December 11, 2017

As the cold temperatures arrive on the Outer Banks of North Carolina and the water temperature gets down to the lower 50 degree mark, sea turtle cold stun season comes into play.

Dedicated NESTer Frank Welles, leader of the lower Outer Banks NEST sea turtle volunteers gathers his team to tread the shores of the Sound in search of cold stunned sea turtles. Frank’s team and NEST members of the upper beaches of the Outer Banks go through extensive cold stun/stranded sea turtle training given by Karen Clark of the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission at the Buxton sea turtle intake center.

Frank prepares to transfer a cold stunned green turtle for transport


Frank places the cold stunned green sea turtle in the NEST transport vehicle


After the initial determination of condition at the sea turtle intake center is made and the filling out of the sea turtle stranding report is done, the cold stunned sea turtle is transported to the Sea Turtle Assistance and Rehabilitation (STAR) center at the NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island.


STAR Intern Lane (left) assists Maddy for intake of cold stun green sea turtle


You can review the status of all the sea turtles currently being rehabilitated at the S.T.A.R. center by clicking here.

Should you find a cold stunned sea turtle (which may appear to be dead and there is no movement) or a dead/injured sea turtle, please call the 24/7 NEST hotline at 252-441-8622. If you find a sea turtle in any area at Cape Hatteras National Seashore managed by the National Park Service call the sighting in to the NPS at 252-216-6892.