First sighting of a loggerhead turtle off Dorset since 1938

Richard Harrington By: Richard Harrington
Date posted: 21 August 2013

First sighting of a loggerhead turtle off Dorset since 1938 MCS has been alerted to a sighting of a loggerhead turtle off Portland Bill near Weymouth.

First sighting of a loggerhead turtle off Dorset since 1938 MCS has been alerted to a sighting of a loggerhead turtle off Portland Bill near Weymouth. Jim Davies spotted the adult loggerhead on Sunday 18th August at 3pm whilst out on his boat off Portland Bill. Jim Davies said he was surprised to see the creature so close: “At one point it surfaced to breathe about 10 metres off the boat, saw me and dived - there have been a lot of jellyfish around lately so I imagine it was feeding on them.” Jim’s right, says MCS biodiversity Programme Manager, Dr Peter Richardson: “With waters off the south west of England at about 18 celcius and lots of sunshine, our seas are well within the tolerance of foraging loggerhead turtles. Loggerheads are the second ose encountered turtle in UK waters after leatherbacks. And records show that the last time a loggerhead was reported off Dorset was in 1938!” http://data.nbn.org.uk/interactive/info.jsp?MAPSERVICE=imt & HIDECOMMENTS=0 & LAYERS=0,1,2,3 & species=NBNSYS0000188641 & SELECTED_IDS=%28263101499%29 So far this year MCS has received 13 reports of turtles from the UK, mostly leatherbacks and mostly from the south west. We expect more to turn up and take advantage of the abundance of jellyfish as the warm weather persists. Jim reported his sighting online at http://www.mcsuk.org/what_we_do/Wildlife%2Bprotection/Report%2Bwildlife%2Bsightings/Report%2Bwildlife%2Bsightings If you are near the coast, please keep your eye out for turtles, and if you are lucky enough to spot one report it to MCS.

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