Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Virginia Journal of Science
Research has been carried out on sea turtles in Chesapeake Bay and adjacent waters since 1979. Chesapeake Bay supports populations of juvenile loggerhead, Caretta caretta (Linnaeus) and Kemp's ridley, Lepidochelys kempi (Garmon) sea turtles during summer. Data from our aerial surveys and biotelemetry studies show that turtles migrate northward from south of Cape Hatteras and enter the Bay during spring. We estimate between 2000 and 10,000 loggerheads utilize the Bay during summer, where they forage for abundant invertebrate fauna. Fifty to 200 sea turtles strand dead on shore each year. At least one-third of the deaths are attributable to human activity. In fall, turtles migrate out of the Bay, and travel along the coast to south of Cape Hatteras. Chesapeake Bay is an important developmental habitat for loggerhead and ridley sea turtl es.
Keinath, J. A.; Musick, J. A.; and Byles, R. A., Aspects of the biology of VIrginia's sea turtles: 1979-1986 (1987). Virginia Journal of Science, 38(4), 331-336.