Project Title: The genetic identity and global significance of juvenile loggerhead turtles in the Indian River Lagoon
Project Manager: Dr. Christopher L. Parkinson
Organization: University of Central Florida (Research and Educational Institute)
Grant Amount: $15,050.00
Completion Date: 2004-07-26
Summary: The goal of the research is to determine the genetic makeup, diversity, and significance, on a global scale, of the juvenile loggerhead sea turtle population in the Indian River Lagoon. Ecological studies indicate that this diverse estuarine ecosystem is critical foraging habitat for juvenile sea turtles, where they spend the 10-12 years prior to adulthood.
Results: The Indian River Lagoon (IRL) juvenile loggerhead population is genetically diverse, with contributions from genetically diverse, with contributions from nesting beaches in the Southeastern US, nesting beaches in the Southeastern US, Mexico, and the Mediterranean. The distance from the nesting beach to the IRL is not a factor in juvenile recruitment. Our model indicates that juveniles, regardless of nesting origin, are equally regardless of nesting origin, are equally drawn to the IRL. (Authors: J. Reese (pictured), L. Ehrhart and C. Parkinson)