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The Mass Audubon wildlife sanctuary has said that “once in a lifetime” weather—including high winds and tide—effectively “incapacitated” these turtles. The nature society says it has found more than 400 dead sea turtles this fall.
Said Bob Prescott, Mass Audubon’s director:
“A lot of the turtles were found frozen in the water still. I picked up two to three myself that were still in the water, the slushy water.”
Scientists believe that shifts in sea turtles’ migration patterns over the last several decades as a result of climate change has put them at risk. Thirty years ago, these turtles came to Cape Cod in October but now, they tend to arrive in November—when water temperatures are far lower. Because marine waters are warming, turtles are expanding their ranges into potentially dangerous territories, one scientist told NBC.
The combination of warming waters and expanded ranges pose a risk to recent successes in sea turtle conservation.
Read at NBC via WTHR