Rare Kemp’s ridley turtle in the USA


From Turtle Journal in the USA:

Discovery of Endangered Kemp’s Ridley in Springtime Marsh of Outer Cape Cod

Each year dozens of juvenile Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, one of the most endangered marine species in the world, get trapped in Cape Cod Bay and wash ashore cold stunned and near death in November and December. Occasionally, a carcass gets trapped under ice or buried in salt marsh wrack, only to resurface in the spring thaw.

On March 18th, Sue Wieber Nourse of Turtle Journal spotted a Kemp’s ridley carcass in the salt marsh of the Fox Island Wildlife Management Area off Blackfish Creek in South Wellfleet on Outer Cape Cod. The Turtle Journal team has been patrolling this Indian Neck salt marsh all winter because it had in the past yielded diamondback terrapins that had become trapped in lethal debris when returning to brumation in its salt marsh channels. Luckily, this year we recorded no such deaths.

Kemp’s ridley turtles satellite tracking: here.

New report finds millions of marine turtles killed by fisheries, not thousands: here.

The latest news about sea turtles makes me want to cry. Too many endangered turtles are still getting caught accidentally in fishing gear. Can environmental activists, engineers, the government, and fishermen work together to turn this around? A nascent fishing gear program will put them to the test: here.

Spotted turtles in the USA: here.

Bog turtles: here.

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo veterinarians, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program have joined forces to answer a perplexing wildlife question: Why are bog turtles getting sick? Here.

3-Year-Old Female Spotted Turtle Discovered in Abandoned SouthCoast Cranberry Bog: here.

First Basking Diamondback Terrapin of 2012: here.

In the Netherlands, the rare European pond terrapin has been seen again recently.

6 thoughts on “Rare Kemp’s ridley turtle in the USA

  1. Sea Turtle Nesting Season Begins in Anguilla – It is an offence to harm sea turtles or disturb their nests.

    13/04/2010 13:40:00

    (The Valley, Anguilla – DFMR Release) – The Department of Fisheries and Marine Resources (DFMR) would like to announce the beginning of the sea turtle nesting season in Anguilla. Although turtles are known to nest throughout the year, peak activity occurs between March and September. During these months the department puts a special focus on documenting any nesting or nest hatching activity. All species of sea turtle are considered threatened or endangered and four of these species are known to live in Anguillian waters. Three species – The Leatherback, Hawksbill & Green – have so far been recorded nesting around the island and it’s offshore cays, while the Loggerhead Sea Turtle has been sighted in our waters but nesting has not yet been confirmed. Although DFMR conducts morning beach surveys at key locations to document activity, a key role can be played by beach-goers that notice signs of activity (see photograph).

    Residents and visitors are kindly asked to report any nesting or nest hatching activity to DFMR by calling 497-2871 (daytime only), by visiting their office on the northern end of Sandy Ground, or by emailing fisheriesmr@gov.ai. If adult turtles are sighted people are asked to keep disturbances to a minimum until a Fisheries Officer arrives. If this activity is seen during the night it is possible to reach a member of staff by calling 581-7322. Persons are reminded that it is an offence to harm sea turtles in any way or disturb their nests.

    As most nesting events occur during the night, hoteliers and restaurant owners are kindly being asked to cooperate with DFMR by removing chairs and other obstacles from the beach after dark. It is also asked that beach front lighting is kept to a minimal between 10pm and 3am as it disorientates hatchlings, often leading to their death through exhaustion or dehydration when they are unable to locate the sea.

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  2. Ernst: To protect sea turtles, target people’s wallets

    By Eric Ernst

    Published: Sunday, April 18, 2010 at 1:00 a.m.
    Last Modified: Saturday, April 17, 2010 at 9:24 p.m.

    ( page of 2 )

    Venice has one of the highest rates in the state for sea turtle disorientation. Lights at night from parking lots, streets and homes along the beach dissuade mother turtles from laying eggs. They also lure hatchlings inland where they wear out and fall prey to birds and dehydration.

    External Links:

    * TOPIC: Eric Ernst’s columns

    This is not new. Everyone involved, from the city to the beachfront property owners, should be embarrassed, if not ashamed, of their stewardship.

    Sea turtles, particularly the loggerheads in this area, are in danger of extinction. So the success of every nest is critical.

    These aren’t polar bears over which we, as individuals in Florida, have little control. All it takes to help is a willingness to close the curtains and turn off or shield exterior lights during turtle nesting season from May through October.

    The less light seen from the beach at night, the better. It’s pretty simple. Venice has had a law since 1997 requiring this consideration. But it has been ignored.

    Now, the city is ready to try Plan B.

    It’s a set of tougher rules, backed by the threat of fines, potentially $250 to $500 a day. The standards are based on a successful Sarasota County ordinance and guidelines from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

    At a workshop last week, city staff and some council members expressed concern that the new rules seemed to emphasize punishment over education.

    The purpose of code enforcement in general is to get people to do what they should, not fine them when they don’t. The turtle lighting rules should follow the same principle. Code enforcement officers can identify problem lights, talk with property owners, offer technical advice and solutions and give people reasonable time to respond.

    The city has already shielded most of its lighting by the beach. The state permit holder for monitoring turtle nests accompanied public works employees light by light last year.

    The idea that education alone will protect the turtles defies reality. A 2008 state report, sent to Venice code enforcement, identified floodlights and other nighttime illumination on several properties. Addresses, photos and solutions accompanied each notation.

    The commission also noted that it had reported most of these problems to the city in 2004, 2005 and 2007.

    But Mayor Ed Martin said: “There’s a will in your government to do this now. That wasn’t there before.”

    True. And consequences should back that will. What keeps Interstate 75 from becoming the Autobahn? The threat of $240 speeding tickets.

    The same goes for the rules to protect sea turtle nesting grounds.

    The city has already shielded most of its lighting by the beach. The state permit holder for monitoring turtle nests accompanied public works employees light by light last year.

    The idea that education alone will protect the turtles defies reality. A 2008 state report, sent to Venice code enforcement, identified floodlights and other nighttime illumination on several properties. Addresses, photos and solutions accompanied each notation.

    The commission also noted that it had reported most of these problems to the city in 2004, 2005 and 2007.

    But Mayor Ed Martin said: “There’s a will in your government to do this now. That wasn’t there before.”

    True. And consequences should back that will. What keeps Interstate 75 from becoming the Autobahn? The threat of $240 speeding tickets.

    The same goes for the rules to protect sea turtle nesting grounds.

    http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20100418/COLUMNIST/4181036/2055/NEWS?p=2&tc=pg

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  3. SC aquarium’s release of 7 turtles largest single release in turtle hospital’s history

    April 29th, 2010

    By Associated Press

    CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina Aquarium’s sea turtle hospital will release seven rehabilitated turtles into the ocean.

    The Post and Courier of Charleston reports three loggerhead turtles and four green turtles will be released Saturday afternoon on the beach at the Isle of Palms.

    The release will mark the beginning of sea turtle nesting season on South Carolina beaches.

    The aquarium’s turtle rescue coordinator, Kelly Thorvalson, said it’s the largest single release in the program’s 10-year history.

    The release will include five turtles stunned last winter by frigid waters off North Carolina’s coast.

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  4. Pond turtle surprises caretakers at wildlife refuge

    Sensitive species not seen before at creek

    By Karen Kucher, UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

    Tuesday, June 1, 2010 at 12:02 a.m.

    Southwestern pond turtle

    Habitat: They can be found from the San Francisco Bay to northwest Baja California, living in ponds and small lakes with abundant vegetation, in marshes, slow-moving streams and reservoirs.

    Description: The turtle’s shell is smooth, broad and olive to dark brown in color, often marked with a network of dark flecks and lines radiating from the center.

    Reproduction: The adults do not mate until they are about 8 to 10 years old. The female turtles will climb onto land and dig a nest, usually along a stream or pond. Hatchlings emerge in about 12 weeks.

    Diet: They eat aquatic plants, invertebrates, worms, frog and salamander eggs and larvae, crayfish, carrion, and occasionally frogs and fish.

    SOURCE: National Audubon Society and CaliforniaHerps.com

    JAMUL — While checking out a new fence at the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge, Jill Terp heard a big splash in a nearby creek and made an exciting discovery: a turtle she didn’t recognize.

    In a tributary of the Sweetwater River near Jamul, Terp spotted an 8-inch-long, 5-inch-wide turtle with a plain-looking, brownish-grayish shell.

    “It was a good kerplop,” said Terp, who manages the refuge for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “I could tell it wasn’t a red-eared slider, which is a typical non-native that’s been introduced to the area.”

    Terp and colleague John Martin, identified last month’s find as a Southwestern pond turtle. It is a species in decline that has been designated “of special concern” by the state of California and sensitive by the federal Bureau of Land Management. It had never been found in the area before.

    “From a conservation biology standpoint, it is great,” said Martin, a wildlife biologist for the refuge. “We knew that there were scattered locations in which small numbers of these occur in coastal Southern California. Now we have a new area that we didn’t know they occurred before.”

    Martin notified biologists with U.S. Geological Service in San Diego County who are in the midst of a long-term study of the species. He said the discovery may prompt a future trapping survey so researchers can determine how many others might be in the creek and whether they are reproducing.

    It also may prompt officials to target the creek sooner for habitat restoration or enhancements, such as removing trash dumped in the creek and taking out exotic plants or animals that might be predators or competitors of the turtle.

    “Knowing there is a sensitive species in there might change when we do work there, make it sooner and perhaps change the extent of that work,” Terp said.

    The species will be added to the list of plants and animals in the refuge, a 9,000-acre patchwork of properties between Jamul and Chula Vista that was created to help protect the region’s biodiversity.

    The refuge, which was established in 1996 with a parcel at the base of Mount Miguel near state Route 94 in Rancho San Diego, boasts a variety of habitats, including coastal sage scrub, chaparral, oak woodland and freshwater marsh. It is home to endangered birds such as the least Bell’s vireo and California gnatcatcher and the rare Quino checkerspot butterfly.

    Adding the Southwestern pond turtle to the management plan for the refuge means “we will have management actions in there that describe how we will do good things for the species,” Terp said.

    Southwestern pond turtles can be easy prey for predators such as bass and bullfrogs and they are susceptible to diseases introduced by pet turtles that people sometimes dump in rural streams. They also are at risk of being run over, particularly females that have to leave the creeks and ponds to find places to burrow and lay their eggs.

    Martin said the creek where the turtle was found is “a pretty nice looking habitat,” even though it is not a big body of water. He said he hasn’t seen any bass or bullfrogs, only mosquito fish and swamp crawfish.

    After the pond turtle was found, Martin stopped to look for it every couple of days. The first week, he saw it every time he returned. But he hasn’t been able to find it for three weeks.

    “It’s getting less exciting now that we don’t see it,” Martin said Wednesday, after using binoculars to search the banks of the creek and the water. “It seemed to be so consistent for a week. And I feel confident we didn’t scare it.”

    Martin said the turtle may have relocated downstream, where there are several deeper pools. He said he hopes to talk to experts in the species to find out whether the turtles tend to move large distances or stay put.

    “We’re not going to assume that it left or died,” Martin said.

    Karen Kucher: (619) 293-1350; karen.kucher@uniontrib.com

    http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/jun/01/pond-turtle-surprises-caretakers-at-wildlife/

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  5. Jun 29, 12:54 PM EDT

    NYC airport invaded by turtles, delaying flights

    NEW YORK (AP) — Aviation authorities say dozens of flights were delayed at New York’s Kennedy airport after about 150 turtles crawled onto the tarmac in search of beaches to lay their eggs.

    The parade of slow-moving diamondback terrapins began about 6:45 a.m. Wednesday. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey says that soon there were so many on one runway and nearby taxiways that controllers were forced to move departing flights to another runway.

    The FAA says flight delays were averaging about 30 minutes.

    The turtle migration happens every year at Kennedy. The airport is built on the edge of Jamaica Bay and a federally protected park. In late June or early July the turtles heave themselves out of the bay and head toward a beach to lay their eggs.

    © 2011 The Associated Press.

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

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