Destroying our Oceans, the Sea Turtle Link
Posted 12 April 2013 - 09:24 PM
Manatees are dying at record numbers, over 138 this year alone from a record red tide in Florida, and now Fibroidpapilloma is becoming a serious added threat to sea turtles. If you are not aware of it today all seven species of sea turtle in the world are listed as endangered or critically endangered. In the United States all five species are under huge threat. Many by waste products and plastic that is eaten, yet Fibroidpapilloma is a new added threat that is effecting every species of turtles.
Fibroidpapilloma is a virus that now infects every species of sea turtles, the exact cause is unknown but many studies have shown that exposure to petrochemicals may be the root cause. Oil spills, gas leaks from underwater wells, fertilizers and nitrogen have all been fingered as a probable cause, to this often fatal disease. It effects all of the soft tissues in turtles and can even affect the digestive tract causing death. Large lesions attack the eyes, necks and flippers and then spread to internal tissues.
This week we attended a forum on this terrible disease at the Sea Turtle Rescue Center in Marathon Florida, one of only three sea turtle rescue programs in the United States. These highly dedicated and committed people are on the front lines, and what they see every day can be heart wrenching. From boat strikes, to ingested plastics, fishing line and rope snares, missing flippers, they see it all, and in to great of numbers, but as founder of the Sea Turtle Rescue Center, Richie Moretti told me personally this week, Fibroidpapilloma is the fastest growing risk to turtles today. Barely recorded before 1989, today it has become a risk of ever growing severity, with over 100 turtles a year being found to have this terrible disease in just the Florida Keys alone, " it is an epidemic which is not only growing and accelerating faster every year, but potentially has the risk of causing the extinction of turtle species," Moretti believes and veterinarians and oceanographers agree.
Yet for those found early, treatment can provide a cure. At the sea turtle rescue these lesions are treated with a combination of removal, using a laser, and antibiotic treatment. The success rate is high as long as the internal organs have not been affected. Turtles are treated and observed for one full year, if symptoms do not reoccur in that time the turtles are then immune to reoccurrence. But all that treatment requires time, resources and money. Once again Richie told me that their program of rescue, rehabilitate and release is having a big effect on helping sea turtles, but the root cure is phasing out petrochemicals.
If you would like to learn more about this critical work you can go to www.turtlehospital.org or check them out on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Marathon-Sea-Turtle-Hospital/. Donations are greatly appreciated and if you are ever in the Florida Keys vist them and tour the hospital in Marathon Florida. Finally if this work touches your heart like it does ours consider becoming a Rescue, Rehab, or Release member and help save these beautiful creatures.
Jeff and Lois Moore
Posted 14 April 2013 - 03:43 AM
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — "Puerto Rico's governor on Saturday signed a law to protect a swath of land along the island's northeast coast that is a top U.S. nesting site for the world's largest turtle species.
The law ends a 15-year fight that environmentalists and celebrities including actor Benicio Del Toro had waged against developers eager to build hotels, golf courses and luxury homes in an area fringed by palm trees and turquoise waters."
Via HP green.
Posted 14 April 2013 - 05:59 AM
Leatherbacks are really cool, and they need all the help they can get because they are the one species that most turtle hospitals can't help much, the reason is the seldom do well in captivity and will die if not free. Their shells are not hard carotin like other species but actually a leathery skin much like Cape buffalo.
We have a few pet projects for habitat renewal for turtles, birds, key deer and panthers here in Florida. One that we have been part of for many years is to establish new nesting sights in the Gulf of Mexico. After the success of the Padre Island project many years ago, we thought it would be good to establish more nesting sights on different barrier islands in the gulf as far south as possible to mimic Kemp Ridley the most critically endangered species natural habitat.
Archeological evidence shows that a few hundred years ago Indians were hunting these turtles in the areas we are looking at including eggs, meaning that human hunting destroyed those nesting areas, our goal is to reestablish them so the risk is spread across a greater area. Because they are part of the endangered species act, movement has been slow but we are still hopeful.
Posted 14 April 2013 - 06:53 PM
Each of us in our own way should find those things closest to our hearts. You work with cats, eds with vets, tigerlilly with children, Phil with solar, yonder with environmental issues, ours alternative energy and water, but every now and then we get to assist the giants of an issue and were just proud to be helping in whatever small way we can.
Posted 14 April 2013 - 07:01 PM
Posted 15 April 2013 - 02:14 AM
Posted 08 September 2015 - 07:01 PM
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