Officials are baffled after hundreds Loggerhead turtle Stuck on a beach in Texas.
A record total of 282 loggerhead sea turtles were spotted in Texas between April 1 and August 19, according to the report. news release That’s more than double the total number of strandings in any year from 2012 to 2021, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The reason for the sharp spike is not clear.
“The annual numbers have increased over the last decade,” said Donna J. Shaver, Texas coordinator of the Sea Turtle Stranding and Rescue Network and director of the Sea Turtle Science and Recovery Division at the National Park Service’s Padre Island National Seashore. stated in the release. .
“The dramatic increase in loggerhead sea turtle strandings this year is alarming and STSSN participants are on high alert at the coastal bend, facing an increasing influx of helpless loggerhead turtles in need of immediate rescue and care. I am ready.”
Five species of sea turtles live in the Gulf of Mexico. Loggerhead turtles most abundant species It nests in the United States, although its population is still facing decline, mainly due to bycatch from fishing. As an adult, a turtle can grow to be 3.5 feet long and weigh as much as 3.5 feet. as much as 350 poundsaccording to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, an average of 109 loggerhead turtles have been stranded on Texas beaches each year for the past decade.
Most of this year’s groundings have occurred on Coastal Bend, between Calhoun and Cleberg counties in Texas. About two-thirds of the stranded sea turtles were found dead, according to the service. It is “thin and emaciated” that are found alive.
“At Coastal Bend, approximately one-third of stranded loggerhead turtles have been found alive and receiving treatment at licensed rehabilitation facilities such as the Amos Rehabilitation Keep, the Texas State Aquarium, and the Texas Sea Life Center,” the statement said. Among them, the Sea Turtle Coordinator for the Texas Wildlife Service.
“We found that the affected loggerhead turtles had lost weight and were emaciated. I hope.”
Scientists have been able to rule out several causes of the strandings, none of which are due to infectious diseases, biotoxins, or fishing-related captures.
Scientists believe changes in the sea turtles’ habitat and access to prey may be to blame, according to the statement. Investigators are taking samples of live and dead sea turtles to identify possible factors behind the mysterious stranding.
If you see a sea turtle on the beach, report the sighting to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and stay as close as possible so they can find the animal.
“Successfully rescuing a stranded sea turtle requires a lot of coordination among trained and empowered individuals,” Scorpa said in a statement. “It is therefore important that citizens report sightings immediately so that rescue operations can begin quickly.”