Scientists are trying to understand why loggerhead sea turtles nesting in Florida's Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge have been declining since 2000. The turtles spend most of their time in the open ocean and return to Central Florida's beaches to nest each year. Since so much of their time is spent at see, scientists hope to find out more about where the loggerheads go and what they eat during the non-breading season.
University of Central Florida graduate student Simona Ceriani has been tracking loggerheads by linking chemical signatures in the turtles' diets to the waters they feed in. She has tracked loggerheas to the waters offshore of Virginia and Deleware as well as the Bahamas and the Gulf of Mexico. Some turtles even remain in the waters just off of Central Florida's coast.
Knowledge of the loggerhead's migration patterns and destinations will enable conservationists to better protect these endangered turtles.
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