More cold-stunned turtles were found dead this week, this time in the Elizabeth A. Morton Wildlife Refuge in Noyac, and another turtle, found alive, is being treated for hypothermia.
A dead Atlantic green sea turtle was found along the western shore of Jessup’s Neck in Little Peconic Bay on Tuesday morning, according to Kimberly Durham, the rescue cordinator at the Riverhead Foundaiton for Marine Research and Preservation, which responded. The small turtle weighed only about 5 pounds.
"The recent frigid temperatures and the timing of high tides is placing these small turtles at a greater risk to mortality associated with cold-stunning as they are not being found early enough," Ms. Durham said.
Another Atlantic green sea turtle was found in the refuge on Wednesday morning. It was being warmed up in hopes that it would survive, but no response had been observed, the foundation said on its Facebook page, noting that it would continue to monitor the turtle.
The live turtle was found in Cedar Point in East Hampton on Wednesday. The foundation said it is a Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, and had "slight but weak physical responses," from the cold-stunning. With a guarded condition, it is being kept in a small tank that is being warmed gradually. "We have seen improvements in its physical responses, which are now very good," the foundation wrote on its Facebook page.
The first cold-stunned sea turtle in New York State was discovered along a bay beach in Amagansett on Sunday. It was also already dead.
The Riverhead Foundation has also responded to Montauk this week. On Tuesday, it came to the rescue of an injured harbor seal at about 8 a.m. when the foundation received a call on its hotline about a seal that was up on the beach. The seal, a female, approximately 5 months old, had labored breathing and was bleeding from lesions in her mouth, Ms. Durham said.
The seal is underweight at about 37 pounds and measures about 3 feet in length. "She is showing signs of a respiratory infection and is presently on antibiotics and awaiting a radiograph (x-ray)," Ms. Durham said.
The Riverhead Foundation also responded Thursday morning to a report of a dolphin beached at Ditch Plain. It was reportedly a common dolphin and was in severe distress. No further information was available.