Distinguishing captive-reared from wild Kemp's Ridleys
Eckert, Karen L.
Eckert, Scott A.
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In 1996, the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service's (NMFS) Galveston Laboratory, Gladys Porter Zoo (GPZ, Brownsville, Texas USA) and Instituto Nacional de la Pesca (INP) of Tamaulipas, Mexico. NMFS, GPZ and INP personnel tagged 3,336 hatchlings with non-magnetized wire tags (Patrick Burchfield, GPZ, pers.comm., January 1997). The tags (manufactured by Northwest Marine Technology, Shaw Island, Washington USA) were injected into the right foreflipper. Plans are to wire-tag up to 10,000 more hatchlings in the left foreflipper in 1997, thus distinguishing them from the 1996 year-class. The purpose of this paper is to alert the sea turtle research community to this tagging program, to provide background information concerning how and why it came about, and to provide criteria for distinguishing captive-reared from wild Kemp's ridleys.