New SCCF Stranding Map documents mass mortality of sea turtles
A bloom of Karenia brevis starting in October 2017 has resulted in the largest number of sea turtle deaths ever attributed to a single red tide event, according to experts.
The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation reported that the algal blooms start in the Gulf of Mexico, but they are fed and perpetuated by high levels of nutrients washing in from farther inland.
In June, an unprecedented number of sea turtle strandings - sick, injured or dead - began washing up on Sanibel and Captiva beaches. When a stranding is reported, SCCF's staff and interns mobilize to collect data and document the death as part of the National Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network. If the turtle is still alive, it is taken to the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife for rehabilitation.