What is Cold-Stunning?
What is cold stunning?
The term “cold stunning” refers to the hypothermic reaction that occurs when sea turtles are exposed to prolonged cold water temperatures. Initial symptoms include a decreased heart rate, decreased circulation, and lethargy, followed by shock, pneumonia and possibly death.
Why are sea turtles affected by cold stunning?
Sea turtles are cold-blooded reptiles that depend on external sources of heat to determine their body temperature. Therefore, in cold water they do not have the ability to warm themselves, and must instead migrate to warmer waters.
(Source: National Oceanic and Atmospherics Administration)
How is Cold-Stunning Treated?
Sea turtles are found by volunteers and concerned citizens are are brought inside to warm up
Sea turtles are transported to our facility where they're inspected and their temperature and weight is recorded.
Turtles are placed into water to recover a healthy body temperature and regain survival skills.
Upon recovery, each sea turtle is released back into their natural habitat!
Sea Turtle Rescue In Action
How You Can Help
There’s several ways you can help us save sea turtles
As a nonprofit institution, we rely on donations from the public to operate. Your donation will go directly towards rescue, rehabilating, and whenever possible, release sea turtles and other wildlife back into their natural habitat.
Report a Stranded or Cold-Stunned Sea Turtle
Keep an eye on out the beaches for sea turtles that need help. If you find one, don’t touch it, but call:
- 361-949-8173 ext. 226 (North Padre Island or in the upper Laguna Madre area)
- 1-866-TURTLE-5 (Other areas)
Help Keep Our Beaches Clean
Sea turtles also face a number of threats besides cold-stunning, including entanglement in fishing line and plastic waste. Here’s a few ways you can help keep plastic out of the ocean and from harming sea turtles.
- Use reusable shopping bags when you grocery shop instead of plastic bags
- Properly dispose of monofilament line and other fishing gear when you go fishing
- When you go to the beach, pick up your trash and encourage others to do the same