Duo of loggerhead turtles seen close to shore in Dorset

Richard Harrington By: Richard Harrington
Date posted: 23 October 2015

Duo of loggerhead turtles seen close to shore in Dorset Two loggerhead turtles have been spotted together by a group of walkers from the coast path at Durlston Head, Dorset on Sunday, October 18th.

Duo of loggerhead turtles seen close to shore in Dorset Two loggerhead turtles have been spotted together by a group of walkers from the coast path at Durlston Head, Dorset on Sunday, October 18th. Sarah Fargher from Fuzzacker Guided Walks, based in the New Forest, contacted MCS after one of her group of walkers spotted the turtles. Sarah estimated the turtles to be about 50metres from the shore, and could have been between two and three feet in length. MCS Head of Biodiversity and Fisheries, Dr Peter Richardson, is concerned that they may be at risk of stranding on local beaches in coming days as the sea temperature in the south west drops. “This is a fantastic record because live loggerhead turtles are rarely spotted in UK seas, and to see two together is incredibly lucky, Ø Peter says. “But as the seas cool down locally, these turtles will stop feeding, lose condition and suffer from acute hypothermia. If they are lucky, they may strand alive on a beach, and if found in time they can be rescued and rehabilitated back to health with specialist treatment Ø. “South West inshore surface temperatures waters are about 15oC at the moment. As the seas cool down these turtles will stop feeding, lose condition and suffer from acute hypothermia. If they are lucky, they may strand alive on a beach, and if found in time they can be rescued and rehabilitated back to health with specialist treatment Ø. “Sometimes walkers will find a stranded turtle and put it back in the sea, Ø said Dr Richardson, “But this absolutely the wrong thing to do because hypothermic, stranded turtles will certainly perish if they are left in the water. We urge anyone who finds a turtle on UK shores to report it immediately, and try and make sure the tides don’t wash them back to sea Ø. Live stranded turtles in the UK should be reported immediately to Marine Environmental Monitoring on 01239 683033 or the regional numbers listed on the UK Turtle Code at http://www.mcsuk.org/downloads/wildlife/turtlecode.pdf.

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