Historically, juvenile and subadult green (Chelonia mydas) and hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) sea turtles have been observed in the waters surrounding St. Kitts, West Indies yearround; however, no formal population or health assessment for these species and cohorts in St. Kitts has been previously conducted. During the study period (2004–2017), 211 juvenile sea turtles (158 hawksbills, 53 greens) were captured at sixteen different capture sites in St. Kitts. Once on shore and restrained, morphometric measurements and mass were collected, untagged animals were tagged, and a health assessment was performed. Blood samples were collected and used to establish reference intervals for hematological and biochemical parameters. These reported reference intervals make it possible to incorporate monitoring programs for infectious diseases and to identify any trends in population and health status. The morphometrics, mass, and number of animals captured enable sound decision making as it relates to conservation policy development and implementation which is especially important in countries such as St. Kitts and Nevis where an open harvest for sea turtles still exists.
Clinical Pathology Reference Intervals for Juvenile Green (Chelonia mydas) and Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) Sea Turtles Captured in St. Kitts, 2004–2017
Kimberly M. Stewart, Terry M. Norton, Kathleen Clements, Mark A. Mitchell, Darryn L. Knobel; Clinical Pathology Reference Intervals for Juvenile Green (Chelonia mydas) and Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) Sea Turtles Captured in St. Kitts, 2004–2017. Journal of Herpetological Medicine and Surgery 2023; doi: https://doi.org/10.5818/JHMS-D-20-00026
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