On simulating cold-stunned sea turtle strandings on Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Autoři: Xiaojian Liu aff001;  James Manning aff002;  Robert Prescott aff003;  Felicia Page aff004;  Huimin Zou aff005;  Mark Faherty aff003
Působiště autorů: School of Remote Sensing and Information Engineering, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China aff001;  National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, United States of America aff002;  Massachusetts Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, Wellfleet, Massachusetts, United States of America aff003;  University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island, United States of America aff004;  Shandong Agricultural University, Tai’an, China aff005
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(12)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0204717


Kemp's ridley sea turtles were on the verge of extinction in the 1960s. While these sea turtles have slowly recovered, they are still critically endangered. In the last few years, the number of strandings on the beaches of Cape Cod, Massachusetts has increased by nearly an order of magnitude relative to preceding decades. This study uses a combination of ocean observations and a well-respected ocean model to investigate the causes and transport of cold-stunned sea turtles in Cape Cod Bay. After validating the model using satellite-tracked drifters and local temperature moorings, ocean currents were examined in Cape Cod Bay in an attempt to explain stranding locations as observed by volunteers and, for some years, backtracking was conducted to examine the potential source regions. The general finding of this study is that sub 10.5°C water temperatures in combination with persistently strong wind stress (>0.4 Pa), results in increased strandings along particular sections of the coast and are dependent on the wind direction. However, it is still uncertain where in the water column the majority of cold-stunned turtles reside and, if many of them are on the surface, considerable work will need to be done to incorporate the direct effects of wind and waves on the advective processes.

Klíčová slova:

Beaches – Ocean modeling – Ocean temperature – Ocean waves – Oceans – Sea water – Surface temperature – Turtles


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2019 Číslo 12
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