A project of Florida Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit in conjunction with the partners and sponsors detailed below.
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In October of 2004, satellite transmitters were deployed on three juvenile green turtles from St. Joseph Bay, Florida. These turtles ranged from 36 cm to 42 cm straight carapace length. This study is our second satellite tracking experiment with juvenile green turtles in St. Joseph Bay, Florida. We are continuing our research into understanding the overwintering strategies utilized by juvenile sea turtles in temperate developmental grounds. In the past, we have tracked cold-stunned juvenile greens which were unable to dive, and required rehabilitation prior to release. These turtles were released not in St. Joseph Bay, their area of stranding, but instead to the warmer waters of the Gulf of Mexico, south of St. Joseph Bay. This year, in 2004, we are tracking three juvenile green turtles that were captured in what appeared to be good health. These turtles were released directly into St. Joseph Bay and it is our hope to document their movements and behavior as water temperatures drop during the winter months. It is believed that these turtles may either exit St. Joseph Bay and move to warmer waters, or instead overwinter in St. Joseph Bay and risk being cold stunned.
This project is conducted by the Florida Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit at the University of Florida. Assistance has been provided by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Research Institute, University of Central Florida Marine Turtle Research Group, as well as the Southwest Fisheries Science Center of the National Marine Fisheries Service.
Financial support has been provided by the Florida Marine Turtle Grant, Project AWARE Foundation, the Natural Resources Division of Eglin Air Force Base. Special thanks to BAE Personnel at Site D3 on Cape San Blas and the folks at St. Joseph Bay Buffer Preserve!