- India Sees Sudden Rise in Sea Turtle Deaths
- Russian Divers Reach Bottom of Lake Labynkyr
- Large Dolphin Stranding Diverted in Australia
Indian volunteers of the Students Sea Turtle Conservation Network (SSTCN) and the Trust for Environment Education (TREE) Foundation were stunned to record a total of 239 dead sea turtles along the 83-mile Chennai coast from Napier Bridge to Marakkanam between the end of December 2012 and January 31, 2013. A representative of the SSTCN said volunteers have recorded at least 5 dead sea turtles along the stretch of coastline in the last month, with one night topping out at 14. The volunteers have notified the Chief Wildlife Warden, who promised to bring the issue to the attention of the Fisheries and Environment Department. Two potential culprits of the increased deaths are fishermen’s use of gill nets, which entangle the turtles, causing them to drown, and the use of high mast lights along the shore that are supposed to be switched off during the turtle nesting season that runs December through March. Sea turtles in India are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act — the same as lions, tigers, and leopards — and the penalties for killing any of these animals are severe. However, a lack of awareness about the inadvertent killers of sea turtles has left them behind in importance.
In an incredible feat of human tenacity, Russian researchers have managed to reach the bottom of Lake Labynkyr, located in one of the coldest places on Earth, where it is not unusual for temperatures to dip lower than -70C. The dive to the bottom had previously only been made by remote-controlled robots, but on this occasion, members of the Russian Geographical Society were able to complete the dive for the first time with surface air temperatures at a balmy -45C, and water temperatures of -2C. Although there has been suspicion of the lake harboring its own cryptozoological creature, similar to that of Scotland’s Loch Ness, the divers found no evidence of such an animal as they collected samples of water, flora, and fauna from the bottom of the frigid lake.
A juvenile dolphin that strayed into shallow waters ended up saving a pod of 150 dolphins from stranding off the coast of Western Australia. The pod had been edging into shallower waters in response to a juvenile’s distress call, an action that would have put them all at risk of stranding as they went in to rescue the young dolphin. Wildlife officials were on the scene and managed to catch the juvenile and relocate it into deeper waters, where its distress signals then called the pod away from the shore. A spotter plane observed the pod moving toward deeper water after the relocation and all of them swimming out to sea together. Aww.