Turtle News Briefs, December 22, 2017

Posted on: 2017-12-22 10:30:06
Turtle News Briefs

Turtle News Briefs


Interesting turtle news we’ve seen recently.

Stories include a Christmas wish for a snapping turtle, a pilot joins the ranks of sea turtle heroes, and turtle hatchlings crawl and swim for science.

Plus Yoshi’s freedom day, sea turtles rethink some nesting sites, and much more.


Recent U. S. Turtle News

Our pre-Christmas edition features a hoped-for Christmas gift for Basil the snapping turtle.

Also, some updates on cold-stunning season and rescued turtles, sea turtle hatchlings crawl on treadmills, and federal prison sentences for turtle traffickers. Plus much more.

Donations for Basil’s new tank to be matched through Christmas Eve: We shared Basil’s story a couple of weeks ago. The snapping turtle needs a new tank at the Southern Vermont Natural History Museum. A local family wants to get it done by Christmas and is matching all donations through midnight Christmas Eve. 💗

Rising sea levels threaten beaches: And that threatens sea turtle survival. Without beaches, where will they nest? A recent analysis looked specifically at Hawaii’s green sea turtle nesting beaches.

Cold snap means spike in cold-stunned turtles: North Carolina’s temperatures dropped last week. So sea turtle rehab centers in the area saw a rise in the number of sea turtle patients.

Sea turtle rescue season update: How many sea turtles has the New England Aquarium seen so far this season? And see pictures of a few of the patients.

Pilot’s maiden flight: Not his first flight ever. But his first flight bringing sea turtles to a rehab facility to finish their recovery. He has joined the ranks of pilots who volunteer their time and planes to help out these vulnerable animals. 💗 This first flight brought 30 Kemp’s ridley turtles from Massachusetts to North Carolina.

Turtle transport interrupted: Turtle rescue organizations work together to make sure sick & injured turtles get the care they need. Sometimes that means transporting them between facilities. And coordinating transport along two or more legs of the journey. And sometimes things go wrong. Like a car crash. Luckily the turtles weren’t in the crash (and the people weren’t hurt). But now where would the turtles go? Sea Turtle Recovery at the Turtle Back Zoo to the rescue! (New Jersey)

Alabama has another turtle species: A researcher looking for hybrid turtles (a cross between two different species) found a whole new species instead! 💗

Cocaine smuggling ensnares sea turtle: Quite literally. The poor thing got tangled in lines tying together 26 bales of cocaine. The US Navy cut it free and seized the drugs. Includes video.

Tiny turtles on a treadmill? Yep! And then they get to wear adorable little swimsuits … They’re doing a biathlon! But they’re not competing or trying to get into shape. Instead, scientists wanted to know if disoriented hatchlings have enough endurance to swim out to sea after wandering around the beach. Includes video.

And another reminder about all our plastic waste: Experts believe plastic and other pollution is a greater threat to turtle survival than oil spills.

But there are things we can all do to reduce plastic pollution: It boils down to finding alternatives to plastic, especially single-use plastics like straws and grocery bags. And disposing of other plastics, like fishing line, properly.

Turtles don’t belong in backpacks! A man has been charged with animal cruelty after he was stopped for shoplifting. The backpack he stuffed the stolen items into also contained a turtle and broken glass. 🙁 (Maine)

Almost 2 years for turtle trafficking: The brothers who brought alligator snapping turtles from Texas to Louisianna to sell them were sentenced last week. One got 21 months in federal prison, the other 16 months.



Recent International Turtle News

Our lead story internationally has to be Yoshi! She’s gone out to sea, but she’s not completely alone. The Aquarium is tracking her and sharing her travels with us all.

The rest is a mix of good & sad news. Sea turtle nesting is underway in many areas, and turtle watchers are protecting and/or moving nests to keep the eggs safe. Sadly, some beaches seem to be less welcoming for the turtles recently.

And some may be getting caught in shark nets while trying to get to shore.

Yoshi is back home: She had her farewell party at Two Oceans Aquarium a few weeks ago. And on December 16 she got her freedom, after more than 20 years at the Aquarium. 💗 She’s wearing a tracker, so we can see where she goes. Includes video & pictures.

Sea turtle that traveled to Cornwall couldn’t recover: We shared the story of the little Kemp’s ridley juvenile who somehow made it from the Gulf to Cornwall last week. Sadly even round-the-clock wasn’t enough for it to survive. 🙁

Saving the Northern river terrapin: The turtle is almost extinct in Myanmar, with only 3 known in the whole country. It also lives in India & Bangladesh, but the Turtle Survival Alliance hopes to rebuild Myanmar’s population.

Talk to the flipper! You just have to laugh at this picture of a sea turtle slapping a fish in the face! The photo round-up includes many other beautiful pictures too. Along with a heartbreaking photo of a leatherback sea turtle tangled up in fishing ropes. 🙁

Olive ridley nesting has begun in the Mandapam range: A team led by a Mandapam forest ranger collected its first nest and moved them to safety. Nesting season runs until May. (India)

Unfortunately, the Mandapam area also has a new road: Officials worry traffic so close to the nesting areas may discourage turtles from laying eggs there.

Turtle eggs damaged: Turtle watchers found 120 damaged eggs on the shore near Marakkanam. They believe someone may have taken the yolks to eat. 🙁 (Tamil Nadu state, India)

Cycling for Sea Turtle Preservation: The event saw 1,000 cyclists riding to raise awareness of sea turtles. They made a stop at Cape Panwa to release 80 turtles. Includes pictures. (Phuket, Thailand)

Turtles avoiding Sandspit Beach: The beach near Karachi, Pakistan is a popular spot for human tourists, but not so much for sea turtles anymore. Human activity, stray dogs, and trash seem to be among the reasons olive ridleys are refusing to nest there.

Much like humans, at least one ancient turtle migrated from Africa to Europe: The freshwater turtle managed to adapt to its new marine home.

Shark net catches loggerhead: Lucky for the turtle, Sea Shepherd monitors were in the area and helped free it. Monitors have found many non-target animals (i.e. – not sharks) in the nets recently. 🙁 (New South Wales, Australia)

Are turtles being buried alive? Quite possibly. It seems developers & landowners are filling in dams without inspecting them. And turtles are paying the price. (New South Wales, Australia)

Asian giant softshell turtle nest found: The turtle is endangered and only known to breed in one area along the Mekong River. The nest is being protected, and the babies will be released into the wild right after hatching.

Olive Ridley sea turtle missing 2 flippers rescued: It can’t go back to the wild with only 2 flippers, so it will live at the Centre for Marine Fisheries Research Institute.

Turning plastic’s negative into a positive: Plastic lasts forever in the environment, which is what makes it so bad for the environment, and sea turtles/marine animals who eat it. But in Kenya they’re collecting the plastic waste, adding sand and other materials, then turning the mixture into green construction materials. In these materials, plastic’s long life is a good thing.

Carlos Tevez and a green sea turtle: The soccer player helped release the turtle in Argentina recently. He was a bit more awkward handling the turtle than he is with a soccer ball! Includes video.


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