World’s Most Endangered Sea Turtle Found Strangled by Beach Chair
An extremely endangered sea turtle was found dead on a Fort Morgan, Alabama beach Saturday, strangled by an abandoned beach chair, the Miami Herald reported Sunday.
"This makes me so mad. How many hundreds of times do we have to ask people to pick their stuff up? It should just be common decency. I think I am going to print this out and carry it with me next time I have to ask," the first post said.
The posts identified the turtle as a Kemp's ridley turtle, which are the smallest species of sea turtle, according to the Miami Herald, and also the most endangered, according to the World Wildlife Fund.
They typically nest in Texas and Mexico but have been found in the Gulf, WPMI reported.
Kemp's ridley sea turtles have been listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) as endangered species since 1970, and the greatest threat to the species is human activity, according to the Miami Daily Herald.
"We did it, turtles will not encounter chairs if it were not for us," Dauphin Island resident and Share the Beach volunteer Richard Brewer told Fox10 News. "Heartbreaking. Truly heartbreaking."
Brewer said that he had a pile of nets, ropes and refrigerator tanks in his yard that he and his daughter had collected from beaches on Dauphin Island this season.
"We had great news this morning, we believe that we have the first Kemp's ridley nest ever found on Dauphin Island, to find out that we had a mature female Kemp's that just died because of something that could have been prevented is tragic," Brewer told Fox10 News.
Matt Ware, a Ph.D. student and marine ecologist who posted the second set of photos of the turtle, said the turtle was found during salvaging activities permitted by U.S. FWS.
Ware told WPMI that he was not sure how long the turtle had been dead, but it could have suffered for days.
"The chair had some growth on it and the turtle was showing signs of decomposition, though not extensive," he said in a comment on the original post reported by the Miami Herald. "It's late in the season for these guys to be nesting, so either she's been carrying it around awhile or she picked it up in the water."
Ware told WPMI that beachgoers should take everything back with them when they leave the beach, even if they plan to return the next day.
"We aren't the only animals who enjoy the beach," Ware said.
For Baby Sea Turtles, Beaches Become Safer While Ocean Hazards Mount https://t.co/yMiutviWN4 @CenterForBioDiv @SeaTurtles_org @turtlenews— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1524708026.0
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By Katherine Kornei
Clear-cutting a forest is relatively easy—just pick a tree and start chopping. But there are benefits to more sophisticated forest management. One technique—which involves repeatedly harvesting smaller trees every 30 or so years but leaving an upper story of larger trees for longer periods (60, 90, or 120 years)—ensures a steady supply of both firewood and construction timber.
A Pattern in the Rings<p>The <a href="https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/coppice-standards-0" target="_blank">coppice-with-standards</a> management practice produces a two-story forest, said <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Bernhard_Muigg" target="_blank">Bernhard Muigg</a>, a dendrochronologist at the University of Freiburg in Germany. "You have an upper story of single trees that are allowed to grow for several understory generations."</p><p>That arrangement imprints a characteristic tree ring pattern in a forest's upper story trees (the "standards"): thick rings indicative of heavy growth, which show up at regular intervals as the surrounding smaller trees are cut down. "The trees are growing faster," said Muigg. "You can really see it with your naked eye."</p><p>Muigg and his collaborators characterized that <a href="https://ltrr.arizona.edu/about/treerings" target="_blank">dendrochronological pattern</a> in 161 oak trees growing in central Germany, one of the few remaining sites in Europe with actively managed coppice-with-standards forests. They found up to nine cycles of heavy growth in the trees, the oldest of which was planted in 1761. The researchers then turned to a historical data set — more than 2,000 oak <a href="https://eos.org/articles/podcast-discovering-europes-history-through-its-timbers" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">timbers from buildings and archaeological sites</a> in Germany and France dating from between 300 and 2015 — to look for a similar pattern.</p>
A Gap of 500 Years<p>The team found wood with the characteristic coppice-with-standards tree ring pattern dating to as early as the 6th century. That was a surprise, Muigg and his colleagues concluded, because the first mention of this forest management practice in historical documents occurred only roughly 500 years later, in the 13th century.</p><p>It's probable that forest management practices were not well documented prior to the High Middle Ages (1000–1250), the researchers suggested. "Forests are mainly mentioned in the context of royal hunting interests or donations," said Muigg. Dendrochronological studies are particularly important because they can reveal information not captured by a sparse historical record, he added.</p><p>These results were <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-78933-8" target="_blank">published in December in <em>Scientific Reports</em></a>.</p><p>"It's nice to see the longevity and the history of coppice-with-standards," said <a href="https://www.teagasc.ie/contact/staff-directory/s/ian-short/" target="_blank">Ian Short</a>, a forestry researcher at Teagasc, the Agriculture and Food Development Authority in Ireland, not involved in the research. This technique is valuable because it promotes conservation and habitat biodiversity, Short said. "In the next 10 or 20 years, I think we'll see more coppice-with-standards coming back into production."</p><p>In the future, Muigg and his collaborators hope to analyze a larger sample of historic timbers to trace how the coppice-with-standards practice spread throughout Europe. It will be interesting to understand where this technique originated and how it propagated, said Muigg, and there are plenty of old pieces of wood waiting to be analyzed. "There [are] tons of dendrochronological data."</p><p><em><a href="mailto:email@example.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Katherine Kornei</a> is a freelance science journalist covering Earth and space science. Her bylines frequently appear in Eos, Science, and The New York Times. Katherine holds a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of California, Los Angeles.</em></p><p><em>This story originally appeared in <a href="https://eos.org/articles/tree-rings-reveal-how-ancient-forests-were-managed" target="_blank">Eos</a></em> <em>and is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.</em></p>
Earth's ice is melting 57 percent faster than in the 1990s and the world has lost more than 28 trillion tons of ice since 1994, research published Monday in The Cryosphere shows.
By Jewel Fraser
Noreen Nunez lives in a middle-class neighborhood that rises up a hillside in Trinidad's Tunapuna-Piarco region.