Sea turtles were freezing and washed ashore on Cape Code shoreline this past week. Until last weekend the waters off the Eastern seaboard were warm. When this first winter storms blew through water temperatures off shore plummeted below the turtle’s optimum activity temperature of 50 degrees.
On December 7, 2009 a record number of sea turtles, twenty four were washed ashore. Their body temperatures registered as low as 30 and 40 degrees when found.
All were endangered. Most were Kemp’s Ridley the smallest endangered turtle, 1 loggerhead and some green sea turtles made up the rescued population. Turtles are cold blooded but this decrease in water temperature threw their bodies into shock. They became too sluggish to swim and they float ashore with the prevailing winds. There will be many more to save over these next few months.
There are three groups helping save marine creatures in Cape Code area. They are The National Marine Life Center (who are opening a sea turtle ward to save severely debilitated sea animals), MassAudubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary (who are authorized and trained volunteer beach respondants) and the New England Aquarium (they are the trained medical authorized intensive care facility).
The National Marine Life Center is in desperate need of your support to finish their new care facility. The donations to date have been generous, but they still need significant contributions to finish the rehabilitation facility.
Will you help save a turtle this holiday season? Give the gift that keeps giving for years to come. This facility can save thousands with your help.
Excerpts courtesy of http://nmlc.org/2009/12/record-number-of-sea-turtle-strandings
Excerpts courtesy of https://secure.groundspring.org/dn/index.php?aid=14079
Image 1. courtesy of http://nmlc.org/2009/12/record-number-of-sea-turtle-strandings
Image 2. courtesy of http://www.turtlejournal.com/wp-content/.jpg