Thursday, January 21, 2010

More Sea Turtles Released

Cold-stunned sea turtles are recovering and gradually being released. Amanda Bryant, Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation sea turtle coordinator was at Vanderbilt Beach in Naples yesterday, to help with the release of 16 .

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission sea turtle expert reported that in the state of Florida, more than 4,500 cold-stressed sea turtles were rescued during the cold period, 700 of which died.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Some happy sea turtles are going home!

Over the entire state there have been about twenty five hundred turtles collected and they are still coming in. There has been a huge effort by many, and it has taken some great organizational skills to accomodate so many sea turtles. Now the labor of love continues, as turtles recover and can be released.

Watch as hundreds of turtles are released back into the sea.
Sea World Orlando is the state recommended place for the homecoming and staging area for the release. It's warm enough and about as far south as they want to release them.

In Panama City, the Navy was called in to assist.

Shallow water in the Keys is warming up. Some turtles are ready for release in that area.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Florida's Long Cold Spell

The unusually long spell of cold weather we've been having in Florida has had a big impact on sea turtles. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has been working on a mass rescue effort for sea turtles throughout the state. More than 2,000 sea turtles have been rescued so far.

A manatee died this morning on a Marco Island beach after stranding itself, likely as a result of cold water temperatures.

Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation sent this information out in an email today and you can also read it at this site.

Mass hospitalization for Keys sea turtles.

Sea Turtles Being Released In Juno Beach.

St. Lucie nuclear plant hosting 120 sea turtles rescued from cold.

Shocked by the biting cold, dying turtles get new life; article and video.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sea Turtle Strandings

Amanda Bryant, coordinator of the turtle program at SCCF, said that CROW's new clinic is a great help in housing rescued turtles until the weather warms up, and urges people who notice turtles floating to call CROW at 472-3644 or Amanda Bryant at SCCF can be reached for help in rescuing a floating turtle at 470-3360. Even if they aren't moving, they may still be alive, but they need treatment quickly.

CROW is currently caring for several different types of sea turtles. Anyone who wants to help support CROW's medical efforts with a donation, may call 395-0050.

Further north in the Gulf, there are even more strandings. More than 1,000 sea turtles statewide have been affected by the cold temperatures, according to the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute of Florida's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

More Cold Stunned Sea Turtles

Extended cold weather conditions can be devastating to the sea turtles. Hundreds have already been found on Florida beaches and as far up as North Carolina. Many have been taken in for treatment and some have died. The problem is called 'cold stun', which happens when the water temperature drops below their normal body temperature. Their metabolic rate drops and they stop swimming and eating, then end up floating. If they aren't found, they will probably die.

Volunteers are out in large numbers, searching for the stranded turtles. All facilities that can take in sea turtles are doing so right now to help with the emergency. With more cold weather coming, additional 'cold stunned' sea turtles are expected to be found on the shores.

All of the facilities need monetary donations to purchase medicine and supplies for this growing amount of turtles that need treatment.

If the cold continues much longer, it may have an effect on our other wildlife as well. There have already been reports of iguanas, paralyzed from the cold temperatures, falling out of trees. When freezing temps into the 20's continue for too long, the reptiles blood flow comes to a standstill and can kill them.

Here are links to articles on sea turtle rescues in the last couple of days. There are some amazing volunteers out there in the cold, trying to do what they can to help.

Article and video of 'Cold-stunned' sea turtles brought ashore at Kennedy Space Center.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Lizzy Released Today

Lizzy the Leatherback was released back into the Gulf of Mexico this afternoon after being evaluated by scientists in Sarasota.

Blood tests conducted by Mote Marine Laboratory showed the turtle, nicknamed Lizzy, was not suffering from illness.

They would like to have kept the turtle for further testing, the weather patterns and the difficulty of accommodating the huge turtle forced them to act in the animal’s best interest and release it as soon as possible, Mote veterinarian stated that shortly after 2 p.m today, the 5' long, 787 pound turtle was released from a boat a little over 20 miles out from St Petersburg. She came up for long breaths of air a couple times and then seemed to go off in a southerly direction. Hopefully the turtle will head for warmer water.

Chilly Turtle News

More news about the chilly sea turtles.

Lizzy The Leatherback

Lizzy is doing well and going to be released.

Over 90 Sea Turtles Rescued Today

The chief ranger at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge reported that over 90 cold stunned sea turtles were rescued and taken to facilities today, where they can warm up and will then be returned to the area they were found, as soon as temperatures return to normal.

They will continue searching for stranded turtles until this cold snap has passed.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Stranded Leatherback Sea Turtle Update

The Leatherback sea turtle that was stranded here in Lee County was transported to Mote Marine Laboratory. The turtle was promptly named Lizzy. Lizzy is an adult female nearly 5 feet long that weighs a whopping 787 pounds. You can read about her treatment and keep up with her progress.

After I read what was posted on the Mote Marine site, I received this message forwarded on from Amanda our 'Turtle Lady'. The email dated Tuesday, January 05, 2010is from Eve Haverfield of Turtle Time.

Hellooooo All!

What a day!! Received a call from Tom Schemenaur on BHI….”The leatherback is on the beach”! (Gads!! Especially since I told Patty that the sandbar would keep the turtle from coming ashore on this more remote island!) After a momentary brain freeze…and some frantic pacing….I contacted Steve Boutelle of Lee County Marine Science….one of his experts just happened to be near BHI (!!!) in a special boat with a collapsible bow!! With the help of the fantastic staff on BHI….the 787 lb (yes!!!) sea turtle was gingerly inched towards the boat…..carefully lifted on board and transported to Carl E. Johnston Boat Ramp. Paul S, with Lee County Marine Sciences provided a crane and with detailed step-by-step planning, the turtle was hoisted into FWC’s truck (the top of the truck bed was first removed to facilitate easier transport!!)


This turtle was tagged in Colombia, S.A. in 1999…the first ever to be identified here! She is probably around 40 years old…a good age : < })

And now, she is resting at Mote Marine Lab. A team of veterinarians is watching her 24/7! She may be the first ever leatherback in a rehab facility so the utmost care and caution is being taken…all experts have been called in!

An x-ray showed no skull fracture…she had only a minor abrasion on the left side of her head. The laceration on her left rear flipper is being treated…and of course blood work is being done to see if she has some systemic infection. In general, she looks fairly healthy….so everyone is very optimistic!! The goal to return her to health …and to the Gulf as quickly as possible.

Again…thank you to a host of wonderful, helpful, kind, strong, and good-natured, motivated….did I mention wonderful?... group of people!!!!! The BEST!

Will keep you posted!


Eve For more images of the rescue, click on Gallery Scroll down to Video/Photos: Beached again Video showing turtle being hoisted into truck

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Cold-Stunned Sea Turtles

Mother Nature is at work again this winter, off the coast of North Carolina, with exceptionally low temperatures. Already in the past few weeks 44 cold-stunned sea turtles have been found on the beaches of the Outer Banks, last year there were 28.

Huge Leatherback Visits Southwest Florida

There was an unexpected visit by an endangered, 500 to 600 lb Leatherback sea turtle, Monday at Delnor-Wiggins State Park, Naples.

The same turtle was spotted again today on Big Hickory Island off of Bonita Beach. It is being transported to Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota.

You just never know who's coming to visit. :-)

Update on the longline fishing problem.