Conservation, Research and Management
The Georgia Sea Turtle Center website is currently undergoing revisions. For current information on our Research programs on Jekyll Island and in collaboration with the University of Georgia, please visit us at http://wildlifelab.wix.com/jekyllresearch.
The research program at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center is still in its infancy but growing rapidly. Uniquely, our research integrates the fields of Ecology, Wildlife Health, and Environmental Education. All research themes center on conservation and developing the management tools needed for the persistence of native wildlife populations, many of which are dealing with drastically changing landscapes. In the field, much of our research focuses on nesting loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) through nest monitoring, saturation tagging, and human impact assessments. We also participate in a regional genetics study led by University of Georgia researchers, Brian Shamblin and Joe Nairn.
As the research department grows, we are expanding our research to include a variety of other coastal vertebrates. For example, in 2007 we established a diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin) road mortality conservation program on Jekyll Island. This program involves collecting data on both live and dead terrapins that are found along the Jekyll Island Causeway. We are further involved with many multi-institutional collaborations including research on easterm box turtles (Terrapene carolina), American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis), and eastern diamondback rattlesnakes (Crotalus adamanteus). In addition, we are involved with the newly-formed Georgia SEANET Program, which monitors marine bird health and disease along the coast. Lastly, we are coordinating baseline sampling efforts on the island to learn more about our local habitats and wildlife species as it pertains to conservation of natural areas and priority species management plans. The data we have collected have been used by several of our staff members who are involved with local planning efforts on Jekyll Island.
For more information, please visit our Staff Page.