Marineland’s Whitney Lab holds sea turtle hospital ‘groundbreaking’ Saturday

by Dinah Voyles Pulver

The University of Florida’s Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience hopes to open a new hospital for rehabilitating sea turtles early next year and is inviting the public to a groundbreaking Saturday morning.

The laboratory has worked for more than a year to get the hospital started at Marineland, said Jessica Long, director of development for the lab. Scientists at the center also plan to conduct research on sea turtle diseases, such as the fibropapillomatosis tumors that plague many sea turtles. The laboratory will renovate existing facilities to make way for the sea turtle center…

(read more: Daytona beach News-Journal)

Baby Sea Turtles Found to Make Noise to Coordinate Hatching

by Brianna Elliott

If you’ve ever witnessed a sea turtle nest hatch, you’ve probably noticed that it seems like these reptiles emerge from their nests in silence. Scientists have long assumed that too, but a new study adds to a growing body of literature that finds that baby sea turtles can in fact make noise—and this communication is key to a successful hatching  process.

In a recent study published in Chelonian Conservation and Biology, researchers examined leatherback sea turtle nests, and found that the hatchlings and embryos made multiple noises and sounds—indicating they’re communicating with each other in the days before they hatch. The scientists recorded more than 300 different sounds, and classified them into four unique sound types: chirps, grunts, and two “complex hybrid tones,” according to the Smithsonian…

(read more: The Beacon - Oceana.org)

photos by Oceana - Tim Calver

Sea Turtle Rehab and Conservation 
Rehabilitated loggerhead sea turtle, Pine Tyme, is enjoying a nice “spa treatment” before her release this Friday! 
The great folks at The Turtle Hospital have been taking excellent care of this juvenile loggerhead, and now that she’s feeling 100% healthy, it’s time to send her back home to the ocean! 
Join us on Friday, Aug. 15 at 1pm on Sombrero Key, FL, to wish her good luck on her Tour de Turtles journey! 
Read Pine Tyme’s full bio online: Here
(via: Sea Turtle Conservancy)

Sea Turtle Rehab and Conservation

Rehabilitated loggerhead sea turtle, Pine Tyme, is enjoying a nice “spa treatment” before her release this Friday!

The great folks at The Turtle Hospital have been taking excellent care of this juvenile loggerhead, and now that she’s feeling 100% healthy, it’s time to send her back home to the ocean!

Join us on Friday, Aug. 15 at 1pm on Sombrero Key, FL, to wish her good luck on her Tour de Turtles journey!

Read Pine Tyme’s full bio online: Here

(via: Sea Turtle Conservancy)

East Coast Beaches Labeled Critical for Loggerheads
by Jim Waymer
Federal regulators plan to designate more than 700 miles of beach from North Carolina to Mississippi — including most of Brevard Count, Florida’s shoreline, as well as large swaths of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico — as “critical habitat” for threatened loggerhead sea turtles.
The rule would have little effect on most beachfront property owners or fishermen, federal officials say.
But in some cases, people who look to build or repair certain seawalls will face additional scrutiny from wildlife officials to ensure the walls do not harm critical loggerhead habitat.
And fishermen worry stricter rules will one day result…
(read more: Florida Today)
photo: Craig Rubadoux/florida today

East Coast Beaches Labeled Critical for Loggerheads

by Jim Waymer

Federal regulators plan to designate more than 700 miles of beach from North Carolina to Mississippi — including most of Brevard Count, Florida’s shoreline, as well as large swaths of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico — as “critical habitat” for threatened loggerhead sea turtles.

The rule would have little effect on most beachfront property owners or fishermen, federal officials say.

But in some cases, people who look to build or repair certain seawalls will face additional scrutiny from wildlife officials to ensure the walls do not harm critical loggerhead habitat.

And fishermen worry stricter rules will one day result…

(read more: Florida Today)

photo: Craig Rubadoux/florida today

Free Sea Turtle Posters

from the Sea Turtle Conservancy

The Florida Sea Turtle Life History Posters Project was funded by a grant from the Sea Turtle License Plate Program. This project involved the development and distribution of a life history poster for each of the five species of sea turtles found in Florida. A set of posters is being provided at no cost to Florida sea turtle groups, rehabilitation and educational facilities, schools, environmental centers, libraries, and other groups requesting the materials.

Each poster is 3’ tall by 2’ wide. If you would prefer to print out your own smaller version of the poster, please click here.

Please note: Currently, STC can only provide free shipping for one set of posters per Florida address. If a person at your school, group or center has already requested a set of posters, or if you are outside of the state of Florida, or if you would like more than one set of posters, you will need to pay for postage. You will be contacted via email and asked to provide payment information if postage is required.

Underwater Robots Search for Sea Turtles
Scientists test out a new tool for keeping track of endangered populations of sea turtles: submersible robots withside-scan sonar.
From the deck of a small research boat, Rob Downs, a sonar expert with NOAA’s National Ocean Service, lowered an automated underwater vehicle into the waves. The AUV was bright yellow, about 6 feet long, and shaped like a torpedo. Like the AUV that is currently searching the bottom of the Indian Ocean for Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, this one was equipped with side-scan sonar. But its first-of-a-kind mission was to find something much smaller than an airplane. It was searching for sea turtles.
All species of sea turtles found in U.S. waters are listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act, and NOAA Fisheries scientists need to keep tabs on their populations. Larisa Avens, who leads sea turtle research at the NOAA Fisheries lab in Beaufort, North Carolina, is one of them.
“Sea turtles are often surveyed from the air,” Avens said, “but flights can be expensive, and you only see the turtles when they surface to breathe.” Avens and Downs, along with their academic and state agency research partners, hope to help solve that problem using sonar…
(read more: NOAA Fisheries)
photo:  Larisa Avens, a biologist with the NOAA Fisheries lab in Beaufort, NC, with a male loggerhead sea turtle. Photo courtesy of Larisa Avens.

Underwater Robots Search for Sea Turtles

Scientists test out a new tool for keeping track of endangered populations of sea turtles: submersible robots withside-scan sonar.

From the deck of a small research boat, Rob Downs, a sonar expert with NOAA’s National Ocean Service, lowered an automated underwater vehicle into the waves. The AUV was bright yellow, about 6 feet long, and shaped like a torpedo. Like the AUV that is currently searching the bottom of the Indian Ocean for Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, this one was equipped with side-scan sonar. But its first-of-a-kind mission was to find something much smaller than an airplane. It was searching for sea turtles.

All species of sea turtles found in U.S. waters are listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act, and NOAA Fisheries scientists need to keep tabs on their populations. Larisa Avens, who leads sea turtle research at the NOAA Fisheries lab in Beaufort, North Carolina, is one of them.

“Sea turtles are often surveyed from the air,” Avens said, “but flights can be expensive, and you only see the turtles when they surface to breathe.” Avens and Downs, along with their academic and state agency research partners, hope to help solve that problem using sonar…

(read more: NOAA Fisheries)

photo:  Larisa Avens, a biologist with the NOAA Fisheries lab in Beaufort, NC, with a male loggerhead sea turtle. Photo courtesy of Larisa Avens.

The Olive Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea)
… is considered the most abundant sea turtle in the world, with an estimated 800,000 nesting females annually. On Rushikulya Beach in India, an estimated 200,000 turtles nested during a single “arribada ” (mass nesting period). Arribada’s are mass nesting events when females nest in the same place, at the same time. Only ridley species, olive and Kemp’s, nest in this way. (Learn more: NOAA Fisheries)

The Olive Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea)

… is considered the most abundant sea turtle in the world, with an estimated 800,000 nesting females annually. On Rushikulya Beach in India, an estimated 200,000 turtles nested during a single “arribada ” (mass nesting period). Arribada’s are mass nesting events when females nest in the same place, at the same time. Only ridley species, olive and Kemp’s, nest in this way.

(Learn more: NOAA Fisheries)

Sea turtle nesting is in high gear at Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge in FL. The nest count is now 3,000+ for loggerheads, 45 for leatherbacks, 10 for greens and 1 for Kemp’s Ridleys. Guided nighttime sea turtle walks now thru July give visitors a chance to get up close and personal with a sea turtle laying eggs. 
Photo: Vince Lamb
(via: USFWS National Wildlife Refuge System)

Sea turtle nesting is in high gear at Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge in FL. The nest count is now 3,000+ for loggerheads, 45 for leatherbacks, 10 for greens and 1 for Kemp’s Ridleys. Guided nighttime sea turtle walks now thru July give visitors a chance to get up close and personal with a sea turtle laying eggs.

Photo: Vince Lamb

(via: USFWS National Wildlife Refuge System)

Welcome Visitors:  Sea Turtles Stall Seaweed Cleanup on Galveston Island, TX
by Alice Barr
The beaches of Galveston can get pretty packed this time of year, but there’s a different kind of visitor joining the crowds right now: the green sea turtle.
“It’s definitely neat to see them just because they’re such unique, beautiful animals,” said Andy Krauss, a NOAA-affiliate research assistant at Galveston’s NOAA Sea Turtle Facility.
But Krauss says we shouldn’t be seeing them at such a small size and young age, at least not so many.
“This year we have a lot more greens coming in with the sargassum,” said Krauss.
That’s that seaweed you’ve been seeing all over the Galveston shore. It’s a nuisance to folks trying to enjoy the beach, but to the green sea turtle, it’s home…
(read more: KHOU - 11 - Houston)

Welcome Visitors:  Sea Turtles Stall Seaweed Cleanup on Galveston Island, TX

by Alice Barr

The beaches of Galveston can get pretty packed this time of year, but there’s a different kind of visitor joining the crowds right now: the green sea turtle.

“It’s definitely neat to see them just because they’re such unique, beautiful animals,” said Andy Krauss, a NOAA-affiliate research assistant at Galveston’s NOAA Sea Turtle Facility.

But Krauss says we shouldn’t be seeing them at such a small size and young age, at least not so many.

“This year we have a lot more greens coming in with the sargassum,” said Krauss.

That’s that seaweed you’ve been seeing all over the Galveston shore. It’s a nuisance to folks trying to enjoy the beach, but to the green sea turtle, it’s home…

(read more: KHOU - 11 - Houston)

 The first two clutches of Kemp’s ridley eggs found on the Texas coast are due to start hatching any day. The hatchlings will likely be ready for release sometime between June 13 and June 18. Our first public release will be held on one of those mornings IF we are able to accurately predict when they will be ready for release and it is one of those mornings. However, the fewer clutches of eggs hatching at once the more difficult that it is to accurately predict and schedule a release.

We hold about 20-30 public hatchling releases each year. The dates depend on when the eggs hatch and the hatchlings become ready for release. Releases are held at 6:45 am in front of the Visitor Center at Padre Island National Seashore, on North Padre Island, and are open to the public free-of-charge.
View the Facebook page or call our Hatchling Hotline at (361) 949-7163 for the latest information on releases.
Visit our website at www.nps.gov/pais for the projected release date ranges for hatchlings from the eggs currently held in our incubation facility. The nesting season could continue for another month, so if more nests are found more release dates will be added.
Please Help the Sea Turtle Conservancy
You can now donate to us directly through Facebook. Just visit our Facebook page and click on the little turtle hatchling poking out of his shell. Your donation can help sea turtles in many ways… $10 helps to provide educational posters for two classrooms, $25 helps to provide leatherback turtles with flipper tags, $50 aids in the continuation of anti-poaching patrols in Costa Rica. 
Just click here.
Thanks for your support!

You can now donate to us directly through Facebook. Just visit our Facebook page and click on the little turtle hatchling poking out of his shell. Your donation can help sea turtles in many ways… $10 helps to provide educational posters for two classrooms, $25 helps to provide leatherback turtles with flipper tags, $50 aids in the continuation of anti-poaching patrols in Costa Rica.

Just click here.

Thanks for your support!

Meet the 7 Species of Sea Turtle

There are seven species of sea turtles, which are marine reptiles that need to breathe air to survive. Six of the seven species are found in US waters, and the flatback turtle is only found in the Western Indo-Pacific. Most of their lives are spent at sea, with some species diving to depths of 3000 feet (900 meters). They return to the shore to lay eggs, often making long journeys to go to specific beaches year after year. 
Their wide-reaching movement and the small amount of time they spend on land means that it is hard to measure just how many sea turtles remain, or how many there used to be. (One estimate is that millions of green sea turtles were in the Caribbean at the time of Christopher Columbus.)
Now all six of the species found in US waters are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act, and those six are also found on the IUCN Red List where their listings range from Vulnerable to Critically Endangered. They have many human-induced threats including entanglement in fishing gear, marine debris, coastal habitat destruction, poaching of adults and eggs, and climate change…
(read and see more: Smithsonian Ocean Portal)

Meet the 7 Species of Sea Turtle

There are seven species of sea turtles, which are marine reptiles that need to breathe air to survive. Six of the seven species are found in US waters, and the flatback turtle is only found in the Western Indo-Pacific. Most of their lives are spent at sea, with some species diving to depths of 3000 feet (900 meters). They return to the shore to lay eggs, often making long journeys to go to specific beaches year after year. 

Their wide-reaching movement and the small amount of time they spend on land means that it is hard to measure just how many sea turtles remain, or how many there used to be. (One estimate is that millions of green sea turtles were in the Caribbean at the time of Christopher Columbus.)

Now all six of the species found in US waters are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act, and those six are also found on the IUCN Red List where their listings range from Vulnerable to Critically Endangered. They have many human-induced threats including entanglement in fishing gearmarine debris, coastal habitat destruction, poaching of adults and eggs, and climate change

(read and see more: Smithsonian Ocean Portal)