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Comparative Clinical Pathology

, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 567–573 | Cite as

Baseline blood values for healthy free-ranging green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) in Puerto Rico

  • Annie Page-Karjian
  • Samuel Rivera
  • Fernando Torres
  • Carlos Diez
  • Debra Moore
  • Robert Van Dam
  • Corrie Brown
Original Article

Abstract

In Puerto Rico, green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) appear to congregate in certain areas that constitute neritic developmental habitats for juvenile green turtles and foraging habitats for migrating larger immature and adult green turtles. The objective of this study was to establish baseline blood health indices in free-ranging green sea turtles occupying such habitats in Puerto Rico. We analyzed packed cell volume, morphometrics, and plasma biochemistry and protein electrophoresis parameters for free-ranging green sea turtles in the Culebra archipelago of Puerto Rico. The general health of turtles included in this study was rated as good based on body condition, physical examination, and molecular diagnostics. We report packed cell volume, plasma biochemistry, and protein electrophoresis reference interval values for juvenile and subadult green sea turtles. Development of site-specific baseline blood health parameters for wild, healthy sea turtle populations is an important factor in creating effective management protocols and enhances our ability to understand the effects of anthropogenic and environmental changes on sea turtle health.

Keywords

Chelonia mydas Clinical pathology Green sea turtle Plasma biochemistry Plasma protein electrophoresis Puerto Rico Reference intervals 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank the Morris Animal Foundation for funding, IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. for donating the laboratory analyses, and Dr. Paula Krimer for excellent advice on data interpretation and manuscript preparation.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Annie Page-Karjian
    • 1
  • Samuel Rivera
    • 2
  • Fernando Torres
    • 3
  • Carlos Diez
    • 4
  • Debra Moore
    • 5
  • Robert Van Dam
    • 6
  • Corrie Brown
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  2. 2.Zoo AtlantaAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic LaboratoryUSDA-APHISGreenportUSA
  4. 4.Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental ResourcesSan JuanPuerto Rico
  5. 5.Caribbean Center of Marine StudiesLajasPuerto Rico
  6. 6.Chelonia Inc.San JuanPuerto Rico

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