Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Deadly Trail Of Plastic

A single net recently hauled up off the Florida coast contained more than 1,000 dead fish, sharks, and one loggerhead turtle. Why did this happen? Is it because there is a huge area of the Pacific, twice the size of Texas, that is full of a plastic stew that is called the "Eastern Garbage Patch". That trail of plastic goes on for hundreds of miles. All sea creatures are threatened by floating plastic. This is not a pleasant story to read, but we need to be aware of what is happening to our planet. This article could make us think twice about being so careless as to drop a flip flop on the beach.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tiny Turtles Arrived On Seaweed Rafts

Post-hatchling loggerheads washed up on shore along Carolina Beaches after Hanna passed through. They had traveled the rough waves on little seaweed rafts, and they were covered with brownish-green algae. Read about their treatment at the Sea Turtle Hospital and about their planned release.

To report a dead or injured sea turtle in this area, call (800) DIAL-FMP, Turtle Time at (239) 481-5566, or Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation at (239) 472-2329.

*The updated nesting statistics for Sanibel as of September 15, are 29 Nests - 20 Hatches on the East End; 234 Nests and 150 Hatches on the West End. Captiva reported 135 Nests and 53 Hatches as of August 11.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tilly The Turtle

Tilly a 3 year old loggerhead is far from Florida, but Tilly's adventure makes a nice story.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Little Jetty Released Today

A kemp's ridley sea turtle called, Little Jetty was released today. Little Jetty had been caught on a fisherman's hook. He went through surgery and nursed back to health at the South Carolina Aquarium. Read Little Jetty's story.

Young Fisherman Sets Example

A young commercial fisherman stops his work when he found an injured green sea turtle in one of his nets. He transported the turtle to the Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center at Topsail, NC. Read the full story of this twenty year old's kind deed.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Large Living For Joey

After being raised in aquariums, Joey a 120 lb loggerhead was released Thursday, in the Atlantic. The Georgia Aquarium and the Georgia Sea Turtle Center outfitted Joey with a satellite transmitter to keep track of his travels, which made saying goodbye much easier. Watch the release.

Loggerheads, Milton and Feebee

Gumbo Limbo Nature Center will be releasing two loggerheads, Milton and Feebee in October. They will have attached satellite tags that will allow them to be tracked and their progress will be posted online. Will they stay together or go their seperate ways?

While at the Gumbo Limbo site, be sure to also read about the Sea Turtle Entangled in Sea Grapes!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Kemp's ridley Turtle Named Marley

A Kemp's ridley turtle was rescued, cared for at Sea Turtle Inc and then released. Read the touching story of how rescuing and later releasing Marley changed the lives of a father, son and grandson; making all three of them sea turtle conservationists.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

An Email From Eve Haverfield

With the loss of so many nests here on Sanibel and Captiva,due to the high surf associated with TS Fay; I couldn't put the disappointment aside. I had questions as to why we couldn't have done more to save them. I read several news articles about nests being moved or dug on the east coast, after a threat of high surf, so that had me wondering.

I've been a reader and regular visitor to TurtleTime.Org and had read a lot of articles about Turtle Time's Founder and Director, Eve Haverfield. I decided to send an email to her asking for answers to a few of my questions.

I received an immediate reply from her. I sent another email asking permission to post her message on my blog. She gladly gave her consent. I have posted it below:

Hi Tootie,

I struggle with the same sentiments regarding intervention during times of obvious detrimental weather events. Many years ago ( I have been monitoring sea turtles on Sanibel for 29 years now...yikes!!), we did intervene on Sanibel in advance of hurricanes but now, the State no longer condones those kinds of measures. I can understand the reasoning, although sometimes the results are tragic. Unfortunately, well-intentioned mitigation may cause more harm than good. Sea turtles have tolerated many natural events over the eons and have survived. Even following Hurricanes Charley, we documented ‘miracle nests’….nests that were submerged for hours. I stood on Bonita Beach looking for the GPS coordinates for the nest since all markers had been washed away. Lo and behold, I looked down and there at my feet a tiny flipper was waving at me from beneath a thin layer of sand…it gives me goose bumps just writing about that experience….but back to the question why we don’t do more:

One huge factor is that the Bureau of Protected Species Management (FWCC)…the bureau that issues our marine permits so that we may work with endangered sea turtles…has issued guidelines for us that we are expected to follow. They frown on individuals ‘doing their own thing’….and rightfully so. The 70-day dig applies to nests that give no indication of having hatched; those nests that clearly have hatched are dug 3 days post-hatch so that everyone who is robust can emerge on their own. The more vigorous a hatchling is, the more chance for survival. On the beaches that Turtle Time monitors, we do relocate all nests that are below the mean high tide line, simply because the beaches have been so compromised by irresponsible raking practices…unlike on Sanibel and Captiva.

Take heart that under normal conditions, Sanibel and Captiva have provided the Gulf and Atlantic Ocean with strong healthy female turtle babies (sex is determined by sand temperature) for ages! Lighting regulations have facilitated their reaching the Gulf! Conditions definitely have improved. Thinking/writing about the more positive aspects of sea turtle conservation makes me feel better! : < })

Thank you for caring!!
Cheers, Eve

Belle taking bronze in sea turtle marathon

For those of you who have been watching Tour de Turtles. There is an article about Belle's progress. It's amazing to see how far the turtles have gone. That is all except Little Crush. Everytime I look at the map of where it has gone, I have to laugh. I think they let the little turtle see too much of the Disney Resort when he was released and it wants to stay there; it just keeps going back.

Area Turtle Nests Take A Hit

Tropical Storm Fay, followed by high winds after it passed kept the surf pounding until many nests could no longer take the constant wetness. When nests are saturated for long periods of time, the embryos do not get enough oxygen to survive.

The good side of this story is that Bonita Beach nests fared well.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Turtle nest dug up ahead of tropical storm

At Virginia Beach, a loggerhead turtle nest was so close to the ocean that the storm waves would drown everything inside. A biologist from a wildlife refuge was so concerned about the threatened species that, even though he thought it was possible the nest had already hatched, he decided to dig it to be sure. After digging in the rain as Tropical Storm Hanna approached, 27 baby turtles had been rescued and released. Fifty-one empty eggshells were found. Another 86 unhatched, rotted eggs were gathered. Because he cared enough to do this, more baby turtles have a chance at survival. Read the full story in The Virginian-Pilot.

Possible “flipper evacuation"

Read why and how 22 sea turtles may need to be evacuated. (The sixth article)

Baby Sea Turtles Get A Helping Hand

Members of the Pleasure Island Sea Turtle Project help around 100 baby turtles get out of their nest in a sort of induced labor, just hours before the expected arrival of Tropical Storm Hanna. Read how North Carolina is taking measures to protect their remaining sea turtle nests. (The story is the fourth article from the top.)

Is Beach Nourishment a Threat to Sea Turtles

There is plenty of ongoing controversy about this subject. Read some of the pros and cons.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sanibel Beach Camping Illegal

I just wanted to let concerned readers know, the campers I mentioned in some of my turtle walk posts, were caught. I don't believe they will be back leaving their trash for others to pick up anymore. I thought it was just a matter of time.

100 Hawksbill Turtles Die

Another sad story of poaching internationally-protected marine life. Fewer and fewer turtles are living long enough to reproduce.

Hawksbill Turtles are classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as critically-endangered--the highest risk rating for a living animal save for being completely extinct in the wild.