Posted on: 2017-11-17 10:30:24
Turtle stories we found interesting this week.
They include: cold stranding season starts in New England, record numbers of green turtle nests in Volusia County, and a surprising find in a southern Illinois creek.
Plus a tortoise vigorously defends his garden, a sea turtle with a lifebelt, and more.
Recent U. S. Turtle News
Cold-stranding season has begun in Cape Code a bit early this year. And rescuers need pilots’ help to get the affected turtles to treatment centers.
There’s also good news from Texas, where unlimited commercial turtle trapping may end. And from Illinois, where researchers found a wild snapping turtle for the first time in decades.
Other stories include unwanted turtle traps, and upgraded sea turtle hospital, and more.
Looking for volunteers to help save cold-stunned sea turtles. Turtles Fly Too (a sea turtle rescue and transport organization) needs people to fly the injured animals from the Boston area to rehab centers for treatment.
Volunteer beach patrols starting: When the weather turns colder, volunteers start combing the beaches looking for any cold-stunned sea turtles that wash ashore. In recent years between 500 and 1250 sea turtles have stranded on Cape beaches. That’s more than local rehab centers can usually handle. And that’s why those volunteer pilots with Turtles Fly Too (see story above) are so important!
New England Aquarium Sea Turtle Hospital gets its first cold-stranded patients: Two green sea turtles washed up in Dennis, Massachusetts on Nov 15, along with a Kemp’s ridley. It’ll take a few days to warm them up & then more time to treat them.
Wild alligator snapping turtle found in Illinois: Researchers have been releasing captive-bred turtles into a Southern Illinois creek (the northern part of their range). But they hadn’t seen a wild alligator snapper since 1984!
Turtle Watch outreach continues in winter, too: The Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch doesn’t rest just because sea turtle nesting season is over. The program provides public education year-round. One important aspect is teaching students about sea turtles & shorebirds. It also enlists students’ help with things like poster artwork and beach cleanups.
Kemp’s ridleys nest in Texas: Learn a bit about the smallest sea turtle to nest in Texas.
Head-start sea turtle goes home: The Chesapeake Bay Aquarium is part of a special “head-start” program that raises sea turtle hatchlings that didn’t make it to the sea on their own. The Aquarium’s most recent resident was just released. Soon another little hatchling will come to spend a couple of years.
Texas may end unlimited commercial trapping of turtles! The state follows Missouri, New York, Nevada, and Ohio, which have banned or are evaluating the sustainability of unlimited commercial trapping.
And better sea turtle rehab comes to Texas: The Texas State Aquarium upgraded its Wildlife Rescue & Recovery Center to offer cutting edge care for sea turtles. 💗
That’s not the right way to trap a snapping turtle: Savannah officials placed the traps after complaints a snapping turtle bit a duck. But the traps used are intended for basking turtles … and they’re apparently catching quite a few of those. Some residents are upset.
Volusia County has record sea turtle season: The overall numbers make it the second-highest nesting year ever recorded. But it was a record-breaking year for green sea turtle nests.
And Wellfleet-area residents, don’t forget about the Sea Turtle Open House. It’s next weekend!
- Learn about sea turtles at Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary’s Sea Turtle Open House. The Sanctuary is in South Wellfleet, Massachusetts. The Open House happens on Saturday, November 25.
Recent International Turtle News
This week’s stories include a caution about turtle watch tours, and a cause of death for those turtles off El Salvador.
We also found much more positive news about nesting on Mon Repos and hatchlings counts in Turkey.
Plus a territorial tortoise, diving with a baby hawksbill, and more.
Are turtle watch tours harmful to sea turtles? If they disturb nesting turtles and damage nests, yes. That may be happening on some tours in Pakistan. 😢
Sea turtle needs a lifebelt? Yep, poor Bentley had gas trapped under his shell near his butt. So while his butt floated, his head got dunked under water. The team at Bayworld made him a custom lifebelt & is working hard to get him healthy. (South Africa)
Meet Timmy the territorial tortoise! Poor Timmy was living in a glass vivarium without enough space. John French felt sorry for him & convinced the owners to let him have the tortoise. So how does Timmy thank his new family for his spacious new garden home? He chases them around the yard, nipping at their feet! Even so, his 2-year-old human brother loves him. Includes video.
Remember the 300+ dead sea turtles near El Salvador? Scientists have finally figured out they died from eating toxic microalgae. 😢
50 years of conservation paying off: Dr. Col Limpus started the Queensland Turtle Conservation Program 50 years ago. Last year Mon Repos had a record turtle season. 💗
Saving money and sea turtles: More and more communities on nesting beaches are starting to understand. Turning off lights at night improves hatchling survival. And your reward for helping these amazing creatures might just be a lower electricity bill. Seems like a win-win!
123 softshell Chinese turtles seized: They were being shipped to Taiwan without the proper permits.
Entangled turtle dies, prompts reminder to the public: Officials are reminding people to call for help if they see a turtle that might be in distress. This turtle had been seen, but by the time someone called it was too late. 😢 (Bermuda)
Hawksbill babies released to sea: The eggs were laid back in August, and officials moved them to a safer place. 100 out of the 141 eggs hatched a few weeks ago. Includes pictures & video. (Singapore)
Have you heard of Save Sea Animals From Extinction (SAFE)? 11-year old Ahmad Iszuddin Ahmad Izham started this non-profit to help save leatherback sea turtles. He sells cookies, cookbooks, and other merchandise to raise money for sea turtle conservation organizations. 💗(Malaysia)
Cambodia’s wild Royal Turtle population increases by 25: The turtles spent their 1st 8 years at a conservation center. They were released into their natural habitat earlier this week.
Mia has gone back to sea: The green sea turtle has lived at the Quoin Island Turtle Rehabilitation Centre since July. But on 13th Nov she was well enough to go home. 💗
Turtle selfies for a cause: No, the turtles aren’t taking selfies! But a man in Wagga Wagga (New South Wales, Australia) takes a selfie with all the turtles he finds on area roads. He posts them on social media to help spread the word about the threats turtles face.
Volunteer to help with Leatherback turtle research: The research will be happening in Costa Rica between mid-March and mid-June 2018. If this sounds interesting to you, it’s worth at least investigating the opportunity!
487, 136 sea turtle hatchlings crawled to the sea from Turkey’s beaches this year. A little more than half were green sea turtles. The rest were loggerheads. 💗
Baby hawksbill joins divers for a swim: A beautiful video of a juvenile hawksbill sea turtle swimming over coral reef in the Cayman Islands.
And don’t forget about Two Oceans Aquarium’s party for Yoshi the loggerhead. It’s this Monday!
- Saying au revoir to Yoshi! Yoshi is a popular loggerhead sea turtle living at Two Oceans Aquarium. She’ll go back to sea in December, but the aquarium is having a party in her honor on November 20. All proceeds from the party will go into the aquarium’s turtle rehabilitation work. (Cape Town, South Africa)