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Reducing stress in endangered sea turtles during rehabilitation

Every year, hundreds of endangered sea turtles are stranded on beaches due to oil spills, cold-stunning, entanglement and vessel strikes. Rescue organizations often transport these turtles long distances to and from care facilities and release sites. While any stress can have significant impacts on animal health, the effects of transport stress have not been well studied in sea turtles. Researchers will investigate if stress in loggerhead and Kemp’s ridley sea turtles can be minimized by the use of shorter transport times and by providing an overnight post-transport recovery period in a saltwater tank at the release sites. Data will be used to improve health recovery plans and help inform best practices for transport methods for sea turtles globally. 

Principal Investigator: Kathleen E Hunt, PhD, Northern Arizona University

Sponsor: 

Study ID: D16ZO-034