Featured Image: Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary
On Black Friday, a large winter storm was happening off the coast of Massachusetts. The storm had unusually cold temperatures and high force winds. The combination of factors lead the deaths of almost 190 sea turtles.
The turtles were found on the shores of Cape Cod in the early hours of Friday. Unfortunately, the turtles were already frozen. It was too late to save any of the turtles by the time officials found them.
The turtles were in the Cape Cod area on their annual migration. Researchers have watched the timing of the turtles’ migration continual move further into the winter. In the 1990s, only 20 years ago, the turtles would arrive in October. Now, the turtles are arriving in November, which has lead to more frozen turtles. In fact, Mass Audubon has already found 400 dead turtles this season!
It is unclear why the turtles are shifting their migration patterns. A research associate at the California Academy of Sciences, Wallace Nichols, had this to say about the turtles, “Sea turtles are moving further north along our coast, or south to the southern hemisphere, as waters are warming and they are expanding their ranges. So when we get these quick swings from warm to cooler, the turtles that haven’t made it south definitely get into trouble.”
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