Hawksbill Research Program Comes to the National Save the Sea Turtle Foundation

The National Save the Sea Turtle Foundation is pleased to announce that it has become the new host of the Comprehensive Florida Hawksbill Research and Conservation Program. Now in its 11th year, this groundbreaking project, founded by long-time sea turtle biologist Dr. Larry Wood, has pioneered hawksbill turtle research in SE Florida. Nearly 200 hawksbill turtles have been captured and tagged on the reefs of Palm Beach County, and much has been learned of their origins, population structure, gender, movements, and behavior.

The surprisingly large number of hawksbills so-far encountered in the study has drawn new attention to the importance of Florida’s coral reef habitats to the regional recovery of this highly endangered species. The Hawksbill Program will continue its important work in the waters of Palm Beach County and expand southward through the Keys, relying heavily on the Foundation’s research vessels for access to important hawksbill habitats. Over time, using innovative research techniques and comprehensive surveys, this project is designed to fill in the missing gaps in our understanding of the hawksbill’s role SE Florida’s coral reef ecosystems, and eventually provide a complete description of their biogeography in this northern part of their range.

In addition to directing research programs, Dr. Wood will also be assisting with other aspects of the Foundation’s activities. He will be managing the continued publication and expansion of the popular Florida Environmental Outreach Magazine, seeking and reviewing grants and proposals, and working to expand the Elite Sea Turtle Program to raise funds for student research. After many years of working together on various projects, the National Save the Sea Turtle Foundation is excited to have Dr. Wood join their team and lend his strong background in sea turtle biology and environmental education to the Foundation’s mission.
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