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Consequences Of Drift And Carcass Decomposition For Estimating Sea Turtle Mortality Hotspots, Bianca Santos, David M. Kaplan, Marjorie A.M. Friedrichs, Susan G. Barco, Katherine L. Mansfield, James P. Manning Jan 2018

Consequences Of Drift And Carcass Decomposition For Estimating Sea Turtle Mortality Hotspots, Bianca Santos, David M. Kaplan, Marjorie A.M. Friedrichs, Susan G. Barco, Katherine L. Mansfield, James P. Manning

VIMS Articles

Sea turtle strandings provide important mortality information, yet knowledge of turtle carcass at-sea drift and decomposition characteristics are needed to better understand and manage where these mortalities occur. We used empirical sea turtle carcass decomposition and drift experiments in the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia, USA to estimate probable carcass oceanic drift times and quantify the impact of direct wind forcing on carcass drift. Based on the time period during which free-floating turtle carcasses tethered nearshore were buoyant, we determined that oceanic drift duration of turtle carcasses was highly dependent on water temperature and varied from 2 to 15 days during typical ...