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Archie Carr, Expert on Sea Turtles, Dies

May 24, 1987|United Press International

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Archie Carr, a world-renowned expert on the giant sea turtle, died Thursday of cancer. He was 77.

During more than 55 years in the zoology department at the University of Florida, Carr compiled the first comprehensive list of Florida's reptiles and amphibians, and led expeditions around the globe.

But it was his decades-long study of the giant turtles for which he was best known. His book, "The Windward Road," which describes the plight of green turtles in the Caribbean, created a worldwide movement to protect them. A chapter in the book won the 1956 O. Henry Award for best nonfiction short story.

In 1957, he was awarded the John Burroughs Medal by the American Museum of Natural History.

"The Windward Road," still considered a classic among conservationists, led to the establishment in 1959 of the Caribbean Conservation Corp., a nonprofit group dedicated to studying and saving the turtles from extinction.

In 1984, he was the first recipient of the National Audubon Society's highest honor, the Hal Borland Award. Last March, Carr was presented the university's Presidential Medallion for his lifelong contributions to zoology and the university. In May, he was presented the Eminent Ecologist Award by the Ecological Society of America.

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