This week, at least 173 sea turtles died off Cape Cod, Massachusetts, because of the extreme cold.
SEE Turtles, a conservation tourism project that aims to protect sea turtles says that most sea turtles migrate between areas where they can find food and areas where they can give birth, and typically to warmer waters.
However, it’s just too cold right now.
According to Mass Audubon Director Bob Prescott, 227 cold-stunned turtles have been recovered from the Gulf of Maine since Wednesday, but only 54 lived.1 While it is normal for Mass Audubon, the largest nature conservation nonprofit in Massachusetts, to patrol the beaches this time of year looking for cold-stunned turtles, there were many more than expected this year.
Prescott said, “This was way too cold. Everything was slushy by yesterday morning. Some of them are small. It didn’t take long for them to freeze.”2
He believes their deaths can be directly contributed to global warming.