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Turtle talk 2014

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Sea Turtle Preservation Society's introduction to Sea Turtles

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Turtle talk 2014

  1. 1. The Sea Turtle Preservation Society Presents Turtle Talk
  2. 2. Sea Turtles are Reptiles and Florida is one of their Favorite Spots
  3. 3. What is “The Sea Turtle Preservation Society”? We are a not-for-profit all volunteer organization whose mission statement is “Helping Sea Turtles Survive.” We accomplish this through: • Education and public outreach programs: o Schools and civic groups o Exhibits at area events • Hands-on Permitted Fish and Wildlife Commission Activities o Turtle Walks o Salvage and Stranding Network o Nest Surveys • Partnership with Brevard Zoo to build the Brevard Sea Turtle Healing Center, a sea turtle medical facility in Brevard County
  4. 4. Education School Classrooms Local Organizations Environmental Fairs
  5. 5. Sea Turtle Walks Egg laying process is illuminated with a specific type of red light used by STPS – NO other lights are allowed. Conducting guided loggerhead sea turtle watches for visitors to our area during the months of June and July (Reservations start May 1st)
  6. 6. Sea Turtle Salvage and Stranding Network STERP (Sea Turtle Emergency Response Program) includes letter of authorization to participate in Washback Sea Turtle recovery. Caring for sick, injured or dead sea turtles in Brevard County
  7. 7. Nest Surveys Nesting Survey conducted daily throughout the summer nesting season.
  8. 8. Beach Cleanup and Turtle Krawl STPS has adopted Coconut Point Park as part of the Keep Brevard Beautiful Adopt a Shore project. Cleanup is 1st Saturday after the 1st Thursday of each month from 8-10am. Turtle Krawl race is in September and is the largest 5K race in Brevard County. TK is the major fund raiser for STPS Special Projects.
  9. 9. Laws That Protect Sea Turtles • Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973 – Leatherback - 1970 – Loggerhead and Green added July 28, 1978 Source NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources • CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) signed by 176 Nations to ensure international trade does not threaten survival of the species Source www.cites.org
  10. 10. Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge Sea Turtle Conservation • Established by Congress in 1989 to protect sea turtles and named after the ecologist Dr. Archie Carr, Jr. • 20.5 Miles between Melbourne Beach & Wabasso Beach. • Most significant area for Loggerhead nesting in Western Hemisphere, possibly now in the World. • Most significant area for Green nesting in North America. • Minor area for Leatherback nesting. Source: Sea Turtle Conservancy website
  11. 11. Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge Represents the Nation's most important initiative to protect the world's populations of marine turtles Source: Conserveturtles.org
  12. 12. Source: Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge SPECIES 2013 2012 2011 Loggerhead 13,155 *18,809 11,841 Green *12,846 3,419 6,023 Leatherback 49 51 *77 Kemps Ridley 2 0 0 Archie Carr NWR Sea Turtle Nest Update * Indicates record year
  13. 13. Source: fwc.com/research/wildlife/sea-turtles/nesting/statewide/ 2013 Florida Sea Turtle Nest Update Species Brevard County Statewide Loggerhead 24,630 77,970 Green 18,190 36,369 Leatherback 76 895 Kemps Ridley 2 4 Hawksbill 0 1
  14. 14. Sea Turtles
  15. 15. Sea Turtles General Information • They have been around for 150 million years • Archelon skeletons have been found in No & So Dakota Ne and Ks • The largest skeleton ever found was 16’ long and 13’ wide Archelon – ancestor to the modern day sea turtle
  16. 16. Adaptations to Marine Life • Air breathing – sea turtles must come to the surface to breathe • Modified feet and shells for swimming Tortoise – high domed shell with feet modified for walking
  17. 17. Relative Sizes of Species Found in Florida Waters
  18. 18. Kemps Ridley (Endangered) Sea Turtle Species Found in Florida Waters
  19. 19. Kemps Ridley •Adult Size - 24-28 inches (61-71 cm) •Adult Weight - 80-100 Lbs (36-45 Kg) •Diet - crustaceans & mollusks
  20. 20. Kemps Ridley (Endangered) Hawksbill (Endangered) Sea Turtle Species Found in Florida Waters
  21. 21. Hawksbill • Adult Size - 30-36 inches (76-91 cm) • Adult Weight - 100-150 lbs (45-68 Kg) • Diet - sponges
  22. 22. Loggerhead (Threatened) Kemps Ridley (Endangered) Hawksbill (Endangered) Sea Turtle Species Found in Florida Waters
  23. 23. Loggerhead • Adult Size - 32-41 in. (81-104 cm) • Adult Weight - 200-300 lbs (91-136 kg) • Diet - crustaceans & mollusks • Average 14,600 nests in ACNWR 2011-2013
  24. 24. Green (Endangered) Loggerhead (Threatened) Kemps Ridley (Endangered) Hawksbill (Endangered) Sea Turtle Species Found in Florida Waters
  25. 25. Green • Adult Size - 38-42 inches long (81-107 cm) • Adult Weight - 250-350 pounds (113-159 Kg) • Diet - marine grasses & algae • Average 7,400 nests in ACNWR 2011-2013
  26. 26. Green (Endangered) Leatherback (Endangered) Loggerhead (Threatened) Kemps Ridley (Endangered) Hawksbill (Endangered) Sea Turtle Species Found in Florida Waters
  27. 27. Leatherback • Adult Size - 6-8 feet long (1.8-2.4 M) • Adult Weight - 700-1800 pounds (318-816 Kg) • Diet – jellyfish
  28. 28. Life Cycle of a Sea Turtle Adult Juvenile Hatchling Egg
  29. 29. Mating Adults
  30. 30. Green Sea Turtle Body Pit
  31. 31. Eggs being deposited in the sand
  32. 32. Covering the Eggs
  33. 33. Covering and leaving the nest
  34. 34. Returning to the Sea
  35. 35. Turtle Tracks: Which Turtle Is It?
  36. 36. Loggerhead Sea Turtle Tracks: Alternating Flippers
  37. 37. Loggerhead Nest
  38. 38. Sea Turtle Tracks: Parallel Flippers and Tail Drag Green
  39. 39. Green Nest
  40. 40. Sea Turtle Tracks: Width of Tracks ~ 6’ across Leatherback
  41. 41. Leatherback Nest
  42. 42. Hatchlings emerge from the nest 45 to 70 days later, depending on species sand temperature and other factors Sex of hatchlings is determined approximately middle 3rd of incubation period depending on nest temperature 82ºF - males 88ºF - females or remember Hot Chicks And Cool Dudes
  43. 43. Emerging from the nest
  44. 44. Tiny Tracks from a Hatched Nest
  45. 45. Dash to the Sea
  46. 46. Hatchlings of Four Different Species Loggerhead Hawksbill Green Leatherback
  47. 47. Hatchlings Swim 20 miles to Safety and Food
  48. 48. Blend in with Sargassum Seaweed
  49. 49. Threats To Sea Turtles There are two main types of threats. (1) Natural Predators (2) Human Impacts •Global •Local
  50. 50. Raccoon predation of a turtle nest
  51. 51. Ants
  52. 52. Ghost Crabs
  53. 53. Sea gulls and other shore birds
  54. 54. Fish
  55. 55. Beach Erosion
  56. 56. Threats To Sea Turtles There are two main types of threats. (1) Natural Predators (2) Human Impact •Global •Local
  57. 57. Commercial Fisheries
  58. 58. Shrimp Trawler with TEDs
  59. 59. Turtle Excluder Device (TED) for shrimp trawling nets
  60. 60. Egg Poaching
  61. 61. Products made from Turtles Cosmetics Food Items
  62. 62. Sea Walls and Armoring
  63. 63. Beach Renourishment Man-made Artificial Nourishment Natural beach rebuilding and dune stabilization OR
  64. 64. Plastic
  65. 65. Fishing Line
  66. 66. Oil Spill
  67. 67. Fibropapillomatosis Some turtles with Fibropapillomatosis can be rehabilitated
  68. 68. Boat Strikes
  69. 69. Beach Activity – Disturbing Nesting Turtle
  70. 70. Beach Lighting Turtles need dark beaches. Hatchlings go toward brightest light. Reminder: Lights out May 1st – Oct 31st
  71. 71. Dogs on the Beach
  72. 72. Beach Obstructions: Items left on the Beach
  73. 73. Holes in the Beach
  74. 74. It’s a long journey and only 1 in 1000 survive to adulthood
  75. 75. Keep In Touch With STPS Our Website: http://seaturtlespacecoast.org On Facebook: https://facebook.com/SeaTurtlePreservationSociety
  76. 76. Photo Credits • Barbara Bergwerf • Rajiv Bhambri • Tammy Bolerjack • Carol Hansen • Dori Hughes • Alejandro Fallabrino • Fabio Picinato • Edward Rosack • Jay Wherley • Blair Witherington • Ann Zscheile

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