Strandings on Folly Beach 2005

The 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."

Strandings 2005
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.
DateLocationSpeciesSizeCondition
May 19CGS-EastLoggerhead22.5" x 21""Barnacle Bill" -- heavily encrusted on carapace, flippers, head, plastron; no injuries; extremely thin -- skin & bones.
May 201307-EastLoggerhead27" 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 281411-EastGreen10" x 9" Moderately decomposed.
June 141667-EastGreen10" x 8.7" No head; severely decomposed.
June 21CGS-EastLoggerhead29" x 25"Slice (prop strike?) sliced through back third of carapace; several large barnacles; lots of tiny barnacles on flippers
June 25115-EastUnknownUnknown; flipper length 13.5"Only 2 flippers, soft tissues and bones remained; severely decomposed.
August 14CGS-EastLoggerhead27.5" 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!