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Crews rush to save sea turtle eggs from oiled Gulf

Discussion in 'Sea turtles' started by spikethebest, Jul 9, 2010.

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  1. spikethebest

    spikethebest Active Member 10 Year Member!

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    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38169844/ns/disaster_in_the_gulf/

    Thousands of hatchlings could die if they swim into the tainted water

    PORT ST. JOE, Fla. — Biologist Lorna Patrick dug gingerly into the beach Friday, gently brushing away sand to reveal dozens of leathery, golfball-sized loggerhead sea turtle eggs.
    Patrick, of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, carefully plucked the eggs from the foot-deep hole and placed them one-by-one in a cooler layered with moist sand from the nest, the first step in a sweeping and unprecedented turtle egg evacuation to save thousands of threatened hatchlings from certain death in the oiled Gulf of Mexico.
    After about 90 minutes of parting the sand with her fingers like an archaeological dig, 107 eggs were placed in two coolers and loaded onto a FedEx temperature-controlled truck. They are being transported to a warehouse at Florida's Kennedy Space Center where they will incubate and, hopefully, hatch before being released into the Atlantic Ocean.
    The effort began in earnest along Florida's Panhandle, with two loggerhead nests excavated. Up to 800 more nests across Alabama and Florida beaches will be dug up in the coming months in an attempt to move some 70,000 eggs to safety.
    Scientists fear that if left alone, the hatchlings would emerge and swim into the oil, where most would likely die, killing off a generation of an already imperiled species.
    "This is a giant experiment," said Jeff Trindahl, director of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, which helped organize the plan.
    Trindahl acknowledged many of the hatchlings may die from the stress of being moved, but he said there was no other option.
  2. Kristina

    Kristina Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    It would be amazing if they could keep them through their first critical couple of years, and let some good sized juvies go! They would have such a better chance at surviving.
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