Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Watch Out For Distressed Manatees, Turtles During Cold Snap

Manatees huddle in canal, sunbathe to keep warm Watch Out For Distressed Manatees, Turtles During Cold Snap
Faye Gross | 08 January, 2018, 02:47

"Although these turtles may appear to be dead, they are often still alive".

At noon Sunday, the Texas State Aquarium's Wildlife Rescue and Recovery Center will release close to 200 green sea turtles after the recent cold snap. A representative for Gulf World said that "by the end of the day Thursday, they will have almost 200 sea turtles at their facility, and expect at least 300 by the end of the week".

When water temperatures drop below 50 degrees, sea turtles enter a state in which they appear comatose, because reptiles can not control their own body temperatures. "We have turtles that are in the water now that are sleeping on the bottom, which is what they should do".

Which Gulf World's Senior Veterinarian, Julie Cavin, said can be too cold for many sea turtle to handle. It is important to report these turtles to the FWC Wildlife Alert Hotline as soon as possible. Almost 100 turtles have been rescued so far.

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The sea turtles were transported to an area agency for treatment.

The Florida manatee is another species that can be impacted by extreme cold weather. Wildlife officials are asking boaters to be extra vigilant and to avoid areas where large numbers of manatees have gathered. But those shallow waters can quickly lose heat when a cold front arrives, and the turtles become stranded when they can't make it back to warmer gulf waters.

Sustaining adequate winter habitat for manatees remains a statewide conservation goal.

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