Rare Kemp’s turtle beaches in Belgium


Dead Kemp's ridley turtle, beached in Belgium

Translated from Natuurpunt Studie in Belgium:

Kemp’s ridley sea turtle washed ashore on Belgian coast

Friday, January 13, 2012

On Friday morning, January 6, 2012 Walter Wackenier found a dead young Kemp’s ridley sea turtle on the beach at Oostduinkerke. This is the smallest and most endangered sea turtle species in the world. Strandings are extremely rare in Europe. It is only the first time that this rare species washed ashore in Belgium.

Kemp’s ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii) are normally found in the Gulf of Mexico, in the coastal area between northern Mexico and southern Texas. The species is 90 cm in size and weighs up to 45 kg. The individual of Oostduinkerke was only 25 cm, weighed just under 2 kg and was therefore a young specimen, probably two years old. The animal was picked up by the intervention network for the treatment of protected marine species (coordinated by the BMM / RBINS) and the remains of the Kemp’s turtle will be included in the natural history collection of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences in Brussels. …

Remarkably, reccently other Kemp’s sea turtles have beached in the Netherlands and France. On December 12, 2011 a living specimen was found on the beach of Ter Heijde, near Monster (South Holland province in the Netherlands). This specimen (which was called “Flip”) weighed 1.85 kg and has a shell length of 35 cm. Flip is currently being cared for in the aquarium Sea Life Scheveningen. Previously this species was found only four times in the Netherlands. On January 5, 2011 (the day before the Belgian find) a dead one was picked up on the beach of Le Touquet in France.

During the same period, other oceanic organisms were reported, including some Atlantic pomfrets (Brama brama), ocean sunfish (Mola mola) and triggerfish (Balistes … carolinensis).

Turtles’ mating habits protect against effects of climate change: here.

ScienceDaily (Feb. 29, 2012) — Sea turtles have long and complex lives; they can live into their 70s or 80s and they famously return to their birthplace to nest. But new research suggests this isn’t the only big migration in a sea turtle’s life: here.

The Mata mata (Chelus fimbriata) circa 1838, Species novae Testudinum quas in itinere annis 1817-1820. Monachii: Impensis Editoris, 1838. The mata mata, mata-mata, or matamata (Chelus fimbriata) is a freshwater turtle found only in South America. It is typically found with the Amazon and Orinoco basins: here.

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2 thoughts on “Rare Kemp’s turtle beaches in Belgium

  1. Pingback: Recovered Kemp’s turtle returning to USA | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Kemp’s ridley turtle saved in the USA | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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