about 300 turtles stranded. In 2014, more than 1,200 turtles — a record — were rescued or recovered.

In addition to Kemp’s ridleys, green sea turtles and loggerheads can also experience cold-stunning, which occurs when the animals become trapped in the hook shape of the Cape and are unable to escape the cooling waters to migrate south.

When cold-stunned sea turtles wash ashore, they may appear dead but are often alive. Rescued turtles are transported to the New England Aquarium’s Animal Care Center in Quincy and the National Marine Life Center in Buzzards Bay for life-saving rehabilitation and eventual release.

Anyone who discovers a stranded sea turtle on a beach is urged to bring it above the highest high-tide line, cover it completely with dry seaweed and mark the spot either with beach debris or a large arrow drawn in the sand. Turtles should be reported to the sanctuary's 24/7 hotline at 508-349-2615, ext. 6104. Callers should be as precise as possible about the name of the beach and where the turtle is relative to the main entrance.

Follow Denise Coffey on Twitter: @DeniseCoffeyCCT.

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November 04, 2020 at 05:45AM
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Cold-stunned sea turtles rescued from Cape beaches - Cape Cod Times

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