Brrr… Record Freeze Is Killing Endangered Sea Turtle Babies
It’s not just the manatees.
The record freeze in the southern US is killing the sea turtle babies, too.
Scientists are having to transport the eggs to save the endangered sea turtle babies from the record cold.
The Sun reported:
Travel is nothing new to sea turtles, but they aren’t usually accustomed to boat and car rides.
But three late-in-the-season nests found in Garden City Beach are getting special treatment right now because of the chill that has settled over the region. Experts moved some of the eggs from the Grand Strand to Charleston and this week, when the hatchlings are ready, they will travel to North Carolina for a boat ride to the warmer Gulf Stream waters that sweep closer to the N.C. shore.
Loggerheads are the area’s most familiar sea turtles.
The tropical-water-loving Atlantic green turtles, which have a later nesting season than loggerheads, don’t often lay clutches of eggs on these shores. Loggerheads can be found as far north as New England, but endangered green turtles mostly stay down in Florida and the Caribbean.
The Sea Turtle Conservancy says green turtles live in tropical and temperate water, where temperatures are 65 or higher. This month, the Grand Strand’s water temperatures are in the mid-50s, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Karen Fuss, environmental educator for the Burroughs & Chapin Center for Marine and Wetlands Studies at Coastal Carolina University, said the cold water can stun the turtles and stop them from swimming.
“They have to swim, swim, swim until they reach where they want to be,” Fuss said.
Meanwhile, the polar bear populations are booming.