One of the new sea turtle patients in rehab.
Gumbo Limbo Coastal Stewards inspires people to support stewardship and research of coastal and marine ecosystems, sponsors sea turtle conservation, and advocates for the enhancement of the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center.
A Kemp’s Ridley juvenile cold stun patient undergoes examination with Coastal Steward’s vet
Collaborating with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the New England Aquarium, The Gumbo Limbo Coastal Stewards rehab cold stun sea turtles
— Adam Kennedy, Director of Rescue and Rehabilitation, New England Aquarium
BOCA RATON, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES, December 19, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — The Gumbo Limbo Coastal Stewards have joined the rescue and rehabilitation efforts of critically endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtles from New England that have been cold-stunned. Last night our team met volunteers with “Turtles Fly Too” at the Pompano Airpark to receive our new patients.
A cold-stunned sea turtle has become hypothermic due to severe cold weather. Like all reptiles, sea turtles are ectothermic (cold-blooded) and cannot regulate their body temperature. If water temperatures drop below approximately 50°F (10°C), sea turtles become lethargic and are unable to swim. They float up to the surface, tumble in the rough waters, wash ashore and become stranded. If not rescued quickly, these defenseless animals often die of shock, predation, or trauma due to boat strikes.
Cold-stunned sea turtles typically begin to wash ashore in late October in New England. The milder weather up to that point means the waters of Cape Cod Bay stay warmer for a prolonged period. The animals need to leave the area early enough to reach the warmer waters before frigid temperatures arrive.
The Kemp’s ridleys now receiving ongoing veterinary care by the Coastal Stewards at Gumbo Limbo are from an ongoing rescue effort by the New England Aquarium that began November 18th. These animals have been receiving individualized care based on their condition. They are now transported to secondary rehabilitation facilities, where they continue to be cared for until they are safe to be released back into the ocean. Depending on the severity, turtles may need weeks, months, and sometimes more than a year of treatment before they are at a point where they can be cleared for release back into the ocean. So far, turtles have been flown to Sea World, the Clearwater Aquarium, the Turtle Hospital in Marathon, and others.
The number of cold-stunned sea turtles in Mass has increased from around 50 in 2000 to more than 700 in 2021.
The Gumbo Limbo Coastal Stewards in an independent 501c3 that relies on support from donors.
Gumbo Limbo Coastal Stewards inspire people to support stewardship and research of coastal and marine ecosystems, sponsors sea turtle conservation, and advocates for the enhancement of the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center.
Gumbo Limbo Coastal Stewards
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