Strandings on Folly Beach 2005The presence of sea turtles on Folly Beach is not always a welcome sight.
One of our most dreaded sightings is a stranded sea turtle -- one that has come ashore, not to nest, but as the result of injury, disease, or death at sea.
Folly's experience with strandings is duplicated all along the SC coast. The highest percentage of strandings in the state are on Charleston's four beaches, mostly on Isle of Palms and Sullivans Island. Most strandings occur between May 1st and July 31st -- the time when offshore turtle and human activities converge. The higher the human traffic, the greater the risk for sea turtles.
The loss of every sea turtle that has survived the 20-30 years to reach their sub-adult and adult life stage is significant. Not
only is that individual lost, but its potential to reproduce is gone. For a threatened or endangered species, this is especially critical. As one biologist
has said, "Losing an adult turtle is like losing 1,000 eggs on the beach."
|MANY THANKS to all of you who have helped us with strandings. Some of you are Crew members (Judi, Linda B, Judy K, Cathy, Linda M, Sharon, Carole), but many of you are anonymous passers-by, otherwise enjoying Folly until you see the turtle and say "I'll help" ... and you do. THANK YOU ALL.|
|May 19||CGS-East||Loggerhead||22.5" x 21"||"Barnacle Bill" -- heavily encrusted on carapace, flippers, head, plastron; no injuries; extremely thin -- skin & bones.|
|May 20||1307-East||Loggerhead||27" x 25"||Large prop wounds across upper and lower right of carapace; gaping prop-like wound on left carapace; internal organs exposed; head and all flipper intact.|
|May 28||1411-East||Green||10" x 9"||Moderately decomposed.|
|June 14||1667-East||Green||10" x 8.7"||No head; severely decomposed.|
|June 21||CGS-East||Loggerhead||29" x 25"||Slice (prop strike?) sliced through back third of carapace; several large barnacles; lots of tiny barnacles on flippers|
|June 25||115-East||Unknown||Unknown; flipper length 13.5"||Only 2 flippers, soft tissues and bones remained; severely decomposed.|
|August 14||CGS-East||Loggerhead||27.5" x 26"||Probable "Barnacle Bill" -- all but 1 scutes missing - couldn't detect full barnacle load; extremely thin -- skin & bones.|
Thank you, Andy, for your help with the digging!