|Turtle found on South Caicos far from home|
|Friday, 09 April 2010 15:00|
An unusual visitor was discovered near the dock at the School for Field Studies in South Caicos on March 2.
A posthatchling Hawksbill turtle was found by Brett Matulis and SFS interns Chelsea and Elisa floating near the surface amongst seaweed and other sea detritus.
It appeared to be weak, having sustained a wound to the top and side of the head somewhere along its journey, the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources (DECR) reported. The SFS team immediately announced the find to the local turtle researchers, who arrived in minutes to try to save the lost turtle.
The injuries were treated, and the team had high hopes for the lost posthatchling. It was housed in a makeshift tank in the DECR lab and seemed to be doing alright. However, several days later, due to its weak condition and refusal to eat, the hatchling sadly passed away.
In terms of sampling value, the DECR says the little guy was quite special — nicknamed Harvey — as these size-class of turtles (shell length of this individual was 10.4 centimetres) are predominantly oceanic dwellers and are rarely found in shallows coastal habitats.
The Hawksbill turtles are found in abundance in the Caribbean as well as the tropical waters of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. However, they are normally found near reefs rich in the sponges they like to feed on. Alone on the shores of South Caicos, the hatchling was far from his family and home.
Do you want to report any sightings of turtles, turtle nests or turtles landed for consumption in the Turks and Caicos Islands?
The TCI Turtle Project is a research collaboration between the DECR, the Marine Conservation Society, the Marine Turtle Research Group at the University of Exeter Cornwall Campus and the SFS based on South Caicos. The project seeks to assess the marine turtle populations and turtle harvest within TCI waters and develop a sustainable turtle fishery management regime.
|Last Updated on Friday, 09 April 2010 15:05|
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