A young green sea turtle named Marcia, found swimming off the Middle Keys in March, suffered from positive buoyancy disorder.
MARATHON, Florida — A juvenile green sea turtle rehabilitated at Turtle Hospital in Florida was fitted with a satellite tracking transmitter and released Friday to join an online race to celebrate sea turtle long-distance migration.
The Tour de Turtles, now 16 years old, is organized annually by the Sea Turtle Sanctuary. Beginning August 1, the group will track a dozen sea turtles released from the beaches of Florida and several Caribbean islands.
“The Tour de Turtles raises awareness about sea turtles and threats to their survival,” said Sea Turtle Conservancy senior research biologist Dr. Dan Evans. “We will also learn about where they are going, where they find food and what are the possible threats to these areas.”
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A young green sea turtle named Marcia, found swimming off the Middle Keys in March, suffered from positive buoyancy disorder. Because of this condition, sea turtles cannot dive for food. Causes include internal infection, gastrointestinal obstruction, and trauma to the spine or lungs, sometimes caused by a boat collision.
Turtle Hospital officials treated Marcia, who weighs about 50 pounds (23 kilograms), with broad-spectrum antibiotics, fluids, vitamins, and a diet of greens and mixed seafood.
“It’s very important to protect sea turtles like Marcia,” Turtle Hospital CEO Bette Zirkelbach said. “This tracking and the information it brings to scientists through the Tour de Turtles will help this species survive.”
Green sea turtles are classified as “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act.
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