Note: This item is more than eight years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references.
Cold-Stunned Sea Turtles Return to Wild
AUSTIN, Texas — About 90 green sea turtles that washed up on South Texas beaches stunned by cold weather in January were transported Feb. 20-21 by truck from fish hatchery and aquarium facilities in Corpus Christi to the Port Isabel area and released back into the wild in the Lower Laguna Madre.
On Jan. 23, about 50 sea turtles arrived at the CCA/CPL Marine Development Center fish hatchery operated by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in Flour Bluff just outside Corpus Christi on the way to Padre Island. The following day, about 40 more turtles were taken to the Texas State Aquarium near downtown Corpus Christi.
A sudden drop in water temperature caused by an arctic cold front had stunned the turtles. Scientists and volunteers with Sea Turtle, Inc. in South Padre Island rescued turtles that began washing up on area beaches, but the numbers quickly overflowed STI’s facility.
Biologists with TPWD, Padre Island National Seashore and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service helped transport many of the turtles to larger facilities in the Corpus Christi. The team used fish hatchery trucks hauling trailers with water live wells typically used for stocking redfish and trout into coastal bays, as well as SUVs carrying turtles wrapped in blankets.
In the weeks since their rescue, the turtles were cared for and fed in warmer indoor tanks and aquarium facilities and were finally ready to return to the wild.
Early Feb. 20, TPWD biologists and technicians loaded about 50 turtles into live well trailers at the CCA/CPL Marine Development Center in Flour Bluff near Corpus Christi. The next day, staff and volunteers transported turtles from the Texas State Aquarium to Port Isabel.
Both days, the turtles were transferred to TPWD’s research vessel Trinity Bay, taken out in the afternoon and released in the Intracoastal Waterway a few miles north of the Queen Isabella causeway, an area from which the turtles could readily access intracoastal bay seagrass habitat. Colley’s Fins to Feathers tour boat service volunteered to take news reporters and photographers out to see the turtle release.
On the Net:
- News Photos: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/newsmedia/news_images
Publication — Permission is granted to publish, in whole or in part, any news releases on this page.
Print — A print-friendly version of the news release shows only the release with font sizes set to the browser default.
Plain Text — Plain text versions of TPWD news releases are provided for copying and pasting into editing software.
To copy text into an editing software:
- Click a Plain Text link to display the plain text page in your browser.
- Select all.
- Paste in a document in your editing program.
Permalink — This is a direct link to the news release, omitting the navigation context from the URI.
English/Spanish — News releases posted in both English and Spanish have one of these links.
If you have any suggestions for improving these pages, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and mention Plain Text Pages.