Authors

Sarah Rivard

Document Type

Internship Report

Publication Date

Spring 2015

Abstract

Sea turtle strandings are often associated with anthropogenic impacts. This study aims to quantify those impacts and observe any trends in overall sea turtle strandings within the Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network (STSSN) zone 25 from 1980-2013. This study focuses on six main questions: 1) Are overall stranding events increasing over time?, 2) Is there seasonality to strandings?, 3) Are there significant differences in size and species distributions over time?, 4) Are there significant changes in the documentation of fishing gear/marine debris over time?, 5) Are there significant changes in the documentation of boat interactions over time?, and 6) Are reports of fibropapillomatosis increasing? A total of 1,747 stranded turtles were reported during the 1980-2013 time period for zone 25. The overall number of strandings was found to have significantly increased in the past but stabilized in recent years. A non-significant but visible trend in monthly strandings was also apparent in the data. No prominent changes in sea turtle size or species were found. No trends in fishing gear or marine debris were found. Boat interactions greatly increased from 1980-2004 but began to show a decrease in more recent years. Reports of fibropapillomas remained relatively constant over the time period starting around 1996. In conclusion, statistical tests on a larger data set are needed to determine if these trends hold true for the entire state of Florida.

Comments

Department: MBE

MPS Track: TME

Location: NOAA SEFSC ( Miami, FL )

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