Watch out for stranded turtles
A loggerhead hatchling found near Mandurah.

Beachgoers are being asked to keep an eye out for stranded juvenile sea turtles on metropolitan and south-west beaches.

Parks and Wildlife regional wildlife officer Cam Craigie said anyone who finds a turtle washed up on a beach should call Wildcare.

“These turtles are often very small loggerhead hatchlings, about 10cm in length, which have hatched in WA’s north and been brought south on the strong Leeuwin current,” Mr Craigie said.

Mr Craigie said the cold water temperatures of the southern winter oceans affect sea turtles’ metabolic rates.

“Lethargy sets in as the temperatures drop and ‘cold water stunning’ can leave the animals susceptible to bacteria and parasitic infections.

“Winter storms can lead to turtles being pushed ashore and becoming caught in seaweed or discarded rubbish.”

There are six species of marine turtles found in WA waters and all are protected.

If you find a sick, injured or stranded turtle call Wildcare on 9474 9055.

Parks and Wildlife is also interested in hearing about dead turtles that wash up as these can also provide valuable information to researchers.

The West Australian

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