Posted on: 2017-12-08 10:30:00
Recent turtle news stories we found interesting.
Scientists keep learning more about where adult sea turtles forage. And how juveniles spend their first few years.
Also … why do people seem to forget many turtle species are protected? Selling them, killing them, and fishing in their sanctuaries keep getting people in trouble!
Also, several sea turtle releases, a dramatic rescue, and saving the rare Dahl’s toad-headed Turtle. Plus much more.
Recent U. S. Turtle News
This week the Ventura County wildfires destroyed homes and threatened people & animals alike. But nearly 100 turtles rode to safety as their sanctuary’s evacuation plan worked beautifully.
Elsewhere, a snapping turtle and his fish friend need a new tank. We keep learning more about how & where sea turtles live. And lighted fishing nets can protect turtles. Plus much, much more.
Meet Turkey the sea turtle: Turkey is the sea turtle who was rescued on Thanksgiving … thus her name! She’s doing better, but her condition is still touch-and-go.
Evacuating turtles ahead of fires: Just like you need an emergency evacuation plan for your family, the Behler Chelonian Center has a plan to keep its special residents safe. And it worked beautifully last Tuesday. Almost 100 turtles, from little pig-nosed turtles to a gigantic Galapagos tortoise got safely away from the fires in Ventura County.
See Lazzie go home: The little green sea turtle was tangled up in debris attached to a pier back in September. His rescuer thought he was dead, but then he took a breath … thus his name (for Lazarus). It was a beautiful day to witness his return to the sea. (Florida)
Reminder: Leave the sea turtles & other marine life alone! Not only is it the right thing to do, it’s the law. Two men who posted a picture of their disregard for this law in Hawaii have been fined.
Unless the animal needs help: Like this loggerhead sea turtle with a hook in its mouth & fishing line wrapped around its neck and flipper. The turtle looked to be about 300 pounds and didn’t appreciate its rescuer’s attempts to help. It took about 15 minutes, but eventually the turtle was free. Includes video. (Florida)
Basil needs a new home: The snapping turtle has outgrown his current tank, which is also old & leaky. This unique boy seems to like people and even has a fish friend in the tank with him! 😮 (Vermont)
Snapping turtles get help reaching nesting ground: A fence has been making life difficult for the snapping turtles, blocking their access to a lake where they like to nest. So the city will raise the fence, allowing the turtles to sneak under it. (Minnesota)
Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary’s turtle rescue assembly line: The sanctuary has years of experience rescuing sick, injured, and cold-shocked turtles. So they have a routine, from intake to transport to other rehab facilities. But we’re still learning about these animals, so protocols change as needed. For example, they’ve recently figured out that cold-stranding is much more stressful for the turtles than anyone knew. So now they actively try to minimize any additional stress.
Western pond turtle are back at Muir Beach! Ok, they never completely left. But there’s been fewer of them recently. So the National Park Service teamed up with the San Francisco Zoo and Sonoma State University to release juveniles to the area so they can hopefully help boost the population. (Marin County, California)
These lights can help turtles: Unlike lights on the beach, which can confuse hatchlings, lights on fishing nets can save turtles. When the turtles can see the nets, they avoid swimming into them.
George’s Big Turtle Year winds down: The Big Turtle Year program [http://www.thebigturtleyear.org/] is from the Florida Turtle Conservation Trust. Its goal is to raise awareness of the country’s native turtles and the threats against them. And to see as many different kinds of turtles as possible!
Where turtles eat may affect their species’ survival: Apparently loggerhead sea turtle who eat in certain areas have more babies than those that eat in other places. 😮
Crowdsourcing plastic pollution data: The Litter-Free Digital Journal lets citizen scientists map plastic pollution and clean it up. It also provides data for communities, educators, and others to spread the word about plastic pollution and even change behaviors. 💗
Where do sea turtles spend their 1st few years? Until recently we haven’t had good answers for where the turtles go after hatching and before returning to the beach where they hatched. Now answers are starting to emerge. And some of them are rather surprising! For example,babies seem to head in the same direction as the currents when they hatch. But they don’t let those currents carry them to shore.
And once more, we must advise you leave protected animals in the wild. State laws tend to require you leave them alone. And federal law frowns on interstate trafficking in these animals. Between the two, you face several years in prison. (Wisconsin)
Recent International Turtle News
We found a bit of good news for leatherback sea turtles in New Zealand. But not so good news for the same species in Thailand.
We also found several sea turtle releases, a reward for information on a turtle killer, and guarding turtle eggs goes to the dogs (well, one dog, anyway).
Imogen sets Tilly free: 4-year-old Imogen and her mum found a very sick little green sea turtle 7 months ago. They got her to safety, named her Tilly, and visited her often during rehab. Last week they were on hand to see Tilly go back to the ocean. 💗 (New South Wales, Australia)
And Cooper is back home in the sea, too: The hawksbill turtle spent two month recuperating at the Whitsunday Turtle Rescue Centre. (Queensland, Australia)
Reward for id’ing green turtle killer: The mayor of Moalboal (Phillipines) has offered a reward to anyone who gives information that leads to an arrest. Officials believe the turtle may have been killed by a spear gun.
Leatherback turtles return to Bay of Plenty: They haven’t been common in the area recently. But experts think they usedto breed on the area’s beaches. Now they may be doing that again. (New Zealand)
But they’ve nearly disappeared from Thai seas: And no females have nested on one of their 2 nesting beaches since 2013. 🙁
Two turtles go home to kick off Litter Less Campaign: The campaign works to educate young people to … yes … litter less. Hopefully less litter will help the two released turtles—and all their friends in the sea—live long, healthy lives.
Sea turtle eggs have their very own guard dog: Poachers were raiding the nests in Sayulita 10 years ago. So the Jorgensens created a protected area in front of their bar. Now newly laid eggs get moved right in there, and Lulu the dog guards them. 💗 Watch a recent release here. (Mexico)
Kenzo the sea turtle was lucky: He got to go back to the sea. Too many others eat plastic and then aren’t found in time to save them.
Have you ever seen a Dahl’s toad-headed Turtle? Probably not, as it’s very rare and only lives in Columbia. Sadly, it is in danger of becoming even more rare, and then probably extinct. 🙁
No fishing in turtle sanctuaries around Odisha: 39 fishermen found out the hard way that the coast guard takes this seriously. The men were arrested & their 4 boats seized. (India)