The Mouth – Bournemouth – Poole – Christchurch

Public asked to help as storms wash up rare turtles

Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) is asking members of the public to report sightings of any turtles washed up on Dorset beaches as a matter of urgency following the discovery of four turtles in just nine days, including the rare Kemp’s Ridley Turtle.

On 23rd December a live Loggerhead Turtle was found near Worth Matravers in Dorset, which had to be put to sleep due to its injuries.  Since then, 3 critically endangered Kemp’s Ridley Turtles, the rarest of all Turtles, have been found dead by beach walkers at West Bay, West Bexington and Kimmeridge.

Winter storms have been tough of wildlife living in the sea

DWT Marine Awareness Officer, Julie Hatcher said, “The winter storms have been tough on wildlife living in the sea. Hard-shelled Turtles live in tropical seas, but if they get picked up in a strong ocean current such as the gulf stream, and end up in cold northern waters they can’t survive for long because their metabolism slows down and they stop feeding.  The public can help by reporting any sightings, alive or dead, so we can arrange a rescue, or recovery and post mortem to help us learn more about the threats to these animals in our oceans.”

Other discoveries have also been made

The storms have also led to a colony of tropical sea snails living on a fishing buoy being discovered for the first time in Dorset, exotic plant seeds (sea beans) such as the Sea Heart, Columbus Crabs and ‘by-the-wind sailors’  being washed up.

We are seeing some really interesting wildlife

Julie added, “Whilst some marine animals aren’t faring well from the recent weather, we are also seeing some really interesting wildlife being washed up on Dorset beaches. The sea snails were a fascinating find and shows how species can travel from one continent to another via floating debris.  The Sea Heart is a large seed from a tropical vine that can survive floating in the ocean for 17 years or more and is still able to germinate if it lands on a suitable beach!”

Please report any Turtle sightings asap

To report sightings of Turtles dead or alive, please phone Rod Penrose on 01239 683033 (24 hours) as soon as possible. For other sightings phone 01929 481044 or email kimmeridge@dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk.  You can also share your photos with DWT on social media via facebook/dorsetwildlife or Twitter, @DorsetWildlife.

Washed-up Kemp’s Ridley Turtle © Julie Hatche

Washed-up Kemp’s Ridley Turtle © Julie Hatche

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Posted by on Jan 12 2016. Filed under Latest. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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