It’s turtle time!

Sea turtles have been making it to the top of the headlines recently, all positive for a change and I thought I would use this blog to draw attention to this. Additionally, I feel it’s always nice to give some attention to the turtles.

So the first piece of news, the secrets of the sea turtle migration have been uncovered. It turns out that the reproduction migration (females returning to their nesting beaches) is not the longest migration that sea turtles carry out. It has been found from the compilation of long term capture programs that the migration of immature turtles, termed “developmental migration”, is longer than the reproductive migration. Also this migration is only carried out once in their life time rather than every few years. On the migration topic as well, a study was carried out to determine the migration of juvenile leatherback sea turtles. However, due to the size and the weight of the juveniles it is impossible to attach a satellite tag to their shells without them sinking. So instead of following the hatchlings the scientists followed the currents. The “lost years” of a turtle’s life, the age between hatching and returning to foraging grounds can be anywhere between 3 to 5 years after they hatch. These years are the least understood part of a turtle’s life. Knowing more about where the turtles swim before they reach adulthood could be critical in protecting the species. Continue reading

Oil Spill Proves Deadly for Sea Turtles

Green sea turtle, Chelonia mydasDeepwater Horizon Oil Spill Proves Deadly for Sea Turtles in Gulf of Mexico

Oceana Releases New Report about Impacts of Oil on Sea Turtles and Threats to Populations

June 10, 2010
Washington, D.C.
Contact: Dustin Cranor (dcranor@oceana.org)

Oceana, the world’s largest international ocean conservation organization, released a new report today that finds the Deepwater Horizon oil spill extremely dangerous for sea turtles inhabiting the Gulf of Mexico. Specifically, sea turtles can become coated in oil or inhale volatile chemicals when they surface to breathe, swallow oil or contaminated prey, and swim through oil or come in contact with it on nesting beaches. Continue reading

Impact of the Gulf tragedy on marine life?

I can’t tear myself away from the coverage of the Gulf oil tragedy. It seems the solution to stopping the flow is days if not weeks away. I wonder why oil tankers aren’t being used to contain the oil from the spill?

The loss of human lives was tragic. The impact on  human lives will be tragic. What will be the impact on marine life?  This couldn’t have happened at a worse time for some of the most fragile, and important, ecosystems and breeding grounds for Gulf species that are in the midst of spawning season. It’s spring in the Gulf. Spawning, migrating, incubating, hatching. It’s all happening now. I keep hearing about how this is going to impact seafood production for a decade. OK. Well, this is going to impact the very survival of some species forever. Including Homo sapiens.

Continue reading

Healthy Oceans vs Climate Change

International coalition advances marine conservation as part of the solution to climate change

WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A large international coalition today urged the United States to support marine conservation options that will help mitigate climate change.

The ‘Blue Climate Coalition,’ comprised of sixty-six conservation groups and interests and over 150 marine scientists and professionals, from 33 countries, issued communications today addressed to President Obama and the United States Senate.

MangrovesTogether, the coalition letters request the option for marine conservation solutions to climate change to be considered in national climate change legislation and international climate change treaties, and support for marine science research that further explores this concept. Continue reading

Biologist Saves Thousands Of Sea Turtles

Todd SteinerTodd Steiner of Sea Turtle Restoration Project Has Ended Sea Turtle Slaughter, Closed Deadly Fisheries and Protected Nesting Beaches During Two Decades of Global Grassroots Organizing

20th Anniversary – Big Splash – Nov. 14 – Berkeley, CA

Biologist and ocean activist Todd Steiner of Sea Turtle Restoration Project (STRP) in Forest Knolls, CA, near San Francisco has been fighting to stop the slide of sea turtles to extinction for 20 years. Continue reading

Mote treats rare sea turtle that swallowed balloon

by: Observer staff

Kemp ridley sea turtleThis Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, nicknamed Anakin, is receiving antibiotics and fluids at Mote’s Sea Turtle Hospital.

An endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle was brought to Mote Marine Laboratory’s Sea Turtle Hospital after it swallowed a balloon.

The 3.3-pound young turtle washed up on a sandbar Tuesday, July 14, near the south end of Lido Key. Swimmers who found the turtle called Mote biologists, who brought the turtle in for treatment.

“Balloons can look like jellyfish or squid — things sea turtles like to eat,” said senior Biologist Kristen Mazzarella, of Mote’s Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program. “It’s extremely common to find sea turtles that have swallowed balloons, fishing hooks, monofilament lines and other dangerous objects.”

Mote’s patient, nicknamed Anakin, is receiving fluids, antibiotics and food at the sea-turtle hospital. The turtle, which arrived anemic and dehydrated, is being closely monitored for additional health problems.

“We pick up a lot of balloons wrapped in seaweed from local beaches,” said Mazzarella of Mote’s Sea Turtle Patrol — a team of staff, interns and volunteers who monitor sea-turtle nesting every day on 35 miles of Sarasota County beaches during nesting season, May through October. “To protect sea turtles and other wildlife, we recommend that people dispose of trash in the appropriate containers and recycle it when possible. If you see trash washing up on the beach, pick it up before the tide takes it back out to sea.”

To reported a stranded or dead sea turtle, call Mote’s Stranding Investigations Program, a 24-hour response service, at 941-988-0212.

SOURCE

“Endangered” is confusing?!

First Japan, now China. Not that the US is much better in terms of wildlife conservation, but I don’t understand how this can continue to happen. It’s sickening. Isn’t part of what life is all about is leaving the planet a better place than you found it for future generations? Are people who “get that” really that much in the minority? And are exotic animals really that necessary as a form of protein? They cannot possibly taste good. It’s a status thing, and that’s even more disgusting.
baby leatherback
Leatherbacks are critically endangered — and there were 44 of them on one small boat, a huge number when the species is depleted to such an extent, being smuggled into China.

‘Noah’s Ark’ of 5,000 rare animals found floating off the coast of China

· Cargo of abandoned vessel destined for restaurants
· Illegal trade drives species closer to extinction Continue reading

Sea turtle consumption hazardous to your health

Sea turtles are frequently on the menu of coastal communities in countries where protein is a valuable commodity. Unfortunately, not only should sea turtle consumption be discouraged because all 7 sea turtle species are either critically endangered, endangered, or threatened, it should also be discouraged because the consumption of sea turtles may pose health risks to humans. The journal EcoHealth published an article in 2006 (Aguirre, A. A. et al. 2006. Hazards associated with the consumption of sea turtle meat and eggs: a review for health care workers and the general public. EcoHealth 3: 141–153) describing the dangers of consuming sea turtles. In its description of the article, the journal states:

SEA TURTLES STRIKE BACK

In some Latin American countries, there are cautionary horror tales told of wedding guests who die shortly after consuming the flesh of sea turtles. It turns out these tales are probably based on actual events, as Aguirre et al. detail the potentially deleterious and often lethal dangers of consumption of marine turtles and their eggs in their extensive review. Not only bacteria and parasites may be found in these bioaccumulating cheloniids, but also dangerously high levels of heavy metals and toxins. The authors urge for a coordinated, global educative effort to prohibit further human health hazards—which may, felicitously, aid in conservation of these ancient animals. Continue reading