The hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) is one of five species of sea turtle found in the Arabian Gulf, and along with the green turtle, is one of only two species that regularly nests in the region. All sea turtles are included in the IUCN red list and the hawksbill is listed as critically endangered. They face extensive threats from such human impacts as pollution, coastal development and fishery practices. If these hazards continue at their present rate, the sea turtle population of the Arabian Gulf could be jeopardized. As a conservation group, the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project aims to rescue, study, and treat injured sea turtles in order to release them back to their natural habitat. Blood tests taken from juvenile hawksbills during convalescence and prior to release, have been correlated, establishing hematology1-3 and biochemistry4 reference ranges for juvenile hawksbills of the Arabian Gulf. Hemoglobin (B-Hemoglobin Photometer Hemocue AB, Angelhom Sweden), PCV, WBC (1% ammonium oxalate solution stain) and AST, CK, UA, GLU, Ca, PHOS, TP, ALB, GLOB, K, Na (Abaxis VetScan Classic Analyzer, Germany) are the parameters investigated.
The authors would like to thank HH Sh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and HH Sh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum for their ongoing support of the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project.
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