Sea Turtle Tagging

Satellite Tagging Juvenile Atlantic Green Turtles

Florida’s nesting beaches and coastal and estuarine waters are critical habitat for multiple life stages of federally listed threatened and endangered species of Atlantic marine turtles.  A core understanding of the population dynamics and seasonal distributions of these animals is essential in assessing steps to recovery of listed marine turtle species, yet little is known about the early life stage migratory patterns of these turtles and their usage of the estuarine and nearshore habitats of northeast Florida.  Eaton et al. (2008) analyzed active and inactive marine turtle in-water projects for the waters of Florida.  Eleven specific areas were identified within the state where no in-water studies had been conducted, but where marine turtles were likely to exist based on habitat, stranding information or reported sightings of turtles.  One of the 11 sites identified as a geographical data gap was the northeast Florida inland water and estuarine system. This project aims to gain further insight into the habitat utilization and pathways of neritic-stage turtles in this area.