Monday, January 25, 2010

Thousands of turtles stunned by cold spell

More than 4,600 sea turtles were stranded by this month's prolonged cold snap in Florida and about 1,000 didn't survive but the impact on the upcoming nesting season will be minimal, at least locally and in the short-term, a state wildlife official said. Many of the cold-stunned turtles were weakened by chronic conditions and 44 were treated at Mote Marine Laboratory and Research Institute in Sarasota. But the majority — 95 percent — were cold-sensitive green turtles, an endangered species that rarely nests on area beaches. About two percent were loggerheads. Local beaches are used for nesting almost exclusively by loggerheads, a threatened species.

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