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Sea Turtle Ecology and Population Dynamics

Five species of sea turtles are found in the Atlantic Ocean along the Northeast United States. Loggerheads are most common, followed by leatherback, green, Kemp's ridley, and rarely hawksbills.   The waters of the Greater Atlantic Region serve as important foraging and developmental areas for juvenile and adult sea turtles. As water temperatures warm in the spring, sea turtles begin to migrate northward, arriving in Virginia waters as early as April.  The migration is reversed in the fall as water temperatures cool.

The Sea Turtle Ecology and Population Dynamics Group at the NEFSC is tasked with in collecting information from sea turtles, analyzing data, and building statistical and simulation models to better understand the ecology of sea turtles in our region. Ultimately we seek to provide the science needed to support sound sea turtle management plans.

We partner closely with other organizations to accomplish shared goals.


Offshore Captures

A commercial scalloper, working as part of a collaborative project, captures a loggerhead sea turtle from a small inflatable boat.
Biological Sampling

A researcher reads the internal temperature of a loggerhead sea turtle.
Satellite Tracking

A map of satellite tracked loggerhead sea turtles
In-situ Observations

The view of a leatherback sea turtle's head, taken from an animal borne camera suction cupped to the turtle's carapace.
Behavior Analysis (coming soon)

A bar graph, without labels or numbers.
Population Dynamics

A line chart, without labels or numbers.
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