@NEAQ sees sea turtle stranding season activity pick up

Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, 12 endangered sea turtles were found on the beaches of Cape Cod by some dedicated (and likely very cold) Mass Audubon Sanctuary WellFleet volunteers. All the turtles have been transported to the New England Aquarium’s Animal Care Center in Quincy, MA, joining the 4 rescued since Nov 5th, to be slowly warmed and rehabilitated. 13 of the turtles being rehabbed at the facility are rare juvenile Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles.

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The two- to ten-pound sea turtles with black shells were collected by staff and volunteers with the Massachusetts Audubon Sanctuary at Wellfleet Bay who walked the frigid beaches looking for the near motionless marine reptiles in the debris at the high tide line. With strong westerly winds creating steady wave activity, the floating turtles left the 50-something degree water to more dangerous conditions on the beach with early morning air temperatures in the 20’s. Getting to the turtles in a timely manner is important to avoid a further drop in body temperature.

November and December is the sea turtle stranding season on Cape Cod as juvenile sea turtles that have migrated there for the summer to feed on crabs fail to return south to warmer waters. All of these strandings occur on the north side of the huge peninsula in Cape Cod Bay. The bay is surrounded by land on three sides with its only opening to the north, which is instinctively counter-intuitive.

In the area? VOLUNTEER! 
If you’re on the Cape, volunteers are needed at Mass Audubon.
Volunteer to walk the beaches! If you can volunteer a couple of hours a week, day or night, you could help save the life of a sea turtle by helping to get it off the beach before it freezes. Does walking beaches in 30 to 40 mph winds with air temperatures hovering around 30 degrees seem like fun? Well, we have an opportunity for you! How about helping us at 2 am? We’re not kidding, we’re out there.

Volunteer to be a driver! All the live sea turtles are transported to the New England Aquarium Rescue Center in Quincy. We sometimes need to make two or three trips a day. To become a volunteer, please contact volunteer coordinator Diane Silverstein by calling, 508-349-2615. 

(SOURCE: NEAQ) 

Last Wednesday the at Sandy Neck Park in Barnstable were met with an incredible sight. A ~ 650lbd Leatherback sea turtle stranded on the beach. Leatherback sea turtles are extremely endangered and in depth knowledge of treatment of ill leatherbacks even more so.

The chain of sea turtle responders started their calls contacting the Massachusetts Audubon Sanctuary at Wellfleet bay who then contacted the New England Aquarium.  Rescue efforts required a heavy amount of collaboration from all involved, on site testing of the animals vitals, and lots of heavy lifting.  Later in the afternoon the leatherback was released into deeper waters and , hopefully, back to a happy healthy life. Rescuers are asking those in the area to keep an eye out  in case she comes back to the area for whatever reason.

Its an incredible story and a fine example of the work of the staff and volunteers working with and at The New England Aquarium. The story of this rescue is much more detailed and sheds light on the rarity of encounters with these turtles and the limited amount of knowledge on rescue methods/ physiology. I urge you to read all about the rescue efforts of this soft shell and the others that lead to current knowledge of the animals, watch a video of this incredible creature wading in the ocean, and learn more about the New England Aquarium

HERE!

 

(SOURCE: NEAQ) 

Last Wednesday the at Sandy Neck Park in Barnstable were met with an incredible sight. A ~ 650lbd Leatherback sea turtle stranded on the beach. Leatherback sea turtles are extremely endangered and in depth knowledge of treatment of ill leatherbacks even more so.

The chain of sea turtle responders started their calls contacting the Massachusetts Audubon Sanctuary at Wellfleet bay who then contacted the New England Aquarium.  Rescue efforts required a heavy amount of collaboration from all involved, on site testing of the animals vitals, and lots of heavy lifting.  Later in the afternoon the leatherback was released into deeper waters and , hopefully, back to a happy healthy life. Rescuers are asking those in the area to keep an eye out  in case she comes back to the area for whatever reason.

Its an incredible story and a fine example of the work of the staff and volunteers working with and at The New England Aquarium. The story of this rescue is much more detailed and sheds light on the rarity of encounters with these turtles and the limited amount of knowledge on rescue methods/ physiology. I urge you to read all about the rescue efforts of this soft shell and the others that lead to current knowledge of the animals, watch a video of this incredible creature wading in the ocean, and learn more about the New England Aquarium

HERE!

 

Cape Cod’s Wicked Local reminds us to always return a turtle to the place you found it. Or maybe just leave it alone?

(Photo: Vincent Guadazno. Soucre: Wicked Local Cape cod Top Stories)

But he still wants to go home at the end of the day, which is why wildlife authorities are trying to get out this message: if you are returning a box turtle to the wild, make sure you put him back where you found him.

Box turtles, recognizable by their highly domed, black-and-gold shells, are extremely visible at this time of year as they wander the Outer Cape in search of a sandy spot to nest in, a sunny place to bask in or a shady glade to rest in. They may also wander into trouble. The increasing number of motorists on the road puts them at risk of being struck and injured, resulting in a period of hospitalization at Eastham’s Wild Care or some other animal rehabilitation clinic, and curious children on summer vacation have been known to borrow the turtles from the wild for a few days or weeks, to keep as pets or science projects.

Whatever the cause of their displacement, the important thing is to return the turtles to the place where they were picked up, once they are ready to be released, says Ruth Ann Cowing, Provincetown’s animal control officer. Box turtles have a home range to which they are faithful, and if they are placed out of their range they will be forced to wander longer than is good for them.

Cowing recently tended to the release of a male box turtle on Fortuna Road in Provincetown’s East End, the same spot where the turtle had been found on May 21 with an injury to his right rear leg. He spent three weeks recuperating at Wild Care, where he received stitches, antibiotics and regular meals of salad greens and mealworms and was taken outside to graze on the lawn.

As comfortable as his home away from home may have been, it was no substitute for his own patch of woods in Provincetown, says Wild Care director Stephanie Ellis, who discharged the turtle on June 12.

“If you were to relocate [box turtles], which is illegal, they will travel miles to get back to their original destination,” Ellis says.

A common mistake people make is picking a box turtle up off the road, to prevent it from being hit by a car, and then taking it to a pond or letting it go in some other location far from where they found it, Ellis says. Neither scenario is salutary for the turtle. Box turtles are terrestrial, not aquatic, so dropping them in a pond won’t really help them, and carrying them off their path will just make it harder for them to get where they were intending to go.

If you see a box turtle crossing the road, just move it across the road and point it in the direction it was already headed, Ellis says.

Cape Cod’s Wicked Local reminds us to always return a turtle to the place you found it. Or maybe just leave it alone?

(Photo: Vincent Guadazno. Soucre: Wicked Local Cape cod Top Stories)

But he still wants to go home at the end of the day, which is why wildlife authorities are trying to get out this message: if you are returning a box turtle to the wild, make sure you put him back where you found him.

Box turtles, recognizable by their highly domed, black-and-gold shells, are extremely visible at this time of year as they wander the Outer Cape in search of a sandy spot to nest in, a sunny place to bask in or a shady glade to rest in. They may also wander into trouble. The increasing number of motorists on the road puts them at risk of being struck and injured, resulting in a period of hospitalization at Eastham’s Wild Care or some other animal rehabilitation clinic, and curious children on summer vacation have been known to borrow the turtles from the wild for a few days or weeks, to keep as pets or science projects.

Whatever the cause of their displacement, the important thing is to return the turtles to the place where they were picked up, once they are ready to be released, says Ruth Ann Cowing, Provincetown’s animal control officer. Box turtles have a home range to which they are faithful, and if they are placed out of their range they will be forced to wander longer than is good for them.

Cowing recently tended to the release of a male box turtle on Fortuna Road in Provincetown’s East End, the same spot where the turtle had been found on May 21 with an injury to his right rear leg. He spent three weeks recuperating at Wild Care, where he received stitches, antibiotics and regular meals of salad greens and mealworms and was taken outside to graze on the lawn.

As comfortable as his home away from home may have been, it was no substitute for his own patch of woods in Provincetown, says Wild Care director Stephanie Ellis, who discharged the turtle on June 12.

“If you were to relocate [box turtles], which is illegal, they will travel miles to get back to their original destination,” Ellis says.

A common mistake people make is picking a box turtle up off the road, to prevent it from being hit by a car, and then taking it to a pond or letting it go in some other location far from where they found it, Ellis says. Neither scenario is salutary for the turtle. Box turtles are terrestrial, not aquatic, so dropping them in a pond won’t really help them, and carrying them off their path will just make it harder for them to get where they were intending to go.

If you see a box turtle crossing the road, just move it across the road and point it in the direction it was already headed, Ellis says.