Home > Mass Animal Deaths > Georgia: 2012 Sees Unusually High Number of Sea Turtle Deaths So Far, Researcher Hopes Warm Ocean Waters to Blame

Georgia: 2012 Sees Unusually High Number of Sea Turtle Deaths So Far, Researcher Hopes Warm Ocean Waters to Blame


By Mary Landers, Savannah Now – “An unusually high number of sea turtle strandings along the Georgia coast is being blamed in part on unseasonably warm ocean water temperatures.

In the first 12 weeks of this year, 25 dead sea turtles have been reported to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. A typical year sees fewer than 10 in the same period, said Mark Dodd a DNR biologist and sea turtle coordinator for the state.

Three species of turtles are represented in the strandings: Kemp’s Ridley, loggerhead and green turtles. Each is endangered or threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act.

‘To some extent the elevated rate is due in part to the warm water temperatures,’ said Dodd, a longtime turtle researcher.

Warm water draws the turtles inshore and into estuaries to feed. It’s here that they’re more likely to be struck by a boat.

It may be that the peak of strandings, usually in April, came early this year.

‘I hope so,’ Dodd said.” Read more.

Categories: Mass Animal Deaths
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