A juvenile green sea turtle rehabilitated at the Florida Keys-based Turtle Hospital was fitted with a satellite-tracking transmitter and released Friday to participate in an online race that follows the turtles’ long-distance migrations.
The Tour de Turtles, now in its 16th year, is organized annually by the Sea Turtle Conservancy. Starting August 1, the group will track a dozen sea turtles released from the beaches of Florida and several Caribbean islands.
“The Tour de Turtles raises awareness about sea turtles and the threats to their survival,” said Sea Turtle Conservancy senior research biologist Dr. Dan Evans. “We’re also learning about where they go, where they forage, and what the potential threats are in those areas.”
The young green sea turtle named Marcia, who was found floating in the Middle Keys in March, suffered from positive buoyancy disorder. Because of this condition, sea turtles are unable to dive down for food. Causes include internal infection, gastrointestinal tract obstruction and spinal or lung injury, sometimes due to boat strikes.
Turtle Hospital officials treated Marcia, who weighs about 50 pounds (23 kilograms), with broad-spectrum antibiotics, fluids, vitamins and a diet of vegetables and mixed seafood.
“It’s really important to protect turtles like Marcia,” said Turtle Hospital general manager Bette Zirkelbach. “This tracking and the information it brings to scientists through the Tour de Turtles will help this species survive.”
Green sea turtles are classified as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act.
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Citation: Rehabilitated sea turtle released in Florida Keys to participate in Tour de Turtles (2023, July 15) retrieved 15 July 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-07-sea-turtle-florida-keys- de.html
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