Capstone Title

Analysis of Offshore Sea Turtle Occurence and Habitat Structure with Comparison to Onshore Nesting Data from Brevard and Indian River Counties

Defense Date

2001

Document Type

Capstone

Degree Name

M.S. Marine Biology

First Advisor

Curtis Burney

Second Advisor

Edward Keith

Abstract

The purpose of this work was to assess some offshore habitats along the central Florida coast for their importance to the survival of sea turtles. I also examined the specific sea turtle species present within the study area, the number of turtles present, and their levels of maturity (adult or juvenile). Recent nest hatching information from Indian River and Brevard Counties was analyzed, allowing comparison of offshore populations and habitats to the onshore nesting data. Additionally, nesting data from these counties were compared with that of Broward County for the corresponding years. Another purpose of this paper is to assess these habitats from the sea turtles perspective before another possible renourishment project commences. Oceanfront property has not only become more valuable to humans but to sea turtles as well. Human residents of these counties would not want to lose their homes to the ocean and neither should sea turtles lose their ocean to these homes.

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