Public Aid to Help Assess Nesting Sea Turtle Populations in Florida

by Barbara A. Hoffman, Florida Dep of Natural Resources, St. Petersburg, FL, USA,
Walter J. Conley, Florida Dep of Natural Resources, St. Petersburg, FL, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '87


In 1979, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) initiated a public statewide assessment project by establishing a network of survey volunteers. This network consists of state and federal park personnel, city employees, lifeguards, conservation groups, university students, and members of the general public. First, a DNR employee or volunteer conducts educational seminars in which potential beach surveyors learn to differentiate species by their tracks and the proper methods of protecting nests. Because turtles sometimes 'false crawl,' surveyors must also be able to determine if a nest was actually deposited. Beach surveyors then receive state permits allowing them to conduct the surveys and nest protection methods. Each permit holder has the option to coordinate the activities of up to 25 additional volunteers.

Subject Headings: Wildlife | Population projection | Volunteerism | Surveying methods | Surveys (non-geomatic) | Employees | Training | Beach protection and nourishment | Florida | United States

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