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Dryad

Sea turtle relative abundance in nearshore waters adjacent to the Mississippi River delta, Gulf of Mexico, United States

Cite this dataset

Welsh, Ryan (2023). Sea turtle relative abundance in nearshore waters adjacent to the Mississippi River delta, Gulf of Mexico, United States [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.mkkwh713w

Abstract

We measured the relative abundance of sea turtles using standardized transect surveys conducted during the summer and fall of 2013 in neritic waters surrounding the Mississippi River delta in Louisiana, USA. Data comprise sea turtle locations, observation circumstances, and environmental covariates recorded at the beginning of each transect and at the time of each turtle observation. Turtles were recorded by species and size class, as well as location in the water column and the distance the turtle was from the transect line. Transects were performed on an 8.2-meter vessel with two observers atop a 4.5-meter elevated platform, with vessel speed standardized at ~15 km/hr. These data are the first to describe relative abundance of sea turtles observed from small vessels in this region. Detection of turtles <45 cm SSCL and data detail are greater than aerial surveys. The data serve to inform resource managers and researchers regarding these protected marine species.

Funding

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation