Manual for Mass Wire Tagging of Hatchling Sea Turtles and the Detection of Internal Wire Tags
Higgins, Benjamin M.
Robertson, Bradley A.
Williams, Theodore D.
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Preparation of this manual was motivated by a need for a comprehensive field guide covering the application of internal wire tags in the mass tagging of sea turtle hatchlings and the detectiong of those tags later in the turtle's life. This manual is based primarily on the equipment and techniques used in the mass wire tagging of 3,336 Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) hatchlings on the nesting beach at Rancho Nuevo, Mexico, during August, 1996 (Caillouet et. al., 1997). Although this illustrated manual thoroughly covers all the procedures necessary to successfully tag hatchlings with internal wire tags, it should not be substituted for formal training. It should be used to supplement formal training. This manual has been written assuming that the person(s) conducting the tagging are right handed. The automatic tag injectors are designed and manufactured for use by right handed persons. Left handed persons may achieve satisfactory results by holding the tagger upside down but this is not recommended. It is recommended that the entire manual be read thoroughly before any attempt is made to tag hatchlings. Pay special attention to the CAUTION and NOTE sections listed within the procedure instructions. The CAUTION and NOTE sections provide valuable information that may mean the difference between successful tagging and non-successful tagging. The manual is divided into four sections: 1. Background research involving internal wire tags; 2. Illustrated tagging techniques; 3. Illustrated tag detection techniques; 4. Appendices.