Strandings on Folly Beach 2006The 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."
"Miss Folly Kodak" - Rescue (and photo) by Julie Jones
Miss Folly was carrying over 690 egg follicles -- her hatchlings for this season, and her future reproductive life,
lost with her death from boat strike injuries.
|MANY THANKS to all of you who have helped us with strandings. Some of you are Crew members (Judi, Linda B, CC, Betty, Judy K, Cathy, Linda M, Sunnie, 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.|
|April 26||1687-East||Loggerhead||30+" 280lbs||"Miss Folly Kodak" stranded alive -- severe propeller strike injuries to skull and carapace that resulted in her death 3 weeks later at the SC Aquarium Sea Turtle Hospital.|
|May 23||1669-East||Kemps Ridley||25"x23"||Severe back of neck injury that broke carapace and vertebra. Many thanks to Jan & Joe and John from Milwaukee, WI for helping to record data and bury the turtle.|
|June 13||805-East||Loggerhead||26"x29"||Upper third of carapace missing; looked like severe strike broke carapace. Organs exposed, but all flippers and head intact. MANY thanks to Betty especially and "the other Jamie" for their digging and support in burying this turtle.|
|June 14||Co. Park-West||Loggerhead||24"x26"||Head and 3 flippers missing. A few large barnacles, but no damage to carapace.|
|June 25||Washout-E||Loggerhead||25"x27"||Most carapace scutes missing, but otherwise intact with no apparent injuries.|
|July 7||Lighthouse Inlet||Loggerhead||33"x36"||A MALE Barnacle Bill -- carapace heavily encrusted with barnacles plus. Strike injury to carapace just above tail -- tip and notch missing.|
|July 19||CGS-E||unknown||12"x12"||Based on size, probably a Kemp's Ridley or Green sea turtle, but not sure. Badly crushed carapace.|