WorldWideScience

Sample records for sea turtle conservation

  1. Global sea turtle conservation successes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazaris, Antonios D; Schofield, Gail; Gkazinou, Chrysoula; Almpanidou, Vasiliki; Hays, Graeme C

    2017-09-01

    We document a tendency for published estimates of population size in sea turtles to be increasing rather than decreasing across the globe. To examine the population status of the seven species of sea turtle globally, we obtained 299 time series of annual nesting abundance with a total of 4417 annual estimates. The time series ranged in length from 6 to 47 years (mean, 16.2 years). When levels of abundance were summed within regional management units (RMUs) for each species, there were upward trends in 12 RMUs versus downward trends in 5 RMUs. This prevalence of more upward than downward trends was also evident in the individual time series, where we found 95 significant increases in abundance and 35 significant decreases. Adding to this encouraging news for sea turtle conservation, we show that even small sea turtle populations have the capacity to recover, that is, Allee effects appear unimportant. Positive trends in abundance are likely linked to the effective protection of eggs and nesting females, as well as reduced bycatch. However, conservation concerns remain, such as the decline in leatherback turtles in the Eastern and Western Pacific. Furthermore, we also show that, often, time series are too short to identify trends in abundance. Our findings highlight the importance of continued conservation and monitoring efforts that underpin this global conservation success story.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  3. 77 FR 27411 - Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp Trawling Requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-05-10

    ... imbricata) turtles are listed as endangered. The loggerhead (Caretta caretta; Northwest Atlantic distinct... populations of green turtles in Florida and on the Pacific coast of Mexico, which are listed as endangered... regulations (50 CFR 223.206) are followed. The same conservation measures also apply to endangered sea turtles...

  4. 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

  5. Conservation science in developing countries: an inside perspective on the struggles in sea turtle research and conservation in Venezuela

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buitrago, Joaquin; Guada, Hedelvy J.; Doyle, Emma

    2008-01-01

    Human exploitation of sea turtles in Venezuela dates back at least 800 years and continues to the present day. The first concerns about the status of sea turtle populations arose in the 1970s, and the projects from this early era were a tagging program, beach evaluation and in situ nest protection. Since then, efforts to develop a sea turtle research and conservation sector in Venezuela have resulted in a number of successes and rather more failures. Among the achievements is a course 'Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation Techniques', which has now been run for 15 years and has educated several hundred participants and enabled the establishment of a valuable professional network, and the publication of the Venezuelan 'Sea Turtle Recovery Action Plan' in 2000. But Venezuela shares with other developing countries some crucial shortcomings which have restricted the success of conservation and research efforts. Whilst regulations relating to protected areas and natural resource use have proliferated, enforcement is weak. Community-based projects and environmental education programs exist, but levels of participation are low. A large number of conservation approaches have been applied, including head-starting and nest translocation to hatcheries, but their value as conservation tools remains unproven. Research has increased, but its impact on decision-making is not significant. Taking an insider's perspective on the challenges to date in sea turtle research and conservation in Venezuela reveals much about the reality facing conservation scientists in developing countries and the forces that shape and can potentially derail research and conservation efforts

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gjertsen Heidi

    2010-01-01

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

  7. Conservation science in developing countries: an inside perspective on the struggles in sea turtle research and conservation in Venezuela

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Buitrago, Joaquin [Estacion de Investigaciones Marinas de Margarita, Fundacion La Salle de Ciencias Naturales, Apartado 144, Porlamar, Isla Margarita (Venezuela)], E-mail: jbuitrago@edimar.org; Guada, Hedelvy J. [Centro de Investigacion y Conservacion de Tortugas Marinas CICTMAR, Red de Conservacion de Tortugas Marinas en el Gran Caribe, WIDECAST, Apdo. 50.789, Caracas 1050-A (Venezuela); Doyle, Emma [5 Woodvale Close, St. Ives, N.S.W. 2075 (Australia)

    2008-10-15

    Human exploitation of sea turtles in Venezuela dates back at least 800 years and continues to the present day. The first concerns about the status of sea turtle populations arose in the 1970s, and the projects from this early era were a tagging program, beach evaluation and in situ nest protection. Since then, efforts to develop a sea turtle research and conservation sector in Venezuela have resulted in a number of successes and rather more failures. Among the achievements is a course 'Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation Techniques', which has now been run for 15 years and has educated several hundred participants and enabled the establishment of a valuable professional network, and the publication of the Venezuelan 'Sea Turtle Recovery Action Plan' in 2000. But Venezuela shares with other developing countries some crucial shortcomings which have restricted the success of conservation and research efforts. Whilst regulations relating to protected areas and natural resource use have proliferated, enforcement is weak. Community-based projects and environmental education programs exist, but levels of participation are low. A large number of conservation approaches have been applied, including head-starting and nest translocation to hatcheries, but their value as conservation tools remains unproven. Research has increased, but its impact on decision-making is not significant. Taking an insider's perspective on the challenges to date in sea turtle research and conservation in Venezuela reveals much about the reality facing conservation scientists in developing countries and the forces that shape and can potentially derail research and conservation efforts.

  8. 76 FR 37050 - Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for Sea Turtle Conservation and Recovery...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-06-24

    ... requirements are proposed to protect threatened and endangered sea turtles in the western Atlantic Ocean and... Pacific coast of Mexico, which are listed as endangered. Sea turtles are incidentally taken, and some are... variety of regulatory measures to reduce the bycatch of threatened and endangered sea turtles in the...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1997-01-01

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

  10. 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......-scale international approach. In-water studies in specific zones are identified as a research priority for improving the current knowledge and inform conservation plans....... The Levantine zone may be particularly key for the conservation of the Mediterranean populations of both species, since it may host the highest concentration of individuals. Subregional management units identified by dispersal patterns may facilitate turtle conservation through a relatively small...

  11. Are we working towards global research priorities for management and conservation of sea turtles?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rees, A.F.; Alfaro-Shigueto, J.; Barata, P.C.R.; Bjorndal, K.A.; Bolten, A.B.; Bourjea, J.; Broderick, A.C.; Campbell, L.M.; Cardona, L.; Carreras, C.; Casale, P.; Ceriani, S.A.; Dutton, P.H.; Eguchi, T.; Formia, A.; Fuentes, M.M.P.B.; Fuller, W.J.; Girondot, M.; Godfrey, M.H.; Hamann, M.; Hart, Kristen M.; Hays, G.C.; Hochscheid, S.; Kaska, Y.; Jensen, M.P.; Mangel, J.C.; Mortimer, J.A.; Naro-Maciel, E.; Ng, C.K.Y.; Nichols, W.J.; Phillott, A.D.; Reina, R.D.; Revuelta, O.; Schofield, G.; Seminoff, J.A.; Shanker, K.; Tomás, J.; van de Merwe, J.P.; Van Houtan, K.S.; Vander Zanden, H.B.; Wallace, B.P.; Wedemeyer-Strombel, K.R.; Work, Thierry M.; Godley, B.J.

    2016-01-01

    In 2010, an international group of 35 sea turtle researchers refined an initial list of more than 200 research questions into 20 metaquestions that were considered key for management and conservation of sea turtles. These were classified under 5 categories: reproductive biology, biogeography, population ecology, threats and conservation strategies. To obtain a picture of how research is being focused towards these key questions, we undertook a systematic review of the peer-reviewed literature (2014 and 2015) attributing papers to the original 20 questions. In total, we reviewed 605 articles in full and from these 355 (59%) were judged to substantively address the 20 key questions, with others focusing on basic science and monitoring. Progress to answering the 20 questions was not uniform, and there were biases regarding focal turtle species, geographic scope and publication outlet. Whilst it offers some meaningful indications as to effort, quantifying peer-reviewed literature output is obviously not the only, and possibly not the best, metric for understanding progress towards informing key conservation and management goals. Along with the literature review, an international group based on the original project consortium was assigned to critically summarise recent progress towards answering each of the 20 questions. We found that significant research is being expended towards global priorities for management and conservation of sea turtles. Although highly variable, there has been significant progress in all the key questions identified in 2010. Undertaking this critical review has highlighted that it may be timely to undertake one or more new prioritizing exercises. For this to have maximal benefit we make a range of recommendations for its execution. These include a far greater engagement with social sciences, widening the pool of contributors and focussing the questions, perhaps disaggregating ecology and conservation.

  12. Conservation hotspots for the turtles on the high seas of the Atlantic Ocean.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hsiang-Wen Huang

    Full Text Available Understanding the distribution of bycaught sea turtles could inform conservation strategies and priorities. This research analyses the distribution of turtles caught as longline fisheries bycatch on the high seas of the Atlantic Ocean. This research collected 18,142 bycatch observations and 47.1 million hooks from large-scale Taiwanese longline vessels in the Atlantic Ocean from June 2002 to December 2013. The coverage rates were ranged from 0.48% to 17.54% by year. Seven hundred and sixty-seven turtles were caught, and the major species were leatherback (59.8%, olive ridley (27.1% and loggerhead turtles (8.7%. Most olive ridley (81.7% and loggerhead (82.1% turtles were hooked, while the leatherbacks were both hooked (44.0% and entangled (31.8%. Depending on the species, 21.4% to 57.7% were dead when brought onboard. Most of the turtles were caught in tropical areas, especially in the Gulf of Guinea (15°N-10°S, 30°W-10°E, but loggerheads were caught in the south Atlantic Ocean (25°S-35°S, 40°W-10°E and 30°S-40°S, 55°W-45°W. The bycatch rate was the highest at 0.030 per 1000 hooks for leatherbacks in the tropical area. The bycatch rates of olive ridley ranged from 0 to 0.010 per thousand hooks. The loggerhead bycatch rates were higher in the northern and southern Atlantic Ocean and ranged from 0.0128 to 0.0239 per thousand hooks. Due to the characteristics of the Taiwanese deep-set longline fleet, bycatch rates were lower than those of coastal longline fisheries, but mortality rates were higher because of the long hours of operation. Gear and bait modification should be considered to reduce sea turtle bycatch and increase survival rates while reducing the use of shallow hooks would also be helpful.

  13. Conservation hotspots for the turtles on the high seas of the Atlantic Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Hsiang-Wen

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the distribution of bycaught sea turtles could inform conservation strategies and priorities. This research analyses the distribution of turtles caught as longline fisheries bycatch on the high seas of the Atlantic Ocean. This research collected 18,142 bycatch observations and 47.1 million hooks from large-scale Taiwanese longline vessels in the Atlantic Ocean from June 2002 to December 2013. The coverage rates were ranged from 0.48% to 17.54% by year. Seven hundred and sixty-seven turtles were caught, and the major species were leatherback (59.8%), olive ridley (27.1%) and loggerhead turtles (8.7%). Most olive ridley (81.7%) and loggerhead (82.1%) turtles were hooked, while the leatherbacks were both hooked (44.0%) and entangled (31.8%). Depending on the species, 21.4% to 57.7% were dead when brought onboard. Most of the turtles were caught in tropical areas, especially in the Gulf of Guinea (15°N-10°S, 30°W-10°E), but loggerheads were caught in the south Atlantic Ocean (25°S-35°S, 40°W-10°E and 30°S-40°S, 55°W-45°W). The bycatch rate was the highest at 0.030 per 1000 hooks for leatherbacks in the tropical area. The bycatch rates of olive ridley ranged from 0 to 0.010 per thousand hooks. The loggerhead bycatch rates were higher in the northern and southern Atlantic Ocean and ranged from 0.0128 to 0.0239 per thousand hooks. Due to the characteristics of the Taiwanese deep-set longline fleet, bycatch rates were lower than those of coastal longline fisheries, but mortality rates were higher because of the long hours of operation. Gear and bait modification should be considered to reduce sea turtle bycatch and increase survival rates while reducing the use of shallow hooks would also be helpful.

  14. NASA Kennedy Space Center: Contributions to Sea Turtle Science and Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Provancha, Jane A.; Phillips, Lynne V.; Mako, Cheryle L.

    2018-01-01

    , and universities (UCF, University of Toronto, Texas A&M, UF). This presentation will review the various studies and collaborations on sea turtles at KSC that include: nest distributions and success, stranding network development, aerial survey testing for nest counts, predator control assessments, the earliest baseline blood chemistry health determinations on nesting females, stress hormones in nesting females, multi-year study of hatchling sex ratios, genetics, species composition, abundance and distribution of in-water juveniles, turtle cold stun response, exterior lighting impacts and control, and satellite tag tracking of post-nesting turtles in the vicinity of near shore shoals and sand mining sites. Through these studies, monitoring, and recommendations, KSC has provided excellent stewardship and protection of the local environment. While conducting its space program mission, KSC has also made significant contributions of information for agencies charged with the conservation and management of these species

  15. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

    SUL, J. A. I. do.; SANTOS, I. R.; FRIEDRICH, A. C.; MATTHIENSEN, A.; FILLMANN, G.

    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...

  17. The potential of unmanned aerial systems for sea turtle research and conservation: a review and future directions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rees, Alan F.; Avens, Larisa; Ballorain, Katia; Bevan, Elizabeth; Broderick, Annette C.; Carthy, Raymond R.; Christianen, Marjolijn J. A.; Duclos, Gwénaël; Heithaus, Michael R.; Johnston, David W.; Mangel, Jeffrey C.; Paladino, Frank V.; Pendoley, Kellie; Reina, Richard D.; Robinson, Nathan J.; Ryan, Robert; Sykora-Bodie, Seth T.; Tilley, Dominic; Varela, Miguel R.; Whitman, Elizabeth R.; Whittock, Paul A.; Wibbels, Thane; Godley, Brendan J.

    2018-01-01

    The use of satellite systems and manned aircraft surveys for remote data collection has been shown to be transformative for sea turtle conservation and research by enabling the collection of data on turtles and their habitats over larger areas than can be achieved by surveys on foot or by boat. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones are increasingly being adopted to gather data, at previously unprecedented spatial and temporal resolutions in diverse geographic locations. This easily accessible, low-cost tool is improving existing research methods and enabling novel approaches in marine turtle ecology and conservation. Here we review the diverse ways in which incorporating inexpensive UAVs may reduce costs and field time while improving safety and data quality and quantity over existing methods for studies on turtle nesting, at-sea distribution and behaviour surveys, as well as expanding into new avenues such as surveillance against illegal take. Furthermore, we highlight the impact that high-quality aerial imagery captured by UAVs can have for public outreach and engagement. This technology does not come without challenges. We discuss the potential constraints of these systems within the ethical and legal frameworks which researchers must operate and the difficulties that can result with regard to storage and analysis of large amounts of imagery. We then suggest areas where technological development could further expand the utility of UAVs as data-gathering tools; for example, functioning as downloading nodes for data collected by sensors placed on turtles. Development of methods for the use of UAVs in sea turtle research will serve as case studies for use with other marine and terrestrial taxa.

  18. Leatherback sea turtle stewardship to attain local, regional, and global marine conservation and management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randall Arauz; Todd Steiner

    2007-01-01

    The leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) is the largest marine reptile with one of the longest known ocean migrations in the world and an important part of marine biodiversity. It is also important to the economies of coastal communities in developing countries, especially in areas where eco-tourism has replaced unsustainable harvest and...

  19. Sea Turtle Radio Telemetry Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Radio transmitters attached to sea turtles captured in various fishing gear enabled us to track and measure surfacing time of each turtle. Determining location of...

  20. Sea Turtle Stranding Network Reports

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network (STSSN) was formally established in 1980 to collect information on and document the stranding of marine turtles along...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background The use of ethnoecological tools to evaluate possible damage and loss of biodiversity related to the populations of species under some degree of threat may represent a first step towards integrating the political management of natural resources and conservation strategies. From this perspective, this study investigates fishermen’s ecological knowledge about sea turtles and attitudes towards the conservation and bycatch in Ilhéus, Southern Bahia, Brazil. Methods Fishermen experts semi-structured interviews were performed using snowball sampling method. The interviews consisted of a series of questions relating to the fishermen’s profile, structure and work equipment, the local ecological knowledge of fishermen about sea turtles and bycatch, a projective test, attitudes towards turtle conservation and beliefs and taboos regarding turtles. Indicators for quantitative comparisons of respondents in terms of their broad knowledge and attitudes towards turtle conservation were created. Correlation analyses were made between indicators of knowledge and attitude as well as the relationship between education level and knowledge and attitudes. Results Thirty experts were interviewed for the study. The local ecological knowledge and attitudes of fishermen towards the conservation of sea turtles were respectively medium (0.43) and moderate (0.69) according to experts (based on Likert scale and Cronbach’s Alpha). Potential areas of spawning were reported from Barra Grande to Una covering the entire coast of Ilhéus. Methods for identifying the animal, behavior, and popular names were described by fishermen. The most recent captures of turtles were attributed to fishing line, but according to the respondents, lobster nets and shrimp traps are more likely to capture turtles. Knowledge and attitudes were weakly inversely correlated (r = −0.38, p = 0.04), and the education level of the respondent showed a positive correlation with positive attitudes

  3. 77 FR 75999 - 2013 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle Observer Requirement

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-12-26

    ... to implement programs to conserve marine life listed as endangered or threatened. All sea turtles... (Dermochelys coriacea), and hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) sea turtles are listed as endangered. Loggerhead... turtles endangered wherever they occur in U.S. waters. While some sea turtle populations have shown signs...

  4. 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,…

  5. 50 CFR 660.720 - Interim protection for sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Interim protection for sea turtles. 660.720 Section 660.720 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND... Migratory Fisheries § 660.720 Interim protection for sea turtles. (a) Until the effective date of §§ 660.707...

  6. Sea Turtle Acoustic Telemetry Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Acoustic transmitters attached to sea turtles captured in various fishing gear enable the animals to be passively tracked. Acoustic receivers set up in an array...

  7. Sea Turtle Satellite Telemetry Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Sea turtles captured in various fishing gear (pound nets, long haul seines, gill nets) were outfitted with satellite transmitters so that their movements, migratory...

  8. 77 FR 38266 - Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp Trawling Requirements; Public Hearing

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-27

    ... withdraw the alternative tow time restriction and require all skimmer trawls, pusher-head trawls, and wing nets (butterfly trawls) rigged for fishing to use turtle excluder devices (TEDs) in their nets, which...

  9. Sea Turtle Research Program Summary Report

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    1997-01-01

    The USACE Sea Turtle Research Program (STRP) was conducted to minimize the risk to sea turtle populations in channels along the southeast Atlantic region of the United States from hopper-dredging activities...

  10. Sea turtles sightings in North Carolina

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  11. 50 CFR 648.126 - Protection of threatened and endangered sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

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

  12. 75 FR 81201 - 2011 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle Observer Requirement

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-12-27

    ... implement programs to conserve marine life listed as endangered or threatened. All sea turtles found in U.S... endangered wherever they occur in U.S. waters. While some sea turtle populations have shown signs of recovery... attempting to engage in any such conduct), including incidental take, of endangered sea turtles. Pursuant to...

  13. 50 CFR 223.205 - Sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kan, Da

    2004-01-01

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

  15. Sea turtle photo-identification database

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The ability to correctly and consistently identify sea turtles over time was evaluated using digital imagery of the turtles dorsal and side views of their heads and...

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  17. Heavy metals in sea turtles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Witkowski, S.A. (Millersville State College, PA); Frazier, J.G.

    1982-07-01

    Bone and barnacle samples from sea turtles (Hepidochelys olivacea) in Ecuador were analyzed for manganese, iron, copper, zinc and lead. Analysis was performed by flame atomic absorption spectroscopy. Results show that zinc and iron levels in bone and barnacles were greater than copper, manganese and lead levels. The significance of the findings is difficult to interpret because so little is known about baseline levels and physiological effects of heavy metals in the animals. (JMT)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    LoriKim Alexander

    2017-08-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Persistent Leatherback Turtle Migrations Present Opportunities for Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shillinger, George L; Palacios, Daniel M; Bailey, Helen; Bograd, Steven J; Swithenbank, Alan M; Gaspar, Philippe; Wallace, Bryan P; Spotila, James R; Paladino, Frank V; Piedra, Rotney; Eckert, Scott A; Block, Barbara A

    2008-01-01

    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. PMID:18630987

  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. Leatherback sea turtle age and growth

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  6. The Biophysical Characteristics Of Hatching Habitat Of Lekang Turtle (Lepidhochelys olivacea) Eggs In Turtle Conservation And Education Center, Bali

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suryono; Ario, R.; Wibowo, E.; Handoyo, G.

    2018-02-01

    Lekang turtle (Lepidhochelys olivacea) is one of the fauna that is protected as an endangered population. This marine reptile was able to migrate in great distance along the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, and South East Asia. Its existence has long been threatened, either by nature or human activities that endangered the population directly or indirectly. The decreasing number of sea turtle population that nest in Bali area is one indication of the reducing number of Lekang turtle in Indonesia. If left unchecked, it will result in the loss of Lekang turtle. This study aims to determine the successful percentage of conservation techniques and Lekang turtle hatching eggs (olive ridley sea turtle) in TCEC, Bali. The method used in this research is the method of observation or direct observation done in the field. Data collection is done by direct observation in the field. The results showed that the turtle breeding site is located in an area that is less strategic because too far from the sea, so that the temperature and humidity cannot be stable. Water content is most an important factor in the growth of embryo and egg hatching. This will lead to the decrease of hatching percentage of turtle eggs.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Global conservation priorities for marine turtles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bryan P Wallace

    Full Text Available Where conservation resources are limited and conservation targets are diverse, robust yet flexible priority-setting frameworks are vital. Priority-setting is especially important for geographically widespread species with distinct populations subject to multiple threats that operate on different spatial and temporal scales. Marine turtles are widely distributed and exhibit intra-specific variations in population sizes and trends, as well as reproduction and morphology. However, current global extinction risk assessment frameworks do not assess conservation status of spatially and biologically distinct marine turtle Regional Management Units (RMUs, and thus do not capture variations in population trends, impacts of threats, or necessary conservation actions across individual populations. To address this issue, we developed a new assessment framework that allowed us to evaluate, compare and organize marine turtle RMUs according to status and threats criteria. Because conservation priorities can vary widely (i.e. from avoiding imminent extinction to maintaining long-term monitoring efforts we developed a "conservation priorities portfolio" system using categories of paired risk and threats scores for all RMUs (n = 58. We performed these assessments and rankings globally, by species, by ocean basin, and by recognized geopolitical bodies to identify patterns in risk, threats, and data gaps at different scales. This process resulted in characterization of risk and threats to all marine turtle RMUs, including identification of the world's 11 most endangered marine turtle RMUs based on highest risk and threats scores. This system also highlighted important gaps in available information that is crucial for accurate conservation assessments. Overall, this priority-setting framework can provide guidance for research and conservation priorities at multiple relevant scales, and should serve as a model for conservation status assessments and priority

  10. 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.

  11. Coastal leatherback turtles reveal conservation hotspot

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Nathan J.; Morreale, Stephen J.; Nel, Ronel; Paladino, Frank V.

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that the world’s largest reptile – the leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea – conducts flexible foraging migrations that can cover thousands of kilometres between nesting sites and distant foraging areas. The vast distances that may be travelled by migrating leatherback turtles have greatly complicated conservation efforts for this species worldwide. However, we demonstrate, using a combination of satellite telemetry and stable isotope analysis, that approximately half of the nesting leatherbacks from an important rookery in South Africa do not migrate to distant foraging areas, but rather, forage in the coastal waters of the nearby Mozambique Channel. Moreover, this coastal cohort appears to remain resident year-round in shallow waters (turtles Caretta caretta. The rare presence of a resident coastal aggregation of leatherback turtles not only presents a unique opportunity for conservation, but alongside the presence of loggerhead turtles and other endangered marine megafauna in the Mozambique Channel, highlights the importance of this area as a marine biodiversity hotspot. PMID:27886262

  12. TurtleCam: A “Smart” Autonomous Underwater Vehicle for Investigating Behaviors and Habitats of Sea Turtles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kara L. Dodge

    2018-03-01

    concurrent video, localization, depth and environmental data allowed us to characterize leatherback diving behavior, foraging ecology, and habitat use, and to assess how turtle behavior mediates risk to impacts from anthropogenic activities. Our study demonstrates that an AUV can successfully track and image leatherback turtles feeding in a coastal environment, resulting in novel observations of three-dimensional subsurface behaviors and habitat use, with implications for sea turtle management and conservation.

  13. Observations of sea turtles nesting on Misali islan, Pemba | Pharoah ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A nest-recording programme has collected data over five years from turtles nesting on Misali Island, off the West coast of Pemba, Tanzania. Five species of sea turtle are known to occur in Zanzibar waters, two of these species nested regularly on the island, with green turtle nests outnumbering hawksbill turtle nests by a ...

  14. Prioritizing fishery management for loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) conservation in the northern Adriatic Sea from reproductive value analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Lazar, Bojan; Heppell, Selina S.

    2013-01-01

    Fisheries bycatch often affects particular size classes of turtles. Because of the late age at maturity, the reproductive value (RV) of small juvenile, large juvenile and adult loggerheads vary by orders of magnitude. RV provides a relative measure of value for individuals, thereby allowing us to estimate the effects of different stressors based on the number of animals killed. Using RV as a comparative index, we assessed the relative impact of trawl and gillnet fi sheries operating in the no...

  15. 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.

  16. Assessment of MEGA BORG impacts on sea turtles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gitschlag, G.

    1993-01-01

    Studies were conducted to assess the impacts of the MEGA BORG oil spill on sea turtles in the path of the oil plume. Aerial surveys were performed to determine the presence of turtles and provide a gross visual assessment of potential impacts. Although extensive efforts were made to capture sea turtles around oil and gas platforms only one loggerhead sea turtle, Caretta caretta, was captured. Neither external visual inspection nor laboratory fecal analysis showed evidence of petroleum contamination

  17. Epibiotic Diatoms Are Universally Present on All Sea Turtle Species

    OpenAIRE

    Robinson, Nathan J.; Majewska, Roksana; Lazo-Wasem, Eric A.; Nel, Ronel; Paladino, Frank V.; Rojas, Lourdes; Zardus, John D.; Pinou, Theodora

    2016-01-01

    The macro-epibiotic communities of sea turtles have been subject to growing interest in recent years, yet their micro-epibiotic counterparts are almost entirely unknown. Here, we provide the first evidence that diatoms are epibionts for all seven extant species of sea turtle. Using Scanning Electron Microscopy, we inspected superficial carapace or skin samples from a single representative of each turtle species. We distinguished 18 diatom taxa from these seven individuals, with each sea turtl...

  18. Leatherback Sea Turtle Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  19. Hawksbill Sea Turtle Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  20. Epibiotic Diatoms Are Universally Present on All Sea Turtle Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majewska, Roksana; Lazo-Wasem, Eric A.; Nel, Ronel; Paladino, Frank V.; Rojas, Lourdes; Zardus, John D.; Pinou, Theodora

    2016-01-01

    The macro-epibiotic communities of sea turtles have been subject to growing interest in recent years, yet their micro-epibiotic counterparts are almost entirely unknown. Here, we provide the first evidence that diatoms are epibionts for all seven extant species of sea turtle. Using Scanning Electron Microscopy, we inspected superficial carapace or skin samples from a single representative of each turtle species. We distinguished 18 diatom taxa from these seven individuals, with each sea turtle species hosting at least two diatom taxa. We recommend that future research is undertaken to confirm whether diatom communities vary between sea turtle species and whether these diatom taxa are facultative or obligate commensals. PMID:27257972

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  2. Notes upon some Sea Turtles

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brongersma, L.D.

    1961-01-01

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

  3. 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 ( o 2) 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 o 2 over an hour in a green turtle from measures of ODBA and mean flipper length (R2 = 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 o 2. A o 2-ODBA equation for the loggerhead hatchling data was also significant (R2 = 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. PMID:21829613

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-15

    Highly migratory marine species can travel long distances and across entire ocean basins to reach foraging and breeding grounds, yet gaps persist in our knowledge of oceanic dispersal and habitat use. This is especially true for sea turtles, whose complex life history and lengthy pelagic stage present unique conservation challenges. Few studies have explored how these young at-sea turtles navigate their environment, but advancements in satellite technology and numerical models have shown that active and passive movements are used in relation to open ocean features. Here, we provide the first study, to the best of our knowledge, to simultaneously combine a high-resolution physical forcing ocean circulation model with long-term multi-year tracking data of young, trans-oceanic North Pacific loggerhead sea turtles during their 'lost years' at sea. From 2010 to 2014, we compare simulated trajectories of passive transport with empirical data of 1-3 year old turtles released off Japan (29.7-37.5 straight carapace length cm). After several years, the at-sea distribution of simulated current-driven trajectories significantly differed from that of the observed turtle tracks. These results underscore current theories on active dispersal by young oceanic-stage sea turtles and give further weight to hypotheses of juvenile foraging strategies for this species. Such information can also provide critical geographical information for spatially explicit conservation approaches to this endangered population. © 2016 The Author(s).

  5. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pegas Fernanda

    2010-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. Global Distribution of Two Fungal Pathogens Threatening Endangered Sea Turtles

    OpenAIRE

    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 i...

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. Impact of gas emboli and hyperbaric treatment on respiratory function of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Portugues, Cyril; Crespo-Picazo, Jose Luis; García-Párraga, Daniel; Altimiras, Jordi; Lorenzo, Teresa; Borque-Espinosa, Alicia; Fahlman, Andreas

    2018-01-01

    Fisheries interactions are the most serious threats for sea turtle populations. Despite the existence of some rescue centres providing post-traumatic care and rehabilitation, adequate treatment is hampered by the lack of understanding of the problems incurred while turtles remain entrapped in fishing gears. Recently it was shown that bycaught loggerhead sea turtles ( Caretta caretta ) could experience formation of gas emboli (GE) and develop decompression sickness (DCS) after trawl and gillnet interaction. This condition could be reversed by hyperbaric O 2 treatment (HBOT). The goal of this study was to assess how GE alters respiratory function in bycaught turtles before recompression therapy and measure the improvement after this treatment. Specifically, we assessed the effect of DCS on breath duration, expiratory and inspiratory flow and tidal volume ( V T ), and the effectiveness of HBOT to improve these parameters. HBOT significantly increased respiratory flows by 32-45% while V T increased by 33-35% immediately after HBOT. Repeated lung function testing indicated a temporal increase in both respiratory flow and V T for all bycaught turtles, but the changes were smaller than those seen immediately following HBOT. The current study suggests that respiratory function is significantly compromised in bycaught turtles with GE and that HBOT effectively restores lung function. Lung function testing may provide a novel means to help diagnose the presence of GE, be used to assess treatment efficacy, and contribute to sea turtle conservation efforts.

  12. Epibiotic Diatoms Are Universally Present on All Sea Turtle Species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathan J Robinson

    Full Text Available The macro-epibiotic communities of sea turtles have been subject to growing interest in recent years, yet their micro-epibiotic counterparts are almost entirely unknown. Here, we provide the first evidence that diatoms are epibionts for all seven extant species of sea turtle. Using Scanning Electron Microscopy, we inspected superficial carapace or skin samples from a single representative of each turtle species. We distinguished 18 diatom taxa from these seven individuals, with each sea turtle species hosting at least two diatom taxa. We recommend that future research is undertaken to confirm whether diatom communities vary between sea turtle species and whether these diatom taxa are facultative or obligate commensals.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-25

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

  16. Conservation of freshwater turtles in Amazonia: retrospective and future prospects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aderson de Souza Alcântara

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available This paper aims to discuss the current status of conservation of freshwater turtles of the Amazon and the absence of the genus Podocnemis the Official List of Species of Brazilian Fauna Threatened with Extinction. Amazonian turtles are used as food by indigenous people and fisherman communities. However, fishing of adult females, uncontrolled egg collecting, habitat degradation and trafficking in wildlife have caused the decline of these populations. Nevertheless, Podocnemis expansa and Podocnemis unifilis were not included in the Brazil’s official list of animals threatened. Therefore, the turtles remain at great risk, due to the intense pressure that they are suffering. It is recommended that the criteria and the conservation status are reviewed including those animals in the category of vulnerable and to ensure a thorough review and modification in the current Brazilian law to be covered studies and management of turtles for subsistence, respecting and adding value to way of life of Amazonian peoples.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This study involves analysis of skeletal growth marks in humerus bones of 333 Kemps ridley sea turtles stranded dead along the Gulf of Mexico US coast (hatchling to...

  20. 77 FR 474 - 2012 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle Observer Requirement

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-05

    ... listed as endangered or threatened. All sea turtles found in U.S. waters are listed as either endangered... (Dermochelys coriacea), and hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) sea turtles are listed as endangered. Loggerhead... ridley turtles away from the nesting beach, NMFS considers these turtles endangered wherever they occur...

  1. 78 FR 77428 - 2014 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle Observer Requirement

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-12-23

    ... listed as endangered or threatened. All sea turtles found in U.S. waters are listed as either endangered... imbricata) sea turtles are listed as endangered. Loggerhead (Caretta caretta; Northwest Atlantic distinct... and olive ridley turtles away from the nesting beach, NMFS considers these turtles endangered wherever...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie M O'Connor

    Full Text Available 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 77 FR 60637 - Western Pacific Pelagic Fisheries; Revised Limits on Sea Turtle Interactions in the Hawaii...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-10-04

    ..., effect on the loggerhead sea turtle population. This meets the regulatory definition of an action that is...: Hawaii's sea turtles and monk seals are important for tourism, because people enjoy diving and swimming...

  5. Predaceous ants, beach replenishment, and nest placement by sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wetterer, James K; Wood, Lawrence D; Johnson, Chris; Krahe, Holly; Fitchett, Stephanie

    2007-10-01

    Ants known for attacking and killing hatchling birds and reptiles include the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren), tropical fire ant [Solenopsis geminata (Fabr.)], and little fire ant [Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger)]. We tested whether sea turtle nest placement influenced exposure to predaceous ants. In 2000 and 2001, we surveyed ants along a Florida beach where green turtles (Chelonia mydas L.), leatherbacks (Dermochelys coriacea Vandelli), and loggerheads (Caretta caretta L.) nest. Part of the beach was artificially replenished between our two surveys. As a result, mean beach width experienced by nesting turtles differed greatly between the two nesting seasons. We surveyed 1,548 sea turtle nests (2000: 909 nests; 2001: 639 nests) and found 22 ant species. S. invicta was by far the most common species (on 431 nests); S. geminata and W. auropunctata were uncommon (on 3 and 16 nests, respectively). In 2000, 62.5% of nests had ants present (35.9% with S. invicta), but in 2001, only 30.5% of the nests had ants present (16.4% with S. invicta). Turtle nests closer to dune vegetation had significantly greater exposure to ants. Differences in ant presence on turtle nests between years and among turtle species were closely related to differences in nest placement relative to dune vegetation. Beach replenishment significantly lowered exposure of nests to ants because on the wider beaches turtles nested farther from the dune vegetation. Selective pressures on nesting sea turtles are altered both by the presence of predaceous ants and the practice of beach replenishment.

  6. Conservation genomics of the endangered Burmese roofed turtle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Çilingir, F Gözde; Rheindt, Frank E; Garg, Kritika M; Platt, Kalyar; Platt, Steven G; Bickford, David P

    2017-12-01

    The Burmese roofed turtle (Batagur trivittata) is one of the world's most endangered turtles. Only one wild population remains in Myanmar. There are thought to be 12 breeding turtles in the wild. Conservation efforts for the species have raised >700 captive turtles since 2002, predominantly from eggs collected in the wild. We collected tissue samples from 445 individuals (approximately 40% of the turtles' remaining global population), applied double-digest restriction-site associated DNA sequencing (ddRAD-Seq), and obtained approximately 1500 unlinked genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms. Individuals fell into 5 distinct genetic clusters, 4 of which represented full-sib families. We inferred a low effective population size (≤10 individuals) but did not detect signs of severe inbreeding, possibly because the population bottleneck occurred recently. Two groups of 30 individuals from the captive pool that were the most genetically diverse were reintroduced to the wild, leading to an increase in the number of fertile eggs (n = 27) in the wild. Another 25 individuals, selected based on the same criteria, were transferred to the Singapore Zoo as an assurance colony. Our study demonstrates that the research-to-application gap in conservation can be bridged through application of cutting-edge genomic methods. © 2017 Society for Conservation Biology.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-02

    in sea turtle conservation and management are discussed.

  8. Sea Turtles and Strategies for Language Skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tippins, Deborah; And Others

    1993-01-01

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

  9. Marine turtles use geomagnetic cues during open-sea homing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luschi, Paolo; Benhamou, Simon; Girard, Charlotte; Ciccione, Stephane; Roos, David; Sudre, Joël; Benvenuti, Silvano

    2007-01-23

    Marine turtles are renowned long-distance navigators, able to reach remote targets in the oceanic environment; yet the sensory cues and navigational mechanisms they employ remain unclear [1, 3]. Recent arena experiments indicated an involvement of magnetic cues in juvenile turtles' homing ability after simulated displacements [4, 5], but the actual role of geomagnetic information in guiding turtles navigating in their natural environment has remained beyond the reach of experimental investigations. In the present experiment, twenty satellite-tracked green turtles (Chelonia mydas) were transported to four open-sea release sites 100-120 km from their nesting beach on Mayotte island in the Mozambique Channel; 13 of them had magnets attached to their head either during the outward journey or during the homing trip. All but one turtle safely returned to Mayotte to complete their egg-laying cycle, albeit with indirect routes, and showed a general inability to take into account the deflecting action of ocean currents as estimated through remote-sensing oceanographic measurements [7]. Magnetically treated turtles displayed a significant lengthening of their homing paths with respect to controls, either when treated during transportation or when treated during homing. These findings represent the first field evidence for the involvement of geomagnetic cues in sea-turtle navigation.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

    BackgroundFibropapillomatosis (FP) is a neoplastic disease characterized by cutaneous tumours that has been documented to infect all sea turtle species. Chelonid fibropapilloma-associated herpesvirus (CFPHV) is believed to be the aetiological agent of FP, based principally on consistent PCR......-based detection of herpesvirus DNA sequences from FP tumours. We used a recently described PCR-based assay that targets 3 conserved CFPHV genes, to survey 208 green turtles (Chelonia mydas). This included both FP tumour exhibiting and clinically healthy individuals. An additional 129 globally distributed...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-05-24

    ... DEPARTMENT OF STATE [Public Notice 7894] Programs To Reduce Incidental Capture of Sea Turtles in... programs to reduce the incidental capture of sea turtles in their shrimp fisheries comparable to the... other countries and one economy do not pose a threat of the incidental taking of sea turtles protected...

  12. 50 CFR 224.104 - Special requirements for fishing activities to protect endangered sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

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

  13. 75 FR 47825 - Emergency Exemption; Issuance of Emergency Permit to Rehabilitate Sea Turtles Affected by the...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-08-09

    ...] Emergency Exemption; Issuance of Emergency Permit to Rehabilitate Sea Turtles Affected by the Deepwater... threaten the Gulf of Mexico environment and its inhabitants, including five sea turtle species. We, the U.S...) permit, to aid sea turtles affected by the oil spill. ADDRESSES: Documents and other information...

  14. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yonat Swimmer

    2017-08-01

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

  16. Salinity tolerances and use of saline environments by freshwater turtles: implications of sea level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agha, Mickey; Ennen, Joshua R; Bower, Deborah S; Nowakowski, A Justin; Sweat, Sarah C; Todd, Brian D

    2018-03-25

    The projected rise in global mean sea levels places many freshwater turtle species at risk of saltwater intrusion into freshwater habitats. Freshwater turtles are disproportionately more threatened than other taxa; thus, understanding the role of salinity in determining their contemporary distribution and evolution should be a research priority. Freshwater turtles are a slowly evolving lineage; however, they can adapt physiologically or behaviourally to various levels of salinity and, therefore, temporarily occur in marine or brackish environments. Here, we provide the first comprehensive global review on freshwater turtle use and tolerance of brackish water ecosystems. We link together current knowledge of geographic occurrence, salinity tolerance, phylogenetic relationships, and physiological and behavioural mechanisms to generate a baseline understanding of the response of freshwater turtles to changing saline environments. We also review the potential origins of salinity tolerance in freshwater turtles. Finally, we integrate 2100 sea level rise (SLR) projections, species distribution maps, literature gathered on brackish water use, and a phylogeny to predict the exposure of freshwater turtles to projected SLR globally. From our synthesis of published literature and available data, we build a framework for spatial and phylogenetic conservation prioritization of coastal freshwater turtles. Based on our literature review, 70 species (∼30% of coastal freshwater turtle species) from 10 of the 11 freshwater turtle families have been reported in brackish water ecosystems. Most anecdotal records, observations, and descriptions do not imply long-term salinity tolerance among freshwater turtles. Rather, experiments show that some species exhibit potential for adaptation and plasticity in physiological, behavioural, and life-history traits that enable them to endure varying periods (e.g. days or months) and levels of saltwater exposure. Species that specialize on

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2001-07-01

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

  18. Who are the important predators of sea turtle nests at Wreck Rock beach?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lei, Juan; Booth, David T

    2017-01-01

    Excessive sea turtle nest predation is a problem for conservation management of sea turtle populations. This study assessed predation on nests of the endangered loggerhead sea turtle ( Caretta caretta ) at Wreck Rock beach adjacent to Deepwater National Park in Southeast Queensland, Australia after a control program for feral foxes was instigated. The presence of predators on the nesting dune was evaluated by tracking plots (2 × 1 m) every 100 m along the dune front. There were 21 (2014-2015) and 41 (2015-2016) plots established along the dune, and these were monitored for predator tracks daily over three consecutive months in both nesting seasons. Predator activities at nests were also recorded by the presence of tracks on top of nests until hatchlings emerged. In addition, camera traps were set to record the predator activity around selected nests. The tracks of the fox ( Vulpes vulpes ) and goanna ( Varanus spp ) were found on tracking plots. Tracking plots, nest tracks and camera traps indicated goanna abundance varied strongly between years. Goannas were widely distributed along the beach and had a Passive Activity Index (PAI) (0.31 in 2014-2015 and 0.16 in 2015-2016) approximately seven times higher than that of foxes (PAI 0.04 in 2014-2015 and 0.02 in 2015-2016). Five hundred and twenty goanna nest visitation events were recorded by tracks but no fox tracks were found at turtle nests. Camera trap data indicated that yellow-spotted goannas ( Varanus panoptes ) appeared at loggerhead turtle nests more frequently than lace monitors ( V. varius ) did, and further that lace monitors only predated nests previously opened by yellow-spotted goannas. No foxes were recorded at nests with camera traps. This study suggests that large male yellow-spotted goannas are the major predator of sea turtle nests at the Wreck Rock beach nesting aggregation and that goanna activity varies between years.

  19. Who are the important predators of sea turtle nests at Wreck Rock beach?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Lei

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Excessive sea turtle nest predation is a problem for conservation management of sea turtle populations. This study assessed predation on nests of the endangered loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta at Wreck Rock beach adjacent to Deepwater National Park in Southeast Queensland, Australia after a control program for feral foxes was instigated. The presence of predators on the nesting dune was evaluated by tracking plots (2 × 1 m every 100 m along the dune front. There were 21 (2014–2015 and 41 (2015–2016 plots established along the dune, and these were monitored for predator tracks daily over three consecutive months in both nesting seasons. Predator activities at nests were also recorded by the presence of tracks on top of nests until hatchlings emerged. In addition, camera traps were set to record the predator activity around selected nests. The tracks of the fox (Vulpes vulpes and goanna (Varanus spp were found on tracking plots. Tracking plots, nest tracks and camera traps indicated goanna abundance varied strongly between years. Goannas were widely distributed along the beach and had a Passive Activity Index (PAI (0.31 in 2014–2015 and 0.16 in 2015–2016 approximately seven times higher than that of foxes (PAI 0.04 in 2014–2015 and 0.02 in 2015–2016. Five hundred and twenty goanna nest visitation events were recorded by tracks but no fox tracks were found at turtle nests. Camera trap data indicated that yellow-spotted goannas (Varanus panoptes appeared at loggerhead turtle nests more frequently than lace monitors (V. varius did, and further that lace monitors only predated nests previously opened by yellow-spotted goannas. No foxes were recorded at nests with camera traps. This study suggests that large male yellow-spotted goannas are the major predator of sea turtle nests at the Wreck Rock beach nesting aggregation and that goanna activity varies between years.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paolo Casale

    2007-06-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  3. ORGANOCHLORINE CONTAMINANTS IN SEA TURTLES FROM THE EASTERN PACIFIC

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amorocho, Diego F; Abreu-Grobois, F Alberto; Dutton, Peter H; Reina, Richard D

    2012-01-01

    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.

  6. Development of a Summarized Health Index (SHI) for Use in Predicting Survival in Sea Turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Veterinary care plays an influential role in sea turtle rehabilitation, especially in endangered species. Physiological characteristics, hematological and plasma biochemistry profiles, are useful references for clinical management in animals, especially when animals are during the convalescence period. In this study, these factors associated with sea turtle surviving were analyzed. The blood samples were collected when sea turtles remained alive, and then animals were followed up for surviving status. The results indicated that significantly negative correlation was found between buoyancy disorders (BD) and sea turtle surviving (p turtles had significantly higher levels of aspartate aminotranspherase (AST), creatinine kinase (CK), creatinine and uric acid (UA) than surviving sea turtles (all p turtles and to improve veterinary care at rehabilitation facilities. PMID:25803431

  7. Perceptions of fishers to sea turtle bycatch, illegal capture and consumption in the San Ignacio-Navachiste-Macapule lagoon complex, Gulf of California, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguilar-González, Myrna E; Luna-González, Antonio; Aguirre, Alonso; Zavala-Norzagaray, Alan A; Mundo-Ocampo, Manuel; González-Ocampo, Héctor A

    2014-01-01

    In this study, 10% of all registered fishermen in the coastal towns of Navachiste in Sinaloa, in northwestern Mexico, answered a survey designed to collect data on their perceptions of the following topics: the impact of turtle meat consumption; human health; bycatch; illegal turtle fishing; the illegal sea turtle market; the local economy; pollution; environmental education; the success of protective legislation; and sea turtle-based ecotourism. Perceptions were analyzed using the fuzzy logic method through classification into 5 fuzzy membership sets: VL, very low; L, low; M, moderate; H, high; VH, very high. The 9 topics generated decision areas upon applying fuzzy inference that revealed the membership level of the answers in each fuzzy set. The economic potential of sea turtle-based ecotourism and the economic profitability of the illegal turtle meat market were perceived as VL. Conservation legislation was perceived as H, although inefficiently applied due to corruption. Ecotourism and impacts on sea turtles were perceived as VL, because they were deemed unprofitable activities at the individual and community levels. Environmental education was perceived as L, because it centers on nesting, hatching and releasing turtles and is directed at elementary and middle-school students. While fishers perceive a serious negative impact of fishing activities on sea turtles in the San Ignacio-Navachiste-Macapule area, they do not see themselves individually as part of the problem. Achieving sea turtle conservation in this region requires: suitable ecotourism infrastructure, government investments in promotion, and studies to estimate the minimum number of tourists needed to assure profitability. © 2012 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd, ISZS and IOZ/CAS.

  8. Acid-Base and Plasma Biochemical Changes Using Crystalloid Fluids in Stranded Juvenile Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Caretta caretta).

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    surgeons involved in sea turtle conservation, are also provided.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-06-12

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

  10. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Takuya Fukuoka; Misaki Yamane; Chihiro Kinoshita; Tomoko Narazaki; Greg J. Marshall; Kyler J. Abernathy; 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...

  12. Measuring behavioral responses of sea turtles, saltwater crocodiles, and crested terns to drone disturbance to define ethical operating thresholds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bevan, Elizabeth; Whiting, Scott; Tucker, Tony; Guinea, Michael; Raith, Andrew; Douglas, Ryan

    2018-01-01

    Drones are being increasingly used in innovative ways to enhance environmental research and conservation. Despite their widespread use for wildlife studies, there are few scientifically justified guidelines that provide minimum distances at which wildlife can be approached to minimize visual and auditory disturbance. These distances are essential to ensure that behavioral and survey data have no observer bias and form the basis of requirements for animal ethics and scientific permit approvals. In the present study, we documented the behaviors of three species of sea turtle (green turtles, Chelonia mydas, flatback turtles, Natator depressus, hawksbill turtles, Eretmochelys imbricata), saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus), and crested terns (Thalasseus bergii) in response to a small commercially available (1.4 kg) multirotor drone flown in Northern Territory and Western Australia. Sea turtles in nearshore waters off nesting beaches or in foraging habitats exhibited no evasive behaviors (e.g. rapid diving) in response to the drone at or above 20-30 m altitude, and at or above 10 m altitude for juvenile green and hawksbill turtles foraging on shallow, algae-covered reefs. Adult female flatback sea turtles were not deterred by drones flying forward or stationary at 10 m altitude when crawling up the beach to nest or digging a body pit or egg chamber. In contrast, flyovers elicited a range of behaviors from crocodiles, including minor, lateral head movements, fleeing, or complete submergence when a drone was present below 50 m altitude. Similarly, a colony of crested terns resting on a sand-bank displayed disturbance behaviors (e.g. flight response) when a drone was flown below 60 m altitude. The current study demonstrates a variety of behavioral disturbance thresholds for diverse species and should be considered when establishing operating conditions for drones in behavioral and conservation studies.

  13. Measuring behavioral responses of sea turtles, saltwater crocodiles, and crested terns to drone disturbance to define ethical operating thresholds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiting, Scott; Tucker, Tony; Guinea, Michael; Raith, Andrew; Douglas, Ryan

    2018-01-01

    Drones are being increasingly used in innovative ways to enhance environmental research and conservation. Despite their widespread use for wildlife studies, there are few scientifically justified guidelines that provide minimum distances at which wildlife can be approached to minimize visual and auditory disturbance. These distances are essential to ensure that behavioral and survey data have no observer bias and form the basis of requirements for animal ethics and scientific permit approvals. In the present study, we documented the behaviors of three species of sea turtle (green turtles, Chelonia mydas, flatback turtles, Natator depressus, hawksbill turtles, Eretmochelys imbricata), saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus), and crested terns (Thalasseus bergii) in response to a small commercially available (1.4 kg) multirotor drone flown in Northern Territory and Western Australia. Sea turtles in nearshore waters off nesting beaches or in foraging habitats exhibited no evasive behaviors (e.g. rapid diving) in response to the drone at or above 20–30 m altitude, and at or above 10 m altitude for juvenile green and hawksbill turtles foraging on shallow, algae-covered reefs. Adult female flatback sea turtles were not deterred by drones flying forward or stationary at 10 m altitude when crawling up the beach to nest or digging a body pit or egg chamber. In contrast, flyovers elicited a range of behaviors from crocodiles, including minor, lateral head movements, fleeing, or complete submergence when a drone was present below 50 m altitude. Similarly, a colony of crested terns resting on a sand-bank displayed disturbance behaviors (e.g. flight response) when a drone was flown below 60 m altitude. The current study demonstrates a variety of behavioral disturbance thresholds for diverse species and should be considered when establishing operating conditions for drones in behavioral and conservation studies. PMID:29561901

  14. Sea turtle acoustic and radio telemetry data in the Atlantic Ocean from 2013-2014 (NCEI Accession 0160089)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains acoustic tag readings that were attached to sea turtles captured in various fishing gears. These sea turtles were either actively or passively...

  15. Sea turtles sightings in North Carolina from 1987-02-01 to 2015-06-16 (NCEI Accession 0161174)

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  16. 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 turtles.

  17. Stable isotope tracking of endangered sea turtles: validation with satellite telemetry and δ15N analysis of amino acids.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey A Seminoff

    Full Text Available Effective conservation strategies for highly migratory species must incorporate information about long-distance movements and locations of high-use foraging areas. However, the inherent challenges of directly monitoring these factors call for creative research approaches and innovative application of existing tools. Highly migratory marine species, such as marine turtles, regularly travel hundreds or thousands of kilometers between breeding and feeding areas, but identification of migratory routes and habitat use patterns remains elusive. Here we use satellite telemetry in combination with compound-specific isotope analysis of amino acids to confirm that insights from bulk tissue stable isotope analysis can reveal divergent migratory strategies and within-population segregation of foraging groups of critically endangered leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea across the Pacific Ocean. Among the 78 turtles studied, we found a distinct dichotomy in δ(15N values of bulk skin, with distinct "low δ(15N" and "high δ(15N" groups. δ(15N analysis of amino acids confirmed that this disparity resulted from isotopic differences at the base of the food chain and not from differences in trophic position between the two groups. Satellite tracking of 13 individuals indicated that their bulk skin δ(15N value was linked to the particular foraging region of each turtle. These findings confirm that prevailing marine isoscapes of foraging areas can be reflected in the isotopic compositions of marine turtle body tissues sampled at nesting beaches. We use a Bayesian mixture model to show that between 82 and 100% of the 78 skin-sampled turtles could be assigned with confidence to either the eastern Pacific or western Pacific, with 33 to 66% of all turtles foraging in the eastern Pacific. Our forensic approach validates the use of stable isotopes to depict leatherback turtle movements over broad spatial ranges and is timely for establishing wise conservation

  18. Stable isotope tracking of endangered sea turtles: validation with satellite telemetry and δ15N analysis of amino acids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seminoff, Jeffrey A; Benson, Scott R; Arthur, Karen E; Eguchi, Tomoharu; Dutton, Peter H; Tapilatu, Ricardo F; Popp, Brian N

    2012-01-01

    Effective conservation strategies for highly migratory species must incorporate information about long-distance movements and locations of high-use foraging areas. However, the inherent challenges of directly monitoring these factors call for creative research approaches and innovative application of existing tools. Highly migratory marine species, such as marine turtles, regularly travel hundreds or thousands of kilometers between breeding and feeding areas, but identification of migratory routes and habitat use patterns remains elusive. Here we use satellite telemetry in combination with compound-specific isotope analysis of amino acids to confirm that insights from bulk tissue stable isotope analysis can reveal divergent migratory strategies and within-population segregation of foraging groups of critically endangered leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) across the Pacific Ocean. Among the 78 turtles studied, we found a distinct dichotomy in δ(15)N values of bulk skin, with distinct "low δ(15)N" and "high δ(15)N" groups. δ(15)N analysis of amino acids confirmed that this disparity resulted from isotopic differences at the base of the food chain and not from differences in trophic position between the two groups. Satellite tracking of 13 individuals indicated that their bulk skin δ(15)N value was linked to the particular foraging region of each turtle. These findings confirm that prevailing marine isoscapes of foraging areas can be reflected in the isotopic compositions of marine turtle body tissues sampled at nesting beaches. We use a Bayesian mixture model to show that between 82 and 100% of the 78 skin-sampled turtles could be assigned with confidence to either the eastern Pacific or western Pacific, with 33 to 66% of all turtles foraging in the eastern Pacific. Our forensic approach validates the use of stable isotopes to depict leatherback turtle movements over broad spatial ranges and is timely for establishing wise conservation efforts in

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

    OpenAIRE

    Bellido, J. J.; Báez, J. C.; Castillo, J. J.; Martín, J. J.; Mons, J. L.; Real, R.

    2010-01-01

    A juvenile loggerhead turtle with buoyancy problems was captured in the Alboran Sea (Mediterranean Sea, south of Spain) and released 14 months later after healing. Six days after the release, the turtle was seen swimming 42 km from the point of release, displaying unusual behaviour. We re-captured and released it again, 95 nautical miles offshore, near the Alboran Island. Ten days later the turtle arrived at the beach close to where it had been maintained in captivity. We discuss these findin...

  20. 50 CFR 222.309 - Permits for listed species of sea turtles involving the Fish and Wildlife Service.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Permits for listed species of sea turtles... species of sea turtles involving the Fish and Wildlife Service. (a) This section establishes specific... survival of endangered or threatened species of sea turtles; zoological exhibition or educational purposes...

  1. Significance of Perceived Social Expectation and Implications to Conservation Education: Turtle Conservation as a Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lo, Alex Y.; Chow, Alex T.; Cheung, Sze Man

    2012-11-01

    The likelihood of participating in wildlife conservation programs is dependent on social influences and circumstances. This view is validated by a case study of behavioral intention to support conservation of Asian turtles. A total of 776 college students in China completed a questionnaire survey designed to identify factors associated with their intention to support conservation. A regression model explained 48 % of variance in the level of intention. Perceived social expectation was the strongest predictor, followed by attitudes toward turtle protection and perceived behavioral control, altogether explaining 44 %. Strong ethics and socio-economic variables had some statistical significant impacts and accounted for 3 % of the variance. The effects of general environmental awareness, trust and responsibility ascription were modest. Knowledge about turtles was a weak predictor. We conclude that perceived social expectation is a limiting factor of conservation behavior. Sustained interest and commitment to conservation can be created by enhancing positive social influences. Conservation educators should explore the potential of professionally supported, group-based actions that can nurture a sense of collective achievement as part of an educational campaign.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paolo Casale

    2011-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Captive sea turtle rearing inventory, feeding, and water chemistry in sea turtle rearing tanks at NOAA Galveston 1995 to 2015 (NCEI Accession 0156869)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The database contains Excel and CSV spreadsheets monitoring captive Sea Turtle rearing program. Daily feeding logs as well as water chemistry were recorded.

  5. Cost-effectiveness of alternative conservation strategies with application to the Pacific leatherback turtle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gjertsen, Heidi; Squires, Dale; Dutton, Peter H; Eguchi, Tomoharu

    2014-02-01

    Although holistic conservation addressing all sources of mortality for endangered species or stocks is the preferred conservation strategy, limited budgets require a criterion to prioritize conservation investments. We compared the cost-effectiveness of nesting site and at-sea conservation strategies for Pacific leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea). We sought to determine which conservation strategy or mix of strategies would produce the largest increase in population growth rate per dollar. Alternative strategies included protection of nesters and their eggs at nesting beaches in Indonesia, gear changes, effort restrictions, and caps on turtle takes in the Hawaiian (U.S.A.) longline swordfish fishery, and temporal and area closures in the California (U.S.A.) drift gill net fishery. We used a population model with a biological metric to measure the effects of conservation alternatives. We normalized all effects by cost to prioritize those strategies with the greatest biological effect relative to its economic cost. We used Monte Carlo simulation to address uncertainty in the main variables and to calculate probability distributions for cost-effectiveness measures. Nesting beach protection was the most cost-effective means of achieving increases in leatherback populations. This result creates the possibility of noncompensatory bycatch mitigation, where high-bycatch fisheries invest in protecting nesting beaches. An example of this practice is U.S. processors of longline tuna and California drift gill net fishers that tax themselves to finance low-cost nesting site protection. Under certain conditions, fisheries interventions, such as technologies that reduce leatherback bycatch without substantially decreasing target species catch, can be cost-effective. Reducing bycatch in coastal areas where bycatch is high, particularly adjacent to nesting beaches, may be cost-effective, particularly, if fisheries in the area are small and of little commercial value.

  6. Critical Beach Habitat for Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle Endangered Before Mid-Century

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burstein, J. T.; Fletcher, C. H., III; Dominique Tavares, K.

    2017-12-01

    habitat for the Hawaiian Green Sea turtle (Chelonia Mydas). The results of this study suggest that decision-makers need to act without delay in developing habitat management plans to protect and preserve Hawai'i's shorelines, and conserve critical habitats for the Hawaiian Green Sea turtle and other indigenous species.

  7. 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. Keywords: Artificial light, Viewshed analysis, Sea turtle conservation, Coastal resort management, InVEST

  8. Navigational challenges in the oceanic migrations of leatherback sea turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sale, Alessandro; Luschi, Paolo

    2009-01-01

    The open-sea movements of marine animals are affected by the drifting action of currents that, if not compensated for, can produce non-negligible deviations from the correct route towards a given target. Marine turtles are paradigmatic skilful oceanic navigators that are able to reach remote goals at the end of long-distance migrations, apparently overcoming current drift effects. Particularly relevant is the case of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), which spend entire years in the ocean, wandering in search of planktonic prey. Recent analyses have revealed how the movements of satellite-tracked leatherbacks in the Indian, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans are strongly dependent on the oceanic currents, up to the point that turtles are often passively transported over long distances. However, leatherbacks are known to return to specific areas to breed every 2–3 years, thus finding their way back home after long periods in the oceanic environment. Here we examine the navigational consequences of the leatherbacks' close association with currents and discuss how the combined reliance on mechanisms of map-based navigation and local orientation cues close to the target may allow leatherbacks to accomplish the difficult task of returning to specific sites after years spent wandering in a moving medium. PMID:19625321

  9. The Use of Green Turtles in Bali, When Conservation Meets Culture

    OpenAIRE

    Westerlaken, Rodney

    2016-01-01

    The use of green turtles in ceremonies, as delicacy or for the use of the shell has been a vast problem in history and recent years on Bali. The number of turtles living in the waters surrounding Bali is decreasing and the illegal trade is vivid.   Several projects are fighting for conservation of turtles and the Parisada Hindu Dharma Indonesia (the highest Hindu council) issued a decree against the use of turtles in ceremonies, but illegal trade remains. On April 7, 2016 40 green ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bellido, J. J.

    2010-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lalire, Maxime

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaspar, Philippe; Lalire, Maxime

    2017-01-01

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

  13. Unravelling the microbiome of eggs of the endangered sea turtle Eretmochelys imbricata identifies bacteria with activity against the emerging pathogen Fusarium falciforme.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jullie M Sarmiento-Ramírez

    Full Text Available Habitat bioaugmentation and introduction of protective microbiota have been proposed as potential conservation strategies to rescue endangered mammals and amphibians from emerging diseases. For both strategies, insight into the microbiomes of the endangered species and their habitats is essential. Here, we sampled nests of the endangered sea turtle species Eretmochelys imbricata that were infected with the fungal pathogen Fusarium falciforme. Metagenomic analysis of the bacterial communities associated with the shells of the sea turtle eggs revealed approximately 16,664 operational taxonomic units, with Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes as the most dominant phyla. Subsequent isolation of Actinobacteria from the eggshells led to the identification of several genera (Streptomyces, Amycolaptosis, Micromomospora Plantactinospora and Solwaraspora that inhibit hyphal growth of the pathogen F. falciforme. These bacterial genera constitute a first set of microbial indicators to evaluate the potential role of microbiota in conservation of endangered sea turtle species.

  14. Unravelling the microbiome of eggs of the endangered sea turtle Eretmochelys imbricata identifies bacteria with activity against the emerging pathogen Fusarium falciforme.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarmiento-Ramírez, Jullie M; van der Voort, Menno; Raaijmakers, Jos M; Diéguez-Uribeondo, Javier

    2014-01-01

    Habitat bioaugmentation and introduction of protective microbiota have been proposed as potential conservation strategies to rescue endangered mammals and amphibians from emerging diseases. For both strategies, insight into the microbiomes of the endangered species and their habitats is essential. Here, we sampled nests of the endangered sea turtle species Eretmochelys imbricata that were infected with the fungal pathogen Fusarium falciforme. Metagenomic analysis of the bacterial communities associated with the shells of the sea turtle eggs revealed approximately 16,664 operational taxonomic units, with Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes as the most dominant phyla. Subsequent isolation of Actinobacteria from the eggshells led to the identification of several genera (Streptomyces, Amycolaptosis, Micromomospora Plantactinospora and Solwaraspora) that inhibit hyphal growth of the pathogen F. falciforme. These bacterial genera constitute a first set of microbial indicators to evaluate the potential role of microbiota in conservation of endangered sea turtle species.

  15. 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

    validation, ELISA sexing could be applied to other sea turtle species, and serve as a crucial conservation tool.

  16. 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. PMID:27305858

  17. Caught in the Same Net? Small-Scale Fishermen's Perceptions of Fisheries Interactions with Sea Turtles and Other Protected Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aliki Panagopoulou

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Small-scale fisheries are responsible for high numbers of animals caught as bycatch, such as turtles, cetaceans, and seals. Bycatch and its associated mortality is a major conservation challenge for these species and is considered undesirable by fishermen. To gain insights on the impact of bycatch on small-scale fishermen and put it in context with other financial and environmental challenges they face, we conducted questionnaire-based interviews on fishermen working on Crete, Greece. We investigated fishermen's perceptions of sea turtle and other protected species interactions, and the impacts of such interactions on their profession and livelihoods. Our results indicate a connection between declining fish stocks, related increased fishing effort, and reported increased frequency of interactions between fishermen and sea turtles. Respondents believed that their livelihoods were endangered by industrial fishing and environmental problems, but thought that combined interactions with turtles and other marine megafauna species were a larger problem. Responses suggested that extending compensation to fishermen may be a good conservation intervention. Small-scale fishermen hold a wealth of knowledge about the marine environment and its resources. This may be of help to researchers and policy makers as it could be used to achieve a better managed, sustainable fishery. Including small-scale fishermen in the process of developing regulations will both enhance those regulations and increase compliance with them.

  18. Levels of trace elements, methylmercury and polybrominated diphenyl ethers in foraging green turtles in the South China region and their conservation implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, Connie Ka Yan; Lam, James Chung Wah; Zhang, Xiao Hua; Gu, He Xiang; Li, Tsung Hsien; Ye, Min Bin; Xia, Zhong Rong; Zhang, Fei Yan; Duan, Jin Xia; Wang, Wen Xiong; Lam, Isaac Kam Sum; Balazs, George H; Lam, Paul K S; Murphy, Margaret B

    2018-03-01

    Sea turtles are globally endangered and face daily anthropogenic threats, including pollution. However, there is a lack of ecotoxicological information on sea turtles, especially in the Asia-Pacific region. This study aims to determine pollutant levels of foraging green turtles (Chelonia mydas) in South China, including Hong Kong, Guangdong and Taiwan, as a basis for their conservation. Scute, liver and muscle tissues of stranded green turtles were analysed for levels of 17 trace elements and methylmercury (MeHg) (n = 86 for scute and n = 14 for liver) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) (n = 11 for muscle and n = 13 for liver). Ten-fold higher levels of Pb, Ba, V and Tl and 40-fold greater Cd levels were measured in green turtle livers in South China relative to other studies conducted over 10 years ago. Measured PBDE levels were also 27-fold and 50-fold greater than those reported in Australia and Japan. These results warrant further investigation of potential toxicological risks to green turtles in South China and their source rookeries in Malaysia, Micronesia, Indonesia, Marshall Islands, Japan and Taiwan. Research should target monitoring pollutant levels in sea turtles within the West Pacific/Southeast Asia regional management unit spanning East Asia to Southeast Asia to fill in knowledge gaps, in particular in areas such as Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines where less or no data is available and where foraging grounds of sea turtles have been identified. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. 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.

  20. Global Analysis of Anthropogenic Debris Ingestion by Sea Turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tsung-Hsien Li

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-04-15

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Calcagni, Gianluca

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calcagni, Gianluca

    2016-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Diel foraging behavior of gravid leatherback sea turtles in deep waters of the Caribbean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casey, James; Garner, Jeanne; Garner, Steve; Williard, Amanda Southwood

    2010-12-01

    It is generally assumed that leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), like other species of sea turtle, do not feed while offshore from nesting beaches, and rely instead on fat reserves to fuel reproductive activities. Recent studies, however, provide evidence that leatherbacks may forage during the internesting interval while offshore in the Western Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Bio-logging technology was used to investigate the foraging behavior of female leatherback turtles at St Croix, US Virgin Islands. Leatherback gastrointestinal tract temperatures (T(GT)) were analyzed for sudden fluctuations indicative of ingestions, and laboratory ingestion simulations were used to characterize temperature fluctuations associated with ingestion of prey versus seawater. Dive patterns associated with prey ingestion were characterized and the proportion of prey ingestion during the day (05:00-18:59 h) and night (19:00-04:59 h) were compared. A combined total of 111 prey ingestions for seven leatherback turtles were documented during the internesting interval. The number of prey ingestions ranged from six to 48 for individual turtles, and the majority (87.4%) of these events occurred during the daytime. Prey ingestions were most frequently associated with V-shaped dives, and the mean (±1 s.d.) maximum dive depth with prey ingestion ranged from 154±51 to 232±101 m for individual turtles. Although leatherbacks were found to opportunistically feed during the internesting interval, the low prey ingestion rates indicate that energy reserves acquired prior to the breeding season are critical for successful reproduction by leatherbacks from the St Croix, USVI nesting population.

  12. 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

    2013-01-01

    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.

  13. Nest site selection and hatching success of hawksbill and loggerhead sea turtles (Testudines, Cheloniidae at Arembepe Beach, northeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thiago Zagonel Serafini

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Nest site selection influences the hatching success of sea turtles and represents a crucial aspect of their reproductive process. Arembepe Beach, in the State of Bahia, northeastern Brazil, is a known nest site for Caretta caretta and Eretmochelys imbricata. For the nesting seasons in 2004/2005 and 2005/2006, we analyzed the influence of beach profile and amount of beach vegetation cover on nest site selection and the hatching success for both species. Loggerhead turtles nested preferentially in the sand zone, while hawksbill turtles demonstrated no preferences for either sand or vegetation zone. Beach vegetation was important in the modulation of nest site selection behavior for both species, but the amount of beach vegetation cover influenced (negatively hatching success only for the hawksbill, mainly via the increment of non-hatched eggs.Hatching success, outside the tide risk zone, was not influenced by the position of the nests along the beach profile. The pattern of nest distribution by species indicated that management of nests at risk of inundation and erosion by the tide is more important for loggerhead turtles than for hawksbill turtles. Beach vegetation is animportant factor in the conservation of these sea turtle species. Nests that are at risk due to tidal inundation and erosion can be translocated to any position along the beach profile without producing any significant effect on hatching success, as long as highdensities of beach vegetation cover are avoided for hawksbill nests. It is important to point out that the pattern we report here for distribution of hawksbill nests along the beach profile could be due in part to the influence of pure and hybrid individuals, since there are reports of hybridization among hawksbills and loggerheads to the study site.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Loggerhead sea turtle oral cavity morphometrics and size class from 2001 to 2004 (NCEI Accession 0164321)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains standard external morphometrics and internal oral cavity morphometrics from wild and captive reared loggerhead sea turtles in size classes...

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  19. Monthly morphometric data on captive Kemps ridley sea turtles from 1998-2014 (NCEI Accession 0156880)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data contains monthly morphometric measurements on captive reared sea turtles at the Galveston, TX NOAA lab. Morphometric measurements are taken to track growth...

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  2. 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.

  3. Captive reared loggerhead sea turtles Hook and bait interaction trials From 2004-2007

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Hook and bait interaction feeding response data from experiments with captive reared loggerhead sea turtles ranging from 45 - 65 cm straight carapace length) were...

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-10

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Hoover, Aimee L.; Shillinger, George L.; Swiggs, Jennifer; Bailey, Helen

    2017-01-01

    The poorly understood movements of sea turtles during the “lost years” of their early life history have been characterized as a “passive drifter” stage. Biologging technology allows us to study patterns of dispersal, but the small body size of young life stages requires particular consideration that such tagging does not significantly impede animal movements. We tested the effect of instrument attachment methods for mobile acoustic tracking of hatchling sea turtles, including a design that wo...

  8. Review of potential impacts to sea turtles from underwater explosive removal of offshore structures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Viada, Stephen T.; Hammer, Richard M.; Racca, Roberto; Hannay, David; Thompson, M. John; Balcom, Brian J.; Phillips, Neal W.

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to collect and synthesize existing information relevant to the explosive removal of offshore structures (EROS) in aquatic environments. Data sources were organized and summarized by topic - explosive removal methods, physics of underwater explosions, sea turtle resources, documented impacts to sea turtles, and mitigation of effects. Information was gathered via electronic database searches and literature source review. Bulk explosive charges are the most commonly used technique in EROS. While the physical principles of underwater detonations and the propagation of pressure and acoustic waves are well understood, there are significant gaps in the application of this knowledge. Impacts to sea turtles from explosive removal operations may range from non-injurious effects (e.g. acoustic annoyance; mild tactile detection or physical discomfort) to varying levels of injury (i.e. non-lethal and lethal injuries). Very little information exists regarding the impacts of underwater explosions on sea turtles. Effects of explosions on turtles often must be inferred from documented effects to other vertebrates with lungs or other gas-containing organs, such as mammals and most fishes. However, a cautious approach should be used when determining impacts to sea turtles based on extrapolations from other vertebrates. The discovery of beached sea turtles and bottlenose dolphins following an explosive platform removal event in 1986 prompted the initiation of formal consultation between the U.S. Department of the Interior, Minerals Management Service (MMS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), authorized through the Endangered Species Act Section 7, to determine a mechanism to minimize potential impacts to listed species. The initial consultation resulted in a requirement for oil and gas companies to obtain a permit (through separate consultations on a case-by-case basis) prior to using explosives in Federal waters. Because many offshore

  9. The cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of particulate and soluble hexavalent chromium in leatherback sea turtle lung cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Speer, Rachel M; Wise, Catherine F; Young, Jamie L; Aboueissa, AbouEl-Makarim; Martin Bras, Mark; Barandiaran, Mike; Bermúdez, Erick; Márquez-D'Acunti, Lirio; Wise, John Pierce

    2018-05-01

    Hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] is a marine pollution of concern as recent studies show it has a global distribution, with some regions showing high Cr concentrations in marine animal tissue, and it is extensively used. Leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) are an endangered marine species that may experience prolonged exposures to environmental contaminants including Cr(VI). Human activities have led to global Cr(VI) contamination of the marine environment. While Cr(VI) has been identified as a known human carcinogen, the health effects in marine species are poorly understood. In this study, we assessed the cytotoxic and genotoxic effects of particulate and soluble Cr(VI) in leatherback sea turtle lung cells. Both particulate and soluble Cr(VI) induced a concentration-dependent increase in cytotoxicity. Next, using a chromosome aberration assay, we assessed the genotoxic effects of Cr(VI) in leatherback sea turtle lung cells. Particulate and soluble Cr(VI) induced a concentration-dependent increase in clastogenicity in leatherback sea turtle lung cells. These data indicate that Cr(VI) may be a health concern for leatherback sea turtles and other long-lived marine species. Additionally, these data provide foundational support to use leatherback sea turtles as a valuable model species for monitoring the health effects of Cr(VI) in the environment and possibly as an indicator species to assess environmental human exposures and effects. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Association between nighttime artificial light pollution and sea turtle nest density along Florida coast: A geospatial study using VIIRS remote sensing data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Zhiyong; Hu, Hongda; Huang, Yuxia

    2018-08-01

    Artificial lighting at night has becoming a new type of pollution posing an important anthropogenic environmental pressure on organisms. The objective of this research was to examine the potential association between nighttime artificial light pollution and nest densities of the three main sea turtle species along Florida beaches, including green turtles, loggerheads, and leatherbacks. Sea turtle survey data was obtained from the "Florida Statewide Nesting Beach Survey program". We used the new generation of satellite sensor "Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS)" (version 1 D/N Band) nighttime annual average radiance composite image data. We defined light pollution as artificial light brightness greater than 10% of the natural sky brightness above 45° of elevation (>1.14 × 10 -11 Wm -2 sr -1 ). We fitted a generalized linear model (GLM), a GLM with eigenvectors spatial filtering (GLM-ESF), and a generalized estimating equations (GEE) approach for each species to examine the potential correlation of nest density with light pollution. Our models are robust and reliable in terms of the ability to deal with data distribution and spatial autocorrelation (SA) issues violating model assumptions. All three models found that nest density is significantly negatively correlated with light pollution for each sea turtle species: the higher light pollution, the lower nest density. The two spatially extended models (GLM-ESF and GEE) show that light pollution influences nest density in a descending order from green turtles, to loggerheads, and then to leatherbacks. The research findings have an implication for sea turtle conservation policy and ordinance making. Near-coastal lights-out ordinances and other approaches to shield lights can protect sea turtles and their nests. The VIIRS DNB light data, having significant improvements over comparable data by its predecessor, the DMSP-OLS, shows promise for continued and improved research about ecological effects of

  11. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Sazima

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

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

    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...

  14. Stranding and incidental catch of sea turtles in the coastal Tumbes, Peru

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos A. Rosales

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Strandings and incidental catches of four sea turtles species (Chelonia mydas, Lepidochelys olivacea, Dermochelys coriacea and Eretmochelys imbricata were registered in Tumbes Region since August 2007 to August 2009. These registers (52.6% of strandings and 47.4% of incidental catches occurred during all year; most frequently in Punta Picos (50.5%, Canoas (20.0% and Baja de Punta Mero (14.7%. The most registered species were C. mydas (64.2% and L. olivacea (30.5%; their sizes did not present significant differences between areas and climatic seasons. The higher percentage of C. mydas, L. olivacea and D. coriacea were considered sub-adults, including the only specimen of E. imbricata. The incidental catches were made with gillnets of different mesh sizes, but 8 inches mesh was most frequently. A high proportions of specimens were died with signs of drowning (22.2% this was due to the prolonged time of soak time of gillnet (approximately 12 hours. No significant differences in CPUE were found between climatic seasons and no seasonal pattern was evident. Lesions in 14% of stranded specimens were caused possibly by human attacks or by collisions with fishing boats. 77.8% of incidental catch specimens were sacrificed for the commercialization of his meat, and sometimes of his shell, this shows the lack of awareness of conservation. These observations indicate that the coast of Tumbes is an important foraging area and development of sub-adult specimens of sea turtles; so it is recomend to develop monitoring, awareness and critical areas protection programs to foment the conservation of these organisms in the Eastern Pacific.

  15. Sea Turtle Satellite Telemetry Data in North Atlantic Ocean from 2007-10-16 to 2010-11-26 (NCEI Accession 0159216)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains satellite telemetry data for sea turtles. Movements, migratory pathways, and foraging behavior of sea turtles were tracked and surfacing...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malashichev, Yegor

    2016-04-01

    The righting responses, when the animal rights itself over one side of the body after been overturned on the back, are one of the simplest ways to test for laterality, especially in lower vertebrates. In anuran amphibians unilateral preferences in righting responses correlated to the degree of the use of alternating-limb (asynchronous) movements during locomotion. Turtles is one of the underrepresented vertebrate groups in the studies of laterality, while possess also different types of locomotion (with synchronous or asynchronous use of the contralateral limbs), which allows testing the hypothesis on functional relationship between the mode of locomotion and the strength of laterality. We studied two species of sea turtles, Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) and Olive Ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea), which differ from the majority of other representatives of the order in that they mostly utilize synchronous locomotion, when all four limbs move simultaneously in strokes (scratching). In righting response tests turtles demonstrated individual and weak population level laterality, which differed in strength. The Green turtle was less lateralized with the majority of individuals being ambipreferent. The Olive Ridley turtle had a greater number of lateralized individuals and a greater average strength of laterality. Interspecies comparison to land tortoises, which use only asynchronous (alternating-limb) walking (crawling), confirmed the rule found in amphibians: the more asynchronous locomotion is used, the greater is the strength of laterality in righting. Hence, data from turtles and amphibians may represent a phenomenon common for all quadruped vertebrates. We also discuss possible biomechanical and neurological correlates of this evolutionary change in locomotory patterns and lateralization in sea turtles when adapting to sea life. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Spatial Dynamics of Sea Turtle Abundance and Shrimping Intensity in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carrie J. McDaniel

    2000-07-01

    Full Text Available In order to examine the scientific feasibility of area closures for sea turtle protection, we determined the spatial dynamics of sea turtles for the U.S. Gulf of Mexico by analyzing National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS aerial survey data in September, October, and November of 1992, 1993, and 1994. Turtle sightings were grouped into depth zones and NMFS fishery statistical zones, and strip transect methods were used to estimate the relative abundance of sea turtles in each subzone. Average shrimping intensity was calculated for each subzone for all months of 1992, 1993, and 1994, as well as for the months and locations of the aerial survey. The spatial overlap of sea turtle abundance and shrimping intensity suggested regions where interactions are likely to occur. Sea turtles were observed at much higher rates along the coast of Florida than in the Western Gulf; the highest density of sea turtles was observed in the Florida Keys region (0.525 turtles/km2. Shrimping intensity was highest in the Western Gulf along the coast of Texas and Louisiana, for both annual and fall estimates. Among alternative management scenarios, area closures in conjunction with continued Turtle Excluder Device (TED requirements would probably best prevent sea turtles from future extinction. By implementing shrimping closures off of South Padre Island, Texas, a potential second nesting population of Kemp's ridleys (Lepidochelys kempi could be protected. Closing waters where shrimping intensity is low and sea turtle abundance is high (e.g., South Florida waters would protect sea turtles without economically impacting a large number of shrimpers.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-12-09

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

    Several marine animals, including salmon and sea turtles, disperse across vast expanses of ocean before returning as adults to their natal areas to reproduce. How animals accomplish such feats of natal homing has remained an enduring mystery. Salmon are known to use chemical cues to identify their home rivers at the end of spawning migrations. Such cues, however, do not extend far enough into the ocean to guide migratory movements that begin in open-sea locations hundreds or thousands of kilometers away. Similarly, how sea turtles reach their nesting areas from distant sites is unknown. However, both salmon and sea turtles detect the magnetic field of the Earth and use it as a directional cue. In addition, sea turtles derive positional information from two magnetic elements (inclination angle and intensity) that vary predictably across the globe and endow different geographic areas with unique magnetic signatures. Here we propose that salmon and sea turtles imprint on the magnetic field of their natal areas and later use this information to direct natal homing. This novel hypothesis provides the first plausible explanation for how marine animals can navigate to natal areas from distant oceanic locations. The hypothesis appears to be compatible with present and recent rates of field change (secular variation); one implication, however, is that unusually rapid changes in the Earth's field, as occasionally occur during geomagnetic polarity reversals, may affect ecological processes by disrupting natal homing, resulting in widespread colonization events and changes in population structure. PMID:19060188

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-15

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Camila Poli; Daniel Oliveira Mesquita; Cinthia Saska; Rita Mascarenhas

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Currently, plastics are recognized as a major pollutant of the marine environment, representing a serious threat to ocean wildlife. Here, we examined the occurrence and effects of plastic ingestion by sea turtles found stranded along the coast of Paraíba State, Brazil from August 2009 to July 2010. Ninety-eight digestive tracts were examined, with plastic found in 20 (20.4%). Sixty five percent (n = 13) of turtles with plastic in the digestive tract were green turtles (Chelonia mydas...

  3. 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.

  4. Use of Particle Tracking to Determine Optimal Release Dates and Locations for Rehabilitated Neonate Sea Turtles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalie A. Robson

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Sea turtles found stranded on beaches are often rehabilitated before being released back into the wild. The location and date of release is largely selected on an informal basis, which may not maximize the chance of survival. As oceanic conditions have a large influence on the movements of neonate sea turtles, this study aimed to identify the best locations and months to release rehabilitated sea turtles that would assist in their transport by ocean currents to the habitat and thermal conditions required for their survival. A particle tracking model, forced by ocean surface velocity fields, was used to simulate the dispersal pathways of millions of passively drifting particles released from different locations in Western Australia. The particles represented rehabilitated, neonate turtles requiring oceanic habitats [green (Chelonia mydas, hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata and loggerheads (Caretta caretta] and flatback turtles (Natator depressus which require neritic habitats. The results clearly identified regions and months where ocean currents were more favorable for transport to suitable habitats. Tantabiddi, near Exmouth on the north-west coast, was consistently the best location for release for the oceanic species, with dominant offshore-directed currents and a very narrow continental shelf reducing the time taken for particles to be transported into deep water. In contrast, release locations with more enclosed geography, wide continental shelves, and/or proximity to cooler ocean temperatures were less successful. Our results produced a decision support system for the release of neonate marine turtles in Western Australia and our particle tracking approach has global transferability.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcela dos S. Magalhães

    2012-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. 75 FR 25840 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plans; Recovery Plan for the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-10

    ... DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XS00 Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plans; Recovery Plan for the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle AGENCIES...-National Recovery Plan (Plan) for the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys kempii). The Kemp's Ridley...

  8. 75 FR 12496 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plans; Recovery Plan for the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-16

    ... DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XS00 Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plans; Recovery Plan for the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle AGENCIES... Plan (Plan) for the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys kempii). The Kemp's Ridley Recovery Plan is...

  9. 76 FR 58781 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plans; Recovery Plan for the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-22

    ... DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XS00 Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plans; Recovery Plan for the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle AGENCY... Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys kempii). The Recovery Plan is a bi-national plan developed by the NMFS and...

  10. Hexavalent Chromium Is Cytotoxic and Genotoxic to Hawksbill Sea Turtle Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    Sea turtles are a charismatic and ancient ocean species and can serve as key indicators for ocean ecosystems, including coral reefs and sea grass beds as well as coastal beaches. Genotoxicity studies in the species are absent, limiting our understanding of the impact of environmental toxicants on sea turtles. Hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) is a ubiquitous environmental problem worldwide, and recent studies show it is a global marine pollutant of concern. Thus, we evaluated the cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of soluble and particulate Cr(VI) in hawksbill sea turtle cells. Particulate Cr(VI) was both cytotoxic and genotoxic to sea turtle cells. Concentrations of 0.1, 0.5, 1, and 5 μg/cm2 lead chromate induced 108, 79, 54, and 7 percent relative survival, respectively. Additionally, concentrations of 0, 0.1, 0.5, 1, and 5 μg/cm2 lead chromate induced damage in 4, 10, 15, 26, and 36 percent of cells and caused 4, 11, 17, 30, and 56 chromosome aberrations in 100 metaphases, respectively. For soluble Cr, concentrations of 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2.5, and 5 μM sodium chromate induced 84, 69, 46, 25, and 3 percent relative survival, respectively. Sodium chromate induced 3, 9, 9, 14, 21, and 29 percent of metaphases with damage, and caused 3, 10, 10, 16, 26, and 39 damaged chromosomes in 100 metaphases at concentrations of 0, 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2.5, and 5 μM sodium chromate, respectively. These data suggest that Cr(VI) may be a concern for hawksbill sea turtles and sea turtles in general. PMID:24952338

  11. 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.

  12. Advances in the Application of Genetics in Marine Turtle Biology and Conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa M. Komoroske

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Marine turtles migrate across long distances, exhibit complex life histories, and occupy habitats that are difficult to observe. These factors present substantial challenges to understanding fundamental aspects of their biology or assessing human impacts, many of which are important for the effective conservation of these threatened and endangered species. The early development and application of genetic tools made important contributions to understanding marine turtle population and evolutionary biology, such as providing evidence of regional natal homing by breeding adults, establishing connectivity between rookeries and foraging habitats, and determining phylogeography and broad scale stock structure for most marine turtle species. Recent innovations in molecular technologies, statistical methods, and creative application of genetic tools have significantly built upon this knowledge to address key questions in marine turtle biology and conservation management. Here, we evaluate the latest major advances and potential of marine turtle genetic applications, including improved resolution and large-scale syntheses of population structure, connectivity and phylogeography, estimation of key demographic rates such as age to maturity and operational or breeding sex ratios, insight into reproductive strategies and behavior, and assessment of differential human impacts among populations. We then discuss remaining challenges and emerging capabilities, such as rapid, multiplexed genotyping, and investigation of the genomic underpinnings of adaptive variation afforded by high-throughput sequencing technologies.

  13. Brevetoxin exposure in sea turtles in south Texas (USA) during Karenia brevis red tide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Jennifer Shelby; Shaver, Donna J; Stacy, Brian A; Flewelling, Leanne J; Broadwater, Margaret H; Wang, Zhihong

    2018-01-31

    Five green (Chelonia mydas) and 11 Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) sea turtles found dead, or that died soon after stranding, on the southern Texas (USA) coast during 2 Karenia brevis blooms (October 2015, September-October 2016) were tested for exposure to brevetoxins (PbTx). Tissues (liver, kidney) and digesta (stomach and intestinal contents) were analyzed by ELISA. Three green turtles found alive during the 2015 event and 2 Kemp's ridley turtles found alive during the 2016 event exhibited signs of PbTx exposure, including lethargy and/or convulsions of the head and neck. PbTx were detected in 1 or more tissues or digesta in all 16 stranded turtles. Detected PbTx concentrations ranged from 2 to >2000 ng g-1. Necropsy examination and results of PbTx analysis indicated that 10 of the Kemp's ridleys and 2 of the green turtles died from brevetoxicosis via ingestion. This is the first documentation of sea turtle mortality in Texas attributed to brevetoxicosis.

  14. The Head and Neck Anatomy of Sea Turtles (Cryptodira: Chelonioidea) and Skull Shape in Testudines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Marc E. H.; Werneburg, Ingmar; Curtis, Neil; Penrose, Rod; O’Higgins, Paul; Fagan, Michael J.; Evans, Susan E.

    2012-01-01

    Background Sea turtles (Chelonoidea) are a charismatic group of marine reptiles that occupy a range of important ecological roles. However, the diversity and evolution of their feeding anatomy remain incompletely known. Methodology/Principal Findings Using computed tomography and classical comparative anatomy we describe the cranial anatomy in two sea turtles, the loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and Kemp’s ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), for a better understanding of sea turtle functional anatomy and morphological variation. In both taxa the temporal region of the skull is enclosed by bone and the jaw joint structure and muscle arrangement indicate that palinal jaw movement is possible. The tongue is relatively small, and the hyoid apparatus is not as conspicuous as in some freshwater aquatic turtles. We find several similarities between the muscles of C. caretta and L. kempii, but comparison with other turtles suggests only one of these characters may be derived: connection of the m. adductor mandibulae internus into the Pars intramandibularis via the Zwischensehne. The large fleshy origin of the m. adductor mandibulae externus Pars superficialis from the jugal seems to be a characteristic feature of sea turtles. Conclusions/Significance In C. caretta and L. kempii the ability to suction feed does not seem to be as well developed as that found in some freshwater aquatic turtles. Instead both have skulls suited to forceful biting. This is consistent with the observation that both taxa tend to feed on relatively slow moving but sometimes armoured prey. The broad fleshy origin of the m. adductor mandibulae externus Pars superficialis may be linked to thecheek region being almost fully enclosed in bone but the relationship is complex. PMID:23144831

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc E H Jones

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Marc E H; Werneburg, Ingmar; Curtis, Neil; Penrose, Rod; O'Higgins, Paul; Fagan, Michael J; Evans, Susan E

    2012-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    Long distance migration occurs in a wide variety of taxa including birds, insects, fishes, mammals and reptiles. Here, we provide evidence for a new paradigm for the determinants of migration destination. As adults, sea turtles show fidelity to their natal nesting areas and then at the end...... dispersion that would be experienced by hatchlings. Hence, the prevailing oceanography around nesting areas may be crucial to the selection of foraging sites used by adult sea turtles. This environmental forcing may allow the rapid evolution of new migration destinations if ocean currents alter with climate...

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

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    Alan A. eZavala-Norzagaray

    2015-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-07-01

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

  3. Evolution of MHC class I genes in the endangered loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) revealed by 454 amplicon sequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stiebens, Victor A; Merino, Sonia E; Chain, Frédéric J J; Eizaguirre, Christophe

    2013-04-30

    In evolutionary and conservation biology, parasitism is often highlighted as a major selective pressure. To fight against parasites and pathogens, genetic diversity of the immune genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) are particularly important. However, the extensive degree of polymorphism observed in these genes makes it difficult to conduct thorough population screenings. We utilized a genotyping protocol that uses 454 amplicon sequencing to characterize the MHC class I in the endangered loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) and to investigate their evolution at multiple relevant levels of organization. MHC class I genes revealed signatures of trans-species polymorphism across several reptile species. In the studied loggerhead turtle individuals, it results in the maintenance of two ancient allelic lineages. We also found that individuals carrying an intermediate number of MHC class I alleles are larger than those with either a low or high number of alleles. Multiple modes of evolution seem to maintain MHC diversity in the loggerhead turtles, with relatively high polymorphism for an endangered species.

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

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    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie Abecassis

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

  6. 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.

  7. Potential Noncutaneous Sites of Chelonid Herpesvirus 5 Persistence and Shedding in Green Sea Turtles Chelonia mydas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Page-Karjian, Annie; Gottdenker, Nicole L; Whitfield, Jordyn; Herbst, Lawrence; Norton, Terry M; Ritchie, Branson

    2017-09-01

    Chelonid herpesvirus 5 (ChHV5), the likely etiologic agent of sea turtle fibropapillomatosis (FP), is predicted to be unevenly distributed within an infected turtle, in which productive virus replication and virion shedding occurs in cutaneous tumor keratinocytes. In this study, we measured and compared ChHV5 DNA quantities in tumors, skin, urine, major organs, and nervous tissue samples from green turtles Chelonia mydas. These samples were taken from the carcasses of 10 juvenile green turtles with and without clinical signs of FP that stranded in Florida during 2014. Quantitative PCR for ChHV5 UL30 was used to identify ChHV5 DNA in tumors, skin, heart, kidney, nerves, and urine sampled from five out of five FP-positive and three out of five FP-free turtles. The most frequently co-occurring sites were cutaneous tumor and kidney (n = 4). Novel data presented here include the identification of ChHV5 DNA in kidney, heart, and nerve samples from three FP-free turtles. These data support candidate nontumored anatomic sites of ChHV5 DNA localization and mobilization during two different disease states that may be involved in the ChHV5 infection cycle. Received September 8, 2016; accepted April 17, 2017.

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

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    Wendy E D Piniak

    Full Text Available 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.

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

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    Aimee L. Hoover

    2017-07-01

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

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

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    Mark Allan Ditmer

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  12. 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.

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

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    Camila Poli

    2015-09-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schuyler, Qamar A.; Wilcox, Chris; Townsend, Kathy A.; Wedemeyer-Strombel, Kathryn R.; Balazs, George; van Sebille, Erik|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304831921; Hardesty, Britta Denise

    2016-01-01

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

  15. The first Oligocene sea turtle (Pan-Cheloniidae record of South America

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    Edwin Cadena

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The evolution and occurrence of fossil sea turtles at the Pacific margin of South America is poorly known and restricted to Neogene (Miocene/Pliocene findings from the Pisco Formation, Peru. Here we report and describe the first record of Oligocene (late Oligocene, ∼24 Ma Pan-Cheloniidae sea turtle remains of South America. The fossil material corresponds to a single, isolated and well-preserved costal bone found at the Montañita/Olón locality, Santa Elena Province, Ecuador. Comparisons with other Oligocene and extant representatives allow us to confirm that belongs to a sea turtle characterized by: lack of lateral ossification, allowing the dorsal exposure of the distal end of ribs; dorsal surface of bone sculptured, changing from dense vermiculation at the vertebral scute region to anastomosing pattern of grooves at the most lateral portion of the costal. This fossil finding shows the high potential that the Ecuadorian Oligocene outcrops have in order to explore the evolution and paleobiogeography distribution of sea turtles by the time that the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans were connected via the Panama basin.

  16. Sea Turtles Geolocalization in the Indian Ocean: An Over Sea Radio Channel framework integrating a trilateration technique

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guegan, Loic; Murad, Nour Mohammad; Bonhommeau, Sylvain

    2018-03-01

    This paper deals with the modeling of the over sea radio channel and aims to establish sea turtles localization off the coast of Reunion Island, and also on Europa Island in the Mozambique Channel. In order to model this radio channel, a framework measurement protocol is proposed. The over sea measured channel is integrated to the localization algorithm to estimate the turtle trajectory based on Power of Arrival (PoA) technique compared to GPS localization. Moreover, cross correlation tool is used to characterize the over sea propagation channel. First measurement of the radio channel on the Reunion Island coast combine to the POA algorithm show an error of 18 m for 45% of the approximated points.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  19. Turtle Hearing Capability Based on ABR Signal assessment

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    Raja Bidin Raja Hassan

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Sea turtles have existed for millions of years. International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN has reported that the Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata is classified as critically endangered. Turtle excluder device (TED deployment on shrimpnet fisheries is needed for turtle conservation.TED using sound technique is challenge method in fisheries development.The knowledge on turtle hearing capability is limited. The auditory brainstem response (ABR assessment is method to determine turtle hearing capability. Turtle hearing assessment is basis to design TED. The objective of this paper is to determine turtle hearing cability by analyze its ABR spectral.The subject is Hawksbill turtle with number 2 turtles ie: 3 and 2 years. The measurement was taken at Pusat Pengurusan Penyu (Turtle Management Centre Padang Kemunting Masjid Tanah Melaka Malaysia. The results shows that turtle 3 years have peak power frequencies 50.78, 101.6, 152.3, 304.7, 355.5, 457, and 507.8Hz respectively whereas the spectral amplitude is ranging 0.03-32.44% spectral. Turtle 2 years has peak power at 457Hz in whole stimulus frequencies while the spectral amplitude is ranging 0.01-2.5% spectral.

  20. Corticosterone and thyroxine in cold-stunned Kemp's ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Kathleen E; Innis, Charles; Rolland, Rosalind M

    2012-09-01

    Kemp's ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii), a critically endangered species, frequently strand on the shores of Cape Cod (Massachusetts, USA) in late autumn in a state of "cold-stunning" exhibiting low body temperature and related clinical issues. Stranded turtles are transported to the New England Aquarium (Boston, Massachusetts, USA) for treatment and rehabilitation. This study tested the hypothesis that cold-stunned sea turtles might exhibit high corticosterone ("stress hormone") or low thyroxine (which is often affected by temperature), or both, and that monitoring of both hormones may be useful for assessing recovery. In a retrospective analysis, 87 archived plasma samples were assayed from 56 cold-stunned juvenile Kemp's ridley sea turtles for corticosterone and free thyroxine (fT4). Upon admission, mean corticosterone was the highest yet reported for a population of sea turtles (39.3 +/- 2.5 ng/ml; mean +/- standard error of the mean [SEM]) and fT4 was usually undetectable. On admission, corticosterone was negatively correlated with white blood cell count but was not correlated with blood glucose. There were no differences in either hormone between survivors and nonsurvivors on admission. After 18+ days in recovery, surviving turtles' corticosterone dropped significantly to levels typical of baseline in other species (0.9 +/- 1.0 ng/ml) while fT4 increased significantly (1.3 +/- 1.5 pg/ml). During recovery, corticosterone was positively correlated with blood glucose and was not correlated with white blood cell count. Turtles that showed persistent deficits in feeding, activity, or both during recovery had significantly lower fT4 than did turtles with no such deficits. The "high corticosterone, low fT4" endocrine profile seen on admission may be a useful marker of cold-stunning in this and other species. Further studies are necessary to determine whether low thyroid hormones play a causal role in deficits in feeding and activity during recovery

  1. Integrating conservation costs into sea level rise adaptive conservation prioritization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mingjian Zhu

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Biodiversity conservation requires strategic investment as resources for conservation are often limited. As sea level rises, it is important and necessary to consider both sea level rise and costs in conservation decision making. In this study, we consider costs of conservation in an integrated modeling process that incorporates a geomorphological model (SLAMM, species habitat models, and conservation prioritization (Zonation to identify conservation priorities in the face of landscape dynamics due to sea level rise in the Matanzas River basin of northeast Florida. Compared to conservation priorities that do not consider land costs in the analysis process, conservation priorities that consider costs in the planning process change significantly. The comparison demonstrates that some areas with high conservation values might be identified as lower priorities when integrating economic costs in the planning process and some areas with low conservation values might be identified as high priorities when considering costs in the planning process. This research could help coastal resources managers make informed decisions about where and how to allocate conservation resources more wisely to facilitate biodiversity adaptation to sea level rise.

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

    Somatic growth is an integrated, individual-based response to environmental conditions, especially in ectotherms. Growth dynamics of large, mobile animals are particularly useful as bio-indicators of environmental change at regional scales. We assembled growth rate data from throughout the West Atlantic for green turtles, Chelonia mydas, which are long-lived, highly migratory, primarily herbivorous mega-consumers that may migrate over hundreds to thousands of kilometers. Our dataset, the largest ever compiled for sea turtles, has 9690 growth increments from 30 sites from Bermuda to Uruguay from 1973 to 2015. Using generalized additive mixed models, we evaluated covariates that could affect growth rates; body size, diet, and year have significant effects on growth. Growth increases in early years until 1999, then declines by 26% to 2015. The temporal (year) effect is of particular interest because two carnivorous species of sea turtles-hawksbills, Eretmochelys imbricata, and loggerheads, Caretta caretta-exhibited similar significant declines in growth rates starting in 1997 in the West Atlantic, based on previous studies. These synchronous declines in productivity among three sea turtle species across a trophic spectrum provide strong evidence that an ecological regime shift (ERS) in the Atlantic is driving growth dynamics. The ERS resulted from a synergy of the 1997/1998 El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO)-the strongest on record-combined with an unprecedented warming rate over the last two to three decades. Further support is provided by the strong correlations between annualized mean growth rates of green turtles and both sea surface temperatures (SST) in the West Atlantic for years of declining growth rates (r = -.94) and the Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) for all years (r = .74). Granger-causality analysis also supports the latter finding. We discuss multiple stressors that could reinforce and prolong the effect of the ERS. This study demonstrates the

  5. Investigation of plastic debris ingestion by four species of sea turtles collected as bycatch in pelagic Pacific longline fisheries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clukey, Katharine E; Lepczyk, Christopher A; Balazs, George H; Work, Thierry M; Lynch, Jennifer M

    2017-07-15

    Ingestion of marine debris is an established threat to sea turtles. The amount, type, color and location of ingested plastics in the gastrointestinal tracts of 55 sea turtles from Pacific longline fisheries from 2012 to 2016 were quantified, and compared across species, turtle length, body condition, sex, capture location, season and year. Six approaches for quantifying amounts of ingested plastic strongly correlated with one another and included: number of pieces, mass, volume and surface area of plastics, ratio of plastic mass to body mass, and percentage of the mass of gut contents consisting of plastic. All olive ridley (n=37), 90% of green (n=10), 80% of loggerhead (n=5) and 0% of leatherback (n=3) turtles had ingested plastic; green turtles ingested significantly more than olive ridleys. Most debris was in the large intestines. No adverse health impacts (intestinal lesions, blockage, or poor body condition) due directly to plastic ingestion were noted. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  6. Gulf of Mexico Kemps ridley sea turtle age and growth from 1988 to 2010 (NCEI Accession 0160329)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This dataset involves analysis of skeletal growth marks in humerus bones of 333 Kemps ridley sea turtles stranded dead along the Gulf of Mexico US coast (hatchling...

  7. Diet and investigation of immature sea turtles in the coastal waters of West Florida 1997-2003 (NCEI Accession 0156706)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data contains sea turtle life history,diet analysis, and environmental data, recorded as csv spreadsheets ranging from 1997 to 2003. This data was used to...

  8. Green sea turtle age, growth, and population characteristics in St. Joseph Bay, Florida from 1998 to 2010 (NCEI Accession 0159273)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains morphology, sex ratio, body condition, disease status, age structure, and growth patterns of 448 green sea turtles cold stunned in St. Joseph...

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    Chromium is both a global marine pollutant and a known human health hazard. In this study, we compare the cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of both soluble and particulate chromate in human and hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) skin fibroblasts. Our data show that both soluble and particulate Cr(VI) induce concentration-dependent increases in cytotoxicity, genotoxicity, and intracellular Cr ion concentrations in both human and hawksbill sea turtle fibroblasts. Based on administered co...

  11. Sea turtle symbiosis facilitates social monogamy in oceanic crabs via refuge size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfaller, Joseph B; Gil, Michael A

    2016-09-01

    The capacity for resource monopolization by individuals often dictates the size and composition of animal groups, and ultimately, the adoption of mating strategies. For refuge-dwelling animals, the ability (or inability) of individuals to monopolize refuges should depend on the relative size of the refuge. In theory, groups should be larger and more inclusive when refuges are large, and smaller and more exclusive when refuges are small, regardless of refuge type. We test this prediction by comparing the size and composition of groups of oceanic crabs (Planes minutus) living on plastic flotsam and loggerhead sea turtles. We found that (i) surface area of refuges (barnacle colonies on flotsam and supracaudal space on turtles) is a better predictor of crab number than total surface area and (ii) flotsam and turtles with similar refuge surface area host a similar number (1-2) and composition (adult male-female pairs) of crabs. These results indicate that group size and composition of refuge-dwelling animals are modulated by refuge size and the capacity for refuge monopolization. Moreover, these results suggest that sea turtle symbiosis facilitates social monogamy in oceanic crabs, providing insights into how symbiosis can promote specific mating strategies. © 2016 The Author(s).

  12. Helminth component community of the loggerhead sea turtle, Caretta caretta, from Madeira Archipelago, Portugal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valente, Ana Luisa; Delgado, Cláudia; Moreira, Cláudia; Ferreira, Sandra; Dellinger, Thomas; Pinheiro de Carvalho, Miguel A A; Costa, Graça

    2009-02-01

    The helminth fauna of pelagic-stage loggerhead sea turtles, Caretta caretta, is still poorly known. Here, we describe the helminth-component community of healthy, free-ranging juvenile loggerhead sea turtles captured in the waters around Madeira Island, Portugal. Fifty-seven were used in this study. The esophagus, stomach, intestine, liver, gallbladder, spleen, kidneys, trachea, bronchi, urinary bladder, heart, left and right aortas, and coelomic cavity were macroscopically inspected; organs and tissues were removed and washed through a sieve. A search for parasites was made using a stereoscopic microscope; recovered parasites were fixed and stored in 70% alcohol until staining and identification. Prevalence, mean intensity, and mean abundance values were recorded. In total, 156 parasite specimens belonging to 9 species were found: nematodes included Anisakis simplex s.l. (larvae) and an unidentified species; digenetic trematodes present were Enodiotrema megachondrus, Rhytidodes gelatinosus, Pyelosomum renicapite, and Calycodes anthos; acanthocephalans included Bolbosoma vasculosum and Rhadinorhynchus pristis; a single cestode, Nybelinia sp., was present. Parasite infections were found to have both low prevalences and intensities. Possible reasons for this include the oligotrophic conditions of the pelagic habitat around Madeira; a 'dilution effect' because of the vastness of the area; and the small size, and thus ingestion rate, of the turtles. Results are discussed in terms of the various turtle populations that may use the waters surrounding Madeira. This work provides valuable information on the parasite fauna of a poorly known stage in the life of loggerhead sea turtles, thereby filling a fundamental gap with regard to features of the parasite fauna in this species.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1990-12-01

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

  16. First application of comet assay in blood cells of Mediterranean loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caliani, Ilaria; Campani, Tommaso; Giannetti, Matteo; Marsili, Letizia; Casini, Silvia; Fossi, Maria Cristina

    2014-05-01

    The aim of this study was to validate the comet assay in erythrocytes of Caretta caretta, a species never investigated for genotoxicity. We studied 31 loggerhead sea turtles from three Italian marine rescue centres. Peripheral blood samples were collected from all the animals and the comet assay applied. All comet cells were analysed using two methods: visual scoring and computer image analysis. The % DNA in tail mean value ± SD and Damage Index were 21.56 ± 15.41 and 134.83 ± 94.12, respectively. A strong and statistically significant statistically correlation between the two analytical methods was observed (r = 0.95; p comet assay is a useful method to detect the possible effects of genotoxic agents in loggerhead sea turtle and to increase the knowledge about the ecotoxicological health status of this threatened species. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta): A target species for monitoring litter ingested by marine organisms in the Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matiddi, Marco; Hochsheid, Sandra; Camedda, Andrea; Baini, Matteo; Cocumelli, Cristiano; Serena, Fabrizio; Tomassetti, Paolo; Travaglini, Andrea; Marra, Stefano; Campani, Tommaso; Scholl, Francesco; Mancusi, Cecilia; Amato, Ezio; Briguglio, Paolo; Maffucci, Fulvio; Fossi, Maria Cristina; Bentivegna, Flegra; de Lucia, Giuseppe Andrea

    2017-11-01

    Marine litter is any persistent, manufactured or processed solid material discarded, disposed of or abandoned in the marine and coastal environment. Ingestion of marine litter can have lethal and sub-lethal effects on wildlife that accidentally ingests it, and sea turtles are particularly susceptible to this threat. The European Commission drafted the 2008/56/EC Marine Strategy Framework Directive with the aim to achieve a Good Environmental Status (GES), and the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta, Linnaeus 1758) was selected for monitoring the amount and composition of litter ingested by marine animals. An analogous decision has been made under the UNEP/MAP Barcelona Convention for the protection of the Mediterranean Sea, following the Ecosystem Approach. This work provides for the first time, two possible scenarios for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive GES, both related to "Trends in the amount and composition of litter ingested by marine animals" in the Mediterranean Sea. The study validates the use of the loggerhead turtle as target indicator for monitoring the impact of litter on marine biota and calls for immediate use of this protocol throughout the Mediterranean basin and European Region. Both GES scenarios are relevant worldwide, where sea turtles and marine litter are present, for measuring the impact of ingested plastics and developing policy strategies to reduce it. In the period between 2011 and 2014, 150 loggerhead sea turtles, found dead, were collected from the Italian Coast, West Mediterranean Sea Sub-Region. The presence of marine litter was investigated using a standardized protocol for necropsies and lab analysis. The collected items were subdivided into 4 main categories, namely, IND-Industrial plastic, USE-User plastic, RUB-Non plastic rubbish, POL-Pollutants and 14 sub-categories, to detect local diversity. Eighty-five percent of the individuals considered (n = 120) were found to have ingested an average of 1.3 ± 0.2 g of

  18. 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.

  19. 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

    2017-11-01

    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 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Marine debris removal: one year of effort by the Georgia Sea Turtle-Center-Marine Debris Initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Jeannie Miller

    2013-09-15

    Once in the marine environment, debris poses a significant threat to marine life that can be prevented through the help of citizen science. Marine debris is any manufactured item that enters the ocean regardless of source, commonly plastics, metal, wood, glass, foam, cloth, or rubber. Citizen science is an effective way to engage volunteers in conservation initiatives and provide education and skill development. The Georgia Sea Turtle Center Marine Debris Initiative (GSTC-MDI) is a grant funded program developed to engage citizens in the removal of marine debris from the beaches of Jekyll Island, GA, USA and the surrounding areas. During the first year of effort, more than 200 volunteers donated over 460 h of service to the removal of marine debris. Of the debris removed, approximately 89% were plastics, with a significant portion being cigarette materials. Given the successful first year, the GSTC-MDI was funded again for a second year. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Different male versus female breeding periodicity helps mitigate offspring sex ratio skews in sea turtles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Graeme Clive Hays

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The implications of climate change for global biodiversity may be profound with those species with little capacity for adaptation being thought to be particularly vulnerable to warming. A classic case of groups for concern are those animals exhibiting temperature-dependent sex-determination (TSD, such as sea turtles, where climate warming may produce single sex populations and hence extinction. We show that, globally, female biased hatchling sex ratios dominate sea turtle populations (exceeding 3:1 in >50% records, which, at-a-glance, reiterates concerns for extinction. However, we also demonstrate that more frequent breeding by males, empirically shown by satellite tracking 23 individuals and supported by a generalized bio-energetic life history model, generates more balanced operational sex ratios (OSRs. Hence, concerns of increasingly skewed hatchling sex ratios and reduced population viability are less acute than previously thought for sea turtles. In fact, in some scenarios skewed hatchling sex ratios in groups with TSD may be adaptive to ensure optimum OSRs.

  4. 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.

  5. A Multi-Temporal Remote Sensing Approach to Freshwater Turtle Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mui, Amy B.

    Freshwater turtles are a globally declining taxa, and estimates of population status are not available for many species. Primary causes of decline stem from widespread habitat loss and degradation, and obtaining spatially-explicit information on remaining habitat across a relevant spatial scale has proven challenging. The discipline of remote sensing science has been employed widely in studies of biodiversity conservation, but it has not been utilized as frequently for cryptic, and less vagile species such as turtles, despite their vulnerable status. The work presented in this thesis investigates how multi-temporal remote sensing imagery can contribute key information for building spatially-explicit and temporally dynamic models of habitat and connectivity for the threatened, Blanding's turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) in southern Ontario, Canada. I began with outlining a methodological approach for delineating freshwater wetlands from high spatial resolution remote sensing imagery, using a geographic object-based image analysis (GEOBIA) approach. This method was applied to three different landscapes in southern Ontario, and across two biologically relevant seasons during the active (non-hibernating) period of Blanding's turtles. Next, relevant environmental variables associated with turtle presence were extracted from remote sensing imagery, and a boosted regression tree model was developed to predict the probability of occurrence of this species. Finally, I analysed the movement potential for Blanding's turtles in a disturbed landscape using a combination of approaches. Results indicate that (1) a parsimonious GEOBIA approach to land cover mapping, incorporating texture, spectral indices, and topographic information can map heterogeneous land cover with high accuracy, (2) remote-sensing derived environmental variables can be used to build habitat models with strong predictive power, and (3) connectivity potential is best estimated using a variety of approaches

  6. 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.

  7. Persistent organic pollutants in fat of three species of Pacific pelagic longline caught sea turtles: Accumulation in relation to ingested plastic marine debris

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clukey, Katharine; Lepczyk, Christopher A.; Balazs, George H.; Work, Thierry M.; Li, Qing X.; Bachman, Melanie J.; Lynch, Jennifer M.

    2017-01-01

    In addition to eating contaminated prey, sea turtles may be exposed to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) from ingesting plastic debris that has absorbed these chemicals. Given the limited knowledge about POPs in pelagic sea turtles and how plastic ingestion influences POP exposure, our objectives were to: 1) provide baseline contaminant levels of three species of pelagic Pacific sea turtles; and 2) assess trends of contaminant levels in relation to species, sex, length, body condition and capture location. In addition, we hypothesized that if ingesting plastic is a significant source of POP exposure, then the amount of ingested plastic may be correlated to POP concentrations accumulated in fat. To address our objectives we compared POP concentrations in fat samples to previously described amounts of ingested plastic from the same turtles. Fat samples from 25 Pacific pelagic sea turtles [2 loggerhead (Caretta caretta), 6 green (Chelonia mydas) and 17 olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) turtles] were analyzed for 81 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), 20 organochlorine pesticides, and 35 brominated flame-retardants. The olive ridley and loggerhead turtles had higher ΣDDTs (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane and metabolites) than ΣPCBs, at a ratio similar to biota measured in the South China Sea and southern California. Green turtles had a ratio close to 1:1. These pelagic turtles had lower POP levels than previously reported in nearshore turtles. POP concentrations were unrelated to the amounts of ingested plastic in olive ridleys, suggesting that their exposure to POPs is mainly through prey. In green turtles, concentrations of ΣPCBs were positively correlated with the number of plastic pieces ingested, but these findings were confounded by covariance with body condition index (BCI). Green turtles with a higher BCI had eaten more plastic and also had higher POPs. Taken together, our findings suggest that sea turtles accumulate most POPs through their prey rather

  8. Biomarkers reveal sea turtles remained in oiled areas following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vander Zanden, Hannah B.; Bolten, Alan B.; Tucker, Anton D.; Hart, Kristen M.; Lamont, Margaret M.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Reich, Kimberly J.; Addison, David S.; Mansfield, Katherine L.; Phillips, Katrina F.; Pajuelo, Mariela; Bjorndal, Karen A.

    2016-01-01

    Assessments of large-scale disasters, such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, are problematic because while measurements of post-disturbance conditions are common, measurements of pre-disturbance baselines are only rarely available. Without adequate observations of pre-disaster organismal and environmental conditions, it is impossible to assess the impact of such catastrophes on animal populations and ecological communities. Here, we use long-term biological tissue records to provide pre-disaster data for a vulnerable marine organism. Keratin samples from the carapace of loggerhead sea turtles record the foraging history for up to 18 years, allowing us to evaluate the effect of the oil spill on sea turtle foraging patterns. Samples were collected from 76 satellite-tracked adult loggerheads in 2011 and 2012, approximately one to two years after the spill. Of the 10 individuals that foraged in areas exposed to surface oil, none demonstrated significant changes in foraging patterns post spill. The observed long-term fidelity to foraging sites indicates that loggerheads in the northern Gulf of Mexico likely remained in established foraging sites, regardless of the introduction of oil and chemical dispersants. More research is needed to address potential long-term health consequences to turtles in this region. Mobile marine organisms present challenges for researchers to monitor effects of environmental disasters, both spatially and temporally. We demonstrate that biological tissues can reveal long-term histories of animal behavior and provide critical pre-disaster baselines following an anthropogenic disturbance or natural disaster.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

    Chromium is both a global marine pollutant and a known human health hazard. In this study, we compare the cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of both soluble and particulate chromate in human and hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) skin fibroblasts. Our data show that both soluble and particulate Cr(VI) induce concentration-dependent increases in cytotoxicity, genotoxicity, and intracellular Cr ion concentrations in both human and hawksbill sea turtle fibroblasts. Based on administered concentration, particulate and soluble Cr(VI) were more cytotoxic and clastogenic to human cells than sea turtle cells. When the analysis was based on the intracellular concentration of Cr, the data showed that the response of both species was similar. The one exception was the cytotoxicity of intracellular Cr ions from soluble Cr(VI), which caused more cytotoxicity in sea turtle cells (LC50=271μM) than that of human cells (LC50=471μM), but its clastogenicity was similar between the two species. Thus, adjusting for differences in uptake indicated that the explanation for the difference in potency was mostly due to uptake rather than differently affected mechanisms. Overall these data indicate that sea turtles may be a useful sentinel for human health responses to marine pollution. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Chromium is both a global marine pollutant and a known human health hazard. In this study, we compare the cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of both soluble and particulate chromate in human and hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) skin fibroblasts. Our data show that both soluble and particulate Cr(VI) induce concentration-dependent increases in cytotoxicity, genotoxicity, and intracellular Cr ion concentrations in both human and hawksbill sea turtle fibroblasts. Based on administered concentration, particulate and soluble Cr(VI) were more cytotoxic and clastogenic to human cells than sea turtle cells. When the analysis was based on the intracellular concentration of Cr, the data showed the response of both species was similar. The one exception was the cytotoxicity of intracellular Cr ions from soluble Cr(VI), which caused more cytotoxicity in sea turtle cells (LC50=271 uM) that human cells (LC50=471 uM), but its clastogenicity was similar between the two species. Thus, adjusting for differences in uptake indicated the explanation for the difference in potency was mostly due to uptake rather than differently affected mechanisms. Overall these data indicate sea turtles may be a useful sentinel for human health responses to marine pollution. PMID:26440299

  11. Proximate response of fish, conch, and sea turtles to the presence of the invasive seagrass Halophila stipulacea in Bonaire

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Becking, L.E.; Bussel, T.; Engel, M.S.; Christianen, M.; Debrot, A.O.

    2014-01-01

    In this report we examined the proximate response of fish assemblages, queen conch, and sea turtles on H. stipulacea meadows in Lac Bay, Bonaire, Caribbean Netherlands. Here we primarily focused on the differences between the invasive species H. stipulacea and the principal species of native sea

  12. Ecological knowledge and incidental capture of sea turtles in São João de Pirabas, Pará, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiago Pereira Brito

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to register the ecological knowledge of fishermen from the municipality of São João de Pirabas, Pará, Brazil, regarding the occurrence of sea turtles on the Pará state coast, as well as measure their incidental capture when fishing; to do this, 50 semi-structured interviews were conducted with local fishermen. Fishing was practiced mostly by adult men, who used 7 fishing arts (gillnetting, hook and line, longline, fish corrals, net of tide canals, casting net, and basket trap, mainly aimed at catching king mackerel (Scomberomorus cavalla, serra Spanish mackerel (S. brasiliensis, king weakfish (Macrodon ancylodon, weakfish (Cynoscion spp., hake (Cynoscion spp., catfish (Bagre bagre, and mullet (Mugil spp.. Fishermen observed in the region 5 turtle species, with a more frequent occurrence of Chelonia mydas (100%, Dermochelys coriacea (66%, and Eretmochelys imbricata (46%; the less frequent species are Caretta caretta (16% and Lepidochelys olivacea (8%. The spawning areas of the 3 most common species demonstrate the significance of the Pará state coast for their conservation. Incidental capture was reported by 76% of fishermen, mainly occurring in net, longlines, and fish corrals. Usually, captured animals were released, although there is consumption of sea turtle meat and eggs by fishermen.

  13. Turtle Photograph Collection

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Photos collected in marine turtle research programs are diverse, ranging from isolated observations of incidental encounters with turtles on the high-seas to...

  14. Ontogenetic investigation of underwater hearing capabilities in loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) using a dual testing approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lavender, Ashley L; Bartol, Soraya M; Bartol, Ian K

    2014-07-15

    Sea turtles reside in different acoustic environments with each life history stage and may have different hearing capacity throughout ontogeny. For this study, two independent yet complementary techniques for hearing assessment, i.e. behavioral and electrophysiological audiometry, were employed to (1) measure hearing in post-hatchling and juvenile loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta (19-62 cm straight carapace length) to determine whether these migratory turtles exhibit an ontogenetic shift in underwater auditory detection and (2) evaluate whether hearing frequency range and threshold sensitivity are consistent in behavioral and electrophysiological tests. Behavioral trials first required training turtles to respond to known frequencies, a multi-stage, time-intensive process, and then recording their behavior when they were presented with sound stimuli from an underwater speaker using a two-response forced-choice paradigm. Electrophysiological experiments involved submerging restrained, fully conscious turtles just below the air-water interface and recording auditory evoked potentials (AEPs) when sound stimuli were presented using an underwater speaker. No significant differences in behavior-derived auditory thresholds or AEP-derived auditory thresholds were detected between post-hatchling and juvenile sea turtles. While hearing frequency range (50-1000/1100 Hz) and highest sensitivity (100-400 Hz) were consistent in audiograms pooled by size class for both behavior and AEP experiments, both post-hatchlings and juveniles had significantly higher AEP-derived than behavior-derived auditory thresholds, indicating that behavioral assessment is a more sensitive testing approach. The results from this study suggest that post-hatchling and juvenile loggerhead sea turtles are low-frequency specialists, exhibiting little differences in threshold sensitivity and frequency bandwidth despite residence in acoustically distinct environments throughout ontogeny. © 2014

  15. 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

  16. Analytical method for heavy metal determination in algae and turtle eggs from Guanahacabibes Protected Sea Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abel I. Balbín Tamayo

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available A standard digestion method coupled to electrochemical detection for the monitoring of heavy metals in biological samples has been used for the simultaneous analysis of the target analytes. Square wave anodic stripping voltammetry (SWASV coupled to disposable screen-printed electrodes (SPEs was employed as a fast and sensitive electroanalytical method for the detection of heavy metals. The aim of our study was to determine Cd, Pb and Cu by SWASV in brown algae (Sargasum natan and green turtle eggs (Chelonia mydas using screen-printed electrodes. The method proved useful for the simultaneous analysis of these metals by comparison between two different procedures for preparing the samples. Two different approaches in digestion protocols were assessed. The study was focused on Guanahacabibes brown algae and green turtle eggs because the metal concentrations recorded in this area may be used for intraspecific comparison within the Guanahacabibes Protected Sea Park area, a body of water for which information is still very scarce. The best results were obtained by digesting biological samples with the EPA 3050B method. This treatment allowed the fast and quantitative extraction from brown algae and green turtle eggs of the target analytes, with high sensitivity and avoiding organic residues, eventually affecting electrochemical measurements.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qurrota A'yunin

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Justin R Perrault

    Full Text Available Of the seven sea turtle species, the critically endangered leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea exhibits the lowest and most variable nest success (i.e., hatching success and emergence success for reasons that remain largely unknown. In an attempt to identify or rule out causes of low reproductive success in this species, we established the largest sample size (n = 60-70 for most values of baseline blood parameters (protein electrophoresis, hematology, plasma biochemistry for this species to date. Hematologic, protein electrophoretic and biochemical values are important tools that can provide information regarding the physiological condition of an individual and population health as a whole. It has been proposed that the health of nesting individuals affects their reproductive output. In order to establish correlations with low reproductive success in leatherback sea turtles from Florida, we compared maternal health indices to hatching success and emergence success of their nests. As expected, hatching success (median = 57.4% and emergence success (median = 49.1% in Floridian leatherbacks were low during the study period (2007-2008 nesting seasons, a trend common in most nesting leatherback populations (average global hatching success = ∼50%. One protein electrophoretic value (gamma globulin protein and one hematologic value (red blood cell count significantly correlated with hatching success and emergence success. Several maternal biochemical parameters correlated with hatching success and/or emergence success including alkaline phosphatase activity, blood urea nitrogen, calcium, calcium:phosphorus ratio, carbon dioxide, cholesterol, creatinine, and phosphorus. Our results suggest that in leatherbacks, physiological parameters correlate with hatching success and emergence success of their nests. We conclude that long-term and comparative studies are needed to determine if certain individuals produce nests with lower

  19. Proceedings fo the Seventeenth Annual Sea Turtle Symposium, 4-8 March 1997, Orlando, Florida, U.S.A.

    OpenAIRE

    Epperly, Sheryan P.; Braun, Joanne

    1998-01-01

    The 17th Annual Sea Turtle Symposium was held at the Delta Orlando Resort in Orlando, Florida U.S.A. from March 4-8, 1997. The symposium was hosted by Florida Atlantic University, Mote Marine Laboratory, University of Central Florida, University of Florida, Florida Atlantic University and the Comité Nacional para la Conservación y Protección de las Totugas Marinas. The 17th was the largest symposium to date. A total of 720 participants registered, including sea turtle biologists, stu...

  20. Long range radio tracking of sea turtles and polar bear: Instrumentation and preliminary results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldwin, H. A.

    1972-01-01

    Instrumentation developed for studies of path behavior of the green sea turtle and migration movement of polar bear is described. Preliminary results bearing on navigation ability in these species are presented. Both species operate in difficult environments, and the problems faced in the design of electronic instrumentation for these studies are not completely specified at this time. However, the critical factors yet to be understood are primarily related to the behavior of instrumented animals. The data obtained with these experimental techniques are included, first to illustrate the technique and, second to provide initial preliminary results bearing on animal navigation.

  1. Analysis of epibiont data in relation with the Debilitated Turtle Syndrome of sea turtles in Chelonia mydas and Lepidochelys olivacea from Concepción coast, Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Italo Fernández

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Epibionts on the surface of the skin and shell of a specimen of Chelonia mydas and three Lepidochelys olivacea found floating on the coast of Concepción, Chile, between June 2010 and December 2012, were analyzed. These epibionts were analyzed during the clinical inspection and the tissue changes related to its settlement, with filamentous algae around, were observed. Subsequently, the epibionts were identified by morphological observation. The knowledge about theses epibionts in Chile is reviewed and the potential occurrence of Debilitated Turtle Syndrome (DTS in these turtles is discussed. The presence of sea turtles in the Chilean coast is considered a casual event, so there is little information on this issue. We propose it is necessary to carry out more studies on the association between turtles and epibionts because their identification, colonizing reptiles’ surface may give relevant information to a better understanding of different diseases, including DTS, that affect these marine reptiles and facilitates the development of strategies intended to recover their populations.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Sazima

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available In the present study we record several instances of reef fish species foraging on epibionts of sea turtles (cleaning symbiosis at the oceanic islands of Fernando de Noronha Archipelago and near a shipwreck, both off the coast of Pernambuco State, northeast Brazil. Nine reef fish species and three turtle species involved in cleaning are herein recorded. Besides our records, a summary of the literature on this association type is presented. Postures adopted by turtles during the interaction are related to the habits of associated fishes. Feeding associations between fishes and turtles seem a localized, albeit common, phenomenon.No presente estudo registramos diversos episódios de peixes recifais alimentando-se de epibiontes sobre o corpo de tartarugas marinhas (simbiose de limpeza nas ilhas oceânicas do arquipélago de Fernando de Noronha e próximo a um naufrágio na costa de Pernambuco, nordeste do Brasil. Nove espécies de peixes recifais e três espécies de tartarugas envolvidas nas associações são aqui registradas. Além de nossos registros, apresentamos também um resumo da literatura sobre o tema. As posturas adotadas pelas tartarugas durante as interações estão relacionadas com os hábitos dos peixes associados. Associações alimentares entre peixes e tartarugas podem ser consideradas como um fenômeno local, embora comum.

  3. 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.

  4. 50 CFR 665.812 - Sea turtle take mitigation measures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ....812 Section 665.812 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND... of hook sizes and styles used by the vessel. (B) Extended reach handle. The hook removal device must... hook sizes and styles used by the vessel. (B) Handle. The handle must have a length equal to or greater...

  5. 78 FR 9024 - Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp Trawling Requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-07

    ... restriction and require all skimmer trawls, pusher-head trawls, and wing nets (butterfly trawls) rigged for... purposes of this notice, skimmer trawls, pusher-head trawls, and wing nets (butterfly trawls) will be... trawls, pusher-head trawls, and wing nets (butterfly trawls) in the Gulf of Mexico to use TEDs in their...

  6. Willingness to Pay for Marine Turtle Conservation in Asia: A Cross-Country Perspective

    OpenAIRE

    Jin Jiangjun; Rodelio Subade; Orapan Nabangchang; Truong Dang Thuy; Anabeth L. Indab

    2009-01-01

    Marine turtles are important, not only for their economic and intrinsic value, but because an adequate population of marine turtles is often an indicator of healthy marine ecosystem. Of the seven species of marine turtles, four are critically endangered, while two are in the next-highest risk category.

  7. Potential foraging and aggregation zones of the Hawksbill Sea Turtle Eretmochelys imbricata (Testudines: Cheloniidae), near Marino Ballena National Park, Costa Rica

    OpenAIRE

    Bonilla Salazar, Adrian; Brenes Arias, Oscar

    2017-01-01

    Groups of hawksbill sea turtles have been observed over the years, close to the coast of the Marino Ballena National Park. For this reason, in February 2015, we monitored its coast to identify aggregation sites. Turtle size estimates, and identification, were done by direct observation by the divers and from the boat. From February to December 2015, fourteen monitor records per sampling point were done and 41 turtles were recorded. They were 30cm - 80cm long and 59% of the individuals aggrega...

  8. Toxic elements and associations with hematology, plasma biochemistry, and protein electrophoresis in nesting loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from Casey Key, Florida.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perrault, Justin R; Stacy, Nicole I; Lehner, Andreas F; Poor, Savannah K; Buchweitz, John P; Walsh, Catherine J

    2017-12-01

    Toxic elements (arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, selenium, thallium) are a group of contaminants that are known to elicit developmental, reproductive, general health, and immune system effects in reptiles, even at low concentrations. Reptiles, including marine turtles, are susceptible to accumulation of toxic elements due to their long life span, low metabolic rate, and highly efficient conversion of prey into biomass. The objectives of this study were to (1) document concentrations of arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, selenium, and thallium in whole blood and keratin from nesting loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from Casey Key, Florida and document correlations thereof and (2) correlate whole blood toxic element concentrations to various hematological and plasma biochemistry analytes. Baselines for various hematological and plasma analytes and toxic elements in whole blood and keratin (i.e., scute) in nesting loggerheads are documented. Various correlations between the toxic elements and hematological and plasma biochemistry analytes were identified; however, the most intriguing were negative correlations between arsenic, cadmium, lead, and selenium with and α- and γ-globulins. Although various extrinsic and intrinsic variables such as dietary and feeding changes in nesting loggerheads need to be considered, this finding may suggest a link to altered humoral immunity. This study documents a suite of health variables of nesting loggerheads in correlation to contaminants and identifies the potential of toxic elements to impact the overall health of nesting turtles, thus presenting important implications for the conservation and management of this species. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Phoebe A. Chapman

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Spirorchiid blood fluke infections affect endangered turtle populations globally, and are reported as a common cause of mortality in Queensland green sea turtles. Both the flukes and their ova are pathogenic and can contribute to the stranding or death of their host. Of particular interest are ova-associated brain lesions, which have been associated with host neurological deficits. Accurate estimations of disease frequency and the relative effect of infection relating to different spirorchiid species are made difficult by challenges in morphological identification of adults of some genera, and a lack of species-level identifying features for ova. A new specifically designed molecular assay was used to detect and identify cryptic spirorchiids and their ova in Queensland green sea turtle tissues collected from 2011 to 2014 in order to investigate epidemiology, tissue tropisms and pathology. Eight spirorchiid genotypes were detected in 14 distinct tissues, including multiple tissues for each. We found no evidence of a characteristic pathway of the eggs to the exterior; instead the results suggest that a high proportion of eggs become lost in dead-end tissues. The most common lesions observed were granulomas affecting most organs with varying severity, followed by arteritis and thrombi in the great vessels. The number of spirorchiid types detected increased with the presence and severity of granulomatous lesions. However, compared with other organs the brain showed relatively low levels of spirorchiid diversity. An inverse relationship between host age and spirorchiid diversity was evident for the liver and kidneys, but no such relationship was evident for other organs. Molecular data in this study, the first of its kind, provides the first species-level examination of spirorchiid ova and associated pathology, and paves the way for the future development of targeted ante-mortem diagnosis of spirorchiidiasis.

  10. Risk assessment reveals high exposure of sea turtles to marine debris in French Mediterranean and metropolitan Atlantic waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darmon, Gaëlle; Miaud, Claude; Claro, Françoise; Doremus, Ghislain; Galgani, François

    2017-07-01

    Debris impact on marine wildlife has become a major issue of concern. Mainy species have been identified as being threatened by collision, entanglement or ingestion of debris, generally plastics, which constitute the predominant part of the recorded marine debris. Assessing sensitive areas, where exposure to debris are high, is thus crucial, in particular for sea turtles which have been proposed as sentinels of debris levels for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and for the Unep-MedPol convention. Our objective here was to assess sea turtle exposure to marine debris in the 3 metropolitan French fronts. Using aerial surveys performed in the Channel, the Atlantic and the Mediterranean regions in winter and summer 2011-2012, we evaluated exposure areas and magnitude in terms of spatial overlap, encounter probability and density of surrounding debris at various spatial scales. Major overlapping areas appeared in the Atlantic and Mediterranean fronts, concerning mostly the leatherback and the loggerhead turtles respectively. The probability for individuals to be in contact with debris (around 90% of individuals within a radius of 2 km) and the density of debris surrounding individuals (up to 16 items with a radius of 2 km, 88 items within a radius of 10 km) were very high, whatever the considered spatial scale, especially in the Mediterranean region and during the summer season. The comparison of the observed mean debris density with random distribution suggested that turtles selected debris areas. This may occur if both debris and turtles drift to the same areas due to currents, if turtles meet debris accidentally by selecting high food concentration areas, and/or if turtles actively seek debris out, confounding them with their preys. Various factors such as species-specific foraging strategies or oceanic features which condition the passive diffusion of debris, and sea turtles in part, may explain spatio-temporal variations in sensitive areas. Further research

  11. Flipper-driven terrestrial locomotion of a sea turtle-inspired robot

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mazouchova, Nicole; Umbanhowar, Paul B; Goldman, Daniel I

    2013-01-01

    To discover principles of flipper-based terrestrial locomotion we study the mechanics of a hatchling sea turtle-inspired robot, FlipperBot (FBot), during quasi-static movement on granular media. FBot implements a symmetric gait using two servo-motor-driven front limbs with flat-plate flippers and either freely rotating or fixed wrist joints. For a range of gaits, FBot moves with a constant step length. However, for gaits with sufficiently shallow flipper penetration or sufficiently large stroke, per step displacement decreases with each successive step resulting in failure (zero forward displacement) within a few steps. For the fixed wrist, failure occurs when FBot interacts with ground disturbed during previous steps, and measurements reveal that flipper generated forces decrease as per step displacement decreases. The biologically inspired free wrist is less prone to failure, but slip-induced failure can still occur if FBot pitches forward and drives its leading edge into the substrate. In the constant step length regime, kinematic and force-based models accurately predict FBot's motion for free and fixed wrist configurations, respectively. When combined with independent force measurements, models and experiments provide insight into how disturbed ground leads to locomotory failure and help explain differences in hatchling sea turtle performance. (paper)

  12. Antibiotic Resistance of Gram Negatives isolates from loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in the central Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foti, M; Giacopello, C; Bottari, Teresa; Fisichella, V; Rinaldo, D; Mammina, C

    2009-09-01

    Previous studies on fish and marine mammals support the hypothesis that marine species harbor antibiotic resistance and therefore may serve as reservoirs for antibiotic-resistance genetic determinants. The aim of this study was to assess the resistance to antimicrobial agents of Gram negative strains isolated from loggerhead sea turtles (Carettacaretta). Oral and cloacal swabs from 19 live-stranded loggerhead sea turtles, with hooks fixed into the gut, were analyzed. The antimicrobial resistance of the isolates to 31 antibiotics was assessed using the disk-diffusion method. Conventional biochemical tests identified Citrobacter spp., Proteus spp., Enterobacter spp., Escherichia spp., Providencia spp., Morganella spp., Pantoea spp., Pseudomonas spp. and Shewanella spp. Highest prevalences of resistance was detected to carbenicillin (100%), cephalothin (92.6%), oxytetracycline (81.3%) and amoxicillin (77.8%). The isolates showing resistance to the widest range of antibiotics were identified as Citrobacterfreundii, Proteusvulgaris, Providenciarettgeri and Pseudomonasaeruginosa. In this study, antibiotic resistant bacteria reflect marine contamination by polluted effluents and C.caretta is considered a bioindicator which can be used as a monitor for pollution.

  13. To eat or not to eat an endangered species: views of local residents and physicians on the safety of sea turtle consumption in northwestern Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senko, Jesse; Nichols, Wallace J; Ross, James Perran; Willcox, Adam S

    2009-12-01

    Sea turtles have historically been an important food resource for many coastal inhabitants of Mexico. Today, the consumption of sea turtle meat and eggs continues in northwestern Mexico despite well-documented legal protection and market conditions providing easier access to other more reliable protein sources. Although there is growing evidence that consuming sea turtles may be harmful to human health due to biotoxins, environmental contaminants, viruses, parasites, and bacteria, many at-risk individuals, trusted information sources, and risk communicators may be unaware of this information. Therefore, we interviewed 134 residents and 37 physicians in a region with high rates of sea turtle consumption to: (1) examine their knowledge and perceptions concerning these risks, as a function of sex, age, occupation, education and location; (2) document the occurrence of illness resulting from consumption; and (3) identify information needs for effective risk communication. We found that 32% of physicians reported having treated patients who were sickened from sea turtle consumption. Although physicians believed sea turtles were an unhealthy food source, they were largely unaware of specific health hazards found in regional sea turtles, regardless of location. By contrast, residents believed that sea turtles were a healthy food source, regardless of sex, age, occupation, and education, and they were largely unaware of specific health hazards found in regional sea turtles, regardless of age, occupation, and education. Although most residents indicated that they would cease consumption if their physician told them it was unhealthy, women were significantly more likely to do so than men. These results suggest that residents may lack the necessary knowledge to make informed dietary decisions and physicians do not have enough accurate information to effectively communicate risks with their patients.

  14. Mapping elements distribution in carapace of Caretta caretta: A strategy for biomonitoring contamination in sea turtles?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mattei, D.; Veschetti, E.; D’Ilio, S.; Blasi, M.F.

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • We analyzed 11 elements in one carapace of Caretta caretta. • The distribution of the elements in carapace was studied. • Mapping elements as a strategy for biomonitoring contamination in sea turtles. • Some elements resulted representative for central and lateral areas of carapace. - Abstract: This study analyzed the carapace distribution of Ca, Cd, Cr, Cu, Mg, Mn, Pb, Sb, U, V and Zn by GF-AAS and ICP-AES in one specimen of Caretta caretta from Mediterranean Sea. Calcium, Mg, Mn, Pb, U, Zn were mainly distributed in the central area while Cd, Cr, Cu, Sb, V in lateral areas. Cadmium, Cr, Mg, Mn, Sb, U and V were different between lateral areas. The different distribution may be related to several exposures during lifetime and/or the shell ossification during growth. Carapace may be a suitable matrix for metal biomonitoring, however, further studies are required to confirm these findings

  15. Turtles: Freshwater

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibbons, J. Whitfield; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Bowden, R.M.

    2017-01-01

    With their iconic shells, turtles are morphologically distinct in being the only extant or extinct vertebrate animals to have their shoulders and hips inside their rib cages. By the time an asteroid hit the earth 65.5 million years ago, causing the extinction of dinosaurs, turtles were already an ancient lineage that was 70% through their evolutionary history to date. The remarkable evolutionary success of turtles over 220 million years is due to a combination of both conservative and effective life history traits and an essentially unchanging morphology that withstood the test of time. However, the life history traits of many species make them particularly susceptible to overharvest and habitat destruction in the modern world, and a majority of the world’s species face serious conservation challenges with several extinctions documented in modern times. The global plight of turtles is underscored by the fact that the percentage of imperiled species exceeds that of even the critically endangered primates.Freshwater turtles, with over 260 recognized species, have become a focus on a worldwide scale for many conservation issues. This article is a synthesis of a diverse body of information on the general biology of freshwater turtles, with particular emphasis on the extensive research on ecology, life history, and behavior that has been accomplished in the last half century. Much of the research has been applicable to the aforementioned conservation challenges. The studies presented include a combination of laboratory and field experiments and observational studies on this intriguing group of animals.

  16. Regional management units for marine turtles: a novel framework for prioritizing conservation and research across multiple scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Bryan P; DiMatteo, Andrew D; Hurley, Brendan J; Finkbeiner, Elena M; Bolten, Alan B; Chaloupka, Milani Y; Hutchinson, Brian J; Abreu-Grobois, F Alberto; Amorocho, Diego; Bjorndal, Karen A; Bourjea, Jerome; Bowen, Brian W; Dueñas, Raquel Briseño; Casale, Paolo; Choudhury, B C; Costa, Alice; Dutton, Peter H; Fallabrino, Alejandro; Girard, Alexandre; Girondot, Marc; Godfrey, Matthew H; Hamann, Mark; López-Mendilaharsu, Milagros; Marcovaldi, Maria Angela; Mortimer, Jeanne A; Musick, John A; Nel, Ronel; Pilcher, Nicolas J; Seminoff, Jeffrey A; Troëng, Sebastian; Witherington, Blair; Mast, Roderic B

    2010-12-17

    Resolving threats to widely distributed marine megafauna requires definition of the geographic distributions of both the threats as well as the population unit(s) of interest. In turn, because individual threats can operate on varying spatial scales, their impacts can affect different segments of a population of the same species. Therefore, integration of multiple tools and techniques--including site-based monitoring, genetic analyses, mark-recapture studies and telemetry--can facilitate robust definitions of population segments at multiple biological and spatial scales to address different management and research challenges. To address these issues for marine turtles, we collated all available studies on marine turtle biogeography, including nesting sites, population abundances and trends, population genetics, and satellite telemetry. We georeferenced this information to generate separate layers for nesting sites, genetic stocks, and core distributions of population segments of all marine turtle species. We then spatially integrated this information from fine- to coarse-spatial scales to develop nested envelope models, or Regional Management Units (RMUs), for marine turtles globally. The RMU framework is a solution to the challenge of how to organize marine turtles into units of protection above the level of nesting populations, but below the level of species, within regional entities that might be on independent evolutionary trajectories. Among many potential applications, RMUs provide a framework for identifying data gaps, assessing high diversity areas for multiple species and genetic stocks, and evaluating conservation status of marine turtles. Furthermore, RMUs allow for identification of geographic barriers to gene flow, and can provide valuable guidance to marine spatial planning initiatives that integrate spatial distributions of protected species and human activities. In addition, the RMU framework--including maps and supporting metadata--will be an

  17. Regional Management Units for Marine Turtles: A Novel Framework for Prioritizing Conservation and Research across Multiple Scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Bryan P.; DiMatteo, Andrew D.; Hurley, Brendan J.; Finkbeiner, Elena M.; Bolten, Alan B.; Chaloupka, Milani Y.; Hutchinson, Brian J.; Abreu-Grobois, F. Alberto; Amorocho, Diego; Bjorndal, Karen A.; Bourjea, Jerome; Bowen, Brian W.; Dueñas, Raquel Briseño; Casale, Paolo; Choudhury, B. C.; Costa, Alice; Dutton, Peter H.; Fallabrino, Alejandro; Girard, Alexandre; Girondot, Marc; Godfrey, Matthew H.; Hamann, Mark; López-Mendilaharsu, Milagros; Marcovaldi, Maria Angela; Mortimer, Jeanne A.; Musick, John A.; Nel, Ronel; Pilcher, Nicolas J.; Seminoff, Jeffrey A.; Troëng, Sebastian; Witherington, Blair; Mast, Roderic B.

    2010-01-01

    Background Resolving threats to widely distributed marine megafauna requires definition of the geographic distributions of both the threats as well as the population unit(s) of interest. In turn, because individual threats can operate on varying spatial scales, their impacts can affect different segments of a population of the same species. Therefore, integration of multiple tools and techniques — including site-based monitoring, genetic analyses, mark-recapture studies and telemetry — can facilitate robust definitions of population segments at multiple biological and spatial scales to address different management and research challenges. Methodology/Principal Findings To address these issues for marine turtles, we collated all available studies on marine turtle biogeography, including nesting sites, population abundances and trends, population genetics, and satellite telemetry. We georeferenced this information to generate separate layers for nesting sites, genetic stocks, and core distributions of population segments of all marine turtle species. We then spatially integrated this information from fine- to coarse-spatial scales to develop nested envelope models, or Regional Management Units (RMUs), for marine turtles globally. Conclusions/Significance The RMU framework is a solution to the challenge of how to organize marine turtles into units of protection above the level of nesting populations, but below the level of species, within regional entities that might be on independent evolutionary trajectories. Among many potential applications, RMUs provide a framework for identifying data gaps, assessing high diversity areas for multiple species and genetic stocks, and evaluating conservation status of marine turtles. Furthermore, RMUs allow for identification of geographic barriers to gene flow, and can provide valuable guidance to marine spatial planning initiatives that integrate spatial distributions of protected species and human activities. In addition

  18. 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

  19. Loggerhead sea turtle bycatch data in artisanal fisheries within a marine protected area: fishermen surveys versus scientific observations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lozano, M.

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Loggerhead sea turtles can be incidentally captured by artisanal gears but information about the impact of this fishing is inconsistent and scarce. Recent studies have observed that the bycatch, or incidental catch rate, in fishermen surveys is irregular. The aim of this study was to compare direct data (onboard observers concerning the incidental catch of loggerhead sea turtles by the artisanal vessels versus data from fishermen surveys. The study area was the Cabo de Gata-Níjar marine protected area, situated in the western Mediterranean (southeast of the Iberian peninsula. We observed two loggerhead turtles that were incidentally caught in a total of 165 fishing operations. According to fishermen surveys, a total of nine loggerheads were incidentally caught in 861 fishing operations. The differences between the loggerhead sea turtle bycatch reported by fishermen surveys and scientific observations versus random distribution (x2 = 0.3146, P = 0.575, df = 1 were not significant. We conclude that the surveys are useful but that findings should be interpreted with caution.

  20. Is arsenobetaine the major arsenic compound in the liver of birds marine mammals, and sea turtles?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kubota, R.; Kunito, T.; Tanabe, S.

    2003-05-01

    Concentrations of total arsenic and individual arsenic compounds were determined in the livers of birds, marine mammals, and sea turtles by using hydride generation-atomic absorption spectrometry (HG-AAS) and high performance liquid chromatography/inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (HPLC/ICP-MS). Marine mammals feeding on cephalopods and crustaceans accumulated higher arsenic concentrations than the species feeding on fishes. No significant age and gender differences in arsenic concentrations were observed for most of the species of marine mammals. Elevated total arsenic concentrations were found in livers of black-footed albatross and loggerhead turtles and these values were comparable to those of lower trophic marine animals. Arsenobetaine was the major arsenical in the livers of most of the species examined. Particularly, in seabirds, mean proportions of arsenobetaine was more than90% of total extractable arsenic In contast, arsenobetaine was a minor constituent in dugong. The compositions of arsenic compounds were different among the species examined. These results might be due to the differences in the metabolic capacity among species and/or the different compositions of arsenic compounds in their preys.

  1. Trace elements in loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) from the eastern Mediterranean Sea: overview and evaluation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Storelli, M.M.; Storelli, A.; D'Addabbo, R.; Marano, C.; Bruno, R.; Marcotrigiano, G.O.

    2005-01-01

    Concentrations of trace elements (Hg, Cd, Pb, Zn, Cu, Fe, and Se) in different organs and tissues (liver, kidney, muscle tissue, spleen, heart, lung, and fat tissue) of loggerhead turtles Caretta caretta from eastern Mediterranean Sea were determined. The highest levels of mercury and cadmium were found in liver (Hg: 0.43 μg g -1 wet weight; Cd: 3.36 μg g -1 wet weight) and kidney (Hg: 0.16 μg g -1 wet weight; Cd: 8.35 μg g -1 wet weight). For lead the overall concentrations were low and often below the limit of detection. Copper and selenium tended to be higher in liver than in other tissues and organs, while for zinc the concentrations were quite homogenous in the different organs and tissues, except fat tissue (64.7 μg g -1 wet weight) which showed a higher accumulation of this element. For iron the greatest concentrations were observed in liver (409 μg g -1 wet weight) and spleen (221 μg g -1 wet weight). - Cadmium concentrations in samples from turtles may be high enough to affect their health

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-13

    Some of the most basic questions of sea turtle life history are also the most elusive. Many uncertainties surround lifespan, growth rates, maturity and spatial structure, yet these are critical factors in assessing population status. Here we examine the keratinized hard tissues of the hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) carapace and use bomb radiocarbon dating to estimate growth and maturity. Scutes have an established dietary record, yet the large keratin deposits of hawksbills evoke a reliable chronology. We sectioned, polished and imaged posterior marginal scutes from 36 individual hawksbills representing all life stages, several Pacific populations and spanning eight decades. We counted the apparent growth lines, microsampled along growth contours and calibrated Δ(14)C values to reference coral series. We fit von Bertalanffy growth function (VBGF) models to the results, producing a range of age estimates for each turtle. We find Hawaii hawksbills deposit eight growth lines annually (range 5-14), with model ensembles producing a somatic growth parameter (k) of 0.13 (range 0.1-0.2) and first breeding at 29 years (range 23-36). Recent bomb radiocarbon values also suggest declining trophic status. Together, our results may reflect long-term changes in the benthic community structure of Hawaii reefs, and possibly shed light on the critical population status for Hawaii hawksbills. © 2016 The Author(s).

  3. Satellite tagging of rehabilitated green sea turtles Chelonia mydas from the United Arab Emirates, including the longest tracked journey for the species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, David P; Jabado, Rima W; Rohner, Christoph A; Pierce, Simon J; Hyland, Kevin P; Baverstock, Warren R

    2017-01-01

    We collected movement data for eight rehabilitated and satellite-tagged green sea turtles Chelonia mydas released off the United Arab Emirates between 2005 and 2013. Rehabilitation periods ranged from 96 to 1353 days (mean = 437 ± 399 days). Seven of the eight tagged turtles survived after release; one turtle was killed by what is thought to be a post-release spear gun wound. The majority of turtles (63%) used shallow-water core habitats and established home ranges between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the same area in which they had originally washed ashore prior to rescue. Four turtles made movements across international boundaries, highlighting that regional cooperation is necessary for the management of the species. One turtle swam from Fujairah to the Andaman Sea, a total distance of 8283 km, which is the longest published track of a green turtle. This study demonstrates that sea turtles can be successfully reintroduced into the wild after sustaining serious injury and undergoing prolonged periods of intense rehabilitation.

  4. Summary of sea turtle stranding data documented by NOAA Galveston in the Gulf of Mexico from 1989-01-05 to 2015-12-27 (NCEI Accession 0159757)

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  5. Sea turtle population study in the coastal waters of North Carolina from 1988-06-07 to 2015-09-22 (NCEI Accession 0162846)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sea turtle length and weight measurements, sex ratios, species composition, capture and release locations, tagging information, and...

  6. 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.)

  7. Combined use of two supervised learning algorithms to model sea turtle behaviours from tri-axial acceleration data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeantet, L; Dell'Amico, F; Forin-Wiart, M-A; Coutant, M; Bonola, M; Etienne, D; Gresser, J; Regis, S; Lecerf, N; Lefebvre, F; de Thoisy, B; Le Maho, Y; Brucker, M; Châtelain, N; Laesser, R; Crenner, F; Handrich, Y; Wilson, R; Chevallier, D

    2018-05-23

    Accelerometers are becoming ever more important sensors in animal-attached technology, providing data that allow determination of body posture and movement and thereby helping to elucidate behaviour in animals that are difficult to observe. We sought to validate the identification of sea turtle behaviours from accelerometer signals by deploying tags on the carapace of a juvenile loggerhead ( Caretta caretta ), an adult hawksbill ( Eretmochelys imbricata ) and an adult green turtle ( Chelonia mydas ) at Aquarium La Rochelle, France. We recorded tri-axial acceleration at 50 Hz for each species for a full day while two fixed cameras recorded their behaviours. We identified behaviours from the acceleration data using two different supervised learning algorithms, Random Forest and Classification And Regression Tree (CART), treating the data from the adult animals as separate from the juvenile data. We achieved a global accuracy of 81.30% for the adult hawksbill and green turtle CART model and 71.63% for the juvenile loggerhead, identifying 10 and 12 different behaviours, respectively. Equivalent figures were 86.96% for the adult hawksbill and green turtle Random Forest model and 79.49% for the juvenile loggerhead, for the same behaviours. The use of Random Forest combined with CART algorithms allowed us to understand the decision rules implicated in behaviour discrimination, and thus remove or group together some 'confused' or under--represented behaviours in order to get the most accurate models. This study is the first to validate accelerometer data to identify turtle behaviours and the approach can now be tested on other captive sea turtle species. © 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Poli

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

  9. LEGACY - Photographs resulting from experiment remote camera viewing of sea turtles and habitats

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Photos collected in marine turtle research programs are diverse, ranging from isolated observations of incidental encounters with turtles to voluminous, complex...

  10. Hawksbill × loggerhead sea turtle hybrids at Bahia, Brazil: where do their offspring go?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maira C. Proietti

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Hybridization between hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata and loggerhead (Caretta caretta breeding groups is unusually common in Bahia state, Brazil. Such hybridization is possible because hawksbill and loggerhead nesting activities overlap temporally and spatially along the coast of this state. Nevertheless, the destinations of their offspring are not yet known. This study is the first to identify immature hawksbill × loggerhead hybrids (n = 4 from this rookery by analyzing the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA of 157 immature turtles morphologically identified as hawksbills. We also compare for the first time modeled dispersal patterns of hawksbill, loggerhead, and hybrid offspring considering hatching season and oceanic phase duration of turtles. Particle movements varied according to season, with a higher proportion of particles dispersing southwards throughout loggerhead and hybrid hatching seasons, and northwards during hawksbill season. Hybrids from Bahia were not present in important hawksbill feeding grounds of Brazil, being detected only at areas more common for loggerheads. The genetic and oceanographic findings of this work indicate that these immature hybrids, which are morphologically similar to hawksbills, could be adopting behavioral traits typical of loggerheads, such as feeding in temperate waters of the western South Atlantic. Understanding the distribution, ecology, and migrations of these hybrids is essential for the development of adequate conservation and management plans.

  11. Perception of dimethyl sulfide (DMS) by loggerhead sea turtles: a possible mechanism for locating high-productivity oceanic regions for foraging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Endres, Courtney S; Lohmann, Kenneth J

    2012-10-15

    During their long-distance migrations, sea turtles of several species feed on jellyfish and other invertebrates that are particularly abundant in ocean regions characterized by high productivity. An ability to distinguish productive oceanic regions from other areas, and to concentrate foraging activities in locations where prey density is highest, might therefore be adaptive. The volatile compound dimethyl sulfide (DMS) accumulates in the air above productive ocean areas such as upwelling and frontal zones. In principle, DMS might therefore serve as an indicator of high prey density for turtles. To determine whether turtles perceive DMS, juvenile loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) were placed into a water-filled arena in which DMS and other odorants could be introduced to the air above the water surface. Turtles exposed to air that had passed over a cup containing 10 nmol l(-1) DMS spent more time at the surface with their noses out of the water than control turtles, which were exposed to air that had passed over a cup containing distilled water. Odors that do not occur in the sea (cinnamon, jasmine and lemon) did not elicit increased surface time, implying that the response to DMS is unlikely to reflect a generalized response to any novel odor. The results demonstrate for the first time that sea turtles can detect DMS, an ability that might enable the identification of favorable foraging areas.

  12. Turtle Watch: Community Engagement and Action

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Elaine; Baudains, Catherine

    2015-01-01

    Many threats face the freshwater turtle, Chelodina colliei, also known as the oblong turtle. A community education project, Turtle Watch, focused on this target species and enabled effective conservation action to be implemented. Turtle Watch was conducted in the Perth Metropolitan Area of Western Australia, as the oblong turtle inhabits the…

  13. 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.

  14. Interaction between loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) and marine litter in Sardinia (Western Mediterranean Sea).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camedda, Andrea; Marra, Stefano; Matiddi, Marco; Massaro, Giorgio; Coppa, Stefania; Perilli, Angelo; Ruiu, Angelo; Briguglio, Paolo; de Lucia, G Andrea

    2014-09-01

    Anthropogenic debris in the environment affects many species that accidentally ingest it. The aim of this study is to evaluate the quantity and composition of marine litter ingested by loggerheads in Sardinia, thus supplying for the lack of data in the existing literature for this area. Seventeen of the 121 (14.04%) monitored turtles presented debris in their digestive tracts. Litter in faecal pellet of alive individuals (n = 91) and in gastro-intestinal contents of dead ones (n = 30) was categorized, counted and weighed. User plastic was the main category of ingested debris with a frequency of occurrence of 13.22% of the total sample, while sheet (12.39%) and fragments (9.09%) were the most relevant sub-categories. This study highlights for the first time the incidence of litter in alive turtles in Sardinia. This contribution improves the knowledge about marine litter interaction on Caretta caretta as bio-indicator. Results will be useful for the Marine Strategy implementation. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Establishing sex ratios of sea turtle foraging populations: validation of a novel testosterone hormone assay technology and sex assessment for five species.

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Demographic data are essential for developing sound management and conservation plans for marine turtle populations. Sex ratios, even though they are an essential...

  16. Sea turtle and artisanal cerco-fixo fishing interactions in Cananéia, south coast of São Paulo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natália Cristina Fidelis Bahia

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Sea turtles are reptiles that occur on the Brazilian coast, mainly on nesting and feeding grounds. The consumption of turtle meat and eggs is an ancient habit in many coastal communities around the world. The main dangers that threaten these species are the increase in fishing and the drastic changes in the environment. This study aimed to elucidate the interaction between the artisanal fishermen and the sea turtles in Cananéia, São Paulo state, Brazil. Local fishermen had developed an artisanal trap to fish, the "cerco-fixo", and through interviews and illustrations, as well as by accompanying the fishermen' daily activities, three main aspects were verified: (i the perception of the fishermen about the sea turtles; (ii the identification of species and morphological characteristics of these animals; and (iii a description of the incidental bycatch of sea turtles in these traps. The data indicates that this fishing trap is not harmful to the sea turtles. Location of traps can influence the capture of these animals, particularly those traps placed on rocky shores and other similiar points.

  17. Sea turtle and artisanal cerco-fixo fishing interactions in Cananéia, south coast of São Paulo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natália Cristina Fidelis Bahia

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Sea turtles are reptiles that occur on the Brazilian coast, mainly on nesting and feeding grounds. The consumption of turtle meat and eggs is an ancient habit in many coastal communities around the world. The main dangers that threaten these species are the increase in fishing and the drastic changes in the environment. This study aimed to elucidate the interaction between the artisanal fishermen and the sea turtles in Cananéia, São Paulo state, Brazil. Local fishermen had developed an artisanal trap to fish, the “cerco-fixo”, and through interviews and illustrations, as well as by accompanying the fishermen’ daily activities, three main aspects were verified: (i the perception of the fishermen about the sea turtles; (ii the identification of species and morphological characteristics of these animals; and (iii a description of the incidental bycatch of sea turtles in these traps. The data indicates that this fishing trap is not harmful to the sea turtles. Location of traps can influence the capture of these animals, particularly those traps placed on rocky shores and other similiar points.

  18. Experimental degradation of polymer shopping bags (standard and degradable plastic, and biodegradable) in the gastrointestinal fluids of sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Christin; Townsend, Kathy; Matschullat, Jörg

    2012-02-01

    The persistence of marine debris such as discarded polymer bags has become globally an increasing hazard to marine life. To date, over 177 marine species have been recorded to ingest man-made polymers that cause life-threatening complications such as gut impaction and perforation. This study set out to test the decay characteristics of three common types of shopping bag polymers in sea turtle gastrointestinal fluids (GIF): standard and degradable plastic, and biodegradable. Fluids were obtained from the stomachs, small intestines and large intestines of a freshly dead Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) and a Loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta). Controls were carried out with salt and freshwater. The degradation rate was measured over 49 days, based on mass loss. Degradation rates of the standard and the degradable plastic bags after 49 days across all treatments and controls were negligible. The biodegradable bags showed mass losses between 3 and 9%. This was a much slower rate than reported by the manufacturers in an industrial composting situation (100% in 49 days). The GIF of the herbivorous Green turtle showed an increased capacity to break down the biodegradable polymer relative to the carnivorous Loggerhead, but at a much lower rate than digestion of natural vegetative matter. While the breakdown rate of biodegradable polymers in the intestinal fluids of sea turtles is greater than standard and degradable plastics, it is proposed that this is not rapid enough to prevent morbidity. Further study is recommended to investigate the speed at which biodegradable polymers decompose outside of industrial composting situations, and their durability in marine and freshwater systems. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Conservation and Ecotourism in Brazil and Mexico: The Development Impact

    OpenAIRE

    David Ivan Fleischer

    2009-01-01

    Conservation projects alter local productive modes and have an impact on livelihoods. For example, sea turtle conservation projects affect fishing communities through hunting restrictions. It is not painless for communities to improve fishing technology in order to prevent the accidental capture of sea turtles. The inability to adapt to environmental requirements forces fishermen to abandon traditional livelihoods. A combination of environmental conservation and ecotourism development can pro...

  20. The geomagnetic environment in which sea turtle eggs incubate affects subsequent magnetic navigation behaviour of hatchlings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuxjager, Matthew J; Davidoff, Kyla R; Mangiamele, Lisa A; Lohmann, Kenneth J

    2014-09-22

    Loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings (Caretta caretta) use regional magnetic fields as open-ocean navigational markers during trans-oceanic migrations. Little is known, however, about the ontogeny of this behaviour. As a first step towards investigating whether the magnetic environment in which hatchlings develop affects subsequent magnetic orientation behaviour, eggs deposited by nesting female loggerheads were permitted to develop in situ either in the natural ambient magnetic field or in a magnetic field distorted by magnets placed around the nest. In orientation experiments, hatchlings that developed in the normal ambient field oriented approximately south when exposed to a field that exists near the northern coast of Portugal, a direction consistent with their migratory route in the northeastern Atlantic. By contrast, hatchlings that developed in a distorted magnetic field had orientation indistinguishable from random when tested in the same north Portugal field. No differences existed between the two groups in orientation assays involving responses to orbital movements of waves or sea-finding, neither of which involves magnetic field perception. These findings, to our knowledge, demonstrate for the first time that the magnetic environment present during early development can influence the magnetic orientation behaviour of a neonatal migratory animal. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  1. 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 L.; 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.

  2. Clinical pathology reference intervals for an in-water population of juvenile loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in Core Sound, North Carolina, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Terra R; McNeill, Joanne Braun; Avens, Larisa; Hall, April Goodman; Goshe, Lisa R; Hohn, Aleta A; Godfrey, Matthew H; Mihnovets, A Nicole; Cluse, Wendy M; Harms, Craig A

    2015-01-01

    The loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) is found throughout the waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. It is a protected species throughout much of its range due to threats such as habitat loss, fisheries interactions, hatchling predation, and marine debris. Loggerheads that occur in the southeastern U.S. are listed as "threatened" on the U.S. Endangered Species List, and receive state and federal protection. As part of an on-going population assessment conducted by the National Marine Fisheries Service, samples were collected from juvenile loggerhead sea turtles in Core Sound, North Carolina, between 2004 and 2007 to gain insight on the baseline health of the threatened Northwest Atlantic Ocean population. The aims of the current study were to establish hematologic and biochemical reference intervals for this population, and to assess variation of the hematologic and plasma biochemical analytes by season, water temperature, and sex and size of the turtles. Reference intervals for the clinical pathology parameters were estimated following Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute guidelines. Season, water temperature, sex, and size of the turtles were found to be significant factors of variation for parameter values. Seasonal variation could be attributed to physiological effects of decreasing photoperiod, cooler water temperature, and migration during the fall months. Packed cell volume, total protein, and albumin increased with increasing size of the turtles. The size-related differences in analytes documented in the present study are consistent with other reports of variation in clinical pathology parameters by size and age in sea turtles. As a component of a health assessment of juvenile loggerhead sea turtles in North Carolina, this study will serve as a baseline aiding in evaluation of trends for this population and as a diagnostic tool for assessing the health and prognosis for loggerhead sea turtles undergoing rehabilitation.

  3. Clinical pathology reference intervals for an in-water population of juvenile loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta in Core Sound, North Carolina, USA.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Terra R Kelly

    Full Text Available The loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta is found throughout the waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. It is a protected species throughout much of its range due to threats such as habitat loss, fisheries interactions, hatchling predation, and marine debris. Loggerheads that occur in the southeastern U.S. are listed as "threatened" on the U.S. Endangered Species List, and receive state and federal protection. As part of an on-going population assessment conducted by the National Marine Fisheries Service, samples were collected from juvenile loggerhead sea turtles in Core Sound, North Carolina, between 2004 and 2007 to gain insight on the baseline health of the threatened Northwest Atlantic Ocean population. The aims of the current study were to establish hematologic and biochemical reference intervals for this population, and to assess variation of the hematologic and plasma biochemical analytes by season, water temperature, and sex and size of the turtles. Reference intervals for the clinical pathology parameters were estimated following Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute guidelines. Season, water temperature, sex, and size of the turtles were found to be significant factors of variation for parameter values. Seasonal variation could be attributed to physiological effects of decreasing photoperiod, cooler water temperature, and migration during the fall months. Packed cell volume, total protein, and albumin increased with increasing size of the turtles. The size-related differences in analytes documented in the present study are consistent with other reports of variation in clinical pathology parameters by size and age in sea turtles. As a component of a health assessment of juvenile loggerhead sea turtles in North Carolina, this study will serve as a baseline aiding in evaluation of trends for this population and as a diagnostic tool for assessing the health and prognosis for loggerhead sea turtles undergoing

  4. Potential foraging and aggregation zones of the Hawksbill Sea Turtle Eretmochelys imbricata (Testudines: Cheloniidae), in Marino Ballena National Park, Costa Rica

    OpenAIRE

    Bonilla-Salazar, Adrián; Brenes Arias, Oscar

    2017-01-01

    AbstractGroups of hawksbill sea turtles have been observed over the years, close to the coast of the Marino Ballena National Park. For this reason, in February 2015, we monitored its coast to identify aggregation sites. Turtle size estimates, and identification, were done by direct observation by the divers and from the boat. From February to December 2015, fourteen monitor records per sampling point were done and 41 turtles were recorded. They were 30cm - 80cm long and 59% of the individuals...

  5. 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.

  6. Growth rates and age at adult size of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta in the Mediterranean Sea, estimated through capture-mark-recapture records

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paolo Casale

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Growth rates of the juvenile phase of loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta were estimated for the first time in the Mediterranean Sea from capture-mark-recapture records. Thirty-eight turtles were released from Italian coasts and re-encountered after 1.0-10.9 years in the period 1986-2007. Their mean CCL (curved carapace length ranged from 32.5 to 82.0 cm and they showed variable growth rates, ranging from 0 to 5.97 cm/yr (mean: 2.5. The association between annual growth rate and three covariates (mean year, mean size and time interval was investigated through a non-parametric modelling approach. Only mean size showed a clear effect on growth rate, described by a monotonic declining curve. Variability indicates that factors not included in the model, probably individual-related ones, have an important effect on growth rates. Based on the monotonic decreasing growth function which indicates no growth spurt, a von Bertalanffy growth function was used to estimate the time required by turtles to grow within the observed size range. The results indicate that turtles would take 16-28 years to reach 66.5-84.7 cm CCL, the average nesting female sizes observed at the most important Mediterranean nesting sites, which can be considered an approximation of the size at maturity.

  7. Selected heavy metals and selenium in the blood of black sea turtle (Chelonia mydas agasiizzi) from Sonora, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ley-Quiñónez, C P; Zavala-Norzagaray, A A; Réndon-Maldonado, J G; Espinosa-Carreón, T L; Canizales-Román, A; Escobedo-Urías, D C; Leal-Acosta, M L; Hart, C E; Aguirre, A A

    2013-12-01

    The concentration of heavy metals (Zn, Cd, Ni, Cu, Mn) and selenium (Se) was analyzed in blood collected from 12 black turtles (Chelonia mydas agasiizzi) captured in Canal del Infiernillo, Punta Chueca, Mexico. The most abundant metals were Zn (63.58 μg g(-1)) and Se (7.66 μg g(-1)), and Cd was the lower (0.99 μg g(-1)). The sequential concentrations of trace metals were Zn > Se > Cu > Mn > Ni > Cd. In conclusion, this information is important as a baseline when using blood as tissue analysis of heavy metals; however, these levels could represent recent exposure in foraging grounds of black turtles in the Sea of Cortez.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-15

    Despite the current environmental concern regarding the risk posed by contamination in marine ecosystems, the concentrations of pollutants in sea turtles have not been thoroughly elucidated. In the current study, we determined the concentrations of 18 organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), 18 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and 11 inorganic elements (Cu, Mn, Pb, Zn, Cd, Ni, Cr, As, Al, Hg and Se) for the first time in two sea turtle species (Chelonia mydas and Eretmochelys imbricata). Only five of the 18 analyzed OCPs were detected in both species. The average total OCP concentration was higher in green turtles than in hawksbills (0.33 ng/ml versus 0.20 ng/ml). Higher concentrations of individual congeners and total PCBs were also detected in green turtles than in hawksbills (∑PCBs=0.73ng/ml versus 0.19 ng/ml), and different PCB contamination profiles were observed in these two species. Concerning PAHs, we also observed a different contamination profile and higher levels of contamination in green turtles (∑PAHs=12.06 ng/ml versus 2.95 ng/ml). Di- and tri-cyclic PAHs were predominant in both populations, suggesting a petrogenic origin, rather than urban sources of PAHs. Additionally, all of the samples exhibited detectable levels of the 11 inorganic elements. In this case, we also observed relevant differences between both species. Thus, Zn was the most abundant inorganic element in hawksbills (an essential inorganic element), whereas Ni, a well-known toxicant, was the most abundant inorganic element in green turtles. The presence of contaminants is greater in green turtles relative to hawksbill turtles, suggesting a greater exposure to hazardous chemical contaminants for green turtles. These results provide baseline data for these species that can serve for future monitoring purposes outlined in the EU's Marine Strategy Framework Directive. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier Castro

    2012-11-01

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

  10. Challenges in Evaluating the Severity of Fibropapillomatosis: A Proposal for Objective Index and Score System for Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas) in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossi, Silmara; Sánchez-Sarmiento, Angélica María; Vanstreels, Ralph Eric Thijl; Dos Santos, Robson Guimarães; Prioste, Fabiola Eloisa Setim; Gattamorta, Marco Aurélio; Grisi-Filho, José Henrique Hildebrand; Matushima, Eliana Reiko

    2016-01-01

    Fibropapillomatosis (FP) is a neoplastic disease that affects marine turtles worldwide, especially green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas). FP tumors can develop on the body surface of marine turtles and also internally in the oral cavity and viscera. Depending on their quantity, size and anatomical distribution, these tumors can interfere with hydrodynamics and the ability to feed, hence scoring systems have been proposed in an attempt to quantify the clinical manifestation of FP. In order to establish a new scoring system adapted to geographic regions, we examined 214 juvenile green sea turtles with FP caught or rescued at Brazilian feeding areas, counted their 7466 tumors and classified them in relation to their size and anatomical distribution. The patterns in quantity, size and distribution of tumors revealed interesting aspects in the clinical manifestation of FP in specimens studied in Brazil, and that FP scoring systems developed for other areas might not perform adequately when applied to sea turtles on the Southwest Atlantic Ocean. We therefore propose a novel method to evaluate the clinical manifestation of FP: fibropapillomatosis index (FPI) that provides the Southwest Atlantic fibropapillomatosis score (FPSSWA). In combination, these indexing and scoring systems allow for a more objective, rapid and detailed evaluation of the severity of FP in green sea turtles. While primarily designed for the clinical manifestation of FP currently witnessed in our dataset, this index and the score system can be adapted for other areas and compare the characteristics of the disease across regions. In conclusion, scoring systems to classify the severity of FP can assist our understanding on the environmental factors that modulate its development and its impacts on the individual and population health of green sea turtles.

  11. Metal contamination as a possible etiology of fibropapillomatosis in juvenile female green sea turtles Chelonia mydas from the southern Atlantic Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Silva, Cinthia Carneiro; Klein, Roberta Daniele; Barcarolli, Indianara Fernanda; Bianchini, Adalto

    2016-01-01

    Environmental contaminants have been suggested as a possible cause of fibropapillomatosis (FP) in green sea turtles. In turn, a reduced concentration of serum cholesterol has been indicated as a reliable biomarker of malignancy in vertebrates, including marine turtles. In the present study, metal (Ag, Cd, Cu, Fe, Ni, Pb and Zn) concentrations, oxidative stress parameters [antioxidant capacity against peroxyl radicals (ACAP), protein carbonyls (PC), lipid peroxidation (LPO), frequency of micronucleated cells (FMC)], water content, cholesterol concentration and 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase (HMGR) activity were analyzed in the blood/serum of juvenile (29.3-59.5cm) female green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) with FP (n=14) and without FP (n=13) sampled at Ubatuba coast (São Paulo State, southeastern Brazil). Green sea turtles were grouped and analyzed according to the severity of tumors. Individuals heavily afflicted with FP showed significantly higher blood Cu, Pb and Fe concentrations, blood LPO levels, as well as significantly lower serum cholesterol concentrations and HMGR activity than turtles without FP. Significant and positive correlations were observed between HMGR activity and cholesterol concentrations, as well as LPO levels and Fe and Pb concentrations. In turn, Cu and Pb concentrations were significantly and negatively correlated with HMGR activity and cholesterol concentration. Furthermore, Cu, Fe and Pb were positively correlated with each other. Therefore, the reduced concentration of serum cholesterol observed in green sea turtles heavily afflicted with FP is related to a Cu- and Pb-induced inhibition of HMGR activity paralleled by a higher LPO rate induced by increased Fe and Pb concentrations. As oxidative stress is implicated in the pathogenesis of viral infections, our findings support the idea that metal contamination, especially by Cu, Fe and Pb, may be implicated in the etiology of FP in green sea turtles through oxidative stress

  12. Husbandry and propagation of the Chinese big-headed turtle (Platysternon megacephalum) at the Wildlife Conservation Society's Prospect Park Zoo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shelmidine, Nichole; Murphy, Brittany; Massarone, Katelyn

    2016-01-01

    Turtles worldwide are facing increasing pressures on their wild populations and many are listed as endangered or critically endangered. Chinese big-headed turtles (Platysternon megacephalum) are currently listed on IUCN's Red List as endangered and on Cites Appendix II. As part of the Wildlife Conservation Society's initiative on turtle and tortoise conservation, this species became a focus for propagation at Prospect Park Zoo (PPZ) in 2008. PPZ successfully bred and obtained eggs, with successful hatchings in 2013 and 2014. The staff fluctuated water and ambient temperatures along with photoperiod in order to simulate seasonal changes. Each May, the female was placed in the male's enclosure daily for at least 15 min for breeding. Once two confirmed copulations were observed, breeding introductions were discontinued. The female laid her eggs in July and August, and clutch sizes ranged from 5 to 6 eggs. Eggs were successfully incubated in a RCOM Juragon reptile incubator at 23.3°C with 90-95% humidity. The eggs hatched after an average incubation period of 102 days (98-105 days, n = 9). Hatchlings had a mean body mass of 8.84 g (8.11-10 g) and average carapace length × width of 36.17 × 32.20 mm. This article aims to share the team's experiences working with this species as well as build upon previous publications and successes. Our hope is that with continued efforts to increase our knowledgebase a future viable, sustainable North American captive population will become a reality for this species. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Hypothermic stunning of green sea turtles in a western Gulf of Mexico foraging habitat.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donna J Shaver

    Full Text Available 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.

  14. Ecology and conservation of North American sea ducks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savard, Jean-Pierre L.; Derksen, Dirk V.; Esler, Daniel N.; Eadie, John M.

    2015-01-01

    The past decade has seen a huge increase in the interest and attention directed toward sea ducks, the Mergini tribe. This has been inspired, in large part, by the conservation concerns associated with numerical declines in several sea duck species and populations, as well as a growing appreciation for their interesting ecological attributes. Reflecting the considerable research recently conducted on this tribe, Ecology and Conservation of North American Sea Ducks examines the 15 extant species of sea ducks from North America.

  15. Notes on the zoogeography of the Atlantic sea turtles of the genus Lepidochelys

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Archie Carr

    2002-06-01

    Full Text Available The sea turtle Lepidochelys kempi has an extensive range in coastal waters of the United States, and in parts of Florida is abundant as a seasonal resident. All known populations are sexually immature, and the breeding area of the species is not known. The present paper suggests the necessity of assuming a distant origin for the North American population, examines fragmentary evidence bearing on the coronary assumption of migratory movement, and somewhat hesitantly proposes the coast of northwestern Africa as a possible site of nesting. Spreading into American waters may occur via the Gulf Stream system. New records extend the range of the genus to northern Mauretania and into the MediterraneanLa tortuga marina Lepidochelys kempi tiene amplia distribución en el litoral de los Estados Unidos, y abunda como visitante en la costa occidental de Florida, si bien en la costa oriental hay un trecho desde Melbourne hasta Miami en que no ha sido registrada. Tampoco ha sido registrada en las Bahamas ni en las Antillas, aunque un ejemplar recogido en Cuba, mencionado por AGUAYO (1 parece ser la especie africana L. olivacea, que se debe considerar como visitante y ocasional de esas islas; también existe por 10 menos un ejemplar registrado en las cercanías de Bermuda, y queda la posibilidad de que la "batalí" de Trinidad sea una u otra especie de Lepidochelys. L. olivacea, que se debe considerar como visitante y ocasional de esas islas; también existe por lo menos un ejemplar registrado en las cercanías de Bermuda, y queda la posibilidad de que la "batalí" de Trinidad sea una u otra especie de Lepidochelys. Todas las poblaciones conocidas en aguas norteamericanas son sexualmente inmaturas, y no se conoce el criadero de la especie. En este trabajo el autor sugiere la necesidad de suponer un punto de origen distante para estas poblaciones; examina los fragmentos disponibles de evidencia que apoyan la suposición corolaria de movimientos migratorios, y

  16. Causes of Stranding and Mortality, and Final Disposition of Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Caretta caretta) Admitted to a Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Gran Canaria Island, Spain (1998-2014): A Long-Term Retrospective Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orós, Jorge; Montesdeoca, Natalia; Camacho, María; Arencibia, Alberto; Calabuig, Pascual

    2016-01-01

    The aims of this study were to analyze the causes of stranding of 1,860 loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) admitted at the Tafira Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Gran Canaria Island, Spain, from 1998 to 2014, and to analyze the outcomes of the rehabilitation process to allow meaningful auditing of its quality. Primary causes of morbidity were classified into seven categories: entanglement in fishing gear and/or plastics, ingestion of hooks and monofilament lines, trauma, infectious disease, crude oil, other causes, and unknown/undetermined. Final dispositions were calculated as euthanasia (Er), unassisted mortality (Mr), and release (Rr) rates. Time to death (Td) for euthanized and dead turtles, and length of stay for released (Tr) turtles were evaluated. The most frequent causes of morbidity were entanglement in fishing gear and/or plastics (50.81%), unknown/undetermined (20.37%), and ingestion of hooks (11.88%). The final disposition of the 1,634 loggerhead turtles admitted alive were: Er = 3.37%, Mr = 10.34%, and Rr = 86.29%. Er was significantly higher in the trauma category (18.67%) compared to the other causes of admission. The highest Mr was observed for turtles admitted due to trauma (30.67%). The highest Rr was observed in the crude oil (93.87%) and entanglement (92.38%) categories. The median Tr ranged from 12 days (unknown) to 70 days (trauma). This survey is the first large-scale epidemiological study on causes of stranding and mortality of Eastern Atlantic loggerheads and demonstrates that at least 71.72% of turtles stranded due to anthropogenic causes. The high Rr (86.29%) emphasizes the importance of marine rehabilitation centers for conservation purposes. The stratified analysis by causes of admission of the three final disposition rates, and the parameters Td and Tr should be included in the outcome research of the rehabilitation process of sea turtles in order to allow comparative studies between marine rehabilitation centers around the world.

  17. Causes of Stranding and Mortality, and Final Disposition of Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Caretta caretta Admitted to a Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Gran Canaria Island, Spain (1998-2014: A Long-Term Retrospective Study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Orós

    Full Text Available The aims of this study were to analyze the causes of stranding of 1,860 loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta admitted at the Tafira Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Gran Canaria Island, Spain, from 1998 to 2014, and to analyze the outcomes of the rehabilitation process to allow meaningful auditing of its quality.Primary causes of morbidity were classified into seven categories: entanglement in fishing gear and/or plastics, ingestion of hooks and monofilament lines, trauma, infectious disease, crude oil, other causes, and unknown/undetermined. Final dispositions were calculated as euthanasia (Er, unassisted mortality (Mr, and release (Rr rates. Time to death (Td for euthanized and dead turtles, and length of stay for released (Tr turtles were evaluated.The most frequent causes of morbidity were entanglement in fishing gear and/or plastics (50.81%, unknown/undetermined (20.37%, and ingestion of hooks (11.88%. The final disposition of the 1,634 loggerhead turtles admitted alive were: Er = 3.37%, Mr = 10.34%, and Rr = 86.29%. Er was significantly higher in the trauma category (18.67% compared to the other causes of admission. The highest Mr was observed for turtles admitted due to trauma (30.67%. The highest Rr was observed in the crude oil (93.87% and entanglement (92.38% categories. The median Tr ranged from 12 days (unknown to 70 days (trauma.This survey is the first large-scale epidemiological study on causes of stranding and mortality of Eastern Atlantic loggerheads and demonstrates that at least 71.72% of turtles stranded due to anthropogenic causes. The high Rr (86.29% emphasizes the importance of marine rehabilitation centers for conservation purposes. The stratified analysis by causes of admission of the three final disposition rates, and the parameters Td and Tr should be included in the outcome research of the rehabilitation process of sea turtles in order to allow comparative studies between marine rehabilitation centers around the world.

  18. Reproduction and conservation of the Magdalena River turtle (Podocnemis lewyana) in the Claro Cocorna Sur River, Colombia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ceballos, Claudia P; Romero, Isabel; Gomez Saldarriaga, Catalina; Miranda, Karla

    2014-01-01

    The Magdalena river turtle, Podocnemis lewyana, is an endangered and endemic turtle from Colombia. Among the most important information needed to conserve endangered species is to identify, monitor, and protect the sites used by the species to reproduce and grow. In this study we report, for the first time, the reproductive output and the nesting beaches of P. lewyana in the Claro Cocorna Sur River, a tributary of the Magdalena river drainage. We systematically examined a river transect of 8 km with 14 sandy beaches during two nesting seasons in one year. We recorded a yearly production of 47 clutches, 957 eggs, and two preferred nesting beaches: Alto Bonito with 51 %, and Belgica with 28.3 % of this reproductive output. Aafuver, a community-based organization, has led a headstarting program since 2010 to decrease in-situ egg mortality due to predation on nesting beaches. Aafuver collects and incubates the eggs ex-situ, raises the hatchlings for one to five months and then releases them into the same river. To understand potential effects of such egg manipulation, we monitored and compared in-situ and ex-situ incubation temperatures. We found ex-situ temperatures below the pivotal temperature known for P. lewyana and below the temperatures in nesting beaches. Finally, we monitored hatchlings growth under aafuver captive conditions, and found that hatchlings duplicated their body mass during the first three months of age. Egg weight was strongly associated to body weight at hatching; however this association is lost by the third month of age. We strongly encourage supporting this community-based conservation program, and the protection of the Claro Cocorna Sur River as an important nesting and growth habitat for the conservation of P. lewyana.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. 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...

  1. The ontogeny of morphological defenses in Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) and loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salmon, Michael; Higgins, Benjamin; Stewart, Joshua; Wyneken, Jeanette

    2015-08-01

    Marine turtles are large reptiles that compensate for high juvenile mortality by producing hundreds of hatchlings during a long reproductive lifespan. Most hatchlings are taken by predators during their migration to, and while resident in, the open ocean. Their survival depends upon crypticity, minimizing movement to avoid detection, and foraging efficiently to grow to a size too difficult for predators to either handle or swallow. While these behavioral antipredator tactics are known, changes in morphology accompanying growth may also improve survival prospects. These have been only superficially described in the literature. Here, we compare the similarities and differences in presumed morphological defenses of growing loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) posthatchlings, related species that differ in growth rate, timing of habitat shift (the return from oceanic to neritic locations), and size at maturity. In both species, vertebral spination and carapace widening increase disproportionally as small turtles grow, but later in ontogeny, the spines regress, sooner in ridley than in loggerhead turtles. Carapace widening occurs in both species but loggerheads are always longer than they are wide whereas in Kemp's ridley turtles, the carapace becomes as wide as long. Our analysis indicates that these changes are unrelated to when each species shifts habitat but are related to turtle size. We hypothesize that the spines function in small turtles as an early defense against gape-limited predators, but changes in body shape function throughout ontogeny-initially to make small turtles too wide to swallow and later by presenting an almost flat and hardened surface that large predators (such as a sharks) are unable to grasp. The extremely wide carapace of the Kemp's ridley may compensate for its smaller adult size (and presumed greater vulnerability) than the loggerhead. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. 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.

  3. Polychlorinated biphenyls and biotransformation enzymes in three species of sea turtles from the Baja California peninsula of Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, K L; Lopez Castro, M; Gardner, S C; Schlenk, D

    2010-01-01

    Concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) as well as the expression patterns of cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes and glutathione-S-transferase (GST) activities were measured in livers of loggerhead (Caretta caretta), green (Chelonia mydas), and olive ridley (Lepidocheyls olivacea) sea turtles from the Baja California peninsula of Mexico. The mean concentrations of total PCBs were 18.1, 10.5, and 15.2 ng/g wet weight (ww) respectively for the three species and PCB 153 was the dominant congener in all samples. Total PCB concentrations were dominated by penta- and hexa-chlorinated biphenyls. The mean estimated TEQs were 42.8, 22.9, and 10.4 pg/g (ww) for loggerhead, green, and olive ridley, respectively, and more than 70% was accounted for by non-ortho PCBs. Western blots revealed the presence of hepatic microsomal proteins that cross-reacted with anti-CYP2K1 and anti-CYP3A27 antibodies but not with anti-CYP1A antibody. There were no significant differences in GST activities between species. Grouping congeners based on structure-activity relationships for CYP isoenzymes suggested limited activity of CYP1A contribution to PCB biotransformation in sea turtles. These results suggest potential accumulation of PCBs that are CYP1A substrates and provide evidence for biotransformation capacity, which differs from known animal models, highlighting the need for further studies in reptiles, particularly those threatened with extinction.

  4. Temporal, spatial, and body size effects on growth rates of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in the Northwest Atlantic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bjorndal, Karen A.; Schroeder, Barbara A.; Foley, Allen M.; Witherington, Blair E.; Bresette, Michael; Clark, David; Herren, Richard M.; Arendt, Michael D.; Schmid, Jeffrey R.; Meylan, Anne B.; Meylan, Peter A.; Provancha, Jane A.; Hart, Kristen M.; Lamont, Margaret M.; Carthy, Raymond R.; Bolten, Alan B.

    2013-01-01

    In response to a call from the US National Research Council for research programs to combine their data to improve sea turtle population assessments, we analyzed somatic growth data for Northwest Atlantic (NWA) loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from 10 research programs. We assessed growth dynamics over wide ranges of geography (9–33°N latitude), time (1978–2012), and body size (35.4–103.3 cm carapace length). Generalized additive models revealed significant spatial and temporal variation in growth rates and a significant decline in growth rates with increasing body size. Growth was more rapid in waters south of the USA (productivity to a common environmental change should be explored to determine whether somatic growth rates can help interpret population trends based on annual counts of nests or nesting females. Because of the significant spatial and temporal variation in growth rates, population models of NWA loggerheads should avoid employing growth data from restricted spatial or temporal coverage to calculate demographic metrics such as age at sexual maturity.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan C Gorham

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

  6. 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

  7. Prioritizing land and sea conservation investments to protect coral reefs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carissa J Klein

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Coral reefs have exceptional biodiversity, support the livelihoods of millions of people, and are threatened by multiple human activities on land (e.g. farming and in the sea (e.g. overfishing. Most conservation efforts occur at local scales and, when effective, can increase the resilience of coral reefs to global threats such as climate change (e.g. warming water and ocean acidification. Limited resources for conservation require that we efficiently prioritize where and how to best sustain coral reef ecosystems. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we develop the first prioritization approach that can guide regional-scale conservation investments in land- and sea-based conservation actions that cost-effectively mitigate threats to coral reefs, and apply it to the Coral Triangle, an area of significant global attention and funding. Using information on threats to marine ecosystems, effectiveness of management actions at abating threats, and the management and opportunity costs of actions, we calculate the rate of return on investment in two conservation actions in sixteen ecoregions. We discover that marine conservation almost always trumps terrestrial conservation within any ecoregion, but terrestrial conservation in one ecoregion can be a better investment than marine conservation in another. We show how these results could be used to allocate a limited budget for conservation and compare them to priorities based on individual criteria. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Previous prioritization approaches do not consider both land and sea-based threats or the socioeconomic costs of conserving coral reefs. A simple and transparent approach like ours is essential to support effective coral reef conservation decisions in a large and diverse region like the Coral Triangle, but can be applied at any scale and to other marine ecosystems.

  8. Prioritizing land and sea conservation investments to protect coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Carissa J; Ban, Natalie C; Halpern, Benjamin S; Beger, Maria; Game, Edward T; Grantham, Hedley S; Green, Alison; Klein, Travis J; Kininmonth, Stuart; Treml, Eric; Wilson, Kerrie; Possingham, Hugh P

    2010-08-30

    Coral reefs have exceptional biodiversity, support the livelihoods of millions of people, and are threatened by multiple human activities on land (e.g. farming) and in the sea (e.g. overfishing). Most conservation efforts occur at local scales and, when effective, can increase the resilience of coral reefs to global threats such as climate change (e.g. warming water and ocean acidification). Limited resources for conservation require that we efficiently prioritize where and how to best sustain coral reef ecosystems. Here we develop the first prioritization approach that can guide regional-scale conservation investments in land- and sea-based conservation actions that cost-effectively mitigate threats to coral reefs, and apply it to the Coral Triangle, an area of significant global attention and funding. Using information on threats to marine ecosystems, effectiveness of management actions at abating threats, and the management and opportunity costs of actions, we calculate the rate of return on investment in two conservation actions in sixteen ecoregions. We discover that marine conservation almost always trumps terrestrial conservation within any ecoregion, but terrestrial conservation in one ecoregion can be a better investment than marine conservation in another. We show how these results could be used to allocate a limited budget for conservation and compare them to priorities based on individual criteria. Previous prioritization approaches do not consider both land and sea-based threats or the socioeconomic costs of conserving coral reefs. A simple and transparent approach like ours is essential to support effective coral reef conservation decisions in a large and diverse region like the Coral Triangle, but can be applied at any scale and to other marine ecosystems.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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. - 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

  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. Seasonal residency of loggerhead turtles Caretta caretta tracked from the Gulf of Manfredonia, south Adriatic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. CASALE

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available A detailed knowledge of sea turtle distribution in relation to anthropogenic threats is key to inform conservation measures. We satellite tracked five loggerhead turtles incidentally caught in the Gulf of Manfredonia, where a high turtle occurrence and high bycatch levels have been recently reported. Turtles were tracked for a period ranging from 27 to 367 days, with a minimum travel distance ranging from 151 to 4,300 km. With the caution due to the small sample size, results suggest that: (i the area may host residential loggerhead turtles at least in summer, while they probably move elsewhere in winter due to the low temperatures occurring in shallow waters, (ii turtles may have very small home ranges in the area, (iii turtle occurrence may be higher in shallow waters along the coast. Moreover (iv one turtle showed remarkable fidelity to the same spot after seasonal migration and constant migration paths. If confirmed and further detailed, such movement patterns may guide effective conservation strategies to reduce the impact of bycatch in the area.

  12. 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.

  13. Sensory signals and neuronal groups involved in guiding the sea-ward motor behavior in turtle hatchlings of Chelonia agassizi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuentes, A. L.; Camarena, V.; Ochoa, G.; Urrutia, J.; Gutierrez, G.

    2007-05-01

    Turtle hatchlings orient display sea-ward oriented movements as soon as they emerge from the nest. Although most studies have emphasized the role of the visual information in this process, less attention has been paid to other sensory modalities. Here, we evaluated the nature of sensory cues used by turtle hatchlings of Chelonia agassizi to orient their movements towards the ocean. We recorded the time they took to crawl from the nest to the beach front (120m long) in control conditions and in visually, olfactory and magnetically deprived circumstances. Visually-deprived hatchlings displayed a high degree of disorientation. Olfactory deprivation and magnetic field distortion impaired, but not abolished, sea-ward oriented movements. With regard to the neuronal mapping experiments, visual deprivation reduced dramatically c-fos expression in the whole brain. Hatchlings with their nares blocked revealed neurons with c-fos expression above control levels principally in the c and d areas, while those subjected to magnetic field distortion had a wide spread activation of neurons throughout the brain predominantly in the dorsal ventricular ridge The present results support that Chelonia agassizi hatchlings use predominantly visual cues to orient their movements towards the sea. Olfactory and magnetic cues may also be use but their influence on hatchlings oriented motor behavior is not as clear as it is for vision. This conclusion is supported by the fact that in the absence of olfactory and magnetic cues, the brain turns on the expression of c- fos in neuronal groups that, in the intact hatchling, are not normally involved in accomplishing the task.

  14. Incidental capture of sea turtles by longlines in the Gulf of Gabès (South Tunisia: A comparative study between bottom and surface longlines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Imed Jribi

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Longlines are a fishing gear that have traditionally been used world-wide. Surface longlines are mainly used to fish swordfish, albacore, tuna and some species of sharks, while bottom longlines are used to fish large bottom-dwelling fish such as groupers. Longlines are widely known to interact with several species of sea turtles, and there is increasing concern about the impact of by-catch on these species. However, there is a paucity of data on sea turtle interactions with bottom longlines. In this paper we analyse the interaction of sea turtles with both bottom and surface longlines in the zone of Zarzis in the south of the gulf of Gabès, which is considered to be an important Mediterranean wintering and foraging area for the loggerhead turtle, Caretta caretta. Results show an important interaction with both types of longlines. Catch rates were estimated to be 0.823 per 1000 hooks for surface longline and 0.278 per 1000 hooks for bottom longline. Direct mortalities were estimated to be 0% (n=33 captures and 12.5% (n=24 captures, respectively.

  15. Plastic ingestion in oceanic-stage loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) off the North Atlantic subtropical gyre.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pham, Christopher K; Rodríguez, Yasmina; Dauphin, Axelle; Carriço, Rita; Frias, João P G L; Vandeperre, Frederic; Otero, Vanessa; Santos, Marco R; Martins, Helen R; Bolten, Alan B; Bjorndal, Karen A

    2017-08-15

    Juvenile oceanic-stage sea turtles are particularly vulnerable to the increasing quantity of plastic coming into the oceans. In this study, we analysed the gastrointestinal tracts of 24 juvenile oceanic-stage loggerheads (Caretta caretta) collected off the North Atlantic subtropical gyre, in the Azores region, a key feeding ground for juvenile loggerheads. Twenty individuals were found to have ingested marine debris (83%), composed exclusively of plastic items (primarily polyethylene and polypropylene) identified by μ-Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy. Large microplastics (1-5mm) represented 25% of the total number of debris and were found in 58% of the individuals sampled. Average number of items was 15.83±6.09 (±SE) per individual, corresponding to a mean dry mass of 1.07±0.41g. The results of this study demonstrate that plastic pollution acts as another stressor for this critical life stage of loggerhead turtles in the North Atlantic. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Mercury and selenium ingestion rates of Atlantic leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea): a cause for concern in this species?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perrault, Justin R

    2014-08-01

    Bodily accumulation of certain toxic elements can cause physiologic harm to marine organisms and be detrimental to their health and survival. The leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) is a broadly distributed marine reptile capable of consuming hundreds of kilograms of gelatinous zooplankton each day. Little is known about toxicants present in these prey items. Specifically, mercury is a known neurotoxin with no known essential function, while selenium detoxifies bodily mercury, but can be toxic at elevated concentrations. I collected 121 leatherback prey items (i.e., gelatinous zooplankton) from known leatherback foraging grounds and sampled the esophagus and stomach contents of stranded turtles. All samples were analyzed for total mercury and selenium. Additionally, two prey items and three liver samples were analyzed for methylmercury, the most toxic form of the element. Total mercury concentrations in prey items ranged from 0.2 to 17 ppb, while selenium concentrations ranged from concerning, especially since bodily mercury and selenium concentrations increase as organisms age. Because leatherbacks are long-lived and have large daily prey consumption rates, mercury and selenium loads may increase to physiologically harmful levels in this imperiled species. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. 50 CFR Figure 20 to Part 679 - Steller sea lion conservation area (SCA) of the Bering Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Steller sea lion conservation area (SCA) of the Bering Sea 20 Figure 20 to Part 679 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT... EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE OFF ALASKA Pt. 679, Fig. 20 Figure 20 to Part 679—Steller sea lion conservation area...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher N.S. Poonian

    2016-03-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Saving turtles: Talisman, Elf and BHP make room for reptiles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lorenz, A.

    1999-05-03

    Cooperation between Australia`s BHP Petroleum, Canada`s Talisman Energy and France`s El Aquitaine to help the Trinidadian government and conservation groups to save the nesting grounds of the Carribean sea turtle is described. The nesting ground is located near one of the projects the three companies are working on. The giant turtle, also called the leatherback, can weigh as much as a tonne and have a 2.4 metre flipper span, have their nesting places on Trinidad`s northeastern shore. The three companies are working in 36 metres of water opposite two of the turtles` last nesting places. Had the companies proceeded as planned, the project could have destroyed their nesting place. Instead, the companies put up $90,000 for a three-month research project to monitor the movement of the turtles with satellite telemetry. In order to assess the turtles` hearing, tiny wires were inserted in the the turtles` brain to measure brain wave patterns - a method similar to that used on human neo-natals. When it was discovered that the turtles did not adapt well to captivity, they were fitted with earphones and transmitter during 10-minute period when they were in the quiescent state of egg-laying. The companies proceeded with a seismic program that used cables on the sea floor. Rather than use a large and noisy survey vessel to lay long streamers on a wide area, they laid shorter strips on a grid with smaller, quieter boats. That was sufficient for the turtles to continue normal activity as females arrived on the beach in the usual numbers to nest and to lay eggs. The documentation provided to the Trinidadian government was well received and plans are afoot to use it as a benchmark in assessing future exploratory applications within Trinidadian jurisdiction.

  1. Strandings of cetaceans and sea turtles in the Alboran Sea and Strait of Gibraltar: a long–time glimpse of the north coast (Spain and the south coast (Morocco

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rojo–Nieto, E.

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available A total of 13 species of cetaceans and three species of marine turtles were found in this study. Data were collected by eight independent and self-regulated stranding networks, providing information about 1,198 marine mammal (10 odontocetii, three mysticetii and one phocidae and 574 sea turtle stranding events between 1991 and 2008. Trends in the strandings were analysed in relation to species composition and abundance, and their geographic and seasonal distribution. The most abundant species recorded were the striped dolphin and the loggerhead turtle. Some of the strandings, such as the humpback whale, harbour porpoise, hooded seal and olive ridley turtle, were considered ‘rare’ because their distribution did not match the pattern of the study. When the north and south coasts in the study area were compared, pilot whales stranded more frequently in the north, while delphinid species stranded more in the south coast, and loggerhead turtles stranded more frequently in the north while leatherback turtles stranded more in south coast.

  2. 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.

  3. Ingestion of marine litter by loggerhead sea turtles, Caretta caretta, in Portuguese continental waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicolau, Lídia; Marçalo, Ana; Ferreira, Marisa; Sá, Sara; Vingada, José; Eira, Catarina

    2016-02-15

    The accumulation of litter in marine and coastal environments is a major threat to marine life. Data on marine litter in the gastrointestinal tract of stranded loggerhead turtles, Caretta caretta, found along the Portuguese continental coast was presented. Out of the 95 analysed loggerheads, litter was present in 56 individuals (59.0%) and most had less than 10 litter items (76.8%) and less than 5 g (dm) (96.8%). Plastic was the main litter category (frequency of occurrence=56.8%), while sheet (45.3%) was the most relevant plastic sub-category. There was no influence of loggerhead stranding season, cause of stranding or size on the amount of litter ingested (mean number and dry mass of litter items per turtle). The high ingested litter occurrence frequency in this study supports the use of the loggerhead turtle as a suitable tool to monitor marine litter trends, as required by the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. The Risk of Polychlorinated Biphenyls Facilitating Tumors in Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas

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    Muting Yan

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available The Hawaiian green turtle (Chelonia mydas is on the list of threatened species protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act in 1978 in large part due to a severe tumor-forming disease named fibropapillomatosis. Chemical pollution is a prime suspect threatening the survival of C. mydas. In this study, PCBs concentrations were determined in 43 C. mydas plasma samples archived on Tern Island. The total PCBs concentration in male C. mydas (mean 1.10 ng/mL was two times more than that of females (mean 0.43 ng/mL. The relationship between straight carapace length and PCBs concentration in females has also been studied, which was negatively related. To figure out the possible existence of correlations between PCBs and tumor status, we measured the PCBs concentration in turtles with no tumor, moderate or severe tumor affliction. PCBs concentration of two afflicted groups was much higher than the healthy group, suggesting that PCBs may play a role in fibropapillomatosis in Hawaiian green turtle.

  5. Molecular identification of fungal isolates and hatching success of green turtle (Chelonia mydas) nests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Candan, Esra Deniz

    2018-02-26

    The aim of this study is to investigate the fungal diversity of green turtle nests and to examine phylogenetic relationships among these isolates. During the nesting season, samples of intra-nest sand and failed eggs were collected from 25% of the surviving nests in Sugözü Beaches, which are amongst the most important nesting beaches for endangered green turtles in the Mediterranean. Twenty-three fungi were identified by molecular techniques. Fungal isolates belonged to genera Aspergillus, Emericella, Rhizopus, Actinomucor and Apophysomyces with two undescribed species. Aspergillus variecolor, Aspergillus quadrilinieatus, Aspergillus tubingensis, Rhizopus oryzae, Actinomucor elegans and Apophysomyces variabilis were firstly detected in all sea turtle nests within this study. Our results demonstrate that 36.4% of the nests had fungal contamination. Also hatching success of the nests contaminated by fungi were significantly lower than the uncontaminated nests (P = 0.029). Also, this may represent a threat to marine turtles and a risk for the health of conservation workers. This study is the first molecular phylogenetic study associated with sea turtle nests in the eastern Mediterranean coast and contributes to the wider body of literature on fungal invasion of sea turtle nests with firstly isolated species. These findings are important for improving potential conservation measures for the nest sites.

  6. Data of first de-novo transcriptome assembly of a non-model species, hawksbill sea turtle, Eretmochelys imbricate, nesting of the Colombian Caribean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier Hernández-Fernández

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The hawksbill sea turtle, Eretmochelys imbricata, is an endangered species of the Caribbean Colombian coast due to anthropic and natural factors that have decreased their population levels. Little is known about the genes that are involved in their immune system, sex determination, aging and others important functions. The data generated represents RNA sequencing and the first de-novo assembly of transcripts expressed in the blood of the hawksbill sea turtle. The raw FASTQ files were deposited in the NCBI SRA database with accession number SRX2653641. A total of 5.7 Gb raw sequence data were obtained, corresponding to 47,555,108 raw reads. Trinity was used to perform a first de-novo assembly, and we were able to identify 47,586 transcripts of the female hawksbill turtle transcriptome with an N50 of 1100 bp. The obtained transcriptome data will be useful for further studies of the physiology, biochemistry and evolution in this species. Keywords: Hawksbill turtle, Trinity, RNAseq, illumina, N50

  7. Tourists and turtles: Searching for a balance in Tortuguero, Costa Rica

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    Meletis Zoe

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Tourism is seen as an important part of the turtle conservation ′toolbox′ that can be used to (1 raise awareness about sea turtles, (2 provide funding for conservation and management, and (3 create ′alternative livelihoods′ and revenues for communities who engage(d in direct consumption or sale of sea turtle products. With some exceptions, however, few studies of sea turtle tourism dedicate adequate attention to the wants, needs, and perceptions of tourists (exceptions include Wilson & Tisdell 2001; Smith 2002; Gray 2003; Meletis 2007; Ballantyne et al. 2009. In this paper, we focus on tourist perceptions of turtle tours in Tortuguero, Costa Rica, home to Tortuguero National Park (TNP; est. 1975 and among the oldest turtle tour systems in the world. In 2004, the tour system was changed to mitigate potential negative impacts of tourist activity on nesting turtles. Whereas tourists and their guides once walked the beach ′looking′ for nesting turtles, they now wait behind the beach and are radioed by TNP-affiliated ′turtle spotters′ when turtles are ′ready′ to be viewed. Impact mitigation was the primary motivation for this alteration to the tour system; resulting changes in the nature of the tour were not central considerations. Are the tourists enjoying the new tour format? Do they like/dislike the more passive waiting? Do the tourists know about, and understand the new tour system? In this paper, we address questions such as these, using a sample of 147 tourist surveys collected in 2008. We designed our survey to (1 add to the existing data on tourism in Tortuguero, (2 collect data on tourist perceptions of the (new tour system, and (3 gauge tourist awareness of the Turtle Spotter Program (TSP and the reasons for the new turtle tour system. The main purpose of this study was to collect data requested by interested stakeholders, and to consider the results with respect to implications for the future of turtle tour management

  8. Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) egg yolk concentrations of persistent organic pollutants and lipid increase during the last stage of embryonic development

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alava, Juan Jose [School of the Environment, University of South Carolina, 702G Byrnes Building, Columbia, SC 29208 (United States) and Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 219 Ft. Johnson Road, Charleston, SC 29412 (United States)]. E-mail: jalavasa@sfu.ca; Keller, Jennifer M. [National Institute of Standards and Technology, Hollings Marine Laboratory, 331 Fort Johnson Road, Charleston, SC 29412 (United States)]. E-mail: Jennifer.Keller@noaa.gov; Kucklick, John R. [National Institute of Standards and Technology, Hollings Marine Laboratory, 331 Fort Johnson Road, Charleston, SC 29412 (United States); Wyneken, Jeanette [Florida Atlantic University, Department of Biological Sciences, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton, FL 33431 (United States); Crowder, Larry [Duke University Marine Laboratory, 135 Duke Marine Lab Road, Beaufort, NC 28516 (United States); Scott, Geoffrey I. [Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 219 Ft. Johnson Road, Charleston, SC 29412 (United States)

    2006-08-15

    Data are scarce describing the concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides in sea turtle eggs. The purpose of this study was to establish appropriate sample collection methodology to monitor these contaminants in sea turtle eggs. Contaminant concentrations were measured in yolk samples from eggs that failed to hatch from three loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) nests collected in southern Florida to determine if concentrations change through embryonic development. One to three egg yolk samples per nest were analyzed from early, middle, and late developmental stages (n = 22 eggs total). PCB and pesticide concentrations were determined by gas chromatography with electron capture detection (GC-ECD). Geometric mean concentrations of {sigma}PCBs (52 congeners), {sigma}DDTs, {sigma}chlordanes, and dieldrin in all eggs were 65.0 (range = 7.11 to 3930 ng/g lipid), 67.1 (range = 7.88 to 1340 ng/g lipid), 37.0 (range = 4.04 to 685 ng/g lipid), and 11.1 ng/g lipid (range = 1.69 to 44.0 ng/g lipid), respectively. Early and middle developmental stage samples had similar concentrations of PCBs and organochlorine pesticides on a wet-mass basis (ng/g tissue extracted), but the concentrations doubled by the late stage. This increase is most likely attributable to the 50% increase in lipid content observed in the late-stage yolk. These findings indicate that an early-stage sample cannot be directly compared to a late-stage sample, especially from different nests. These preliminary findings also allowed us to calculate the minimum number of eggs per nest required for analysis to obtain an acceptable mean concentration per nest. More research is required to investigate geographical trends of contaminant concentrations and potential health effects (i.e., abnormalities) caused by these contaminants on sea turtle development.

  9. Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) egg yolk concentrations of persistent organic pollutants and lipid increase during the last stage of embryonic development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alava, Juan Jose; Keller, Jennifer M.; Kucklick, John R.; Wyneken, Jeanette; Crowder, Larry; Scott, Geoffrey I.

    2006-01-01

    Data are scarce describing the concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides in sea turtle eggs. The purpose of this study was to establish appropriate sample collection methodology to monitor these contaminants in sea turtle eggs. Contaminant concentrations were measured in yolk samples from eggs that failed to hatch from three loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) nests collected in southern Florida to determine if concentrations change through embryonic development. One to three egg yolk samples per nest were analyzed from early, middle, and late developmental stages (n = 22 eggs total). PCB and pesticide concentrations were determined by gas chromatography with electron capture detection (GC-ECD). Geometric mean concentrations of ΣPCBs (52 congeners), ΣDDTs, Σchlordanes, and dieldrin in all eggs were 65.0 (range = 7.11 to 3930 ng/g lipid), 67.1 (range = 7.88 to 1340 ng/g lipid), 37.0 (range = 4.04 to 685 ng/g lipid), and 11.1 ng/g lipid (range = 1.69 to 44.0 ng/g lipid), respectively. Early and middle developmental stage samples had similar concentrations of PCBs and organochlorine pesticides on a wet-mass basis (ng/g tissue extracted), but the concentrations doubled by the late stage. This increase is most likely attributable to the 50% increase in lipid content observed in the late-stage yolk. These findings indicate that an early-stage sample cannot be directly compared to a late-stage sample, especially from different nests. These preliminary findings also allowed us to calculate the minimum number of eggs per nest required for analysis to obtain an acceptable mean concentration per nest. More research is required to investigate geographical trends of contaminant concentrations and potential health effects (i.e., abnormalities) caused by these contaminants on sea turtle development

  10. Changes of loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) dive behavior associated with tropical storm passage during the inter-nesting period

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wilson, Maria; Tucker, Anton D.; Beedholm, Kristian

    2017-01-01

    To improve conservation strategies for threatened sea turtles, more knowledge on their ecology, behavior, and how they cope with severe and changing weather conditions is needed. Satellite and animal motion datalogging tags were used to study the inter-nesting behavior of two female loggerhead...... turtles in the Gulf of Mexico, which regularly has hurricanes and tropical storms during nesting season. We contrast the behavioral patterns and swimming energetics of these two turtles, the first tracked in calm weather and the second tracked before, during and after a tropical storm. Turtle 1 was highly......% of the time) with low estimated oxygen consumption (0.62 ml min-1 kg-0.83). Midway through the internesting period, turtle 2 encountered a tropical storm and became highly active (swimming 88% of the time during and 95% after the storm). Her oxygen consumption increased significantly to 0.97 ml min-1 kg-0...

  11. Stable isotope discrimination factors and between-tissue isotope comparisons for bone and skin from captive and wild green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner Tomaszewicz, Calandra N; Seminoff, Jeffrey A; Price, Mike; Kurle, Carolyn M

    2017-11-30

    The ecological application of stable isotope analysis (SIA) relies on taxa- and tissue-specific stable carbon (Δ 13 C) and nitrogen (Δ 15 N) isotope discrimination factors, determined with captive animals reared on known diets for sufficient time to reflect dietary isotope ratios. However, captive studies often prohibit lethal sampling, are difficult with endangered species, and reflect conditions not experienced in the wild. We overcame these constraints and determined the Δ 13 C and Δ 15 N values for skin and cortical bone from green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) that died in captivity and evaluated the utility of a mathematical approach to predict discrimination factors. Using stable carbon (δ 13 C values) and nitrogen (δ 15 N values) isotope ratios from captive and wild turtles, we established relationships between bone stable isotope (SI) ratios and those from skin, a non-lethally sampled tissue, to facilitate comparisons of SI ratios among studies using multiple tissues. The mean (±SD) Δ 13 C and Δ 15 N values (‰) between skin and bone from captive turtles and their diet (non-lipid-extracted) were 2.3 ± 0.3 and 4.1 ± 0.4 and 2.1 ± 0.6 and 5.1 ± 1.1, respectively. The mathematically predicted Δ 13 C and Δ 15 N values were similar (to within 1‰) to the experimentally derived values. The mean δ 15 N values from bone were higher than those from skin for captive (+1.0 ± 0.9‰) and wild (+0.8 ± 1.0‰) turtles; the mean δ 13 C values from bone were lower than those from skin for wild turtles (-0.6 ± 0.9‰), but the same as for captive turtles. We used linear regression equations to describe bone vs skin relationships and create bone-to-skin isotope conversion equations. For sea turtles, we provide the first (a) bone-diet SI discrimination factors, (b) comparison of SI ratios from individual-specific bone and skin, and (c) evaluation of the application of a mathematical approach to predict stable isotope discrimination factors. Our approach

  12. 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.

  13. Physiological and Behavioral Adjustments Relative to Catecholamine Levels During Nesting in Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys Olivacea and Hawksbill (Eretmochelys Imbricata Sea Turtles in Masirah Island, Oman.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.Y.A AlKindi

    2003-06-01

    Full Text Available Plasma adrenaline (ADR and noradrenaline (NA levels were measured for the first time in natural populations of hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata and olive ridley (Lipedochelys olivacea in Masirah Island, Arabian Sea; one of the few protected nesting grounds remaining in the world for these two endangered species. Plasma ADR and NA levels were assessed in individuals after they oviposited eggs and completed nesting exercises, and in individuals which were still searching for suitable nesting sites. Blood samples were taken from the cervical sinuses from two groups (oviposited and non-oviposited, which spent at least 1.5 h on the nesting grounds. The duration of the nesting period varied between 1.5 and 2.0 h for both species. There was no significant difference between oviposited and non-oviposited turtles in both species. As the turtles move onto the nesting grounds, their heavy weight compresses the thoracic region making terrestrial breathing laborious and difficult. During phases of nesting, the turtles undergo brief bursts of strenuous and exhaustive exercise which usually lasts less than one minute followed by a brief recovery period which is less than the exercise phase. Reptiles in general, particularly turtles, are intermittent breathers and after bursts of exercise, they appear to develop hypoxia, hypercapnia and acidemia, which are characteristic of anaerobic metabolism. The data reveals that catecholamine levels remain stable in both species during phases of nesting and may play an important role in combating stress as well as mobilizing energy reserves. The high plasma lactate and CO2 levels in olive and hawksbill turtles may signify anaerobic metabolism during exercise. Glucose levels remain unchanged throughout nesting in both species. There was no significant difference in the lactate and glucose values in the two species. The physiological and the behavioral adjustments in this study showed remarkable similarities in the two

  14. Lead in blood and eggs of the sea turtle, Lepidochelys olivacea, from the Eastern Pacific: Concentration, isotopic composition and maternal transfer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Paez-Osuna, F.; Calderon-Campuzano, M.F.; Soto-Jimenez, M.F.; Ruelas-Inzunza, J.R.

    2010-01-01

    Concentrations of lead were assessed in the sea turtle, Lepidochelys olivacea, from a nesting colony of the Eastern Pacific. Twenty-five female turtles were sampled and a total of 250 eggs were collected during the 'arribada' event of the 2005-2006 season. Considering the nesting season, the maternal transfer of lead (Pb) via egg-laying, in terms of metal burden in whole body, was 0.5%. Pb concentrations (in dry weight) in blood (0.95 ± 0.18 μg g -1 ) and egg samples (yolk, 0.80 ± 0.10 μg g -1 ; albumen, 1.08 ± 0.20 μg g -1 ; eggshell, 1.05 ± 0.20 μg g -1 ) were comparable or even lower than those found in other sea turtles. The isotope ratios ( 206 Pb/ 207 Pb and 206 Pb/ 208 Pb) in blood (1.183 ± 0.0006 and 2.452 ± 0.0006, respectively) were comparable to that of natural Pb-bearing bedrock in Mexico (1.188 ± 0.005 and 2.455 ± 0.008, respectively). According to international norms of Pb, the health of this population and its habitats is acceptable for Pb and corresponds to basic levels of a nearly pristine environment.

  15. 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.

  16. Data of first de-novo transcriptome assembly of a non-model species, hawksbill sea turtle, Eretmochelys imbricate, nesting of the Colombian Caribean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Fernández, Javier

    2017-12-01

    The hawksbill sea turtle, Eretmochelys imbricata, is an endangered species of the Caribbean Colombian coast due to anthropic and natural factors that have decreased their population levels. Little is known about the genes that are involved in their immune system, sex determination, aging and others important functions. The data generated represents RNA sequencing and the first de-novo assembly of transcripts expressed in the blood of the hawksbill sea turtle. The raw FASTQ files were deposited in the NCBI SRA database with accession number SRX2653641. A total of 5.7 Gb raw sequence data were obtained, corresponding to 47,555,108 raw reads. Trinity was used to perform a first de-novo assembly, and we were able to identify 47,586 transcripts of the female hawksbill turtle transcriptome with an N50 of 1100 bp. The obtained transcriptome data will be useful for further studies of the physiology, biochemistry and evolution in this species.

  17. Diving behaviour and haemoglobin function: the primary structure of the alpha- and beta-chains of the sea turtle (Caretta caretta) and its functional implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petruzzelli, R; Aureli, G; Lania, A; Galtieri, A; Desideri, A; Giardina, B

    1996-06-15

    The amino acid sequence of the alpha- and beta-chains of haemoglobin (Hb) from the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) has been determined. Comparison with that of human Hb shows differences in several residues involved in both alpha 1 beta 1 and alpha 1 beta 2 packing contacts. On the whole, in spite of the mutations, the essential characteristics of both interfaces seem to be maintained. The functional properties of the sea turtle Hb have been investigated at different temperatures and as a function of proton, chloride and organic phosphate concentrations. In addition to overall similarities shared with most of the vertebrate Hbs previously described, this molecule shows significant differences which could be related to the life behaviour of the turtle. In fact, while the shape of the Bohr-effect curve is well adapted for gas exchange during prolonged dives, the very small enthalpy change for O2 binding ensures that O2 delivery becomes essentially insensitive to the temperature changes of the environment. Moreover, and similarly to the case of emperor penguin Hb, the small alkaline Bohr effect appears to be only choride-linked, since the pH dependence of the O2 affinity is abolished in the absence of this ion. These functional characteristics are discussed on the basis of the primary structure of alpha- and beta-chains.

  18. δ13C and d15N in the endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle Lepidochelys kempii after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reich, Kimberly J.; López-Castro, Melania C.; Shaver, Donna J.; Iseton, Claire; Hart, Kristen M.; Hooper, Michael J.; Schmitt, Christopher J.

    2017-01-01

    The Deepwater Horizon explosion in April 2010 and subsequent oil spill released 3.19 × 106 barrels (5.07 × 108 L) of MC252 crude oil into important foraging areas of the endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle Lepidochelys kempii (Lk) in the northern Gulf of Mexico (GoM). We measured δ13C and δ15N in scute biopsy samples from 33 Lk nesting in Texas during 2010–-12. Of these, 27 were equipped with satellite transmitters and were tracked to traditional foraging areas in the northern GoM after the spill. Differences in δ13C between the oldest and newest scute layers from 2010 nesters were not significantly different, but δ13C in the newest layers from 2011 and 2012 nesters was significantly lower compared to 2010. δ15N differences were not statistically significant. Collectively, the stable isotope and tracking data indicate that the lower δ13C values reflect the incorporation of oil rather than changes in diet or foraging area. Discriminant analysis indicated that 51.5% of the turtles sampled had isotope signatures indicating oil exposure. Growth of the Lk population slowed in the years following the spill. The involvement of oil exposure in recent population trends is unknown, but long-term effects may not be evident for many years. Our results indicate that C isotope signatures in scutes may be useful biomarkers of sea turtle exposure to oil.

  19. Mercury in the sea turtle Chelonia mydas (Linnaeus, 1958 from Ceará coast, NE Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moisés F. Bezerra

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Mercury concentrations in carapace fragments of the green turtle Chelonia mydas from the Ceará coast in NE Brazil are reported. Concentrations varied from As concentrações de Hg em fragmentos de carapaça de Chelonia mydas no litoral do Ceará, nordeste do Brasil, são reportadas. Concentrações variaram de <0,34 a 856,6 ng.g -1 em peso seco, e foram maiores (média de 154,8 ng.g -1 em peso seco em indivíduos juvenis (n = 22, enquanto que as menores concentrações (média de 2,5 ng.g -1 em peso seco foram observadas em indivíduos adultos/sub-adultos (n = 3. Houve uma correlação negativa significativa entre tamanho do animal e concentração de Hg provavelmente devido a diferença de dieta entre juvenis e sub-adultos/adultos. Fragmentos de carapaça, que constituem substratos não-invasivos e não letais, podem ser importantes para fins de monitoramento ambiental dessas espécies ameaçadas de extinção.

  20. Marine turtle mitogenome phylogenetics and evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Duchene, Sebastián; Frey, Amy; Alfaro-Núñez, Luis Alonso

    2012-01-01

    The sea turtles are a group of cretaceous origin containing seven recognized living species: leatherback, hawksbill, Kemp's ridley, olive ridley, loggerhead, green, and flatback. The leatherback is the single member of the Dermochelidae family, whereas all other sea turtles belong in Cheloniidae...... distributions, shedding light on complex migration patterns and possible geographic or climatic events as driving forces of sea-turtle distribution. We have sequenced complete mitogenomes for all sea-turtle species, including samples from their geographic range extremes, and performed phylogenetic analyses...... to assess sea-turtle evolution with a large molecular dataset. We found variation in the length of the ATP8 gene and a highly variable site in ND4 near a proton translocation channel in the resulting protein. Complete mitogenomes show strong support and resolution for phylogenetic relationships among all...

  1. Status of marine turtle rehabilitation in Queensland

    OpenAIRE

    Jaylene Flint; Mark Flint; Colin James Limpus; Paul Mills

    2017-01-01

    Rehabilitation of marine turtles in Queensland has multifaceted objectives. It treats individual animals, serves to educate the public, and contributes to conservation. We examined the outcome from rehabilitation, time in rehabilitation, and subsequent recapture and restranding rates of stranded marine turtles between 1996 and 2013 to determine if the benefits associated with this practice are cost-effective as a conservation tool. Of 13,854 marine turtles reported as stranded during this 18-...

  2. Conserved and divergent expression patterns of markers of axial development in reptilian embryos: Chinese soft-shell turtle and Madagascar ground gecko.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshida, Michio; Kajikawa, Eriko; Kurokawa, Daisuke; Noro, Miyuki; Iwai, Tatsuhiro; Yonemura, Shigenobu; Kobayashi, Kensaku; Kiyonari, Hiroshi; Aizawa, Shinichi

    2016-07-01

    The processes of development leading up to gastrulation have been markedly altered during the evolution of amniotes, and it is uncertain how the mechanisms of axis formation are conserved and diverged between mouse and chick embryos. To assess the conservation and divergence of these mechanisms, this study examined gene expression patterns during the axis formation process in Chinese soft-shell turtle and Madagascar ground gecko preovipositional embryos. The data suggest that NODAL signaling, similarly to avian embryos but in contrast to eutherian embryos, does not have a role in epiblast and hypoblast development in reptilian embryos. The posterior marginal epiblast (PME) is the initial molecular landmark of axis formation in reptilian embryos prior to primitive plate development. Ontogenetically, PME may be the precursor of the primitive plate, and phylogenetically, Koller's sickle and posterior marginal zone in avian development may have been derived from the PME. Most of the genes expressed in the mouse anterior visceral endoderm (AVE genes), especially signaling antagonist genes, are not expressed in the hypoblast of turtle and gecko embryos, though they are expressed in the avian hypoblast. This study proposes that AVE gene expression in the hypoblast and the visceral endoderm could have been independently established in avian and eutherian lineages, similar to the primitive streak that has been independently acquired in these lineages. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Genomic evolution, recombination, and inter-strain diversity of chelonid alphaherpesvirus 5 from Florida and Hawaii green sea turtles with fibropapillomatosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, Cheryl L.; Iwanowicz, Luke R.; Work, Thierry M.; Fahsbender, Elizabeth; Breitbart, Mya; Adams, Cynthia; Iwanowicz, Deborah; Sanders, Lakyn; Ackermann, Mathias; Cornman, Robert S.

    2018-01-01

    Chelonid alphaherpesvirus 5 (ChHV5) is a herpesvirus associated with fibropapillomatosis (FP) in sea turtles worldwide. Single-locus typing has previously shown differentiation between Atlantic and Pacific strains of this virus, with low variation within each geographic clade. However, a lack of multi-locus genomic sequence data hinders understanding of the rate and mechanisms of ChHV5 evolutionary divergence, as well as how these genomic changes may contribute to differences in disease manifestation. To assess genomic variation in ChHV5 among five Hawaii and three Florida green sea turtles, we used high-throughput short-read sequencing of long-range PCR products amplified from tumor tissue using primers designed from the single available ChHV5 reference genome from a Hawaii green sea turtle. This strategy recovered sequence data from both geographic regions for approximately 75% of the predicted ChHV5 coding sequences. The average nucleotide divergence between geographic populations was 1.5%; most of the substitutions were fixed differences between regions. Protein divergence was generally low (average 0.08%), and ranged between 0 and 5.3%. Several atypical genes originally identified and annotated in the reference genome were confirmed in ChHV5 genomes from both geographic locations. Unambiguous recombination events between geographic regions were identified, and clustering of private alleles suggests the prevalence of recombination in the evolutionary history of ChHV5. This study significantly increased the amount of sequence data available from ChHV5 strains, enabling informed selection of loci for future population genetic and natural history studies, and suggesting the (possibly latent) co-infection of individuals by well-differentiated geographic variants.

  4. Genomic evolution, recombination, and inter-strain diversity of chelonid alphaherpesvirus 5 from Florida and Hawaii green sea turtles with fibropapillomatosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, Cheryl L; Iwanowicz, Luke; Work, Thierry M; Fahsbender, Elizabeth; Breitbart, Mya; Adams, Cynthia; Iwanowicz, Deb; Sanders, Lakyn; Ackermann, Mathias; Cornman, Robert S

    2018-01-01

    Chelonid alphaherpesvirus 5 (ChHV5) is a herpesvirus associated with fibropapillomatosis (FP) in sea turtles worldwide. Single-locus typing has previously shown differentiation between Atlantic and Pacific strains of this virus, with low variation within each geographic clade. However, a lack of multi-locus genomic sequence data hinders understanding of the rate and mechanisms of ChHV5 evolutionary divergence, as well as how these genomic changes may contribute to differences in disease manifestation. To assess genomic variation in ChHV5 among five Hawaii and three Florida green sea turtles, we used high-throughput short-read sequencing of long-range PCR products amplified from tumor tissue using primers designed from the single available ChHV5 reference genome from a Hawaii green sea turtle. This strategy recovered sequence data from both geographic regions for approximately 75% of the predicted ChHV5 coding sequences. The average nucleotide divergence between geographic populations was 1.5%; most of the substitutions were fixed differences between regions. Protein divergence was generally low (average 0.08%), and ranged between 0 and 5.3%. Several atypical genes originally identified and annotated in the reference genome were confirmed in ChHV5 genomes from both geographic locations. Unambiguous recombination events between geographic regions were identified, and clustering of private alleles suggests the prevalence of recombination in the evolutionary history of ChHV5. This study significantly increased the amount of sequence data available from ChHV5 strains, enabling informed selection of loci for future population genetic and natural history studies, and suggesting the (possibly latent) co-infection of individuals by well-differentiated geographic variants.

  5. Genomic evolution, recombination, and inter-strain diversity of chelonid alphaherpesvirus 5 from Florida and Hawaii green sea turtles with fibropapillomatosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cheryl L. Morrison

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Chelonid alphaherpesvirus 5 (ChHV5 is a herpesvirus associated with fibropapillomatosis (FP in sea turtles worldwide. Single-locus typing has previously shown differentiation between Atlantic and Pacific strains of this virus, with low variation within each geographic clade. However, a lack of multi-locus genomic sequence data hinders understanding of the rate and mechanisms of ChHV5 evolutionary divergence, as well as how these genomic changes may contribute to differences in disease manifestation. To assess genomic variation in ChHV5 among five Hawaii and three Florida green sea turtles, we used high-throughput short-read sequencing of long-range PCR products amplified from tumor tissue using primers designed from the single available ChHV5 reference genome from a Hawaii green sea turtle. This strategy recovered sequence data from both geographic regions for approximately 75% of the predicted ChHV5 coding sequences. The average nucleotide divergence between geographic populations was 1.5%; most of the substitutions were fixed differences between regions. Protein divergence was generally low (average 0.08%, and ranged between 0 and 5.3%. Several atypical genes originally identified and annotated in the reference genome were confirmed in ChHV5 genomes from both geographic locations. Unambiguous recombination events between geographic regions were identified, and clustering of private alleles suggests the prevalence of recombination in the evolutionary history of ChHV5. This study significantly increased the amount of sequence data available from ChHV5 strains, enabling informed selection of loci for future population genetic and natural history studies, and suggesting the (possibly latent co-infection of individuals by well-differentiated geographic variants.

  6. 77 FR 34334 - Western Pacific Pelagic Fisheries; Revised Limits on Sea Turtle Interactions in the Hawaii...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-11

    ... Interactions in the Hawaii Shallow-Set Longline Fishery AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS... occur between the Hawaii-based shallow-set pelagic longline fishery and leatherback and loggerhead sea... Fisheries, NMFS PIR, 808-944-2248. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Hawaii-based shallow-set pelagic longline...

  7. Nesting ecology of the olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) (Cheloniidae) at el Valle Beach, northern pacific, Colombia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Karla G Barrientos Munoz; Cristian Ramirez Gallego; Vivian Paez

    2014-01-01

    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 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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 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. PMID:23843971

  10. Non-targeted, high resolution mass spectrometry strategy for simultaneous monitoring of xenobiotics and endogenous compounds in green sea turtles on the Great Barrier Reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heffernan, Amy L; Gómez-Ramos, Maria M; Gaus, Caroline; Vijayasarathy, Soumini; Bell, Ian; Hof, Christine; Mueller, Jochen F; Gómez-Ramos, Maria J

    2017-12-01

    Chemical contamination poses a threat to ecosystem, biota and human health, and identifying these hazards is a complex challenge. Traditional hazard identification relies on a priori-defined targets of limited chemical scope, and is generally inappropriate for exploratory studies such as explaining toxicological effects in environmental systems. Here we present a non-target high resolution mass spectrometry environmental monitoring study with multivariate statistical analysis to simultaneously detect biomarkers of exposure (e.g. xenobiotics) and biomarkers of effect in whole turtle blood. Borrowing the concept from clinical chemistry, a case-control sampling approach was used to investigate the potential influence of xenobiotics of anthropogenic origin on free-ranging green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) from a remote, offshore 'control' site; and two coastal 'case' sites influenced by urban/industrial and agricultural activities, respectively, on the Great Barrier Reef in North Queensland, Australia. Multiple biomarkers of exposure, including sulfonic acids (n=9), a carbamate insecticide metabolite, and other industrial chemicals; and five biomarkers of effect (lipid peroxidation products), were detected in case sites. Additionally, two endogenous biomarkers of neuroinflammation and oxidative stress were identified, and showed moderate-to-strong correlations with clinical measures of inflammation and liver dysfunction. Our data filtering strategy overcomes limitations of traditional a priori selection of target compounds, and adds to the limited environmental xenobiotic metabolomics literature. To our knowledge this is the first case-control study of xenobiotics in marine megafauna, and demonstrates the utility of green sea turtles to link internal and external exposure, to explain potential toxicological effects in environmental systems. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Community involvement works where enforcement fails: conservation success through community-based management of Amazon river turtle nests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Darren Norris

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Law enforcement is widely regarded as a cornerstone to effective natural resource management. Practical guidelines for the optimal use of enforcement measures are lacking particularly in areas protected under sustainable and/or mixed use management regimes and where legal institution are weak. Focusing on the yellow-spotted river turtles (Podocnemis unifilis along 33 km of river that runs between two sustainable–use reserves in the Brazilian Amazon as an illustrative example, we show that two years of patrols to enforce lawful protection regulations had no effect on nest harvesting. In contrast, during one year when community-based management approaches were enacted harvest levels dropped nearly threefold to a rate (26% that is likely sufficient for river turtle population recovery. Our findings support previous studies that show how community participation, if appropriately implemented, can facilitate effective natural resource management where law enforcement is limited or ineffective.

  12. 77 FR 29905 - Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp and Summer Flounder Trawling Requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-05-21

    ... is typically constructed of steel rod with a minimum outside diameter of \\3/8\\ inch for the frame and... horizontal and vertical measurements of 36.5 and 48 inches, respectively, with a \\1/4\\-inch steel rod frame...) and 48 inches (121.9 cm), respectively. The frame must be constructed of steel rod with a minimum...

  13. 75 FR 53925 - Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp and Summer Flounder Trawling Requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-02

    ... sequence of six bars (inward) followed by one point (aft). A ``straight'' or ``all-point'' cut indicates a... flap piece were attached to the inside of the TED extension. At the point where the sides of each flap piece intersected the TED frame, the flap sides were then sewn to a row of meshes aft of the TED frame...

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Deepwater Horizon MC252 sea turtle data from the Environmental Response Management Application (ERMA) containing synoptic surveys, turtle telemetry, workplan sample observations and tagging, density grids, direct capture, and probabilities of exposure, and related sea turtle data collected between 1989-11-15 and 2013-11-12 during the DWH response in the Northern Gulf of Mexico (NCEI Accession 0163813)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This Archival Information Package (AIP) contains Environmental Resource Management Application (ERMA) GIS layers that include turtle survey overflight observations,...

  17. 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…

  18. Drifting and meandering of Olive Ridley Sea turtles in the Bay of Bengal: Role of oceanic Rossby waves

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Ram, P.S.; Rao, S.A.; Sadhuram, Y.

    in the direction of geostrophic currents. It is found that the locations of these thermal fronts in the Bay of Bengal are primarily determined by the Oceanic Rossby waves and local Ekman pumping. Key Words: Bay of Bengal, Circulation, Cyclonic and Anti... drawn with black dots shows the meandering path of the rest of the three turtles. Locations of the turtles at different times are also shown as white stars. A strong anti-cyclonic gyre (warm core eddy) centered at 17º N with SSHD above 30 cm...

  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.

    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.

  20. 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. PMID:25409240

  1. Temporal shift of sea turtle nest sites in an eroding barrier island beach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujisaki, Ikuko; Lamont, Margaret M.; Carthy, Raymond R.

    2018-01-01

    Shoreline changes affect functionality of a sandy beach as a wildlife habitat and coastal erosion is among the primary causes of the changes. We examined temporal shifts in locations where loggerheads placed nests in relation to coastal erosion along a barrier island beach in the northern Gulf of Mexico. We first confirmed consistency in long-term (1855–2001), short-term (1976–2001), and more recent (2002–2012) shoreline change rates in two adjacent beach sections, one historically eroding (west beach) and the other accreting (east beach). The mean annual shoreline change rate in the two sections was significantly different in all time periods. The recent (1998–2012) mean change rate was −10.9 ± 9.9 m/year in the west beach and −2.8 ± 4.9 m/year in the east beach, which resulted in the loss of about 70% and 30% of area in the west and east beaches, respectively. Loggerheads nested significantly closer to the vegetation line in 2012 than in 2002 in the west beach but the difference between the two time periods was not significant in the east beach. However, the distance from nests to the vegetation line from 2002 to 2014 was significantly reduced annually in both beaches; on average, loggerheads nested closer to the vegetation line by 9 m/year in the west beach and 5.8 m/year in the east beach. The observed shoreline change rate and corresponding shift of nest placement sites, combined with the forecasted future beach loss, highlighted the importance of addressing the issue of beach erosion to conserve sandy beach habitats.

  2. Plasma levels of pollutants are much higher in loggerhead turtle populations from the Adriatic Sea than in those from open waters (Eastern Atlantic Ocean).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bucchia, Matteo; Camacho, María; Santos, Marcelo R D; Boada, Luis D; Roncada, Paola; Mateo, Rafael; Ortiz-Santaliestra, Manuel E; Rodríguez-Estival, Jaime; Zumbado, Manuel; Orós, Jorge; Henríquez-Hernández, Luis A; García-Álvarez, Natalia; Luzardo, Octavio P

    2015-08-01

    In this paper we determined the levels of 63 environmental contaminants, including organic (PCBs, organochlorine pesticides, and PAHs) and inorganic (As, Cd, Cu, Pb, Hg and Zn) compounds in the blood of loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) from two comparable populations that inhabit distinct geographic areas: the Adriatic Sea (Mediterranean basin) and the Canary Islands (Eastern Atlantic Ocean). All animals were sampled at the end of a period of rehabilitation in centers of wildlife recovery, before being released back into the wild, so they can be considered to be in good health condition. The dual purpose of this paper is to provide reliable data on the current levels of contamination of this species in these geographic areas, and secondly to compare the results of both populations, as it has been reported that marine biota inhabiting the Mediterranean basin is exposed to much higher pollution levels than that which inhabit in other areas of the planet. According to our results it is found that current levels of contamination by organic compounds are considerably higher in Adriatic turtles than in the Atlantic ones (∑PCBs, 28.45 vs. 1.12ng/ml; ∑OCPs, 1.63 vs. 0.19ng/ml; ∑PAHs, 13.39 vs. 4.91ng/ml; pmercury (5.74 vs. 7.59μg/ml, p<0.01). The results of this study confirm that the concentrations are larger in turtles from the Mediterranean, probably related to the high degree of anthropogenic pressure in this basin, and thus they are more likely to suffer adverse effects related to contaminants. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Tracing the Co-evolutionary History of the Chelonid Fibropapilloma-associated Herpesvirus and Its Host Sea Turtles

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alfaro Nuñez, Luis Alonso

    This thesis describes various aspects of marine turtle (Testudines) evolution and tackles a well-described and controversial disease of these animals, fibropapillomatosis (FP), which is believed to be caused by the Chelonid fibropapilloma-associated herpesvirus (CFPHV). A large dataset of samples...

  4. 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.

  5. Potential Applicability of Persuasive Communication to Light-Glow Reduction Efforts: A Case Study of Marine Turtle Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamrowski, Ruth L.; Sutton, Stephen G.; Tobin, Renae C.; Hamann, Mark

    2014-09-01

    Artificial lighting along coastlines poses a significant threat to marine turtles due to the importance of light for their natural orientation at the nesting beach. Effective lighting management requires widespread support and participation, yet engaging the public with light reduction initiatives is difficult because benefits associated with artificial lighting are deeply entrenched within modern society. We present a case study from Queensland, Australia, where an active light-glow reduction campaign has been in place since 2008 to protect nesting turtles. Semi-structured questionnaires explored community beliefs about reducing light and evaluated the potential for using persuasive communication techniques based on the theory of planned behavior (TPB) to increase engagement with light reduction. Respondents ( n = 352) had moderate to strong intentions to reduce light. TPB variables explained a significant proportion of variance in intention (multiple regression: R 2 = 0.54-0.69, P benefits to the local economy" ( P Selective legislation and commitment strategies may be further useful strategies to increase community light reduction. As artificial light continues to gain attention as a pollutant, our methods and findings will be of interest to anyone needing to manage public artificial lighting.

  6. Jellyfish support high energy intake of leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea: video evidence from animal-borne cameras.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susan G Heaslip

    Full Text Available The endangered leatherback turtle is a large, highly migratory marine predator that inexplicably relies upon a diet of low-energy gelatinous zooplankton. The location of these prey may be predictable at large oceanographic scales, given that leatherback turtles perform long distance migrations (1000s of km from nesting beaches to high latitude foraging grounds. However, little is known about the profitability of this migration and foraging strategy. We used GPS location data and video from animal-borne cameras to examine how prey characteristics (i.e., prey size, prey type, prey encounter rate correlate with the daytime foraging behavior of leatherbacks (n = 19 in shelf waters off Cape Breton Island, NS, Canada, during August and September. Video was recorded continuously, averaged 1:53 h per turtle (range 0:08-3:38 h, and documented a total of 601 prey captures. Lion's mane jellyfish (Cyanea capillata was the dominant prey (83-100%, but moon jellyfish (Aurelia aurita were also consumed. Turtles approached and attacked most jellyfish within the camera's field of view and appeared to consume prey completely. There was no significant relationship between encounter rate and dive duration (p = 0.74, linear mixed-effects models. Handling time increased with prey size regardless of prey species (p = 0.0001. Estimates of energy intake averaged 66,018 kJ • d(-1 but were as high as 167,797 kJ • d(-1 corresponding to turtles consuming an average of 330 kg wet mass • d(-1 (up to 840 kg • d(-1 or approximately 261 (up to 664 jellyfish • d(-1. Assuming our turtles averaged 455 kg body mass, they consumed an average of 73% of their body mass • d(-1 equating to an average energy intake of 3-7 times their daily metabolic requirements, depending on estimates used. This study provides evidence that feeding tactics used by leatherbacks in Atlantic Canadian waters are highly profitable and our results are consistent with estimates of mass gain prior to

  7. Adult loggerhead turtle size, age, stage duration

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This study involves analysis of skeletal growth marks in humerus bones of 313 loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) stranded dead along the Atlantic US coast...

  8. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Phoebe A Chapman

    Full Text Available 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

  10. Variability in age and size at maturation, reproductive longevity, and long-term growth dynamics for Kemp's ridley sea turtles in the Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goshe, Lisa R.; Coggins, Lewis; Shaver, Donna J.; Higgins, Ben; Landry, Andre M.; Bailey, Rhonda

    2017-01-01

    Effective management of protected sea turtle populations requires knowledge not only of mean values for demographic and life-history parameters, but also temporal and spatial trends, variability, and underlying causes. For endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii), the need for baseline information of this type has been emphasized during attempts to understand causes underlying the recent truncation in the recovery trajectory for nesting females. To provide insight into variability in age and size at sexual maturation (ASM and SSM) and long-term growth patterns likely to influence population trends, we conducted skeletochronological analysis of humerus bones from 333 Kemp’s ridleys stranded throughout the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) from 1993 to 2010. Ranges of possible ASMs (6.8 to 21.8 yr) and SSMs (53.3 to 68.3 cm straightline carapace length (SCL)) estimated using the “rapprochement” skeletal growth mark associated with maturation were broad, supporting incorporation of a maturation schedule in Kemp’s ridley population models. Mean ASMs estimated from rapprochement and by fitting logistic, generalized additive mixed, and von Bertalanffy growth models to age and growth data ranged from 11 to 13 yr; confidence intervals for the logistic model predicted maturation of 95% of the population between 11.9 and 14.8 yr. Early juvenile somatic growth rates in the GOM were greater than those previously reported for the Atlantic, indicating potential for differences in maturation trajectories between regions. Finally, long-term, significant decreases in somatic growth response were found for both juveniles and adults, which could influence recruitment to the reproductive population and observed nesting population trends. PMID:28333937

  11. Variability in age and size at maturation, reproductive longevity, and long-term growth dynamics for Kemp's ridley sea turtles in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Larisa Avens

    Full Text Available Effective management of protected sea turtle populations requires knowledge not only of mean values for demographic and life-history parameters, but also temporal and spatial trends, variability, and underlying causes. For endangered Kemp's ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii, the need for baseline information of this type has been emphasized during attempts to understand causes underlying the recent truncation in the recovery trajectory for nesting females. To provide insight into variability in age and size at sexual maturation (ASM and SSM and long-term growth patterns likely to influence population trends, we conducted skeletochronological analysis of humerus bones from 333 Kemp's ridleys stranded throughout the Gulf of Mexico (GOM from 1993 to 2010. Ranges of possible ASMs (6.8 to 21.8 yr and SSMs (53.3 to 68.3 cm straightline carapace length (SCL estimated using the "rapprochement" skeletal growth mark associated with maturation were broad, supporting incorporation of a maturation schedule in Kemp's ridley population models. Mean ASMs estimated from rapprochement and by fitting logistic, generalized additive mixed, and von Bertalanffy growth models to age and growth data ranged from 11 to 13 yr; confidence intervals for the logistic model predicted maturation of 95% of the population between 11.9 and 14.8 yr. Early juvenile somatic growth rates in the GOM were greater than those previously reported for the Atlantic, indicating potential for differences in maturation trajectories between regions. Finally, long-term, significant decreases in somatic growth response were found for both juveniles and adults, which could influence recruitment to the reproductive population and observed nesting population trends.

  12. Status of marine turtle rehabilitation in Queensland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaylene Flint

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Rehabilitation of marine turtles in Queensland has multifaceted objectives. It treats individual animals, serves to educate the public, and contributes to conservation. We examined the outcome from rehabilitation, time in rehabilitation, and subsequent recapture and restranding rates of stranded marine turtles between 1996 and 2013 to determine if the benefits associated with this practice are cost-effective as a conservation tool. Of 13,854 marine turtles reported as stranded during this 18-year period, 5,022 of these turtles were stranded alive with the remainder verified as dead or of unknown condition. A total of 2,970 (59% of these live strandings were transported to a rehabilitation facility. Overall, 1,173/2,970 (39% turtles were released over 18 years, 101 of which were recaptured: 77 reported as restrandings (20 dead, 13 alive subsequently died, 11 alive subsequently euthanized, 33 alive and 24 recaptured during normal marine turtle population monitoring or fishing activities. Of the turtles admitted to rehabilitation exhibiting signs of disease, 88% of them died, either unassisted or by euthanasia and 66% of turtles admitted for unknown causes of stranding died either unassisted or by euthanasia. All turtles recorded as having a buoyancy disorder with no other presenting problem or disorder recorded, were released alive. In Queensland, rehabilitation costs approximately $1,000 per animal per year admitted to a center, $2,583 per animal per year released, and $123,750 per animal per year for marine turtles which are presumably successfully returned to the functional population. This practice may not be economically viable in its present configuration, but may be more cost effective as a mobile response unit. Further there is certainly benefit giving individual turtles a chance at survival and educating the public in the perils facing marine turtles. As well, rehabilitation can provide insight into the diseases and environmental

  13. Status of marine turtle rehabilitation in Queensland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flint, Jaylene; Flint, Mark; Limpus, Colin James; Mills, Paul

    2017-01-01

    Rehabilitation of marine turtles in Queensland has multifaceted objectives. It treats individual animals, serves to educate the public, and contributes to conservation. We examined the outcome from rehabilitation, time in rehabilitation, and subsequent recapture and restranding rates of stranded marine turtles between 1996 and 2013 to determine if the benefits associated with this practice are cost-effective as a conservation tool. Of 13,854 marine turtles reported as stranded during this 18-year period, 5,022 of these turtles were stranded alive with the remainder verified as dead or of unknown condition. A total of 2,970 (59%) of these live strandings were transported to a rehabilitation facility. Overall, 1,173/2,970 (39%) turtles were released over 18 years, 101 of which were recaptured: 77 reported as restrandings (20 dead, 13 alive subsequently died, 11 alive subsequently euthanized, 33 alive) and 24 recaptured during normal marine turtle population monitoring or fishing activities. Of the turtles admitted to rehabilitation exhibiting signs of disease, 88% of them died, either unassisted or by euthanasia and 66% of turtles admitted for unknown causes of stranding died either unassisted or by euthanasia. All turtles recorded as having a buoyancy disorder with no other presenting problem or disorder recorded, were released alive. In Queensland, rehabilitation costs approximately $1,000 per animal per year admitted to a center, $2,583 per animal per year released, and $123,750 per animal per year for marine turtles which are presumably successfully returned to the functional population. This practice may not be economically viable in its present configuration, but may be more cost effective as a mobile response unit. Further there is certainly benefit giving individual turtles a chance at survival and educating the public in the perils facing marine turtles. As well, rehabilitation can provide insight into the diseases and environmental stressors causing

  14. Status of marine turtle rehabilitation in Queensland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flint, Mark; Limpus, Colin James; Mills, Paul

    2017-01-01

    Rehabilitation of marine turtles in Queensland has multifaceted objectives. It treats individual animals, serves to educate the public, and contributes to conservation. We examined the outcome from rehabilitation, time in rehabilitation, and subsequent recapture and restranding rates of stranded marine turtles between 1996 and 2013 to determine if the benefits associated with this practice are cost-effective as a conservation tool. Of 13,854 marine turtles reported as stranded during this 18-year period, 5,022 of these turtles were stranded alive with the remainder verified as dead or of unknown condition. A total of 2,970 (59%) of these live strandings were transported to a rehabilitation facility. Overall, 1,173/2,970 (39%) turtles were released over 18 years, 101 of which were recaptured: 77 reported as restrandings (20 dead, 13 alive subsequently died, 11 alive subsequently euthanized, 33 alive) and 24 recaptured during normal marine turtle population monitoring or fishing activities. Of the turtles admitted to rehabilitation exhibiting signs of disease, 88% of them died, either unassisted or by euthanasia and 66% of turtles admitted for unknown causes of stranding died either unassisted or by euthanasia. All turtles recorded as having a buoyancy disorder with no other presenting problem or disorder recorded, were released alive. In Queensland, rehabilitation costs approximately $1,000 per animal per year admitted to a center, $2,583 per animal per year released, and $123,750 per animal per year for marine turtles which are presumably successfully returned to the functional population. This practice may not be economically viable in its present configuration, but may be more cost effective as a mobile response unit. Further there is certainly benefit giving individual turtles a chance at survival and educating the public in the perils facing marine turtles. As well, rehabilitation can provide insight into the diseases and environmental stressors causing

  15. Saving Sea Turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yacovelli, Gina

    2010-01-01

    In this article, the author shares the success of her fun and engaging eco-art project for elementary students. Not only did she want to provide students with an engaging project, she also wanted to raise awareness surrounding several key issues, including changes in natural habitats, the sustainable balance of humans and nature, and our role as…

  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. 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...

  18. Coastal Nurseries and Their Importance for Conservation of Sea Kraits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonnet, Xavier; Brischoux, François; Bonnet, Christophe; Plichon, Patrice; Fauvel, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    Destruction and pollution of coral reefs threaten these marine biodiversity hot stops which shelter more than two thirds of sea snake species. Notably, in many coral reef ecosystems of the Western Pacific Ocean, large populations of sea kraits (amphibious sea snakes) have drastically declined during the past three decades. Protecting remaining healthy populations is thus essential. In New Caledonia, coral reefs shelter numerous sea krait colonies spread throughout an immense lagoon (24,000 km2). Sea kraits feed on coral fish but lay their eggs on land. However, ecological information on reproduction and juveniles is extremely fragmentary, precluding protection of key habitats for reproduction. Our 10 years mark recapture study on Yellow sea kraits (L. saintgironsi >8,700 individuals marked) revealed that most neonates aggregate in highly localized coastal sites, where they feed and grow during several months before dispersal. Hundreds of females emigrate seasonally from remote populations (>50 km away) to lay their eggs in these coastal nurseries, and then return home. Protecting these nurseries is a priority to maintain recruitment rate, and to retain sea krait populations in the future. PMID:24670985

  19. Coastal nurseries and their importance for conservation of sea kraits.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xavier Bonnet

    Full Text Available Destruction and pollution of coral reefs threaten these marine biodiversity hot stops which shelter more than two thirds of sea snake species. Notably, in many coral reef ecosystems of the Western Pacific Ocean, large populations of sea kraits (amphibious sea snakes have drastically declined during the past three decades. Protecting remaining healthy populations is thus essential. In New Caledonia, coral reefs shelter numerous sea krait colonies spread throughout an immense lagoon (24,000 km2. Sea kraits feed on coral fish but lay their eggs on land. However, ecological information on reproduction and juveniles is extremely fragmentary, precluding protection of key habitats for reproduction. Our 10 years mark recapture study on Yellow sea kraits (L. saintgironsi >8,700 individuals marked revealed that most neonates aggregate in highly localized coastal sites, where they feed and grow during several months before dispersal. Hundreds of females emigrate seasonally from remote populations (>50 km away to lay their eggs in these coastal nurseries, and then return home. Protecting these nurseries is a priority to maintain recruitment rate, and to retain sea krait populations in the future.

  20. Effects of season, sex and body size on the feeding ecology of turtle-headed sea snakes ( Emydocephalus annulatus) on IndoPacific inshore coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goiran, C.; Dubey, S.; Shine, R.

    2013-06-01

    In terrestrial snakes, many cases of intraspecific shifts in dietary habits as a function of predator sex and body size are driven by gape limitation and hence are most common in species that feed on relatively large prey and exhibit a wide body-size range. Our data on sea snakes reveal an alternative mechanism for intraspecific niche partitioning, based on sex-specific seasonal anorexia induced by reproductive activities. Turtle-headed sea snakes ( Emydocephalus annulatus) on coral reefs in the New Caledonian Lagoon feed entirely on the eggs of demersal-spawning fishes. DNA sequence data (cytochrome b gene) on eggs that we palpated from stomachs of 37 snakes showed that despite this ontogenetic stage specialization, the prey comes from a taxonomically diverse array of species including damselfish (41 % of samples, at least 5 species), blennies (41 %, 4 species) and gobies (19 %, 5 species). The composition of snake diets shifted seasonally (with damselfish dominating in winter but not summer), presumably reflecting seasonality of fish reproduction. That seasonal shift affects male and female snakes differently, because reproduction is incompatible with foraging. Adult female sea snakes ceased feeding when they became heavily distended with developing embryos in late summer, and males ceased feeding while they were mate searching in winter. The sex divergence in foraging habits may be amplified by sexual size dimorphism; females grow larger than males, and larger snakes (of both sexes) feed more on damselfish (which often lay their eggs in exposed sites) than on blennies and gobies (whose eggs are hidden within narrow crevices). Specific features of reproductive biology of coral reef fish (seasonality and nest type) have generated intraspecific niche partitioning in these sea snakes, by mechanisms different from those that apply to terrestrial snakes.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gustavo Rodamilans Macedo

    2011-11-01

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

  2. Understanding the sources and effects of abandoned, lost, and discarded fishing gear on marine turtles in northern Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilcox, Chris; Heathcote, Grace; Goldberg, Jennifer; Gunn, Riki; Peel, David; Hardesty, Britta Denise

    2015-02-01

    Globally, 6.4 million tons of fishing gear are lost in the oceans annually. This gear (i.e., ghost nets), whether accidently lost, abandoned, or deliberately discarded, threatens marine wildlife as it drifts with prevailing currents and continues to entangle marine organisms indiscriminately. Northern Australia has some of the highest densities of ghost nets in the world, with up to 3 tons washing ashore per kilometer of shoreline annually. This region supports globally significant populations of internationally threatened marine fauna, including 6 of the 7 extant marine turtles. We examined the threat ghost nets pose to marine turtles and assessed whether nets associated with particular fisheries are linked with turtle entanglement by analyzing the capture rates of turtles and potential source fisheries from nearly 9000 nets found on Australia's northern coast. Nets with relatively larger mesh and smaller twine sizes (e.g., pelagic drift nets) had the highest probability of entanglement for marine turtles. Net size was important; larger nets appeared to attract turtles, which further increased their catch rates. Our results point to issues with trawl and drift-net fisheries, the former due to the large number of nets and fragments found and the latter due to the very high catch rates resulting from the net design. Catch rates for fine-mesh gill nets can reach as high as 4 turtles/100 m of net length. We estimated that the total number of turtles caught by the 8690 ghost nets we sampled was between 4866 and 14,600, assuming nets drift for 1 year. Ghost nets continue to accumulate on Australia's northern shore due to both legal and illegal fishing; over 13,000 nets have been removed since 2005. This is an important and ongoing transboundary threat to biodiversity in the region that requires attention from the countries surrounding the Arafura and Timor Seas. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  3. Corals, Canyons, and Conservation: Science Based Fisheries Management Decisions in the Eastern Bering Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steve A. MacLean

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available When making science matter for conservation, marine conservation practitioners, and managers must be prepared to make the appropriate decision based on the results of the best available science used to inform it. For nearly a decade, many stakeholders encouraged the North Pacific Fishery Management Council to enact protections for deep-sea corals in several canyons in the Eastern Bering Sea slope. In 2014, at the request of the Council, the National Marine Fisheries Service, Alaska Fisheries Science Center conducted a strip-transect survey along the Eastern Bering Sea slope to validate the results of a model predicting the occurrence of deep-sea coral habitat. More than 250,000 photos were analyzed to estimate coral, sponge, and sea whip abundance, distribution, height, and vulnerability to anthropogenic damage. The results of the survey confirmed that coral habitat and occurrence was concentrated around Pribilof Canyon and the adjacent slope. The results also confirmed that the densities of corals in the Eastern Bering Sea were low, even where they occurred. After reviewing the best available scientific information, the Council concluded that there is no scientific evidence to suggest that deep-sea corals in the Eastern Bering Sea slope or canyons are at risk from commercial fisheries under the current management structure, and that special protections for deep-sea corals were not warranted.

  4. Turtle riders: remoras on marine turtles in Southwest Atlantic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan Sazima

    Full Text Available An overview is presented for a poorly documented relationship between reef vertebrates in Southwest Atlantic: remoras (Echeneidae associated with marine turtles. Two remora species (Echeneis naucrates and Remora remora and four turtle species (Caretta caretta, Chelonia mydas, Eretmochelys imbricata, and Dermochelys coriacea are here recorded in symbiotic associations in the SW Atlantic. Echeneis naucrates was recorded both on the coast and on oceanic islands, whereas R. remora was recorded only at oceanic islands and in the open sea. The remora-turtle association is usually regarded as an instance of phoresis (hitchhiking, albeit feeding by the fish is also involved in this symbiosis type. This association seems to be rare in SW Atlantic.

  5. Advancing marine conservation in European and contiguous seas with the MarCons Action

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stelios Katsanevakis

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Cumulative human impacts have led to the degradation of marine ecosystems and the decline of biodiversity in the European and contiguous seas. Effective conservation measures are urgently needed to reverse these trends. Conservation must entail societal choices, underpinned by human values and worldviews that differ between the countries bordering these seas. Social, economic and political heterogeneity adds to the challenge of balancing conservation with sustainable use of the seas. Comprehensive macro-regional coordination is needed to ensure effective conservation of marine ecosystems and biodiversity of this region. Under the European Union Horizon 2020 framework programme, the MarCons COST action aims to promote collaborative research to support marine management, conservation planning and policy development. This will be achieved by developing novel methods and tools to close knowledge gaps and advance marine conservation science. This action will provide support for the development of macro-regional and national policies through six key actions: to develop tools to analyse cumulative human impacts; to identify critical scientific and technical gaps in conservation efforts; to improve the resilience of the marine environment to global change and biological invasions; to develop frameworks for integrated conservation planning across terrestrial, freshwater, and marine environments; to coordinate marine conservation policy across national boundaries; and to identify effective governance approaches for marine protected area management. Achieving the objectives of these actions will facilitate the integration of marine conservation policy into macro-regional maritime spatial planning agendas for the European and contiguous seas, thereby offsetting the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services in this region.

  6. North American box turtles: A natural history

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dodd, C. Kenneth

    2002-01-01

    Once a familiar backyard visitor in many parts of the United States and Mexico, the box turtle is losing the battle against extinction. In North American Box Turtles, C. Kenneth Dodd, Jr., has written the first book-length natural history of the twelve species and subspecies of this endangered animal. This volume includes comprehensive information on the species’ evolution, behavior, courtship and reproduction, habitat use, diet, population structure, systematics, and disease. Special features include color photos of all species, subspecies, and their habitats; a simple identification guide to both living and fossil species; and a summary of information on fossil Terrapene and Native uses of box turtles. End-of-chapter sections highlight future research directions, including the need for long-term monitoring and observation of box turtles within their natural habitat and conservation applications. A glossary and a bibliography of literature on box turtles accompany the text.

  7. Size Scaling in Western North Atlantic Loggerhead Turtles Permits Extrapolation between Regions, but Not Life Stages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marn, Nina; Klanjscek, Tin; Stokes, Lesley; Jusup, Marko

    2015-01-01

    Sea turtles face threats globally and are protected by national and international laws. Allometry and scaling models greatly aid sea turtle conservation and research, and help to better understand the biology of sea turtles. Scaling, however, may differ between regions and/or life stages. We analyze differences between (i) two different regional subsets and (ii) three different life stage subsets of the western North Atlantic loggerhead turtles by comparing the relative growth of body width and depth in relation to body length, and discuss the implications. Results suggest that the differences between scaling relationships of different regional subsets are negligible, and models fitted on data from one region of the western North Atlantic can safely be used on data for the same life stage from another North Atlantic region. On the other hand, using models fitted on data for one life stage to describe other life stages is not recommended if accuracy is of paramount importance. In particular, young loggerhead turtles that have not recruited to neritic habitats should be studied and modeled separately whenever practical, while neritic juveniles and adults can be modeled together as one group. Even though morphometric scaling varies among life stages, a common model for all life stages can be used as a general description of scaling, and assuming isometric growth as a simplification is justified. In addition to linear models traditionally used for scaling on log-log axes, we test the performance of a saturating (curvilinear) model. The saturating model is statistically preferred in some cases, but the accuracy gained by the saturating model is marginal.

  8. Size Scaling in Western North Atlantic Loggerhead Turtles Permits Extrapolation between Regions, but Not Life Stages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nina Marn

    Full Text Available Sea turtles face threats globally and are protected by national and international laws. Allometry and scaling models greatly aid sea turtle conservation and research, and help to better understand the biology of sea turtles. Scaling, however, may differ between regions and/or life stages. We analyze differences between (i two different regional subsets and (ii three different life stage subsets of the western North Atlantic loggerhead turtles by comparing the relative growth of body width and depth in relation to body length, and discuss the implications.Results suggest that the differences between scaling relationships of different regional subsets are negligible, and models fitted on data from one region of the western North Atlantic can safely be used on data for the same life stage from another North Atlantic region. On the other hand, using models fitted on data for one life stage to describe other life stages is not recommended if accuracy is of paramount importance. In particular, young loggerhead turtles that have not recruited to neritic habitats should be studied and modeled separately whenever practical, while neritic juveniles and adults can be modeled together as one group. Even though morphometric scaling varies among life stages, a common model for all life stages can be used as a general description of scaling, and assuming isometric growth as a simplification is justified. In addition to linear models traditionally used for scaling on log-log axes, we test the performance of a saturating (curvilinear model. The saturating model is statistically preferred in some cases, but the accuracy gained by the saturating model is marginal.

  9. Prediction of supratidal Zones as turtle nesting sites using remote sensing and geographic information system, a case study in Pacitan, Southern Java Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darmawan, A.; Saputra, D. K.; Wiadnya, D. G. R.; Gusmida, A. M.

    2018-04-01

    Turtles, the most threatened coastal-marine fauna, are protected through both national and global regulations. However, many of their nesting sites have been degraded in the past years. Completing natal homing, adult females emerged at night to lay-down eggs in the upper intertidal and supra-tidal zone of sandy beach from where they hatched. This study explained coastal topology of beaches usually used for nesting sites, covering 117 km coastline at Pacitan Regency, Southern Java Sea. The shift in beach morphology through times was figured out based on Landsat 8 and Sentinel 2a satellite imagery and remote sensing (GIS methods). This was combined with in-situ data on current coastline features, slope, and tide variations. Results showed a typical sandy beach, called Taman Ria Beach, a long time identified as nesting site for Lepidochelys olivacea, locally named as Penyu Lekang. Also, there was approximatelly 3.49 ha of supratidal area predicted in Taman Ria Beach according this study

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

    Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) populations have experienced global decline because of a history of intense commercial exploitation for shell and stuffed taxidermied whole animals, and harvest for eggs and meat. Improved understanding of genetic diversity and phylogeography is needed to aid conservation. In this study, we analyzed the most geographically comprehensive sample of hawksbill turtles from the Indo-Pacific Ocean, sequencing 766 bp of the mitochondrial control region from 13 locations (plus Aldabra, n = 4) spanning over 13500 km. Our analysis of 492 samples revealed 52 haplotypes distributed in 5 divergent clades. Diversification times differed between the Indo-Pacific and Atlantic lineages and appear to be related to the sea-level changes that occurred during the Last Glacial Maximum. We found signals of demographic expansion only for turtles from the Persian Gulf region, which can be tied to a more recent colonization event. Our analyses revealed evidence of transoceanic migration, including connections between feeding grounds from the Atlantic Ocean and Indo-Pacific rookeries. Hawksbill turtles appear to have a complex pattern of phylogeography, showing a weak isolation by distance and evidence of multiple colonization events. Our novel dataset will allow mixed-stock analyses of hawksbill turtle feeding grounds in the Indo-Pacific by providing baseline data needed for conservation efforts in the region. Eight management units are proposed in our study for the Indo-Pacific region that can be incorporated in conservation plans of this critically endangered species. © The American Genetic Association. 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  11. Comparison of biochemical and molecular methods for the identification of bacterial isolates associated with failed loggerhead sea turtle eggs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Awong-Taylor, J; Craven, K S; Griffiths, L; Bass, C; Muscarella, M

    2008-05-01

    Comparison of biochemical vs molecular methods for identification of microbial populations associated with failed loggerhead turtle eggs. Two biochemical (API and Microgen) and one molecular methods (16s rRNA analysis) were compared in the areas of cost, identification, corroboration of data with other methods, ease of use, resources and software. The molecular method was costly and identified only 66% of the isolates tested compared with 74% for API. A 74% discrepancy in identifications occurred between API and 16s rRNA analysis. The two biochemical methods were comparable in cost, but Microgen was easier to use and yielded the lowest discrepancy among identifications (29%) when compared with both API 20 enteric (API 20E) and API 20 nonenteric (API 20NE) combined. A comparison of API 20E and API 20NE indicated an 83% discrepancy between the two methods. The Microgen identification system appears to be better suited than API or 16s rRNA analysis for identification of environmental isolates associated with failed loggerhead eggs. Most identification methods are not intended for use with environmental isolates. A comparison of identification systems would provide better options for identifying environmental bacteria for ecological studies.

  12. Climate change, sea-level rise, and conservation: keeping island biodiversity afloat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courchamp, Franck; Hoffmann, Benjamin D; Russell, James C; Leclerc, Camille; Bellard, Céline

    2014-03-01

    Island conservation programs have been spectacularly successful over the past five decades, yet they generally do not account for impacts of climate change. Here, we argue that the full spectrum of climate change, especially sea-level rise and loss of suitable climatic conditions, should be rapidly integrated into island biodiversity research and management. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. 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.

  14. Changes of loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) dive behavior associated with tropical storm passage during the inter-nesting period.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Maria; Tucker, Anton D; Beedholm, Kristian; Mann, David A

    2017-10-01

    To improve conservation strategies for threatened sea turtles, more knowledge on their ecology, behavior, and how they cope with severe and changing weather conditions is needed. Satellite and animal motion datalogging tags were used to study the inter-nesting behavior of two female loggerhead turtles in the Gulf of Mexico, which regularly has hurricanes and tropical storms during nesting season. We contrast the behavioral patterns and swimming energetics of these two turtles, the first tracked in calm weather and the second tracked before, during and after a tropical storm. Turtle 1 was highly active and swam at the surface or submerged 95% of the time during the entire inter-nesting period, with a high estimated specific oxygen consumption rate (0.95 ml min -1  kg -0.83 ). Turtle 2 was inactive for most of the first 9 days of the inter-nesting period, during which she rested at the bottom (80% of the time) with low estimated oxygen consumption (0.62 ml min -1  kg -0.83 ). Midway through the inter-nesting period, turtle 2 encountered a tropical storm and became highly active (swimming 88% of the time during and 95% after the storm). Her oxygen consumption increased significantly to 0.97 ml min -1  kg -0.83 during and 0.98 ml min -1  kg -0.83 after the storm. However, despite the tropical storm, turtle 2 returned to the nesting beach, where she successfully re-nested 75 m from her previous nest. Thus, the tropical storm had a minor effect on this female's individual nesting success, even though the storm caused 90% loss nests at Casey Key. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  15. Profiles of environmental contaminants in hawksbill turtle egg yolks reflect local to distant pollution sources among nesting beaches in the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz, Cynthia C; Vermeiren, Peter

    2018-04-01

    Knowledge of spatial variation in pollutant profiles among sea turtle nesting locations is limited. This poses challenges in identifying processes shaping this variability and sets constraints to the conservation management of sea turtles and their use as biomonitoring tools for environmental pollutants. We aimed to increase understanding of the spatial variation in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH), organochlorine pesticide (OCP) and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) compounds among nesting beaches. We link the spatial variation to turtle migration patterns and the persistence of these pollutants. Specifically, using gas chromatography, we confirmed maternal transfer of a large number of compounds (n = 68 out of 69) among 104 eggs collected from 21 nests across three nesting beaches within the Yucatán Peninsula, one of the world's most important rookeries for hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata). High variation in PAH profiles was observed among beaches, using multivariate correspondence analysis and univariate Peto-Prentice tests, reflecting local acquisition during recent migration movements. Diagnostic PAH ratios reflected petrogenic origins in Celestún, the beach closest to petroleum industries in the Gulf of Mexico. By contrast, pollution profiles of OCPs and PCBs showed high similarity among beaches, reflecting the long-term accumulation of these pollutants at regional scales. Therefore, spatial planning of protected areas and the use of turtle eggs in biomonitoring needs to account for the spatial variation in pollution profiles among nesting beaches. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Advancing development of a limit reference point estimator for sea turtles, and evaluating methods for applying local management to highly migratory species

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — SWFSC is developing tools for estimation of limit reference points for marine turtles. These tools are being applied initially to estimate a limit reference point...

  17. Land use, macroalgae, and a tumor-forming disease in marine turtles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyle S Van Houtan

    Full Text Available Wildlife diseases are an increasing concern for endangered species conservation, but their occurrence, causes, and human influences are often unknown. We analyzed 3,939 records of stranded Hawaiian green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas over 28 years to understand fibropapillomatosis, a tumor-forming disease linked to a herpesvirus. Turtle size is a consistent risk factor and size-standardized models revealed considerable spatial and temporal variability. The disease peaked in some areas in the 1990s, in some regions rates remained constant, and elsewhere rates increased. Land use, onshore of where the turtles feed, may play a role. Elevated disease rates were clustered in watersheds with high nitrogen-footprints; an index of natural and anthropogenic factors that affect coastal eutrophication. Further analysis shows strong epidemiological links between disease rates, nitrogen-footprints, and invasive macroalgae and points to foraging ecology. These turtles now forage on invasive macroalgae, which can dominate nutrient rich waters and sequester environmental N in the amino acid arginine. Arginine is known to regulate immune activity, promote herpesviruses, and contribute to tumor formation. Our results have implications for understanding diseases in aquatic organisms, eutrophication, herpesviruses, and tumor formation.

  18. Inferring physiological energetics of loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) from existing data using a general metabolic theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marn, Nina; Kooijman, S A L M; Jusup, Marko; Legović, Tarzan; Klanjšček, Tin

    2017-05-01

    Loggerhead turtle is an endangered sea turtle species with a migratory lifestyle and worldwide distribution, experiencing markedly different habitats throughout its lifetime. Environmental conditions, especially food availability and temperature, constrain the acquisition and the use of available energy, thus affecting physiological processes such as growth, maturation, and reproduction. These physiological processes at the population level determine survival, fecundity, and ultimately the population growth rate-a key indicator of the success of conservation efforts. As a first step towards the comprehensive understanding of how environment shapes the physiology and the life cycle of a loggerhead turtle, we constructed a full life cycle model based on the principles of energy acquisition and utilization embedded in the Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) theory. We adapted the standard DEB model using data from published and unpublished sources to obtain parameter estimates and model predictions that could be compared with data. The outcome was a successful mathematical description of ontogeny and life history traits of the loggerhead turtle. Some deviations between the model and the data existed (such as an earlier age at sexual maturity and faster growth of the post-hatchlings), yet probable causes for these deviations were found informative and discussed in great detail. Physiological traits such as the capacity to withstand starvation, trade-offs between reproduction and growth, and changes in the energy budget throughout the ontogeny were inferred from the model. The results offer new insights into physiology and ecology of loggerhead turtle with the potential to lead to novel approaches in conservation of this endangered species. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Seeing red to being red: conserved genetic mechanism for red cone oil droplets and co-option for red coloration in birds and turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Twyman, Hanlu; Valenzuela, Nicole; Literman, Robert; Andersson, Staffan; Mundy, Nicholas I

    2016-08-17

    Avian ketocarotenoid pigments occur in both the red retinal oil droplets that contribute to colour vision and bright red coloration used in signalling. Turtles are the only other tetrapods with red retinal oil droplets, and some also display red carotenoid-based coloration. Recently, the CYP2J19 gene was strongly implicated in ketocarotenoid synthesis in birds. Here, we investigate CYP2J19 evolution in relation to colour vision and red coloration in reptiles using genomic and expression data. We show that turtles, but not crocodiles or lepidosaurs, possess a CYP2J19 orthologue, which arose via gene duplication before turtles and archosaurs split, and which is strongly and specifically expressed in the ketocarotenoid-containing retina and red integument. We infer that CYP2J19 initially functioned in colour vision in archelosaurs and conclude that red ketocarotenoid-based coloration evolved independently in birds and turtles via gene regulatory changes of CYP2J19 Our results suggest that red oil droplets contributed to colour vision in dinosaurs and pterosaurs. © 2016 The Author(s).

  20. The Vertebral Formula of the African Sideneck Turtle ( Pelusios ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Pelusios castaneus), was carried out with the view of deriving its vertebral formula which could be useful in the comparative systematic anatomy of sea and freshwater turtles as well as in paleontological and archaeological investigations. A total ...

  1. Biodiversity data requirements for systematic conservation planning in the Mediterranean Sea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Levin, Noam; Coll, Marta; Fraschetti, Simonetta

    2014-01-01

    The Mediterranean Sea’s biodiversity and ecosystems face many threats due to anthropogenic factors. Some of these include high human population growth, coastal urbanization, accelerated human activities and climate change. To enhance the formation of a science-based system of marine protected areas......, the Mediterranean Sea is lagging behind other marine regions where conservation planning adopting rigorous criteria has been applied in the past 20 years. Therefore, we call upon scientists, governments and international governmental and non-governmental conservation organizations to harmonize current approaches...

  2. Reproduction and conservation of the Magdalena River turtle (Podocnemis lewyana) in the Claro Cocorna Sur River, Colombia; Reproduccion y conservacion de la tortuga del Rio Magdalena (Podocnemis lewyana) en el Rio Claro Cocorna Sur, Colombia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ceballos, Claudia P; Romero, Isabel; Gomez Saldarriaga, Catalina; Miranda, Karla

    2014-07-01

    The Magdalena river turtle, Podocnemis lewyana, is an endangered and endemic turtle from Colombia. Among the most important information needed to conserve endangered species is to identify, monitor, and protect the sites used by the species to reproduce and grow. In this study we report, for the first time, the reproductive output and the nesting beaches of P. lewyana in the Claro Cocorna Sur River, a tributary of the Magdalena river drainage. We systematically examined a river transect of 8 km with 14 sandy beaches during two nesting seasons in one year. We recorded a yearly production of 47 clutches, 957 eggs, and two preferred nesting beaches: Alto Bonito with 51 %, and Belgica with 28.3 % of this reproductive output. Aafuver, a community-based organization, has led a headstarting program since 2010 to decrease in-situ egg mortality due to predation on nesting beaches. Aafuver collects and incubates the eggs ex-situ, raises the hatchlings for one to five months and then releases them into the same river. To understand potential effects of such egg manipulation, we monitored and compared in-situ and ex-situ incubation temperatures. We found ex-situ temperatures below the pivotal temperature known for P. lewyana and below the temperatures in nesting beaches. Finally, we monitored hatchlings growth under aafuver captive conditions, and found that hatchlings duplicated their body mass during the first three months of age. Egg weight was strongly associated to body weight at hatching; however this association is lost by the third month of age. We strongly encourage supporting this community-based conservation program, and the protection of the Claro Cocorna Sur River as an important nesting and growth habitat for the conservation of P. lewyana.

  3. The Environmental Conservation Value of the Saemangeum Open Sea in Korea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seul-Ye Lim

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The Saemangeum open sea (SOS, which refers to the outer sea of the Saemangeum seawall in Korea, is being threatened by contamination caused by the Saemangeum development project. The policy-makers need information on the environmental conservation value of the SOS for informed decision-making about the SOS. This paper attempts to measure the environmental conservation value of the SOS. To this end, the public’s willingness to pay (WTP for conserving the SOS is derived from a 2015 contingent valuation survey of 1000 Korean households comprising 400 households residing in the Saemangeum area and 600 households living in other areas. The authors employ a one-and-one-half-bounded dichotomous choice question format. Moreover, the spike model is adopted to analyze the WTP data with zero observations. The mean annual WTP values for both areas are calculated to be KRW 3861 (USD 3.26 and KRW 3789 (USD 3.20 per household, respectively. They are statistically significant at the 1% level. When the sample is expanded to the whole country, it is worth KRW 70.9 billion (USD 59.8 million per annum. Therefore, conserving the SOS will contribute to the Korean people’s utility and can be done with public support. The value provides a useful baseline for decision-making for the SOS management.

  4. An ancestral turtle from the Late Triassic of southwestern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Chun; Wu, Xiao-Chun; Rieppel, Olivier; Wang, Li-Ting; Zhao, Li-Jun

    2008-11-27

    The origin of the turtle body plan remains one of the great mysteries of reptile evolution. The anatomy of turtles is highly derived, which renders it difficult to establish the relationships of turtles with other groups of reptiles. The oldest known turtle, Proganochelys from the Late Triassic period of Germany, has a fully formed shell and offers no clue as to its origin. Here we describe a new 220-million-year-old turtle from China, somewhat older than Proganochelys, that documents an intermediate step in the evolution of the shell and associated structures. A ventral plastron is fully developed, but the dorsal carapace consists of neural plates only. The dorsal ribs are expanded, and osteoderms are absent. The new species shows that the plastron evolved before the carapace and that the first step of carapace formation is the ossification of the neural plates coupled with a broadening of the ribs. This corresponds to early embryonic stages of carapace formation in extant turtles, and shows that the turtle shell is not derived from a fusion of osteoderms. Phylogenetic analysis places the new species basal to all known turtles, fossil and extant. The marine deposits that yielded the fossils indicate that this primitive turtle inhabited marginal areas of the sea or river deltas.

  5. 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.

  6. Conservation status of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in relation to projected sea-ice declines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regehr, Eric V.; Laidre, Kristin L.; Akçakaya, H. Resit; Amstrup, Steven C.; Atwood, Todd C.; Lunn, Nicholas J.; Obbard, Martyn E.; Stern, Harry; Thiemann, Gregory W.; Wiig, Øystein

    2016-01-01

    Loss of Arctic sea ice owing to climate change is the primary threat to polar bears throughout their range. We evaluated the potential response of polar bears to sea-ice declines by (i) calculating generation length (GL) for the species, which determines the timeframe for conservation assessments; (ii) developing a standardized sea-ice metric representing important habitat; and (iii) using statistical models and computer simulation to project changes in the global population under three approaches relating polar bear abundance to sea ice. Mean GL was 11.5 years. Ice-covered days declined in all subpopulation areas during 1979–2014 (median −1.26 days year−1). The estimated probabilities that reductions in the mean global population size of polar bears will be greater than 30%, 50% and 80% over three generations (35–41 years) were 0.71 (range 0.20–0.95), 0.07 (range 0–0.35) and less than 0.01 (range 0–0.02), respectively. According to IUCN Red List reduction thresholds, which provide a common measure of extinction risk across taxa, these results are consistent with listing the species as vulnerable. Our findings support the potential for large declines in polar bear numbers owing to sea-ice loss, and highlight near-term uncertainty in statistical projections as well as the sensitivity of projections to different plausible assumptions.

  7. Conservation status of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in relation to projected sea-ice declines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regehr, Eric V; Laidre, Kristin L; Akçakaya, H Resit; Amstrup, Steven C; Atwood, Todd C; Lunn, Nicholas J; Obbard, Martyn; Stern, Harry; Thiemann, Gregory W; Wiig, Øystein

    2016-12-01

    Loss of Arctic sea ice owing to climate change is the primary threat to polar bears throughout their range. We evaluated the potential response of polar bears to sea-ice declines by (i) calculating generation length (GL) for the species, which determines the timeframe for conservation assessments; (ii) developing a standardized sea-ice metric representing important habitat; and (iii) using statistical models and computer simulation to project changes in the global population under three approaches relating polar bear abundance to sea ice. Mean GL was 11.5 years. Ice-covered days declined in all subpopulation areas during 1979-2014 (median -1.26 days year -1 ). The estimated probabilities that reductions in the mean global population size of polar bears will be greater than 30%, 50% and 80% over three generations (35-41 years) were 0.71 (range 0.20-0.95), 0.07 (range 0-0.35) and less than 0.01 (range 0-0.02), respectively. According to IUCN Red List reduction thresholds, which provide a common measure of extinction risk across taxa, these results are consistent with listing the species as vulnerable. Our findings support the potential for large declines in polar bear numbers owing to sea-ice loss, and highlight near-term uncertainty in statistical projections as well as the sensitivity of projections to different plausible assumptions. © 2016 The Authors.

  8. Ecological genomics for coral and sea urchin conservation in times of climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carpizo-Ituarte, E.; Hofmann, G.; Fangue, N.; Cupul-Magaña, A.; Rodríguez-Troncoso, A. P.; Díaz-Pérez, L.; Olivares Bañuelos, T.; Escobar Fernández, R.

    2010-03-01

    If atmospheric CO2 levels continue to increase, it is predicted that the average ocean sea surface temperature will also increase and ocean pH will decrease to levels not experienced by marine organisms for millions of years. Understanding the impact of these stressors will require the study of several marine organisms, and this knowledge will be fundamental to our ability to predict possible effects along large geographical regions and across phyla. Ecological genomics, defined as the use of molecular techniques to answer ecological questions, offers a set of tools that can help us better understand the responses of marine organisms to changes in their environment. In the present work we are using genomic tools to characterize the response of corals and sea urchins to environmental stress. On one side, coral species represent a useful model due to its functions as "environmental sentinels" in tropical ecosystems; on the other hand, species of sea urchins, with the recent sequence of the genome of the purple sea urchin S. purpuratus, offers important genomic resources. Recent results in corals and in sea urchins have shown that the response to stressful conditions can be detected using molecular genomic markers. Continued study of the mRNA expression patterns of several important gene families including calcification genes as well as genes involved in the cellular stress response such as heat shock proteins, will be valuable index of ecological stress in marine systems. These data can be integrated into better strategies of conservation and management of the oceans.

  9. Contemporary radioecological state of the North-western Black Sea and the problems of environment conservation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tereshchenko, N.N.; Mirzoyeva, N.Yu.; Gulin, S.B.; Milchakova, N.A.

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Contamination of the ecosystem components by the radioactive isotopes 137 Cs, 90 Sr, 239, 240 Pu. • The maps of the temporal–spatial change in distribution of isotopes are submitted. • Zones with an increased ability to accumulate these radioactive pollutants were revealed. • Estimations of the flows of elimination of the radionuclides into the bottom sediments were carried out. • Assessment of dose rates formed by 90 Sr, 137 Cs and 239,240 Pu for Black Sea hydrobionts was obtained. - Abstract: Review is devoted to the analysis of a radioecological situation in the North-western Black Sea and concerns the levels of contamination of the components of an ecosystem by the main artificial radioactive isotopes ( 90 Sr, 137 Cs, 239,240 Pu). The long-term accumulation trends of these radionuclides were analyzed in components of the Black Sea ecosystem after the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident. Zones that have an increased ability to accumulate these radioisotopes were revealed. The assessment of irradiation dose rates formed by 90 Sr, 137 Cs and 239,240 Pu in Black Sea hydrobionts was obtained. The strategy for biodiversity conservation and sustainable management of natural resources should include monitoring of the radioecological state of the marine ecosystems, and the formation of a complex of biogeochemical criteria for assessment of an ecological situation in the sea. This approach is important for marine protected areas, since it allows the formation of a basis for scientific and practical function

  10. A sinemydid turtle from the Jehol Biota provides insights into the basal divergence of crown turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Chang-Fu; Rabi, Márton

    2015-11-10

    Morphological phylogenies stand in a major conflict with molecular hypotheses regarding the phylogeny of Cryptodira, the most diverse and widely distributed clade of extant turtles. However, molecular hypotheses are often considered a better estimate of phylogeny given that it is more consistent with the stratigraphic and geographic distribution of extinct taxa. That morphology fails to reproduce the molecular topology partly originates from problematic character polarization due to yet another contradiction around the composition of the cryptodiran stem lineage. Extinct sinemydids are one of these problematic clades: they have been either placed among stem-cryptodires, stem-chelonioid sea turtles, or even stem-turtles. A new sinemydid from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota (Yixian Formation, Barremian-Early Aptian) of China, Xiaochelys ningchengensis gen. et sp. nov., allows for a reassessment of the phylogenetic position of Sinemydidae. Our analysis indicates that sinemydids mostly share symplesiomorphies with sea turtles and their purported placement outside the crown-group of turtles is an artefact of previous datasets. The best current phylogenetic estimate is therefore that sinemydids are part of the stem lineage of Cryptodira together with an array of other Jurassic to Cretaceous taxa. Our study further emphasises the importance of using molecular scaffolds in global turtle analyses.

  11. Body plan of turtles: an anatomical, developmental and evolutionary perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagashima, Hiroshi; Kuraku, Shigehiro; Uchida, Katsuhisa; Kawashima-Ohya, Yoshie; Narita, Yuichi; Kuratani, Shigeru

    2012-03-01

    The evolution of the turtle shell has long been one of the central debates in comparative anatomy. The turtle shell consists of dorsal and ventral parts: the carapace and plastron, respectively. The basic structure of the carapace comprises vertebrae and ribs. The pectoral girdle of turtles sits inside the carapace or the rib cage, in striking contrast to the body plan of other tetrapods. Due to this topological change in the arrangement of skeletal elements, the carapace has been regarded as an example of evolutionary novelty that violates the ancestral body plan of tetrapods. Comparing the spatial relationships of anatomical structures in the embryos of turtles and other amniotes, we have shown that the topology of the musculoskeletal system is largely conserved even in turtles. The positional changes seen in the ribs and pectoral girdle can be ascribed to turtle-specific folding of the lateral body wall in the late developmental stages. Whereas the ribs of other amniotes grow from the axial domain to the lateral body wall, turtle ribs remain arrested axially. Marginal growth of the axial domain in turtle embryos brings the morphologically short ribs in to cover the scapula dorsocaudally. This concentric growth appears to be induced by the margin of the carapace, which involves an ancestral gene expression cascade in a new location. These comparative developmental data allow us to hypothesize the gradual evolution of turtles, which is consistent with the recent finding of a transitional fossil animal, Odontochelys, which did not have the carapace but already possessed the plastron.

  12. Assembling Ecological Pieces to Reconstruct the Conservation Puzzle of the Aegean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Sini

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The effective conservation of marine biodiversity through an integrated ecosystem-based management approach requires a sound knowledge of the spatial distribution of habitats and species. Although costly in terms of time and resources, acquiring such information is essential for the development of rigorous management plans and the meaningful prioritization of conservation actions. Located in the northeastern part of the Mediterranean, the Aegean Sea represents a stronghold for marine biodiversity. However, conservation efforts are hampered by the apparent lack of spatial information regarding marine habitats and species. This work is the first to address this knowledge gap by assembling, updating, and mapping information on the distribution of key ecological components. A range of data sources and methodological approaches was utilized to compile and complement the available data on 68 ecological features of conservation interest (58 animal species, six habitat categories, and four other vulnerable ecological features. A standardized data evaluation procedure was applied, based on five semi-quantitative data quality indicators in the form of a pedigree matrix. This approach assessed the sufficiency of the datasets and allowed the identification of the main sources of uncertainty, highlighting aspects that require further investigation. The overall dataset was found to be sufficient in terms of reliability and spatiotemporal relevance. However, it lacked in completeness, showing that there are still large areas of the Aegean that remain understudied, while further research is needed to elucidate the distribution patterns and conservation status of several ecological features; especially the less charismatic ones and those found in waters deeper than 40 m. Moreover, existing conservation measures appear to be inadequate to safeguard biodiversity. Only 2.3% of the study area corresponds to designated areas for conservation, while 41 of the

  13. Determinants of Paracentrotus lividus sea urchin recruitment under oligotrophic conditions: Implications for conservation management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliva, Silvia; Farina, Simone; Pinna, Stefania; Guala, Ivan; Agnetta, Davide; Ariotti, Pierre Antoine; Mura, Francesco; Ceccherelli, Giulia

    2016-06-01

    Sea urchins may deeply shape the structure of macrophyte-dominated communities and require the implementation of sustainable management strategies. In the Mediterranean, the identification of the major recruitment determinants of the keystone sea urchin species Paracentrotus lividus is required, so that source areas of the populations can be identified and exploitation or programmed harvesting can be spatially managed. In this study a collection of eight possible determinants, these encompassing both the biotic (larvae, adult sea urchins, fish, encrusting coralline algae, habitat type and spatial arrangement of habitats) and abiotic (substrate complexity and nutritional status) realms was considered at different spatial scales (site, area, transect and quadrat). Data from a survey including sites subject to different levels of human influence (i.e. from urbanized to protected areas), but all corresponding to an oligotrophic and low-populated region were fitted by means of a generalized linear mixed model. Despite the extensive sampling effort of benthic quadrats, an overall paucity of recruits was found, recruits being aggregated in a very small number of quadrats and in few areas. The analysis of data detected substrate complexity, and adult sea urchin and predatory fish abundances as the momentous determinants of Paracentrotus lividus recruitment. Possible mechanisms of influence are discussed beyond the implications of conservation management. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. From deep-sea volcanoes to human pathogens: a conserved quorum-sensing signal in Epsilonproteobacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Rodríguez, Ileana; Bolognini, Marie; Ricci, Jessica; Bini, Elisabetta; Vetriani, Costantino

    2015-05-01

    Chemosynthetic Epsilonproteobacteria from deep-sea hydrothermal vents colonize substrates exposed to steep thermal and redox gradients. In many bacteria, substrate attachment, biofilm formation, expression of virulence genes and host colonization are partly controlled via a cell density-dependent mechanism involving signal molecules, known as quorum sensing. Within the Epsilonproteobacteria, quorum sensing has been investigated only in human pathogens that use the luxS/autoinducer-2 (AI-2) mechanism to control the expression of some of these functions. In this study we showed that luxS is conserved in Epsilonproteobacteria and that pathogenic and mesophilic members of this class inherited this gene from a thermophilic ancestor. Furthermore, we provide evidence that the luxS gene is expressed--and a quorum-sensing signal is produced--during growth of Sulfurovum lithotrophicum and Caminibacter mediatlanticus, two Epsilonproteobacteria from deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Finally, we detected luxS transcripts in Epsilonproteobacteria-dominated biofilm communities collected from deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Taken together, our findings indicate that the epsiloproteobacterial lineage of the LuxS enzyme originated in high-temperature geothermal environments and that, in vent Epsilonproteobacteria, luxS expression is linked to the production of AI-2 signals, which are likely produced in situ at deep-sea vents. We conclude that the luxS gene is part of the ancestral epsilonproteobacterial genome and represents an evolutionary link that connects thermophiles to human pathogens.

  15. Evaluating potential conservation conflicts between two listed species: sea otters and black abalone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raimondi, Peter; Jurgens, Laura J; Tinker, M Tim

    2015-11-01

    Population consequences of endangered species interacting as predators and prey have been considered theoretically and legally, but rarely investigated in the field. We examined relationships between spatially variable populations of a predator, the California sea otter, Enhydra lutris nereis, and a prey species, the black abalone, Haliotis cracherodii. Both species are federally listed under the Endangered Species Act and co-occur along the coast of California. We compared the local abundance and habitat distribution of black abalone at 12 sites with varying densities of sea otters. All of the populations of abalone we examined were in the geographic area currently unaffected by withering disease, which has decimated populations south of the study area. Surprisingly, our findings indicate that sea otter density is positively associated with increased black abalone density. The presence of sea otters also correlated with a shift in black abalone to habitat conferring greater refuge, which could decrease illegal human harvest. These results highlight the need for a multi-species approach to conservation management of the two species, and demonstrate the importance of using field-collected data rather than simple trophic assumptions to understand relationships between jointly vulnerable predator and prey populations.

  16. 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)

  17. Identification and evaluation of semiochemicals for the biological control of the beetle Omorgus suberosus (F. (Coleoptera: Trogidae, a facultative predator of eggs of the sea turtle Lepidochelys olivacea (Eschscholtz.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vieyle Cortez

    Full Text Available The beetle Omorgus suberosus (F. is a facultative predator of eggs of the olive ridley turtle Lepidochelys olivacea (Eschscholtz. Laboratory and field investigations were conducted in order to characterize volatile attractants of O. suberosus and to explore the potential for application of these volatiles in a selective mass trapping method. Headspace sorptive extraction (HSSE coupled to thermo-desorption gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (TD-GC-MS analysis of the volatile constituents from beetles or turtle nests revealed 24 potential compounds. However, electroantennographic (EAG measurements revealed antennal sensitivity only to indole, linoleic acid, trimethylamine, dimethyl sulphide, dimethyl disulphide and ammonia. Behavioural tests showed that these compounds are highly attractive to O. suberosus. Field trapping experiments revealed that indole and ammonia were more attractive than the other volatile compounds and showed similar attractiveness to that produced by conventional baits (chicken feathers. The use of a combined bait of indole and NH3 would therefore be the most effective trap design. The data presented are the first to demonstrate effective massive capture of O. suberosus using an attractant-based trapping method. These findings have potential for the development of an efficient mass trapping method for control of this beetle as part of efforts towards conservation of L. olivacea at La Escobilla in Oaxaca, Mexico.

  18. Light pollution affects nesting behavior of loggerhead turtles and predation risk of nests and hatchlings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Elton; Marco, Adolfo; da Graça, Jesemine; Pérez, Héctor; Abella, Elena; Patino-Martinez, Juan; Martins, Samir; Almeida, Corrine

    2017-08-01

    The introduction of artificial light into wildlife habitats is a rapidly expanding aspect of global change, which has many negative impacts on a wide range of taxa. In this experimental study, which took place on a beach located on the island of Boa Vista (Cabo Verde), three types of artificial light were tested on nesting loggerhead sea turtles as well as on ghost crabs, which intensively predate on nests and hatchlings, to determine the effects they would produce on the behavior of both species. Over the course of 36days, female loggerheads and ghost crabs were studied under yellow, orange and red lights, with observations also being made on dark nights that served as a control treatment. During this period, the frequencies of nesting attempts, the time taken by turtles to complete each phase of the nesting process, and ghost crab abundance and behaviors were carefully recorded. 1146 loggerhead nesting attempts were observed and recorded during the experiments, and results showed a decrease in nesting attempts of at least 20% when artificial lighting was present. A significant decline in successful attempts was also observed within the central sections of the beach, which corresponded to those that received more light. This artificial lighting significantly increased the time that turtles spent on the nesting process and forced them to do more extensive beach crawls. Despite this, the presence of light had no apparent effect on the final selection of the nesting site. Yellow and orange lights significantly disrupted the sea finding behavior and turtles were often unable to orient themselves seaward under these color lights. Disoriented turtles were observed crawling in circuitous paths in front of the light source for several minutes. In addition, artificial lights had the potential to increase the number of ghost crabs present within the illuminated stretches of the beach. However, only yellow lighting produced a significant change on aggressive and prey

  19. Hatchlings of the Marine Turtle Lepidochelys olivacea Display Signs of Prenatal Stress at Emergence after Being Incubated in Man-Made Nests: A Preliminary Report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ma. A. Herrera-Vargas

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Egg translocation and incubation in man-made nests (MMN are common conservation practices through marine turtle hatcheries worldwide. These measures have been associated with reduced hatching rates, altered hatchling sex ratio, fetal dysmorphic anatomical features, and feeble hatchlings health. Previous studies have shown that MMN and natural nests (NN provide different incubatory conditions. Therefore, incubatory challenges imposed by MMN conditions on fetal development could induce stress responses affecting hatchlings functional morphology later on life. There is no evidence of incubatory stress associated with conservation measures in turtle fetuses or hatchlings. Thus, in this paper we tested the hypothesis that MMN incubation exposes turtle fetuses to stressing conditions. Given that the hypothalamic-pituitary-interrenal axis begins functioning by day 11 of incubation in reptiles, our experiments explored the effects of incubatory conditions, rather than those associated with translocation, on fetal stress responses. We showed that Lepidochelys olivacea hatchlings incubated in MMN displayed reduced body weight, hypertrophic inter-renal glands, testicular hypotrophy and hypotrophic dorso-medial cortical pyramidal neurons, when compared with hatchlings emerging from NN. Furthermore, MMN hatchlings had higher serum levels of corticosterone at emergence, and displayed an attenuated acute stress response after traversing the beach. Therefore, the relocation of nests to protect them could negatively impact the health and survival of sea turtles. Thus, this action should only be undertaken when no alternative is available.

  20. 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

  1. Endangered species: where leatherback turtles meet fisheries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferraroli, Sandra; Georges, Jean-Yves; Gaspar, Philippe; Le Maho, Yvon

    2004-06-03

    The dramatic worldwide decline in populations of the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) is largely due to the high mortality associated with their interaction with fisheries, so a reduction of this overlap is critical to their survival. The discovery of narrow migration corridors used by the leatherbacks in the Pacific Ocean raised the possibility of protecting the turtles by restricting fishing in these key areas. Here we use satellite tracking to show that there is no equivalent of these corridors in the North Atlantic Ocean, because the turtles disperse actively over the whole area. But we are able to identify a few 'hot spots' where leatherbacks meet fisheries and where conservation efforts should be focused.

  2. Marine tourism and the locations of protected turtles on Sukamade Beach, Meru Betiri National Park, East Java

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prihadi, D. J.; Shofiyullah, A.; Dhahiyat, Y.

    2018-04-01

    The research was conducted in Sukamade Beach, Meru Betiri National Park, East Java. The purpose of this research was to identify marine tourism activity and to determine the differences in the characteristics of turtle-nesting beaches towards the number and species of turtles that came to the beach. Data collection conducted in August-September 2014. The method used in this research was a survey method at 7 reseach stations to collect primary data (biophysical characteristics) and secondary data. The Primary data was collected by monitoring turtles, width and slope of the beach, temperature, pH, moisture, sand texture, and beach vegetation conditions at each station. The results of the research shows that marine tourisms always involve tourists who attend to see turtle nesting, when turtles arrive at the beach, and turtles return to the sea, how large the turtles and how they lay eggs on the beach, and the release of little turtles (tukik). The number of turtles that landed from station 1 to station 7 is as many as 311 individuals of three species. The most dominant species of turtles that arrived at the beach is green turtle (Chelonia mydas), followed by olive ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivaceae) and leatherbacks turtles (Dermochelys coriacea).

  3. Turtles for tessellations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Feijs, L.M.G.; Hu, J.

    2013-01-01

    We developed an approach to creating vector graphics representations of tessellations for purposes of teaching creative programming and laser cutting. The approach is based on turtle graphics. The lines of the turtle’s trail define the tiles of the tessellation. The turtle is defined in an

  4. Landowner behavior can determine the success of conservation strategies for ecosystem migration under sea-level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Field, Christopher R; Dayer, Ashley A; Elphick, Chris S

    2017-08-22

    The human aspects of conservation are often overlooked but will be critical for identifying strategies for biological conservation in the face of climate change. We surveyed the behavioral intentions of coastal landowners with respect to various conservation strategies aimed at facilitating ecosystem migration for tidal marshes. We found that several popular strategies, including conservation easements and increasing awareness of ecosystem services, may not interest enough landowners to allow marsh migration at the spatial scales needed to mitigate losses from sea-level rise. We identified less common conservation strategies that have more support but that are unproven in practice and may be more expensive. Our results show that failure to incorporate human dimensions into ecosystem modeling and conservation planning could lead to the use of ineffective strategies and an overly optimistic view of the potential for ecosystem migration into human dominated areas.

  5. End of the Line? Paul Watson and the Future of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerry Joseph Nagtzaam

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available This paper critically examines the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (‘SSCS’ and the legal challenges they are currently facing to continue its self-appointed role to protect oceanic life through direct action.  In Part One, the article examines the history of this radical environmental group and; the role performed by its charismatic leader Paul Watson; it’s organisational structure and its strategies and tactics; its governing philosophy and its attitudes to violence.  Part Two provides a history of the various direct actions carried out by the group; it further examines the organisation’s ongoing confrontations with the Japanese whaling fleet; documents the current legal travails the group and its leader are experiencing; and lastly asks what impact these issues will have on the group’s viability as a direct action group going forward.

  6. Post-breeding migration routes of marine turtles from Bonaire and Klein Bonaire, Caribbean Netherlands

    OpenAIRE

    Becking, L.E.; Christianen, M.J.A.; Nava, M.I.; Miller, N.; Willis, S.; Dam, Van, R.P.

    2016-01-01

    The management of small rookeries is key to conserving the regional genetic diversity of marine turtle populations and requires knowledge on population connectivity between breeding and foraging areas. To elucidate the geographic scope of the populations of marine turtles breeding at Bonaire and Klein Bonaire (Caribbean Netherlands) we examined the post-breeding migratory behavior of 5 female loggerheads Caretta caretta, 4 female green turtles Chelonia mydas, and 2 male and 13 female hawksbil...

  7. Predicting habitat distribution to conserve seagrass threatened by sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saunders, M. I.; Baldock, T.; Brown, C. J.; Callaghan, D. P.; Golshani, A.; Hamylton, S.; Hoegh-guldberg, O.; Leon, J. X.; Lovelock, C. E.; Lyons, M. B.; O'Brien, K.; Mumby, P.; Phinn, S. R.; Roelfsema, C. M.

    2013-12-01

    Sea level rise (SLR) over the 21st century will cause significant redistribution of valuable coastal habitats. Seagrasses form extensive and highly productive meadows in shallow coastal seas support high biodiversity, including economically valuable and threatened species. Predictive habitat models can inform local management actions that will be required to conserve seagrass faced with multiple stressors. We developed novel modelling approaches, based on extensive field data sets, to examine the effects of sea level rise and other stressors on two representative seagrass habitats in Australia. First, we modelled interactive effects of SLR, water clarity and adjacent land use on estuarine seagrass meadows in Moreton Bay, Southeast Queensland. The extent of suitable seagrass habitat was predicted to decline by 17% by 2100 due to SLR alone, but losses were predicted to be significantly reduced through improvements in water quality (Fig 1a) and by allowing space for seagrass migration with inundation. The rate of sedimentation in seagrass strongly affected the area of suitable habitat for seagrass in sea level rise scenarios (Fig 1b). Further research to understand spatial, temporal and environmental variability of sediment accretion in seagrass is required. Second, we modelled changes in wave energy distribution due to predicted SLR in a linked coral reef and seagrass ecosystem at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef. Scenarios where the water depth over the coral reef deepened due to SLR and minimal reef accretion, resulted in larger waves propagating shoreward, changing the existing hydrodynamic conditions sufficiently to reduce area of suitable habitat for seagrass. In a scenario where accretion of the coral reef was severely compromised (e.g. warming, acidification, overfishing), the probability of the presence of seagrass declined significantly. Management to maintain coral health will therefore also benefit seagrasses subject to SLR in reef environments. Further

  8. The status of sea ducks in the North Pacific Rim: Toward their conservation and management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goudie, R. Ian; Brault, Solange; Conant, Bruce; Kondratyev, Alexander V.; Petersen, Margaret R.; Vermeer, Kees; McCabe, Richard E.; Wadsworth, Kelly G.

    1994-01-01

    Sea ducks (tribe Mergini after Johnsgard 1960) are the most northerly distributed ducks, and species diversity is greatest in the North Pacific. They exploit a diversity of inshore and offshore marine habitats during the non-breeding season, and their use of habitat during breeding varies from coastal through freshwater wetlands of the tundra and taiga (Figure 1, Appendix 1). Non-breeding cohorts frequent marine habitats most of the year. Sea ducks thus are important indicators of the quality of freshwater and marine ecosystems of northern biomes.Of the 17 species discussed in this manuscript, at least 3 are reported to be declining (Appendix 2). However, the basis for many of those assessments is equivocal because there has been little effort to monitor populations. The efforts to more precisely assess their status point to catastrophic declines (Kertell 1991, Stehn et a 1993). Conservation problems related to sea ducks have a long history throughout the Holarctic. For example, the Labrador duck (Camptorhynchus labradorius) became extinct in 1875. (Phillips 1925); common eiders (Somateria mollissima) declined seriously throughout the northern hemisphere (Townsend 1914, Phillips 1925, Doughty 1979); harlequin ducks (Histrionicus histrionicus) experienced declines in Iceland and Greenland (Gudmundsson1971, Salomonson 1950), and more recently have been designated endangered in eastern Canada (Committee On the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada 1990). In Russia, all species of eider and harlequin ducks have been closed to sport hunting since 1981, and the Chinese mergansers (Mergus squamatus) presently are extremely rare and fully protected, i.e. category one of the red book (Solomonov 1987).

  9. Arctic marine mammal population status, sea ice habitat loss, and conservation recommendations for the 21st century

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, Harry; Kovacs, Kit M.; Lowry, Lloyd; Moore, Sue E.; Regehr, Eric V.; Ferguson, Steven H.; Wiig, Øystein; Boveng, Peter; Angliss, Robyn P.; Born, Erik W.; Litovka, Dennis; Quakenbush, Lori; Lydersen, Christian; Vongraven, Dag; Ugarte, Fernando

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Arctic marine mammals (AMMs) are icons of climate change, largely because of their close association with sea ice. However, neither a circumpolar assessment of AMM status nor a standardized metric of sea ice habitat change is available. We summarized available data on abundance and trend for each AMM species and recognized subpopulation. We also examined species diversity, the extent of human use, and temporal trends in sea ice habitat for 12 regions of the Arctic by calculating the dates of spring sea ice retreat and fall sea ice advance from satellite data (1979–2013). Estimates of AMM abundance varied greatly in quality, and few studies were long enough for trend analysis. Of the AMM subpopulations, 78% (61 of 78) are legally harvested for subsistence purposes. Changes in sea ice phenology have been profound. In all regions except the Bering Sea, the duration of the summer (i.e., reduced ice) period increased by 5–10 weeks and by >20 weeks in the Barents Sea between 1979 and 2013. In light of generally poor data, the importance of human use, and forecasted environmental changes in the 21st century, we recommend the following for effective AMM conservation: maintain and improve comanagement by local, federal, and international partners; recognize spatial and temporal variability in AMM subpopulation response to climate change; implement monitoring programs with clear goals; mitigate cumulative impacts of increased human activity; and recognize the limits of current protected species legislation. PMID:25783745

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Post-breeding migration routes of marine turtles from Bonaire and Klein Bonaire, Caribbean Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Becking, L.E.; Christianen, M.J.A.; Nava, M.I.; Miller, N.; Willis, S.; Dam, Van R.P.

    2016-01-01

    The management of small rookeries is key to conserving the regional genetic diversity of marine turtle populations and requires knowledge on population connectivity between breeding and foraging areas. To elucidate the geographic scope of the populations of marine turtles breeding at Bonaire and

  13. Conservation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noteboom, H.P.

    1985-01-01

    The IUCN/WWF Plants Conservation Programme 1984 — 1985. World Wildlife Fund chose plants to be the subject of their fund-raising campaign in the period 1984 — 1985. The objectives were to: 1. Use information techniques to achieve the conservation objectives of the Plants Programme – to save plants;

  14. Conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    National Audubon Society, New York, NY.

    This set of teaching aids consists of seven Audubon Nature Bulletins, providing the teacher and student with informational reading on various topics in conservation. The bulletins have these titles: Plants as Makers of Soil, Water Pollution Control, The Ground Water Table, Conservation--To Keep This Earth Habitable, Our Threatened Air Supply,…

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. PIR Marine Turtle Nesting

    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. PIR Marine 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...

  19. 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.

  20. Applying new genetic approaches to improve quality of population assessment of leatherback turtles

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This project addresses gaps in life history information for sea turtles that have been long-standing needs for building accurate population models. The goal is to...

  1. 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.

  2. The flushing and exchange of the South China Sea derived from salt and mass conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yang; Bye, John A. T.; You, Yuzhu; Bao, Xianwen; Wu, Dexing

    2010-07-01

    In this paper, we use two kinds of hydrographic data, historical cruise data, Array for Real-time Geostrophic Oceanography (Argo) float data, and atmospheric data to study the water exchange between the South China Sea (SCS) and the Pacific Ocean through the Luzon Strait. The annual mean distributions of temperature and salinity at five different levels in the SCS and the adjacent Pacific Ocean are presented, which indicate the occurrence of active water exchange through the Luzon Strait. The flushing and exchange of the SCS are then determined by the application of salt and mass conservation in a multi-layered thermohaline system, using an estimate of the net rainfall obtained from reanalysis data. The results show that the annual mean flushing time is 44±8 months with an inflow rate of 11±2 Sv (1 Sv=10 6 m 3 s -1), part of which recirculates at a deeper level through the Luzon Strait, the remainder (6±2 Sv) forming the SCS throughflow. The diffusive influx of salt is also estimated and accounts for about 10% of the total influx, and hence advection dominates over diffusion in the water exchange through the Luzon Strait. The seasonal cycle of exchange shows a maximum in autumn and winter of about twice the annual mean rate.

  3. 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)

  4. Nesting Habitat Suitability for Olive Ridley Turtles (Lepidochelys Olivacea) at the Gahirmatha Rookery, Odisha Coast of India

    OpenAIRE

    Satyaranjan BEHERA; Basudev TRIPATHY; Kupuswamy SIVAKUMAR; Binod Chandra CHOUDHURY; Chandrasekhar KAR

    2013-01-01

    The changes in the beach dynamics at Gahirmatha sea turtle rookery along Odisha coast of India have forced the olive ridley turtles to nests in a non-conducive environment. In the recent past, non-availability of nesting beach due to erosion was hypothesized to be one of the major reasons for non-occurrence of arribada at Gahirmatha. This paper reviews the current status of nesting habitat for olive ridley turtles at Gahirmatha and suggests onshore and offshore developmental activities close ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.R. Werneck

    2008-06-01

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

  6. Hydrodynamic role of longitudinal ridges in a leatherback turtle swimming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bang, Kyeongtae; Kim, Jooha; Lee, Sang-Im; Choi, Haecheon

    2015-11-01

    The leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), the fastest swimmer and the deepest diver among marine turtles, has five longitudinal ridges on its carapace. These ridges are the most remarkable morphological features distinguished from other marine turtles. To investigate the hydrodynamic role of these ridges in the leatherback turtle swimming, we model a carapace with and without ridges by using three dimensional surface data of a stuffed leatherback turtle in the National Science Museum, Korea. The experiment is conducted in a wind tunnel in the ranges of the real leatherback turtle's Reynolds number (Re) and angle of attack (α). The longitudinal ridges function differently according to the flow condition (i.e. Re and α). At low Re and negative α that represent the swimming condition of hatchlings and juveniles, the ridges significantly decrease the drag by generating streamwise vortices and delaying the main separation. On the other hand, at high Re and positive α that represent the swimming condition of adults, the ridges suppress the laminar separation bubble near the front part by generating streamwise vortices and enhance the lift and lift-to-drag ratio. Supported by the NRF program (2011-0028032).

  7. The Orinoco megadelta as a conservation target in the face of the ongoing and future sea level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vegas-Vilarrúbia, T; Hernández, E; Rull, Valentí; Rull Vegas, Elisa

    2015-05-15

    Currently, risk assessments related to rising sea levels and the adoption of defensive or adaptive measures to counter these sea level increases are underway for densely populated deltas where economic losses might be important, especially in the developed world. However, many underpopulated deltas harbouring high biological and cultural diversity are also at risk but will most likely continue to be ignored as conservation targets. In this study, we explore the potential effects of erosion, inundation and salinisation on one of the world's comparatively underpopulated megadeltas, the Orinoco Delta. With a 1 m sea level rise expected to occur by 2100, several models predict a moderate erosion of the delta's shorelines, migration or loss of mangroves, general inundation of the delta with an accompanying submersion of wetlands, and an increase in the distance to which sea water intrudes into streams, resulting in harm to the freshwater biota and resources. The Warao people are the indigenous inhabitants of the Orinoco Delta and currently are subject to various socioeconomic stressors. Changes due to sea level rise will occur extremely rapidly and cause abrupt shifts in the Warao's traditional environments and resources, resulting in migrations and abandonment of their ancestral territories. However, evidence indicates that deltaic aggradation/accretion processes at the Orinoco delta due to allochthonous sediment input and vegetation growth could be elevating the surface of the land, keeping pace with the local sea level rise. Other underpopulated and large deltas of the world also may risk immeasurable biodiversity and cultural losses and should not be forgotten as important conservation targets. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  8. Protection of marine birds and turtles at St Brandon's Rock, Indian ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Protection of marine birds and turtles at St Brandon's Rock, Indian Ocean, requires conservation of the entire atoll. SW Evans, N Cole, H Kylin, NS Choong Kwet Yive, V Tatayah, J Merven, H Bouwman ...

  9. Anatomical Evidence for Intracardiac Blood Shunting in Marine Turtles

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... suggests that right to left intra-cardiac blood shunts may be a feature of diving in sea turtles; the sphincter providing a mechanism for the control of blood flow through the heart. The comparative anatomy of the pulmonary arteries of selected terrestrial reptiles suggests that a similar mechanism exists in non-diving species.

  10. Demographic evidence of illegal harvesting of an endangered asian turtle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sung, Yik-Hei; Karraker, Nancy E; Hau, Billy C H

    2013-12-01

    Harvesting pressure on Asian freshwater turtles is severe, and dramatic population declines of these turtles are being driven by unsustainable collection for food markets, pet trade, and traditional Chinese medicine. Populations of big-headed turtle (Platysternon megacephalum) have declined substantially across its distribution, particularly in China, because of overcollection. To understand the effects of chronic harvesting pressure on big-headed turtle populations, we examined the effects of illegal harvesting on the demography of populations in Hong Kong, where some populations still exist. We used mark-recapture methods to compare demographic characteristics between sites with harvesting histories and one site in a fully protected area. Sites with a history of illegal turtle harvesting were characterized by the absence of large adults and skewed ratios of juveniles to adults, which may have negative implications for the long-term viability of populations. These sites also had lower densities of adults and smaller adult body sizes than the protected site. Given that populations throughout most of the species' range are heavily harvested and individuals are increasingly difficult to find in mainland China, the illegal collection of turtles from populations in Hong Kong may increase over time. Long-term monitoring of populations is essential to track effects of illegal collection, and increased patrolling is needed to help control illegal harvesting of populations, particularly in national parks. Because few, if any, other completely protected populations remain in the region, our data on an unharvested population of big-headed turtles serve as an important reference for assessing the negative consequences of harvesting on populations of stream turtles. Evidencia Demográfica de la Captura Ilegal de una Tortuga Asiática en Peligro. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  11. Fecal bacterial communities of wild-captured and stranded green turtles (Chelonia mydas) on the Great Barrier Reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahasan, Md Shamim; Waltzek, Thomas B; Huerlimann, Roger; Ariel, Ellen

    2017-12-01

    Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) are endangered marine herbivores that break down food particles, primarily sea grasses, through microbial fermentation. However, the microbial community and its role in health and disease is still largely unexplored. In this study, we investigated and compared the fecal bacterial communities of eight wild-captured green turtles to four stranded turtles in the central Great Barrier Reef regions that include Bowen and Townsville. We used high-throughput sequencing analysis targeting the hypervariable V1-V3 regions of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene. At the phylum level, Firmicutes predominated among wild-captured green turtles, followed by Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria. In contrast, Proteobacteria (Gammaproteobacteria) was the most significantly dominant phylum among all stranded turtles, followed by Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes. In addition, Fusobacteria was also significantly abundant in stranded turtles. No significant differences were found between the wild-captured turtles in Bowen and Townsville. At the family level, the core bacterial community consisted of 25 families that were identified in both the wild-captured and stranded green turtles, while two unique sets of 14 families each were only found in stranded or wild-captured turtles. The predominance of Bacteroides in all groups indicates the importance of these bacteria in turtle gut health. In terms of bacterial diversity and richness, wild-captured green turtles showed a higher bacterial diversity and richness compared with stranded turtles. The marked differences in the bacterial communities between wild-captured and stranded turtles suggest the possible dysbiosis in stranded turtles in addition to potential causal agents. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  12. 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

    2017-11-01

    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.

  13. An Immunohistochemical Approach to Identify the Sex of Young Marine Turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tezak, Boris M; Guthrie, Kathleen; Wyneken, Jeanette

    2017-08-01

    Marine turtles exhibit temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD). During critical periods of embryonic development, the nest's thermal environment directs whether an embryo will develop as a male or female. At warmer sand temperatures, nests tend to produce female-biased sex ratios. The rapid increase of global temperature highlights the need for a clear assessment of its effects on sea turtle sex ratios. However, estimating hatchling sex ratios at rookeries remains imprecise due to the lack of sexual dimorphism in young marine turtles. We rely mainly upon laparoscopic procedures to verify hatchling sex; however, in some species, morphological sex can be ambiguous even at the histological level. Recent studies using immunohistochemical (IHC) techniques identified that embryonic snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) ovaries overexpressed a particular cold-induced RNA-binding protein in comparison to testes. This feature allows the identification of females vs. males. We modified this technique to successfully identify the sexes of loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) hatchlings, and independently confirmed the results by standard histological and laparoscopic methods that reliably identify sex in this species. We next tested the CIRBP IHC method on gonad samples from leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea). Leatherbacks display delayed gonad differentiation, when compared to other sea turtles, making hatchling gonads difficult to sex using standard H&E stain histology. The IHC approach was successful in both C. caretta and D. coriacea samples, offering a much-needed tool to establish baseline hatchling sex ratios, particularly for assessing impacts of climate change effects on leatherback turtle hatchlings and sea turtle demographics. Anat Rec, 300:1512-1518, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Unravelling the Microbiome of Eggs of the Endangered Sea Turtle Eretmochelys imbricata Identifies Bacteria with Activity against the Emerging Pathogen Fusarium falciforme

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sarmiento-Ramirez, J.M.; van der Voort, M.; Raaijmakers, J.M.; Dieguez-Uribeondo, J.

    2014-01-01

    Habitat bioaugmentation and introduction of protective microbiota have been proposed as potential conservation strategies to rescue endangered mammals and amphibians from emerging diseases. For both strategies, insight into the microbiomes of the endangered species and their habitats is essential.

  15. Unravelling the microbiome of eggs of the endangered sea turtle Eretmochelys imbricata identifies bacteria with activity against the emerging pathogen Fusarium falciforme

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sarmiento-Ramírez, J.M.; Voort, van der M.; Raaijmakers, J.M.; Diéguez-Uribeondo, J.

    2014-01-01

    Habitat bioaugmentation and introduction of protective microbiota have been proposed as potential conservation strategies to rescue endangered mammals and amphibians from emerging diseases. For both strategies, insight into the microbiomes of the endangered species and their habitats is essential.

  16. The Gulf Stream frontal system: A key oceanographic featur