The GSTC has another new patient! Nikon the Contender, a juvenile green sea turtle, was found in Crooked River, near Cumberland Island, GA on March 29, 2008.
Some recreational fishermen saw something bobbing around in the water and went over for a closer look. They found the little 6 pound turtle swimming around unable to dive and called DNR. Mark Dodd went out picked him up and brought him to the GSTC.
During the drive over, Nikon was “buffaloing” his way around the tank and Mark deemed him a contender upon arrival. Education intern Amy was the lucky staff member picked to give him the rest of his name and we now have our first turtle with a title!
Nikon had an abnormal epibiota load and was a little lethargic in addition to his floating. Some initial bloodwork was done and radiographs were taken. Radiographs revealed air trapped in the coelomic cavity as well as a possible fecal blockage. Dr. Norton was able to remove 260ml of air from Nikon’s coelomic cavity. He is currently in fresh water to help remove the algae and barnacles, recieving antibiotics and Cisapride to help his GI tract. He is also getting regular shell cleanings and is eating on his own. Dr. Norton will continue to get him stabilized and then move forward with further diagnostics.
Looking for an expert on water and the importance of water conservation? Ask any member of Georgia’s fourth grade classrooms from the Lower Savannah and Ogeechee River Basins! On Wednesday, March 19, 2008, selected 4th grade classes attended the 2008 Children’s Water Festival (http://www.winningwater.org) hosted at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia. The purpose of the festival is to educate students about ground, drinking, and surface water (watersheds) and water quality in a fun hands-on atmosphere.
Senior Educator Alicia Marin attended the event and presented an activity she created for her Master’s Project, “Garbage in the Water.” Through role play, students simulated how humans contribute to pollution of the marine environment. Although these students live far from the beach (about two and a half hours away), we discussed how their behavior may impact animals that live in the ocean.
Each student was given a piece of trash commonly found on the beach. One by one the students presented their item to their classmates, and discussed how it could have ended up in the ocean and what harm it could cause to the animals that live there. And then, they had to pollute the “Ocean” by throwing in their item! By the end of the activity, we had an “Ocean” that no one wanted to swim in, and quickly discussed how we could remedy and even have prevented this situation from happening in the first place. This activity demonstrates that just as humans may contribute to the problem of marine debris, we can also be part of the solution. “Garbage in the Water” will be featured as one April’s daily programs offered at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center.
Winning Water proved to be an interactive day of learning and 100 students “adopted” their own rubber sea turtles to take home that day. The Georgia Sea Turtle Center was grateful to have been apart of this enlightening event and we look forward to participating next year in 2009, when Winning Water visits the coast in Brunswick,Georgia.
It’s almost that time of year again, time for the diamondback terrapins to begin nesting! Last year over 300 females were hit by cars during the nesting season (May-July). The Georgia Sea Turtle Center terrapin monitoring project will begin once again in May. We will be surveying the causeway 3 times a day and are in need of volunteers to help survey during the afternoon. In order to gather more random data the time each afternoon will vary, and you must provide your own vehicle for surveying.
All current volunteers that are interested about this program are invited to an interest meeting (for the Terrapin Surveying Project only) on Tuesday, April 1 at 7:00 p.m. The interest meeting is intended to describe the requirements and goals of the project.
If you have any questions feel free to contact Sarah Mathias at 912-635-4076 or Michelle Kaylor at 912-635-4070.
DESIGN THE COVER FOR OUR COLORING AND ACTIVITY BOOK!
The Georgia Sea Turtle Center is creating their very own coloring and activity book! We want to make this book personal and unique to our center and what better way to do that than to ask young sea turtle enthusiasts to design the cover!
Requirements: -ages 13 and under -must fit on an 8 X11 sheet of paper -cover can portray any aspect of the Georgia Sea Turtle Center (i.e. our hospital, sea turtle conservation, education, nesting, etc. ) Be creative! -please include name, age, address, phone number, email (if you have one) and school -design must be submitted by April 30th, 2008
-mail it to: Georgia Sea Turtle Center Attn: Maura Larson 214 Stable Rd. Jekyll Island, GA 31527
This past Saturday, Easter came to Jekyll Island with an outdoor event sponsored by the Jekyll Island Authority! Of course the GSTC participated in the Spring event with a table of super-cool specimens for festival-goers to see. And what would a festival be without a recycled craft?! The education team craftily designed ‘turtle wobbles,’ a cardboard cut out turtle that children could decorate with epibiota stickers, including crabs, anemones & barnacles. Once stuck atop a plastic Easter egg, the turtles came to life and swam home with children of all ages.
That same afternoon, the GSTC made its second stage debut with a riveting performance filled with suspense, action and a heart-warming rescue. How lucky we were to have a sea turtle veterinarian right in our own audience! Check out the video clip of this emergency sea turtle rescue.