Sunday, November 25, 2012

November 24, 2012 Leatherback Sea Turtle Examination

The NECWA team! Staff and volunteers working together.
Amanda and Jamie with the leatherback carcass. 
Leatherback Sea Turtle Examination at Humarock Beach, Scituate MA.

Michael next to the leatherback carcass.
Today, NECWA staff and volunteers headed to Humarock Beach in Scituate to find and examine a dead leatherback sea turtle reported in this area the day before. Rick Foley, a resident of Humarock, found this carcass just a few hundred feet from his house. 

Tiffany, Patty, Rick, Michelle, Amanda and Jamie.
The NECWA team consisted of a nice mix of young and old. We had NECWA staff members Patty, Tiffany and Krill along with volunteers Michelle and Michael. We also had two young ones with us. We had Michelle's daughter Amanda and my son Jamie. They were very interested in our examination of the sea turtle carcass and had a lot of fun chasing the waves. Needless to say they were totally soaked by the time we were ready to head home. 

Amanda and Jamie having fun chasing the waves. 
Michelle holding the phone for Krill since her gloves are quite messy.
Thanks to everyone who assisted today in this examination. We met new friends and learned a lot through our examination of this carcass. We collected photographs, body measurements and tissue samples and this material will be provided to MA Audubon at Wellfleet Bay to support their research on sea turtles in the New England area.

Collecting measurements on the carcass. 
Tiffany measuring the carcass.  
From our examinations, it is difficult if not impossible to say why this young leatherback sea turtle stranded and died. But this is the season where many sea turtles wash ashore, live and dead, due to cold-stunning. Although we hate to see any animal wash ashore dead, each carcass provides valuable information that will help us better understand and protect those living animals in our water. 

Tiffany and Krill measuring the carcass. 
Tiffany and Krill measuring the carcass. 
 Much thanks to Rick for all his help and support.  And thanks to Michelle, Amanda, Michael and Jamie for their help and support as well.

Getting a look at the throat spines on this leatherback. 
NECWA is an organization that includes anyone and everyone who has an interest and love of nature. We are successful for we are a team of staff members, interns and volunteers who care enough to get involved. Everyone has a big role to play in helping to protect coastal marine wildlife and we encourage one and all to get involved in any way that you can.

Tiffany and Krill with the left flipper. 

If you see a stranded ocean sunfish, please call Krill at 508-566-0009. If you see a stranded torpedo ray or sea turtle, call MA Audubon (day or night) at 508-349-2615 x104. If you find a sea turtle, do not push the animal back into the water. Call MA Audubon right away so their staff can retrieve the animal as quickly as possible. 

Krill at work.