Grant: 03-R01R
Project Title: Determining Essential Habitat for the Kemp's Ridley Turtle in the Ten Thousand Islands, Florida
Project Manager: Dr. Jeffrey R. Schmid
Organization: The Conservancy of Southwest Florida (Non-Profit Organization)
Grant Amount: $30,910.00
Completion Date: 2004-09-01

Summary: The purpose of the study is to provide estimates of the availability of habitat and the use of habitat by Kemps ridley turtles in the coastal waters of the Ten Thousand Islands, Florida, and to test the hypothesis that turtles are exhibiting habitat preference by using particular habitat types at a greater proportion than their availability.

Results: Data was entered to create GIS habitat and substrate databases. Habitat availability and use were quantified by overlaying the turtle home range and location telemetry data (Kemp's ridley with telemetry equipment attached pictured at right) on different combinations of substrates and floral/faunal habitat layers. Sand, half with high mud proportions, was the dominate substrate available within the study area, while tube-building polychaetes were the dominate biological assemblage. Kemp's ridley turtles in the Ten Thousand Islands were primarily using areas of sand substrate with polychaete worm tubes and live bottom organisms. (Author: J. Schmid)