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Sea Turtle Monitoring at GTM Research Reserve Quick Topics

GTM Research Reserve's beach habitats provide nesting sites for three listed species of sea turtles: the loggerhead (Caretta caretta), the leatherback (Dermochelys coriacia) and the green turtle (Chelonia mydas). Sea turtles use the sandy beach between the high tide line and the base of the dunes, with nesting occurring between May and October. Most of the nests are deposited by loggerhead sea turtles, but nests of the endangered green and leatherback sea turtles have also been documented. Nests are marked and, after hatching, are excavated for evaluation of hatching success and hatchling emergence. GTM Research Reserve is developing a GIS database to map nesting sites of sea turtles and other listed species.

There are two concurrent sea turtle nesting survey programs currently operating in Florida; the State Survey Nesting Beach and the Index Nesting Beach Programs. The goal of the Index Beach program is to assess trends and to compare beaches. The State Survey Nesting Beaches program maximizes temporal and geographic surveillance of nesting activities but the effort varies among years and among beaches.

More information on sea turtle monitoring at GTM Research Reserve is available in the GTM Research Reserve Management Plan (pdf - 19.0 MB) and  GTM Research Reserve Site Profile (pdf - 4.46 MB). All research-related inquiries at GTM Research Reserve should be directed to the Research Coordinator, Nikki Dix, at: Nikki.Dix@dep.state.fl.us.

Loggerhead hatchling

A loggerhead hatchling heads for the ocean

Sea turtle nest

A marked sea turtle nest

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Last updated: December 06, 2013

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