Race is on to rescue stranded turtles

Dec. 6, 2010 at 11:17 AM   |   Comments

| License Photo
BOSTON, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- Volunteers in Massachusetts say they are rescuing an unprecedented number of endangered sea turtles stranded on Cape Cod beaches this winter.

Scientists and volunteers are finding juvenile sea turtles, mostly endangered Kemp's ridleys, in what is predicted to be the worst year on record for turtle strandings, The Boston Globe reported Monday.

More than 170 turtles have already been found on the cape, most of them transported to the New England Aquarium's Animal Care Center in Quincy.

"We are expecting more, because we are mostly seeing little ones," which are affected by the cold earlier in the season, said Connie Merigo, director of the aquarium's rescue and rehabilitation program.

This summer had the most sea turtles seen off Cape Cod in 40 years, officials said, suggesting many more may be stranded as water temperatures drop.

Kemp's ridley turtles become immobilized when water temperatures fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. They are unable to paddle, or even to feed, and ocean currents and winds drive them ashore.

Most turtles are found between Halloween and New Year's, after which water temperatures are usually too cold to allow even the largest to survive, the Globe reported.

Topics: Halloween
© 2010 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
Researchers dig up earliest evidence of snail-eating
Tropical storm Karina looks like the number 9 from space
Spiders prefer the city life
Rock-eating bacteria discovered in buried Antarctic lake
Study explains why ER nurses do what they do
Trending News