Record Turtle Stranding Season to be Focus of Provincetown Lecture

COURTESY OF THE CENTER FOR COASTAL STUDIES Director of Mass Audubon's Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary Bob Prescott with stranded cold-stunned sea turtles.

COURTESY OF THE CENTER FOR COASTAL STUDIES
Director of Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary Bob Prescott with stranded cold-stunned sea turtles/Photo Courtesy Mass Audubon via Steve Heaslip/CCT

PROVINCETOWN – The Center for Coastal Studies continues its winter lecture series tonight with a look back at last winter’s record number of turtle strandings.

Last winter saw 1,250 cold-stunned sea turtles wash up on Cape Cod Bay beaches.

The lecture “Shell Shocked: Turtle Strandings on Cape Cod” will be presented by Direcetor of Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary Bob Prescott at Napi’s Restaurant on Freeman Street in Provincetown at 7 p.m.

Prescott, who is also the state’s coordinator of the Northeast Sea Turtle Stranding Network, will discuss some of the factors that may have led to the historic occurrence.

“It was mindboggling,” Prescott said. “In one day we had 157 turtles come in and in some years we don’t even get that many and we had that in one day.”

Through the investigation of the life cycles of these endangered sea turtles and cold stun trends on the Cape over the last three decades, a story emerges that uncovers the difficulties of conserving these species.

The current winter season had more than 525 cold-stunned sea turtle strandings which is second most to the 2014-2015 record.

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