Biologists Plan Massive Transfer of Turtle Eggs
"This plan is painful to everyone," U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service spokeswoman Bonnie Strawser, told told Alabama's Press-Register. "We don't think it's a perfect plan, but it's better than losing 100 percent of them."
The plan carries "definite, but unquantifiable risks," according to the Wildlife Service. But in the aftermath of the oil washing up against the Gulf of Mexico shore following the Deepwater current situation in the Gulf, the report said that "extraordinary measures" were needed "to prevent the loss of the entire 2010 cohort of hatchlings produced on Northern Gulf beaches."
It added that these steps were not going to be repeated "elsewhere or in future years in this area."
Turtles in Peril by BP Spill
"In developing this plan we realized early that our expectations for success must be rooted in the knowledge that doing nothing would most likely result in the loss of most, if not all, of this year's northern Gulf of Mexico hatchling cohort," it noted.
Most of the nearly 800 nests were laid by loggerhead turtles, though it also includes ridley, green, and leatherback turtles.
But this promises to be a delicate operation. After digging up the eggs with hand shovels, biologists will transfer them by hand to Styrofoam containers the report says will have to be "are soaked, washed with water, allowed to completely dry, and drilled with appropriate air circulation holes before eggs are placed in them."
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