The rare Camp’s Ridley turtle was found Saturday night on Atlantic Beach on Long Island’s south shore, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
According to wildlife experts, the Camp’s turtle is the most endangered sea turtle species. They are usually found in the Gulf of Mexico, but occasionally make their way as far north as Nova Scotia.
A conservation police officer arrived on the beach to make sure no one touched the turtles as this could further stress or harm the animals.
The turtle was picked up by a New York Marine Rescue Center (NYMRC) volunteer and will spend the next six to nine months at the organization’s Riverhead facility for rehabilitation before being released.
NYMRC has rescued more than 2,200 sea turtles, including Camp’s turtles, loggerheads, leatherbacks, and green sea turtles, that may have become stranded due to a variety of issues including boat strikes, entanglement, or cold stunning.
Once the turtles are ready to be released back into the ocean, they are fitted with flippers and passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags. Some are also tagged with satellites, allowing researchers to track them in real time.
In November 2019, a juvenile Atlantic green sea turtle was found in a comatose state near Iron Pier Beach in Riverhead, where it had spent nine months at the facility.
The turtle, dubbed Dumpling by the team, also had a small injury to its left flipper and was missing part of its rear flipper.
After rehabilitation and medication, the turtle was satellite tagged and released back into the ocean at Tiana Beach in Hampton Bays in August 2020.
“Through this satellite tag, we were able to track the movement of this animal for nearly eight months after its release! Tortellini’s tag last signaled off the coast of Georgia on March 5, 2021,” NYMRC said on its website.
“Understanding where animals go after they are released helps us better understand habitat use and movement patterns of these threatened species.”
You can learn more about conservation efforts and track sea turtles in real time on the New York Sea Rescue website website.
Follow the Nassau Daily Voice and receive free news updates.