The Marine Animal Rescue Team's Jeff Corwin Experience!

Melissa, Jeff and Adam drawing blood on Bandelier.

Yesterday we had a special visit from Jeff Corwin. He came by to take a look at our turtles and hang out for a small while at the aquarium. Jeff has recently finished filming a new documentary for MSNBC, airing on November 22, and he has just had a new book published called 100 Heartbeats: The Race to Save Earth's Most Endangered Species, which tells of the plight of many of the world's most endangered species.

His visit to our Kemp's ridley sea turtle named Bandelier makes perfect sense since Kemp's ridleys are critically endangered and their habitat could easily be decimated by human encroachment and/or global warming. It was very interesting to hear Jeff talk about his experience with hawksbill sea turtles in Indonesia. The tiny population of about 800 hawksbill sea turtles that remain in those waters are illegally hunted for their meat, eggs and shells.

Jeff was very interested in Bandelier's little stump-like rear flippers.

While we discussed the plight of Bandelier, it helped us to look at the bigger picture for the conservation of this and other species of sea turtles. As temperatures rise not only do we have to worry about nesting beaches being lost to rising sea water level but we also have to be concerned about the core nest temperature. The sex of a sea turtle is determined by the nest temperature. As temperatures rise so to will those core temperatures producing only female sea turtles. You can learn more about the effects of climate change on sea turtle populations on the Aquarium's climate change pages.

Sea turtle hatchlings heading to open ocean at Boavista Island (Photo: Daniel Cejudo).

Next Thursday, Bostonians will have an opportunity to meet Jeff Corwin at the New England Aquarium. Even if you can't make the lecture, you can stop by and get a copy of Jeff's new book signed.



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