Entanglement in and ingestion of marine debris by sea turtles stranded along the South Texas coast
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Entanglement data were collected from sea turtle stranding reports submitted to the Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network from Mustang and North Padre Islands, Texas during 1986 and 1987. Data collected included: month and location of stranding, species stranded, curved carapace length of the turtle and type of entanglement. A general necropsy similar to that described by Wolke and George (1981) was performed on dead sea turtles stranded during 1986 and 1987 on Mustang, North Padre and South Padre Islands, Texas. During necropsy, the curved carapace length and width was measured, sex was determined by external examination of the gonads, the entire digestive tract was removed and all organs were examined for irregularities in an attempt to determine the cause of death of the turtle. The esophagus, stomach and intestinal tract were later opened in the lab. If debris was present, it was removed and its location in the digestive tract was noted. The remaining gut contents were preserved in 10% buffered formalin for later analysis.