Grant: 09-038C
Project Title: Capacity Building of the Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Program of the Florida Aquarium Center for Conservation
Project Manager: Paul Anderson
Organization: The Florida Aquarium (Non-Profit Organization)
Grant Amount: $14,054.25
Completion Date: 2010-06-17

Summary: The Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Program of The Florida Aquarium Center for Conservation is a historically productive program in Florida, having successfully rehabilitated 41 of 44 animals since 1999. This project will involve the installation of a davit crane system with multiple attachment points throughout our rehabilitation facility to provide transportation of large sea turtles from tank to tank, as well as a digital hanging scale for record keeping and to provide weights for accurate dosing of medications. The project will also support the purchase of medications and veterinary supplies to continue to provide veterinary care for stranded sea turtles that require rehabilitation. Our efforts are a recognized component of sea turtle management plans proposed by the National Marine Fisheries Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Our services contribute to the reduction of natural and human-induced mortality among wild sea turtle populations.

Results: Over the course of the grant period, we have had 26 sea turtles for rehabilitative care: 22 C. mydas, 3 C. caretta, and 1 L. kempii. Of these, 26 sea turtles (22 C. mydas and 4 C. caretta) have been released, following rehabilitative care. We have purchased and installed a stainless steel davit crane and bases to install at strategic points throughout our rehabilitation facility for ease of lifting turtles from tank to tank. We have also purchased small and medium-sized stretchers for lifting and transporting turtles; these sizes complete our array of stretcher sizes available to us. Grant funds have also enabled us to purchase medications necessary for rehabilitative care.