Field Photos

All photographs and videos on this page and throughout this site were taken during activities permitted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and/or other comparable state or federal agency under conditions not detrimental to these animals. Please do not attempt to recreate the contents of these images without appropriate training and authorization.

Photographs and videos with the Florida Sea Turtle License Plate logo were funded in whole or in part by a grant awarded from the Sea Turtle Grants Program. The Sea Turtle Grants Program is funded from proceeds from the sale of the Florida Sea Turtle License Plate. Learn more at http://www.helpingseaturtles.org.

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2020

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The stare-down! Who will blink first?
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Back out looking for boats and sea turtles in the St. Lucie Inlet with the Inwater Research Group! If you see us, give us a wave!
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FSU MTRECG about to drop the hottest album of the year! Anyone got any good sea shanties while out looking for sea turtles? 
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FSU MTRECG wishes you a “Happy Birthday!” but please do not release your balloons. They can lead to serious injury or death for many marine animals!

2019

Crystal River with green sea turtle
Members of the FSU MTRECG were out conducting sea turtle populations surveys in November 2019. It was a quieter trip than normal!
Camille release green sea turtle
FSU MTRECG undergraduate Camille releases a juvenile green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) after a work-up in Crystal River, Florida.
Green sea turtle juvenile
The Crystal River area in west-central Florida is an important nursery and feeding ground for juvenile green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas). Most the turtles we catch of this species are between 30-50cm curved carapace length. Unfortunately, fibropapilloma is common in these turtles and can be debilitating (note the tumors around the left eye and shoulder as well as under the right flipper).
Loggerhead sea turtle boat strike
It is absolutely crucial that boaters are aware of their surroundings when out on the water. During fieldwork in Crystal River, Florida, USA, members of FSU MTRECG recovered this loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) that had recently been struck by the propeller of an outboard engine. The turtle was taken to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium for veterinary care but, unfortunately, it did not survive the night.
St Lucie boat survey
The FSU MTRECG has been conducting in-water vessel surveys in the St. Lucie Inlet area to identify potential hot-spots for sea turtle-boat interactions in an attempt to reduce incidents of boat strike.
St Lucie vessel survey
Following up the boater social surveys, the FSU MTRECG is spending the next 6 months conducting vessel and sea turtle spatial surveys in the St. Lucie Inlet and nearby waterways to identify critical areas for conservation actions.
Green sea turtle stars
For 2 weeks each summer at the peak of the nesting season, the FSU MTRECG conducts nighttime nesting surveys on St. George Island, Florida, USA. These surveys help us determine the number of nesting females, patterns in nest site selection, and other critical conservation parameters.
Alexa with nesting green sea turtle
FSU MTRECG M.Sc. student Alexa observes a nesting green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) on St. George Island, Florida. Our work focuses on loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) nesting but the island does see several green turtle nests each year! This photograph was taken under red light and converted to black-and-white in post-processing.
Green sea turtle laying eggs
A female green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) lays dozens of eggs in each nest and can nest multiple times per season. This photograph was taken under red light and converted to black-and-white in post-processing.
St Lucie boater survey
During Spring 2019, the FSU MTRECG conducted surveys with boaters in the St. Lucie Inlet and nearby waterways (Florida, USA) to evaluate their use of the waterways and opinions on potential conservation actions to reduce sea turtle-vessel interactions.
Kemps ridley sea turtle juvenile
FSU MTRECG M.Sc. student Tayla Lovemore works up an endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii) in Crystal River, Florida, USA.

2018

Alligator Point 50
FSU Marine Turtle Research, Ecology, and Conservation Group labmates Hector Barrios-Garrido and Kelly Soluri collecting sand samples from Alligator Point, Florida, as part of a global survey of microplastic pollution at sea turtle nesting beaches in collaboration with the University of Exeter.
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A Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii) hatchling en route to the water after hatching on the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge in Fort Morgan, Alabama.

 

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A female loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) completed nesting on the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge in Fort Morgan, Alabama and is returning to the water.
Teamwork
FSU Marine Turtle Research, Ecology, and Conservation Group members and visiting researchers collect epibionts off the carapace of a loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) on St. George Island, Florida to identify unique meiofaunal communities and inform turtle movement ecology. This photograph was taken under red light.

 

2017

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Volunteers from Share the Beach look over loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) hatchlings in Fort Morgan, Alabama.
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A loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) hatchling emerging at night from a nest in Fort Morgan, Alabama. This photograph was taken under infrared light.
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A nesting female loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) in Fort Morgan, Alabama. This photograph was taken under red light.
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A loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) nest at sunrise on the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge in Fort Morgan, Alabama.
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It’s not always about sea turtles. The Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge in Fort Morgan, Alabama is a key stop for several migratory birds including these royal terns (Thalasseus maximus).
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Collecting body dimensions on a captured loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) in Crystal River, Florida. Photo credit: FSU Marine Turtle Research, Ecology, and Conservation Group.

2016

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Nest excavations are essential tools in determining productivity. Three days after the nest hatches, the clutch is dug up to count the number of hatched eggs, open unhatched eggs to determine embryonic development, and collect other useful data.
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A Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii) hatchling reaches the Gulf of Mexico to begin a life at sea … if he/she can get through the bubble first!
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Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) hatchlings boil out of their nest at night in Fort Morgan, Alabama. The screen across the nest is to deter mammalian predation. The wires are spaced far enough apart to allow the hatchlings to get out on their own. This photograph was taken under red light.
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Sitting out at a nest at night to see a nest hatch can be a very rewarding experience … though it can require a great deal of patience! This photograph was taken under red light.
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Daytime hatch-outs, like this Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii) nest, can attract a lot of attention. If you get a chance to witness hatchlings leaving a nest and head for the water, please give them plenty of space to maneuver.

 

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