This case study focuses on the mysteries surrounding the critically endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, Lepidochelys kempii, the most threatened of the world’s sea turtles. Basic questions about Kemp’s ridleys, such as where they nested, and what were juveniles doing on the eastern seaboard, went unanswered for a long time. Now that researchers know these answers, they can work on trying to mitigate the threats to these, and other sea turtles, including coastal development, fisheries, and harvesting. The essentials of sea turtle conservation biology, including life history traits and threats to survival, are also introduced. The discussion questions provided at the end of the case study will help students think about the links between sea turtle conservation issues and broader questions in marine conservation biology.
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Endangered Species Management