Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Journal of Marine Biology
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 848923, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/848923
Research Article

Trends in Marine Turtle Strandings along the East Queensland, Australia Coast, between 1996 and 2013

1Veterinary Marine Animals Research, Teaching and Investigation (Vet-MARTI) Unit, School of Veterinary Science, The University of Queensland, Gatton, QLD 4343, Australia
2The Florida Aquarium’s Center for Conservation, Apollo Beach, FL 33572, USA
3School of Forest Resources and Conservation, The Florida Aquarium’s Center for Conservation, University of Florida, Apollo Beach, FL 33572, USA
4Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, Queensland Government, Brisbane, QLD 4102, Australia

Received 29 July 2015; Revised 12 October 2015; Accepted 22 October 2015

Academic Editor: Nobuyuki Miyazaki

Copyright © 2015 Jaylene Flint et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

In-water monitoring of marine vertebrates is usually expensive while the use of stranding data can be used to provide a cost-effective estimation of disease and mortality. Strandings for Queensland are recorded in a web based database (StrandNet) managed by the Queensland Government’s Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP). Data recorded in StrandNet from the east coast of Queensland between 1996 and 2013 were investigated for patterns of stranding. Significant trends in Queensland over this time were (i) an increase in the number of animals reported stranded within this study site; (ii) a species (loggerhead and green marine turtles) prevalence; (iii) a seasonal effect on different age classes stranding with most overall strandings occurring between August and November; and (iv) stranding hotspots (Moreton Bay, Hervey Bay, Rockhampton region, and Cleveland Bays) persisting throughout the study timeframe. This study suggested that intervention strategies, such as rehabilitation, should be able to be focussed on periods of heightened importance and specific localities to minimize health risks and contribute to sustainable use of resources.