Sea turtle abundance and demographic measurements in a marine protected area in the Florida Keys, USA

  • Published source details Herren R.M., Bagley D.A., Bresette M.J., Holloway-Adkin K.G., Clark D. & Witherington B.E. (2018) Sea turtle abundance and demographic measurements in a marine protected area in the Florida Keys, USA. Herpetological Conservation and Biology, 13, 224-239.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Protect habitat: Sea turtles

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Protect habitat: Sea turtles

    A site comparison study in 2003–2012 in shallow coastal and deeper water off the coast of Florida, USA (Herren et al. 2018) found that inside a protected area there were fewer green turtles Chelonia mydas, more loggerhead turtles Caretta caretta and similar numbers of hawksbill turtles Eretmochelys imbricata compared to outside of the protected area. Results were not statistically tested. Inside a protected area, 0.1–0.6 green turtles/km, 0.2–0.5 loggerhead turtles and 0.01–0.2 hawksbill turtles were encountered compared to 1.8 green turtles/km, 0.1 loggerhead turtles/km and 0.01 hawksbill turtles/km outside the protected area. Three sites (15–27 km2) were surveyed in shallow-water habitats (0.2–6 m depths) inside a protected area (a national marine sanctuary covering 835 m2 of open water and 8 km2 on land) and compared to a single unprotected site (36 km2) in deeper waters (3–6 m depths). Surveys were carried out during 27 boat trips in September 2003–September 2012 (139 total survey days) by driving haphazard, non-linear transects on a boat with several observers (129 km2 total area covered by surveys). Turtle sightings were recorded and where possible turtles were captured, individually-marked, weighed and measured.

    (Summarised by: Katie Sainsbury)

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