FWC Sea Turtle Nesting, 2006 - 2011

Metadata:


Identification_Information:
Citation:
Citation_Information:
Originator: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission-Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, FWC SNBS program coordinator
Publication_Date: 20130206
Title:
FWC Sea Turtle Nesting, 2006 - 2011
Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form: vector digital data
Description:
Abstract:
The State of Florida, through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, coordinates the Statewide Nesting Beach Survey program (SNBS). The SNBS was initiated in 1979 under a cooperative agreement between FWC and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Its purpose is to document the total distribution, seasonality, and abundance of nesting by sea turtles in Florida. Three species of sea turtles, the loggerhead (Caretta caretta), the green turtle (Chelonia mydas), and the leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), nest regularly on Florida's beaches. Two other species, Kemp’s ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) and the hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) also nest but in very small numbers. All the species are listed as either Threatened or Endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Survey data are derived from observations of tracks and other nesting signs left on the beach by sea turtles. Species identifications and determinations of nesting vs. non-nesting emergences are based on the evaluation of visible features of the track and the nest. Data are gathered on more than 200 beaches through a network of permit holders consisting of private conservation groups, volunteers, consultants, academics, local governments, federal agencies, and the Florida Park Service. Nest density classifications of low/medium/ high were developed for loggerheads, green turtles and leatherbacks according to quartile ranks. For the loggerhead turtle, ranking was done within genetic subunits; ranks for green turtles and leatherbacks were on a statewide basis. Hawksbill turtles and Kemp’s ridleys are denoted only as present or absent on individual beaches. Surveys in the SNBS program may vary with respect to start/stop dates, frequency, duration and beach length between years for a particular beach, as well as between beaches. Survey results are used by managers to evaluate and minimize impacts to turtles and their nests due to human activities such as coastal construction, beach renourishment, and recreation, as well as to identify important areas for enhanced protection or land acquisition.
Purpose:
The State of Florida, through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, coordinates the Statewide Nesting Beach Survey program (SNBS). The SNBS was initiated in 1979 under a cooperative agreement between FWC (then DNR) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Its purpose is to document the total distribution, seasonality, and abundance of nesting by sea turtles in Florida. Three species of sea turtles, the loggerhead (Caretta caretta), the green turtle (Chelonia mydas), and the leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), nest regularly on Florida's beaches. Two other species, Kemp’s ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) and the hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) also nest but in very small numbers. All the species are listed as either Threatened or Endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Survey data are derived from observations of tracks and other nesting sign left on the beach by sea turtles. Species identifications and determinations of nesting vs. non-nesting emergences are based on the evaluation of visible features of the track and the nest. Data are gathered on more than 200 beaches through a network of permit holders consisting of private conservation groups, volunteers, consultants, academics, local governments, federal agencies, and the Florida Park Service. Annual nest counts for the state represent a minimum estimate because not all nesting activity is recorded on surveyed beaches and not all nesting beaches in Florida are surveyed.  Nest density classifications of “low”, “medium” and “high” were developed for loggerheads, green turtles and leatherbacks according to quartile ranks. For the loggerhead turtle, ranking was done within genetic subunits; ranks for green turtles and leatherbacks were on a statewide basis. Hawksbill turtles and Kemp’s ridleys were denoted only as present or absent on individual beaches. Surveys in the SNBS program may vary with respect to start/stop dates, frequency, duration and beach length between years for a particular beach, as well as between beaches. This variability in the surveys, combined with the dynamic nature of sea turtle nesting activity, make the quartile ranking system for the beaches, rather than average nesting densities over a small number of years, a more appropriate measure of the level of nesting activity that takes place on a particular beach. Survey results are used by managers to evaluate and minimize impacts to turtles and their nests due to human activities such as coastal construction, beach renourishment, and recreation, as well as to identify important areas for enhanced protection or land acquisition. Direct contact by managers with the appropriate state data provider is highly recommended to obtain more detailed information about the surveys on a particular beach.
Supplemental_Information:
FWC’s Statewide Nesting Beach Survey program encompassed an annual average of 1.318 km of nesting beach during the referenced period. This included most, but not all, of the nesting beaches in the state, with the most significant gap in coverage in the Everglades region of Monroe County.   Annual nest counts for the state represent a minimum estimate because not all nesting activity is recorded on surveyed beaches and not all nesting beaches in Florida are surveyed.  It should be noted that sea turtles may use any sandy beaches for nesting. There are limitations to the use of the SNBS database imposed by the data collection methodology employed. Surveys in the SNBS program may vary with respect to start/stop dates, frequency, duration and beach length between years for a particular beach, as well as between beaches, making the data inappropriate for assessing population trends.  Trend evaluation is the goal of a complementary FWRI program, the Index Nesting Beach Survey program (INBS) where consistency in survey effort is accomplished by following a regime of 7 days/week monitoring during a set 109-day window, and maintaining consistent survey boundaries.

With some exceptions, including surveys on geographically remote beaches, SNBS surveys typically capture the majority of nesting activity on a particular beach. Surveys with less than 7 day/week frequency may result in underestimated nest totals; however, most surveyors count all new nests observed when surveys are resumed, thus reducing the error. Tracks are marked as having been evaluated when the surveys are conducted. Determination of nesting success, i.e., whether an emergence has resulted in eggs being deposited, or in a "false crawl", is made using the visible features of the track and nest.  This can be challenging in areas where nest densities are high or in situations where weather has erased the marks left in the sand by the turtle. However, in a test on INBS beaches of the accuracy of surveyors correctly distinguishing between nests and false crawls, the probability that a nest counted by a surveyor was actually a nest was 96%.

Nest density classifications of “low”, “medium” and “high” were determined for each species for each survey area based on average nest densities during the six-year period to which these data apply. Nest density was defined as the number of nests per kilometer of surveyed nesting beach habitat.  Quartile break values at 25 and 75 percent of the observations were used in assigning nesting beaches to the three density categories. Categories were assigned as follows: “low” = density values less than or equal to the lower 25%, “medium” = nest density values greater than 25% and less than or equal to 75%, and “high” = nest density values greater than 75%. Beaches with zero density values were excluded from the quartile ranking calculations. Density classifications for loggerheads (Caretta caretta) were calculated for each of the seven Florida genetic subunits (three on the east coast), after Shamblin et al. (Genetic structure of the southeastern United States loggerhead turtle nesting aggregation: evidence of additional structure within the peninsular Florida recovery unit, 2011, Marine Biology 158:571-587). Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) and Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) nesting data were both classified relative to all statewide nesting beaches because unique genetic subunits within Florida have not yet been  described for those species. Nest density values were not calculated for Kemp’s ridleys and hawksbills because of the rareness of nesting by these species.  Use of the quartile-based ranks (low, medium, high) to compare the level of nesting activity across beaches is recommended over the use of average nesting densities due to the variation of survey parameters (e.g., frequency, duration) and the dynamic nature of sea turtle nesting. 
Time_Period_of_Content:
Time_Period_Information:
Range_of_Dates/Times:
Beginning_Date: 20060101
Ending_Date: 20111231
Currentness_Reference:
2006 - 2011 survey seasons
Status:
Progress: In work
Maintenance_and_Update_Frequency: None planned
Spatial_Domain:
Bounding_Coordinates:
West_Bounding_Coordinate: -81.859218
East_Bounding_Coordinate: -79.994380
North_Bounding_Coordinate: 30.706127
South_Bounding_Coordinate: 24.544163
Keywords:
Theme:
Theme_Keyword_Thesaurus: None
Theme_Keyword: sea turtle nesting
Access_Constraints: None
Use_Constraints:
All data must be verified by Principle Investigator or Group Database Analyst prior to release. It is strongly recommended that this data is directly acquired from FWC and not indirectly through other sources which may have changed the data in some way. FWC makes no claims as to the data's suitability for other purposes. Acknowledgment of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission-Fish and Wildlife Research Institute as the data source would be appreciated in any products developed from these data, and such acknowledgment as is standard for citation and legal practices for data source is expected by users of these data. Please cite the original metadata when using portions of the record to create a similar record of slightly altered data, such as reprojection. If any data are modified or adjusted, please share the edited information with FWC. Users should be aware that comparison with other data sets for the same area from other time periods may be inaccurate due to inconsistencies resulting from changes in mapping conventions, data collection, and computer processes over time. FWC shall not be liable for improper or incorrect use of these data. These data are not legal documents and are not to be used as such. It should be noted that shapefiles consisting of Statewide survey areas are general representations and are not attributes. This file provides nest density classifications for surveyed beaches along eastern peninsular Florida. This is a subset of the "FWC Sea Turtle Nesting, 2006 - 2011" file which describes sea turtle nesting activity for all surveyed beaches within Florida.
Point_of_Contact:
Contact_Information:
Contact_Organization_Primary:
Contact_Organization: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission-Fish and Wildlife Research Institute
Contact_Position: FWC SNBS program coordinator
Contact_Address:
Address_Type: unknown
Address:
100 Eighth AVE SE
City: St. Petersburg
State_or_Province: Florida
Postal_Code: 33701
Country: US
Contact_Voice_Telephone: 7278968626
Data_Set_Credit:
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission-Fish and Wildlife Research Institute
Native_Data_Set_Environment:
Version 6.2 (Build 9200) ; Esri ArcGIS 10.1.0.3035
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Spatial_Data_Organization_Information:
Direct_Spatial_Reference_Method: Vector
Point_and_Vector_Object_Information:
SDTS_Terms_Description:
SDTS_Point_and_Vector_Object_Type: String
Point_and_Vector_Object_Count: 119
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Spatial_Reference_Information:
Horizontal_Coordinate_System_Definition:
Planar:
Map_Projection:
Map_Projection_Name: Transverse Mercator
Transverse_Mercator:
Transverse Mercator
Scale_Factor_at_Central_Meridian: 0.9996
Longitude_of_Central_Meridian: -81.0
Latitude_of_Projection_Origin: 0.0
False_Easting: 500000.0
False_Northing: 0.0
Planar_Coordinate_Information:
Planar_Coordinate_Encoding_Method: coordinate pair
Coordinate_Representation:
Abscissa_Resolution: 0.0001
Ordinate_Resolution: 0.0001
Planar_Distance_Units:
Geodetic_Model:
Horizontal_Datum_Name: D North American 1983
Ellipsoid_Name: GRS 1980
Semi-major_Axis: 6378137.0
Denominator_of_Flattening_Ratio: 298.257222101
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Entity_and_Attribute_Information:
Detailed_Description:
Entity_Type:
Entity_Type_Label: TurtleNests_FL
Attribute:
Attribute_Label: OBJECTID
Attribute_Definition:
Internal feature number.
Attribute_Definition_Source:
Esri
Attribute_Domain_Values:
Unrepresentable_Domain:
Sequential unique whole numbers that are automatically generated.
Attribute:
Attribute_Label: Shape
Attribute_Definition:
Feature geometry.
Attribute_Definition_Source:
Esri
Attribute_Domain_Values:
Unrepresentable_Domain:
Coordinates defining the features.
Attribute:
Attribute_Label: Beach
Attribute_Definition:
Unique name of the statewide nesting beach survey segment.
Attribute_Definition_Source:
FWC-FWRI
Attribute:
Attribute_Label: County
Attribute_Definition:
Florida County name.
Attribute_Definition_Source:
FWC-FWRI
Attribute:
Attribute_Label: BeachNum
Attribute_Definition:
Unique identification number for the beach survey segment.
Attribute_Definition_Source:
FWC-FWRI
Attribute:
Attribute_Label: genSubUnt
Attribute_Definition:
The genetic subunits identified for loggerheads nesting within Florida.
Attribute_Definition_Source:
Shamblin et al. 2011 Marine Biology 158:571-587
Attribute:
Attribute_Label: ccMeanDens
Attribute_Definition:
The mean annual nesting density for loggerheads summarized over the survey years covered by these data. Nest density was defined as the number of nests per kilometer of surveyed nesting beach habitat.
Attribute_Definition_Source:
FWC-FWRI
Attribute:
Attribute_Label: ccCofVar
Attribute_Definition:
The coefficient of variation of loggerhead nest density values.
Attribute_Definition_Source:
FWC-FWRI
Attribute:
Attribute_Label: nYearsSurv
Attribute_Definition:
The number of years that this beach was surveyed during the time period covered by these data.
Attribute_Definition_Source:
FWC-FWRI
Attribute:
Attribute_Label: surveyLeng
Attribute_Definition:
Average reported length of this survey beach (in kilometers).
Attribute_Definition_Source:
FWC-FWRI
Attribute:
Attribute_Label: ccDensClas
Attribute_Definition:
Nest density classifications of “low”, “medium” and “high” were determined for each species for each survey area based on average nest densities during the six-year period to which these data apply. Nest density was defined as the number of nests per kilometer of surveyed nesting beach habitat. Quartile break values at 25 and 75 percent of the observations were used in assigning nesting beaches to the three density categories. Categories were assigned as follows: “low” = density values less than or equal to the lower 25%, “medium” = nest density values greater than 25% and less than or equal to 75%, and “high” = nest density values greater than 75%. Beaches with zero density values were excluded from the quartile ranking calculations. Density classifications for loggerheads (Caretta caretta) were calculated for each of the seven Florida genetic subunits (three on the east coast), after Shamblin et al. (Genetic structure of the southeastern United States loggerhead turtle nesting aggregation: evidence of additional structure within the peninsular Florida recovery unit, 2011, Marine Biology 158:571-587).
Attribute_Definition_Source:
FWC-FWRI
Attribute:
Attribute_Label: cmMeanDens
Attribute_Definition:
The mean annual nesting density for green turtles summarized over the survey years covered by these data. Nest density was defined as the number of nests per kilometer of surveyed nesting beach habitat.
Attribute_Definition_Source:
FWC-FWRI
Attribute:
Attribute_Label: cmCofVar
Attribute_Definition:
The coefficient of variation of green turtle nest density values.
Attribute_Definition_Source:
FWC-FWRI
Attribute:
Attribute_Label: cmDensClas
Attribute_Definition:
Nest density classifications of “low”, “medium” and “high” were determined for each species for each survey area based on average nest densities during the six-year period to which these data apply. Nest density was defined as the number of nests per kilometer of surveyed nesting beach habitat. Quartile break values at 25 and 75 percent of the observations were used in assigning nesting beaches to the three density categories. Categories were assigned as follows: “low” = density values less than or equal to the lower 25%, “medium” = nest density values greater than 25% and less than or equal to 75%, and “high” = nest density values greater than 75%. Beaches with zero density values were excluded from the quartile ranking calculations. Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) and Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) nesting data were both classified relative to all statewide nesting beaches because unique genetic subunits within Florida have not yet been described for those species.
Attribute_Definition_Source:
FWC-FWRI
Attribute:
Attribute_Label: dcMeanDens
Attribute_Definition:
The mean annual nesting density for leatherbacks summarized over the survey years covered by these data. Nest density was defined as the number of nests per kilometer of surveyed nesting beach habitat.
Attribute_Definition_Source:
FWC-FWRI
Attribute:
Attribute_Label: dcCofVar
Attribute_Definition:
The coefficient of variation of leatherback nest density values.
Attribute_Definition_Source:
FWC-FWRI
Attribute:
Attribute_Label: dcDensClas
Attribute_Definition:
Nest density classifications of “low”, “medium” and “high” were determined for each species for each survey area based on average nest densities during the six-year period to which these data apply. Nest density was defined as the number of nests per kilometer of surveyed nesting beach habitat. Quartile break values at 25 and 75 percent of the observations were used in assigning nesting  beaches to the three density categories. Categories were assigned as follows: “low” = density values less than or equal to the lower 25%, “medium” = nest density values greater than 25% and less than or equal to 75%, and “high” = nest density values greater than 75%. Beaches with zero density values were excluded from the quartile ranking calculations. Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) and Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) nesting data were both classified relative to all statewide nesting beaches because unique genetic subunits within Florida have not yet been described for those species.
Attribute_Definition_Source:
FWC-FWRI
Attribute:
Attribute_Label: eiPresent
Attribute_Definition:
Eretmochelys imbricata (Hawksbill) occurrence during the five-year survey period. Occurrence is represented as yes (nesting by
this species was observed) or no (nesting by this species was not observed).
Attribute_Definition_Source:
FWC-FWRI
Attribute:
Attribute_Label: lkPresent
Attribute_Definition:
Lepidochelys kempii (Kemp's ridley) occurrence during the five-year survey period. Occurrence is represented as yes (nesting by
this species was observed) or no (nesting by this species was not observed).
Attribute_Definition_Source:
FWC-FWRI
Attribute:
Attribute_Label: Shape_Leng
Attribute:
Attribute_Label: Shape_Length
Attribute_Definition:
Length of feature in internal units.
Attribute_Definition_Source:
Esri
Attribute_Domain_Values:
Unrepresentable_Domain:
Positive real numbers that are automatically generated.
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Distribution_Information:
Distribution_Liability:
See access and use constraints information.
Standard_Order_Process:
Digital_Form:
Digital_Transfer_Information:
Format_Name: File Geodatabase Feature Class
Digital_Transfer_Option:
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Metadata_Reference_Information:
Metadata_Date: 20130218
Metadata_Contact:
Contact_Information:
Contact_Organization_Primary:
Contact_Organization: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission-Fish and Wildlife Research Institute
Contact_Position: FWC SNBS program coordinator
Contact_Address:
Address_Type: unknown
Address:
100 Eighth AVE SE
City: St. Petersburg
State_or_Province: Florida
Postal_Code: 33701
Country: US
Contact_Voice_Telephone: 7278968626
Metadata_Standard_Name: FGDC Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata
Metadata_Standard_Version: FGDC-STD-001-1998
Metadata_Time_Convention: local time
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