Endangered Sea Turtles Are Trapped In Cape Cod Bay
It is freezing today and I imagine being in the waters of Cape Cod Bay would be even colder. So I definitely feel for the hundreds of sea turtles trapped in those frigid waters.
According to an article in the Boston Globe, this is the worst year on record for stranded Kemp’s ridley sea turtles washing up on the shores along the Cape. Typically around 200 of them would be found in stranding season, but this year the number is already over 1,000...and the season is just gearing up!
So why are more of these endangered sea turtles showing up on our shores? Some think it may be a sign that conservation efforts at their hatching site in Mexico is starting to work.
Kemp's ridleys sea turtles are the most endangered sea turtles in the world. They are born in the Gulf of Mexico and between the ages of 2 and 5, they make their once-in-a-lifetime northern pilgrimage, heading around Florida, getting caught in the Gulf Stream and heading up the East Coast.
Most make it back to Mexico as the waters start to cool off, but some head too far North, end up going around Provincetown and wind up caught in Cape Cod Bay. As they try to head South when the water gets colder they find there's no where to go and often end up on shore...where it's just as cold and dangerous.
That's when the turtle rescue program at the Massachusetts Audubon Society steps in. These amazing people have been answering stranded turtle calls for weeks and are literally overwhelming aquarium facilities with new arrivals.
To date the New England Aquarium’s animal care center in Quincy has had to ship large numbers of turtles to other marine care centers across the country. And the stranding season is just starting to gear up.
What's really amazing is the way the community is helping out. Local vets have volunteered time, residents are patrolling beaches to find and keep these turtles alive until they can get to a facility and local businesses have donated food and supplies to volunteers working with the stranded sea turtles.
You can help these endangered animals too! Learn more here...