Special Delivery: Sea Turtle Eggs
Two weeks ago, FedEx received a call from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), asking if we might consider a delivery of unprecedented nature. Biologists at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) hatched a plan to move 70,000 sea turtle eggs from the Gulf Coast to the East Coast. This was quite an opportunity we had to consider.
Over the next 48 hours, our experts in transportation, logistics, and disaster response began in-depth conversations with the NFWF and the USFWS to understand this monumental effort. Given the nature of this translocation, we needed to understand a complex array of issues and verify we were applying our best technologies. In the end, FedEx Custom Critical had the best solution to meet the critical delivery times and needs with temperature-control, air-ride ground solutions. We also engaged many of our experienced handlers at FedEx Express who had expertise and experience with specialized animal shipments.
On July 1, NFWF announced that FedEx would support the translocation of approximately 70,000 sea turtle eggs. Teams at FedEx quickly mobilized, designing customized, cushioned pallets; organizing pick-up sites; and working out the transportation plan. FedEx has been in this role before, transporting some of the world’s most precious cargo, including pandas, penguins, dolphins, sea lions and more. However, this was an unprecedented shipment. Federal agencies coordinating this effort believed this would be the greatest amount of sea turtle eggs moved for rescue and relocation in the U.S.
According to NFWF and the USFWS, the option of leaving these turtle hatchlings on the Gulf Coast guarantees 100% mortality. We are honored to have been invited by the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation and their many partner agencies to make this special delivery. While our role is vital to this process, we join many volunteers, staff, organizations and government agencies who are working tirelessly to give these sea turtles the best hope for survival.
Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll use the FedEx Citizenship Blog to share stories from the field so that you can learn, along with us, why this shipment is vital to the survival of this endangered species that relies on the ocean ecosystem. You can also stay updated on this heroic effort by following @fedexcares on Twitter.