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Sample records for nesting green turtles

  1. Fine-scale thermal adaptation in a green turtle nesting population

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Sam B. Weber; Annette C. Broderick; Ton G. G. Groothuis; Jacqui Ellick; Brendan J. Godley; Jonathan D. Blount

    2012-01-01

    .... Here, we show that the thermal tolerances of green turtle (Chelonia mydas) embryos in a single, island-breeding population have diverged in response to the contrasting incubation temperatures of nesting beaches just a few kilometres apart...

  2. An Experimental Biotelemetric Study Based on Satellite Tracking During Post-nesting Migrations of Green Turtles

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    A biotelemetry experiment is conducted to study the migrant behavior of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) in South China Sea and acquire the physical environment data. The method in use is to track the post-nesting migrant routes of green turtles through the satellite linked transmitters attached on the back of turtles and the global satellite signal transmitting system of Argos. We obtained the posinestions of the post-nesting migrant routes of three green turtles and environment data, which are important in conservation of green turtles and the research of physical oceanography. Based on the test, the concept, principle and method of biotelemetry are also introduced in this paper with a discussion of the further development of this technique and its applying prospection in future.

  3. Nesting phenology of marine turtles: insights from a regional comparative analysis on green turtle (Chelonia mydas).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalleau, Mayeul; Ciccione, Stéphane; Mortimer, Jeanne A; Garnier, Julie; Benhamou, Simon; Bourjea, Jérôme

    2012-01-01

    Changes in phenology, the timing of seasonal activities, are among the most frequently observed responses to environmental disturbances and in marine species are known to occur in response to climate changes that directly affects ocean temperature, biogeochemical composition and sea level. We examined nesting seasonality data from long-term studies at 8 green turtle (Chelonia mydas) rookeries that include 21 specific nesting sites in the South-West Indian Ocean (SWIO). We demonstrated that temperature drives patterns of nesting seasonality at the regional scale. We found a significant correlation between mean annual Sea Surface Temperature (SST) and dates of peak nesting with rookeries exposed to higher SST having a delayed nesting peak. This supports the hypothesis that temperature is the main factor determining peak nesting dates. We also demonstrated a spatial synchrony in nesting activity amongst multiple rookeries in the northern part of the SWIO (Aldabra, Glorieuses, Mohéli, Mayotte) but not with the eastern and southern rookeries (Europa, Tromelin), differences which could be attributed to females with sharply different adult foraging conditions. However, we did not detect a temporal trend in the nesting peak date over the study period or an inter-annual relation between nesting peak date and SST. The findings of our study provide a better understanding of the processes that drive marine species phenology. The findings will also help to predict their ability to cope with climate change and other environmental perturbations. Despite demonstrating this spatial shift in nesting phenology, no trend in the alteration of nesting dates over more than 20 years was found.

  4. Nesting phenology of marine turtles: insights from a regional comparative analysis on green turtle (Chelonia mydas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mayeul Dalleau

    Full Text Available Changes in phenology, the timing of seasonal activities, are among the most frequently observed responses to environmental disturbances and in marine species are known to occur in response to climate changes that directly affects ocean temperature, biogeochemical composition and sea level. We examined nesting seasonality data from long-term studies at 8 green turtle (Chelonia mydas rookeries that include 21 specific nesting sites in the South-West Indian Ocean (SWIO. We demonstrated that temperature drives patterns of nesting seasonality at the regional scale. We found a significant correlation between mean annual Sea Surface Temperature (SST and dates of peak nesting with rookeries exposed to higher SST having a delayed nesting peak. This supports the hypothesis that temperature is the main factor determining peak nesting dates. We also demonstrated a spatial synchrony in nesting activity amongst multiple rookeries in the northern part of the SWIO (Aldabra, Glorieuses, Mohéli, Mayotte but not with the eastern and southern rookeries (Europa, Tromelin, differences which could be attributed to females with sharply different adult foraging conditions. However, we did not detect a temporal trend in the nesting peak date over the study period or an inter-annual relation between nesting peak date and SST. The findings of our study provide a better understanding of the processes that drive marine species phenology. The findings will also help to predict their ability to cope with climate change and other environmental perturbations. Despite demonstrating this spatial shift in nesting phenology, no trend in the alteration of nesting dates over more than 20 years was found.

  5. The Recent Nesting Record of Female Green Turtle, Chelonia mydas, at Pamban, Gulf of Mannar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vellathi VENKATESAN

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available A female green turtle was sighted at Pamban along the Gulf of Mannar just after the nesting on the beach on 15th January 2011. Morphometric measurements of the turtle were taken and data suggests that this individual is adult. A total number of laid eggs were 109. The distance between the nesting site and the high tide line was found to be 7 m. The depth and diameter of the nesting pit was 52 and 16 cm, whereas the mean egg diameter and weight were found to be 44.3 mm and 40.5 g respectively. Pamban coast may also be considered an important place for nesting, because of the continuous mixing of waters of GOM and Palk Bay areas, which in turn create current patterns continuously throughout the year in addition to the monsoon season. Conservation of nesting habitat along Gulf of Mannar will be important to maintain the green turtle population.

  6. Hormone and Metabolite Profiles in Nesting Green and Flatback Turtles: Turtle Species with Different Life Histories

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria P. Ikonomopoulou

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Herbivorous turtle, Chelonia mydas, inhabiting the south China Sea and breeding in Peninsular Malaysia, and Natator depressus, a carnivorous turtle inhabiting the Great Barrier Reef and breeding at Curtis Island in Queensland, Australia, differ both in diet and life history. Analysis of plasma metabolites levels and six sex steroid hormones during the peak of their nesting season in both species showed hormonal and metabolite variations. When compared with results from other studies progesterone levels were the highest whereas dihydrotestosterone was the plasma steroid hormone present at the lowest concentration in both C. mydas and N. depressus plasma. Interestingly, oestrone was observed at relatively high concentrations in comparison to oestradiol levels recorded in previous studies suggesting that it plays a significant role in nesting turtles. Also, hormonal correlations between the studied species indicate unique physiological interactions during nesting. Pearson correlation analysis showed that in N. depressus the time of oviposition was associated with elevations in both plasma corticosterone and oestrone levels. Therefore, we conclude that corticosterone and oestrone may influence nesting behaviour and physiology in N. depressus. To summarise, these two nesting turtle species can be distinguished based on the hormonal profile of oestrone, progesterone, and testosterone using discriminant analysis.

  7. Satellite Tracking of Post-nesting Migration of Green Turtles

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wang Wenzhi; Wang Dongxiao; Wang Huajie; Song Xiaojun

    2002-01-01

    @@ During the period August 17-28, 2001, in collaboration with the Provincial Bureau of Oceanography & Fisheries of Guangdong and the South China Institute for Endangered Species, the South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, a CAS affiliate in the city of Guangzhou, conducted a sea turtle satellite tracking project at Haigui Bay (Fig. 1) in the vicinity of Gangkou Town, Huidong County, Guangdong Province.

  8. Fine-scale thermal adaptation in a green turtle nesting population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, Sam B.; Broderick, Annette C.; Groothuis, Ton G. G.; Ellick, Jacqui; Godley, Brendan J.; Blount, Jonathan D.

    2012-01-01

    The effect of climate warming on the reproductive success of ectothermic animals is currently a subject of major conservation concern. However, for many threatened species, we still know surprisingly little about the extent of naturally occurring adaptive variation in heat-tolerance. Here, we show that the thermal tolerances of green turtle (Chelonia mydas) embryos in a single, island-breeding population have diverged in response to the contrasting incubation temperatures of nesting beaches just a few kilometres apart. In natural nests and in a common-garden rearing experiment, the offspring of females nesting on a naturally hot (black sand) beach survived better and grew larger at hot incubation temperatures compared with the offspring of females nesting on a cooler (pale sand) beach nearby. These differences were owing to shallower thermal reaction norms in the hot beach population, rather than shifts in thermal optima, and could not be explained by egg-mediated maternal effects. Our results suggest that marine turtle nesting behaviour can drive adaptive differentiation at remarkably fine spatial scales, and have important implications for how we define conservation units for protection. In particular, previous studies may have underestimated the extent of adaptive structuring in marine turtle populations that may significantly affect their capacity to respond to environmental change. PMID:21937495

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Detection of low plasma estradiol concentrations in nesting green turtles (Chelonia mydas) by HPLC/Ms-Ms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahmoud, I Y; Alkindi, A Y; Khan, T; Al-Bahry, S N

    2011-03-01

    In previous studies on nesting green turtles under natural conditions from different geographical regions, 17-β-estradiol (E(2) ) was either undetectable or detected at very low levels. RIA and other related techniques were not sensitive enough to measure low E(2) values in the green turtles. In this study, a sensitive method was used in detecting low hormone concentrations: high performance liquid chromatography with tandem quadruple mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS). Using this technique, estradiol for the first time was detected in nesting green turtles during the peak season (June-October) at Ras Al-Hadd Reserve, Oman. The E(2) values recorded from this study were the highest ever recorded from nesting green turtles in any geographical region, but the levels did not vary significantly throughout different phases of nesting. The presence of E(2) during nesting presumably plays a role in the physiology and behavior of this species. Ras Al-Hadd hosts one of the largest nesting populations of green turtles in the world, and an understanding of their nesting patterns may be of value in conservation and management programs for this endangered species.

  12. Population trends and survival of nesting green sea turtles Chelonia mydas on Aves Island, Venezuela

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Cruz, Marco A.; Lampo, Margarita; Peñaloza, Claudia L.; Kendall, William; Solé, Genaro; Rodriguez-Clark, Kathryn M.

    2015-01-01

    Long-term demographic data are valuable for assessing the effect of anthropogenic impacts on endangered species and evaluating recovery programs. Using a 2-state open robust design model, we analyzed mark-recapture data from green turtles Chelonia mydas sighted between 1979 and 2009 on Aves Island, Venezuela, a rookery heavily impacted by human activities before it was declared a wildlife refuge in 1972. Based on the encounter histories of 7689 nesting females, we estimated the abundance, annual survival, and remigration intervals for this population. Female survival varied from 0.14-0.91, with a mean of 0.79, which is low compared to survival of other populations from the Caribbean (mean = 0.84) and Australia (mean = 0.95), even though we partially corrected for tag loss, which is known to negatively bias survival estimates. This supports prior suggestions that Caribbean populations in general, and the Aves Island population in particular, may be more strongly impacted than populations elsewhere. It is likely that nesters from this rookery are extracted while foraging in remote feeding grounds where hunting still occurs. Despite its relatively low survival, the nesting population at Aves Island increased during the past 30 years from approx. 500 to >1000 nesting females in 2009. Thus, this population, like others in the Caribbean and the Atlantic, seems to be slowly recovering following protective management. Although these findings support the importance of long-term conservation programs aimed at protecting nesting grounds, they also highlight the need to extend management actions to foraging grounds where human activities may still impact green turtle populations.

  13. Warm water and cool nests are best. How global warming might influence hatchling green turtle swimming performance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David T Booth

    Full Text Available For sea turtles nesting on beaches surrounded by coral reefs, the most important element of hatchling recruitment is escaping predation by fish as they swim across the fringing reef, and as a consequence hatchlings that minimize their exposure to fish predation by minimizing the time spent crossing the fringing reef have a greater chance of surviving the reef crossing. One way to decrease the time required to cross the fringing reef is to maximize swimming speed. We found that both water temperature and nest temperature influence swimming performance of hatchling green turtles, but in opposite directions. Warm water increases swimming ability, with hatchling turtles swimming in warm water having a faster stroke rate, while an increase in nest temperature decreases swimming ability with hatchlings from warm nests producing less thrust per stroke.

  14. 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.

  15. Resident areas and migrations of female green turtles nesting at Buck Island Reef National Monument, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    Satellite tracking in marine turtle studies can reveal much about their spatial use of breeding areas, migration zones, and foraging sites. We assessed spatial habitat-use patterns of 10 adult female green turtles (Chelonia mydas) nesting at Buck Island Reef National Monument, U.S. Virgin Islands (BIRNM) from 2011 – 2014. Turtles ranged in size from 89.0 – 115.9 cm CCL (mean + SD = 106.8 + 7.7 cm). The inter-nesting period across all turtles ranged from 31 July to 4 November, and sizes of the 50% core-use areas during inter-nesting ranged from 4.2 – 19.0 km2. Inter-nesting core-use areas were located up to1.4 km from shore and had bathymetry values ranging from -17.0 to -13.0 m. Seven of the ten turtles remained locally resident after the nesting season. Five turtles (50%) foraged around Buck Island, two foraged around the island of St. Croix, and the other three (30%) made longer-distance migrations to Antigua, St. Kitts & Nevis, and Venezuela. Further, five turtles had foraging centroids within protected areas. Delineating spatial areas and identifying temporal periods of nearshore habitat-use can be useful for natural resource managers with responsibility for overseeing vulnerable habitats and protected marine turtle populations.

  16. The Recent Nesting Record of Female Green Turtle, Chelonia mydas, at Pamban, Gulf of Mannar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vellathi VENKATESAN

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available A female green turtle was sighted at Pamban along the Gulf of Mannar just after the nesting on the beach on 15th January 2011. Morphometric measurements of the turtle were taken and data suggests that this individual is adult. A total number of laid eggs were 109. The distance between the nesting site and the high tide line was found to be 7 m. The depth and diameter of the nesting pit was 52 and 16 cm, whereas the mean egg diameter and weight were found to be 44.3 mm and 40.5 g respectively. Pamban coast may also be considered an important place for nesting, because of the continuous mixing of waters of GOM and Palk Bay areas, which in turn create current patterns continuously throughout the year in addition to the monsoon season. Conservation of nesting habitat along Gulf of Mannar will be important to maintain the green turtle population.

  17. IDENTIFICATION OF THE STOCK/POPULATION OF GREEN TURTLE (Chelonia mydas IN THE SUKAMADE (EAST JAVA NESTING BEACH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    HIDAYATUN NISA PURWANASARI

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Defining the genetic structure of a particular population of marine turtle is an essential ecological aspect to promote their conservation and enhancement because the resources-protect schemes should be made to the each population unit. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA has been proven effective for detecting population structure in nesting population. We use this method to assess the stock/population of green turtle ( Chelonia mydas in the Sukamade nesting beach. Three haplotypes, i.e. C3, CS, and the new one that we called Sl were found. Haplotype (hd and nucleotide diversities (? were calculated to be 0.538 ± 0.115 and 0.00381, respectively. The closest genetic distance was 0.003 (between C3 and CS, and the longest was 0.011 (between C3 and Sl. Comparison between the genetic distances that found in this research and those defined for the Australasian region by Moritz et al ( 2002 is presented as a phylogenetic tree. Pairwise Fst using molecular distances following the model of Tamura-Nei for nucleotide substitution, as well as two other tests, i.e. pairwise Fst using haplotype frequencies, and the Exact test strongly indicates that the nesting population of Sukamade beach is genetically distinct as compared to the other nesting population within the Australasian region.

  18. 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.

  19. Dispersal and Diving Adjustments of the Green Turtle Chelonia mydas in Response to Dynamic Environmental Conditions during Post-Nesting Migration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambault, Philippine; Pinaud, David; Vantrepotte, Vincent; Kelle, Laurent; Entraygues, Mathieu; Guinet, Christophe; Berzins, Rachel; Bilo, Karin; Gaspar, Philippe; de Thoisy, Benoît; Le Maho, Yvon; Chevallier, Damien

    2015-01-01

    In response to seasonality and spatial segregation of resources, sea turtles undertake long journeys between their nesting sites and foraging grounds. While satellite tracking has made it possible to outline their migration routes, we still have little knowledge of how they select their foraging grounds and adapt their migration to dynamic environmental conditions. Here, we analyzed the trajectories and diving behavior of 19 adult green turtles (Chelonia mydas) during their post-nesting migration from French Guiana and Suriname to their foraging grounds off the coast of Brazil. First Passage Time analysis was used to identify foraging areas located off Ceará state of Brazil, where the associated habitat corresponds to favorable conditions for seagrass growth, i.e. clear and shallow waters. The dispersal and diving patterns of the turtles revealed several behavioral adaptations to the strong hydrodynamic processes induced by both the North Brazil current and the Amazon River plume. All green turtles migrated south-eastward after the nesting season, confirming that they coped with the strong counter North Brazil current by using a tight corridor close to the shore. The time spent within the Amazon plume also altered the location of their feeding habitats as the longer individuals stayed within the plume, the sooner they initiated foraging. The green turtles performed deeper and shorter dives while crossing the mouth of the Amazon, a strategy which would help turtles avoid the most turbulent upper surface layers of the plume. These adjustments reveal the remarkable plasticity of this green turtle population when reducing energy costs induced by migration.

  20. Dispersal and Diving Adjustments of the Green Turtle Chelonia mydas in Response to Dynamic Environmental Conditions during Post-Nesting Migration.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philippine Chambault

    Full Text Available In response to seasonality and spatial segregation of resources, sea turtles undertake long journeys between their nesting sites and foraging grounds. While satellite tracking has made it possible to outline their migration routes, we still have little knowledge of how they select their foraging grounds and adapt their migration to dynamic environmental conditions. Here, we analyzed the trajectories and diving behavior of 19 adult green turtles (Chelonia mydas during their post-nesting migration from French Guiana and Suriname to their foraging grounds off the coast of Brazil. First Passage Time analysis was used to identify foraging areas located off Ceará state of Brazil, where the associated habitat corresponds to favorable conditions for seagrass growth, i.e. clear and shallow waters. The dispersal and diving patterns of the turtles revealed several behavioral adaptations to the strong hydrodynamic processes induced by both the North Brazil current and the Amazon River plume. All green turtles migrated south-eastward after the nesting season, confirming that they coped with the strong counter North Brazil current by using a tight corridor close to the shore. The time spent within the Amazon plume also altered the location of their feeding habitats as the longer individuals stayed within the plume, the sooner they initiated foraging. The green turtles performed deeper and shorter dives while crossing the mouth of the Amazon, a strategy which would help turtles avoid the most turbulent upper surface layers of the plume. These adjustments reveal the remarkable plasticity of this green turtle population when reducing energy costs induced by migration.

  1. Green Turtle Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — These data represent the critical habitat for green turtle as designated by Federal Register Vol. 63, No. 46701, September 2, 1998, Rules and Regulations.

  2. Green Turtle Trophic Ecology

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — SWFSC is currently conducting a study of green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) trophic ecology in the eastern Pacific. Tissue samples and stable carbon and stable...

  3. Green Turtle Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — These data represent the critical habitat for green turtle as designated by Federal Register Vol. 63, No. 46701, September 2, 1998, Rules and Regulations.

  4. Green Turtle Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  5. Sand and nest temperatures and an estimate of hatchling sex ratio from the Heron Island green turtle ( Chelonia mydas) rookery, Southern Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Booth, David T.; Freeman, Candida

    2006-11-01

    Sand and nest temperatures were monitored during the 2002-2003 nesting season of the green turtle, Chelonia mydas, at Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Sand temperatures increased from ˜ 24°C early in the season to 27-29°C in the middle, before decreasing again. Beach orientation affected sand temperature at nest depth throughout the season; the north facing beach remained 0.7°C warmer than the east, which was 0.9°C warmer than the south, but monitored nest temperatures were similar across all beaches. Sand temperature at 100 cm depth was cooler than at 40 cm early in the season, but this reversed at the end. Nest temperatures increased 2-4°C above sand temperatures during the later half of incubation due to metabolic heating. Hatchling sex ratio inferred from nest temperature profiles indicated a strong female bias.

  6. Turtle Data Processing System (TDPS) - Nesting Turtles

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Effective management of marine turtle data is essential to maximize their research value and enable timely population assessments and recovery monitoring. To provide...

  7. 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...

  8. 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,...

  9. Biomonitoring marine habitats in reference to antibiotic resistant bacteria and ampicillin resistance determinants from oviductal fluid of the nesting green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Bahry, S N; Al-Zadjali, M A; Mahmoud, I Y; Elshafie, A E

    2012-06-01

    During the egg-laying process, oviductal fluid was collected using a non-invasive procedure from the cloacal vent of the green turtles. Forty-two independent isolates of antibiotic-resistant bacteria from 11 genera were obtained from 20 turtles during nesting. The dominant isolate was Citrobacter (52.4%), followed by Pseudomonas, Proteus, Enterobacter, Salmonella, Escherichia coli, Shigella, Edwardsiella, Morganella, Providencia and Arcomobacter. Most of the isolates were resistant to ampicillin. Ampicillin-resistant isolates showed variations in their resistance for the following classes of β-lactamases: extended-spectrum β-lactamases (EBSLs), AmpC type β-lactamases C (AmpC), and screen-positive β-lactamase. None of the isolates produced metallo β-lactamase. Some ampicillin-resistant genes were detected by multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) only. Inhibitor based test (IBT) categorized some isolates as AmpC β-lactamase producers. β-Lactamase genes were detected from a few strains. The sequencing of those genes revealed the presence of cephamycinase (CMY) and AmpC β-lactamases. The oviductal fluid was used in this study as a source of bacterial antibiotic-resistant determinants for biomonitoring marine turtles exposed to contaminated effluents. This data can be of value in understanding the decline of this endangered species as a result of exposure to marine pollution which is threatening their survival.

  10. Does polyandry really pay off? The effects of multiple mating and number of fathers on morphological traits and survival in clutches of nesting green turtles at Tortuguero.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alfaro-Núñez, Alonzo; Jensen, Michael P; Abreu-Grobois, F Alberto

    2015-01-01

    Despite the long debate of whether or not multiple mating benefits the offspring, studies still show contradictory results. Multiple mating takes time and energy. Thus, if females fertilize their eggs with a single mating, why to mate more than once? We investigated and inferred paternal identity and number of sires in 12 clutches (240 hatchlings) of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) nests at Tortuguero, Costa Rica. Paternal alleles were inferred through comparison of maternal and hatchling genotypes, and indicated multiple paternity in at least 11 of the clutches (92%). The inferred average number of fathers was three (ranging from 1 to 5). Moreover, regression analyses were used to investigate for correlation of inferred clutch paternity with morphological traits of hatchlings fitness (emergence success, length, weight and crawling speed), the size of the mother, and an environmental variable (incubation temperature). We suggest and propose two different comparative approaches for evaluating morphological traits and clutch paternity, in order to infer greater offspring survival. First, clutches coded by the exact number of fathers and second by the exact paternal contribution (fathers who gives greater proportion of the offspring per nest). We found significant differences (P 0.05) for any of the traits. We conclude that multiple paternity does not provide any extra benefit in the morphological fitness traits or the survival of the offspring, when analysed following the proposed comparative statistical methods.

  11. The effect of organochlorines and heavy metals on sex steroid-binding proteins in vitro in the plasma of nesting green turtles, Chelonia mydas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikonomopoulou, Maria Petrou; Olszowy, Henry; Hodge, Mary; Bradley, Adrian J

    2009-07-01

    In this study on green turtles, Chelonia mydas, from Peninsular Malaysia, the effect of selected environmental toxicants was examined in vitro. Emphasis was placed on purported hormone-mimicking chemicals such as dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene, dieldrin, lead, zinc and copper. Five concentrations were used: high (1 mg/L), medium (10(-1) mg/L), low (10(-2) mg/L), very low (10(-6) mg/L) and control (diluted carrier solvent but no toxicants). The results suggest that environmental pesticides and heavy metals may significantly alter the binding of steroids [i.e. testosterone (T) and oestradiol] to the plasma proteins in vitro. Competition studies showed that only Cu competed for binding sites with testosterone in the plasma collected from nesting C. mydas. Dieldrin and all heavy metals competed with oestradiol for binding sites. Furthermore, testosterone binding affinity was affected at various DDT concentrations and was hypothesised that DDT in vivo may act to inhibit steroid-protein interactions in nesting C. mydas. Although the precise molecular mechanism is yet to be described, DDT could have an effect upon the protein conformation thus affecting T binding (e.g. the T binding site on the steroid hormone binding protein molecule).

  12. Does polyandry really pay off? The effects of multiple mating and number of fathers on morphological traits and survival in clutches of nesting green turtles at Tortuguero

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alonzo Alfaro-Núñez

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Despite the long debate of whether or not multiple mating benefits the offspring, studies still show contradictory results. Multiple mating takes time and energy. Thus, if females fertilize their eggs with a single mating, why to mate more than once? We investigated and inferred paternal identity and number of sires in 12 clutches (240 hatchlings of green turtles (Chelonia mydas nests at Tortuguero, Costa Rica. Paternal alleles were inferred through comparison of maternal and hatchling genotypes, and indicated multiple paternity in at least 11 of the clutches (92%. The inferred average number of fathers was three (ranging from 1 to 5. Moreover, regression analyses were used to investigate for correlation of inferred clutch paternity with morphological traits of hatchlings fitness (emergence success, length, weight and crawling speed, the size of the mother, and an environmental variable (incubation temperature. We suggest and propose two different comparative approaches for evaluating morphological traits and clutch paternity, in order to infer greater offspring survival. First, clutches coded by the exact number of fathers and second by the exact paternal contribution (fathers who gives greater proportion of the offspring per nest. We found significant differences (P 0.05 for any of the traits. We conclude that multiple paternity does not provide any extra benefit in the morphological fitness traits or the survival of the offspring, when analysed following the proposed comparative statistical methods.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. NWHI Basking Green Turtle Data (Turtle Sightings from Seal Surveys)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains records of green turtle sightings in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) since 1982 at Lisianski Island, and since 1983 for most other...

  19. 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

  20. [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...

  1. The Distribution and Conservation Status of Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas) and Olive Ridley Turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) on Pulau Pinang beaches (Malaysia), 1995-2009.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salleh, Sarahaizad Mohd; Yobe, Mansor; Sah, Shahrul Anuar Mohd

    2012-05-01

    The Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) and Olive Ridley Turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) are the only sea turtles with recorded landings in the Pulau Pinang coastal area. The Green Turtle has been the most abundant and widely distributed sea turtle in this area since it was first surveyed in 1995. Statistical analysis by the Pulau Pinang Department of Fisheries on the distribution of sea turtles from 2001 through 2009 has identified Pantai Kerachut and Telok Kampi as the most strongly preferred beaches for Green Turtle landings, with records for almost every month in every year. Green Turtle tracks and nests have also been found along the coast of Pulau Pinang at Batu Ferringhi, Tanjong Bungah, Pantai Medan, Pantai Belanda, Telok Kumbar, Gertak Sanggul, Moonlight Beach, Telok Duyung, Telok Aling, Telok Bahang and Telok Katapang. The Olive Ridley Turtle is present in smaller numbers; landing and nesting have only been recorded on a few beaches. There are no previous records of Olive Ridley landings at Pantai Kerachut and Telok Kampi, but tracks and nests have been found at Telok Kumbar, Tanjong Bungah, Pantai Medan, Telok Duyung and Gertak Sanggul. A Turtle Conservation Centre has been established at Pantai Kerachut to protect these species from extinction in Pulau Pinang. This paper presents details of the records and distribution of sea turtles in Pulau Pinang from 1995 through 2009.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. Movements and diving behavior of internesting green turtles along Pacific Costa Rica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanco, Gabriela S; Morreale, Stephen J; Seminoff, Jeffrey A; Paladino, Frank V; Piedra, Rotney; Spotila, James R

    2013-09-01

    Using satellite transmitters, we determined the internesting movements, spatial ecology and diving behavior of East Pacific green turtles (Chelonia mydas) nesting on Nombre de Jesús and Zapotillal beaches along the Pacific coast of northwestern Costa Rica. Kernel density analysis indicated that turtles spent most of their time in a particularly small area in the vicinity of the nesting beaches (50% utilization distribution was an area of 3 km(2) ). Minimum daily distance traveled during a 12 day internesting period was 4.6 ± 3.5 km. Dives were short and primarily occupied the upper 10 m of the water column. Turtles spent most of their time resting at the surface and conducting U-dives (ranging from 60 to 81% of the total tracking time involved in those activities). Turtles showed a strong diel pattern, U-dives mainly took place during the day and turtles spent a large amount of time resting at the surface at night. The lack of long-distance movements demonstrated that this area was heavily utilized by turtles during the nesting season and, therefore, was a crucial location for conservation of this highly endangered green turtle population. The unique behavior of these turtles in resting at the surface at night might make them particularly vulnerable to fishing activities near the nesting beaches.

  7. 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...

  8. Detection of herpesviral sequences in tissues of green turtles with fibropapilloma by polymerase chain reaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Y; Wang, Y; Yu, Q; Aguirre, A A; Balazs, G H; Nerurkar, V R; Yanagihara, R

    2000-01-01

    An alpha-herpesvirus has been associated recently with green turtle fibropapilloma (FP). To further clarify the role of this newfound green turtle herpesvirus (GTHV) in the pathogenesis of FP, various normal-appearing tissues and organs (including skin, eye, brain, heart, liver, spleen, intestine, lung, kidney, nerve, gonad, tongue, gall bladder, urinary bladder, thyroid and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from blood) and tumor tissues from 19 green turtles (Chelonia mydas) with FP, and tissues from three green turtles without FP, collected during 1997 to 1999 in the Hawaiian Islands, were tested for GTHV sequences by nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR), using GTHV-specific oligonuclotide primers. GTHV sequences were detected in all tumors (51/51) and most tissues (133/167) of tumored turtles. By contrast, such sequences were undetectable in tissues (0/28) of three non-tumored turtles. Analysis of GTHV sequences detected in different tissues and tumors revealed a low degree of genetic diversity (green turtles and its absence in tissues of non-tumored turtles, argues for an etiologic role in FP.

  9. A comparison of the seasonal movements of tiger sharks and green turtles provides insight into their predator-prey relationship.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Fitzpatrick

    Full Text Available During the reproductive season, sea turtles use a restricted area in the vicinity of their nesting beaches, making them vulnerable to predation. At Raine Island (Australia, the highest density green turtle Chelonia mydas rookery in the world, tiger sharks Galeocerdo cuvier have been observed to feed on green turtles, and it has been suggested that they may specialise on such air-breathing prey. However there is little information with which to examine this hypothesis. We compared the spatial and temporal components of movement behaviour of these two potentially interacting species in order to provide insight into the predator-prey relationship. Specifically, we tested the hypothesis that tiger shark movements are more concentrated at Raine Island during the green turtle nesting season than outside the turtle nesting season when turtles are not concentrated at Raine Island. Turtles showed area-restricted search behaviour around Raine Island for ∼3-4 months during the nesting period (November-February. This was followed by direct movement (transit to putative foraging grounds mostly in the Torres Straight where they switched to area-restricted search mode again, and remained resident for the remainder of the deployment (53-304 days. In contrast, tiger sharks displayed high spatial and temporal variation in movement behaviour which was not closely linked to the movement behaviour of green turtles or recognised turtle foraging grounds. On average, tiger sharks were concentrated around Raine Island throughout the year. While information on diet is required to determine whether tiger sharks are turtle specialists our results support the hypothesis that they target this predictable and plentiful prey during turtle nesting season, but they might not focus on this less predictable food source outside the nesting season.

  10. Biochemical responses to fibropapilloma and captivity in the green turtle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swimmer, J Y

    2000-01-01

    Blood biochemical parameters were compared for green turtles (Chelonia mydas) with and without green turtle fibropapillomatosis (GTFP) from both captive and wild populations in Hawaii (USA) and from a captive population from California (USA), during the period between 1994 and 1996. Statistical analysis did not detect an influence of disease in any of the blood parameters for free-ranging turtles; however, captive turtles in Hawaii with GTFP had significantly higher levels of alkaline phosphatase and significantly lower levels of lactate compared to non-tumored captive turtles. Multivariate analysis found that biochemical profiles could be used to accurately predict if turtles were healthy or afflicted with GTFP. Discriminant function analysis correctly classified turtles as being with or without GTFP in 89% of cases, suggesting that diseased animals had a distinct signature of plasma biochemistries. Measurements of blood parameters identified numerous differences between captive and wild green turtles in Hawaii. Levels of corticosterone, lactate, triglyceride, glucose, and calcium were significantly higher in wild green turtles as compared to captive turtles, while uric acid levels were significantly lower in wild turtles as compared to captive turtles. Additionally, turtles from Sea World of California (San Diego, California, USA), which had been in captivity the longest, had higher levels of alanine aminotransferase and triglycerides as compared to nearly all other groups. Differences in diet, sampling methods, environmental conditions, and turtle size, help to interpret these results.

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  13. Individual-level behavioral responses of immature green turtles to snorkeler disturbance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffin, Lucas P; Brownscombe, Jacob W; Gagné, Tyler O; Wilson, Alexander D M; Cooke, Steven J; Danylchuk, Andy J

    2017-03-01

    Despite many positive benefits of ecotourism, increased human encounters with wildlife may have detrimental effects on wild animals. As charismatic megafauna, nesting and foraging sea turtles are increasingly the focus of ecotourism activities. The purpose of our study was to quantify the behavioral responses of immature green turtles (Chelonia mydas) to disturbance by snorkelers, and to investigate whether turtles have individual-level responses to snorkeler disturbance. Using a standardized disturbance stimulus in the field, we recorded turtle behaviors pre- and post-disturbance by snorkelers. Ninety percent of turtles disturbed by snorkeler (n = 192) initiated their flights at distances of ≤3 m. Using principal component analysis, we identified two distinct turtle personality types, 'bold' and 'timid', based upon 145 encounters of 19 individually identified turtles and five disturbance response variables. There was significant intra-individual repeatability in behavioral responses to disturbance, but bolder turtles had more behavioral plasticity and less consistent responses than more timid individuals. Bolder individuals with reduced evasion responses might be at a higher risk of shark predation, while more timid turtles might have greater energetic consequences due to non-lethal predator effects and repeated snorkeler disturbance. Over the longer term, a turtle population with a mix of bold and timid individuals may promote more resilient populations. We recommend that snorkelers maintain >3 m distance from immature green turtles when snorkeling, and that ecotourism activities be temporally and spatially stratified. Further, turtle watching guidelines need to be communicated to both tour operators and independent snorkelers to reduce the disturbance of turtles.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  15. Nesting Activity of Loggerhead Turtles (Caretta caretta at Göksu Delta, Turkey during 2004 and 2008 nesting seasons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salih H. Durmus

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Göksu Delta is one of the most important nesting beaches in Turkey for the endangered loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta. This paper provides information on the nesting activities of loggerhead turtles, the spatial and temporal distribution of nesting, nesting success, nesting density, hatching success, incubation duration and clutch size over two nesting seasons. A total of 902 emergences occurred over two seasons, of which 239 (26.5% nests were deposited (137 nests in 2004 and 102 nests in 2008 and the overall mean nesting density was 3.4 nests/km. The peak of nesting emergences takes place mainly in June. Of the overall nests, 226 (94.6% were excavated and 16044 eggs were counted. Of these eggs, 3680 (22.9% hatchlings emerged and 2695 (73.2% of hatchlings of them were able to reach the sea. The mean number of eggs per clutch was 71 (range: 15 – 143. The shortest and longest incubation duration in these 2 seasons ranged from 46 to 62 days with a mean of 53 days. The main problems are negatively affecting loggerhead turtle population at Göksu Delta are dense jackal predation both adult and eggs and inundation in nests. The average nesting effort here (mean: 119.5 nests/season confirms that Göksu Delta is one of the most important nesting sites for loggerhead turtles in Turkey.

  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. 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.

  18. The anti-predator role of within-nest emergence synchrony in sea turtle hatchlings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinheiro, Hudson Tercio; Martins, Agnaldo Silva; Riul, Pablo; Bruno, Soraya Christina; Janzen, Fredric J.

    2016-01-01

    Group formation is a common behaviour among prey species. In egg-laying animals, despite the various factors that promote intra-clutch variation leading to asynchronous hatching and emergence from nests, synchronous hatching and emergence occurs in many taxa. This synchrony may be adaptive by reducing predation risk, but few data are available in any natural system, even for iconic examples of the anti-predator function of group formation. Here, we show for the first time that increased group size (number of hatchlings emerging together from a nest) reduces green turtle (Chelonia mydas) hatchling predation. This effect was only observed earlier in the night when predation pressure was greatest, indicated by the greatest predator abundance and a small proportion of predators preoccupied with consuming captured prey. Further analysis revealed that the effect of time of day was due to the number of hatchlings already killed in an evening; this, along with the apparent lack of other anti-predatory mechanisms for grouping, suggests that synchronous emergence from a nest appears to swamp predators, resulting in an attack abatement effect. Using a system with relatively pristine conditions for turtle hatchlings and their predators provides a more realistic environmental context within which intra-nest synchronous emergence has evolved. PMID:27383817

  19. Genetic structure of Florida green turtle rookeries as indicated by mitochondrial DNA control region sequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shamblin, Brian M.; Bagley, Dean A.; Ehrhart, Llewellyn M.; Desjardin, Nicole A.; Martin, R. Erik; Hart, Kristen M.; Naro-Maciel, Eugenia; Rusenko, Kirt; Stiner, John C.; Sobel, Debra; Johnson, Chris; Wilmers, Thomas; Wright, Laura J.; Nairn, Campbell J.

    2014-01-01

    Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) nesting has increased dramatically in Florida over the past two decades, ranking the Florida nesting aggregation among the largest in the Greater Caribbean region. Individual beaches that comprise several hundred kilometers of Florida’s east coast and Keys support tens to thousands of nests annually. These beaches encompass natural to highly developed habitats, and the degree of demographic partitioning among rookeries was previously unresolved. We characterized the genetic structure of ten Florida rookeries from Cape Canaveral to the Dry Tortugas through analysis of 817 base pair mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region sequences from 485 nesting turtles. Two common haplotypes, CM-A1.1 and CM-A3.1, accounted for 87 % of samples, and the haplotype frequencies were strongly partitioned by latitude along Florida’s Atlantic coast. Most genetic structure occurred between rookeries on either side of an apparent genetic break in the vicinity of the St. Lucie Inlet that separates Hutchinson Island and Jupiter Island, representing the finest scale at which mtDNA structure has been documented in marine turtle rookeries. Florida and Caribbean scale analyses of population structure support recognition of at least two management units: central eastern Florida and southern Florida. More thorough sampling and deeper sequencing are necessary to better characterize connectivity among Florida green turtle rookeries as well as between the Florida nesting aggregation and others in the Greater Caribbean region.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  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. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Nesting fidelity and molecular evidence for natal homing in the freshwater turtle, Graptemys kohnii

    OpenAIRE

    Freedberg, Steven; Ewert, Michael A; Ridenhour, Benjamin J.; Neiman, Maurine; Nelson, Craig E

    2005-01-01

    Numerous studies of sea turtle nesting ecology have revealed that females exhibit natal homing, whereby they imprint on the nesting area from which they hatch and subsequently return there to nest as adults. Because freshwater turtles comprise the majority of reptiles known to display environmental sex determination (ESD), the study of natal homing in this group may shed light on recent evolutionary models of sex allocation that are predicated on natal homing in reptiles with ESD. We examined...

  9. Marine turtles are not fussy nesters: a novel test of small-scale nest site selection using structure from motion beach terrain information

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilana Kelly

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Background Nest selection is widely regarded as a key process determining the fitness of individuals and viability of animal populations. For marine turtles that nest on beaches, this is particularly pivotal as the nesting environment can significantly control reproductive success.The aim of this study was to identify the environmental attributes of beaches (i.e., morphology, vegetation, urbanisation that may be associated with successful oviposition in green and loggerhead turtle nests. Methods We quantified the proximity of turtle nests (and surrounding beach locations to urban areas, measured their exposure to artificial light, and used ultra-high resolution (cm-scale digital surface models derived from Structure-from-Motion (SfM algorithms, to characterise geomorphic and vegetation features of beaches on the Sunshine Coast, eastern Australia. Results At small spatial scales (i.e., <100 m, we found no evidence that turtles selected nest sites based on a particular suite of environmental attributes (i.e., the attributes of nest sites were not consistently different from those of surrounding beach locations. Nest sites were, however, typically characterised by occurring close to vegetation, on parts of the shore where the beach- and dune-face was concave and not highly rugged, and in areas with moderate exposure to artificial light. Conclusion This study used a novel empirical approach to identify the attributes of turtle nest sites from a broader ‘envelope’ of environmental nest traits, and is the first step towards optimizing conservation actions to mitigate, at the local scale, present and emerging human impacts on turtle nesting beaches.

  10. Marine turtles are not fussy nesters: a novel test of small-scale nest site selection using structure from motion beach terrain information

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leon, Javier X.; Gilby, Ben L.; Olds, Andrew D.; Schlacher, Thomas A.

    2017-01-01

    Background Nest selection is widely regarded as a key process determining the fitness of individuals and viability of animal populations. For marine turtles that nest on beaches, this is particularly pivotal as the nesting environment can significantly control reproductive success.The aim of this study was to identify the environmental attributes of beaches (i.e., morphology, vegetation, urbanisation) that may be associated with successful oviposition in green and loggerhead turtle nests. Methods We quantified the proximity of turtle nests (and surrounding beach locations) to urban areas, measured their exposure to artificial light, and used ultra-high resolution (cm-scale) digital surface models derived from Structure-from-Motion (SfM) algorithms, to characterise geomorphic and vegetation features of beaches on the Sunshine Coast, eastern Australia. Results At small spatial scales (i.e., turtles selected nest sites based on a particular suite of environmental attributes (i.e., the attributes of nest sites were not consistently different from those of surrounding beach locations). Nest sites were, however, typically characterised by occurring close to vegetation, on parts of the shore where the beach- and dune-face was concave and not highly rugged, and in areas with moderate exposure to artificial light. Conclusion This study used a novel empirical approach to identify the attributes of turtle nest sites from a broader ‘envelope’ of environmental nest traits, and is the first step towards optimizing conservation actions to mitigate, at the local scale, present and emerging human impacts on turtle nesting beaches. PMID:28070454

  11. Software for improved field surveys of nesting marine turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anastácio, R; Gonzalez, J M; Slater, K; Pereira, M J

    2017-09-07

    Field data are still recorded on paper in many worldwide beach surveys of nesting marine turtles. The data must be subsequently transferred into an electronic database, and this can introduce errors in the dataset. To minimize such errors, the "Turtles" software was developed and piloted to record field data by one software user accompanying one Tortuguero in Akumal beaches, Quintana Roo, Mexico, from June 1(st) to July 31(st) during the night patrols. Comparisons were made between exported data from the software with the paper forms entered into a database (henceforth traditional). Preliminary assessment indicated that the software user tended to record a greater amount of metrics (i.e., an average of 18.3 fields ± 5.4 sd vs. 8.6 fields ± 2.1 sd recorded by the traditional method). The traditional method introduce three types of "errors" into a dataset: missing values in relevant fields (40.1%), different answers for the same value (9.8%), and inconsistent data (0.9%). Only 5.8% of these (missing values) were found with the software methodology. Although only tested by a single user, the software may suggest increased efficacy and warrants further examination to accurately assess the merit of replacing traditional methods of data recording for beach monitoring programmes.

  12. Microsatellite DNA Analysis on the Polyandry of Green Sea Turtle Chelonia mydas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dewi Purnama

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Green turtle (Cheloniamydas; Testudines is included in the group of polyandryanimals, which is single female mated with many male. DNA polymorphism method generally considered to have a high degree of accuracy as compared to other methods to elucidate polyandry phenomena on many animals. In this research, three microsatellite loci were used to identify the number and frequency of genotypes per locus, the number and frequency alleles per locus, and genotypes and number of alleles in the nest. The purpose of this research was to study the reproductive pattern of Cheloniamydas and compensation eggs of males from hatchling’s population in turtle conservation area of Pangumbahan Coastal Park, West Java. The result showed that from 10 nests, we could find 37 genotypes with 11 alleles for D108 locus, 21 genotypes with 9 alleles for B103 locus, and 27 genotypes with 9 alleles for C102 locus. The alleles number of each nest was more than 5 alleles for 5 nests, and more than 4 alleles for the remaining nests. Based on the probabilities of alleles contribution of each parent, the green turtle was polyandry animals.

  13. Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) genetic diversity at Paranaguá Estuarine Complex feeding grounds in Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordão, Juliana Costa; Bondioli, Ana Cristina Vigliar; Guebert, Flavia Maria; de Thoisy, Benoit; Toledo, Lurdes Foresti de Almeida

    2015-01-01

    Sea turtles are marine reptiles that undertake long migrations through their life, with limited information regarding juvenile stages. Feeding grounds (FGs), where they spend most of their lives, are composed by individuals from different natal origins, known as mixed stock populations. The aim of this study was to assess genetic composition, natal origins and demographic history of juvenile green turtles (Chelonia mydas) at the Paranaguá Estuarine Complex (PEC), Brazil, considered a Natural World Heritage site. Tissue samples of stranded animals were collected (n = 60), and 700 bp mitochondrial DNA sequences were generated and compared to shorter sequences from previously published studies. Global exact tests of differentiation revealed significant differences among PEC and the other FGs, except those at the South Atlantic Ocean. Green turtles at PEC present genetic signatures similar to those of nesting females from Ascension Island, Guinea Bissau and Aves Island/Surinam. Population expansion was evidenced to have occurred 20–25 kYA, reinforcing the hypothesis of recovery from Southern Atlantic refugia after the last Glacial Maximum. These results contribute to a better understanding of the dynamics of green turtle populations at a protected area by providing knowledge on the dispersion patterns and reinforcing the importance of the interconnectivity between nesting and foraging populations. PMID:26500439

  14. Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) genetic diversity at Paranaguá Estuarine Complex feeding grounds in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordão, Juliana Costa; Bondioli, Ana Cristina Vigliar; Guebert, Flavia Maria; de Thoisy, Benoit; Toledo, Lurdes Foresti de Almeida

    2015-01-01

    Sea turtles are marine reptiles that undertake long migrations through their life, with limited information regarding juvenile stages. Feeding grounds (FGs), where they spend most of their lives, are composed by individuals from different natal origins, known as mixed stock populations. The aim of this study was to assess genetic composition, natal origins and demographic history of juvenile green turtles (Chelonia mydas) at the Paranaguá Estuarine Complex (PEC), Brazil, considered a Natural World Heritage site. Tissue samples of stranded animals were collected (n = 60), and 700 bp mitochondrial DNA sequences were generated and compared to shorter sequences from previously published studies. Global exact tests of differentiation revealed significant differences among PEC and the other FGs, except those at the South Atlantic Ocean. Green turtles at PEC present genetic signatures similar to those of nesting females from Ascension Island, Guinea Bissau and Aves Island/Surinam. Population expansion was evidenced to have occurred 20-25 kYA, reinforcing the hypothesis of recovery from Southern Atlantic refugia after the last Glacial Maximum. These results contribute to a better understanding of the dynamics of green turtle populations at a protected area by providing knowledge on the dispersion patterns and reinforcing the importance of the interconnectivity between nesting and foraging populations.

  15. Green turtle (Chelonia mydas genetic diversity at Paranaguá Estuarine Complex feeding grounds in Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juliana Costa Jordão

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Sea turtles are marine reptiles that undertake long migrations through their life, with limited information regarding juvenile stages. Feeding grounds (FGs, where they spend most of their lives, are composed by individuals from different natal origins, known as mixed stock populations. The aim of this study was to assess genetic composition, natal origins and demographic history of juvenile green turtles (Chelonia mydas at the Paranaguá Estuarine Complex (PEC, Brazil, considered a Natural World Heritage site. Tissue samples of stranded animals were collected (n = 60, and 700 bp mitochondrial DNA sequences were generated and compared to shorter sequences from previously published studies. Global exact tests of differentiation revealed significant differences among PEC and the other FGs, except those at the South Atlantic Ocean. Green turtles at PEC present genetic signatures similar to those of nesting females from Ascension Island, Guinea Bissau and Aves Island/Surinam. Population expansion was evidenced to have occurred 20–25 kYA, reinforcing the hypothesis of recovery from Southern Atlantic refugia after the last Glacial Maximum. These results contribute to a better understanding of the dynamics of green turtle populations at a protected area by providing knowledge on the dispersion patterns and reinforcing the importance of the interconnectivity between nesting and foraging populations.

  16. 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.

  17. Nesting fidelity and molecular evidence for natal homing in the freshwater turtle, Graptemys kohnii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freedberg, Steven; Ewert, Michael A; Ridenhour, Benjamin J; Neiman, Maurine; Nelson, Craig E

    2005-07-07

    Numerous studies of sea turtle nesting ecology have revealed that females exhibit natal homing, whereby they imprint on the nesting area from which they hatch and subsequently return there to nest as adults. Because freshwater turtles comprise the majority of reptiles known to display environmental sex determination (ESD), the study of natal homing in this group may shed light on recent evolutionary models of sex allocation that are predicated on natal homing in reptiles with ESD. We examined natal homing in Graptemys kohnii, a freshwater turtle with ESD, using mitochondrial sequencing, microsatellite genotyping and mark and recapture of 290 nesting females. Females showed high fidelity to nesting areas, even after being transplanted several kilometres away. A Mantel test revealed significant genetic isolation by distance with respect to nesting locations (r=0.147; psex ratios.

  18. 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.

  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. Fisher choice may increase prevalence of green turtle fibropapillomatosis disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas B Stringell

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Disease in wildlife populations is often controlled through culling. But when healthy individuals are removed and diseased individuals are left in the population, it is anticipated that prevalence of disease increases. Although this scenario is presumably common in exploited populations where infected individuals are less marketable, it is not widely reported in the literature. We describe this scenario in a marine turtle fishery in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI, where green turtles are harvested for local consumption. During a two-year period, we recorded the occurrence of fibropapillomatosis (FP disease in green turtles (Chelonia mydas captured during in-water surveys and compared it with that of turtles landed in the fishery. 13.4% (n=32 of turtles captured during in-water surveys showed externally visible signs of FP. FP occurred at specific geographic locations where fishing also occurred. Despite the disease being prevalent in the size classes selected by fishers, FP was not present in any animals landed by the fishery (n=162. The majority (61% of fishers interviewed expressed that they had caught turtles with FP. Yet, 82% of those that had caught turtles with the disease chose to return their catch to the sea, selectively harvesting healthy turtles and leaving those with the disease in the population. Our study illustrates that fisher choice may increase the prevalence of FP disease and highlights the importance of this widely neglected driver in the disease dynamics of exploited wildlife populations.

  1. Head-started Kemp’s ridley turtle (Lepidochelys kempii) nest recorded in Florida: Possible implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaver, Donna J.; Lamont, Margaret M.; Maxwell, Sharon; Walker, Jennifer Shelby; Dillingham, Ted

    2016-01-01

    A head-started Kemp’s ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii) was documented nesting on South Walton Beach, Florida on 25 May 2015. This record supports the possibility that exposure to Florida waters after being held in captivity through 1–3 yrs of age during the head-starting process may have influenced future nest site selection of this and perhaps other Kemp’s ridley turtles. Such findings could have important ramifications for marine water experimentation and release site selection for turtles that have been reared in captivity.

  2. Distribution and Feeding Behavior of Omorgus suberosus (Coleoptera: Trogidae in Lepidochelys olivacea Turtle Nests.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martha L Baena

    Full Text Available Omorgus suberosus (Fabricius, 1775 has been identified as a potential predator of the eggs of the turtle Lepidochelys olivacea (Eschscholtz, 1829 on one of the main turtle nesting beaches in the world, La Escobilla in Oaxaca, Mexico. This study presents an analysis of the spatio-temporal distribution of the beetle on this beach (in areas of high and low density of L. olivacea nests over two arrival seasons and an evaluation, under laboratory conditions, of the probability of damage to the turtle eggs by this beetle. O. suberosus adults and larvae exhibited an aggregated pattern at both turtle nest densities; however, aggregation was greater in areas of low nest density, where we found the highest proportion of damaged eggs. Also, there were fluctuations in the temporal distribution of the adult beetles following the arrival of the turtles on the beach. Under laboratory conditions, the beetles quickly damaged both dead eggs and a mixture of live and dead eggs, but were found to consume live eggs more slowly. This suggests that O. suberosus may be recycling organic material; however, its consumption of live eggs may be sufficient in some cases to interrupt the incubation period of the turtle. We intend to apply these results when making decisions regarding the L. olivacea nests on La Escobilla Beach, one of the most important sites for the conservation of this species.

  3. Distribution and Feeding Behavior of Omorgus suberosus (Coleoptera: Trogidae) in Lepidochelys olivacea Turtle Nests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baena, Martha L; Escobar, Federico; Halffter, Gonzalo; García-Chávez, Juan H

    2015-01-01

    Omorgus suberosus (Fabricius, 1775) has been identified as a potential predator of the eggs of the turtle Lepidochelys olivacea (Eschscholtz, 1829) on one of the main turtle nesting beaches in the world, La Escobilla in Oaxaca, Mexico. This study presents an analysis of the spatio-temporal distribution of the beetle on this beach (in areas of high and low density of L. olivacea nests over two arrival seasons) and an evaluation, under laboratory conditions, of the probability of damage to the turtle eggs by this beetle. O. suberosus adults and larvae exhibited an aggregated pattern at both turtle nest densities; however, aggregation was greater in areas of low nest density, where we found the highest proportion of damaged eggs. Also, there were fluctuations in the temporal distribution of the adult beetles following the arrival of the turtles on the beach. Under laboratory conditions, the beetles quickly damaged both dead eggs and a mixture of live and dead eggs, but were found to consume live eggs more slowly. This suggests that O. suberosus may be recycling organic material; however, its consumption of live eggs may be sufficient in some cases to interrupt the incubation period of the turtle. We intend to apply these results when making decisions regarding the L. olivacea nests on La Escobilla Beach, one of the most important sites for the conservation of this species.

  4. Multinational Tagging Efforts Illustrate Regional Scale of Distribution and Threats for East Pacific Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas agassizii)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Catherine E.; Blanco, Gabriela S.; Coyne, Michael S.; Delgado-Trejo, Carlos; Godley, Brendan J.; Jones, T. Todd; Resendiz, Antonio; Seminoff, Jeffrey A.; Witt, Matthew J.; Nichols, Wallace J.

    2015-01-01

    To further describe movement patterns and distribution of East Pacific green turtles (Chelonia mydas agassizii) and to determine threat levels for this species within the Eastern Pacific. In order to do this we combined published data from existing flipper tagging and early satellite tracking studies with data from an additional 12 satellite tracked green turtles (1996-2006). Three of these were tracked from their foraging grounds in the Gulf of California along the east coast of the Baja California peninsula to their breeding grounds in Michoacán (1337-2928 km). In addition, three post-nesting females were satellite tracked from Colola beach, Michoacán to their foraging grounds in southern Mexico and Central America (941.3-3020 km). A further six turtles were tracked in the Gulf of California within their foraging grounds giving insights into the scale of ranging behaviour. Turtles undertaking long-distance migrations showed a tendency to follow the coastline. Turtles tracked within foraging grounds showed that foraging individuals typically ranged up to 691.6 km (maximum) from release site location. Additionally, we carried out threat analysis (using the cumulative global human impact in the Eastern Pacific) clustering pre-existing satellite tracking studies from Galapagos, Costa Rica, and data obtained from this study; this indicated that turtles foraging and nesting in Central American waters are subject to the highest anthropogenic impact. Considering that turtles from all three rookeries were found to migrate towards Central America, it is highly important to implement conservation plans in Central American coastal areas to ensure the survival of the remaining green turtles in the Eastern Pacific. Finally, by combining satellite tracking data from this and previous studies, and data of tag returns we created the best available distributional patterns for this particular sea turtle species, which emphasized that conservation measures in key areas may have

  5. Multinational tagging efforts illustrate regional scale of distribution and threats for east pacific green turtles (Chelonia mydas agassizii).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Catherine E; Blanco, Gabriela S; Coyne, Michael S; Delgado-Trejo, Carlos; Godley, Brendan J; Jones, T Todd; Resendiz, Antonio; Seminoff, Jeffrey A; Witt, Matthew J; Nichols, Wallace J

    2015-01-01

    To further describe movement patterns and distribution of East Pacific green turtles (Chelonia mydas agassizii) and to determine threat levels for this species within the Eastern Pacific. In order to do this we combined published data from existing flipper tagging and early satellite tracking studies with data from an additional 12 satellite tracked green turtles (1996-2006). Three of these were tracked from their foraging grounds in the Gulf of California along the east coast of the Baja California peninsula to their breeding grounds in Michoacán (1337-2928 km). In addition, three post-nesting females were satellite tracked from Colola beach, Michoacán to their foraging grounds in southern Mexico and Central America (941.3-3020 km). A further six turtles were tracked in the Gulf of California within their foraging grounds giving insights into the scale of ranging behaviour. Turtles undertaking long-distance migrations showed a tendency to follow the coastline. Turtles tracked within foraging grounds showed that foraging individuals typically ranged up to 691.6 km (maximum) from release site location. Additionally, we carried out threat analysis (using the cumulative global human impact in the Eastern Pacific) clustering pre-existing satellite tracking studies from Galapagos, Costa Rica, and data obtained from this study; this indicated that turtles foraging and nesting in Central American waters are subject to the highest anthropogenic impact. Considering that turtles from all three rookeries were found to migrate towards Central America, it is highly important to implement conservation plans in Central American coastal areas to ensure the survival of the remaining green turtles in the Eastern Pacific. Finally, by combining satellite tracking data from this and previous studies, and data of tag returns we created the best available distributional patterns for this particular sea turtle species, which emphasized that conservation measures in key areas may have

  6. Multinational tagging efforts illustrate regional scale of distribution and threats for east pacific green turtles (Chelonia mydas agassizii.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine E Hart

    Full Text Available To further describe movement patterns and distribution of East Pacific green turtles (Chelonia mydas agassizii and to determine threat levels for this species within the Eastern Pacific. In order to do this we combined published data from existing flipper tagging and early satellite tracking studies with data from an additional 12 satellite tracked green turtles (1996-2006. Three of these were tracked from their foraging grounds in the Gulf of California along the east coast of the Baja California peninsula to their breeding grounds in Michoacán (1337-2928 km. In addition, three post-nesting females were satellite tracked from Colola beach, Michoacán to their foraging grounds in southern Mexico and Central America (941.3-3020 km. A further six turtles were tracked in the Gulf of California within their foraging grounds giving insights into the scale of ranging behaviour. Turtles undertaking long-distance migrations showed a tendency to follow the coastline. Turtles tracked within foraging grounds showed that foraging individuals typically ranged up to 691.6 km (maximum from release site location. Additionally, we carried out threat analysis (using the cumulative global human impact in the Eastern Pacific clustering pre-existing satellite tracking studies from Galapagos, Costa Rica, and data obtained from this study; this indicated that turtles foraging and nesting in Central American waters are subject to the highest anthropogenic impact. Considering that turtles from all three rookeries were found to migrate towards Central America, it is highly important to implement conservation plans in Central American coastal areas to ensure the survival of the remaining green turtles in the Eastern Pacific. Finally, by combining satellite tracking data from this and previous studies, and data of tag returns we created the best available distributional patterns for this particular sea turtle species, which emphasized that conservation measures in key

  7. 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.

  8. Habitat use of breeding green turtles Chelonia mydas tagged in Dry Tortugas National Park: Making use of local and regional MPAs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Kristen; Zawada, David G.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Lidz, Barbara H.

    2013-01-01

    Use of existing marine protected areas (MPAs) by far-ranging marine turtles can be determined using satellite telemetry. Because of a lack of information on MPA use by marine turtles in the Gulf of Mexico, we used satellite transmitters in 2010 and 2011 to track movements of 11 adult female breeding green turtles (Chelonia mydas) tagged in Dry Tortugas National Park (DRTO), in the Gulf of Mexico, south Florida, USA. Throughout the study period, turtles emerged every 9–18 days to nest. During the intervals between nesting episodes (i.e., inter-nesting periods), the turtles consistently used a common core-area within the DRTO boundary, determined using individual 50% kernel-density estimates (KDEs). We mapped the area in DRTO where individual turtle 50% KDEs overlapped using the USGS Along-Track Reef-Imaging System, and determined the diversity and distribution of various benthic-cover types within the mapped area. We also tracked turtles post-nesting as they transited to foraging sites 5–282 km away from tagging beaches; these sites were located both within DRTO and in the surrounding area of the Florida Keys and Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS), a regional MPA. Year-round residency of 9 out of 11 individuals (82%) both within DRTO and in the FKNMS represents novel non-migratory behavior, which offers an opportunity for conservation of this imperiled species at both local and regional scales. These data comprise the first satellite-tracking results on adult nesting green turtles at this remote study site. Additional tracking could reveal whether the distinct inter-nesting and foraging sites delineated here will be repeatedly used in the future by these and other breeding green turtles.

  9. Establish nesting beach origins for all turtles in CA via genetic techniques

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — To examine the stock origin and evaluate current life-history hypotheses of green turtles foraging in southern California, 780 bp of the mitochondrial (mtDNA)...

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Accounting for imperfect detection is critical for inferring marine turtle nesting population trends.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph B Pfaller

    Full Text Available Assessments of population trends based on time-series counts of individuals are complicated by imperfect detection, which can lead to serious misinterpretations of data. Population trends of threatened marine turtles worldwide are usually based on counts of nests or nesting females. We analyze 39 years of nest-count, female-count, and capture-mark-recapture (CMR data for nesting loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta on Wassaw Island, Georgia, USA. Annual counts of nests and females, not corrected for imperfect detection, yield significant, positive trends in abundance. However, multistate open robust design modeling of CMR data that accounts for changes in imperfect detection reveals that the annual abundance of nesting females has remained essentially constant over the 39-year period. The dichotomy could result from improvements in surveys or increased within-season nest-site fidelity in females, either of which would increase detection probability. For the first time in a marine turtle population, we compare results of population trend analyses that do and do not account for imperfect detection and demonstrate the potential for erroneous conclusions. Past assessments of marine turtle population trends based exclusively on count data should be interpreted with caution and re-evaluated when possible. These concerns apply equally to population assessments of all species with imperfect detection.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Estimation of survival rates and abundance of green turtles along the U.S. West Coast

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — To determine abundance and survival rates of the east Pacific green turtles in the northern most foraging grounds, the turtle research groups at SWFSC have been...

  17. Genetic stock compositions and natal origin of green turtle (Chelonia mydas foraging at Brunei Bay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juanita Joseph

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Knowledge of genetics composition and growth stages of endangered green turtles, as well as the connectivity between nesting and foraging grounds is important for effective conservation. A total of 42 green turtles were captured at Brunei Bay with curved carapace length ranging from 43.8 to 102.0 cm, and most sampled individuals were adults and large juveniles. Twelve haplotypes were revealed in mitochondrial DNA control region sequences. Most haplotypes contained identical sequences to haplotypes previously found in rookeries in the Western Pacific, Southeast Asia, and the Indian Ocean. Haplotype and nucleotide diversity indices of the Brunei Bay were 0.8444±0.0390 and 0.009350±0.004964, respectively. Mixed-stock analysis (for both uninformative and informative prior weighting by population size estimated the main contribution from the Southeast Asian rookeries of the Sulu Sea (mean ≥45.31%, Peninsular Malaysia (mean ≥17.42%, and Sarawak (mean ≥12.46%. Particularly, contribution from the Sulu Sea rookery was estimated to be the highest and lower confidence intervals were more than zero (≥24.36%. When estimating contributions by region rather than individual rookeries, results showed that Brunei Bay was sourced mainly from the Southeast Asian rookeries. The results suggest an ontogenetic shift in foraging grounds and provide conservation implications for Southeast Asian green turtles.

  18. Finding the 'lost years' in green turtles: insights from ocean circulation models and genetic analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putman, Nathan F; Naro-Maciel, Eugenia

    2013-10-07

    Organismal movement is an essential component of ecological processes and connectivity among ecosystems. However, estimating connectivity and identifying corridors of movement are challenging in oceanic organisms such as young turtles that disperse into the open sea and remain largely unobserved during a period known as 'the lost years'. Using predictions of transport within an ocean circulation model and data from published genetic analysis, we present to our knowledge, the first basin-scale hypothesis of distribution and connectivity among major rookeries and foraging grounds (FGs) of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) during their 'lost years'. Simulations indicate that transatlantic dispersal is likely to be common and that recurrent connectivity between the southwestern Indian Ocean and the South Atlantic is possible. The predicted distribution of pelagic juvenile turtles suggests that many 'lost years hotspots' are presently unstudied and located outside protected areas. These models, therefore, provide new information on possible dispersal pathways that link nesting beaches with FGs. These pathways may be of exceptional conservation concern owing to their importance for sea turtles during a critical developmental period.

  19. 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)

  20. Winter severity and phenology of spring emergence from the nest in freshwater turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Patrick Joseph; Iverson, John B.; Lee, Richard E.; Costanzo, Jon P.

    2010-07-01

    Although many species of freshwater turtles emigrate to water soon after hatching, the offspring of some species overwinter on land and move to aquatic habitats in the following spring. Timing of emigration can affect the hatchlings’ fitness, but the factors underlying phenology of nest emergence are incompletely understood. We tested the supposition that cold stress imposed during hibernation can influence the timing of nest emergence in three species of turtles in the central USA. In each year of the 6-year study, Chrysemys picta emerged in late March and early April and, on average, these hatchlings left their nests 2 weeks earlier than those of Graptemys geographica and 4 weeks earlier than those of Trachemys scripta. Emergence of conspecific hatchlings from different nests usually occurred over 3-7 weeks, but in some years lasted several additional weeks. Relatively few nests had siblings that emerged on the same day (i.e., synchronously); complete emergence of the typical sibling group required 1 to 2 weeks. In winter, subzero cold occurred with regularity in the nests of all species, though C. picta experienced the lowest temperatures owing to their shallower nests. However, for no species did emergence date or length of the emergence period correlate with winter minimum temperature and, at the level of the individual nest, neither did emergence synchrony or duration. Despite encountering lower temperatures, hatchlings of C. picta emigrated from their nests before those of sympatric species, suggesting that the fitness benefits of early emergence may lead to the improvement of cold-hardiness adaptations in northern populations of turtles.

  1. Tupinambis merianae as nest predators of crocodilians and turtles in Florida, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazzotti, Frank J.; McEachern, Michelle A.; Rochford, Michael; Reed, Robert; Ketterlin Eckles, Jennifer; Vinci, Joy; Edwards, Jake; Wasilewki, Joseph

    2015-01-01

    Tupinambis merianae, is a large, omnivorous tegu lizard native to South America. Two populations of tegus are established in the state of Florida, USA, but impacts to native species are poorly documented. During summer 2013, we placed automated cameras overlooking one American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) nest, which also contained a clutch of Florida red-bellied cooter (Pseudemys nelsoni) eggs, and one American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) nest at a site in southeastern Florida where tegus are established. We documented tegu activity and predation on alligator and turtle eggs at the alligator nest, and tegu activity at the crocodile nest. Our finding that one of the first two crocodilian nests to be monitored was depredated by tegus suggests that tegus should be further evaluated as a threat to nesting reptiles in Florida.

  2. 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.

  3. Association of herpesvirus with fibropapillomatosis of the green turtle Chelonia mydas and the loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta in Florida.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lackovich, J K; Brown, D R; Homer, B L; Garber, R L; Mader, D R; Moretti, R H; Patterson, A D; Herbst, L H; Oros, J; Jacobson, E R; Curry, S S; Klein, P A

    1999-07-30

    Sea turtle fibropapillomatosis (FP) is a disease marked by proliferation of benign but debilitating cutaneous fibropapillomas and occasional visceral fibromas. Transmission experiments have implicated a chloroform-sensitive transforming agent present in filtered cell-free tumor homogenates in the etiology of FP. In this study, consensus primer PCR methodology was used to test the association of a chelonian herpesvirus with fibropapillomatosis. Fibropapilloma and skin samples were obtained from 17 green and 2 loggerhead turtles affected with FP stranded along the Florida coastline. Ninety-three cutaneous and visceral tumors from the 19 turtles, and 33 skin samples from 16 of the turtles, were tested. All turtles affected with FP had herpesvirus associated with their tumors as detected by PCR. Ninety-six percent (89/93) of the tumors, but only 9% (3/33) of the skin samples, from affected turtles contained detectable herpesvirus. The skin samples that contained herpesvirus were all within 2 cm of a fibropapilloma. Also, 1 of 11 scar tissue samples from sites where fibropapillomas had been removed 2 to 51 wk earlier from 5 green turtles contained detectable herpesvirus. None of 18 normal skin samples from 2 green and 2 loggerhead turtles stranded without FP contained herpesvirus. The data indicated that herpesvirus was detectable only within or close to tumors. To determine if the same virus infected both turtle species, partial nucleotide sequences of the herpesvirus DNA polymerase gene were determined from 6 loggerhead and 2 green turtle samples. The sequences predicted that herpesvirus of loggerhead turtles differed from those of green turtles by only 1 of 60 amino acids in the sequence examined, indicating that a chelonian herpesvirus exhibiting minor intratypic variation was the only herpesvirus present in tumors of both green and loggerhead turtles. The FP-associated herpesvirus resisted cultivation on chelonian cell lines which support the replication of other

  4. Maternal health status correlates with nest success of leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea from Florida.

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    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

  5. Blood Gasses Contents of Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas Hatch Treated by Different Temperatures

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    RINI PUSPITANINGRUM

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this research was to gain the profile of blood gasses of green turtle (Chelonia mydas hatch. Blood gas of the green turtle was analysed after exposuring them at 28 oC and 50% of humidity for 24 hours in a pvc tube and at 34 oC under sunlight exposured with 47% of humidity for 30 minutes. The result showed the different values of blood gas contents. This result showed indication of metabolism activities and poikilothermic adaptation of green turtle hatch. This information can be used to support for turtle hatchery in Indonesia.

  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.

    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.

  7. Trace metals (Cd, Cu, Ni, and Zn) in blood and eggs of the sea turtle Lepidochelys olivacea from a nesting colony of Oaxaca, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Páez-Osuna, Federico; Calderón-Campuzano, María F; Soto-Jiménez, Martín F; Ruelas-Inzunza, Jorge R

    2010-11-01

    Trace metals (Cd, Cu, Ni, and Zn) concentrations were assessed in the sea turtle Lepidochelys olivacea from a nesting colony of Oaxaca, Mexico. Twenty-five female turtles were sampled, a total of 250 eggs were collected during the "arribada" event of the 2005-2006 season. Zn concentrations were highest in the yolk [72.3 ± 10.9 μg/g dry weight (dw)] and blood (58.4 ± 4.7 μg/g dw), whereas Ni concentrations were highest in the shell (48.5 ± 12.9 μg/g dw). The mean concentrations of Cu, and Cd in the analyzed tissues were lower than those reported in other sea turtle species. However, Zn and Ni concentrations in the yolk and shell, respectively, had the same distribution pattern observed at loggerhead and green turtles. On the basis of one nesting season, the maternal transfer and/or the excretion rates of trace metals via eggs-laying, estimated in terms of metal burdens in whole body, were 0.2, 7.8, 3.4, and 21.5% for Cd, Cu, Zn, and Ni, respectively.

  8. Seasonal trends in nesting leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) serum proteins further verify capital breeding hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perrault, Justin R; Wyneken, Jeanette; Page-Karjian, Annie; Merrill, Anita; Miller, Debra L

    2014-01-01

    Serum protein concentrations provide insight into the nutritional and immune status of organisms. It has been suggested that some marine turtles are capital breeders that fast during the nesting season. In this study, we documented serum proteins in neophyte and remigrant nesting leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea). This allowed us to establish trends across the nesting season to determine whether these physiological parameters indicate if leatherbacks forage or fast while on nesting grounds. Using the biuret method and agarose gel electrophoresis, total serum protein (median = 5.0 g/dl) and protein fractions were quantified and include pre-albumin (median = 0.0 g/dl), albumin (median = 1.81 g/dl), α1-globulin (median = 0.90 g/dl), α2-globulin (median = 0.74 g/dl), total α-globulin (median = 1.64 g/dl), β-globulin (median = 0.56 g/dl), γ-globulin (median = 0.81 g/dl) and total globulin (median = 3.12 g/dl). The albumin:globulin ratio (median = 0.59) was also calculated. Confidence intervals (90%) were used to establish reference intervals. Total protein, albumin and total globulin concentrations declined in successive nesting events. Protein fractions declined at less significant rates or remained relatively constant during the nesting season. Here, we show that leatherbacks are most likely fasting during the nesting season. A minimal threshold of total serum protein concentrations of around 3.5-4.5 g/dl may physiologically signal the end of the season's nesting for individual leatherbacks. The results presented here lend further insight into the interaction between reproduction, fasting and energy reserves and will potentially improve the conservation and management of this imperiled species.

  9. Presence of chelonid fibropapilloma-associated herpesvirus in tumored and non-tumored green turtles, as detected by polymerase chain reaction, in endemic and non-endemic aggregations, Puerto Rico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Page-Karjian, Annie; Torres, Fernando; Zhang, Jian; Rivera, Samuel; Diez, Carlos; Moore, Phillip A; Moore, Debra; Brown, Corrie

    2012-01-01

    Fibropapillomatosis (FP), a transmissible neoplastic disease of marine turtles characterized by a likely herpesviral primary etiology, has emerged as an important disease in green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) over the past three decades. The objectives of this study were to determine the suitability of three different chelonid fibropapilloma-associated herpesvirus (CFPHV) gene targets in polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays of affected tissues; to explore the presence of CFPHV in non-affected skin from turtles with and without tumors; and to better understand tissue localization of the CFPHV genome in a tumor-free turtle by evaluating CFPHV presence in microanatomic tissue sites. Two aggregations of green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) in Puerto Rico were evaluated, with six sampling intervals over the three-year period 2004-2007. Primary and nested PCR for three different herpesviral gene targets- DNA polymerase, capsid maturation protease, and membrane glycoprotein B- were performed on 201 skin biopsies taken from 126 turtles with and without external tumors. Laser capture microdissection and nested PCR were used to identify tissue localizations of CFPHV in skin from a normal turtle. Of the turtles sampled in Manglar Bay, 30.5% had tumors; at the relatively more pristine Culebrita, 5.3% of turtles sampled had tumors. All three PCR primer combinations successfully amplified CFPHV from tumors, and from normal skin of both tumored and tumor-free turtles. Via nested PCR, the polymerase gene target proved superior to the other two gene targets in the positive detection of CFPHV DNA. CFPHV infection may be common relative to disease incidence, supporting the idea that extrinsic and/or host factors could play a transforming role in tumor expression. Laser capture microdissection revealed CFPHV in skin from a tumor-free turtle, harbored in both epidermal and dermal tissues. Identification of CFPHV harbored in a non-epidermal site (dermis) of a tumor-free turtle indicates

  10. Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) have novel asymmetrical antibodies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Work, Thierry M.; Dagenais, Julie; Breeden, Renee; Schneemann, Anette; Sung, Joyce; Hew, Brian; Balazs, George H.; Berestecky, John M.

    2015-01-01

    Igs in vertebrates comprise equally sized H and L chains, with exceptions such as H chain–only Abs in camels or natural Ag receptors in sharks. In Reptilia, Igs are known as IgYs. Using immunoassays with isotype-specific mAbs, in this study we show that green turtles (Chelonia mydas) have a 5.7S 120-kDa IgY comprising two equally sized H/L chains with truncated Fc and a 7S 200-kDa IgY comprised of two differently sized H chains bound to L chains and apparently often noncovalently associated with an antigenically related 90-kDa moiety. Both the 200- and 90-kDa 7S molecules are made in response to specific Ag, although the 90-kDa molecule appears more prominent after chronic Ag stimulation. Despite no molecular evidence of a hinge, electron microscopy reveals marked flexibility of Fab arms of 7S and 5.7S IgY. Both IgY can be captured with protein G or melon gel, but less so with protein A. Thus, turtle IgY share some characteristics with mammalian IgG. However, the asymmetrical structure of some turtle Ig and the discovery of an Ig class indicative of chronic antigenic stimulation represent striking advances in our understanding of immunology.

  11. Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas) Have Novel Asymmetrical Antibodies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Work, Thierry M; Dagenais, Julie; Breeden, Renee; Schneemann, Anette; Sung, Joyce; Hew, Brian; Balazs, George H; Berestecky, John M

    2015-12-01

    Igs in vertebrates comprise equally sized H and L chains, with exceptions such as H chain-only Abs in camels or natural Ag receptors in sharks. In Reptilia, Igs are known as IgYs. Using immunoassays with isotype-specific mAbs, in this study we show that green turtles (Chelonia mydas) have a 5.7S 120-kDa IgY comprising two equally sized H/L chains with truncated Fc and a 7S 200-kDa IgY comprised of two differently sized H chains bound to L chains and apparently often noncovalently associated with an antigenically related 90-kDa moiety. Both the 200- and 90-kDa 7S molecules are made in response to specific Ag, although the 90-kDa molecule appears more prominent after chronic Ag stimulation. Despite no molecular evidence of a hinge, electron microscopy reveals marked flexibility of Fab arms of 7S and 5.7S IgY. Both IgY can be captured with protein G or melon gel, but less so with protein A. Thus, turtle IgY share some characteristics with mammalian IgG. However, the asymmetrical structure of some turtle Ig and the discovery of an Ig class indicative of chronic antigenic stimulation represent striking advances in our understanding of immunology.

  12. Mixed-stock analysis in green turtles Chelonia mydas: mtDNA decipher current connections among west Atlantic populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa Jordao, Juliana; Bondioli, Ana Cristina Vigliar; Almeida-Toledo, Lurdes Foresti de; Bilo, Karin; Berzins, Rachel; Le Maho, Yvon; Chevallier, Damien; de Thoisy, Benoit

    2017-03-01

    The green turtle Chelonia mydas undertakes wide-ranging migrations between feeding and nesting sites, resulting in mixing and isolation of genetic stocks. We used mtDNA control region to characterize the genetic composition, population structure, and natal origins of C. mydas in the West Atlantic Ocean, at one feeding ground (State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), and three Caribbean nesting grounds (French Guiana, Guadeloupe, and Suriname). The feeding ground presented considerable frequency of common haplotypes from the South Atlantic, whereas the nesting sites presented a major contribution of the most common haplotype from the Caribbean. MSA revealed multiple origins of individuals at the feeding ground, notably from Ascension Island, Guinea Bissau, and French Guiana. This study enables a better understanding of the dispersion patterns and highlights the importance of connecting both nesting and feeding areas. Effective conservation initiatives need to encompass these ecologically and geographically distinct sites as well as those corridors connecting them.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Changing taste preferences, market demands and traditions in Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua: A community reliant on green turtles for income and nutrition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Garland Kathryn

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Caribbean Nicaragua has its own cultural logic that helps to explain the eating habits of indigenous communities that rely on sea turtle meat for nutrition and prefer its taste to that of other available meats. Nutritional costs and benefits form a fundamental part of this reliance, yet there are ecological, economic, cultural, and other factors that may be just as if not more important than the nutritional value of turtle meat. Caribbean Nicaraguans have legally harvested green turtles (Chelonia mydas for more than 400 years, and continue to rely on the species as an inexpensive and tasty source of protein and income. From 1967 to 1977, green turtles were harvested for both local and foreign consumption, including annual exports to the US and Europe from turtle packing plants in Nicaragua in excess of 10,000 turtles. Although the processing plants have been closed for over 30 years after Nicaragua became a signatory of CITES in 1977, the local demand for turtle meat in coastal communities has continued. Following themes of cultural ecology and ecological anthropology, we first discuss what is known about the traditional culture of Caribbean Nicaragua, in particular the history of its changing economy (after European contact and settlement on the coast and subsistence lifestyle of Miskito and Creole societies on the coast. Second, we provide background information on regional ethnic identity and the human ecology of the Caribbean Nicaragua sea turtle fishery. We then present a quantitative analysis of the relationship between protein preference and various demographic characteristics, and speculate whether protein preferences have been altered in the coastal culture, providing recommendations for future research. Recent studies present disparate views on whether nesting and foraging green turtle populations are increasing or decreasing in the region: in either case the level of harvest makes the topic of protein preference an important and

  17. Body size distribution demonstrates flexible habitat shift of green turtle (Chelonia mydas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryota Hayashi

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Green turtles (Chelonia mydas, listed as Endangered on the IUCN redlist, have a broad migration area and undergo a habitat shift from the pelagic (hatchling to neritic (growth zones. We studied habitat utilisation of the coastal feeding grounds around Okinawajima Island, Japan, in 103 green turtles. The western and eastern turtle aggregations off Okinawa had homogeneous genetic compositions, but different body size distributions. The western coastal feeding ground supported larger individuals than the eastern coastal feeding ground. Thus, green turtles appear to prefer different feeding grounds during their growth, and have a flexible habitat shift including a secondary habitat shift from east to west around Okinawajima Island after they are recruited to the coastal habitats. This study suggests maintaining coastal habitat diversity is important for green turtle conservation.

  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. 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

  1. Decreasing annual nest counts in a globally important loggerhead sea turtle population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witherington, Blair; Kubilis, Paul; Brost, Beth; Meylan, Anne

    2009-01-01

    The loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) nests on sand beaches, has both oceanic and neritic life stages, and migrates internationally. We analyzed an 18-year time series of Index Nesting Beach Survey (Index) nest-count data to describe spatial and temporal trends in loggerhead nesting on Florida (USA) beaches. The Index data were highly resolved: 368 fixed zones (mean length 0.88 km) were surveyed daily during annual 109-day survey seasons. Spatial and seasonal coverage averaged 69% of estimated total nesting by loggerheads in the state. We carried out trend analyses on both annual survey-region nest-count totals (N = 18) and annual zone-level nest densities (N = 18 x 368 = 6624). In both analyses, negative binomial regression models were used to fit restricted cubic spline curves to aggregated nest counts. Between 1989 and 2006, loggerhead nest counts on Florida Index beaches increased and then declined, with a net decrease over the 18-year period. This pattern was evident in both a trend model of annual survey-region nest-count totals and a mixed-effect, "single-region" trend model of annual zone-level nest densities that took into account both spatial and temporal correlation between counts. We also saw this pattern in a zone-level model that allowed trend line shapes to vary between six coastal subregions. Annual mean zone-level nest density declined significantly (-28%; 95% CI: -34% to -21%) between 1989 and 2006 and declined steeply (-43%; 95% CI: -48% to -39%) during 1998-2006. Rates of change in annual mean nest density varied more between coastal subregions during the "mostly increasing" period prior to 1998 than during the "steeply declining" period after 1998. The excellent fits (observed vs. expected count R2 > 0.91) of the mixed-effect zone-level models confirmed the presence of strong, positive, within-zone autocorrelation (R > 0.93) between annual counts, indicating a remarkable year-to-year consistency in the longshore spatial distribution of

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. Determine sex ratios of green turtles along the U.S. West Coast through examinations of hormones

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — A testosterone (T) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was validated for use with green turtle plasma in order to determine the sex of juvenile turtles. We...

  5. 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,…

  6. 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.

  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 rate of predation by fishes on hatchlings of the green turtle ( Chelonia mydas)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gyuris, E.

    1994-07-01

    This study addresses the need for empirical data on the survival of sea turtle hatchlings after entry into the sea by (1) developing a method for measuring marine predation; (2) estimating predation rates while crossing the reef; and (3) investigating the effect of environmental variables on predation rates. Predation rates were quantified by following individual hatchlings, tethered by a 10m monofilament nylon line, as they swam from the water's edge towards the reef crest. Predation rates under particular combinations of environmental variables (tide, time of day, and moon phase) were measured in separate trials. Predation rates varied among trials from 0 to 85% with a mean of 31% (SE=2.5%). The simplest logistic regression model that explained variation in predation contained tide and moon phase as predictor variables. The results suggest that noctural emergence from the nest is a behavioral adaptation to minimize exposure to the heat of the day rather than a predator-escape mechanism. For the green turtle populations breeding in eastern Australia, most first year mortality is caused by predation while crossing the reef within the first hour of entering the sea.

  10. Finding the ‘lost years’ in green turtles: insights from ocean circulation models and genetic analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putman, Nathan F.; Naro-Maciel, Eugenia

    2013-01-01

    Organismal movement is an essential component of ecological processes and connectivity among ecosystems. However, estimating connectivity and identifying corridors of movement are challenging in oceanic organisms such as young turtles that disperse into the open sea and remain largely unobserved during a period known as ‘the lost years’. Using predictions of transport within an ocean circulation model and data from published genetic analysis, we present to our knowledge, the first basin-scale hypothesis of distribution and connectivity among major rookeries and foraging grounds (FGs) of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) during their ‘lost years’. Simulations indicate that transatlantic dispersal is likely to be common and that recurrent connectivity between the southwestern Indian Ocean and the South Atlantic is possible. The predicted distribution of pelagic juvenile turtles suggests that many ‘lost years hotspots’ are presently unstudied and located outside protected areas. These models, therefore, provide new information on possible dispersal pathways that link nesting beaches with FGs. These pathways may be of exceptional conservation concern owing to their importance for sea turtles during a critical developmental period. PMID:23945687

  11. 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.

  12. Antibiotic resistant bacteria as bio-indicator of polluted effluent in the green turtles, Chelonia mydas in Oman.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Bahry, Saif N; Mahmoud, Ibrahim Y; Al-Zadjali, Maheera; Elshafie, Abdulkader; Al-Harthy, Asila; Al-Alawi, Wafaa

    2011-03-01

    Antibiotic resistant bacteria were studied as bio-indicators of marine polluted effluents during egg-laying in green turtles. A non-invasive procedure for sampling oviductal fluid was used to test for exposure of turtles to pollution in Ras Al-Hadd, Oman, which is one of the most important nesting beaches in the world. Each sample was obtained by inserting a 15 cm sterile swab gently into the cloacal vent as the sphincter muscle is relaxed and the cloacal lining is unfolded to the outside. Forty turtles were sampled. A hundred and thirty-two species of bacteria from 7 genera were isolated. The dominant isolate was Citrobacter. Among the isolates 60.6% were multiple resistant to 15 tested antibiotics. The dominant resistance to antibiotics was ampicillin followed by streptomycin and sulphamethoxazole. Sampling oviductal fluid for resistant bacteria to antibiotics is valuable way to assess exposure to polluted effluents during feeding and migratory in turtles. Polluted effluents using bacteria as bio-indicator may influence reproductive potential in this endangered species.

  13. Epizootiology of spirorchid infection in green turtles (Chelonia mydas) in Hawaii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Work, T.M.; Balazs, G.H.; Schumacher, Jody L.; Marie, A.

    2005-01-01

    We describe the epizootiology of spirorchiid trematode infections in Hawaiian green turtles (Chelonia mydas) by quantifying tissue egg burdens in turtles submitted for necropsy and by assessing antibody response to crude adult worm and egg antigens among a variety of age groups. Hapalotrema sp. and Laeredius sp. predominated in turtles infected with spirorchiids. Tissue egg burdens decreased with increasing size and increased with deteriorating body condition of turtles. No relationship was found between tissue egg burdens and sex or fibropapillomatosis status. Tissue egg burdens increased in turtles from southeast to northwest in the main Hawaiian Islands (Hawaii to Kauai). Hatchling and captive-reared turtles had significantly lower levels of antibodies against crude worm and egg antigens. Based on tissue egg burdens and antibody status, we hypothesize that immature turtles become infected with spirorchiids shortly after recruiting into coastal foraging pastures from the pelagic environment, that infection levels decrease with age, and that spirorchiids detrimentally affect the body condition of sea turtles independent of tumor burden. The low intensity of infection in turtles with the endemic trematode Carettacola hawaiiensis suggests either that turtles are less susceptible to infection with this parasite or that the parasite is outcompeted by species of Hapalotrema and Laeredius. Given that the 2 latter species are found in the Pacific and other oceans, they are not likely endemic and were probably introduced into Hawaii through an undetermined route.

  14. 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.

  15. Synopsis of biological data on the green turtle Chelonia mydas (Linnaeus) 1758

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Hirth, H.F

    1971-01-01

    The main purpose of this synopsis is to bring together the current information on the natural history of the green turtle, Chelonia mydas, and to draw attention to the major gaps in our knowledge of the species...

  16. Feeding ecology of the green turtle Chelonia mydas in northern Peru

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Astrid Jiménez; Sergio Pingo; Joanna Alfaro-Shigueto; Jeffrey C Mangel; Yuri Hooker

    2017-01-01

    Diet and food preferences of the green turtle Chelonia mydas were analyzed based on digestive tract contents of dead specimens caught incidentally by an artisanal gillnet fishery in Sechura Bay, northern Peru...

  17. Morphologic and cytochemical characteristics of green turtle (Chelonia mydas) blood cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Work, T.M.; Raskin, R.E.; Balazs, G.H.; Whittaker, S.D.

    1998-01-01

    Objective - To identify and characterize blood cells from free-ranging Hawaiian green turtles, Chelonia mydas. Sample Population - 26 green turtles from Puako on the island of Hawaii and Kaneohe Bay on the island of Oahu. Procedure - Blood was examined, using light and electron microscopy and cytochemical stains that included benzidine peroxidase, chloroacetate esterase, alpha naphthyl butyrate esterase, acid phosphatase, Sudan black B, periodic acid-Schiff, and toluidine blue. Results - 6 types of WBC were identified: lymphocytes, monocytes, thrombocytes, heterophils, basophils, and eosinophils (small and large). Morphologic characteristics of mononuclear cells and most granulocytes were similar to those of cells from other reptiles except that green turtles have both large and small eosinophils. Conclusions - Our classification of green turtle blood cells clarifies imporoper nomenclature reported previously and provides a reference for future hematologic studies in this species.

  18. 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.

  19. Historical versus contemporary climate forcing on the annual nesting variability of loggerhead sea turtles in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael D Arendt

    Full Text Available A recent analysis suggested that historical climate forcing on the oceanic habitat of neonate sea turtles explained two-thirds of interannual variability in contemporary loggerhead (Caretta caretta sea turtle nest counts in Florida, where nearly 90% of all nesting by this species in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean occurs. Here, we show that associations between annual nest counts and climate conditions decades prior to nest counts and those conditions one year prior to nest counts were not significantly different. Examination of annual nest count and climate data revealed that statistical artifacts influenced the reported 31-year lag association with nest counts. The projected importance of age 31 neophytes to annual nest counts between 2020 and 2043 was modeled using observed nest counts between 1989 and 2012. Assuming consistent survival rates among cohorts for a 5% population growth trajectory and that one third of the mature female population nests annually, the 41% decline in annual nest counts observed during 1998-2007 was not projected for 2029-2038. This finding suggests that annual nest count trends are more influenced by remigrants than neophytes. Projections under the 5% population growth scenario also suggest that the Peninsular Recovery Unit could attain the demographic recovery criteria of 106,100 annual nests by 2027 if nest counts in 2019 are at least comparable to 2012. Because the first year of life represents only 4% of the time elapsed through age 31, cumulative survival at sea across decades explains most cohort variability, and thus, remigrant population size. Pursuant to the U.S. Endangered Species Act, staggered implementation of protection measures for all loggerhead life stages has taken place since the 1970s. We suggest that the 1998-2007 nesting decline represented a lagged perturbation response to historical anthropogenic impacts, and that subsequent nest count increases since 2008 reflect a potential recovery response.

  20. Historical versus contemporary climate forcing on the annual nesting variability of loggerhead sea turtles in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arendt, Michael D; Schwenter, Jeffrey A; Witherington, Blair E; Meylan, Anne B; Saba, Vincent S

    2013-01-01

    A recent analysis suggested that historical climate forcing on the oceanic habitat of neonate sea turtles explained two-thirds of interannual variability in contemporary loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtle nest counts in Florida, where nearly 90% of all nesting by this species in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean occurs. Here, we show that associations between annual nest counts and climate conditions decades prior to nest counts and those conditions one year prior to nest counts were not significantly different. Examination of annual nest count and climate data revealed that statistical artifacts influenced the reported 31-year lag association with nest counts. The projected importance of age 31 neophytes to annual nest counts between 2020 and 2043 was modeled using observed nest counts between 1989 and 2012. Assuming consistent survival rates among cohorts for a 5% population growth trajectory and that one third of the mature female population nests annually, the 41% decline in annual nest counts observed during 1998-2007 was not projected for 2029-2038. This finding suggests that annual nest count trends are more influenced by remigrants than neophytes. Projections under the 5% population growth scenario also suggest that the Peninsular Recovery Unit could attain the demographic recovery criteria of 106,100 annual nests by 2027 if nest counts in 2019 are at least comparable to 2012. Because the first year of life represents only 4% of the time elapsed through age 31, cumulative survival at sea across decades explains most cohort variability, and thus, remigrant population size. Pursuant to the U.S. Endangered Species Act, staggered implementation of protection measures for all loggerhead life stages has taken place since the 1970s. We suggest that the 1998-2007 nesting decline represented a lagged perturbation response to historical anthropogenic impacts, and that subsequent nest count increases since 2008 reflect a potential recovery response.

  1. Habitat use of a multispecific seagrass meadow by green turtles Chelonia mydas at Mayotte Island

    OpenAIRE

    Ballorain, Katia; Ciccione, Stephane; Bourjea, Jerome; Grizel, Henri; Enstipp, Manfred; Georges, Jean-Yves

    2010-01-01

    We investigated the habitat use in green turtles exploiting a 13-ha multispecific seagrass meadow at Mayotte Island, south-western Indian Ocean. A phytoecological survey shows the occurrence of eight seagrass species, dominated by Halodule uninervis and Syringodium isoetifolium, distributed according to four distinct seagrass communities along the depth gradient. Direct underwater censuses show that green turtles occurred all over the meadow. Yet when community relative surface area was taken...

  2. Preparation, cryopreservation, and growth of cells prepared from the green turtle (Chelonia mydas)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, M.K.; Work, T.M.; Balazs, G.H.; Docherty, D.E.

    1997-01-01

    Techniques are described for preparing, preserving, and growing cell cultures from 30 to 40-day old green turtle embryos (2.0-3.0 cm length) including cells derived from skeletal muscle, liver, heart, kidney, eye, lung, and brain. Acceptable growth of all cells occurred in all standard cell culture media tested, with optimum growth temperature near 30??C. These cell cultures will be used in the study of sea turtle viral diseases including fibropapillomatosis, which is currently epidemic in some green turtle populations.

  3. Inferring foraging areas of nesting loggerhead turtles using satellite telemetry and stable isotopes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simona A Ceriani

    Full Text Available In recent years, the use of intrinsic markers such as stable isotopes to link breeding and foraging grounds of migratory species has increased. Nevertheless, several assumptions still must be tested to interpret isotopic patterns found in the marine realm. We used a combination of satellite telemetry and stable isotope analysis to (i identify key foraging grounds used by female loggerheads nesting in Florida and (ii examine the relationship between stable isotope ratios and post-nesting migration destinations. We collected tissue samples for stable isotope analysis from 14 females equipped with satellite tags and an additional 57 untracked nesting females. Telemetry identified three post-nesting migratory pathways and associated non-breeding foraging grounds: (1 a seasonal continental shelf-constrained migratory pattern along the northeast U.S. coastline, (2 a non-breeding residency in southern foraging areas and (3 a residency in the waters adjacent to the breeding area. Isotopic variability in both δ(13C and δ(15N among individuals allowed identification of three distinct foraging aggregations. We used discriminant function analysis to examine how well δ(13C and δ(15N predict female post-nesting migration destination. The discriminant analysis classified correctly the foraging ground used for all but one individual and was used to predict putative feeding areas of untracked turtles. We provide the first documentation that the continental shelf of the Mid- and South Atlantic Bights are prime foraging areas for a large number (61% of adult female loggerheads from the largest loggerhead nesting population in the western hemisphere and the second largest in the world. Our findings offer insights for future management efforts and suggest that this technique can be used to infer foraging strategies and residence areas in lieu of more expensive satellite telemetry, enabling sample sizes that are more representative at the population level.

  4. 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

  5. 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 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.

  6. Inter-nesting movements and habitat-use of adult female Kemp's ridley turtles in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaver, Donna J; Hart, Kristen M; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Bucklin, David; Iverson, Autumn R; Rubio, Cynthia; Backof, Thomas F; Burchfield, Patrick M; de Jesus Gonzales Diaz Miron, Raul; Dutton, Peter H; Frey, Amy; Peña, Jaime; Gomez Gamez, Daniel; Martinez, Hector J; Ortiz, Jaime

    2017-01-01

    Species vulnerability is increased when individuals congregate in restricted areas for breeding; yet, breeding habitats are not well defined for many marine species. Identification and quantification of these breeding habitats are essential to effective conservation. Satellite telemetry and switching state-space modeling (SSM) were used to define inter-nesting habitat of endangered Kemp's ridley turtles (Lepidochelys kempii) in the Gulf of Mexico. Turtles were outfitted with satellite transmitters after nesting at Padre Island National Seashore, Texas, USA, from 1998 through 2013 (n = 60); Rancho Nuevo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, during 2010 and 2011 (n = 11); and Tecolutla, Veracruz, Mexico, during 2012 and 2013 (n = 11). These sites span the range of nearly all nesting by this species. Inter-nesting habitat lies in a narrow band of nearshore western Gulf of Mexico waters in the USA and Mexico, with mean water depth of 14 to 19 m within a mean distance to shore of 6 to 11 km as estimated by 50% kernel density estimate, α-Hull, and minimum convex polygon methodologies. Turtles tracked during the inter-nesting period moved, on average, 17.5 km/day and a mean total distance of 398 km. Mean home ranges occupied were 725 to 2948 km2. Our results indicate that these nearshore western Gulf waters represent critical inter-nesting habitat for this species, where threats such as shrimp trawling and oil and gas platforms also occur. Up to half of all adult female Kemp's ridleys occupy this habitat for weeks to months during each nesting season. Because inter-nesting habitat for this species is concentrated in nearshore waters of the western Gulf of Mexico in both Mexico and the USA, international collaboration is needed to protect this essential habitat and the turtles occurring within it.

  7. Bacteremia in free-ranging Hawaiian green turtles, Chelonia mydas, with fibropapillomatosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Work, T.M.; Balazs, G.H.; Wolcott, M.; Morris, Robert

    2003-01-01

    Past studies of free-ranging green turtles Chelonia mydas with fibropapillomatosis (FP) in Hawaii have shown that animals become immunosuppressed with increasing severity of this disease. Additionally, preliminary clinical examination of moribund turtles with FP revealed that some animals were also bacteraemic. We tested the hypothesis that bacteraemia in sea turtles is associated with the severity of FP. We captured free-ranging green turtles from areas in Hawaii where FP is absent, and areas where FP has been endemic since the late 1950s. Each turtle was given an FP severity score ranging from 0 (no tumours) to 3 (severely affected). A fifth category included turtles that were stranded ashore and moribund with FP. We found that the percentage of turtles with bacteraemia increased with the severity of FP, and that the majority of bacteria cultured were Vibrio spp. Turtles with severe FP were more susceptible to bactaeremia, probably in part due to immunosuppression. The pattern of bacteraemia in relation to severity of disease strengthens the hypothesis that immunosuppression is a sequel to FP.

  8. Bacteraemia in free-ranging Hawaiian green turtles Chelonia mydas with fibropapillomatosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Work, Thierry M; Balazs, George H; Wolcott, Mark; Morris, Robert

    2003-01-22

    Past studies of free-ranging green turtles Chelonia mydas with fibropapillomatosis (FP) in Hawaii have shown that animals become immunosuppressed with increasing severity of this disease. Additionally, preliminary clinical examination of moribund turtles with FP revealed that some animals were also bacteraemic. We tested the hypothesis that bacteraemia in sea turtles is associated with the severity of FP. We captured free-ranging green turtles from areas in Hawaii where FP is absent, and areas where FP has been endemic since the late 1950s. Each turtle was given an FP severity score ranging from 0 (no tumours) to 3 (severely affected). A fifth category included turtles that were stranded ashore and moribund with FP. We found that the percentage of turtles with bacteraemia increased with the severity of FP, and that the majority of bacteria cultured were Vibrio spp. Turtles with severe FP were more susceptible to bactaeremia, probably in part due to immunosuppression. The pattern of bacteraemia in relation to severity of disease strengthens the hypothesis that immunosuppression is a sequel to FP.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Young green turtles, Chelonia mydas, exposed to plastic in a frontal area of the SW Atlantic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González Carman, Victoria; Acha, E Marcelo; Maxwell, Sara M; Albareda, Diego; Campagna, Claudio; Mianzan, Hermes

    2014-01-15

    Ingestion of anthropogenic debris represents an important threat to marine turtle populations. Information has been limited to inventories of debris ingested and its consequences, but why ingestion occurs and the conditions that enable it are less understood. Here we report on the occurrence of plastic ingestion in young green turtles (Chelonia mydas) inhabiting the Río de la Plata (SW Atlantic). This estuarine area is characterized by a frontal system that accumulates anthropogenic debris. We explored exposure of green turtles to plastic and its ingestion via debris distribution, habitat use and digestive tract examination. Results indicated that there is considerable overlap of frontal accumulated plastic and core foraging areas of the animals. Exposure results in ingestion, as shown by the high frequency of plastic found in the digestive tracts. The Río de la Plata estuarine front is an area of conservation concern for young green turtles.

  12. Evidence for retrovirus infections in green turtles Chelonia mydas from the Hawaiian islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casey, R.N.; Quackenbush, S.L.; Work, T.M.; Balazs, G.H.; Bowser, P.R.; Casey, J.W.

    1997-01-01

    Apparently normal Hawaiian green turtles Chelonia mydas and those displaying fibropapillomas were analyzed for infection by retroviruses. Strikingly, all samples were positive for polymerase enhanced reverse transcriptase (PERT) with levels high enough to quantitate by the conventional reverse transcriptase (RT) assay. However, samples of skin, even from asymptomatic turtles, were RT positive, although the levels of enzyme activity in healthy turtles hatched and raised in captivity were much lower than those observed in asymptomatic free-ranging turtles. Turtles with fibropapillomas displayed a broad range of reverse transcriptase activity. Skin and eye fibropapillomas and a heart tumor were further analyzed and shown to have reverse transcriptase activity that banded in a sucrose gradient at 1.17 g ml-1. The reverse transcriptase activity purified from the heart tumor displayed a temperature optimum of 37??C and showed a preference for Mn2+ over Mg2+. Sucrose gradient fractions of this sample displaying elevated reverse transcriptase activity contained primarily retrovitalsized particles with prominent envelope spikes, when negatively stained and examined by electron microscopy. Sodium dodecylsulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) analysis of gradient-purified virions revealed a conserved profile among 4 independent tumors and showed 7 prominent proteins having molecular weights of 116, 83, 51, 43, 40, 20 and 14 kDa. The data suggest that retroviral infections are widespread in Hawaiian green turtles and a comprehensive investigation is warranted to address the possibility that these agents cause green turtle fibropapillomatosis (GTFP).

  13. 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.

  14. Reproductive biology of the green turtle (Chelonia mydas) at Tern Island, French Frigate Shoals, Hawai`i

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niethammer, K.R.; Balazs, G.H.; Hatfield, J.S.; Nakai, G.L.; Megyesi, J.L.

    1997-01-01

    We monitored nesting of the green turtle (Chelonia mydas Linnaeus) on Tern Island, French Frigate Shoals, in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands from 1986 through 1991. Egg oviposition occurred between 26 April and 20 October. Nesting peaked between mid-June and early August. Hatchlings emerged between mid-August and early October. Mean incubation period was 66.0 (range 53-97) days. Mean clutch size was 92.4 (range 33-150) eggs. Mean hatching success was 78.6% when averaged over success of individual nests and 81.1% when calculated as percentage of total number of eggs. Natural hatchling emergence was 71.1%, based on percentage of total number of eggs. Live and dead hatchlings were found when nests were excavated and accounted for 10.0% of the eggs. Incubation periods tended to be longer in early and later portions of the season than in midseason, and incubation periods tended to decrease the farther inland the nest was situated from the high tide line. Maximum hatching success occurred at an incubation length of 66.7 days. Other trends indicated that nesting peaked near 5 July when conditions produced a near optimal incubation period for yielding maximum hatching success.

  15. Nest site selection by individual leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea, Testudines: Dermochelyidae in Tortuguero, Caribbean coast of Costa Rica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noga Neeman

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Nest site selection for individual leatherback sea turtles, Dermochelys coriacea, is a matter of dispute. Some authors suggest that a female will tend to randomly scatter her nests to optimize clutch survival at a highly dynamic beach, while others suggest that some site fidelity exists. It is also possible that both strategies exist, depending on the characteristics of each nesting beach, with stable beaches leading to repeating nest site selections and unstable beaches leading to nest scattering. To determine the strategy of the Tortuguero population of D. coriacea, female site preference and repetition were determined by studying whether females repeat their nest zone choices between successive attempts and whether this leads to a correlation in hatching and emergence success of subsequent nests. Nesting data from 1997 to 2008 were used. Perpendicular to the coastline, open sand was preferred in general, regardless of initial choice. This shows a tendency to scatter nests and is consistent with the fact that all vertical zones had a high variability in hatching and emergence success. It is also consistent with nest success not being easily predictable, as shown by the lack of correlation in success of subsequent nesting attempts. Along the coastline, turtles showed a preference for the middle part of the studied section of beach, both at a population level and as a tendency to repeat their initial choice. Interestingly, this zone has the most artificial lights, which leads to slightly lower nest success (though not significantly so and hatchling disorientation. This finding merits further study for a possibly maladaptive trait and shows the need for increased control of artificial nesting on this beach.

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. Artisanal Green Turtle, Chelonia mydas, fishery of Caribbean Nicaragua: I. Catch rates and trends, 1991-2011.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lagueux, Cynthia J; Campbell, Cathi L; Strindberg, Samantha

    2014-01-01

    This is the first assessment of catch rates for the legal, artisanal green turtle, Chelonia mydas, fishery in Caribbean Nicaragua. Data were collected by community members, monitoring up to 14 landing sites from 1991 to 2011. We examined take levels, and temporal and spatial variability in catch rates for the overall fishery, by region, and community using General Additive Mixed Models (GAMMs). More than 171,556 green turtles were killed during the period, with a mean estimated minimum 8,169±2,182 annually. There was a statistically significant decline in catch rates overall. Catch rates peaked in 1997 and 2002, followed by a downward trend, particularly from mid-2008 to the end of the study period. Similar downward trends were evident in both study regions. Community specific catch rate trends also indicated declines with decreases ranging from 21% to 90%. Decrease in catch rates in Nicaragua is cause for concern even though the principal source rookery at Tortuguero, Costa Rica, shows an increase in nesting activity. Explanations for the apparent discrepancy between the increasing trend at Tortuguero and decreasing catch rate trends in Nicaragua include: i) an increase in reproductive output, ii) insufficient time has passed to observe the impact of the fishery on the rookery due to a time lag, iii) changes in other segments of the population have not been detected since only nesting activity is monitored, iv) the expansive northern Nicaragua foraging ground may provide a refuge for a sufficient portion of the Tortuguero rookery, and/or v) a larger than expected contribution of non-Tortuguero rookeries occurring in Nicaragua turtle fishing areas. Our results highlight the need for close monitoring of rookeries and in-water aggregations in the Caribbean. Where consumptive use still occurs, nations sharing this resource should implement scientifically based limits on exploitation to ensure sustainability and mitigate impacts to regional population diversity.

  19. Artisanal Green Turtle, Chelonia mydas, fishery of Caribbean Nicaragua: I. Catch rates and trends, 1991-2011.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cynthia J Lagueux

    Full Text Available This is the first assessment of catch rates for the legal, artisanal green turtle, Chelonia mydas, fishery in Caribbean Nicaragua. Data were collected by community members, monitoring up to 14 landing sites from 1991 to 2011. We examined take levels, and temporal and spatial variability in catch rates for the overall fishery, by region, and community using General Additive Mixed Models (GAMMs. More than 171,556 green turtles were killed during the period, with a mean estimated minimum 8,169±2,182 annually. There was a statistically significant decline in catch rates overall. Catch rates peaked in 1997 and 2002, followed by a downward trend, particularly from mid-2008 to the end of the study period. Similar downward trends were evident in both study regions. Community specific catch rate trends also indicated declines with decreases ranging from 21% to 90%. Decrease in catch rates in Nicaragua is cause for concern even though the principal source rookery at Tortuguero, Costa Rica, shows an increase in nesting activity. Explanations for the apparent discrepancy between the increasing trend at Tortuguero and decreasing catch rate trends in Nicaragua include: i an increase in reproductive output, ii insufficient time has passed to observe the impact of the fishery on the rookery due to a time lag, iii changes in other segments of the population have not been detected since only nesting activity is monitored, iv the expansive northern Nicaragua foraging ground may provide a refuge for a sufficient portion of the Tortuguero rookery, and/or v a larger than expected contribution of non-Tortuguero rookeries occurring in Nicaragua turtle fishing areas. Our results highlight the need for close monitoring of rookeries and in-water aggregations in the Caribbean. Where consumptive use still occurs, nations sharing this resource should implement scientifically based limits on exploitation to ensure sustainability and mitigate impacts to regional population

  20. Artisanal Green Turtle, Chelonia mydas, Fishery of Caribbean Nicaragua: I. Catch Rates and Trends, 1991–2011

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lagueux, Cynthia J.; Campbell, Cathi L.; Strindberg, Samantha

    2014-01-01

    This is the first assessment of catch rates for the legal, artisanal green turtle, Chelonia mydas, fishery in Caribbean Nicaragua. Data were collected by community members, monitoring up to 14 landing sites from 1991 to 2011. We examined take levels, and temporal and spatial variability in catch rates for the overall fishery, by region, and community using General Additive Mixed Models (GAMMs). More than 171,556 green turtles were killed during the period, with a mean estimated minimum 8,169±2,182 annually. There was a statistically significant decline in catch rates overall. Catch rates peaked in 1997 and 2002, followed by a downward trend, particularly from mid-2008 to the end of the study period. Similar downward trends were evident in both study regions. Community specific catch rate trends also indicated declines with decreases ranging from 21% to 90%. Decrease in catch rates in Nicaragua is cause for concern even though the principal source rookery at Tortuguero, Costa Rica, shows an increase in nesting activity. Explanations for the apparent discrepancy between the increasing trend at Tortuguero and decreasing catch rate trends in Nicaragua include: i) an increase in reproductive output, ii) insufficient time has passed to observe the impact of the fishery on the rookery due to a time lag, iii) changes in other segments of the population have not been detected since only nesting activity is monitored, iv) the expansive northern Nicaragua foraging ground may provide a refuge for a sufficient portion of the Tortuguero rookery, and/or v) a larger than expected contribution of non-Tortuguero rookeries occurring in Nicaragua turtle fishing areas. Our results highlight the need for close monitoring of rookeries and in-water aggregations in the Caribbean. Where consumptive use still occurs, nations sharing this resource should implement scientifically based limits on exploitation to ensure sustainability and mitigate impacts to regional population diversity. PMID

  1. Immunological competence in the green turtle and its relationship to the development of fibropapilloma disease

    OpenAIRE

    Klein, Paul A.; Jacobson, Elliott; Herbst, Lawrence H.; Greiner, Ellis C.

    1997-01-01

    Fibropapillomatosis (FP) remains a growing threat to the survival of sea turtles in Florida and other locations worldwide. FP has seriously affected green turtle, Chelonia mydas, populations in Florida and Hawaii and is now emerging as a significant threat to the loggerhead, Caretta caretta, in Florida. In addition the disease has been reported in olive ridley, Lepidochelys olivacea, populations as well. Data from several field studies suggests that high FP prevalence is associ...

  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. Nest-site limitation and nesting resources of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in urban green spaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedrich, Russell; Philpott, Stacy M

    2009-06-01

    Urbanization impacts biodiversity, yet few studies examine general impacts of urbanization on insects. Furthermore, few studies examine availability and limitation of potential cavity nesting sites for ants, an important regulating factor in ant communities that may vary in different urban habitats. We compared three urban habitat types (gardens, vacant lots, and forests) in Toledo, OH, to examine availability and ant preferences for different cavity nesting resources (small and large hollow twigs and cavities). We added 72 artificial large hollow twigs (83 by 6 mm), small hollow twigs (140 by 2 mm), and spherical hollow cavities (6.52-31.1 cm(3) in volume, 1-mm opening) to six sites from May to August 2007 to determine whether nest-site limitation impacts ant communities. We collected natural nests to compare natural abundance and occupancy of cavity nests in different urban habitats. We opened artificial and natural nests to calculate the percentage occupied by cavity-nesting ants. Across all habitats, small twigs represented 81.1% of natural nests, spherical nests represented 10.1%, and large twigs 8.2%. Ants occupied 8.1% of natural large twigs, 14.6% of cavities, and 4.1% of small twigs. For artificial nests, 21.5% of large twigs, 1% of small twigs, and 1% of spheres were occupied. The high percentage of occupied artificial large twigs could imply this is a preferred and limiting resource in urban habitats. The results show that certain types of nesting resources may be an important factor mediating ant communities in urban green spaces.

  4. 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.

  5. Relating fibropapilloma tumor severity to blood parameters in green turtles Chelonia mydas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirama, Shigetomo; Ehrhart, Llewellyn M; Rea, Lorrie D; Kiltie, Richard A

    2014-08-21

    Fibropapillomatosis is a neoplastic disease that is commonly found in the green turtles Chelonia mydas in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. In the current project, juvenile green turtles were captured with large-mesh tangle nets in the Indian River Lagoon and on nearshore reefs of Indian River County, Florida, USA, in 1998 and 1999. The purpose of the study was to determine the relationship between the severity of the disease and the general health of green turtles as indicated by blood parameters. All turtles were measured and examined, and the overall severity of the disease was rated by the size, number, and location of external fibropapilloma tumors. Hematocrit, total protein, and hemoglobin concentration were measured and compared with tumor scores (tumor severity appraisal). As the tumor score increased, the blood parameters of turtles decreased; for instance, the percentage of decrease in hematocrit for mildly afflicted, moderately afflicted, and severely afflicted groups were 2.6, 18.3, and 45.5%, respectively. Severely afflicted turtles suffered from anemia, while individuals with mild affliction did not.

  6. Habitat selection by green turtles in a spatially heterogeneous benthic landscape in Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujisaki, Ikuko; Hart, Kristen M.; Sartain-Iverson, Autumn R.

    2016-01-01

    We examined habitat selection by green turtles Chelonia mydas at Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida, USA. We tracked 15 turtles (6 females and 9 males) using platform transmitter terminals (PTTs); 13 of these turtles were equipped with additional acoustic transmitters. Location data by PTTs comprised periods of 40 to 226 d in varying months from 2009 to 2012. Core areas were concentrated in shallow water (mean bathymetry depth of 7.7 m) with a comparably dense coverage of seagrass; however, the utilization distribution overlap index indicated a low degree of habitat sharing. The probability of detecting a turtle on an acoustic receiver was inversely associated with the distance from the receiver to turtle capture sites and was lower in shallower water. The estimated daily detection probability of a single turtle at a given acoustic station throughout the acoustic array was small (turtle detections was even smaller. However, the conditional probability of multiple turtle detections, given at least one turtle detection at a receiver, was much higher despite the small number of tagged turtles in each year (n = 1 to 5). Also, multiple detections of different turtles at a receiver frequently occurred within a few minutes (40%, or 164 of 415, occurred within 1 min). Our numerical estimates of core area overlap, co-occupancy probabilities, and habitat characterization for green turtles could be used to guide conservation of the area to sustain the population of this species.

  7. Parasitic Ulcerous Caseous Gastroesophagitis Associated with Rameshwarotrema uterocrescens Rao, 1975 (Digenea: Pronocephalidae) in a Juvenile Green Turtle [Chelonia mydas, Linnaeus 1758 (Testudines: Cheloniidae)]: A Case Report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribeiro, Rachel B; Jerdy, Hassan; Wernek, Max R; Goldberg, Daphne W; Bianchi, Mariah; Carvalho, Eulà  Gio C Q

    2017-01-25

    Here we report a case of ulcerative caseous gastroesophagitis associated with Rameshwarotrema uterocrescens; Rao, 1975 (Digenea: Pronocephalidae) in a juvenile green turtle (Chelonia mydas) from Southern Brazil. Similar pathologies have been reported only in adult green turtles from Costa Rica. This paper presents the second report of parasitic esophagitis due R. uterocrescens and the first occurrence in juvenile green turtles along coastal Brazil.

  8. Compensatory responses to food restriction in juvenile green turtles (Chelonia mydas).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roark, Alison M; Bjorndal, Karen A; Bolten, Alan B

    2009-09-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess the compensatory responses to food restriction and subsequent increased food availability in juvenile green turtles (Chelonia mydas). Turtles were fed an ad libitum ration for 12 weeks (AL), a restricted ration for 12 weeks (R), or a restricted ration for 5 weeks and an ad libitum ration for 7 weeks (R-AL). Analysis of covariance was used to test the relationships between (1) growth and body size, (2) intake and body size, and (3) growth and intake for each of the three treatment groups. Body composition of turtles in each group was also evaluated at the beginning of the study and after weeks 5 and 12. After the switch to ad libitum feeding, R-AL turtles consumed comparable amounts of food and grew faster than AL turtles on a size-adjusted basis, but mean body sizes did not converge, although the overlap in their size ranges increased with time. The R-AL turtles also converted food to growth more efficiently and allocated proportionally more nutrients to protein accretion, thereby restoring body composition (except mineral content) to AL levels by the end of the study. Thus, accelerated size-specific growth without hyperphagia restored body condition but not size. These results indicate that (1) intake in juvenile green turtles is maximal when food is readily available and cannot be increased to compensate for a previous period of food limitation, (2) growth rates of ad libitum-fed turtles are only mildly plastic in response to past nutritional history, and (3) priority rules for nutrient allocation favor the attainment of an optimal condition rather than an optimal size. Nutritional setbacks experienced during the vulnerable juvenile stage could therefore have long-lasting consequences for wild turtles in terms of size-specific mortality risk, but these risks may be mitigated by the potential benefits of maintaining sufficient body stores.

  9. Assessing humoral and cell-mediated immune response in Hawaiian green turtles, Chelonia mydas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Work, T.M.; Balazs, G.H.; Rameyer, R.A.; Chang, S.P.; Berestecky, J.

    2000-01-01

    Seven immature green turtles, Chelonia mydas, captured from Kaneohe Bay on the island of Oahu were used to evaluate methods for assessing their immune response. Two turtles each were immunized intramuscularly with egg white lysozyme (EWL) in Freunda??s complete adjuvant, Gerbu, or ISA-70; a seventh turtle was immunized with saline only and served as a control. Humoral immune response was measured with an indirect enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Cell-mediated immune response was measured using in vitro cell proliferation assays (CPA) using whole blood or peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBM) cultured with concanavalin A (ConA), phytohaemagglutinin (PHA), or soluble egg EWL antigen. All turtles, except for one immunized with Gerbu and the control, produced a detectable humoral immune response by 6 weeks which persisted for at least 14 weeks after a single immunization. All turtles produced an anamnestic humoral immune response after secondary immunization. Antigen specific cell-mediated immune response in PBM was seen in all turtles either after primary or secondary immunization, but it was not as consistent as humoral immune response; antigen specific cell-mediated immune response in whole blood was rarely seen. Mononuclear cells had significantly higher stimulation indices than whole blood regardless of adjuvant, however, results with whole blood had lower variability. Both Gerbu and ISA-70 appeared to potentiate the cell-mediated immune response when PBM or whole blood were cultured with PHA. This is the first time cell proliferation assays have been compared between whole blood and PBM for reptiles. This is also the first demonstration of antigen specific cell-mediated response in reptiles. Cell proliferation assays allowed us to evaluate the cell-mediated immune response of green turtles. However, CPA may be less reliable than ELISA for detecting antigen specific immune response. Either of the three adjuvants appears suitable to safely elicit a

  10. Ethogram of Immature Green Turtles: Behavioral Strategies for Somatic Growth in Large Marine Herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okuyama, Junichi; Nakajima, Kana; Noda, Takuji; Kimura, Satoko; Kamihata, Hiroko; Kobayashi, Masato; Arai, Nobuaki; Kagawa, Shiro; Kawabata, Yuuki; Yamada, Hideaki

    2013-01-01

    Animals are assumed to obtain/conserve energy effectively to maximise their fitness, which manifests itself in a variety of behavioral strategies. For marine animals, however, these behavioral strategies are generally unknown due to the lack of high-resolution monitoring techniques in marine habitats. As large marine herbivores, immature green turtles do not need to allocate energy to reproduction but are at risk of shark predation, although it is a rare occurrence. They are therefore assumed to select/use feeding and resting sites that maximise their fitness in terms of somatic growth, while avoiding predation. We investigated fine-scale behavioral patterns (feeding, resting and other behaviors), microhabitat use and time spent on each behavior for eight immature green turtles using data loggers including: depth, global positioning system, head acceleration, speed and video sensors. Immature green turtles at Iriomote Island, Japan, spent an average of 4.8 h feeding on seagrass each day, with two peaks, between 5∶00 and 9∶00, and between 17∶00 and 20∶00. This feeding pattern appeared to be restricted by gut capacity, and thus maximised energy acquisition. Meanwhile, most of the remaining time was spent resting at locations close to feeding grounds, which allowed turtles to conserve energy spent travelling and reduced the duration of periods exposed to predation. These behavioral patterns and time allocations allow immature green turtles to effectively obtain/conserve energy for growth, thus maximising their fitness.

  11. Ethogram of Immature Green Turtles: Behavioral Strategies for Somatic Growth in Large Marine Herbivores.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Junichi Okuyama

    Full Text Available Animals are assumed to obtain/conserve energy effectively to maximise their fitness, which manifests itself in a variety of behavioral strategies. For marine animals, however, these behavioral strategies are generally unknown due to the lack of high-resolution monitoring techniques in marine habitats. As large marine herbivores, immature green turtles do not need to allocate energy to reproduction but are at risk of shark predation, although it is a rare occurrence. They are therefore assumed to select/use feeding and resting sites that maximise their fitness in terms of somatic growth, while avoiding predation. We investigated fine-scale behavioral patterns (feeding, resting and other behaviors, microhabitat use and time spent on each behavior for eight immature green turtles using data loggers including: depth, global positioning system, head acceleration, speed and video sensors. Immature green turtles at Iriomote Island, Japan, spent an average of 4.8 h feeding on seagrass each day, with two peaks, between 5∶00 and 9∶00, and between 17∶00 and 20∶00. This feeding pattern appeared to be restricted by gut capacity, and thus maximised energy acquisition. Meanwhile, most of the remaining time was spent resting at locations close to feeding grounds, which allowed turtles to conserve energy spent travelling and reduced the duration of periods exposed to predation. These behavioral patterns and time allocations allow immature green turtles to effectively obtain/conserve energy for growth, thus maximising their fitness.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Fibropapillomatosis in green turtles Chelonia mydas in Brazil: characteristics of tumors and virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodenbusch, C R; Baptistotte, C; Werneck, M R; Pires, T T; Melo, M T D; de Ataíde, M W; Testa, P; Alieve, M M; Canal, C W

    2014-10-16

    Fibropapillomatosis (FP) is a benign neoplasia that affects physiological functions of sea turtles and may lead to death. High prevalence of FP in sea turtle populations has prompted several research groups to study the disease and the associated herpesvirus, chelonid herpesvirus 5 (ChHV5). The present study detected and quantified ChHV5 in 153 fibropapilloma samples collected from green turtles Chelonia mydas on the Brazilian coast between 2009 and 2010 to characterize the relationship between viral load and tumor characteristics. Of the tumor samples collected, 73 and 87% were positive for ChHV5 in conventional PCR and real-time PCR, respectively, and viral loads ranged between 1 and 118.62 copies cell⁻¹. Thirty-three percent of turtles were mildly, 28% were moderately and 39% were severely affected with FP. Skin samples were used as negative control. High viral loads correlated positively with increasing FP severity in turtles sampled on the Brazilian coast and with samples from turtles found dead in the states of São Paulo and Bahia. Six viral variants were detected in tumor samples, 4 of which were similar to the Atlantic phylogenetic group. Two variants were similar to the western Atlantic/eastern Caribbean phylogenetic group. Co-infection in turtles with more than one variant was observed in the states of São Paulo and Bahia.

  15. First Record of Fibropapillomatosis in a Green Turtle Chelonia mydas from the Baja California Peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reséndiz, Eduardo; Flores-Ramírez, Sergio; Koch, Volker; Cordero-Tapia, Amaury

    2016-12-01

    Fibropapillomatosis (FP) is characterized by multiple fibroepithelial tumors in all parts of the skin and has been reported in sea turtles worldwide. Clinically infected individuals are often emaciated and anemic. In Mexico, however, there are few records of this disease. In this study of green turtles Chelonia mydas in Laguna San Ignacio in Baja California Sur (BCS), we noted one juvenile with multifocal fibropapilloma lesions on the external upper surface of its eyes and hind flippers. Light microscopy revealed hyperkeratosis, epidermal hyperplasia, dermal papillary projections, and fibroblast proliferation. Electron microscopy revealed viral particles. Biopsies of normal skin were done to determine the origin of the turtle through genetic analysis. Its mitochondrial DNA matched that of a haplotype (CMP2) from a Hawaiian green turtle population. Finding FP in a turtle captured in BCS elucidates the need for further monitoring along the west coast of Mexico. Further investigation should include testing tumors to detect and characterize any chelonid herpesviruses and explore any association with FP and other diseases that pose a health risk to other sea turtle species. Received March 26, 2016; accepted August 3, 2016.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Optimal-rearing density for head-starting green turtles (Chelonia mydas Linnaeus, 1758).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanghae, Hirun; Thongprajukaew, Karun; Jatupornpitukchat, Sasiporn; Kittiwattanawong, Kongkiat

    2016-09-01

    While ex situ conservation programs of juvenile green turtles (Chelonia mydas Linnaeus, 1758), before release to natural habitats, have been conducted in several countries, the optimal-stocking density for husbandry has not yet been reported. The optimization of stocking density was the main purpose of this study. The 15-day-old post-hatching turtles (29.30 ± 0.05 g body weight) were reared in round fiberglass tanks at various stocking densities including 20 turtles/m(3) (20TM), 40 turtles/m(3) (40TM), 60 turtles/m(3) (60TM), and 80 turtles/m(3) (80TM), over an 8-week trial. Water quality, survival, growth performance, feed utilization, aggressive behavior, fecal digestive enzymes, and hematological parameters were compared between the treatments, and were used as indicators of a successful captive rearing program. The water quality across the four treatments was in the standard range, but a high-stocking density reduced the quality significantly. No mortality was observed in any treatment group. Superior growth and feed utilization were only observed with the 40TM treatment, relative to the others (P < 0.05). The turtles in this group had no aggressive behavior, as indicated by observing hind limb biting. This treatment manipulated the level of proteolytic activity of pepsin and trypsin in response to density stressor, but not amylase, lipase, and chymotrypsin. The 40TM treatment also maintained the hematological characteristics, indicating no negative effects on health status. Overall, the findings indicate that the captivity program of post-hatching turtles at 40 turtles/m(3) is the preferred option in their head-started propagation, as well as in public displays in zoos or aquaria. Zoo Biol. 35:454-461, 2016. © Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Causes of mortality in green turtles from Hawaii and the insular Pacific exclusive of fibropapillomatosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Work, Thierry M; Balazs, George H; Summers, Tammy M; Hapdei, Jessy R; Tagarino, Alden P

    2015-07-23

    Fibropapillomatosis (FP) comprises a majority of green turtle stranding in Hawaii; however, green turtles in the Pacific are also susceptible to non-FP related causes of death. We present here necropsy findings from 230 free-ranging green turtles originating from Hawaii, the Mariana archipelago, Palmyra Atoll, American Samoa, and Johnston Atoll that died from non-FP related causes. Most turtles died from fishing-induced or boat strike trauma followed by infectious/inflammatory diseases, nutritional problems (mainly cachexia), and an array of physiologic problems. Infectious/inflammatory problems included bacterial diseases of the lungs, eyes, liver or intestines, spirorchid fluke infection, or polyarthritis of unknown origin. Likelihood of a successful diagnosis of cause of death was a function of post-mortem decomposition. Fibropapillomatosis was not seen in turtles submitted from outside Hawaii. The preponderance of anthropogenic causes of mortality offers some management opportunities to mitigate causes of death in these animals by, for example, implementing measures to decrease boating and fishing interactions.

  1. Causes of mortality in green turtles from Hawaii and the insular Pacific exclusive of fibropapillomatosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Work, Thierry M.; Balazs, George H.; Summers, Tammy M.; Hapdei, Jessy R.; Tagarino, Alden P.

    2015-01-01

    Fibropapillomatosis (FP) comprises a majority of green turtle stranding in Hawaii; however, green turtles in the Pacific are also susceptible to non-FP related causes of death. We present here necropsy findings from 230 free-ranging green turtles originating from Hawaii, the Mariana archipelago, Palmyra Atoll, American Samoa, and Johnston Atoll that died from non-FP related causes. Most turtles died from fishing-induced or boat strike trauma followed by infectious/inflammatory diseases, nutritional problems (mainly cachexia), and an array of physiologic problems. Infectious/inflammatory problems included bacterial diseases of the lungs, eyes, liver or intestines, spirorchid fluke infection, or polyarthritis of unknown origin. Likelihood of a successful diagnosis of cause of death was a function of post-mortem decomposition. Fibropapillomatosis was not seen in turtles submitted from outside Hawaii. The preponderance of anthropogenic causes of mortality offers some management opportunities to mitigate causes of death in these animals by, for example, implementing measures to decrease boating and fishing interactions.

  2. 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.

  3. Olive Ridley Sea Turtle Hatching Success as a Function of Microbial Abundance and the Microenvironment of In Situ Nest Sand at Ostional, Costa Rica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa S. Bézy

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Sea turtle hatching success at mass nesting beaches is typically lower than at solitary nesting beaches, presumably due in part to high rates of microbial metabolism resulting from the large input of organic matter from turtle eggs. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that hatching success varies across areas of the beach in conjunction with differences in the physical nest environment and microbial abundance of in situ olive ridley sea turtle nests at Ostional, Costa Rica. We marked natural nests in high-density, low-density, and tidal-wash nesting areas of the beach and monitored clutch pO2 and temperature throughout the incubation period. We quantified hatching success and collected samples of nest sand during nest excavations. We quantified microbial abundance (bacteria and fungi with a quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR analysis. Hatching success was lower in nests with lower pO2, higher temperatures, higher organic matter content, and higher microbial abundance. Our results suggest that the lower oxygen within the nest environment is likely a result of the high microbial abundance and rates of decomposition in the nest sand and that these factors, along with increased temperature of clutches in the high-density nesting area, are collectively responsible for the low hatching success at Ostional.

  4. Localization of fibropapilloma-associated turtle herpesvirus in green turtles (Chelonia mydas) by in-situ hybridization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, K I; Torres-Velez, F J; Zhang, J; Moore, P A; Moore, D P; Rivera, S; Brown, C C

    2008-11-01

    Fibropapilloma-associated turtle herpesvirus (FPTHV) is the presumed aetiological agent of sea turtle fibropapillomatosis (FP). Intralesional DNA and RNA of the virus have been detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and reverse transcriptase-PCR (RT-PCR), respectively, but the exact location and distribution of the virus within the tumours have not been addressed. In this study, in-situ hybridization (ISH) was used to investigate viral transcriptional activity and localization of FPTHV. Twenty-five tumours were obtained from the skin or conjunctiva of 105 green turtles (Chelonia mydas) examined on two islands in Puerto Rico (Culebra and Culebrita). These lesions comprised 19 fibropapillomas and six fibromas. FPTHV mRNA transcripts were detected by ISH in three fibropapillomas, with positive reactions confined to the nuclei of clusters of epithelial cells. Viral DNA was detected by riboprobe ISH combined with denaturation in 14 tumours, including both fibropapillomas and fibromas. Signals were confined to the nuclei of acanthotic epithelial cells and were not seen in the subepithelial fibrous areas of the tumours. These results suggest that FPTHV is present in epithelial cells and transcriptionally active in fibropapillomas.

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. First record of a Caribbean green turtle (Chelonia mydas) grazing on invasive seagrass (Halophila stipulacea)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Becking, Leontine E.; van Bussel, Tineke C. J. M.; Debrot, Adolphe O.; Christianen, Marjolijn J. A.

    2014-01-01

    From Bonaire, we here provide the first documented case of the green turtle feeding on the invasive seagrass, Halophila stipulacea, in the Caribbean. The seagrass is rapidly invading existing seagrass meadows and altering key foraging habitat of this endangered marine reptile throughout the eastern

  8. First record of a Caribbean green turtle (Chelonia mydas) grazing on invasive seagrass (Halophila stipulacea)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Becking, Leontine E.; van Bussel, Tineke C. J. M.; Debrot, Adolphe O.; Christianen, Marjolijn J. A.

    2014-01-01

    From Bonaire, we here provide the first documented case of the green turtle feeding on the invasive seagrass, Halophila stipulacea, in the Caribbean. The seagrass is rapidly invading existing seagrass meadows and altering key foraging habitat of this endangered marine reptile throughout the eastern

  9. 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.

  10. Breeding loggerhead marine turtles Caretta caretta in Dry Tortugas National Park, USA, show high fidelity to diverse habitats near nesting beaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Kristen M.; Zawada, David G.; Sartain-Iverson, Autumn R.; Fujisaki, Ikuko

    2016-01-01

    We used satellite telemetry to identify in-water habitat used by individuals in the smallest North-west Atlantic subpopulation of adult nesting loggerhead turtles Caretta caretta during the breeding season. During 2010, 2011 and 2012 breeding periods, a total of 20 adult females used habitats proximal to nesting beaches with various levels of protection within Dry Tortugas National Park. We then used a rapid, high-resolution, digital imaging system to map habitat adjacent to nesting beaches, revealing the diversity and distribution of available benthic cover. Turtle behaviour showing measurable site-fidelity to these diverse habitats has implications for managing protected areas and human activities within them. Protecting diverse benthic areas adjacent to loggerhead turtle nesting beaches here and elsewhere could provide benefits for overall biodiversity conservation.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. Identification of Chelonid herpesvirus 5 (ChHV5) in endangered green turtles (Chelonia mydas) with fibropapillomatosis in Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Tsung-Hsien; Hsu, Wei-Li; Lan, Yu-Ching; Balazs, George H.; Work, Thierry M.; Tseng, Cheng-Tsung; Chang, Chao-Chin

    2017-01-01

    Fibropapillomatosis (FP), a debilitating tumor disease of sea turtles, was first identified in green turtles [Chelonia mydas (Linnaeus, 1758)] in Florida in 1938. In recent decades, FP has been observed globally and is an emerging panzootic disease in sea turtles. However, few reports of FP in Asia exist. Here, we provide the first evidence of Chelonid herpesvirus 5 (ChHV5) DNA associated with FP in endangered green turtles from Taiwan, through molecular characterization, phylogenetic analysis, and histopathological examination. In our study, ChHV5 was successfully detected by PCR in the FP tumor lesions of green turtles. The sequences were found to be consistent with those of tumor-inducing viruses shown to affect sea turtles in the other parts of the world. ChHV5 RNA from the FP tissues was further detected by RT-PCR, indicating active replication of the viruses inside FP tumors. In addition to the molecular evidence of ChHV5 in FP, epidermal intranuclear inclusions were identified in tumor lesions upon histopathological examination. This further suggests that ChHV5 should be in a transcriptionally active (i.e., non-latent) state in FP tumors of affected green turtles. The phylogenetic tree revealed that ChHV5 from the green turtles in Taiwan were closest to the ChHV5 from Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Sao Tome. For conservation of endangered sea turtles, ChHV5 should be considered an emerging virus, which threatens sea turtles in marine waters in Asia.

  15. Forecasting range expansion into ecological traps: climate-mediated shifts in sea turtle nesting beaches and human development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pike, David A

    2013-10-01

    Some species are adapting to changing environments by expanding their geographic ranges. Understanding whether range shifts will be accompanied by increased exposure to other threats is crucial to predicting when and where new populations could successfully establish. If species overlap to a greater extent with human development under climate change, this could form ecological traps which are attractive to dispersing individuals, but the use of which substantially reduces fitness. Until recently, the core nesting range for the Critically Endangered Kemp's ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii) was ca. 1000 km of sparsely populated coastline in Tamaulipas, Mexico. Over the past twenty-five years, this species has expanded its range into populated areas of coastal Florida (>1500 km outside the historical range), where nesting now occurs annually. Suitable Kemp's ridley nesting habitat has persisted for at least 140 000 years in the western Gulf of Mexico, and climate change models predict further nesting range expansion into the eastern Gulf of Mexico and northern Atlantic Ocean. Range expansion is 6-12% more likely to occur along uninhabited stretches of coastline than are current nesting beaches, suggesting that novel nesting areas will not be associated with high levels of anthropogenic disturbance. Although the high breeding-site fidelity of some migratory species could limit adaptation to climate change, rapid population recovery following effective conservation measures may enhance opportunities for range expansion. Anticipating the interactive effects of past or contemporary conservation measures, climate change, and future human activities will help focus long-term conservation strategies.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Coastal habitat degradation and green sea turtle diets in Southeastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Robson G.; Martins, Agnaldo Silva; Farias, Julyana da Nobrega; Horta, Antunes Paulo; Pinheiro, Hudson Tercio; Baptistotte, Cecilia; Seminoff, Jeffrey A.; Balazs, George H.; Work, Thierry M.

    2011-01-01

    To show the influence of coastal habitat degradation on the availability of food for green turtles (Chelonia mydas), we assessed the dietary preferences and macroalgae community at a feeding area in a highly urbanized region. The area showed low species richness and was classified as degraded. We examined stomach contents of 15 dead stranded turtles (CCL = 44.0 cm (SD 6.7 cm)). The diet was composed primarily of green algae Ulva spp. (83.6%). In contrast, the macroalgae community was dominated by the green alga Caulerpa mexicana. We found a selection for red algae, seagrass and Ulva spp., and avoidance for C. mexicana and brown alga Dictyopteris delicatula. The low diversity of available food items, possibly a result of environmental degradation, likely contributed to the low dietary diversity. The nutritional implications of this restricted diet are unclear.

  19. Characterization of fibropapillomatosis in green turtles Chelonia mydas (Cheloniidae) captured in a foraging area in southeastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tagliolatto, Alícia Bertoloto; Guimarães, Suzana Machado; Lobo-Hajdu, Gisele; Monteiro-Neto, Cassiano

    2016-10-27

    Fibropapillomatosis (FP) is a multifactorial disease that affects all species of marine turtles, including green turtles Chelonia mydas (Linnaeus, 1758). It is characterised by the development of internal or external tumours that, depending on their locations and sizes, may intensely impact the health condition of sea turtles. The goal of this study was to characterise the disease in C. mydas found in a foraging area in southeastern Brazil, evaluate the prevalence in this region, and correlate presence and absence, size, body distribution, number of tumours, and disease severity with biometric variables of the captured green turtles. Between 2008 and 2014, the prevalence rate of FP was 43.09%, out of 246 green turtles. The size of the animals with FP was relatively greater than animals without tumours, and the prevalence of FP increased with animal size, peaking in the 60-80 cm size class. From 2013 to 2014, gross evaluation of fibropapillomas was performed. The number of tumours per turtle ranged from 1 to 158. The size of tumours ranged from 10 cm (Size D); Size A tumours and turtles slightly affected by the disease (Score 1) predominated. Tumour progression (72.1%) and regression (32.8%) were seen in some recaptured individuals (n = 61). Moreover, 24.6% of these turtles showed both progressions and regressions of tumours.

  20. Optimal feeding frequency of captive head-started green turtles (Chelonia mydas).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanghae, H; Thongprajukaew, K; Yeetam, P; Jarit-Ngam, T; Hwan-Air, W; Rueangjeen, S; Kittiwattanawong, K

    2016-09-25

    Optimal feeding frequency was investigated to improve head-started propagation programme of juvenile green turtles (Chelonia mydas). The 15-day-old turtles (25-26 g body weight) were fed for ad libitum intake at one (1MD), two (2MD), three (3MD) or four (4MD) meals daily over a 3-month trial. Responses in growth, feed utilization, faecal characteristics, haematological parameters and carapace elemental composition were used to compare treatment effects. At the end of the feeding trial, no treatment had induced mortality. Growth performance in terms of weight gain and specific growth rate was similar in turtles fed 2MD, 3MD or 4MD (p > 0.05), but 1MD differed from these (p < 0.05), and feeding at excess frequency (3MD and 4MD) increased the within-group size variation. Turtles fed 2MD had significantly lower feed intake than in 3MD and 4MD groups, but the feed conversion ratios were similar. Faecal digestive enzyme analysis indicated higher catabolism of lipid and protein in the deprivation group (1MD), when compared with turtles fed at least twice daily. The feeding frequency did not affect the specific activities of carbohydrate-digesting enzymes. The results on enzymes activities were corroborated by the transition enthalpy characteristics of faeces, indicating nutrients remaining after digestion. The 2MD treatment also improved the haematological characteristics and the carapace quality, relative to low or excess feeding. Overall, the findings indicate that feeding juvenile green turtles twice a day is the preferred option in their head-started propagation. This promotes growth, reduces feed consumption, and improves health and carapace quality.

  1. 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

  2. A review of fibropapillomatosis in Green turtles (Chelonia mydas).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, K; Ariel, E; Burgess, G; Read, M

    2016-06-01

    Despite being identified in 1938, many aspects of the pathogenesis and epidemiology of fibropapillomatosis (FP) in marine turtles are yet to be fully uncovered. Current knowledge suggests that FP is an emerging infectious disease, with the prevalence varying both spatially and temporally, even between localities in close proximity to each other. A high prevalence of FP in marine turtles has been correlated with residency in areas of reduced water quality, indicating that there is an environmental influence on disease presentation. Chelonid herpesvirus 5 (ChHV5) has been identified as the likely aetiological agent of FP. The current taxonomic position of ChHV5 is in the family Herpesviridae, subfamily Alphaherpesvirinae, genus Scutavirus. Molecular differentiation of strains has revealed that a viral variant is typically present at specific locations, even within sympatric species of marine turtles, indicating that the disease FP originates regionally. There is uncertainty surrounding the exact path of transmission and the conditions that facilitate lesion development, although recent research has identified atypical genes within the genome of ChHV5 that may play a role in pathogenesis. This review discusses emerging areas where researchers might focus and theories behind the emergence of FP globally since the 1980s, which appear to be a multi-factorial interplay between the virus, the host and environmental factors influencing disease expression.

  3. Retrospective pathology survey of green turtles Chelonia mydas with fibropapillomatosis in the Hawaiian Islands, 1993-2003

    Science.gov (United States)

    Work, T.M.; Balazs, G.H.; Rameyer, R.A.; Morris, R.A.

    2004-01-01

    We necropsied 255 stranded green turtles Chelonia mydas with fibropapillomatosis (FP) from the Hawaiian Islands, North Pacific, from August 1993 through May 2003. Of these, 214 (84%) were euthanized due to advanced FP and the remainder were found dead in fresh condition. Turtles were assigned a standardized tumor severity score ranging from 1 (lightly tumored) to 3 (heavily tumored). Tumors were counted and measured and categorized as external, oral, or internal and tissues evaluated by light microscopy. Turtles in tumor score 2 and 3 categories predominated, and tumor score 3 turtles were significantly larger than the other 2 categories. More juveniles stranded than subadults or adults. Total cross-sectional area of tumors increased significantly with straight carapace length (SCL). Frequency distribution of total number of external tumors per turtle was significantly skewed to the right, and there were significantly more tumors at the front than rear of turtles. Eighty percent of turtles had oral tumors, and 51% of turtles with oral tumors had tumors in the glottis. Thirty-nine percent of turtles had internal tumors, most of them in the lung, kidney and heart. Fibromas predominated in lung, kidney and musculoskeletal system whereas myxofibromas were more common in intestines and spleen. Fibrosarcomas of low-grade malignancy were most frequent in the heart, and heart tumors had a predilection for the right atrium. Turtles with FP had significant additional complications including inflammation with vascular flukes, bacterial infections, poor body condition, and necrosis of salt gland. Turtles with oral tumors were more likely to have secondary complications such as pneumonia. Most turtles came from the island of Oahu (74%) followed by Maui (20%), Hawaii, Molokai, and Lanai (<3% each). On Oahu, significantly more turtles we necropsied stranded along the northwestern and northeastern shores.

  4. Options for managing the sustainable use of green turtles: Perceptions of Hammond Islanders in Torres Strait

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grayson Jillian

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available One of the largest populations of green turtles (Chelonia mydas in the world spends at least part of its life cycle in the remote Torres Strait between Australia and Papua New Guinea. This population is subjected to traditional harvests from geographically dispersed communities including along the northern and eastern coasts of Australia, Indonesia and south-western Pacific nations. In Torres Strait, green turtle hunting is classed as a traditional fishery and is guaranteed by Australian legislation (Native Title Act 1993 and the Torres Strait Treaty between Australia and Papua New Guinea that aims to protect the traditional lifestyle of the region′s indigenous peoples. To investigate the Islanders′ thoughts and aspirations regarding marine turtle management, we interviewed hunters and Islander Elders from the Hammond Island community in the Kaurareg nation of Kaiwalagal. Although not the Traditional Owners of the Kaiwalagal sea country in which they live and hunt, Hammond Islanders wish to be involved in the management of resources on which they depend, including marine turtles. They considered community-based processes to be important, especially the application of (1 cultural norms to the development of tools to achieve compliance and enforcement within the community, and (2 consensus-based decision-making amongst hunters and elders within the community, with regard to the use of more formal rules. However, the need for co-operation with other communities and stakeholders across scales was also recognised, particularly with regard to enforcement. Our results suggest that co-management is likely to be a more appropriate approach for managing green turtles in Torres Strait than either community-based management or government-driven management.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Energy expenditure of freely swimming adult green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and its link with body acceleration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enstipp, Manfred R; Ciccione, Stéphane; Gineste, Benoit; Milbergue, Myriam; Ballorain, Katia; Ropert-Coudert, Yan; Kato, Akiko; Plot, Virginie; Georges, Jean-Yves

    2011-12-01

    Marine turtles are globally threatened. Crucial for the conservation of these large ectotherms is a detailed knowledge of their energy relationships, especially their at-sea metabolic rates, which will ultimately define population structure and size. Measuring metabolic rates in free-ranging aquatic animals, however, remains a challenge. Hence, it is not surprising that for most marine turtle species we know little about the energetic requirements of adults at sea. Recently, accelerometry has emerged as a promising tool for estimating activity-specific metabolic rates of animals in the field. Accelerometry allows quantification of the movement of animals (ODBA/PDBA, overall/partial dynamic body acceleration), which, after calibration, might serve as a proxy for metabolic rate. We measured oxygen consumption rates (V(O(2))) of adult green turtles (Chelonia mydas; 142.1±26.9 kg) at rest and when swimming within a 13 m-long swim channel, using flow-through respirometry. We investigated the effect of water temperature (T(w)) on turtle and tested the hypothesis that turtle body acceleration can be used as a proxy for V(O(2)). Mean mass-specific V(O(2)) (sV(O(2))) of six turtles when resting at a T(w) of 25.8±1.0°C was 0.50±0.09 ml min(-1) kg(-0.83). sV(O(2))increased significantly with T(w) and activity level. Changes in sV(O(2)) were paralleled by changes in respiratory frequency (f(R)). Deploying bi-axial accelerometers in conjunction with respirometry, we found a significant positive relationship between sV(O(2)) and PDBA that was modified by T(w). The resulting predictive equation was highly significant (r(2)=0.83, P<0.0001) and associated error estimates were small (mean algebraic error 3.3%), indicating that body acceleration is a good predictor of V(O(2)) in green turtles. Our results suggest that accelerometry is a suitable method to investigate marine turtle energetics at sea.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. Determine age-at-recruitment for green turtles into neritic habitats along the U.S. West Coast using stable isotope analysis

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — A total of 19 green turtle humeri were sampled for stable isotope analysis during 2013-2014. Turtle body size ranged from 51-95cm CCL, and all turtles had been...

  11. Helminth Parasites of Juvenile Green Turtles Chelonia mydas (Testudines: Cheloniidae) in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werneck, M R; Silva, R J

    2015-12-01

    The present study offers a parasitological analysis of juvenile individuals of the green turtle ( Chelonia mydas ) found on the Brazilian coast between 2004 and 2011. Helminths were found in 90 out of 136 individuals (66.2%, CI = 57.7-74.0). In total, 29,411 helminths were collected, belonging to the families Brachycoeliidae, Cladorchiidae, Microscaphidiidae, Pronocephalidae, Rhytidodidae, and Spirorchiidae. Mean species richness was 4.74 (CI = 4.03-5.46), the mean intensity was 327 (CI = 223-489), and the mean abundance was 216 (CI = 146-339). This study also reports new geographical records for: Angiodictyum longum, Angiodictyum parallelum, Rameshwarotrema uterocrescens, Pyelosomum cochlear, Schizamphistomum scleroporum, Cymatocarpus solearis, and Neospirorchis sp. This is the first analysis of helminth composition in juveniles of green turtles.

  12. Fusarium solani is responsible for mass mortalities in nests of loggerhead sea turtle, Caretta caretta, in Boavista, Cape Verde.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarmiento-Ramírez, Jullie M; Abella, Elena; Martín, María P; Tellería, María T; López-Jurado, Luis F; Marco, Adolfo; Diéguez-Uribeondo, Javier

    2010-11-01

    The fungus Fusarium solani (Mart.) Saccardo (1881) was found to be the cause of infections in the eggs of the sea turtle species Caretta caretta in Boavista Island, Cape Verde. Egg shells with early and severe symptoms of infection, as well as diseased embryos were sampled from infected nests. Twenty-five isolates with similar morphological characteristics were obtained. Their ITS rRNA gene sequences were similar to the GenBank sequences corresponding to F. solani and their maximum identity ranged from 95% to 100%. Phylogenetic parsimony and Bayesian analyses of these isolates showed that they belong to a single F. solani clade and that they are distributed in two subclades named A and C (the latter containing 23 out of 25). A representative isolate of subclade C was used in challenge inoculation experiments to test Koch postulates. Mortality rates were c. 83.3% in challenged eggs and 8.3% in the control. Inoculated challenged eggs exhibited the same symptoms as infected eggs found in the field. Thus, this work demonstrates that a group of strains of F. solani are responsible for the symptoms observed on turtle-nesting beaches, and that they represent a risk for the survival of this endangered species. © 2010 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Characterization of the juvenile green turtle (Chelonia mydas) microbiome throughout an ontogenetic shift from pelagic to neritic habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, James T; Paladino, Frank V; Lamont, Margaret M; Witherington, Blair E; Bates, Scott T; Soule, Tanya

    2017-01-01

    The gut microbiome of herbivorous animals consists of organisms that efficiently digest the structural carbohydrates of ingested plant material. Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) provide an interesting model of change in these microbial communities because they undergo a pronounced shift from a surface-pelagic distribution and omnivorous diet to a neritic distribution and herbivorous diet. As an alternative to direct sampling of the gut, we investigated the cloacal microbiomes of juvenile green turtles before and after recruitment to neritic waters to observe any changes in their microbial community structure. Cloacal swabs were taken from individual turtles for analysis of the 16S rRNA gene sequences using Illumina sequencing. One fecal sample was also obtained, allowing for a preliminary comparison with the bacterial community of the cloaca. We found significant variation in the juvenile green turtle bacterial communities between pelagic and neritic habitats, suggesting that environmental and dietary factors support different bacterial communities in green turtles from these habitats. This is the first study to characterize the cloacal microbiome of green turtles in the context of their ontogenetic shifts, which could provide valuable insight into the origins of their gut bacteria and how the microbial community supports their shift to herbivory.

  14. Beach dynamics and nest distribution of the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea at Grande Riviere Beach,Trinidad &Tobago

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lori Lee Lum

    2005-05-01

    Full Text Available Grande Riviere Beach in Trinidad and Tobago is an important nesting site in the Caribbean for the Critically Endangered leatherback sea turtle,Dermochelys coriacea .Community members were concerned that beach erosion and seasonal river flooding were destroying many of the nests deposited annually and thought that a hatchery was a possible solution.Over the 2001 turtle nesting season,the Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA assessed the spatial and temporal distribution of nests using the Global Positioning System recorded to reference points,and beach dynamics using permanent bench mark profile stations,to determine areas of high risk and more stable areas for nesting.A total of 1449 leatherback nests were positioned.It was evident that at the start of the season in March,the majority of leatherback nests were deposited at the eastern section of the beach. After May,there was a continuing westward shift in nest distribution as the season progressed until August and beach erosion in the eastern section became predominant.The backshore remained relatively stable along the entire beach throughout the nesting season,and erosion was predominant in the foreshore at the eastern section of the beach,from the middle to the end of the season.Similar trends in accretion and erosion were observed in 2000.River flooding did not occur during the study period or in the previous year.With both high risk and more stable regions for turtle nesting available at Grande Riviere Beach,there was no compelling evidence to justify the need for a hatchery.La playa de Grande Riviere en Trinidad y Tobago es un sitio importante de anidación en el Caribe de la tortuga baula,Dermochelys coriacea ;una tortuga marina en peligro de extinción.Los residentes estaban preocupados de que la erosión de la playa y las inundaciones estacionales estaban destruyendo muchos de los nidos y pensaron que un criadero era una solución.Durante la temporada de anidación del 2001,el Instituto de

  15. Levels of trace elements in green turtle eggs collected from Hong Kong: Evidence of risks due to selenium and nickel

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lam, James C.W. [Center for Coastal Pollution and Conservation, Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong (China); Tanabe, Shinsuke [Center for Marine Environmental Studies, Ehime University, Tarumi 3-5-7, Matsuyama 790-8556 (Japan); Chan, Simon K.F. [Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, Hong Kong SAR Government, Hong Kong, (China); Lam, Michael H.W. [Center for Coastal Pollution and Conservation, Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong (China); Martin, Michael [Center for Coastal Pollution and Conservation, Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong (China); Lam, Paul K.S. [Center for Coastal Pollution and Conservation, Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong (China)]. E-mail: bhpksl@cityu.edu.hk

    2006-12-15

    Concentrations of 22 trace elements were determined in green turtle (Chelonia mydas) eggs collected from Hong Kong. Concentrations of selenium, lead and nickel in these eggs were generally higher than those reported in other studies. The predicted no effect concentrations (PNEC; ng/g wet weight) of Pb (1000), Se (340 and 6000 for the worst-case and best-case scenarios, respectively) and Ni (17) in the green turtle eggs were estimated. Hazard quotients (HQs) estimate that Se (HQs: 0.2-24.5) and Ni (HQs: 4.0-26.4) may pose some risks to the turtles. Our study also found that concentrations of Ag, Se, Zn, Hg and Pb in the shell of the turtle eggs were significantly correlated with levels in the whole egg contents (yolk + albumen). Once the precise relationships of specific elements are established, egg-shell concentrations may be used as a non-lethal, non-invasive, surrogate for predicting whole egg burden of certain contaminants in marine turtles. - Concentrations of selenium and nickel in green turtle eggs from Hong Kong might pose some risks to the turtles.

  16. Blood gases, biochemistry, and hematology of Galapagos green turtles (Chelonia mydas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory A Lewbart

    Full Text Available The green turtle, Chelonia mydas, is an endangered marine chelonian with a circum-global distribution. Reference blood parameter intervals have been published for some chelonian species, but baseline hematology, biochemical, and blood gas values are lacking from the Galapagos sea turtles. Analyses were done on blood samples drawn from 28 green turtles captured in two foraging locations on San Cristóbal Island (14 from each site. Of these turtles, 20 were immature and of unknown sex; the other eight were males (five mature, three immature. A portable blood analyzer (iSTAT was used to obtain near immediate field results for pH, lactate, pO2, pCO2, HCO3-, Hct, Hb, Na, K, iCa, and Glu. Parameter values affected by temperature were corrected in two ways: (1 with standard formulas; and (2 with auto-corrections made by the iSTAT. The two methods yielded clinically equivalent results. Standard laboratory hematology techniques were employed for the red and white blood cell counts and the hematocrit determination, which was also compared to the hematocrit values generated by the iSTAT. Of all blood analytes, only lactate concentrations were positively correlated with body size. All other values showed no significant difference between the two sample locations nor were they correlated with body size or internal temperature. For hematocrit count, the iSTAT blood analyzer yielded results indistinguishable from those obtained with high-speed centrifugation. The values reported in this study provide baseline data that may be useful in comparisons among populations and in detecting changes in health status among Galapagos sea turtles. The findings might also be helpful in future efforts to demonstrate associations between specific biochemical parameters and disease.

  17. Blood gases, biochemistry, and hematology of Galapagos green turtles (Chelonia mydas).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewbart, Gregory A; Hirschfeld, Maximilian; Denkinger, Judith; Vasco, Karla; Guevara, Nataly; García, Juan; Muñoz, Juanpablo; Lohmann, Kenneth J

    2014-01-01

    The green turtle, Chelonia mydas, is an endangered marine chelonian with a circum-global distribution. Reference blood parameter intervals have been published for some chelonian species, but baseline hematology, biochemical, and blood gas values are lacking from the Galapagos sea turtles. Analyses were done on blood samples drawn from 28 green turtles captured in two foraging locations on San Cristóbal Island (14 from each site). Of these turtles, 20 were immature and of unknown sex; the other eight were males (five mature, three immature). A portable blood analyzer (iSTAT) was used to obtain near immediate field results for pH, lactate, pO2, pCO2, HCO3-, Hct, Hb, Na, K, iCa, and Glu. Parameter values affected by temperature were corrected in two ways: (1) with standard formulas; and (2) with auto-corrections made by the iSTAT. The two methods yielded clinically equivalent results. Standard laboratory hematology techniques were employed for the red and white blood cell counts and the hematocrit determination, which was also compared to the hematocrit values generated by the iSTAT. Of all blood analytes, only lactate concentrations were positively correlated with body size. All other values showed no significant difference between the two sample locations nor were they correlated with body size or internal temperature. For hematocrit count, the iSTAT blood analyzer yielded results indistinguishable from those obtained with high-speed centrifugation. The values reported in this study provide baseline data that may be useful in comparisons among populations and in detecting changes in health status among Galapagos sea turtles. The findings might also be helpful in future efforts to demonstrate associations between specific biochemical parameters and disease.

  18. Acoustic Strength of Green Turtle and Fish Based on FFT Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Azrul Mahfurdz

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available the acoustic power at difference angle and distance were measure for four different ages of Green Turtles and three species of fish using modified echo sounder V1082. The echo signal from TVG output was digitized at a sampling rate 1MHz using analog to digital converter (Measurement Computing USB1208HS. Animals were tied with wood frame to ensure it can’t move away from the sound beam. The scatter value for fish demonstrates echo strength is different and depends on the angle of measurement. The lowest acoustic power of fish was recorded from their tail. The finding show that, there is significant difference between fish and turtles aged 12 to 18 years at 4.5 meter and 5 meter. The carapace and plastron of sea turtle gives high backscattering strength compare to other side. The high value obtained probably because of the hard surface of the carapace and plastron. This result is considered important in determining the best method of separating sea turtle and fish. Through this result, revealed that size, surface and animal angle play important role in determining acoustic strength value.

  19. 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.

  20. Shading and watering as a tool to mitigate the impacts of climate change in sea turtle nests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Jacob E; Paladino, Frank V; Spotila, James R; Tomillo, Pilar Santidrián

    2015-01-01

    Increasing sand temperatures resulting from climate change may negatively impact sea turtle nests by altering sex ratios and decreasing reproductive output. We analyzed the effect of nest shading and watering on sand temperatures as climate mitigation strategies in a beach hatchery at Playa Grande, Costa Rica. We set up plots and placed thermocouples at depths of 45 cm and 75 cm. Half of the plots were shaded and half were exposed to the sun. Within these exposure treatments, we applied three watering treatments over one month, replicating local climatic conditions experienced in this area. We also examined gravimetric water content of sand by collecting sand samples the day before watering began, the day after watering was complete, and one month after completion. Shading had the largest impact on sand temperature, followed by watering and depth. All watering treatments lowered sand temperature, but the effect varied with depth. Temperatures in plots that received water returned to control levels within 10 days after watering stopped. Water content increased at both depths in the two highest water treatments, and 30 days after the end of water application remained higher than plots with low water. While the impacts of watering on sand temperature dissipate rapidly after the end of application, the impacts on water content are much more lasting. Although less effective at lowering sand temperatures than shading, watering may benefit sea turtle clutches by offsetting negative impacts of low levels of rain in particularly dry areas. Prior to implementing such strategies, the natural conditions at the location of interest (e.g. clutch depth, environmental conditions, and beach characteristics) and natural hatchling sex ratios should be taken into consideration. These results provide insight into the effectiveness of nest shading and watering as climate mitigation techniques and illustrate important points of consideration in the crafting of such strategies.

  1. Shading and watering as a tool to mitigate the impacts of climate change in sea turtle nests.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacob E Hill

    Full Text Available Increasing sand temperatures resulting from climate change may negatively impact sea turtle nests by altering sex ratios and decreasing reproductive output. We analyzed the effect of nest shading and watering on sand temperatures as climate mitigation strategies in a beach hatchery at Playa Grande, Costa Rica. We set up plots and placed thermocouples at depths of 45 cm and 75 cm. Half of the plots were shaded and half were exposed to the sun. Within these exposure treatments, we applied three watering treatments over one month, replicating local climatic conditions experienced in this area. We also examined gravimetric water content of sand by collecting sand samples the day before watering began, the day after watering was complete, and one month after completion. Shading had the largest impact on sand temperature, followed by watering and depth. All watering treatments lowered sand temperature, but the effect varied with depth. Temperatures in plots that received water returned to control levels within 10 days after watering stopped. Water content increased at both depths in the two highest water treatments, and 30 days after the end of water application remained higher than plots with low water. While the impacts of watering on sand temperature dissipate rapidly after the end of application, the impacts on water content are much more lasting. Although less effective at lowering sand temperatures than shading, watering may benefit sea turtle clutches by offsetting negative impacts of low levels of rain in particularly dry areas. Prior to implementing such strategies, the natural conditions at the location of interest (e.g. clutch depth, environmental conditions, and beach characteristics and natural hatchling sex ratios should be taken into consideration. These results provide insight into the effectiveness of nest shading and watering as climate mitigation techniques and illustrate important points of consideration in the crafting of such

  2. Biochemical indices as correlates of recent growth in juvenile green turtles (Chelonia mydas).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roark, Alison M; Bjorndal, Karen A; Bolten, Alan B; Leeuwenburgh, Christiaan

    2009-08-15

    Nucleic acid and protein concentrations and their ratios are increasingly used as correlates of nutritional condition and growth in marine species. However, their application in studies of reptile growth has not yet been validated. The green turtle (Chelonia mydas) is an endangered marine reptile for which assessing population health requires knowledge of demographic parameters such as individual growth rates. The purpose of this study was to evaluate a number of biochemical indices ([DNA], [RNA], RNA:DNA ratio, [protein], protein:DNA ratio, and RNA:protein ratio) in liver, heart, and blood as potential predictors of recent growth rate in juvenile green turtles under controlled feeding conditions. Intake of juvenile green turtles was manipulated over twelve weeks to obtain a range of growth rates. With the exception of [RNA](blood), [DNA](heart), and [protein]:[DNA](liver), all biochemical indices demonstrated significant linear relationships with growth rate during the last 1.5 weeks of the study. The best single predictors of recent growth were hepatic [RNA] and [RNA]:[protein], which explained 66% and 49%, respectively, of the variance in growth. Contrary to expectations, these two indices were negatively correlated with growth rate. To investigate the possibility that hepatic [RNA] was higher in slow-growing turtles because of elevated expression of antioxidant genes, we quantified glutathione peroxidase activity and total antioxidant potential. Both measures of antioxidant function were affected by intake and growth histories, but these effects did not explain our results for hepatic RNA and protein concentrations. We developed a model that predicted 68% of the variance in specific growth rate (SGR) with the equation SGR = -0.913(ln[RNA](liver)) + 17.689(Condition Index) + 4.316. In addition, our findings that [DNA] and [RNA]:[DNA] for blood were significantly correlated with SGR demonstrate the potential utility of minimally invasive tissue sampling that

  3. Inter-nesting movements and habitat-use of adult female Kemp’s ridley turtles in the Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Kristen M.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Bucklin, David; Iverson, Autumn R.; Rubio, Cynthia; Backof, Thomas F.; Burchfield, Patrick M.; de Jesus Gonzales Diaz Miron, Raul; Dutton, Peter H.; Frey, Amy; Peña, Jaime; Gomez Gamez, Daniel; Martinez, Hector J.; Ortiz, Jaime

    2017-01-01

    Species vulnerability is increased when individuals congregate in restricted areas for breeding; yet, breeding habitats are not well defined for many marine species. Identification and quantification of these breeding habitats are essential to effective conservation. Satellite telemetry and switching state-space modeling (SSM) were used to define inter-nesting habitat of endangered Kemp’s ridley turtles (Lepidochelys kempii) in the Gulf of Mexico. Turtles were outfitted with satellite transmitters after nesting at Padre Island National Seashore, Texas, USA, from 1998 through 2013 (n = 60); Rancho Nuevo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, during 2010 and 2011 (n = 11); and Tecolutla, Veracruz, Mexico, during 2012 and 2013 (n = 11). These sites span the range of nearly all nesting by this species. Inter-nesting habitat lies in a narrow band of nearshore western Gulf of Mexico waters in the USA and Mexico, with mean water depth of 14 to 19 m within a mean distance to shore of 6 to 11 km as estimated by 50% kernel density estimate, α-Hull, and minimum convex polygon methodologies. Turtles tracked during the inter-nesting period moved, on average, 17.5 km/day and a mean total distance of 398 km. Mean home ranges occupied were 725 to 2948 km2. Our results indicate that these nearshore western Gulf waters represent critical inter-nesting habitat for this species, where threats such as shrimp trawling and oil and gas platforms also occur. Up to half of all adult female Kemp’s ridleys occupy this habitat for weeks to months during each nesting season. Because inter-nesting habitat for this species is concentrated in nearshore waters of the western Gulf of Mexico in both Mexico and the USA, international collaboration is needed to protect this essential habitat and the turtles occurring within it. PMID:28319178

  4. Inter-nesting movements and habitat-use of adult female Kemp’s ridley turtles in the Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaver, Donna J.; Hart, Kristen M.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Bucklin, David N.; Iverson, Autumn; Rubio, Cynthia; Backof, Thomas F.; Burchfield, Patrick M.; Gonzales Diaz Miron, Raul de Jesus; Dutton, Peter H.; Frey, Amy; Peña, Jaime; Gamez, Daniel Gomez; Martinez, Hector J.; Ortiz, Jaime

    2017-01-01

    Species vulnerability is increased when individuals congregate in restricted areas for breeding; yet, breeding habitats are not well defined for many marine species. Identification and quantification of these breeding habitats are essential to effective conservation. Satellite telemetry and switching state-space modeling (SSM) were used to define inter-nesting habitat of endangered Kemp’s ridley turtles (Lepidochelys kempii) in the Gulf of Mexico. Turtles were outfitted with satellite transmitters after nesting at Padre Island National Seashore, Texas, USA, from 1998 through 2013 (n = 60); Rancho Nuevo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, during 2010 and 2011 (n = 11); and Tecolutla, Veracruz, Mexico, during 2012 and 2013 (n = 11). These sites span the range of nearly all nesting by this species. Inter-nesting habitat lies in a narrow band of nearshore western Gulf of Mexico waters in the USA and Mexico, with mean water depth of 14 to 19 m within a mean distance to shore of 6 to 11 km as estimated by 50% kernel density estimate, α-Hull, and minimum convex polygon methodologies. Turtles tracked during the inter-nesting period moved, on average, 17.5 km/day and a mean total distance of 398 km. Mean home ranges occupied were 725 to 2948 km2. Our results indicate that these nearshore western Gulf waters represent critical inter-nesting habitat for this species, where threats such as shrimp trawling and oil and gas platforms also occur. Up to half of all adult female Kemp’s ridleys occupy this habitat for weeks to months during each nesting season. Because inter-nesting habitat for this species is concentrated in nearshore waters of the western Gulf of Mexico in both Mexico and the USA, international collaboration is needed to protect this essential habitat and the turtles occurring within it.

  5. Potential impacts of historical disturbance on green turtle health in the unique & protected marine ecosystem of Palmyra Atoll (Central Pacific).

    Science.gov (United States)

    McFadden, Katherine W; Gómez, Andrés; Sterling, Eleanor J; Naro-Maciel, Eugenia

    2014-12-15

    Palmyra Atoll, in the Central Pacific, is a unique marine ecosystem because of its remarkably intact food web and limited anthropogenic stressors. However during World War II the atoll was structurally reconfigured into a military installation and questions remain whether this may have impacted the health of the atoll's ecosystems and species. To address the issue we assessed green sea turtle (n=157) health and exposure to contaminants at this foraging ground from 2008 to 2012. Physical exams were performed and blood was sampled for testosterone analysis, plasma biochemistry analysis, hematology and heavy metal exposure. Hematological and plasma chemistries were consistent with concentrations reported for healthy green turtles. Heavy metal screenings revealed low concentrations of most metals, except for high concentrations of iron and aluminum. Body condition indices showed that turtles had poor body condition. In this study, we provide the first published blood values for a markedly healthy sea turtle population at a remote Central Pacific Atoll. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  6. In vitro biology of fibropapilloma-associated turtle herpesvirus and host cells in Hawaiian green turtles (Chelonia mydas)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Work, T.M.; Dagenais, J.; Balazs, G.H.; Schumacher, J.; Lewis, T.D.; Leong, J.-A.C.; Casey, R.N.; Casey, J.W.

    2009-01-01

    Fibropapillomatosis (FP) of green turtles has a global distribution and causes debilitating tumours of the skin and internal organs in several species of marine turtles. FP is associated with a presently non-cultivable alphaherpesvirus Chelonid fibropapilloma-associated herpesvirus (CFPHV). Our aims were to employ quantitative PCR targeted to pol DNA of CFPHV to determine (i) if DNA sequesters by tumour size and/or cell type, (ii) whether subculturing of cells is a viable strategy for isolating CFPHV and (iii) whether CFPHV can be induced to a lytic growth cycle in vitro using chemical modulators of replication (CMRs), temperature variation or co-cultivation. Additional objectives included determining whether non-tumour and tumour cells behave differently in vitro and confirming the phenotype of cultured cells using cell-type-specific antigens. CFPHV pol DNA was preferentially concentrated in dermal fibroblasts of skin tumours and the amount of viral DNA per cell was independent of tumour size. Copy number of CFPHV pol DNA per cell rapidly decreased with cell doubling of tumour-derived fibroblasts in culture. Attempts to induce viral replication in known CFPHV-DNA-positive cells using temperature or CMR failed. No significant differences were seen in in vitro morphology or growth characteristics of fibroblasts from tumour cells and paired normal skin, nor from CFPHV pol-DNA-positive intestinal tumour cells. Tumour cells were confirmed as fibroblasts or keratinocytes by positive staining with anti-vimentin and anti-pancytokeratin antibodies, respectively. CFPHV continues to be refractory to in vitro cultivation.

  7. Establishment and characterization of 13 cell lines from a green turtle (Chelonia mydas) with fibropapillomas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Y.; Nerurkar, V.R.; Aguirre, A.A.; Work, T.M.; Balazs, G.H.; Yanagihara, R.

    1999-01-01

    Thirteen cell lines were established and characterized from brain, kidney, lung, spleen, heart, liver, gall bladder, urinary bladder, pancreas, testis, skin, and periorbital and tumor tissues of an immature male green turtle (Chelonia mydas) with fibropapillomas. Cell lines were optimally maintained at 30A? C in RPMI 1640 medium supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum. Propagation of the turtle cell lines was serum dependent, and plating efficiencies ranged from 13 to 37%. The cell lines, which have been subcultivated more than 20 times, had a doubling time of approximately 30 to 36 h. When tested for their sensitivity to several fish viruses, most of the cell lines were susceptible to a rhabdovirus, spring viremia carp virus, but refractory to channel catfish virus (a herpesvirus), infectious pancreatic necrosis virus (a birnavirus), and two other fish rhabdoviruses, infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus and viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus. During in vitro subcultivation, tumor-like cell aggregates appeared in cell lines derived from lungs, testis, and periorbital and tumor tissues, and small, naked intranuclear virus particles were detected by thin-section electron microscopy. These cell lines are currently being used in attempts to isolate the putative etiologic virus of green turtle fibropapilloma.

  8. The Ozobranchus leech as a mechanical vector for the fibropapilloma-associated turtle herpes virus found latently infecting skin tumors on Hawaiian green turtles (Chelonia mydas)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenblatt, R.J.; Work, T.M.; Balazs, G.; Sutton, C.A.; Casey, R.N.; Casey, J.W.

    2004-01-01

    Fibropapillomatosis (FP) of marine turtles is a neoplastic disease of ecological concern. A fibropapilloma-associated turtle herpesvirus (FPTHV) is consistently present, usually at loads exceeding one virus copy per tumor cell. DNA from an array of parasites of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) was examined with quantitative PCR (qPCR) to determine whether any carried viral loads are sufficient to implicate them as vectors for FPTHV. Marine leeches (Ozobranchus spp.) were found to carry high viral DNA loads; some samples approached 10 million copies per leech. Isopycnic sucrose density gradient/qPCR analysis confirmed that some of these copies were associated with particles of the density of enveloped viruses. The data implicate the marine leech Ozobranchus as a mechanical vector for FPTHV. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis of FPTHV gene expression indicated that most of the FPTHV copies in a fibropapilloma have restricted DNA polymerase expression, suggestive of latent infection.

  9. Beach erosion and nest site selection by the leatherback sea turtle Dermochelys coriacea (Testudines: Dermochelyidae and implications for management practices at Playa Gandoca, Costa Rica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew J Spanier

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea nest on dynamic, erosion-prone beaches. Erosive processes and resulting nest loss have long been presumed to be a hindrance to clutch survival. In order to better understand how leatherbacks cope with unstable nesting beaches, I investigated the role of beach erosion in leatherback nest site selection at Playa Gandoca, Costa Rica. I also examined the potential effect of nest relocation, a conservation strategy in place at Playa Gandoca to prevent nest loss to erosion, on the temperature of incubating clutches. I monitored changes in beach structure as a result of erosion at natural nest sites during the time the nest was laid, as well as in subsequent weeks. To investigate slope as a cue for nest site selection, I measured the slope of the beach where turtles ascended from the sea to nest, as well as the slopes at other random locations on the beach for comparison. I examined temperature differences between natural and relocated nest sites with thermocouples placed in the sand at depths typical of leatherback nests. Nests were distributed non-randomly in a clumped distribution along the length of the beach and laid at locations that were not undergoing erosion. The slope at nest sites was significantly different than at randomly chosen locations on the beach. The sand temperature at nest depths was significantly warmer at natural nest sites than at locations of relocated nests. The findings of this study suggest leatherbacks actively select nest sites that are not undergoing erosive processes, with slope potentially being used as a cue for site selection. The relocation of nests appears to be inadvertently cooling the nest environment. Due to the fact that leatherback clutches undergo temperaturedependent sex determination, the relocation of nests may be producing an unnatural male biasing of hatchlings. The results of this study suggest that the necessity of relocation practices, largely in place to

  10. Epizootic mortality of free-living green turtles, Chelonia mydas, due to coccidiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, A N; Kelly, W R; Lester, R J

    1993-07-01

    At least 70 wild green sea turtles, Chelonia mydas, died in the Moreton Bay area of southeast Queensland, Australia over 6 wk in spring 1991. Based on the necropsy of 24 turtles, there was a severe enteritis or encephalitis associated with Caryospora cheloniae, a coccidial pathogen previously recorded only in farm-reared Ch. mydas hatchlings. Infection was characterized by the presence of coccidia in extra-intestinal lesions. Oocysts were observed to sporulate, after which sporozoites escaped into seawater to form a novel stellate configuration. We conclude that C. cheloniae is pathogenic for life stages other than hatchling Ch. mydas and that naturally-occurring coccidiosis is a significant disease of free-living Ch. mydas.

  11. Philopatry of male marine turtles inferred from mitochondrial DNA markers

    OpenAIRE

    FitzSimmons, Nancy N.; Limpus, Colin J.; Norman, Janette A; Goldizen, Alan R.; Jeffrey D. Miller; Moritz, Craig

    1997-01-01

    Recent studies of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation among marine turtle populations are consistent with the hypothesis that females return to beaches in their natal region to nest as adults. In contrast, less is known about breeding migrations of male marine turtles and whether they too are philopatric to natal regions. Studies of geographic structuring of restriction fragment and microsatellite polymorphisms at anonymous nuclear loci in green turtle (Chelonia mydas) populations indicate th...

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Effects of location, orchard type, laying period and nest position on the reproductive performance of Turtle Doves(Streptopelia turtur) on intensively cultivated farmland

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Saad Hanane

    2016-01-01

    Background: Until recently little was known about factors affecting reproductive parameters of the Turtle Dove(Streptopelia turtur) on intensively cultivated farmland in the Mediterranean area. In this study, the reproductive parameters of this game species were evaluated in relation to location, orchard type, laying period and nest position in central Morocco.Methods: A total of 317 nests were found and analyzed across five breeding seasons(2004–2008) in the Haouz and Tadla regions, over two major agro-ecosystems made up of olive and orange orchards. Nest position, laying period, clutch size and the number of chicks hatched and fledged per nest were determined on 120 study plots. I used Generalized Linear Models(GLMs) with a Poisson distribution and a log link function, including the logarithm of the number of eggs in each clutch as an offset to model the number of chicks hatched and fledged per nest.Results: Clutch-size was not affected by location, orchard type, laying period or nest position. The number of chicks hatched per nest differed between orchard types; they were greater in olive orchards(1.33 ± 0.06) than in orange ones(1.03 ± 0.08), whereas the number of chicks fledged per nest consistently differed with laying period and orchard type, which were higher in the early laying period(1.22 ± 0.07) than in the late period(0.93 ± 0.08) and higher in olive orchards(1.22 ± 0.06) than in orange orchards(0.90 ± 0.06). Neither location nor nest position were related to variation in the fledging success of the Turtle Dove.Conclusions: Olive orchards and the early laying period confer better nesting conditions than orange orchards and the late laying period. Although nest position could be different in each orchard type, it did not affect the breeding success of the Turtle Dove, suggesting that factors other than tree characteristics are influential. Further studies are needed to improve our understanding of the effects of anthropogenic disturbance

  15. Effects of location, orchard type, laying period and nest position on the reproductive performance of Turtle Doves (Streptopelia turtur) on intensively cultivated farmland

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Saâd Hanane

    2016-01-01

    Background: Until recently little was known about factors affecting reproductive parameters of the Turtle Dove (Streptopelia turtur) on intensively cultivated farmland in the Mediterranean area. In this study, the reproductive parameters of this game species were evaluated in relation to location, orchard type, laying period and nest position in central Morocco. Methods: A total of 317 nests were found and analyzed across ifve breeding seasons (2004–2008) in the Haouz and Tadla regions, over two major agro-ecosystems made up of olive and orange orchards. Nest position, laying period, clutch size and the number of chicks hatched and lfedged per nest were determined on 120 study plots. I used Generalized Linear Models (GLMs) with a Poisson distribution and a log link function, including the logarithm of the number of eggs in each clutch as an offset to model the number of chicks hatched and lfedged per nest. Results: Clutch-size was not affected by location, orchard type, laying period or nest position. The number of chicks hatched per nest differed between orchard types;they were greater in olive orchards (1.33 ± 0.06) than in orange ones (1.03 ± 0.08), whereas the number of chicks lfedged per nest consistently differed with laying period and orchard type, which were higher in the early laying period (1.22 ± 0.07) than in the late period (0.93 ± 0.08) and higher in olive orchards (1.22 ± 0.06) than in orange orchards (0.90 ± 0.06). Neither location nor nest position were related to variation in the lfedging success of the Turtle Dove. Conclusions: Olive orchards and the early laying period confer better nesting conditions than orange orchards and the late laying period. Although nest position could be different in each orchard type, it did not affect the breeding success of the Turtle Dove, suggesting that factors other than tree characteristics are inlfuential. Further studies are needed to improve our understanding of the effects of anthropogenic

  16. Increased incidence of red imported fire ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) presence in loggerhead sea turtle (Testudines: Cheloniidae) nests and observations of hatchling mortality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parris, L.B.; Lamont, M.M.; Carthy, R.R.

    2002-01-01

    Hatching sea turtles may be at risk to fire ant predation during egg incubation, and especially at risk once pipped from the egg, prior to hatchling emergence from the nest. In addition to direct mortality, fire ants have the potential to inflict debilitating injuries that may directly affect survival of the young. The increased incidence of red imported fire ant induced mortality and envenomization of loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings on Cape San Blas suggests this invasive ant species may pose a serious threat to the future of this genetically distinct population.

  17. Winter diets of immature green turtles (Chelonia mydas) on a northern feeding ground: integrating stomach contents and stable isotope analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Natalie C.; Bjorndal, Karen A.; Lamont, Margaret M.; Carthy, Raymond R.

    2015-01-01

    The foraging ecology and diet of the green turtle, Chelonia mydas, remain understudied, particularly in peripheral areas of its distribution. We assessed the diet of an aggregation of juvenile green turtles at the northern edge of its range during winter months using two approaches. Stomach content analyses provide a single time sample, and stable isotope analyses integrate diet over a several-month period. We evaluated diet consistency in prey choice over time by comparing the results of these two approaches. We examined stomach contents from 43 juvenile green turtles that died during cold stunning events in St. Joseph Bay, Florida, in 2008 and 2011. Stomach contents were evaluated for volume, dry mass, percent frequency of occurrence, and index of relative importance of individual diet items. Juvenile green turtles were omnivorous, feeding primarily on seagrasses and tunicates. Diet characterizations from stomach contents differed from those based on stable isotope analyses, indicating the turtles are not feeding consistently during winter months. Evaluation of diets during warm months is needed.

  18. Shared Epizoic Taxa and Differences in Diatom Community Structure Between Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas) from Distant Habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majewska, Roksana; de Vijver, Bart Van; Nasrolahi, Ali; Ehsanpour, Maryam; Afkhami, Majid; Bolaños, Federico; Iamunno, Franco; Santoro, Mario; De Stefano, Mario

    2017-05-06

    The first reports of diatoms growing on marine mammals date back to the early 1900s. However, only recently has direct evidence been provided for similar associations between diatoms and sea turtles. We present a comparison of diatom communities inhabiting carapaces of green turtles Chelonia mydas sampled at two remote sites located within the Indian (Iran) and Atlantic (Costa Rica) Ocean basins. Diatom observations and counts were carried out using scanning electron microscopy. Techniques involving critical point drying enabled observations of diatoms and other microepibionts still attached to sea turtle carapace and revealed specific aspects of the epizoic community structure. Species-poor, well-developed diatom communities were found on all examined sea turtles. Significant differences between the two host sea turtle populations were observed in terms of diatom abundance and their community structure (including growth form structure). A total of 12 and 22 diatom taxa were found from sea turtles in Iran and Costa Rica, respectively, and eight of these species belonging to Amphora, Chelonicola, Cocconeis, Navicula, Nitzschia and Poulinea genera were observed in samples from both locations. Potential mechanisms of diatom dispersal and the influence of the external environment, sea turtle behaviour, its life stage, and foraging and breeding habitats, as well as epibiotic bacterial flora on epizoic communities, are discussed.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Effects of Environmental Parameters on Bacterial Levels in Seawater from Juvenile Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas kept in Captivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T Chuen-Im

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Bacterial infection is a major cause of high mortality in juvenile sea turtles at the Sea Turtle Conservation Centre, Chonburi Province, Thailand.The attempt is to identify sources of bacterial accumulation and contamination in order to reduce the number of infections. The aim of thisstudy was to determine the effects of live rocks and captivity parameters on microbiological water quality. Microbiological results indicated that the presence of live rocks in juvenile green turtle containers resulted in a reduction of haemolytic bacteria in seawater. Additionally, thehigh stock density of animals in the captivity has influence on the increased bacterial levels in the water, while temperature of the water was found to have an influence on bacterial growth. The results of this study implied that the environments of captivity have great impact on thebacterial levels in the water, which should be considered for the management of sea turtles as well as other aquatic animals.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Potential adverse effects of inorganic pollutants on clinical parameters of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta): results from a nesting colony from Cape Verde, West Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camacho, M; Orós, J; Boada, L D; Zaccaroni, A; Silvi, M; Formigaro, C; López, P; Zumbado, M; Luzardo, O P

    2013-12-01

    A large number of nesting loggerhead sea turtles (n = 201) were sampled to establish the blood levels of 11 elements (Cu, Mn, Pb, Zn, Cd, Ni, Cr, As, Al, Hg, and Se). Almost all of the samples showed detectable levels of these 11 elements, and Zn and Se exhibited the highest concentrations (median values as high as 6.05 and 2.28 μg/g, respectively). The median concentrations of the most toxic compounds, As, Cd, Pb, and Hg, were relatively low (0.38, 0.24, 0.06, and 0.03 μg/g, respectively). We also determined the haematological and biochemical parameters in a subsample of 50 turtles to evaluate the potential effects of these contaminants on clinical parameters and found several associations. Our study reinforces the usefulness of blood for the monitoring of the levels of contaminating elements and their adverse effects on blood parameters in sea turtles.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Final report on movements of head-started and nesting loggerhead sea turtle

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Nesting females were monitored on the beach between Sandbridge and the North Carolina state line by personnel from the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge (BBNWR). On...

  8. 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.

  9. Molecular epidemiology and pathology of spirorchiid infection in green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas

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    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.

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  12. Trading shallow safety for deep sleep: Juvenile green turtles select deeper resting sites as they grow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Kristen M.; White, Connor F.; Iverson, Autumn R; Whitney, Nick

    2016-01-01

    To better protect endangered green sea turtles Chelonia mydas, a more thorough understanding of the behaviors of each life stage is needed. Although dive profile analyses obtained using time-depth loggers have provided some insights into habitat use, recent work has shown that more fine-scale monitoring of body movements is needed to elucidate physical activity patterns. We monitored 11 juvenile green sea turtles with tri-axial acceleration data loggers in their foraging grounds in Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida, USA, for periods ranging from 43 to 118 h (mean ± SD: 72.8 ± 27.3 h). Approximately half of the individuals (n = 5) remained in shallow (overall mean depth less than 2 m) water throughout the experiment, whereas the remaining individuals (n = 6) made excursions to deeper (4 to 27 m) waters, often at night. Despite these differences in depth use, acceleration data revealed a consistent pattern of diurnal activity and nocturnal resting in most individuals. Nocturnal depth differences thus do not appear to represent differences in behavior, but rather different strategies to achieve the same behavior: rest. We calculated overall dynamic body acceleration (ODBA) to assess the relative energetic cost of each behavioral strategy in an attempt to explain the differences between them. Animals in deeper water experienced longer resting dives, more time resting per hour, and lower mean hourly ODBA. These results suggest that resting in deeper water provides energetic benefits that outweigh the costs of transiting to deep water and a potential increased risk of predation.

  13. 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.

  14. Spirorchiidiasis in stranded loggerhead Caretta caretta and green turtles Chelonia mydas in Florida (USA): host pathology and significance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stacy, Brian A; Foley, Allen M; Greiner, Ellis; Herbst, Lawrence H; Bolten, Alan; Klein, Paul; Manire, Charles A; Jacobson, Elliott R

    2010-04-09

    Spirorchiid trematodes are implicated as an important cause of stranding and mortality in sea turtles worldwide. However, the impact of these parasites on sea turtle health is poorly understood due to biases in study populations and limited or missing data for some host species and regions, including the southeastern United States. We examined necropsy findings and parasitological data from 89 loggerhead Caretta caretta and 59 green turtles Chelonia mydas that were found dead or moribund (i.e. stranded) in Florida (USA) and evaluated the role of spirorchiidiasis in the cause of death. High prevalence of infection in the stranding population was observed, and most infections were regarded as incidental to the cause of death. Spirorchiidiasis was causal or contributory to death in some cases; however, notable host injury and/or large numbers of parasites were observed in some animals, including nutritionally robust turtles, with no apparent relationship to cause of death. New spirorchiid species records for the region were documented and identified genera included Neospirorchis, Hapalotrema, Carettacola, and Learedius. Parasites inhabited and were associated with injury and inflammation in a variety of anatomic locations, including large arteries, the central nervous system, endocrine organs, and the gastrointestinal tract. These findings provide essential information on the diversity of spirorchiids found in Florida sea turtles, as well as prevalence of infection and the spectrum of associated pathological lesions. Several areas of needed study are identified with regard to potential health implications in the turtle host, and findings caution against over-interpretation in individual cases.

  15. Clinical and Pathological Findings in Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas) from Gladstone, Queensland: Investigations of a Stranding Epidemic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flint, Mark; Eden, Paul A; Limpus, Colin J; Owen, Helen; Gaus, Caroline; Mills, Paul C

    2015-06-01

    An investigation into the health of green turtles was undertaken near Gladstone, Queensland, in response to a dramatic increase in stranding numbers in the first half of 2011. A total of 56 live turtles were subject to clinical examination and blood sampling for routine blood profiles, and 12 deceased turtles underwent a thorough necropsy examination. This population of green turtles was found to be in poor body condition and a range of infectious and non-infectious conditions were identified in the unhealthy turtles, including hepato-renal insufficiency (up to 81%, 27/33 based on clinical pathology), cachexia (92%, 11/12), parasitism (75%, 9/12), cardiopulmonary anomalies (42%, 5/12), gastroenteritis (25%, 3/12), masses (25%, 3/12) and mechanical impediments (17%, 2/12 based on necropsy). Overall, there was no evidence to indicate a unifying disease as a primary cause of the mass mortality. Recent adverse weather events, historic regional contamination and nearby industrial activities are discussed as potential causative factors.

  16. Report ofNeospirorchis schistosomatoides Price 1934 (Digenea: Spirorchiidae infecting a Green Turtle, Chelonia mydas Linnaeus, 1758 (Testudines, Cheloniidae, from Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Werneck M. R.

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available We report the occurrence of Neospirorchis schistosomatoides Price 1934 in a juvenile green turtle (Chelonia mydas L.1758 from the Brazilian coast. This species has been reported only in green turtles from the USA, Bermuda and Australia. Only two entire specimens and parts of six worms were found in the host’s heart. The collection, identification and morphometric data of intact specimens of N. schistosomatoides are rare and restricted to the original description. This paper presents the first report of N. schistosomatoides in green turtles from the western South Atlantic Ocean.

  17. Home range and habitat use of juvenile green turtles (Chelonia mydas) in the northern Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamont, Margaret M.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Stephens, Brail S.; Hackett, Caitlin

    2015-01-01

    Background: For imperiled marine turtles, use of satellite telemetry has proven to be an effective method in determining long distance movements. However, the large size of the tag, relatively high cost and low spatial resolution of this method make it more difficult to examine fine-scale movements of individuals, particularly at foraging grounds where animals are frequently submerged. Acoustic telemetry offers a more suitable method of assessing fine-scale movement patterns with a smaller tag that provides more precise locations. We used acoustic telemetry to define home ranges and describe habitat use of juvenile green turtles at a temperate foraging ground in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

  18. 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.

  19. Histology and Immunohistochemistry of the Cardiac Ventricular Structure in the Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braz, J K F S; Freitas, M L; Magalhães, M S; Oliveira, M F; Costa, M S M O; Resende, N S; Clebis, N K; Silva, N B; Moura, C E B

    2016-08-01

    This study describes the implications of cardiac ventricular microscopy in Chelonia mydas relating to its ability to dive. For this work, 11 specimens of the marine turtle species C. mydas found dead on the coast of Rio Grande do Norte (Northeast Brazil) were used. After necropsy, fragments of the cardiac ventricular wall were fixed in 10% buffered formaldehyde solution for 24 h and then subjected to routine processing for light and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The ventricle in this species is formed by the epicardium, myocardium and endocardium. The subepicardial layer consists of highly vascularised connective tissue that emits septa to reinforce the myocardium surface. There is an abundant and diffuse subepicardial nerve plexus shown by immunostaining technique. The thickness of the spongy myocardium and the nature of its trabeculae varied between the heart chambers. The endocardium shows no characteristic elements of the heart conduction system. The valves have a hyaline cartilage skeleton, coated by dense irregular connective tissues characterised by elastic fibres. These findings in the green turtle ventricular microscopy are related to hypoxia resistance during diving.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. ultrastructural study of limb bud development in green turtles chelonia mydas

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2012-01-01

    morphological changes during the embryonic development of limbs of the green turtle,chelonia mydas,were studied during the entire period of incubation,using transmission and scanning electron microscopy (tem and sem).limb buds were first observed at stage 2.at that stage,the tip was covered with an apical ectodermal ridge (aer) which began to regress at stage 6.associated with aer was the presence of the mesenchymal cells which,consequently,differentiated into muscles,cartilage and bones.the gross features of the skeletal development appeared as a condensation of the cartilaginous structures in the proximal distal region of the limbs.the primordial digits were gradually enclosed by hard keratinized webbed skin.the increase in rate of ossification and skin pigmentation was correlated with the growth of the limbs.the development of the limbs was closely related to the transitional appearance of mucus secretion from the epidermis.

  3. Temporal consistency and individual specialization in resource use by green turtles in successive life stages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vander Zanden, Hannah B; Bjorndal, Karen A; Bolten, Alan B

    2013-11-01

    Not all individuals in a population use the same subset of dietary and habitat resources. Patterns of individual specialization have been documented in an increasing number of organisms, but often without an associated time scale over which niche specialization was observed. We examined the patterns in individual resource use through time and in relation to the population with metrics of temporal consistency and degree of individual specialization. We used stable isotope analysis of carbon and nitrogen in successive subsections of scute tissue from the carapace to compare foraging patterns in three successive life stages of the green turtle (Chelonia mydas). Temporal consistency was measured as the mean within-individual variation in stable isotope values through time, whereas the degree of individual specialization was a ratio of the individual variation to that of the population. The distinction between these two parameters is important, as the metric of temporal consistency quantifies the regularity of individual resource use, and the degree of individual specialization indicates what proportion of the population niche an average individual uses. The scute record retains a chronological history of resource use and was estimated to represent a minimum 0.8 years in juveniles to a maximum of 6.5 years in adults. Both temporal consistency and individual specialization varied significantly among life stages. Adults were highly consistent in resource use through time and formed a generalist population with individual specialists maintaining long-term patterns in resource use. Oceanic and neritic juvenile life stages exhibited less temporal consistency in resource use with less individual specialization than adults. These observations are important when considering the ecological roles filled by green turtles in each life stage; also, individual differences in resource use may result in differential fitness consequences.

  4. Bacterial flora and antibiotic resistance from eggs of green turtles Chelonia mydas: an indication of polluted effluents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Bahry, Saif; Mahmoud, Ibrahim; Elshafie, Abdulkader; Al-Harthy, Asila; Al-Ghafri, Sabha; Al-Amri, Issa; Alkindi, Abdulaziz

    2009-05-01

    Sea turtles migrate to various habitats where they can be exposed to different pollutants. Bacteria were collected from turtle eggs and their resistance to antibiotics was used as pollutant bio-indicators of contaminated effluents. Eggs were collected randomly from turtles when they were laying their eggs. A total of 90 eggs were collected and placed into sterile plastic bags (3 eggs/turtle) during June-December of 2003. The bacteria located in the eggshell, albumen and yolk were examined, and 42% of the eggs were contaminated with 10 genera of bacteria. Pseudomonas spp. were the most frequent isolates. The albumen was found to be the part of the egg to be the least contaminated by bacterial infection. Bacterial isolates tested with 14 antibiotics showed variations in resistance. Resistance to ampicillin was the highest. The presence of antibiotic resistant bacteria in eggs indicates that the green turtle populations were subjected to polluted effluents during some of their migratory routes and feeding habitats. Scanning electron microscopy revealed that Salmonella typhimurium penetrated all eggshell layers.

  5. Applying new genetic approaches to improve quality of population assessment of green and loggerhead turtles

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — As the NOAA-Fisheries? National Sea Turtle Genetics Lab, the SWFSC Marine Turtle Genetics Program has the lead responsibility for generating, analyzing and...

  6. Pathological changes by Hapalotrema postorchis Rao 1976 (Digenea: Spirorchiidae in a green turtle Chelonia mydas Linnaeus 1758 (Testudines, Cheloniidae from Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Werneck M. R.

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available This note reports the occurrence of Hapalotrema postorchis Rao 1976 collected from an aortic aneurysm in a green turtle (Chelonia mydas Linnaeus 1758 found on the coast of Brazil. Besides the vascular lesion, granulomatous reactions with foreign - body giant cells were found surrounding the parasite eggs in the heart, intestines, liver, pancreas, spleen, brain and kidneys. This paper presents the first report of H. postorchis and accompanying lesions in a green sea turtle from the western South Atlantic Ocean.

  7. NESTING ECOLOGY OF THE OLIVE RIDLEY SEA TURTLE (Lepidochelys olivacea (CHELONIIDAE AT EL VALLE BEACH, NORTHERN PACIFIC, COLOMBIA

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    Karla G. Barrientos-Muñoz

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea is the most common sea turtle to nest in Colombia. El Valle beach is considered the most important nesting beach for this species in South America. Intensive direct capture of nesting females and egg poaching for consumption and local commercial purposes has been a common practice for years. We conducted an analysis of the nesting ecology of the olive ridley on El Valle beach in the northern Pacific of Colombia in 2008. A total of 164 clutches were transferred to an artificial hatchery for protection. The peak of nesting occurred from the second half of August until the end of September, accounting for 64.6 % of all nests. Along the beach, the section most frequently used was Section 3, with 26 % of the nests. The nests were laid mainly in zone 3, 69%. We encountered 55 nesting females and marked 46 of them. Mean CCL was 64.9 ± 2.4 cm (± 1 SD and mean CCW was 68.6 ± 2.6 cm. Females laid on average of 87.3 ± 14.2 eggs per clutch. We recorded two nesting events per female, with a mean inter-nesting period of 18.8 ± 4.2 days. The reproductive output for the season was 181.5 ± 34.8 eggs / female. Mean hatching success was 81.1 ± 12.1% and mean emergence success was 77.6 ± 12.7%. The incubation period was 65 ± 4.7 days. Our study is a valuable contribution to knowledge of the reproductive ecology of the olive ridley population regionally and globally.Ecología de anidación de la tortuga golfina (Lepidochelys olivacea (Cheloniidae en la Playa El Valle, Pacifico Norte, ColombiaEn Colombia, la tortuga golfina (Lepidochelys olivacea es la más común de las tortugas anidantes. La playa El Valle es considerada la más importante para anidación en Suramérica. La intensa captura de hembras y saqueo de huevos para consumo y comercio local ha sido una práctica común por años. Realizamos un análisis de la ecología de anidación de la tortuga golfina en la Playa El Valle, Pacifico Norte, durante la

  8. A multi-element screening method to identify metal targets for blood biomonitoring in green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villa, C A; Finlayson, S; Limpus, C; Gaus, C

    2015-04-15

    Biomonitoring of blood is commonly used to identify and quantify occupational or environmental exposure to chemical contaminants. Increasingly, this technique has been applied to wildlife contaminant monitoring, including for green turtles, allowing for the non-lethal evaluation of chemical exposure in their nearshore environment. The sources, composition, bioavailability and toxicity of metals in the marine environment are, however, often unknown and influenced by numerous biotic and abiotic factors. These factors can vary considerably across time and space making the selection of the most informative elements for biomonitoring challenging. This study aimed to validate an ICP-MS multi-element screening method for green turtle blood in order to identify and facilitate prioritisation of target metals for subsequent fully quantitative analysis. Multi-element screening provided semiquantitative results for 70 elements, 28 of which were also determined through fully quantitative analysis. Of the 28 comparable elements, 23 of the semiquantitative results had an accuracy between 67% and 112% relative to the fully quantified values. In lieu of any available turtle certified reference materials (CRMs), we evaluated the use of human blood CRMs as a matrix surrogate for quality control, and compared two commonly used sample preparation methods for matrix related effects. The results demonstrate that human blood provides an appropriate matrix for use as a quality control material in the fully quantitative analysis of metals in turtle blood. An example for the application of this screening method is provided by comparing screening results from blood of green turtles foraging in an urban and rural region in Queensland, Australia. Potential targets for future metal biomonitoring in these regions were identified by this approach.

  9. 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.

  10. Predicting connectivity of green turtles at Palmyra Atoll, central Pacific: a focus on mtDNA and dispersal modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naro-Maciel, Eugenia; Gaughran, Stephen J; Putman, Nathan F; Amato, George; Arengo, Felicity; Dutton, Peter H; McFadden, Katherine W; Vintinner, Erin C; Sterling, Eleanor J

    2014-04-06

    Population connectivity and spatial distribution are fundamentally related to ecology, evolution and behaviour. Here, we combined powerful genetic analysis with simulations of particle dispersal in a high-resolution ocean circulation model to investigate the distribution of green turtles foraging at the remote Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, central Pacific. We analysed mitochondrial sequences from turtles (n = 349) collected there over 5 years (2008-2012). Genetic analysis assigned natal origins almost exclusively (approx. 97%) to the West Central and South Central Pacific combined Regional Management Units. Further, our modelling results indicated that turtles could potentially drift from rookeries to Palmyra Atoll via surface currents along a near-Equatorial swathe traversing the Pacific. Comparing findings from genetics and modelling highlighted the complex impacts of ocean currents and behaviour on natal origins. Although the Palmyra feeding ground was highly differentiated genetically from others in the Indo-Pacific, there was no significant differentiation among years, sexes or stage-classes at the Refuge. Understanding the distribution of this foraging population advances knowledge of green turtles and contributes to effective conservation planning for this threatened species.

  11. Predicting connectivity of green turtles at Palmyra Atoll, central Pacific: a focus on mtDNA and dispersal modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naro-Maciel, Eugenia; Gaughran, Stephen J.; Putman, Nathan F.; Amato, George; Arengo, Felicity; Dutton, Peter H.; McFadden, Katherine W.; Vintinner, Erin C.; Sterling, Eleanor J.

    2014-01-01

    Population connectivity and spatial distribution are fundamentally related to ecology, evolution and behaviour. Here, we combined powerful genetic analysis with simulations of particle dispersal in a high-resolution ocean circulation model to investigate the distribution of green turtles foraging at the remote Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, central Pacific. We analysed mitochondrial sequences from turtles (n = 349) collected there over 5 years (2008–2012). Genetic analysis assigned natal origins almost exclusively (approx. 97%) to the West Central and South Central Pacific combined Regional Management Units. Further, our modelling results indicated that turtles could potentially drift from rookeries to Palmyra Atoll via surface currents along a near-Equatorial swathe traversing the Pacific. Comparing findings from genetics and modelling highlighted the complex impacts of ocean currents and behaviour on natal origins. Although the Palmyra feeding ground was highly differentiated genetically from others in the Indo-Pacific, there was no significant differentiation among years, sexes or stage-classes at the Refuge. Understanding the distribution of this foraging population advances knowledge of green turtles and contributes to effective conservation planning for this threatened species.

  12. 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.

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

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    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.

  14. 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.

  15. Structure of the newly found green turtle egg-white ribonuclease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katekaew, Somporn; Kuaprasert, Buabarn; Torikata, Takao; Kakuta, Yoshimitsu; Kimura, Makoto; Yoneda, Kazunari; Araki, Tomohiro

    2010-07-01

    Marine green turtle (Chelonia mydas) egg-white ribonuclease (GTRNase) was crystallized from 1.1 M ammonium sulfate pH 5.5 and 30% glycerol using the sitting-drop vapour-diffusion method. The structure of GTRNase has been solved at 1.60 A resolution by the molecular-replacement technique using a model based on the structure of RNase 5 (murine angiogenin) from Mus musculus (46% identity). The crystal belonged to the monoclinic space group C2, with unit-cell parameters a = 86.271, b = 34.174, c = 39.738 A, alpha = 90, beta = 102, gamma = 90 degrees . GTRNase consists of three helices and seven beta-strands and displays the alpha+beta folding topology typical of a member of the RNase A superfamily. Superposition of the C(alpha) coordinates of GTRNase and RNase A superfamily members indicates that the overall structure is highly similar to that of angiogenin or RNase 5 from M. musculus (PDB code 2bwl) and RNase A from Bos taurus (PDB code 2blz), with root-mean-square deviations of 3.9 and 2.0 A, respectively. The catalytic residues are conserved with respect to the RNase A superfamily. The three disulfide bridges observed in the reptilian enzymes are conserved in GTRNase, while one further disulfide bond is required for the structural stability of mammalian RNases. GTRNase is expressed in egg white and the fact that its sequence has the highest similarity to that of snapping turtle pancreatic RNase suggests that the GTRNase secreted from oviduct cells to form egg white is probably the product of the same gene as activated in pancreatic cells.

  16. Fine scale daily movements and habitat use of East Pacific green turtles at a shallow coastal lagoon in Baja California Sur, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senko, Jesse; Koch, Volker; Megill, William M.; Carthy, Raymond R.; Templeton, R.obert P.; Nichols, Wallace J.

    2010-01-01

    Green turtles spend most of their lives in coastal foraging areas where they face multiple anthropogenic impacts. Therefore, understanding their spatial use in this environment is a priority for conservation efforts. We studied the fine scale daily movements and habitat use of East Pacific green turtles (Chelonia mydas) at Laguna San Ignacio, a shallow coastal lagoon in Baja California Sur, Mexico where sea turtles are subject to high levels of gillnet bycatch and directed hunting. Six turtles ranging from 44.6 to 83.5 cm in straight carapace length were tracked for short deployments (1 to 6 d) with GPS-VHF telemetry. Turtles were active throughout diurnal, nocturnal, and crepuscular periods. Although they moved greater total distances during daytime, their speed of travel and net displacement remained consistent throughout 24-h periods. A positive selection for areas of seagrass and moderate water depth (5 to 10 m) was determined using Ivlev's electivity index, with neutral selection for shallow water ( 10 m). Turtles exhibited two distinct behavioral movement patterns: circular movements with high fidelity to the capture–release location and meandering movements with low fidelity to the capture–release location. Our results indicate that green turtles were active throughout the diel cycle while traveling large distances and traversing multiple habitats over short temporal scales.

  17. 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.

  18. Dynamics of Virus Shedding and In Situ Confirmation of Chelonid Herpesvirus 5 in Hawaiian Green Turtles With Fibropapillomatosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Work, T M; Dagenais, J; Balazs, G H; Schettle, N; Ackermann, M

    2015-11-01

    Cancers in humans and animals can be caused by viruses, but virus-induced tumors are considered to be poor sites for replication of intact virions (lytic replication). Fibropapillomatosis (FP) is a neoplastic disease associated with a herpesvirus, chelonid herpesvirus 5 (ChHV5), that affects green turtles globally. ChHV5 probably replicates in epidermal cells of tumors, because epidermal intranuclear inclusions (EIIs) contain herpesvirus-like particles. However, although EIIs are a sign of herpesvirus replication, they have not yet been firmly linked to ChHV5. Moreover, the dynamics of viral shedding in turtles are unknown, and there are no serological reagents to confirm actual presence of the specific ChHV5 virus in tissues. The investigators analyzed 381 FP tumors for the presence of EIIs and found that overall, about 35% of green turtles had lytic replication in skin tumors with 7% of tumors showing lytic replication. A few (11%) turtles accounted for more than 30% cases having lytic viral replication, and lytic replication was more likely in smaller tumors. To confirm that turtles were actively replicating ChHV5, a prerequisite for shedding, the investigators used antiserum raised against F-VP26, a predicted capsid protein of ChHV5 that localizes to the host cell nucleus during viral replication. This antiserum revealed F-VP26 in EIIs of tumors, thus confirming the presence of replicating ChHV5. In this light, it is proposed that unlike other virus-induced neoplastic diseases, FP is a disease that may depend on superspreaders, a few highly infectious individuals growing numerous small tumors permissive to viral production, for transmission of ChHV5. © The Author(s) 2014.

  19. Dynamics of virus shedding and in situ confirmation of chelonid herpesvirus 5 in Hawaiian green turtles with Fibropapillomatosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Work, Thierry M.; Dagenais, Julie; Balazs, George H.; Schettle, Nelli; Ackermann, Mathias

    2015-01-01

    Cancers in humans and animals can be caused by viruses, but virus-induced tumors are considered to be poor sites for replication of intact virions (lytic replication). Fibropapillomatosis (FP) is a neoplastic disease associated with a herpesvirus, chelonid herpesvirus 5 (ChHV5), that affects green turtles globally. ChHV5 probably replicates in epidermal cells of tumors, because epidermal intranuclear inclusions (EIIs) contain herpesvirus-like particles. However, although EIIs are a sign of herpesvirus replication, they have not yet been firmly linked to ChHV5. Moreover, the dynamics of viral shedding in turtles are unknown, and there are no serological reagents to confirm actual presence of the specific ChHV5 virus in tissues. The investigators analyzed 381 FP tumors for the presence of EIIs and found that overall, about 35% of green turtles had lytic replication in skin tumors with 7% of tumors showing lytic replication. A few (11%) turtles accounted for more than 30% cases having lytic viral replication, and lytic replication was more likely in smaller tumors. To confirm that turtles were actively replicating ChHV5, a prerequisite for shedding, the investigators used antiserum raised against F-VP26, a predicted capsid protein of ChHV5 that localizes to the host cell nucleus during viral replication. This antiserum revealed F-VP26 in EIIs of tumors, thus confirming the presence of replicating ChHV5. In this light, it is proposed that unlike other virus-induced neoplastic diseases, FP is a disease that may depend on superspreaders, a few highly infectious individuals growing numerous small tumors permissive to viral production, for transmission of ChHV5.

  20. Fishing activity and impacts along the main nesting area of loggerhead sea turtle Caretta caretta in Italy: overwhelming discrepancy with the official data

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    Giulia Cambiè

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available The southern coast of Ionian Calabria was recently recognized as the main nesting area of the loggerhead sea turtle Caretta caretta in Italy. The aim of this study was to characterize the fishing fleet in this area in terms of number of boats, economic situation, social aspects and impact on sea turtle specimens and target species. A multidisciplinary approach was essential to understand how the conservation problems of C. caretta are linked to various characteristics of the fishing fleet. Our data showed a vast discrepancy between the official census and the actual number of boats fishing in the area: 87% of the observed artisanal vessels lacked a required registration number, and thus were fishing illegally. This has caused serious social problems that worsened over the summer of 2007, when the presence of non-local registered vessels, using drift nets, generated a spatial conflict with the local artisanal fishermen. We identified 11 fishing gears used in the area and four of them were studied with on board observations: illegal drift nets, trammel nets, bottom longlines and longlines targeting swordfish. The total number of turtles caught during the summer in the area by longliners targeting swordfish was calculated to be 500 (±180 SE. In addition the presence of drift netters had a negative impact from an ecological and social point of view.

  1. A Spatially Explicit, Multi-Criteria Decision Support Model for Loggerhead Sea Turtle Nesting Habitat Suitability: A Remote Sensing-Based Approach

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    Lauren Dunkin

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Nesting habitat for the federally endangered loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta were designated as critical in 2014 for beaches along the Atlantic Coast and Gulf of Mexico. Nesting suitability is routinely determined based on site specific information. Given the expansive geographic location of the designated critical C. caretta nesting habitat and the highly dynamic coastal environment, understanding nesting suitability on a regional scale is essential for monitoring the changing status of the coast as a result of hydrodynamic forces and maintenance efforts. The increasing spatial resolution and temporal frequency of remote sensing data offers the opportunity to study this dynamic environment on a regional scale. Remote sensing data were used as input into the spatially-explicit, multi-criteria decision support model to determine nesting habitat suitability. Results from the study indicate that the morphological parameters used as input into the model are well suited to provide a regional level approach with the results from the optimized model having sensitivity and detection prevalence values greater than 80% and the detection rate being greater than 70%. The approach can be implemented in various geographic locations to better communicate priorities and evaluate management strategies as a result of changes to the dynamic coastal environment.

  2. Oxidative stress indicators and chemical contaminants in East Pacific green turtles (Chelonia mydas) inhabiting two foraging coastal lagoons in the Baja California peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labrada-Martagón, Vanessa; Rodríguez, Paola A Tenorio; Méndez-Rodríguez, Lia C; Zenteno-Savín, Tania

    2011-08-01

    In order to determine the potential effects of contaminants in juveniles of East Pacific green turtle, Chelonia mydas, captured alive, circulating trace metal and organochlorine pesticide concentrations were correlated with body condition, antioxidant enzyme activities and lipid peroxidation levels. Turtles were sampled in Punta Abreojos (PAO) and Bahía Magdalena (BMA). Turtles from PAO showed higher silicon and cadmium concentrations, but lower α-hexachlorocyclohexane, γ-hexachlorocyclohexane, hexachlorobenzene and aldrin concentrations than individuals from BMA. In BMA cadmium concentration decreased as the standard carapace length of the turtles increased. In PAO concentrations of α-hexachlorocyclohexane, heptachlor and hexachlorobenzene were positively correlated with the weight of the individuals. Lipid peroxidation levels were positively correlated with cadmium concentrations. In turtles captured in PAO, enzymatic antioxidant activities correlated mostly with pesticide concentrations, while in individuals from BMA enzyme activities were correlated with trace element concentrations. Correlations between antioxidant enzyme activities and concentration of xenobiotics suggest physiological sensitivity of East Pacific green turtles to chemicals. Regional differences found could be influenced by habitat conditions such as currents, upwellings (PAO) and agricultural activities (BMA). We suggest that, combined, circulating contaminant concentrations, lipid peroxidation levels and antioxidant enzyme activities in sea turtles could be used as biomarkers of the habitat conditions.

  3. Evidence of antibiotic resistance in Enterobacteriales isolated from green sea turtles, Chelonia mydas on the Great Barrier Reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahasan, Md Shamim; Picard, Jacqueline; Elliott, Lisa; Kinobe, Robert; Owens, Leigh; Ariel, Ellen

    2017-07-15

    This study investigated Enterobacteriales and their antimicrobial resistance in green sea turtles captured adjacent to the central Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and proximate to urban development. Cloacal swabs were taken from 73 green turtles between 2015 and 2016. A total of 154 out of 341 Gram-negative bacterial isolates were identified as Enterobacteriales that represent 16 different species from 9 different genera. The dominant isolates were Citrobacter (30.52%), Edwardsiella (21.43%) and Escherichia (12.34%). The resistance against 12 antibiotics belonging to 6 different classes was determined. The isolates showed highest resistance to β-lactam antibiotics (78.57%) followed by quinolone (50%) and tetracycline classes (46.1%). Approximately one-third (37.7%) of the isolates identified exhibited multidrug-resistance. Isolates recovered from rehabilitated turtles were significantly multidrug resistant (p<0.009) compared to isolates from other study sites. These results provide baseline information on antimicrobial resistance while revealing gaps for further research to evaluate the level of pollution in the GBR. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. INTRASPECIFIC VARIATION OF THE GREEN TURTLE, Chelonia mydas (CHELONIIDAE, IN THE FORAGING AREA OF GORGONA NATURAL NATIONAL PARK (COLOMBIAN PACIFIC

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Sampson

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The size distribution and body condition of the two morphotypes of green turtle (Chelonia mydas foraging in Gorgona Natural National Park (GNNP in the Colombian Pacific was assessed from 2003 to 2012. Measurements of straight carapace length (SCL, curved carapace length (CCL, weight, and body condition of 1,023 turtles captured on the GNNP reefs were recorded. More black turtles (n = 747 than yellow turtles (n = 276 were captured, all of them juveniles. Black turtles were significantly larger and heavier than yellow turtles. The size of recruitment to the neritic zone was 40.0-49.9 cm SCL for both morphotypes, but there were more yellow than black turtles in this size class, indicating a difference in the recruitment pattern. The body condition index of yellow turtles was significantly higher than that of black turtles, which could indicate differences in resource use. Based on our results, we suggest that GNNP might function as a recruitment area for yellow turtles, which arrive at smaller sizes and as part of a coastal migratory route for black turtles, which arrive at larger sizes and maintain residence at this location for an unknown period of time.Variación intraespecífica de la tortuga verde Chelonia mydas (Cheloniidae en el área de forrajeo del Parque Nacional Natural Gorgona (Pacífico colombianoSe comparó la distribución de tallas y condición corporal de los dos morfotipos conocidos de tortuga verde (Chelonia mydas en el área de forrajeo del Parque Nacional Natural Gorgona (PNNG en el Pacífico colombiano entre 2003 y 2012. Se tomaron medidas de largo recto de caparazón (LRC, largo curvo de caparazón (LCC, peso y condición corporal de 1.023 tortugas capturadas en los arrecifes del PNG. Se capturaron más tortugas negras (n = 747 que amarillas (n = 276, todas juveniles. Las tortugas negras fueron significativamente más grandes y pesadas que las amarillas. El tamaño de reclutamiento a la zona nerítica fue de 40,0–49,9 cm

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Marine turtle capture data

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — To estimate abundance, growth, and survival rate and to collect tissue samples, marine turtles are captured at nesting beaches and foraging grounds through various...

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. In Vitro Replication of Chelonid Herpesvirus 5 in Organotypic Skin Cultures from Hawaiian Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Work, Thierry M; Dagenais, Julie; Weatherby, Tina M; Balazs, George H; Ackermann, Mathias

    2017-09-01

    Fibropapillomatosis (FP) is a tumor disease of marine turtles associated with chelonid herpesvirus 5 (ChHV5), which has historically been refractory to growth in tissue culture. Here we show, for the first time, de novo formation of ChHV5-positive intranuclear inclusions in cultured green turtle cells, which is indicative of active lytic replication of the virus. The minimal requirements to achieve lytic replication in cultured cells included (i) either in vitro cultures of ChHV5-positive tumor biopsy specimens (plugs) or organotypic cultures (rafts) consisting of ChHV5-positive turtle fibroblasts in collagen rafts seeded with turtle keratinocytes and (ii) keratinocyte maturation induced by raising raft or biopsy cultures to the air-liquid interface. Virus growth was confirmed by detailed electron microscopic studies that revealed intranuclear sun-shaped capsid factories, tubules, various stages of capsid formation, nuclear export by budding into the perinuclear space, tegument formation, and envelopment to complete de novo virus production. Membrane synthesis was also observed as a sign of active viral replication. Interestingly, cytoplasmic particles became associated with keratin filaments, a feature not seen in conventional monolayer cell cultures, in which most studies of herpesvirus replication have been performed. Our findings draw a rich and realistic picture of ChHV5 replication in cells derived from its natural host and may be crucial not only to better understand ChHV5 circulation but also to eventually complete Koch's postulates for FP. Moreover, the principles described here may serve as a model for culture of other viruses that are resistant to replication in conventional cell culture.IMPORTANCE A major challenge in virology is the study of viruses that cannot be grown in the laboratory. One example is chelonid herpesvirus 5 (ChHV5), which is associated with fibropapillomatosis, a globally distributed, debilitating, and fatal tumor disease of

  16. The patterns of sex determination and differentiation genes in green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anggraini Barlian

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Green sea turtle (C. mydas is one of TSD (Temperature-dependent Sex Determination, TSD animals which mean that their sex is determined by the egg’s incubation temperature. Genotypic Sex Determination (GSD homologous genes play a role in TSD process. Until now, research on the pattern of sex determination genes in C.mydas has not been conducted yet. The aim of this research is to reveal sex determination and differentiation genes expression in Mesonephros-Gonad (MG complexes of C. mydas embryos which incubated in masculinizing temperature (MT and feminizing temperature (FT. C. mydas eggs were incubated in 3 different stage of TSP (Thermosensitive Period at masculinizing temperature (26±10C, MT and feminizing temperature (31±10C FT. Mesonefros-gonad complexes were isolated at Pre-TSP stage (FT at 14th day, MT at 24th day, TSP stage (FT at 24th day, MT at 36th day and differentiated stage (FT at 40th day, MT at 58th day. RNA from mesonephros-gonad (MG complexes were converted into cDNA by RT-PCR process. Pattern of Sf1, Wt1, Aromatase, FoxL2, Sox9, Wnt4, Fgf9 and Rspo1 genes expression were analyzed by quantitative Real Time PCR (qPCR method with ?-actin gene as an internal control. Result of this study shown that expression pattern of Sf1, Wt1, Aromatase, FoxL2, Sox9, Wnt4, Fgf9, and Rspo1genes in gonadal embryo of C. mydas were increased during gonadal development stage. Four genes expression patterns (Wnt4, Fgf9, Rspo1, and FoxL2 have shown that these genes have role in sexual differentiation rather than in sexual determination.

  17. Annual abundance of salps and doliolids (Tunicata) around Gorgona Island (Colombian Pacific), and their importance as potential food for green sea turtles

    OpenAIRE

    Sampson, Laura; Giraldo, Alan

    2014-01-01

    Gorgona National Park protects fertile waters that support large vertebrates, including green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas), and for them, gelatinous zooplankton constitute a food resource that can be found year-round in Gorgona Island´s coastal waters. This study was carried out to determine the abundance of salps and doliolids around Gorgona Island over a year, and to determine whether this is a resource that could be used reliably year-round by green turtles and other large plankton-feeding...

  18. Report of Enodiotrema megachondrus (Looss, 1899 Looss, 1901 (Digenea: Plagiorchiidae in a green turtle Chelonia mydas Linnaeus, 1758 (Testudines, Cheloniidae from Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Werneck M. R.

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper describes the occurrence of Enodiotrema megachondrus (Looss, 1899 Looss, 1901 in a juvenile green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas Linnaeus, 1758 found on the coast of Brazil. This parasite has been described in Caretta caretta from Egypt, France, the Mediterranean Sea, the Madeira Archipelago, the Adriatic Sea and the USA, in C. mydas from Egypt and the USA, in Eretmochelys imbricata from Cuba, in Lepidochelys olivacea from Mexico and Costa Rica and in Lepidochelys kempii from USA. This note represents the first report of E. megachondus in a green sea turtle in the South-West Atlantic Ocean.

  19. In-vitro replication of Chelonid herpesvirus 5 in organotypic skin cultures from Hawaiian green turtles (Chelonia mydas)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Work, Thierry M.; Dagenais, Julie; Weatherby, Tina; Ackermann, Mathias; Balazs, George H.

    2017-01-01

    Fibropapillomatosis (FP) is a tumor disease of marine turtles associated with Chelonid herpesvirus 5 (ChHV5) that has historically been refractory to growth in tissue culture. Here, we show for the first time de novo formation of ChHV5-positive intranuclear inclusions in cultured green turtle cells, which is indicative for active lytic replication of the virus. The minimal requirements to achieve lytic replication in cultured cells included 1) either in-vitro culturing of ChHV5-positive tumor biopsies (plugs) or organotypic cultures (rafts) consisting of ChHV5-positive turtle fibroblasts in collagen rafts seeded with turtle keratinocytes and 2) keratinocyte maturation induced by raising raft or biopsy cultures to the air-liquid interface. Virus growth was confirmed by detailed electron microscopic studies revealing intranuclear sun-shaped capsid factories, tubules, various stages of capsid formation, nuclear export by budding into the perinuclear space, tegumentation, and envelopment to complete de novo virus production. Membrane synthesis was also observed as a sign for active viral replication. Interestingly, cytoplasmic particles became associated with keratin filaments, a feature not seen in conventional monolayer cell cultures where most studies of herpesvirus replication have been performed. Our findings draw a rich and realistic picture of ChHV5 replication in cells derived from its natural host and may be crucial not only to better understand ChHV5 circulation but also to eventually complete Koch's postulates for FP. Moreover, the principles described here may serve as model to culture other viruses that are resistant to replication in conventional cell culture.

  20. Fine-scale thermal adaptation in a green turtle nesting population

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weber, Sam B.; Broderick, Annette C.; Groothuis, Ton G. G.; Ellick, Jacqui; Godley, Brendan J.; Blount, Jonathan D.

    2012-01-01

    The effect of climate warming on the reproductive success of ectothermic animals is currently a subject of major conservation concern. However, for many threatened species, we still know surprisingly little about the extent of naturally occurring adaptive variation in heat-tolerance. Here, we show t

  1. Fine-scale thermal adaptation in a green turtle nesting population

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weber, Sam B.; Broderick, Annette C.; Groothuis, Ton G. G.; Ellick, Jacqui; Godley, Brendan J.; Blount, Jonathan D.

    2012-01-01

    The effect of climate warming on the reproductive success of ectothermic animals is currently a subject of major conservation concern. However, for many threatened species, we still know surprisingly little about the extent of naturally occurring adaptive variation in heat-tolerance. Here, we show t

  2. Hematological and histopathological evaluation of wildlife green turtles (Chelonia mydas with and without fibropapilloma from the north coast of São Paulo State, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ticiana Zwarg

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Blood profiles were determined in 47 juvenile green turtles, Chelonia mydas, from São Paulo northern coast, Brazil. Twenty-nine were affected by fibropapillomas and 18 were tumor free. Complete gross and histopathologic examinations of the fibropapillo were performed in 21 green turtles. Biometrical data, size, location and amount of tumors were recorded. The papillomas varied in morphology, location, size, color and texture. We found hyperplastic stroma, rich in blood vessels and connective tissue with increase in thickness of the dermis. The tumors w0ere classified as papillomas or fibropapillomas according to their epithelial and/or stromal proliferation. The lowest Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin (HCM values were observed in affected turtles.

  3. 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.

  4. Hatchling sex ratio, body weight and nest parameters for Chelonia mydas nesting on Sugözü beaches (Turkey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kılıç, Ç.

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available We investigated the relationship between nest parameters, hatchling body mass, and sex ratio of green turtle, Chelonia mydas, embryos and hatchlings at the temperate nesting rookery of Sugözü Beach (Adana–Turkey. Mean nest temperature and distance from the sea were correlated, while mean nest temperature and incubation period were inversely related. There was no apparent relationship between incubation period and hatchling mass. Hatchling and embryo sex ratios, determined by histological examination, showed a 70.5% and 93.5% female bias, respectively. There was no correlation between sex and body weight of hatchlings,

  5. Morphology and water permeability of red blood cells from green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benga, Gheorghe; Chapman, Bogdan E; Romeo, Tony; Cox, Guy C; Kuchel, Philip W

    2015-07-01

    The morphology and diffusional water permeability (P d) of red blood cells (RBCs) from green sea turtle (GST) (Chelonia mydas) are presented for the first time. The RBCs had an ellipsoidal shape with full-axis lengths (diameters): D = 14.4 μm; d = 10.2 μm; h = 2.8 μm. The values of P d (cm s(-1)) were 5.1 × 10(-3) at 15 °C, 5.7 × 10(-3) at 20 °C, 6.3 × 10(-3) at 25 °C, 6.8 × 10(-3) at 30 °C, and 7.9 × 10(-3) at 37 °C (i.e., significantly higher than in human RBCs in which it was measured to be 4.2 × 10(-3) at 25 °C, 5.0 × 10(-3) at 30 °C, and 6.2 × 10(-3) at 37 °C). There was a lack of inhibition of P d of GST RBCs by p-chloromercuribenzoate (PCMB), a well-known inhibitor of the RBC water channel proteins (WCPs). The activation energy of water diffusion (E a,d) in GST RBCs was 15.0 ± 1.6 kJ mol(-1) which is lower than the E a,d for human RBCs (~25 kJ mol(-1)). These results indicate that in the membrane of GST RBCs, there were no WCPs that were inhibited by the mercurial reagent, while the lipid bilayer of this membrane is unusually permeable to water. This is likely to be a phylogenetically old trait, like that found in amphibians and even the later birds, all of which have nucleated erythrocytes; and it is also likely to be a result of the animal's adaptation to a herbivorous diet (algae and seagrasses).

  6. Ratiometric Matryoshka biosensors from a nested cassette of green- and orange-emitting fluorescent proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ast, Cindy; Foret, Jessica; Oltrogge, Luke M; De Michele, Roberto; Kleist, Thomas J; Ho, Cheng-Hsun; Frommer, Wolf B

    2017-09-05

    Sensitivity, dynamic and detection range as well as exclusion of expression and instrumental artifacts are critical for the quantitation of data obtained with fluorescent protein (FP)-based biosensors in vivo. Current biosensors designs are, in general, unable to simultaneously meet all these criteria. Here, we describe a generalizable platform to create dual-FP biosensors with large dynamic ranges by employing a single FP-cassette, named GO-(Green-Orange) Matryoshka. The cassette nests a stable reference FP (large Stokes shift LSSmOrange) within a reporter FP (circularly permuted green FP). GO- Matryoshka yields green and orange fluorescence upon blue excitation. As proof of concept, we converted existing, single-emission biosensors into a series of ratiometric calcium sensors (MatryoshCaMP6s) and ammonium transport activity sensors (AmTryoshka1;3). We additionally identified the internal acid-base equilibrium as a key determinant of the GCaMP dynamic range. Matryoshka technology promises flexibility in the design of a wide spectrum of ratiometric biosensors and expanded in vivo applications.Single fluorescent protein biosensors are susceptible to expression and instrumental artifacts. Here Ast et al. describe a dual fluorescent protein design whereby a reference fluorescent protein is nested within a reporter fluorescent protein to control for such artifacts while preserving sensitivity and dynamic range.

  7. Pre-soaking of the feed pellets: a trick for successful feed utilization in juvenile green turtles (Chelonia mydas Linnaeus, 1758).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanghae, H; Thongprajukaew, K; Phromkunthong, W; Plangsri, S; Jatupornpitukchat, S; Kittiwattanawong, K

    2017-04-01

    Pre-soaking of the feed pellets in water can improve feed utilization in juvenile green turtles (Chelonia mydas Linnaeus, 1758), but the pre-soaking has not previously been optimized. This study aimed to optimize the water amount used for pre-soaking the pellets. The experiments followed a completely randomized design with three replications of each dietary treatment group. Initially 10-day-old green turtles (20-22 g body weight) were treated in an indoor aquaculture system for 3 months. The dietary treatment pellets were pre-soaked with 0.3, 0.5 or 0.7 (v/w) relative amounts of water that are here termed soaking ratios. At the end of experiment, there were no significant differences in survival (96% on average) and growth (average body weight 75.34 g and specific growth rate 2%/day, on average) of turtles in three dietary treatments (p > 0.05). Feed utilization was the best in turtles fed with 0.7 pre-soaked ratio, as indicated by significant reductions (p < 0.05) in the feeding rate (7.44% body weight/day) and the feed conversion ratio (1.12 g feed/g gain). Digestion was also improved by the induction of faecal digestive enzymes as well as the faecal thermal properties. The rapid growth did not negatively affect the general haematological parameters of reared turtles. These findings indicate that the pre-soaking of feed pellets at the optimal soaking ratio (1:0.7 w/v of pellet to water) can contribute through improved feed utilization of green turtles.

  8. 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.

  9. Concentrations and distributions of metals in tissues of stranded green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) from the southern Atlantic coast of Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Silva, Cinthia Carneiro; Varela, Antonio Sergio; Barcarolli, Indianara Fernanda; Bianchini, Adalto

    2014-01-01

    Silver (Ag), cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn) concentrations were analyzed in tissues of juvenile green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) found stranded along the southern Atlantic coast in Brazil. Green sea turtles were collected (n=29), measured (curved carapace length: CCL) and had their muscle, liver, and kidney dissected for metal concentration measurements. Sex was identified in 18 individuals (10 females and 8 males) through gonad histology. No gender differences in CCL and tissue metal concentrations were observed. In the muscle, there was a negative correlation between CCL and Cd and Cu concentrations. Metal concentrations were lower in the muscle than in the liver and kidney. Zn concentration in the muscle was the highest of all metals analyzed (16.6 mg/kg). The kidney showed the highest concentrations of Pb, Cd and Zn (5.4, 28.3 and 54.3 mg/kg, respectively), while the liver had the highest values of Ag and Cu (0.8 and 100.9 mg/kg, respectively). Tissue Ag, Zn and Cd concentrations were similar to those found in green sea turtles from other regions while Cu and Pb values were elevated, likely due to the metal-rich water and sediment reported in the collection area. In the liver and kidney, concentrations of non-essential (Ag, Cd and Pb) and essential (Cu or Zn) metals were positively correlated, likely due to an induced metallothionein synthesis to protect tissue against the toxic effect of metals. This is the first study to report and correlate the concentrations of essential and non-essential metals in tissues of green sea turtles in the Brazilian southern Atlantic coast, an important feeding and developing area for this turtle species.

  10. Concentrations and distributions of metals in tissues of stranded green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) from the southern Atlantic coast of Brazil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    da Silva, Cinthia Carneiro [Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências Fisiológicas – Fisiologia Animal Comparada, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande, Av. Itália km 8, 96203-900, Rio Grande, Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil); Varela, Antonio Sergio; Barcarolli, Indianara Fernanda [Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande, Av. Itália km 8, 96203-900, Rio Grande, Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil); Bianchini, Adalto, E-mail: adaltobianchini@furg.br [Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências Fisiológicas – Fisiologia Animal Comparada, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande, Av. Itália km 8, 96203-900, Rio Grande, Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil); Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande, Av. Itália km 8, 96203-900, Rio Grande, Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil)

    2014-01-01

    Silver (Ag), cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn) concentrations were analyzed in tissues of juvenile green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) found stranded along the southern Atlantic coast in Brazil. Green sea turtles were collected (n = 29), measured (curved carapace length: CCL) and had their muscle, liver, and kidney dissected for metal concentration measurements. Sex was identified in 18 individuals (10 females and 8 males) through gonad histology. No gender differences in CCL and tissue metal concentrations were observed. In the muscle, there was a negative correlation between CCL and Cd and Cu concentrations. Metal concentrations were lower in the muscle than in the liver and kidney. Zn concentration in the muscle was the highest of all metals analyzed (16.6 mg/kg). The kidney showed the highest concentrations of Pb, Cd and Zn (5.4, 28.3 and 54.3 mg/kg, respectively), while the liver had the highest values of Ag and Cu (0.8 and 100.9 mg/kg, respectively). Tissue Ag, Zn and Cd concentrations were similar to those found in green sea turtles from other regions while Cu and Pb values were elevated, likely due to the metal-rich water and sediment reported in the collection area. In the liver and kidney, concentrations of non-essential (Ag, Cd and Pb) and essential (Cu or Zn) metals were positively correlated, likely due to an induced metallothionein synthesis to protect tissue against the toxic effect of metals. This is the first study to report and correlate the concentrations of essential and non-essential metals in tissues of green sea turtles in the Brazilian southern Atlantic coast, an important feeding and developing area for this turtle species. - Highlights: •Juvenile female and male green sea turtles have similar concentrations of metals. •Kidney accumulated more Cd, Pb and Zn while liver accumulated more Ag and Cu. •Cu and Pb concentrations are elevated in liver of sea turtles from southern Brazil. •Concentrations of Cd and Cu in

  11. The Effects of Feeding on Hematological and Plasma Biochemical Profiles in Green (Chelonia mydas and Kemp's Ridley (Lepidochelys kempii Sea Turtles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric T. Anderson

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available In mammals, lipemic blood from sampling too soon after an animal feeds can have substantial effects on biochemical values. Plasma biochemical values in reptiles may be affected by species, age, season, and nutritional state. However, fasting status is not routinely considered when sampling reptile blood. In this paper, we evaluated 2-hour postprandial blood collection in two sea turtle species to investigate the effects of feeding on hematological and plasma biochemical values. Feeding had no significant effects on hematological values in either species, nor did it have an effect on plasma biochemistry values in Kemp's ridley sea turtles. In postprandial green turtles, total protein, albumin, ALP, AST, ALT, amylase, and cholesterol increased significantly, and chloride decreased significantly. Although statistically significant changes were observed, the median percent differences between pre- and postprandial values did not exceed 10% for any of these analytes and would not likely alter the clinical interpretation.

  12. The Effects of Feeding on Hematological and Plasma Biochemical Profiles in Green (Chelonia mydas) and Kemp's Ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) Sea Turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Eric T; Minter, Larry J; Clarke, Elsburgh O; Mroch, Raymond M; Beasley, Jean F; Harms, Craig A

    2011-01-01

    In mammals, lipemic blood from sampling too soon after an animal feeds can have substantial effects on biochemical values. Plasma biochemical values in reptiles may be affected by species, age, season, and nutritional state. However, fasting status is not routinely considered when sampling reptile blood. In this paper, we evaluated 2-hour postprandial blood collection in two sea turtle species to investigate the effects of feeding on hematological and plasma biochemical values. Feeding had no significant effects on hematological values in either species, nor did it have an effect on plasma biochemistry values in Kemp's ridley sea turtles. In postprandial green turtles, total protein, albumin, ALP, AST, ALT, amylase, and cholesterol increased significantly, and chloride decreased significantly. Although statistically significant changes were observed, the median percent differences between pre- and postprandial values did not exceed 10% for any of these analytes and would not likely alter the clinical interpretation.

  13. AFLP fragment isolation technique as a method to produce random sequences for single nucleotide polymorphism discovery in the green turtle, Chelonia mydas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roden, Suzanne E; Dutton, Peter H; Morin, Phillip A

    2009-01-01

    The green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas, was used as a case study for single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) discovery in a species that has little genetic sequence information available. As green turtles have a complex population structure, additional nuclear markers other than microsatellites could add to our understanding of their complex life history. Amplified fragment length polymorphism technique was used to generate sets of random fragments of genomic DNA, which were then electrophoretically separated with precast gels, stained with SYBR green, excised, and directly sequenced. It was possible to perform this method without the use of polyacrylamide gels, radioactive or fluorescent labeled primers, or hybridization methods, reducing the time, expense, and safety hazards of SNP discovery. Within 13 loci, 2547 base pairs were screened, resulting in the discovery of 35 SNPs. Using this method, it was possible to yield a sufficient number of loci to screen for SNP markers without the availability of prior sequence information.

  14. Hazards in hanging gardens: A report on failures of recognition by green turtles and their conservation implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Carvalho-Souza, Gustavo Freire; de A Miranda, Daniele; Pataro, Luciano

    2016-04-15

    Marine species are experiencing unprecedented global impacts due to anthropogenic debris. Many recent studies have pointed out the hazards associated with marine litter ingestion, especially plastic debris - the most abundant and ubiquitous items in coastal and oceanic environments worldwide. In this study we provide the first in situ evidence of consumption of non-discarded synthetic rope fragments by green turtles. We explored the environmental risks to this endangered species associated with the grazing and consumption of anthropogenic debris in zones of human activity. Efforts to combat debris ingestion and reduce anthropogenic debris discharged into the world's oceans should be a priority for decision-makers and will need to involve multiple-approaches and the adoption of more environmentally friendly products and practices by the international community.

  15. 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.

  16. Organohalogen contaminants in blood of Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) and green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) from the Gulf of Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swarthout, Robert F; Keller, Jennifer M; Peden-Adams, Margie; Landry, Andre M; Fair, Patricia A; Kucklick, John R

    2010-02-01

    The threat that exposure to organohalogen (OH) contaminants poses to endangered populations of Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) and green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) is not well understood, partly because few OH data are available. Blood samples from live juvenile and sub-adult L. kempii (n = 46) and C. mydas (n = 9) from the Gulf of Mexico and from L. kempii from the southeastern US coast (n = 3) were extracted using microwave-assisted extraction, and analyzed by large volume injection gas chromatography-mass spectrometry for 85 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), 25 organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and 27 polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). Plasma chemistries, hematology and immune responses were also assessed. Concentrations of SigmaPCBs (geometric mean, range: 3190 pg g(-1), 227-21590 pg g(-1) blood), SigmaDDTs (geometric mean, range: 541 pg g(-1), 161-4310 pg g(-1) blood) and OCPs in L. kempii from the Gulf were comparable to those reported in L. kempii from the Atlantic. SigmaPBDEs were detected in all samples (geometric mean, range: 146 pg g(-1), 19.5-1450 pg g(-1) blood), with PBDE 47, 99, 100, 153 and 154 being the predominant congeners. SigmaPCBs, SigmaDDTs and Sigmachlordanes were one order of magnitude lower in green turtles, and SigmaPBDE concentrations were lower by half due to trophic level differences. L. kempii from the southeast USA had higher percentages of highly chlorinated PCBs indicating exposure to Aroclor 1268. Blood urea nitrogen was positively correlated to Sigmachlordanes, and SigmaPCBs were inversely correlated to creatine phosphokinase in L. kempii. These data help establish baseline contaminant concentrations in live L. kempii and C. mydas.

  17. A review of the nest protection hypothesis: does inclusion of fresh green plant material in birds' nests reduce parasite infestation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott-Baumann, James F; Morgan, Eric R

    2015-07-01

    The use of aromatic plants and their essential oils for ectoparasite treatment is a field of growing interest. Several species of birds regularly introduce aromatic herbs into their nests putatively to reduce parasites. The behaviour is most often seen in cavity nesting birds and after nest building has finished. The plants are included in a non-structural manner and are often strongly aromatic. Various different hypotheses have been proposed regarding the function of this behaviour; from the plants altering some non-living factor in the nest (crypsis, water loss and insulation hypotheses) to them being involved in mate selection (mate hypothesis) or even having a beneficial effect, direct or indirect, on chicks (drug or nest protection hypothesis, NPH). Many studies have been carried out over the years observing and experimentally testing these hypotheses. This review focuses on studies involving the most popular of these hypotheses, the NPH: that plants decrease nest parasites or pathogens, thereby conveying positive effects to the chicks, allowing the behaviour to evolve. Studies providing observational evidence towards this hypothesis and those experimentally testing it are discussed.

  18. Occurrence of organochlorines in the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) on the northern coast of the state of São Paulo, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Silva, Josilene; Taniguchi, Satie; Becker, José Henrique; Werneck, Max Rondon; Montone, Rosalinda Carmela

    2016-11-15

    Organochlorines (OCs), such as pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), are persistent, toxic and widely distributed through atmospheric transport and ocean currents. Few studies have been conducted on OCs in sea turtles, especially on the coast of Brazil. Chelonia mydas is the largest hard-shell sea turtle and is found tropical and subtropical regions in all oceans. The aim of the present study was to determine the occurrence of OCs in the green sea turtle (C. mydas). Fat, liver, kidney and muscle samples were collected from 27 juveniles found on the beach of the city of Ubatuba on the northern coast of the state of São Paulo, Brazil. OCs were extracted with organic solvents and the extract was purified with concentrated acid. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and electron capture detection were used for the identification and quantification of PCBs and pesticides, respectively. No organochlorine pesticides were detected in any of the samples. Concentrations of total PCBs in wet weight were <1.6 to 48.9ng/g in fat tissue, <1.6 to 17.4ng/g in liver tissue and <1.6 to 37.7ng/g in kidney tissue. The low levels found are mainly related to diet, as the green sea turtle is basically herbivorous and lower PCB contamination compared to other regions.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Identification of a small, naked virus in tumor-like aggregates in cell lines derived from a green turtle, Chelonia mydas, with fibropapillomas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Y.; Aguirre, A.A.; Work, T.M.; Balazs, G.H.; Nerurkar, V.R.; Yanagihara, R.

    2000-01-01

    Serial cultivation of cell lines derived from lung, testis, periorbital and tumor tissues of a green turtle (Chelonia mydas) with fibropapillomas resulted in the in vitro formation of tumor-like cell aggregates, ranging in size from 0.5 to 2.0 mm in diameter. Successful induction of tumor-like aggregates was achieved in a cell line derived from lung tissue of healthy green turtles, following inoculation with cell-free media from these tumor-bearing cell lines, suggesting the presence of a transmissible agent. Thin-section electron microscopy of the cell aggregates revealed massive collagen deposits and intranuclear naked viral particles, measuring 50??5 nm in diameter. These findings, together with the morphological similarity between these tumor-like cell aggregates and the naturally occurring tumor, suggest a possible association between this novel virus and the disease. Further characterization of this small naked virus will clarify its role in etiology of green turtle fibropapilloma, a life-threatening disease of this endangered marine species. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

  4. Nesting ecology of Chelonia mydas Testudines: Cheloniidae on the Guanahacabibes Peninsula, Cuba

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia Azanza Ricardo

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The nesting colony of green sea turtles Chelonia mydas at Guanahacabibes Peninsula Biosphere Reserve and National Park is one of the largest in the Cuban archipelago; however, little information about its nesting ecology is available. Temporal and spatial variation in nesting and reproductive success as well as morphometric characteristics of gravid females were used to ecologically characterize this colony. Nine beaches of the Southernmost coast of Guanahacabibes Peninsula were monitored for 14 years 1998-2012 to determine green turtle nesting activity, from May to September peak nesting season in this area. Beach dimensions were measured to determine nest density using the length and the area. Afterward the beaches were divided in two categories, index and secondary. Females were measured and tagged to compare new tagged females 823 with returning tagged females 140. Remigration interval was also determined. Temporal variation was identified as the annual number of nesting emergences and oviposits per female, with apparent peaks in reproductive activity on a biennial cycle in the first six years followed by periods of annual increase in nest number 2003-2008 and periods of decreasing number of nests 2010-2012. We also found intra-seasonal variation with the highest nesting activity in July, particularly in the second half of the month. The peak emergence time was 22:00-02:00hr. In terms of spatial variation, smaller beaches had the highest nest density and nesting was more frequent 6-9m from the high tide line, where hatchling production was maximized although hatchling success was high on average, above 80. Morphometric analysis of females was made and newly tagged turtles were smaller on average than remigrants. Our results are only a first attempt at characterizing Guanahacabibes populations but have great value for establishing conservation priorities within the context of national management plans, and for efficient monitoring and

  5. Nesting ecology of Chelonia mydas (Testudines: Cheloniidae) on the Guanahacabibes Peninsula, Cuba.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azanza Ricardo, Julia; Ibarra Martín, Maria E; González Sansón, Gaspar; Abreu Grobois, F Alberto; Eckert, Karen L; Espinosa López, Georgina; Oyama, Ken

    2013-12-01

    The nesting colony of green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) at Guanahacabibes Peninsula Biosphere Reserve and National Park is one of the largest in the Cuban archipelago; however, little information about its nesting ecology is available. Temporal and spatial variation in nesting and reproductive success as well as morphometric characteristics of gravid females were used to ecologically characterize this colony. Nine beaches of the Southernmost coast of Guanahacabibes Peninsula were monitored for 14 years (1998-2012) to determine green turtle nesting activity, from May to September (peak nesting season in this area). Beach dimensions were measured to determine nest density using the length and the area. Afterward the beaches were divided in two categories, index and secondary. Females were measured and tagged to compare new tagged females (823) with returning tagged females (140). Remigration interval was also determined. Temporal variation was identified as the annual number of nesting emergences and oviposits per female, with apparent peaks in reproductive activity on a biennial cycle in the first six years followed by periods of annual increase in nest number (2003-2008) and periods of decreasing number of nests (2010-2012). We also found intra-seasonal variation with the highest nesting activity in July, particularly in the second half of the month. The peak emergence time was 22:00-02:00 hr. In terms of spatial variation, smaller beaches had the highest nest density and nesting was more frequent 6-9m from the high tide line, where hatchling production was maximized although hatchling success was high on average, above 80%. Morphometric analysis of females was made and newly tagged turtles were smaller on average than remigrants. Our results are only a first attempt at characterizing Guanahacabibes' populations but have great value for establishing conservation priorities within the context of national management plans, and for efficient monitoring and protection

  6. Identification of CD3+ T lymphocytes in the green turtle Chelonia mydas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz, Fernando A; Estrada-Parra, Sergio; Romero-Rojas, Andres; Work, Thierry M; Gonzalez-Ballesteros, Erik; Estrada-Garcia, Iris

    2009-10-15

    To understand the role of the immune system with respect to disease in reptiles, there is the need to develop tools to assess the host's immune response. An important tool is the development of molecular markers to identify immune cells, and these are limited for reptiles. We developed a technique for the cryopreservation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells and showed that a commercially available anti-CD3 epsilon chain antibody detects a subpopulation of CD3 positive peripheral blood lymphocytes in the marine turtle Chelonia mydas. In the thymus and in skin inoculated with phytohemagglutinin, the same antibody showed the classical staining pattern observed in mammals and birds. For Western blot, the anti-CD3 antibodies identified a 17.6k Da band in membrane proteins of peripheral blood mononuclear cell compatible in weight to previously described CD3 molecules. This is the first demonstration of CD3+ cells in reptiles using specific antibodies.

  7. Annual abundance of salps and doliolids (Tunicata around Gorgona Island (Colombian Pacific, and their importance as potential food for green sea turtles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Sampson

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Gorgona National Park protects fertile waters that support large vertebrates, including green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas, and for them, gelatinous zooplankton constitute a food resource that can be found year-round in Gorgona Island´s coastal waters. This study was carried out to determine the abundance of salps and doliolids around Gorgona Island over a year, and to determine whether this is a resource that could be used reliably year-round by green turtles and other large plankton-feeding predators. The monthly abundance of salps and doliolids at eight coastal stations around Gorgona Island (Colombian Pacific was determined between September 2005 and August 2006. Oblique tows were carried out from 50m to the surface, total zooplankton biomass was measured and the number of salps and doliolids per tow, and frequency of occurrence per station and month were determined. Superficial and bottom sea temperature, superficial and bottom salinity, and chlorophyll-a concentration were recorded at each station. There were tunicate abundance peaks in September 2005 and March 2006. The high abundances in March were probably due to a cold water intrusion into the study area, which resulted in colder saltier water and a shallower thermocline. Tunicates were probably advected to the area by currents from the southwest and aggregated due to the underwater topography. In September, the influence of continental river discharge as well as inputs from rainfall over the island could have provided increased nutrients and resulted in higher abundances. The large filter-feeding vertebrates that feed on tunicates include green sea turtle juveniles, which use coastal waters of Gorgona Island as feeding grounds, as part of their migration route in the Eastern Tropical Pacific. These turtles could be using tunicates opportunistically, as a sporadic resource that is available at certain times of the year. Rev. Biol. Trop. 62 (Suppl. 1: 149-159. Epub 2014 February 01.

  8. Aspectos de comportamento alimentar e dieta da tartaruga marinha, Chelonia mydas no litoral norte paulista Some aspects on feeding behaviour of the green turtle, Chelonia mydas, in the northern littoral of State of São Paulo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan Sazima

    1983-01-01

    Full Text Available Feeding behavior of immature green turtles, Chelonia mydas, has been observed on rocky shores along the northern part of State of São Paulo, southeastern Brazil. This turtle forages on underwater ledges, at depths of 1 to 3 m and grazes on benthic algae. The turtle seems to visually scan the algae during feeding and moves slowly, walking from one patch of vegetation to another. Gut contents of four individuals (331-452 mmCCL consisted mainly of red and brown algae. Comparisons between gut contents and algae growing at the grazing sites, together with scanning behavior suggest selective feeding. Syntopic large herbivorous fishes of the genera Kyphosus, Sparisma, and Acanthurus showed little feeding overlap with the green turtle.

  9. Impact of jaguar Panthera onca (Carnivora: Felidae) predation on marine turtle populations in Tortuguero, Caribbean coast of Costa Rica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arroyo-Arce, Stephanny; Salom-Pérez, Roberto

    2015-09-01

    Little is known about the effects of jaguars on the population of marine turtles nesting in Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica. This study assessed jaguar predation impact on three species of marine turtles (Chelonia mydas, Dermochelys coriacea and Eretmochelys imbricata) that nest in Tortuguero beach. Jaguar predation data was obtained by using two methodologies, literature review (historical records prior the year 2005) and weekly surveys along the 29 km stretch of beach during the period 2005-2013. Our results indicated that jaguar predation has increased from one marine turtle in 1981 to 198 in 2013. Jaguars consumed annually an average of 120 (SD = 45) and 2 (SD = 3) green turtles and leatherbacks in Tortuguero beach, respectively. Based on our results we concluded that jaguars do not represent a threat to the population of green turtles that nest in Tortuguero beach, and it is not the main cause for population decline for leatherbacks and hawksbills. Future research should focus on continuing to monitor this predator-prey relationship as well as the factors that influence it so the proper management decisions can be taken.

  10. Growth-related changes in histology and immunolocalization of steroid hormone receptors in gonads of the immature male green turtle (Chelonia mydas).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otsuka, Saori; Suzuki, Masatsugu; Kamezaki, Naoki; Shima, Tatsuya; Wakatsuki, Motoki; Kon, Yasuhiro; Ohtaishi, Noriyuki

    2008-03-01

    Studies on the population dynamics of sea turtles require histological evaluation of the ontogenetic development and the activity of the gonads for reproduction. To investigate the growth-related changes of gonads in the immature male green turtle (Chelonia mydas), the histological changes of testes and epididymides and the localization of the androgen receptor, estrogen receptor alpha, estrogen receptor beta, and progesterone receptor were examined. The testes were categorized histologically into six developmental stages, and a scarce relationship between straight carapace length and gonadal development was confirmed based on the histological analysis. Several kinds of steroid hormone receptors were examined to show distributions in both testes and epididymides, for which their immunoreactivities were enhanced according to the developmental stage of the testes. These results suggest that straight carapace length is not an adequate indicator of maturity determination, whereas histological and immunohistochemical evaluations are useful in identifying the growth stages of green turtles, owing to the higher sensitivity to steroid hormones that appear during growth.

  11. Chelonid herpesvirus 5 in secretions and tumor tissues from green turtles (Chelonia mydas) from Southeastern Brazil: A ten-year study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monezi, Telma A; Mehnert, Dolores U; de Moura, Elisabeth M M; Müller, Natascha M G; Garrafa, Patrícia; Matushima, Eliana R; Werneck, Max R; Borella, Maria I

    2016-04-15

    Fibropapillomatosis (FP), a neoplastic disease characterized by the formation of multiple tumors affecting different species of sea turtles and, most often, the green turtle (Chelonia mydas), is considered one of the major threats to the survival of this species. Recent studies indicate that Chelonid herpesvirus (ChHV5) is the etiological agent of this disease, though its association with anthropogenically altered environments and the immune status of these animals also appears to contribute to disease expression and tumor formation. In this study, tumor biopsy and secretions from green turtles captured off the coast of São Paulo State, Brazil, were used in histological and molecular analyses to detect and characterize circulating ChHV5. In 40.9% of cases, the tumor histopathological findings revealed focal ballooning degeneration with intranuclear inclusion bodies, results which are suggestive of viral infection. ChHV5 was detected using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on the animals' skin, ocular tumor biopsies, and ocular and oral secretions. The analysis of the detected ChHV5 sequences revealed two distinct genetic sequences together. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that Brazilian samples were similar to ChHV5 samples described for the Atlantic phylogeographic group and are therefore part of the same clade as the Gulf of Guinea and Puerto Rico samples. This similarity suggests a possible flow of the virus between these three regions.

  12. Presence of chelonid fibropapilloma-associated herpesvirus in tumored and non-tumored green turtles, as detected by polymerase chain reaction, in endemic and non-endemic aggregations, Puerto Rico

    OpenAIRE

    Page-Karjian, Annie; Torres, Fernando; Zhang, Jian; Rivera, Samuel; Diez, Carlos; Moore, Phillip A; Moore, Debra; Brown, Corrie

    2012-01-01

    Fibropapillomatosis (FP), a transmissible neoplastic disease of marine turtles characterized by a likely herpesviral primary etiology, has emerged as an important disease in green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) over the past three decades. The objectives of this study were to determine the suitability of three different chelonid fibropapilloma-associated herpesvirus (CFPHV) gene targets in polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays of affected tissues; to explore the presence of CFPHV in non-affect...

  13. Swimming for your life: locomotor effort and oxygen consumption during the green turtle (Chelonia mydas) hatchling frenzy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Booth, David T

    2009-01-01

    Swimming effort and oxygen consumption of newly emerged green turtle Chelonia mydas hatchlings was measured simultaneously and continuously for the first 18 h of swimming after hatchlings entered the water. Oxygen consumption was tightly correlated to swimming effort during the first 12 h of swimming indicating that swimming is powered predominantly by aerobic metabolism. The patterns of swimming effort and oxygen consumption could be divided into three distinct phases: (1) the rapid fatigue phase from 0 to 2 h when the mean swim thrust decreased from 45 to 30 mN and oxygen consumption decreased from 33 to 18 ml h(-1); (2) the slow fatigue phase from 2 to 12 h when the mean swim thrust decreased from 30 to 22 mN and oxygen consumption decreased from 18 to 10 ml h(-1); and (3) the sustained effort phase from 12 to 18 h when mean swim thrust averaged 22 mN and oxygen consumption averaged 10 ml h(-1). The decrease in mean swim thrust was caused by a combination of a decrease in front flipper stroke rate during a power stroking bout, a decrease in mean maximum thrust during a power stroking bout and a decrease in the proportion of time spent power stroking. Hence hatchlings maximise their swimming thrust as soon as they enter the water, a time when a fast swimming speed will maximise the chance of surviving the gauntlet of predators inhabiting the shallow fringing reef before reaching the relative safety of deeper water.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. Sea turtles nesting in Surinam

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schulz, J.P.

    1975-01-01

    PREFACE The first manuscript for this book originated in 1970 in the form of a revised translation of 'Zeeschildpadden in Suriname,, a mimeographed report written primarily for internal use. This English version was of the same hybrid nature as the Dutch booklet, which was meant to be a comprehensiv

  19. Sea turtles nesting in Surinam

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schulz, J.P.

    1975-01-01

    PREFACE The first manuscript for this book originated in 1970 in the form of a revised translation of 'Zeeschildpadden in Suriname,, a mimeographed report written primarily for internal use. This English version was of the same hybrid nature as the Dutch booklet, which was meant to be a comprehensiv

  20. Impact of jaguar Panthera onca(Carnívora: Felidae predation on marine turtle populations in Tortuguero, Caribbean coast of Costa Rica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanny Arroyo-Arce

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Little is known about the effects of jaguars on the population of marine turtles nesting in Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica. This study assessed jaguar predation impact on three species of marine turtles (Chelonia mydas, Dermochelys coriáceaand Eretmochelys imbricatathat nest in Tortuguero beach. Jaguar predation data was obtained by using two methodologies, literature review (historical records prior the year 2005 and weekly surveys along the 29 km stretch of beach during the period 2005-2013. Our results indicated that jaguar predation has increased from one marine turtle in 1981 to 198 in 2013. Jaguars consumed annually an average of 120 (SD= 45 and 2 (SD= 3 green turtles and leatherbacks in Tortuguero beach, respectively. Based on our results we concluded that jaguars do not represent a threat to the population of green turtles that nest in Tortuguero beach, and it is not the main cause for population decline for leatherbacks and hawksbills. Future research should focus on continuing to monitor this predator-prey relationship as well as the factors that influence it so the proper management decisions can be taken.

  1. Kinematics of swimming and thrust production during powerstroking bouts of the swim frenzy in green turtle hatchlings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David T. Booth

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Hatchling sea turtles emerge from nests, crawl down the beach and enter the sea where they typically enter a stereotypical hyperactive swimming frenzy. During this swim the front flippers are moved up and down in a flapping motion and are the primary source of thrust production. I used high-speed video linked with simultaneous measurement of thrust production in tethered hatchlings, along with high-speed video of free swimming hatchlings swimming at different water speeds in a swim flume to investigate the links between kinematics of front flipper movement, thrust production and swimming speed. In particular I tested the hypotheses that (1 increased swimming speed is achieved through an increased stroke rate; (2 force produced per stroke is proportional to stroke amplitude, (3 that forward thrust is produced during both the down and up phases of stroking; and (4 that peak thrust is produced towards the end of the downstroke cycle. Front flipper stroke rate was independent of water speed refuting the hypothesis that swimming speed is increased by increasing stroke rate. Instead differences in swimming speed were caused by a combination of varying flipper amplitude and the proportion of time spent powerstroking. Peak thrust produced per stroke varied within and between bouts of powerstroking, and these peaks in thrust were correlated with both flipper amplitude and flipper angular momentum during the downstroke supporting the hypothesis that stroke force is a function of stroke amplitude. Two distinct thrust production patterns were identified, monophasic in which a single peak in thrust was recorded during the later stages of the downstroke, and biphasic in which a small peak in thrust was recorded at the very end of the upstroke and this followed by a large peak in thrust during the later stages of the downstroke. The biphasic cycle occurs in ∼20% of hatchlings when they first started swimming, but disappeared after one to two hours of

  2. Kinematics of swimming and thrust production during powerstroking bouts of the swim frenzy in green turtle hatchlings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Booth, David T

    2014-09-04

    Hatchling sea turtles emerge from nests, crawl down the beach and enter the sea where they typically enter a stereotypical hyperactive swimming frenzy. During this swim the front flippers are moved up and down in a flapping motion and are the primary source of thrust production. I used high-speed video linked with simultaneous measurement of thrust production in tethered hatchlings, along with high-speed video of free swimming hatchlings swimming at different water speeds in a swim flume to investigate the links between kinematics of front flipper movement, thrust production and swimming speed. In particular I tested the hypotheses that (1) increased swimming speed is achieved through an increased stroke rate; (2) force produced per stroke is proportional to stroke amplitude, (3) that forward thrust is produced during both the down and up phases of stroking; and (4) that peak thrust is produced towards the end of the downstroke cycle. Front flipper stroke rate was independent of water speed refuting the hypothesis that swimming speed is increased by increasing stroke rate. Instead differences in swimming speed were caused by a combination of varying flipper amplitude and the proportion of time spent powerstroking. Peak thrust produced per stroke varied within and between bouts of powerstroking, and these peaks in thrust were correlated with both flipper amplitude and flipper angular momentum during the downstroke supporting the hypothesis that stroke force is a function of stroke amplitude. Two distinct thrust production patterns were identified, monophasic in which a single peak in thrust was recorded during the later stages of the downstroke, and biphasic in which a small peak in thrust was recorded at the very end of the upstroke and this followed by a large peak in thrust during the later stages of the downstroke. The biphasic cycle occurs in ∼20% of hatchlings when they first started swimming, but disappeared after one to two hours of swimming. The

  3. 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.

  4. Habitat collapse due to overgrazing threatens turtle conservation in marine protected areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christianen, Marjolijn J A; Herman, Peter M J; Bouma, Tjeerd J; Lamers, Leon P M; van Katwijk, Marieke M; van der Heide, Tjisse; Mumby, Peter J; Silliman, Brian R; Engelhard, Sarah L; van de Kerk, Madelon; Kiswara, Wawan; van de Koppel, Johan

    2014-02-22

    Marine protected areas (MPAs) are key tools for combatting the global overexploitation of endangered species. The prevailing paradigm is that MPAs are beneficial in helping to restore ecosystems to more 'natural' conditions. However, MPAs may have unintended negative effects when increasing densities of protected species exert destructive effects on their habitat. Here, we report on severe seagrass degradation in a decade-old MPA where hyper-abundant green turtles adopted a previously undescribed below-ground foraging strategy. By digging for and consuming rhizomes and roots, turtles create abundant bare gaps, thereby enhancing erosion and reducing seagrass regrowth. A fully parametrized model reveals that the ecosystem is approaching a tipping point, where consumption overwhelms regrowth, which could potentially lead to complete collapse of the seagrass habitat. Seagrass recovery will not ensue unless turtle density is reduced to nearly zero, eliminating the MPA's value as a turtle reserve. Our results reveal an unrecognized, yet imminent threat to MPAs, as sea turtle densities are increasing at major nesting sites and the decline of seagrass habitat forces turtles to concentrate on the remaining meadows inside reserves. This emphasizes the need for policy and management approaches that consider the interactions of protected species with their habitat.

  5. Development of a Humane Slaughter Device for Green Turtles for Use by Traditional Owners in the Torres Strait Islands, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flint, Mark; Mills, Paul C; Loban, Frank; Simpson, Tristan; Lui, Stan; Fujii, Ronald; Whap, Don; Flint, Jaylene B; Owen, Helen

    2017-01-01

    Marine turtles are caught and slaughtered for consumption as part of traditional indigenous community harvest in Australia as well as in many countries in which marine turtles can be found. However, changes to the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 in 2012 resulted in Australian indigenous hunters becoming potentially liable to prosecution for using traditional practices to slaughter marine turtles. To provide indigenous hunters with an alternative scientifically tested method to hunt, we developed and tested a humane method as an option to use in indigenous communities. Between 2012 and 2015, a device was developed, tested on 11 carcasses to determine effectiveness and repeatability, used on 5 anaesthetised animals independently diagnosed as candidates for euthanasia, and ultimately used on 2 healthy, conscious animals as part of normal indigenous community subsistence harvesting under observation before being left with the communities for use. Feedback was sought from the communities on the suitability and potential adoption of the device. The device effectively ablated the hind brain and severed the spinal cord when deployed in 81% (9/11) of the tested carcasses, with death in 100% (5/5) of turtles, on average, within 78 seconds of deployment on anaesthetised turtles and death in 100% (2/2) of turtles, on average, within 144 seconds when deployed on healthy turtles within community. Failure to ablate the hindbrain and sever the spinal cord in the cadaver cases was due to incorrect deployment of the device. This device showed promise as an alternative euthanasia method available to indigenous communities of the Torres Straits. Further work is required to encourage acceptance by hunters.

  6. Development of a Humane Slaughter Device for Green Turtles for Use by Traditional Owners in the Torres Strait Islands, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flint, Mark; Mills, Paul C.; Loban, Frank; Simpson, Tristan; Lui, Stan; Fujii, Ronald; Whap, Don; Flint, Jaylene B.; Owen, Helen

    2017-01-01

    Marine turtles are caught and slaughtered for consumption as part of traditional indigenous community harvest in Australia as well as in many countries in which marine turtles can be found. However, changes to the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 in 2012 resulted in Australian indigenous hunters becoming potentially liable to prosecution for using traditional practices to slaughter marine turtles. To provide indigenous hunters with an alternative scientifically tested method to hunt, we developed and tested a humane method as an option to use in indigenous communities. Between 2012 and 2015, a device was developed, tested on 11 carcasses to determine effectiveness and repeatability, used on 5 anaesthetised animals independently diagnosed as candidates for euthanasia, and ultimately used on 2 healthy, conscious animals as part of normal indigenous community subsistence harvesting under observation before being left with the communities for use. Feedback was sought from the communities on the suitability and potential adoption of the device. The device effectively ablated the hind brain and severed the spinal cord when deployed in 81% (9/11) of the tested carcasses, with death in 100% (5/5) of turtles, on average, within 78 seconds of deployment on anaesthetised turtles and death in 100% (2/2) of turtles, on average, within 144 seconds when deployed on healthy turtles within community. Failure to ablate the hindbrain and sever the spinal cord in the cadaver cases was due to incorrect deployment of the device. This device showed promise as an alternative euthanasia method available to indigenous communities of the Torres Straits. Further work is required to encourage acceptance by hunters. PMID:28076432

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Cryptosporidium sp. infections in green turtles, Chelonia mydas, as a potential source of marine waterborne oocysts in the Hawaiian Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graczyk, T.K.; Balazs, G.H.; Work, T.M.; Aguirre, A.A.; Ellis, D.M.; Murakawa, Shawn K. K.; Morris, Robert

    1997-01-01

    For the first time, Cryptosporidium sp. oocysts were identified in fecal and intestinal samples from free-ranging marine turtles, Chelonia mydas, from the Hawaiian Islands. The oocysts produced positive reactions with commercial test kits recommended for the detection of human-infectious waterborne oocysts of Cryptosporidium parvum.

  11. Green turtle head trauma with intracerebral hemorrhage: image diagnosis and treatment Traumatismo craniano com hemorragia intracerebral em tartaruga verde: diagnóstico por imagem e tratamento

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daphne Wrobel Goldberg

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Sea turtles are threatened to the point of extinction. The major goal of rehabilitating injured individuals is to eventually reintroduce them back into their habitat. Sea turtles are vulnerable to anthropogenic effects, and impact traumas are a common cause of death among these animals. Carapace and skull fractures are usually related to vessel collisions or propeller impacts. However, intentional traumas inflicted by humans are also considered as a potential threat. The purpose of this article is to describe the diagnosis and rehabilitation procedures of a juvenile green turtle (Chelonia mydas after severe head trauma with brain hemorrhage. The data presented here can be used as a reference for future cases of head trauma in chelonians.Tartarugas marinhas são animais ameaçados de extinção. Por isso, o principal objetivo em reabilitar indivíduos feridos é posteriormente reintroduzi-los em seu habitat. Quelônios marinhos apresentam grande vulnerabilidade a efeitos antropogênicos, e a ocorrência de traumatismos impactantes constituem uma importante causa de óbitos entre esses animais. Fraturas de carapaça e crânio estão normalmente associadas a colisões por embarcações. No entanto, lesões intencionais provocadas por humanos também podem ser consideradas ameaças em potencial. O objetivo deste estudo é descrever o diagnóstico e a reabilitação de um indivíduo jovem de tartaruga verde (C. mydas após traumatismo craniano severo com hemorragia cerebral. Os dados apresentados poderão ser utilizados como referências para casos futuros de traumatismos afetando a região da cabeça de quelônios.

  12. Analysing persistent organic pollutants in eggs, blood and tissue of the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) using gas chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    van de Merwe, Jason Paul; Hodge, Mary; Whittier, Joan Margaret; Lee, Shing Yip

    2009-03-01

    Investigation into persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in sea turtles is an important area of conservation research due to the harmful effects of these chemicals. However, the analysis of POPs in the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) has been limited by methods with relatively high limits of detection and high costs associated with multiple sample injections into complex arrangements of analytical equipment. The present study aimed to develop a method that could detect a large number of POPs in the blood, eggs and tissue of C. mydas at trace concentrations. A gas chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS) method was developed that could report 125 POP compounds to a limit of detection of <35 pg g(-1) using a single sample injection. The recoveries of internal standards ranged from 30% to 96%, and the standard reference materials were reported to within 70% of the certified values. The coefficient of variation of ten replicates of pooled egg sample was <20% for all compounds, indicating low within-run variation. This GC-MS/MS method is an improvement of previous methods for analysing POPs in C. mydas in that more compounds can be reported at lower concentrations and the accuracy and precision of the method are sound. This is particularly important for C. mydas as they occupy a low trophic level and have lower concentrations of POPs. This method is also simple to set up, and there are minimal differences in sample preparation for the different tissue types.

  13. Analysing persistent organic pollutants in eggs, blood and tissue of the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) using gas chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Merwe, Jason Paul van de; Lee, Shing Yip [Griffith University, Griffith School of Environment and Australian Rivers Institute, Gold Coast, QLD (Australia); Hodge, Mary [Queensland Health Scientific Services, Queensland Government, Coopers Plains, QLD (Australia); Whittier, Joan Margaret [Univ. of Queensland, St. Lucia (Australia). School of Biomedical Sciences

    2009-03-15

    Investigation into persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in sea turtles is an important area of conservation research due to the harmful effects of these chemicals. However, the analysis of POPs in the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) has been limited by methods with relatively high limits of detection and high costs associated with multiple sample injections into complex arrangements of analytical equipment. The present study aimed to develop a method that could detect a large number of POPs in the blood, eggs and tissue of C. mydas at trace concentrations. A gas chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS) method was developed that could report 125 POP compounds to a limit of detection of <35 pg g{sup -1} using a single sample injection. The recoveries of internal standards ranged from 30% to 96%, and the standard reference materials were reported to within 70% of the certified values. The coefficient of variation of ten replicates of pooled egg sample was <20% for all compounds, indicating low within-run variation. This GC-MS/MS method is an improvement of previous methods for analysing POPs in C. mydas in that more compounds can be reported at lower concentrations and the accuracy and precision of the method are sound. This is particularly important for C. mydas as they occupy a low trophic level and have lower concentrations of POPs. This method is also simple to set up, and there are minimal differences in sample preparation for the different tissue types. (orig.)

  14. Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) foraging at Arvoredo Island in Southern Brazil: Genetic characterization and mixed stock analysis through mtDNA control region haplotypes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    We analyzed mtDNA control region sequences of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) from Arvoredo Island, a foraging ground in southern Brazil, and identified eight haplotypes. Of these, CM-A8 (64%) and CM-A5 (22%) were dominant, the remainder presenting low frequencies (Rocas/Noronha, in Brazil (p > 0.05). Mixed Stock Analysis, incorporating eleven Atlantic and one Mediterranean rookery as possible sources of individuals, indicated Ascension and Aves islands as the main contributing stocks to the Arvoredo aggregation (68.01% and 22.96%, respectively). These results demonstrate the extensive relationships between Arvoredo Island and other Atlantic foraging and breeding areas. Such an understanding provides a framework for establishing adequate management and conservation strategies for this endangered species. PMID:21637527

  15. Ultrastructural study of the spermatozoon of the digenean Enodiotrema reductum Looss, 1901 (Platyhelminthes, Plagiorchioidea, Plagiorchiidae), parasite of the green turtle Chelonia mydas (Linnaeus, 1758) in Senegal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ndiaye, Papa Ibnou; Quilichini, Yann; Sène, Aminata; Tkach, Vasyl V; Bâ, Cheikh Tidiane; Marchand, Bernard

    2012-08-01

    This study describes the ultrastructural organisation of the spermatozoon of a digenean Enodiotrema reductum (Pligiorchiida: Plagiorchiidae) from the green turtle Chelonia mydas (Linnaeus, 1758). This is the first report of E. reductum from Senegal. The mature spermatozoon of E. reductum is filiform and exhibits two axonemes of the 9 + "1" pattern of the Trepaxonemata, a nucleus, parallel cortical microtubules, an extramembranar ornamentation associated with spine-like bodies and granules of glycogen, among other ultrastructural features. The spermatozoon of E. reductum is distinguished by the presence of a moniliform mitochondrion composed of a bulge associated with a long cord and of a central cytoplasmic expansion. This work represents the first utrastructural study of any representative of the large family Plagiorchiidae. Our results are compared with previously published data on spermatozoa of other digenean taxa.

  16. Green turtles (Chelonia mydas foraging at Arvoredo Island in Southern Brazil: genetic characterization and mixed stock analysis through mtDNA control region haplotypes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maíra Carneiro Proietti

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available We analyzed mtDNA control region sequences of green turtles (Chelonia mydas from Arvoredo Island, a foraging ground in southern Brazil, and identified eight haplotypes. Of these, CM-A8 (64% and CM-A5 (22% were dominant, the remainder presenting low frequencies ( 0.05. Mixed Stock Analysis, incorporating eleven Atlantic and one Mediterranean rookery as possible sources of individuals, indicated Ascension and Aves islands as the main contributing stocks to the Arvoredo aggregation (68.01% and 22.96%, respectively. These results demonstrate the extensive relationships between Arvoredo Island and other Atlantic foraging and breeding areas. Such an understanding provides a framework for establishing adequate management and conservation strategies for this endangered species.

  17. Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) foraging at Arvoredo Island in Southern Brazil: Genetic characterization and mixed stock analysis through mtDNA control region haplotypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proietti, Maíra Carneiro; Lara-Ruiz, Paula; Reisser, Júlia Wiener; da Silva Pinto, Luciano; Dellagostin, Odir Antonio; Marins, Luis Fernando

    2009-07-01

    We analyzed mtDNA control region sequences of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) from Arvoredo Island, a foraging ground in southern Brazil, and identified eight haplotypes. Of these, CM-A8 (64%) and CM-A5 (22%) were dominant, the remainder presenting low frequencies ( 0.05). Mixed Stock Analysis, incorporating eleven Atlantic and one Mediterranean rookery as possible sources of individuals, indicated Ascension and Aves islands as the main contributing stocks to the Arvoredo aggregation (68.01% and 22.96%, respectively). These results demonstrate the extensive relationships between Arvoredo Island and other Atlantic foraging and breeding areas. Such an understanding provides a framework for establishing adequate management and conservation strategies for this endangered species.

  18. Fast growing, healthy and resident green turtles (Chelonia mydas at two neritic sites in the central and northern coast of Peru: implications for conservation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ximena Velez-Zuazo

    Full Text Available In order to enhance protection and conservation strategies for endangered green turtles (Chelonia mydas, the identification of neritic habitats where this species aggregates is mandatory. Herein, we present new information about the population parameters and residence time of two neritic aggregations from 2010 to 2013; one in an upwelling dominated site (Paracas ∼14°S and the other in an ecotone zone from upwelling to warm equatorial conditions (El Ñuro ∼4°S in the Southeast Pacific. We predicted proportionally more adult individuals would occur in the ecotone site; whereas in the site dominated by an upwelling juvenile individuals would predominate. At El Ñuro, the population was composed by (15.3% of juveniles, (74.9% sub-adults, and (9.8% adults, with an adult sex ratio of 1.16 males per female. Times of residence in the area ranged between a minimum of 121 and a maximum of 1015 days (mean 331.1 days. At Paracas the population was composed by (72% of juveniles and (28% sub-adults, no adults were recorded, thus supporting the development habitat hypothesis stating that throughout the neritic distribution there are sites exclusively occupied by juveniles. Residence time ranged between a minimum of 65 days and a maximum of 680 days (mean 236.1. High growth rates and body condition index values were estimated suggesting healthy individuals at both study sites. The population traits recorded at both sites suggested that conditions found in Peruvian neritic waters may contribute to the recovery of South Pacific green turtles. However, both aggregations are still at jeopardy due to pollution, bycatch and illegal catch and thus require immediate enforcing of conservation measurements.

  19. Fast growing, healthy and resident green turtles (Chelonia mydas) at two neritic sites in the central and northern coast of Peru: implications for conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velez-Zuazo, Ximena; Quiñones, Javier; Pacheco, Aldo S; Klinge, Luciana; Paredes, Evelyn; Quispe, Sixto; Kelez, Shaleyla

    2014-01-01

    In order to enhance protection and conservation strategies for endangered green turtles (Chelonia mydas), the identification of neritic habitats where this species aggregates is mandatory. Herein, we present new information about the population parameters and residence time of two neritic aggregations from 2010 to 2013; one in an upwelling dominated site (Paracas ∼14°S) and the other in an ecotone zone from upwelling to warm equatorial conditions (El Ñuro ∼4°S) in the Southeast Pacific. We predicted proportionally more adult individuals would occur in the ecotone site; whereas in the site dominated by an upwelling juvenile individuals would predominate. At El Ñuro, the population was composed by (15.3%) of juveniles, (74.9%) sub-adults, and (9.8%) adults, with an adult sex ratio of 1.16 males per female. Times of residence in the area ranged between a minimum of 121 and a maximum of 1015 days (mean 331.1 days). At Paracas the population was composed by (72%) of juveniles and (28%) sub-adults, no adults were recorded, thus supporting the development habitat hypothesis stating that throughout the neritic distribution there are sites exclusively occupied by juveniles. Residence time ranged between a minimum of 65 days and a maximum of 680 days (mean 236.1). High growth rates and body condition index values were estimated suggesting healthy individuals at both study sites. The population traits recorded at both sites suggested that conditions found in Peruvian neritic waters may contribute to the recovery of South Pacific green turtles. However, both aggregations are still at jeopardy due to pollution, bycatch and illegal catch and thus require immediate enforcing of conservation measurements.

  20. Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism for the Identification of Spirorchiid Ova in Tissues from the Green Sea Turtle, Chelonia mydas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, Phoebe A; Traub, Rebecca J; Kyaw-Tanner, Myat T; Owen, Helen; Flint, Mark; Cribb, Thomas H; Mills, Paul C

    2016-01-01

    Blood flukes are among the most common disease causing pathogens infecting vertebrates, including humans and some of the world's most globally endangered fauna. Spirorchiid blood flukes are parasites of marine turtles, and are associated with pathology, strandings and mortalities worldwide. Their ova embolize in tissues and incite significant inflammatory responses, however attempts to draw correlations between species and lesions are frustrated by difficulties in identifying ova beyond the genus level. In this study, a newly developed terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) method was validated as a tool for differentiating between mixed spirorchiid ova in turtle tissue. Initially, a multiplex PCR was used to differentiate between the five genera of spirorchiid flukes. Following this, PCR was performed using genus/genera-specific fluorescently tagged primer pairs and PCR products digested analysis using restriction endonucleases. Using capillary electrophoresis, this T-RFLP method could differentiate between twelve species and genotypes of spirorchiid flukes in turtles. It was applied to 151 tissue samples and successfully identified the spirorchiid species present. It was found to be more sensitive than visual diagnosis, detecting infections in 28 of 32 tissues that were negative on histology. Spirorchiids were present in 96.7% of tissues tested, with Neospirorchis genotype 2 being the most prevalent, present in 93% of samples. Mixed infections were common, being present in 60.7% of samples tested. The method described here is, to our knowledge, the first use of the T-RFLP technique on host tissues or in an animal ecology context, and describes a significant advancement in the clinical capacity to diagnose a common cause of illness in our environment. It is proven as a sensitive, specific and cost-efficient means of identifying spirorchiid flukes and ova in turtles, with the potential to contribute valuable information to epidemiological and

  1. Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism for the Identification of Spirorchiid Ova in Tissues from the Green Sea Turtle, Chelonia mydas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, Phoebe A.; Traub, Rebecca J.; Kyaw-Tanner, Myat T.; Owen, Helen; Flint, Mark; Cribb, Thomas H.; Mills, Paul C.

    2016-01-01

    Blood flukes are among the most common disease causing pathogens infecting vertebrates, including humans and some of the world's most globally endangered fauna. Spirorchiid blood flukes are parasites of marine turtles, and are associated with pathology, strandings and mortalities worldwide. Their ova embolize in tissues and incite significant inflammatory responses, however attempts to draw correlations between species and lesions are frustrated by difficulties in identifying ova beyond the genus level. In this study, a newly developed terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) method was validated as a tool for differentiating between mixed spirorchiid ova in turtle tissue. Initially, a multiplex PCR was used to differentiate between the five genera of spirorchiid flukes. Following this, PCR was performed using genus/genera-specific fluorescently tagged primer pairs and PCR products digested analysis using restriction endonucleases. Using capillary electrophoresis, this T-RFLP method could differentiate between twelve species and genotypes of spirorchiid flukes in turtles. It was applied to 151 tissue samples and successfully identified the spirorchiid species present. It was found to be more sensitive than visual diagnosis, detecting infections in 28 of 32 tissues that were negative on histology. Spirorchiids were present in 96.7% of tissues tested, with Neospirorchis genotype 2 being the most prevalent, present in 93% of samples. Mixed infections were common, being present in 60.7% of samples tested. The method described here is, to our knowledge, the first use of the T-RFLP technique on host tissues or in an animal ecology context, and describes a significant advancement in the clinical capacity to diagnose a common cause of illness in our environment. It is proven as a sensitive, specific and cost-efficient means of identifying spirorchiid flukes and ova in turtles, with the potential to contribute valuable information to epidemiological and

  2. Evidence of regression of fibropapillomas in juvenile green turtles Chelonia mydas caught in Niterói, southeast Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machado Guimarães, Suzana; Mas Gitirana, Humberto; Vidal Wanderley, Amanda; Monteiro-Neto, Cassiano; Lobo-Hajdu, Gisele

    2013-02-28

    Fibropapillomatosis is a disease characterized by cutaneous tumors affecting all marine turtle species, but mostly Chelonia mydas. The disease was first reported in 1938, and since then, the number of sightings has been increasing over the years. This disease can cause many complications in the affected animal and can lead to death, and is thus included in the many threats to marine turtle populations. It is still not known for certain what causes this disease, although many studies indicate a herpesvirus as the main etiologic agent. The incidence of fibropapillomatosis is rarely reported in adults, leading to speculations that there may be a cure for the disease or that the animals die before reaching adulthood. In this paper, 2 cases of fibropapillomatosis regression are reported from juvenile C. mydas caught between July 2008 and July 2010 in the coastal zone of Itaipu, Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. These individuals were identified photographically upon recapture. One individual had a total regression (disappearance) of external papilloma within 164 d between first capture and recapture, and the other individual had a partial regression (decrease in size) observed within 13 to 188 d of recapture. The mechanism that triggers the regression is still unknown but is likely to be an immune system response or removal of the tumor promoter. There are few reported cases of regression in the world, and constant monitoring through mark-recapture is necessary to assess whether the marine turtles affected by this disease have real chances of survival.

  3. Echo voltage reflected by turtle on various angles

    OpenAIRE

    Sunardi Sunardi; Anton Yudhana; Azrul Mahfurdz; Sharipah Salwa Mohamed

    2015-01-01

    This research proposes the acoustic measurement by using echo sounder for green turtle detection of 1 year, 12 and 18 years. Various positions or angles of turtles are head, tail, shell, lung, left and right side. MATLAB software and echo sounder are used to analyse the frequency and the response of the turtle as echo voltage and target strength parameter. Based on the experiment and analysis have been conducted, the bigger size of the turtle, the higher echo voltage and target strength. The ...

  4. Turtle Girls

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Charles; Ponder, Jennifer

    2010-01-01

    The day the Turtle Girls received Montel's adoption papers, piercing screams ricocheted across the school grounds instantaneously and simultaneously--in that moment, each student felt the joy of civic stewardship. Read on to find out how a visit to The Turtle Hospital inspired a group of elementary students to create a club devoted to supporting…

  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. Concentration of heavy metals in tissues of green turtles (Chelonia mydas sampled in the Cananéia estuary, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edison Barbieri

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Thirty specimens (15 adults and 15 juveniles of Chelonia mydas found in the Cananéia estuary in the state of São Paulo on the southeastern Brazilian coast between January 2005 and September 2006, were analyzed The concentrations of Cd, Cu, Pb, Mn and Ni in liver and kidney samples of adult and juvenile green turtles were determined by Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry.The average Cd concentration found in adult livers (0.57µg.g-1 was significantly higher than that in juveniles (0.279µg.g-1. Cu concentrations were significantly higher in the liver than in the kidney, and significantly higher in adults (39.9µg.g-1 than in juveniles (20.7µg.g-1 Average Mn concentrations in liver and kidney did not differ between adults (4.32 and 4.17µg.g-1 and juveniles (4.81 and 3.82µg.g-1, whereas Ni concentrations in adults (0.28 and 0.19µg.g-1, respectively were significantly higher than in juveniles (0.13 and 0.089µg.g-1, respectively. Pb concentrations in liver were significantly higher in adults (0.37µg.g-1 than in juveniles (0.06µg.g-1. The concentrations of essential trace elements in Chelonia mydas were generally comparable to values reported in other, similar studies. With respect to non-essential metals (Cd, Pb and Ni, Chelonia mydas presented lower values than those reported for their northern Atlantic counterparts.Analisou-se 30 espécimes (15 adultos e 15 juvenis de Chelonia mydas encontradas no estuário de Cananéia, Estado de São Paulo, região sudeste, durante o período de janeiro de 2005 a setembro de 2006. Foram determinados no fígado e rins de adultos e juvenis de C. mydas os seguintes metais: Cd, Cu, Pb, Mn e Ni, através de Espectrofotometria de Absorção Atômica. Verificou-se que as concentrações médias de Cd no fígado de adultos (0,957µg.g-1 foram significativamente diferentes em relação a dos juvenis (0,279µg.g-1. As concentrações médias de Cu no fígado de C. mydas foram diferentes em relação ao rim

  7. Annual survival of Florida nesting loggerheads

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — 30 PAT tags were deployed on nesting loggerhead turtles at Juno Beach, FL in June 2012. There have been three premature pop-offs, one of which appeared to be a...

  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. 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

  10. 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

  11. Field-Based Teacher Research: How Teachers and Scientists Working Together Answers Questions about Turtle Nesting Ecology while Enhancing Teachers' Inquiry Skills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winters, J. M.; Jungblut, D.; Catena, A. N.; Rubenstein, D. I.

    2013-12-01

    Providing rigorous academic supplement to a professional development program for teachers, QUEST is a fusion of Drexel University's environmental science research department with Princeton University's Program in Teacher Preparation. Completed in the summers of 2012 (in partnership with Earthwatch) and 2013 in Barnegat Bay, New Jersey, QUEST's terrapin field research program enhances K-12 teachers' ecological knowledge, develops inquiry-based thinking in the classroom, and builds citizen science engagement. With a focus on quality question development and data analysis to answer questions, teachers are coached in developing, implementing, and presenting independent research projects on diamondback terrapin nesting ecology. As a result, teachers participating in QUEST's week long program bring a realistic example of science in action into their classrooms, helping to develop their own students' critical thinking skills. For teachers, this program provides training towards educating students on how to do real and imaginative science - subsequently sending students to university better prepared to engage in their own independent research. An essential component of the collaboration through QUEST, in addition to the teacher's experience during and after the summer institute, is the research data collected which supplements that of the Principal Investigator. In 2012, by documenting terrapin nest site predators, teachers gained valuable scientific experience, while Drexel acquired important ecological data which would have not been able to be collected otherwise. In 2013, teachers helped answer important questions about terrapin nesting success post Superstorm Sandy. In fact, the 2013 QUEST teachers are the first to visualize the frighteningly increased erosion of a primary terrapin nesting site due to Sandy; showing how most terrapin nests now lie in the bay, instead of safe on shore. Teachers comment that interacting with scientists in the field, and contributing to

  12. Marine turtles used to assist Austronesian sailors reaching new islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilmé, Lucienne; Waeber, Patrick O; Ganzhorn, Joerg U

    2016-02-01

    Austronesians colonized the islands of Rapa Nui, Hawaii, the Marquesas and Madagascar. All of these islands have been found to harbor Austronesian artifacts and also, all of them are known nesting sites for marine turtles. Turtles are well known for their transoceanic migrations, sometimes totalling thousands of miles, between feeding and nesting grounds. All marine turtles require land for nesting. Ancient Austronesians are known to have had outstanding navigation skills, which they used to adjust course directions. But these skills will have been insufficient to locate tiny, remote islands in the vast Indo-Pacific oceans. We postulate that the Austronesians must have had an understanding of the marine turtles' migration patterns and used this knowledge to locate remote and unknown islands. The depth and speed at which marine turtles migrate makes following them by outrigger canoes feasible. Humans have long capitalized on knowledge of animal behavior.

  13. Morfologia do tubo digestório da tartaruga verde (Chelonia mydas Morphology of the digestive tube of the green turtle (Chelonia mydas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcela S. Magalhães

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Para avaliar a morfologia do tubo digestório da tartaruga verde (Chelonia mydas 10 animais, 9 juvenis e 1 adulto, foram analisados. A retirada dos órgãos digestórios procedeu-se após abertura do plastrão. A descrição e a medida do comprimento de cada órgão [esôfago, estômago, intestino delgado (ID e intestino grosso (IG] foram realizadas com o tubo digestório aberto. Os resultados mostraram que tanto nos animais juvenis como no adulto, o esôfago foi marcado pela presença de papilas pontiagudas em sua mucosa interna. O estômago apresentou aspecto saculiforme com fundo cego. No ID foi observado pregas reticulares na mucosa duodenal, enquanto o jejuno e do íleo mostrou pregas retilíneas longitudinais. O IG foi marcado pela alternância de regiões abauladas (haustros ou saculações e estreitamentos. A microscopia do tudo digestório em C. mydas revelou esôfago com mucosa pregueada revestida por epitélio estratificado pavimentoso queratinizado. O estômago mostrou-se dividido em regiões: cárdica, fúndica, pilórica, as quais diferiam quanto ao número de glândulas e disposição da camada muscular. O ID apresentou-se marcado por vilosidades, e o IG por mucosa pregueada contendo glândulas na lâmina própria. A morfologia do tubo digestório da tartaruga verde mostrou-se adaptada ao seu hábito alimentar, possuindo especializações e um longo trato digestório que promove o aumento da superfície de absorção, já que seu alimento é de difícil digestão.The morphology of the digestive tube of the green turtle (Chelonia mydas was evaluated. Nine young e 1 adult turtles were analyzed. The digestive organs withdrew occurred after plastron opening. The length's description and measurement from each organ [esophagus, stomach, small intestine (SI and large intestine (LI] were made with digestive tube opened. The results showed that in both the adult and young animals, the esophagus from all species were marked by the presence

  14. Applying generalized linear models as an explanatory tool of sex steroids, thyroid hormones and their relationships with environmental and physiologic factors in immature East Pacific green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labrada-Martagón, Vanessa; Méndez-Rodríguez, Lia C; Mangel, Marc; Zenteno-Savín, Tania

    2013-09-01

    Generalized linear models were fitted to evaluate the relationship between 17β-estradiol (E2), testosterone (T) and thyroxine (T4) levels in immature East Pacific green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) and their body condition, size, mass, blood biochemistry parameters, handling time, year, season and site of capture. According to external (tail size) and morphological (<77.3 straight carapace length) characteristics, 95% of the individuals were juveniles. Hormone levels, assessed on sea turtles subjected to a capture stress protocol, were <34.7nmolTL(-1), <532.3pmolE2 L(-1) and <43.8nmolT4L(-1). The statistical model explained biologically plausible metabolic relationships between hormone concentrations and blood biochemistry parameters (e.g. glucose, cholesterol) and the potential effect of environmental variables (season and study site). The variables handling time and year did not contribute significantly to explain hormone levels. Differences in sex steroids between season and study sites found by the models coincided with specific nutritional, physiological and body condition differences related to the specific habitat conditions. The models correctly predicted the median levels of the measured hormones in green sea turtles, which confirms the fitted model's utility. It is suggested that quantitative predictions could be possible when the model is tested with additional data.

  15. Ingestion of solid wastes by juvenile green turtles, Chelonia mydas (L. 1758, in the eastern Rio de Janeiro state coast, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danielle Rodrigues Awabdi

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available This paper analyzed the solid wastes of anthropogenic origin obtained from the stomach contents of juvenile green turtles, Chelonia mydas, on the eastern Rio de Janeiro state coast, southeastern Brazil (22º50’S – 23º00’S. Between June 2009 and May 2010, the stomach contents of 49 specimens stranded on beaches were analyzed. Solid wastes were recorded in 29 stomach contents (59.2% and more than one category of wastes was found out in 22 samples. Plastic bags, categorized as flexible plastic materials, achieved the greatest occurrence frequency (96.5%. Perhaps, these wastes came from the disposal of garbage bags, raffia bags, commercial shop bags and various packaging. Wastes related to manufacture of fishing equipment were also often reported, such as nylon yarns, rubber, ropes, Styrofoam, and fishhooks. The region is an area of regular occurrence of C. mydas and the relatively large intake of solid wastes deposited in the environment poses a risk to the conservation of this species.

  16. 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.

  17. Comparison of nested-multiplex, Taqman & SYBR Green real-time PCR in diagnosis of amoebic liver abscess in a tertiary health care institute in India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K P Dinoop

    2016-01-01

    Interpretation & conclusions: Taqman real-time PCR targeting the 18S rRNA had the highest positivity rate evaluated in this study. Both nested multiplex and SYBR Green real-time PCR assays utilized were evaluated to give accurate results. Real-time PCR assays can be used as the gold standard in rapid and reliable diagnosis, and appropriate management of amoebiasis, replacing the conventional molecular methods.

  18. 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.

  19. Ultralight aircraft surveys reveal marine turtle population increases along the west coast of Reunion Island

    OpenAIRE

    Jean, Claire; Ciccione, Stephane; Ballorain, Katia; Georges, Jean-Yves; Bourjea, Jerome

    2010-01-01

    Reunion Island in the south-west Indian Ocean once had significant nesting populations of marine turtles but they declined rapidly after human colonization. In 1996, after regular sightings of turtles offshore, an aerial survey programme was initiated to monitor the occurrence of marine turtles and their distribution along the west coast of the island Between 1998 and 2008, along a 30-km coastline transect between Saint Leu and Saint Paul, a total of 1,845 marine turtle sightings were recorde...

  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. 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.

  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

    2016-01-01

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. Do roads reduce painted turtle (Chrysemys picta populations?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra Dorland

    Full Text Available Road mortality is thought to be a leading cause of turtle population decline. However, empirical evidence of the direct negative effects of road mortality on turtle population abundance is lacking. The purpose of this study was to provide a strong test of the prediction that roads reduce turtle population abundance. While controlling for potentially confounding variables, we compared relative abundance of painted turtles (Chrysemys picta in 20 ponds in Eastern Ontario, 10 as close as possible to high traffic roads (Road sites and 10 as far as possible from any major roads (No Road sites. There was no significant effect of roads on painted turtle relative abundance. Furthermore, our data do not support other predictions of the road mortality hypothesis; we observed neither a higher relative frequency of males to females at Road sites than at No Road sites, nor a lower average body size of turtles at Road than at No Road sites. We speculate that, although roads can cause substantial adult mortality in turtles, other factors, such as release from predation on adults and/or nests close to roads counter the negative effect of road mortality in some populations. We suggest that road mitigation for painted turtles can be limited to locations where turtles are forced to migrate across high traffic roads due, for example, to destruction of local nesting habitat or seasonal drying of ponds. This conclusion should not be extrapolated to other species of turtles, where road mortality could have a larger population-level effect than on painted turtles.

  11. 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.

  12. Development and validation of a competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the measurement of total plasma immunoglobulins in healthy loggerhead sea (Caretta caretta) and green turtles (Chelonia mydas).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaplan, Amy J; Stacy, Nicole I; Jacobson, Elliott; Le-Bert, Carolina R; Nollens, Hendrik H; Origgi, Francesco C; Green, Linda G; Bootorabi, Shadi; Bolten, Alan; Hernandez, Jorge A

    2016-01-01

    The quantification of circulating plasma immunoglobulins represents a valuable diagnostic tool in human and veterinary immunology, although its application is very limited in reptile medicine to date. The objectives of our study were the development and standardization of a competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (cELISA) for the measurement of total plasma immunoglobulins (Igs; both IgM and IgY) in loggerhead sea turtles (LST; Caretta caretta; n = 254) and green turtles (GT; Chelonia mydas; n = 111), the establishment of reference intervals for Ig for both species, and the examination of associations between Ig and total protein (TP), condition index, and water temperature. The cELISA for Ig was successfully developed and optimized. Reference intervals for Ig were 0.38-0.94 g/dL in LST (median: 0.59 g/dL; range: 0.16-2.15 g/dL) and 0.40-0.85 g/dL in GT (median: 0.58 g/dL; range: 0.18-1.80 g/dL). In LST, there were positive linear relationships of Ig with TP, and TP with Ig and condition index, and a negative relationship of Ig with condition index. The positive linear relationships of Ig with TP, and TP with Ig were also identified in GT. These positive associations of Ig and TP were expected, as Ig represents fractions of TP, and TP reportedly increases with straight carapace length and weight. The negative association of Ig with condition index may indicate potential biological variations. The cELISA and reference intervals for total Ig of LST and GT presented herein have the potential to be useful as a diagnostic and research tool for sea turtle immunology.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Does polyandry really pay off? The effects ofmultiple mating and number of fathers on morphological traits and survival in clutches of nesting green turtles at Tortuguero

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alfaro Nuñez, Luis Alonso; Jensen, Michael P.; Abreu-Grobois, F. Alberto

    2015-01-01

    Despite the long debate of whether or not multiple mating benefits the offspring, studies still show contradictory results. Multiple mating takes time and energy. Thus, if females fertilize their eggs with a single mating, why to mate more than once? We investigated and inferred paternal identity...

  16. Does polyandry really pay off? The effects ofmultiple mating and number of fathers on morphological traits and survival in clutches of nesting green turtles at Tortuguero

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alfaro Nuñez, Luis Alonso; Jensen, Michael P.; Abreu-Grobois, F. Alberto

    2015-01-01

    Despite the long debate of whether or not multiple mating benefits the offspring, studies still show contradictory results. Multiple mating takes time and energy. Thus, if females fertilize their eggs with a single mating, why to mate more than once? We investigated and inferred paternal identity...... of fathers was three (ranging from 1 to 5). Moreover, regression analyses were used to investigate for correlation of inferred clutch paternity with morphological traits of hatchlings fitness (emergence success, length, weight and crawling speed), the size of the mother, and an environmental variable...

  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. Clever Turtle

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李传霞

    2007-01-01

    @@ 人物: F-Fox G-Frog T-Turtle F:(到处寻找食物)I haven't had anything for a whole day.I'm hungry.I want to eat something.(看见青蛙,高兴极了)Wow!A frog!How fat it is!I'll eat it.(悄悄接近青蛙.) G:(正忙着捉害虫,没察觉到狐狸正在靠近)So many pests!I'll eat them up. T:(睡醒后,看到危境中的青蛙)Oh,a fox!He will eat the frog.Poor Frog,he knows nothing at all.I should help him.But what shall I do?Oh,I have an idea.(伸出头,一口咬住了狐狸的尾巴.)

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Echo voltage reflected by turtle on various angles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sunardi Sunardi

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available This research proposes the acoustic measurement by using echo sounder for green turtle detection of 1 year, 12 and 18 years. Various positions or angles of turtles are head, tail, shell, lung, left and right side. MATLAB software and echo sounder are used to analyse the frequency and the response of the turtle as echo voltage and target strength parameter. Based on the experiment and analysis have been conducted, the bigger size of the turtle, the higher echo voltage and target strength. The target strength of turtle for lung and shell for all ages are -26.52 dB and –26.17 dB respectively. The target strength of turtles in this research is different with target strength of fish in our previous research. Therefore, for future research, the repellant system based on differences of target strength the turtle and fish for avoided the turtle trapping in the net can be implemented to protect the population of turtle from extinction

  4. Comparison of real-time SYBR green dengue assay with real-time taqman RT-PCR dengue assay and the conventional nested PCR for diagnosis of primary and secondary dengue infection

    OpenAIRE

    Damodar Paudel; Richard Jarman; Kriengsak Limkittikul; Chonticha Klungthong; Supat Chamnanchanunt; Ananda Nisalak; Robert Gibbons; Watcharee Chokejindachai

    2011-01-01

    Background : Dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever are caused by dengue virus. Dengue infection remains a burning problem of many countries. To diagnose acute dengue in the early phase we improve the low cost, rapid SYBR green real time assay and compared the sensitivity and specificity with real time Taqman® assay and conventional nested PCR assay. Aims: To develop low cost, rapid and reliable real time SYBR green diagnostic dengue assay and compare with Taqman real-time assay and conven...

  5. Turtle origins: insights from phylogenetic retrofitting and molecular scaffolds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, M S Y

    2013-12-01

    Adding new taxa to morphological phylogenetic analyses without substantially revising the set of included characters is a common practice, with drawbacks (undersampling of relevant characters) and potential benefits (character selection is not biased by preconceptions over the affinities of the 'retrofitted' taxon). Retrofitting turtles (Testudines) and other taxa to recent reptile phylogenies consistently places turtles with anapsid-grade parareptiles (especially Eunotosaurus and/or pareiasauromorphs), under both Bayesian and parsimony analyses. This morphological evidence for turtle-parareptile affinities appears to contradict the robust genomic evidence that extant (living) turtles are nested within diapsids as sister to extant archosaurs (birds and crocodilians). However, the morphological data are almost equally consistent with a turtle-archosaur clade: enforcing this molecular scaffold onto the morphological data does not greatly increase tree length (parsimony) or reduce likelihood (Bayesian inference). Moreover, under certain analytic conditions, Eunotosaurus groups with turtles and thus also falls within the turtle-archosaur clade. This result raises the possibility that turtles could simultaneously be most closely related to a taxon traditionally considered a parareptile (Eunotosaurus) and still have archosaurs as their closest extant sister group.

  6. Isotope analysis reveals foraging area dichotomy for atlantic leatherback turtles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stéphane Caut

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea has undergone a dramatic decline over the last 25 years, and this is believed to be primarily the result of mortality associated with fisheries bycatch followed by egg and nesting female harvest. Atlantic leatherback turtles undertake long migrations across ocean basins from subtropical and tropical nesting beaches to productive frontal areas. Migration between two nesting seasons can last 2 or 3 years, a time period termed the remigration interval (RI. Recent satellite transmitter data revealed that Atlantic leatherbacks follow two major dispersion patterns after nesting season, through the North Gulf Stream area or more eastward across the North Equatorial Current. However, information on the whole RI is lacking, precluding the accurate identification of feeding areas where conservation measures may need to be applied. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using stable isotopes as dietary tracers we determined the characteristics of feeding grounds of leatherback females nesting in French Guiana. During migration, 3-year RI females differed from 2-year RI females in their isotope values, implying differences in their choice of feeding habitats (offshore vs. more coastal and foraging latitude (North Atlantic vs. West African coasts, respectively. Egg-yolk and blood isotope values are correlated in nesting females, indicating that egg analysis is a useful tool for assessing isotope values in these turtles, including adults when not available. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results complement previous data on turtle movements during the first year following the nesting season, integrating the diet consumed during the year before nesting. We suggest that the French Guiana leatherback population segregates into two distinct isotopic groupings, and highlight the urgent need to determine the feeding habitats of the turtle in the Atlantic in order to protect this species from incidental take by

  7. Distribution patterns of the barnacle, Chelonibia testudinaria, on juvenile green turtles (Chelonia mydas in Bahia Magdalena, Mexico Patrones de distribución del balano, Chelonibia testudinaria, en tortugas verdes (Chelonia mydas juveniles en bahía Magdalena, México

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Nájera-Hillman

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The barnacle, Chelonibia testudinaria, is an obligate commensal of sea turtles that may show population variability according to the physical characteristics of the environment and properties of turtle hosts; therefore, we characterized the distributional patterns and the potential effects on health of C. testudinaria on juvenile green turtles in Bahia Magdalena, Mexico. Barnacle attachment position, abundance, and size-class structure were described, while the relationship between barnacle abundance and turtle health condition and size was explored through generalized linear models. Juvenile green turtles of Bahía Magdalena offered an appropriate habitat for C. testudinaria as their frequency of occurrence was high and their abundance was similar to that found in other green turtle populations. Barnacles showed an aggregated distribution that may be facilitating their reproduction during the warm summer months. Barnacle abundance is unaffected by turtle size or seasonality, while their attachment position appears to be influenced by water flow over the turtle carapace and by plastron abrasion by the turtle against the sea floor. Healthier turtles exhibited a decreased barnacle load; therefore we suggest that C. testudinaria abundance may be a useful indicator of health for juvenile green turtles.El balano Chelonibia testudinaria es un comensal obligado de tortugas marinas que puede presentar variaciones poblacionales de acuerdo a características ambientales y de las tortugas que coloniza; por lo tanto, caracterizamos su distribución y el efecto sobre la salud de tortugas verdes (Chelonia mydas juveniles en bahía Magdalena, México. Se describieron la posición de adherencia, la abundancia y la estructura de tallas de C. testudinaria, mientras que la relación entre su abundancia y la salud y el tamaño de las tortugas se exploró a través de modelos lineales generalizados. Las tortugas verdes ofrecieron un hábitat adecuado para C

  8. 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.

  9. Chapter 2. Vulnerability of marine turtles to climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poloczanska, Elvira S; Limpus, Colin J; Hays, Graeme C

    2009-01-01

    Marine turtles are generally viewed as vulnerable to climate change because of the role that temperature plays in the sex determination of embryos, their long life history, long age-to-maturity and their highly migratory nature. Extant species of marine turtles probably arose during the mid-late Jurassic period (180-150 Mya) so have survived past shifts in climate, including glacial periods and warm events and therefore have some capacity for adaptation. The present-day rates of increase of atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, and associated temperature changes, are very rapid; the capacity of marine turtles to adapt to this rapid change may be compromised by their relatively long generation times. We consider the evidence and likely consequences of present-day trends of climate change on marine turtles. Impacts are likely to be complex and may be positive as well as negative. For example, rising sea levels and increased storm intensity will negatively impact turtle nesting beaches; however, extreme storms can also lead to coastal accretion. Alteration of wind patterns and ocean currents will have implications for juveniles and adults in the open ocean. Warming temperatures are likely to impact directly all turtle life stages, such as the sex determination of embryos in the nest and growth rates. Warming of 2 degrees C could potentially result in a large shift in sex ratios towards females at many rookeries, although some populations may be resilient to warming if female biases remain within levels where population success is not impaired. Indirectly, climate change is likely to impact turtles through changes in food availability. The highly migratory nature of turtles and their ability to move considerable distances in short periods of time should increase their resilience to climate change. However, any such resilience of marine turtles to climate change is likely to be severely compromised by other anthropogenic influences. Development of coastlines may

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. The role of turtles as coral reef macroherbivores

    KAUST Repository

    Goatley, Christopher H. R.

    2012-06-29

    Herbivory is widely accepted as a vital function on coral reefs. To date, the majority of studies examining herbivory in coral reef environments have focused on the roles of fishes and/or urchins, with relatively few studies considering the potential role of macroherbivores in reef processes. Here, we introduce evidence that highlights the potential role of marine turtles as herbivores on coral reefs. While conducting experimental habitat manipulations to assess the roles of herbivorous reef fishes we observed green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) showing responses that were remarkably similar to those of herbivorous fishes. Reducing the sediment load of the epilithic algal matrix on a coral reef resulted in a forty-fold increase in grazing by green turtles. Hawksbill turtles were also observed to browse transplanted thalli of the macroalga Sargassum swartzii in a coral reef environment. These responses not only show strong parallels to herbivorous reef fishes, but also highlight that marine turtles actively, and intentionally, remove algae from coral reefs. When considering the size and potential historical abundance of marine turtles we suggest that these potentially valuable herbivores may have been lost from many coral reefs before their true importance was understood. © 2012 Goatley et al.

  13. The role of turtles as coral reef macroherbivores.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher H R Goatley

    Full Text Available Herbivory is widely accepted as a vital function on coral reefs. To date, the majority of studies examining herbivory in coral reef environments have focused on the roles of fishes and/or urchins, with relatively few studies considering the potential role of macroherbivores in reef processes. Here, we introduce evidence that highlights the potential role of marine turtles as herbivores on coral reefs. While conducting experimental habitat manipulations to assess the roles of herbivorous reef fishes we observed green turtles (Chelonia mydas and hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata showing responses that were remarkably similar to those of herbivorous fishes. Reducing the sediment load of the epilithic algal matrix on a coral reef resulted in a forty-fold increase in grazing by green turtles. Hawksbill turtles were also observed to browse transplanted thalli of the macroalga Sargassum swartzii in a coral reef environment. These responses not only show strong parallels to herbivorous reef fishes, but also highlight that marine turtles actively, and intentionally, remove algae from coral reefs. When considering the size and potential historical abundance of marine turtles we suggest that these potentially valuable herbivores may have been lost from many coral reefs before their true importance was understood.

  14. The Classroom Animal: Box Turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kramer, David C.

    1986-01-01

    Provides basic information on the anatomy, physiology, behaviors, and distribution patterns of the box turtle. Offers suggestions for the turtle's care and maintenance in a classroom environment. (ML)

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Turtle Data Processing System (TDPS) - Turtle Strandings

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Effective management of marine turtle data is essential to maximize their research value and enable timely population assessments and recovery monitoring. To provide...

  18. Turtle Data Processing System (TDPS) - Nearshore Turtles

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Effective management of marine turtle data is essential to maximize their research value and enable timely population assessments and recovery monitoring. To provide...

  19. Movements and habitat-use of loggerhead sea turtles in the northern Gulf of Mexico during the reproductive period.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristen M Hart

    Full Text Available Nesting strategies and use of important in-water habitats for far-ranging marine turtles can be determined using satellite telemetry. Because of a lack of information on habitat-use by marine turtles in the northern Gulf of Mexico, we used satellite transmitters in 2010 through 2012 to track movements of 39 adult female breeding loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta tagged on nesting beaches at three sites in Florida and Alabama. During the nesting season, recaptured turtles emerged to nest 1 to 5 times, with mean distance between emergences of 27.5 km; however, several turtles nested on beaches separated by ~250 km within a single season. Mean total distances traveled throughout inter-nesting periods for all turtles was 1422.0 ± 930.8 km. In-water inter-nesting sites, delineated using 50% kernel density estimation (KDE, were located a mean distance of 33.0 km from land, in water with mean depth of -31.6 m; other in-water inter-nesting sites, delineated using minimum convex polygon (MCP approach, were located a mean 13.8 km from land and in water with a mean depth of -15.8 m. Mean size of in-water inter-nesting habitats were 61.9 km(2 (50% KDEs, n = 10 and 741.4 km(2 (MCPs, n = 30; these areas overlapped significantly with trawling and oil and gas extraction activities. Abundance estimates for this nesting subpopulation may be inaccurate in light of how much spread there is between nests of the same individual. Further, our results also have consequences for critical habitat designations for northern Gulf loggerheads, as protection of one nesting beach would not encompass the entire range used by turtles during breeding seasons.

  20. Movements and habitat-use of loggerhead sea turtles in the northern Gulf of Mexico during the reproductive period

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Kristen M.; Lamont, Margaret M.; Sartain-Iverson, Autumn R.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Stephens, Brail S.

    2013-01-01

    Nesting strategies and use of important in-water habitats for far-ranging marine turtles can be determined using satellite telemetry. Because of a lack of information on habitat-use by marine turtles in the northern Gulf of Mexico, we used satellite transmitters in 2010 through 2012 to track movements of 39 adult female breeding loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) tagged on nesting beaches at three sites in Florida and Alabama. During the nesting season, recaptured turtles emerged to nest 1 to 5 times, with mean distance between emergences of 27.5 km; however, several turtles nested on beaches separated by ~250 km within a single season. Mean total distances traveled throughout inter-nesting periods for all turtles was 1422.0±930.8 km. In-water inter-nesting sites, delineated using 50% kernel density estimation (KDE), were located a mean distance of 33.0 km from land, in water with mean depth of −31.6 m; other in-water inter-nesting sites, delineated using minimum convex polygon (MCP) approach, were located a mean 13.8 km from land and in water with a mean depth of −15.8 m. Mean size of in-water inter-nesting habitats were 61.9 km2 (50% KDEs, n = 10) and 741.4 km2 (MCPs, n = 30); these areas overlapped significantly with trawling and oil and gas extraction activities. Abundance estimates for this nesting subpopulation may be inaccurate in light of how much spread there is between nests of the same individual. Further, our results also have consequences for critical habitat designations for northern Gulf loggerheads, as protection of one nesting beach would not encompass the entire range used by turtles during breeding seasons.

  1. Movements and habitat-use of loggerhead sea turtles in the northern Gulf of Mexico during the reproductive period.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Kristen M; Lamont, Margaret M; Sartain, Autumn R; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Stephens, Brail S

    2013-01-01

    Nesting strategies and use of important in-water habitats for far-ranging marine turtles can be determined using satellite telemetry. Because of a lack of information on habitat-use by marine turtles in the northern Gulf of Mexico, we used satellite transmitters in 2010 through 2012 to track movements of 39 adult female breeding loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) tagged on nesting beaches at three sites in Florida and Alabama. During the nesting season, recaptured turtles emerged to nest 1 to 5 times, with mean distance between emergences of 27.5 km; however, several turtles nested on beaches separated by ~250 km within a single season. Mean total distances traveled throughout inter-nesting periods for all turtles was 1422.0 ± 930.8 km. In-water inter-nesting sites, delineated using 50% kernel density estimation (KDE), were located a mean distance of 33.0 km from land, in water with mean depth of -31.6 m; other in-water inter-nesting sites, delineated using minimum convex polygon (MCP) approach, were located a mean 13.8 km from land and in water with a mean depth of -15.8 m. Mean size of in-water inter-nesting habitats were 61.9 km(2) (50% KDEs, n = 10) and 741.4 km(2) (MCPs, n = 30); these areas overlapped significantly with trawling and oil and gas extraction activities. Abundance estimates for this nesting subpopulation may be inaccurate in light of how much spread there is between nests of the same individual. Further, our results also have consequences for critical habitat designations for northern Gulf loggerheads, as protection of one nesting beach would not encompass the entire range used by turtles during breeding seasons.

  2. Hierarchical, quantitative biogeographic provinces for all North American turtles and their contribution to the biogeography of turtles and the continent

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ennen, Joshua R.; Matamoros, Wilfredo A.; Agha, Mickey; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Sweat, Sarah C.; Hoagstrom, Christopher W.

    2017-01-01

    Our study represents the first attempt to describe biogeographic provinces for North American (México, United States, and Canada) turtles. We analyzed three nested data sets separately: (1) all turtles, (2) freshwater turtles, and (3) aquatic turtles. We georeferenced North American turtle distributions, then we created presence–absence matrices for each of the three data sets. We used watershed unit as biogeographic units. We conducted an unweighted pair-group method with arithmetic mean clustering analysis on each Jaccard index distance matrix from our watershed species matrices to delineate biogeographic provinces. Provinces were then tested for significant differences in species compositions in a global model with the use of a one-way analysis of similarity. We conducted a best subset of environmental variables with maximum (rank) correlation with community dissimilarities that determined the best model of abiotic variables explaining province delineation (i.e., climate, topography, and stream channel). To identify which species contributed the most to province delineations, we conducted an indicator species analysis and a similarity-percentage analysis. There were 16 all-turtle provinces, 15 freshwater provinces, and 13 aquatic provinces. Species compositions delineating the provinces were explained by abiotic variables, including mean annual precipitation, mean precipitation seasonality, and diversity of streams. Province delineations correspond closely with geographical boundaries, many of which have Pleistocene origins. For example, rivers with a history of carrying glacial runoff (e.g., Arkansas, Mississippi) sometimes dissect upland provinces, especially for aquatic and semiaquatic turtles. Compared with freshwater fishes, turtles show greater sensitivity to decreased temperature with restriction of most taxa south of the last permafrost maximum. Turtles also exhibit higher sensitivity to climatic, geomorphic, and tectonic instability, with richness

  3. Western Pond Turtle Head-starting and Reintroduction; 2002-2003 Progress Report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Leuven, Susan; Allen, Harriet; Slavin, Kate (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wildlife Management Program, Olympia, WA)

    2004-02-01

    This report covers the results of the western pond turtle head-starting and reintroduction project for the period of June 2002-September 2003. Wild hatchling western pond turtles from the Columbia River Gorge were reared at the Woodland Park and Oregon Zoos in 2002 and 2003 as part of the recovery effort for this Washington State endangered species. The objective of the program is to reduce losses to introduced predators like bullfrogs and largemouth bass by raising the hatchlings to a size where they are too large to be eaten by most of these predators. In 2002, 27 females from the two Columbia Gorge populations were equipped with transmitters and monitored until they nested. Four more females carrying old transmitters were also monitored; only one of these transmitters lasted through the nesting season. In 2003, 30 females were monitored. Twenty-three of the females monitored in 2002 nested and produced 84 hatchlings. The hatchlings were collected in fall 2002 and reared in captivity at the Woodland Park and Oregon zoos in the head-start program. Twenty-seven of the turtles monitored in 2003 nested. Six of the turtles nested twice, producing a total of 33 nests. The nests will be checked in September and October 2003 for hatchlings. Of 121 head-started juvenile western pond turtles collected in the Columbia Gorge during the 2001 nesting season, 119 were released at three sites in the Columbia Gorge in 2002, and 2 held over for additional growth. Of 86 turtles reared in the head-start program at the Woodland Park and Oregon Zoos fall 2002 through summer 2003, 67 were released at sites in the Columbia Gorge in summer of 2003, and 15 held over for more growth. Fifty-nine juveniles were released at Pierce National Wildlife Refuge in July 2002, and 51 released there in July 2003. Sixteen of those released in 2002 and 16 released in 2003 were instrumented with radio transmitters and monitored for varying amounts of time for survival and habitat use between the time of

  4. Green

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    孙继山

    2005-01-01

    The Green Games-this is a Chinese promise to the world. Green it has to be when the Olympic Games are opened at a spectacular venue in the north of Beijing in 2008. However, those who live in the capital still worry whether it will be possible to turn the rather polluted city. into a green or even half-green city. But time and again, China has proved that this kind of huge challenge can be met. Nevertheless,this time around it is a tough call indeed and a little over three years are left to execute and complete an audacious task.

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. Comparison of real-time SYBR green dengue assay with real-time taqman RT-PCR dengue assay and the conventional nested PCR for diagnosis of primary and secondary dengue infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Damodar Paudel

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Background : Dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever are caused by dengue virus. Dengue infection remains a burning problem of many countries. To diagnose acute dengue in the early phase we improve the low cost, rapid SYBR green real time assay and compared the sensitivity and specificity with real time Taqman® assay and conventional nested PCR assay. Aims: To develop low cost, rapid and reliable real time SYBR green diagnostic dengue assay and compare with Taqman real-time assay and conventional nested PCR (modified Lanciotti. Materials and Methods: Eight cultured virus strains were diluted in tenth dilution down to undetectable level by the PCR to optimize the primer, temperature (annealing, and extension and to detect the limit of detection of the assay. Hundred and ninety three ELISA and PCR proved dengue clinical samples were tested with real time SYBR® Green assay, real time Taqman® assay to compare the sensitivity and specificity. Results: Sensitivity and specificity of real time SYBR® green dengue assay (84% and 66%, respectively was almost comparable to those (81% and 74% of Taqman real time PCR dengue assay. Real time SYBR® green RT-PCR was equally sensitive in primary and secondary infection while real time Taqman was less sensitive in the secondary infection. Sensitivity of real time Taqman on DENV3 (87% was equal to SYBR green real time PCR dengue assay. Conclusion: We developed low cost rapid diagnostic SYBR green dengue assay. Further study is needed to make duplex primer assay for the serotyping of dengue virus.

  8. Incubation temperature, morphology and performance in loggerhead (Caretta caretta turtle hatchlings from Mon Repos, Queensland, Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth L. Sim

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Marine turtles are vulnerable to climate change because their life history and reproduction are tied to environmental temperatures. The egg incubation stage is arguably the most vulnerable stage, because marine turtle eggs require a narrow range of temperatures for successful incubation. Additionally, incubation temperature affects sex, emergence success, morphology and locomotor performance of hatchlings. Hatchlings often experience high rates of predation in the first few hours of their life, and increased size or locomotor ability may improve their chances of survival. Between 2010 and 2013 we monitored the temperature of loggerhead (Caretta caretta; Linnaeus 1758 turtle nests at Mon Repos Rookery, and used these data to calculate a mean three day maximum temperature (T3dm for each nest. We calculated the hatching and emergence success for each nest, then measured the mass, size and locomotor performance of hatchlings that emerged from those nests. Nests with a T3dm greater than 34°C experienced a lower emergence success and produced smaller hatchlings than nests with a T3dm lower than 34°C. Hatchlings from nests with a T3dm below 34°C performed better in crawling and swimming trials than hatchlings from nests with a T3dm above 34°C. Thus even non-lethal increases in global temperatures have the potential to detrimentally affect fitness and survival of marine turtle hatchlings.

  9. 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.

  10. greening

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Utpal

    Results reveal that sodium sulphite method of DNA isolation provided higher yield and ... rescence tests with monoclonal antibodies and DNA-DNA hybridization with .... Validation of PCR for detection of greening bacterium. Following the ...

  11. 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.

  12. Triangular Nests!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, R. I.

    2002-01-01

    Shows how integer-sided triangles can be nested, each nest having a single enclosing isosceles triangle. Brings to light what can be seen as a relatively simple generalization of Pythagoras' theorem, a result that should be readily accessible to many secondary school pupils. (Author/KHR)

  13. The potential role of natural tumor promoters in marine turtle fibropapillomatosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landsberg, J.H.; Balazs, G.H.; Steidinger, K.A.; Baden, D.G.; Work, T.M.; Russel, D.J.

    1999-01-01

    Fibropapillomatosis (FP) in green turtles Chelonia mydas is a debilitating, neoplastic disease that has reached worldwide epizootic levels. The etiology of FP is unknown but has been linked to oncogenic viruses. Toxic benthic dinoflagellates (Prorocentrum spp.) are not typically considered tumorigenic agents, yet they have a worldwide distribution and produce a tumor promoter, okadaic acid (OA). Prorocentrum spp. are epiphytic on macroalgae and seagrasses that are normal components of green turtle diets. Here we show that green turtles in the Hawaiian Islands consume Prorocentrum and that high-risk FP areas are associated with areas where P. lima and P. concavum are both highly prevalent and abundant. The presence of presumptive OA in the tissues of Hawaiian green turtles further suggests exposure and a potential role for this tumor promoter in the etiology of FP.

  14. 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...

  15. Underwater Hearing in Turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willis, Katie L

    2016-01-01

    The hearing of turtles is poorly understood compared with the other reptiles. Although the mechanism of transduction of sound into a neural signal via hair cells has been described in detail, the rest of the auditory system is largely a black box. What is known is that turtles have higher hearing thresholds than other reptiles, with best frequencies around 500 Hz. They also have lower underwater hearing thresholds than those in air, owing to resonance of the middle ear cavity. Further studies demonstrated that all families of turtles and tortoises share a common middle ear cavity morphology, with scaling best suited to underwater hearing. This supports an aquatic origin of the group. Because turtles hear best under water, it is important to examine their vulnerability to anthropogenic noise. However, the lack of basic data makes such experiments difficult because only a few species of turtles have published audiograms. There are also almost no behavioral data available (understandable due to training difficulties). Finally, few studies show what kinds of sounds are behaviorally relevant. One notable paper revealed that the Australian snake-necked turtle (Chelodina oblonga) has a vocal repertoire in air, at the interface, and under water. Findings like these suggest that there is more to the turtle aquatic auditory scene than previously thought.

  16. Mitochondrial DNA reveals regional and interregional importance of the central Mediterranean African shelf for loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paolo Casale

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available The wide north African continental shelf in the central Mediterranean is known to be one of the few important areas in the basin for loggerhead turtles in the neritic stage. In order to assess the origin of these turtles, sequences of the mtDNA control region were obtained from 70 turtles caught by bottom trawlers in the area, and compared with known sequences from turtles from Mediterranean and Atlantic nesting sites. Five haplotypes were identified (Haplotype diversity = 0.262; nucleotide diversity = 5.4×10-3. Specific haplotypes indicate contributions from distant rookeries such as Turkey and the Atlantic, which shows that Atlantic turtles entering the Mediterranean while in the oceanic phase use at least one Mediterranean continental shelf as a neritic foraging ground. A new haplotype and another one previously found only in foraging areas, highlight the genetic information gaps for nesting sites, which undermine powerful mixed stock analyses. Despite these limitations, the results reveal the regional importance of the study area as a neritic foraging ground for turtles that are probably from most of the Mediterranean nesting aggregates. Therefore, reducing turtle mortality resulting from the high fishing effort in the area should be regarded as key for Mediterranean turtle conservation and is also possibly important for Atlantic populations.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. AMAPPS turtle data

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Satellite tags were deployed on 60 loggerhead turtles to assess dive behavior to improve estimates of abundance in aerial surveys

  20. European Atlantic Turtles

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brongersma, L.D.

    1972-01-01

    CONTENTS Preface ................... 3 Introduction .................. 5 Identification.................. 13 The records................... 25 I. Dermochelys coriacea (L.), Leathery Turtle......... 30 IA. List of records of Dermochelys coriacea (L.)......... 31 IB. List of records of unidentified tu

  1. European Atlantic Turtles

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brongersma, L.D.

    1972-01-01

    CONTENTS Preface ................... 3 Introduction .................. 5 Identification.................. 13 The records................... 25 I. Dermochelys coriacea (L.), Leathery Turtle......... 30 IA. List of records of Dermochelys coriacea (L.)......... 31 IB. List of records of unidentified tu

  2. Debris ingestion by juvenile marine turtles: an underestimated problem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Robson Guimarães; Andrades, Ryan; Boldrini, Marcillo Altoé; Martins, Agnaldo Silva

    2015-04-15

    Marine turtles are an iconic group of endangered animals threatened by debris ingestion. However, key aspects related to debris ingestion are still poorly known, including its effects on mortality and the original use of the ingested debris. Therefore, we analysed the impact of debris ingestion in 265 green turtles (Chelonia mydas) over a large geographical area and different habitats along the Brazilian coast. We determined the death rate due to debris ingestion and quantified the amount of debris that is sufficient to cause the death of juvenile green turtles. Additionally, we investigated the original use of the ingested debris. We found that a surprisingly small amount of debris was sufficient to block the digestive tract and cause death. We suggested that debris ingestion has a high death potential that may be masked by other causes of death. An expressive part of the ingested debris come from disposable and short-lived products. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Turtles as hopeful monsters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rieppel, O

    2001-11-01

    A recently published study on the development of the turtle shell highlights the important role that development plays in the origin of evolutionary novelties. The evolution of the highly derived adult anatomy of turtles is a prime example of a macroevolutionary event triggered by changes in early embryonic development. Early ontogenetic deviation may cause patterns of morphological change that are not compatible with scenarios of gradualistic, stepwise transformation. Copyright 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

  4. 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...

  5. The Classroom Animal: Snapping Turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kramer, David C.

    1987-01-01

    Describes the distinctive features of the common snapping turtle. Discusses facts and misconceptions held about the turtle. Provides guidelines for proper care and treatment of a young snapper in a classroom environment. (ML)

  6. Western Pond Turtle Head-starting and Reintroduction; 2003-2004 Annual Report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Leuven, Susan; Allen, Harriet; Slavin, Kate (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wildlife Management Program, Olympia, WA)

    2004-09-01

    This report covers the results of the western pond turtle head-starting and reintroduction project for the period of October 2003-September 2004. Wild hatchling western pond turtles from the Columbia River Gorge were reared at the Woodland Park and Oregon Zoos in 2003 and 2004 as part of the recovery effort for this Washington State endangered species. The objective of the program is to reduce losses to introduced predators like bullfrogs and largemouth bass by raising the hatchlings to a size where they are too large to be eaten by most of these predators. Sixty-nine turtles were over-wintered at the Woodland Park Zoo and 69 at the Oregon Zoo. Of these, 136 head-started juvenile turtles were released at three sites in the Columbia Gorge in 2004. Two were held back to attain more growth in captivity. Thirty-four were released at the Klickitat ponds, 19 at the Klickitat lake, 21 at the Skamania site, and 62 at Pierce National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). This brought the total number of head-start turtles released since 1991 to 246 for the Klickitat ponds, 114 for the Klickitat lake, 167 for the Skamania pond complex, and 250 at Pierce NWR. In 2004, 32 females from the two Columbia Gorge populations were equipped with transmitters and monitored for nesting activity. Twenty-one of the females nested and produced 85 hatchlings. The hatchlings were collected in September and October and transported to the Woodland Park and Oregon zoos for rearing in the head-start program. Data collection for a four-year telemetry study of survival and habitat use by juvenile western pond turtles at Pierce NWR concluded in 2004. Radio transmitters on study animals were replaced as needed until all replacements were in service; afterward, the turtles were monitored until their transmitters failed. The corps of study turtles ranged from 39 in August 2003 to 2 turtles at the end of August 2004. These turtles showed the same seasonal pattern of movements between summer water and upland winter

  7. Economic Incentives, Perceptions and Compliance with Marine Turtle Egg Harvesting Regulation in Nicaragua

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Róger Madrigal-Ballestero

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available La Flor Wildlife Refuge and nearby beaches on the Pacific coast of Nicaragua are important nesting sites for various species of endangered marine turtles. However, illegal harvesting of turtle eggs threatens the survival of marine turtles. In this study, we analysed the different motivations of local villagers for complying with a ban on harvesting marine turtle eggs in a context, in which government authorities do not have the means to fully enforce existing regulations. We also analysed the effectiveness and the participation of locals in an incipient performance-based nest conservation payment programme to protect turtle eggs. The analysis of survey-based data from 180 households living in Ostional, the largest village near La Flor Wildlife Refuge, indicates remarkable socio-economic differences between harvesters and non-harvesters. Our findings suggest that harvesters are associated mainly with a lack of income from other activities and the absence of productive assets, such as land for cattle and/or agriculture. In addition, the lack of legitimacy of prevailing institutions (i.e., actual regulations also seems to perpetuate illegal harvesting. The performance-based payments programme is an effective option for protecting nests on isolated beaches, however, it is not clear if it changes harvesting behaviour overall. Normative motivations to protect the turtles are important determinants of participation in this programme, although the financial reward is also an important incentive, particularly since most participants who are egg harvesters depend on this activity as their main source of income.

  8. Detection and characterization of fibropapilloma associated herpesvirus of marine turtles in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carla R. Rodenbusch

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Fibropapillomatosis (FP is a benign tumoral disease that affects sea turtles, hampering movement, sight and feeding, ultimately leading to death. In Brazil, the disease was described for the first time in 1986. Research suggests the involvement of a herpesvirus in association with environmental and genetic factors as causal agents of FP. The objective of the present study was to detect and characterize this herpesvirus in sea turtles living in the coast of state Rio Grande do Sul (RS, Brazil. From October 2008 to July 2010, 14 turtles were observed between the beaches of Torres and Tavares, of which 11 were green turtles (Chelonia mydas and 3 were loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta. All turtles were young and mean curved carapace length was 37.71±7.82cm, and varied from 31 to 55cm. Only one green turtle presented a 1cm, papillary, pigmented fibropapilloma. Skin and fibropapilloma samples were analyzed by conventional and real time PCR assays to detect and quantify herpesvirus. All skin samples were negative, though the fibropapilloma specimen was positive in both tests. Viral load was 9,917.04 copies of viral genome per milligram of tissue. The DNA fragment amplified from the fibropapilloma sample was sequenced and allocated in the Atlantic phylogeographic group. This study reports the first molecular characterization of herpesvirus associated with fibropapilloma in turtles from the coast of RS.

  9. Hawaii ESI: NESTS (Nest Points)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for seabird nesting colonies in coastal Hawaii. Vector points in this data set represent locations of...

  10. Louisiana ESI: NESTS (Nest Points)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for seabird and wading bird nesting colonies in coastal Louisiana. Vector points in this data set represent...

  11. 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

  12. Serum biochemistry profile determination for wild loggerhead sea turtles nesting in Campos dos Goytacazes, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Determinação do perfil bioquímico sérico de tartarugas marinhas de vida livre da espécie em nidação em Campos dos Goytacazes, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daphne Wrobel Goldberg

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Sea turtles are threatened to the point of extinction. The major goal of rehabilitating sick individuals is to eventually reintroduce them back into their habitat. In this way, they contribute to species preservation, as well as maintaining equilibrium of the ecosystems. Biochemical analysis is a commonly used test to detect illness and evaluate the general health of the animals. However, the data in the literature on sea turtles are scarce and the majority of studies used small sample sizes, being the majority of animals in captivity. The aim of the present study is to establish baseline biochemical profile values for free-ranging, nesting, female loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta. The baseline values can then be used for comparison in the overall evaluation, physiologic status and disease diagnostics of diverse populations of sea turtles. Twenty-eight females in their reproductive period were used from Farol de São Thomé (21°45'15"S - 41°19'28"W, city of Campos dos Goytacazes, north-fluminense region. The samples were collected without anticoagulant through venapuncture of the dorsal, cervical sinus. The average values determined were calcium, phosphorus, cholesterol and triglycerides, demonstrating a correlation with vitellogenesis and egg formation. The fact that females reduce feeding in the period preceding egg laying, influenced the average concentration of urea (35.25mg dL-1, sodium (147mEq L-1, potassium (28mEq L-1, uric acid (0.6mg dL-1 and lipids. Carapace length and width, and the weight of the turtles showed a positive correlation with liver enzymes ALT and AST, suggesting that animals with larger hepatic volume have greater enzymatic activity.As tartarugas marinhas são animais ameaçados de extinção. Sendo assim, o maior objetivo em reabilitar os indivíduos doentes é posteriormente reintroduzi-los em seu habitat. Dessa forma, contribui-se para a preservação das espécies e para a manutenção do equilíbrio dos

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Persistent leatherback turtle migrations present opportunities for conservation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George L Shillinger

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Effective transboundary conservation of highly migratory marine animals requires international management cooperation as well as clear scientific information about habitat use by these species. Populations of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea in the eastern Pacific have declined by >90% during the past two decades, primarily due to unsustainable egg harvest and fisheries bycatch mortality. While research and conservation efforts on nesting beaches are ongoing, relatively little is known about this population of leatherbacks' oceanic habitat use and migration pathways. We present the largest multi-year (2004-2005, 2005-2006, and 2007 satellite tracking dataset (12,095 cumulative satellite tracking days collected for leatherback turtles. Forty-six females were electronically tagged during three field seasons at Playa Grande, Costa Rica, the largest extant nesting colony in the eastern Pacific. After completing nesting, the turtles headed southward, traversing the dynamic equatorial currents with rapid, directed movements. In contrast to the highly varied dispersal patterns seen in many other sea turtle populations, leatherbacks from Playa Grande traveled within a persistent migration corridor from Costa Rica, past the equator, and into the South Pacific Gyre, a vast, low-energy, low-productivity region. We describe the predictable effects of ocean currents on a leatherback migration corridor and characterize long-distance movements by the turtles in the eastern South Pacific. These data from high seas habitats will also elucidate potential areas for mitigating fisheries bycatch interactions. These findings directly inform existing multinational conservation frameworks and provide immediate regions in the migration corridor where conservation can be implemented. We identify high seas locations for focusing future conservation efforts within the leatherback dispersal zone in the South Pacific Gyre.

  17. green

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Grigoryeva

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available The “green” topic follows the “youngsters”, which is quite natural for the Russian language.Traditionally these words put together sound slightly derogatory. However, “green” also means fresh, new and healthy.For Russia, and for Siberia in particular, “green” architecture does sound new and fresh. Forced by the anxious reality, we are addressing this topic intentionally. The ecological crisis, growing energy prices, water, air and food deficits… Alexander Rappaport, our regular author, writes: “ It has been tolerable until a certain time, but under transition to the global civilization, as the nature is destroyed, and swellings of megapolises expand incredibly fast, the size and the significance of all these problems may grow a hundredfold”.However, for this very severe Siberian reality the newness of “green” architecture may turn out to be well-forgotten old. A traditional Siberian house used to be built on principles of saving and environmental friendliness– one could not survive in Siberia otherwise.Probably, in our turbulent times, it is high time to fasten “green belts”. But we should keep from enthusiastic sticking of popular green labels or repainting of signboards into green color. We should avoid being drowned in paper formalities under “green” slogans. And we should prevent the Earth from turning into the planet “Kin-dza-dza”.

  18. 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.