Last September, we asked you to help us protect the Gulf’s sea turtles and today, I have some wonderful news to share. Thanks to more than 5,000 of our supporters, 685 miles of beaches and nearly 200,000 square miles of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico have now been declared critical habitat for threatened loggerhead sea turtles. The newly protected areas include floating Sargassum mats, where young sea turtles live and grow.
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The leatherback sea turtle has spent over 100 million years living beneath the ocean’s waves. It is the longest surviving and one of the largest reptiles on earth. With a heritage that goes back to the dinosaur era, the leatherback sea turtle’s impressive list of accomplishments is virtually unmatched.
Leatherback sea turtles:
- Weigh in between 500 and 2,000 pounds
- Can reach lengths from 4 to 8 feet long
- Live up to 100 years
- Dive to extreme depths, often deeper than 4,000 feet
- Swim great distances, such as traveling over 7,000 miles
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Note: After receiving questions from readers, I have written a follow-up post here.
While on vacation, I came across a crab entangled in a fishing net at a local, beachside restaurant. My time working with crustaceans in science laboratories and in the field gave me the necessary familiarity with their movements and behaviors to handle the animal without hurting it or myself. Armed with this knowledge, I quickly and carefully untangled the piece of fishing net that had wound up tightly on the crab and placed him gently back on the local beach.
Without the proper qualifications, attempting to help a hurt animal in the wild could result in further injury. So what should you do if you encounter an entangled animal at the beach? Continue reading »
This is a guest post from our intern, Katie Tehan.
Happy World Turtle Day!
In honor of the special day, I thought it might be fitting to celebrate one of our world’s oldest creatures. If you’ve ever had the fortune of seeing a sea turtle in its natural habitat, then you will understand why it is important that we stick our necks out to protect them.
It was not until after I got the chance to volunteer in a sea turtle rescue and rehabilitation center in Topsail, North Carolina that the severity of the risks facing them became a reality for me.
The hospital is run completely on a volunteer basis, and at the time was nursing 26 sea turtles that had been victims of hypothermia, pneumonia, bycatch, shark attacks, or boating incidents. Continue reading »