Donna Shaver, Chief of the Sea Turtle Science & Recovery Division at the Padre Island National Seashore has been studying threatened and endangered sea turtles for almost forty years now.
Shaver says for the first time in her career, she’s seeing and hearing about dozens of endangered Green Sea Turtles being found and it’s alarming.
Currently, more than 100 juvenile Green Sea Turtles have washed up along the beach or trapped in the jetties and they’re very weak.
The cause is out of Shaver’s control, she said.
“It was the perfect storm of these turtles having this time period that they were settling in which overlapped directly with those very rough meteorological and oceanographic conditions,” she said
Major conditions affecting the turtles have included rough winds and high tides.
Making matters worse, Shaver says, are that people are touching the weak turtles or trying to put them back into the water.
As for the rescued Green Sea Turtles, Shaver says it takes a few days to rehabilitate each one before being released.
“We’re thinking this might be a one-off, one-time thing,” she said. “Perfect storm of recruitment during these tough conditions, but maybe with the rebounding population maybe we will see this again in other years.”
If you witness someone handling an endangered turtle or if you find a stranded turtle call: (361) 949-8173 ext. 226 or 1(866) TURTLE-5.