Monitoring Turtle Habitat

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Marine Protection Areas have been established in Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida, and Buck Island Reef National Monument (BIRNM), U.S. Virgin Islands, to protect natural and fisheries resources and associated coral reef habitats. BIRNM includes one of the most important nesting areas for endangered hawksbill and other turtles. Habitat use by endangered sea turtles is monitored by instrumenting turtles with both acoustic and satellite tags. This research aims to contribute to their protection by deciphering spatial and temporal habitat-use patterns. The USGS Along-Track Reef Imaging System produces high-resolution georeferenced underwater imagery to help characterize benthic cover in areas where turtles are concentrating or repeatedly visiting. This type of imagery has been previously lacking in sea turtle habitat use studies and is needed to support sea turtle population restoration and recovery efforts.

Author Name
Christine W. Fadeley
Author Email