'Unusually high' number of turtle strandings in the UK and Ireland - Natural History Musuem

Turtle strandings around Britain and Ireland appear to be on the rise this winter.

While these strandings are thought to be the result of an unseasonably stormy year, climate change could make them more common in future.

Cold and far from home, turtles are increasingly becoming stranded in the British Isles.

Marine Environmental Monitoring, a charity which records turtle strandings, has recorded more strandings in the months since November 2022 than are usually seen in an entire year.

At the time of writing, 16 marine turtles have been washed up on beaches of the UK and Ireland, including 15 loggerhead turtles and one Critically Endangered Kemp's Ridley turtle. Of these, only four loggerheads survived being stranded.

Though the causes aren't entirely clear, it's believed that stormy weather and strong currents are responsible for bringing the turtles into colder waters.

Rod Penrose, who leads Marine Environmental Monitoring, says, 'Although we see the most hard-shell turtle strandings and sightings between December and February, this year we've had more than usual. They're mostly juvenile or injured adults, so it's thought that they struggled to fight the strong winds and currents of severe storms in their native waters of the US and Caribbean.'

Read about a three juvenille loggerhead turtle rescued only last week by the BDMLR.

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Posted On: 28/02/2023

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