Outdoor Resorts - Part G - Sea Turtle Identification

"The Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge stretches 20.5 miles south
from Melbourne Beach to Wabasso Beach along Florida's east coast."

"The refuge was designated to protect habitat for what is the most significant area for loggerhead sea turtle nesting in the Western Hemisphere, and the most significant area for green turtle nesting in North America.
This represents 25-35% of all loggerhead and green sea turtle nests in the US. It also serves as a minor nesting area for the leatherback turtle, which is one of the world's largest and rarest sea turtles. The long stretches of quiet, undisturbed sandy beaches, with little or no artificial light, are essential to the reproductive success and survival of the 15,000 to 20,000 sea turtles nesting annually."
The above taken from the Archie Carr Website.

The beaches of Archie Carr are patrolled all night long by volunteers on ATVs with red lights. They search out and record/log the turtle tracks in the sand, the turtle nests, and the location. There are also teams from Florida Institute of Technology who search for nesting turtles. They record nest location, the turtle’s physical size, tag the right front flipper, and take a very small skin sample for DNA. The physical size includes, measuring using a large caliper, the length and width of the shell and the width of the head. Sometimes they will lay behind the turtle and count the number of eggs dropping into the nest. This is all done using a red light which the turtles cannot see. The measurements are made after the turtle is getting ready to leave the nest so it does not disturb
the egg laying process. We monitored teams making measurements many times while walking the beach at night and looking for nests using a red light.






Size comparsions for the three most common turtles nesting at Archie Carr.
Beaches are patrolled and data collected each day during nesting season.

Type of yearly data collected.

Yearly results for Archie Carr


Loggerhead

Green

Leatherback

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