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Category Archives: turtles

stephanie colburtle is missing!

the great turtle race ended some time ago. and stephanie colburtle has not been heard from in over 100 days! what could have happened?
i turn to Conservation International for explanation,
Dear stephanie,

With the excitement of The Great Turtle Race behind us, you’re probably wondering, “What are the turtles up to now?”

Seven of the eleven turtles – Genevieve, Sundae, Turtleocity, Freedom, Purple Lightning, Billie, and Saphira – are well on their way to their feeding grounds off Peru and Chile. Unfortunately, two turtles, Stephanie Colburtle and Drexelina, haven’t transmitted any information on their locations for over 100 days. We are also concerned about two other race contenders, Windy and Champiro, who haven’t been heard from in a while. Leatherback turtles face many threats on their ocean journeys. Below are some possible explanations for the silence from Stephanie and her fellow racers:

Did they die of old age?
“It’s not likely that Stephanie died of old age,” says Tagging of Pacific Predators (TOPP) researcher Jim Spotila, a turtle researcher who has been monitoring leatherbacks at Playa Grande, Costa Rica, for decades. Though it is difficult to tell a turtle’s exact age, scientists did not consider any of the racing turtles old, based on their nesting histories on Playa Grande.

Did the leatherbacks’ harnesses fall off or were their satellite tags broken?
If seaweed, slimy algae, or barnacles have covered the tag, information on the location of the turtle cannot be transmitted. “We’ve had tags go offline for as much as six months until the turtle moved to colder latitudes where the hitch-hiking critters presumably died and allowed the tag to restart,” notes TOPP researcher Scott Eckert. Also, the tags are attached to the turtles with specially designed harnesses. The harness can fall off if the turtle gets entangled in a fishing line or encounters an aggressive male turtle. Sometimes, missing turtles have been known to reappear on nesting beaches without their tag.

Did commercial fishermen or shark-finners working off the Galapagos or Peru accidentally kill Stephanie, Windy, Drexelina, and Champiro?
It’s possible that the turtles were caught by commercial fishermen. Though fishing policies are in place to protect the turtles in certain areas, illegal fishing does occur. Also, fishing by-catch in many areas, especially in the waters off Peru, is still unmonitored, so we don’t truly know how many turtles or other ocean creatures are incidentally caught in fishing gear.

Did they eat too many plastic bags that looked like jellyfish?
Leatherback turtles can mistake plastic bags floating in the water as their favorite food, jellyfish. Ingesting plastic can weaken or even kill them. Because they are then unable to digest their real food, they can starve, or they may choke on the plastic and drown. Reducing your plastic bag use is one simple way you can take action in your daily life to improve life for leatherback turtles. Take action today to reduce your plastic bag use and sign CI’s Plastic Bag Pledge now!

It’s difficult to track the mysterious lives of leatherback turtles. We can only speculate on what may have happened to Stephanie, Windy, Drexelina, and Champiro, but given all the things that could go wrong, we feel lucky that we’re still hearing from seven of the eleven Great Turtle Race leatherbacks.

As a part of the global conservation community, you have a chance to make a real difference in the future of our planet. I hope you’ll take action today by taking the Plastic Bag Pledge to help secure a future for leatherback sea turtles.

Sincerely,

Vinnie Wishrad
Director, Online Community and Membership
Conservation International

P.S. Please help us spread the word about the threats that plastic bags pose to sea turtles by telling a friend today. Even simple, everyday actions like reducing plastic bag use can have a huge global impact.
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reduce>reuse>recycle>everyday!
save my turtle friends!
take the plastic bag pledge!
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i love turtles.
in other turtle news:
william is looking and feeling better! thank goodness!
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turtles and kitties2

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2007 in animals, turtles, youtube

 

turtle and kitty

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2007 in animals, turtles, youtube

 

william in the morning.

 

stephanie colburtle

stephanie the turtle is in the lead! traveling from costa rica back to the galapagos islands.
the great turtle race
you can see the head to head battle play out @ the link above, its updated daily.
then you can read more about the turtle racing in honor of stephen colbert @ the link below.
stephanie colburtle’s stats
here is silly stephen colbert’s site below
colbert nation
did i mention we got cable tv?!

 
 

do it for the turtles….

of course i live in brooklyn, and dont know anyone at all that fishes…
but, if it will save some turtles i believe its worth posting.
the kind folks at the world wildlife federation are having a contest
HELPING TO PREVENT BYCATCH — SMART GEAR CONTEST 2007
Fisheries bycatch is the leading threat to many endangered marine mammals, cetaceans, sea turtles, seabirds and certain fish species.
WWF and our partners created the International Smart Gear Competition to inspire innovative, practical, cost-effective ideas that allow fishermen to “fish smarter” – to better target their intended catch while reducing bycatch.

The competition is open to all – fishermen, professional gear manufacturers, teachers, students, engineers, scientists and backyard inventors.

Bycatch – What is the problem?
Since the development some 50 years ago of cheaper fishing gear and bigger, faster boats, thousands of miles of nets and lines have been set in the world’s oceans each day. Modern fishing gear, often invisible to sight and extremely strong, is very efficient at catching the desired fish species – as well as anything else in its path. A staggering amount of marine life is hauled up with the catch, and then usually discarded overboard dead or dying.

The numbers are truly frightening. For example:

Many of the fish and other animals caught in fishing gear are thrown away as unwanted bycatch – amounting to many millions of metric tons of marine life wasted each year.
Over 300,000 small whales, dolphins, and porpoises die from entanglement in fishing nets each year, making bycatch the single largest cause of mortality for small cetaceans and pushing several species to the verge of extinction.
Over 250,000 endangered loggerhead turtles and critically endangered leatherback turtles are caught annually on longlines set for tuna, swordfish, and other fish, with thousands more killed in shrimp trawls.
26 species of seabird, including 17 albatross species, are threatened with extinction because of longlining, which kills more than 300,000 seabirds each year.
89 per cent of hammerhead sharks and 80 per cent of thresher and white sharks have disappeared from the Northeast Atlantic Ocean in the last 18 years, largely due to bycatch.
Shrimp trawlers catch as many as 35 million juvenile red snappers each year in the Gulf of Mexico, enough to have an impact on the population.
Billions of corals, sponges, starfish, and other invertebrates are caught as bycatch every year
Bycatch – So what’s the answer?

A combination turtle excluder device/bycatch reduction device manufactured by Saunders Marine Machine Shop. Turtles escape by swimming forward and out of the large holes in the net. Shrimp are swept into the bag at the end of the net and cannot swim out. � NOAA
There is growing acceptance by fishing industry leaders of the need to reduce bycatch. Proven solutions do exist, such as modifying fishing gear so that either fewer non-target species are caught or non-target species can escape. In many cases, these modifications are simple and inexpensive, with the best innovations usually coming from fishers themselves.

WWF and its partners are key players in efforts to reduce bycatch. Our aim is to encourage sustainability in the world’s fisheries, by working with all those involved – fishers, consumers, the seafood industry, and governments – to provide practical solutions to counteract the enormous environmental harm that bycatch is causing.

Inspiring innovations in fishing gear
Improving fishing gear is a key step in reducing bycatch. To this end, WWF is working to inspire and reward new ideas for selective fishing through the International Smart Gear Competition. Launched in 2004 in partnership with industry leaders, scientists, and fishers, the competition encourages creative solutions that will allow fishers to fish smarter – better targeting their intended catch while safeguarding other ocean creatures.
to learn more, for the rules, to enter to win–entry forms, to read about last year’s winners
go to the world wildlife federation site and click away.
save the turtles and their friends. dont go fishing and dont eat fish.
🙂

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2007 in animals, support, turtles

 

today’s theme: turtles+christmas.

turtle holiday photos care of flickr search= turtle christmas, and turtle santa.
more turtley christmas cuteness

and here too!
i bet you can guess what i am doing this afternoon!
william’s house is decorated with snowflakes but maybe…….
p.s. i didnt find any hannukah turtles 😦

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2006 in christmas, turtles, winter