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The number of loggerhead sea turtles in the Southeastern USA has declined dramatically from human-related activities, with the lowest number of nests in 2004. Since then, nest numbers from this threatened species have increased but are still below historic levels.

For the last 12 years, the team at the University of Georgia Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources has been devoted to a project that can make significant strides in sea turtle population recovery. Researchers developed a method to identify individual mother loggerhead turtles from a nest sample. Since 2010, a sample has been collected from every known loggerhead nest in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. Over 110,000 nests have been assigned to 13,000 individual nesting females. This vast record of nesting histories allows researchers to develop population models that can assess the effects of human activity and inform decisions on future management strategies.

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Breanna Ondich

An extensive network of dedicated volunteers and staff collects the egg samples, which are then processed at the University of Georgia lab. Sample processing was previously grant funded, but now new funding sources are critical to the continuation of the project.


It costs approximately $30 to analyze each sample.

This project is one of the largest of its kind in the world and offers unique insight that can help create solutions to safeguard the survival of the species. You can be a part of the solution through a gift to support this valuable research. Together, we can make a difference in the future of loggerhead sea turtles.


Breanna Ondich

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Breanna Ondich

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Breanna Ondich

If you prefer to donate by check, please make the check payable to:

University of Georgia Foundation

Please mail checks directly to:

Brian Shamblin

Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources

University of Georgia

180 East Green Street

Athens, GA 30602


University of Georgia Foundation

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