A massive rescue of cold-stunned sea turtles in January sent more than 3,600 of the creatures to rehabilitation centers and left 948 dead but yielded valuable research information that could benefit the species for years to come.
The turtles were measured, tested, treated and tagged. That information will be shared with many scientists.
Studies are planned looking at just about every aspect of turtle biology, said Brian Stacy, a veterinarian with the University of Florida and the National Marine Fisheries Service. “We’re really trying to make the most of an unfortunate event.”
Genetic researchers, for example, will analyze skin samples taken from “a very large number of turtles,” said Blair Witherington, a biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. “The genetics will help us understand the population and where they were hatched.
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