New and Notable on Building Capacity to Care for Sick and Injured Sea Turtles

Managing NGO, country: Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST), Regional

Project director: Karen Eckert

Summary: The Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network – WIDECAST, created a Sea Turtle Trauma Response Corps (STTRC) to strengthen and coordinate the efforts of conservationists throughout the Wider Caribbean Region to respond to endangered and critically endangered sea turtles in crisis. The STTRC will encourage and enable collaboration in the region with regard to sea turtle injury response, rehabilitation, and release, and has also established standardized husbandry guidelines for rescue and rehabilitation facilities, as well as guidelines to assist veterinarians in their role as caregivers of sick and injured sea turtles. A Field Manual will feature a user-friendly guide to “first responders”, including guidance on triage and field treatment of various traumas including hooking, entanglement, exposure to oil, boat strikes, and predator attacks. Technical manuals for training stakeholders in first response options, clinical treatment, and husbandry care for critically injured sea turtles will be distributed, promoted, and utilized through the efforts of the WIDECAST network.

Annual budget and donors: US Fish and Wildlife Service – International Affairs; Western Hemisphere Migratory Species Initiative (WHMSI), Regional; CGMK Foundation, United States; and the Panaphil Foundation, United States.

Principal accomplishments: Published and distributed electronic and hard copies of the Caribbean’s first “Marine Turtle Trauma Response Procedures: A Field Guide” to more than 40 nations; this manual, and those to come, provide a foundation for national and regional training of citizen first-responders, veterinary professionals, natural resource managers, and potential rescue and rehabilitation facilities; veterinarians from several Caribbean countries have attended training in Costa Rica, St. Kitts, Grenada, the USA, and elsewhere. These opportunities will be offered by WIDECAST, in collaboration with its partners, every year.

Anticipated accomplishments: Publish a “Marine Turtle Trauma Response Procedures: A Husbandry Manual”, and “Marine Turtle Trauma Response Procedures: A Veterinary Resource Guide”.

Contact: Karen Eckert, 135 Duke Marine Lab Road, Beaufort, North Carolina. tel: +252/727-1600, fax: +252/504-7648,

More About This Project


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