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Virginia and Maryland Sea Turtle Research and Conservation Initiative Aerial Survey Sightings, May 2011 through July 2013
Lockhart, Gwen. 2014. Virginia and Maryland Sea Turtle Research and Conservation Initiative Aerial Survey Sightings, May 2011 through July 2013. Provided by Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Foundation and downloaded from OBIS-SEAMAP on (access date)
Contact: Marine Laboratory, more

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Archived data
Availability: Creative Commons License This dataset is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Aerial surveys were conducted along the coastal waters and bays of Virginia and Maryland. This project is broken into two survey periods. The survey platform was a De Havilland twin otter DHC‐6 modified for observational research. The aircraft was configured so as to have two forward observers and a data recorder on their own communication system and have a second team consisting of a belly observer and one additional observer (either port or starboard) along with a data recorder. The separation of the communications systems enables the two teams to function independently thereby functioning as two individual surveys. Groups of sea turles, marine mammals, and other marine mammals were recorded. more

This method was developed in order to calculate a perception bias using mark recapture techniques. This dataset is the filtered version – meaning all the duplicate sightings have been removed. All records are marked as observed by only team one, only team two, or by both. There is only one record for each sighting even if the animal was sighted by both teams. The raw dataset, with all sighting from both teams, is available by request from the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Foundation.

The data provided were collected as part of the the Virginia and Maryland Sea Turtle Research & Conservation Initiative - funded by the National Marine Fisheries Service Species Recovery Grants program No. NA09NMF4720033.

Previous sea turtle abundance estimates reported in the Virginia portion of the Chesapeake Bay where developed using aerial surveys without correcting for seasonal differences and availability bias. More recent surveys yielded estimates of availability throughout the turtles' residency periods using radio transmitters and satellite telemetry. These estimates where significantly different then previous surveys and changed over time. This project was conducted in order to quantify turtles surfacing time for the purpose of calculating seasonal and annual differences in availability, conduct aerial surveys in a manner that will allow for the calculation of perception bias, and compare estimates generated during previous projects.

Biology > Mammals, Biology > Reptiles
Marine, ANW, USA, Maryland, ANW, USA, Virginia, Cetacea, Cheloniidae Oppel, 1811, Elasmobranchii

Geographical coverage
ANW, USA, Maryland [Marine Regions]
ANW, USA, Virginia [Marine Regions]

Temporal coverage
22 May 2011 - 31 July 2013

Taxonomic coverage
Cetacea [WoRMS]
Cheloniidae Oppel, 1811 [WoRMS]
Elasmobranchii [WoRMS]

Animal sightings, Occurrence of biota

Duke University; Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences; Marine Laboratory, more
Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, moredata creator

Related datasets
Published in:
OBIS-SEAMAP: Spatial Ecological Analysis of Megavertebrate Populations, more

Dataset status: Completed
Data type: Data
Data origin: Research: field survey
Metadatarecord created: 2015-03-25
Information last updated: 2015-03-25
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