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Sample records for hawksbill sea turtle

  1. Hawksbill Sea Turtle Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data represent the critical habitat for hawksbill turtle as designated by Federal Register Vol. 63, No. 46701, September 2, 1998, Rules and Regulations....

  2. Final critical habitat for the Hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata)

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — To provide the user with a general idea of areas where final critical habitat for hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) based on the description provided in...

  3. Final critical habitat for the Hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata)

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — To provide the user with a general idea of areas where final critical habitat for hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) based on the description provided in...

  4. Efficient establishment of primary fibroblast cultures from the hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukuda, Tomokazu; Kurita, Jun; Saito, Tomomi; Yuasa, Kei; Kurita, Masanobu; Donai, Kenichiro; Nitto, Hiroshi; Soichi, Makoto; Nishimori, Katsuhiko; Uchida, Takafumi; Isogai, Emiko; Onuma, Manabu; Sone, Hideko; Oseko, Norihisa; Inoue-Murayama, Miho

    2012-12-01

    The hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) is a critically endangered species at a risk of extinction. Preservation of the genomic and cellular information of endangered animals is important for future genetic and biological studies. Here, we report the efficient establishment of primary fibroblast cultures from skin tissue of the hawksbill sea turtle. We succeeded in establishing 19 primary cultures from 20 hawksbill sea turtle individuals (a success rate of 95%). These cells exhibited a fibroblast-like morphology and grew optimally at a temperature of 26°C, but experienced a loss of viability when cultured at 37°C. Chromosomal analysis using the primary cells derived here revealed that hawksbill sea turtles have a 2n = 56 karyotype. Furthermore, we showed that our primary cell cultures are free of several fish-related viruses, and this finding is important for preservation purposes. To our knowledge, this report is the first to describe primary cell cultures established from normal tissues of the hawksbill sea turtle. The results will contribute to the preservation of biodiversity, especially for the sea turtles that are critically endangered owing to human activities.

  5. Hexavalent chromium is cytotoxic and genotoxic to hawksbill sea turtle cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wise, Sandra S., E-mail: sandra.wise@maine.edu [Wise Laboratory of Environmental and Genetic Toxicology, University of Southern Maine, Science Building, 96 Falmouth Street, Portland, ME 04103 (United States); Maine Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health, University of Southern Maine, Science Building, 96 Falmouth Street, Portland, ME 04103 (United States); Department of Applied Medical Science, University of Southern Maine, Science Building, 96 Falmouth Street, Portland, ME 04103 (United States); Xie, Hong, E-mail: hongxie@usm.maine.edu [Wise Laboratory of Environmental and Genetic Toxicology, University of Southern Maine, Science Building, 96 Falmouth Street, Portland, ME 04103 (United States); Maine Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health, University of Southern Maine, Science Building, 96 Falmouth Street, Portland, ME 04103 (United States); Department of Applied Medical Science, University of Southern Maine, Science Building, 96 Falmouth Street, Portland, ME 04103 (United States); Fukuda, Tomokazu, E-mail: tomofukuda009@gmail.com [Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences, Tohoku University, Laboratory of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Second Research Building, Rm 112, 1-1 Amamiyamachi, Aoba-ku, Sendai 981-8555 (Japan); Douglas Thompson, W., E-mail: dougt@usm.maine.edu [Maine Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health, University of Southern Maine, Science Building, 96 Falmouth Street, Portland, ME 04103 (United States); Department of Applied Medical Science, University of Southern Maine, Science Building, 96 Falmouth Street, Portland, ME 04103 (United States); and others

    2014-09-01

    Sea turtles are a charismatic and ancient ocean species and can serve as key indicators for ocean ecosystems, including coral reefs and sea grass beds as well as coastal beaches. Genotoxicity studies in the species are absent, limiting our understanding of the impact of environmental toxicants on sea turtles. Hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) is a ubiquitous environmental problem worldwide, and recent studies show it is a global marine pollutant of concern. Thus, we evaluated the cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of soluble and particulate Cr(VI) in hawksbill sea turtle cells. Particulate Cr(VI) was both cytotoxic and genotoxic to sea turtle cells. Concentrations of 0.1, 0.5, 1, and 5 μg/cm{sup 2} lead chromate induced 108, 79, 54, and 7% relative survival, respectively. Additionally, concentrations of 0, 0.1, 0.5, 1, and 5 μg/cm{sup 2} lead chromate induced damage in 4, 10, 15, 26, and 36% of cells and caused 4, 11, 17, 30, and 56 chromosome aberrations in 100 metaphases, respectively. For soluble Cr, concentrations of 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2.5, and 5 μM sodium chromate induced 84, 69, 46, 25, and 3% relative survival, respectively. Sodium chromate induced 3, 9, 9, 14, 21, and 29% of metaphases with damage, and caused 3, 10, 10, 16, 26, and 39 damaged chromosomes in 100 metaphases at concentrations of 0, 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2.5, and 5 μM sodium chromate, respectively. These data suggest that Cr(VI) may be a concern for hawksbill sea turtles and sea turtles in general. - Highlights: • Particulate Cr(VI) is cytotoxic and clastogenic to hawksbill sea turtle cells. • Soluble Cr(VI) is cytotoxic and clastogenic to hawksbill sea turtle cells. • Cr(VI) may be a risk factor for hawksbill sea turtle health.

  6. Nesting Ecology of Hawksbill Sea Turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) on Utila, Honduras

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damazo, Lindsey Renee Eggers

    The hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) has a circumtropical distribution and plays an important role in maintaining the health of coral reefs. Unfortunately, hawksbill populations have been decimated, and estimated numbers in the Caribbean are less than 10% of populations a century ago. The hawksbill is considered Critically Endangered, and researchers are coordinating worldwide efforts to protect this species. One country where we lack knowledge regarding hawksbills is Honduras. This study aimed to increase our understanding of hawksbill nesting ecology in Caribbean Honduras. Characteristics of hawksbill nesting activity and a nesting beach on the island of Utila were elucidated using satellite telemetry, beach profiling, vegetation surveys, beach monitoring, and nest temperature profiles. We affixed satellite transmitters to two nesting hawksbills, and found the turtles migrated to different countries. One turtle traveled 403 km to a bay in Mexico, and the other traveled 181 km to a Marine Protected Area off Belize. This study presents the first description of hawksbill migration routes from Honduras, facilitating protection efforts for turtles that traverse international waters. To investigate nesting beach and turtle characteristics, we conducted beach monitoring during the 2012 nesting season. Nesting turtle carapace sizes were similar to worldwide values, but hatchlings were heavier. To measure nest temperatures, we placed thermocouple data loggers in four nests and four pseudo-nests. Data suggested metabolic heating may be maintaining nest temperatures above the pivotal temperature. However, large temperature fluctuations corresponding to rainfall from Hurricane Ernesto (as determined using a time series cross-correlation analysis) make it difficult to predict sex ratios, and underscore the impact stochastic events can have on nest temperatures. We created topographic and substrate profiles of the beach, and found it was 475 m long, yet hawksbills

  7. The developmental biogeography of hawksbill sea turtles in the North Pacific.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Houtan, Kyle S; Francke, Devon L; Alessi, Sarah; Jones, T Todd; Martin, Summer L; Kurpita, Lauren; King, Cheryl S; Baird, Robin W

    2016-04-01

    High seas oceanic ecosystems are considered important habitat for juvenile sea turtles, yet much remains cryptic about this important life-history period. Recent progress on climate and fishery impacts in these so-called lost years is promising, but the developmental biogeography of hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) has not been widely described in the Pacific Ocean. This knowledge gap limits the effectiveness of conservation management for this globally endangered species. We address this with 30 years of stranding observations, 20 years of bycatch records, and recent simulations of natal dispersal trajectories in the Hawaiian Archipelago. We synthesize the analyses of these data in the context of direct empirical observations, anecdotal sightings, and historical commercial harvests from the insular Pacific. We find hawksbills 0-4 years of age, measuring 8-34 cm straight carapace length, are found predominantly in the coastal pelagic waters of Hawaii. Unlike other species, we find no direct evidence of a prolonged presence in oceanic habitats, yet satellite tracks of passive drifters (simulating natal dispersal) and our small sample sizes suggest that an oceanic phase for hawksbills cannot be dismissed. Importantly, despite over 600 million hooks deployed and nearly 6000 turtle interactions, longline fisheries have never recorded a single hawksbill take. We address whether the patterns we observe are due to population size and gear selectivity. Although most sea turtle species demonstrate clear patterns of oceanic development, hawksbills in the North Pacific may by contrast occupy a variety of ecosystems including coastal pelagic waters and shallow reefs in remote atolls. This focuses attention on hazards in these ecosystems - entanglement and ingestion of marine debris - and perhaps away from longline bycatch and decadal climate regimes that affect sea turtle development in oceanic regions.

  8. Plasma biochemical and PCV ranges for healthy, wild, immature hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiting, S D; Guinea, M L; Fomiatti, K; Flint, M; Limpus, C J

    2014-06-14

    In recent years, the use of blood chemistry as a diagnostic tool for sea turtles has been demonstrated, but much of its effectiveness relies on reference intervals. The first comprehensive blood chemistry values for healthy wild hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) sea turtles are presented. Nineteen blood chemistry analytes and packed cell volume were analysed for 40 clinically healthy juvenile hawksbill sea turtles captured from a rocky reef habitat in northern Australia. We used four statistical approaches to calculate reference intervals and to investigate their use with non-normal distributions and small sample sizes, and to compare upper and lower limits between methods. Eleven analytes were correlated with curved carapace length indicating that body size should be considered when designing future studies and interpreting analyte values.

  9. Hexavalent chromium is cytotoxic and genotoxic to hawksbill sea turtle cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wise, Sandra S; Xie, Hong; Fukuda, Tomokazu; Douglas Thompson, W; Wise, John Pierce

    2014-09-01

    Sea turtles are a charismatic and ancient ocean species and can serve as key indicators for ocean ecosystems, including coral reefs and sea grass beds as well as coastal beaches. Genotoxicity studies in the species are absent, limiting our understanding of the impact of environmental toxicants on sea turtles. Hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) is a ubiquitous environmental problem worldwide, and recent studies show it is a global marine pollutant of concern. Thus, we evaluated the cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of soluble and particulate Cr(VI) in hawksbill sea turtle cells. Particulate Cr(VI) was both cytotoxic and genotoxic to sea turtle cells. Concentrations of 0.1, 0.5, 1, and 5μg/cm(2) lead chromate induced 108, 79, 54, and 7% relative survival, respectively. Additionally, concentrations of 0, 0.1, 0.5, 1, and 5μg/cm(2) lead chromate induced damage in 4, 10, 15, 26, and 36% of cells and caused 4, 11, 17, 30, and 56 chromosome aberrations in 100 metaphases, respectively. For soluble Cr, concentrations of 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2.5, and 5μM sodium chromate induced 84, 69, 46, 25, and 3% relative survival, respectively. Sodium chromate induced 3, 9, 9, 14, 21, and 29% of metaphases with damage, and caused 3, 10, 10, 16, 26, and 39 damaged chromosomes in 100 metaphases at concentrations of 0, 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2.5, and 5μM sodium chromate, respectively. These data suggest that Cr(VI) may be a concern for hawksbill sea turtles and sea turtles in general.

  10. Factors affecting hatch success of hawksbill sea turtles on Long Island, Antigua, West Indies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark Allan Ditmer

    Full Text Available Current understanding of the factors influencing hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata hatch success is disparate and based on relatively short-term studies or limited sample sizes. Because global populations of hawksbills are heavily depleted, evaluating the parameters that impact hatch success is important to their conservation and recovery. Here, we use data collected by the Jumby Bay Hawksbill Project (JBHP to investigate hatch success. The JBHP implements saturation tagging protocols to study a hawksbill rookery in Antigua, West Indies. Habitat data, which reflect the varied nesting beaches, are collected at egg deposition, and nest contents are exhumed and categorized post-emergence. We analyzed hatch success using mixed-model analyses with explanatory and predictive datasets. We incorporated a random effect for turtle identity and evaluated environmental, temporal and individual-based reproductive variables. Hatch success averaged 78.6% (SD: 21.2% during the study period. Highly supported models included multiple covariates, including distance to vegetation, deposition date, individual intra-seasonal nest number, clutch size, organic content, and sand grain size. Nests located in open sand were predicted to produce 10.4 more viable hatchlings per clutch than nests located >1.5 m into vegetation. For an individual first nesting in early July, the fourth nest of the season yielded 13.2 more viable hatchlings than the initial clutch. Generalized beach section and inter-annual variation were also supported in our explanatory dataset, suggesting that gaps remain in our understanding of hatch success. Our findings illustrate that evaluating hatch success is a complex process, involving multiple environmental and individual variables. Although distance to vegetation and hatch success were inversely related, vegetation is an important component of hawksbill nesting habitat, and a more complete assessment of the impacts of specific

  11. Somatic growth dynamics of West Atlantic hawksbill sea turtles: a spatio-temporal perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bjorndal, Karen A.; Chaloupka, Milani; Saba, Vincent S.; Diez, Carlos E.; van Dam, Robert P.; Krueger, Barry H.; Horrocks, Julia A.; Santos, Armando J. B.; Bellini, Cláudio; Marcovaldi, Maria A. G.; Nava, Mabel; Willis, Sue; Godley, Brendan J.; Gore, Shannon; Hawkes, Lucy A.; McGowan, Andrew; Witt, Matthew J.; Stringell, Thomas B.; Sanghera, Amdeep; Richardson, Peter B.; Broderick, Annette C.; Phillips, Quinton; Calosso, Marta C.; Claydon, John A. B.; Blumenthal, Janice; Moncada, Felix; Nodarse, Gonzalo; Medina, Yosvani; Dunbar, Stephen G.; Wood, Lawrence D.; Lagueux, Cynthia J.; Campbell, Cathi L.; Meylan, Anne B.; Meylan, Peter A.; Burns Perez, Virginia R.; Coleman, Robin A.; Strindberg, Samantha; Guzmán-H, Vicente; Hart, Kristen M.; Cherkiss, Michael S.; Hillis-Starr, Zandy; Lundgren, Ian; Boulon, Ralf H.; Connett, Stephen; Outerbridge, Mark E.; Bolten, Alan B.

    2016-01-01

    Somatic growth dynamics are an integrated response to environmental conditions. Hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) are long-lived, major consumers in coral reef habitats that move over broad geographic areas (hundreds to thousands of kilometers). We evaluated spatio-temporal effects on hawksbill growth dynamics over a 33-yr period and 24 study sites throughout the West Atlantic and explored relationships between growth dynamics and climate indices. We compiled the largest ever data set on somatic growth rates for hawksbills – 3541 growth increments from 1980 to 2013. Using generalized additive mixed model analyses, we evaluated 10 covariates, including spatial and temporal variation, that could affect growth rates. Growth rates throughout the region responded similarly over space and time. The lack of a spatial effect or spatio-temporal interaction and the very strong temporal effect reveal that growth rates in West Atlantic hawksbills are likely driven by region-wide forces. Between 1997 and 2013, mean growth rates declined significantly and steadily by 18%. Regional climate indices have significant relationships with annual growth rates with 0- or 1-yr lags: positive with the Multivariate El Niño Southern Oscillation Index (correlation = 0.99) and negative with Caribbean sea surface temperature (correlation = −0.85). Declines in growth rates between 1997 and 2013 throughout the West Atlantic most likely resulted from warming waters through indirect negative effects on foraging resources of hawksbills. These climatic influences are complex. With increasing temperatures, trajectories of decline of coral cover and availability in reef habitats of major prey species of hawksbills are not parallel. Knowledge of how choice of foraging habitats, prey selection, and prey abundance are affected by warming water temperatures is needed to understand how climate change will affect productivity of consumers that live in association with coral reefs. Main

  12. Comparative cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of soluble and particulate hexavalent chromium in human and hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) skin cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Jamie L; Wise, Sandra S; Xie, Hong; Zhu, Cairong; Fukuda, Tomokazu; Wise, John Pierce

    2015-12-01

    Chromium is both a global marine pollutant and a known human health hazard. In this study, we compare the cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of both soluble and particulate chromate in human and hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) skin fibroblasts. Our data show that both soluble and particulate Cr(VI) induce concentration-dependent increases in cytotoxicity, genotoxicity, and intracellular Cr ion concentrations in both human and hawksbill sea turtle fibroblasts. Based on administered concentration, particulate and soluble Cr(VI) were more cytotoxic and clastogenic to human cells than sea turtle cells. When the analysis was based on the intracellular concentration of Cr, the data showed that the response of both species was similar. The one exception was the cytotoxicity of intracellular Cr ions from soluble Cr(VI), which caused more cytotoxicity in sea turtle cells (LC50=271μM) than that of human cells (LC50=471μM), but its clastogenicity was similar between the two species. Thus, adjusting for differences in uptake indicated that the explanation for the difference in potency was mostly due to uptake rather than differently affected mechanisms. Overall these data indicate that sea turtles may be a useful sentinel for human health responses to marine pollution.

  13. First record of hybridization between green Chelonia mydas and hawksbill Eretmochelys imbricata sea turtles in the Southeast Pacific.

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    Kelez, Shaleyla; Velez-Zuazo, Ximena; Pacheco, Aldo S

    2016-01-01

    Hybridization among sea turtle species has been widely reported in the Atlantic Ocean, but their detection in the Pacific Ocean is limited to just two individual hybrid turtles, in the northern hemisphere. Herein, we report, for the first time in the southeast Pacific, the presence of a sea turtle hybrid between the green turtle Chelonia mydas and the hawksbill turtle Eretmochelys imbricata. This juvenile sea turtle was captured in northern Peru (4°13'S; 81°10'W) on the 5(th) of January, 2014. The individual exhibited morphological characteristics of C. mydas such as dark green coloration, single pair of pre-frontal scales, four post-orbital scales, and mandibular median ridge, while the presence of two claws in each frontal flipper, and elongated snout resembled the features of E. imbricata. In addition to morphological evidence, we confirmed the hybrid status of this animal using genetic analysis of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome oxidase I, which revealed that the hybrid individual resulted from the cross between a female E. imbricata and a male C. mydas. Our report extends the geographical range of occurrence of hybrid sea turtles in the Pacific Ocean, and is a significant observation of interspecific breeding between one of the world's most critically endangered populations of sea turtles, the east Pacific E. imbricata, and a relatively healthy population, the east Pacific C. mydas.

  14. First record of hybridization between green Chelonia mydas and hawksbill Eretmochelys imbricata sea turtles in the Southeast Pacific

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaleyla Kelez

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Hybridization among sea turtle species has been widely reported in the Atlantic Ocean, but their detection in the Pacific Ocean is limited to just two individual hybrid turtles, in the northern hemisphere. Herein, we report, for the first time in the southeast Pacific, the presence of a sea turtle hybrid between the green turtle Chelonia mydas and the hawksbill turtle Eretmochelys imbricata. This juvenile sea turtle was captured in northern Peru (4°13′S; 81°10′W on the 5th of January, 2014. The individual exhibited morphological characteristics of C. mydas such as dark green coloration, single pair of pre-frontal scales, four post-orbital scales, and mandibular median ridge, while the presence of two claws in each frontal flipper, and elongated snout resembled the features of E. imbricata. In addition to morphological evidence, we confirmed the hybrid status of this animal using genetic analysis of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome oxidase I, which revealed that the hybrid individual resulted from the cross between a female E. imbricata and a male C. mydas. Our report extends the geographical range of occurrence of hybrid sea turtles in the Pacific Ocean, and is a significant observation of interspecific breeding between one of the world’s most critically endangered populations of sea turtles, the east Pacific E. imbricata, and a relatively healthy population, the east Pacific C. mydas.

  15. The characterization of cytosolic glutathione transferase from four species of sea turtles: loggerhead (Caretta caretta), green (Chelonia mydas), olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea), and hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, Kristine L; Gold-Bouchot, Gerardo; Schlenk, Daniel

    2009-08-01

    Glutathione s-transferases (GST) play a critical role in the detoxification of exogenous and endogenous electrophiles, as well as the products of oxidative stress. As compared to mammals, GST activity has not been extensively characterized in reptiles. Throughout the globe, most sea turtle populations face the risk of extinction. Of the natural and anthropogenic threats to sea turtles, the effects of environmental chemicals and related biochemical mechanisms, such as GST catalyzed detoxification, are probably the least understood. In the present study, GST activity was characterized in four species of sea turtles with varied life histories and feeding strategies: loggerhead (Caretta caretta), green (Chelonia mydas), olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea), and hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata). Although similar GST kinetics was observed between species, rates of catalytic activities using class-specific substrates show inter- and intra-species variation. GST from the spongivorous hawksbill sea turtle shows 3-4.5 fold higher activity with the substrate 4-nitrobenzylchloride than the other 3 species. GST from the herbivorous green sea turtle shows 3 fold higher activity with the substrate ethacrynic acid than the carnivorous olive ridley sea turtle. The results of this study may provide insight into differences in biotransformation potential in the four species of sea turtles and the possible health impacts of contaminant biotransformation by sea turtles.

  16. Characterization of a subtropical hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmocheyles imbricata) assemblage utilizing shallow water natural and artificial habitats in the Florida Keys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorham, Jonathan C; Clark, David R; Bresette, Michael J; Bagley, Dean A; Keske, Carrie L; Traxler, Steve L; Witherington, Blair E; Shamblin, Brian M; Nairn, Campbell J

    2014-01-01

    In order to provide information to better inform management decisions and direct further research, vessel-based visual transects, snorkel transects, and in-water capture techniques were used to characterize hawksbill sea turtles in the shallow marine habitats of a Marine Protected Area (MPA), the Key West National Wildlife Refuge in the Florida Keys. Hawksbills were found in hardbottom and seagrass dominated habitats throughout the Refuge, and on man-made rubble structures in the Northwest Channel near Cottrell Key. Hawksbills captured (N = 82) were exclusively juveniles and subadults with a straight standard carapace length (SSCL) ranging from 21.4 to 69.0cm with a mean of 44.1 cm (SD = 10.8). Somatic growth rates were calculated from 15 recaptured turtles with periods at large ranging from 51 to 1188 days. Mean SSCL growth rate was 7.7 cm/year (SD = 4.6). Juvenile hawksbills (turtles yielded 12 haplotypes. Haplotype frequencies were significantly different compared to four other Caribbean juvenile foraging aggregations, including one off the Atlantic coast of Florida. Many-to-one mixed stock analysis indicated Mexico as the primary source of juveniles in the region and also suggested that the Refuge may serve as important developmental habitat for the Cuban nesting aggregation. Serum testosterone radioimmunoassay results from 33 individuals indicated a female biased sex ratio of 3.3 females: 1 male for hawksbills in the Refuge. This assemblage of hawksbills is near the northern limit of the species range, and is one of only two such assemblages described in the waters of the continental United States. Since this assemblage resides in an MPA with intensive human use, basic information on the assemblage is vital to resource managers charged with conservation and species protection in the MPA.

  17. Characterization of a subtropical hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmocheyles imbricata assemblage utilizing shallow water natural and artificial habitats in the Florida Keys.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan C Gorham

    Full Text Available In order to provide information to better inform management decisions and direct further research, vessel-based visual transects, snorkel transects, and in-water capture techniques were used to characterize hawksbill sea turtles in the shallow marine habitats of a Marine Protected Area (MPA, the Key West National Wildlife Refuge in the Florida Keys. Hawksbills were found in hardbottom and seagrass dominated habitats throughout the Refuge, and on man-made rubble structures in the Northwest Channel near Cottrell Key. Hawksbills captured (N = 82 were exclusively juveniles and subadults with a straight standard carapace length (SSCL ranging from 21.4 to 69.0cm with a mean of 44.1 cm (SD = 10.8. Somatic growth rates were calculated from 15 recaptured turtles with periods at large ranging from 51 to 1188 days. Mean SSCL growth rate was 7.7 cm/year (SD = 4.6. Juvenile hawksbills (<50 cm SSCL showed a significantly higher growth rate (9.2 cm/year, SD = 4.5, N = 11 than subadult hawksbills (50-70 cm SSCL, 3.6 cm/year, SD = 0.9, N = 4. Analysis of 740 base pair mitochondrial control region sequences from 50 sampled turtles yielded 12 haplotypes. Haplotype frequencies were significantly different compared to four other Caribbean juvenile foraging aggregations, including one off the Atlantic coast of Florida. Many-to-one mixed stock analysis indicated Mexico as the primary source of juveniles in the region and also suggested that the Refuge may serve as important developmental habitat for the Cuban nesting aggregation. Serum testosterone radioimmunoassay results from 33 individuals indicated a female biased sex ratio of 3.3 females: 1 male for hawksbills in the Refuge. This assemblage of hawksbills is near the northern limit of the species range, and is one of only two such assemblages described in the waters of the continental United States. Since this assemblage resides in an MPA with intensive human use, basic information on

  18. Relationship between organochlorine pesticides and stress indicators in hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) nesting at Punta Xen (Campeche), Southern Gulf of Mexico.

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    Tremblay, Nelly; Ortíz Arana, Alejandro; González Jáuregui, Mauricio; Rendón-von Osten, Jaime

    2017-03-01

    Data on the impact of environmental pollution on the homeostasis of sea turtles remains scarce, particularly in the Southern Gulf of Mexico. As many municipalities along the coastline of the Yucatan Peninsula do not rely on a waste treatment plant, these organisms could be particularly vulnerable. We searched for relationships between the presence of organochlorine pesticides (OCP) and the level of several oxidative and pollutant stress indicators of the hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) during the 2010 nesting season at Punta Xen (Campeche, Mexico). Of the 30 sampled sea turtles, endosulfans, aldrin related (aldrin, endrin, dieldrin, endrin ketone, endrin aldehyde) and dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDT) families were detected in 17, 21 and 26, respectively. Significant correlation existed between the size of sea turtles with the concentration of methoxychlor, cholinesterase activity in plasma and heptachlors family, and catalase activity and hexachlorohexane family. Cholinesterase activity in washed erythrocytes and lipid peroxidation were positively correlated with glutathione reductase activity. Antioxidant enzyme actions seem adequate as no lipids damages were correlated with any OCPs. Future studies are necessary to evaluate the effect of OCPs on males of the area due to the significant detection of methoxychlor, which target endocrine functioning and increases its concentration with sea turtles size.

  19. Specific accumulation of arsenic compounds in green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) from Ishigaki Island, Japan

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    Agusa, Tetsuro; Takagi, Kozue [Center for Marine Environmental Studies (CMES), Ehime University, Bunkyo-cho 2-5, Matsuyama 790-8577 (Japan); Kubota, Reiji [Division of Environmental Chemistry, National Institute of Health Sciences, Kamiyoga 1-18-1, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 158-8501 (Japan); Anan, Yasumi [Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chiba University, Inohana 1-8-1, Chuo-ku, Chiba 260-8675 (Japan); Iwata, Hisato [Center for Marine Environmental Studies (CMES), Ehime University, Bunkyo-cho 2-5, Matsuyama 790-8577 (Japan); Tanabe, Shinsuke [Center for Marine Environmental Studies (CMES), Ehime University, Bunkyo-cho 2-5, Matsuyama 790-8577 (Japan)], E-mail: shinsuke@agr.ehime-u.ac.jp

    2008-05-15

    Concentrations of total arsenic (As) and individual compounds were determined in green and hawksbill turtles from Ishigaki Island, Japan. In both species, total As concentrations were highest in muscle among the tissues. Arsenobetaine was a major compound in most tissues of both turtles. High concentrations of trimethylarsine oxide were detected in hawksbill turtles. A significant negative correlation between standard carapace length (SCL), an indicator of age, and total As levels in green turtles was found. In contrast, the levels increased with SCL of hawksbill turtles. Shifts in feeding habitats with growth may account for such a growth-dependent accumulation of As. Although concentrations of As in marine sponges, the major food of hawksbill turtles are not high compared to those in algae eaten by green turtles, As concentrations in hawksbill turtles were higher than those in green turtles, indicating that hawksbill turtles may have a specific accumulation mechanism for As. - Green turtles and hawksbill turtles have specific accumulation features of arsenic.

  20. Phylogeography, Genetic Diversity, and Management Units of Hawksbill Turtles in the Indo-Pacific.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vargas, Sarah M; Jensen, Michael P; Ho, Simon Y W; Mobaraki, Asghar; Broderick, Damien; Mortimer, Jeanne A; Whiting, Scott D; Miller, Jeff; Prince, Robert I T; Bell, Ian P; Hoenner, Xavier; Limpus, Colin J; Santos, Fabrício R; FitzSimmons, Nancy N

    2016-05-01

    Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) populations have experienced global decline because of a history of intense commercial exploitation for shell and stuffed taxidermied whole animals, and harvest for eggs and meat. Improved understanding of genetic diversity and phylogeography is needed to aid conservation. In this study, we analyzed the most geographically comprehensive sample of hawksbill turtles from the Indo-Pacific Ocean, sequencing 766 bp of the mitochondrial control region from 13 locations (plus Aldabra, n = 4) spanning over 13500 km. Our analysis of 492 samples revealed 52 haplotypes distributed in 5 divergent clades. Diversification times differed between the Indo-Pacific and Atlantic lineages and appear to be related to the sea-level changes that occurred during the Last Glacial Maximum. We found signals of demographic expansion only for turtles from the Persian Gulf region, which can be tied to a more recent colonization event. Our analyses revealed evidence of transoceanic migration, including connections between feeding grounds from the Atlantic Ocean and Indo-Pacific rookeries. Hawksbill turtles appear to have a complex pattern of phylogeography, showing a weak isolation by distance and evidence of multiple colonization events. Our novel dataset will allow mixed-stock analyses of hawksbill turtle feeding grounds in the Indo-Pacific by providing baseline data needed for conservation efforts in the region. Eight management units are proposed in our study for the Indo-Pacific region that can be incorporated in conservation plans of this critically endangered species.

  1. Induction of oviposition by the administration of oxytocin in hawksbill turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawazu, Isao; Kino, Masakatsu; Maeda, Konomi; Yamaguchi, Yasuhiro; Sawamukai, Yutaka

    2014-12-01

    We set out to develop an oviposition induction technique for captive female hawksbill turtles Eretmochelys imbricata. The infertile eggs of nine females were induced to develop by the administration of follicle-stimulating hormone, after which we investigated the effects of administering oxytocin on oviposition. Seven of the turtles were held in a stationary horizontal position on a retention stand, and then oxytocin was administrated (0.6-0.8 units/kg of body weight; 5 mL). The seven turtles were retained for a mandatory 2 h period after oxytocin administration, and were then returned to the holding tanks. As the control, normal saline (5 mL) was administered to the other two turtles, followed by the administration of oxytocin after 24 h. The eggs in oviducts of all nine turtles were observed by ultrasonography at 24 h after oxytocin administration. The control experiment validated that stationary retention and normal saline administration had no effect on egg oviposition. Eight of the turtles began ovipositing eggs at 17-43 min after oxytocin administration, while one began ovipositing in the holding tank immediately after retention. All turtles finished ovipositing eggs within 24 h of oxytocin administration. This report is the first to demonstrate successful induced oviposition in sea turtles. We suggest that the muscles in the oviducts of hawksbill turtles may respond to relatively lower doses of oxytocin (inducing contractions) compared to land and freshwater turtles (4-40 units/kg) based on existing studies.

  2. Natal foraging philopatry in eastern Pacific hawksbill turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaos, Alexander R; Lewison, Rebecca L; Jensen, Michael P; Liles, Michael J; Henriquez, Ana; Chavarria, Sofia; Pacheco, Carlos Mario; Valle, Melissa; Melero, David; Gadea, Velkiss; Altamirano, Eduardo; Torres, Perla; Vallejo, Felipe; Miranda, Cristina; LeMarie, Carolina; Lucero, Jesus; Oceguera, Karen; Chácon, Didiher; Fonseca, Luis; Abrego, Marino; Seminoff, Jeffrey A; Flores, Eric E; Llamas, Israel; Donadi, Rodrigo; Peña, Bernardo; Muñoz, Juan Pablo; Ruales, Daniela Alarcòn; Chaves, Jaime A; Otterstrom, Sarah; Zavala, Alan; Hart, Catherine E; Brittain, Rachel; Alfaro-Shigueto, Joanna; Mangel, Jeffrey; Yañez, Ingrid L; Dutton, Peter H

    2017-08-01

    The complex processes involved with animal migration have long been a subject of biological interest, and broad-scale movement patterns of many marine turtle populations still remain unresolved. While it is widely accepted that once marine turtles reach sexual maturity they home to natal areas for nesting or reproduction, the role of philopatry to natal areas during other life stages has received less scrutiny, despite widespread evidence across the taxa. Here we report on genetic research that indicates that juvenile hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) in the eastern Pacific Ocean use foraging grounds in the region of their natal beaches, a pattern we term natal foraging philopatry. Our findings confirm that traditional views of natal homing solely for reproduction are incomplete and that many marine turtle species exhibit philopatry to natal areas to forage. Our results have important implications for life-history research and conservation of marine turtles and may extend to other wide-ranging marine vertebrates that demonstrate natal philopatry.

  3. Survey of Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricate Health Condition in Terms of Parasites and Microbes in Alas Purwo National Park, Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qurrota A'yunin

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Indonesian waters have six types of turtles that can live, spawn and breed. Sea turtle conservation becomes an important and urgent program to be done in order to protect and save sea turtle population in Indonesia. One of the factors that most affect the turtle population is the cause of degradation of pathogenic factors. Alas Purwo National Park, East Java, there is some communities that have activities turtle conservation. Conservation is done by securing and protecting turtle eggs. Turtle eggs that have hatched are released into the sea once it is ready. This study aims was to determine the type of bacteria and fungi that infect hatchlings and environmental factors that influence. This research is descriptive method to Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricate is by way of random sampling. Sampling of microbes in sea turtle was conducted using cotton swab method and then microbes was cultured and indentified in laboratory. The results showed The kind of parasites and microbes which were indentified in hatching and adult Hawksbill sea turtles were fungus with genus Aspergillus sp., Geotrichum sp., Fusarium sp., and Gliocladium sp. ; bacteria are Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Enterobacter cloaceae; and parasite is Chelonibia testudinaria barnacles.  The parameter average value of water in pond indicated 28.1 – 29.2°C for temperature, 32 - 34 ‰ for salinity, 7.78 – 8.2 for pH, and 3.86 – 4.21 mg/L for DO.

  4. Genetic structure and natal origins of immature hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata in Brazilian waters.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maira C Proietti

    Full Text Available Understanding the connections between sea turtle populations is fundamental for their effective conservation. Brazil hosts important hawksbill feeding areas, but few studies have focused on how they connect with nesting populations in the Atlantic. Here, we (1 characterized mitochondrial DNA control region haplotypes of immature hawksbills feeding along the coast of Brazil (five areas ranging from equatorial to temperate latitudes, 157 skin samples, (2 analyzed genetic structure among Atlantic hawksbill feeding populations, and (3 inferred natal origins of hawksbills in Brazilian waters using genetic, oceanographic, and population size information. We report ten haplotypes for the sampled Brazilian sites, most of which were previously observed at other Atlantic feeding grounds and rookeries. Genetic profiles of Brazilian feeding areas were significantly different from those in other regions (Caribbean and Africa, and a significant structure was observed between Brazilian feeding grounds grouped into areas influenced by the South Equatorial/North Brazil Current and those influenced by the Brazil Current. Our genetic analysis estimates that the studied Brazilian feeding aggregations are mostly composed of animals originating from the domestic rookeries Bahia and Pipa, but some contributions from African and Caribbean rookeries were also observed. Oceanographic data corroborated the local origins, but showed higher connection with West Africa and none with the Caribbean. High correlation was observed between origins estimated through genetics/rookery size and oceanographic/rookery size data, demonstrating that ocean currents and population sizes influence haplotype distribution of Brazil's hawksbill populations. The information presented here highlights the importance of national conservation strategies and international cooperation for the recovery of endangered hawksbill turtle populations.

  5. Diversity and status of sea turtle species in the Gulf of Guinea islands

    OpenAIRE

    Castroviejo, Javier; Juste, Javier; Pérez del Val, Jaime; Castelo, Ramón; Gil, Ramón

    1994-01-01

    In West Africa, the Gulf of Guinea islands are important nesting places for four sea turtle species. The Green turtle (Chelonia mydas), the Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), the Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) and the Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) turtles nest on Bioko’s southern beaches. The Green, Hawksbill and Leatherback turtles breed on Principe and São Tome. The Leatherback turtle nests, at least, on Annobén. The Leatherback turtle is reported on the four islan...

  6. Sea Turtle Conservation on Bonaire. Sea Turtle Club Bonaire 1995 Project Report and Long Term Proposal

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Valkering, N.P.; Nugteren, Van P.; Eijck, Van T.J.W.

    1996-01-01

    Bonaire (12°12’N, 68°77’W), Netherlands Antilles, is famous for its unspoiled coral reefs. Reefs and lush sea grass provide forage and refuge for two species of endangered sea turtle, the green turtle ( Chelonia mydas) and the hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata). Loggerhead ( Caretta caretta ) and le

  7. Sea Turtle Conservation on Bonaire. Sea Turtle Club Bonaire 1995 Project Report and Long Term Proposal

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Valkering, N.P.; Nugteren, Van P.; Eijck, Van T.J.W.

    1996-01-01

    Bonaire (12°12’N, 68°77’W), Netherlands Antilles, is famous for its unspoiled coral reefs. Reefs and lush sea grass provide forage and refuge for two species of endangered sea turtle, the green turtle ( Chelonia mydas) and the hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata). Loggerhead ( Caretta caretta ) and

  8. Sea Turtle Conservation on Bonaire. Sea Turtle Club Bonaire 1995 Project Report and Long Term Proposal

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Valkering, N.P.; Nugteren, Van P.; Eijck, Van T.J.W.

    1996-01-01

    Bonaire (12°12’N, 68°77’W), Netherlands Antilles, is famous for its unspoiled coral reefs. Reefs and lush sea grass provide forage and refuge for two species of endangered sea turtle, the green turtle ( Chelonia mydas) and the hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata). Loggerhead ( Caretta caretta ) and le

  9. Use of coral reefs by hawksbill turtles in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Ongoing mark-recapture and satellite tagging are being conducted to understand how public use of reefs impacts hawksbill turtle habitat use and relative abundance

  10. Shifting the life-history paradigm: discovery of novel habitat use by hawksbill turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaos, Alexander R.; Lewison, Rebecca L.; Yañez, Ingrid L.; Wallace, Bryan P.; Liles, Michael J.; Nichols, Wallace J.; Baquero, Andres; Hasbún, Carlos R.; Vasquez, Mauricio; Urteaga, José; Seminoff, Jeffrey A.

    2012-01-01

    Adult hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) are typically described as open-coast, coral reef and hard substrate dwellers. Here, we report new satellite tracking data on female hawksbills from several countries in the eastern Pacific that revealed previously undocumented behaviour for adults of the species. In contrast to patterns of habitat use exhibited by their Caribbean and Indo-Pacific counterparts, eastern Pacific hawksbills generally occupied inshore estuaries, wherein they had strong associations with mangrove saltwater forests. The use of inshore habitats and affinities with mangrove saltwater forests presents a previously unknown life-history paradigm for adult hawksbill turtles and suggests a potentially unique evolutionary trajectory for the species. Our findings highlight the variability in life-history strategies that marine turtles and other wide-ranging marine wildlife may exhibit among ocean regions, and the importance of understanding such disparities from an ecological and management perspective. PMID:21880620

  11. Spirorchiids (Digenea: Spirorchiidae infecting a Hawksbill sea turtle Eretmochelys imbricata (Linnaeus 1758 from Brazil Spirorchiids (Digenea: Spirorchiidae infectando uma tartaruga marinha de pente Eretmochelys imbricata (Linnaeus 1758 no Brasil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.R. Werneck

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available The occurrence of Amphiorchis caborojoensis Fischthal & Acholonu 1976 and Carettacola stunkardi Martin & Bamberger 1952 in a young specimen of Hawksbill sea turtle Eretmochelys imbricata Linnaeus 1758 in Brazil was reported. Five A. caborojoensis trematodes were found in the small intestine (n=2 and liver (n=3, and two adult C. stunkardi specimens were collected from body wash. This is the first report of parasites of E. imbricata in Brazilian waters and Southwestern Atlantic Ocean and the second report of members of the Spirorchiidae family in that region. In addition, E. imbricata is a new host recorded for C. stunkardi.Relata-se a ocorrência de Amphiorchis caborojoensis Fischthal & Acholonu 1976 e Carettacola stunkardi Martin e Bamberger 1952, em um exemplar juvenil de tartaruga marinha de pente Eretmochelys imbricata Linnaeus 1758 no Brasil. Foram coletados cinco trematódeos da espécie A. caborojoensis, dois no intestino delgado e três no fígado e dois exemplares adultos de C. stunkardi no lavado corporal. Destes apenas a espécie A. caborojoensis já tinha sido relatada como parasita dessa espécie de quelônio marinho. Esta é a primeira descrição de parasitas em E. imbricata em águas brasileiras e na área do Atlântico Sul Ocidental, e o segundo relato de membros da família Spirorchiidae na mesma região.

  12. Hawksbill turtle terra incognita: conservation genetics of eastern Pacific rookeries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaos, Alexander R; Lewison, Rebecca L; Liles, Michael J; Gadea, Velkiss; Altamirano, Eduardo; Henríquez, Ana V; Torres, Perla; Urteaga, José; Vallejo, Felipe; Baquero, Andres; LeMarie, Carolina; Muñoz, Juan Pablo; Chaves, Jaime A; Hart, Catherine E; Peña de Niz, Alejandro; Chácon, Didiher; Fonseca, Luis; Otterstrom, Sarah; Yañez, Ingrid L; LaCasella, Erin L; Frey, Amy; Jensen, Michael P; Dutton, Peter H

    2016-02-01

    Prior to 2008 and the discovery of several important hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) nesting colonies in the EP (Eastern Pacific), the species was considered virtually absent from the region. Research since that time has yielded new insights into EP hawksbills, salient among them being the use of mangrove estuaries for nesting. These recent revelations have raised interest in the genetic characterization of hawksbills in the EP, studies of which have remained lacking to date. Between 2008 and 2014, we collected tissue samples from 269 nesting hawksbills at nine rookeries across the EP and used mitochondrial DNA sequences (766 bp) to generate the first genetic characterization of rookeries in the region. Our results inform genetic diversity, population differentiation, and phylogeography of the species. Hawksbills in the EP demonstrate low genetic diversity: We identified a total of only seven haplotypes across the region, including five new and two previously identified nesting haplotypes (pooled frequencies of 58.4% and 41.6%, respectively), the former only evident in Central American rookeries. Despite low genetic diversity, we found strong stock structure between the four principal rookeries, suggesting the existence of multiple populations and warranting their recognition as distinct management units. Furthermore, haplotypes EiIP106 and EiIP108 are unique to hawksbills that nest in mangrove estuaries, a behavior found only in hawksbills along Pacific Central America. The detected genetic differentiation supports the existence of a novel mangrove estuary "reproductive ecotype" that may warrant additional conservation attention. From a phylogeographic perspective, our research indicates hawksbills colonized the EP via the Indo-Pacific, and do not represent relict populations isolated from the Atlantic by the rising of the Panama Isthmus. Low overall genetic diversity in the EP is likely the combined result of few rookeries, extremely small

  13. Diet Composition of Hawksbill Turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    before analysis, blotted dry and inspected under ... (NaOCl) for 15 minutes for spicule analysis. Settled material was extracted and ..... data can also be collected and individual subjects can .... SWoT State of the World's Sea Turtles. Report, 1: 8.

  14. Solomon Islands largest hawksbill turtle rookery shows signs of recovery after 150 years of excessive exploitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, Richard J; Bird, Tomas; Gereniu, Collin; Pita, John; Ramohia, Peter C; Walter, Richard; Goerlich, Clara; Limpus, Colin

    2015-01-01

    The largest rookery for hawksbill turtles in the oceanic South Pacific is the Arnavon Islands, which are located in the Manning Strait between Isabel and Choiseul Province, Solomon Islands. The history of this rookery is one of overexploitation, conflict and violence. Throughout the 1800s Roviana headhunters from New Georgia repeatedly raided the Manning Strait to collect hawksbill shell which they traded with European whalers. By the 1970s the Arnavons hawksbill population was in severe decline and the national government intervened, declaring the Arnavons a sanctuary in 1976. But this government led initiative was short lived, with traditional owners burning down the government infrastructure and resuming intensive harvesting in 1982. In 1991 routine beach monitoring and turtle tagging commenced at the Arnavons along with extensive community consultations regarding the islands' future, and in 1995 the Arnavon Community Marine Conservation Area (ACMCA) was established. Around the same time national legislation banning the sale of all turtle products was passed. This paper represents the first analysis of data from 4536 beach surveys and 845 individual turtle tagging histories obtained from the Arnavons between 1991-2012. Our results and the results of others, reveal that many of the hawksbill turtles that nest at the ACMCA forage in distant Australian waters, and that nesting on the Arnavons occurs throughout the year with peak nesting activity coinciding with the austral winter. Our results also provide the first known evidence of recovery for a western pacific hawksbill rookery, with the number of nests laid at the ACMCA and the remigration rates of turtles doubling since the establishment of the ACMCA in 1995. The Arnavons case study provides an example of how changes in policy, inclusive community-based management and long term commitment can turn the tide for one of the most charismatic and endangered species on our planet.

  15. Solomon Islands largest hawksbill turtle rookery shows signs of recovery after 150 years of excessive exploitation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard J Hamilton

    Full Text Available The largest rookery for hawksbill turtles in the oceanic South Pacific is the Arnavon Islands, which are located in the Manning Strait between Isabel and Choiseul Province, Solomon Islands. The history of this rookery is one of overexploitation, conflict and violence. Throughout the 1800s Roviana headhunters from New Georgia repeatedly raided the Manning Strait to collect hawksbill shell which they traded with European whalers. By the 1970s the Arnavons hawksbill population was in severe decline and the national government intervened, declaring the Arnavons a sanctuary in 1976. But this government led initiative was short lived, with traditional owners burning down the government infrastructure and resuming intensive harvesting in 1982. In 1991 routine beach monitoring and turtle tagging commenced at the Arnavons along with extensive community consultations regarding the islands' future, and in 1995 the Arnavon Community Marine Conservation Area (ACMCA was established. Around the same time national legislation banning the sale of all turtle products was passed. This paper represents the first analysis of data from 4536 beach surveys and 845 individual turtle tagging histories obtained from the Arnavons between 1991-2012. Our results and the results of others, reveal that many of the hawksbill turtles that nest at the ACMCA forage in distant Australian waters, and that nesting on the Arnavons occurs throughout the year with peak nesting activity coinciding with the austral winter. Our results also provide the first known evidence of recovery for a western pacific hawksbill rookery, with the number of nests laid at the ACMCA and the remigration rates of turtles doubling since the establishment of the ACMCA in 1995. The Arnavons case study provides an example of how changes in policy, inclusive community-based management and long term commitment can turn the tide for one of the most charismatic and endangered species on our planet.

  16. Comparative phylogeny and historical perspectives on population genetics of the Pacific hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) and green turtles (Chelonia mydas), inferred from feeding populations in the Yaeyama Islands, Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishizawa, Hideaki; Okuyama, Junichi; Kobayashi, Masato; Abe, Osamu; Arai, Nobuaki

    2010-01-01

    Mitochondrial DNA sequence polymorphisms and patterns of genetic diversity represent the genealogy and relative impacts of historical, geographic, and demographic events on populations. In this study, historical patterns of population dynamics and differentiation in hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) and green turtles (Chelonia mydas) in the Pacific were estimated from feeding populations in the Yaeyama Islands, Japan. Phylogenetic relationships of the haplotypes indicated that hawksbill and green turtles in the Pacific probably underwent very similar patterns and processes of population dynamics over the last million years, with population subdivision during the early Pleistocene and population expansion after the last glacial maximum. These significant contemporary historical events were suggested to have been caused by climatic and sea-level fluctuations. On the other hand, comparing our results to long-term population dynamics in the Atlantic, population subdivisions during the early Pleistocene were specific to Pacific hawksbill and green turtles. Therefore, regional differences in historical population dynamics are suggested. Despite limited sampling locations, these results are the first step in estimating the historical trends in Pacific sea turtles by using phylogenetics and population genetics.

  17. Sea Turtle Interaction Report

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Sea Turtle Interaction Report is a report sent out in pdf format to authorized individuals that summarizes sea turtle interactions in the longline fishery. The...

  18. Sea Turtle Interaction Report

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Sea Turtle Interaction Report is a report sent out in pdf format to authorized individuals that summarizes sea turtle interactions in the longline fishery. The...

  19. Checklist of sea turtles endohelminth in Neotropical region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Werneck M. R.

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a list of parasites described in sea turtles from the Neotropical region. Through the review of literature the occurrence of 79 taxa of helminthes parasites were observed, mostly consisting of the Phylum Platyhelminthes with 76 species distributed in 14 families and 2 families of the Phylum Nematoda within 3 species. Regarding the parasite records, the most studied host was the green turtle (Chelonia mydas followed by the hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata, olive ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea, loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta and leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea. Overall helminths were reported in 12 countries and in the Caribbean Sea region. This checklist is the largest compilation of data on helminths found in sea turtles in the Neotropical region.

  20. Comparison of organochlorine pesticides and PCB residues among hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) and green (Chelonia mydas) turtles in the Yucatan Peninsula and their maternal transfer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Besné, Gabriela; Valdespino, Carolina; Rendón-von Osten, Jaime

    2015-02-15

    Organochlorine pesticides and PCB (POPs) concentrations were determined in the blood and eggs of green and hawksbill turtles. We compared concentrations between species, analyzed the relationship between turtle size and the POPs concentrations and the relationship between the concentrations in the blood of the nesting turtles and their eggs. We expected higher concentrations in the hawksbill turtle because of its higher trophic level, but concentrations were not higher in all the cases. Significant differences were found in δ-HCH blood concentrations. Lindane, heptachlor epoxide and PCB 101 concentrations were significantly higher in the hawksbill eggs. The relationship between the size of the turtles and the POP concentrations in the eggs of the hawksbills showed a negative correlation. No correlation was found between the size of the female and concentrations in the blood. In eggs, only the hawksbill turtles exhibited negative correlation in the concentration of mirex and PCB 44 and size.

  1. Age and body size of captive hawksbill turtles at the onset of follicular development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawazu, Isao; Kino, Masakatsu; Maeda, Konomi; Teruya, Hideshi

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to record the age and body size of 23 captive female hawksbill turtles at the onset of follicular development. The age, straight carapace length (SCL), and body mass (BM) of the turtles were recorded between 2006 and 2014 at follicular development (determined via ultrasonography) these parameters were 17.7 ± 1.7 years (range: 13-20 years), 77.7 ± 3.3 cm (73.3-83.5 cm), and 61.1 ± 8.0 kg (48.2-76.1 kg), respectively. When the year of the onset of follicular development was designated year 0, the increase in SCL in years -7-0 and 0-3 averaged 2.2 cm and 1.0 cm, respectively. Correspondingly, the increase in BM in years -7-0 and 0-3 averaged 5.0 kg and 2.2 kg, respectively. This is the first study to report the age and body size of captive female hawksbill turtles at the onset of follicular development, which indicates the beginning of sexual maturation. The reduction in growth after follicular development suggests that at the onset of sexual maturation, female hawksbills may utilize energy for follicular development rather than growth.

  2. Recent sightings of the Hawksbill turtle Eretmochelys imbricata (Linnaeus, 1757 on the coast of Northern Andhra Pradesh, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K.L.N Murthy

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available The coast of Northern Andhra Pradesh has predominantly rocky and sandy shores with sporadic nesting sites of olive ridley turtles Lepidochelys olivacea. However, there have been rare sightings of hawksbill turtles Eretmochelys imbricata along this coast in the past couple of decades and their nesting is seldom observed. Carcasses of two adult hawksbill turtles were observed on 29/12/2010 and 07/03/2011 along the coast of Visakhapatnam in Northern Andhra Pradesh, India. These sightings of dead hawksbill turtles along this coast come recently after a long gap of several years and emphasize on the need to carry out surveys in the area for devising effective long term conservation management strategies.

  3. Home range, habitat use, and migrations of hawksbill turtles tracked from Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Kristen M.; Sartain-Iverson, Autumn R.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Pratt, Harold L.; Morley, Danielle; Feeley, Michael W.

    2012-01-01

    To determine habitat-use patterns of sub-adult hawksbills Eretmochelys imbricata, we conducted satellite- and acoustic-tracking of 3 turtles captured in August 2008 within Dry Tortugas National Park (DRTO), south Florida, USA, in the Gulf of Mexico; turtles ranged in size from 51.9 to 69.8 cm straight carapace length. After 263, 699, and 655 d of residence in the park, turtles migrated out of the DRTO. Within the park, core-use areas (i.e. 50% kernel density estimates) were 9.2 to 21.5 km2; all 3 turtle core-use areas overlapped in an area 6.1 km2 within a zone of the park with multiple human uses (e.g. fishing, anchoring). Two turtles migrated to Cuba and ceased transmitting after 320 and 687 tracking days; the third turtle migrated toward Key West, Florida, and ceased transmitting after 884 tracking days. The present study highlights previously unknown regional connections for hawksbills, possible turtle-harvest incidents, and fine-scale habitat use of sub-adult hawksbills within a United States National Park.

  4. Mass poisoning after consumption of a hawksbill turtle, Federated States of Micronesia, 2010

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boris Pavlin

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Marine turtles of all species are capable of being toxic. On 17 October 2010, health authorities in the Federated States of Micronesia were notified of the sudden death of three children and the sickening of approximately 20 other people on Murilo Atoll in Chuuk State. The illnesses were suspected to be the result of mass consumption of a hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata. An investigation team was assembled to confirm the cause of the outbreak, describe the epidemiology of cases and provide recommendations for control. Methods: We conducted chart reviews, interviewed key informants, collected samples for laboratory analysis, performed environmental investigations and conducted a cohort study. Results: Four children and two adults died in the outbreak and 95 others were sickened; 84% of those who ate the turtle became ill (n = 101. The relative risk for developing illness after consuming the turtle was 11.1 (95% confidence inteval: 4.8–25.9; there was a dose-dependent relationship between amount of turtle meat consumed and risk of illness. Environmental and epidemiological investigations revealed no alternative explanation for the mass illness. Laboratory testing failed to identify a causative agent. Conclusion: We concluded that turtle poisoning (also called chelonitoxism was the cause of the outbreak on Murilo. The range of illness described in this investigation is consistent with previously reported cases of chelonitoxism. This devastating incident highlights the dangers, particularly to children, of consuming turtle meat. Future incidents are certain to occur unless action is taken to alter turtle-eating behaviour in coastal communities throughout the world.

  5. Levels and distribution of polybrominated diphenyl ethers and organochlorine compounds in sea turtles from Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malarvannan, Govindan; Takahashi, Shin; Isobe, Tomohiko; Kunisue, Tatsuya; Sudaryanto, Agus; Miyagi, Toshihiko; Nakamura, Masaru; Yasumura, Shigeki; Tanabe, Shinsuke

    2011-01-01

    Three species of sea turtles (green, hawksbill and loggerhead turtles) stranded along the coasts or caught (by-catch) around Ishigaki Island and Kochi, Japan were collected between 1998 and 2006 and analyzed for six organohalogen compounds viz., PBDEs, PCBs, DDTs, CHLs, HCHs and HCB. The present study is the first and foremost to report the occurrence of organohalogen compounds in the sea turtles from Japan. Among the compounds analyzed, concentrations of PCBs, DDTs and CHLs were the highest in all the turtle samples. PBDEs were ubiquitously present in all the turtle species. Comparing with the other two species, concentrations of organohalogens in green turtle were relatively low and decreasing trend in the concentrations were noted with increasing carapace length. Concentrations of OCs in sea turtles from the coasts of Ishigaki Island and Kochi were relatively low as compared to those from other locations in the world.

  6. Population Study of the Hawksbill Turtle Eretmochelys imbricata (Cheloniidae in the Southern Pacific region of Colombia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Tobón-López

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this research was to determine biological and ecological population characteristics of the hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata found in the southern Colombian Pacific department of Cauca. Morphometric measurements were recorded, the health status of individuals was reviewed, and blood samples were taken for a biochemistry assessment. During the seven months of the investigation, 25 hawksbill turtles were caught (16 different individuals on the reefs of Gorgona Natural National Park. Forty-six percent of the total numbers of turtles assessed were recaptured during the study period. While no obvious health problems were noted, most animals possessed epibionts and filamentous algae covering the carapace, some parts of the limbs, as well as on their neck. Curved carapace length (CCL showed the highest proportion of individuals were between 37 and 45 cm. Sixteen individuals captured in Gorgona Natural National Park were compared with 11 individuals captured in the coastal zone of the department of Cauca. Using the Mann-Whitney U test, a significant difference in CCL was found between these two groups; the animals from Gorgona National Park were larger than those present on the coast of the mainland (Z = -2.59, p = 0.007. Uric acid concentrations were found to be higher than previously referenced values. ESTUDIO POBLACIONAL DE LA TORTUGA CAREY Eretmochelys imbricata (CHELONIIDAE EN EL PACÍFICO SUR DE COLOMBIAEl objetivo de esta investigación fue conocer aspectos poblacionales, biológicos y ecológicos de las tortugas carey (Eretmochelys imbricata presentes en el Pacífico sur de Colombia (Departamento del Cauca, para esto se tomó información de morfometría, se revisó el estado de salud de los individuos y  se tomaron muestras de sangre para valoración de química sanguínea. Durante siete meses de muestreo se capturaron 25 tortugas carey (16 individuos diferentes en los arrecifes del Parque Nacional Natural Gorgona

  7. Time in tortoiseshell: a bomb radiocarbon-validated chronology in sea turtle scutes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Houtan, Kyle S; Andrews, Allen H; Jones, T Todd; Murakawa, Shawn K K; Hagemann, Molly E

    2016-01-13

    Some of the most basic questions of sea turtle life history are also the most elusive. Many uncertainties surround lifespan, growth rates, maturity and spatial structure, yet these are critical factors in assessing population status. Here we examine the keratinized hard tissues of the hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) carapace and use bomb radiocarbon dating to estimate growth and maturity. Scutes have an established dietary record, yet the large keratin deposits of hawksbills evoke a reliable chronology. We sectioned, polished and imaged posterior marginal scutes from 36 individual hawksbills representing all life stages, several Pacific populations and spanning eight decades. We counted the apparent growth lines, microsampled along growth contours and calibrated Δ(14)C values to reference coral series. We fit von Bertalanffy growth function (VBGF) models to the results, producing a range of age estimates for each turtle. We find Hawaii hawksbills deposit eight growth lines annually (range 5-14), with model ensembles producing a somatic growth parameter (k) of 0.13 (range 0.1-0.2) and first breeding at 29 years (range 23-36). Recent bomb radiocarbon values also suggest declining trophic status. Together, our results may reflect long-term changes in the benthic community structure of Hawaii reefs, and possibly shed light on the critical population status for Hawaii hawksbills.

  8. Sea Turtle Acoustic Telemetry Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Acoustic tags were attached to sea turtles captured in various fishing gear and the animals are either actively or passively tracked

  9. Sea turtles sightings in North Carolina

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Sea turtles sightings are reported to the NMFS Beaufort Laboratory sea turtle program by the general public as they are fishing, boating, etc. These sightings...

  10. 50 CFR 223.205 - Sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Sea turtles. 223.205 Section 223.205... Threatened Marine and Anadromous Species § 223.205 Sea turtles. (a) The prohibitions of section 9 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1538) relating to endangered species apply to threatened species of sea turtle, except...

  11. "Sea Turtles" and "Ground Beetles" [Land Turtles] Should Shake Hands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kan, Da

    2004-01-01

    This article talks about those who come back to China after studies abroad, characterized as "sea turtles" and those scholars who have remained in China to arduously pursue their studies, characterized as "ground beetles". " Sea turtles" are those foreign MBAs and Ph.D.s who are objects of praise, admiration and are…

  12. "Sea Turtles" and "Ground Beetles" [Land Turtles] Should Shake Hands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kan, Da

    2004-01-01

    This article talks about those who come back to China after studies abroad, characterized as "sea turtles" and those scholars who have remained in China to arduously pursue their studies, characterized as "ground beetles". " Sea turtles" are those foreign MBAs and Ph.D.s who are objects of praise, admiration and are naturally more eye-catching…

  13. First approximation to congenital malformation rates in embryos and hatchlings of sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bárcenas-Ibarra, Annelisse; de la Cueva, Horacio; Rojas-Lleonart, Isaias; Abreu-Grobois, F Alberto; Lozano-Guzmán, Rogelio Iván; Cuevas, Eduardo; García-Gasca, Alejandra

    2015-03-01

    Congenital malformations in sea turtles have been considered sporadical. Research carried out in the Mexican Pacific revealed high levels of congenital malformations in the olive ridley, but little or no information is available for other species. We present results from analyses of external congenital malformations in olive ridley, green, and hawskbill sea turtles from Mexican rookeries on the Pacific coast and Gulf of Mexico. We examined 150 green and hawksbill nests and 209 olive ridley nests during the 2010 and 2012 nesting seasons, respectively. Olive ridley eggs were transferred to a hatchery and incubated in styrofoam boxes. Nests from the other two species were left in situ. Number of eggs, live and dead hatchlings, and eggs with or without embryonic development were registered. Malformation frequency was evaluated with indices of prevalence and severity. Mortality levels, prevalence and severity were higher in olive ridley than in hawksbill and green sea turtles. Sixty-three types of congenital malformations were observed in embryos, and dead or live hatchlings. Of these, 38 are new reports; 35 for wild sea turtles, three for vertebrates. Thirty-one types were found in hawksbill, 23 in green, and 59 in olive ridley. The head region showed a higher number of malformation types. Malformation levels in the olive ridley were higher than previously reported. Olive ridleys seem more prone to the occurrence of congenital malformations than the other two species. Whether the observed malformation levels are normal or represent a health problem cannot be currently ascertained without long-term assessments. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Monitoring organic and inorganic pollutants in juvenile live sea turtles: results from a study of Chelonia mydas and Eretmochelys imbricata in Cape Verde.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camacho, María; Boada, Luis D; Orós, Jorge; López, Pedro; Zumbado, Manuel; Almeida-González, Maira; Luzardo, Octavio P

    2014-05-15

    Despite the current environmental concern regarding the risk posed by contamination in marine ecosystems, the concentrations of pollutants in sea turtles have not been thoroughly elucidated. In the current study, we determined the concentrations of 18 organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), 18 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and 11 inorganic elements (Cu, Mn, Pb, Zn, Cd, Ni, Cr, As, Al, Hg and Se) for the first time in two sea turtle species (Chelonia mydas and Eretmochelys imbricata). Only five of the 18 analyzed OCPs were detected in both species. The average total OCP concentration was higher in green turtles than in hawksbills (0.33 ng/ml versus 0.20 ng/ml). Higher concentrations of individual congeners and total PCBs were also detected in green turtles than in hawksbills (∑PCBs=0.73ng/ml versus 0.19 ng/ml), and different PCB contamination profiles were observed in these two species. Concerning PAHs, we also observed a different contamination profile and higher levels of contamination in green turtles (∑PAHs=12.06 ng/ml versus 2.95 ng/ml). Di- and tri-cyclic PAHs were predominant in both populations, suggesting a petrogenic origin, rather than urban sources of PAHs. Additionally, all of the samples exhibited detectable levels of the 11 inorganic elements. In this case, we also observed relevant differences between both species. Thus, Zn was the most abundant inorganic element in hawksbills (an essential inorganic element), whereas Ni, a well-known toxicant, was the most abundant inorganic element in green turtles. The presence of contaminants is greater in green turtles relative to hawksbill turtles, suggesting a greater exposure to hazardous chemical contaminants for green turtles. These results provide baseline data for these species that can serve for future monitoring purposes outlined in the EU's Marine Strategy Framework Directive.

  15. Detection of Salmonella enterica Serovar Montevideo and Newport in Free-ranging Sea Turtles and Beach Sand in the Caribbean and Persistence in Sand and Seawater Microcosms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ives, A-K; Antaki, E; Stewart, K; Francis, S; Jay-Russell, M T; Sithole, F; Kearney, M T; Griffin, M J; Soto, E

    2017-09-01

    Salmonellae are Gram-negative zoonotic bacteria that are frequently part of the normal reptilian gastrointestinal flora. The main objective of this project was to estimate the prevalence of non-typhoidal Salmonella enterica in the nesting and foraging populations of sea turtles on St. Kitts and in sand from known nesting beaches. Results suggest a higher prevalence of Salmonella in nesting leatherback sea turtles compared with foraging green and hawksbill sea turtles. Salmonella was cultured from 2/9 and identified by molecular diagnostic methods in 3/9 leatherback sea turtle samples. Salmonella DNA was detected in one hawksbill turtle, but viable isolates were not recovered from any hawksbill sea turtles. No Salmonella was detected in green sea turtles. In samples collected from nesting beaches, Salmonella was only recovered from a single dry sand sample. All recovered isolates were positive for the wzx gene, consistent with the O:7 serogroup. Further serotyping characterized serovars Montevideo and Newport present in cloacal and sand samples. Repetitive-element palindromic PCR (rep-PCR) fingerprint analysis and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis of the 2014 isolates from turtles and sand as well as archived Salmonella isolates recovered from leatherback sea turtles in 2012 and 2013, identified two distinct genotypes and four different pulsotypes, respectively. The genotyping and serotyping were directly correlated. To determine the persistence of representative strains of each serotype/genotype in these environments, laboratory-controlled microcosm studies were performed in water and sand (dry and wet) incubated at 25 or 35°C. Isolates persisted for at least 32 days in most microcosms, although there were significant decreases in culturable bacteria in several microcosms, with the greatest reduction in dry sand incubated at 35°C. This information provides a better understanding of the epizootiology of Salmonella in free-ranging marine reptiles and the potential

  16. Environmental effects of dredging: Alternative dredging equipment and operational methods to minimize sea turtle mortalities. Technical notes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dickerson, D.D.; Nelson, D.A.

    1990-12-01

    Five species of sea turtles occur along the United States coastlines and are listed as threatened or endangered. The loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) is listed as threatened, while the Kemp`s ridley (Lepidochelys kenipi), the hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), and the leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) are all less abundant and listed as endangered. Florida breeding populations of the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) are listed as endangered, but green turtles in other US waters are considered threatened. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has determined, based on the best available information, that because of their life cycle and behavioral patterns only the loggerhead, the green, and the Kemp`s ridley are put at risk by hopper dredging activities (Studt 1987).

  17. Captive sea turtle rearing inventory, feeding, and water chemistry in sea turtle rearing tanks at NOAA Galveston 1995-present

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The database contains daily records of sea turtle inventories by species feeding rates type of food fed sick sea turtles sea turtles that have died log of tanks...

  18. Sea Turtle Conservation on Bonaire. Sea Turtle Club Bonaire 1997. Project Report

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schuit, M.; Put, van A.L.L.M.; Valkering, N.P.; Eijck, van T.J.W.

    1998-01-01

    The Sea Turtle Club Bonaire (STCB) is a non-governmental, non-profit organization. Its main goal is the conservation of the sea turtles that occur on Bonaire. To reach this goal, annual projects are undertaken, such as research and the promotion of public awareness on sea turtle conservation. The ST

  19. Sea Turtle Conservation on Bonaire. Sea Turtle Club Bonaire 1997. Project Report

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schuit, M.; Put, van A.L.L.M.; Valkering, N.P.; Eijck, van T.J.W.

    1998-01-01

    The Sea Turtle Club Bonaire (STCB) is a non-governmental, non-profit organization. Its main goal is the conservation of the sea turtles that occur on Bonaire. To reach this goal, annual projects are undertaken, such as research and the promotion of public awareness on sea turtle conservation. The

  20. Sea Turtle Conservation on Bonaire. Sea Turtle Club Bonaire 1997. Project Report

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schuit, M.; Put, van A.L.L.M.; Valkering, N.P.; Eijck, van T.J.W.

    1998-01-01

    The Sea Turtle Club Bonaire (STCB) is a non-governmental, non-profit organization. Its main goal is the conservation of the sea turtles that occur on Bonaire. To reach this goal, annual projects are undertaken, such as research and the promotion of public awareness on sea turtle conservation. The ST

  1. Geomagnetic Navigation in Sea Turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lohmann, K.; Putman, N.; Lohmann, C.

    2011-12-01

    Young loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from eastern Florida undertake a transoceanic migration in which they gradually circle the north Atlantic Ocean before returning to the North American coast. Newly hatched turtles (hatchlings) begin the migration with a 'magnetic map' in which regional magnetic fields function as navigational markers and elicit changes in swimming direction at crucial geographic boundaries. In laboratory experiments, young turtles that had never before been in the ocean were exposed to fields like those that exist at various, widely separated locations along their transoceanic migratory route. Turtles responded by swimming in directions that would, in each case, help them remain within the North Atlantic gyre currents and advance along the migratory pathway. The results demonstrate that turtles can derive both longitudinal and latitudinal information from the Earth's field, and provide strong evidence that hatchling loggerheads inherit a remarkably elaborate set of responses that function in guiding them along their open-sea migratory route. For young sea turtles, couplings of oriented swimming to regional magnetic fields appear to provide the fundamental building blocks from which natural selection can sculpt a sequence of responses capable of guiding first-time ocean migrants along complex migratory routes. The results imply that hatchlings from different populations in different parts of the world are likely to have magnetic navigational responses uniquely suited for the migratory routes that each group follows. Thus, from a conservation perspective, turtles from different populations are not interchangeable. From an evolutionary perspective, the responses are not incompatible with either secular variation or magnetic polarity reversals. As Earth's field gradually changes, strong selective pressure presumably acts to maintain an approximate match between the responses of hatchlings and the fields that exist at critical points along

  2. Hawksbill satellite-tracking case study: Implications for remigration interval and population estimates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sartain-Iverson, Autumn R.; Hart, Kristen M.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Cherkiss, Michael S.; Pollock, Clayton; Lundgren, Ian; Hillis-Starr, Zandy

    2016-01-01

    Hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) are circumtropically distributed and listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN (Meylan & Donnelly 1999; NMFS & USFWS 1993). To aid in population recovery and protection, the Hawksbill Recovery Plan identified the need to determine demographic information for hawksbills, such as distribution, abundance, seasonal movements, foraging areas (sections 121 and 2211), growth rates, and survivorship (section 2213, NMFS & USFWS 1993). Mark-recapture analyses are helpful in estimating demographic parameters and have been used for hawksbills throughout the Caribbean (e.g., Richardson et al. 1999; Velez-Zuazo et al. 2008); integral to these studies are recaptures at the nesting site as well as remigration interval estimates (Hays 2000). Estimates of remigration intervals (the duration between nesting seasons) are critical to marine turtle population estimates and measures of nesting success (Hays 2000; Richardson et al. 1999). Although hawksbills in the Caribbean generally show natal philopatry and nesting-site fidelity (Bass et al. 1996; Bowen et al. 2007), exceptions to this have been observed for hawksbills and other marine turtles (Bowen & Karl 2007; Diamond 1976; Esteban et al. 2015; Hart et al. 2013). This flexibility in choosing a nesting beach could therefore affect the apparent remigration interval and subsequently, region-wide population counts.

  3. Dune vegetation fertilization by nesting sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hannan, Laura B; Roth, James D; Ehrhart, Llewellyn M; Weishampel, John F

    2007-04-01

    Sea turtle nesting presents a potential pathway to subsidize nutrient-poor dune ecosystems, which provide the nesting habitat for sea turtles. To assess whether this positive feedback between dune plants and turtle nests exists, we measured N concentration and delta15N values in dune soils, leaves from a common dune plant (sea oats [Uniola paniculata]), and addled eggs of loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and green turtles (Chelonia mydas) across a nesting gradient (200-1050 nests/km) along a 40.5-km stretch of beach in east central Florida, USA. The delta15N levels were higher in loggerhead than green turtle eggs, denoting the higher trophic level of loggerhead turtles. Soil N concentration and delta15N values were both positively correlated to turtle nest density. Sea oat leaf tissue delta15N was also positively correlated to nest density, indicating an increased use of augmented marine-based nutrient sources. Foliar N concentration was correlated with delta15N, suggesting that increased nutrient availability from this biogenic vector may enhance the vigor of dune vegetation, promoting dune stabilization and preserving sea turtle nesting habitat.

  4. Three millennia of human and sea turtle interactions in Remote Oceania

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, M. S.

    2007-12-01

    Sea turtles are one of the largest vertebrates in the shallow water ecosystems of Remote Oceania, occurring in both sea grass pastures and on coral reefs. Their functional roles, however, over ecological and evolutionary times scales are not well known, in part because their numbers have been so drastically reduced. Ethnographic and archaeological data is analysed to assess long-term patterns of human sea turtle interactions (mainly green and hawksbill) prior to western contact and the magnitude of turtle losses in this region. From the ethnographic data two large-scale patterns emerge, societies where turtle capture and consumption was controlled by chiefs and priests versus those where control over turtle was more flexible and consumption more egalitarian. Broadly the distinction is between societies on high (volcanic and raised coral) islands versus atolls, but the critical variables are the ratio of land to shallow marine environments, combined with the availability of refugia. Archaeological evidence further highlights differences in the rate and magnitude of turtle losses across these two island types, with high islands suffering both large and rapid declines while those on atolls are less marked. These long-term historical patterns help explain the ethnographic endpoints, with areas that experienced greater losses apparently developing more restrictive social controls over time. Finally, if current turtle migration patterns held in the past, with annual movements between western foraging grounds and eastern nesting beaches, then intensive harvesting from 2,800 Before Present in West Polynesia probably affected turtle abundance and coral reef ecology in East Polynesia well before the actual arrival of human settlers, the latter a process that most likely began 1,400 years later.

  5. Sea turtles: old viruses and new tricks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Adam G

    2004-10-05

    Recent years have seen an inexplicable increase in the frequency of an appalling disease in sea turtles: fibropapillomatosis, which is likely caused by a herpesvirus and causes tumors to grow throughout the turtle's body. New research has led to the disturbing conclusion that recent, human-induced environmental changes are responsible.

  6. Plastic ingestion by sea turtles in Paraíba State, Northeast Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Camila Poli

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Currently, plastics are recognized as a major pollutant of the marine environment, representing a serious threat to ocean wildlife. Here, we examined the occurrence and effects of plastic ingestion by sea turtles found stranded along the coast of Paraíba State, Brazil from August 2009 to July 2010. Ninety-eight digestive tracts were examined, with plastic found in 20 (20.4%. Sixty five percent (n = 13 of turtles with plastic in the digestive tract were green turtles (Chelonia mydas, 25% (n = 5 were hawksbills (Eretmochelys imbricata, and 10% (n = 2 were olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea. More plastic was found in the intestine (85% than in other parts of the gastrointestinal tract. We observed complete blockage of the gastrointestinal tract due to the presence of plastic in 13 of the 20 turtles that had ingested plastic. No correlation was found between the curved carapace length (CCL and the number or mass of the plastic ingested items. Significant differences were found between the intake of hard and soft plastic and the ingestion of white/transparent and colored plastic, with soft and white/transparent plastics being more commonly ingested. This study reveals the serious problem of plastic pollution to sea turtles at the area.

  7. Fishery gear interactions from stranded bottlenose dolphins, Florida manatees and sea turtles in Florida, U.S.A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adimey, Nicole M; Hudak, Christine A; Powell, Jessica R; Bassos-Hull, Kim; Foley, Allen; Farmer, Nicholas A; White, Linda; Minch, Karrie

    2014-04-15

    Documenting the extent of fishery gear interactions is critical to wildlife conservation efforts, especially for reducing entanglements and ingestion. This study summarizes fishery gear interactions involving common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus truncatus), Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) and sea turtles: loggerhead (Caretta caretta), green turtle (Chelonia mydas), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), and olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) stranding in Florida waters during 1997-2009. Fishery gear interactions for all species combined were 75.3% hook and line, 18.2% trap pot gear, 4.8% fishing nets, and 1.7% in multiple gears. Total reported fishery gear cases increased over time for dolphins (pstrandings relative to total strandings for loggerhead sea turtles increased (p<0.05). Additionally, life stage and sex patterns were examined, fishery gear interaction hotspots were identified and generalized linear regression modeling was conducted.

  8. Leatherback sea turtle age and growth

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This study involves analysis of skeletal growth marks in scleral ossicle bones of 33 leatherback sea turtles stranded dead along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico US...

  9. Nesting Loggerhead Sea Turtle Activity Report 2001

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This paper presents results from the 9th Annual Study (using Army Corp of Engineers funds) of nesting by the Atlantic loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) along...

  10. Nesting Loggerhead Sea Turtle Activity Report 1998

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This paper presents results from the sixth annual study of nesting along the Atlantic Oceanfront by the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta carettd) in Virginia Beach,...

  11. Green sea turtle age, growth, population characteristics

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Morphology, sex ratio, body condition, disease status, age structure, and growth patterns were characterized for 448 green sea turtles cold stunned in St. Joseph...

  12. Loggerhead Sea Turtle Egg Transplant Program

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The 10th year of the Loggerhead Sea Turtle Egg Transplant Program has just concluded with a much lower hatching success than anticipated. Eggs were transferred from...

  13. Magnetite in Black Sea Turtles (Chelonia agassizi)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuentes, A.; Urrutia-Fucugauchi, J.; Garduño, V.; Sanchez, J.; Rizzi, A.

    2004-12-01

    Previous studies have reported experimental evidence for magnetoreception in marine turtles. In order to increase our knowledge about magnetoreception and biogenic mineralization, we have isolated magnetite particles from the brain of specimens of black sea turtles Chelonia agassizi. Our samples come from natural deceased organisms collected the reserve area of Colola Maruata in southern Mexico. The occurrence of magnetite particles in brain tissue of black sea turtles offers the opportunity for further studies to investigate possible function of ferrimagnetic material, its mineralogical composition, grain size, texture and its location and structural arrangement within the host tissue. After sample preparation and microscopic examination, we localized and identified the ultrafine unidimensional particles of magnetite by scanning electron microscope (SEM). Particles present grain sizes between 10.0 to 40.0Mm. Our study provides, for the first time, evidence for biogenic formation of this material in the black sea turtles. The ultrafine particles are apparently superparamagnetic. Preliminary results from rock magnetic measurements are also reported and correlated to the SEM observations. The black turtle story on the Michoacan coast is an example of formerly abundant resource which was utilized as a subsistence level by Nahuatl indigenous group for centuries, but which is collapsing because of intensive illegal commercial exploitation. The most important nesting and breeding grounds for the black sea turtle on any mainland shore are the eastern Pacific coastal areas of Maruata and Colola, in Michoacan. These beaches are characterized by important amounts of magnetic mineral (magnetites and titanomagnetites) mixed in their sediments.

  14. Biotransformation of 2,2',5,5'-tetrachlorobiphenyl (PCB 52) and 3,3',4,4'-tetrachlorobiphenyl (PCB 77) by liver microsomes from four species of sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, Kristine L; Schlenk, Daniel

    2011-05-16

    The rates of oxidative metabolism of two tetrachlorobiphenyl congeners were determined in hepatic microsomes from four species of sea turtles, green (Chelonia mydas), olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea), loggerhead (Caretta caretta), and hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata). Hydroxylation of 3,3',4,4'-tetrachlorobiphenyl (PCB 77), an ortho-meta unsubstituted rodent cytochrome P450 (P450) 1A substrate PCB, was not observed in sea turtle microsomes. Sea turtle microsomes hydroxylated 2,2',5,5'-tetrachlorobiphenyl (PCB 52), a meta-para unsubstituted rodent P450 family 2 substrate PCB, at rates ranging from less than 0.5 to 53 pmol/min/mg protein. The P450 inhibitor ketoconazole inhibited hydroxylation of PCB 52, supporting the role of P450 catalysis. Sea turtle PCB 52 hydroxlyation rates strongly correlated with immunodetected P450 family 2-like and less so with P450 family 3-like hepatic proteins. Testosterone 6β-, 16α-, 16β-hydroxylase activities were also significantly correlated with the expression of these enzymes, indicating that P450 family 2 or P450 family 3 proteins are responsible for PCB hydroxylation in sea turtles. This study indicated species-specific PCB biotransformation in sea turtles and preferential elimination of meta-para unsubstituted PCB congeners over ortho-meta unsubstituted PCB congeners consistent with PCB accumulation patterns observed in tissues of sea turtles.

  15. 50 CFR 648.106 - Sea Turtle conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 8 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Sea Turtle conservation. 648.106 Section 648.106 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC... Summer Flounder Fisheries § 648.106 Sea Turtle conservation. Sea turtle regulations are found at 50...

  16. Sea Turtles: An Auditorium Program, Grades 6-9.

    Science.gov (United States)

    National Aquarium in Baltimore, MD. Dept. of Education.

    The National Aquarium in Baltimore's sea turtle auditorium program introduces students in grades 6-9 to the seven (or eight, depending on which expert is consulted) species of sea turtles alive today. The program, which includes slides, films, artifacts, and discussion, focuses on sea turtle biology and conservation. This booklet covers most of…

  17. Does Ecotourism Contribute to Sea Turtle Conservation? Is the Flagship Status of Turtles Advantageous?

    OpenAIRE

    Tisdell, Clement A.; Wilson, Clevo

    2003-01-01

    There is little doubt that marine turtles are a flagship species for wildlife tourism. In some cases, this has turned out to be liability for sea turtle conservation, but in other cases, where for example turtle-based ecotourism has been developed, it has made a positive contribution to turtle conservation. Examples of both cases are given. Particular attention is given to the development of turtle-based ecotourism at Mon Repos Beach near Bundaberg, Australia. This development is set in its h...

  18. Tracking sea turtles in the Everglades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Kristin M.

    2008-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has a long history of conducting research on threatened, endangered, and at-risk species inhabiting both terrestrial and marine environments, particularly those found within national parks and protected areas. In the coastal Gulf of Mexico region, for example, USGS scientist Donna Shaver at Padre Island National Seashore in Texas has focused on “headstarting” hatchlings of the rare Kemp’s ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii). She is also analyzing trends in sea turtle strandings onshore and interactions with Gulf shrimp fisheries. Along south Florida’s Gulf coast, the USGS has focused on research and monitoring for managing the greater Everglades ecosystem. One novel project involves the endangered green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas). The ecology and movements of adult green turtles are reasonably well understood, largely due to decades of nesting beach monitoring by a network of researchers and volunteers. In contrast, relatively little is known about the habitat requirements and movements of juvenile and subadult sea turtles of any species in their aquatic environment.

  19. Ecological regime shift drives declining growth rates of sea turtles throughout the West Atlantic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bjorndal, Karen A.; Bolten, Alan B.; Chaloupka, Milani; Saba, Vincent S.; Bellini, Cláudio; Marcovaldi, Maria A.G.; Santos, Armando J.B.; Bortolon, Luis Felipe Wurdig; Meylan, Anne B.; Meylan, Peter A.; Gray, Jennifer; Hardy, Robert; Brost, Beth; Bresette, Michael; Gorham, Jonathan C.; Connett, Stephen; Crouchley, Barbara Van Sciver; Dawson, Mike; Hayes, Deborah; Diez, Carlos E.; van Dam, Robert P.; Willis, Sue; Nava, Mabel; Hart, Kristen M.; Cherkiss, Michael S.; Crowder, Andrew; Pollock, Clayton; Hillis-Starr, Zandy; Muñoz Tenería, Fernando A.; Herrera-Pavón, Roberto; Labrada-Martagón, Vanessa; Lorences, Armando; Negrete-Philippe, Ana; Lamont, Margaret M.; Foley, Allen M.; Bailey, Rhonda; Carthy, Raymond R.; Scarpino, Russell; McMichael, Erin; Provancha, Jane A.; Brooks, Annabelle; Jardim, Adriana; López-Mendilaharsu, Milagros; González-Paredes, Daniel; Estrades, Andrés; Fallabrino, Alejandro; Martínez-Souza, Gustavo; Vélez-Rubio, Gabriela M.; Boulon, Ralf H.; Collazo, Jaime; Wershoven, Robert; Hernández, Vicente Guzmán; Stringell, Thomas B.; Sanghera, Amdeep; Richardson, Peter B.; Broderick, Annette C.; Phillips, Quinton; Calosso, Marta C.; Claydon, John A.B.; Metz, Tasha L.; Gordon, Amanda L.; Landry, Andre M.; Shaver, Donna J.; Blumenthal, Janice; Collyer, Lucy; Godley, Brendan J.; McGowan, Andrew; Witt, Matthew J.; Campbell, Cathi L.; Lagueux, Cynthia J.; Bethel, Thomas L.; Kenyon, Lory

    2017-01-01

    Somatic growth is an integrated, individual-based response to environmental conditions, especially in ectotherms. Growth dynamics of large, mobile animals are particularly useful as bio-indicators of environmental change at regional scales. We assembled growth rate data from throughout the West Atlantic for green turtles, Chelonia mydas, which are long-lived, highly migratory, primarily herbivorous mega-consumers that may migrate over hundreds to thousands of kilometers. Our dataset, the largest ever compiled for sea turtles, has 9690 growth increments from 30 sites from Bermuda to Uruguay from 1973 to 2015. Using generalized additive mixed models, we evaluated covariates that could affect growth rates; body size, diet, and year have significant effects on growth. Growth increases in early years until 1999, then declines by 26% to 2015. The temporal (year) effect is of particular interest because two carnivorous species of sea turtleshawksbills, Eretmochelys imbricata, and loggerheads, Caretta caretta – exhibited similar significant declines in growth rates starting in 1997 in the West Atlantic, based on previous studies. These synchronous declines in productivity among three sea turtle species across a trophic spectrum provide strong evidence that an ecological regime shift (ERS) in the Atlantic is driving growth dynamics. The ERS resulted from a synergy of the 1997/1998 El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) – the strongest on record – combined with an unprecedented warming rate over the last two to three decades. Further support is provided by the strong correlations between annualized mean growth rates of green turtles and both sea surface temperatures (SST) in the West Atlantic for years of declining growth rates (r = -0.94) and the Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) for all years (r = 0.74). Granger-causality analysis also supports the latter finding. We discuss multiple stressors that could reinforce and prolong the effect of the ERS. This study

  20. Cooperative Marine Turtle Tagging Program sea turtle tagging records on rehabilitated and released sea turtles from NOAA Galveston

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The database is a summary of records of: sea turtle size tags applied release and capture location are summarized in this database which is derived from paper data...

  1. Leatherback Sea Turtle Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data represent the critical habitat for leatherback turtle as designated by Federal Register Vol. 44, No. 17711, March 23, 1979, Rules and Regulations....

  2. Decompression sickness ('the bends') in sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Párraga, D; Crespo-Picazo, J L; de Quirós, Y Bernaldo; Cervera, V; Martí-Bonmati, L; Díaz-Delgado, J; Arbelo, M; Moore, M J; Jepson, P D; Fernández, Antonio

    2014-10-16

    Decompression sickness (DCS), as clinically diagnosed by reversal of symptoms with recompression, has never been reported in aquatic breath-hold diving vertebrates despite the occurrence of tissue gas tensions sufficient for bubble formation and injury in terrestrial animals. Similarly to diving mammals, sea turtles manage gas exchange and decompression through anatomical, physiological, and behavioral adaptations. In the former group, DCS-like lesions have been observed on necropsies following behavioral disturbance such as high-powered acoustic sources (e.g. active sonar) and in bycaught animals. In sea turtles, in spite of abundant literature on diving physiology and bycatch interference, this is the first report of DCS-like symptoms and lesions. We diagnosed a clinico-pathological condition consistent with DCS in 29 gas-embolized loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta from a sample of 67. Fifty-nine were recovered alive and 8 had recently died following bycatch in trawls and gillnets of local fisheries from the east coast of Spain. Gas embolization and distribution in vital organs were evaluated through conventional radiography, computed tomography, and ultrasound. Additionally, positive response following repressurization was clinically observed in 2 live affected turtles. Gas embolism was also observed postmortem in carcasses and tissues as described in cetaceans and human divers. Compositional gas analysis of intravascular bubbles was consistent with DCS. Definitive diagnosis of DCS in sea turtles opens a new era for research in sea turtle diving physiology, conservation, and bycatch impact mitigation, as well as for comparative studies in other air-breathing marine vertebrates and human divers.

  3. Decline of the Sea Turtles: Causes and Prevention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    National Academy of Sciences - National Research Council, Washington, DC. Commission on Life Sciences.

    A report submitted by the Committee on Sea Turtle Conservation, addresses threats to the world's sea turtle populations to fulfill a mandate of the Endangered Species Act Amendments of 1988. It presents information on the populations, biology, ecology, and behavior of five endangered or threatened turtle species: the Kemp's ridley, loggerhead,…

  4. 75 FR 27649 - 2010 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle Observer Requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-18

    ... regarding sea turtle-fishery interactions; sea turtle distribution; sea turtle strandings; fishing... or prior to elevated sea turtle strandings; or (3) The fishery uses a gear or technique that is known... have been documented, and there were a limited number of sea turtle strandings in CT waters (n=12)...

  5. 77 FR 29586 - Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp Trawling Requirements; Correction

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-05-18

    ... Part 223 RIN 0648-BC10 Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp Trawling Requirements; Correction AGENCY... turtle excluder devices (TEDs) in their nets, and announced five public hearings to be held in...

  6. Forbidden sea turtles: Traditional laws pertaining to sea turtle consumption in Polynesia (Including the Polynesian Outliers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rudrud Regina

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Throughout the Pacific regions of Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia, sea turtles are recognised as culturally significant species. The specifics of human-sea turtle interactions in these regions, however, are not well known, in part because ethnographic and historic reports documenting these interactions are scattered, requiring extensive archival research. Ethnographic and environmental data collected over a ten-year period are analysed to assess patterns of human-sea turtle interactions prior to (and sometimes beyond Western contact. From the ethnographic data for Polynesia, a region-wide pattern emerges where sea turtle consumption was restricted to special ceremonies when the elites such as chiefs and priests but no one else ate turtle. Only in two countries did this pattern differ. Environmental data does little to elucidate explanations for this region-wide treatment of sea turtles as restricted food sources, as there is no correlation between environmental variability and the presence or absence of these restrictions. Instead the results of this research suggest such practices may have been part of an ancestral Polynesian society, developing well before human settlement into this region of the Pacific.

  7. Notes upon some Sea Turtles

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brongersma, L.D.

    1961-01-01

    In recent years much attention is being paid to marine turtles, and it is the merit of Deraniyagala, Carr, and others to have contributed much to our knowledge of this group. Nevertheless, our knowledge of the species and subspecies that may be recognized, and that of their distribution is as yet fa

  8. Estimating total population size for adult female sea turtles: Accounting for non-nesters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kendall, W.L.; Richardson, J.I.; Rees, Alan F.

    2008-01-01

    Assessment of population size and changes therein is important to sea turtle management and population or life history research. Investigators might be interested in testing hypotheses about the effect of current population size or density (number of animals per unit resource) on future population processes. Decision makers might want to determine a level of allowable take of individual turtles of specified life stage. Nevertheless, monitoring most stages of sea turtle life histories is difficult, because obtaining access to individuals is difficult. Although in-water assessments are becoming more common, nesting females and their hatchlings remain the most accessible life stages. In some cases adult females of a given nesting population are sufficiently philopatric that the population itself can be well defined. If a well designed tagging study is conducted on this population, survival, breeding probability, and the size of the nesting population in a given year can be estimated. However, with published statistical methodology the size of the entire breeding population (including those females skipping nesting in that year) cannot be estimated without assuming that each adult female in this population has the same probability of nesting in a given year (even those that had just nested in the previous year). We present a method for estimating the total size of a breeding population (including nesters those skipping nesting) from a tagging study limited to the nesting population, allowing for the probability of nesting in a given year to depend on an individual's nesting status in the previous year (i.e., a Markov process). From this we further develop estimators for rate of growth from year to year in both nesting population and total breeding population, and the proportion of the breeding population that is breeding in a given year. We also discuss assumptions and apply these methods to a breeding population of hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) from

  9. 50 CFR 660.720 - Interim protection for sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Interim protection for sea turtles. 660... Migratory Fisheries § 660.720 Interim protection for sea turtles. (a) Until the effective date of §§ 660.707... harvest of swordfish (Xiphias gladius) using longline gear deployed on the high seas of the Pacific...

  10. Molecular Data for the Sea Turtle Population in Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sibelle Torres Vilaça

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available We report here a dataset comprising nine nuclear markers for the Brazilian population of Cheloniidae turtles: hawksbills (Eretmochelys imbricata, loggerheads (Caretta caretta, olive ridleys (Lepidochelys olivacea, and green turtles (Chelonia mydas. Because hybridization is a common phenomenon between the four Cheloniidae species nesting on the Brazilian coast, we also report molecular markers for the hybrids E. imbricata × C. caretta, C. caretta × L. olivacea, and E. imbricata × L. olivacea and for one hybrid E. imbricata × C. mydas and one between three species C. mydas × E. imbricata × C. caretta. The data was used in previous studies concerning (1 the description of frequent hybrids C. caretta × E. imbricata in Brazil, (2 the report of introgression in some of these hybrids, and (3 population genetics. As a next step for the study of these hybrids and their evolution, genome-wide studies will be performed in the Brazilian population of E. imbricata, C. caretta, and their hybrids.

  11. Particle-induced X-ray emission analysis of elements in plasma from wild and captive sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata, Chelonia mydas, and Caretta caretta) in Okinawa, Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Kazuyuki; Noda, Jun; Yanagisawa, Makio; Kawazu, Isao; Sera, Kouichiro; Fukui, Daisuke; Asakawa, Mitsuhiko; Yokota, Hiroshi

    2012-09-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the reliability of direct determination of trace and major element concentrations in plasma samples from wild (six hawksbill, nine green, and nine loggerhead) and captive sea turtles (25 howksbill, five green, and three loggerhead) in Okinawa, Japan. The particle induced X-ray emission method allowed detection of 23 trace and major elements (Al, As, Br, Ca, Cl, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, K, Mg, Mn, Mo, Ni, P, Pb, S, Se, Si, Sr, Ti, Y, and Zn). The wild sea turtles were found to have high concentrations of As and Pb in plasma compared with captive, but there were no significant changes in the Al and Hg concentrations. Loggerhead sea turtles were found to have significantly higher accumulation of As and Pb in plasma in comparison to other species. These findings may be useful when adjusting environmental and species-related factors in severely polluted marine ecosystems. Our results indicate that measuring the plasma As and Pb concentrations in wild sea turtles might be of help to assess the level of pollution in marine ecosystems, keeping in mind that loggerhead sea turtles had been shown to have higher levels of As and Pb in plasma.

  12. Sea Turtle Navigation and the Detection of Geomagnetic Field Features

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lohmann, Kenneth J.; Lohmann, Catherine M. F.

    The lives of sea turtles consist of a continuous series of migrations. As hatchlings, the turtles swim from their natal beaches into the open sea, often taking refuge in circular current systems (gyres) that serve as moving, open-ocean nursery grounds. The juveniles of many populations subsequently take up residence in coastal feeding areas that are located hundreds or thousands of kilometres from the beaches on which the turtles hatched; some juveniles also migrate between summer and winter habitats. As adults, turtles periodically leave their feeding grounds and migrate to breeding and nesting regions, after which many return to their own specific feeding sites. The itinerant lifestyle characteristic of most sea turtle species is thus inextricably linked to an ability to orient and navigate accurately across large expanses of seemingly featureless ocean.In some sea turtle populations, migratory performance reaches extremes. The total distances certain green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and loggerheads (Caretta caretta) traverse over the span of their lifetimes exceed tens of thousands of kilometres, several times the diameter of the turtle's home ocean basin. Adult migrations between feeding and nesting habitats can require continuous swimming for periods of several weeks. In addition, the paths of migrating turtles often lead almost straight across the open ocean and directly to the destination, leaving little doubt that turtles can navigate to distant target sites with remarkable efficiency.

  13. LOGGERHEAD SEA TURTLE LATE NESTING ECOLOGY IN VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA

    Science.gov (United States)

    T'he.loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta came is the only recurrent nesting species of sea turtle in southeastern Virginia (Lutcavage & Musick, 1985; Dodd, 1988). Inasmuch as the loggerhead is a federally threatened species, the opportunity to gather data on its nesting ecology is imp...

  14. Patterns and inferred processes associated with sea turtle strandings in Paraíba State, Northeast Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poli, C; Lopez, L C S; Mesquita, D O; Saska, C; Mascarenhas, R

    2014-05-01

    This study analysed sea turtle strandings on the coast of Paraíba State, Northeastern Brazil, from August 2009 to July 2010. A total of 124 strandings were recorded in this period: green turtle Chelonia mydas (n = 106), hawksbill Eretmochelys imbricata (n = 15), olive ridley Lepidochelys olivacea (n = 2) and loggerhead Caretta caretta (n = 1). Of all turtles for which the Curved Carapace Length (CCL) was measured (n = 122), only 12 individuals (9.7%) were adults. Twenty individuals had synthetic anthropogenic debris in the gastrointestinal tract. Other traces of human interactions were observed in 43 individuals, such as injuries caused by entanglement in fishing lines or nets, collisions with vessels, direct contact with oil spills and lesions caused by sharp or spiked objects. Moreover, in 28.5% of the stranded turtles, the presence of external tumors was noticed, suggestive of fibropapillomatosis and in 9.7%, shark bite marks were observed. Of the 107 individuals that were sexed, 76 were females and 31 were males. Most turtles (72.6%) became stranded during the spring/summer (between October and March). We found evidence of human interactions (injuries) in half of the strandings, but in most cases it was not possible to determine if such interactions were the cause of death. A logistic regression found a significant relationship between CCL, ingestion of debris and lesions caused by sharks or spiked objects. Systematic data collection from stranded sea turtles can provide useful biological information, such as seasonal and spatial patterns in their occurrence and mortality, age structure, sex ratio and diet, as well as possible mortality causes.

  15. Patterns and inferred processes associated with sea turtle strandings in Paraíba State, Northeast Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Poli

    Full Text Available This study analysed sea turtle strandings on the coast of Paraíba State, Northeastern Brazil, from August 2009 to July 2010. A total of 124 strandings were recorded in this period: green turtle Chelonia mydas (n = 106, hawksbill Eretmochelys imbricata (n = 15, olive ridley Lepidochelys olivacea (n = 2 and loggerhead Caretta caretta (n = 1. Of all turtles for which the Curved Carapace Length (CCL was measured (n = 122, only 12 individuals (9.7% were adults. Twenty individuals had synthetic anthropogenic debris in the gastrointestinal tract. Other traces of human interactions were observed in 43 individuals, such as injuries caused by entanglement in fishing lines or nets, collisions with vessels, direct contact with oil spills and lesions caused by sharp or spiked objects. Moreover, in 28.5% of the stranded turtles, the presence of external tumors was noticed, suggestive of fibropapillomatosis and in 9.7%, shark bite marks were observed. Of the 107 individuals that were sexed, 76 were females and 31 were males. Most turtles (72.6% became stranded during the spring/summer (between October and March. We found evidence of human interactions (injuries in half of the strandings, but in most cases it was not possible to determine if such interactions were the cause of death. A logistic regression found a significant relationship between CCL, ingestion of debris and lesions caused by sharks or spiked objects. Systematic data collection from stranded sea turtles can provide useful biological information, such as seasonal and spatial patterns in their occurrence and mortality, age structure, sex ratio and diet, as well as possible mortality causes.

  16. Reproductive Disorders and Perinatology of Sea Turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spadola, Filippo; Morici, Manuel; Santoro, Mario; Oliveri, Matteo; Insacco, Gianni

    2017-05-01

    Sea turtles' reproductive disorders are underdiagnosed, but potentially, there are several diseases that may affect gonads, genitalia, and annexes. Viruses, bacteria, and parasites may cause countless disorders, but more frequently the cause is traumatic or linked to human activities. Furthermore, veterinary management of the nest is of paramount importance as well as the care of newborns (also in captivity). This article gives an overview on the methods used to manage nests and reproductive activities of these endangered chelonians species. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Interannual differences for sea turtles bycatch in Spanish longliners from Western Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Báez, José C; Macías, David; García-Barcelona, Salvador; Real, Raimundo

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies showed that regional abundance of loggerhead and leatherback turtles could oscillate interannually according to oceanographic and climatic conditions. The Western Mediterranean is an important fishing area for the Spanish drifting longline fleet, which mainly targets swordfish, bluefin tuna, and albacore. Due to the spatial overlapping in fishing activity and turtle distribution, there is an increasing sea turtle conservation concern. The main goal of this study is to analyse the interannual bycatch of loggerhead and leatherback turtles by the Spanish Mediterranean longline fishery and to test the relationship between the total turtle by-catch of this fishery and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). During the 14 years covered in this study, the number of sea turtle bycatches was 3,940 loggerhead turtles and 8 leatherback turtles, 0.499 loggerhead turtles/1000 hooks and 0.001014 leatherback turtles/1000 hooks. In the case of the loggerhead turtle the positive phase of the NAO favours an increase of loggerhead turtles in the Western Mediterranean Sea. However, in the case of leatherback turtle the negative phase of the NAO favours the presence of leatherback turtle. This contraposition could be related to the different ecophysiological response of both species during their migration cycle.

  18. Interannual Differences for Sea Turtles Bycatch in Spanish Longliners from Western Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José C. Báez

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies showed that regional abundance of loggerhead and leatherback turtles could oscillate interannually according to oceanographic and climatic conditions. The Western Mediterranean is an important fishing area for the Spanish drifting longline fleet, which mainly targets swordfish, bluefin tuna, and albacore. Due to the spatial overlapping in fishing activity and turtle distribution, there is an increasing sea turtle conservation concern. The main goal of this study is to analyse the interannual bycatch of loggerhead and leatherback turtles by the Spanish Mediterranean longline fishery and to test the relationship between the total turtle by-catch of this fishery and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO. During the 14 years covered in this study, the number of sea turtle bycatches was 3,940 loggerhead turtles and 8 leatherback turtles, 0.499 loggerhead turtles/1000 hooks and 0.001014 leatherback turtles/1000 hooks. In the case of the loggerhead turtle the positive phase of the NAO favours an increase of loggerhead turtles in the Western Mediterranean Sea. However, in the case of leatherback turtle the negative phase of the NAO favours the presence of leatherback turtle. This contraposition could be related to the different ecophysiological response of both species during their migration cycle.

  19. Magnetic Navigation in Sea Turtles: Insights from Secular Variation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putman, N. F.; Lohmann, K.

    2011-12-01

    Sea turtles are iconic migrants that posses a sensitive magnetic-sense that guides their long-distance movements in a variety of contexts. In the first few hours after hatching turtles use the magnetic field to maintain an offshore compass heading to reach deeper water, out of the reach of nearshore predators. Young turtles engage in directed swimming in response to regional magnetic fields that exist along their transoceanic migratory path. Older turtles also use magnetic information to relocate foraging sites and islands used for nesting after displacement. Numerous hypotheses have been put forth to explain how magnetic information functions in these movements, however, there is little consensus among animal navigation researchers. A particular vexing issue is how magnetic navigation can function under the constraints of the constant, gradual shifting of the earth's magnetic field (secular variation). Here, I present a framework based on models of recent geomagnetic secular variation to explore several navigational mechanisms proposed for sea turtles. I show that while examination of secular variation likely falsifies some hypothetical navigational strategies, it provides key insights into the selective pressures that could maintain other navigational mechanisms. Moreover, examination of secular variation's influence on the navigational precision in reproductive migrations of sea turtles offers compelling explanations for the population structure along sea turtle nesting beaches as well as spatiotemporal variation in nesting turtle abundance.

  20. Tumors in sea turtles: The insidious menace of fibropapillomatosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Work, Thierry M.; Balazs, George H.

    2013-01-01

    Early in July 2013, a colleague in New Caledonia reported the stranding of a green sea turtle on the far northwest of the island. The animal had washed up dead on a rocky beach with multiple large tumors on its neck and hind flippers. To all appearances, the turtle had fibropapillomatosis (FP), a tumor disease affecting marine turtles globally. This was the first known case of FP on the island—an alarming find, and another example of the creeping expansion of this disease in green turtles around the world.

  1. Tumors in sea turtles: the insidious menace of fibropapillomatosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Work, Thierry M.; Balazs, George H.

    2013-01-01

    Early in July 2013, a colleague in New Caledonia reported the stranding of a green sea turtle on the far northwest of the island. The animal had washed up dead on a rocky beach with multiple large tumors on its neck and hind flippers. To all appearances, the turtle had fibropapillomatosis (FP), a tumor disease affecting marine turtles globally. This was the first known case of FP on the island—an alarming find, and another example of the creeping expansion of this disease in green turtles around the world.

  2. Gulf of Mexico Kemps ridley sea turtle age and growth

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This study involves analysis of skeletal growth marks in humerus bones of 340 Kemps ridley sea turtles stranded dead along the Gulf of Mexico US coast (hatchling to...

  3. Summary of bacteria found in captive sea turtles 2002-Present

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The database contains a summary of bacteria which have been isolated in sea turtles dead and alive at the NOAA Galveston Laboratory and is based on reports received...

  4. 78 FR 9024 - Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp Trawling Requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-07

    ... elevated sea turtle strandings in the Northern Gulf of Mexico, particularly throughout the Mississippi... with fishery interactions. The most likely cause of the strandings was thought to be the...

  5. [Proposal] Loggerhead sea turtle nest monitoring on seven refuges

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The purpose of this project is to continue FWS involvement in the long-term, consistent monitoring of loggerhead sea turtle nesting to assess changes in phenological...

  6. Inventory of sea turtle eggs for contaminant analysis

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This is an inventory of the bags of sea turtle eggs/hatchlings collected on St. Vincent NWR in 1996 and transferred to the Panama City Field Office for contaminants...

  7. Final critical habitat for the Leatherback Sea Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — o provide the user with a general idea of areas where final critical habitat for Leatherback Sea Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) occur based on the description...

  8. Two cases of pseudohermaphroditism in loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crespo, Jose Luis; García-Párraga, Daniel; Giménez, Ignacio; Rubio-Guerri, Consuelo; Melero, Mar; Sánchez-Vizcaíno, José Manuel; Marco, Adolfo; Cuesta, Jose A; Muñoz, María Jesús

    2013-09-03

    Two juvenile (curved carapace lengths: 28 and 30 cm) loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta with precocious male external characteristics were admitted to the ARCA del Mar rescue area at the Oceanogràfic Aquarium in Valencia, Spain, in 2009 and 2010. Routine internal laparoscopic examination and subsequent histopathology confirmed the presence of apparently healthy internal female gonads in both animals. Extensive tissue biopsy and hormone induction assays were consistent with female sex. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of pseudohermaphroditism in loggerhead sea turtles based on sexual external characteristics and internal laparoscopic examination. Our findings suggest that the practice of using external phenotypical characteristics as the basis for gender identification in sea turtles should be reevaluated. Future research should focus on detecting more animals with sexual defects and their possible effects on the sea turtle population.

  9. Final critical habitat for the Leatherback Sea Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — o provide the user with a general idea of areas where final critical habitat for Leatherback Sea Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) occur based on the description...

  10. Monthly morphometric data on captive loggerhead sea turtles 1995-present

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The database contains monthly measurements taken on captive reared sea turtles. Measurements include: straight carapace length nuchal notch to carapace tip, straight...

  11. Attitudes and local ecological knowledge of experts fishermen in relation to conservation and bycatch of sea turtles (reptilia: testudines), Southern Bahia, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braga, Heitor de Oliveira; Schiavetti, Alexandre

    2013-03-01

    .04). Life history, habitat, specific and exogenous taboos, beliefs and the use of hawksbill turtle to make glasses and other handcrafts are also reported in the study. Monitoring of spawning areas, preservation of traditional practices, strategies to moderate the use of fishery resources and the local ecological knowledge/attitudes can provide data to improve the conservation practices and management of sea turtles.

  12. Global analysis of anthropogenic debris ingestion by sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuyler, Qamar; Hardesty, Britta Denise; Wilcox, Chris; Townsend, Kathy

    2014-02-01

    Ingestion of marine debris can have lethal and sublethal effects on sea turtles and other wildlife. Although researchers have reported on ingestion of anthropogenic debris by marine turtles and implied incidences of debris ingestion have increased over time, there has not been a global synthesis of the phenomenon since 1985. Thus, we analyzed 37 studies published from 1985 to 2012 that report on data collected from before 1900 through 2011. Specifically, we investigated whether ingestion prevalence has changed over time, what types of debris are most commonly ingested, the geographic distribution of debris ingestion by marine turtles relative to global debris distribution, and which species and life-history stages are most likely to ingest debris. The probability of green (Chelonia mydas) and leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) ingesting debris increased significantly over time, and plastic was the most commonly ingested debris. Turtles in nearly all regions studied ingest debris, but the probability of ingestion was not related to modeled debris densities. Furthermore, smaller, oceanic-stage turtles were more likely to ingest debris than coastal foragers, whereas carnivorous species were less likely to ingest debris than herbivores or gelatinovores. Our results indicate oceanic leatherback turtles and green turtles are at the greatest risk of both lethal and sublethal effects from ingested marine debris. To reduce this risk, anthropogenic debris must be managed at a global level. © 2013 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc., on behalf of the Society for Conservation Biology.

  13. Sea Turtles and Strategies for Language Skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tippins, Deborah; And Others

    1993-01-01

    Describes teaching strategies, including science activities, for challenging students' misconceptions about turtles and helping limited-English-proficiency students enhance their language proficiency. (PR)

  14. Corneal fibropapillomatosis in green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) in Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flint, M; Limpus, C J; Patterson-Kane, J C; Murray, P J; Mills, P C

    2010-05-01

    Chelonid corneal fibropapillomatosis has not previously been recorded in Australian waters. During 2008, 724 green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) were examined in Queensland, Australia at two sites, Moreton Bay (n=155) and Shoalwater Bay (n=569), during annual monitoring. In the same calendar year, 63 turtles were submitted from various sites in southern Queensland for post-mortem examination at the University of Queensland. Four of the 787 animals (0.5%) were found to have corneal fibropapillomas of varying size, with similar gross and microscopical features to those reported in other parts of the world. Two animals with corneal fibropapillomas also had cutaneous fibropapillomas. Clinical assessment indicated that these lesions had detrimental effects on the vision of the turtles and therefore their potential ability to source food, avoid predators and interact with conspecifics. Importantly, these findings represent an emergence of this manifestation of fibropapillomatosis in green sea turtle populations in the southern Pacific Ocean.

  15. Eutrophication and the dietary promotion of sea turtle tumors

    OpenAIRE

    Kyle S Van Houtan; Celia M. Smith; Dailer, Meghan L.; Migiwa Kawachi

    2014-01-01

    The tumor-forming disease fibropapillomatosis (FP) has afflicted sea turtle populations for decades with no clear cause. A lineage of α-herpesviruses associated with these tumors has existed for millennia, suggesting environmental factors are responsible for its recent epidemiology. In previous work, we described how herpesviruses could cause FP tumors through a metabolic influx of arginine. We demonstrated the disease prevails in chronically eutrophied coastal waters, and that turtles foragi...

  16. 78 FR 51705 - Proposed Designation of Marine Critical Habitat for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Caretta caretta...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-21

    ... Marine Critical Habitat for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Caretta caretta, Under the Endangered Species Act... related to our Proposed Designation of Marine Critical Habitat for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Caretta... Designation of Critical Habitat for the Northwest Atlantic Ocean Loggerhead Sea Turtle Distinct...

  17. 75 FR 53925 - Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp and Summer Flounder Trawling Requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-02

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 223 RIN 0648-AW93 Sea Turtle Conservation...: Background All sea turtles that occur in U.S. waters are listed as either endangered or threatened under the... green turtles in Florida and on the Pacific coast of Mexico, which are listed as endangered. Sea...

  18. 75 FR 47825 - Emergency Exemption; Issuance of Emergency Permit to Rehabilitate Sea Turtles Affected by the...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-08-09

    ... Fish and Wildlife Service Emergency Exemption; Issuance of Emergency Permit to Rehabilitate Sea Turtles... sea turtle species. We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have authorized Texas State Aquarium, under an Endangered Species Act (ESA) permit, to aid sea turtles affected by the oil spill....

  19. 78 FR 65959 - Proposed Designation of Marine Critical Habitat for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Caretta caretta...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-04

    ... Marine Critical Habitat for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Caretta caretta, Under the Endangered Species Act... related to our Proposed Designation of Marine Critical Habitat for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Caretta... Critical Habitat for the Northwest Atlantic Ocean Loggerhead Sea Turtle Distinct Population Segment...

  20. 50 CFR 224.104 - Special requirements for fishing activities to protect endangered sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... activities to protect endangered sea turtles. 224.104 Section 224.104 Wildlife and Fisheries NATIONAL MARINE... endangered sea turtles. (a) Shrimp fishermen in the southeastern United States and the Gulf of Mexico who comply with rules for threatened sea turtles specified in § 223.206 of this chapter will not be...

  1. 75 FR 81201 - 2011 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle Observer Requirement

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-12-27

    ... for Sea Turtle Observer Requirement AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic...' request. The purpose of observing identified fisheries is to learn more about sea turtle interactions in a given fishery, evaluate existing measures to prevent or reduce prohibited sea turtle takes, and...

  2. 77 FR 14347 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Reporting of Sea Turtle Incidental Take in...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-09

    ... of Sea Turtle Incidental Take in Virginia Chesapeake Bay Pound Net Operations AGENCY: National... endangered and threatened sea turtles, found both live and dead, in their pound net operations. When a live or dead sea turtle is discovered during a pound net trip, the Virginia pound net fisherman...

  3. 77 FR 474 - 2012 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle Observer Requirement

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-05

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XA892 2012 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle... learn more about sea turtle interactions in a given fishery, evaluate existing measures to prevent or reduce prohibited sea turtle takes, and to determine whether additional measures to implement...

  4. 50 CFR 223.206 - Exceptions to prohibitions relating to sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... to prohibitions relating to sea turtles. (a) Permits—(1) Scientific research, education, zoological... zoological exhibition, or to enhance the propagation or survival of threatened species of sea turtles, in... of sea turtle is found injured, dead, or stranded, any agent or employee of the National...

  5. 78 FR 77428 - 2014 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle Observer Requirement

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-12-23

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XD008 2014 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle... to learn more about sea turtle interactions in a given fishery, evaluate existing measures to prevent or reduce prohibited sea turtle takes, and to determine whether additional measures to implement...

  6. 75 FR 70900 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Reporting of Sea Turtle Entanglement in Fishing...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-11-19

    ... of Sea Turtle Entanglement in Fishing Gear or Marine Debris AGENCY: National Oceanic and Atmospheric... of a currently approved collection. This collection of information involves sea turtles becoming... prevent the recovery of endangered and threatened sea turtle populations. The National Marine...

  7. 50 CFR 648.126 - Protection of threatened and endangered sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... sea turtles. 648.126 Section 648.126 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT... sea turtles. This section supplements existing regulations issued to regulate incidental take of sea turtles under authority of the Endangered Species Act under 50 CFR parts 222 and 223. In addition to...

  8. 77 FR 75999 - 2013 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle Observer Requirement

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-12-26

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XC379 2013 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle... to learn more about sea turtle interactions in a given fishery, evaluate existing measures to prevent or reduce prohibited sea turtle takes, and to determine whether additional measures to implement...

  9. The effects of large beach debris on nesting sea turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujisaki, Ikuko; Lamont, Margaret M.

    2016-01-01

    A field experiment was conducted to understand the effects of large beach debris on sea turtle nesting behavior as well as the effectiveness of large debris removal for habitat restoration. Large natural and anthropogenic debris were removed from one of three sections of a sea turtle nesting beach and distributions of nests and false crawls (non-nesting crawls) in pre- (2011–2012) and post- (2013–2014) removal years in the three sections were compared. The number of nests increased 200% and the number of false crawls increased 55% in the experimental section, whereas a corresponding increase in number of nests and false crawls was not observed in the other two sections where debris removal was not conducted. The proportion of nest and false crawl abundance in all three beach sections was significantly different between pre- and post-removal years. The nesting success, the percent of successful nests in total nesting attempts (number of nests + false crawls), also increased from 24% to 38%; however the magnitude of the increase was comparably small because both the number of nests and false crawls increased, and thus the proportion of the nesting success in the experimental beach in pre- and post-removal years was not significantly different. The substantial increase in sea turtle nesting activities after the removal of large debris indicates that large debris may have an adverse impact on sea turtle nesting behavior. Removal of large debris could be an effective restoration strategy to improve sea turtle nesting.

  10. Sea Turtle Bycatch Mitigation in U.S. Longline Fisheries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yonat Swimmer

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Capture of sea turtles in longline fisheries has been implicated in population declines of loggerhead (Caretta caretta and leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea turtles. Since 2004, United States (U.S. longline vessels targeting swordfish and tunas in the Pacific and regions in the Atlantic Ocean have operated under extensive fisheries regulations to reduce the capture and mortality of endangered and threatened sea turtles. We analyzed 20+ years of longline observer data from both ocean basins during periods before and after the regulations to assess the effectiveness of the regulations. Using generalized additive mixed models (GAMMs, we investigated relationships between the probability of expected turtle interactions and operational components such as fishing location, hook type, bait type, sea surface temperature, and use of light sticks. GAMMs identified a two to three-fold lower probability of expected capture of loggerhead and leatherback turtle bycatch in the Atlantic and Pacific when circle hooks are used (vs. J hook. Use of fish bait (vs. squid was also found to significantly reduce the capture probability of loggerheads in both ocean basins, and for leatherbacks in the Atlantic only. Capture probabilities are lowest when using a combination of circle hook and fish bait. Influences of light sticks, hook depth, geographic location, and sea surface temperature are discussed specific to species and regions. Results confirmed that in two U.S.-managed longline fisheries, rates of sea turtle bycatch significantly declined after the regulations. In the Atlantic (all regions, rates declined by 40 and 61% for leatherback and loggerhead turtles, respectively, after the regulations. Within the NED area alone, where additional restrictions include a large circle hook (18/0 and limited use of squid bait, rates declined by 64 and 55% for leatherback and loggerhead turtles, respectively. Gains were even more pronounced for the Pacific shallow set fishery

  11. Tissue enzyme activities in the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Eric T; Socha, Victoria L; Gardner, Jennifer; Byrd, Lynne; Manire, Charles A

    2013-03-01

    The loggerhead sea turtle, Caretta caretta, one of the seven species of threatened or endangered sea turtles worldwide, is one of the most commonly encountered marine turtles off the eastern coast of the United States and Gulf of Mexico. Although biochemical reference ranges have been evaluated for several species of sea turtles, tissue specificity of the commonly used plasma enzymes is lacking. This study evaluated the tissue specificity of eight enzymes, including amylase, lipase, creatine kinase (CK), gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and alanine aminotransferase (ALT), in 30 tissues from five stranded loggerhead sea turtles with no evidence of infectious disease. Amylase and lipase showed the greatest tissue specificity, with activity found only in pancreatic samples. Creatine kinase had high levels present in skeletal and cardiac muscle, and moderate levels in central nervous system and gastrointestinal samples. Gamma-glutamyl transferase was found in kidney samples, but only in very low levels. Creatine kinase, ALP, AST, and LDH were found in all tissues evaluated and ALT was found in most, indicating low tissue specificity for these enzymes in the loggerhead.

  12. Global distribution of two fungal pathogens threatening endangered sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarmiento-Ramírez, Jullie M; Abella-Pérez, Elena; Phillott, Andrea D; Sim, Jolene; van West, Pieter; Martín, María P; Marco, Adolfo; Diéguez-Uribeondo, Javier

    2014-01-01

    Nascent fungal infections are currently considered as one of the main threats for biodiversity and ecosystem health, and have driven several animal species into critical risk of extinction. Sea turtles are one of the most endangered groups of animals and only seven species have survived to date. Here, we described two pathogenic species, i.e., Fusarium falciforme and Fusarium keratoplasticum, that are globally distributed in major turtle nesting areas for six sea turtle species and that are implicated in low hatch success. These two fungi possess key biological features that are similar to emerging pathogens leading to host extinction, e.g., high virulence, and a broad host range style of life. Their optimal growth temperature overlap with the optimal incubation temperature for eggs, and they are able to kill up to 90% of the embryos. Environmental forcing, e.g., tidal inundation and clay/silt content of nests, were correlated to disease development. Thus, these Fusarium species constitute a major threat to sea turtle nests, especially to those experiencing environmental stressors. These findings have serious implications for the survival of endangered sea turtle populations and the success of conservation programs worldwide.

  13. Global distribution of two fungal pathogens threatening endangered sea turtles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jullie M Sarmiento-Ramírez

    Full Text Available Nascent fungal infections are currently considered as one of the main threats for biodiversity and ecosystem health, and have driven several animal species into critical risk of extinction. Sea turtles are one of the most endangered groups of animals and only seven species have survived to date. Here, we described two pathogenic species, i.e., Fusarium falciforme and Fusarium keratoplasticum, that are globally distributed in major turtle nesting areas for six sea turtle species and that are implicated in low hatch success. These two fungi possess key biological features that are similar to emerging pathogens leading to host extinction, e.g., high virulence, and a broad host range style of life. Their optimal growth temperature overlap with the optimal incubation temperature for eggs, and they are able to kill up to 90% of the embryos. Environmental forcing, e.g., tidal inundation and clay/silt content of nests, were correlated to disease development. Thus, these Fusarium species constitute a major threat to sea turtle nests, especially to those experiencing environmental stressors. These findings have serious implications for the survival of endangered sea turtle populations and the success of conservation programs worldwide.

  14. How Much Are Floridians Willing to Pay for Protecting Sea Turtles from Sea Level Rise?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamed, Ahmed; Madani, Kaveh; Von Holle, Betsy; Wright, James; Milon, J. Walter; Bossick, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    Sea level rise (SLR) is posing a great inundation risk to coastal areas. Some coastal nesting species, including sea turtle species, have experienced diminished habitat from SLR. Contingent valuation method (CVM) was used in an effort to assess the economic loss impacts of SLR on sea turtle nesting habitats for Florida coasts; and to elicit values of willingness to pay (WTP) of Central Florida residents to implement certain mitigation strategies, which would protect Florida's east coast sea turtle nesting areas. Using the open-ended and dichotomous choice CVM, we sampled residents of two Florida communities: Cocoa Beach and Oviedo. We estimated the WTP of households from these two cities to protect sea turtle habitat to be between 42 and 57 per year for 5 years. Additionally, we attempted to assess the impact of the both the respondents' demographics and their perception toward various situations on their WTP value. Findings include a negative correlation between the age of a respondent and the probability of an individual willing to pay the hypothetical WTP amount. We found that WTP of an individual was not dependent on prior knowledge of the effects of SLR on sea turtle habitat. The greatest indicators of whether or not an individual was willing to pay to protect sea turtle habitat were the respondents' perception regarding the trustworthiness and efficiency of the party which will implement the conservation measures and their confidence in the conservation methods used. Respondents who perceive sea turtles having an effect on their life were also more likely to pay.

  15. Development of a Summarized Health Index (SHI) for use in predicting survival in sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Tsung-Hsien; Chang, Chao-Chin; Cheng, I-Jiunn; Lin, Suen-Chuain

    2015-01-01

    Veterinary care plays an influential role in sea turtle rehabilitation, especially in endangered species. Physiological characteristics, hematological and plasma biochemistry profiles, are useful references for clinical management in animals, especially when animals are during the convalescence period. In this study, these factors associated with sea turtle surviving were analyzed. The blood samples were collected when sea turtles remained alive, and then animals were followed up for surviving status. The results indicated that significantly negative correlation was found between buoyancy disorders (BD) and sea turtle surviving (p sea turtles had significantly higher levels of aspartate aminotranspherase (AST), creatinine kinase (CK), creatinine and uric acid (UA) than surviving sea turtles (all p sea turtles and to improve veterinary care at rehabilitation facilities.

  16. 77 FR 29905 - Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp and Summer Flounder Trawling Requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-05-21

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 223 RIN 0648-AW93 Sea Turtle Conservation... modification was tested under the leatherback sea turtle model test using a 32-inch bent-bar TED and failed... original Parker TED design did not pass the small turtle testing protocol due to serious design flaws;...

  17. No slip locomotion of hatchling sea turtles on granular media

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazouchova, Nicole; Li, Chen; Gravish, Nick; Savu, Andrei; Goldman, Daniel

    2009-11-01

    Sea turtle locomotion occurs predominantly in aquatic environments. However after hatching from a nest on a beach, the juvenile turtles (hatchlings), must run across several hundred meters of granular media to reach the water. To discover how these organisms use aquatically adapted limbs for effective locomotion on sand, we use high speed infrared video to record hatchling Loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) kinematics in a field site on Jekyll Island, GA, USA. A portable fluidized bed trackway allows variation of the properties of the granular bed including volume fraction and angle up to the angle of repose. Despite being adapted for life in water, on all treatments the turtles use strategies similar to terrestrial organisms when moving on sand. Speeds up to 3 BL/sec are generated not by paddling in sand, but by limb movement that minimizes slip of the flippers, thus maintaining force below the yield stress of the medium. We predict turtle speed using a model which incorporates the yield stress of the granular medium as a function of surface angle.

  18. ORGANOCHLORINE CONTAMINANTS IN SEA TURTLES FROM THE EASTERN PACIFIC

    Science.gov (United States)

    We measured organochlorine residues in three species of sea turtles from the Baja California peninsula, Mexico. Seventeen of 21 organochlorine pesticides analyzed were detected, with heptachlor epoxide and y-hexachlorocyclohexane the most prevalent in 14 (40%) and 11 (31%) of th...

  19. Estimates of the non-market value of sea turtles in Tobago using stated preference techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cazabon-Mannette, Michelle; Schuhmann, Peter W; Hailey, Adrian; Horrocks, Julia

    2017-05-01

    Economic benefits are derived from sea turtle tourism all over the world. Sea turtles also add value to underwater recreation and convey non-use values. This study examines the non-market value of sea turtles in Tobago. We use a choice experiment to estimate the value of sea turtle encounters to recreational SCUBA divers and the contingent valuation method to estimate the value of sea turtles to international tourists. Results indicate that turtle encounters were the most important dive attribute among those examined. Divers are willing to pay over US$62 per two tank dive for the first turtle encounter. The mean WTP for turtle conservation among international visitors to Tobago was US$31.13 which reflects a significant non-use value associated with actions targeted at keeping sea turtles from going extinct. These results illustrate significant non-use and non-consumptive use value of sea turtles, and highlight the importance of sea turtle conservation efforts in Tobago and throughout the Caribbean region. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Diversity, habitat distribution, and indigenous hunting of marine turtles in the Calamian Islands, Palawan, Republic of the Philippines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher N.S. Poonian

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available All of the world’s seven species of marine turtle are threatened by a multitude of anthropogenic pressures across all stages of their life history. The Calamian Islands, Palawan, Philippines provide important foraging and nesting grounds for four species: green turtles (Chelonia mydas, hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata, loggerheads (Caretta caretta, and leatherbacks (Dermochelys coriacea. This work aimed to assess the relative importance of turtle nesting beaches and local threats using a combination of social science and ecological research approaches. Endangered green turtles and critically endangered hawksbills were found to nest in the Calamianes. The most important nesting sites were located on the islands off the west of Busuanga and Culion, particularly Pamalican and Galoc and along the north coast of Coron, particularly Linamodio Island. Opportunistic hunting and egg collection, conducted legally by indigenous communities, is the most significant threat to sea turtles in the area. Sites particularly vulnerable to hunting were found to be Galoc Island, Pamalican Island, and Panlaitan Island. Raising awareness, community engagement, and understanding of socio-cultural drivers of sea turtle exploitation, particularly among indigenous communities, are essential to gain support for any effective conservation program. Additionally, more effective enforcement of laws related to the trade in sea turtle products is required to close the commercial and export markets.

  1. First satellite tracks of neonate sea turtles redefine the 'lost years' oceanic niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mansfield, Katherine L; Wyneken, Jeanette; Porter, Warren P; Luo, Jiangang

    2014-04-22

    Few at-sea behavioural data exist for oceanic-stage neonate sea turtles, a life-stage commonly referred to as the sea turtle 'lost years'. Historically, the long-term tracking of small, fast-growing organisms in the open ocean was logistically or technologically impossible. Here, we provide the first long-term satellite tracks of neonate sea turtles. Loggerheads (Caretta caretta) were remotely tracked in the Atlantic Ocean using small solar-powered satellite transmitters. We show that oceanic-stage turtles (i) rarely travel in Continental Shelf waters, (ii) frequently depart the currents associated with the North Atlantic Subtropical Gyre, (iii) travel quickly when in Gyre currents, and (iv) select sea surface habitats that are likely to provide a thermal benefit or refuge to young sea turtles, supporting growth, foraging and survival. Our satellite tracks help define Atlantic loggerhead nursery grounds and early loggerhead habitat use, allowing us to re-examine sea turtle 'lost years' paradigms.

  2. Chlamydiosis in mariculture-reared green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Homer, B L; Jacobson, E R; Schumacher, J; Scherba, G

    1994-01-01

    From August 1990 to June 1991, a moderate die-off of 4- to 5-year-old green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) occurred at Cayman Turtle Farm, Grand Cayman, British West Indies. Clinical signs included lethargy, anorexia, and inability to dive. Many of the ill turtles floated on the surface of their tanks. There was no apparent sex predilection. Complete necropsies, including histopathologic examination of tissues, were performed on eight turtles. Necropsies revealed multiple irregular discrete to patchy 1-10 mm pale gray foci throughout the hearts of four turtles. By light microscopic examination, the most severe and consistent lesions were necrotizing myocarditis, histiocytic to fibrinous splenitis, and hepatic lipidosis and necrosis. A mixed leukocytic infiltrate of acidophils, macrophages, and lymphocytes was present in affected areas of the heart. Other lesions included lymphocytic/plasmacytic interstitial nephritis, subacute interstitial pneumonia, subacute mesenteric vasculitis, chronic/active enteritis of the small intestine, and occasional granulomas associated with spirorchid trematode ova. Chlamydiae could be demonstrated in macrophages in sections of paraffin-embedded heart, liver, and spleen and in myocardial fibers and hepatocytes using a modified Macchiavello's stain. Chlamydial antigen was detected by light microscopic examination in the cytoplasm of myocardial fibers and in occasional hepatocytes using a commercially available genus-specific antichlamydial monoclonal antibody and the avidin biotin peroxidase complex staining method. Electron microscopic examination of the heart of the most severely affected turtle revealed developmental stages of chlamydial organisms. A suspension of heart from this turtle was inoculated into the yolk sacs of chicken embryos.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  3. Encroachment of Human Activity on Sea Turtle Nesting Sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziskin, D.; Aubrecht, C.; Elvidge, C.; Tuttle, B.; Baugh, K.; Ghosh, T.

    2008-12-01

    The encroachment of anthropogenic lighting on sea turtle nesting sites poses a serious threat to the survival of these animals [Nicholas, 2001]. This danger is quantified by combining two established data sets. The first is the Nighttime Lights data produced by the NOAA National Geophysical Data Center [Elvidge et al., 1997]. The second is the Marine Turtle Database produced by the World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC). The technique used to quantify the threat of encroachment is an adaptation of the method described in Aubrecht et al. [2008], which analyzes the stress on coral reef systems by proximity to nighttime lights near the shore. Nighttime lights near beaches have both a direct impact on turtle reproductive success since they disorient hatchlings when they mistake land-based lights for the sky-lit surf [Lorne and Salmon, 2007] and the lights are also a proxy for other anthropogenic threats. The identification of turtle nesting sites with high rates of encroachment will hopefully steer conservation efforts to mitigate their effects [Witherington, 1999]. Aubrecht, C, CD Elvidge, T Longcore, C Rich, J Safran, A Strong, M Eakin, KE Baugh, BT Tuttle, AT Howard, EH Erwin, 2008, A global inventory of coral reef stressors based on satellite observed nighttime lights, Geocarto International, London, England: Taylor and Francis. In press. Elvidge, CD, KE Baugh, EA Kihn, HW Kroehl, ER Davis, 1997, Mapping City Lights with Nighttime Data from the DMSP Operational Linescan System, Photogrammatic Engineering and Remote Sensing, 63:6, pp. 727-734. Lorne, JK, M Salmon, 2007, Effects of exposure to artificial lighting on orientation of hatchling sea turtles on the beach and in the ocean, Endangered Species Research, Vol. 3: 23-30. Nicholas, M, 2001, Light Pollution and Marine Turtle Hatchlings: The Straw that Breaks the Camel's Back?, George Wright Forum, 18:4, p77-82. Witherington, BE, 1999, Reducing Threats To Nesting Habitat, Research and Management Techniques for

  4. Eutrophication and the dietary promotion of sea turtle tumors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Houtan, Kyle S; Smith, Celia M; Dailer, Meghan L; Kawachi, Migiwa

    2014-01-01

    The tumor-forming disease fibropapillomatosis (FP) has afflicted sea turtle populations for decades with no clear cause. A lineage of α-herpesviruses associated with these tumors has existed for millennia, suggesting environmental factors are responsible for its recent epidemiology. In previous work, we described how herpesviruses could cause FP tumors through a metabolic influx of arginine. We demonstrated the disease prevails in chronically eutrophied coastal waters, and that turtles foraging in these sites might consume arginine-enriched macroalgae. Here, we test the idea using High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) to describe the amino acid profiles of green turtle (Chelonia mydas) tumors and five common forage species of macroalgae from a range of eutrophic states. Tumors were notably elevated in glycine, proline, alanine, arginine, and serine and depleted in lysine when compared to baseline samples. All macroalgae from eutrophic locations had elevated arginine, and all species preferentially stored environmental nitrogen as arginine even at oligotrophic sites. From these results, we estimate adult turtles foraging at eutrophied sites increase their arginine intake 17-26 g daily, up to 14 times the background level. Arginine nitrogen increased with total macroalgae nitrogen and watershed nitrogen, and the invasive rhodophyte Hypnea musciformis significantly outperformed all other species in this respect. Our results confirm that eutrophication substantially increases the arginine content of macroalgae, which may metabolically promote latent herpesviruses and cause FP tumors in green turtles.

  5. Eutrophication and the dietary promotion of sea turtle tumors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyle S. Van Houtan

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The tumor-forming disease fibropapillomatosis (FP has afflicted sea turtle populations for decades with no clear cause. A lineage of α-herpesviruses associated with these tumors has existed for millennia, suggesting environmental factors are responsible for its recent epidemiology. In previous work, we described how herpesviruses could cause FP tumors through a metabolic influx of arginine. We demonstrated the disease prevails in chronically eutrophied coastal waters, and that turtles foraging in these sites might consume arginine-enriched macroalgae. Here, we test the idea using High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC to describe the amino acid profiles of green turtle (Chelonia mydas tumors and five common forage species of macroalgae from a range of eutrophic states. Tumors were notably elevated in glycine, proline, alanine, arginine, and serine and depleted in lysine when compared to baseline samples. All macroalgae from eutrophic locations had elevated arginine, and all species preferentially stored environmental nitrogen as arginine even at oligotrophic sites. From these results, we estimate adult turtles foraging at eutrophied sites increase their arginine intake 17–26 g daily, up to 14 times the background level. Arginine nitrogen increased with total macroalgae nitrogen and watershed nitrogen, and the invasive rhodophyte Hypnea musciformis significantly outperformed all other species in this respect. Our results confirm that eutrophication substantially increases the arginine content of macroalgae, which may metabolically promote latent herpesviruses and cause FP tumors in green turtles.

  6. Neurological disease in wild loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson, Elliott R; Homer, Bruce L; Stacy, Brian A; Greiner, Ellis C; Szabo, Nancy J; Chrisman, Cheryl L; Origgi, Francesco; Coberley, Sadie; Foley, Allen M; Landsberg, Jan H; Flewelling, Leanne; Ewing, Ruth Y; Moretti, Richie; Schaf, Susan; Rose, Corinne; Mader, Douglas R; Harman, Glenn R; Manire, Charles A; Mettee, Nancy S; Mizisin, Andrew P; Shelton, G Diane

    2006-06-12

    Beginning in October 2000, subadult loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta showing clinical signs of a neurological disorder were found in waters off south Florida, USA. Histopathology indicated generalized and neurologic spirorchiidiasis. In loggerhead sea turtles (LST) with neurospirorchiidiasis, adult trematodes were found in the meninges of the brain and spinal cord of 7 and 3 affected turtles respectively, and multiple encephalic intravascular or perivascular eggs were associated with granulomatous or mixed leukocytic inflammation, vasculitis, edema, axonal degeneration and occasional necrosis. Adult spirorchiids were dissected from meningeal vessels of 2 of 11 LST brains and 1 of 10 spinal cords and were identified as Neospirorchis sp. Affected LST were evaluated for brevetoxins, ciguatoxins, saxitoxins, domoic acid and palytoxin. While tissues from 7 of 20 LST tested positive for brevetoxins, the levels were not considered to be in a range causing acute toxicosis. No known natural (algal blooms) or anthropogenic (pollutant spills) stressors co-occurred with the turtle mortality. While heavy metal toxicosis and organophosphate toxicosis were also investigated as possible causes, there was no evidence for their involvement. We speculate that the clinical signs and pathologic changes seen in the affected LST resulted from combined heavy spirorchiid parasitism and possible chronic exposure to a novel toxin present in the diet of LST.

  7. Conceptual Model Development for Sea Turtle Nesting Habitat: Support for USACE Navigation Projects

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-08-01

    Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. ERDC TN-DOER-R23 August 2015 Conceptual Model Development for Sea Turtle Nesting...value range schemes to include in a spatially explicit ecological model for sea turtle nesting habitat. INTRODUCTION: Much of the Atlantic and Gulf...of Mexico coastlines are designated as critical habitat for loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) conservation. The terrestrial critical habitat

  8. Dehydration as an effective treatment for brevetoxicosis in loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manire, Charles A; Anderson, Eric T; Byrd, Lynne; Fauquier, Deborah A

    2013-06-01

    Harmful algal blooms are known to cause morbidity and mortality to a large number of marine and estuarine organisms worldwide, including fish and marine mammals, birds, and turtles. The effects of these algal blooms on marine organisms are due to the various toxins produced by the different algal species. In southwest Florida, frequent blooms of the dinoflagellate Karenia brevis, which produces neurotoxins known as brevetoxins, cause widespread fish kills and affect many marine animals. In 2005-2007, numerous sea turtles of several species underwent treatment for brevetoxicosis at the Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital. In green sea turtles, Chelonia mydas, and Kemp's ridley sea turtles, Lepidochelys kempii, symptoms associated with brevetoxicosis were limited to neurologic signs, such as the inability to control the head (head bobbing) and nervous twitching. For these turtles, treatment involved removing the turtles from the environment containing the toxins and providing short-term supportive care. In loggerhead sea turtles, Caretta caretta, symptoms were more generalized; thus, a similar approach was unsuccessful, as was routine treatment for general toxicosis. Loggerhead sea turtles had more extreme neurologic symptoms including coma, and other symptoms that included generalized edema, conjunctival edema, and cloacal or penile prolapse. Treatment of brevetoxicosis in loggerhead sea turtles required a therapeutic regimen that initially included dehydration and systemic antihistamine treatment followed by supportive care.

  9. Seasonal Variation in Sea Turtle Density and Abundance in the Southeast Florida Current and Surrounding Waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bovery, Caitlin M; Wyneken, Jeanette

    2015-01-01

    Assessment and management of sea turtle populations is often limited by a lack of available data pertaining to at-sea distributions at appropriate spatial and temporal resolutions. Assessing the spatial and temporal distributions of marine turtles in an open system poses both observational and analytical challenges due to the turtles' highly migratory nature. Surface counts of marine turtles in waters along the southern part of Florida's east coast were made in and adjacent to the southeast portion of the Florida Current using standard aerial surveys during 2011 and 2012 to assess their seasonal presence. This area is of particular concern for sea turtles as interest increases in offshore energy developments, specifically harnessing the power of the Florida Current. While it is understood that marine turtles use these waters, here we evaluate seasonal variation in sea turtle abundance and density over two years. Density of sea turtles observed within the study area ranged from 0.003 turtles km-2 in the winter of 2011 to 0.064 turtles km-2 in the spring of 2012. This assessment of marine turtles in the waters off southeast Florida quantifies their in-water abundance across seasons in this area to establish baselines and inform future management strategies of these protected species.

  10. The feeding habit of sea turtles influences their reaction to artificial marine debris

    OpenAIRE

    Takuya Fukuoka; Misaki Yamane; Chihiro Kinoshita; Tomoko Narazaki; Marshall, Greg J.; Abernathy, Kyler J.; Nobuyuki Miyazaki; Katsufumi Sato

    2016-01-01

    Ingestion of artificial debris is considered as a significant stress for wildlife including sea turtles. To investigate how turtles react to artificial debris under natural conditions, we deployed animal-borne video cameras on loggerhead and green turtles in addition to feces and gut contents analyses from 2007 to 2015. Frequency of occurrences of artificial debris in feces and gut contents collected from loggerhead turtles were 35.7% (10/28) and 84.6% (11/13), respectively. Artificial debris...

  11. 77 FR 31062 - Programs To Reduce Incidental Capture of Sea Turtles in Shrimp Fisheries; Certifications Pursuant...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-05-24

    ... United States: Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua... waters where the risk of taking sea turtles is negligible. They are: Argentina, Belgium, Canada,...

  12. Inorganic elements in green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas): relationships among external and internal tissues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faust, Derek R; Hooper, Michael J; Cobb, George P; Barnes, Melanie; Shaver, Donna; Ertolacci, Shauna; Smith, Philip N

    2014-09-01

    Inorganic elements from anthropogenic sources have entered marine environments worldwide and are detectable in marine organisms, including sea turtles. Threatened and endangered classifications of sea turtles have heretofore made assessments of contaminant concentrations difficult because of regulatory restrictions on obtaining samples using nonlethal techniques. In the present study, claw and skin biopsy samples were examined as potential indicators of internal tissue burdens in green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas). Significant relationships were observed between claw and liver, and claw and muscle concentrations of mercury, nickel, arsenic, and selenium (p sea turtles.

  13. The draft genomes of soft-shell turtle and green sea turtle yield insights into the development and evolution of the turtle-specific body plan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhuo; Pascual-Anaya, Juan; Zadissa, Amonida; Li, Wenqi; Niimura, Yoshihito; Huang, Zhiyong; Li, Chunyi; White, Simon; Xiong, Zhiqiang; Fang, Dongming; Wang, Bo; Ming, Yao; Chen, Yan; Zheng, Yuan; Kuraku, Shigehiro; Pignatelli, Miguel; Herrero, Javier; Beal, Kathryn; Nozawa, Masafumi; Li, Qiye; Wang, Juan; Zhang, Hongyan; Yu, Lili; Shigenobu, Shuji; Wang, Junyi; Liu, Jiannan; Flicek, Paul; Searle, Steve; Wang, Jun; Kuratani, Shigeru; Yin, Ye; Aken, Bronwen; Zhang, Guojie; Irie, Naoki

    2013-06-01

    The unique anatomical features of turtles have raised unanswered questions about the origin of their unique body plan. We generated and analyzed draft genomes of the soft-shell turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis) and the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas); our results indicated the close relationship of the turtles to the bird-crocodilian lineage, from which they split ∼267.9-248.3 million years ago (Upper Permian to Triassic). We also found extensive expansion of olfactory receptor genes in these turtles. Embryonic gene expression analysis identified an hourglass-like divergence of turtle and chicken embryogenesis, with maximal conservation around the vertebrate phylotypic period, rather than at later stages that show the amniote-common pattern. Wnt5a expression was found in the growth zone of the dorsal shell, supporting the possible co-option of limb-associated Wnt signaling in the acquisition of this turtle-specific novelty. Our results suggest that turtle evolution was accompanied by an unexpectedly conservative vertebrate phylotypic period, followed by turtle-specific repatterning of development to yield the novel structure of the shell.

  14. Disseminated mycobacteriosis in a stranded loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nardini, Giordano; Florio, Daniela; Di Girolamo, Nicola; Gustinelli, Andrea; Quaglio, Francesco; Fiorentini, Laura; Leopardi, Stefania; Fioravanti, Maria Letizia

    2014-06-01

    A loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) was found stranded alive along the Adriatic coast close to Ancona, Italy, displaying obtundation, tachypnea, and increased respiratory effort. It died a few hours after admission, and a postmortem examination was immediately performed. Miliary yellowish nodules were evident in the liver, and a lower number in the heart, stomach, and gut wall. Hundreds of whitish nodules were scattered in the lungs, with the majority of the pulmonary parenchyma being replaced by the lesions. Histologically, all nodular lesions consisted of a small central area of necrosis with acid-fast bacilli surrounded by epithelioid cells, macrophages, and lymphocytes. Giant cells were found in the spleen and the liver. Kidneys, lungs, liver, spleen, brain, and skin lesions were inoculated aseptically onto general isolation media and selective isolation media for mycobacteria. The isolate showed a restriction pattern identical to Mycobacterium chelonae by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first description of a disseminated infection caused by a potentially pathogenic mycobacteria in a stranded, free-ranging loggerhead sea turtle. Veterinary staff and biologists who handle sea turtles with suspected mycobacterial disease should protect themselves appropriately.

  15. Do open-cycle hatcheries relying on tourism conserve sea turtles? Sri Lankan developments and economic-ecological considerations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tisdell, Clem; Wilson, Clevo

    2005-04-01

    By combining economic analysis of markets with ecological parameters, this article considers the role that tourism-based sea turtle hatcheries (of an open-cycle type) can play in conserving populations of sea turtles. Background is provided on the nature and development of such hatcheries in Sri Lanka. The modeling facilitates the assessment of the impacts of turtle hatcheries on the conservation of sea turtles and enables the economic and ecological consequences of tourism, based on such hatcheries, to be better appreciated. The results demonstrate that sea turtle hatcheries serving tourists can make a positive contribution to sea turtle conservation, but that their conservation effectiveness depends on the way they are managed. Possible negative effects are also identified. Economic market models are combined with turtle population survival relationships to predict the conservation impact of turtle hatcheries and their consequence for the total economic value obtained from sea turtle populations.

  16. Mycobacterium haemophilum infection in a juvenile leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donnelly, Kyle; Waltzek, Thomas B; Wellehan, James F X; Stacy, Nicole I; Chadam, Maria; Stacy, Brian A

    2016-11-01

    Mycobacteriosis is infrequently reported in free-ranging sea turtles. Nontuberculous Mycobacterium haemophilum was identified as the causative agent of disseminated mycobacteriosis in a juvenile leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) that was found stranded on the Atlantic coast of Florida. Disseminated granulomatous inflammation was identified histologically, most notably affecting the nervous system. Identification of mycobacterial infection was based on cytologic, molecular, histologic, and microbiologic methods. Among stranded sea turtles received for diagnostic evaluation from the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts of the United States between 2004 and 2015, the diagnosis of mycobacteriosis was overrepresented in stranded oceanic-phase juveniles compared with larger size classes, which suggests potential differences in susceptibility or exposure among different life phases in this region. We describe M. haemophilum in a sea turtle, which contributes to the knowledge of diseases of small juvenile sea turtles, an especially cryptic life phase of the leatherback turtle.

  17. Seasonal Variation in Sea Turtle Density and Abundance in the Southeast Florida Current and Surrounding Waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bovery, Caitlin M.; Wyneken, Jeanette

    2015-01-01

    Assessment and management of sea turtle populations is often limited by a lack of available data pertaining to at-sea distributions at appropriate spatial and temporal resolutions. Assessing the spatial and temporal distributions of marine turtles in an open system poses both observational and analytical challenges due to the turtles’ highly migratory nature. Surface counts of marine turtles in waters along the southern part of Florida’s east coast were made in and adjacent to the southeast portion of the Florida Current using standard aerial surveys during 2011 and 2012 to assess their seasonal presence. This area is of particular concern for sea turtles as interest increases in offshore energy developments, specifically harnessing the power of the Florida Current. While it is understood that marine turtles use these waters, here we evaluate seasonal variation in sea turtle abundance and density over two years. Density of sea turtles observed within the study area ranged from 0.003 turtles km-2 in the winter of 2011 to 0.064 turtles km-2 in the spring of 2012. This assessment of marine turtles in the waters off southeast Florida quantifies their in-water abundance across seasons in this area to establish baselines and inform future management strategies of these protected species. PMID:26717520

  18. Seagrasses in the Age of Sea Turtle Conservation and Shark Overfishing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael R Heithaus

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Efforts to conserve globally declining herbivorous green sea turtles have resulted in promising growth of some populations. These trends could significantly impact critical ecosystem services provided by seagrass meadows on which turtles feed. Expanding turtle populations could improve seagrass ecosystem health by removing seagrass biomass and preventing of the formation of sediment anoxia. However, overfishing of large sharks, the primary green turtle predators, could facilitate turtle populations growing beyond historical sizes and trigger detrimental ecosystem impacts mirroring those on land when top predators were extirpated. Experimental data from multiple ocean basins suggest that increasing turtle populations can negatively impact seagrasses, including triggering virtual ecosystem collapse. Impacts of large turtle populations on seagrasses are reduced in the presence of intact shark populations. Healthy populations of sharks and turtles, therefore, are likely vital to restoring or maintaining seagrass ecosystem structure, function, and their value in supporting fisheries and as a carbon sink.

  19. Health implications associated with exposure to farmed and wild sea turtles

    OpenAIRE

    Warwick, Clifford; Arena, Phillip C; Steedman, Catrina

    2013-01-01

    Exposure to sea turtles may be increasing with expanding tourism, although reports of problems arising from interaction with free-living animals appear of negligible human health and safety concern. Exposure both to wild-caught and captive-housed sea turtles, including consumption of turtle products, raises several health concerns for the public, including: microbiological (bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi), macrobiological (macroparasites), and organic and inorganic toxic contaminants ...

  20. 76 FR 58781 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plans; Recovery Plan for the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-22

    ... Plans; Recovery Plan for the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS...- National Recovery Plan (Recovery Plan) for the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys kempii). The Recovery...: The Bi-National Recovery Plan for the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys kempii) is available...

  1. Health implications associated with exposure to farmed and wild sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warwick, Clifford; Arena, Phillip C; Steedman, Catrina

    2013-01-01

    Exposure to sea turtles may be increasing with expanding tourism, although reports of problems arising from interaction with free-living animals appear of negligible human health and safety concern. Exposure both to wild-caught and captive-housed sea turtles, including consumption of turtle products, raises several health concerns for the public, including: microbiological (bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi), macrobiological (macroparasites), and organic and inorganic toxic contaminants (biotoxins, organochlorines and heavy metals). We conducted a review of sea turtle associated human disease and its causative agents as well as a case study of the commercial sea turtle facility known as the Cayman Turtle Farm (which receives approximately 240,000 visitors annually) including the use of water sampling and laboratory microbial analysis which identified Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Aeromonas spp., Vibrio spp. and Salmonella spp. Our assessment is that pathogens and toxic contaminants may be loosely categorized to represent the following levels of potential risk: viruses and fungi = very low; protozoan parasites = very low to low; metazoan parasites, bacteria and environmental toxic contaminants = low or moderate to high; and biotoxin contaminant = moderate to very high. Farmed turtles and their consumable products may constitute a significant reservoir of potential human pathogen and toxin contamination. Greater awareness among health-care professionals regarding both potential pathogens and toxic contaminants from sea turtles, as well as key signs and symptoms of sea turtle-related human disease, is important for the prevention and control of salient disease.

  2. Age and growth determination by skeletochronology in loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta from the Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paolo Casale

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Skeletochronology was applied to humerus bones to assess the age and growth rates of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta in the Mediterranean Sea. Fifty-five dead turtles with curved carapace lengths (CCL ranging from 24 to 86.5 cm were collected from the central Mediterranean. Sections of humeri were histologically processed to analyze annual growth marks. Two approaches were used to estimate the somatic growth in the form of a von Bertalanffy growth function. The first approach was based on calculating the total number of growth marks, which corresponds to the age of turtles at death. The second approach estimates the carapace length at old growth marks in order to provide the growth rate of each turtle. The observed individual growth rates ranged from 1.4 to 6.2 cm yr–1, and showed both elevated inter- and intra-individual variability possibly related to the environmental variability experienced by turtles during their lifetime. Both approaches gave similar results and suggest that Mediterranean loggerhead turtles take 14.9 to 28.5 years to reach a CCL of 66.5 to 84.7 cm. This size corresponds to the average size of nesting females found in the most important Mediterranean nesting sites and can be considered the approximate size at maturity.

  3. Roaming characteristics and feeding practices of village dogs scavenging sea-turtle nests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ruiz Izaguirre, E.; Woersem, A.; Eilers, C.H.A.M.; Wieren, van S.E.; Bosch, G.; Zijpp, van der A.J.; Boer, de I.J.M.

    2015-01-01

    Village dogs are reported to prey on sea-turtle nests at various beaches worldwide. Sea-turtle species present in Mexico include six species, which are listed under the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List. It is however not clear why dogs scavenge and how they enter nesting areas

  4. Environmental Impact Research Program. Life History and Environmental Requirements of Loggerhead Sea Turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1986-01-01

    the Migratory Sea Turtle, Chelonia mydas," Biological Bulletin, Vol 143, pp 184-185. Marquez, R. 1978. "Tortugas marinas - Terminologica Tecnica ," FAO...Gallagher, R., Hopkins, S., Lankford, R., Marques, R., Ogren, L., Pringle, W., Jr., Reichart, H., and Witham, R. 1983. Manual of Sea Turtle Research

  5. The Role of Taboos in the Protection and Recovery of Sea Turtles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    LoriKim Alexander

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Despite increased efforts from government agencies, scientists, and non-government organizations over the past few decades, anthropogenic sources of sea turtle mortality continue to threaten the survivorship of sea turtle species around the globe. More recent efforts to engage local people with community-based sea turtle conservation programs have been based primarily on economic incentives and less on cultural and social traditions. But there is growing evidence that informal institutions such as, taboos can be extremely effective at promoting wildlife conservation. Ghana is a culturally diverse country where local traditions have shown to improve protection for primates, crocodiles, and many bird species. This study explores the presence of a sea turtle taboo in fishing communities to demonstrate that traditional practices make residents more receptive to sea turtle conservation and more willing to follow government regulations. Fishers in the communities that are aware of the taboo are also more willing to adjust fishing methods to better protect sea turtles. The traditional taboo and national laws appear to be working synergistically to enhance sea turtle conservation in some regions of Ghana. This paper extends the argument that sea turtle conservation strategies succeed when the cultural and social traditions of local communities are integrated with management activities.

  6. Roaming characteristics and feeding practices of village dogs scavenging sea-turtle nests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ruiz Izaguirre, E.; Woersem, A.; Eilers, C.H.A.M.; Wieren, van S.E.; Bosch, G.; Zijpp, van der A.J.; Boer, de I.J.M.

    2015-01-01

    Village dogs are reported to prey on sea-turtle nests at various beaches worldwide. Sea-turtle species present in Mexico include six species, which are listed under the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List. It is however not clear why dogs scavenge and how they enter nesting areas

  7. Developing ultraviolet illumination of gillnets as a method to reduce sea turtle bycatch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, John; Barkan, Joel; Fisler, Shara; Godinez-Reyes, Carlos; Swimmer, Yonat

    2013-10-23

    Fisheries bycatch of marine animals has been linked to population declines of multiple species, including many sea turtles. Altering the visual cues associated with fishing gear may reduce sea turtle bycatch. We examined the effectiveness of illuminating gillnets with ultraviolet (UV) light-emitting diodes for reducing green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) interactions. We found that the mean sea turtle capture rate was reduced by 39.7% in UV-illuminated nets compared with nets without illumination. In collaboration with commercial fishermen, we tested UV net illumination in a bottom-set gillnet fishery in Baja California, Mexico. We did not find any difference in overall target fish catch rate or market value between net types. These findings suggest that UV net illumination may have applications in coastal and pelagic gillnet fisheries to reduce sea turtle bycatch.

  8. Monitoring mercury in green sea turtles using keratinized carapace fragments (scutes).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bezerra, M F; Lacerda, L D; Lima, E H S M; Melo, M T D

    2013-12-15

    The green sea turtles are facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild and the impacts of heavy metals contamination contributes with the decline of their populations. It is very important to assess noninvasive and nonlethal methods for monitoring Hg contamination in sea turtles. Thus, Hg concentrations were measured in keratinized fragments (scutes) and internal tissues of green sea turtles from the Ceará coast to test the usefulness of scutes as a monitoring subject for sea turtles. A significantly positive correlation was found between Hg concentrations in muscle and scutes, which demonstrate that scutes can be used as a predictive matrix of Hg concentration in muscle tissue of green sea turtles. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. The status of marine turtles in Montserrat (Eastern Caribbean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin, C. S.

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available The status of marine turtles in Montserrat (Eastern Caribbean is reviewed following five years of monitoring (1999-2003. The mean number of nests recorded during the annual nesting season (June-October was 53 (± 24.9 SD; range: 13-43. In accordance with earlier reports, the nesting of hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata and green (Chelonia mydas turtles was confirmed on several beaches around the island. Only non-nesting emergences were documented for loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta and there was no evidence of nesting by leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea; however, it is possible that additional survey effort would reveal low density nesting by these species. Officially reported turtle capture data for 1993-2003 suggest that a mean of 0.9 turtle per year (±1.2 SD; range: 0-4 were landed island-wide, with all harvest having occurred during the annual open season (1 October to 31 May. Informed observers believe that the harvest is significantly under-reported and that fishermen avoid declaring their catch by butchering turtles at sea (both during and outside the open season. Of concern is the fact that breeding adults are potentially included in the harvest, and that the open season partially coincides with the breeding season. The present study has shown that although Montserrat is not a major nesting site for sea turtles, it remains important on a regional basis for the Eastern Caribbean.

  10. Nesting Loggerhead Sea Turtle Activity Report 1999

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This paper presents results from the seventh annual study (using Army Corp of Engineers funds;) of nesting along the Atlantic Ocean coastline by the loggerhead sea...

  11. Gastrointestinal helminth community of loggerhead sea turtle Caretta caretta in the Adriatic Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gračan, Romana; Buršić, Moira; Mladineo, Ivona; Kučinić, Mladen; Lazar, Bojan; Lacković, Gordana

    2012-07-25

    We analysed the intestinal helminth community of 70 loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta with a curved carapace length ranging from 25 to 85.4 cm, recovered dead in neritic foraging habitats in the Adriatic Sea in 1995 to 2004. The overall prevalence of infection was high (70.0%), with a mean abundance of 36.8 helminth parasites per turtle. Helminth fauna comprised 5 trematodes (Calycodes anthos, Enodiotrema megachondrus, Orchidasma amphiorchis, Pachypsolus irroratus, Rhytidodes gelatinosus) and 3 nematodes (Sulcascaris sulcata, Anisakis spp., Hysterothylacium sp.), with 6 taxa specific for marine turtles. In terms of infection intensity and parasite abundance, O. amphiorchis was the dominant species (mean intensity: 49.8; mean abundance: 12.8), followed by R. gelatinosus (30.5 and 8.3, respectively) and P. irroratus (23.5 and 7.0, respectively), while larval Anisakis spp. exhibited the highest prevalence (34.3%). The intensity of helminth infection ranged from 1 to 302 (mean: 52.6 ± 69.1) and was not correlated with the size of turtles; this relationship held for all species, except R. gelatinosus (rS = 0.556, p sea turtles in recruited neritic grounds and the diversity of their benthic prey.

  12. Long-Term Climate Forcing in Loggerhead Sea Turtle Nesting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Houtan, Kyle S.; Halley, John M.

    2011-01-01

    The long-term variability of marine turtle populations remains poorly understood, limiting science and management. Here we use basin-scale climate indices and regional surface temperatures to estimate loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) nesting at a variety of spatial and temporal scales. Borrowing from fisheries research, our models investigate how oceanographic processes influence juvenile recruitment and regulate population dynamics. This novel approach finds local populations in the North Pacific and Northwest Atlantic are regionally synchronized and strongly correlated to ocean conditions—such that climate models alone explain up to 88% of the observed changes over the past several decades. In addition to its performance, climate-based modeling also provides mechanistic forecasts of historical and future population changes. Hindcasts in both regions indicate climatic conditions may have been a factor in recent declines, but future forecasts are mixed. Available climatic data suggests the Pacific population will be significantly reduced by 2040, but indicates the Atlantic population may increase substantially. These results do not exonerate anthropogenic impacts, but highlight the significance of bottom-up oceanographic processes to marine organisms. Future studies should consider environmental baselines in assessments of marine turtle population variability and persistence. PMID:21589639

  13. Long-term climate forcing in loggerhead sea turtle nesting.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyle S Van Houtan

    Full Text Available The long-term variability of marine turtle populations remains poorly understood, limiting science and management. Here we use basin-scale climate indices and regional surface temperatures to estimate loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta nesting at a variety of spatial and temporal scales. Borrowing from fisheries research, our models investigate how oceanographic processes influence juvenile recruitment and regulate population dynamics. This novel approach finds local populations in the North Pacific and Northwest Atlantic are regionally synchronized and strongly correlated to ocean conditions--such that climate models alone explain up to 88% of the observed changes over the past several decades. In addition to its performance, climate-based modeling also provides mechanistic forecasts of historical and future population changes. Hindcasts in both regions indicate climatic conditions may have been a factor in recent declines, but future forecasts are mixed. Available climatic data suggests the Pacific population will be significantly reduced by 2040, but indicates the Atlantic population may increase substantially. These results do not exonerate anthropogenic impacts, but highlight the significance of bottom-up oceanographic processes to marine organisms. Future studies should consider environmental baselines in assessments of marine turtle population variability and persistence.

  14. Ingestão de resíduos antropogênicos por tartarugas marinhas no litoral norte do estado da Bahia, Brasil Anthropogenic debris ingestion by sea turtles in the northern coast of Bahia, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gustavo Rodamilans Macedo

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Este trabalho descreve a presença de resíduos antropogênicos no trato digestório de tartarugas marinhas no Litoral Norte da Bahia, Brasil. Foram realizadas necropsias no trato digestório de 45 tartarugas marinhas encontradas mortas (Chelonia mydas n=36; Eretmochelys imbricata n=9, no período de janeiro de 2006 a outubro de 2007. Em 60% (27/45 das tartarugas necropsiadas foram encontrados resíduos, especialmente aqueles relacionados à atividade de pesca. Os resíduos encontravam-se ao longo de todo o trato gastrointestinal, com predominância no intestino grosso. A ingestão de resíduos pelas tartarugas marinhas do Litoral Norte da Bahia pode levar a debilidade e até mesmo provocar a morte destes animais.This study investigates the presence of anthropogenic debris in the digestive tract of sea turtles in the Northern Coast of Bahia, Brazil. Necropsies were performed on 45 turtles, 36 green turtles (Chelonia mydas and 9 hawksbills (Eretmochelys imbricata, found dead between january 2006 and october 2007. Debris was found in 60% of the animals, especially those related to fishing activities. Litter could be found throughout the entire gastrointestinal tract, but it was found predominantly in the large intestine (47.53%. The ingestion of debris by turtles from the Northern coast of Bahia may lead these animals to starvation, weakness and even death.

  15. Leatherback sea turtle shell: A tough and flexible biological design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Irene H; Yang, Wen; Meyers, Marc A

    2015-12-01

    The leatherback sea turtle is unique among chelonians for having a soft skin which covers its osteoderms. The osteoderm is composed of bony plates that are interconnected with collagen fibers in a structure called suture. The soft dermis and suture geometry enable a significant amount of flexing of the junction between adjacent osteoderms. This design allows the body to contract better than a hard-shelled sea turtle as it dives to depths of over 1,000 m. The leatherback turtle has ridges along the carapace to enhance the hydrodynamic flow and provide a tailored stiffness. The osteoderms are of two types: flat and ridged. The structure of the two types of osteoderms is characterized and their mechanical properties are investigated with particular attention to the failure mechanisms. They both are bony structures with a porous core sandwiched between compact layers that form the outside and inside surfaces. The compressive strength is highly anisotropic by virtue of the interaction between loading orientation and arrangement of porous and compact components of osteoderms. The angle of interpenetration at the suture of osteoderms is analyzed and compared with analytical predictions. The sutures have a triangular shape with an angle of ∼30° which provides a balance between the tensile strength of the osteoderms and shear strength of the collagen fiber layer and is verified by Li-Ortiz-Boyce in a previous study. This is confirmed by an FEM analysis. A calculation is developed to quantify the flexibility of the carapace and plastron as a function of the angular displacement at the sutures, predicting the interdependence between geometrical parameters and flexibility. The leatherback turtle is a magnificent chelonian whose decreasing numbers have brought it to the brink of extinction in the Pacific Ocean. This first study of the structure of its shell provides important new insights that explain its amazing capacity for diving: depths of over 1,000 m have been recorded

  16. Unusual behaviour of an immature loggerhead turtle released in the Alboran Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bellido, J. J.

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available A juvenile loggerhead turtle with buoyancy problems was captured in the Alboran Sea (Mediterranean Sea, south of Spain and released 14 months later after healing. Six days after the release, the turtle was seen swimming 42 km from the point of release, displaying unusual behaviour. We re-captured and released it again, 95 nautical miles offshore, near the Alboran Island. Ten days later the turtle arrived at the beach close to where it had been maintained in captivity. We discuss these findings in the context of behavioural alteration and habituation in released sea turtles. Capture-mark-recapture studies of sea turtles should be approached with caution as manipulated animals may modify their usual behaviour.

  17. Male hatchling production in sea turtles from one of the world’s largest marine protected areas, the Chagos Archipelago

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esteban, Nicole; Laloë, Jacques-Olivier; Mortimer, Jeanne A.; Guzman, Antenor N.; Hays, Graeme C.

    2016-02-01

    Sand temperatures at nest depths and implications for hatchling sex ratios of hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) and green turtles (Chelonia mydas) nesting in the Chagos Archipelago, Indian Ocean are reported and compared to similar measurements at rookeries in the Atlantic and Caribbean. During 2012–2014, temperature loggers were buried at depths and in beach zones representative of turtle nesting sites. Data collected for 12,546 days revealed seasonal and spatial patterns of sand temperature. Depth effects were minimal, perhaps modulated by shade from vegetation. Coolest and warmest temperatures were recorded in the sites heavily shaded in vegetation during the austral winter and in sites partially shaded in vegetation during summer respectively. Overall, sand temperatures were relatively cool during the nesting seasons of both species which would likely produce fairly balanced hatchling sex ratios of 53% and 63% male hatchlings, respectively, for hawksbill and green turtles. This result contrasts with the predominantly high female skew reported for offspring at most rookeries around the globe and highlights how local beach characteristics can drive incubation temperatures. Our evidence suggests that sites characterized by heavy shade associated with intact natural vegetation are likely to provide conditions suitable for male hatchling production in a warming world.

  18. Male hatchling production in sea turtles from one of the world's largest marine protected areas, the Chagos Archipelago.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esteban, Nicole; Laloë, Jacques-Olivier; Mortimer, Jeanne A; Guzman, Antenor N; Hays, Graeme C

    2016-02-02

    Sand temperatures at nest depths and implications for hatchling sex ratios of hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) and green turtles (Chelonia mydas) nesting in the Chagos Archipelago, Indian Ocean are reported and compared to similar measurements at rookeries in the Atlantic and Caribbean. During 2012-2014, temperature loggers were buried at depths and in beach zones representative of turtle nesting sites. Data collected for 12,546 days revealed seasonal and spatial patterns of sand temperature. Depth effects were minimal, perhaps modulated by shade from vegetation. Coolest and warmest temperatures were recorded in the sites heavily shaded in vegetation during the austral winter and in sites partially shaded in vegetation during summer respectively. Overall, sand temperatures were relatively cool during the nesting seasons of both species which would likely produce fairly balanced hatchling sex ratios of 53% and 63% male hatchlings, respectively, for hawksbill and green turtles. This result contrasts with the predominantly high female skew reported for offspring at most rookeries around the globe and highlights how local beach characteristics can drive incubation temperatures. Our evidence suggests that sites characterized by heavy shade associated with intact natural vegetation are likely to provide conditions suitable for male hatchling production in a warming world.

  19. A model for simulating the active dispersal of juvenile sea turtles with a case study on western Pacific leatherback turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lalire, Maxime

    2017-01-01

    Oceanic currents are known to broadly shape the dispersal of juvenile sea turtles during their pelagic stage. Accordingly, simple passive drift models are widely used to investigate the distribution at sea of various juvenile sea turtle populations. However, evidence is growing that juveniles do not drift purely passively but also display some swimming activity likely directed towards favorable habitats. We therefore present here a novel Sea Turtle Active Movement Model (STAMM) in which juvenile sea turtles actively disperse under the combined effects of oceanic currents and habitat-driven movements. This model applies to all sea turtle species but is calibrated here for leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea). It is first tested in a simulation of the active dispersal of juveniles originating from Jamursba-Medi, a main nesting beach of the western Pacific leatherback population. Dispersal into the North Pacific Ocean is specifically investigated. Simulation results demonstrate that, while oceanic currents broadly shape the dispersal area, modeled habitat-driven movements strongly structure the spatial and temporal distribution of juveniles within this area. In particular, these movements lead juveniles to gather in the North Pacific Transition Zone (NPTZ) and to undertake seasonal north-south migrations. More surprisingly, juveniles in the NPTZ are simulated to swim mostly towards west which considerably slows down their progression towards the American west coast. This increases their residence time, and hence the risk of interactions with fisheries, in the central and eastern part of the North Pacific basin. Simulated habitat-driven movements also strongly reduce the risk of cold-induced mortality. This risk appears to be larger among the juveniles that rapidly circulate into the Kuroshio than among those that first drift into the North Equatorial Counter Current (NECC). This mechanism might induce marked interannual variability in juvenile survival as the

  20. Measuring energy expenditure in sub-adult and hatchling sea turtles via accelerometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halsey, Lewis G; Jones, T Todd; Jones, David R; Liebsch, Nikolai; Booth, David T

    2011-01-01

    Measuring the metabolic of sea turtles is fundamental to understanding their ecology yet the presently available methods are limited. Accelerometry is a relatively new technique for estimating metabolic rate that has shown promise with a number of species but its utility with air-breathing divers is not yet established. The present study undertakes laboratory experiments to investigate whether rate of oxygen uptake (VO2) at the surface in active sub-adult green turtles Chelonia mydas and hatchling loggerhead turtles Caretta caretta correlates with overall dynamic body acceleration (ODBA), a derivative of acceleration used as a proxy for metabolic rate. Six green turtles (25-44 kg) and two loggerhead turtles (20 g) were instrumented with tri-axial acceleration logging devices and placed singly into a respirometry chamber. The green turtles were able to submerge freely within a 1.5 m deep tank and the loggerhead turtles were tethered in water 16 cm deep so that they swam at the surface. A significant prediction equation for mean VO2 over an hour in a green turtle from measures of ODBA and mean flipper length (R(2) = 0.56) returned a mean estimate error across turtles of 8.0%. The range of temperatures used in the green turtle experiments (22-30 °C) had only a small effect on Vo₂. A VO2-ODBA equation for the loggerhead hatchling data was also significant (R(2) = 0.67). Together these data indicate the potential of the accelerometry technique for estimating energy expenditure in sea turtles, which may have important applications in sea turtle diving ecology, and also in conservation such as assessing turtle survival times when trapped underwater in fishing nets.

  1. Measuring energy expenditure in sub-adult and hatchling sea turtles via accelerometry.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lewis G Halsey

    Full Text Available Measuring the metabolic of sea turtles is fundamental to understanding their ecology yet the presently available methods are limited. Accelerometry is a relatively new technique for estimating metabolic rate that has shown promise with a number of species but its utility with air-breathing divers is not yet established. The present study undertakes laboratory experiments to investigate whether rate of oxygen uptake (VO2 at the surface in active sub-adult green turtles Chelonia mydas and hatchling loggerhead turtles Caretta caretta correlates with overall dynamic body acceleration (ODBA, a derivative of acceleration used as a proxy for metabolic rate. Six green turtles (25-44 kg and two loggerhead turtles (20 g were instrumented with tri-axial acceleration logging devices and placed singly into a respirometry chamber. The green turtles were able to submerge freely within a 1.5 m deep tank and the loggerhead turtles were tethered in water 16 cm deep so that they swam at the surface. A significant prediction equation for mean VO2 over an hour in a green turtle from measures of ODBA and mean flipper length (R(2 = 0.56 returned a mean estimate error across turtles of 8.0%. The range of temperatures used in the green turtle experiments (22-30 °C had only a small effect on Vo₂. A VO2-ODBA equation for the loggerhead hatchling data was also significant (R(2 = 0.67. Together these data indicate the potential of the accelerometry technique for estimating energy expenditure in sea turtles, which may have important applications in sea turtle diving ecology, and also in conservation such as assessing turtle survival times when trapped underwater in fishing nets.

  2. The feeding habit of sea turtles influences their reaction to artificial marine debris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukuoka, Takuya; Yamane, Misaki; Kinoshita, Chihiro; Narazaki, Tomoko; Marshall, Greg J; Abernathy, Kyler J; Miyazaki, Nobuyuki; Sato, Katsufumi

    2016-01-01

    Ingestion of artificial debris is considered as a significant stress for wildlife including sea turtles. To investigate how turtles react to artificial debris under natural conditions, we deployed animal-borne video cameras on loggerhead and green turtles in addition to feces and gut contents analyses from 2007 to 2015. Frequency of occurrences of artificial debris in feces and gut contents collected from loggerhead turtles were 35.7% (10/28) and 84.6% (11/13), respectively. Artificial debris appeared in all green turtles in feces (25/25) and gut contents (10/10), and green turtles ingested more debris (feces; 15.8 ± 33.4 g, gut; 39.8 ± 51.2 g) than loggerhead turtles (feces; 1.6 ± 3.7 g, gut; 9.7 ± 15.0 g). In the video records (60 and 52.5 hours from 10 loggerhead and 6 green turtles, respectively), turtles encountered 46 artificial debris and ingested 23 of them. The encounter-ingestion ratio of artificial debris in green turtles (61.8%) was significantly higher than that in loggerhead turtles (16.7%). Loggerhead turtles frequently fed on gelatinous prey (78/84), however, green turtles mainly fed marine algae (156/210), and partly consumed gelatinous prey (10/210). Turtles seemed to confuse solo drifting debris with their diet, and omnivorous green turtles were more attracted by artificial debris.

  3. The feeding habit of sea turtles influences their reaction to artificial marine debris

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukuoka, Takuya; Yamane, Misaki; Kinoshita, Chihiro; Narazaki, Tomoko; Marshall, Greg J.; Abernathy, Kyler J.; Miyazaki, Nobuyuki; Sato, Katsufumi

    2016-06-01

    Ingestion of artificial debris is considered as a significant stress for wildlife including sea turtles. To investigate how turtles react to artificial debris under natural conditions, we deployed animal-borne video cameras on loggerhead and green turtles in addition to feces and gut contents analyses from 2007 to 2015. Frequency of occurrences of artificial debris in feces and gut contents collected from loggerhead turtles were 35.7% (10/28) and 84.6% (11/13), respectively. Artificial debris appeared in all green turtles in feces (25/25) and gut contents (10/10), and green turtles ingested more debris (feces; 15.8 ± 33.4 g, gut; 39.8 ± 51.2 g) than loggerhead turtles (feces; 1.6 ± 3.7 g, gut; 9.7 ± 15.0 g). In the video records (60 and 52.5 hours from 10 loggerhead and 6 green turtles, respectively), turtles encountered 46 artificial debris and ingested 23 of them. The encounter-ingestion ratio of artificial debris in green turtles (61.8%) was significantly higher than that in loggerhead turtles (16.7%). Loggerhead turtles frequently fed on gelatinous prey (78/84), however, green turtles mainly fed marine algae (156/210), and partly consumed gelatinous prey (10/210). Turtles seemed to confuse solo drifting debris with their diet, and omnivorous green turtles were more attracted by artificial debris.

  4. 75 FR 25840 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plans; Recovery Plan for the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-10

    ... Plans; Recovery Plan for the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle AGENCIES: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS... Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys kempii). The Kemp's Ridley Recovery Plan is a bi-national plan developed... and interested parties to assist in the recovery of loggerhead turtles. The Plan...

  5. 75 FR 12496 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plans; Recovery Plan for the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-16

    ... Plans; Recovery Plan for the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle AGENCIES: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS... availability for public review of the draft Bi-National Recovery Plan (Plan) for the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle... turtles. The Plan identifies substantive actions needed to achieve recovery by addressing the threats...

  6. Isolation, characterization, and antibiotic resistance of Vibrio spp. in sea turtles from Northwestern Mexico

    OpenAIRE

    Zavala-Norzagaray, Alan A.; Aguirre, A. Alonso; Velazquez-Roman, Jorge; Flores-Villaseñor, Héctor; León-Sicairos, Nidia; Ley-Quiñonez, C. P.; Hernández-Díaz, Lucio De Jesús; Canizalez-Roman, Adrian

    2015-01-01

    The aerobic oral and cloacal bacterial microbiota and their antimicrobial resistance were characterized for 64 apparently healthy sea turtles captured at their foraging grounds in Ojo de Liebre Lagoon (OLL), Baja California Sur (BCS), Mexico (Pacific Ocean) and the lagoon system of Navachiste (LSN) and Marine Area of Influence (MAI), Guasave, Sinaloa (Gulf of California). A total of 34 black turtles (Chelonia mydas agassizii) were sampled in OLL and eight black turtles and 22 olive ridley tur...

  7. Factors influencing survivorship of rehabilitating green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) with fibropapillomatosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Page-Karjian, Annie; Norton, Terry M; Krimer, Paula; Groner, Maya; Nelson, Steven E; Gottdenker, Nicole L

    2014-09-01

    Marine turtle fibropapillomatosis (FP) is a debilitating, infectious neoplastic disease that has reached epizootic proportions in several tropical and subtropical populations of green turtles (Chelonia mydas). FP represents an important health concern in sea turtle rehabilitation facilities. The objectives of this study were to describe the observed epidemiology, biology, and survival rates of turtles affected by FP (FP+ turtles) in a rehabilitation environment; to evaluate clinical parameters as predictors of survival in affected rehabilitating turtles; and to provide information about case progression scenarios and potential outcomes for FP+ sea turtle patients. A retrospective case series analysis was performed using the medical records of the Georgia Sea Turtle Center (GSTC), Jekyll Island, Georgia, USA, during 2009-2013. Information evaluated included signalment, morphometrics, presenting complaint, time to FP onset, tumor score (0-3), co-morbid conditions, diagnostic test results, therapeutic interventions, and case outcomes. Overall, FP was present in 27/362 (7.5%) of all sea turtles admitted to the GSTC for rehabilitation, either upon admittance or during their rehabilitation. Of these, 25 were green and 2 were Kemp's ridley turtles. Of 10 turtles that had only plaque-like FP lesions, 60% had natural tumor regression, all were released, and they were significantly more likely to survive than those with classic FP (P = 0.02 [0.27-0.75, 95% CI]). Turtles without ocular FP were eight times more likely to survive than those with ocular FP (odds ratio = 8.75, P = 0.032 [1.21-63.43, 95% CI]). Laser-mediated tumor removal surgery is the treatment of choice for FP+ patients at the GSTC; number of surgeries was not significantly related to case outcome.

  8. Global Analysis of Anthropogenic Debris Ingestion by Sea Turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuyler, Qamar; Hardesty, Britta Denise; Wilcox, Chris; Townsend, Kathy

    2014-01-01

    Ingestion of marine debris can have lethal and sublethal effects on sea turtles and other wildlife. Although researchers have reported on ingestion of anthropogenic debris by marine turtles and implied incidences of debris ingestion have increased over time, there has not been a global synthesis of the phenomenon since 1985. Thus, we analyzed 37 studies published from 1985 to 2012 that report on data collected from before 1900 through 2011. Specifically, we investigated whether ingestion prevalence has changed over time, what types of debris are most commonly ingested, the geographic distribution of debris ingestion by marine turtles relative to global debris distribution, and which species and life-history stages are most likely to ingest debris. The probability of green (Chelonia mydas) and leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) ingesting debris increased significantly over time, and plastic was the most commonly ingested debris. Turtles in nearly all regions studied ingest debris, but the probability of ingestion was not related to modeled debris densities. Furthermore, smaller, oceanic-stage turtles were more likely to ingest debris than coastal foragers, whereas carnivorous species were less likely to ingest debris than herbivores or gelatinovores. Our results indicate oceanic leatherback turtles and green turtles are at the greatest risk of both lethal and sublethal effects from ingested marine debris. To reduce this risk, anthropogenic debris must be managed at a global level. Análisis Global de la Ingesta de Residuos Antropogénicos por Tortugas Marinas La ingesta de residuos marinos puede tener efectos letales y subletales sobre las tortugas marinas y otros animales. Aunque hay investigadores que han reportado la ingesta de residuos antropogénicos por tortugas marinas y la incidencia de la ingesta de residuos ha incrementado con el tiempo, no ha habido una síntesis global del fenómeno desde 1985. Por esto analizamos 37 estudios publicados, desde

  9. Ontogenetic scaling of the humerus in sea turtles and its implications for locomotion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishizawa, Hideaki; Asahara, Masakazu; Kamezaki, Naoki

    2013-03-01

    In the present study, we analyzed the ontogenetic scaling of humeri in the green turtle (Chelonia mydas) and loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta). Green turtles have relatively thicker humeri than loggerhead turtles, indicating that the humerus of the green turtle can resist greater loads. Our results are consistent with isometry, or slightly negative allometry, of diameter in relation to length of the humerus in both species. Geometric similarity or isometry of the humerus in relation to body mass is supported by estimates of the cross-sectional properties of green turtles. Sea turtles are adapted for aquatic life, but also perform terrestrial locomotion. Thus, during terrestrial locomotion, which requires support against gravity, the observed scaling relationships indicate that there may be greater stress and fracture risk on the humeri of larger green turtles than on the humeri of smaller turtles. In aquatic habitats, in which limbs are mainly used for propulsion, the stress and fracture risk for green turtle humeri are estimated to increase with greater speed. This scaling pattern may be related to the possibility that smaller turtles swim at a relatively faster speed per body length.

  10. Using expert opinion surveys to rank threats to endangered species: a case study with sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donlan, C Josh; Wingfield, Dana K; Crowder, Larry B; Wilcox, Chris

    2010-12-01

    Little is known about how specific anthropogenic hazards affect the biology of organisms. Quantifying the effect of regional hazards is particularly challenging for species such as sea turtles because they are migratory, difficult to study, long lived, and face multiple anthropogenic threats. Expert elicitation, a technique used to synthesize opinions of experts while assessing uncertainty around those views, has been in use for several decades in the social science and risk assessment sectors. We conducted an internet-based survey to quantify expert opinion on the relative magnitude of anthropogenic hazards to sea turtle populations at the regional level. Fisheries bycatch and coastal development were most often ranked as the top hazards to sea turtle species in a geographic region. Nest predation and direct take followed as the second and third greatest threats, respectively. Survey results suggest most experts believe sea turtles are threatened by multiple factors, including substantial at-sea threats such as fisheries bycatch. Resources invested by the sea turtle community, however, appear biased toward terrestrial-based impacts. Results from the survey are useful for conservation planning because they provide estimates of relative impacts of hazards on sea turtles and a measure of consensus on the magnitude of those impacts among researchers and practitioners. Our survey results also revealed patterns of expert bias, which we controlled for in our analysis. Respondents with no experience with respect to a sea turtle species tended to rank hazards affecting that sea turtle species higher than respondents with experience. A more-striking pattern was with hazard-based expertise: the more experience a respondent had with a specific hazard, the higher the respondent scored the impact of that hazard on sea turtle populations. Bias-controlled expert opinion surveys focused on threatened species and their hazards can help guide and expedite species recovery plans.

  11. How do hatcheries influence embryonic development of sea turtle eggs? Experimental analysis and isolation of microorganisms in leatherback turtle eggs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patino-Martinez, Juan; Marco, Adolfo; Quiñones, Liliana; Abella, Elena; Abad, Roberto Muriel; Diéguez-Uribeondo, Javier

    2012-01-01

    Many conservation programs consider translocation of turtle nests to hatcheries as a useful technique. The repeated use of the same incubation substrate over several seasons in these hatcheries could, however, be harmful to embryos if pathogens were able to accumulate or if the physical and chemical characteristics of the incubation environment were altered. However, this hypothesis has yet to be tested. We conducted two field experiments to evaluate the effects of hatchery sand and eggshell decay on the embryonic development of leatherback sea turtle eggs in Colombia. We identified the presence of both fungi and bacteria species on leatherback turtle eggs. Sea turtle eggs exposed to previously used hatchery substrates or to decaying eggshells during the first and middle third of the embryonic development produced hatchlings that were smaller and/or weighed less than control eggs. However, this did not negatively influence hatching success. The final third of embryonic development seems to be less susceptible to infection by microorganisms associated with decaying shells. We discuss the mechanisms that could be affecting sea turtle egg development when in contact with fungi. Further studies should seek to understand the infection process and the stages of development in which the fungi are more virulent to the eggs of this critically endangered species.

  12. Hierarchical modeling of bycatch rates of sea turtles in the western North Atlantic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardner, B.; Sullivan, P.J.; Epperly, S.; Morreale, S.J.

    2008-01-01

    Previous studies indicate that the locations of the endangered loggerhead Caretta caretta and critically endangered leatherback Dermochelys coriacea sea turtles are influenced by water temperatures, and that incidental catch rates in the pelagic longline fishery vary by region. We present a Bayesian hierarchical model to examine the effects of environmental variables, including water temperature, on the number of sea turtles captured in the US pelagic longline fishery in the western North Atlantic. The modeling structure is highly flexible, utilizes a Bayesian model selection technique, and is fully implemented in the software program WinBUGS. The number of sea turtles captured is modeled as a zero-inflated Poisson distribution and the model incorporates fixed effects to examine region-specific differences in the parameter estimates. Results indicate that water temperature, region, bottom depth, and target species are all significant predictors of the number of loggerhead sea turtles captured. For leatherback sea turtles, the model with only target species had the most posterior model weight, though a re-parameterization of the model indicates that temperature influences the zero-inflation parameter. The relationship between the number of sea turtles captured and the variables of interest all varied by region. This suggests that management decisions aimed at reducing sea turtle bycatch may be more effective if they are spatially explicit. ?? Inter-Research 2008.

  13. Development of a Summarized Health Index (SHI for use in predicting survival in sea turtles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tsung-Hsien Li

    Full Text Available Veterinary care plays an influential role in sea turtle rehabilitation, especially in endangered species. Physiological characteristics, hematological and plasma biochemistry profiles, are useful references for clinical management in animals, especially when animals are during the convalescence period. In this study, these factors associated with sea turtle surviving were analyzed. The blood samples were collected when sea turtles remained alive, and then animals were followed up for surviving status. The results indicated that significantly negative correlation was found between buoyancy disorders (BD and sea turtle surviving (p < 0.05. Furthermore, non-surviving sea turtles had significantly higher levels of aspartate aminotranspherase (AST, creatinine kinase (CK, creatinine and uric acid (UA than surviving sea turtles (all p < 0.05. After further analysis by multiple logistic regression model, only factors of BD, creatinine and UA were included in the equation for calculating summarized health index (SHI for each individual. Through evaluation by receiver operating characteristic (ROC curve, the result indicated that the area under curve was 0.920 ± 0.037, and a cut-off SHI value of 2.5244 showed 80.0% sensitivity and 86.7% specificity in predicting survival. Therefore, the developed SHI could be a useful index to evaluate health status of sea turtles and to improve veterinary care at rehabilitation facilities.

  14. Risk analysis reveals global hotspots for marine debris ingestion by sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuyler, Qamar A; Wilcox, Chris; Townsend, Kathy A; Wedemeyer-Strombel, Kathryn R; Balazs, George; van Sebille, Erik; Hardesty, Britta Denise

    2016-02-01

    Plastic marine debris pollution is rapidly becoming one of the critical environmental concerns facing wildlife in the 21st century. Here we present a risk analysis for plastic ingestion by sea turtles on a global scale. We combined global marine plastic distributions based on ocean drifter data with sea turtle habitat maps to predict exposure levels to plastic pollution. Empirical data from necropsies of deceased animals were then utilised to assess the consequence of exposure to plastics. We modelled the risk (probability of debris ingestion) by incorporating exposure to debris and consequence of exposure, and included life history stage, species of sea turtle and date of stranding observation as possible additional explanatory factors. Life history stage is the best predictor of debris ingestion, but the best-fit model also incorporates encounter rates within a limited distance from stranding location, marine debris predictions specific to the date of the stranding study and turtle species. There is no difference in ingestion rates between stranded turtles vs. those caught as bycatch from fishing activity, suggesting that stranded animals are not a biased representation of debris ingestion rates in the background population. Oceanic life-stage sea turtles are at the highest risk of debris ingestion, and olive ridley turtles are the most at-risk species. The regions of highest risk to global sea turtle populations are off of the east coasts of the USA, Australia and South Africa; the east Indian Ocean, and Southeast Asia. Model results can be used to predict the number of sea turtles globally at risk of debris ingestion. Based on currently available data, initial calculations indicate that up to 52% of sea turtles may have ingested debris. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Risk Analysis Reveals Global Hotspots for Marine Debris Ingestion by Sea Turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuyler, Q. A.; Wilcox, C.; Townsend, K.; Wedemeyer-Strombel, K.; Balazs, G.; van Sebille, E.; Hardesty, B. D.

    2016-02-01

    Plastic marine debris pollution is rapidly becoming one of the critical environmental concerns facing wildlife in the 21st century. Here we present a risk analysis for plastic ingestion by sea turtles on a global scale. We combined global marine plastic distributions based on ocean drifter data with sea turtle habitat maps to predict exposure levels to plastic pollution. Empirical data from necropsies of deceased animals were then utilised to assess the consequence of exposure to plastics. We modelled the risk (probability of debris ingestion) by incorporating exposure to debris and consequence of exposure, and included life history stage, species of sea turtle, and date of stranding observation as possible additional explanatory factors. Life history stage is the best predictor of debris ingestion, but the best-fit model also incorporates encounter rates within a limited distance from stranding location, marine debris predictions specific to the date of the stranding study, and turtle species. There was no difference in ingestion rates between stranded turtles vs. those caught as bycatch from fishing activity, suggesting that stranded animals are not a biased representation of debris ingestion rates in the background population. Oceanic life-stage sea turtles are at the highest risk of debris ingestion, and olive ridley turtles are the most at-risk species. The regions of highest risk to global sea turtle populations are off of the east coasts of the USA, Australia, and South Africa; the east Indian Ocean, and Southeast Asia. Model results can be used to predict the number of sea turtles globally at risk of debris ingestion. Based on currently available data, initial calculations indicate that up to 52% of sea turtles may have ingested debris.

  16. Sea turtle nesting distributions and oceanographic constraints on hatchling migration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putman, Nathan F; Bane, John M; Lohmann, Kenneth J

    2010-12-07

    Patterns of abundance across a species's reproductive range are influenced by ecological and environmental factors that affect the survival of offspring. For marine animals whose offspring must migrate long distances, natural selection may favour reproduction in areas near ocean currents that facilitate migratory movements. Similarly, selection may act against the use of potential reproductive areas from which offspring have difficulty emigrating. As a first step towards investigating this conceptual framework, we analysed loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) nest abundance along the southeastern US coast as a function of distance to the Gulf Stream System (GSS), the ocean current to which hatchlings in this region migrate. Results indicate that nest density increases as distance to the GSS decreases. Distance to the GSS can account for at least 90 per cent of spatial variation in regional nest density. Even at smaller spatial scales, where local beach conditions presumably exert strong effects, at least 38 per cent of the variance is explained by distance from the GSS. These findings suggest that proximity to favourable ocean currents strongly influences sea turtle nesting distributions. Similar factors may influence patterns of abundance across the reproductive ranges of diverse marine animals, such as penguins, eels, salmon and seals.

  17. ABC of multi-fractal spacetimes and fractional sea turtles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Calcagni, Gianluca [Instituto de Estructura de la Materia, CSIC, Madrid (Spain)

    2016-04-15

    We clarify what it means to have a spacetime fractal geometry in quantum gravity and show that its properties differ from those of usual fractals. A weak and a strong definition of multi-scale and multi-fractal spacetimes are given together with a sketch of the landscape of multi-scale theories of gravitation. Then, in the context of the fractional theory with q-derivatives, we explore the consequences of living in a multi-fractal spacetime. To illustrate the behavior of a non-relativistic body, we take the entertaining example of a sea turtle. We show that, when only the time direction is fractal, sea turtles swim at a faster speed than in an ordinary world, while they swim at a slower speed if only the spatial directions are fractal. The latter type of geometry is the one most commonly found in quantum gravity. For time-like fractals, relativistic objects can exceed the speed of light, but strongly so only if their size is smaller than the range of particle-physics interactions. We also find new results about log-oscillating measures, the measure presentation and their role in physical observations and in future extensions to nowhere-differentiable stochastic spacetimes. (orig.)

  18. ABC of multi-fractal spacetimes and fractional sea turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calcagni, Gianluca

    2016-04-01

    We clarify what it means to have a spacetime fractal geometry in quantum gravity and show that its properties differ from those of usual fractals. A weak and a strong definition of multi-scale and multi-fractal spacetimes are given together with a sketch of the landscape of multi-scale theories of gravitation. Then, in the context of the fractional theory with q-derivatives, we explore the consequences of living in a multi-fractal spacetime. To illustrate the behavior of a non-relativistic body, we take the entertaining example of a sea turtle. We show that, when only the time direction is fractal, sea turtles swim at a faster speed than in an ordinary world, while they swim at a slower speed if only the spatial directions are fractal. The latter type of geometry is the one most commonly found in quantum gravity. For time-like fractals, relativistic objects can exceed the speed of light, but strongly so only if their size is smaller than the range of particle-physics interactions. We also find new results about log-oscillating measures, the measure presentation and their role in physical observations and in future extensions to nowhere-differentiable stochastic spacetimes.

  19. ABC of multi-fractal spacetimes and fractional sea turtles

    CERN Document Server

    Calcagni, Gianluca

    2016-01-01

    We clarify what it means to have a spacetime fractal geometry in quantum gravity and show that its properties differ from those of usual fractals. A weak and a strong definition of multi-scale and multi-fractal spacetimes are given together with a sketch of the landscape of multi-scale theories of gravitation. Then, in the context of the fractional theory with $q$-derivatives, we explore the consequences of living in a multi-fractal spacetime. To illustrate the behaviour of a non-relativistic body, we take the entertaining example of a sea turtle. We show that, when only the time direction is fractal, sea turtles swim at a faster speed than in an ordinary world, while they swim at a slower speed if only the spatial directions are fractal. The latter type of geometry is the one most commonly found in quantum gravity. For time-like fractals, relativistic objects can exceed the speed of light, but strongly so only if their size is smaller than the range of particle-physics interactions. We also find new results ...

  20. Contextualising the Last Survivors: Population Structure of Marine Turtles in the Dominican Republic.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Carreras

    Full Text Available Nesting by three species of marine turtles persists in the Dominican Republic, despite historic threats and long-term population decline. We conducted a genetic survey of marine turtles in the Dominican Republic in order to link them with other rookeries around the Caribbean. We sequenced a 740bp fragment of the control region of the mitochondrial DNA of 92 samples from three marine turtle species [hawksbill (n = 48, green (n = 2 and leatherback (n = 42], and incorporated published data from other nesting populations and foraging grounds. The leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea in the Dominican Republic appeared to be isolated from Awala-Yalimapo, Cayenne, Trinidad and St. Croix but connected with other Caribbean populations. Two distinct nesting populations of hawksbill turtles (Eremochelys imbricata were detected in the Dominican Republic and exhibited interesting patterns of connectivity with other nesting sites and juvenile and adult male foraging aggregations. The green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas has almost been extirpated from the Dominican Republic and limited inference could be made from our samples. Finally, results were compared with Lagrangian drifting buoys and published Lagrangian virtual particles that travelled through the Dominican Republic and Caribbean waters. Conservation implications of sink-source effects or genetic isolation derived from these complex inter-connections are discussed for each species and population.

  1. Marine debris ingestion by sea turtles (Testudines) on the Brazilian coast: an underestimated threat?

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Carvalho, Robson Henrique; Lacerda, Pedro Dutra; da Silva Mendes, Sarah; Barbosa, Bruno Corrêa; Paschoalini, Mariana; Prezoto, Fabio; de Sousa, Bernadete Maria

    2015-12-30

    Assessment of marine debris ingestion by sea turtles is important, especially to ensure their survival. From January to December 2011, 23 specimens of five species of sea turtles were found dead or dying after being rehabilitated, along the coast of the municipality of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. To detect the presence of marine debris in the digestive tract of these turtles, we conducted a postmortem examination from the esophagus until the distal portion of the large intestine for each specimen. Of the total number of turtles, 39% had ingested marine debris such as soft plastic, hard plastic, metal, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle caps, human hair, tampons, and latex condoms. Five of the seven sea turtles species are found along the Brazilian coast, where they feed and breed. A large number of animals are exposed to various kinds of threats, including debris ingestion.

  2. Raccoon removal reduces sea turtle nest depredation in the Ten Thousand Islands of Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garmestani, A.S.; Percival, H.F.

    2005-01-01

    Predation by raccoons, Procyon lotor marinus (L.), is the primary cause of sea turtle nest loss in the Ten Thousand Islands archipelago. Four islands within Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge were surveyed for sea turtle nesting activity from 1991-95. Raccoons depredated 76-100% of nests on Panther Key from 1991-94, until 14 raccoons were removed in 1995 resulting in 0% depredation and 2 more were removed in 1996 resulting in 0% depredation. Raccoon removal may be an effective management option for increasing sea turtle nest survival on barrier islands.

  3. 77 FR 48106 - Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp and Summer Flounder Trawling Requirements; Correction

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-08-13

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office ] DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 223 RIN 0648-AW93 Sea Turtle Conservation... amendment. SUMMARY: On May 21, 2012, we published a final rule to revise the turtle excluder devices...

  4. 77 FR 37647 - Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp Trawling Requirements; Public Hearing Notification

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-22

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 223 RIN 0648-BC10 Sea Turtle Conservation... fishing to use turtle excluder devices (TEDs) in their nets, which was published in the Federal...

  5. 77 FR 38266 - Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp Trawling Requirements; Public Hearing

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-27

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 223 RIN 0648-BC10 Sea Turtle Conservation... fishing to use turtle excluder devices (TEDs) in their nets, which was published in the Federal...

  6. Assessment of ground transportation stress in juvenile Kemp's ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Kathleen E; Innis, Charles J; Kennedy, Adam E; McNally, Kerry L; Davis, Deborah G; Burgess, Elizabeth A; Merigo, Constance

    2016-01-01

    Sea turtle rehabilitation centres frequently transport sea turtles for long distances to move animals between centres or to release them at beaches, yet there is little information on the possible effects of transportation-related stress ('transport stress') on sea turtles. To assess whether transport stress is a clinically relevant concern for endangered Kemp's ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii), we obtained pre-transport and post-transport plasma samples from 26 juvenile Kemp's ridley sea turtles that were transported for 13 h (n = 15 turtles) or 26 h (n = 11 turtles) by truck for release at beaches. To control for effects of handling, food restriction and time of day, the same turtles were also studied on 'control days' 2 weeks prior to transport, i.e. with two samples taken to mimic pre-transport and post-transport timing, but without transportation. Blood samples were analysed for nine clinical health measures (pH, pCO2, pO2, HCO3, sodium, potassium, ionized calcium, lactate and haematocrit) and four 'stress-associated' parameters (corticosterone, glucose, white blood cell count and heterophil-to-lymphocyte ratio). Vital signs (heart rate, respiratory rate and cloacal temperature) were also monitored. Corticosterone and glucose showed pronounced elevations due specifically to transportation; for corticosterone, this elevation was significant only for the longer transport duration, whereas glucose increased significantly after both transport durations. However, clinical health measures and vital signs showed minimal or no changes in response to any sampling event (with or without transport), and all turtles appeared to be in good clinical health after both transport durations. Thus, transportation elicits a mild, but detectable, adrenal stress response that is more pronounced during longer durations of transport; nonetheless, Kemp's ridley sea turtles can tolerate ground transportation of up to 26 h in good health. These results are likely

  7. Immunological evaluation of captive green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) with ulcerative dermatitis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz, Fernando Alberto; ,; ,; Romero-Rojas, Andrés; Gonzalez-Ballesteros, Erik; Work, Thierry; Villaseñor-Gaona, Hector; Estrada-Garcia, Iris

    2013-01-01

    Ulcerative dermatitis (UD) is common in captive sea turtles and manifests as skin erosions and ulcers associated with gram-negative bacteria. This study compared clinically healthy and UD-affected captive turtles by evaluating hematology, histopathology, immunoglobulin levels, and delayed-type hypersensitivity assay. Turtles with UD had significantly lower weight, reduced delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) responses, and higher heterophil:lymphocyte ratios. This study is the first to assay DTH in green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and suggests that UD is associated with immunosuppression.

  8. Immunological evaluation of captive green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) with ulcerative dermatitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz, Fernando Alberto; Estrada-Parra, Sergio; Romero-Rojas, Andrés; Gonzalez-Ballesteros, Erik; Work, Thierry M; Villaseñor-Gaona, Hector; Estrada-Garcia, Iris

    2013-12-01

    Ulcerative dermatitis (UD) is common in captive sea turtles and manifests as skin erosions and ulcers associated with gram-negative bacteria. This study compared clinically healthy and UD-affected captive turtles by evaluating hematology, histopathology, immunoglobulin levels, and delayed-type hypersensitivity assay. Turtles with UD had significantly lower weight, reduced delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) responses, and higher heterophil:lymphocyte ratios. This study is the first to assay DTH in green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and suggests that UD is associated with immunosuppression.

  9. The Gulf of Manfredonia: a new neritic foraging area for loggerhead sea turtles in the Adriatic Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paolo Casale

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available The Adriatic Sea is an important foraging area for the loggerhead sea turtle, Caretta caretta, but neritic habitats for this species along the Italian coast were identified in the northern shallow area only. The Gulf of Manfredonia is a relatively wide shallow area in the south-west Adriatic and its features and preliminary information make it a potential foraging ground for turtles. In order to assess sea turtle occurrence in the area, we monitored seven bottom trawlers based in the port of Manfredonia during the period Oct 2010 – Jul 2011 through a voluntary logbook programme, resulting in a total of 62 turtle captures during 617 fishing days. Since a turtle capture represents a rare event during such sampling, data were analysed by a zero-inflated Poisson (ZIP model. Results indicate that: (i the Gulf is a neritic foraging ground for loggerhead turtles which occur there with a relatively high density comparable to other Mediterranean foraging grounds, (ii it is frequented by a wide range of size classes, including small juveniles as well as adults, (iii the highest occurrence is during the period Jun-Dec, (iv over 1700 turtle captures occur in the Gulf annually. Preliminary findings about recaptured individuals suggest that part of the turtles are resident in the area. The peculiar features of the Gulf of Manfredonia and the collaboration of the fishing fleet, make it a valuable index site for studying current trends of sea turtle populations at sea as well as other aspects of sea turtle biology and conservation.

  10. Potential adverse health effects of persistent organic pollutants on sea turtles: evidences from a cross-sectional study on Cape Verde loggerhead sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camacho, María; Luzardo, Octavio P; Boada, Luis D; López Jurado, Luis F; Medina, María; Zumbado, Manuel; Orós, Jorge

    2013-08-01

    The Cape Verde nesting population of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) is the third largest population of this species in the world. For conservation purposes, it is essential to determine how these reptiles respond to different types of anthropogenic contaminants. We evaluated the presence of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the plasma of adult nesting loggerheads from Boa Vista Island, Cape Verde, and studied the effects of the contaminants on the health status of the turtles using hematological and biochemical parameters. All turtles had detectable levels of non-dioxin like PCBs, whereas dioxin-like congeners (DL-PCBs) were detected in only 30% of the turtles. Packed cell volume decreased with higher concentrations of PCBs, which suggests that PCB exposure could result in anemia in sea turtles. In addition, a negative association between some OCPs and white blood cells (WBC) and thrombocyte estimate was noted. The DDT-metabolite, p,p'-DDE was negatively correlated with the Na/K ratio and, additionally, a number of correlations between certain PAHs and electrolyte balances were found, which suggest that exposure to these environmental contaminants could affect the kidneys and salt glands in sea turtles. Additionally, several correlations were observed between these environmental pollutants (OCPs and PAHs) and enzyme activity (GGT, ALT, ALP and amylase) and serum protein levels, pointing to the possibility that these contaminants could induce adverse metabolic effects in sea turtles. Our results indicate that anthropogenic pollutants are present in the Cape Verde loggerhead turtle nesting population and could exert negative effects on several health parameters. Because of the importance of this loggerhead nesting population, protective regulations at national and international levels as well as international action are necessary for assuring the conservation of this population.

  11. Case descriptions of fibropapillomatosis in rehabilitating loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta in the southeastern USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Page-Karjian, Annie; Norton, Terry M; Harms, Craig; Mader, Doug; Herbst, Larry H; Stedman, Nancy; Gottdenker, Nicole L

    2015-08-20

    Fibropapillomatosis (FP) is a debilitating neoplastic disease that affects all species of hard-shelled sea turtles, including loggerhead turtles Caretta caretta. FP can represent an important clinical concern in rehabilitating turtles, since managing these infectious lesions often requires special husbandry provisions including quarantine, and FP may affect clinical progression, extend rehabilitation duration, and complicate prognoses. Here we describe cases of rehabilitating loggerhead turtles with FP (designated FP+). Medical records of FP+ loggerhead cases from 3 sea turtle rehabilitation facilities in the southeastern USA were reviewed. Between 2001 and 2014, FP was observed in 8 of 818 rehabilitating loggerhead turtles (0.98% overall prevalence in admitted patients). FP+ loggerhead size classes represented were large juvenile (straight carapace length, SCL: 58.1-80 cm; n=7) and adult (SCL>87 cm; n=1). Three turtles presented with FP, and 5 developed tumors during rehabilitation within a range of 45 to 319 d. Sites of new tumor growth included the eyes, sites of trauma, neck, and glottis. FP+ turtles were scored as mildly (3/8), moderately (4/8), or heavily (1/8) afflicted. The mean total time in rehabilitation was 476±355 d (SD) (range: 52-1159 d). Six turtles were released without visible evidence of FP, 1 turtle was released with mild FP, and 1 turtle with internal FP was euthanized. Clinical decision-making for FP+ loggerhead patients can be aided by such information as time to tumor development, anatomic locations to monitor for new tumor growth, husbandry considerations, diagnostic and treatment options, and comparisons to FP in rehabilitating green turtles Chelonia mydas.

  12. The use of mesoscale eddies by juvenile loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in the southwestern Atlantic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaube, Peter; Barceló, Caren; McGillicuddy, Dennis J; Domingo, Andrés; Miller, Philip; Giffoni, Bruno; Marcovaldi, Neca; Swimmer, Yonat

    2017-01-01

    Marine animals, such as turtles, seabirds and pelagic fishes, are observed to travel and congregate around eddies in the open ocean. Mesoscale eddies, large swirling ocean vortices with radius scales of approximately 50-100 km, provide environmental variability that can structure these populations. In this study, we investigate the use of mesoscale eddies by 24 individual juvenile loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in the Brazil-Malvinas Confluence region. The influence of eddies on turtles is assessed by collocating the turtle trajectories to the tracks of mesoscale eddies identified in maps of sea level anomaly. Juvenile loggerhead sea turtles are significantly more likely to be located in the interiors of anticyclones in this region. The distribution of surface drifters in eddy interiors reveals no significant association with the interiors of cyclones or anticyclones, suggesting higher prevalence of turtles in anticyclones is a result of their behavior. In the southern portion of the Brazil-Malvinas Confluence region, turtle swimming speed is significantly slower in the interiors of anticyclones, when compared to the periphery, suggesting that these turtles are possibly feeding on prey items associated with anomalously low near-surface chlorophyll concentrations observed in those features.

  13. Longitude perception and bicoordinate magnetic maps in sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putman, Nathan F; Endres, Courtney S; Lohmann, Catherine M F; Lohmann, Kenneth J

    2011-03-22

    Long-distance animal migrants often navigate in ways that imply an awareness of both latitude and longitude. Although several species are known to use magnetic cues as a surrogate for latitude, it is not known how any animal perceives longitude. Magnetic parameters appear to be unpromising as longitudinal markers because they typically vary more in a north-south rather than an east-west direction. Here we report, however, that hatchling loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from Florida, USA, when exposed to magnetic fields that exist at two locations with the same latitude but on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean, responded by swimming in different directions that would, in each case, help them advance along their circular migratory route. The results demonstrate for the first time that longitude can be encoded into the magnetic positioning system of a migratory animal. Because turtles also assess north-south position magnetically, the findings imply that loggerheads have a navigational system that exploits the Earth's magnetic field as a kind of bicoordinate magnetic map from which both longitudinal and latitudinal information can be extracted. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Investigating the potential role of persistent organic pollutants in Hawaiian green sea turtle fibropapillomatosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Jennifer M.; Balazs, George H.; Nilsen, Frances; Rice, Marc; Work, Thierry M.; Jensen, Brenda A.

    2014-01-01

    It has been hypothesized for decades that environmental pollutants may contribute to green sea turtle fibropapillomatosis (FP), possibly through immunosuppression leading to greater susceptibility to the herpesvirus, the putative causative agent of this tumor-forming disease. To address this question, we measured concentrations of 164 persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and halogenated phenols in 53 Hawaiian green turtle (Chelonia mydas) plasma samples archived by the Biological and Environmental Monitoring and Archival of Sea Turtle Tissues (BEMAST) project at the National Institute of Standards and Technology Marine Environmental Specimen Bank. Four groups of turtles were examined: free-ranging turtles from Kiholo Bay (0% FP, Hawaii), Kailua Bay (low FP, 8%, Oahu), and Kapoho Bay (moderate FP, 38%, Hawaii) and severely tumored stranded turtles that required euthanasia (high FP, 100%, Main Hawaiian Islands). Four classes of POPs and seven halogenated phenols were detected in at least one of the turtles, and concentrations were low (often <200 pg/g wet mass). The presence of halogenated phenols in sea turtles is a novel discovery; their concentrations were higher than most man-made POPs, suggesting that the source of most of these compounds was likely natural (produced by the algal turtle diet) rather than metabolites of man-made POPs. None of the compounds measured increased in concentration with increasing prevalence of FP across the four groups of turtles, suggesting that these 164 compounds are not likely primary triggers for the onset of FP. However, the stranded, severely tumored, emaciated turtle group (n = 14) had the highest concentrations of POPs, which might suggest that mobilization of contaminants with lipids into the blood during late-stage weight loss could contribute to the progression of the disease. Taken together, these data suggest that POPs are not a major cofactor in causing the onset of FP.

  15. The Role of Geomagnetic Cues in Green Turtle Open Sea Navigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benhamou, Simon; Sudre, Joël; Bourjea, Jérome; Ciccione, Stéphane; De Santis, Angelo; Luschi, Paolo

    2011-01-01

    Background Laboratory and field experiments have provided evidence that sea turtles use geomagnetic cues to navigate in the open sea. For instance, green turtles (Chelonia mydas) displaced 100 km away from their nesting site were impaired in returning home when carrying a strong magnet glued on the head. However, the actual role of geomagnetic cues remains unclear, since magnetically treated green turtles can perform large scale (>2000 km) post-nesting migrations no differently from controls. Methodology/Principal Findings In the present homing experiment, 24 green turtles were displaced 200 km away from their nesting site on an oceanic island, and tracked, for the first time in this type of experiment, with Global Positioning System (GPS), which is able to provide much more frequent and accurate locations than previously used tracking methods. Eight turtles were magnetically treated for 24–48 h on the nesting beach prior to displacement, and another eight turtles had a magnet glued on the head at the release site. The last eight turtles were used as controls. Detailed analyses of water masses-related (i.e., current-corrected) homing paths showed that magnetically treated turtles were able to navigate toward their nesting site as efficiently as controls, but those carrying magnets were significantly impaired once they arrived within 50 km of home. Conclusions/Significance While green turtles do not seem to need geomagnetic cues to navigate far from the goal, these cues become necessary when turtles get closer to home. As the very last part of the homing trip (within a few kilometers of home) likely depends on non-magnetic cues, our results suggest that magnetic cues play a key role in sea turtle navigation at an intermediate scale by bridging the gap between large and small scale navigational processes, which both appear to depend on non-magnetic cues. PMID:22046329

  16. Investigating the potential role of persistent organic pollutants in Hawaiian green sea turtle fibropapillomatosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Jennifer M; Balazs, George H; Nilsen, Frances; Rice, Marc; Work, Thierry M; Jensen, Brenda A

    2014-07-15

    It has been hypothesized for decades that environmental pollutants may contribute to green sea turtle fibropapillomatosis (FP), possibly through immunosuppression leading to greater susceptibility to the herpesvirus, the putative causative agent of this tumor-forming disease. To address this question, we measured concentrations of 164 persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and halogenated phenols in 53 Hawaiian green turtle (Chelonia mydas) plasma samples archived by the Biological and Environmental Monitoring and Archival of Sea Turtle Tissues (BEMAST) project at the National Institute of Standards and Technology Marine Environmental Specimen Bank. Four groups of turtles were examined: free-ranging turtles from Kiholo Bay (0% FP, Hawaii), Kailua Bay (low FP, 8%, Oahu), and Kapoho Bay (moderate FP, 38%, Hawaii) and severely tumored stranded turtles that required euthanasia (high FP, 100%, Main Hawaiian Islands). Four classes of POPs and seven halogenated phenols were detected in at least one of the turtles, and concentrations were low (often sea turtles is a novel discovery; their concentrations were higher than most man-made POPs, suggesting that the source of most of these compounds was likely natural (produced by the algal turtle diet) rather than metabolites of man-made POPs. None of the compounds measured increased in concentration with increasing prevalence of FP across the four groups of turtles, suggesting that these 164 compounds are not likely primary triggers for the onset of FP. However, the stranded, severely tumored, emaciated turtle group (n=14) had the highest concentrations of POPs, which might suggest that mobilization of contaminants with lipids into the blood during late-stage weight loss could contribute to the progression of the disease. Taken together, these data suggest that POPs are not a major cofactor in causing the onset of FP.

  17. The role of geomagnetic cues in green turtle open sea navigation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon Benhamou

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Laboratory and field experiments have provided evidence that sea turtles use geomagnetic cues to navigate in the open sea. For instance, green turtles (Chelonia mydas displaced 100 km away from their nesting site were impaired in returning home when carrying a strong magnet glued on the head. However, the actual role of geomagnetic cues remains unclear, since magnetically treated green turtles can perform large scale (>2000 km post-nesting migrations no differently from controls. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In the present homing experiment, 24 green turtles were displaced 200 km away from their nesting site on an oceanic island, and tracked, for the first time in this type of experiment, with Global Positioning System (GPS, which is able to provide much more frequent and accurate locations than previously used tracking methods. Eight turtles were magnetically treated for 24-48 h on the nesting beach prior to displacement, and another eight turtles had a magnet glued on the head at the release site. The last eight turtles were used as controls. Detailed analyses of water masses-related (i.e., current-corrected homing paths showed that magnetically treated turtles were able to navigate toward their nesting site as efficiently as controls, but those carrying magnets were significantly impaired once they arrived within 50 km of home. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: While green turtles do not seem to need geomagnetic cues to navigate far from the goal, these cues become necessary when turtles get closer to home. As the very last part of the homing trip (within a few kilometers of home likely depends on non-magnetic cues, our results suggest that magnetic cues play a key role in sea turtle navigation at an intermediate scale by bridging the gap between large and small scale navigational processes, which both appear to depend on non-magnetic cues.

  18. First satellite tracks of neonate sea turtles redefine the ‘lost years’ oceanic niche

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mansfield, Katherine L.; Wyneken, Jeanette; Porter, Warren P.; Luo, Jiangang

    2014-01-01

    Few at-sea behavioural data exist for oceanic-stage neonate sea turtles, a life-stage commonly referred to as the sea turtle ‘lost years’. Historically, the long-term tracking of small, fast-growing organisms in the open ocean was logistically or technologically impossible. Here, we provide the first long-term satellite tracks of neonate sea turtles. Loggerheads (Caretta caretta) were remotely tracked in the Atlantic Ocean using small solar-powered satellite transmitters. We show that oceanic-stage turtles (i) rarely travel in Continental Shelf waters, (ii) frequently depart the currents associated with the North Atlantic Subtropical Gyre, (iii) travel quickly when in Gyre currents, and (iv) select sea surface habitats that are likely to provide a thermal benefit or refuge to young sea turtles, supporting growth, foraging and survival. Our satellite tracks help define Atlantic loggerhead nursery grounds and early loggerhead habitat use, allowing us to re-examine sea turtle ‘lost years’ paradigms. PMID:24598420

  19. Management and protection protocols for nesting sea turtles on Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, J.B.

    2005-01-01

    Executive Summary 1. The southeast U.S. population of the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) has increased since the species was listed as federally threatened in 1978. Since standardized monitoring began in North Carolina in 1995, the number of nests at Cape Hatteras National Seashore (CAHA) fluctuated from year to year, and was lowest in 1996 and 1997 (39 nests) and highest in 2003 (101 nests). Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) have nested in small numbers at CAHA, sporadically over time. 2. Hatching success of sea turtle nests typically approaches 80%. At CAHA hatching success from 1999-2003 was low when hurricanes hit during the nesting season (30%-38%), and ranged from 52%-70% otherwise. Hatching success at CAHA is usually correlated with hatching success in the surrounding subpopulation (north Florida to North Carolina). 3. Inclement weather, predation, and human recreation can negatively impact nesting rate and hatching success. 4. Currently there is little protection from recreation at CAHA for nesting females and nests that have not been found by monitors. We propose three management options to provide such protection, and to increase protection for known nests and hatchlings. We propose an adaptive management framework for assessing the effectiveness of these management options in improving sea turtle nesting rate and nest and hatchling survival. 5. We recommend continued efforts to trap and remove mammalian predators from all sea turtle habitat. We further recommend intensive monitoring and surveillance of protected areas to determine the extent and timing of threats to nests and broods, including nest overwash, predation, and disturbance or vandalism by humans. 6. Continue to relocate nests and assist stranded turtles according to North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission guidelines. 7. Artificial light sources pose a serious threat to sea turtles in some parts of CAHA, which must be remedied immediately

  20. GA - Effects of Environmental Contaminants of Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Caretta caretta)

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The objectives of this study are to determine the effects contaminants have on the biology of the threatened Loggerhead sea turtle. Recruitment, survivorship as well...

  1. What Makes Them Pay? Values of Volunteer Tourists Working for Sea Turtle Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Lisa M.; Smith, Christy

    2006-07-01

    As charismatic mega-fauna, sea turtles attract many volunteers to conservation programs. This article examines the ways in which volunteers value sea turtles, in the specific context of volunteers working with the Caribbean Conservation Corporation, at Tortuguero, Costa Rica. The complexity of volunteer values is explored using a qualitative approach. In-depth interviews with 31 volunteers were conducted in July of 1999 and 2000. Interviews probed, among other things, interest in sea turtles and their conservation, motives for participating, and the most gratifying parts of their volunteer experience. Results show that volunteers hold multiple and complex values for sea turtles, but particular values dominate. Results have implications for understanding human-environment relations and the emerging study of volunteer tourism. There are also management implications for volunteer programs hoping to attract participants.

  2. Developing ocean ecosystem indicators for sea turtle bycatch and juvenile recruitment

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The long-term variability of sea turtle populations remains poorly understood, limiting science and management. Although juveniles are the most numerous population...

  3. Nesting Loggerhead Sea Turtle Activity Report 2000 and 1980-2000 Nesting Summary

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This paper presents results from the 8th Annual Study (using Army Corp of Engineers funds) of nesting by the Atlantic Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) along...

  4. Historical Summary of Sea Turtle Observations at Rose Atoll, American Samoa, 1839-1991

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Compilation of 40 recorded observations of sea turtles at Rose Atoll between 1839 and 1991, with each observation consisting of the source, date, and brief notes.

  5. Investigation of Immature Sea Turtles in the Coastal Waters of West Florida

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — To survey immature sea turtles that inhabit the Ten Thousand Islands. Program funding came from South Florida Ecosystem Restoration. This project provided base-line...

  6. Behavioral Response of Reef Fish and Green Sea Turtles to Midfrequency Sonar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watwood, Stephanie L; Iafrate, Joseph D; Reyier, Eric A; Redfoot, William E

    2016-01-01

    There is growing concern over the potential effects of high-intensity sonar on wild fish populations and commercial fisheries. Acoustic telemetry was employed to measure the movements of free-ranging reef fish and sea turtles in Port Canaveral, FL, in response to routine submarine sonar testing. Twenty-five sheepshead (Archosargus probatocephalus), 28 gray snapper (Lutjanus griseus), and 29 green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) were tagged, with movements monitored for a period of up to 4 months using an array of passive acoustic receivers. Baseline residency was examined for fish and sea turtles before, during, and after the test event. No mortality of tagged fish or sea turtles was evident from the sonar test event. There was a significant increase in the daily residency index for both sheepshead and gray snapper at the testing wharf subsequent to the event. No broad-scale movement from the study site was observed during or immediately after the test.

  7. PI- Contaminant threats to sea turtles: Northwest Hawaiian Island National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The purpose of this investigation was to determine if endocrine disrupting contaminants were present in adult, hatchling and embryonic green sea turtles (Chelonia...

  8. Summary of recreational hook and line caught sea turtles documented by the NOAA Galveston Laboratory

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The database is a summary of sea turtles that are hook and line captured by recreational anglers in the region covered by the NOAA Galveston Laboratory through its...

  9. Summary of sea turtle strandings documented by NOAA Galveston 1995-Present

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The database contains records pertaining to all sea turtles recovered by the NOAA Galveston Laboratory as the local representative of the Southeast Fisheries Science...

  10. Blackbeard Island National Wildlife Refuge Loggerhead Sea Turtle Nest Monitoring: End of Season Report - 2013

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The 2013 Loggerhead sea turtle nesting season resulted in 284 nests with 17,915 emerged hatchlings. Of the 284 nests, 162 (57%) remained in situ with 122 (43%) nests...

  11. First Care Area Logs for captive loggerhead and Kemps ridley sea turtles 2003-2014

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The database contains records pertaining to sick captive sea turtles, their daily behavior, medications, food offered, food consumed, and water quality.

  12. Monthly morphometric data on captive Kemps ridley sea turtles 1995-2013

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The database contains monthly measurements taken on captive reared sea turtles. Measurements include: straight carapace length nuchal notch to carapace tip, straight...

  13. Application of topography survey on the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Yuan-Yu; Lo, Liu-Chih; Peng, Kuan-Chieh

    2017-04-01

    Taiwan is located in the Western Pacific monsoon region, typhoon is one of the common natural disasters. Taiwan is hit by typhoons 6 times on average each year, and 2016 have 5. Typhoon not only caused the loss of nature environment in Taiwan but also decreased the endangered species- green sea turtle's breeding success rate. In Wangan island, Penghu, green sea turtle nesting beach's slop is too steep to form the dune cliff, block the way which green sea turtle should nesting above the vegetation line. Nesting under the dune cliff is disturbed easily by the swell from typhoon, Leading to the whole nest was emptied or hatching rate decreased due to water content changed. In order to reduce the threat of typhoon on the green sea turtle, and promote the success of green sea turtle reproduction, we used LiDAR(Light Detection And Ranging) to monitor the topographic change of the green sea turtle nesting habitat and compare the invasion and deposition of the green sea turtle nests before and after the occurrence of typhoons. The results showed that the breeding success rate before the typhoon (2016/09/12) was 93%, which was not affected by the swell. The breeding success rate at the higher position after the typhoon was 95%, and under the dune cliff, 10 nests reproduction failed due to the swell changing the sand layer thickness. The production of dune cliffs is formed by the roots of coastal sand-fixation plants. In the past, the residents collected the coastal plants for fuel, after collecting, sparse vegetation is good to form the flat beach, and to promote green sea turtle nesting on the higher position from the disturbance of typhoon. In the future, to protect the success of green sea turtle's reproduction, should increase the human intervention that disturb the nesting beach's vegetation appropriately, Or cutting the roots directly to reduce the dune cliffs before the nesting season, help the green sea turtle nesting in a higher beach, improve the green sea turtle

  14. Plastic Pollution at a Sea Turtle Conservation Area in NE Brazil: Contrasting Developed and Undeveloped Beaches.

    OpenAIRE

    Ivar do Sul, Juliana Assunção; Santos, Isaac Rodrigues dos; Friedrich, Ana Cláudia; Matthiensen, Alexandre; Fillmann, Gilberto

    2011-01-01

    Sea turtles are highly susceptible to plastic ingestion and entanglement. Beach debris were surveyed along the most important sea turtle nesting beaches in Brazil (Costa dos Coqueiros, Bahia State). No significant differences among developed and undeveloped beaches were observed in terms of total number of items. Local sources (tourism activities) represented 70% of debris on developed beaches, where cigarette butts, straws, paper fragments, soft plastic fragments, and food packaging...

  15. Plastic debris ingestion by sea turtle in Paraíba, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mascarenhas, Rita; Santos, Robson; Zeppelini, Douglas

    2004-08-01

    Coastal gill net entanglement and debris intake are important threats to the survival of sea turtles. Two sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea and Chelonia mydas) were found stranded along the coast of Paraíba. After necropsy, plastic debris were found in the stomach. The debris is described. This is the first record of this sort of problem for the Paraíba littoral.

  16. Effects of brevetoxin exposure on the immune system of loggerhead sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, Catherine J; Leggett, Stephanie R; Carter, Barbara J; Colle, Clarence

    2010-05-10

    Blooms of the toxic dinoflagellate, Karenia brevis, occur almost annually off the Florida coast. These blooms, commonly called "red tides", produce a group of neurotoxins collectively termed brevetoxins. Many species of sealife, including sea turtles, are severely impacted by brevetoxin exposure. Effects of brevetoxins on immune cells were investigated in rescued loggerhead sea turtles, Caretta caretta, as well as through in vitro experiments using peripheral blood leukocytes (PBL) collected from captive sea turtles. In rescued animals, plasma brevetoxin concentrations were measured using a competitive ELISA. Plasma lysozyme activity was measured using a turbidity assay. Lysozyme activity correlated positively with plasma brevetoxin concentrations. Differential expression of genes affected by brevetoxin exposure was determined using two separate suppression subtractive hybridization experiments. In one experiment, genes from PBL collected from sea turtles rescued from red tide toxin exposure were compared to genes from PBL collected from healthy captive loggerhead sea turtles. In the second experiment, PBL from healthy captive loggerhead sea turtles were exposed to brevetoxin (500 ng PbTx-2/ml) in vitro for 18 h and compared to unexposed PBL. Results from the subtraction hybridization experiment conducted with red tide rescued sea turtle PBL indicated that genes involved in oxidative stress or xenobiotic metabolism were up-regulated. Using quantitative real-time PCR, a greater than 2-fold increase in superoxide dismutase and thioredoxin and greater than 10-fold increase in expression of thiopurine S-methyltransferase were observed. Results from the in vitro subtraction hybridization experiment indicated that genes coding for cytochrome c oxidases were the major up-regulated genes. Using quantitative real-time PCR, a greater than 8-fold increase in expression of beta-tubulin and greater than 3-fold increase in expression of ubiquinol were observed. Brevetoxin

  17. A simple humane method to euthanize a sea turtle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Work, Thierry M.; Balazs, George H.

    2013-01-01

    Increased interconnectedness, communication, and demands of society require that wildlife professionals make every effort to consider animal welfare when handling animals. The challenge can be daunting, particularly when a wild animal needs to be euthanized. In some cases, biologists are in remote areas under conditions that may be less than ideal to properly and swiftly dispatch an animal, either because of a lack of proper supplies or veterinary training. Societal demands for consideration of animal welfare are not limited to wildlife professionals. Native cultures, fishermen and hunters have traditional methods of capturing or killing wildlife that are now under increasing public scrutiny. A current example is in Australia where aborigines were criticized for the practice of dispatching sea turtles by throwing a cement block at the animals’ heads resulting in negative public reaction (Queensland Times 2010).

  18. Active dispersal in loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) during the 'lost years'.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briscoe, D K; Parker, D M; Balazs, G H; Kurita, M; Saito, T; Okamoto, H; Rice, M; Polovina, J J; Crowder, L B

    2016-06-15

    Highly migratory marine species can travel long distances and across entire ocean basins to reach foraging and breeding grounds, yet gaps persist in our knowledge of oceanic dispersal and habitat use. This is especially true for sea turtles, whose complex life history and lengthy pelagic stage present unique conservation challenges. Few studies have explored how these young at-sea turtles navigate their environment, but advancements in satellite technology and numerical models have shown that active and passive movements are used in relation to open ocean features. Here, we provide the first study, to the best of our knowledge, to simultaneously combine a high-resolution physical forcing ocean circulation model with long-term multi-year tracking data of young, trans-oceanic North Pacific loggerhead sea turtles during their 'lost years' at sea. From 2010 to 2014, we compare simulated trajectories of passive transport with empirical data of 1-3 year old turtles released off Japan (29.7-37.5 straight carapace length cm). After several years, the at-sea distribution of simulated current-driven trajectories significantly differed from that of the observed turtle tracks. These results underscore current theories on active dispersal by young oceanic-stage sea turtles and give further weight to hypotheses of juvenile foraging strategies for this species. Such information can also provide critical geographical information for spatially explicit conservation approaches to this endangered population.

  19. Conservation advocacy increases protections for Critically Endangered Pacific Leatherback sea turtles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher Pincetich

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Leatherback sea turtles, the most unique of the seven species of sea turtles, are critically endangered and being pushed toward extinction in the Pacific Ocean. The crash of the Pacific leatherback population is the result of human exploitation and incidental take by commercial fisheries compounded by ongoing loss and degradation of nesting habitats. The Sea Turtle Restoration Project (STRP is a nonprofit project with over twenty years of actions focused on saving sea turtles and protecting marine biodiversity. STRP advocacy work combines public outreach and engagement for local and international issues with strategic litigation to establish protections for Pacific leatherbacks and their essential habitat. Successes include the closure and implementation of new restrictions on the Hawaiian longline fishery, the creation of the Leatherback Conservation Area which closes the drift gillnet fishery over 210,000 square miles during leatherback foraging season, and the establishment of the largest area of marine critical habitat ever designated for a sea turtle. STRP will continue to support cooperation among fishermen, local community members, national organizations and law enforcement officers around the globe to protect leatherbacks. Global cooperation is required to reduce the many threats to sea turtles and to ensure the survival and recovery of their populations.

  20. Evaluation of hematology and serum biochemistry of cold-stunned green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) in North Carolina, U.S.A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Eric T; Harms, Craig A; Stringer, Elizabeth M; Cluse, Wendy M

    2011-06-01

    Hypothermia or cold-stunning is a condition in which the body temperature of an animal decreases below normal physiologic range and which has been linked to severe morbidity in sea turtles. Reports have focused on the physiologic changes caused by cold-stunning in Kemp's Ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii) and loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta), but few have evaluated the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas). This study evaluated hematologic and serum biochemical profiles of cold-stunned green sea turtles in North Carolina, USA. When compared with healthy, free-ranging juvenile green turtles from the same region, cold-stunned turtles exhibited hypoglycemia, hypocalcemia (both total and ionized calcium), hyponatremia, hypokalemia, hypoproteinemia, hypoalbuminemia, hyperphosphatemia, and elevations in uric acid and blood urea nitrogen. These findings contrast with some previously reported changes in cold-stunned Kemp's Ridley and loggerhead sea turtles. These results emphasize the importance of basing therapeutic regimens on biochemical analyses in cold-stunned sea turtles.

  1. Two herpesviruses associated with disease in wild Atlantic loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stacy, Brian A; Wellehan, James F X; Foley, Allen M; Coberley, Sadie S; Herbst, Lawrence H; Manire, Charles A; Garner, Michael M; Brookins, Milagros D; Childress, April L; Jacobson, Elliott R

    2008-01-01

    Herpesviruses are associated with lung-eye-trachea disease and gray patch disease in maricultured green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and with fibropapillomatosis in wild sea turtles of several species. With the exception fibropapillomatosis, no other diseases of wild sea turtles of any species have been associated with herpesviral infection. In the present study, six necropsied Atlantic loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) had gross and histological evidence of viral infection, including oral, respiratory, cutaneous, and genital lesions characterized by necrosis, ulceration, syncytial cell formation, and intranuclear inclusion bodies. Nested polymerase chain reaction targeting a conserved region of the herpesvirus DNA-dependent-DNA polymerase gene yielded two unique herpesviral sequences referred to as loggerhead genital-respiratory herpesvirus and loggerhead orocutaneous herpesvirus. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that these viruses are related to and are monophyletic with other chelonian herpesviruses within the subfamily alpha-herpesvirinae. We propose the genus Chelonivirus for this monophyletic group of chelonian herpesviruses.

  2. EFFECTS OF "SWIM WITH THE TURTLES" TOURIST ATTRACTIONS ON GREEN SEA TURTLE (CHELONIA MYDAS) HEALTH IN BARBADOS, WEST INDIES.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, Kimberly; Norton, Terry; Mohammed, Hamish; Browne, Darren; Clements, Kathleen; Thomas, Kirsten; Yaw, Taylor; Horrocks, Julia

    2016-04-01

    Along the West Coast of Barbados a unique relationship has developed between endangered green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) and humans. Fishermen began inadvertently provisioning these foraging turtles with fish offal discarded from their boats. Although initially an indirect supplementation, this activity became a popular attraction for visitors. Subsequently, demand for this activity increased, and direct supplementation or provisioning with food began. Food items offered included raw whole fish (typically a mixture of false herring [Harengula clupeola] and pilchard [Harengula humeralis]), filleted fish, and lesser amounts of processed food such as hot dogs, chicken, bread, or various other leftovers. Alterations in behavior and growth rates as a result of the provisioning have been documented in this population. The purpose of this study was to determine how tourism-based human interactions are affecting the overall health of this foraging population and to determine what potential health risks these interactions may create for sea turtles. Juvenile green sea turtles (n=29) were captured from four sites off the coast of Barbados, West Indies, and categorized into a group that received supplemental feeding as part of a tour (n=11) or an unsupplemented group (n=18) that consisted of individuals that were captured at sites that did not provide supplemental feeding. Following capture, a general health assessment of each animal was conducted. This included weight and morphometric measurements, a systematic physical examination, determination of body condition score and body condition index, epibiota assessment and quantification, and clinical pathology including hematologic and biochemical testing and nutritional assessments. The supplemented group was found to have changes to body condition, vitamin, mineral, hematologic, and biochemical values. Based on these results, recommendations were made to decrease negative behaviors and health impacts for turtles as a result

  3. Organochlorine contaminants in sea turtles: correlations between whole blood and fat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Jennifer M; Kucklick, John R; Harms, Craig A; McClellan-Green, Patricia D

    2004-03-01

    Monitoring toxic organochlorine (OC) compounds is an important aspect in wildlife studies, especially in protected species such as sea turtles. The goal of this study was to determine whether blood OC concentrations can predict those in adipose tissue of sea turtles. Blood offers many benefits for monitoring OCs. It can be collected nondestructively from live turtles and can be sampled repeatedly for continuous monitoring. Organochlorine concentrations in blood may better represent the exposure levels of target tissues, but blood concentrations may fluctuate more than those in fatty tissues following recent dietary exposure or lipid mobilization. Paired fat and blood samples were collected from 44 live, juvenile loggerhead sea turtles and 10 juvenile Kemp's ridley sea turtle carcasses. Organochlorines were analyzed using gas chromatography with electron capture detection and mass spectrometry. Lipid-normalized OC concentrations measured in the blood significantly correlated to levels found in the fat samples of both species. This result suggests that sea turtle blood is a suitable alternative to fatty tissues for measuring OCs because blood concentrations reasonably represent those observed in the paired fat samples. However, blood OC concentrations calculated on a wet-mass basis were significantly and inversely correlated to lipid content in the fat samples. Therefore, caution should be used when monitoring spatial or temporal trends, as OC levels may increase in the blood following mobilization of fat stores, such as during long migrations, breeding, or disease events.

  4. Mistaken identity? Visual similarities of marine debris to natural prey items of sea turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background There are two predominant hypotheses as to why animals ingest plastic: 1) they are opportunistic feeders, eating plastic when they encounter it, and 2) they eat plastic because it resembles prey items. To assess which hypothesis is most likely, we created a model sea turtle visual system and used it to analyse debris samples from beach surveys and from necropsied turtles. We investigated colour, contrast, and luminance of the debris items as they would appear to the turtle. We also incorporated measures of texture and translucency to determine which of the two hypotheses is more plausible as a driver of selectivity in green sea turtles. Results Turtles preferred more flexible and translucent items to what was available in the environment, lending support to the hypothesis that they prefer debris that resembles prey, particularly jellyfish. They also ate fewer blue items, suggesting that such items may be less conspicuous against the background of open water where they forage. Conclusions Using visual modelling we determined the characteristics that drive ingestion of marine debris by sea turtles, from the point of view of the turtles themselves. This technique can be utilized to determine debris preferences of other visual predators, and help to more effectively focus management or remediation actions. PMID:24886170

  5. Mistaken identity? Visual similarities of marine debris to natural prey items of sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuyler, Qamar A; Wilcox, Chris; Townsend, Kathy; Hardesty, B Denise; Marshall, N Justin

    2014-05-09

    There are two predominant hypotheses as to why animals ingest plastic: 1) they are opportunistic feeders, eating plastic when they encounter it, and 2) they eat plastic because it resembles prey items. To assess which hypothesis is most likely, we created a model sea turtle visual system and used it to analyse debris samples from beach surveys and from necropsied turtles. We investigated colour, contrast, and luminance of the debris items as they would appear to the turtle. We also incorporated measures of texture and translucency to determine which of the two hypotheses is more plausible as a driver of selectivity in green sea turtles. Turtles preferred more flexible and translucent items to what was available in the environment, lending support to the hypothesis that they prefer debris that resembles prey, particularly jellyfish. They also ate fewer blue items, suggesting that such items may be less conspicuous against the background of open water where they forage. Using visual modelling we determined the characteristics that drive ingestion of marine debris by sea turtles, from the point of view of the turtles themselves. This technique can be utilized to determine debris preferences of other visual predators, and help to more effectively focus management or remediation actions.

  6. The draft genomes of soft–shell turtle and green sea turtle yield insights into the development and evolution of the turtle–specific body plan

    OpenAIRE

    Wang, Zhuo; Pascual-Anaya, Juan; Zadissa, Amonida; Li, Wenqi; Niimura, Yoshihito; Huang, Zhiyong; Li, Chunyi; White, Simon; Xiong, Zhiqiang; Fang, Dongming; Wang, Bo; Ming, Yao; Chen, Yan; Zheng, Yuan; Kuraku, Shigehiro

    2013-01-01

    The unique anatomical features of turtles have raised unanswered questions about the origin of their unique body plan. We generated and analyzed draft genomes of the soft-shell turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis) and the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas); our results indicated the close relationship of the turtles to the bird-crocodilian lineage, from which they split ~267.9–248.3 million years ago (Upper Permian to Triassic). We also found extensive expansion of olfactory receptor genes in these tu...

  7. Turtle cleaners: reef fishes foraging on epibionts of sea turtles in the tropical Southwestern Atlantic, with a summary of this association type

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Sazima

    Full Text Available In the present study we record several instances of reef fish species foraging on epibionts of sea turtles (cleaning symbiosis at the oceanic islands of Fernando de Noronha Archipelago and near a shipwreck, both off the coast of Pernambuco State, northeast Brazil. Nine reef fish species and three turtle species involved in cleaning are herein recorded. Besides our records, a summary of the literature on this association type is presented. Postures adopted by turtles during the interaction are related to the habits of associated fishes. Feeding associations between fishes and turtles seem a localized, albeit common, phenomenon.

  8. Conjunctivitis, tracheitis, and pneumonia associated with herpesvirus infection in green sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson, E R; Gaskin, J M; Roelke, M; Greiner, E C; Allen, J

    1986-11-01

    Fourteen juvenile (15- to 20-month-old) green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas), representative of a group of sea turtles with clinical signs of respiratory tract disease, were euthanatized and submitted for necropsy. Macroscopically, lesions included periglottal necrosis, tracheitis with intraluminal caseous and laminated necrotic debris, and severe pneumonia. Several turtles had caseous conjunctival exudate covering the eyes. Microscopically, the turtles had fibrinonecrotic inflammation around the glottal opening, tracheitis, and severe bronchopneumonia and interstitial pneumonia. In multifocal areas, periglottal and tracheal epithelial cells adjacent to areas of necrosis had hypertrophic nuclei with amphophilic intranuclear inclusions. A mixed population of primarily gram-negative microorganisms was isolated from the tracheal and glottal lesions. Attempts at viral isolation in cultures of green sea turtle kidney cells resulted in the development of cytopathic effects characterized by giant cell formation and development of intranuclear inclusions. Using electron microscopy, intranuclear viral particles (88 to 99 nm in diameter) were seen in inclusion-containing tracheal and glottal epithelial cells and infected green sea turtle kidney cells; particles were consistently seen enveloping from nuclear membranes, and mature particles (132 to 147 nm) were found in the cytoplasm. On the basis of size, conformation, location, and presence of an envelope, the particles most closely resembled those of herpes-viruses.

  9. Asymmetry of righting reflexes in sea turtles and its behavioral correlates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malashichev, Yegor

    2016-04-01

    The righting responses, when the animal rights itself over one side of the body after been overturned on the back, are one of the simplest ways to test for laterality, especially in lower vertebrates. In anuran amphibians unilateral preferences in righting responses correlated to the degree of the use of alternating-limb (asynchronous) movements during locomotion. Turtles is one of the underrepresented vertebrate groups in the studies of laterality, while possess also different types of locomotion (with synchronous or asynchronous use of the contralateral limbs), which allows testing the hypothesis on functional relationship between the mode of locomotion and the strength of laterality. We studied two species of sea turtles, Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) and Olive Ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea), which differ from the majority of other representatives of the order in that they mostly utilize synchronous locomotion, when all four limbs move simultaneously in strokes (scratching). In righting response tests turtles demonstrated individual and weak population level laterality, which differed in strength. The Green turtle was less lateralized with the majority of individuals being ambipreferent. The Olive Ridley turtle had a greater number of lateralized individuals and a greater average strength of laterality. Interspecies comparison to land tortoises, which use only asynchronous (alternating-limb) walking (crawling), confirmed the rule found in amphibians: the more asynchronous locomotion is used, the greater is the strength of laterality in righting. Hence, data from turtles and amphibians may represent a phenomenon common for all quadruped vertebrates. We also discuss possible biomechanical and neurological correlates of this evolutionary change in locomotory patterns and lateralization in sea turtles when adapting to sea life.

  10. Global distribution of Chelonid fibropapilloma-associated herpesvirus among clinically healthy sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alfaro-Núñez, Alonzo; Frost Bertelsen, Mads; Bojesen, Anders Miki; Rasmussen, Isabel; Zepeda-Mendoza, Lisandra; Tange Olsen, Morten; Gilbert, Marcus Thomas Pius

    2014-10-25

    Fibropapillomatosis (FP) is a neoplastic disease characterized by cutaneous tumours that has been documented to infect all sea turtle species. Chelonid fibropapilloma-associated herpesvirus (CFPHV) is believed to be the aetiological agent of FP, based principally on consistent PCR-based detection of herpesvirus DNA sequences from FP tumours. We used a recently described PCR-based assay that targets 3 conserved CFPHV genes, to survey 208 green turtles (Chelonia mydas). This included both FP tumour exhibiting and clinically healthy individuals. An additional 129 globally distributed clinically healthy individual sea turtles; representing four other species were also screened. CFPHV DNA sequences were obtained from 37/37 (100%) FP exhibiting green turtles, and 45/300 (15%) clinically healthy animals spanning all five species. Although the frequency of infected individuals per turtle population varied considerably, most global populations contained at least one CFPHV positive individual, with the exception of various turtle species from the Arabian Gulf, Northern Indian Ocean and Puerto Rico. Haplotype analysis of the different gene markers clustered the CFPHV DNA sequences for two of the markers (UL18 and UL22) in turtles from Turks and Caicos separate to all others, regardless of host species or geographic origin. Presence of CFPHV DNA within globally distributed samples for all five species of sea turtle was confirmed. While 100% of the FP exhibiting green turtles yielded CFPHV sequences, surprisingly, so did 15% of the clinically healthy turtles. We hypothesize that turtle populations with zero (0%) CFPHV frequency may be attributed to possible environmental differences, diet and/or genetic resistance in these individuals. Our results provide first data on the prevalence of CFPHV among seemingly healthy turtles; a factor that may not be directly correlated to the disease incidence, but may suggest of a long-term co-evolutionary latent infection interaction between

  11. Sea Turtle Conservation on Bonaire. Sea Turtle Club Bonaire 1996 Project Report

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Norde, D.J.; Rossum, van J.P.

    1997-01-01

    Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles (12°12’N, 68°77’W) is an island in the Caribbean sea, situated about 50 km east of Curacao and 80 km north of the South American continent (Venezuela). Its 288 2 km of land hold about 14,000 inhabitants. Bonaire has a strongly growing population, which is mostly due to

  12. Sea Turtle Conservation on Bonaire. Sea Turtle Club Bonaire 1996 Project Report

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Norde, D.J.; Rossum, van J.P.

    1997-01-01

    Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles (12°12’N, 68°77’W) is an island in the Caribbean sea, situated about 50 km east of Curacao and 80 km north of the South American continent (Venezuela). Its 288 2 km of land hold about 14,000 inhabitants. Bonaire has a strongly growing population, which is mostly due to

  13. Geomagnetic imprinting: A unifying hypothesis of long-distance natal homing in salmon and sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lohmann, Kenneth J; Putman, Nathan F; Lohmann, Catherine M F

    2008-12-09

    Several marine animals, including salmon and sea turtles, disperse across vast expanses of ocean before returning as adults to their natal areas to reproduce. How animals accomplish such feats of natal homing has remained an enduring mystery. Salmon are known to use chemical cues to identify their home rivers at the end of spawning migrations. Such cues, however, do not extend far enough into the ocean to guide migratory movements that begin in open-sea locations hundreds or thousands of kilometers away. Similarly, how sea turtles reach their nesting areas from distant sites is unknown. However, both salmon and sea turtles detect the magnetic field of the Earth and use it as a directional cue. In addition, sea turtles derive positional information from two magnetic elements (inclination angle and intensity) that vary predictably across the globe and endow different geographic areas with unique magnetic signatures. Here we propose that salmon and sea turtles imprint on the magnetic field of their natal areas and later use this information to direct natal homing. This novel hypothesis provides the first plausible explanation for how marine animals can navigate to natal areas from distant oceanic locations. The hypothesis appears to be compatible with present and recent rates of field change (secular variation); one implication, however, is that unusually rapid changes in the Earth's field, as occasionally occur during geomagnetic polarity reversals, may affect ecological processes by disrupting natal homing, resulting in widespread colonization events and changes in population structure.

  14. The use of spirometry to evaluate pulmonary function in olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) with positive buoyancy disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitt, Todd L; Munns, Suzanne; Adams, Lance; Hicks, James

    2013-09-01

    This study utilized computed spirometry to compare the pulmonary function of two stranded olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) presenting with a positive buoyancy disorder with two healthy captive olive ridley sea turtles held in a large public aquarium. Pulmonary function test (PFT) measurements demonstrated that the metabolic cost of breathing was much greater for animals admitted with positive buoyancy than for the normal sea turtles. Positively buoyant turtles had higher tidal volumes and significantly lower breathing-frequency patterns with significantly higher expiration rates, typical of gasp-type breathing. The resulting higher energetic cost of breathing in the diseased turtles may have a significant impact on their long-term survival. The findings represent a method for clinical respiratory function analysis for an individual animal to assist with diagnosis, therapy, and prognosis. This is the first study, to our knowledge, to evaluate objectively sea turtles presenting with positive buoyancy and respiratory disease using pulmonary function tests.

  15. Bacterial and viral pathogens detected in sea turtles stranded along the coast of Tuscany, Italy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fichi, G; Cardeti, G; Cersini, A; Mancusi, C; Guarducci, M; Di Guardo, G; Terracciano, G

    2016-03-15

    During 2014, six loggerhead turtles, Caretta caretta and one green turtle, Chelonia mydas, found stranded on the Tuscany coast of Italy, were examined for the presence of specific bacterial and viral agents, along with their role as carriers of fish and human pathogens. Thirteen different species of bacteria, 10 Gram negative and 3 Gram positive, were identified. Among them, two strains of Vibrio parahaemolyticus and one strain of Lactococcus garviae were recovered and confirmed by specific PCR protocols. No trh and tdh genes were detected in V. parahaemolyticus. The first isolation of L. garviae and the first detection of Betanodavirus in sea turtles indicate the possibility for sea turtles to act as carriers of fish pathogens. Furthermore, the isolation of two strains of V. parahaemolyticus highlights the possible role of these animals in human pathogens' diffusion. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. 中东太平洋公海金枪鱼延绳钓误捕海龟的观察和分析%Observation and analysis of sea turtles mortality longline fishing in high seas of Central and Eastern Pacific Ocean

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    戴小杰; 李延; 许柳雄; 朱江峰

    2009-01-01

    根据2006年2-11月科学观察员对热带东太平洋公海海域(05°N~10°S,134°W~173°W)金枪鱼延绳钓渔业的调查,期间共投钩223次(天),误捕到绿海龟、蠵龟、丽龟、玳瑁和棱皮龟5种共22尾,死亡海龟13尾.从海龟误捕率看,平均每次尾数为0.098 65.平均每千钩尾数0.037 40.从海龟的钩获部位看,喙(嘴)上钩占41.0%,躯干部位上钩占13.6%,喉部上钩占13.6%,前肢上钩占18.2%,主绳缠绕被捕获占13.6%.海龟的误捕区域位于04°S以北海域,几乎可全年捕获.此外分析了不同钩位误捕海龟的数量,探讨了影响误捕率和死亡率的因素,提出保护对策.%Based on the data by scientific observer survey in the tropical Central and Eastern Pacific Ocean (05°N -10°S,134° W -173°W) by the tuna longline fishery targeting bigeye tuna during Feb.-Nov. , 2006, with the total 223 sets, 22 sea turtle bycatch were observed and analysed. The incidental sea turtles were classified as 5 species, namely green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas),loggerhead (Caretta caretta),Oliver ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea), hawksbill turtle ( Eretmochelys imbricata) and leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) with total 22 individuals. There were 13 sea turtles mortality after capture. The incidental catch rate is 0. 09865 per set and 0. 374 0 per thousand hooks. The interaction between fishing gear and sea turtles showed that sea turtle body were hooked with mouth accounting for 41. 0% , external parts 13.6% , swallowed 13.6% .foreleg 18.2% and mainline entangement 13.6%. Most sea turtle bycatch occurred north of 04°S and almost all the year round. Analysis was also made to identify the specific hook number for interaction with sea turtles. Discussion was made on factors for affecting catch rate and mortality. Measures were suggested on conservation and by-catch mitigation for sea turtles.

  17. Global distribution of Chelonid fibropapilloma-associated herpesvirus among clinically healthy sea turtles

    OpenAIRE

    Alfaro Nuñez, Luis Alonso; Bertelsen, Mads Frost; Bojesen, Anders Miki; Rasmussen, Isabel; Zepeda Mendoza, Marie Lisandra; Olsen, Morten Tange; Gilbert, M. Thomas P

    2014-01-01

    Background Fibropapillomatosis (FP) is a neoplastic disease characterized by cutaneous tumours that has been documented to infect all sea turtle species. Chelonid fibropapilloma-associated herpesvirus (CFPHV) is believed to be the aetiological agent of FP, based principally on consistent PCR-based detection of herpesvirus DNA sequences from FP tumours. We used a recently described PCR-based assay that targets 3 conserved CFPHV genes, to survey 208 green turtles (Chelonia mydas). This included...

  18. Plasma Vitellogenin in Free-Ranging Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Caretta caretta of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kimberly Smelker

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Vitellogenin is the egg yolk precursor protein produced by oviparous vertebrates. As endogenous estrogen increases during early reproductive activity, hepatic production of vitellogenin is induced and is assumed to be complete in female sea turtles before the first nesting event. Until the present study, innate production of vitellogenin has not been described in free-ranging sea turtles. Our study describes circulating concentrations of vitellogenin in loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta from the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. We collected blood samples from juveniles and adults via in-water captures off the coast of the Southeast USA from May to August, and from nesting females in June and July at Hutchinson Island, Florida. All samples were analyzed using an in-house ELISA developed specifically to measure Caretta caretta vitellogenin concentration. As expected, plasma vitellogenin declined in nesting turtles as the nesting season progressed, although it still remained relatively elevated at the end of the season. In addition, mean vitellogenin concentration in nesting turtles was 1,000 times greater than that measured in samples from in-water captures. Our results suggest that vitellogenesis may continue throughout the nesting season, albeit at a decreasing rate. Further, vitellogenin detected in turtles captured in-water may have resulted from exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals.

  19. An Analysis of Sea Turtle Demographics along Maryland Shores, 1990-2015

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhoades, C.; Driscoll, C.; Weschler, A.; Crawford, M.

    2016-02-01

    The Maryland Department of Natural Resources Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Stranding Program was established in the fall of 1990, and responded to their first documented sea turtle stranding in the summer of 1991. Over this twenty-five year period, 575 dead strandings of sea turtles have been documented. This research project analyzes all sea turtle case files from the initiation of this program for the following parameters in order to associate stranding trends; species, location (Atlantic Ocean v. Chesapeake Bay), seasonality, length, relative age, condition code, and sex. Further understanding these protected species will assist in conserving their coastal ecosystem and securing these species a sustainable future. Along with the parameters previously discussed, this study will also consider the factors contributing to the animal's death, if determined. These potential causes incorporate natural causes such as disease, and also detail instances of human interaction, including: dredge takes, commercial or recreational fishing interaction, power plant entrainment, propeller and boat strikes. A total of approximately 17% of the dead stranded sea turtles Maryland Department of Natural Resources responded to were found to have some proven aspect of human interaction. Lastly, in order to further investigate for human interaction stomach contents were analyzed for plastics or other forms of marine debris. This project will contribute to MD DNR and NOAA's mission, goals, and objectives by further understanding these protected species in order to conserve their coastal ecosystem and secure these species a sustainable future.

  20. Ecotourism and sea turtle harvesting in a fishing village of Bahia, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pegas Fernanda

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Many environmentalists believe ecotourism has the potential to generate net benefits for people and nature. For more than two decades, the Brazilian Sea Turtle Conservation Program (TAMAR has provided jobs and income through ecotourism in Praia do Forte, Brazil, in exchange for reduced harvesting of sea turtles. In this article we evaluate the relationships between ecotourism at TAMAR and local support for sea turtle conservation. Nine months of ethnographic research (2006-2008 suggest that ecotourism-related employment and income have been somewhat stable and reliable. The average income of respondents who worked with TAMAR was lower than that reported by people not working with TAMAR. Workers noted other non-economic benefits. Though the majority supported sea turtle conservation, it is unclear how feelings will waver with new mass tourism developments in the region. As the cost of living increases, residents may increasingly be inclined to look for work outside TAMAR. Development also attracts new immigrants, making it difficult for locals to control sea turtle harvesting. These trends challenge the notion that economic incentives for locals alone will ensure conservation. Further research is needed to understand the conditions under which ecotourism may foster long-term conservation in the face of larger developments surrounding community ecotourism projects.

  1. EXAMINING THE PREFERENCE FOR SHADE STRUCTURES IN FARMED GREEN SEA TURTLES (CHELONIA MYDAS) AND SHADE'S EFFECT ON GROWTH AND TEMPERATURES.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Martha; Mustin, Walter

    2017-03-01

    The Cayman Turtle Farm raises thousands of green sea turtles ( Chelonia mydas ) annually under aquaculture conditions. Historically, the turtles have been raised in tanks without routine access to a shade structure. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of adding a shade structure on curved carapace length (CCL) and weight gain of green sea turtles. In addition, water and cloacal temperatures were compared across treatment groups and shade cover preferences observed. Ninety turtles were split equally into three treatment groups for this 8-wk study. In the first group turtles were kept in tanks in full sun, the second group in half-shaded tanks, and the third group in tanks completely covered with shade cloth. Time-lapse cameras mounted above half-shaded tanks were used to determine turtle shade structure preferences throughout the day. There were no differences in CCL among treatment groups. Significant increases in weights were noted in turtles kept in full sun and half-shaded tanks versus the fully shaded tanks. Significantly higher water and cloacal turtle temperatures were noted in the full-sun tank compared with the half-shaded or completely shaded tanks. A significantly lower number of turtles was observed in the sun in the half-shaded tanks, indicating a possible preference by turtles for a shade structure. Results suggest that providing shade structures for sea turtles results in a significant decrease in both overall water temperature as well as a reduction in maximum high daily temperatures. Results also suggest that turtles exhibit a preference for shade structures when it is provided as an option. From these results, we recommend that a shade structure be provided when housing green sea turtles in outdoor enclosures.

  2. The draft genomes of soft–shell turtle and green sea turtle yield insights into the development and evolution of the turtle–specific body plan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niimura, Yoshihito; Huang, Zhiyong; Li, Chunyi; White, Simon; Xiong, Zhiqiang; Fang, Dongming; Wang, Bo; Ming, Yao; Chen, Yan; Zheng, Yuan; Kuraku, Shigehiro; Pignatelli, Miguel; Herrero, Javier; Beal, Kathryn; Nozawa, Masafumi; Li, Qiye; Wang, Juan; Zhang, Hongyan; Yu, Lili; Shigenobu, Shuji; Wang, Junyi; Liu, Jiannan; Flicek, Paul; Searle, Steve; Wang, Jun; Kuratani, Shigeru; Yin, Ye; Aken, Bronwen; Zhang, Guojie; Irie, Naoki

    2014-01-01

    The unique anatomical features of turtles have raised unanswered questions about the origin of their unique body plan. We generated and analyzed draft genomes of the soft-shell turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis) and the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas); our results indicated the close relationship of the turtles to the bird-crocodilian lineage, from which they split ~267.9–248.3 million years ago (Upper Permian to Triassic). We also found extensive expansion of olfactory receptor genes in these turtles. Embryonic gene expression analysis identified an hourglass-like divergence of turtle and chicken embryogenesis, with maximal conservation around the vertebrate phylotypic period, rather than at later stages that show the amniote-common pattern. Wnt5a expression was found in the growth zone of the dorsal shell, supporting the possible co-option of limb-associated Wnt signaling in the acquisition of this turtle-specific novelty. Our results suggest that turtle evolution was accompanied by an unexpectedly conservative vertebrate phylotypic period, followed by turtle-specific repatterning of development to yield the novel structure of the shell. PMID:23624526

  3. Assessment of ground transportation stress in juvenile Kemp’s ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Kathleen E.; Innis, Charles J.; Kennedy, Adam E.; McNally, Kerry L.; Davis, Deborah G.; Burgess, Elizabeth A.; Merigo, Constance

    2016-01-01

    Sea turtle rehabilitation centres frequently transport sea turtles for long distances to move animals between centres or to release them at beaches, yet there is little information on the possible effects of transportation-related stress (‘transport stress’) on sea turtles. To assess whether transport stress is a clinically relevant concern for endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii), we obtained pre-transport and post-transport plasma samples from 26 juvenile Kemp’s ridley sea turtles that were transported for 13 h (n = 15 turtles) or 26 h (n = 11 turtles) by truck for release at beaches. To control for effects of handling, food restriction and time of day, the same turtles were also studied on ‘control days’ 2 weeks prior to transport, i.e. with two samples taken to mimic pre-transport and post-transport timing, but without transportation. Blood samples were analysed for nine clinical health measures (pH, pCO2, pO2, HCO3, sodium, potassium, ionized calcium, lactate and haematocrit) and four ‘stress-associated’ parameters (corticosterone, glucose, white blood cell count and heterophil-to-lymphocyte ratio). Vital signs (heart rate, respiratory rate and cloacal temperature) were also monitored. Corticosterone and glucose showed pronounced elevations due specifically to transportation; for corticosterone, this elevation was significant only for the longer transport duration, whereas glucose increased significantly after both transport durations. However, clinical health measures and vital signs showed minimal or no changes in response to any sampling event (with or without transport), and all turtles appeared to be in good clinical health after both transport durations. Thus, transportation elicits a mild, but detectable, adrenal stress response that is more pronounced during longer durations of transport; nonetheless, Kemp’s ridley sea turtles can tolerate ground transportation of up to 26 h in good health. These

  4. Anatomy of the digestive tube of sea turtles (Reptilia: Testudines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcela dos S. Magalhães

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available This study characterized the morphology of the digestive tube of five species of sea turtles. We used specimens found dead along the coast of the state Rio Grande do Norte, as well as specimens accidentally killed as a result of pelagic longline fishing. Nineteen animals of the following species were analyzed: Chelonia mydas (Linnaeus, 1758 (n = 9, Lepidochelys olivacea (Eschscholtz, 1829 (n = 6, Caretta caretta (Linnaeus, 1758 (n = 2, Eretmochelys imbricata (Linnaeus, 1766 (n = 1 and Dermochelys coriacea (Vandelli, 1761 (n = 1. After opening the plastron, we removed the digestive organs and described the external and internal morphology of each organ. The esophagus of all species had pointed papillae on the mucosa. The stomach varied in shape among species. Differences were found in the mucosa of the small intestine. It was reticular in the duodenum, and longitudinal rectilinear in the jejunum/ileum. In all species an alternation of saccular and narrow regions was observed in the large intestine. The exception was D. coriacea, in which the mucosa of the entire large intestine had irregularly distributed folds. The pattern of the esophagus was the same in all species. The morphology of the stomach differed among species, and these differences reflect their diets. In addition, the distribution pattern of the folds on the mucosa of the small intestine varied between regions of the intestine and among species.

  5. 50 CFR 222.309 - Permits for listed species of sea turtles involving the Fish and Wildlife Service.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Permits for listed species of sea turtles involving the Fish and Wildlife Service. 222.309 Section 222.309 Wildlife and Fisheries NATIONAL MARINE... species of sea turtles involving the Fish and Wildlife Service. (a) This section establishes...

  6. Baseline plasma corticosterone, haematological and biochemical results in nesting and rehabilitating loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flower, Jennifer E; Norton, Terry M; Andrews, Kimberly M; Nelson, Steven E; Parker, Clare E; Romero, L Michael; Mitchell, Mark A

    2015-01-01

    The evaluation of hormonal responses to stress in reptiles relies on acquisition of baseline corticosterone concentrations; however, the stress associated with the restraint needed to collect the blood samples can affect the results. The purpose of this study was to determine a time limit for the collection of blood samples to evaluate baseline corticosterone, haematological and biochemical results in nesting (n = 11) and rehabilitating (n = 16) loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta). Blood samples were collected from the dorsal cervical sinus of each turtle immediately after touching the animal (t 0; 0-3 min) and 3 (t 3; 3-6 min), 6 (t 6; 6-9 min; nesting turtles only), 10 (t 10; 10-13 min) and 30 min (t 30; rehabilitating turtles only) after the initial hands-on time. Consistent between the rehabilitating and nesting turtles, there was a subtle yet significant increase in white blood cell counts over time. Despite the fact that white blood cell counts increased during the sampling period, there was no direct correlation between white blood cell count and corticosterone in the sampled turtles. In the nesting turtles, significant elevations in corticosterone were noted between t 0 and t 3 (P = 0.014) and between t 0 and t 6 (P = 0.022). Values at t 10 were not significantly different from those at t 0 (P = 0.102); however, there was a trend for the corticosterone values to continue to increase. These results suggest that sampling of nesting loggerhead sea turtles within 3 min of handling will provide baseline corticosterone concentrations in their natural environment. Significant elevations in corticosterone were also noted in the rehabilitating loggerhead sea turtles between t 0 and t 10 (P = 0.02) and between t 0 and t 30 of sampling (P = 0.0001). These results suggest that sampling of loggerhead sea turtles within 6 min of handling should provide baseline corticosterone concentrations in a rehabilitation setting. The

  7. Terrestrial basking sea turtles are responding to spatio-temporal sea surface temperature patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Houtan, Kyle S; Halley, John M; Marks, Wendy

    2015-01-01

    Naturalists as early as Darwin observed terrestrial basking in green turtles (Chelonia mydas), but the distribution and environmental influences of this behaviour are poorly understood. Here, we examined 6 years of daily basking surveys in Hawaii and compared them with the phenology of local sea surface temperatures (SST). Data and models indicated basking peaks when SST is coolest, and we found this timeline consistent with bone stress markings. Next, we assessed the decadal SST profiles for the 11 global green turtle populations. Basking generally occurs when winter SST falls below 23°C. From 1990 to 2014, the SST for these populations warmed an average 0.04°C yr(-1) (range 0.01-0.09°C yr(-1)); roughly three times the observed global average over this period. Owing to projected future warming at basking sites, we estimated terrestrial basking in green turtles may cease globally by 2100. To predict and manage for future climate change, we encourage a more detailed understanding for how climate influences organismal biology.

  8. A critical review of the Mediterranean sea turtle rescue network: a web looking for a weaver

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Judith Ullmann

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available A key issue in conservation biology is recognizing and bridging the gap between scientific results and specific action. We examine sea turtles—charismatic yet endangered flagship species—in the Mediterranean, a sea with historically high levels of exploitation and 22 coastal nations. We take sea turtle rescue facilities as a visible measure for implemented conservation action. Our study yielded 34 confirmed sea turtle rescue centers, 8 first-aid stations, and 7 informal rescue institutions currently in operation. Juxtaposing these facilities to known sea turtle distribution and threat hotspots reveals a clear disconnect. Only 14 of the 22 coastal countries had centers, with clear gaps in the Middle East and Africa. Moreover, the information flow between centers is apparently limited. The populations of the two species nesting in the Mediterranean, the loggerhead Caretta caretta and the green turtle Chelonia mydas, are far below historical levels and face a range of anthropogenic threats at sea and on land. Sea turtle rescue centers are acknowledged to reduce mortality in bycatch hotspots, provide a wealth of scientific data, and raise public awareness. The proposal for a Mediterranean-wide rescue network as published by the Regional Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas a decade ago has not materialized in its envisioned scope. We discuss the efficiency, gaps, and needs for a rescue network and call for establishing additional rescue centers and an accompanying common online database to connect existing centers. This would provide better information on the number and types of rescue facilities on a Mediterranean scale, improve communication between these facilities, enhance standardization of procedures, yield large-scale data on the number of treated turtles and their injuries, and thus provide valuable input for targeted conservation measures.

  9. RCsec turtle

    OpenAIRE

    Rose, Matthew

    2005-01-01

    Matthew Rose worked at the Naval Postgraduate School as a graphic designer from February 2002-November 2011. His work for NPS included logos, brochures, business packs, movies/presentations, posters, the CyberSiege video game and many other projects. This material was organized and provided by the artist, for inclusion in the NPS Archive, Calhoun. Includes these files: green-sea-turtle~104.jpg; green-sea-turtle~104.psd; rcsec_turtle.psd; rcsec-logo-turtle.jpg; rcsec-logo-turtle.psd; rcsec...

  10. Anti-predator meshing may provide greater protection for sea turtle nests than predator removal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Connor, Julie M; Limpus, Colin J; Hofmeister, Kate M; Allen, Benjamin L; Burnett, Scott E

    2017-01-01

    The problem of how to protect sea turtle nests from terrestrial predators is of worldwide concern. On Queensland's southern Sunshine Coast, depredation of turtle nests by the introduced European red fox (Vulpes vulpes) has been recorded as the primary terrestrial cause of egg and hatchling mortality. We investigated the impact of foxes on the nests of the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) and occasional green turtle (Chelonia mydas) over ten nesting seasons. Meshing of nests with fox exclusion devices (FEDs) was undertaken in all years accompanied by lethal fox control in the first five-year period, but not in the second five-year period. Lethal fox control was undertaken in the study area from 2005 to February 2010, but foxes still breached 27% (range19-52%) of turtle nests. In the second five-year period, despite the absence of lethal fox control, the average percentage of nests breached was less than 3% (range 0-4%). Comparison of clutch depredation rates in the two five-year periods demonstrated that continuous nest meshing may be more effective than lethal fox control in mitigating the impact of foxes on turtle nests. In the absence of unlimited resources available for the eradication of exotic predators, the use of FEDs and the support and resourcing of a dedicated volunteer base can be considered an effective turtle conservation tool on some beaches.

  11. Anti-predator meshing may provide greater protection for sea turtle nests than predator removal

    Science.gov (United States)

    O’Connor, Julie M.; Limpus, Colin J.; Hofmeister, Kate M.; Allen, Benjamin L.; Burnett, Scott E.

    2017-01-01

    The problem of how to protect sea turtle nests from terrestrial predators is of worldwide concern. On Queensland’s southern Sunshine Coast, depredation of turtle nests by the introduced European red fox (Vulpes vulpes) has been recorded as the primary terrestrial cause of egg and hatchling mortality. We investigated the impact of foxes on the nests of the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) and occasional green turtle (Chelonia mydas) over ten nesting seasons. Meshing of nests with fox exclusion devices (FEDs) was undertaken in all years accompanied by lethal fox control in the first five-year period, but not in the second five-year period. Lethal fox control was undertaken in the study area from 2005 to February 2010, but foxes still breached 27% (range19–52%) of turtle nests. In the second five-year period, despite the absence of lethal fox control, the average percentage of nests breached was less than 3% (range 0–4%). Comparison of clutch depredation rates in the two five-year periods demonstrated that continuous nest meshing may be more effective than lethal fox control in mitigating the impact of foxes on turtle nests. In the absence of unlimited resources available for the eradication of exotic predators, the use of FEDs and the support and resourcing of a dedicated volunteer base can be considered an effective turtle conservation tool on some beaches. PMID:28187181

  12. Evaluation of mercury mediated in vitro cytotoxicity among cell lines established from green sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hong; Tong, Jing; Bi, Yongyi; Wang, Chunhong; Guo, Liqiao; Lu, Yuanan

    2013-04-01

    In vitro cell cultures are currently tested for their application as a biological tool for enhanced monitoring and field evaluation of environmental toxic chemical pollution. Here cell lines established from green sea turtles (GSTs) were comparatively tested for their cytotoxic responses to mercury chloride (HgCl2) exposure and also their potential use as a biological tool for effective monitoring and screening of mercury contamination in environmental waters. Following a 24-h exposure to different concentrations of mercury solution, marine turtle cells were evaluated for their cytotoxic responses using three different endpoint bioassays: tetrazolium salt reduction (MTT), neutral red uptake (NR), and Coomassie blue (CB) methods. Cytotoxic sensitivities of GST cell lines to HgCl2 were determined and compared basing on their 50% inhibition concentration (IC50) values calculated from these tests. These marine turtle cells share a very different pattern of cytotoxic sensitivities and reactions to inorganic Mercury. Among these nine turtle cell lines, turtle liver cells (GST-LV) appear to be the most tolerant one to mercury exposure while turtle lung cells (GST-LG) exhibit to be the most sensitive one. Results from this in vitro study correlate well with in vivo examination of mercury concentration in the tissues of marine turtles and are also validated and ascertained by calculated regression equations showing a significant correlation (Pturtle cells and also shows GST-LG to be a cell line with potential application in field monitoring and assessing mercury contamination as a bioindicator.

  13. Effects of rising temperature on the viability of an important sea turtle rookery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laloë, Jacques-Olivier; Cozens, Jacquie; Renom, Berta; Taxonera, Albert; Hays, Graeme C.

    2014-06-01

    A warming world poses challenges for species with temperature-dependent sex determination, including sea turtles, for which warmer incubation temperatures produce female hatchlings. We combined in situ sand temperature measurements with air temperature records since 1850 and predicted warming scenarios from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to derive 250-year time series of incubation temperatures, hatchling sex ratios, and operational sex ratios for one of the largest sea turtles rookeries globally (Cape Verde Islands, Atlantic). We estimate that light-coloured beaches currently produce 70.10% females whereas dark-coloured beaches produce 93.46% females. Despite increasingly female skewed sex ratios, entire feminization of this population is not imminent. Rising temperatures increase the number of breeding females and hence the natural rate of population growth. Predicting climate warming impacts across hatchlings, male-female breeding ratios and nesting numbers provides a holistic approach to assessing the conservation concerns for sea turtles in a warming world.

  14. Trace elements in blood of sea turtles Lepidochelys olivacea in the Gulf of California, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zavala-Norzagaray, A A; Ley-Quiñónez, C P; Espinosa-Carreón, T L; Canizalez-Román, A; Hart, C E; Aguirre, A A

    2014-11-01

    This study determined the concentrations of heavy metals in blood collected from Pacific Ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) inhabiting the coast of Guasave, Mexico, in the Gulf of California. The highest reported metal concentration in blood was Zn, followed by Se. Of nonessential toxic metals, As was reported in higher percentage compared to Cd. The concentrations of metals detected were present as follows: Zn > Se > Mn > As > Ni > Cd > Cu. Cd concentration in blood is higher in our population in comparison with other populations of L. olivacea, and even higher in other species of sea turtles. Our study reinforces the usefulness of blood for the monitoring of the levels of contaminating elements, and is easily accessible and nonlethal for sea turtles.

  15. Serum gonadotropins and gonadal steroids associated with ovulation and egg production in sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wibbels, T; Owens, D W; Licht, P; Limpus, C; Reed, P C; Amoss, M S

    1992-07-01

    Changes in serum concentrations of gonadotropins and gonadal steroids during the periovulatory period were monitored in green, Chelonia mydas, and loggerhead, Caretta caretta, sea turtles. Turtles were from natural populations that nest on a coral island on the Great Barrier Reef. After nesting, each turtle was transferred to a holding tank and held for a maximum of 8 days. A time series of blood samples was obtained from each of five sea turtles (three C. mydas and two C. caretta) starting immediately after nesting and then at approximately 12-hr intervals until the time of release. Prior to release back into the ocean, each turtle was examined by laparoscopy to verify that ovulation had occurred. Serum concentrations of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), progesterone (PRO), and testosterone (T) in both species exhibited significant changes during this period. Surges of FSH, LH, and PRO were evident within approximately 20 to 50 hr after each turtle had nested. The significant change in FSH concentration during the periovulatory period is the first such report for a reptile. Coincident with maximal concentrations of FSH, LH, and PRO was a decline in T concentrations in both species. Estradiol-17 beta concentrations were near or below assay sensitivity in the C. mydas, whereas those in the C. caretta were detectable but exhibited no significant changes. The dynamic changes in FSH, LH, PRO, and T concentrations are consistent with the hypothesis that these hormones facilitate specific physiological events during ovulation and egg production.

  16. Growth dynamics of juvenile loggerhead sea turtles undergoing an ontogenetic habitat shift.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramirez, Matthew D; Avens, Larisa; Seminoff, Jeffrey A; Goshe, Lisa R; Heppell, Selina S

    2017-04-01

    Ontogenetic niche theory predicts that individuals may undergo one or more changes in habitat or diet throughout their lifetime to maintain optimal growth rates, or to optimize trade-offs between mortality risk and growth. We combine skeletochronological and stable nitrogen isotope (δ(15)N) analyses of sea turtle humeri (n = 61) to characterize the growth dynamics of juvenile loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) during an oceanic-to-neritic ontogenetic shift. The primary objective of this study was to determine how ontogenetic niche theory extends to sea turtles, and to individuals with different patterns of resource use (discrete shifters, n = 23; facultative shifters n = 14; non-shifters, n = 24). Mean growth rates peaked at the start of the ontogenetic shift (based on change in δ(15)N values), but returned to pre-shift levels within 2 years. Turtles generally only experienced 1 year of relatively high growth, but the timing of peak growth relative to the start of an ontogenetic shift varied among individuals (before, n = 14; during, n = 12; after, n = 8). Furthermore, no reduction in growth preceded the transition, as is predicted by ontogenetic niche theory. Annual growth rates were similar between non-transitioning turtles resident in oceanic and neritic habitats and turtles displaying alternative patterns of resource use. These results suggest that factors other than maximization of size-specific growth may more strongly influence the timing of ontogenetic shifts in loggerhead sea turtles, and that alternative patterns of resource use may have limited influence on somatic growth and age at maturation in this species.

  17. The head and neck anatomy of sea turtles (Cryptodira: Chelonioidea and skull shape in Testudines.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc E H Jones

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Sea turtles (Chelonoidea are a charismatic group of marine reptiles that occupy a range of important ecological roles. However, the diversity and evolution of their feeding anatomy remain incompletely known. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using computed tomography and classical comparative anatomy we describe the cranial anatomy in two sea turtles, the loggerhead (Caretta caretta and Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii, for a better understanding of sea turtle functional anatomy and morphological variation. In both taxa the temporal region of the skull is enclosed by bone and the jaw joint structure and muscle arrangement indicate that palinal jaw movement is possible. The tongue is relatively small, and the hyoid apparatus is not as conspicuous as in some freshwater aquatic turtles. We find several similarities between the muscles of C. caretta and L. kempii, but comparison with other turtles suggests only one of these characters may be derived: connection of the m. adductor mandibulae internus into the Pars intramandibularis via the Zwischensehne. The large fleshy origin of the m. adductor mandibulae externus Pars superficialis from the jugal seems to be a characteristic feature of sea turtles. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: In C. caretta and L. kempii the ability to suction feed does not seem to be as well developed as that found in some freshwater aquatic turtles. Instead both have skulls suited to forceful biting. This is consistent with the observation that both taxa tend to feed on relatively slow moving but sometimes armoured prey. The broad fleshy origin of the m. adductor mandibulae externus Pars superficialis may be linked to thecheek region being almost fully enclosed in bone but the relationship is complex.

  18. Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Research Collection (MMASTR)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla houses one of the largest marine mammal and marine turtle sample collections in the world, with over 140,000...

  19. Estimating at-sea mortality of marine turtles from stranding frequencies and drifter experiments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, Volker; Peckham, Hoyt; Mancini, Agnese; Eguchi, Tomoharu

    2013-01-01

    Strandings of marine megafauna can provide valuable information on cause of death at sea. However, as stranding probabilities are usually very low and highly variable in space and time, interpreting the results can be challenging. We evaluated the magnitude and distribution of at-sea mortality of marine turtles along the Pacific coast of Baja California Sur, México during 2010-11, using a combination of counting stranded animals and drifter experiments. A total of 594 carcasses were found during the study period, with loggerhead (62%) and green turtles (31%) being the most common species. 87% of the strandings occurred in the southern Gulf of Ulloa, a known hotspot of loggerhead distribution in the Eastern Pacific. While only 1.8% of the deaths could be definitively attributed to bycatch (net marks, hooks), seasonal variation in stranding frequencies closely corresponded to the main fishing seasons. Estimated stranding probabilities from drifter experiments varied among sites and trials (0.05-0.8), implying that only a fraction of dead sea turtles can be observed at beaches. Total mortality estimates for 15-day periods around the floater trials were highest for PSL, a beach in the southern Gulf of Ulloa, ranging between 11 sea turtles in October 2011 to 107 in August 2010. Loggerhead turtles were the most numerous, followed by green and olive ridley turtles. Our study showed that drifter trials combined with beach monitoring can provide estimates for death at sea to measure the impact of small-scale fisheries that are notoriously difficult to monitor for by-catch. We also provided recommendations to improve the precision of the mortality estimates for future studies and highlight the importance of estimating impacts of small-scale fisheries on marine megafauna.

  20. Estimating at-sea mortality of marine turtles from stranding frequencies and drifter experiments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Volker Koch

    Full Text Available Strandings of marine megafauna can provide valuable information on cause of death at sea. However, as stranding probabilities are usually very low and highly variable in space and time, interpreting the results can be challenging. We evaluated the magnitude and distribution of at-sea mortality of marine turtles along the Pacific coast of Baja California Sur, México during 2010-11, using a combination of counting stranded animals and drifter experiments. A total of 594 carcasses were found during the study period, with loggerhead (62% and green turtles (31% being the most common species. 87% of the strandings occurred in the southern Gulf of Ulloa, a known hotspot of loggerhead distribution in the Eastern Pacific. While only 1.8% of the deaths could be definitively attributed to bycatch (net marks, hooks, seasonal variation in stranding frequencies closely corresponded to the main fishing seasons. Estimated stranding probabilities from drifter experiments varied among sites and trials (0.05-0.8, implying that only a fraction of dead sea turtles can be observed at beaches. Total mortality estimates for 15-day periods around the floater trials were highest for PSL, a beach in the southern Gulf of Ulloa, ranging between 11 sea turtles in October 2011 to 107 in August 2010. Loggerhead turtles were the most numerous, followed by green and olive ridley turtles. Our study showed that drifter trials combined with beach monitoring can provide estimates for death at sea to measure the impact of small-scale fisheries that are notoriously difficult to monitor for by-catch. We also provided recommendations to improve the precision of the mortality estimates for future studies and highlight the importance of estimating impacts of small-scale fisheries on marine megafauna.

  1. Isolation, characterization, and antibiotic resistance of Vibrio spp. in sea turtles from Northwestern Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zavala-Norzagaray, Alan A.; Aguirre, A. Alonso; Velazquez-Roman, Jorge; Flores-Villaseñor, Héctor; León-Sicairos, Nidia; Ley-Quiñonez, C. P.; Hernández-Díaz, Lucio De Jesús; Canizalez-Roman, Adrian

    2015-01-01

    The aerobic oral and cloacal bacterial microbiota and their antimicrobial resistance were characterized for 64 apparently healthy sea turtles captured at their foraging grounds in Ojo de Liebre Lagoon (OLL), Baja California Sur (BCS), Mexico (Pacific Ocean) and the lagoon system of Navachiste (LSN) and Marine Area of Influence (MAI), Guasave, Sinaloa (Gulf of California). A total of 34 black turtles (Chelonia mydas agassizii) were sampled in OLL and eight black turtles and 22 olive ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) were sampled in LSN and MAI, respectively from January to December 2012. We isolated 13 different species of Gram-negative bacteria. The most frequently isolated bacteria were Vibrio alginolyticus in 39/64 (60%), V. parahaemolyticus in 17/64 (26%), and V. cholerae in 6/64 (9%). However, V. cholerae was isolated only from turtles captured from the Gulf of California (MAI). Among V. parahaemolyticus strains, six O serogroups and eight serovars were identified from which 5/17 (29.4%) belonged to the pathogenic strains (tdh+ gene) and 2/17 (11.7%) had the pandemic clone (tdh+ and toxRS/new+). Among V. cholerae strains, all were identified as non-O1/non-O139, and in 4/6 (66%) the accessory cholera enterotoxin gene (ace) was identified but without virulence gene zot, ctxA, and ctxB. Of the isolated V. parahaemolyticus, V. cholerae, and V. alginolyticus strains, 94.1, 33.4, and 100% demonstrated resistance to at least one commonly prescribed antibiotic (primarily to ampicillin), respectively. In conclusion, the presence of several potential (toxigenic) human pathogens in sea turtles may represent transmission of environmental microbes and a high-risk of food-borne disease. Therefore, based on the fact that it is illegal and unhealthy, we discourage the consumption of sea turtle meat or eggs in northwestern Mexico. PMID:26161078

  2. Isolation, characterization, and antibiotic resistance of Vibrio spp. in sea turtles from Northwestern Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zavala-Norzagaray, Alan A; Aguirre, A Alonso; Velazquez-Roman, Jorge; Flores-Villaseñor, Héctor; León-Sicairos, Nidia; Ley-Quiñonez, C P; Hernández-Díaz, Lucio De Jesús; Canizalez-Roman, Adrian

    2015-01-01

    The aerobic oral and cloacal bacterial microbiota and their antimicrobial resistance were characterized for 64 apparently healthy sea turtles captured at their foraging grounds in Ojo de Liebre Lagoon (OLL), Baja California Sur (BCS), Mexico (Pacific Ocean) and the lagoon system of Navachiste (LSN) and Marine Area of Influence (MAI), Guasave, Sinaloa (Gulf of California). A total of 34 black turtles (Chelonia mydas agassizii) were sampled in OLL and eight black turtles and 22 olive ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) were sampled in LSN and MAI, respectively from January to December 2012. We isolated 13 different species of Gram-negative bacteria. The most frequently isolated bacteria were Vibrio alginolyticus in 39/64 (60%), V. parahaemolyticus in 17/64 (26%), and V. cholerae in 6/64 (9%). However, V. cholerae was isolated only from turtles captured from the Gulf of California (MAI). Among V. parahaemolyticus strains, six O serogroups and eight serovars were identified from which 5/17 (29.4%) belonged to the pathogenic strains (tdh (+) gene) and 2/17 (11.7%) had the pandemic clone (tdh (+) and toxRS/new (+)). Among V. cholerae strains, all were identified as non-O1/non-O139, and in 4/6 (66%) the accessory cholera enterotoxin gene (ace) was identified but without virulence gene zot, ctxA, and ctxB. Of the isolated V. parahaemolyticus, V. cholerae, and V. alginolyticus strains, 94.1, 33.4, and 100% demonstrated resistance to at least one commonly prescribed antibiotic (primarily to ampicillin), respectively. In conclusion, the presence of several potential (toxigenic) human pathogens in sea turtles may represent transmission of environmental microbes and a high-risk of food-borne disease. Therefore, based on the fact that it is illegal and unhealthy, we discourage the consumption of sea turtle meat or eggs in northwestern Mexico.

  3. Isolation, Characterization, and Antibiotic Resistance of Vibrio spp. in Sea Turtles from Northwestern Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan A. eZavala-Norzagaray

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The aerobic oral and cloacal bacterial microbiota and their antimicrobial resistance were characterized for 64 apparently healthy sea turtles captured at their foraging grounds in Ojo de Liebre Lagoon (OLL, Baja California Sur, Mexico (Pacific Ocean and the lagoon system of Navachiste (LSN and Marine Area of Influence (MAI, Guasave, Sinaloa (Gulf of California. A total of 34 black turtles (Chelonia mydas agassizii were sampled in OLL and eight black turtles and 22 olive ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea were sampled in LSN and MAI, respectively from January to December 2012. We isolated 13 different species of Gram-negative bacteria. The most frequently isolated bacteria were Vibrio alginolyticus in 39/64 (60%, V. parahaemolyticus in 17/64 (26% and V. cholerae in 6/64 (9%,. However, V. cholerae was isolated only from turtles captured from the Gulf of California (MAI. Among V. parahaemolyticus strains, six O serogroups and eight serovars were identified from which 5/17 (29.4% belonged to the pathogenic strains (tdh+ gene and 2/17 (11.7% had the pandemic clone (tdh+ and toxRS/new+. Among V. cholerae strains, all were identified as non-O1/non-O139, and in 4/6 (66% the accessory cholera enterotoxin gene (ace was identified but without virulence gene zot, ctxA and ctxB. Of the isolated V. parahaemolyticus, V. cholerae and V. alginolyticus strains, 94.1%, 33.4% and 100% demonstrated resistance to at least one commonly prescribed antibiotic (primarily to ampicillin, respectively. In conclusion, the presence of several potential (toxigenic human pathogens in sea turtles may represent transmission of environmental microbes and a high-risk of food-borne disease. Therefore, based on the fact that it is illegal and unhealthy, we discourage the consumption of sea turtle meat or eggs in northwestern Mexico.

  4. Crude oil as a stranding cause among loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in the Canary Islands, Spain (1998-2011).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camacho, María; Calabuig, Pascual; Luzardo, Octavio P; Boada, Luis D; Zumbado, Manuel; Orós, Jorge

    2013-07-01

    We report the number of strandings caused by crude oil among loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) in the Canary Islands between 1998 and 2011 and analyze the impact of the designation of the Canary Islands as a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA) in 2005. Among 1,679 stranded loggerhead turtles, 52 turtles stranded due to crude oil (3.1%). The survival rate of the turtles stranded by crude oil was 88%. All turtles that died because of crude oil stranding had signs of ingestion of crude oil and lesions, included esophageal impaction, necrotizing gastroenteritis, necrotizing hepatitis, and tubulonephrosis. The number of strandings caused by crude oil after 2005 was significantly lower than it was before 2006. We show that the designation of the Canary Islands as a PSSA in 2005 by the International Maritime Organization was associated with a reduction of sea turtle strandings caused by crude oil.

  5. Foraging of the green sea turtle Chelonia mydas on seagrass beds at Mayotte Island (Indian Ocean), determined by acoustic transmitters

    OpenAIRE

    TAQUET Coralie; Taquet, Marc; T. Dempster; Soria, M.; Ciccione, S.; Roos, David; Dagorn, L.

    2006-01-01

    We studied the foraging rhythms of green sea turtles Chelonia mydas on the seagrass beds of N'Gouja Bay, Mayotte Island (Comoros Archipelago) with acoustic transmitters and moored listening stations. We monitored 8 tagged turtles (4 probable males, 3 probable females and 1 immature), from 70 to 109 cm curved carapace length (CCL), for durations ranging from 5 to 92 d. The turtles exhibited a regular diel pattern: they foraged mainly during the day (on average 87% of seagrass detections were b...

  6. Blood biochemistry reference values for wild juvenile loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from Madeira archipelago.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delgado, Cláudia; Valente, Ana; Quaresma, Isabel; Costa, Margarida; Dellinger, Thomas

    2011-07-01

    Standard biochemical parameters were determined in wild juvenile loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta living offshore Madeira Island, northeast Atlantic. We analyzed the influence of age, sex, sea surface temperature, and body condition index on biochemical parameters including uric acid, total bilirubin, total cholesterol, creatinine kinase (CK), glucose, total protein, urea nitrogen, lactate dehydrogenase, aspartate aminotranspherase (AST), gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT), albumin, alkaline phosphatase (ALP), sodium (NA), potassium (K), chloride, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. Significant positive correlations were found between turtle body size and total cholesterol, total protein, and albumin. Total protein and the enzymes AST and CK were lower than reported levels in adults. Calcium levels were lower than those reported in adult or captive turtles, but similar to wild juveniles from Australian waters, and were interpreted as normal for this age category. These data may be useful to evaluate the health status of stranded or injured animals and to improve veterinary care at rehabilitation centers.

  7. Incentive-based approaches in marine conservation: Applications for sea turtles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gjertsen Heidi

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Conservation practitioners are increasingly turning to incentive-based approaches to encourage local resource users to change behaviors that impact biodiversity and natural habitat. We assess the design and performance of marine conservation interventions with varying types of incentives through an analysis of case studies from around the world. Here we focus on seven examples that are particularly relevant to designing incentives for sea turtle conservation. Four of the cases are focused on sea turtle conservation, and the others contain elements that may be applied to turtle projects. Many more opportunities exist for interventions that combine the strengths of these approaches, such as performance-based agreements that provide funds for education or alternative livelihood development, and leasing fishing rights to reduce bycatch.

  8. Determining organochlorine pesticides in samples of green sea turtles by QuEChERS approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angélica María Sánchez-Sarmiento

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Some Organochlorine Pesticides (OCPs can pose numerous adverse effects on biota. Marine turtles face numerous threats, in particular those related to anthropogenic activities. Therefore, development and improvement methodologies for monitoring chemical compounds are a relevant task. In this work, we developed a methodology based on the QuEChERS (Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged and Safe extraction for detection of twelve OCPs, by gas chromatography with electron capture detector, in fat and liver samples of green sea turtles. Quantification limits were lower than 5.3 ng g-1; acceptable recovery rates for most compounds; medium matrix effect; matrix-calibration with linearity at the range from 1.0 to 200 ng g-1. This methodology provides contributions for the study of pesticide residues with adverse effects on sea turtle health, important skills for new directions in conservation issues.

  9. Pharmacokinetics of marbofloxacin after a single oral dose to loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta).

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    Marín, P; Lai, O R; Laricchiuta, P; Marzano, G; Di Bello, A; Cárceles, C M; Crescenzo, G

    2009-10-01

    The single-dose disposition kinetics of marbofloxacin (MBX) were determined in clinically healthy loggerhead sea turtles (n=5) after oral (PO) administration of 2 mg kg(-1) bodyweight. Marbofloxacin plasma concentrations were determined by DAD-HPLC (LOD/LOQ 0.015/0.05 microg ml(-1)). Data were subjected to non-compartmental analysis. Following PO administration, marbofloxacin achieved maximum plasma concentrations of 11.66+/-2.53 mg L(-1) at 15.00+/-3.00 h. The absence of general adverse reactions in the turtles of the study, and the favourable pharmacokinetic properties (long half-life and high maximum plasma concentration) of MBX administered PO at the single-dose of 2 mg kg(-1) suggest the possibility of its safe and effective clinical use in loggerhead sea turtles.

  10. Blood concentrations of lactate, glucose and corticosterone in dispersing hatchling sea turtles

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    Carla M. Pereira

    2012-11-01

    Natal dispersal of sea turtles is an energetically demanding activity that is fuelled primarily by aerobic metabolism. However, during intense exercise reptiles can use anaerobic metabolism to supplement their energy requirements. We assessed anaerobic metabolism in dispersing hatchling loggerhead and flatback turtles by measuring the concentrations of blood lactate during crawling and at different times during the first four hours of their frenzy swim. We also measured concentrations of blood glucose and corticosterone. Blood lactate (12.13 to 2.03 mmol/L, glucose (6.25 to 3.8 mmol/L and corticosterone (8.13 to 2.01 ng/mL concentrations decreased significantly over time in both loggerhead and flatback hatchlings and no significant differences were found between the species. These results indicate that anaerobic metabolism makes a significant contribution to the dispersal phase of hatchling sea turtles during the beach crawl and the first few hours of the frenzy swim.

  11. Using blood samples to estimate persistent organic pollutants and metals in green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas).

    Science.gov (United States)

    van de Merwe, Jason P; Hodge, Mary; Olszowy, Henry A; Whittier, Joan M; Lee, Shing Y

    2010-04-01

    Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and heavy metals have been reported in a number of green turtle (Chelonia mydas) populations worldwide. However, due to ethical considerations, these studies have generally been on tissues from deceased and stranded animals. The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of blood samples to estimate the tissue contamination of live C. mydas populations. This study analysed 125 POP compounds and eight heavy metals in the blood, liver, kidney and muscle of 16 C. mydas from the Sea World Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Program, Gold Coast, Australia. Strong correlations were observed between blood and tissue concentrations for a number of POPs and metals. Furthermore, these correlations were observed over large ranges of turtle size, sex and condition. These results indicate that blood samples are a reliable non-lethal method for predicting chemical contamination in C. mydas.

  12. A model of loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) habitat and movement in the oceanic North Pacific.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abecassis, Melanie; Senina, Inna; Lehodey, Patrick; Gaspar, Philippe; Parker, Denise; Balazs, George; Polovina, Jeffrey

    2013-01-01

    Habitat preferences for juvenile loggerhead turtles in the North Pacific were investigated with data from two several-year long tagging programs, using 224 satellite transmitters deployed on wild and captive-reared turtles. Animals ranged between 23 and 81 cm in straight carapace length. Tracks were used to investigate changes in temperature preferences and speed of the animals with size. Average sea surface temperatures along the tracks ranged from 18 to 23 °C. Bigger turtles generally experienced larger temperature ranges and were encountered in warmer surface waters. Seasonal differences between small and big turtles suggest that the larger ones dive deeper than the mixed layer and subsequently target warmer surface waters to rewarm. Average swimming speeds were under 1 km/h and increased with size for turtles bigger than 30 cm. However, when expressed in body lengths per second (bl s(-1)), smaller turtles showed much higher swimming speeds (>1 bl s (-1) ) than bigger ones (0.5 bl s(-1)). Temperature and speed values at size estimated from the tracks were used to parameterize a habitat-based Eulerian model to predict areas of highest probability of presence in the North Pacific. The model-generated habitat index generally matched the tracks closely, capturing the north-south movements of tracked animals, but the model failed to replicate observed east-west movements, suggesting temperature and foraging preferences are not the only factors driving large-scale loggerhead movements. Model outputs could inform potential bycatch reduction strategies.

  13. A Model of Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta) Habitat and Movement in the Oceanic North Pacific

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abecassis, Melanie; Senina, Inna; Lehodey, Patrick; Gaspar, Philippe; Parker, Denise; Balazs, George; Polovina, Jeffrey

    2013-01-01

    Habitat preferences for juvenile loggerhead turtles in the North Pacific were investigated with data from two several-year long tagging programs, using 224 satellite transmitters deployed on wild and captive-reared turtles. Animals ranged between 23 and 81 cm in straight carapace length. Tracks were used to investigate changes in temperature preferences and speed of the animals with size. Average sea surface temperatures along the tracks ranged from 18 to 23 °C. Bigger turtles generally experienced larger temperature ranges and were encountered in warmer surface waters. Seasonal differences between small and big turtles suggest that the larger ones dive deeper than the mixed layer and subsequently target warmer surface waters to rewarm. Average swimming speeds were under 1 km/h and increased with size for turtles bigger than 30 cm. However, when expressed in body lengths per second (bl s−1), smaller turtles showed much higher swimming speeds (>1 bl s−1) than bigger ones (0.5 bl s−1). Temperature and speed values at size estimated from the tracks were used to parameterize a habitat-based Eulerian model to predict areas of highest probability of presence in the North Pacific. The model-generated habitat index generally matched the tracks closely, capturing the north-south movements of tracked animals, but the model failed to replicate observed east-west movements, suggesting temperature and foraging preferences are not the only factors driving large-scale loggerhead movements. Model outputs could inform potential bycatch reduction strategies. PMID:24039901

  14. Deepwater Horizon oil spill impacts on sea turtles could span the Atlantic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putman, Nathan F; Abreu-Grobois, F Alberto; Iturbe-Darkistade, Iñaky; Putman, Emily M; Richards, Paul M; Verley, Philippe

    2015-12-01

    We investigated the extent that the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill potentially affected oceanic-stage sea turtles from populations across the Atlantic. Within an ocean-circulation model, particles were backtracked from the Gulf of Mexico spill site to determine the probability of young turtles arriving in this area from major nesting beaches. The abundance of turtles in the vicinity of the oil spill was derived by forward-tracking particles from focal beaches and integrating population size, oceanic-stage duration and stage-specific survival rates. Simulations indicated that 321 401 (66 199-397 864) green (Chelonia mydas), loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) turtles were likely within the spill site. These predictions compared favourably with estimates from in-water observations recently made available to the public (though our initial predictions for Kemp's ridley were substantially lower than in-water estimates, better agreement was obtained with modifications to mimic behaviour of young Kemp's ridley turtles in the northern Gulf). Simulations predicted 75.2% (71.9-76.3%) of turtles came from Mexico, 14.8% (11-18%) from Costa Rica, 5.9% (4.8-7.9%) from countries in northern South America, 3.4% (2.4-3.5%) from the United States and 1.6% (0.6-2.0%) from West African countries. Thus, the spill's impacts may extend far beyond the current focus on the northern Gulf of Mexico. © 2015 The Authors.

  15. Comparative study of organohalogen contamination between two populations of Eastern Atlantic loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camacho, María; Boada, Luis D; Orós, Jorge; López, Pedro; Zumbado, Manuel; Almeida-González, Maira; Luzardo, Octavio P

    2013-12-01

    We evaluated the presence of 37 organohalogen contaminants in plasma samples from 162 juvenile and 197 adult loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) from the archipelagos of the Canary Islands and Cape Verde, respectively, and compared the contamination profiles found. We detected five organochlorine pesticides (OCP) and 16 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The concentrations of the two groups of contaminants were higher in turtles from the Canary Islands (OCPs, 1.04 vs. 0.37 ng/mL; PCBs, 1.92 vs. 0.08 ng/mL). We also observed a different profile of PCB contamination between the two populations. In addition, there was a negative correlation between body size and the total concentration of PCBs in the Canary Islands turtles, but not in turtles from Cape Verde. The present study presents the first data on the organochlorine contaminants (OCs) of live turtles from Canary Islands. In addition, we perform a comparison of the levels and profiles of OCs between these two different groups of loggerhead sea turtles from the Eastern Atlantic.

  16. A model of loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta habitat and movement in the oceanic North Pacific.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie Abecassis

    Full Text Available Habitat preferences for juvenile loggerhead turtles in the North Pacific were investigated with data from two several-year long tagging programs, using 224 satellite transmitters deployed on wild and captive-reared turtles. Animals ranged between 23 and 81 cm in straight carapace length. Tracks were used to investigate changes in temperature preferences and speed of the animals with size. Average sea surface temperatures along the tracks ranged from 18 to 23 °C. Bigger turtles generally experienced larger temperature ranges and were encountered in warmer surface waters. Seasonal differences between small and big turtles suggest that the larger ones dive deeper than the mixed layer and subsequently target warmer surface waters to rewarm. Average swimming speeds were under 1 km/h and increased with size for turtles bigger than 30 cm. However, when expressed in body lengths per second (bl s(-1, smaller turtles showed much higher swimming speeds (>1 bl s (-1 than bigger ones (0.5 bl s(-1. Temperature and speed values at size estimated from the tracks were used to parameterize a habitat-based Eulerian model to predict areas of highest probability of presence in the North Pacific. The model-generated habitat index generally matched the tracks closely, capturing the north-south movements of tracked animals, but the model failed to replicate observed east-west movements, suggesting temperature and foraging preferences are not the only factors driving large-scale loggerhead movements. Model outputs could inform potential bycatch reduction strategies.

  17. Hearing in the Juvenile Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas): A Comparison of Underwater and Aerial Hearing Using Auditory Evoked Potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piniak, Wendy E D; Mann, David A; Harms, Craig A; Jones, T Todd; Eckert, Scott A

    2016-01-01

    Sea turtles spend much of their life in aquatic environments, but critical portions of their life cycle, such as nesting and hatching, occur in terrestrial environments, suggesting that it may be important for them to detect sounds in both air and water. In this study we compared underwater and aerial hearing sensitivities in five juvenile green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) by measuring auditory evoked potential responses to tone pip stimuli. Green sea turtles detected acoustic stimuli in both media, responding to underwater stimuli between 50 and 1600 Hz and aerial stimuli between 50 and 800 Hz, with maximum sensitivity between 200 and 400 Hz underwater and 300 and 400 Hz in air. When underwater and aerial hearing sensitivities were compared in terms of pressure, green sea turtle aerial sound pressure thresholds were lower than underwater thresholds, however they detected a wider range of frequencies underwater. When thresholds were compared in terms of sound intensity, green sea turtle sound intensity level thresholds were 2-39 dB lower underwater particularly at frequencies below 400 Hz. Acoustic stimuli may provide important environmental cues for sea turtles. Further research is needed to determine how sea turtles behaviorally and physiologically respond to sounds in their environment.

  18. Spatial and temporal statistical analysis of bycatch data: Patterns of sea turtle bycatch in the North Atlantic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardner, B.; Sullivan, P.J.; Morreale, S.J.; Epperly, S.P.

    2008-01-01

    Loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) sea turtle distributions and movements in offshore waters of the western North Atlantic are not well understood despite continued efforts to monitor, survey, and observe them. Loggerhead and leatherback sea turtles are listed as endangered by the World Conservation Union, and thus anthropogenic mortality of these species, including fishing, is of elevated interest. This study quantifies spatial and temporal patterns of sea turtle bycatch distributions to identify potential processes influencing their locations. A Ripley's K function analysis was employed on the NOAA Fisheries Atlantic Pelagic Longline Observer Program data to determine spatial, temporal, and spatio-temporal patterns of sea turtle bycatch distributions within the pattern of the pelagic fishery distribution. Results indicate that loggerhead and leatherback sea turtle catch distributions change seasonally, with patterns of spatial clustering appearing from July through October. The results from the space-time analysis indicate that sea turtle catch distributions are related on a relatively fine scale (30-200 km and 1-5 days). The use of spatial and temporal point pattern analysis, particularly K function analysis, is a novel way to examine bycatch data and can be used to inform fishing practices such that fishing could still occur while minimizing sea turtle bycatch. ?? 2008 NRC.

  19. Hearing in the Juvenile Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas): A Comparison of Underwater and Aerial Hearing Using Auditory Evoked Potentials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piniak, Wendy E. D.; Mann, David A.; Harms, Craig A.; Jones, T. Todd; Eckert, Scott A.

    2016-01-01

    Sea turtles spend much of their life in aquatic environments, but critical portions of their life cycle, such as nesting and hatching, occur in terrestrial environments, suggesting that it may be important for them to detect sounds in both air and water. In this study we compared underwater and aerial hearing sensitivities in five juvenile green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) by measuring auditory evoked potential responses to tone pip stimuli. Green sea turtles detected acoustic stimuli in both media, responding to underwater stimuli between 50 and 1600 Hz and aerial stimuli between 50 and 800 Hz, with maximum sensitivity between 200 and 400 Hz underwater and 300 and 400 Hz in air. When underwater and aerial hearing sensitivities were compared in terms of pressure, green sea turtle aerial sound pressure thresholds were lower than underwater thresholds, however they detected a wider range of frequencies underwater. When thresholds were compared in terms of sound intensity, green sea turtle sound intensity level thresholds were 2–39 dB lower underwater particularly at frequencies below 400 Hz. Acoustic stimuli may provide important environmental cues for sea turtles. Further research is needed to determine how sea turtles behaviorally and physiologically respond to sounds in their environment. PMID:27741231

  20. Comparing Acoustic Tag Attachments Designed for Mobile Tracking of Hatchling Sea Turtles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aimee L. Hoover

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available The poorly understood movements of sea turtles during the “lost years” of their early life history have been characterized as a “passive drifter” stage. Biologging technology allows us to study patterns of dispersal, but the small body size of young life stages requires particular consideration that such tagging does not significantly impede animal movements. We tested the effect of instrument attachment methods for mobile acoustic tracking of hatchling sea turtles, including a design that would be suitable for leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea. We obtained 8-week-old hatchery-reared green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas (n = 12 individuals and examined the effect of attaching Vemco V5 acoustic tags. Each animal's swim speed, swimming depth, and stroke frequency were determined under three scenarios: control, direct Velcro® attachment to the carapace, and harness attachment, to determine if there was a significant difference amongst treatments. Turtle swimming speed was significantly slower during the middle period of the trial for the harness attachment compared with the control. No significant change in swim speed was observed when the tag was attached directly with Velcro®, and no significant change in dive depth was observed for either treatment compared to the control. Stroke frequency was significantly greater compared to the control at the end of the trial for the Velcro® attachment only, although there was no corresponding increase in swimming speed. This information can be used to design effective approaches for actively tracking free-ranging hatchling sea turtles to understand dispersal and survival of these vulnerable marine species.

  1. Captura incidental de tortugas marinas durante El Niño 1997-1998, en el norte del Perú Sea turtles by-catch during El Niño 1997-1998, in northern Perú

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier Castro

    2012-11-01

    analyzed. Data was correlated with sea surface temperature (SST. A total of 265 fishing operations were analyzed, from which a total of 383 sea turtles were captured: being 80.4% olive ridleys (Lepidochelys olivacea; 19.3% green turtles (Chelonia mydas and 0.2% hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata. A positive significant correlation with a 99% confidence interval was found between sea turtle captures and SST (Pearson; r = 0.787; σ = 0.000; N = 36. We recommend strengthening collaboration between public and private organizations, to implement appropriate management measures for the conservation of sea turtles, especially during an ENSO event.

  2. Locomotor activity during the frenzy swim: analysing early swimming behaviour in hatchling sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Carla M; Booth, David T; Limpus, Colin J

    2011-12-01

    Swimming effort of hatchling sea turtles varies across species. In this study we analysed how swim thrust is produced in terms of power stroke rate, mean maximum thrust per power stroke and percentage of time spent power stroking throughout the first 18 h of swimming after entering the water, in both loggerhead and flatback turtle hatchlings and compared this with previous data from green turtle hatchlings. Loggerhead and green turtle hatchlings had similar power stroke rates and percentage of time spent power stroking throughout the trial, although mean maximum thrust was always significantly higher in green hatchlings, making them the most vigorous swimmers in our three-species comparison. Flatback hatchlings, however, were different from the other two species, with overall lower values in all three swimming variables. Their swimming effort dropped significantly during the first 2 h and kept decreasing significantly until the end of the trial at 18 h. These results support the hypothesis that ecological factors mould the swimming behaviour of hatchling sea turtles, with predator pressure being important in determining the strategy used to swim offshore. Loggerhead and green turtle hatchlings seem to adopt an intensely vigorous and energetically costly frenzy swim that would quickly take them offshore into the open ocean in order to reduce their exposure to near-shore aquatic predators. Flatback hatchlings, however, are restricted in geographic distribution and remain within the continental shelf region where predator pressure is probably relatively constant. For this reason, flatback hatchlings might use only part of their energy reserves during a less vigorous frenzy phase, with lower overall energy expenditure during the first day compared with loggerhead and green turtle hatchlings.

  3. Marine debris and human impacts on sea turtles in southern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bugoni, L; Krause, L; Petry, M V

    2001-12-01

    Dead stranded sea turtles were recovered and examined to determine the impact of anthropogenic debris and fishery activities on sea turtles on the coast of Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil. Esophagus/stomach contents of 38 juvenile green Chelonia mydas, 10 adults and sub-adults loggerhead Caretta caretta, and two leatherback Dermochelys coriacea turtles (adult or sub-adult) included plastic bags as the main debris ingested, predominated by white and colorless pieces. The ingestion of anthropogenic debris accounted for the death of 13.2% of the green turtles examined. Signs of damage over the body and carapace indicated that fishing activities caused the death of 13.6% (3/22) of loggerheads and 1.5% (1/56) of green turtles. Therefore, it appears that direct and indirect effects of fishing activities may pose a threat to these species in Brazilian waters. Other sources of plastic debris should be investigated as well as the direct impact of fisheries, especially bottom trawl and gill nets, in order to establish effective conservation action.

  4. Rise and fall over 26 years of a marine epizootic in Hawaiian green sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaloupka, Milani; Balazs, George H; Work, Thierry M

    2009-10-01

    Estimates of chronic disease prevalence are needed to improve our understanding of marine disease epizootiology, which is poorly known for marine megafauna such as marine turtles. An emerging worldwide threat to green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) is fibropapillomatosis (FP), which is a pandemic tumor-forming disease associated with herpes-viruses. We report on a 26-yr FP epidemic in the Hawaiian Archipelago and show that apparent disease prevalence in the world's main endemic hot spot increased rapidly following a late 1980s outbreak, peaked during the mid-1990s, and then declined steadily ever since. While this disease is a major cause of sea turtle stranding in Hawaiian waters and can be fatal, we also show that long-term tumor regression can occur even for turtles with advanced FP. The endemic Hawaiian green turtle stock was severely depleted by overexploitation prior to protection under the US Endangered Species Act in 1978. This stock has increased significantly ever since, despite exposure to a major chronic disease epidemic that is currently declining.

  5. Marine debris and human impacts on sea turtles in southern Brazil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bugoni, Leandro; Krause, Ligia [Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Dept. de Zoologia, Porto Alegre, RS (Brazil); Petry, Maria Virginia [Universidade do Rio dos Sinos, Museu de Zoologia, Sao Leopoldo, RS (Brazil)

    2001-07-01

    Dead stranded sea turtles were recovered and examined to determine the impact of anthropogenic debris and fishery activities on sea turtles on the coast of Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil. Esophagus/stomach contents of 38 juvenile green Chelonia mydas, 10 adults and sub-adults loggerhead Caretta caretta, and two leatherback Dermochelys coriacea turtle (adult or sub-adult) included plastic bags as the main debris ingested, predominated by white and colorless pieces. The ingestion of anthropogenic debris accounted for the death of 13.2% of the green turtles examined. Signs of damage over the body and carapace indicated that fishing activities caused the death of 13.6% (3/22) of loggerheads and 1.5% (1/56) of green turtles. Therefore, it appears that direct and indirect effects of fishing activities may pose a threat to these species in Brazilian waters. Other sources of plastic debris should be investigated as well a the direct impact of fisheries, especially bottom trawl and gill nets, in order to establish effective conservation action. (Author)

  6. Ontogenetic development of migration: Lagrangian drift trajectories suggest a new paradigm for sea turtles

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hays, Graeme C.; Fossette, Sabrina; Katselidis, Kostas A.

    2010-01-01

    Long distance migration occurs in a wide variety of taxa including birds, insects, fishes, mammals and reptiles. Here, we provide evidence for a new paradigm for the determinants of migration destination. As adults, sea turtles show fidelity to their natal nesting areas and then at the end...

  7. Global distribution of Chelonid fibropapilloma-associated herpesvirus among clinically healthy sea turtles

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alfaro Nuñez, Luis Alonso; Bertelsen, Mads Frost; Bojesen, Anders Miki;

    2014-01-01

    BackgroundFibropapillomatosis (FP) is a neoplastic disease characterized by cutaneous tumours that has been documented to infect all sea turtle species. Chelonid fibropapilloma-associated herpesvirus (CFPHV) is believed to be the aetiological agent of FP, based principally on consistent PCR-based...

  8. Learning & Knowledge Production in North Carolina Sea Turtle Conservation Communities of Practice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Kathleen Carol

    2010-01-01

    This dissertation focused upon non-formal and informal learning practices and knowledge production amongst [adult] participants involved in local sea turtle conservation practices along the US Atlantic coast. In the United States, adult learning and adult education has historically occurred within non-formal settings (e.g., through community-based…

  9. Inorganic elements in green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas): relationships among external and internal tissues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faust, Derek R.; Hooper, Michael J.; Cobb, George P.; Barnes, Melanie; Shaver, Donna; Ertolacci, Shauna; Smith, Philip N.

    2014-01-01

    Inorganic elements from anthropogenic sources have entered marine environments worldwide and are detectable in marine organisms, including sea turtles. Threatened and endangered classifications of sea turtles have heretofore made assessments of contaminant concentrations difficult because of regulatory restrictions on obtaining samples using nonlethal techniques. In the present study, claw and skin biopsy samples were examined as potential indicators of internal tissue burdens in green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas). Significant relationships were observed between claw and liver, and claw and muscle concentrations of mercury, nickel, arsenic, and selenium (p biopsy concentrations and those in liver, kidney, and muscle tissues for mercury, arsenic, selenium, and vanadium (p biopsies were substantially elevated when compared with all other tissues, indicating that these highly keratinized tissues may represent sequestration or excretion pathways. Correlations between standard carapace length and cobalt, lead, and manganese concentrations were observed (p liver and muscle tissues, whereas skin biopsy inorganic element concentrations may be better suited as indicators of mercury, selenium, and vanadium concentrations in liver, kidney, and muscle tissues of green sea turtles.

  10. Risk analysis reveals global hotspots for marine debris ingestion by sea turtles

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schuyler, Qamar A.; Wilcox, Chris; Townsend, Kathy A.; Wedemeyer-Strombel, Kathryn R.; Balazs, George; van Sebille, Erik; Hardesty, Britta Denise

    2016-01-01

    Plastic marine debris pollution is rapidly becoming one of the critical environmental concerns facing wildlife in the 21st century. Here we present a risk analysis for plastic ingestion by sea turtles on a global scale. We combined global marine plastic distributions based on ocean drifter data with

  11. 77 FR 60637 - Western Pacific Pelagic Fisheries; Revised Limits on Sea Turtle Interactions in the Hawaii...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-10-04

    ... may be to provide positive benefits to non-target stocks. For example, the reduction in regulatory.... NMFS must consider the negative economic impacts on the fishery to increased levels of sea turtle take... could be taken advantage of quite easily if requirements or punishment were lacking. Response:...

  12. Study on the etiology of fibropapillomatosis of olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) nesting in the National Wildlife Refuge at Ostional, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

    OpenAIRE

    Brenes Chaves, Laura; Berrocal, Alexis; Meneses, Ana I.; Jiménez Sánchez, Carlos; Orrego Vásquez, Carlos M.

    2013-01-01

    Sea turtle fibropapillomatosis is an emerging disease characterized by a proliferation of cutaneous papillomas, fibromas, and fibropapillomas and occasional visceral fibromas. This paper aims to contribute to the etiology of fibropapillomatosis in olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) nesting in Ostional National Wildlife Refuge. Twenty-six olive ridley turtles with cutaneous fibropapilloma were sampled and 24 healthy olive ridley turtles served as controls. Biopsies were ta...

  13. Metals in Blood and Eggs of Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas) from Nesting Colonies of the Northern Coast of the Sea of Oman.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinaei, Mahmood; Bolouki, Mehdi

    2017-06-19

    The green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) has been a species of global concern for decades. In this study, heavy metals (mercury: Hg; Cadmium: Cd; Lead: Pb; Copper: Cu; and Zinc: Zn) were measured in blood and three egg fraction of green sea turtles nesting on the northern coast of Sea of Oman. Heavy metals concentrations in blood, yolk, albumen, and egg shell ranged between 0.16-36.78, 0.006-33.88, 0.003-4.02, and 0.002-6.85 μg/g (ww), respectively. According to the results, all heavy metals found in blood samples (n = 12) also were detected in the various parts of the eggs (n = 48). Moreover, there were no significant differences between concentrations of heavy metals in different clutches laid in a nesting season. However, Pb concentrations in blood samples significantly increased in later clutches (p sea turtles on the northern coast of Sea of Oman. Results of this study suggest that heavy metals could be one of the factors influencing reductions in fertilization and hatching success. Results also indicate that green sea turtle on the northern coast of Sea of Oman have high capacity in rapid response and detoxification of heavy metals and/or from the low exposure levels of these turtles to the heavy metals. Further research is required concerning the effects of heavy metals on green sea turtles, especially on their possible influence of fetal development of turtles.

  14. Survival probabilities of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta estimated from capture-mark-recapture data in the Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paolo Casale

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Survival probabilities of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta are estimated for the first time in the Mediterranean by analysing 3254 tagging and 134 re-encounter data from this region. Most of these turtles were juveniles found at sea. Re-encounters were live resightings and dead recoveries and data were analysed with Barker’s model, a modified version of the Cormack-Jolly-Seber model which can combine recapture, live resighting and dead recovery data. An annual survival probability of 0.73 (CI 95% = 0.67-0.78; n=3254 was obtained, and should be considered as a conservative estimate due to an unknown, though not negligible, tag loss rate. This study makes a preliminary estimate of the survival probabilities of in-water developmental stages for the Mediterranean population of endangered loggerhead sea turtles and provides the first insights into the magnitude of the suspected human-induced mortality in the region. The model used here for the first time on sea turtles could be used to obtain survival estimates from other data sets with few or no true recaptures but with other types of re-encounter data, which are a common output of tagging programmes involving these wide-ranging animals.

  15. Evidence for geomagnetic imprinting and magnetic navigation in the natal homing of sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brothers, J Roger; Lohmann, Kenneth J

    2015-02-02

    Natal homing is a pattern of behavior in which animals migrate away from their geographic area of origin and then return to reproduce in the same location where they began life [1-3]. Although diverse long-distance migrants accomplish natal homing [1-8], little is known about how they do so. The enigma is epitomized by loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta), which leave their home beaches as hatchlings and migrate across entire ocean basins before returning to nest in the same coastal area where they originated [9, 10]. One hypothesis is that turtles imprint on the unique geomagnetic signature of their natal area and use this information to return [1]. Because Earth's field changes over time, geomagnetic imprinting should cause turtles to change their nesting locations as magnetic signatures drift slightly along coastlines. To investigate, we analyzed a 19-year database of loggerhead nesting sites in the largest sea turtle rookery in North America. Here we report a strong association between the spatial distribution of turtle nests and subtle changes in Earth's magnetic field. Nesting density increased significantly in coastal areas where magnetic signatures of adjacent beach locations converged over time, whereas nesting density decreased in places where magnetic signatures diverged. These findings confirm central predictions of the geomagnetic imprinting hypothesis and provide strong evidence that such imprinting plays an important role in natal homing in sea turtles. The results give credence to initial reports of geomagnetic imprinting in salmon [11, 12] and suggest that similar mechanisms might underlie long-distance natal homing in diverse animals.

  16. Ophthalmic variables in rehabilitated juvenile Kemp's ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gornik, Kara R; Pirie, Christopher G; Marrion, Ruth M; Wocial, Julika N; Innis, Charles J

    2016-03-15

    To determine central corneal thickness (total corneal thickness [TCT], epithelial thickness [ET], and stromal thickness [ST]), anterior chamber depth (ACD), and intraocular pressure (IOP) in Kemp's ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii). Prospective cross-sectional study. 25 healthy rehabilitated juvenile Kemp's ridley sea turtles. PROCEDURES; Body weight and straight-line standard carapace length (SCL) were recorded. All turtles underwent a complete anterior segment ophthalmic examination. Central TCT, ET, ST, and ACD were determined by use of a spectral-domain optical coherence tomography device. Intraocular pressure was determined with a rebound tonometer; the horse setting was used to measure IOP in all 25 turtles, and the undefined setting was also used to measure IOP in 20 turtles. For each variable, 3 measurements were obtained bilaterally. The mean was calculated for each eye and used for analysis purposes. The mean ± SD body weight and SCL were 3.85 ± 1.05 kg (8.47 ± 2.31 lb) and 29 ± 3 cm, respectively. The mean ± SD TCT, ET, ST, and ACD were 288 ± 23 μm, 100 ± 6 μm, 190 ± 19 μm, and 581 ± 128 μm, respectively. Mean ± SD IOP was 6.5 ± 1.0 mm Hg when measured with the horse setting and 3.8 ± 1.1 mm Hg when measured with the undefined setting. Results provided preliminary reference ranges for objective assessment of ophthalmic variables in healthy juvenile Kemp's ridley sea turtles.

  17. Chemical Contaminants Found in the Gastrointestinal Tract of Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Caretta caretta)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Athey, S. N.; Seaton, P. J.; Mead, R. N.

    2016-02-01

    Plastic is becoming increasingly more abundant in the marine environment. Plastic ingestion has been shown to be a source of exposure to a variety of harmful compounds, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), bisphenol A (BPA), and phthalates, which are known for their negative physiological effects on the endocrine system as well as their ability to adsorb and leach from plastic into the bodies of marine organisms. The physiological effects of these compounds on loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) still remain unknown. This study investigated the presence of toxicants on marine plastic samples collected from Bermuda, the Sargasso Sea, and the North Atlantic Ocean. Gas chromatography/triple quadruple mass spectrometry (GC/MS) analysis showed PAHs were present on many plastic debris samples. Plastic additives such as phthalates and (BPA) were also found. ΣPAH concentrations for anthracene, chrysene, benzo[b]fluoranthene, and benzo[k]fluoranthene for 2013 environmental plastic samples averaged 26.7ng/g of plastic. This study also examined the presence of these compounds in fluids from the stomach, small intestine, and large intestine from two adult loggerhead turtles. GC/MS analysis also showed the presence of BPA and phthalates on plastic samples, as well as in two out of the six gastrointestinal fluids samples. Average ΣPAH concentration for GI fluids for the loggerheads in the study was 58.7 ng/mL. This study showed plastic could be a significant source of PAHs in sea turtles and the first to detect PAHs in sea turtle GI fluid. Loggerhead sea turtles are a long living species and could accumulate high concentrations of these endocrine-disrupting chemicals throughout their lifetime.

  18. Residues of petroleum hydrocarbons in tissues of sea turtles exposed to the IXTOC I oil spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, R.J.; Belisle, A.A.; Sileo, L.

    1983-01-01

    Sea turtles found dead when the Ixtoc I oil spill reached Texas waters were necropsied and tissues were analyzed for residues of petroleum hydrocarbons. Two of the three turtles were in poor flesh, but had no apparent oil-caused lesions. There was evidence of oil in all tissues examined and indications that the exposure had been chronic. Comparisons with results of studies done on birds indicate consumption of 50,000 ppm or more of oil in the diet. Some possible mechanisms of mortality are suggested.

  19. Movement mysteries unveiled: spatial ecology of juvenile green sea turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaver, Donna J.; Hart, Kristen M.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Rubio, Cynthia; Sartain-Iverson, Autumn R.; Lutterschmidt, William I.

    2013-01-01

    Locations of important foraging areas are not well defined for many marine species. Unraveling these mysteries is vital to develop conservation strategies for these species, many of which are threatened or endangered. Satellite-tracking is a tool that can reveal movement patterns at both broad and fine spatial scales, in all marine environments. This chapter presents records of the longest duration track of an individual juvenile green turtle (434 days) and highest number of tracking days in any juvenile green turtle study (5483 tracking days) published to date. In this chapter, we use spatial modeling techniques to describe movements and identify foraging areas for juvenile green turtles (Chelonia mydas) captured in a developmental habitat in south Texas, USA. Some green turtles established residency in the vicinity of their capture and release site, but most used a specific habitat feature (i.e., a jettied pass) to travel between the Gulf of Mexico and a nearby bay. Still others moved southward within the Gulf of Mexico into Mexican coastal waters, likely in response to decreasing water temperatures. These movements to waters off the coast of Mexico highlight the importance of international cooperation in restoration efforts undertaken on behalf of this imperiled species.

  20. Parasitic outbreak of the copepod Balaenophilus manatorum in neonate loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from a head-starting program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crespo-Picazo, J L; García-Parraga, D; Domènech, F; Tomás, J; Aznar, F J; Ortega, J; Corpa, J M

    2017-06-02

    Diseases associated to external parasitosis are scarcely reported in sea turtles. During the last decades several organism have been documented as a part of normal epibiont community connected to sea turtles. The copepod Balaenophilus manatorum has been cited as a part of epibiont fauna with some concern about its parasitic capacity. This study serves three purposes, i.e. (i) it sheds light on the type of life style that B. manatorum has developed with its hosts, particularly turtles; (ii) it makes a cautionary note of the potential health risks associated with B. manatorum in sea turtles under captivity conditions and in the wild, and (iii) it provides data on effective treatments against B. manatorum. We report for the first time a massive infestation of the copepod B. manatorum and subsequent acute mortality in a group of loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings. Four-month-old turtles from a head-starting program started exhibiting excitatory and fin rubbing behavior preceding an acute onset of lethargy, skin ulceration and death in some animals. All the individuals (n = 57) were affected by severe copepod load and presented different degrees of external macroscopic skin lesions. The ventral area of front flippers, axillar and pericloacal skin were mostly affected, and were the main parasite distribution regions. Copepods were also detected on plastron and carapace sutures. The gut contents of B. manatorum reacted positively for cytokeratin, indicating consumption of turtle skin. Severe ulcerative necrotic dermatitis and large amount of bacteria presence were the major histopathological findings. Individual fresh water immersion for 10 min and lufenuron administration (0.1 ppm) to the water system every 2 weeks proved effective for removing turtle parasites and to control re-infestation, respectively. The results from our study clearly indicated that B. manatorum individuals consume turtle skin. The pathological effects of this agent and the potential implications

  1. Migrations of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) between nesting and foraging grounds across the Coral Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Read, Tyffen C; Wantiez, Laurent; Werry, Jonathan M; Farman, Richard; Petro, George; Limpus, Colin J

    2014-01-01

    Marine megafauna tend to migrate vast distances, often crossing national borders and pose a significant challenge to managers. This challenge is particularly acute in the Pacific, which contains numerous small island nations and thousands of kilometers of continental margins. The green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas, is one such megafauna that is endangered in Pacific waters due to the overexploitation of eggs and adults for human consumption. Data from long-term tagging programs in Queensland (Australia) and New Caledonia were analysed to investigate the migrations by C. mydas across the Coral Sea between their nesting site and their feeding grounds. A review of data collected over the last 50 years by different projects identified multiple migrations of C. mydas to and from New Caledonia (n = 97) and indicate that turtles foraging in New Caledonia nest in the Great Barrier Reef (Australia) and vice versa. Several explanations exist for turtles exhibiting this energetically costly movement pattern from breeding to distant foraging grounds (1200-2680 km away) despite viable foraging habitat being available in the local vicinity. These include hatchling drift, oceanic movements and food abundance predictability. Most of the tag recoveries in New Caledonia belonged to females from the south Great Barrier Reef genetic stock. Some females (n = 2) even showed fidelity to foraging sites located 1200 km away from the nesting site located in New Caledonia. This study also reveals previously unknown migrations pathways of turtles within the Coral Sea.

  2. Body temperature stability achieved by the large body mass of sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, Katsufumi

    2014-10-15

    To investigate the thermal characteristics of large reptiles living in water, temperature data were continuously recorded from 16 free-ranging loggerhead turtles, Caretta caretta, during internesting periods using data loggers. Core body temperatures were 0.7-1.7°C higher than ambient water temperatures and were kept relatively constant. Unsteady numerical simulations using a spherical thermodynamic model provided mechanistic explanations for these phenomena, and the body temperature responses to fluctuating water temperature can be simply explained by a large body mass with a constant thermal diffusivity and a heat production rate rather than physiological thermoregulation. By contrast, body temperatures increased 2.6-5.1°C in 107-152 min during their emergences to nest on land. The estimated heat production rates on land were 7.4-10.5 times the calculated values in the sea. The theoretical prediction that temperature difference between body and water temperatures would increase according to the body size was confirmed by empirical data recorded from several species of sea turtles. Comparing previously reported data, the internesting intervals of leatherback, green and loggerhead turtles were shorter when the body temperatures were higher. Sea turtles seem to benefit from a passive thermoregulatory strategy, which depends primarily on the physical attributes of their large body masses.

  3. Migrations of green turtles (Chelonia mydas between nesting and foraging grounds across the Coral Sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tyffen C Read

    Full Text Available Marine megafauna tend to migrate vast distances, often crossing national borders and pose a significant challenge to managers. This challenge is particularly acute in the Pacific, which contains numerous small island nations and thousands of kilometers of continental margins. The green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas, is one such megafauna that is endangered in Pacific waters due to the overexploitation of eggs and adults for human consumption. Data from long-term tagging programs in Queensland (Australia and New Caledonia were analysed to investigate the migrations by C. mydas across the Coral Sea between their nesting site and their feeding grounds. A review of data collected over the last 50 years by different projects identified multiple migrations of C. mydas to and from New Caledonia (n = 97 and indicate that turtles foraging in New Caledonia nest in the Great Barrier Reef (Australia and vice versa. Several explanations exist for turtles exhibiting this energetically costly movement pattern from breeding to distant foraging grounds (1200-2680 km away despite viable foraging habitat being available in the local vicinity. These include hatchling drift, oceanic movements and food abundance predictability. Most of the tag recoveries in New Caledonia belonged to females from the south Great Barrier Reef genetic stock. Some females (n = 2 even showed fidelity to foraging sites located 1200 km away from the nesting site located in New Caledonia. This study also reveals previously unknown migrations pathways of turtles within the Coral Sea.

  4. Ecology of juvenile hawksbills (Eretmochelys imbricata) at Buck Island Reef National Monument, US Virgin Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Kristen M.; Sartain-Iverson, Autumn R.; Hillis-Starr, Zandy; Phillips, Brendalee; Mayor, Philippe A.; Roberson, Kimberly; Pemberton, Roy A.; Allen, Jason B.; Lundgren, Ian; Musick, Susanna

    2013-01-01

    Surveys of juvenile hawksbills around Buck Island Reef National Monument, US Virgin Islands from 1994 to 1999 revealed distributional patterns and resulted in a total of 75 individual hawksbill captures from all years; turtles ranged from 23.2 to 77.7 cm curved carapace length (CCL; mean 42.1 ± 12.3 cm SD). Juveniles concentrated where Zoanthid cover was highest. Length of time between recaptures, or presumed minimum site residency, ranged from 59 to 1,396 days (mean 620.8 ± 402.4 days SD). Growth rates for 23 juveniles ranged from 0.0 to 9.5 cm year−1 (mean 4.1 ± 2.4 cm year−1SD). Annual mean growth rates were non-monotonic, with the largest mean growth rate occurring in the 30–39 cm CCL size class. Gastric lavages indicated that Zoanthids were the primary food source for hawksbills. These results contribute to our understanding of juvenile hawksbill ecology and serve as a baseline for future studies or inventories of hawksbills in the Caribbean.

  5. Direct evidence of swimming demonstrates active dispersal in the sea turtle "lost years".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putman, Nathan F; Mansfield, Katherine L

    2015-05-04

    Although oceanic dispersal in larval and juvenile marine animals is widely studied, the relative contributions of swimming behavior and ocean currents to movements and distribution are poorly understood [1-4]. The sea turtle "lost years" [5] (often referred to as the surface-pelagic [6] or oceanic [7] stage) are a classic example. Upon hatching, young turtles migrate offshore and are rarely observed until they return to coastal waters as larger juveniles [5]. Sightings of small turtles downcurrent of nesting beaches and in association with drifting organisms (e.g., Sargassum algae) led to this stage being described as a "passive migration" during which turtles' movements are dictated by ocean currents [5-10]. However, laboratory and modeling studies suggest that dispersal trajectories might also be shaped by oriented swimming [11-15]. Here, we use an experimental approach designed to directly test the passive-migration hypothesis by deploying pairs of surface drifters alongside small green (Chelonia mydas) and Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) wild-caught turtles, tracking their movements via satellite telemetry. We conclusively demonstrate that these turtles do not behave as passive drifters. In nearly all cases, drifter trajectories were uncharacteristic of turtle trajectories. Species-specific and location-dependent oriented swimming behavior, inferred by subtracting track velocity from modeled ocean velocity, contributed substantially to individual movement and distribution. These findings highlight the importance of in situ observations for depicting the dispersal of weakly swimming animals. Such observations, paired with information on the mechanisms of orientation, will likely allow for more accurate predictions of the ecological and evolutionary processes shaped by animal movement.

  6. [Clusters of Fusarium solani infection in juvenile captive born Caretta caretta sea turtles].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Hartmann, M; Hennequin, C; Catteau, S; Béatini, C; Blanc, V

    2017-03-01

    Various yeasts and filamentous fungi are described as the cause of infection in sea turtles. Among them, Fusarium solani is responsible both for superficial and invasive infection in weakened adults (capture, stranding), and wild nest contamination, causing massive losses during hatching. We illustrate the pathogenicity of this fungus in sea turtles, through our experience with the species Caretta caretta (loggerhead turtle) and its reproduction, which was obtained for the first time in 2010 at the marine park Marineland, Antibes and renewed in 2011 and 2013. The first generation (6 viable newborns e.g. 0.9% of the nest) was severely affected by an infectious agent causing skin and multifocal organ lesions. Microbiological samples allowed to establish F. solani as the etiological agent. Antifungal therapy with posaconazole cured 2 (33%) of the brood. Epidemiological investigations, infection control and hygiene measures as well as diagnosis criteria, preemptive and curative treatment procedures allowed better prevention and cure and finally higher survival rates in subsequent broods, in 2011 and 2013 (80 viable newborns e.g. 6.6% of the nest and 50% survival rate). F. solani appears as a major threat for the successful reproduction of sea turtles in the wild. As observed, this threat is also of concern during captive breeding. The conditions of transmission and pathogenicity of Fusarium spp. in these animals are discussed in light of the literature cases that occurred in adult sea turtles and in wild nests, and of our breeding experience. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  7. Improving capacity of stock assessment for sea turtles: using ocean circulation modeling to inform genetic mixed stock analysis

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Genetic approaches have been useful for assigning stock ID to sea turtles caught as bycatch in fisheries, or determining stock composition at foraging grounds. In...

  8. Associations between Organochlorine Contaminant Concentrations and Clinical Health Parameters in Loggerhead Sea Turtles from North Carolina, USA

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Jennifer M. Keller; John R. Kucklick; M. Andrew Stamper; Craig A. Harms; Patricia D. McClellan-Green

    2004-01-01

    ...) and pesticides, are known to have broad-ranging toxicities in wildlife. In this study we investigated, for the first time, their possible health effects on loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta...

  9. Comparison of mercury burdens in chronically debilitated and healthy loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Day, Rusty D; Keller, Jennifer M; Harms, Craig A; Segars, Al L; Cluse, Wendy M; Godfrey, Matthew H; Lee, A Michelle; Peden-Adams, Margie; Thorvalson, Kelly; Dodd, Mark; Norton, Terry

    2010-01-01

    An increase in the incidence of debilitated loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) strandings in the southeastern United States has been observed in recent years. These turtles are characterized by emaciation and heavy burdens of external and internal parasites, and bacterial infections, but the underlying cause of their condition is unknown. To investigate further the causes of these strandings, a health assessment was performed on stranded, debilitated loggerhead turtles, and contaminant concentrations in various tissues were compared to those from healthy turtles. This portion of the study investigated the potential role of mercury (Hg) toxicity in the debilitated condition described above. Hematocrit, total protein, albumin, globulin, glucose, calcium, lymphocyte counts, heterophil:lymphocyte ratios, aspartate aminotransferase, uric acid, sodium, and chloride were altered in debilitated loggerheads relative to healthy animals. However, none of the aforementioned health indicators correlated with Hg concentrations in either red blood cells (RBCs) or plasma. The Hg concentration in RBCs was 129+/-72 (mean+/-standard deviation) times higher than in plasma, causing a significant dilution of Hg in whole blood due to extreme anemia. Mercury concentrations in RBCs (73.7+/-21.2 ng/g) and scutes (455+/-57 ng/g) from debilitated turtles were similar to or lower than those reported for healthy animals, indicating no elevation in Hg exposure before and during the progression of this condition. These findings suggest that Hg toxicity does not play a role in the debilitated loggerhead condition observed in the southeastern United States.

  10. Multiple distant origins for green sea turtles aggregating off Gorgona Island in the Colombian eastern Pacific.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diego F Amorocho

    Full Text Available Mitochondrial DNA analyses have been useful for resolving maternal lineages and migratory behavior to foraging grounds (FG in sea turtles. However, little is known about source rookeries and haplotype composition of foraging green turtle aggregations in the southeastern Pacific. We used mitochondrial DNA control region sequences to identify the haplotype composition of 55 green turtles, Chelonia mydas, captured in foraging grounds of Gorgona National Park in the Colombian Pacific. Amplified fragments of the control region (457 bp revealed the presence of seven haplotypes, with haplotype (h and nucleotide (π diversities of h = 0.300±0.080 and π = 0.009±0.005 respectively. The most common haplotype was CMP4 observed in 83% of individuals, followed by CMP22 (5%. The genetic composition of the Gorgona foraging population primarily comprised haplotypes that have been found at eastern Pacific rookeries including Mexico and the Galapagos, as well as haplotypes of unknown stock origin that likely originated from more distant western Pacific rookeries. Mixed stock analysis suggests that the Gorgona FG population is comprised mostly of animals from the Galapagos rookery (80%. Lagrangian drifter data showed that movement of turtles along the eastern Pacific coast and eastward from distant western and central Pacific sites was possible through passive drift. Our results highlight the importance of this protected area for conservation management of green turtles recruited from distant sites along the eastern Pacific Ocean.

  11. Discovery of a Novel Single-Stranded DNA Virus from a Sea Turtle Fibropapilloma by Using Viral Metagenomics▿

    OpenAIRE

    Ng, Terry Fei Fan; Manire, Charles; Borrowman, Kelly; Langer, Tammy; Ehrhart, Llewellyn; Breitbart, Mya

    2008-01-01

    Viral metagenomics, consisting of viral particle purification and shotgun sequencing, is a powerful technique for discovering viruses associated with diseases with no definitive etiology, viruses that share limited homology with known viruses, or viruses that are not culturable. Here we used viral metagenomics to examine viruses associated with sea turtle fibropapillomatosis (FP), a debilitating neoplastic disease affecting sea turtles worldwide. By means of purifying and shotgun sequencing t...

  12. Brevetoxin in blood, biological fluids, and tissues of sea turtles naturally exposed to Karenia brevis blooms in central west Florida.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fauquier, Deborah A; Flewelling, Leanne J; Maucher, Jennifer; Manire, Charles A; Socha, Victoria; Kinsel, Michael J; Stacy, Brian A; Henry, Michael; Gannon, Janet; Ramsdell, John S; Landsberg, Jan H

    2013-06-01

    In 2005 and 2006, the central west Florida coast experienced two intense Karenia brevis red tide events lasting from February 2005 through December 2005 and August 2006 through December 2006. Strandings of sea turtles were increased in the study area with 318 turtles (n = 174, 2005; n = 144, 2006) stranding between 1 January 2005 and 31 December 2006 compared to the 12-yr average of 43 +/- 23 turtles. Live turtles (n = 61) admitted for rehabilitation showed clinical signs including unresponsiveness, paresis, and circling. Testing of biological fluids and tissues for the presence of brevetoxin activity by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay found toxin present in 93% (52 of 56) of live stranded sea turtles, and 98% (42 of 43) of dead stranded sea turtles tested. Serial plasma samples were taken from several live sea turtles during rehabilitation and toxin was cleared from the blood within 5-80 days postadmit depending upon the species tested. Among dead animals the highest brevetoxin levels were found in feces, stomach contents, and liver. The lack of significant pathological findings in the majority of animals necropsied supports toxin-related mortality.

  13. Magnetic navigation behavior and the oceanic ecology of young loggerhead sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putman, Nathan F; Verley, Philippe; Endres, Courtney S; Lohmann, Kenneth J

    2015-04-01

    During long-distance migrations, animals navigate using a variety of sensory cues, mechanisms and strategies. Although guidance mechanisms are usually studied under controlled laboratory conditions, such methods seldom allow for navigation behavior to be examined in an environmental context. Similarly, although realistic environmental models are often used to investigate the ecological implications of animal movement, explicit consideration of navigation mechanisms in such models is rare. Here, we used an interdisciplinary approach in which we first conducted lab-based experiments to determine how hatchling loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) respond to magnetic fields that exist at five widely separated locations along their migratory route, and then studied the consequences of the observed behavior by simulating it within an ocean circulation model. Magnetic fields associated with two geographic regions that pose risks to young turtles (due to cold wintertime temperatures or potential displacement from the migratory route) elicited oriented swimming, whereas fields from three locations where surface currents and temperature pose no such risk did not. Additionally, at locations with fields that elicited oriented swimming, simulations indicate that the observed behavior greatly increases the likelihood of turtles advancing along the migratory pathway. Our findings suggest that the magnetic navigation behavior of sea turtles is intimately tied to their oceanic ecology and is shaped by a complex interplay between ocean circulation and geomagnetic dynamics.

  14. Are coastal protected areas always effective in achieving population recovery for nesting sea turtles?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronel Nel

    Full Text Available Sea turtles are highly migratory and usually dispersed, but aggregate off beaches during the nesting season, rendering them vulnerable to coastal threats. Consequently, coastal Marine Protection Areas (MPAs have been used to facilitate the recovery of turtle populations, but the effectiveness of these programs is uncertain as most have been operating for less than a single turtle generation (or1700 nests pa (index area especially over the last decade, while leatherback abundance increased initially∼10 to 70 nests pa (index area, but then stabilized. Although leatherbacks have higher reproductive output per female and comparable remigration periods and hatching success to loggerheads, the leatherback population failed to expand. Our results suggest that coastal MPAs can work but do not guarantee the recovery of sea turtle populations as pressures change over time. Causes considered for the lack of population growth include factors in the MPA (expansion into unmonitored areas or incubation environment of outside of the MPA (including carrying capacity and fishing mortality. Conservation areas for migratory species thus require careful design to account for species-specific needs, and need to be monitored to keep track of changing pressures.

  15. Helminth component community of the loggerhead sea turtle, Caretta caretta, from Madeira Archipelago, Portugal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valente, Ana Luisa; Delgado, Cláudia; Moreira, Cláudia; Ferreira, Sandra; Dellinger, Thomas; Pinheiro de Carvalho, Miguel A A; Costa, Graça

    2009-02-01

    The helminth fauna of pelagic-stage loggerhead sea turtles, Caretta caretta, is still poorly known. Here, we describe the helminth-component community of healthy, free-ranging juvenile loggerhead sea turtles captured in the waters around Madeira Island, Portugal. Fifty-seven were used in this study. The esophagus, stomach, intestine, liver, gallbladder, spleen, kidneys, trachea, bronchi, urinary bladder, heart, left and right aortas, and coelomic cavity were macroscopically inspected; organs and tissues were removed and washed through a sieve. A search for parasites was made using a stereoscopic microscope; recovered parasites were fixed and stored in 70% alcohol until staining and identification. Prevalence, mean intensity, and mean abundance values were recorded. In total, 156 parasite specimens belonging to 9 species were found: nematodes included Anisakis simplex s.l. (larvae) and an unidentified species; digenetic trematodes present were Enodiotrema megachondrus, Rhytidodes gelatinosus, Pyelosomum renicapite, and Calycodes anthos; acanthocephalans included Bolbosoma vasculosum and Rhadinorhynchus pristis; a single cestode, Nybelinia sp., was present. Parasite infections were found to have both low prevalences and intensities. Possible reasons for this include the oligotrophic conditions of the pelagic habitat around Madeira; a 'dilution effect' because of the vastness of the area; and the small size, and thus ingestion rate, of the turtles. Results are discussed in terms of the various turtle populations that may use the waters surrounding Madeira. This work provides valuable information on the parasite fauna of a poorly known stage in the life of loggerhead sea turtles, thereby filling a fundamental gap with regard to features of the parasite fauna in this species.

  16. Multi-Modal Homing in Sea Turtles: Modeling Dual Use of Geomagnetic and Chemical Cues in Island-Finding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Endres, Courtney S; Putman, Nathan F; Ernst, David A; Kurth, Jessica A; Lohmann, Catherine M F; Lohmann, Kenneth J

    2016-01-01

    Sea turtles are capable of navigating across large expanses of ocean to arrive at remote islands for nesting, but how they do so has remained enigmatic. An interesting example involves green turtles (Chelonia mydas) that nest on Ascension Island, a tiny land mass located approximately 2000 km from the turtles' foraging grounds along the coast of Brazil. Sensory cues that turtles are known to detect, and which might hypothetically be used to help locate Ascension Island, include the geomagnetic field, airborne odorants, and waterborne odorants. One possibility is that turtles use magnetic cues to arrive in the vicinity of the island, then use chemical cues to pinpoint its location. As a first step toward investigating this hypothesis, we used oceanic, atmospheric, and geomagnetic models to assess whether magnetic and chemical cues might plausibly be used by turtles to locate Ascension Island. Results suggest that waterborne and airborne odorants alone are insufficient to guide turtles from Brazil to Ascension, but might permit localization of the island once turtles arrive in its vicinity. By contrast, magnetic cues might lead turtles into the vicinity of the island, but would not typically permit its localization because the field shifts gradually over time. Simulations reveal, however, that the sequential use of magnetic and chemical cues can potentially provide a robust navigational strategy for locating Ascension Island. Specifically, one strategy that appears viable is following a magnetic isoline into the vicinity of Ascension Island until an odor plume emanating from the island is encountered, after which turtles might either: (1) initiate a search strategy; or (2) follow the plume to its island source. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that sea turtles, and perhaps other marine animals, use a multi-modal navigational strategy for locating remote islands.

  17. Multi-modal homing in sea turtles: modeling dual use of geomagnetic and chemical cues in island-finding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Courtney S Endres

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Sea turtles are capable of navigating across large expanses of ocean to arrive at remote islands for nesting, but how they do so has remained enigmatic. An interesting example involves green turtles (Chelonia mydas that nest on Ascension Island, a tiny land mass located approximately 2000 km from the turtles' foraging grounds along the coast of Brazil. Sensory cues that turtles are known to detect, and which might hypothetically be used to help locate Ascension Island, include the geomagnetic field, airborne odorants, and waterborne odorants. One possibility is that turtles use magnetic cues to arrive in the vicinity of the island, then use chemical cues to pinpoint its location. As a first step toward investigating this hypothesis, we used oceanic, atmospheric, and geomagnetic models to assess whether magnetic and chemical cues might plausibly be used by turtles to locate Ascension Island. Results suggest that waterborne and airborne odorants alone are insufficient to guide turtles from Brazil to Ascension, but might permit localization of the island once turtles arrive in its vicinity. By contrast, magnetic cues might lead turtles into the vicinity of the island, but would not typically permit its localization because the field shifts gradually over time. Simulations reveal, however, that the sequential use of magnetic and chemical cues can potentially provide a robust navigational strategy for locating Ascension Island. Specifically, one strategy that appears viable is following a magnetic isoline into the vicinity of Ascension Island until an odor plume emanating from the island is encountered, after which turtles might either: (1 initiate a search strategy; or (2 follow the plume to its island source. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that sea turtles, and perhaps other marine animals, use a multi-modal navigational strategy for locating remote islands.

  18. An unsuccessful attempt to elicit orientation responses to linearly polarized light in hatchling loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mäthger, Lydia M; Lohmann, Kenneth J; Limpus, Colin J; Fritsches, Kerstin A

    2011-03-12

    Sea turtles undertake long migrations in the open ocean, during which they rely at least partly on magnetic cues for navigation. In principle, sensitivity to polarized light might be an additional sensory capability that aids navigation. Furthermore, polarization sensitivity has been linked to ultraviolet (UV) light perception which is present in sea turtles. Here, we tested the ability of hatchling loggerheads (Caretta caretta) to maintain a swimming direction in the presence of broad-spectrum polarized light. At the start of each trial, hatchling turtles, with their magnetic sense temporarily impaired by magnets, successfully established a steady course towards a light-emitting diode (LED) light source while the polarized light field was present. When the LED was removed, however, hatchlings failed to maintain a steady swimming direction, even though the polarized light field remained. Our results have failed to provide evidence for polarized light perception in young sea turtles and suggest that alternative cues guide the initial migration offshore.

  19. Conservation hotspots for the turtles on the high seas of the Atlantic Ocean.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hsiang-Wen Huang

    Full Text Available Understanding the distribution of bycaught sea turtles could inform conservation strategies and priorities. This research analyses the distribution of turtles caught as longline fisheries bycatch on the high seas of the Atlantic Ocean. This research collected 18,142 bycatch observations and 47.1 million hooks from large-scale Taiwanese longline vessels in the Atlantic Ocean from June 2002 to December 2013. The coverage rates were ranged from 0.48% to 17.54% by year. Seven hundred and sixty-seven turtles were caught, and the major species were leatherback (59.8%, olive ridley (27.1% and loggerhead turtles (8.7%. Most olive ridley (81.7% and loggerhead (82.1% turtles were hooked, while the leatherbacks were both hooked (44.0% and entangled (31.8%. Depending on the species, 21.4% to 57.7% were dead when brought onboard. Most of the turtles were caught in tropical areas, especially in the Gulf of Guinea (15°N-10°S, 30°W-10°E, but loggerheads were caught in the south Atlantic Ocean (25°S-35°S, 40°W-10°E and 30°S-40°S, 55°W-45°W. The bycatch rate was the highest at 0.030 per 1000 hooks for leatherbacks in the tropical area. The bycatch rates of olive ridley ranged from 0 to 0.010 per thousand hooks. The loggerhead bycatch rates were higher in the northern and southern Atlantic Ocean and ranged from 0.0128 to 0.0239 per thousand hooks. Due to the characteristics of the Taiwanese deep-set longline fleet, bycatch rates were lower than those of coastal longline fisheries, but mortality rates were higher because of the long hours of operation. Gear and bait modification should be considered to reduce sea turtle bycatch and increase survival rates while reducing the use of shallow hooks would also be helpful.

  20. Conservation Hotspots for the Turtles on the High Seas of the Atlantic Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Hsiang-Wen

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the distribution of bycaught sea turtles could inform conservation strategies and priorities. This research analyses the distribution of turtles caught as longline fisheries bycatch on the high seas of the Atlantic Ocean. This research collected 18,142 bycatch observations and 47.1 million hooks from large-scale Taiwanese longline vessels in the Atlantic Ocean from June 2002 to December 2013. The coverage rates were ranged from 0.48% to 17.54% by year. Seven hundred and sixty-seven turtles were caught, and the major species were leatherback (59.8%), olive ridley (27.1%) and loggerhead turtles (8.7%). Most olive ridley (81.7%) and loggerhead (82.1%) turtles were hooked, while the leatherbacks were both hooked (44.0%) and entangled (31.8%). Depending on the species, 21.4% to 57.7% were dead when brought onboard. Most of the turtles were caught in tropical areas, especially in the Gulf of Guinea (15°N-10°S, 30°W-10°E), but loggerheads were caught in the south Atlantic Ocean (25°S-35°S, 40°W-10°E and 30°S-40°S, 55°W-45°W). The bycatch rate was the highest at 0.030 per 1000 hooks for leatherbacks in the tropical area. The bycatch rates of olive ridley ranged from 0 to 0.010 per thousand hooks. The loggerhead bycatch rates were higher in the northern and southern Atlantic Ocean and ranged from 0.0128 to 0.0239 per thousand hooks. Due to the characteristics of the Taiwanese deep-set longline fleet, bycatch rates were lower than those of coastal longline fisheries, but mortality rates were higher because of the long hours of operation. Gear and bait modification should be considered to reduce sea turtle bycatch and increase survival rates while reducing the use of shallow hooks would also be helpful. PMID:26267796

  1. Conservation hotspots for the turtles on the high seas of the Atlantic Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Hsiang-Wen

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the distribution of bycaught sea turtles could inform conservation strategies and priorities. This research analyses the distribution of turtles caught as longline fisheries bycatch on the high seas of the Atlantic Ocean. This research collected 18,142 bycatch observations and 47.1 million hooks from large-scale Taiwanese longline vessels in the Atlantic Ocean from June 2002 to December 2013. The coverage rates were ranged from 0.48% to 17.54% by year. Seven hundred and sixty-seven turtles were caught, and the major species were leatherback (59.8%), olive ridley (27.1%) and loggerhead turtles (8.7%). Most olive ridley (81.7%) and loggerhead (82.1%) turtles were hooked, while the leatherbacks were both hooked (44.0%) and entangled (31.8%). Depending on the species, 21.4% to 57.7% were dead when brought onboard. Most of the turtles were caught in tropical areas, especially in the Gulf of Guinea (15°N-10°S, 30°W-10°E), but loggerheads were caught in the south Atlantic Ocean (25°S-35°S, 40°W-10°E and 30°S-40°S, 55°W-45°W). The bycatch rate was the highest at 0.030 per 1000 hooks for leatherbacks in the tropical area. The bycatch rates of olive ridley ranged from 0 to 0.010 per thousand hooks. The loggerhead bycatch rates were higher in the northern and southern Atlantic Ocean and ranged from 0.0128 to 0.0239 per thousand hooks. Due to the characteristics of the Taiwanese deep-set longline fleet, bycatch rates were lower than those of coastal longline fisheries, but mortality rates were higher because of the long hours of operation. Gear and bait modification should be considered to reduce sea turtle bycatch and increase survival rates while reducing the use of shallow hooks would also be helpful.

  2. Hydrodynamic stability in posthatchling loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and green (Chelonia mydas) sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dougherty, Erin; Rivera, Gabriel; Blob, Richard; Wyneken, Jeanette

    2010-05-01

    Swimming animals may experience a wide range of destabilizing forces resulting from the movements of their propulsors. These forces often cause movements in directions other than the intended trajectory (i.e., recoil motions), potentially increasing locomotor costs. We quantified rectilinear swimming stability for posthatchling loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and green turtles (Chelonia mydas). Sea turtles predominantly swim via "aquatic flight", which is characterized by synchronous dorsoventral flapping of their forelimbs. We tested four predictions about the effects of "aquatic flight" on stability: (1) it would produce little lateral recoil; (2) lateral recoil motions would be non-cyclic; (3) vertical recoil motions would be larger than lateral recoil motions; and (4) vertical recoil motions would be cyclic. Additionally, because posthatchling loggerheads possess dorsal keels on the shell that are absent in green turtles, we evaluated whether such keels might improve stability in swimming turtles. While our expectations for patterns of cyclicity in recoil motions (predictions 2 and 4) were met, our expectations for differences in their absolute and relative magnitudes (predictions 1 and 3) were not. We suggest that lateral recoil motions were greater than predicted due to slight asynchronies between the motions of the left and right foreflippers. Additionally, although minimum lateral recoil motions were smaller than minimum vertical recoil motions, maximum recoil motions were greater in the lateral direction, so that average recoil did not differ significantly between these directions. Finally, because loggerheads did not display higher levels of stability compared to green turtles, there is little evidence to support a stabilizing role for dorsal keels in loggerhead turtles.

  3. Attitudes and local ecological knowledge of experts fishermen in relation to conservation and bycatch of sea turtles (reptilia: testudines), Southern Bahia, Brazil

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Braga, Heitor de Oliveira; Schiavetti, Alexandre

    2013-01-01

    ... the political management of natural resources and conservation strategies. From this perspective, this study investigates fishermen's ecological knowledge about sea turtles and attitudes towards the conservation and bycatch...

  4. Report of the Expert Consultation on Interactions between Sea Turtles and Fisheries within an Ecosystem Context, Rome, Italy, 9-12 March 2004

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    2004-01-01

    This information paper provides a summary of the Consultation's outcomes and outputs, including overviews of sea turtle status, fisheries impacts, possible managerial solutions, socio-economic aspects...

  5. Discovery of a novel single-stranded DNA virus from a sea turtle fibropapilloma by using viral metagenomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, Terry Fei Fan; Manire, Charles; Borrowman, Kelly; Langer, Tammy; Ehrhart, Llewellyn; Breitbart, Mya

    2009-03-01

    Viral metagenomics, consisting of viral particle purification and shotgun sequencing, is a powerful technique for discovering viruses associated with diseases with no definitive etiology, viruses that share limited homology with known viruses, or viruses that are not culturable. Here we used viral metagenomics to examine viruses associated with sea turtle fibropapillomatosis (FP), a debilitating neoplastic disease affecting sea turtles worldwide. By means of purifying and shotgun sequencing the viral community directly from the fibropapilloma of a Florida green sea turtle, a novel single-stranded DNA virus, sea turtle tornovirus 1 (STTV1), was discovered. The single-stranded, circular genome of STTV1 was approximately 1,800 nucleotides in length. STTV1 has only weak amino acid level identities (25%) to chicken anemia virus in short regions of its genome; hence, STTV1 may represent the first member of a novel virus family. A total of 35 healthy turtles and 27 turtles with FP were tested for STTV1 using PCR, and only 2 turtles severely afflicted with FP were positive. The affected turtles were systemically infected with STTV1, since STTV1 was found in blood and all major organs. STTV1 exists as a quasispecies, with several genome variants identified in the fibropapilloma of each positive turtle, suggesting rapid evolution of this virus. The STTV1 variants were identical over the majority of their genomes but contained a hypervariable region with extensive divergence. This study demonstrates the potential of viral metagenomics for discovering novel viruses directly from animal tissue, which can enhance our understanding of viral evolution and diversity.

  6. First application of comet assay in blood cells of Mediterranean loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caliani, Ilaria; Campani, Tommaso; Giannetti, Matteo; Marsili, Letizia; Casini, Silvia; Fossi, Maria Cristina

    2014-05-01

    The aim of this study was to validate the comet assay in erythrocytes of Caretta caretta, a species never investigated for genotoxicity. We studied 31 loggerhead sea turtles from three Italian marine rescue centres. Peripheral blood samples were collected from all the animals and the comet assay applied. All comet cells were analysed using two methods: visual scoring and computer image analysis. The % DNA in tail mean value ± SD and Damage Index were 21.56 ± 15.41 and 134.83 ± 94.12, respectively. A strong and statistically significant statistically correlation between the two analytical methods was observed (r = 0.95; p comet assay is a useful method to detect the possible effects of genotoxic agents in loggerhead sea turtle and to increase the knowledge about the ecotoxicological health status of this threatened species.

  7. Predicting the distribution of oceanic-stage Kemp's ridley sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putman, Nathan F; Mansfield, Katherine L; He, Ruoying; Shaver, Donna J; Verley, Philippe

    2013-10-23

    The inaccessibility of open ocean habitat and the cryptic nature of small animals are fundamental problems when assessing the distribution of oceanic-stage sea turtles and other marine animals sharing similar life-history traits. Most methods that estimate patterns of abundance cannot be applied in situations that are extremely data limited. Here, we use a movement ecology framework to generate the first predicted distributions for the oceanic stage of the Kemp's ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii). Our simulations of particle dispersal within ocean circulation models reveal substantial annual variation in distribution and survival among simulated cohorts. Such techniques can help prioritize areas for conservation, and supply inputs for more realistic demographic models attempting to characterize population trends.

  8. Intestinal candidiasis in a loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta): an immunohistochemical study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orós, J; Arencibia, A; Fernández, L; Jensen, H E

    2004-03-01

    Post mortem examination of a juvenile loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) stranded in the Canary Islands revealed a fishing-line in the small intestine. Histologically, severe necrotic enteritis, multiple haemorrhages, and marked oedema of the intestinal submucosa were observed. Yeast cells and fungal hyphae were seen in the lamina propria of the intestinal mucosa and in the connective tissue of the submucosa. Because fungal cultures were not taken at the time of necropsy, an immunohistochemical study was performed in order to identify the fungus involved. Specific monoclonal and heterologously absorbed polyclonal antibodies served as the primary reagents for identification of aspergillosis, candidiasis, fusariosis, geotricosis, scedosporiosis, and zygomycosis, using an indirect immunofluorescence staining technique. The fungal elements were strongly stained only by a polyclonal antibody against Candida albicans and a monoclonal antibody against C. albicans. There are no known previous reports of Candida sp. causing skin disease or systemic mycotic infection in sea turtles.

  9. Assessment of hemoglobin binding protein in loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) undergoing rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dickey, Meranda; Cray, Carolyn; Norton, Terry; Murray, Maureen; Barysauskas, Constance; Arheart, Kristopher L; Nelson, Steven; Rodriguez, Marilyn

    2014-09-01

    The acute phase response is an important component of the early reaction of the immune system to insults including infection, inflammation, trauma, neoplasia, and stress. Acute phase proteins are valuable prognostic indicators in many mammalian species but have been poorly studied in reptiles thus far. This study examined 18 paired samples from loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) for changes observed during the rehabilitation period. Analyses performed included packed cell volume (PCV), hemoglobin binding protein, and plasma protein electrophoresis. Significant differences were observed in all of the protein electrophoresis values. Notably, the concentration of hemoglobin binding protein (as determined by a haptoglobin assay) increased in conjunction with rising total protein (by refractometry) and PCV. The results indicate that this assay may have the potential to be a useful tool in assessing the health of sea turtles.

  10. Vitellogenin (VTG) conservation in sea turtles: anti-VTG antibody in Chelonia mydas versus Caretta caretta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaccaroni, Annalisa; Zucchini, Marina; Segatta, Lorenzo; Gamberoni, Matteo; Freggi, Daniela; Accorsi, Pier A; Scaravelli, Dino; Gardner, Susan C

    2010-01-01

    Vitellogenin (VTG) is considered as a marker of endocrine disruption. A Western blot method for VTG quantification in Caretta caretta turtle plasma was developed using anti-VTG antibody for Chelonia mydas. A screening of samples (n = 61) collected in the southern Mediterranean Sea around Lampedusa Island, Italy, was performed. The antibody showed a good cross-reactivity with C. caretta VTG, suggesting a certain conservation of the core of the protein in different sea turtle species. The optimal operative condition for Western blot analysis consists of using diluted plasma at 1:50. In field samples, a certain mismatch with morphological sexing was observed, and VTG was detected in young animals. These results suggest the possibility of a precocious activation of VTG-encoding genes before sexual maturation and/or exposure to endocrine disrupter substances.

  11. Validation of ultrasound as a noninvasive tool to measure subcutaneous fat depth in leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Heather S.; Benson, Scott R.; James, Michael C.; Martin, Kelly J.; Stacy, Brian A.; Daoust, Pierre-Yves; Rist, Paul M.; Work, Thierry M.; Balazs, George H.; Seminoff, Jeffrey A.

    2016-01-01

    Leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) undergo substantial cyclical changes in body condition between foraging and nesting. Ultrasonography has been used to measure subcutaneous fat as an indicator of body condition in many species but has not been applied in sea turtles. To validate this technique in leatherback turtles, ultrasound images were obtained from 36 live-captured and dead-stranded immature and adult turtles from foraging and nesting areas in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Ultrasound measurements were compared with direct measurements from surgical biopsy or necropsy. Tissue architecture was confirmed histologically in a subset of turtles. The dorsal shoulder region provided the best site for differentiation of tissues. Maximum fat depth values with the front flipper in a neutral (45–90°) position demonstrated good correlation with direct measurements. Ultrasound-derived fat measurements may be used in the future for quantitative assessment of body condition as an index of health in this critically endangered species.

  12. VALIDATION OF ULTRASOUND AS A NONINVASIVE TOOL TO MEASURE SUBCUTANEOUS FAT DEPTH IN LEATHERBACK SEA TURTLES (DERMOCHELYS CORIACEA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Heather S; Benson, Scott R; James, Michael C; Martin, Kelly J; Stacy, Brian A; Daoust, Pierre-Yves; Rist, Paul M; Work, Thierry M; Balazs, George H; Seminoff, Jeffrey A

    2016-03-01

    Leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) undergo substantial cyclical changes in body condition between foraging and nesting. Ultrasonography has been used to measure subcutaneous fat as an indicator of body condition in many species but has not been applied in sea turtles. To validate this technique in leatherback turtles, ultrasound images were obtained from 36 live-captured and dead-stranded immature and adult turtles from foraging and nesting areas in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Ultrasound measurements were compared with direct measurements from surgical biopsy or necropsy. Tissue architecture was confirmed histologically in a subset of turtles. The dorsal shoulder region provided the best site for differentiation of tissues. Maximum fat depth values with the front flipper in a neutral (45-90°) position demonstrated good correlation with direct measurements. Ultrasound-derived fat measurements may be used in the future for quantitative assessment of body condition as an index of health in this critically endangered species.

  13. Interpreting the spatio-temporal patterns of sea turtle strandings: Going with the flow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, K.M.; Mooreside, P.; Crowder, L.B.

    2006-01-01

    Knowledge of the spatial and temporal distribution of specific mortality sources is crucial for management of species that are vulnerable to human interactions. Beachcast carcasses represent an unknown fraction of at-sea mortalities. While a variety of physical (e.g., water temperature) and biological (e.g., decomposition) factors as well as the distribution of animals and their mortality sources likely affect the probability of carcass stranding, physical oceanography plays a major role in where and when carcasses strand. Here, we evaluate the influence of nearshore physical oceanographic and wind regimes on sea turtle strandings to decipher seasonal trends and make qualitative predictions about stranding patterns along oceanfront beaches. We use results from oceanic drift-bottle experiments to check our predictions and provide an upper limit on stranding proportions. We compare predicted current regimes from a 3D physical oceanographic model to spatial and temporal locations of both sea turtle carcass strandings and drift bottle landfalls. Drift bottle return rates suggest an upper limit for the proportion of sea turtle carcasses that strand (about 20%). In the South Atlantic Bight, seasonal development of along-shelf flow coincides with increased numbers of strandings of both turtles and drift bottles in late spring and early summer. The model also predicts net offshore flow of surface waters during winter - the season with the fewest relative strandings. The drift bottle data provide a reasonable upper bound on how likely carcasses are to reach land from points offshore and bound the general timeframe for stranding post-mortem (strandings follow a seasonal regime predictable from physical oceanography and mimicked by drift bottle experiments. Managers can use these findings to reevaluate incidental strandings limits and fishery takes for both nearshore and offshore mortality sources. ?? 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Disseminated Mycotic Infection Caused by Colletotrichum acutatum in a Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys kempi)

    OpenAIRE

    Manire, Charles A.; Rhinehart, Howard L.; Sutton, Deanna A.; Thompson, Elizabeth H.; Rinaldi, Michael G.; Buck, John D.; Jacobson, Elliott

    2002-01-01

    Colletotrichum acutatum is a cosmopolitan plant pathogen with a wide host range. While the organism's phytopathogenic potential has been well documented, it has never been reported as an etiologic agent of disease in either animals or humans. In this case, a juvenile Kemp's ridley sea turtle, Lepidochelys kempi, probably with immune compromise following cold stunning (extended hypothermia), developed a disseminated mycotic infection in the lungs and kidneys. Prophylactic treatment with oral i...

  15. Loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta): A target species for monitoring litter ingested by marine organisms in the Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matiddi, Marco; Hochsheid, Sandra; Camedda, Andrea; Baini, Matteo; Cocumelli, Cristiano; Serena, Fabrizio; Tomassetti, Paolo; Travaglini, Andrea; Marra, Stefano; Campani, Tommaso; Scholl, Francesco; Mancusi, Cecilia; Amato, Ezio; Briguglio, Paolo; Maffucci, Fulvio; Fossi, Maria Cristina; Bentivegna, Flegra; de Lucia, Giuseppe Andrea

    2017-06-23

    Marine litter is any persistent, manufactured or processed solid material discarded, disposed of or abandoned in the marine and coastal environment. Ingestion of marine litter can have lethal and sub-lethal effects on wildlife that accidentally ingests it, and sea turtles are particularly susceptible to this threat. The European Commission drafted the 2008/56/EC Marine Strategy Framework Directive with the aim to achieve a Good Environmental Status (GES), and the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta, Linnaeus 1758) was selected for monitoring the amount and composition of litter ingested by marine animals. An analogous decision has been made under the UNEP/MAP Barcelona Convention for the protection of the Mediterranean Sea, following the Ecosystem Approach. This work provides for the first time, two possible scenarios for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive GES, both related to "Trends in the amount and composition of litter ingested by marine animals" in the Mediterranean Sea. The study validates the use of the loggerhead turtle as target indicator for monitoring the impact of litter on marine biota and calls for immediate use of this protocol throughout the Mediterranean basin and European Region. Both GES scenarios are relevant worldwide, where sea turtles and marine litter are present, for measuring the impact of ingested plastics and developing policy strategies to reduce it. In the period between 2011 and 2014, 150 loggerhead sea turtles, found dead, were collected from the Italian Coast, West Mediterranean Sea Sub-Region. The presence of marine litter was investigated using a standardized protocol for necropsies and lab analysis. The collected items were subdivided into 4 main categories, namely, IND-Industrial plastic, USE-User plastic, RUB-Non plastic rubbish, POL-Pollutants and 14 sub-categories, to detect local diversity. Eighty-five percent of the individuals considered (n = 120) were found to have ingested an average of 1.3 ± 0.2 g of

  16. Exertional Myopathy in a Juvenile Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas Entangled in a Large Mesh Gillnet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brianne E. Phillips

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available A juvenile female green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas was found entangled in a large mesh gillnet in Pamlico Sound, NC, and was weak upon presentation for treatment. Blood gas analysis revealed severe metabolic acidosis and hyperlactatemia. Plasma biochemistry analysis showed elevated aspartate aminotransferase and creatine kinase, marked hypercalcemia, hyperphosphatemia, and hyperkalemia. Death occurred within 24 hours of presentation despite treatment with intravenous and subcutaneous fluids and sodium bicarbonate. Necropsy revealed multifocal to diffuse pallor of the superficial and deep pectoral muscles. Mild, multifocal, and acute myofiber necrosis was identified by histopathological examination. While histological changes in the examined muscle were modest, the acid-base, mineral, and electrolyte abnormalities were sufficiently severe to contribute to this animal’s mortality. Exertional myopathy in reptiles has not been well characterized. Sea turtle mortality resulting from forced submergence has been attributed to blood gas derangements and seawater aspiration; however, exertional myopathy may also be an important contributing factor. If possible, sea turtles subjected to incidental capture and entanglement that exhibit weakness or dull mentation should be clinically evaluated prior to release to minimize the risk of delayed mortality. Treatment with appropriate fluid therapy and supportive care may mitigate the effects of exertional myopathy in some cases.

  17. Embryonic sex steroid hormones accumulate in the eggshell of loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobayashi, Shohei; Saito, Yoshimichi; Osawa, Akihisa; Katsumata, Etsuko; Karaki, Isuke; Nagaoka, Kentaro; Taya, Kazuyoshi; Watanabe, Gen

    2015-12-01

    Steroids hormones such as estradiol-17β (E2) and testosterone (T) are involved in gonadal differentiation of oviparous animals with temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD), and are greatly distributed. This hypothesizes that these embryonic steroid hormones probably accumulate in the eggshell throughout blood or/and chorioallantoic fluid in sea turtle species with TSD, producing females at higher temperature. To demonstrate this hypothesis, concentrations of E2 and T in the blood plasma from the hatchling loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) and in their eggshells were measured by radioimmunoassay. In the present study we propose that both concentrations of E2 and T in the blood plasma are correlated with amounts of these sex steroids in the eggshell. Moreover, contents of E2 in the eggshell showed a significant positive correlation with mean incubation temperatures during a thermosensitive period in the experimental nests, whereas T contents in the eggshell did not. Taken together, these findings indicated that embryonic E2 and T that accumulated in the eggshell can be extracted and measured. Furthermore, the present study suggested that contents of E2 in the eggshell may differ between male and female, and monitoring of these steroids is a useful method to identify the sex of loggerhead sea turtle hatchling.

  18. Management of severe head injury with brain exposure in three loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franchini, D; Cavaliere, L; Valastro, C; Carnevali, F; van der Esch, A; Lai, O; Di Bello, A

    2016-05-03

    The loggerhead Caretta caretta is the most common sea turtle in the Mediterranean. Currently, sea turtles are considered endangered, mainly due to the impact of human activities. Among traumatic lesions, those involving the skull, if complicated by brain exposure, are often life-threatening. In these cases, death could be the outcome of direct trauma of the cerebral tissue or of secondary meningoencephalitis. This uncontrolled study aims to evaluate the use of a plant-derived dressing (1 Primary Wound Dressing®) in 3 sea turtles with severe lesions of the skull exposing the brain. Following surgical curettage, the treatment protocol involved exclusive use of the plant-derived dressing applied on the wound surface as the primary dressing, daily for the first month and then every other day until the end of treatment. The wound and peri-wound skin were covered with a simple secondary dressing without any active compound (non-woven gauze with petroleum jelly). Data presented herein show an excellent healing process in all 3 cases and no side effects due to contact of the medication with the cerebral tissue.

  19. Evaluation of immune functions in captive immature loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rousselet, Estelle; Levin, Milton; Gebhard, Erika; Higgins, Benjamin M; DeGuise, Sylvain; Godard-Codding, Céline A J

    2013-11-15

    Sea turtles face numerous environmental challenges, such as exposure to chemical pollution and biotoxins, which may contribute to immune system impairment, resulting in increased disease susceptibility. Therefore, a more thorough assessment of the host's immune response and its susceptibility is needed for these threatened and endangered animals. In this study, the innate and acquired immune functions of sixty-five clinically healthy, immature, captive loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) were assayed using non-lethal blood sample collection. Functional immune assays were developed and/or optimized for this species, including mitogen-induced lymphocyte proliferation, natural killer (NK) cell activity, phagocytosis, and respiratory burst. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and phagocytes were isolated by density gradient centrifugation on Ficoll-Paque and discontinuous Percoll gradients, respectively. The T lymphocyte mitogens ConA significantly induced lymphocyte proliferation at 1 and 2 μg/mL while PHA significantly induced lymphocyte proliferation at 5 and 10 μg/mL. The B lymphocyte mitogen LPS significantly induced proliferation at 1 μg/mL. Monocytes demonstrated higher phagocytic activity than eosinophils. In addition, monocytes exhibited respiratory burst. Natural killer cell activity was higher against YAC-1 than K-562 target cells. These optimized assays may help to evaluate the integrity of loggerhead sea turtle's immune system upon exposure to environmental contaminants, as well as part of a comprehensive health assessment and monitoring program.

  20. Evidence of Fluconazole-Resistant Candida Species in Tortoises and Sea Turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brilhante, Raimunda Sâmia Nogueira; Rodrigues, Pedro Henrique de Aragão; de Alencar, Lucas Pereira; Riello, Giovanna Barbosa; Ribeiro, Joyce Fonteles; de Oliveira, Jonathas Sales; Castelo-Branco, Débora de Souza Collares Maia; Bandeira, Tereza de Jesus Pinheiro Gomes; Monteiro, André Jalles; Rocha, Marcos Fábio Gadelha; Cordeiro, Rossana de Aguiar; Moreira, José Luciano Bezerra; Sidrim, José Júlio Costa

    2015-12-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the antifungal susceptibility of Candida spp. recovered from tortoises (Chelonoidis spp.) and sea turtles (Chelonia mydas, Caretta caretta, Lepidochelys olivacea, Eretmochelys imbricata). For this purpose, material from the oral cavity and cloaca of 77 animals (60 tortoises and 17 sea turtles) was collected. The collected specimens were seeded on 2% Sabouraud dextrose agar with chloramphenicol, and the identification was carried out by morphological and biochemical methods. Sixty-six isolates were recovered from tortoises, out of which 27 were C. tropicalis, 27 C. famata, 7 C. albicans, 4 C. guilliermondii and 1 C. intermedia, whereas 12 strains were obtained from sea turtles, which were identified as Candida parapsilosis (n = 4), Candida guilliermondii (n = 4), Candida tropicalis (n = 2), Candida albicans (n = 1) and Candida intermedia (n = 1). The minimum inhibitory concentrations for amphotericin B, itraconazole and fluconazole ranged from 0.03125 to 0.5, 0.03125 to >16 and 0.125 to >64, respectively. Overall, 19 azole-resistant strains (14 C. tropicalis and 5 C. albicans) were found. Thus, this study shows that Testudines carry azole-resistant Candida spp.

  1. Different male versus female breeding periodicity helps mitigate offspring sex ratio skews in sea turtles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Graeme Clive Hays

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The implications of climate change for global biodiversity may be profound with those species with little capacity for adaptation being thought to be particularly vulnerable to warming. A classic case of groups for concern are those animals exhibiting temperature-dependent sex-determination (TSD, such as sea turtles, where climate warming may produce single sex populations and hence extinction. We show that, globally, female biased hatchling sex ratios dominate sea turtle populations (exceeding 3:1 in >50% records, which, at-a-glance, reiterates concerns for extinction. However, we also demonstrate that more frequent breeding by males, empirically shown by satellite tracking 23 individuals and supported by a generalized bio-energetic life history model, generates more balanced operational sex ratios (OSRs. Hence, concerns of increasingly skewed hatchling sex ratios and reduced population viability are less acute than previously thought for sea turtles. In fact, in some scenarios skewed hatchling sex ratios in groups with TSD may be adaptive to ensure optimum OSRs.

  2. Use of Dry Tortugas National Park by threatened and endangered marine turtles: Chapter 5

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Kristin M.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Sartain-Iverson, Autumn R.

    2012-01-01

    Satellite and acoustic tracking results for green turtles, hawksbills, and loggerheads have revealed patterns in the proportion of time that tagged turtles spend within various zones of the park, including the RNA. Green turtles primarily utilize the shallow areas in the northern portion of the park. Hawksbills were mostly observed near Garden Key and loggerheads were observed throughout DRTO. Our record of turtle captures, recaptures, and sightings over the last 4 years serves as a baseline database for understanding the size classes of each species present in the park, as well as species-specific habitats in DRTO waters.

  3. Orientation behaviour of leatherback sea turtles within the North Atlantic subtropical gyre.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dodge, Kara L; Galuardi, Benjamin; Lutcavage, Molly E

    2015-04-07

    Leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) travel thousands of kilometres between temperate feeding and tropical breeding/over-wintering grounds, with adult turtles able to pinpoint specific nesting beaches after multi-year absences. Their extensive migrations often occur in oceanic habitat where limited known sensory information is available to aid in orientation. Here, we examined the migratory orientation of adult male, adult female and subadult leatherbacks during their open-ocean movements within the North Atlantic subtropical gyre by analysing satellite-derived tracks from fifteen individuals over a 2-year period. To determine the turtles' true headings, we corrected the reconstructed tracks for current drift and found negligible differences between current-corrected and observed tracks within the gyre. Individual leatherback headings were remarkably consistent throughout the subtropical gyre, with turtles significantly oriented to the south-southeast. Adult leatherbacks of both sexes maintained similar mean headings and showed greater orientation precision overall. The consistent headings maintained by adult and subadult leatherbacks within the gyre suggest use of a common compass sense. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  4. Morbidity in a juvenile green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) due to ocean-borne plastic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stamper, M Andrew; Spicer, Chad W; Neiffer, Donald L; Mathews, Kristin S; Fleming, Gregory J

    2009-03-01

    An emaciated 2.36-kg juvenile green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas, was found floating off of Melbourne Beach, Florida, USA (28 degrees 2'4"N, 80 degrees 32'32"W). The turtle exhibited signs of cachexia, positive buoyancy, lethargy, and obstipation; was covered with barnacles; and was anorexic at the time of presentation. Dorsal-ventral radiographs with positive contrast confirmed obstruction of the gastrointestinal tract. Serum chemistry abnormalities reflected metabolic/nutritional deficiencies. Gastrointestinal prokinetics and oral/enema mineral oil applications were effective in relieving gastrointestinal obstruction with the turtle defecating a total of 74 foreign objects over a period of a month. After the removal of the foreign material, the turtle quickly regained normal behavior and health. The lack of blood parameters demonstrating infection or inflammation; the failure to respond to antibiotic and antifungal treatment as well as the parallel improvement in behavior and health after incremental evacuation of the plastic is highly suggestive of a cause and effect association.

  5. Are we working towards global research priorities for management and conservation of sea turtles?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rees, A.F.; Alfaro-Shigueto, J.; Barata, P. C. R.; Bjorndal, K. A.; Bolten, A.B.; Bourjea, J.; Broderick, A.C.; Campbell, L.M.; Cardona, L.; Carreras, C.; Casale, P.; Ceriani, S.A.; Dutton, P.H.; Eguchi, T.; Formia, A.; Fuentes, M. M. P. B.; Fuller, W. J.; Girondot, M.; Godfrey, M. H.; Hamann, M.; Hart, Kristen M.; Hays, G.C.; Hochscheid, S.; Jensen, M.P.; Kaska, Y.; Mangel, J.C.; Mortimer, J.A.; Naro-Maciel, E.; Ng, C.K.Y.; Nichols, W.J.; Phillott, A.D.; Reina, R. D.; Revuelta, O.; Schofield, G.; Seminoff, J.A.; Shanker, K.; Tomás, J.; Van Houtan, K.S.; van de Merwe, J.; Vander Zanden, H.B.; Wallace, B. P.; Wedemeyer-Strombel, K. R.; Work, Thierry M.; Godley, B.J.

    2016-01-01

    In 2010, an international group of 35 sea turtle researchers refined an initial list of more than 200 research questions into 20 metaquestions that were considered key for management and conservation of sea turtles. These were classified under 5 categories: reproductive biology, biogeography, population ecology, threats and conservation strategies. To obtain a picture of how research is being focused towards these key questions, we undertook a systematic review of the peer-reviewed literature (2014 and 2015) attributing papers to the original 20 questions. In total, we reviewed 605 articles in full and from these 355 (59%) were judged to substantively address the 20 key questions, with others focusing on basic science and monitoring. Progress to answering the 20 questions was not uniform, and there were biases regarding focal turtle species, geographic scope and publication outlet. Whilst it offers some meaningful indications as to effort, quantifying peer-reviewed literature output is obviously not the only, and possibly not the best, metric for understanding progress towards informing key conservation and management goals. Along with the literature review, an international group based on the original project consortium was assigned to critically summarise recent progress towards answering each of the 20 questions. We found that significant research is being expended towards global priorities for management and conservation of sea turtles. Although highly variable, there has been significant progress in all the key questions identified in 2010. Undertaking this critical review has highlighted that it may be timely to undertake one or more new prioritizing exercises. For this to have maximal benefit we make a range of recommendations for its execution. These include a far greater engagement with social sciences, widening the pool of contributors and focussing the questions, perhaps disaggregating ecology and conservation.

  6. Are we working towards global research priorities for management and conservation of sea turtles?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rees, A.F.; Alfaro-Shigueto, J.; Barata, P.C.R.; Bjorndal, K.A.; Bolten, A.B.; Bourjea, J.; Broderick, A.C.; Campbell, L.M.; Cardona, L.; Carreras, C.; Casale, P.; Ceriani, S.A.; Dutton, P.H.; Eguchi, T.; Formia, A.; Fuentes, M.M.P.B.; Fuller, W.J.; Girondot, M.; Godfrey, M.H.; Hamann, M.; Hart, Kristen M.; Hays, G.C.; Hochscheid, S.; Kaska, Y.; Jensen, M.P.; Mangel, J.C.; Mortimer, J.A.; Naro-Maciel, E.; Ng, C.K.Y.; Nichols, W.J.; Phillott, A.D.; Reina, R.D.; Revuelta, O.; Schofield, G.; Seminoff, J.A.; Shanker, K.; Tomás, J.; van de Merwe, J.P.; Van Houtan, K.S.; Vander Zanden, H.B.; Wallace, B.P.; Wedemeyer-Strombel, K.R.; Work, Thierry M.; Godley, B.J.

    2016-01-01

    In 2010, an international group of 35 sea turtle researchers refined an initial list of more than 200 research questions into 20 metaquestions that were considered key for management and conservation of sea turtles. These were classified under 5 categories: reproductive biology, biogeography, population ecology, threats and conservation strategies. To obtain a picture of how research is being focused towards these key questions, we undertook a systematic review of the peer-reviewed literature (2014 and 2015) attributing papers to the original 20 questions. In total, we reviewed 605 articles in full and from these 355 (59%) were judged to substantively address the 20 key questions, with others focusing on basic science and monitoring. Progress to answering the 20 questions was not uniform, and there were biases regarding focal turtle species, geographic scope and publication outlet. Whilst it offers some meaningful indications as to effort, quantifying peer-reviewed literature output is obviously not the only, and possibly not the best, metric for understanding progress towards informing key conservation and management goals. Along with the literature review, an international group based on the original project consortium was assigned to critically summarise recent progress towards answering each of the 20 questions. We found that significant research is being expended towards global priorities for management and conservation of sea turtles. Although highly variable, there has been significant progress in all the key questions identified in 2010. Undertaking this critical review has highlighted that it may be timely to undertake one or more new prioritizing exercises. For this to have maximal benefit we make a range of recommendations for its execution. These include a far greater engagement with social sciences, widening the pool of contributors and focussing the questions, perhaps disaggregating ecology and conservation.

  7. Intestinal and cloacal strictures in free-ranging and aquarium-maintained green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erlacher-Reid, Claire D; Norton, Terry M; Harms, Craig A; Thompson, Rachel; Reese, David J; Walsh, Michael T; Stamper, M Andrew

    2013-06-01

    Intestinal or cloacal strictures that resulted in intestinal obstruction were diagnosed in six green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) from three rehabilitation facilities and two zoologic parks. The etiologies of the strictures were unknown in these cases. It is likely that anatomic adaptations of the gastrointestinal tract unique to the green sea turtle's herbivorous diet, paired with causes of reduced intestinal motility, may predispose the species to intestinal damage and subsequent obstructive intestinal disease. In aquarium-maintained green sea turtles, obesity, diet, reduced physical activity, chronic intestinal disease, and inappropriate or inadequate antibiotics might also be potential contributing factors. Clinical, radiographic, and hematologic abnormalities common among most of these sea turtles include the following: positive buoyancy; lethargy; inappetence; regurgitation; obstipation; dilated bowel and accumulation of oral contrast material; anemia; hypoglycemia; hypoalbuminemia; hypocalcemia; and elevated creatine kinase, aspartate aminotransferase, and blood urea nitrogen. Although these abnormalities are nonspecific with many possible contributing factors, intestinal disease, including strictures, should be considered a differential in green sea turtles that demonstrate all or a combination of these clinical findings. Although diagnostic imaging, including radiographs, computed tomography, or magnetic resonance imaging, are important in determining a cause for suspected gastrointestinal disease and identifying an anatomic location of obstruction, intestinal strictures were not successfully identified when using these imaging modalities. Lower gastrointestinal contrast radiography, paired with the use of oral contrast, was useful in identifying the suspected site of intestinal obstruction in two cases. Colonoscopy was instrumental in visually diagnosing intestinal stricture in one case. Therefore, lower gastrointestinal contrast radiography and

  8. Riding on the fast lane: how sea turtles behave in post-nesting migration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Y.-H.; Cheng, I.-J.; Centurioni, L.

    2014-07-01

    Sea turtles are known as powerful swimmers. How do they behave when riding in strong currents during their migrations? In this study, three, satellite-tagged, post-nesting green turtles travelled from Lanyu Island, east of Taiwan, partly within the Kuroshio to their foraging sites approximately 1000 km away in the Ryukyu Archipelago. Their swimming behaviors were analyzed by comparing their migration velocities estimated from Argos tag data with ocean currents derived from a data simulation model and from AVISO advection estimates. Results suggest that the turtles take advantage of Kuroshio during the initial portion of their migration routes. They must then make a great effort to swim eastward, at speeds over 1 m s-1, toward their foraging sites to avoid being carried off course by the strong current. The cues that might cause the change in swimming direction were evaluated with a Principle Component Analysis. The factors considered are ambient current velocity, wind, eddy activity (vorticity), magnetic field (latitude) and water temperature. The analysis shows that the ambient current and water temperature are negatively correlated with the eastward swimming velocity. This suggests that the changes in ocean current and a drop of water temperature, likely due to eddies impinging on the Kuroshio, may trigger the eastward swimming. Despite the differences among migratory routes of three Argos-tagged turtles after leaving the Kuroshio, they all reached foraging sites in the same general area. That suggests there may be more complex cues that guide the turtles to their foraging sites during their post-nesting migrations.

  9. Persistent organic pollutants in fat of three species of Pacific pelagic longline caught sea turtles: Accumulation in relation to ingested plastic marine debris

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clukey, Katharine; Lepczyk, Christopher A.; Balazs, George H.; Work, Thierry M.; Li, Qing X.; Bachman, Melanie J.; Lynch, Jennifer M.

    2017-01-01

    In addition to eating contaminated prey, sea turtles may be exposed to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) from ingesting plastic debris that has absorbed these chemicals. Given the limited knowledge about POPs in pelagic sea turtles and how plastic ingestion influences POP exposure, our objectives were to: 1) provide baseline contaminant levels of three species of pelagic Pacific sea turtles; and 2) assess trends of contaminant levels in relation to species, sex, length, body condition and capture location. In addition, we hypothesized that if ingesting plastic is a significant source of POP exposure, then the amount of ingested plastic may be correlated to POP concentrations accumulated in fat. To address our objectives we compared POP concentrations in fat samples to previously described amounts of ingested plastic from the same turtles. Fat samples from 25 Pacific pelagic sea turtles [2 loggerhead (Caretta caretta), 6 green (Chelonia mydas) and 17 olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) turtles] were analyzed for 81 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), 20 organochlorine pesticides, and 35 brominated flame-retardants. The olive ridley and loggerhead turtles had higher ΣDDTs (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane and metabolites) than ΣPCBs, at a ratio similar to biota measured in the South China Sea and southern California. Green turtles had a ratio close to 1:1. These pelagic turtles had lower POP levels than previously reported in nearshore turtles. POP concentrations were unrelated to the amounts of ingested plastic in olive ridleys, suggesting that their exposure to POPs is mainly through prey. In green turtles, concentrations of ΣPCBs were positively correlated with the number of plastic pieces ingested, but these findings were confounded by covariance with body condition index (BCI). Green turtles with a higher BCI had eaten more plastic and also had higher POPs. Taken together, our findings suggest that sea turtles accumulate most POPs through their prey rather

  10. Persistent organic pollutants in fat of three species of Pacific pelagic longline caught sea turtles: Accumulation in relation to ingested plastic marine debris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clukey, Katharine E; Lepczyk, Christopher A; Balazs, George H; Work, Thierry M; Li, Qing X; Bachman, Melannie J; Lynch, Jennifer M

    2017-08-11

    In addition to eating contaminated prey, sea turtles may be exposed to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) from ingesting plastic debris that has absorbed these chemicals. Given the limited knowledge about POPs in pelagic sea turtles and how plastic ingestion influences POP exposure, our objectives were to: 1) provide baseline contaminant levels of three species of pelagic Pacific sea turtles; and 2) assess trends of contaminant levels in relation to species, sex, length, body condition and capture location. In addition, we hypothesized that if ingesting plastic is a significant source of POP exposure, then the amount of ingested plastic may be correlated to POP concentrations accumulated in fat. To address our objectives we compared POP concentrations in fat samples to previously described amounts of ingested plastic from the same turtles. Fat samples from 25 Pacific pelagic sea turtles [2 loggerhead (Caretta caretta), 6 green (Chelonia mydas) and 17 olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) turtles] were analyzed for 81 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), 20 organochlorine pesticides, and 35 brominated flame-retardants. The olive ridley and loggerhead turtles had higher ΣDDTs (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane and metabolites) than ΣPCBs, at a ratio similar to biota measured in the South China Sea and southern California. Green turtles had a ratio close to 1:1. These pelagic turtles had lower POP levels than previously reported in nearshore turtles. POP concentrations were unrelated to the amounts of ingested plastic in olive ridleys, suggesting that their exposure to POPs is mainly through prey. In green turtles, concentrations of ΣPCBs were positively correlated with the number of plastic pieces ingested, but these findings were confounded by covariance with body condition index (BCI). Green turtles with a higher BCI had eaten more plastic and also had higher POPs. Taken together, our findings suggest that sea turtles accumulate most POPs through their prey rather

  11. Biomarkers reveal sea turtles remained in oiled areas following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vander Zanden, Hannah B; Bolten, Alan B; Tucker, Anton D; Hart, Kristen M; Lamont, Margaret M; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Reich, Kimberly J; Addison, David S; Mansfield, Katherine L; Phillips, Katrina F; Pajuelo, Mariela; Bjorndal, Karen A

    2016-10-01

    Assessments of large-scale disasters, such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, are problematic because while measurements of post-disturbance conditions are common, measurements of pre-disturbance baselines are only rarely available. Without adequate observations of pre-disaster organismal and environmental conditions, it is impossible to assess the impact of such catastrophes on animal populations and ecological communities. Here, we use long-term biological tissue records to provide pre-disaster data for a vulnerable marine organism. Keratin samples from the carapace of loggerhead sea turtles record the foraging history for up to 18 years, allowing us to evaluate the effect of the oil spill on sea turtle foraging patterns. Samples were collected from 76 satellite-tracked adult loggerheads in 2011 and 2012, approximately one to two years after the spill. Of the 10 individuals that foraged in areas exposed to surface oil, none demonstrated significant changes in foraging patterns post spill. The observed long-term fidelity to foraging sites indicates that loggerheads in the northern Gulf of Mexico likely remained in established foraging sites, regardless of the introduction of oil and chemical dispersants. More research is needed to address potential long-term health consequences to turtles in this region. Mobile marine organisms present challenges for researchers to monitor effects of environmental disasters, both spatially and temporally. We demonstrate that biological tissues can reveal long-term histories of animal behavior and provide critical pre-disaster baselines following an anthropogenic disturbance or natural disaster.

  12. Biomarkers reveal sea turtles remained in oiled areas following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vander Zanden, Hannah B.; Bolten, Alan B.; Tucker, Anton D.; Hart, Kristen M.; Lamont, Margaret M.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Reich, Kimberly J.; Addison, David S.; Mansfield, Katherine L.; Phillips, Katrina F.; Pajuelo, Mariela; Bjorndal, Karen A.

    2016-01-01

    Assessments of large-scale disasters, such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, are problematic because while measurements of post-disturbance conditions are common, measurements of pre-disturbance baselines are only rarely available. Without adequate observations of pre-disaster organismal and environmental conditions, it is impossible to assess the impact of such catastrophes on animal populations and ecological communities. Here, we use long-term biological tissue records to provide pre-disaster data for a vulnerable marine organism. Keratin samples from the carapace of loggerhead sea turtles record the foraging history for up to 18 years, allowing us to evaluate the effect of the oil spill on sea turtle foraging patterns. Samples were collected from 76 satellite-tracked adult loggerheads in 2011 and 2012, approximately one to two years after the spill. Of the 10 individuals that foraged in areas exposed to surface oil, none demonstrated significant changes in foraging patterns post spill. The observed long-term fidelity to foraging sites indicates that loggerheads in the northern Gulf of Mexico likely remained in established foraging sites, regardless of the introduction of oil and chemical dispersants. More research is needed to address potential long-term health consequences to turtles in this region. Mobile marine organisms present challenges for researchers to monitor effects of environmental disasters, both spatially and temporally. We demonstrate that biological tissues can reveal long-term histories of animal behavior and provide critical pre-disaster baselines following an anthropogenic disturbance or natural disaster.

  13. Acid-Base and Plasma Biochemical Changes Using Crystalloid Fluids in Stranded Juvenile Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Caretta caretta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camacho, María; Quintana, María Del Pino; Calabuig, Pascual; Luzardo, Octavio P; Boada, Luis D; Zumbado, Manuel; Orós, Jorge

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy and effects on acid-base and electrolyte status of several crystalloid fluids in 57 stranded juvenile loggerhead turtles. Within a rehabilitation program four different crystalloid fluids were administered (0.9% Na Cl solution; 5% dextrose + 0.9% Na Cl solutions 1:1; 0.9% Na Cl + lactated Ringer's solutions 1:1; lactated Ringer's solution). Crystalloid fluids were intracoelomically administered during three days (20 ml/kg/day). Animals were sampled at three different moments: Upon admission for evaluating the type of acid-base or biochemical disorder, post-fluid therapy treatment for controlling the evolution of the disorder, and post-recovery period for obtaining the baseline values for rehabilitated loggerhead turtles. Each sample was analyzed with a portable electronic blood analyzer for pH, pO2, pCO2, lactate, sodium, potassium, chloride, glucose, and BUN concentration. Admission and post-fluid therapy treatment values were compared with those obtained for each turtle immediately before release. The highest percentage of acid-base recovery and electrolyte balance was observed in turtles treated with mixed saline-lactated Ringer's solution (63.6%), followed by turtles treated with physiological saline solution (55%), lactated Ringer's solution (33.3%), and dextrose-saline solutions (10%). Most turtles treated with lactated Ringer's solution had lower lactate concentrations compared with their initial values; however, 66.6% of turtles treated with lactated Ringer's solution had metabolic alkalosis after therapy. Significant higher concentrations of glucose were detected after saline-dextrose administration compared with all the remaining fluids. This is the first study evaluating the effects of several crystalloid fluids on the acid-base status and plasma biochemical values in stranded loggerhead sea turtles. Reference convalescent venous blood gas, acid-base, and plasma biochemical values, useful for veterinary

  14. Proximate response of fish, conch, and sea turtles to the presence of the invasive seagrass Halophila stipulacea in Bonaire

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Becking, L.E.; Bussel, T.; Engel, M.S.; Christianen, M.; Debrot, A.O.

    2014-01-01

    In this report we examined the proximate response of fish assemblages, queen conch, and sea turtles on H. stipulacea meadows in Lac Bay, Bonaire, Caribbean Netherlands. Here we primarily focused on the differences between the invasive species H. stipulacea and the principal species of native sea gra

  15. Proximate response of fish, conch, and sea turtles to the presence of the invasive seagrass Halophila stipulacea in Bonaire

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Becking, L.E.; Bussel, T.; Engel, M.S.; Christianen, M.; Debrot, A.O.

    2014-01-01

    In this report we examined the proximate response of fish assemblages, queen conch, and sea turtles on H. stipulacea meadows in Lac Bay, Bonaire, Caribbean Netherlands. Here we primarily focused on the differences between the invasive species H. stipulacea and the principal species of native sea gra

  16. Cause-specific temporal and spatial trends in green sea turtle strandings in the Hawaiian Archipelago (1982-2003)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaloupka, Milani; Work, Thierry M.; Balazs, George H.; Murakawa, Shawn K. K.; Morris, Robert

    2008-01-01

    We investigated cause-specific temporal and spatial trends in sea turtle strandings in the Hawaiian Archipelago. Five species of sea turtle were recorded in 3,861 strandings over a 22-year period (1982-2003). Green turtles comprised 97% of these strandings with size and gender composition reflecting the demographic structure of the resident green turtle population and relative green turtle abundance in Hawaiian waters. The cause of strandings was determined by necropsy based on a complete gross external and internal examination. Totally 75% of the 3,732 green turtle strandings were from Oahu where strandings occur year-round. The most common known cause of the green turtle strandings was the tumour-forming disease, fibropapillomatosis (28%) followed by hook-and-line fishing gear-induced trauma (7%), gillnet fishing gear-induced trauma (5%), boat strike (2.5%), and shark attack (2.7%). Miscellaneous causes comprised 5.4% of strandings whereas 49% of green turtle strandings could not be attributed to any known cause. Green turtle strandings attributable to boat strike were more likely from Kauai and Oahu while fibropapilloma strandings were more likely from Oahu and Maui. Hook-and-line gear strandings were more likely from Oahu due to higher per capita inshore fishing effort. The specific mortality rate (conditional probability) for fibropapillomatosis was 88%, 69% for gillnet gear and 52% for hook-and-line gear. The probability of a dead green turtle stranding increased from 1982 but levelled off by the mid-1990s. The declining mortality risk was because the prevalence and severity of fibropapillomatosis has decreased recently and so has the mortality risk attributable to gillnet gear. Despite exposure to disease and inshore fishing gears, the Hawaiian green turtle stock continues to recover following protection since the late 1970s. Nevertheless, measures to reduce incidental capture of sea turtles in coastal Hawaiian fisheries would be prudent, especially since

  17. Quantitative computed tomography of the liver in juvenile green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonelli, Marília de Albuquerque; de Oliveira, Daniel Capucho; Costa, Lorena Adão Vescovi Séllos; Forattini, Jannine Garcia; Júnior, João Luiz Rossi; Leite, Flaviana Lima Guião; Costa, Fabiano Séllos

    2013-06-01

    Quantitative computed tomography (QCT) is a highly sensitive, applicable technique for determining the x-ray attenuation of organs. This technique reveals great precision in the detection of alterations in the x-ray attenuation of hepatic parenchyma, although the lack of studies establishing normal values limits its application in wild animals. The objective of this study was to establish mean hepatic attenuation values in four healthy juvenile sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) using QCT. Helical computed tomography scans were performed and regions of interest selected in the liver after multi-planar reconstruction images were obtained. The mean attenuation value for the hepatic parenchyma in these four turtles was 60.09 +/- 5.3 standard deviation Hounsfield units. Determining normal x-ray attenuation values of the liver increases knowledge of the computed tomographic anatomy of this species and may be useful in the investigation of hepatic diseases.

  18. Characterization of single nucleotide polymorphism markers for the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roden, Suzanne E; Dutton, Peter H; Morin, Phillip A

    2009-05-01

    We present data on 29 new single nucleotide polymorphism assays for the green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas. DNA extracts from 39 green turtles were used for two methods of single nucleotide polymorphism discovery. The first approach employed an amplified fragment length polymorphism technique. The second technique screened a microsatellite library. Allele-specific amplification assays were developed for high-throughput single nucleotide polymorphism genotyping and tested on two Pacific C. mydas nesting populations. Observed heterozygosities ranged from 0 to 0.95 for a Hawaiian population and from 0 to 0.85 for a Galapagos population. Each of the populations had one locus out of Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, SSCM2b and SSCM5 for Hawaii and Galapagos, respectively. No loci showed significant genotypic linkage disequilibrium across an expanded set of four Pacific nesting populations. However, two loci, SSCM4 and SSCM10b showed linkage disequilibrium across three populations indicating possible association.

  19. 77 FR 27411 - Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp Trawling Requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-05-10

    ... for at least 55 minutes--practically impossible at sea--or else their presence may bias a vessel... through changes in fishing practices or increased experience with TED use. The cost of initial...

  20. Stable isotopes in barnacles as a tool to understand green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) regional movement patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Detjen, M.; Sterling, E.; Gómez, A.

    2015-12-01

    Sea turtles are migratory animals that travel long distances between their feeding and breeding grounds. Traditional methods for researching sea turtle migratory behavior have important disadvantages, and the development of alternatives would enhance our ability to monitor and manage these globally endangered species. Here we report on the isotope signatures in green sea-turtle (Chelonia mydas) barnacles (Platylepas sp.) and discuss their potential relevance as tools with which to study green sea turtle migration and habitat use patterns. We analyzed oxygen (δ18O) and carbon (δ13C) isotope ratios in barnacle calcite layers from specimens collected from green turtles captured at the Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge (PANWR) in the central Pacific. Carbon isotopes were not informative in this study. However, the oxygen isotope results suggest likely regional movement patterns when mapped onto a predictive oxygen isotope map of the Pacific. Barnacle proxies could therefore complement other methods in understanding regional movement patterns, informing more effective conservation policy that takes into account connectivity between populations.

  1. Development and application of biochemical and haematological reference intervals to identify unhealthy green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flint, Mark; Morton, John M; Limpus, Colin J; Patterson-Kane, Janet C; Murray, Peter J; Mills, Paul C

    2010-09-01

    Biochemical and haematological reference intervals (RIs) have been reported for sea turtles, but their value for ante-mortem disease diagnosis may be limited due to small sample sizes and outdated statistical analyses. In the present study, 290 green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) were captured, clinically assessed and blood sampled. Of these, 211 were classified as 'clinically healthy' and 25 as 'clinically unhealthy'. RIs were estimated using data from the healthy turtles and compared with blood values from the unhealthy animals. All of the unhealthy animals had plasma biochemical and haematological values outside one or more RIs (albumin, 48% of unhealthy animals; alkaline phosphatase, 35%; aspartate transaminase, 13%; creatinine, 30%; globulin, 3%; glucose, 34%; lactic dehydrogenase, 26%; phosphorus, 22%; sodium, 13%; thrombocytes, 57%; and monocytes, 5%). Among small immature turtles, those with Chelonibia testudinaria plastron barnacle counts 20 were three times more likely to be unhealthy than those with no barnacles. In addition, small immature and mature turtles were more likely to be unhealthy than large immature turtles.

  2. Pollutants and the health of green sea turtles resident to an urbanized estuary in San Diego, CA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Komoroske, Lisa M; Lewison, Rebecca L; Seminoff, Jeffrey A; Deheyn, Dimitri D; Dutton, Peter H

    2011-07-01

    Rapid expansion of coastal anthropogenic development means that critical foraging and developmental habitats often occur near highly polluted and urbanized environments. Although coastal contamination is widespread, the impact this has on long-lived vertebrates like the green turtle (Chelonia mydas) is unclear because traditional experimental methods cannot be applied. We coupled minimally invasive sampling techniques with health assessments to quantify contaminant patterns in a population of green turtles resident to San Diego Bay, CA, a highly urbanized and contaminated estuary. Several chemicals were correlated with turtle size, suggesting possible differences in physiological processes or habitat utilization between life stages. With the exception of mercury, higher concentrations of carapace metals as well as 4,4'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) and γ chlordane in blood plasma relative to other sea turtle studies raises important questions about the chemical risks to turtles resident to San Diego Bay. Mercury concentrations exceeded immune function no-effects thresholds and increased carapace metal loads were correlated with higher levels of multiple health markers. These results indicate immunological and physiological effects studies are needed in this population. Our results give insight into the potential conservation risk contaminants pose to sea turtles inhabiting this contaminated coastal habitat, and highlight the need to better manage and mitigate contaminant exposure in San Diego Bay. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Diatoms and Other Epibionts Associated with Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea Sea Turtles from the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roksana Majewska

    Full Text Available Although the sea turtles have long been familiar and even iconic to marine biologists, many aspects of their ecology remain unaddressed. The present study is the first of the epizoic diatom community covering the olive ridley turtle's (Lepidochelys olivacea carapace and the first describing diatoms living on sea turtles in general, with the primary objective of providing detailed information on turtle epibiotic associations. Samples of turtle carapace including the associated diatom biofilm and epizoic macro-fauna were collected from Ostional beach (9° 59´ 23.7´´ N 85° 41´ 52.6´´ W, Costa Rica, during the arribada event in October 2013. A complex diatom community was present in every sample. In total, 11 macro-faunal and 21 diatom taxa were recorded. Amongst diatoms, the most numerous were erect (Achnanthes spp., Tripterion spp. and motile (Haslea sp., Navicula spp., Nitzschia spp., Proschkinia sp. forms, followed by adnate Amphora spp., while the most common macro-faunal species was Stomatolepas elegans (Cirripedia. Diatom densities ranged from 8179 ± 750 to 27685 ± 4885 cells mm-2. Epizoic microalgae were either partly immersed or entirely encapsulated within an exopolymeric coat. The relatively low diatom species number, stable species composition and low inter-sample dissimilarities (14.4% on average may indicate a mutualistic relationship between the epibiont and the basibiont. Dispersal of sea turtle diatoms is probably highly restricted and similar studies will help to understand both diatom diversity, evolution and biogeography, and sea turtle ecology and foraging strategies.

  4. Simulating transoceanic migrations of young loggerhead sea turtles: merging magnetic navigation behavior with an ocean circulation model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putman, Nathan F; Verley, Philippe; Shay, Thomas J; Lohmann, Kenneth J

    2012-06-01

    Young loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from eastern Florida, USA, undertake a transoceanic migration in which they gradually circle the Sargasso Sea before returning to the North American coast. Loggerheads possess a 'magnetic map' in which regional magnetic fields elicit changes in swimming direction along the migratory pathway. In some geographic areas, however, ocean currents move more rapidly than young turtles can swim. Thus, the degree to which turtles can control their migratory movements has remained unclear. In this study, the movements of young turtles were simulated within a high-resolution ocean circulation model using several different behavioral scenarios, including one in which turtles drifted passively and others in which turtles swam briefly in accordance with experimentally derived data on magnetic navigation. Results revealed that small amounts of oriented swimming in response to regional magnetic fields profoundly affected migratory routes and endpoints. Turtles that engaged in directed swimming for as little as 1-3 h per day were 43-187% more likely than passive drifters to reach the Azores, a productive foraging area frequented by Florida loggerheads. They were also more likely to remain within warm-water currents favorable for growth and survival, avoid areas on the perimeter of the migratory route where predation risk and thermal conditions pose threats, and successfully return to the open-sea migratory route if carried into coastal areas. These findings imply that even weakly swimming marine animals may be able to exert strong effects on their migratory trajectories and open-sea distributions through simple navigation responses and minimal swimming.

  5. Diatoms and Other Epibionts Associated with Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) Sea Turtles from the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majewska, Roksana; Santoro, Mario; Bolaños, Federico; Chaves, Gerardo; De Stefano, Mario

    2015-01-01

    Although the sea turtles have long been familiar and even iconic to marine biologists, many aspects of their ecology remain unaddressed. The present study is the first of the epizoic diatom community covering the olive ridley turtle's (Lepidochelys olivacea) carapace and the first describing diatoms living on sea turtles in general, with the primary objective of providing detailed information on turtle epibiotic associations. Samples of turtle carapace including the associated diatom biofilm and epizoic macro-fauna were collected from Ostional beach (9° 59´ 23.7´´ N 85° 41´ 52.6´´ W), Costa Rica, during the arribada event in October 2013. A complex diatom community was present in every sample. In total, 11 macro-faunal and 21 diatom taxa were recorded. Amongst diatoms, the most numerous were erect (Achnanthes spp., Tripterion spp.) and motile (Haslea sp., Navicula spp., Nitzschia spp., Proschkinia sp.) forms, followed by adnate Amphora spp., while the most common macro-faunal species was Stomatolepas elegans (Cirripedia). Diatom densities ranged from 8179 ± 750 to 27685 ± 4885 cells mm-2. Epizoic microalgae were either partly immersed or entirely encapsulated within an exopolymeric coat. The relatively low diatom species number, stable species composition and low inter-sample dissimilarities (14.4% on average) may indicate a mutualistic relationship between the epibiont and the basibiont. Dispersal of sea turtle diatoms is probably highly restricted and similar studies will help to understand both diatom diversity, evolution and biogeography, and sea turtle ecology and foraging strategies.

  6. Ontogenetic investigation of underwater hearing capabilities in loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) using a dual testing approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lavender, Ashley L; Bartol, Soraya M; Bartol, Ian K

    2014-07-15

    Sea turtles reside in different acoustic environments with each life history stage and may have different hearing capacity throughout ontogeny. For this study, two independent yet complementary techniques for hearing assessment, i.e. behavioral and electrophysiological audiometry, were employed to (1) measure hearing in post-hatchling and juvenile loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta (19-62 cm straight carapace length) to determine whether these migratory turtles exhibit an ontogenetic shift in underwater auditory detection and (2) evaluate whether hearing frequency range and threshold sensitivity are consistent in behavioral and electrophysiological tests. Behavioral trials first required training turtles to respond to known frequencies, a multi-stage, time-intensive process, and then recording their behavior when they were presented with sound stimuli from an underwater speaker using a two-response forced-choice paradigm. Electrophysiological experiments involved submerging restrained, fully conscious turtles just below the air-water interface and recording auditory evoked potentials (AEPs) when sound stimuli were presented using an underwater speaker. No significant differences in behavior-derived auditory thresholds or AEP-derived auditory thresholds were detected between post-hatchling and juvenile sea turtles. While hearing frequency range (50-1000/1100 Hz) and highest sensitivity (100-400 Hz) were consistent in audiograms pooled by size class for both behavior and AEP experiments, both post-hatchlings and juveniles had significantly higher AEP-derived than behavior-derived auditory thresholds, indicating that behavioral assessment is a more sensitive testing approach. The results from this study suggest that post-hatchling and juvenile loggerhead sea turtles are low-frequency specialists, exhibiting little differences in threshold sensitivity and frequency bandwidth despite residence in acoustically distinct environments throughout ontogeny.

  7. Methods of Developing User-Friendly Keys to Identify Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas L. from Photographs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jane R. Lloyd

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Identifying individual animals is important in understanding their ecology and behaviour, as well as providing estimates of population sizes for conservation efforts. We produce identification keys from photographs of green sea turtles to identify them while foraging in Akumal Bay, Mexico. We create three keys, which (a minimise the length of the key, (b present the most obvious differential characteristics first, and (c remove the strict dichotomy from key b. Keys were capable of identifying >99% of turtles in >2500 photographs during the six-month study period. The keys differed significantly in success rate for students to identify individual turtles, with key (c being the best with >70% success and correctly being followed further than other keys before making a mistake. User-friendly keys are, therefore, a suitable method for the photographic identification of turtles and could be used for other large marine vertebrates in conservation or behavioural studies.

  8. Conservation science in developing countries: an inside perspective on the struggles in sea turtle research and conservation in Venezuela

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Buitrago, Joaquin [Estacion de Investigaciones Marinas de Margarita, Fundacion La Salle de Ciencias Naturales, Apartado 144, Porlamar, Isla Margarita (Venezuela)], E-mail: jbuitrago@edimar.org; Guada, Hedelvy J. [Centro de Investigacion y Conservacion de Tortugas Marinas CICTMAR, Red de Conservacion de Tortugas Marinas en el Gran Caribe, WIDECAST, Apdo. 50.789, Caracas 1050-A (Venezuela); Doyle, Emma [5 Woodvale Close, St. Ives, N.S.W. 2075 (Australia)

    2008-10-15

    Human exploitation of sea turtles in Venezuela dates back at least 800 years and continues to the present day. The first concerns about the status of sea turtle populations arose in the 1970s, and the projects from this early era were a tagging program, beach evaluation and in situ nest protection. Since then, efforts to develop a sea turtle research and conservation sector in Venezuela have resulted in a number of successes and rather more failures. Among the achievements is a course 'Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation Techniques', which has now been run for 15 years and has educated several hundred participants and enabled the establishment of a valuable professional network, and the publication of the Venezuelan 'Sea Turtle Recovery Action Plan' in 2000. But Venezuela shares with other developing countries some crucial shortcomings which have restricted the success of conservation and research efforts. Whilst regulations relating to protected areas and natural resource use have proliferated, enforcement is weak. Community-based projects and environmental education programs exist, but levels of participation are low. A large number of conservation approaches have been applied, including head-starting and nest translocation to hatcheries, but their value as conservation tools remains unproven. Research has increased, but its impact on decision-making is not significant. Taking an insider's perspective on the challenges to date in sea turtle research and conservation in Venezuela reveals much about the reality facing conservation scientists in developing countries and the forces that shape and can potentially derail research and conservation efforts.

  9. Analytical method for heavy metal determination in algae and turtle eggs from Guanahacabibes Protected Sea Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abel I. Balbín Tamayo

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available A standard digestion method coupled to electrochemical detection for the monitoring of heavy metals in biological samples has been used for the simultaneous analysis of the target analytes. Square wave anodic stripping voltammetry (SWASV coupled to disposable screen-printed electrodes (SPEs was employed as a fast and sensitive electroanalytical method for the detection of heavy metals. The aim of our study was to determine Cd, Pb and Cu by SWASV in brown algae (Sargasum natan and green turtle eggs (Chelonia mydas using screen-printed electrodes. The method proved useful for the simultaneous analysis of these metals by comparison between two different procedures for preparing the samples. Two different approaches in digestion protocols were assessed. The study was focused on Guanahacabibes brown algae and green turtle eggs because the metal concentrations recorded in this area may be used for intraspecific comparison within the Guanahacabibes Protected Sea Park area, a body of water for which information is still very scarce. The best results were obtained by digesting biological samples with the EPA 3050B method. This treatment allowed the fast and quantitative extraction from brown algae and green turtle eggs of the target analytes, with high sensitivity and avoiding organic residues, eventually affecting electrochemical measurements.

  10. Trace element reference intervals in the blood of healthy green sea turtles to evaluate exposure of coastal populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villa, C A; Flint, M; Bell, I; Hof, C; Limpus, C J; Gaus, C

    2017-01-01

    Exposure to essential and non-essential elements may be elevated for green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) that forage close to shore. Biomonitoring of trace elements in turtle blood can identify temporal trends over repeated sampling events, but any interpretation of potential health risks due to an elevated exposure first requires a comparison against a baseline. This study aims to use clinical reference interval (RI) methods to produce exposure baseline limits for essential and non-essential elements (Na, Mg, K, Ca, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Se, Mo, Cd, Sb, Ba, and Pb) using blood from healthy subadult turtles foraging in a remote and offshore part of the Great Barrier Reef. Subsequent blood biomonitoring of three additional coastal populations, which forage in areas dominated by agricultural, urban and military activities, showed clear habitat-specific differences in blood metal profiles relative to the those observed in the offshore population. Coastal turtles were most often found to have elevated concentrations of Co, Mo, Mn, Mg, Na, As, Sb, and Pb relative to the corresponding RIs. In particular, blood from turtles from the agricultural site had Co concentrations ranging from 160 to 840 μg/L (4-25 times above RI), which are within the order expected to elicit acute effects in many vertebrates. Additional clinical blood biochemistry and haematology results indicate signs of a systemic disease and the prevalence of an active inflammatory response in a high proportion (44%) of turtles from the agricultural site. Elevated Co, Sb, and Mn in the blood of these turtles significantly correlated with elevated markers of acute inflammation (total white cell counts) and liver dysfunction (alkaline phosphatase and total bilirubin). The results of this study support the notion that elevated trace element exposures may be adversely affecting the health of nearshore green sea turtles.

  11. Examining factors that may influence accurate measurement of testosterone in sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Katherine M; Mylniczenko, Natalie D; Burns, Charlene M; Bettinger, Tammie L; Wheaton, Catharine J

    2016-01-01

    Differences in reported testosterone concentrations in male sea turtle blood samples are common in the veterinary literature, but may be accounted for by differences in sample handling and processing prior to assay. Therefore, our study was performed to determine best practices for testosterone analysis in male sea turtles (Caretta caretta and Chelonia mydas). Blood samples were collected into 5 collection tube types, and assay validation and measured testosterone concentrations were compared across different sample storage (fresh, refrigerated 1 week, or frozen), extraction (unextracted or ether-extracted), and processing treatment (untreated, homogenized, or dissociation reagent) conditions. Ether-extracted and dissociation reagent-treated samples validated in all conditions tested and are recommended for use, as unextracted samples validated only if assayed fresh. Dissociation reagent treatment was simpler to perform than ether extraction and resulted in total testosterone concentrations ~2.7-3.5 times greater than free testosterone measured in ether-extracted samples. Sample homogenization did not affect measured testosterone concentrations, and could be used to increase volume in gelled samples. An annual seasonal testosterone increase was observed in both species when ether extraction or dissociation reagent treatment was used. Annual deslorelin implant treatments in a Chelonia mydas male resulted in suppression of seasonal testosterone following the fourth treatment. Seasonal testosterone patterns resumed following discontinuation of deslorelin. Comparison of in-house and commercially available enzyme immunoassay kits revealed similar patterns of seasonal testosterone increases and deslorelin-induced suppression. Our study highlights the importance of methodological validation and provides laboratorians with best practices for testosterone enzyme immunoassay in sea turtles.

  12. Maternal health status correlates with nest success of leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea from Florida.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Justin R Perrault

    Full Text Available Of the seven sea turtle species, the critically endangered leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea exhibits the lowest and most variable nest success (i.e., hatching success and emergence success for reasons that remain largely unknown. In an attempt to identify or rule out causes of low reproductive success in this species, we established the largest sample size (n = 60-70 for most values of baseline blood parameters (protein electrophoresis, hematology, plasma biochemistry for this species to date. Hematologic, protein electrophoretic and biochemical values are important tools that can provide information regarding the physiological condition of an individual and population health as a whole. It has been proposed that the health of nesting individuals affects their reproductive output. In order to establish correlations with low reproductive success in leatherback sea turtles from Florida, we compared maternal health indices to hatching success and emergence success of their nests. As expected, hatching success (median = 57.4% and emergence success (median = 49.1% in Floridian leatherbacks were low during the study period (2007-2008 nesting seasons, a trend common in most nesting leatherback populations (average global hatching success = ∼50%. One protein electrophoretic value (gamma globulin protein and one hematologic value (red blood cell count significantly correlated with hatching success and emergence success. Several maternal biochemical parameters correlated with hatching success and/or emergence success including alkaline phosphatase activity, blood urea nitrogen, calcium, calcium:phosphorus ratio, carbon dioxide, cholesterol, creatinine, and phosphorus. Our results suggest that in leatherbacks, physiological parameters correlate with hatching success and emergence success of their nests. We conclude that long-term and comparative studies are needed to determine if certain individuals produce nests with lower

  13. Turtle cleaners: reef fishes foraging on epibionts of sea turtles in the tropical Southwestern Atlantic, with a summary of this association type

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Sazima

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available In the present study we record several instances of reef fish species foraging on epibionts of sea turtles (cleaning symbiosis at the oceanic islands of Fernando de Noronha Archipelago and near a shipwreck, both off the coast of Pernambuco State, northeast Brazil. Nine reef fish species and three turtle species involved in cleaning are herein recorded. Besides our records, a summary of the literature on this association type is presented. Postures adopted by turtles during the interaction are related to the habits of associated fishes. Feeding associations between fishes and turtles seem a localized, albeit common, phenomenon.No presente estudo registramos diversos episódios de peixes recifais alimentando-se de epibiontes sobre o corpo de tartarugas marinhas (simbiose de limpeza nas ilhas oceânicas do arquipélago de Fernando de Noronha e próximo a um naufrágio na costa de Pernambuco, nordeste do Brasil. Nove espécies de peixes recifais e três espécies de tartarugas envolvidas nas associações são aqui registradas. Além de nossos registros, apresentamos também um resumo da literatura sobre o tema. As posturas adotadas pelas tartarugas durante as interações estão relacionadas com os hábitos dos peixes associados. Associações alimentares entre peixes e tartarugas podem ser consideradas como um fenômeno local, embora comum.

  14. Analysis of epibiont data in relation with the Debilitated Turtle Syndrome of sea turtles in Chelonia mydas and Lepidochelys olivacea from Concepción coast, Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Italo Fernández

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Epibionts on the surface of the skin and shell of a specimen of Chelonia mydas and three Lepidochelys olivacea found floating on the coast of Concepción, Chile, between June 2010 and December 2012, were analyzed. These epibionts were analyzed during the clinical inspection and the tissue changes related to its settlement, with filamentous algae around, were observed. Subsequently, the epibionts were identified by morphological observation. The knowledge about theses epibionts in Chile is reviewed and the potential occurrence of Debilitated Turtle Syndrome (DTS in these turtles is discussed. The presence of sea turtles in the Chilean coast is considered a casual event, so there is little information on this issue. We propose it is necessary to carry out more studies on the association between turtles and epibionts because their identification, colonizing reptiles’ surface may give relevant information to a better understanding of different diseases, including DTS, that affect these marine reptiles and facilitates the development of strategies intended to recover their populations.

  15. Morphology vs Genetics: the hybrid origin of a sea turtle disproved by DNA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. GAROFALO

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available A putative hybrid sea turtle juvenile was evaluated with discriminant DNA markers. When compared with standard values for sea turtles, the general morphological features assigned the specimen to Caretta caretta, while the shape and coloration of the head and the beak profile fell within the Eretmochelys imbricata range; the front flippers were instead like those of a Chelonia mydas. Moreover, prefrontal scale number was outside the putative parental species’ ranges. The mitochondrial D-loop sequence was from C. caretta, and matched haplotype CC-A2.1, the most common in the Mediterranean. Sequence profiles at three nuclear loci withspecies-specific substitutions (Cmos, BDNF and R35 revealed only C. caretta variants, thus excluding that the individual wasan F1 hybrid. This study highlights the importance of integrating different methodological approaches to understand reproductive animal biology and to set the boundaries for specific morphological traits. In particular, we propose the genetic analysis of a new combination of mitochondrial and nuclear markers as a standard procedure which can be adopted in the identification of sea turtlehybrids.

  16. Disseminated mycotic infection caused by Colletotrichum acutatum in a Kemp's ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempi).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manire, Charles A; Rhinehart, Howard L; Sutton, Deanna A; Thompson, Elizabeth H; Rinaldi, Michael G; Buck, John D; Jacobson, Elliott

    2002-11-01

    Colletotrichum acutatum is a cosmopolitan plant pathogen with a wide host range. While the organism's phytopathogenic potential has been well documented, it has never been reported as an etiologic agent of disease in either animals or humans. In this case, a juvenile Kemp's ridley sea turtle, Lepidochelys kempi, probably with immune compromise following cold stunning (extended hypothermia), developed a disseminated mycotic infection in the lungs and kidneys. Prophylactic treatment with oral itraconazole did not prevent or cure the infection. This report of a Colletotrichum acutatum infection in an animal extends the range of disease caused by this organism beyond that of a phytopathogen.

  17. Development and evaluation of three mortality prediction indices for cold-stunned Kemp's ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stacy, N. I.; Innis, C. J.; Hernandez, J. A.

    2013-01-01

    Kemp's ridley sea turtle is an endangered species found in the Gulf of Mexico and along the east coast of the USA. Cold-stunned Kemp's ridley turtles are often found stranded on beaches of Massachusetts and New York in November and December each year. When found alive, turtles are transported to rehabilitation centres for evaluation and treatment. Blood gas and chemistry analytes of major clinical relevance in sea turtles were selected to develop mortality prediction indices (MPI)s. Testing the diagnostic performance of various combinations of blood gas and chemistry analytes by receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analysis resulted in the development of three mortality prediction indices. The sensitivity and specificity of the best performing MPI (based on three blood analytes: pH, pO2, and potassium) was 88 and 80%, respectively. Using ROC analysis, the area under the curve = 0.896 (95% confidence interval = 0.83–0.94). The use of validated MPIs based on four blood analytes (pH, pCO2, pO2, and potassium) could be useful for better diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of cold-stunned sea turtles when admitted to rehabilitation facilities. PMID:27293587

  18. Levels of perfluorinated acids (PFCAs) in different tissues of Lepidochelys olivacea sea turtles from the Escobilla beach (Oaxaca, Mexico).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasanisi, Eugenia; Cortés-Gómez, Adriana A; Pérez-López, Marcos; Soler, Francisco; Hernández-Moreno, David; Guerranti, Cristiana; Martellini, Tania; Fuentes-Mascorro, Gisela; Romero, Diego; Cincinelli, Alessandra

    2016-12-01

    Lepidochelys olivacea is the most abundant and globally distributed sea turtle species in the world and thus, monitoring this species for persistent organic pollutants, such as perfluorinated chemicals, is fundamental for their protection. This study was the first to evaluate the occurrence of five PFCAs (PFOA, PFNA, PFDA, PFUnA, PFDoA) in liver and blood samples of Olive Ridley turtle population from the Escobilla beach (Oaxaca, Mexico). PFDA and PFUnA were the predominant PFCs in blood samples (detected in 93% and 84% of samples, respectively) and were also present in the highest concentrations. Liver samples showed higher PFCA concentrations than whole blood samples, with PFNA and PFDA the most abundant PFCs congeners in liver samples, detected in 65% and 47% of the samples, respectively. The measured levels of contaminants in the blood samples of Lepidochelys olivacea sea turtles were compared to the levels reported in the literature for other turtle species. While linear significant correlations between PFNA, PFDA and PFUnA concentrations in blood samples and curved carapace lengths were determined, no correlation was found for PFOA, supporting the hypothesis that sea turtles could have a higher ability to eliminate this perfluorinated chemical from their blood than other PFCAs. However, we do not know if the concentrations are species or sampling areas dependent.

  19. Establishment of reference intervals for plasma protein electrophoresis in Indo-Pacific green sea turtles, Chelonia mydas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flint, Mark; Matthews, Beren J; Limpus, Colin J; Mills, Paul C

    2015-01-01

    Biochemical and haematological parameters are increasingly used to diagnose disease in green sea turtles. Specific clinical pathology tools, such as plasma protein electrophoresis analysis, are now being used more frequently to improve our ability to diagnose disease in the live animal. Plasma protein reference intervals were calculated from 55 clinically healthy green sea turtles using pulsed field electrophoresis to determine pre-albumin, albumin, α-, β- and γ-globulin concentrations. The estimated reference intervals were then compared with data profiles from clinically unhealthy turtles admitted to a local wildlife hospital to assess the validity of the derived intervals and identify the clinically useful plasma protein fractions. Eighty-six per cent {19 of 22 [95% confidence interval (CI) 65-97]} of clinically unhealthy turtles had values outside the derived reference intervals, including the following: total protein [six of 22 turtles or 27% (95% CI 11-50%)], pre-albumin [two of five, 40% (95% CI 5-85%)], albumin [13 of 22, 59% (95% CI 36-79%)], total albumin [13 of 22, 59% (95% CI 36-79%)], α- [10 of 22, 45% (95% CI 24-68%)], β- [two of 10, 20% (95% CI 3-56%)], γ- [one of 10, 10% (95% CI 0.3-45%)] and β-γ-globulin [one of 12, 8% (95% CI 0.2-38%)] and total globulin [five of 22, 23% (8-45%)]. Plasma protein electrophoresis shows promise as an accurate adjunct tool to identify a disease state in marine turtles. This study presents the first reference interval for plasma protein electrophoresis in the Indo-Pacific green sea turtle.

  20. The first “lost year” of Mediterranean sea turtles: dispersal patterns indicate subregional management units for conservation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Casale, Paolo; Mariani, Patrizio

    2014-01-01

    mainly disperse to the Ionian, Adriatic and south-central Mediterranean areas. Combining hatchling dispersal with existing empirical information on juveniles and adults, a general distribution model among nesting sites, oceanic and neritic foraging grounds for Mediterranean sea turtles is proposed......Identifying highly frequented areas is a priority for sea turtle conservation, and the distribution of young individuals in open waters represents a major knowledge gap due to methodological biases. The drift of hatchlings from 38 loggerhead and 10 green turtle nesting sites in the Mediterranean...... were simulated for the first six months of life, with the simulations being repeated for five different years (2001 – 2005). The results indicate that hatchlings from the Levantine and south-central Mediterranean sites are mainly retained in the same areas of origin, while those from the Ionian area...

  1. Mercury, lead, and cadmium in tissues of the Caspian Pond Turtle (Mauremys caspica) from the southern basin of Caspian Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adel, Milad; Saravi, Hasan Nasrollahzadeh; Dadar, Maryam; Niyazi, Leila; Ley-Quinonez, Cesar P

    2017-02-01

    Concentrations of cadmium, lead, and mercury were measured in different tissues (liver, muscle, and shell) of 60 Caspian Pond Turtles collected from Tajan and Shiroud Rivers, southern basin of the Caspian Sea. Based on the results, different tissues showed different capacities for accumulating trace elements. The general trend of metals accumulation was: liver > shell > muscle. Results also showed that accumulation of these elements was not significantly different between sex and river in turtles (p > 0.05). Based on the results, Hg and Pb concentrations recorded in the present study were higher than some of the maximum concentration permissible. To our knowledge, this is the first report into heavy metal accumulation in tissues and organs of Caspian Pond Turtle from the southern basin of Caspian Sea. Further studies are needed to measure different heavy metals and trace metals in this valuable species.

  2. Molecular epidemiology and pathology of spirorchiid infection in green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Phoebe A. Chapman

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Spirorchiid blood fluke infections affect endangered turtle populations globally, and are reported as a common cause of mortality in Queensland green sea turtles. Both the flukes and their ova are pathogenic and can contribute to the stranding or death of their host. Of particular interest are ova-associated brain lesions, which have been associated with host neurological deficits. Accurate estimations of disease frequency and the relative effect of infection relating to different spirorchiid species are made difficult by challenges in morphological identification of adults of some genera, and a lack of species-level identifying features for ova. A new specifically designed molecular assay was used to detect and identify cryptic spirorchiids and their ova in Queensland green sea turtle tissues collected from 2011 to 2014 in order to investigate epidemiology, tissue tropisms and pathology. Eight spirorchiid genotypes were detected in 14 distinct tissues, including multiple tissues for each. We found no evidence of a characteristic pathway of the eggs to the exterior; instead the results suggest that a high proportion of eggs become lost in dead-end tissues. The most common lesions observed were granulomas affecting most organs with varying severity, followed by arteritis and thrombi in the great vessels. The number of spirorchiid types detected increased with the presence and severity of granulomatous lesions. However, compared with other organs the brain showed relatively low levels of spirorchiid diversity. An inverse relationship between host age and spirorchiid diversity was evident for the liver and kidneys, but no such relationship was evident for other organs. Molecular data in this study, the first of its kind, provides the first species-level examination of spirorchiid ova and associated pathology, and paves the way for the future development of targeted ante-mortem diagnosis of spirorchiidiasis.

  3. Juvenile recruitment in loggerhead sea turtles linked to decadal changes in ocean circulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ascani, François; Van Houtan, Kyle S; Di Lorenzo, Emanuele; Polovina, Jeffrey J; Jones, T Todd

    2016-11-01

    Given the threats of climate change, understanding the relationship of climate with long-term population dynamics is critical for wildlife conservation. Previous studies have linked decadal climate oscillations to indices of juvenile recruitment in loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta), but without a clear understanding of mechanisms. Here, we explore the underlying processes that may explain these relationships. Using the eddy-resolving Ocean General Circulation Model for the Earth Simulator, we generate hatch-year trajectories for loggerhead turtles emanating from Japan over six decades (1950-2010). We find that the proximity of the high-velocity Kuroshio Current to the primary nesting areas in southern Japan is remarkably stable and that hatchling dispersal to oceanic habitats itself does not vary on decadal timescales. However, we observe a shift in latitudes of trajectories, consistent with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). In a negative PDO phase, the Kuroshio Extension Current (KEC) is strong and acts as a physical barrier to the northward transport of neonates. As a result, hatch-year trajectories remain mostly below 35°N in the warm, unproductive region south of the Transition Zone Chlorophyll Front (TZCF). During a positive PDO phase, however, the KEC weakens facilitating the neonates to swim north of the TZCF into cooler and more productive waters. As a result, annual cohorts from negative PDO years may face a lack of resources, whereas cohorts from positive PDO years may find sufficient resources during their pivotal first year. These model outputs indicate that the ocean circulation dynamics, combined with navigational swimming behavior, may be a key factor in the observed decadal variability of sea turtle populations. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Pharmacokinetic behavior of meloxicam in loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) after intramuscular and intravenous administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Olimpia R; Di Bello, Antonio; Soloperto, Simona; Freggi, Daniela; Marzano, Giacomo; Cavaliere, Leonardo; Crescenzo, Giuseppe

    2015-04-01

    Data on reptile analgesia are scarce for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and opioids and almost completely lacking in sea turtles, even though emergencies requiring correct pain management are very frequent in their rehabilitative medicine; therefore, dosage regimens extrapolated from other species involve the risk of clinical failure and damage to the animals. We describe the pharmacokinetic behavior of meloxicam in the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta). We chose meloxicam because of its selective anti-cyclooxygenase-2 activity and lesser adverse side effects. No data are available on the capacity of turtles to tolerate NSAIDs, so we chose a dose of 0.1 mg/kg of meloxicam. Plasma concentrations of meloxicam were unexpectedly low both for intravenous (IV; maximum concentration [C(max)] = 0.04±0.02 µg/mL) and intramuscular (IM; C(max) = 0.07±0.09 µg/mL) administration. A double-peak phenomenon occurred after both IV (time for second peak concentration T(max2) = 10.33±10.89 h) and IM (T(max2) = 1.17±0.75 h). The second peak after IM injection was premature, so some difficulty and delay in absorption appears to be an appropriate explanation. Furthermore, the area under the curve, and therefore systemic bioavailability (F = 31.82±28.24%), after both IV (0.30±0.29) and IM (0.10±0.03) injection appeared particularly limited. Terminal elimination slope and mean residence time indicated fast elimination after IM dosing; as a consequence, plasma concentrations dropped below analytic limits in 8 h. Considering that IM is the favored route of administration of drugs in rescue centers, it is unlikely that meloxicam at 0.1 mg/kg is an appropriate choice, particularly in long-term pain management protocols.

  5. Molecular epidemiology and pathology of spirorchiid infection in green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, Phoebe A; Owen, Helen; Flint, Mark; Soares Magalhães, Ricardo J; Traub, Rebecca J; Cribb, Thomas H; Kyaw-Tanner, Myat T; Mills, Paul C

    2017-04-01

    Spirorchiid blood fluke infections affect endangered turtle populations globally, and are reported as a common cause of mortality in Queensland green sea turtles. Both the flukes and their ova are pathogenic and can contribute to the stranding or death of their host. Of particular interest are ova-associated brain lesions, which have been associated with host neurological deficits. Accurate estimations of disease frequency and the relative effect of infection relating to different spirorchiid species are made difficult by challenges in morphological identification of adults of some genera, and a lack of species-level identifying features for ova. A new specifically designed molecular assay was used to detect and identify cryptic spirorchiids and their ova in Queensland green sea turtle tissues collected from 2011 to 2014 in order to investigate epidemiology, tissue tropisms and pathology. Eight spirorchiid genotypes were detected in 14 distinct tissues, including multiple tissues for each. We found no evidence of a characteristic pathway of the eggs to the exterior; instead the results suggest that a high proportion of eggs become lost in dead-end tissues. The most common lesions observed were granulomas affecting most organs with varying severity, followed by arteritis and thrombi in the great vessels. The number of spirorchiid types detected increased with the presence and severity of granulomatous lesions. However, compared with other organs the brain showed relatively low levels of spirorchiid diversity. An inverse relationship between host age and spirorchiid diversity was evident for the liver and kidneys, but no such relationship was evident for other organs. Molecular data in this study, the first of its kind, provides the first species-level examination of spirorchiid ova and associated pathology, and paves the way for the future development of targeted ante-mortem diagnosis of spirorchiidiasis.

  6. Risk assessment reveals high exposure of sea turtles to marine debris in French Mediterranean and metropolitan Atlantic waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darmon, Gaëlle; Miaud, Claude; Claro, Françoise; Doremus, Ghislain; Galgani, François

    2017-07-01

    Debris impact on marine wildlife has become a major issue of concern. Mainy species have been identified as being threatened by collision, entanglement or ingestion of debris, generally plastics, which constitute the predominant part of the recorded marine debris. Assessing sensitive areas, where exposure to debris are high, is thus crucial, in particular for sea turtles which have been proposed as sentinels of debris levels for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and for the Unep-MedPol convention. Our objective here was to assess sea turtle exposure to marine debris in the 3 metropolitan French fronts. Using aerial surveys performed in the Channel, the Atlantic and the Mediterranean regions in winter and summer 2011-2012, we evaluated exposure areas and magnitude in terms of spatial overlap, encounter probability and density of surrounding debris at various spatial scales. Major overlapping areas appeared in the Atlantic and Mediterranean fronts, concerning mostly the leatherback and the loggerhead turtles respectively. The probability for individuals to be in contact with debris (around 90% of individuals within a radius of 2 km) and the density of debris surrounding individuals (up to 16 items with a radius of 2 km, 88 items within a radius of 10 km) were very high, whatever the considered spatial scale, especially in the Mediterranean region and during the summer season. The comparison of the observed mean debris density with random distribution suggested that turtles selected debris areas. This may occur if both debris and turtles drift to the same areas due to currents, if turtles meet debris accidentally by selecting high food concentration areas, and/or if turtles actively seek debris out, confounding them with their preys. Various factors such as species-specific foraging strategies or oceanic features which condition the passive diffusion of debris, and sea turtles in part, may explain spatio-temporal variations in sensitive areas. Further research

  7. Sedation and anesthesia of hatchling leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) for auditory evoked potential measurement in air and in water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harms, Craig A; Piniak, Wendy E D; Eckert, Scott A; Stringer, Elizabeth M

    2014-03-01

    Sedation or anesthesia of hatchling leatherback sea turtles was employed to acquire auditory evoked potential (AEP) measurements in air and in water to assess their hearing sensitivity in relation to potential consequences from anthropogenic noise. To reduce artifacts in AEP collection caused by muscle movement, hatchlings were sedated with midazolam 2 or 3 mg/kg i.v. for in-air (n = 7) or in-water (n = 11) AEP measurements; hatchlings (n = 5) were anesthetized with ketamine 6 mg/kg and dexmedetomidine 30 microg/kg i.v. reversed with atipamezole 300 microg/kg, half i.m. and half i.v. for in-air AEP measurements. Midazolam-sedated turtles were also physically restrained with a light elastic wrap. For in-water AEP measurements, sedated turtles were brought to the surface every 45-60 sec, or whenever they showed intention signs for breathing, and not submerged again until they took a breath. Postprocedure temperature-corrected venous blood pH, pCO2, pO2, and HCO3- did not differ among groups, although for the midazolam-sedated in-water group, pCO2 trended lower, and in the ketamine-dexmedetomidine anesthetized group there was one turtle considered clinically acidotic (temperature-corrected pH = 7.117). Venous blood lactate was greater for hatchlings recently emerged from the nest than for turtles sedated with midazolam in air, with the other two groups falling intermediate between, but not differing significantly from the high and low lactate groups. Disruptive movements were less frequent with anesthesia than with sedation in the in-air group. Both sedation with midazolam and anesthesia with ketamine-dexmedetomidine were successful for allowing AEP measurements in hatchling leatherback sea turtles. Sedation allowed the turtle to protect its airway voluntarily while limiting flipper movement. Midazolam or ketamine-dexmedetomidine (and reversal with atipamezole) would be useful for other procedures requiring minor or major restraint in leatherback sea turtle hatchlings

  8. Stable isotope tracking of endangered sea turtles: validation with satellite telemetry and δ15N analysis of amino acids.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey A Seminoff

    Full Text Available Effective conservation strategies for highly migratory species must incorporate information about long-distance movements and locations of high-use foraging areas. However, the inherent challenges of directly monitoring these factors call for creative research approaches and innovative application of existing tools. Highly migratory marine species, such as marine turtles, regularly travel hundreds or thousands of kilometers between breeding and feeding areas, but identification of migratory routes and habitat use patterns remains elusive. Here we use satellite telemetry in combination with compound-specific isotope analysis of amino acids to confirm that insights from bulk tissue stable isotope analysis can reveal divergent migratory strategies and within-population segregation of foraging groups of critically endangered leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea across the Pacific Ocean. Among the 78 turtles studied, we found a distinct dichotomy in δ(15N values of bulk skin, with distinct "low δ(15N" and "high δ(15N" groups. δ(15N analysis of amino acids confirmed that this disparity resulted from isotopic differences at the base of the food chain and not from differences in trophic position between the two groups. Satellite tracking of 13 individuals indicated that their bulk skin δ(15N value was linked to the particular foraging region of each turtle. These findings confirm that prevailing marine isoscapes of foraging areas can be reflected in the isotopic compositions of marine turtle body tissues sampled at nesting beaches. We use a Bayesian mixture model to show that between 82 and 100% of the 78 skin-sampled turtles could be assigned with confidence to either the eastern Pacific or western Pacific, with 33 to 66% of all turtles foraging in the eastern Pacific. Our forensic approach validates the use of stable isotopes to depict leatherback turtle movements over broad spatial ranges and is timely for establishing wise conservation

  9. PHARMACOKINETICS OF TRAMADOL AND O-DESMETHYLTRAMADOL IN LOGGERHEAD SEA TURTLES (CARETTA CARETTA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norton, Terry M; Cox, Sherry; Nelson, Steven E; Kaylor, Michelle; Thomas, Rachel; Hupp, Amy; Sladky, Kurt K

    2015-06-01

    The objective of this study was to determine the pharmacokinetics of two orally administered doses of tramadol (5 and 10 mg/kg) and its major metabolite (O-desmethyltramadol) (M1) in loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta). After oral administration, the half-life of tramadol administered at 5 and 10 mg/kg was 20.35 and 22.67 hr, whereas the half-life of M1 was 10.23 and 11.26 hr, respectively. The maximum concentration (Cmax) for tramadol after oral administration at 5 mg/kg and 10 mg/kg was 373 and 719 ng/ml, whereas that of M1 was 655 and 1,376 ng/ml, respectively. Tramadol administered orally to loggerhead sea turtles at both dosages provided measurable plasma concentrations of tramadol and O-desmethyltramadol for several days with no adverse effects. Plasma concentrations of tramadol and O-desmethyltramadol remained ≥100 ng/ml for at least 48 and 72 hr when tramadol was administered at 10 mg/kg.

  10. Pharmacokinetics of marbofloxacin in loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) after single intravenous and intramuscular doses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Olimpia R; Marín, Pedro; Laricchiuta, Pietro; Marzano, Giacomo; Crescenzo, Giuseppe; Escudero, Elisa

    2009-09-01

    The disposition kinetics of marbofloxacin at a single dose of 2 mg/kg bodyweight were determined in a crossover trial with five clinically healthy loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) after i.v. and i.m. administration. Marbofloxacin plasma concentrations were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography (LOD/LOQ 0.05 microg/ml). Data were subjected to noncompartmental analysis. The integrated pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic variables showed that optimal area under the curve (AUC(0-24 h)): minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) (>125) and Cmax: MIC (>8) ratios, as reported for concentration-dependent bactericidal antimicrobials (e.g., fluoroquinolones), were achievable with both a once daily i.v. or i.m. dose for microorganisms with MIC 8 for MIC > or = 1 microg/ml was achievable only after the i.v. administration. The absence of adverse reactions in the animals after i.v. or i.m. administration of marbofloxacin and the favorable pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic properties after a single dose of 2 mg/kg suggest the possibility of its safe and effective clinical use in loggerhead sea turtles.

  11. Incubation temperature effects on hatchling performance in the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leah R Fisher

    Full Text Available Incubation temperature has significant developmental effects on oviparous animals, including affecting sexual differentiation for several species. Incubation temperature also affects traits that can influence survival, a theory that is verified in this study for the Northwest Atlantic loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta. We conducted controlled laboratory incubations and experiments to test for an effect of incubation temperature on performance of loggerhead hatchlings. Sixty-eight hatchlings were tested in 2011, and 31 in 2012, produced from eggs incubated at 11 different constant temperatures ranging from 27°C to 33°C. Following their emergence from the eggs, we tested righting response, crawling speed, and conducted a 24-hour long swim test. The results support previous studies on sea turtle hatchlings, with an effect of incubation temperature seen on survivorship, righting response time, crawling speed, change in crawl speed, and overall swim activity, and with hatchlings incubated at 27°C showing decreased locomotor abilities. No hatchlings survived to be tested in both years when incubated at 32°C and above. Differences in survivorship of hatchlings incubated at high temperatures are important in light of projected higher sand temperatures due to climate change, and could indicate increased mortality from incubation temperature effects.

  12. To eat or not to eat an endangered species: views of local residents and physicians on the safety of sea turtle consumption in northwestern Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senko, Jesse; Nichols, Wallace J; Ross, James Perran; Willcox, Adam S

    2009-12-01

    Sea turtles have historically been an important food resource for many coastal inhabitants of Mexico. Today, the consumption of sea turtle meat and eggs continues in northwestern Mexico despite well-documented legal protection and market conditions providing easier access to other more reliable protein sources. Although there is growing evidence that consuming sea turtles may be harmful to human health due to biotoxins, environmental contaminants, viruses, parasites, and bacteria, many at-risk individuals, trusted information sources, and risk communicators may be unaware of this information. Therefore, we interviewed 134 residents and 37 physicians in a region with high rates of sea turtle consumption to: (1) examine their knowledge and perceptions concerning these risks, as a function of sex, age, occupation, education and location; (2) document the occurrence of illness resulting from consumption; and (3) identify information needs for effective risk communication. We found that 32% of physicians reported having treated patients who were sickened from sea turtle consumption. Although physicians believed sea turtles were an unhealthy food source, they were largely unaware of specific health hazards found in regional sea turtles, regardless of location. By contrast, residents believed that sea turtles were a healthy food source, regardless of sex, age, occupation, and education, and they were largely unaware of specific health hazards found in regional sea turtles, regardless of age, occupation, and education. Although most residents indicated that they would cease consumption if their physician told them it was unhealthy, women were significantly more likely to do so than men. These results suggest that residents may lack the necessary knowledge to make informed dietary decisions and physicians do not have enough accurate information to effectively communicate risks with their patients.

  13. Antibiotic Resistance of Gram Negatives isolates from loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in the central Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foti, M; Giacopello, C; Bottari, Teresa; Fisichella, V; Rinaldo, D; Mammina, C

    2009-09-01

    Previous studies on fish and marine mammals support the hypothesis that marine species harbor antibiotic resistance and therefore may serve as reservoirs for antibiotic-resistance genetic determinants. The aim of this study was to assess the resistance to antimicrobial agents of Gram negative strains isolated from loggerhead sea turtles (Carettacaretta). Oral and cloacal swabs from 19 live-stranded loggerhead sea turtles, with hooks fixed into the gut, were analyzed. The antimicrobial resistance of the isolates to 31 antibiotics was assessed using the disk-diffusion method. Conventional biochemical tests identified Citrobacter spp., Proteus spp., Enterobacter spp., Escherichia spp., Providencia spp., Morganella spp., Pantoea spp., Pseudomonas spp. and Shewanella spp. Highest prevalences of resistance was detected to carbenicillin (100%), cephalothin (92.6%), oxytetracycline (81.3%) and amoxicillin (77.8%). The isolates showing resistance to the widest range of antibiotics were identified as Citrobacterfreundii, Proteusvulgaris, Providenciarettgeri and Pseudomonasaeruginosa. In this study, antibiotic resistant bacteria reflect marine contamination by polluted effluents and C.caretta is considered a bioindicator which can be used as a monitor for pollution.

  14. Investigation of plastic debris ingestion by four species of sea turtles collected as bycatch in pelagic Pacific longline fisheries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clukey, Katherine E.; Lepczyk, Christopher A.; Balazs, George H.; Work, Thierry M.; Lynch, Jennifer M.

    2017-01-01

    Ingestion of marine debris is an established threat to sea turtles. The amount, type, color and location of ingested plastics in the gastrointestinal tracts of 55 sea turtles from Pacific longline fisheries from 2012 to 2016 were quantified, and compared across species, turtle length, body condition, sex, capture location, season and year. Six approaches for quantifying amounts of ingested plastic strongly correlated with one another and included: number of pieces, mass, volume and surface area of plastics, ratio of plastic mass to body mass, and percentage of the mass of gut contents consisting of plastic. All olive ridley (n = 37), 90% of green (n = 10), 80% of loggerhead (n = 5) and 0% of leatherback (n = 3) turtles had ingested plastic; green turtles ingested significantly more than olive ridleys. Most debris was in the large intestines. No adverse health impacts (intestinal lesions, blockage, or poor body condition) due directly to plastic ingestion were noted.

  15. Heritable variation in heat shock gene expression: a potential mechanism for adaptation to thermal stress in embryos of sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tedeschi, J N; Kennington, W J; Tomkins, J L; Berry, O; Whiting, S; Meekan, M G; Mitchell, N J

    2016-01-13

    The capacity of species to respond adaptively to warming temperatures will be key to their survival in the Anthropocene. The embryos of egg-laying species such as sea turtles have limited behavioural means for avoiding high nest temperatures, and responses at the physiological level may be critical to coping with predicted global temperature increases. Using the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) as a model, we used quantitative PCR to characterise variation in the expression response of heat-shock genes (hsp60, hsp70 and hsp90; molecular chaperones involved in cellular stress response) to an acute non-lethal heat shock. We show significant variation in gene expression at the clutch and population levels for some, but not all hsp genes. Using pedigree information, we estimated heritabilities of the expression response of hsp genes to heat shock and demonstrated both maternal and additive genetic effects. This is the first evidence that the heat-shock response is heritable in sea turtles and operates at the embryonic stage in any reptile. The presence of heritable variation in the expression of key thermotolerance genes is necessary for sea turtles to adapt at a molecular level to warming incubation environments.

  16. Relocations of sea turtle nests of Lepidochelys olivacea, Dermochelys coriacea and Chelonia mydas in the Galibi Nature Reserve, Suriname

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schouten, A.D.; Weijerman, M.; Tienen, van L.H.G.; Hoekert, W.E.J.

    1997-01-01

    SCHOUTEN, A.D., WEIJERMAN, M., VAN TIENEN, L.H.G. & W.E.J. HOEKERT, 1997. Relocations of Sea Turtle nests of Lepidochelys olivacea, Dermochelys coriace and Chelonia mydas in the Galibi Nature Reserve, Suriname. Studies Nat. Hist. Caribbean Region 73, Amsterdam, 1997: 63-69. Relocation of nests of th

  17. Relocations of sea turtle nests of Lepidochelys olivacea, Dermochelys coriacea and Chelonia mydas in the Galibi Nature Reserve, Suriname

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schouten, A.D.; Weijerman, M.; Tienen, van L.H.G.; Hoekert, W.E.J.

    1997-01-01

    SCHOUTEN, A.D., WEIJERMAN, M., VAN TIENEN, L.H.G. & W.E.J. HOEKERT, 1997. Relocations of Sea Turtle nests of Lepidochelys olivacea, Dermochelys coriace and Chelonia mydas in the Galibi Nature Reserve, Suriname. Studies Nat. Hist. Caribbean Region 73, Amsterdam, 1997: 63-69. Relocation of nests of th

  18. Multiple paternity and female-biased mutation at a microsatellite locus in the olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoekert, W.E.J.; Neufeglise, N.; Schouten, A.D.; Menken, S.B.J.

    2002-01-01

    Multiple paternity in the olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) population nesting in Suriname was demonstrated using two microsatellite loci, viz., Ei8 and Cm84. The large number of offspring sampled per clutch (70 on average, ranging from 15 to 103) and the number of alleles found at the

  19. Perceptions of fishers to sea turtle bycatch, illegal capture and consumption in the San Ignacio-Navachiste-Macapule lagoon complex, Gulf of California, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguilar-González, Myrna E; Luna-González, Antonio; Aguirre, Alonso; Zavala-Norzagaray, Alan A; Mundo-Ocampo, Manuel; González-Ocampo, Héctor A

    2014-01-01

    In this study, 10% of all registered fishermen in the coastal towns of Navachiste in Sinaloa, in northwestern Mexico, answered a survey designed to collect data on their perceptions of the following topics: the impact of turtle meat consumption; human health; bycatch; illegal turtle fishing; the illegal sea turtle market; the local economy; pollution; environmental education; the success of protective legislation; and sea turtle-based ecotourism. Perceptions were analyzed using the fuzzy logic method through classification into 5 fuzzy membership sets: VL, very low; L, low; M, moderate; H, high; VH, very high. The 9 topics generated decision areas upon applying fuzzy inference that revealed the membership level of the answers in each fuzzy set. The economic potential of sea turtle-based ecotourism and the economic profitability of the illegal turtle meat market were perceived as VL. Conservation legislation was perceived as H, although inefficiently applied due to corruption. Ecotourism and impacts on sea turtles were perceived as VL, because they were deemed unprofitable activities at the individual and community levels. Environmental education was perceived as L, because it centers on nesting, hatching and releasing turtles and is directed at elementary and middle-school students. While fishers perceive a serious negative impact of fishing activities on sea turtles in the San Ignacio-Navachiste-Macapule area, they do not see themselves individually as part of the problem. Achieving sea turtle conservation in this region requires: suitable ecotourism infrastructure, government investments in promotion, and studies to estimate the minimum number of tourists needed to assure profitability. © 2012 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd, ISZS and IOZ/CAS.

  20. Effects of alfaxalone administered intravenously to healthy yearling loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) at three different doses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Brianne E; Posner, Lysa P; Lewbart, Gregory A; Christiansen, Emily F; Harms, Craig A

    2017-04-15

    OBJECTIVE To compare physiologic and anesthetic effects of alfaxalone administered IV to yearling loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) at 3 different doses. DESIGN Randomized crossover study. ANIMALS 9 healthy yearling loggerhead sea turtles. PROCEDURES Animals received each of 3 doses of alfaxalone (3 mg/kg [1.4 mg/lb], 5 mg/kg [2.3 mg/lb], or 10 mg/kg [4.5 mg/lb]) administered IV in randomly assigned order, with a minimum 7-day washout period between doses. Endotracheal intubation was attempted following anesthetic induction, and heart rate, sedation depth, cloacal temperature, and respirations were monitored. Times to first effect, induction, first voluntary muscle movement, first respiration, and recovery were recorded. Venous blood gas analysis was performed at 0 and 30 minutes. Assisted ventilation was performed if apnea persisted 30 minutes following induction. RESULTS Median anesthetic induction time for all 3 doses was 2 minutes. Endotracheal intubation was accomplished in all turtles following induction. Heart rate significantly increased after the 3- and 5-mg/kg doses were administered. Median intervals from alfaxalone administration to first spontaneous respiration were 16, 22, and 54 minutes for the 3-, 5-, and 10-mg/kg doses, respectively, and median intervals to recovery were 28, 46, and 90 minutes, respectively. Assisted ventilation was required for 1 turtle after receiving the 5-mg/kg dose and for 5 turtles after receiving the 10-mg/kg dose. The 10-mg/kg dose resulted in respiratory acidosis and marked hypoxemia at 30 minutes. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE IV alfaxalone administration to loggerhead sea turtles resulted in a rapid anesthetic induction and dose-dependent duration of sedation. Assisted ventilation is recommended if the 10 mg/kg dose is administered.

  1. The first “lost year” of Mediterranean sea turtles: dispersal patterns indicate subregional management units for conservation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Casale, Paolo; Mariani, Patrizio

    2014-01-01

    Identifying highly frequented areas is a priority for sea turtle conservation, and the distribution of young individuals in open waters represents a major knowledge gap due to methodological biases. The drift of hatchlings from 38 loggerhead and 10 green turtle nesting sites in the Mediterranean...... were simulated for the first six months of life, with the simulations being repeated for five different years (2001 – 2005). The results indicate that hatchlings from the Levantine and south-central Mediterranean sites are mainly retained in the same areas of origin, while those from the Ionian area...

  2. Size-dependent, sex-dependent and seasonal changes in insulin-lige growth-factor-I in the loggerhead sea turtle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crain, D.A.; Bolten, A.B.; Bjorndal, K.A.; Guillette, L.J.; Gross, T.S.

    1995-01-01

    This study examines size-dependent, sex-dependent, and seasonal fluctuations in plasma insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) concentrations in loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta). Loggerhead turtles (n = 158) were captured in shrimp trawler nets during a 12-month survey in Cape Canaveral Channel, Florida. Plasma samples were analyzed using a validated heterologous radioimmunoassay. Large turtles (>75 cm straight-line carapace length) had significantly higher plasma IGF-I concentrations than small turtles (⩽75 cm; P turtles, but large turtles had significantly higher plasma IGF-I concentrations during the spring and summer months (P turtles, adult males had significantly lower IGF-I concentrations than females and subadult males (P turtle natural history suggest that the seasonal fluctuations in plasma IGF-I of adult turtles are due to elevated IGF-I levels in reproductively active female turtles. Further research is needed to examine correlations between reproductive activities and plasma IGF-I concentrations in reptiles.

  3. Sex Differences and the Heritability of Scute Pattern Abnormalities in the Green Sea Turtle from the Ogasawara Archipelago, Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobayashi, Shohei; Morimoto, Yukari; Kondo, Satomi; Sato, Takayuki; Suganuma, Hiroyuki; Arai, Katsuhiko; Watanabe, Gen

    2017-08-01

    Although scute pattern abnormalities in sea turtle species are considered to be strongly correlated with survival rate, there is little information available regarding these abnormalities and the primary cause for their development is unclear. For the conservation of sea turtle species, accumulating basic knowledge of scute pattern abnormalities is a fundamental step towards a better understanding of the causes of these abnormalities. In the present study, we counted vertebral and costal scutes from adults hunted for food (male and female) (n = 899), nesting females (n = 155), and hatchlings (n = 44,537) of the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) from the Ogasawara Archipelago, Japan. We found that the frequency of turtles with non-modal scute patterns was significantly greater in adult females than that in adult males (P = 0.02). Since females are produced by warmer incubation temperatures, and the period of sex determination coincides with the period of scute pattern determination, high incubation temperatures may be responsible for the induction of scute pattern abnormalities. Moreover, females with non-modal scute patterns produced a higher frequency of hatchlings with non-modal scute patterns than females with modal scute patterns (P < 0.01), indicating that scute abnormality may be heritable. For conservation of this species, our results suggest that decrease of the incubation temperature by cooling methods, such as provision of shade, may minimize the frequency of non-modal scute patterns, with consideration for the natural sex ratio.

  4. Loggerhead sea turtle bycatch data in artisanal fisheries within a marine protected area: fishermen surveys versus scientific observations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lozano, M.

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Loggerhead sea turtles can be incidentally captured by artisanal gears but information about the impact of this fishing is inconsistent and scarce. Recent studies have observed that the bycatch, or incidental catch rate, in fishermen surveys is irregular. The aim of this study was to compare direct data (onboard observers concerning the incidental catch of loggerhead sea turtles by the artisanal vessels versus data from fishermen surveys. The study area was the Cabo de Gata-Níjar marine protected area, situated in the western Mediterranean (southeast of the Iberian peninsula. We observed two loggerhead turtles that were incidentally caught in a total of 165 fishing operations. According to fishermen surveys, a total of nine loggerheads were incidentally caught in 861 fishing operations. The differences between the loggerhead sea turtle bycatch reported by fishermen surveys and scientific observations versus random distribution (x2 = 0.3146, P = 0.575, df = 1 were not significant. We conclude that the surveys are useful but that findings should be interpreted with caution.

  5. 76 FR 63322 - Endangered and Threatened Species Permit Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-12

    ...), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), green (Chelonia mydas), and loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtles.... Applicant requests a new permit for husbandry and holding of green (Chelonia mydas) sea turtles within...

  6. A mechanism that maintains alternative life histories in a loggerhead sea turtle population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatase, Hideo; Omuta, Kazuyoshi; Tsukamoto, Katsumi

    2013-11-01

    Intrapopulation variation in habitat use is commonly seen among mobile animals, yet the mechanisms maintaining it have rarely been researched among untrackable species. To investigate how alternative life histories are maintained in a population of the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), cumulative reproductive output was evaluated and compared between small planktivores inhabiting oceanic areas (with water depths > 200 m) and large benthivores inhabiting neritic areas (depths life history parameters (clutch size, clutch frequency, breeding frequency, and remigration intervals), with the exception of emergence success. We did not find evidence of life history trade-offs, nor age-related changes in fecundity. Over the 26-year study period, we calculated a 2.4-fold greater reproductive output for neritic foragers than for oceanic ones, accounting for breeding and clutch frequency. Temporal consistencies in stable isotope ratios and remigration intervals within females suggested that female Japanese loggerheads show fidelity to respective foraging habitats throughout the adult stage. The large difference in productivity between the two groups was unlikely to be offset by the difference in survival during the period from aboveground emergence to first reproduction, suggesting that oceanic foragers have a lower level of fitness than neritic ones. Together with an absence of genetic structure between foraging groups, we infer that alternative life histories in a loggerhead turtle population are maintained by a conditional strategy.

  7. Exogenous estradiol alters gonadal growth and timing of temperature sex determination in gonads of sea turtle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz-Hernández, Verónica; Marmolejo-Valencia, Alejandro; Merchant-Larios, Horacio

    2015-12-01

    Temperature sex determining species offer a model for investigating how environmental cues become integrated to the regulation of patterning genes and growth, among bipotential gonads. Manipulation of steroid hormones has revealed the important role of aromatase in the regulation of the estrogen levels involved in temperature-dependent sex determination. Estradiol treatment counteracts the effect of male-promoting temperature, but the resulting ovarian developmental pattern differs from that manifested with the female-promoting temperature. Hypoplastic gonads have been reported among estradiol-treated turtles; however the estradiol effect on gonadal size has not been examined. Here we focused on the sea turtle Lepidochelys olivacea, which develops hypoplastic gonads with estradiol treatment. We studied the effect of estradiol on cell proliferation and on candidate genes involved in ovarian pattern. We found this effect is organ specific, causing a dramatic reduction in gonadal cell proliferation during the temperature-sensitive period. Although the incipient gonads resembled tiny ovaries, remodeling of the medullary cords and down-regulation of testicular factor Sox9 were considerably delayed. Contrastingly, with ovarian promoting temperature as a cue, exogenous estradiol induced the up-regulation of the ovary factor FoxL2, prior to the expression of aromatase. The strong expression of estrogen receptor alpha at the time of treatment suggests that it mediates estradiol effects. Overall results indicate that estradiol levels required for gonadal growth and to establish the female genetic network are delicately regulated by temperature.

  8. Stress Response of Juvenile Green Sea Turtles ( Chelonia mydas ) with Different Fibropapillomatosis Scores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renan de Deus Santos, Marcelo; Dias Ferreira Júnior, Paulo; Cardoso Nóbrega, Yhuri; Merçon, Julia; Miura Pereira, Tatiana; Carvalho Gomes, Levy

    2017-07-01

    Green sea turtles ( Chelonia mydas ) with cutaneous fibropapillomatosis (FP) occur in some populations worldwide, and the survivability of these individuals may be compromised depending on the disease severity score. Furthermore, populations may be negatively affected in areas with a high prevalence of the disease. The stress responses (corticosterone, glucose, lactate, and hematocrit) to capture and handling were assessed in animals with different FP severity scores. From 18 January 2013 to 31 July 2014, 33 juvenile (sex was not determined) C. mydas were collected from the effluent of a steel mill in the state of Espírito Santo, Brazil, by casting a net from the bank of a canal in the morning. The body conditions of animals with FP scores of FP2 and FP3 were poor, which suggests that these turtles were unable to adequately feed themselves, and animals with an FP score of FP3 exhibited an impaired corticosterone response. This may compromise the fitness of animals in populations with a high incidence of advanced-stage FP.

  9. Forty-seven days of decay does not change persistent organic pollutant levels in loggerhead sea turtle eggs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Jennifer M

    2013-04-01

    Reptile and bird eggs are priority samples for specimen banking programs that assess spatial and temporal trends of environmental contaminants. From endangered species, such as sea turtles, nonlethal sampling is required (e.g., unhatched eggs collected postemergence). Previous contaminant monitoring studies have used unhatched sea turtle eggs, but no study has tested whether their concentrations represent levels found in fresh eggs (e.g., eggs collected within 24 h of oviposition). The author analyzed three fresh eggs from different nest depths and up to three unhatched eggs from 10 loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) nests in South Carolina, USA, for a suite of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Lipid-normalized POP concentrations were not significantly different (p > 0.05) between fresh and unhatched eggs or among different depths from the same nest. The POP concentrations in loggerhead eggs from South Carolina were higher than previously measured concentrations in eggs from Florida and slightly lower than concentrations in eggs from North Carolina. This pattern agrees with previously observed trends of increasing POP concentrations in loggerhead turtles inhabiting northern latitudes along the U.S. East Coast. Contaminant profiles are discussed, including a higher chlorinated pattern of polychlorinated biphenyls possibly associated with a Superfund site in nearby Brunswick, Georgia, USA, and unusual polybrominated diphenylether patterns seen in this and previous sea turtle studies. Concentrations correlated with one of eight measurements of reproductive success; levels were negatively correlated with egg mass (p < 0.05), which may have implications for hatchling fitness. The present study suggests that unhatched eggs can be used for POP-monitoring projects.

  10. Twelve new polymorphic microsatellite markers from the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) and crossspecies amplification on other marine turtle species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Monzón-Argüello, Catalina; Muñoz, Joaquin; Marco, Adolfo;

    2008-01-01

    from 3 to 13 (average of 7.33) and the values of observed heterozygosities from 0.32 to 0.80 (average of 0.61). Cross-species amplification on three other marine turtles, Chelonia mydas, Eretmochelys imbricata and Dermochelys coriacea, revealed polymorphism and variability at eight, eleven and three...

  11. LEGACY - Photographs resulting from experiment remote camera viewing of sea turtles and habitats

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Photos collected in marine turtle research programs are diverse, ranging from isolated observations of incidental encounters with turtles to voluminous, complex...

  12. Occurrence of organochlorine contaminants (PCBs, PCDDs and PCDFs) and pathologic findings in loggerhead sea turtles, Caretta caretta, from the Adriatic Sea (Mediterranean Sea).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Storelli, Maria M; Zizzo, Nicola

    2014-02-15

    Livers of 12 loggerhead sea turtles, Caretta caretta from the Eastern Mediterranean Sea (Adriatic Sea) were analyzed for the presence of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and dibenzofurans (PCDFs). Pathological and microbiological studies were also carried out in order to provide a contribution to the knowledge of causes of Mediterranean turtle death. Boat-strike injuries, entanglement in derelict fishing nets and ingestion of hooks and monofilament lines are the causes of death most frequently observed. PCBs (average: 1,399 ng g(-1) fat basis) were the dominant chemicals, followed by PCDFs (average: 61 pg g(-1) fat basic) and PCDDs (average: 16 pg g(-1) fat basis). Hexachlorobiphenyl 153 accounted for the greatest proportion of the total PCBs, followed in order by PCB 138 and PCB 180 (14.1%). Mid-chlorinated, penta-through hepta-PCBs were among the top contributors to the sum of total PCBs, while the homolog pattern of PCCD/Fs was dominated by the tetra- to hexa-substituted congeners. In general the contamination level observed here was comparable with that reported in literature for specimens from different marine areas. Average TEQPCDD/Fs+Dl-PCBs concentration was 27.02 pg g(-1) wet weight (305.1 pg g(-1) lipid weight), with dioxin like-PCBs (93.4%) contributing much more to the total than PCDFs (3.9%) and PCDDs (2.7%). The appreciable concentration of TEQ would at first suggest that there are signs of potential threats to the health of these marine reptiles. Apart from PCBs, this is the first study documenting concentrations of PCDD/Fs in marine turtles from the Mediterranean Sea. Further investigations are urgently needed to characterize their contamination level for a better future protection and conservation of this endangered animal.

  13. A herpesvirus-type agent associated with skin lesions of green sea turtles in aquaculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rebell, G; Rywlin, A; Haines, H

    1975-08-01

    Nine successive groups of green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) were observed in aquaculture during the posthatchling period. During the first 6 months of growth, each group underwent an epizootic of skin lesions, named gray-patch disease. Two types of skin lesions are associated with gray-patch disease: papules and, more characteristically, spreading gray patches which appear 7 to 8 weeks after hatching. In both types of lesions, intranuclear inclusions are found in keratinocytes in the malpighian layer of the epidermis. Electron microscopic examination of scrapings from lesions and biopsies revealed many viral particles, with features characteristic of the herpesvirus group. Transmission of gray-patch disease is possible with bacteria-free preparations of viral particles.

  14. Feature Extraction of Olive Ridley Sea Turtle Using Feed Forward neural Network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Capt. Dr.S.Santhosh Baboo

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The paper deals with the computer based auto detection of particular species of sea turtles. In this process, three parameters have been taken and trained in artificial neural network for detecting the particular species among the popular seven species of the world. The existing algorithm for auto photo identification of detecting the particular species is much complicated due to classification process in the algorithm. To improve this algorithm, new technique has been used in feature extraction of the image and there are 10 images where trained and then finally particular species Olive Ridely is retrieved. These images are trained through artificial neural network and result of the images is plotted in the graphs.

  15. Exceptional sea turtle nest records in 2011 suggest an underestimated nesting potential in Sicily (Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paolo Casale

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available We report seven nesting events by loggerhead sea turtles in Sicily (Italy in 2011. In comparison to past records, this number is relatively high and may be at least in part due to an awareness campaign carried out in 2011 to solicit such reports. This suggests that Sicily may host a much higher nesting activity than previously thought and higher monitoring effort is recommended, especially in certain coastal tracts. Sand temperatures and incubation periods indicate that the beaches monitored so far in the southern coast are not optimal for development, resulting in low hatching success, and produce a majority of males. Five 2011 nests and two past nests from the same area had mtDNA haplotype CC-A2.1, the most common in the Mediterranean.

  16. Stranding and incidental catch of sea turtles in the coastal Tumbes, Peru

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos A. Rosales

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Strandings and incidental catches of four sea turtles species (Chelonia mydas, Lepidochelys olivacea, Dermochelys coriacea and Eretmochelys imbricata were registered in Tumbes Region since August 2007 to August 2009. These registers (52.6% of strandings and 47.4% of incidental catches occurred during all year; most frequently in Punta Picos (50.5%, Canoas (20.0% and Baja de Punta Mero (14.7%. The most registered species were C. mydas (64.2% and L. olivacea (30.5%; their sizes did not present significant differences between areas and climatic seasons. The higher percentage of C. mydas, L. olivacea and D. coriacea were considered sub-adults, including the only specimen of E. imbricata. The incidental catches were made with gillnets of different mesh sizes, but 8 inches mesh was most frequently. A high proportions of specimens were died with signs of drowning (22.2% this was due to the prolonged time of soak time of gillnet (approximately 12 hours. No significant differences in CPUE were found between climatic seasons and no seasonal pattern was evident. Lesions in 14% of stranded specimens were caused possibly by human attacks or by collisions with fishing boats. 77.8% of incidental catch specimens were sacrificed for the commercialization of his meat, and sometimes of his shell, this shows the lack of awareness of conservation. These observations indicate that the coast of Tumbes is an important foraging area and development of sub-adult specimens of sea turtles; so it is recomend to develop monitoring, awareness and critical areas protection programs to foment the conservation of these organisms in the Eastern Pacific.

  17. Non-migratory breeding by isolated green sea turtles ( Chelonia mydas) in the Indian Ocean: biological and conservation implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiting, Scott D.; Murray, Wendy; Macrae, Ismail; Thorn, Robert; Chongkin, Mohammad; Koch, Andrea U.

    2008-04-01

    Green sea turtles ( Chelonia mydas) are renowned for their long-distance migrations but have less fame for short-distance migrations or non-migratory behavior. We present satellite telemetric evidence from Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Indian Ocean for the first predominantly non-migratory green sea turtle ( C. mydas) population. The mean migration distance from the nesting beach to the foraging grounds was 35.5 km with a maximum mean transit time of 3.4 days. The behavior of this population has major implications for our general understanding of green turtle behavior and their life cycle and for conservation. Firstly, these results indicate a level of juvenile or adult non-breeding homing behavior from the open ocean to foraging grounds adjacent to their natal nesting beach. Secondly, a non-migratory breeding phase reduces the consumption of reproductive energy utilized, potentially resulting in higher fecundity for this population. Thirdly, the close proximity of the nesting and foraging habitats allows for uniformity in management and conservation strategies rarely possible for wide-ranging green turtle populations.

  18. Molecular Characterization of Coccidia Associated with an Epizootic in Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas) in South East Queensland, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, Phoebe A; Owen, Helen; Flint, Mark; Traub, Rebecca J; Cribb, Thomas H; Mills, Paul C

    2016-01-01

    In the spring of 2014, mass mortalities among wild green sea turtles occurred off the coast of south-east Queensland, Australia. The suspected causative agent was Caryospora cheloniae, an eimeriid coccidian implicated in previous epizootics. Necropsies were undertaken on a subset of 11 dead turtles, with subsequent histopathology and molecular analyses. All turtles returned positive PCR results for coccidial infection in various tissues; these included the brain, gastrointestinal tract, lung, kidney and thyroid. Granulomatous encephalitis was consistently observed, as well as enteritis and, less frequently, thyroiditis and nephritis. Sequencing and phylogenetic analyses indicated the presence of two distinct coccidian genotypes, presumably separate species-one associated with the brain, gastrointestinal tract and lung, and the second with the thyroid and kidney. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference analyses placed the first genotype closest to the lankesterellid genus Schellackia, rather than in the Eimeriidae, while the second was paraphyletic to the eimeriids. Presence of coccidial stages in extra-intestinal tissues of the primary host raises questions about the potential presence of intermediate or paratenic hosts within the life cycles, as well as their current placement relative to the genus Caryospora. This study represents the first genetic characterization of this emerging disease agent in green sea turtles, an endangered species, and has relevance for life-cycle elucidation and future development of diagnostics.

  19. Caught in the Same Net? Small-Scale Fishermen's Perceptions of Fisheries Interactions with Sea Turtles and Other Protected Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aliki Panagopoulou

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Small-scale fisheries are responsible for high numbers of animals caught as bycatch, such as turtles, cetaceans, and seals. Bycatch and its associated mortality is a major conservation challenge for these species and is considered undesirable by fishermen. To gain insights on the impact of bycatch on small-scale fishermen and put it in context with other financial and environmental challenges they face, we conducted questionnaire-based interviews on fishermen working on Crete, Greece. We investigated fishermen's perceptions of sea turtle and other protected species interactions, and the impacts of such interactions on their profession and livelihoods. Our results indicate a connection between declining fish stocks, related increased fishing effort, and reported increased frequency of interactions between fishermen and sea turtles. Respondents believed that their livelihoods were endangered by industrial fishing and environmental problems, but thought that combined interactions with turtles and other marine megafauna species were a larger problem. Responses suggested that extending compensation to fishermen may be a good conservation intervention. Small-scale fishermen hold a wealth of knowledge about the marine environment and its resources. This may be of help to researchers and policy makers as it could be used to achieve a better managed, sustainable fishery. Including small-scale fishermen in the process of developing regulations will both enhance those regulations and increase compliance with them.

  20. Molecular Characterization of Coccidia Associated with an Epizootic in Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas in South East Queensland, Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Phoebe A Chapman

    Full Text Available In the spring of 2014, mass mortalities among wild green sea turtles occurred off the coast of south-east Queensland, Australia. The suspected causative agent was Caryospora cheloniae, an eimeriid coccidian implicated in previous epizootics. Necropsies were undertaken on a subset of 11 dead turtles, with subsequent histopathology and molecular analyses. All turtles returned positive PCR results for coccidial infection in various tissues; these included the brain, gastrointestinal tract, lung, kidney and thyroid. Granulomatous encephalitis was consistently observed, as well as enteritis and, less frequently, thyroiditis and nephritis. Sequencing and phylogenetic analyses indicated the presence of two distinct coccidian genotypes, presumably separate species-one associated with the brain, gastrointestinal tract and lung, and the second with the thyroid and kidney. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference analyses placed the first genotype closest to the lankesterellid genus Schellackia, rather than in the Eimeriidae, while the second was paraphyletic to the eimeriids. Presence of coccidial stages in extra-intestinal tissues of the primary host raises questions about the potential presence of intermediate or paratenic hosts within the life cycles, as well as their current placement relative to the genus Caryospora. This study represents the first genetic characterization of this emerging disease agent in green sea turtles, an endangered species, and has relevance for life-cycle elucidation and future development of diagnostics.

  1. Mitochondrial DNA STR analysis as a tool for studying the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) populations: the Mediterranean Sea case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tikochinski, Y; Bendelac, R; Barash, A; Daya, A; Levy, Y; Friedmann, A

    2012-06-01

    The Mediterranean population of the green sea turtle Chelonia mydas is critically endangered. Genetic analysis of this population using the ordinary haplotyping system, based on sequence analysis of a segment of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) D-loop (control region), revealed very little variation. The most common haplotype, CM-A13, was observed in all but three individuals in hundreds of samples in previous studies. In search for a more informative marker we sequenced the 3' of the mitochondrial control region which contains an AT-rich microsatellite. We found a unique pattern that consists of four AT short tandem repeats (STRs) with varying copy numbers. This allowed us to construct a new haplotyping system composed of four different STR sizes for each mtDNA sequence. Our new mitochondrial STR (mtSTR) haplotyping approach revealed 33 different haplotypes within the nesting and stranded sea turtles along the Mediterranean Israeli seashore. The Israeli coast nesting females had 10 different haplotypes that can be used for monitoring and conservation purposes. The mtSTR haplotyping system can clearly assist in fingerprinting of individual turtles. Moreover, it can be used for estimating phylogenetic distances within populations. This case study shows that the mtSTR haplotyping is applicable for the study of global green sea turtle populations and could also be considered as markers of genetic variability in other species.

  2. First Assessment of the Sex Ratio for an East Pacific Green Sea Turtle Foraging Aggregation: Validation and Application of a Testosterone ELISA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Camryn D; Robbins, Michelle N; Eguchi, Tomoharu; Owens, David W; Meylan, Anne B; Meylan, Peter A; Kellar, Nicholas M; Schwenter, Jeffrey A; Nollens, Hendrik H; LeRoux, Robin A; Dutton, Peter H; Seminoff, Jeffrey A

    2015-01-01

    Determining sex ratios of endangered populations is important for wildlife management, particularly species subject to sex-specific threats or that exhibit temperature-dependent sex determination. Sea turtle sex is determined by incubation temperature and individuals lack external sex-based traits until sexual maturity. Previous research utilized serum/plasma testosterone radioimmunoassays (RIA) to determine sex in immature/juvenile sea turtles. However, there has been a growing application of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for wildlife endocrinology studies, but no study on sea turtles has compared the results of ELISA and RIA. This study provides the first sex ratio for a threatened East Pacific green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) foraging aggregation, a critical step for future management of this species. Here, we validate a testosterone ELISA and compare results between RIA and ELISA of duplicate samples. The ELISA demonstrated excellent correspondence with the RIA for providing testosterone concentrations for sex determination. Neither assay proved reliable for predicting the sex of reproductively active females with increased testosterone production. We then applied ELISA to examine the sex ratio of 69 green turtles foraging in San Diego Bay, California. Of 45 immature turtles sampled, sex could not be determined for three turtles because testosterone concentrations fell between the ranges for either sex (females: 4.1-113.1 pg/mL, males: 198.4-2,613.0 pg/mL) and these turtles were not subsequently recaptured to enable sex determination; using a Bayesian model to predict probabilities of turtle sex we predicted all three 'unknowns' were female (> 0.86). Additionally, the model assigned all turtles with their correct sex (if determined at recapture) with 100% accuracy. Results indicated a female bias (2.83F:1M) among all turtles in the aggregation; when focusing only on putative immature turtles the sex ratio was 3.5F:1M. With appropriate validation

  3. First Assessment of the Sex Ratio for an East Pacific Green Sea Turtle Foraging Aggregation: Validation and Application of a Testosterone ELISA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Camryn D.; Robbins, Michelle N.; Eguchi, Tomoharu; Owens, David W.; Meylan, Anne B.; Meylan, Peter A.; Kellar, Nicholas M.; Schwenter, Jeffrey A.; Nollens, Hendrik H.; LeRoux, Robin A.; Dutton, Peter H.; Seminoff, Jeffrey A.

    2015-01-01

    Determining sex ratios of endangered populations is important for wildlife management, particularly species subject to sex-specific threats or that exhibit temperature-dependent sex determination. Sea turtle sex is determined by incubation temperature and individuals lack external sex-based traits until sexual maturity. Previous research utilized serum/plasma testosterone radioimmunoassays (RIA) to determine sex in immature/juvenile sea turtles. However, there has been a growing application of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for wildlife endocrinology studies, but no study on sea turtles has compared the results of ELISA and RIA. This study provides the first sex ratio for a threatened East Pacific green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) foraging aggregation, a critical step for future management of this species. Here, we validate a testosterone ELISA and compare results between RIA and ELISA of duplicate samples. The ELISA demonstrated excellent correspondence with the RIA for providing testosterone concentrations for sex determination. Neither assay proved reliable for predicting the sex of reproductively active females with increased testosterone production. We then applied ELISA to examine the sex ratio of 69 green turtles foraging in San Diego Bay, California. Of 45 immature turtles sampled, sex could not be determined for three turtles because testosterone concentrations fell between the ranges for either sex (females: 4.1–113.1 pg/mL, males: 198.4–2,613.0 pg/mL) and these turtles were not subsequently recaptured to enable sex determination; using a Bayesian model to predict probabilities of turtle sex we predicted all three ‘unknowns’ were female (> 0.86). Additionally, the model assigned all turtles with their correct sex (if determined at recapture) with 100% accuracy. Results indicated a female bias (2.83F:1M) among all turtles in the aggregation; when focusing only on putative immature turtles the sex ratio was 3.5F:1M. With appropriate

  4. First Assessment of the Sex Ratio for an East Pacific Green Sea Turtle Foraging Aggregation: Validation and Application of a Testosterone ELISA.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Camryn D Allen

    Full Text Available Determining sex ratios of endangered populations is important for wildlife management, particularly species subject to sex-specific threats or that exhibit temperature-dependent sex determination. Sea turtle sex is determined by incubation temperature and individuals lack external sex-based traits until sexual maturity. Previous research utilized serum/plasma testosterone radioimmunoassays (RIA to determine sex in immature/juvenile sea turtles. However, there has been a growing application of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA for wildlife endocrinology studies, but no study on sea turtles has compared the results of ELISA and RIA. This study provides the first sex ratio for a threatened East Pacific green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas foraging aggregation, a critical step for future management of this species. Here, we validate a testosterone ELISA and compare results between RIA and ELISA of duplicate samples. The ELISA demonstrated excellent correspondence with the RIA for providing testosterone concentrations for sex determination. Neither assay proved reliable for predicting the sex of reproductively active females with increased testosterone production. We then applied ELISA to examine the sex ratio of 69 green turtles foraging in San Diego Bay, California. Of 45 immature turtles sampled, sex could not be determined for three turtles because testosterone concentrations fell between the ranges for either sex (females: 4.1-113.1 pg/mL, males: 198.4-2,613.0 pg/mL and these turtles were not subsequently recaptured to enable sex determination; using a Bayesian model to predict probabilities of turtle sex we predicted all three 'unknowns' were female (> 0.86. Additionally, the model assigned all turtles with their correct sex (if determined at recapture with 100% accuracy. Results indicated a female bias (2.83F:1M among all turtles in the aggregation; when focusing only on putative immature turtles the sex ratio was 3.5F:1M. With appropriate

  5. Interaction between loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) and marine litter in Sardinia (Western Mediterranean Sea).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camedda, Andrea; Marra, Stefano; Matiddi, Marco; Massaro, Giorgio; Coppa, Stefania; Perilli, Angelo; Ruiu, Angelo; Briguglio, Paolo; de Lucia, G Andrea

    2014-09-01

    Anthropogenic debris in the environment affects many species that accidentally ingest it. The aim of this study is to evaluate the quantity and composition of marine litter ingested by loggerheads in Sardinia, thus supplying for the lack of data in the existing literature for this area. Seventeen of the 121 (14.04%) monitored turtles presented debris in their digestive tracts. Litter in faecal pellet of alive individuals (n = 91) and in gastro-intestinal contents of dead ones (n = 30) was categorized, counted and weighed. User plastic was the main category of ingested debris with a frequency of occurrence of 13.22% of the total sample, while sheet (12.39%) and fragments (9.09%) were the most relevant sub-categories. This study highlights for the first time the incidence of litter in alive turtles in Sardinia. This contribution improves the knowledge about marine litter interaction on Caretta caretta as bio-indicator. Results will be useful for the Marine Strategy implementation. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Sea turtle and artisanal cerco-fixo fishing interactions in Cananéia, south coast of São Paulo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natália Cristina Fidelis Bahia

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Sea turtles are reptiles that occur on the Brazilian coast, mainly on nesting and feeding grounds. The consumption of turtle meat and eggs is an ancient habit in many coastal communities around the world. The main dangers that threaten these species are the increase in fishing and the drastic changes in the environment. This study aimed to elucidate the interaction between the artisanal fishermen and the sea turtles in Cananéia, São Paulo state, Brazil. Local fishermen had developed an artisanal trap to fish, the “cerco-fixo”, and through interviews and illustrations, as well as by accompanying the fishermen’ daily activities, three main aspects were verified: (i the perception of the fishermen about the sea turtles; (ii the identification of species and morphological characteristics of these animals; and (iii a description of the incidental bycatch of sea turtles in these traps. The data indicates that this fishing trap is not harmful to the sea turtles. Location of traps can influence the capture of these animals, particularly those traps placed on rocky shores and other similiar points.

  7. Experimental degradation of polymer shopping bags (standard and degradable plastic, and biodegradable) in the gastrointestinal fluids of sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Christin; Townsend, Kathy; Matschullat, Jörg

    2012-02-01

    The persistence of marine debris such as discarded polymer bags has become globally an increasing hazard to marine life. To date, over 177 marine species have been recorded to ingest man-made polymers that cause life-threatening complications such as gut impaction and perforation. This study set out to test the decay characteristics of three common types of shopping bag polymers in sea turtle gastrointestinal fluids (GIF): standard and degradable plastic, and biodegradable. Fluids were obtained from the stomachs, small intestines and large intestines of a freshly dead Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) and a Loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta). Controls were carried out with salt and freshwater. The degradation rate was measured over 49 days, based on mass loss. Degradation rates of the standard and the degradable plastic bags after 49 days across all treatments and controls were negligible. The biodegradable bags showed mass losses between 3 and 9%. This was a much slower rate than reported by the manufacturers in an industrial composting situation (100% in 49 days). The GIF of the herbivorous Green turtle showed an increased capacity to break down the biodegradable polymer relative to the carnivorous Loggerhead, but at a much lower rate than digestion of natural vegetative matter. While the breakdown rate of biodegradable polymers in the intestinal fluids of sea turtles is greater than standard and degradable plastics, it is proposed that this is not rapid enough to prevent morbidity. Further study is recommended to investigate the speed at which biodegradable polymers decompose outside of industrial composting situations, and their durability in marine and freshwater systems.

  8. Participatory habitat characterization and GIS data base development for the conservation and management of Sea Turtles in South Coast Kenya

    OpenAIRE

    2005-01-01

    Three sites in south coast Kenya i.e. Msambweni, Funzi and Bodo were studied with an overall objective of characterizing the existing sea turtle nesting and foraging habitats. Nesting beach stretches in Msambweni and Funzi were evaluated based on human and natural predation indices and environmental factors which considered temperature measurements. The targeted foraging grounds consisted of seagrass beds and associated food items which included sponges and mollusks. Participatory approaches ...

  9. On the formation of a conservation hotspot for juvenile North Pacific loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wingfield, Dana K.

    2009-12-01

    This research examined the incorporation of highly productive regions within the marine system. I combined historical conservation literature, remotely sensed oceanography, ship based surveys, satellite tagged animals, and statistical models to explore an integrated approach to the identification of key oceanic regions that require incorporation into current marine conservation strategies. In my first chapter, I undertook a literature review of the term "hotspot", one of the most common ways by which scientists ascribe conservation prioritization in the marine and terrestrial systems. My results showed that marine literature has identified important areas of biodiversity and productivity (i.e. high primary production that results in trophic linkages and species aggregations) are in need of protection from human threats. However, current non-governmental organizations focus primarily on biodiversity, thus missing important areas of productivity for marine conservation. In my second chapter, I demonstrated how remotely sensed oceanography, ship-based surveys, and satellite tagged animals can help to identify the formation of such a "productivity hotspot". Specifically, I examined the connection between physical forcing (surface winds and vertical Ekman upwelling), sea-surface temperature, primary production (chlorophyll-a concentrations), retentive features of fronts and dynamic height, and prey abundance (red crabs) in the spatial and temporal concentration of the critically endangered North Pacific juvenile loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) within its foraging habitat off the Pacific coast of Baja California. Finally, in my third chapter, I identified habitat selection of loggerheads to better understand the species preference within suitable habitat. I sampled several environmental variables (depth, sea-surface temperature, and chlorophyll- a) within 'preferred' versus 'avoided' turtle habitat. Results from a generalized additive model showed the statistical

  10. Exploring scenarios of light pollution from coastal development reaching sea turtle nesting beaches near Cabo Pulmo, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory M. Verutes

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available New coastal development may offer economic benefits to resort builders and even local communities, but these projects can also impact local ecosystems, key wildlife, and the draw for tourists. We explore how light from Cabo Cortés, a proposed coastal development in Baja California Sur, Mexico, may alter natural light cues used by sea turtle hatchlings. We adapt a viewshed approach to model exterior light originating from the resort under plausible zoning scenarios. This spatially explicit information allows stakeholders to evaluate the likely impact of alternative development options. Our model suggests that direct light’s ability to reach sea turtle nesting beaches varies greatly by source location and height—with some plausible development scenarios leading to significantly less light pollution than others. Our light pollution maps can enhance decision-making, offering clear guidance on where to avoid elevated lamps or when to recommend lighting restrictions. Communities can use this information to participate in development planning to mitigate ecological, aesthetic and economic impacts from artificial lighting. Though tested in Mexico, our approach and free, open-source software can be applied in other places around the world to better understand and manage the threats of light pollution to sea turtles.

  11. Clinical pathology reference intervals for an in-water population of juvenile loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in Core Sound, North Carolina, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Terra R; McNeill, Joanne Braun; Avens, Larisa; Hall, April Goodman; Goshe, Lisa R; Hohn, Aleta A; Godfrey, Matthew H; Mihnovets, A Nicole; Cluse, Wendy M; Harms, Craig A

    2015-01-01

    The loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) is found throughout the waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. It is a protected species throughout much of its range due to threats such as habitat loss, fisheries interactions, hatchling predation, and marine debris. Loggerheads that occur in the southeastern U.S. are listed as "threatened" on the U.S. Endangered Species List, and receive state and federal protection. As part of an on-going population assessment conducted by the National Marine Fisheries Service, samples were collected from juvenile loggerhead sea turtles in Core Sound, North Carolina, between 2004 and 2007 to gain insight on the baseline health of the threatened Northwest Atlantic Ocean population. The aims of the current study were to establish hematologic and biochemical reference intervals for this population, and to assess variation of the hematologic and plasma biochemical analytes by season, water temperature, and sex and size of the turtles. Reference intervals for the clinical pathology parameters were estimated following Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute guidelines. Season, water temperature, sex, and size of the turtles were found to be significant factors of variation for parameter values. Seasonal variation could be attributed to physiological effects of decreasing photoperiod, cooler water temperature, and migration during the fall months. Packed cell volume, total protein, and albumin increased with increasing size of the turtles. The size-related differences in analytes documented in the present study are consistent with other reports of variation in clinical pathology parameters by size and age in sea turtles. As a component of a health assessment of juvenile loggerhead sea turtles in North Carolina, this study will serve as a baseline aiding in evaluation of trends for this population and as a diagnostic tool for assessing the health and prognosis for loggerhead sea turtles undergoing rehabilitation.

  12. Clinical pathology reference intervals for an in-water population of juvenile loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta in Core Sound, North Carolina, USA.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Terra R Kelly

    Full Text Available The loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta is found throughout the waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. It is a protected species throughout much of its range due to threats such as habitat loss, fisheries interactions, hatchling predation, and marine debris. Loggerheads that occur in the southeastern U.S. are listed as "threatened" on the U.S. Endangered Species List, and receive state and federal protection. As part of an on-going population assessment conducted by the National Marine Fisheries Service, samples were collected from juvenile loggerhead sea turtles in Core Sound, North Carolina, between 2004 and 2007 to gain insight on the baseline health of the threatened Northwest Atlantic Ocean population. The aims of the current study were to establish hematologic and biochemical reference intervals for this population, and to assess variation of the hematologic and plasma biochemical analytes by season, water temperature, and sex and size of the turtles. Reference intervals for the clinical pathology parameters were estimated following Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute guidelines. Season, water temperature, sex, and size of the turtles were found to be significant factors of variation for parameter values. Seasonal variation could be attributed to physiological effects of decreasing photoperiod, cooler water temperature, and migration during the fall months. Packed cell volume, total protein, and albumin increased with increasing size of the turtles. The size-related differences in analytes documented in the present study are consistent with other reports of variation in clinical pathology parameters by size and age in sea turtles. As a component of a health assessment of juvenile loggerhead sea turtles in North Carolina, this study will serve as a baseline aiding in evaluation of trends for this population and as a diagnostic tool for assessing the health and prognosis for loggerhead sea turtles undergoing

  13. Potential effects of brevetoxins and toxic elements on various health variables in Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) and green (Chelonia mydas) sea turtles after a red tide bloom event.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perrault, Justin R; Stacy, Nicole I; Lehner, Andreas F; Mott, Cody R; Hirsch, Sarah; Gorham, Jonathan C; Buchweitz, John P; Bresette, Michael J; Walsh, Catherine J

    2017-12-15

    Natural biotoxins and anthropogenic toxicants pose a significant risk to sea turtle health. Documented effects of contaminants include potential disease progression and adverse impacts on development, immune function, and survival in these imperiled species. The shallow seagrass habitats of Florida's northwest coast (Big Bend) serve as an important developmental habitat for Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) and green (Chelonia mydas) sea turtles; however, few studies have been conducted in this area. Our objectives were (1) to evaluate plasma analytes (mass, minimum straight carapace length, body condition index [BCI], fibropapilloma tumor score, lysozyme, superoxide dismutase, reactive oxygen/nitrogen species, plasma protein electrophoresis, cholesterol, and total solids) in Kemp's ridleys and green turtles and their correlation to brevetoxins that were released from a red tide bloom event from July-October 2014 in the Gulf of Mexico near Florida's Big Bend, and (2) to analyze red blood cells in Kemp's ridleys and green turtles for toxic elements (arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, selenium, thallium) with correlation to the measured plasma analytes. Positive correlations were observed between brevetoxins and α2-globulins in Kemp's ridleys and α2- and γ-globulins in green turtles, indicating potential immunostimulation. Arsenic, cadmium, and lead positively correlated with superoxide dismutase in Kemp's ridleys, suggesting oxidative stress. Lead and mercury in green turtles negatively correlated with BCI, while mercury positively correlated with total tumor score of green turtles afflicted with fibropapillomatosis, suggesting a possible association with mercury and increased tumor growth. The total tumor score of green turtles positively correlated with total protein, total globulins, α2-globulins, and γ-globulins, further suggesting inflammation and immunomodulation as a result of fibropapillomatosis. Lastly, brevetoxin concentrations were positively related

  14. Satellite tracking reveals habitat use by juvenile green sea turtles Chelonia mydas in the Everglades, Florida, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Kristen M.; Fujisaki, Ikuko

    2010-01-01

    We tracked the movements of 6 juvenile green sea turtles captured in coastal areas of southwest Florida within Everglades National Park (ENP) using satellite transmitters for periods of 27 to 62 d in 2007 and 2008 (mean ± SD: 47.7 ± 12.9 d). Turtles ranged in size from 33.4 to 67.5 cm straight carapace length (45.7 ± 12.9 cm) and 4.4 to 40.8 kg in mass (16.0 ± 13.8 kg). These data represent the first satellite tracking data gathered on juveniles of this endangered species at this remote study site, which may represent an important developmental habitat and foraging ground. Satellite tracking results suggested that these immature turtles were resident for several months very close to capture and release sites, in waters from 0 to 10 m in depth. Mean home range for this springtime tracking period as represented by minimum convex polygon (MCP) was 1004.9 ± 618.8 km2 (range 374.1 to 2060.1 km2), with 4 of 6 individuals spending a significant proportion of time within the ENP boundaries in 2008 in areas with dense patches of marine algae. Core use areas determined by 50% kernel density estimates (KDE) ranged from 5.0 to 54.4 km2, with a mean of 22.5 ± 22.1 km2. Overlap of 50% KDE plots for 6 turtles confirmed use of shallow-water nearshore habitats =0.6 m deep within the park boundary. Delineating specific habitats used by juvenile green turtles in this and other remote coastal areas with protected status will help conservation managers to prioritize their efforts and increase efficacy in protecting endangered species.

  15. Inter-nesting habitat-use patterns of loggerhead sea turtles: Enhancing satellite tracking with benthic mapping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Kristen M.; Zawada, David G.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Lidz, Barbara H.

    2010-01-01

    The loggerhead sea turtle Caretta caretta faces declining nest numbers and bycatches from commercial longline fishing in the southeastern USA. Understanding spatial and temporal habitat-use patterns of these turtles, especially reproductive females in the neritic zone, is critical for guiding management decisions. To assess marine turtle habitat use within the Dry Tortugas National Park (DRTO), we used satellite telemetry to identify core-use areas for 7 loggerhead females inter-nesting and tracked in 2008 and 2009. This effort represents the first tracking of DRTO loggerheads, a distinct subpopulation that is 1 of 7 recently proposed for upgrading from threatened to endangered under the US Endangered Species Act. We also used a rapid, high-resolution, digital imaging system to map benthic habitats in turtle core-use areas (i.e. 50% kernel density zones). Loggerhead females were seasonal residents of DRTO for 19 to 51 d, and individual inter-nesting habitats were located within 1.9 km (2008) and 2.3 km (2009) of the nesting beach and tagging site. The core area common to all tagged turtles was 4.2 km2 in size and spanned a depth range of 7.6 to 11.5 m. Mapping results revealed the diversity and distributions of benthic cover available in the core-use area, as well as a heavily used corridor to/from the nesting beach. This combined tagging-mapping approach shows potential for planning and improving the effectiveness of marine protected areas and for developing spatially explicit conservation plans.

  16. Maternal transfer and sublethal immune system effects of brevetoxin exposure in nesting loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from western Florida.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perrault, Justin R; Bauman, Katherine D; Greenan, Taylor M; Blum, Patricia C; Henry, Michael S; Walsh, Catherine J

    2016-11-01

    Blooms of Karenia brevis (also called red tides) occur almost annually in the Gulf of Mexico. The health effects of the neurotoxins (i.e., brevetoxins) produced by this toxic dinoflagellate on marine turtles are poorly understood. Florida's Gulf Coast represents an important foraging and nesting area for a number of marine turtle species. Most studies investigating brevetoxin exposure in marine turtles thus far focus on dead and/or stranded individuals and rarely examine the effects in apparently "healthy" free-ranging individuals. From May-July 2014, one year after the last red tide bloom, we collected blood from nesting loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) on Casey Key, Florida USA. These organisms show both strong nesting and foraging site fidelity. The plasma was analyzed for brevetoxin concentrations in addition to a number of health and immune-related parameters in an effort to establish sublethal effects of this toxin. Lastly, from July-September 2014, we collected unhatched eggs and liver and yolk sacs from dead-in-nest hatchlings from nests laid by the sampled females and tested these samples for brevetoxin concentrations to determine maternal transfer and effects on reproductive success. Using a competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), all plasma samples from nesting females tested positive for brevetoxin (reported as ng brevetoxin-3[PbTx-3] equivalents [eq]/mL) exposure (2.1-26.7ng PbTx-3eq/mL). Additionally, 100% of livers (1.4-13.3ng PbTx-3eq/mL) and yolk sacs (1.7-6.6ng PbTx-3eq/mL) from dead-in-nest hatchlings and 70% of eggs (turtles.

  17. Climate change overruns resilience conferred by temperature-dependent sex determination in sea turtles and threatens their survival.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santidrián Tomillo, Pilar; Genovart, Meritxell; Paladino, Frank V; Spotila, James R; Oro, Daniel

    2015-08-01

    Temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) is the predominant form of environmental sex determination (ESD) in reptiles, but the adaptive significance of TSD in this group remains unclear. Additionally, the viability of species with TSD may be compromised as climate gets warmer. We simulated population responses in a turtle with TSD to increasing nest temperatures and compared the results to those of a virtual population with genotypic sex determination (GSD) and fixed sex ratios. Then, we assessed the effectiveness of TSD as a mechanism to maintain populations under climate change scenarios. TSD populations were more resilient to increased nest temperatures and mitigated the negative effects of high temperatures by increasing production of female offspring and therefore, future fecundity. That buffered the negative effect of temperature on the population growth. TSD provides an evolutionary advantage to sea turtles. However, this mechanism was only effective over a range of temperatures and will become inefficient as temperatures rise to levels projected by current climate change models. Projected global warming threatens survival of sea turtles, and the IPCC high gas concentration scenario may result in extirpation of the studied population in 50 years.

  18. A simple, physiologically-based model of sea turtle remigration intervals and nesting population dynamics: Effects of temperature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neeman, Noga; Spotila, James R; O'Connor, Michael P

    2015-09-07

    Variation in the yearly number of sea turtles nesting at rookeries can interfere with population estimates and obscure real population dynamics. Previous theoretical models suggested that this variation in nesting numbers may be driven by changes in resources at the foraging grounds. We developed a physiologically-based model that uses temperatures at foraging sites to predict foraging conditions, resource accumulation, remigration probabilities, and, ultimately, nesting numbers for a stable population of sea turtles. We used this model to explore several scenarios of temperature variation at the foraging grounds, including one-year perturbations and cyclical temperature oscillations. We found that thermally driven resource variation can indeed synchronize nesting in groups of turtles, creating cohorts, but that these cohorts tend to break down over 5-10 years unless regenerated by environmental conditions. Cohorts were broken down faster at lower temperatures. One-year perturbations of low temperature had a synchronizing effect on nesting the following year, while high temperature perturbations tended to delay nesting in a less synchronized way. Cyclical temperatures lead to cyclical responses both in nesting numbers and remigration intervals, with the amplitude and lag of the response depending on the duration of the cycle. Overall, model behavior is consistent with observations at nesting beaches. Future work should focus on refining the model to fit particular nesting populations and testing further whether or not it may be used to predict observed nesting numbers and remigration intervals.

  19. Collecting a sample of loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings before a natural emergence does not reduce nest productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salmon, Michael; Carthy, Raymond R.; Lohmann, Catherine M. F.; Lohmann, Kenneth J.; Wyneken, Jeanette

    2012-01-01

     In numerous studies involving hatchling sea turtles, researchers have collected small numbers of hatchlings from nests a few hours before the turtles would otherwise have emerged naturally. This procedure makes it possible to do experiments in which the behavioral or physiological responses of numerous hatchlings must be tested in a limited period of time, and also allows hatchlings to be released back into the sea in time to migrate offshore before dawn. In principle, however, the procedure might inadvertently reduce nest productivity (the number of hatchlings that successfully leave the nest), if digging into a nest prior to emergence somehow reduces the ability of the remaining turtles to emerge. We compared nest productivity in 67 experimental loggerhead nests, from which we removed 10 hatchlings before a natural emergence, to 95 control nests left undisturbed before a natural emergence. The 2 groups showed no statistical differences in productivity. We conclude that taking a few hatchlings from a loggerhead nest shortly before a natural emergence has no negative impact on hatchling production if sampling is done with care at locations where there are few nest predators, and at sites where an emergence can be predicted because nest deposition dates are known.

  20. Olive ridley sea turtle hatching success as a function of the microbial abundance in nest sand at Ostional, Costa Rica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa S Bézy

    Full Text Available Several studies have suggested that significant embryo mortality is caused by microbes, while high microbial loads are generated by the decomposition of eggs broken by later nesting turtles. This occurs commonly when nesting density is high, especially during mass nesting events (arribadas. However, no previous research has directly quantified microbial abundance and the associated effects on sea turtle hatching success at a nesting beach. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that the microbial abundance in olive ridley sea turtle nest sand affects the hatching success at Ostional, Costa Rica. We applied experimental treatments to alter the microbial abundance within the sand into which nests were relocated. We monitored temperature, oxygen, and organic matter content throughout the incubation period and quantified the microbial abundance within the nest sand using a quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR molecular analysis. The most successful treatment in increasing hatching success was the removal and replacement of nest sand. We found a negative correlation between hatching success and fungal abundance (fungal 18S rRNA gene copies g(-1 nest sand. Of secondary importance in determining hatching success was the abundance of bacteria (bacterial 16S rRNA gene copies g(-1 g(-1 nest sand. Our data are consistent with the hypothesis that high microbial activity is responsible for the lower hatching success observed at Ostional beach. Furthermore, the underlying mechanism appears to be the deprivation of oxygen and exposure to higher temperatures resulting from microbial decomposition in the nest.

  1. 76 FR 37050 - Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for Sea Turtle Conservation and Recovery...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-06-24

    ..., except for breeding populations of green turtles in Florida and on the Pacific coast of Mexico, which are... turtles (66 FR 24287, May 14, 2001). Because testing with live leatherbacks is impossible, NMFS obtained... natural and physical environment and the relationship of people with that environment'' (40 CFR 1508.14...

  2. Public Awareness Program and Development of Education Toolkit for Green Sea Turtle Conservation in Sarawak, Malaysia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassan, Ruhana; Yahya, Nurhartini Kamalia; Ong, Leh Mui; Kheng, Lim Kian; Abidin, Zulkalnain Zainal; Ayob, Anuar; Jainal, Aslina Mohd

    2017-01-01

    Nobody knows exactly what happened during "the lost years" of the turtles in the wild, thus a green turtle headstarting project was carried out at Pantai Pandan, Lundu, Sarawak, Malaysia from June 2014 until December 2015 to shed some lights on the growth of hatchlings during a small part of their "lost years". As a consequent,…

  3. Phaeohyphomycosis resulting in obstructive tracheitis in three green sea turtles Chelonia mydas stranded along the Florida coast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donnelly, Kyle; Waltzek, Thomas B; Wellehan, James F X; Sutton, Deanna A; Wiederhold, Nathan P; Stacy, Brian A

    2015-04-08

    Three wild immature green sea turtles Chelonia mydas were found alive but lethargic on the shores of the Indian River Lagoon and Gulf of Mexico in Florida, USA, and subsequently died. Necropsy findings in all 3 turtles included partial occlusion of the trachea by a mass comprised of granulomatous inflammation. Pigmented fungal hyphae were observed within the lesion by histology and were characterized by culture and sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer 2 domain of the rRNA gene and D1/D2 region of the fungal 28s gene. The dematiaceous fungus species Veronaea botryosa was isolated from the tracheal mass in 2 cases, and genetic sequence of V. botryosa was detected by polymerase chain reaction in all 3 cases. Genetic sequencing and fungal cultures also detected other dematiaceous fungi, including a Cladosporium sp., an Ochroconis sp., and a Cochliobolus sp. These cases are the first report of phaeohyphomycosis caused by V. botryosa in wild marine animals.

  4. Selected heavy metals and selenium in the blood of black sea turtle (Chelonia mydas agasiizzi) from Sonora, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ley-Quiñónez, C P; Zavala-Norzagaray, A A; Réndon-Maldonado, J G; Espinosa-Carreón, T L; Canizales-Román, A; Escobedo-Urías, D C; Leal-Acosta, M L; Hart, C E; Aguirre, A A

    2013-12-01

    The concentration of heavy metals (Zn, Cd, Ni, Cu, Mn) and selenium (Se) was analyzed in blood collected from 12 black turtles (Chelonia mydas agasiizzi) captured in Canal del Infiernillo, Punta Chueca, Mexico. The most abundant metals were Zn (63.58 μg g(-1)) and Se (7.66 μg g(-1)), and Cd was the lower (0.99 μg g(-1)). The sequential concentrations of trace metals were Zn > Se > Cu > Mn > Ni > Cd. In conclusion, this information is important as a baseline when using blood as tissue analysis of heavy metals; however, these levels could represent recent exposure in foraging grounds of black turtles in the Sea of Cortez.

  5. Mercury in blood and eggs of the sea turtle Lepidochelys olivacea from a nesting colony in Oaxaca, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Páez-Osuna, F; Calderón-Campuzano, M F; Soto-Jiménez, M F; Ruelas-Inzunza, J

    2011-06-01

    Mercury concentrations were assessed in the sea turtle Lepidochelys olivacea from a nesting colony of Oaxaca, Mexico; 25 female turtles were sampled, a total of 250 eggs were collected during the season 2005-2006. Higher concentrations were found in yolk fraction, while in blood and albumen mean levels were below of 0.0010μg g(-1) dry wt. On the basis of one nesting season, the maternal transfer of Hg via eggs-laying was estimated in 2.0±1.1%. According to international norms, the health of this population and its habitats is acceptable for Hg and corresponds to baseline levels of a nearly pristine environment.

  6. Growth rates and age at adult size of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta in the Mediterranean Sea, estimated through capture-mark-recapture records

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paolo Casale

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Growth rates of the juvenile phase of loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta were estimated for the first time in the Mediterranean Sea from capture-mark-recapture records. Thirty-eight turtles were released from Italian coasts and re-encountered after 1.0-10.9 years in the period 1986-2007. Their mean CCL (curved carapace length ranged from 32.5 to 82.0 cm and they showed variable growth rates, ranging from 0 to 5.97 cm/yr (mean: 2.5. The association between annual growth rate and three covariates (mean year, mean size and time interval was investigated through a non-parametric modelling approach. Only mean size showed a clear effect on growth rate, described by a monotonic declining curve. Variability indicates that factors not included in the model, probably individual-related ones, have an important effect on growth rates. Based on the monotonic decreasing growth function which indicates no growth spurt, a von Bertalanffy growth function was used to estimate the time required by turtles to grow within the observed size range. The results indicate that turtles would take 16-28 years to reach 66.5-84.7 cm CCL, the average nesting female sizes observed at the most important Mediterranean nesting sites, which can be considered an approximation of the size at maturity.

  7. Utilization of granular solidification during terrestrial locomotion of hatchling sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazouchova, Nicole; Gravish, Nick; Savu, Andrei; Goldman, Daniel I

    2010-06-23

    Biological terrestrial locomotion occurs on substrate materials with a range of rheological behaviour, which can affect limb-ground interaction, locomotor mode and performance. Surfaces like sand, a granular medium, can display solid or fluid-like behaviour in response to stress. Based on our previous experiments and models of a robot moving on granular media, we hypothesize that solidification properties of granular media allow organisms to achieve performance on sand comparable to that on hard ground. We test this hypothesis by performing a field study examining locomotor performance (average speed) of an animal that can both swim aquatically and move on land, the hatchling Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta). Hatchlings were challenged to traverse a trackway with two surface treatments: hard ground (sandpaper) and loosely packed sand. On hard ground, the claw use enables no-slip locomotion. Comparable performance on sand was achieved by creation of a solid region behind the flipper that prevents slipping. Yielding forces measured in laboratory drag experiments were sufficient to support the inertial forces at each step, consistent with our solidification hypothesis.

  8. Dimorphic DNA methylation during temperature-dependent sex determination in the sea turtle Lepidochelys olivacea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venegas, Daniela; Marmolejo-Valencia, Alejandro; Valdes-Quezada, Christian; Govenzensky, Tzipe; Recillas-Targa, Félix; Merchant-Larios, Horacio

    2016-09-15

    Sex determination in vertebrates depends on the expression of a conserved network of genes. Sea turtles such as Lepidochelys olivacea have temperature-dependent sex determination. The present work analyses some of the epigenetic processes involved in this. We describe sexual dimorphism in global DNA methylation patterns between ovaries and testes of L. olivacea and show that the differences may arise from a combination of DNA methylation and demethylation events that occur during sex determination. Irrespective of incubation temperature, 5-hydroxymethylcytosine was abundant in the bipotential gonad; however, following sex determination, this modification was no longer found in pre-Sertoli cells in the testes. These changes correlate with the establishment of the sexually dimorphic DNA methylation patterns, down regulation of Sox9 gene expression in ovaries and irreversible gonadal commitment towards a male or female differentiation pathway. Thus, DNA methylation changes may be necessary for the stabilization of the gene expression networks that drive the differentiation of the bipotential gonad to form either an ovary or a testis in L. olivacea and probably among other species that manifest temperature-dependent sex determination.

  9. Effect of water temperature on a herpesvirus infection of sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haines, H; Kleese, W C

    1977-03-01

    The role of water temperature in the induction and maintenance of a dermal herpesvirus infection (gray-patch disease) of young, green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) was studied under carefully controlled experimental conditions, in which the influence of other recognized stress factors was negligible. A nimals that were subjected to a gradual temperature increase from 25 to 30 degrees C, with subsequent maintenance at 30 degrees C, and those that were abruptly shifted from water at 25 degrees C to water at 30 degrees C showed a significantly shorter period before the onset of clinical signs and an increase in the severity of the lesions when compared with control animals. Animals that were subjected to a gradual increase in water temperature from 25 to 30 degrees C and a subsequent decrease to 25 degrees C, where they were maintained, had a period before onset of clinical signs and severity closer to that of control animals. Our findings indicate that both the induction of clinical gray-patch disease and the severity of the lesions are affected by water temperature and suggest that one possible means of control of this herpesvirus infection under intensive aquaculture conditions might be water temperature manipulation.

  10. Challenges in Evaluating the Severity of Fibropapillomatosis: A Proposal for Objective Index and Score System for Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas) in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossi, Silmara; Sánchez-Sarmiento, Angélica María; Vanstreels, Ralph Eric Thijl; Dos Santos, Robson Guimarães; Prioste, Fabiola Eloisa Setim; Gattamorta, Marco Aurélio; Grisi-Filho, José Henrique Hildebrand; Matushima, Eliana Reiko

    2016-01-01

    Fibropapillomatosis (FP) is a neoplastic disease that affects marine turtles worldwide, especially green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas). FP tumors can develop on the body surface of marine turtles and also internally in the oral cavity and viscera. Depending on their quantity, size and anatomical distribution, these tumors can interfere with hydrodynamics and the ability to feed, hence scoring systems have been proposed in an attempt to quantify the clinical manifestation of FP. In order to establish a new scoring system adapted to geographic regions, we examined 214 juvenile green sea turtles with FP caught or rescued at Brazilian feeding areas, counted their 7466 tumors and classified them in relation to their size and anatomical distribution. The patterns in quantity, size and distribution of tumors revealed interesting aspects in the clinical manifestation of FP in specimens studied in Brazil, and that FP scoring systems developed for other areas might not perform adequately when applied to sea turtles on the Southwest Atlantic Ocean. We therefore propose a novel method to evaluate the clinical manifestation of FP: fibropapillomatosis index (FPI) that provides the Southwest Atlantic fibropapillomatosis score (FPSSWA). In combination, these indexing and scoring systems allow for a more objective, rapid and detailed evaluation of the severity of FP in green sea turtles. While primarily designed for the clinical manifestation of FP currently witnessed in our dataset, this index and the score system can be adapted for other areas and compare the characteristics of the disease across regions. In conclusion, scoring systems to classify the severity of FP can assist our understanding on the environmental factors that modulate its development and its impacts on the individual and population health of green sea turtles.

  11. Metal contamination as a possible etiology of fibropapillomatosis in juvenile female green sea turtles Chelonia mydas from the southern Atlantic Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Silva, Cinthia Carneiro; Klein, Roberta Daniele; Barcarolli, Indianara Fernanda; Bianchini, Adalto

    2016-01-01

    Environmental contaminants have been suggested as a possible cause of fibropapillomatosis (FP) in green sea turtles. In turn, a reduced concentration of serum cholesterol has been indicated as a reliable biomarker of malignancy in vertebrates, including marine turtles. In the present study, metal (Ag, Cd, Cu, Fe, Ni, Pb and Zn) concentrations, oxidative stress parameters [antioxidant capacity against peroxyl radicals (ACAP), protein carbonyls (PC), lipid peroxidation (LPO), frequency of micronucleated cells (FMC)], water content, cholesterol concentration and 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase (HMGR) activity were analyzed in the blood/serum of juvenile (29.3-59.5cm) female green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) with FP (n=14) and without FP (n=13) sampled at Ubatuba coast (São Paulo State, southeastern Brazil). Green sea turtles were grouped and analyzed according to the severity of tumors. Individuals heavily afflicted with FP showed significantly higher blood Cu, Pb and Fe concentrations, blood LPO levels, as well as significantly lower serum cholesterol concentrations and HMGR activity than turtles without FP. Significant and positive correlations were observed between HMGR activity and cholesterol concentrations, as well as LPO levels and Fe and Pb concentrations. In turn, Cu and Pb concentrations were significantly and negatively correlated with HMGR activity and cholesterol concentration. Furthermore, Cu, Fe and Pb were positively correlated with each other. Therefore, the reduced concentration of serum cholesterol observed in green sea turtles heavily afflicted with FP is related to a Cu- and Pb-induced inhibition of HMGR activity paralleled by a higher LPO rate induced by increased Fe and Pb concentrations. As oxidative stress is implicated in the pathogenesis of viral infections, our findings support the idea that metal contamination, especially by Cu, Fe and Pb, may be implicated in the etiology of FP in green sea turtles through oxidative stress

  12. Challenges in Evaluating the Severity of Fibropapillomatosis: A Proposal for Objective Index and Score System for Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas) in Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossi, Silmara; Sánchez-Sarmiento, Angélica María; Vanstreels, Ralph Eric Thijl; dos Santos, Robson Guimarães; Prioste, Fabiola Eloisa Setim; Gattamorta, Marco Aurélio; Grisi-Filho, José Henrique Hildebrand; Matushima, Eliana Reiko

    2016-01-01

    Fibropapillomatosis (FP) is a neoplastic disease that affects marine turtles worldwide, especially green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas). FP tumors can develop on the body surface of marine turtles and also internally in the oral cavity and viscera. Depending on their quantity, size and anatomical distribution, these tumors can interfere with hydrodynamics and the ability to feed, hence scoring systems have been proposed in an attempt to quantify the clinical manifestation of FP. In order to establish a new scoring system adapted to geographic regions, we examined 214 juvenile green sea turtles with FP caught or rescued at Brazilian feeding areas, counted their 7466 tumors and classified them in relation to their size and anatomical distribution. The patterns in quantity, size and distribution of tumors revealed interesting aspects in the clinical manifestation of FP in specimens studied in Brazil, and that FP scoring systems developed for other areas might not perform adequately when applied to sea turtles on the Southwest Atlantic Ocean. We therefore propose a novel method to evaluate the clinical manifestation of FP: fibropapillomatosis index (FPI) that provides the Southwest Atlantic fibropapillomatosis score (FPSSWA). In combination, these indexing and scoring systems allow for a more objective, rapid and detailed evaluation of the severity of FP in green sea turtles. While primarily designed for the clinical manifestation of FP currently witnessed in our dataset, this index and the score system can be adapted for other areas and compare the characteristics of the disease across regions. In conclusion, scoring systems to classify the severity of FP can assist our understanding on the environmental factors that modulate its development and its impacts on the individual and population health of green sea turtles. PMID:27936118

  13. Pre-nesting Movements of Leatherback Sea Turtles, Dermochelys coriacea, in the Western Atlantic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily P. Bond

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Understanding high-use areas for highly migratory species and their movements within these areas may provide insight into behaviors such as foraging and mating. In the Western Atlantic, the leatherback sea turtle, Dermochelys coriacea, has a broad geographic range extending from nesting beaches at low latitudes to foraging areas off the coast of Eastern Canada. Biotelemetry has revealed much about the movements and habitats of leatherbacks. However, the timing and location of leatherback mating behavior remains unclear. We conducted spatial analyses of the movements of reproductive female leatherbacks prior to their first seasonal nesting events. Using kernel density estimates, high-use areas for seven female turtles originally tagged in Canadian waters were revealed from 50% volume contours depicting pre-nesting movements (120 days prior to confirmed nesting events and inferred mating behavior (45 days prior to confirmed nesting events. All individuals initially remained offshore within a relatively small range of latitude (10–15° N before transiting to and residing in coastal waters adjacent to nesting beaches in Colombia (n = 2, Trinidad (n = 3, Guyana (n = 1, and French Guiana (n = 1. Comparison of these movement patterns to those of mature male leatherbacks (n = 12 revealed similarities. Male and female residency within this offshore high-use area may be indicative of prey exploitation prior to the energetically costly nesting season. While the offshore residency period of three males and one female extended into the interval in which mating is expected to occur, most males and females transited to coastal waters where they resided throughout this period. High-use areas determined through kernel density analysis support and corroborate previous telemetry work indicating that mature male leatherbacks exhibit seasonal residency adjacent nesting beaches for the early portion of the nesting season, presumably to exploit mating opportunities

  14. Sea-surface temperature gradients across blue whale and sea turtle foraging trajectories off the Baja California Peninsula, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Etnoyer, Peter; Canny, David; Mate, Bruce R.; Morgan, Lance E.; Ortega-Ortiz, Joel G.; Nichols, Wallace J.

    2006-02-01

    Sea-surface temperature (SST) fronts are integral to pelagic ecology in the North Pacific Ocean, so it is necessary to understand their character and distribution, and the way these features influence the behavior of endangered and highly migratory species. Here, telemetry data from sixteen satellite-tagged blue whales ( Balaenoptera musculus) and sea turtles ( Caretta caretta, Chelonia mydas, and Lepidochelys olivacea) are employed to characterize 'biologically relevant' SST fronts off Baja California Sur. High residence times are used to identify presumed foraging areas, and SST gradients are calculated across advanced very high resolution radiometer (AVHRR) images of these regions. The resulting values are compared to classic definitions of SST fronts in the oceanographic literature. We find subtle changes in surface temperature (between 0.01 and 0.10 °C/km) across the foraging trajectories, near the lowest end of the oceanographic scale (between 0.03 and 0.3 °C/km), suggesting that edge-detection algorithms using gradient thresholds >0.10 °C/km may overlook pelagic habitats in tropical waters. We use this information to sensitize our edge-detection algorithm, and to identify persistent concentrations of subtle SST fronts in the Northeast Pacific Ocean between 2002 and 2004. The lower-gradient threshold increases the number of fronts detected, revealing more potential habitats in different places than we find with a higher-gradient threshold. This is the expected result, but it confirms that pelagic habitat can be overlooked, and that the temperature gradient parameter is an important one.

  15. Man-made marine debris and sea turtle strandings on beaches of the upper Texas and southwestern Louisiana coasts, June 1987 through September 1989. Technical memo

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Duronslet, M.J.; Revera, D.B.; Stanley, K.M.

    1991-02-01

    The upper Texas and southwestern Louisiana coastlines were divided into six sampling zones to survey the amounts, types and rates of accumulation of man-made marine debris, the number of sea turtle strandings, the incidence of sea turtle entanglements in marine debris and the incidence of ingestion of such debris by sea turtles. From June 1987 through September 1989, 473 sample plots were examined for marine debris. Significant differences were detected in mean number of debris items per 100 sq m of beach sampled by year, zone and month. Significant differences in mean weight of debris items per 100 sq m of beach sampled were detected by month and zone. Both number and weights (per 100 sq m) of debris were lowest in the winter months. Number per 100 sq m was greatest in August while weight per 100 sq m peaked in May. Tar balls and plastic items were the most frequently encountered marine debris items. Wooden items had the highest average weights while tar balls and polystyrene foam were the lightest items collected. A total of 171 sea turtles stranded on the surveyed beaches during the study. Of 26 gastrointestinal tracts examined, 16 had ingested some form of man-made debris. Six turtles were entangled in man-made debris and 9 were live stranded.

  16. Why are hatching and emergence success low? Mercury and selenium concentrations in nesting leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) and their young in Florida.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perrault, Justin; Wyneken, Jeanette; Thompson, Larry J; Johnson, Chris; Miller, Debra L

    2011-08-01

    Leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) have low hatching and emergence success compared to other sea turtle species. Postmortem examinations of hatchlings showed degeneration of heart and skeletal muscle that was similar to that found in other neonates with selenium deficient mothers. Selenium deficiency can result from elevated concentrations of bodily mercury. Ingested mercury is detoxified by the liver through mercury-selenium compound formation. In animals persistently exposed to mercury, the liver's ability to detoxify this element may decrease, especially if dietary selenium is insufficient. We measured mercury and selenium concentrations in nesting female leatherbacks and their hatchlings from Florida and compared the levels to hatching and emergence success. Both liver selenium and the liver selenium-to-mercury ratio positively correlated with leatherback hatching and emergence success. This study provides the first evidence for the roles of mercury and selenium in explaining low reproductive success in a globally imperiled species, the leatherback sea turtle.

  17. Histochemical and immunohistochemical studies of the gonads and paramesonephric ducts of male and female hatchlings of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarı, F; Kaska, Y

    2016-08-01

    The sex of neonatal sea turtles is difficult to determine, because neonates lack heteromorphic sex chromosomes and dimorphic external characteristics; internal dimorphic morphology is defined at hatching. We used histochemical staining and made measurements in the gonads and paramesonephric ducts (PD) of both sexes to determine structural differences in female and male loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) hatchlings. We detected differences in the gonads and PD between the sexes including the amounts of mucopolysaccharides, collagen and elastic fibers. We determined that the thickness of the gonadal cortex and the diameter of the PD lumen are reliable sex-specific characteristics. We also assessed immunolocalization of aromatase, an enzyme complex that converts androgens to estrogens, and found differences in the localization and intensity of aromatase immunostaining in the gonads and PD of female and male hatchlings. Comprehensive studies of the sexual differences of sea turtles are important for conservation programs.

  18. Unravelling the microbiome of eggs of the endangered sea turtle Eretmochelys imbricata identifies bacteria with activity against the emerging pathogen Fusarium falciforme.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jullie M Sarmiento-Ramírez

    Full Text Available Habitat bioaugmentation and introduction of protective microbiota have been proposed as potential conservation strategies to rescue endangered mammals and amphibians from emerging diseases. For both strategies, insight into the microbiomes of the endangered species and their habitats is essential. Here, we sampled nests of the endangered sea turtle species Eretmochelys imbricata that were infected with the fungal pathogen Fusarium falciforme. Metagenomic analysis of the bacterial communities associated with the shells of the sea turtle eggs revealed approximately 16,664 operational taxonomic units, with Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes as the most dominant phyla. Subsequent isolation of Actinobacteria from the eggshells led to the identification of several genera (Streptomyces, Amycolaptosis, Micromomospora Plantactinospora and Solwaraspora that inhibit hyphal growth of the pathogen F. falciforme. These bacterial genera constitute a first set of microbial indicators to evaluate the potential role of microbiota in conservation of endangered sea turtle species.

  19. Hypothermic stunning of green sea turtles in a western Gulf of Mexico foraging habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tissot, Philippe E.; Streich, Mary M.; Walker, Jennifer Shelby; Rubio, Cynthia; Amos, Anthony F.; George, Jeffrey A.; Pasawicz, Michelle R.

    2017-01-01

    Texas waters provide one of the most important developmental and foraging habitats for juvenile green turtles (Chelonia mydas) in the western Gulf of Mexico, but hypothermic stunning is a significant threat and was the largest cause of green turtle strandings in Texas from 1980 through 2015; of the 8,107 green turtles found stranded, 4,529 (55.9%) were victims of hypothermic stunning. Additionally, during this time, 203 hypothermic stunned green turtles were found incidentally captured due to power plant water intake entrapment. Overall, 63.9% of 4,529 hypothermic stunned turtles were found alive, and 92.0% of those survived rehabilitation and were released. Numbers of green turtles recorded as stranded and as affected by hypothermic stunning increased over time, and were most numerous from 2007 through 2015. Large hypothermic stunning events (with more than 450 turtles documented) occurred during the winters of 2009–2010, 2010–2011, 2013–2014, and 2014–2015. Hypothermic stunning was documented between November and March, but peaked at various times depending on passage of severe weather systems. Hypothermic stunning occurred state-wide, but was most prevalent in South Texas, particularly the Laguna Madre. In the Laguna Madre, hypothermic stunning was associated with an abrupt drop in water temperatures strong northerly winds, and a threshold mean water temperature of 8.0°C predicted large turtle hypothermic stunning events. Knowledge of environmental parameters contributing to hypothermic stunning and the temporal and spatial distribution of turtles affected in the past, can aid with formulation of proactive, targeted search and rescue efforts that can ultimately save the lives of many affected individuals, and aid with recovery efforts for this bi-national stock. Such rescue efforts are required under the U.S. Endangered Species Act and respond to humanitarian concerns of the public. PMID:28306747

  20. Hypothermic stunning of green sea turtles in a western Gulf of Mexico foraging habitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaver, Donna J; Tissot, Philippe E; Streich, Mary M; Walker, Jennifer Shelby; Rubio, Cynthia; Amos, Anthony F; George, Jeffrey A; Pasawicz, Michelle R

    2017-01-01

    Texas waters provide one of the most important developmental and foraging habitats for juvenile green turtles (Chelonia mydas) in the western Gulf of Mexico, but hypothermic stunning is a significant threat and was the largest cause of green turtle strandings in Texas from 1980 through 2015; of the 8,107 green turtles found stranded, 4,529 (55.9%) were victims of hypothermic stunning. Additionally, during this time, 203 hypothermic stunned green turtles were found incidentally captured due to power plant water intake entrapment. Overall, 63.9% of 4,529 hypothermic stunned turtles were found alive, and 92.0% of those survived rehabilitation and were released. Numbers of green turtles recorded as stranded and as affected by hypothermic stunning increase