A project of New England Aquarium in conjunction with the partners and sponsors detailed below.
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Click on an animal's name for maps and more information.
The New England Aquarium (NEAq) has been rehabilitating stranded sea turtles for more than twenty years. The majority of sea turtles that are treated at NEAq come from annual cold stun stranding events on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA. Each fall and winter, juvenile and sub-adult sea turtles strand on Cape Cod beaches after experiencing cold-stunning. Cold stunning, or hypothermia, in sea turtles is thought to occur when water temperature quickly drops below 50ºF (10ºC). Sudden cooling of ocean water temperatures leaves the turtles torpid and floating at the surface, unable to swim or dive, and allows them to be pushed by strong sustained storm winds onto the windward shore. Since the 1980s, NEAq has worked with the Massachusetts Audubon Society’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary (WBWS) to save these threatened and endangered species.
NEAq has recently begun using satellite telemetry to study the post release survivorship of these rehabilitated turtles. Our primary goal is to learn about the survivorship of these animals. We will also be studying and observing their habitat use and migration routes post-release.
We wish to thank the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries for their continued support of the Massachusetts Sea Turtle Network. In addition we would like to thank our volunteers and the kind folks at the Cross Sound Ferry for their dedication and continued support to the preservation of sea turtles and other marine life.