Fifty-two endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtles have been flown to Florida for rehabilitation after experiencing “cold stun” in the frigid New England waters. These turtles are now being cared for at four facilities including Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, The Florida Aquarium in Tampa, and Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Jupiter.
Cold stun is a serious condition that affects cold-blooded reptiles such as sea turtles. When exposed to icy water temperatures for an extended period, their circulatory systems slow down, rendering them unable to swim or function properly.
In addition to the rescue and rehabilitation efforts, Florida observed a record number of sea turtle nests this year. Preliminary state statistics reveal over 133,840 loggerhead turtle nests and at least 76,500 green turtle nests, surpassing previous records set in 2016 and 2017, respectively. Similarly, high numbers of sea turtle nests have been reported in South Carolina, Alabama, North Carolina, and Georgia.
These efforts for the conservation of endangered species like Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, combined with the success in increasing the number of sea turtle nests, emphasize the importance of ongoing rehabilitation and conservation efforts. Through collaboration and dedication, the future of these cold-blooded reptiles can be secured.