| The growth and movements of captive-reared Kemp's ridley sea turtles, Lepidochelys Kempi, following their release in the Gulf of Mexico - :5590 | National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
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The growth and movements of captive-reared Kemp's ridley sea turtles, Lepidochelys Kempi, following their release in the Gulf of Mexico
  • Published Date:
    1984
Filetype[PDF - 1.52 MB]


Details:
  • Corporate Authors:
    Southeast Fisheries Center (U.S.), Galveston Laboratory. ; Southeast Fisheries Center (U.S.) ;
  • Description:
    As part of an international conservation program that is attempting to save the endangered Kemp's ridley sea turtle, Lepidochelys kemui, 2,026 captive-reared L. Kempi were tagged and released in the Gulf of Mexico in 1979. Fifty-four of these turtles have been recaptured. The diversity of means by which the recaptures were made indicated that many of the fishing and shrimping techniques used by man can result in the capture of this sea turtle. These recaptures have provided valuable data on the movements and the growth of young (8 to 28 months old) L. Kempi in the wild. Turtles released in Florida Bay were recaptured along the Atlantic coast of the United States, suggesting that the Gulf Stream played a major role in their dispersal. However, turtles released in calmer waters near Homosassa, Florida, moved in a variety of directions, indicating that immature animals weighing 0.5 to 1.0 kg may be capable of making a transition from a planktonic to a nektonic existence in relatively calm waters. Eighteen of the recaptured turtles were weighed and/or measured. These turtles exhibited average weight gains of 5.1 g/day and average carapace length gains of 0.024 cm/day. The recaptured turtles' growth and movements indicate that captive-reared L. kempi can adapt successfully to life in the wild.

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