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Sample records for sea turtle eggs

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

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

    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.)

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. "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…

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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

  4. 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)

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1996-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  12. 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 ...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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...

  17. 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....

  18. 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....

  19. 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,…

  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. 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

  2. Loggerhead turtle, Caretta caretta (Linnaeus, 1758 (Testudines, Cheloniidae, as a new host of Monticellius indicum Mehra, 1939 (Digenea: Spirorchiidae and associated lesiond to spirorchiid eggs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Werneck M. R.

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The present note describes the occurrence of Monticellius indicum Mehra, 1939 (Digenea: Spirorchiidae in an adult loggerhead turtle, Caretta caretta (Linnaeus, 1758, found on the coast of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Pathological changes due to spirorchiid eggs (type 1 and 3 were found in gastrointestinal system, endocrine system, and heart. This parasite has previously been described in the green turtle, Chelonia mydas (Linnaeus, 1758, from Pakistan, Brazil and Costa Rica as well as in the hawksbill sea turtle, Eretmochelys imbricata (Linnaeus, 1766, in Brazil. This note reports the loggerhead turtle as a new host for M. indicum.

  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. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan A. eZavala-Norzagaray

    2015-06-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. Toxicity of pesticides associated with potato production, including soil fumigants, to snapping turtle eggs (Chelydra serpentina).

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Solla, Shane Raymond; Palonen, Kimberley Elizabeth; Martin, Pamela Anne

    2014-01-01

    Turtles frequently oviposit in soils associated with agriculture and, thus, may be exposed to pesticides or fertilizers. The toxicity of a pesticide regime that is used for potato production in Ontario on the survivorship of snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) eggs was evaluated. The following treatments were applied to clean soil: 1) a mixture of the pesticides chlorothalonil, S-metolachlor, metribuzin, and chlorpyrifos, and 2) the soil fumigant metam sodium. Turtle eggs were incubated in soil in outdoor plots in which these mixtures were applied at typical and higher field application rates, where the eggs were subject to ambient temperature and weather conditions. The pesticide mixture consisting of chlorothalonil, S-metolachlor, metribuzin, and chlorpyrifos did not affect survivorship, deformities, or body size at applications up to 10 times the typical field application rates. Hatching success ranged between 87% and 100% for these treatments. Metam sodium was applied at 0.1¯ times, 0.3¯ times, 1 times, and 3 times field application rates. Eggs exposed to any application of metam sodium had 100% mortality. At typical field application rates, the chemical regime associated with potato production does not appear to have any detrimental impacts on turtle egg development, except for the use of the soil fumigant metam sodium, which is highly toxic to turtle eggs at the lowest recommended application rate. © 2013 SETAC.

  3. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Róger Madrigal-Ballestero

    2017-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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)

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  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. 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...

  15. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujisaki, Ikuko; Lamont, Margaret M.

    2016-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lam, James C.W.; Tanabe, Shinsuke; Chan, Simon K.F.; Lam, Michael H.W.; Martin, Michael; Lam, Paul K.S.

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2006-12-15

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

  2. 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.

  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. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

    Full Text Available Sea turtles inhabiting coastal environments routinely encounter anthropogenic hazards, including fisheries, vessel traffic, pollution, dredging, and drilling. To support mitigation of potential threats, it is important to understand fine-scale sea turtle behaviors in a variety of habitats. Recent advancements in autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs now make it possible to directly observe and study the subsurface behaviors and habitats of marine megafauna, including sea turtles. Here, we describe a “smart” AUV capability developed to study free-swimming marine animals, and demonstrate the utility of this technology in a pilot study investigating the behaviors and habitat of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea. We used a Remote Environmental Monitoring UnitS (REMUS-100 AUV, designated “TurtleCam,” that was modified to locate, follow and film tagged turtles for up to 8 h while simultaneously collecting environmental data. The TurtleCam system consists of a 100-m depth rated vehicle outfitted with a circular Ultra-Short BaseLine receiver array for omni-directional tracking of a tagged animal via a custom transponder tag that we attached to the turtle with two suction cups. The AUV collects video with six high-definition cameras (five mounted in the vehicle nose and one mounted aft and we added a camera to the animal-borne transponder tag to record behavior from the turtle's perspective. Since behavior is likely a response to habitat factors, we collected concurrent in situ oceanographic data (bathymetry, temperature, salinity, chlorophyll-a, turbidity, currents along the turtle's track. We tested the TurtleCam system during 2016 and 2017 in a densely populated coastal region off Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA, where foraging leatherbacks overlap with fixed fishing gear and concentrated commercial and recreational vessel traffic. Here we present example data from one leatherback turtle to demonstrate the utility of TurtleCam. The

  7. Rate of egg maturation in marine turtles exhibits 'universal temperature dependence'.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, Sam B; Blount, Jonathan D; Godley, Brendan J; Witt, Matthew J; Broderick, Annette C

    2011-09-01

    1. The metabolic theory of ecology (MTE) predicts that, after correcting for body mass variation among organisms, the rates of most biological processes will vary as a universal function of temperature. However, empirical support for 'universal temperature dependence' (UTD) is currently equivocal and based on studies of a limited number of traits. 2. In many ectothermic animals, the rate at which females produce mature eggs is temperature dependent and may be an important factor in determining the costs of reproduction. 3. We tested whether the rate of egg maturation in marine turtles varies with environmental temperature as predicted by MTE, using the time separating successive clutches of individual females to estimate the rate at which eggs are formed. We also assessed the phenotypic contribution to this rate, by using radio telemetry to make repeated measurements of interclutch intervals for individual green turtles (Chelonia mydas). 4. Rates of egg maturation increased with seasonally increasing water temperatures in radio-tracked green turtles, but were not repeatable for individual females, and did not vary according to maternal body size or reproductive investment (number and size of eggs produced). 5. Using a collated data set from several different populations and species of marine turtles, we then show that a single relationship with water temperature explains most of the variation in egg maturation rates, with a slope that is statistically indistinguishable from the UTD predicted by MTE. However, several alternative statistical models also described the relationship between temperature and egg maturation rates equally parsimoniously. 6. Our results offer novel support for the MTE's predicted UTD of biological rates, although the underlying mechanisms require further study. The strong temperature dependence of egg maturation combined with the apparently weak phenotypic contribution to this rate has interesting behavioural implications in ectothermic

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-06-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Sea urchin egg fertilization and development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, R. S.

    1971-01-01

    The effects of subgravity (much less than unit gravity) on fertilization, cell division, differentiation, and growth of a relatively simple biological system (eggs of the sea urchin Arbacia punctulata) were considered. The experiment was flown on Gemini 3 and recovered as scheduled. However, the experiment objectives were not achieved, primarily for mechanical reasons.

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. Toxicity of nitrogenous fertilizers to eggs of snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) in field and laboratory exposures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Solla, Shane Raymond; Martin, Pamela Anne

    2007-09-01

    Many reptiles oviposit in soil of agricultural landscapes. We evaluated the toxicity of two commonly used nitrogenous fertilizers, urea and ammonium nitrate, on the survivorship of exposed snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) eggs. Eggs were incubated in a community garden plot in which urea was applied to the soil at realistic rates of up to 200 kg/ha in 2004, and ammonium nitrate was applied at rates of up to 2,000 kg/ha in 2005. Otherwise, the eggs were unmanipulated and were subject to ambient temperature and weather conditions. Eggs were also exposed in the laboratory in covered bins so as to minimize loss of nitrogenous compounds through volatilization or leaching from the soil. Neither urea nor ammonium nitrate had any impact on hatching success or development when exposed in the garden plot, despite overt toxicity of ammonium nitrate to endogenous plants. Both laboratory exposures resulted in reduced hatching success, lower body mass at hatching, and reduced posthatching survival compared to controls. The lack of toxicity of these fertilizers in the field was probably due to leaching in the soil and through atmospheric loss. In general, we conclude that nitrogenous fertilizers probably have little direct impacts on turtle eggs deposited in agricultural landscapes.

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  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. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Effects of egg incubation condition on the post-hatching growth and performance of the snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ryan, Kathleen M. [State Univ. of New York (SUNY),Buffalo, NY (United States)

    1990-12-01

    The effect of incubation temperature on the post-hatching growth and performance capacities of the common snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina was investigated in the laboratory. Turtle eggs were collected from four sites in New York State and randomly assigned to four incubation temperature treatments to produce males (constant 26°C and downshifted 30-26-30°C) and females (constant 30°C and upshifted 26-30-26°C) under constant and altered temperature regimes. The incubation conditions resulted in 92% males from the constant 26°C group and 93% males from the downshifted group. 100% females resulted from both the constant 30°C group and the upshifted group. Turtles hatching from eggs incubated constantly at 26°C were significantly larger than hatchlings from eggs incubated at a constant 30°C or downshifted. Hatchlings were raised in individual aquaria at 25°C and fed earthworms and fish. After a 9-month growth period, turtles which had been incubated at a constant 30°C gained significantly more mass than did turtles from eggs which had been downshifted or upshifted. There was no extended effect of incubation condition on Post-hatching performance and learning ability as measured by righting and feeding responses. Thus, the mass gain differences seen in this study suggest that physiological differences do result as the consequence of incubation condition. However, these physiological differences are not reflected in normal locomotive or feeding behavior.

  19. Effects of egg incubation condition on the post-hatching growth and performance of the snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ryan, K.M.

    1990-12-01

    The effect of incubation temperature on the post-hatching growth and performance capacities of the common snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina was investigated in the laboratory. Turtle eggs were collected from four sites in New York State and randomly assigned to four incubation temperature treatments to produce males (constant 26[degree]C and downshifted 30-26-30[degree]C) and females (constant 30[degree]C and upshifted 26-30-26[degree]C) under constant and altered temperature regimes. The incubation conditions resulted in 92% males from the constant 26[degree]C group and 93% males from the downshifted group. 100% females resulted from both the constant 30[degree]C group and the upshifted group. Turtles hatching from eggs incubated constantly at 26[degree]C were significantly larger than hatchlings from eggs incubated at a constant 30[degree]C or downshifted. Hatchlings were raised in individual aquaria at 25[degree]C and fed earthworms and fish. After a 9-month growth period, turtles which had been incubated at a constant 30[degree]C gained significantly more mass than did turtles from eggs which had been downshifted or upshifted. There was no extended effect of incubation condition on Post-hatching performance and learning ability as measured by righting and feeding responses. Thus, the mass gain differences seen in this study suggest that physiological differences do result as the consequence of incubation condition. However, these physiological differences are not reflected in normal locomotive or feeding behavior.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.)

  5. 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.)

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-01

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

  11. Effects of augmented corticosterone in painted turtle eggs on offspring development and behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polich, Rebecca L; Bodensteiner, Brooke L; Adams, Clare I M; Janzen, Fredric J

    2018-01-01

    Maternal stressors can play an integral role in offspring development and ultimate behaviors in many vertebrates. Increased circulating stress avoidance hormones can be reflected in elevated concentrations in ova, thus providing a potential mechanism for maternal stress to be transmitted to offspring even in taxa without parental care. In this study, we assessed the potential impacts of augmented stress avoidance hormones on offspring development and anti-predator behaviors in a freshwater turtle, Chrysemys picta. We exposed C. picta eggs to biologically relevant amounts of the stress avoidance hormone, corticosterone, as a proxy for maternal stressors. We allowed the eggs to incubate in the field, then measured offspring phenotypes, conducted performance trials, and simulated nest emergence in a field experiment. Exogenous corticosterone reduced survivorship to hatch, but did not affect incubation duration, offspring size, overwinter survival, or size after hibernation. In performance trials, this hormone treatment reduced the frequency of righting, yet enhanced the righting speed of neonates. Regardless, these performance differences did not detectably alter survivorship in the nest emergence experiment. These results lend insight into the potential effects of maternal stress levels on offspring phenotypes, as well as the robustness of offspring fitness to altered levels of maternal stress in freshwater turtles. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  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. 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).

  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. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Sazima

    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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark Allan Ditmer

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Effects of Egg Incubation Methods on Locomotor Performances of Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) Hatchlings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mohd Uzair Rusli; Joseph, J.; Hock-Chark, L.; Zainudin Bachol

    2015-01-01

    Effects of different incubation methods on crawling and swimming ability of post-emergence green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) hatchlings at Cherating (Kuantan, Pahang) and Chagar Hutang (Pulau Redang, Terengganu) Turtle Sanctuary were analysed during nesting season in 2009. Mean crawling speed of hatchlings incubated in styrofoam box, beach hatchery and in situ were at 0.042±0.008, 0.136±0.026 and 0.143±0.045 m/ s, respectively. Crawling performance of hatclings from styrofoam box can be improved by keeping them for at least 48 h after their emergence. For swimming performance, all types of incubation methods showed significant differences in mean power-stroke rate during their early swimming effort ranging at 93-114 strokes/ min. However, no correlation was found between morphological characteristics of hatchlings and swimming performance. The results from this study may give different perspective in evaluating hatchling production, which is in terms of hatchling morphological characteristics and their locomotor performance. (author)

  9. 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.

  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

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Evaluation of a combination of sodium hypochlorite and polyhexamethylene biguanide as an egg wash for red-eared slider turtles (Trachemys scripta elegans) to suppress or eliminate Salmonella organisms on egg surfaces and in hatchlings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Mark A; Adamson, Trinka W; Singleton, Charles B; Roundtree, Marlana K; Bauer, Rudy W; Acierno, Mark J

    2007-02-01

    To evaluate a combination of 2 nonantibiotic microbicide compounds, sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) and polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB), as a treatment to suppress or eliminate Salmonella spp from red-eared slider (RES) turtle (Trachemys scripta elegans) eggs and hatchlings. 2,738 eggs from 8 turtle farms in Louisiana. Eggs were randomly sorted into 3 or, when sufficient eggs were available, 4 treatment groups as follows: control, pressure-differential egg treatment with NaOCl and gentamicin, NaOCl and PHMB bath treatment, and pressure-differential egg treatment with NaOCl and PHMB. Bacterial cultures were performed from specimens of eggs and hatchlings and evaluated for Salmonella spp. RES turtle eggs treated with NaOCl and PHMB as a bath (odds ratio [OR], 0.2 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.1 to 0.3]) or as a pressure-differential dip (OR, 0.01 [95% CI, 0.001 to 0.07]) or with gentamicin as a pressure-differential dip (OR, 0.1 [95% CI, 0.06 to 0.2]) were significantly less likely to have Salmonella-positive culture results than control-group eggs. Concern over reptile-associated salmonellosis in children in the United States is so great that federal regulations prohibit the sale of turtles that are < 10.2 cm in length. Currently, turtle farms treat eggs with gentamicin solution. Although this has reduced Salmonella shedding, it has also resulted in antimicrobial resistance. Results of our study indicate that a combination of NaOCl and PHMB may be used to suppress or eliminate Salmonella spp on RES turtle eggs and in hatchlings.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. Skate Bathyraja spp. egg predation in the eastern Bering Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoff, G R

    2009-01-01

    Predation on skate eggs by snails was examined for three skate species at seven nursery sites in three regions (north, middle and south) of the eastern Bering Sea. Mean predation levels were 6.46% for the Alaska skate Bathyraja parmifera, 2.65% for the Aleutian skate Bathyraja aleutica and 22.25% for the Bering skate Bathyraja interrupta. Predation levels were significantly higher at the middle and north sites than the south sites for all species combined. Predation levels decreased with increasing egg-case densities at all nursery sites, and the highest predation levels occurred where egg-case densities were very low. Predated egg-case density increased with increasing snail densities across all nursery sites examined. The Oregon triton Fusitriton oregonensis was the most abundant snail species at all nursery sites and displayed ability to drill holes in the egg case of B. parmifera. Holes left by predatory snails in egg cases of B. parmifera were significantly larger, and of different shape at the middle site compared to the south site. Holes in B. parmifera were also significantly larger than those in egg cases of B. interrupta across all sites examined. Egg cases of B. aleutica possess surface spines that cover the egg case and may inhibit predation by snails at a greater rate than that of the B. parmifera and B. interrupta, which have a smoother egg-case surface.

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-07-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaleyla Kelez

    2016-02-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION AND DEVELOPMENTAL ABNORMALITIES IN EGGS AND HATCHLINGS OF THE COMMON SNAPPING TURTLE (CHELYDRA SERPENTINA SERPENTINA) FROM THE GREAT LAKES-ST. LAWRENCE RIVER BASIN (1989-91). (R827102)

    Science.gov (United States)

    AbstractDuring 1989-91, we assessed developmental abnormalities in embryos and hatchlings from eggs of the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina serpentina). Eggs were collected and artificially incubated from eight sites in Ontario, Canada and Akwesasne/...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aimee L. Hoover

    2017-07-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Plasma Cholinesterase Activity in Female Green Turtles Chelonia mydas Nesting in Laguna de Terminos, Mexico Related to Organochlorine Pesticides in Their Eggs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivas-Hernández, Gerardo; May-Uc, Yaneli; Noreña-Barroso, Elsa; Cobos-Gasca, Víctor; Rodríguez-Fuentes, Gabriela

    2018-01-01

    The inhibition of cholinesterase (ChE) activity has been used as a biomarker of exposure to organophosphate and carbamate insecticides. ChE of nesting female green turtles (Chelonia mydas) were biochemically characterized using two substrates, acetylthiocholine iodide and butyrylthiocholine iodide, and three ChE inhibitors (eserine sulfate, BW284C51 and iso-OMPA). The results indicated that BChE is the predominant plasma ChE in female C. mydas, but with atypical properties that differ from those found in human BChE. Eggs from green turtles nesting at two sites in Laguna de Terminos contained µg g -1 (wet weight) quantities of organochlorine (OC) pesticides. Drins (aldrin, dieldrin, endrin, endrin ketone, endrin aldehyde) were found at the highest concentrations with no significant differences in the concentrations in eggs collected at the two sampling sites. A negative relationship was found between levels of OC pesticides in eggs and BChE activity in the plasma of female turtles laying the eggs. Since OC pesticides are not cholinesterase inhibitors, we hypothesized that this inverse relationship may be related to an antagonistic effect between OCs and organophosphate pesticides and mobilization of OCs from the fatty tissues of the female turtles into their eggs. However, further study is required to verify the hypothesis. It is also possible that other contaminants, such as petroleum hydrocarbons are responsible for the modulation of cholinesterase activity in female turtles.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Camila Poli

    2015-09-01

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

  2. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. Calcium-responsive contractility during fertilization in sea urchin eggs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stack, Christianna; Lucero, Amy J; Shuster, Charles B

    2006-04-01

    Fertilization triggers a reorganization of oocyte cytoskeleton, and in sea urchins, there is a dramatic increase in cortical F-actin. However, the role that myosin II plays during fertilization remains largely unexplored. Myosin II is localized to the cortical cytoskeleton both before and after fertilization and to examine myosin II contractility in living cells, Lytechinus pictus eggs were observed by time-lapse microscopy. Upon sperm binding, a cell surface deflection traversed the egg that was followed by and dependent on the calcium wave. The calcium-dependence of surface contractility could be reproduced in unfertilized eggs, where mobilization of intracellular calcium in unfertilized eggs under compression resulted in a marked contractile response. Lastly, inhibition of myosin II delayed absorption of the fertilization cone, suggesting that myosin II not only responds to the same signals that activate eggs but also participates in the remodeling of the cortical actomyosin cytoskeleton during the first zygotic cell cycle. (c) 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-02

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

  15. Activation of maternal centrosomes in unfertilized sea urchin eggs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schatten, H.; Walter, M.; Biessmann, H.; Schatten, G.

    1992-01-01

    Centrosomes are undetectable in unfertilized sea urchin eggs, and normally the sperm introduces the cell's microtubule-organizing center (MTOC) at fertilization. However, artificial activation or parthenogenesis triggers microtubule assembly in the unfertilized egg, and this study explores the reappearance and behavior of the maternal centrosome. During activation with A23187 or ammonia, microtubules appear first at the cortex; centrosomal antigen is detected diffusely throughout the entire cytoplasm. Later, the centrosome becomes more distinct and organizes a radial microtubule shell, and eventually a compact centrosome at the egg center organizes a monaster. In these activated eggs, centrosomes undergo cycles of compaction and decompaction in synchrony with the chromatin, which also undergoes cycles of condensation and decondensation. Parthenogenetic activation with heavy water (50% D2O) or the microtubule-stabilizing drug taxol (10 microM) induces numerous centrosomal foci in the unfertilized sea urchin egg. Within 15 min after incubation in D2O, numerous fine centrosomal foci are detected, and they organize a connected network of numerous asters which fill the entire egg. Taxol induces over 100 centrosomal foci by 15 min after treatment, which organize a corresponding number of asters. The centrosomal material in either D2O- or taxol-treated eggs aggregates with time to form fewer but denser foci, resulting in fewer and larger asters. Fertilization of eggs pretreated with either D2O or taxol shows that the paternal centrosome is dominant over the maternal centrosome. The centrosomal material gradually becomes associated with the enlarged sperm aster. These experiments demonstrate that maternal centrosomal material is present in the unfertilized egg, likely as dispersed undetectable material, which can be activated without paternal contributions. At fertilization, paternal centrosomes become dominant over the maternal centrosomal material.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Varying hydric conditions during incubation influence egg water exchange and hatchling phenotype in the red-eared slider turtle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delmas, Virginie; Bonnet, Xavier; Girondot, Marc; Prévot-Julliard, Anne-Caroline

    2008-01-01

    Environmental conditions within the nest, notably temperature and moisture of substrate, exert a powerful influence during embryogenesis in oviparous reptiles. The influence of fluctuating nest temperatures has been experimentally examined in different reptile species; however, similar experiments using moisture as the key variable are lacking. In this article, we examine the effect of various substrate moisture regimes during incubation on different traits (egg mass, incubation length, and hatchling mass) in a chelonian species with flexible-shelled eggs, the red-eared slider turtle (Trachemys scripta elegans). Our results show that the rate of water uptake by the eggs was higher in wet than in dry substrate and varied across development. More important, during the first third of development, the egg mass changes were relatively independent of the soil moisture level; they became very sensitive to moisture levels during the other two-thirds. Moreover, hydric conditions exerted a strong influence on the eggs' long-term sensitivity to the moisture of the substrate. Even short-term episodes of high or low levels of moisture modified permanently their water sensitivity, notably through modification of eggshell shape and volume, and in turn entailed significant effects on hatchling mass (and hence offspring quality). Such complex influences of fluctuating moisture levels at various incubation stages on hatchling phenotype better reflect the natural situation, compared to experiments based on stable, albeit different, moisture levels.

  8. 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...

  9. 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

  10. 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).

  11. 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.

  12. 78 FR 44915 - Turtles Intrastate and Interstate Requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-07-25

    .... FDA-2013-N-0639] Turtles Intrastate and Interstate Requirements AGENCY: Food and Drug Administration... turtle eggs and live turtles with a carapace length of less than 4 inches to remove procedures for... viable turtle eggs and turtles with a carapace length of less than 4 inches to stop the spread of turtle...

  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. 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

  16. Different routes lead to apoptosis in unfertilized sea urchin eggs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philippe, Laetitia; Tosca, Lucie; Zhang, Wen Ling; Piquemal, Marion; Ciapa, Brigitte

    2014-03-01

    Results obtained in various species, from mammals to invertebrates, show that arrest in the cell cycle of mature oocytes is due to a high ERK activity. Apoptosis is stimulated in these oocytes if fertilization does not occur. Our previous data suggest that apoptosis of unfertilized sea urchin eggs is the consequence of an aberrant short attempt of development that occurs if ERK is inactivated. They contradict those obtained in starfish, another echinoderm, where inactivation of ERK delays apoptosis of aging mature oocytes that are nevertheless arrested at G1 of the cell cycle as in the sea urchin. This suggests that the cell death pathway that can be activated in unfertilized eggs is not the same in sea urchin and in starfish. In the present study, we find that protein synthesis is necessary for the survival of unfertilized sea urchin eggs, contrary to starfish. We also compare the effects induced by Emetine, an inhibitor of protein synthesis, with those triggered by Staurosporine, a non specific inhibitor of protein kinase that is widely used to induce apoptosis in many types of cells. Our results indicate that the unfertilized sea urchin egg contain different mechanisms capable of leading to apoptosis and that rely or not on changes in ERK activity, acidity of intracellular organelles or intracellular Ca and pH. We discuss the validity of some methods to investigate cell death such as measurements of caspase activation with the fluorescent caspase indicator FITC-VAD-fmk or acidification of intracellular organelles, methods that may lead to erroneous conclusions at least in the sea urchin model.

  17. 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).

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Organochlorine pesticides, PCBs, dibenzodioxin, and furan concentrations in common snapping turtle eggs (Chelydra serpentina serpentina) in Akwesasne, Mohawk Territory, Ontario, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Solla, S R; Bishop, C A; Lickers, H; Jock, K

    2001-04-01

    Subsamples of eight clutches of common snapping turtle eggs (Chelydra serpentina serpentina) were collected from four sites from the territory of the Mohawk Nation, Akwesasne, on the shore of the St. Lawrence River. Egg contents were analyzed for organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dibenzodioxins, and furans. The sites were 2 to 13 km downstream from PCB-contaminated landfill sites. Maximum concentrations of total PCBs in snapping turtle clutches were extremely high, and ranged from 2 378.2 ng/g to 737 683 ng/g (wet weight) and are among the highest recorded in any tissue of a free-ranging animal. Similarly, in a pooled sample of eggs from all four sites, the summed concentrations of non-ortho PCBs (n = 6 congeners) was also very high at 54.54 ng/g and the summed dioxin and furan concentrations (n = 11 congeners) was 85.8 ng/g. Sum organochlorine pesticide levels varied from 28 to 2,264 ng/g among the four sites. The levels of PCBs found in turtle eggs exceed concentrations associated with developmental problems and reduced hatching success in snapping turtles and other species and also exceed the Canadian tissue residue guidelines for toxic equivalency concentrations. The extremely high levels of organochlorine contaminants demonstrate the high degree of contamination in the environment in the Akwesasne area.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is a United States (US) federal agency that oversees US space exploration and aeronautical research. NASA's primary launch site, Kennedy Space Center (KSC) is located along the east coast of Florida, on Cape Canaveral and the western Atlantic Ocean. The natural environment within KSC's large land boundaries, not only functions as an extensive safety buffer-area, it performs simultaneously as a wildlife refuge and a national seashore. In the early 1960s, NASA was developing KSC for rocket launches and the US was establishing an awareness of, and commitment to protecting the environment. The US began creating regulations that required the consideration of the environment when taking action on federal land or with federal funds. The timing of the US Endangered Species Act (1973), the US National Environmental Policy Act (1972), coincided with the planning and implementation of the US Space Shuttle Program. This resulted in the first efforts to evaluate the impacts of space launch operation operations on waterways, air quality, habitats, and wildlife. The first KSC fauna and flora baseline studies were predominantly performed by University of Central Florida (then Florida Technological University). Numerous species of relative importance were observed and sea turtles were receiving regulatory review and protection as surveys by Dr. L Ehrhart (UCF) from 1973-1978 described turtles nesting along the KSC beaches and foraging in the KSC lagoon systems. These data were used in the first NASA Environmental Impact Statement for the Space Transportation System (shuttle program) in 1980. In 1982, NASA began a long term ecological monitoring program with contracted scientists on site. This included efforts to track sea turtle status and trends at KSC and maintain protective measures for these species. Many studies and collaborations have occurred on KSC over these last 45 years with agencies (USFWS, NOAA, NAVY), students

  9. 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.

  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. 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

    Many Hawaiian beaches provide critical habitat for the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia Mydas). However, sea level rise drives beaches and dunes to migrate landward where they may encounter roads and other types of developed lands. Where developed lands are threatened by coastal erosion, defined as a distance of 20 ft (6.1 m) by state rules, property owners are eligible to apply for an emergency permit. These have historically led to coastal armoring. Seawalls and revetments on chronically receding shorelines cause permanent beach loss by restricting sand supply to the beach in front of the sea wall, as well as to beaches adjacent to the restrictive structure (flanking). This study focuses on four primary beach habitats along the North Shore of Oahu, Hawai'i: Waimea, Haleiwa, Kawailoa, and Mokuleia. We utilize GIS techniques to apply spatial analysis of nesting and basking locations collected from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). We then estimate the number of homes and the length of shoreline threatened by coastal armoring for 0 m, 0.17 m, 0.32 m, 0.60 m, and 0.98 m of sea-level rise. We demonstrate that 0.17 m of sea level rise impacts 31% of all beach front homes, and 4.6 km of shoreline, or 21% of the total shoreline. An increase to 0.32 m of sea level rise impacts 42% of all beach front homes, and 5.8 km of shoreline, or 31% of the total shoreline. The upper bound of the most recent sea level rise projection by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC RCP 8.5) affirms that 0.17 m of sea level rise may be reached by 2030, and 0.32 m by 2050. This sea level projection is a "worst-case" under IPCC-AR5, however, Sweet et al. (2017) depicts this as an "Intermediate" scenario on the basis of faster than expected mass loss by Greenland and Antarctica ice sheets, and rapid heat uptake and thermal expansion by the world's oceans. We conclude that the impacts of sea level rise and reactive coastal armoring currently endanger critical

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy and effects on acid-base and electrolyte status of several crystalloid fluids in 57 stranded juvenile loggerhead turtles. Within a rehabilitation program four different crystalloid fluids were administered (0.9% Na Cl solution; 5% dextrose + 0.9% Na Cl solutions 1:1; 0.9% Na Cl + lactated Ringer's solutions 1:1; lactated Ringer's solution). Crystalloid fluids were intracoelomically administered during three days (20 ml/kg/day). Animals were sampled at three different moments: Upon admission for evaluating the type of acid-base or biochemical disorder, post-fluid therapy treatment for controlling the evolution of the disorder, and post-recovery period for obtaining the baseline values for rehabilitated loggerhead turtles. Each sample was analyzed with a portable electronic blood analyzer for pH, pO2, pCO2, lactate, sodium, potassium, chloride, glucose, and BUN concentration. Admission and post-fluid therapy treatment values were compared with those obtained for each turtle immediately before release. The highest percentage of acid-base recovery and electrolyte balance was observed in turtles treated with mixed saline-lactated Ringer's solution (63.6%), followed by turtles treated with physiological saline solution (55%), lactated Ringer's solution (33.3%), and dextrose-saline solutions (10%). Most turtles treated with lactated Ringer's solution had lower lactate concentrations compared with their initial values; however, 66.6% of turtles treated with lactated Ringer's solution had metabolic alkalosis after therapy. Significant higher concentrations of glucose were detected after saline-dextrose administration compared with all the remaining fluids. This is the first study evaluating the effects of several crystalloid fluids on the acid-base status and plasma biochemical values in stranded loggerhead sea turtles. Reference convalescent venous blood gas, acid-base, and plasma biochemical values, useful for veterinary

  19. EXTENDING THE VIABILITY OF SPERMATOZOA AND EGGS OF THE SEA URCHIN LYTECHINUS VARIEGATUS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malgarin, Jéssica; Resgalla, Charrid

    2015-01-01

    The storage of spermatozoa and eggs of the sea urchin Lytecninus variegatus can meet the demand of different human activities. To develop a protocol easy to reproduce for spermatozoa cryopreservation and cooling of the eggs of the sea urchin. Different formulations of artificial sea water were tested for their effectiveness in the freezing of sea urchin spermatozoa and storage of the eggs. Protocol for freezing of spermatozoa in liquid nitrogen presented the positive results when the cryoprotectant solution was diluted in artificial seawater free of calcium and magnesium. For the conservation of the eggs by cooling, the calcium-free artificial sea water, the calcium- and magnesium-free sea water, and the low-sodium water proved more efficient in preserving the integrity of the eggs. The results showed success in the freezing protocol of spermatozoa and cooling of the eggs mainly in artificial calcium- and magnesium-free sea water.

  20. Egg production of turbot, Scophthalmus maximus, in the Baltic Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nissling, Anders; Florin, Ann-Britt; Thorsen, Anders; Bergström, Ulf

    2013-11-01

    In the brackish water Baltic Sea turbot spawn at ~ 6-9 psu along the coast and on offshore banks in ICES SD 24-29, with salinity influencing the reproductive success. The potential fecundity (the stock of vitellogenic oocytes in the pre-spawning ovary), egg size (diameter and dry weight of artificially fertilized 1-day-old eggs) and gonad dry weight were assessed for fish sampled in SD 25 and SD 28. Multiple regression analysis identified somatic weight, or total length in combination with Fulton's condition factor, as main predictors of fecundity and gonad dry weight with stage of maturity (oocyte packing density or leading cohort) as an additional predictor. For egg size, somatic weight was identified as main predictor while otolith weight (proxy for age) was an additional predictor. Univariate analysis using GLM revealed significantly higher fecundity and gonad dry weight for turbot from SD 28 (3378-3474 oocytes/g somatic weight) compared to those from SD 25 (2343 oocytes/g somatic weight), with no difference in egg size (1.05 ± 0.03 mm diameter and 46.8 ± 6.5 μg dry weight; mean ± sd). The difference in egg production matched egg survival probabilities in relation to salinity conditions suggesting selection for higher fecundity as a consequence of poorer reproductive success at lower salinities. This supports the hypothesis of higher size-specific fecundity towards the limit of the distribution of a species as an adaptation to harsher environmental conditions and lower offspring survival probabilities. Within SD 28 comparisons were made between two major fishing areas targeting spawning aggregations and a marine protected area without fishing. The outcome was inconclusive and is discussed with respect to potential fishery induced effects, effects of the salinity gradient, effects of specific year-classes, and effects of maturation status of sampled fish.

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  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

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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).

  15. 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...

  16. 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

  17. 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)

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Clutch and egg allometry of the turtle Mauremys leprosa (Chelonia: Geoemydidae) from a polluted peri-urban river in west-central Morocco

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naimi, Mohamed; Znari, Mohammed; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Feddadi, Youssef; Baamrane, Moulay Abdeljalil Ait

    2012-01-01

    We examined the relationships of clutch size (CS) and egg size to female body size (straight-line carapace length, CL) in a population of the turtle Mauremys leprosa from a polluted segment of oued (river) Tensift in arid west-central Morocco. Twenty-eight adult females were collected in May–July, 2009 and all were gravid. Each was weighed, measured, humanely euthanized and then dissected. Oviductal shelled eggs were removed, weighed (egg mass, EM) and measured for length (EL) and width (EW). Clutch mass (CM) was the sum of EM for a clutch. Pelvic aperture width (PAW) was measured at the widest point between the ilia bones through which eggs must pass at oviposition. The smallest gravid female had a CL of 124.0 mm. Mean CS was relatively large (9.7±2.0 eggs, range: 3–13) and may reflect high productivity associated with polluted (eutrophic) waters. Regression analyses were conducted using log-transformed data. CM increased isometrically with maternal body size. CS, EW and EM were all significantly hypoallometric in their relationship with CL. EL did not change significantly with increases in CL. EW increased at a hypoallometric rate with increasing CL but was unconstrained by PAW since the widest egg was smaller than the narrowest PAW measurement when excluding the three smallest females. Smaller females may have EW constrained by PAW. As females increase in size they increase both clutch size and egg width in contradiction to predictions of optimal egg size theory.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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).

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Poli

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

  16. 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...

  17. Change in radiosensitivity on the development of sea urchin eggs during the early cleavage stage, 2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nakamura, Izumi

    1975-01-01

    The effect of cysteamine on the fluctuation of X-ray sensitivity during early cleavage stage of sea urchin eggs expressed by pluteus formation rate was examined. Sea urchin eggs were very resistant to radiation immediately after insemination or after S phase of the cleavage. When irradiation was given just prior to S phase or in the phase of cytokinesis, the eggs were very sensitive. In these sensitive stages, existence of cysteamine during X-irradiation apparently protected eggs against radiation effect. Dose modifying factor increased linearly from 1.8 to 3.4 with increasing dose of cysteamine (25mM-75mM) added. (auth.)

  18. Change in radiosensitivity of sea-urchin eggs during early cleavage stages

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nakamura, I.

    1977-01-01

    When sea-urchin eggs were irradiated with 137 Cs γ-rays, their radiosensitivity, expressed by the percentage which formed pluteus larvae, fluctuated during the early cleavage cycle. Split-dose irradiations were made both in the sensitive and resistant phases. For eggs in the sensitive phase, the effect of the first exposure of 500 rad was not diminished during the interval before the second exposure. Eggs irradiated in the resistant phase were only slightly damaged. Results implied that fluctuations in radiosensitivity of sea-urchin eggs were caused mainly by different degrees of non-repairable damage in each phase of cleavage rather than by different recovery abilities. (author)

  19. Polychlorinated biphenyl concentrations, congener profiles, and ratios in the fat tissue, eggs, and plasma of snapping turtles (Chelydra s. serpentina) from the Ohio Basin of Lake Erie, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dabrowska, H; Fisher, S W; Estenik, J; Kidekhel, R; Stromberg, P

    2006-08-01

    Concentrations and profiles of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were determined in three tissues of adult snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina serpentina) from six locations in the Ohio Basin of Lake Erie to characterize tissue variation and geographic trends. The locations included the Ohio Areas of Concern, i.e., the Ashtabula, Black, and Maumee Rivers; the Ottawa River near Toledo; and two reference sites. Mean total PCBs were greatest in turtles from the Ottawa River followed by the Maumee, Ashtabula, and Black Rivers. All three types of samples-fat tissue (FT), eggs, and plasma-showed the same geographic trend in PCB levels. On a wet-weight basis, mean concentrations ranged from 2,148 to 18,669 ng/g in FT, from 183 to 3,683 ng/g in eggs, and from 18 to 201 ng/g in plasma. Across all sites, total PCB concentrations between the tissues were significantly correlated (0.001 40 congeners (0.001 < p < 0.05). The distribution ratios determined for these congeners from the slope of the regression lines averaged 1.235 +/- 0.279, 0.430 +/- 0.170, and 0.387 +/- 0.115, respectively. The plasma wet weight-FT lipid-normalized concentration ratios for these congeners averaged 0.012 +/- 0.006. Both egg-FT and plasma wet weight-FT lipid-normalized ratios regressed against log K(ow) showed significant decreases, with increasing log K(ow), indicating greater accumulation of highly chlorinated congeners in FT than in other compartments. The estimated 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin toxic equivalents ranged from 0.007 ng/g at reference sites to 0.060 ng/g at contaminated sites and from 0.099 to 1.992 ng/g in plasma and eggs, respectively. In both plasma and eggs, coplanar-CBs were the major contributors to total toxic equivalents (TEQs). Eggs from all contaminated sites had TEQs that exceeded the lowest observed effect level TEQs proposed for bald eagle chicks, in addition to high SigmaPCB levels at some of these sites, especially the Ottawa and Maumee River sites, indicate

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Crystallization and preliminary x-ray structure analysis of the egg-white lysozyme from a Taiwanese Soft-Shelled Turtle (Tri onyx Sinensis Wiegmann)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Siritapetawee, Jaruwan; Thammasirirak, Sompong; Yuvaniyama, Jirudon

    2005-10-01

    Lysozyme has been purified from the egg-white of a Taiwanese soft-shelled turtle. This soft-shelled turtle ' s egg-white lysozyme migrated on 12.5% SDS-PAGE at about 14.8 kDa. The lysozyme has been crystallized using the sitting drop vapor diffusion technique and 30% (w/v) polyethylene glycol 8000 in 0.1 M sodium cacodylate, p H 6.5 containing 0.2 M ammonium sulfate as a precipitant. One of the crystals diffracted X rays beyond 2 angstrom unit resolution and belonged to the orthorhombic, space group P212121, with unit cell dimensions of a = 37.8 angstrom unit, b = 55.6 angstrom unit, and c 72.2 angstrom unit and one molecule of the enzyme per asymmetric unit. The data were collected to 1.9 angstrom resolution with an R merge of 4.6%, suitable for high resolution structure analysis. The single-crystal X-ray structure of lysozyme has been initially phased with the Molecular Replacement technique using pheasant egg-white lysozyme (PDB ID 1GHL) as a search template. Model rebuilding and refinement are in progress

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  6. First Assessment of the Sex Ratio for an East Pacific Green Sea Turtle Foraging Aggregation: Validation and Application of a Testosterone ELISA.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Camryn D Allen

    Full Text Available Determining sex ratios of endangered populations is important for wildlife management, particularly species subject to sex-specific threats or that exhibit temperature-dependent sex determination. Sea turtle sex is determined by incubation temperature and individuals lack external sex-based traits until sexual maturity. Previous research utilized serum/plasma testosterone radioimmunoassays (RIA to determine sex in immature/juvenile sea turtles. However, there has been a growing application of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA for wildlife endocrinology studies, but no study on sea turtles has compared the results of ELISA and RIA. This study provides the first sex ratio for a threatened East Pacific green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas foraging aggregation, a critical step for future management of this species. Here, we validate a testosterone ELISA and compare results between RIA and ELISA of duplicate samples. The ELISA demonstrated excellent correspondence with the RIA for providing testosterone concentrations for sex determination. Neither assay proved reliable for predicting the sex of reproductively active females with increased testosterone production. We then applied ELISA to examine the sex ratio of 69 green turtles foraging in San Diego Bay, California. Of 45 immature turtles sampled, sex could not be determined for three turtles because testosterone concentrations fell between the ranges for either sex (females: 4.1-113.1 pg/mL, males: 198.4-2,613.0 pg/mL and these turtles were not subsequently recaptured to enable sex determination; using a Bayesian model to predict probabilities of turtle sex we predicted all three 'unknowns' were female (> 0.86. Additionally, the model assigned all turtles with their correct sex (if determined at recapture with 100% accuracy. Results indicated a female bias (2.83F:1M among all turtles in the aggregation; when focusing only on putative immature turtles the sex ratio was 3.5F:1M. With appropriate

  7. Pengaruh Selang Waktu Peletakkan Terhadap Keberhasilan Penetasan Telur Penyu Hijau (Chelonia mydas L. (Effect of Planting Time on Egg Hatching Success of Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edi Wibowo Kushartono

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Salah satu usaha konservasi melindungi Penyu hijau (Chelonia mydas L. yaitu dengan tindakan relokasi dengan memindahkan telur dari sarang alami ke tempat penetasan semi alami. Waktu pemindahan dan peletakan telur yang tepat sangat diperlukan untuk memperoleh daya tetas maksimal. Tujuan penelitian ini untuk mengetahui pengaruh selang waktu peletakan telur Penyu Hijau terhadap keberhasilan penetasannya. Rancangan penelitian adalah Rancangan Acak Kelompok berdasarkan 3 induk yang berbeda dengan perlakuan selang waktu peletakan yaitu 2, 7 dan 12 jam. Pengukuran dan pengamatan kondisi lingkungan dilakukan selama inkubasi. Pengamatan munculnya tukik mulai dilakukan pada hari ke 50 masa inkubasi.  Pembongkaran sarang dilakukan pada hari ke 60 masa inkubasi kemudian dilakukan pembedahan secara manual untuk mengamati telur yang gagal menetas. Hasil menunjukkan bahwa tidak ada pengaruh nyata secara signifikan adanya perbedaan selang waktu peletakan terhadap keberhasilan penetasan dan keberhasilan kemunculan. Namun selang waktu peletakan dengan nilai yang baik ditunjukkan pada 2 jam, dilanjutkan dengan 12 jam dan 7 jam. Kata kunci: penetasan, penyu hijau (Chelonia mydas L., semi alami One of the conservation efforts undertaken to protect the green turtle (C. mydas L. is by relocation of the nest where the eggs are removed from natural to semi-natural hatchery. A right time for the removal and burial of eggs are needed to obtain maximum hatching rate. The purpose of this study is to determine the impact of interval laying period on the hatching success of the green turtle eggs. Randomized block design is used which is based on three different turtles with treatment interval of burying, which is 2, 7, and 12 h. Measurements and observations were made during the environmental conditions of the incubation period. Observations hatchling emergence started on day 50 of incubation. Nest destruction was conducted on the 60th day incubation then eggs that failed to

  8. 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.

  9. An egg injection technique to evaluate the effect of polychlorinated biphenyls on the hatching success of the snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina serpentina).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schnars, Jeanette L; Voss, Margaret A; Stauffer, Jay R

    2011-04-01

    Embryos of oviparous organisms are exposed to contaminants by two pathways: contaminant uptake from the surrounding environment, and the transfer from female to offspring (maternal transfer). The initial source of contaminant exposure for most embryos is likely to be maternal transfer; therefore, maternal transfer studies are critical in determining the effects of contaminants on future populations. Injection of contaminants directly into eggs is one route of experimental contaminant exposure that permits controlled doses and potential reliable replication. This technique, however, has been used in the past with little success in reptiles. The objective of the present study was to evaluate egg injection as a means of mimicking maternal transfer of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) to snapping turtle eggs. Eggs from several clutches were injected with a PCB solution and incubated at several temperatures and moisture levels to measure interactive effects of injection, environmental condition, and contaminant load on hatching success. The injection technique allowed for application of consistent and specific doses among replicates. Overall hatching success in this study was 61% and was as high as 71% within specific treatments. Hatching success was much higher in this study than in other studies using egg injections to mimic maternal transfer in chelonians and crocodilians. Copyright © 2010 SETAC.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. Satellite tracking reveals habitat use by juvenile green sea turtles Chelonia mydas in the Everglades, Florida, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Kristen M.; Fujisaki, Ikuko

    2010-01-01

    We tracked the movements of 6 juvenile green sea turtles captured in coastal areas of southwest Florida within Everglades National Park (ENP) using satellite transmitters for periods of 27 to 62 d in 2007 and 2008 (mean ± SD: 47.7 ± 12.9 d). Turtles ranged in size from 33.4 to 67.5 cm straight carapace length (45.7 ± 12.9 cm) and 4.4 to 40.8 kg in mass (16.0 ± 13.8 kg). These data represent the first satellite tracking data gathered on juveniles of this endangered species at this remote study site, which may represent an important developmental habitat and foraging ground. Satellite tracking results suggested that these immature turtles were resident for several months very close to capture and release sites, in waters from 0 to 10 m in depth. Mean home range for this springtime tracking period as represented by minimum convex polygon (MCP) was 1004.9 ± 618.8 km2 (range 374.1 to 2060.1 km2), with 4 of 6 individuals spending a significant proportion of time within the ENP boundaries in 2008 in areas with dense patches of marine algae. Core use areas determined by 50% kernel density estimates (KDE) ranged from 5.0 to 54.4 km2, with a mean of 22.5 ± 22.1 km2. Overlap of 50% KDE plots for 6 turtles confirmed use of shallow-water nearshore habitats =0.6 m deep within the park boundary. Delineating specific habitats used by juvenile green turtles in this and other remote coastal areas with protected status will help conservation managers to prioritize their efforts and increase efficacy in protecting endangered species.

  15. Effects of caffeine on cleavage delay of sea urchin eggs induced by ethidium bromide or puromycin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kimura, Hiroshi

    1975-01-01

    The mitotic delay was induced when sea urchin eggs were treated with either ethidium bromide or puromycin, as observed with eggs fertilized with x- or UV-irradiated sperm. Treatment of these eggs with caffeine during the period of early prophase block resulted in the reduction of the mitotic delay. Protein synthesis of these eggs was not affected by x-irradiation but inhibited by ethidium bromide or puromycin. Caffeine was almost ineffective in changing the protein synthesis of eggs inseminated with x-irradiated sperm or treated with ethidium bromide. These facts mean that additive synthesis of protein is not required for the reduction by caffeine of the mitotic delay. Some role of protein synthesis in the reduction by caffeine of the cleavage delay is not excluded for puromycin treated eggs, since caffeine counteracted the inhibitory effect of puromycin on protein synthesis. (author)

  16. Prey selection by North Sea herring (Clupea harengus) with special reference to fish eggs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Segers, F.H.I.D.; Dickey-Collas, M.; Rijnsdorp, A.D.

    2007-01-01

    The herring stock in the North Sea in recent years has recovered to a relatively high biomass, and here we investigate prey selection of individual North Sea herring when population numbers are high. The diet composition, and specifically pelagic fish eggs, was investigated in February 2004. Samples

  17. 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.

  18. 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,…

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  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. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  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. 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.

  11. Experimental exposure of eggs to polybrominated diphenyl ethers BDE-47 and BDE-99 in red-eared sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans) and snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) and possible species-specific differences in debromination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisenreich, Karen M; Rowe, Christopher L

    2013-02-01

    Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are a bioaccumulative, persistent, and toxic class of flame retardants that can potentially impact turtles in natural habitats via exposure through maternal transfer. To simulate maternal transfer in the present study, PBDE congeners BDE-47 and BDE-99 were topically applied to the eggshell and were allowed to diffuse into the egg contents of the red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) and snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina). Eggs were topically dosed over 8 d to achieve a target concentration of 40 ng/g in the egg contents. Transfer efficiency was higher for BDE-47 than for BDE-99 in the red-eared sliders (25.8 ± 1.9% vs 9.9 ± 1.1%) and snapping turtles (31.3 ± 1.6% vs 12.5 ± 1.4%), resulting in greater BDE-47 and lower BDE-99 egg content concentrations relative to the 40 ng/g target. However, only 25.8 and 31.3% of the total BDE-47 and 9.9 and 12.5% of the total BDE-99 dose applied could be accounted for in the red-eared slider and snapping turtle egg contents, respectively. Additionally, increased BDE-47 in red-eared slider egg contents dosed with only BDE-99 indicate that BDE-99 might have been debrominated to BDE-47. The efficacy of topical dosing for administering desired embryonic exposures is clearly affected by the chemical properties of the applied compounds and was more successful for BDE-47 in both species. Copyright © 2012 SETAC.

  12. 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

  13. 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...

  14. Asynchronous emergence by loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) hatchlings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houghton, J D; Hays, G C

    2001-03-01

    For many decades it has been accepted that marine turtle hatchlings from the same nest generally emerge from the sand together. However, for loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) nesting on the Greek Island of Kefalonia, a more asynchronous pattern of emergence has been documented. By placing temperature loggers at the top and bottom of nests laid on Kefalonia during 1998, we examined whether this asynchronous emergence was related to the thermal conditions within nests. Pronounced thermal variation existed not only between, but also within, individual nests. These within-nest temperature differences were related to the patterns of hatchling emergence, with hatchlings from nests displaying large thermal ranges emerging over a longer time-scale than those characterised by more uniform temperatures. In many egg-laying animals, parental care of the offspring may continue while the eggs are incubating and also after they have hatched. Consequently, the importance of the nest site for determining incubation conditions may be reduced since the parents themselves may alter the local environment. By contrast, in marine turtles, parental care ceases once the eggs have been laid and the nest site covered. The positioning of the nest site, in both space and time, may therefore have profound effects for marine turtles by affecting, for example, the survival of the eggs and hatchlings as well as their sex (Janzen and Paukstis 1991). During incubation, sea turtle embryos grow from a few cells at oviposition to a self-sufficient organism at hatching some 50-80 days later (Ackerman 1997). After hatching, the young turtles dig up through the sand and emerge typically en masse at the surface 1-7 nights later, with a number of stragglers following over the next few nights (Christens 1990). This contrasts with the frequently observed pattern of hatching asynchrony in birds. It has been suggested that the cause of mass emergence in turtles is that eggs within a clutch are fertilised

  15. 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

  16. 78 FR 44878 - Turtles Intrastate and Interstate Requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-07-25

    .... FDA-2013-N-0639] Turtles Intrastate and Interstate Requirements AGENCY: Food and Drug Administration... turtle eggs and live turtles with a carapace length of less than 4 inches to remove procedures for... 21 CFR 1240.62 on May 23, 1975 (40 FR 22543), that ban the sale and distribution of viable turtle...

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Effects of low dose gamma- and UV-radiation on sea urchin eggs and spermatozoa

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Czihak, G.K.

    1991-01-01

    The paper outlines the results of a study of the effects of low dose gamma-and UV-irradiation on sea urchin eggs and spermatozoa with particular reference to the effects on the stages of the mitotic cycle and individual susceptibility. (UK)

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

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    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.

  7. 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.

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

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    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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. The nature of variations in the radioresistance of sea urchin eggs in the early embryogenesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Konstantinova, M.M.; Tarasenko, A.G.; Nekrasova, I.V.; Dontsova, G.V.

    1975-01-01

    The synchronously developing sea urchin eggs (Strongylocentrotus nudus) have been used for the experiment. Radioprotective efficiency of cysteamine (applied in the concentrations ranging from 1.10 -5 to 5.10 -3 M) has been studied at two stages of mitosis: metaphase and telophase. Cysteamine (5.10 -3 M) has been found to level the variations in radiosensitivity of these phases producing the strongest effect in the radiosensitive phase (telophase) and the slightest effect in the radioresistant phase (metaphase). Determination of the relative protective effectiveness of cysteamine in relation to the original radiosensitivity of a cell, and, hence, to its thiol content, has demonstrated that the higher the radiosensitivity of a cell at the time of the exposure the higher the relative protective efficiency of cysteamine. The data obtained evidence of the idea that thiols play an essential role in the determination of radioresistance of different stages of mitosis of the developing sea urchin eggs

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Behavior of centrosomes during fertilization and cell division in mouse oocytes and in sea urchin eggs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schatten, Heide; Schatten, Gerald; Balczon, Ron; Simerly, Calvin; Mazia, Daniel

    1986-01-01

    The behavior of centrosomes during the stages of fertilization and cell division in mouse oocytes and in sea urchin eggs was monitored in an immunofluorescence microscope, using autoimmune centrosomal antiserum derived from a patient with scleroderma to label the centrosomal material. These observations showed that centrosomes reproduce during the interphase and aggregate and separate during cell mitosis. Results supported the hypothesis of Mazia (1984), who proposed that centrosomes are 'flexible bodies'. It was also found that, while the sea urchin centrosomes are paternally inherited as was initially proposed by Bovery (1904), the mouse centrosomes are of maternal origin.

  18. To Swim or Not to Swim: Potential Transmission of Balaenophilus manatorum (Copepoda: Harpacticoida in Marine Turtles.

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    Francesc Domènech

    Full Text Available Species of Balaenophilus are the only harpacticoid copepods that exhibit a widespread, obligate association with vertebrates, i.e., B. unisetus with whales and B. manatorum with marine turtles and manatees. In the western Mediterranean, juveniles of the loggerhead sea turtle, Caretta caretta are the only available hosts for B. manatorum, which has been found occurring at high prevalence (>80% on them. A key question is how these epibionts are transmitted from host to host. We investigated this issue based on experiments with live specimens of B. manatorum that were cultured with turtle skin. Specimens were obtained from head-started hatchlings of C. caretta from the western Mediterranean. Hatched nauplii crawled only on rough substrates and lacked the ability to swim. Only copepodites IV and V, and adults, were able to perform directional swimming. Legs 2, 3 and 4 played a major role in swimming and were only well-developed in these stages. Nauplii reared in wells with turtle skin readily fed on this item. Late copepodites and adults also fed on turtle skin but did not consume other potential food items such as fish skin, baleen plates or planktonic algae. Evidences suggest that the transmission of B. manatorum should rely on hosts' bodily contacts and/or swimming of late developmental stages between spatially close hosts. The possibility of long-ranged dispersal is unlikely for two reasons. First, all developmental stages seem to depend on turtle skin as a food resource. Second, the average clutch size of ovigerous females was small (< 70 eggs for free-living phases to successfully contact turtles that occur at very low densities (< 0.6 turtles·km-2 in the western Mediterranean. The high prevalence of B. manatorum in loggerhead turtles in this area raises the question whether these turtles have contacts, or tend to closely aggregate, more than is currently believed.

  19. Variation in sensitivity to #betta#-ray-induced chromosomal aberrations during the mitotic cycle of the sea urchin egg

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ejima, Y.; Nakamura, I.; Shiroya, T.

    1982-01-01

    Sea urchin eggs were irradiated with 137 Cs #betta# rays at various stages of the mitotic cycle, and chromosomal aberrations at the first postirradiation mitosis and embryonic abnormalities at later developmental stages were examined. The radiosensitivity of the eggs to both endpoints varied in parallel with the mitotic stage at the time of irradiation, suggesting a possible relationship between chromosomal damage and embryonic abnormalities

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

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    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

  1. rab3 mediates cortical granule exocytosis in the sea urchin egg.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conner, S; Wessel, G M

    1998-11-15

    Egg activation at fertilization in the sea urchin results in the exocytosis of approximately 15,000 cortical granules that are docked at the plasma membrane. Previously, we reported that several integral membrane proteins modeled in the SNARE hypothesis, synaptotagmin, VAMP, and syntaxin, in addition to a small GTPase of the ras superfamily, rab3, were present on cortical granules (Conner, S., Leaf, D., and Wessel, G., Mol. Reprod. Dev. 48, 1-13, 1997). Here we report that rab3 is associated with cortical granules throughout oogenesis, during cortical granule translocation, and while docked at the egg plasma membrane. Following cortical granule exocytosis, however, rab3 reassociates with a different population of vesicles, at least some of which are of endocytic origin. Because of its selective association with cortical granules in eggs and oocytes, we hypothesize that rab3 functions in cortical granule exocytosis. To test this hypothesis, we used a strategy of interfering with rab3 function by peptide competition with its effector domain, a conserved region within specific rab types. We first identified the effector domain sequence in Lytechinus variegatus eggs and find the sequence 94% identical to the effector domain of rab3 in Stronglocentrotus purpuratus. Then, with synthetic peptides to different regions of the rab3 protein, we find that cortical granule exocytosis is inhibited in eggs injected with effector domain peptides, but not with peptides from the hypervariable region or with a scrambled effector peptide. Additionally, effector-peptide-injected eggs injected with IP3 are blocked in their ability to exocytose cortical granules, suggesting that the inhibition is directly on the membrane fusion event and not the result of interference with the signal transduction mechanism leading to calcium release. We interpret these results to mean that rab3 functions in the regulation of cortical granule exocytosis following vesicle docking. Copyright 1998 Academic

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

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    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.

  3. 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

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

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    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.

  5. Maternal transfer of trace elements in leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) of French Guiana

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guirlet, Elodie; Das, Krishna; Girondot, Marc

    2008-01-01

    In sea turtles, parental investment is limited to the nutrients and energy invested in eggs that will support embryonic development. Leatherback females have the largest clutches with the biggest eggs of the sea turtles and the highest reproductive output in reptiles. The migration between foraging sites and nesting beaches also represents high energy expenditure. The toxicokinetic of pollutants in the tissues is thus expected to vary during those periods but there is a lack of information in reptiles. Concentrations of essential (Copper, Zinc, Selenium) and non-essentials elements (Cadmium, Lead, Mercury) were determined in blood (n = 78) and eggs (n = 76) of 46 free-ranging leatherback females collected in French Guiana. Maternal transfer to eggs and relationships between blood and eggs concentrations during the nesting season were investigated. All trace elements were detectable in both tissues. Levels of toxic metals were lower than essential elements likely due to the high pelagic nature of leatherbacks that seems to limit exposure to toxic elements. Significant relationships between blood and egg concentrations were observed for Se and Cd. Se could have an important role in embryonic development of leatherback turtles and Cd transfer could be linked to similar carrier proteins as Se. Finally, as multiple clutches were sampled from each female, trends in trace elements were investigated along the nesting season. No change was observed in eggs but changes were recorded in blood concentrations of Cu. Cu level decreased while blood Pb levels increased through the nesting season. The high demand on the body during the breeding season seems to affect blood Cu concentrations. Calcium requirement for egg production with concomitant Pb mobilization could explain the increase in blood Pb concentrations along the nesting season

  6. Maternal transfer of trace elements in leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) of French Guiana

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guirlet, Elodie [Laboratoire d' Ecologie, Systematique et Evolution, Batiment 362, Universite Paris Sud, 91405 Orsay Cedex (France)], E-mail: elodie.guirlet@u-psud.fr; Das, Krishna [Centre de recherche MARE, Laboratoire d' Oceanologie, Universite de Liege, B6, B-4000 Liege (Belgium)], E-mail: krishna.das@ulg.ac.be; Girondot, Marc [Laboratoire d' Ecologie, Systematique et Evolution, Batiment 362, Universite Paris Sud, 91405 Orsay Cedex (France); Departement Evolution et Systematique, Museum National d' Histoire Naturelle de Paris, 25 rue Cuvier, 75005 Paris (France)], E-mail: marc.girondot@u-psud.fr

    2008-07-30

    In sea turtles, parental investment is limited to the nutrients and energy invested in eggs that will support embryonic development. Leatherback females have the largest clutches with the biggest eggs of the sea turtles and the highest reproductive output in reptiles. The migration between foraging sites and nesting beaches also represents high energy expenditure. The toxicokinetic of pollutants in the tissues is thus expected to vary during those periods but there is a lack of information in reptiles. Concentrations of essential (Copper, Zinc, Selenium) and non-essentials elements (Cadmium, Lead, Mercury) were determined in blood (n = 78) and eggs (n = 76) of 46 free-ranging leatherback females collected in French Guiana. Maternal transfer to eggs and relationships between blood and eggs concentrations during the nesting season were investigated. All trace elements were detectable in both tissues. Levels of toxic metals were lower than essential elements likely due to the high pelagic nature of leatherbacks that seems to limit exposure to toxic elements. Significant relationships between blood and egg concentrations were observed for Se and Cd. Se could have an important role in embryonic development of leatherback turtles and Cd transfer could be linked to similar carrier proteins as Se. Finally, as multiple clutches were sampled from each female, trends in trace elements were investigated along the nesting season. No change was observed in eggs but changes were recorded in blood concentrations of Cu. Cu level decreased while blood Pb levels increased through the nesting season. The high demand on the body during the breeding season seems to affect blood Cu concentrations. Calcium requirement for egg production with concomitant Pb mobilization could explain the increase in blood Pb concentrations along the nesting season.

  7. A marker of animal-vegetal polarity in the egg of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus. The pigment band.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sardet, C; Chang, P

    1985-09-01

    We have examined the subequatorial accumulation of pigment granules (the so-called 'pigment band') in the egg of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus, which constitutes an unambiguous marker of animal-vegetal polarity. Most of the reddish pigment granules are situated at the periphery of the egg. They exhibit occasional saltatory movements and can aggregate into large patches. Pigment granules are retained as a band in the isolated cortex when the egg surface complex is isolated by shearing eggs attached to polylysine-coated surfaces with calcium-free isotonic solutions. Pigment granules remain as the main vesicular component of fertilized egg cortices or of unfertilized egg cortices perfused with calcium to provoke cortical granule exocytosis. They may be anchored to the isolated cortex through associations with the plasma membrane and with an extensive subsurface network of rough endoplasmic reticulum (rough ER). Pigment granules contain antimonate-precipitable calcium and, in this respect and many others, resemble acidic vesicles recently identified in the cortex of unpigmented sea urchin eggs. We discuss the similarities observed between granules and acidic vesicles in various urchin egg species and their possible functions.

  8. 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.

  9. Nesting ecology of the olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) (Cheloniidae) at el Valle Beach, northern pacific, Colombia; Ecologia de anidacion de la tortuga golfina (Lepidochelys olivacea) (Cheloniidae) en la Playa El Valle, pacifico norte, Colombia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barrientos Munoz, Karla G; Gallego, Cristian Ramirez; Paez, Vivian

    2014-07-01

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Genetic identification of eggs from four species of Ophichthidae and Congridae (Anguilliformes) in the northern East China Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Hae-young; Oh, Jina

    2018-01-01

    We report the first genetic identification of eggs of four species of Anguilliformes caught in the northern East China Sea during August 2016, where leptocephali and adults have been collected. The species were Ophisurus macrorhynchos and Echelus uropterus belonging to the Ophichthidae, and Ariosoma majus and Gnathophis heterognathos belonging to the Congridae. The eggs were identified using three molecular genetic markers (mitochondrial 12S rRNA, 16S rRNA, and cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1), sequences obtained from local adult specimens, and geographical distribution data. All eggs were in the early or middle developmental stages. For all species except A. majus, the eggs were found near the range of small leptocephali in the East China Sea and the southern Korean Peninsula, which indicates these species had spawned along the continental near these areas during the summer. PMID:29621326

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paolo Casale

    2008-09-01

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

  17. The effect of a diet supplemented with sea-buckthorn pomace on the colour and viscosity of the egg yolk

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petr Dvořák

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Sea-buckthorn pomace is a very valuable product which contains not only important nutrients but also high-quality oils. The question addressed in the present study was to what extent the diet containing the sea-buckthorn pomace would affect the viscosity and colour of egg yolk measured in the CIELAB system. The feeding mixture for laying hens was supplemented with 20; 50 and 100 g∙kg-1 of sea-buckthorn pomace. As a result, colour indices of the egg yolk such as L*, a* and b* changed significantly (α = 0.01. The greatest relative enhancement was observed for indicator a* for the red colour. Visually, this corresponds to the more intense orange colour of the egg yolk. The addition of sea-buckthorn pomace to the diet for laying hens resulted in a larger increase in indicator ∆E* (CIE total colour difference compared to the control group. Colour indicator hab is the only indicator whose value oscillated around that determined for the control group. The addition of sea-buckthorn pomace to the diet resulted in an increase in colour indices a*, b* and C*ab. Indicator ∆E* also increased significantly with an increasing amount of sea-buckthorn pomace in a diet. Egg yolks were darker, had more intense red and yellow colours, and showed lower viscosity which are all features preferred by the consumer.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salih H. Durmus

    2011-07-01

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

  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. 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.

  2. 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.

  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; 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. Toxicity to sea urchin egg development of the quinone fraction obtained from Auxemma oncocalyx

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Costa-Lotufo L.V.

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available Auxemma oncocalyx Taub. belongs to the Boraginaceae family and is native to the Brazilian northeast where it is known as "pau-branco". We investigated the ability of the water soluble fraction isolated from the heartwood of A. oncocalyx to inhibit sea urchin egg development. This fraction contains about 80% oncocalyxone A (quinone fraction, a compound known to possess strong cytotoxic and antitumor activities. In fact, the quinone fraction inhibited cleavage in a dose-dependent manner [IC50 of 18.4 (12.4-27.2 µg/ml, N = 6], and destroyed the embryos in the blastula stage [IC50 of 16.2 (13.7-19.2 µg/ml, N = 6]. We suggest that this activity is due to the presence of oncocalyxone A. In fact, these quinones present in A. oncocalyx extract have strong toxicity related to their antimitotic activity.

  7. EFFECTS OF TRIBUTYLTIN ON CA2+ HOMEOSTASIS AND MECHANISMS CONTROLLING CELL CYCLING IN SEA URCHIN EGGS (R823881)

    Science.gov (United States)

    AbstractTributyltin (TBT) is one of the widespread organotins in the marine environment: we have investigated its cellular targets in the eggs of the marine invertebrate sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus. TBT was used at concentrations ranging from 10-9

  8. Shortlist Master plan Wind Monitoring fish eggs and larvae in the southern North Sea: final report Part A en B

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Damme, van C.J.G.; Hoek, R.; Beare, D.J.; Bolle, L.J.; Bakker, C.; Barneveld, van E.; Lohman, M.; Os-Koomen, van E.; Nijssen, P.J.M.; Pennock, I.; Tribuhl, S.V.

    2011-01-01

    This report presents the results of twelve monthly ichthyoplankton surveys carried out from April 2010 until March 2011 in the southern North Sea. The aim of this study was to collect data on the temporal and spatial distribution of fish eggs and larvae on the Dutch Continental Shelf (NCP). However,

  9. Modelling retention and dispersion mechanisms of bluefin tuna eggs and larvae in the northwest Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mariani, Patrizio; MacKenzie, Brian R.; Iudicone, Daniele; Bozec, Alexandra

    2010-07-01

    Knowledge of early life history of most fish species in the Mediterranean Sea is sparse and processes affecting their recruitment are poorly understood. This is particularly true for bluefin tuna, Thunnus thynnus, even though this species is one of the world’s most valued fish species. Here we develop, apply and validate an individually based coupled biological-physical oceanographic model of fish early life history in the Mediterranean Sea. We first validate the general structure of the coupled model with a 12-day Lagrangian drift study of anchovy ( Engraulis encrasicolus) larvae in the Catalan Sea. The model reproduced the drift and growth of anchovy larvae as they drifted along the Catalan coast and yielded similar patterns as those observed in the field. We then applied the model to investigate transport and retention processes affecting the spatial distribution of bluefin tuna eggs and larvae during 1999-2003, and we compared modelled distributions with available field data collected in 2001 and 2003. Modelled and field distributions generally coincided and were patchy at mesoscales (10s-100s km); larvae were most abundant in eddies and along frontal zones. We also identified probable locations of spawning bluefin tuna using hydrographic backtracking procedures; these locations were situated in a major salinity frontal zone and coincided with distributions of an electronically tagged bluefin tuna and commercial bluefin tuna fishing vessels. Moreover, we hypothesized that mesoscale processes are responsible for the aggregation and dispersion mechanisms in the area and showed that these processes were significantly correlated to atmospheric forcing processes over the NW Mediterranean Sea. Interannual variations in average summer air temperature can reduce the intensity of ocean mesoscale processes in the Balearic area and thus potentially affect bluefin tuna larvae. These modelling approaches can increase understanding of bluefin tuna recruitment processes and

  10. Organochlorine pesticide, polychlorinated biphenyl, trace element and metal residues in bird eggs from Salton Sea, California, 2004

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henny, Charles J.; Anderson, T.W.; Crayon, J.J.

    2008-01-01

    The Salton Sea is a highly eutrophic, hypersaline terminal lake that receives inflows primarily from agricultural drainages in the Imperial and Coachella valleys. Impending reductions in water inflow at Salton Sea may concentrate existing contaminants which have been a concern for many years, and result in higher exposure to birds. Thus, waterbird eggs were collected and analyzed in 2004 and compared with residue concentrations from earlier years; these data provide a base for future comparisons. Eggs from four waterbird species (black-crowned night-heron [Nycticorax nycticorax], great egret [Ardea alba], black-necked stilt [Himantopus mexicanus], and American avocet [Recurvirostra Americana]) were collected. Eggs were analyzed for organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), metals, and trace elements, with current results compared to those reported for eggs collected from the same species and others during 1985a??1993. The two contaminants of primary concern were p,pa??-DDE (DDE) and selenium. DDE concentrations in night-heron and great egret eggs collected from the northwest corner of Salton Sea (Whitewater River delta) decreased 91 and 95%, respectively, by 2004, with a concomitant increase in eggshell thickness for both species. Decreases in bird egg DDE levels paralleled those in tissues of tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus ?? O. urolepis), an important prey species for herons and egrets. Despite most nests of night-herons and great egrets failing in 2004 due to predation, predicted reproductive effects based on DDE concentrations in eggs were low or negligible for these species. The 2004 DDE findings were in dramatic contrast to those in the past decade, and included an 81% decrease in black-necked stilt eggs, although concentrations were lower historically than those reported in night-herons and egrets. Selenium concentrations in black-necked stilt eggs from the southeast corner of Salton Sea (Davis Road) were similar in 1993 and 2004, with 4

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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,...

  15. 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…

  16. 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...

  17. Relationships among Egg Size, Composition, and Energy: A Comparative Study of Geminate Sea Urchins

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAlister, Justin S.; Moran, Amy L.

    2012-01-01

    Egg size is one of the fundamental parameters in the life histories of marine organisms. However, few studies have examined the relationships among egg size, composition, and energetic content in a phylogenetically controlled context. We investigated the associations among egg size, composition, and energy using a comparative system, geminate species formed by the closure of the Central American Seaway. We examined western Atlantic (WA) and eastern Pacific (EP) species in three echinoid genera, Echinometra, Eucidaris, and Diadema. In the genus with the largest difference in egg size between geminates (Echinometra), the eggs of WA species were larger, lipid rich and protein poor compared to the smaller eggs of their EP geminate. In addition, the larger WA eggs had significantly greater total egg energy and summed biochemical constituents yet significantly lower egg energy density (energy-per-unit-volume). However, the genera with smaller (Eucidaris) or no (Diadema) differences in egg size were not significantly different in summed biochemical constituents, total egg energy, or energy density. Theoretical models generally assume a strong tradeoff between egg size and fecundity that limits energetic investment and constrains life history evolution. We show that even among closely-related taxa, large eggs cannot be assumed to be scaled-up small eggs either in terms of energy or composition. Although our data comes exclusively from echinoid echinoderms, this pattern may be generalizable to other marine invertebrate taxa. Because egg composition and egg size do not necessarily evolve in lockstep, selective factors such as sperm limitation could act on egg volume without necessarily affecting maternal or larval energetics. PMID:22911821

  18. Expression of multiple Src family kinases in sea urchin eggs and their function in Ca2+ release at fertilization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Townley, Ian K; Schuyler, Erin; Parker-Gür, Michelle; Foltz, Kathy R

    2009-03-15

    Egg activation at fertilization in deuterostomes requires a rise in intracellular Ca(2+), which is released from the egg's endoplasmic reticulum. In sea urchins, a Src Family Kinase (SpSFK1) is necessary for the PLCgamma-mediated signaling event that initiates this Ca(2+) release (Giusti, A.F., O'Neill, F.J., Yamasu, K., Foltz, K.R. and Jaffe, L.A., 2003. Function of a sea urchin egg Src family kinase in initiating Ca2+ release at fertilization. Dev. Biol. 256, 367-378.). Annotation of the Strongylocentrotus purpuratus genome sequence led to the identification of additional, predicted SFKs (Bradham, C.A., Foltz, D.R., Beane, W.S., Amone, M.I., Rizzo, F., Coffman, J.A., Mushegian, A., Goel, M., Morales, J., Geneviere, A.M., Lapraz, F., Robertson, A.J., Kelkar, H., Loza-Coll, M., Townley, I.K., Raisch, M., Roux, M.M., Lepage, T., Gache, C., McClay, D.R., Manning, G., 2006. The sea urchin kinome: a first look. Dev. Biol. 300, 180-193.; Roux, M.M., Townley, I.K., Raisch, M., Reade, A., Bradham, C., Humphreys, G., Gunaratne, H.J., Killian, C.E., Moy, G., Su, Y.H., Ettensohn, C.A., Wilt, F., Vacquier, V.D., Burke, R.D., Wessel, G. and Foltz, K.R., 2006. A functional genomic and proteomic perspective of sea urchin calcium signaling and egg activation. Dev. Biol. 300, 416-433.). Here, we describe the cloning and characterization of these 4 additional SFKs and test their function during the initial Ca(2+) release at fertilization using the dominant-interfering microinjection method coupled with Ca(2+) recording. While two of the new SFKs (SpFrk and SpSFK3) are necessary for Ca(2+) release, SpSFK5 appears dispensable for early egg to embryo transition events. Interestingly, SpSFK7 may be involved in preventing precocious release of Ca(2+). Binding studies indicate that only SpSFK1 is capable of direct interaction with PLCgamma. Immunolocalization studies suggest that one or more SpSFK and PLCgamma are localized to the egg cortex and at the site of sperm-egg interaction

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. Antimitotic action of extracts of Petiveria alliacea on sea urchin egg development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malpezzi, E L; Davino, S C; Costa, L V; Freitas, J C; Giesbrecht, A M; Roque, N F

    1994-03-01

    The hydroethanol extract of the roots of Petiveria alliacea L. (Phytolaccaceae) has been investigated previously as an antitumor agent against mouse Ehrlich ascites. The extract and its methanol, butanol and ether fractions exhibited an antimitotic effect on sea urchin egg development. The aqueous fraction did not produce inhibition of cell cleavage. At the first cleavage the inhibition, at the lowest concentration (10 micrograms/ml), produced by the ether fraction was 42%, whereas the inhibition produced by the total extract and by the other fractions was only 5 to 10% showing that the ether fraction was the most active. Even at higher concentrations the butanol and methanol fractions inhibit the cleavage about 30%. At the first cleavage, the ED50 of the hydroethanol extract and of the ether fraction were 45.02 and 12.40 micrograms/ml, respectively. Furthermore, in the second cleavage, the hydroethanol extract was about twice as potent as the methanol or butanol fractions (ED50 of 22.40, 44.80 and 54.10 micrograms/ml, respectively).

  3. 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

  4. 78 FR 66841 - Turtles Intrastate and Interstate Requirements; Confirmation of Effective Date

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-07

    ... DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 1240 [Docket No. FDA-2013-N-0639] Turtles Intrastate and Interstate Requirements; Confirmation of Effective Date AGENCY... turtle eggs and live turtles with a carapace length of less than 4 inches to remove procedures for...

  5. Calcium uptake and release by isolated cortices and microsomes from the unfertilized egg of the sea urchin strongylocentrotus droebachiensis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oberdorf, J.A.

    1986-01-01

    Two subcellular fractions of the sea urchin egg were studied for their potential role in regulating the transient rise in cytosolic calcium that accompanies fertilization. Isolated cortices from unfertilized sea urchin eggs sequester calcium in an ATP dependent manner when incubated in a medium containing free calcium levels characteristic of the resting cell. This ATP dependent calcium uptake activity, measured in the presence of 5mM Na Azide to prevent mitochondrial accumulation, was increased by oxalate, and was blocked by 150 μM quercetin and 50 μM vanadate. Cortices preloaded with 45 Ca in the presence of ATP dramatically increased their rate of calcium efflux upon the addition of (1) the calcium ionophore A23187 (10 μM), (2) trifluoperazine (200 μM), (3) concentrations of free calcium that activated cortical granule exocytosis, and (4) the calcium mobilizing agent inositol trisphosphate (IP3). This pool of calcium is most likely sequestered in the portion of the egg's endoplasmic reticulum (ER) that remains associated with the cortical region during its isolation. They have developed a method for obtaining a high yield of purified microsomal vesicles from whole eggs. This preparation also demonstrates ATP dependent calcium sequestering activity which increases in the presence of oxalate and has similar sensitivities to calcium transport inhibitors, however the isolated microsomal vesicles did not show any detectable release of calcium when exposed to IP3. Procedures originally developed for purifying calsequestrin were used to partially purify a 58,000 MW protein from the egg's microsomal vesicles

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. 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...

  9. 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

  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.

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. Anti-mitotic activity towards sea urchin eggs of dichloromethane fraction obtained from Allamanda schottii Pohl (Apocynaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louisa M. A. Sousa

    Full Text Available Allamanda (Apocynaceae is a genus of climbing shrubs known for producing compounds with a range of biological activities. Previous works have shown the anti-proliferative effect of the ethanolic extract of Allamanda schottii on leukemic cells. The present work was conducted to evaluate the effects of dichloromethane fraction, obtained from Allamanda schottii, on sea urchin Echinometra lucunter eggs, as a multicellular model for evaluating anti-tumor activity. Our results show an inhibition of sea urchin development in a dose-dependent manner in the presence of dichloromethane fraction. The IC50 values for first and third cleavage and blastulae stage were 103.7 µg/mL, 33.1 µg/mL and 10.2 µg/mL, respectively. These results also demonstrate the cumulative effect of this fraction on sea urchin embryos. In the present work, the expressive anti-mitotic activity of dichloromethane fraction towards sea urchin eggs, a multicellular model, reinforces the anti-tumor potential of the Allamanda schotti.

  13. 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…

  14. Localized accumulation of cytosolic calcium near the fused sperm is associated with the calcium- and voltage-dependent block of sperm entry in the sea urchin egg.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivonnet, Pedro I; Mohri, Tatsuma; McCulloh, David H

    2017-10-01

    Interaction of the sperm and egg depolarizes the egg membrane, allowing the sperm to enter; however, if the egg membrane is not allowed to depolarize from its resting potential (e.g., by voltage-clamp), the sperm will not enter. Previous studies demonstrated that sperm entry into sea urchin eggs that are voltage-clamped at negative membrane potentials is regulated both by the egg's membrane potential and a voltage-dependent influx of calcium into the egg. In these cases, electrical or cytoplasmic continuity (sperm-egg membrane fusion) occurs at negative membrane potentials, but subsequent loss of cytoplasmic continuity results in failure of sperm entry (unfusion). The work presented herein examined where, in relation to the sperm, and when, in relation to the sperm-induced electrophysiological events, the egg's calcium influx occurs, and how these events relate to successful or failed sperm entry. When sperm entered the egg, elevation of intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca 2+ ] i ) began near the fused sperm on average 5.9 s after sperm-egg membrane fusion. Conversely, when sperm failed to enter the egg, [Ca 2+ ] i elevated near the site of sperm-egg fusion on average 0.7 s after sperm-egg membrane fusion, which is significantly earlier than in eggs for which sperm entered. Therefore, the accumulation of calcium near the site of sperm-egg fusion is spatially and temporally consistent with the mechanism that may be responsible for loss of cytoplasmic continuity and failure of sperm entry. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Turtle Hearing Capability Based on ABR Signal assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  16. 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...

  17. Sandeel ( Ammodytes marinus ) larval transport patterns in the North Sea from an individual-based hydrodynamic egg and larval model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Asbjørn; Jensen, Henrik; Mosegaard, Henrik

    2008-01-01

    We have calculated a time series of larval transport indices for the central and southern North Sea covering 1970-2004, using a combined three-dimensional hydrodynamic and individual-based modelling framework for studying sandeel (Ammodytes marinus) eggs, larval transport, and growth. The egg phase...... is modelled by a stochastic, nonlinear degree-day model describing the extended hatch period. The larval growth model is parameterized by individually back-tracking the local physical environment of larval survivors from their catch location and catch time. Using a detailed map of sandeel habitats...... analyzed, and we introduce novel a scheme to quantify direct and indirect connectivity on equal footings in terms of an interbank transit time scale....

  18. 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

  19. Temporal correlations between sensitivity to radiation-induced mitotic delay and the S phase of the sea urchin egg

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rustad, R.C.; Viswanathan, G.; Antonellis, B.C.

    1979-01-01

    Separate samples of eggs from the sea urchin Arbacia punctulata were gamma irradiated (4kR) at different times after fertilisation and division delay measured. The results demonstrated a characteristic post-fertilisation pattern of a rise in sensitivity to radiation-induced mitotic delay, followed by a biphasic decrease in sensitivity to a refractory period. Measurements of the cumulative incorporation of 3 H-TdR showed that the first period of decreasing radiation sensitivity was closely associated with the bulk synthesis of DNA (S phase). (U.K.)

  20. Studies on c-AMP contents in sea urchin eggs fertilized with normal and x-irradiated sperm

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kimura, Hiroshi

    1975-01-01

    Intracellular levels of cyclic 3', 5'-adenosine monophosphate (c-AMP) seemed to remain constant through the first cleavage cycle of sea urchin eggs. X-irradiation to the sperm, which induced the first cleavage delay, did not change this level. Although it was shown in the previous paper that X-ray-induced cleavage delay was reduced by caffeine but not by aminophyline, both caffeine and aminophyline caused an increase in c-AMP levels. These results indicated the possibility that c-AMP does not mediate this caffeine effect on cleavage delay. (auth.)

  1. Radioprotective efficacy of serotonin and its analogues in the experiments with sea urchin eggs (Strongylocentrotus nudus)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Parkhomenko, I.M.; Graevskaya, E.Eh.; Tarasenko, A.G.; Kudryashov, Yu.B.

    1975-01-01

    Serotonin and mexamine, added to cells before or after irradiation, were found to increase the survival rate of S. nudus eggs. Their analogues (6-oxytryptamine, 5-sulphamidotryptamine-2-carboxylic acid), which do not have a protective effect on mammals, increased the survival rate of irradiated eggs when used before and after irradiation. Histamine also had a protective action. The possible mechanism underlying the action of the amines used is discussed. (V.A.P.)

  2. 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

    Full Text Available Se presenta evidencia del aumento de capturas incidentales de tortugas marinas en el norte del Perú, durante el fenómeno El Niño Oscilación del Sur (ENOS 1997-1998. El área de estudio se ubica frente a Lambayeque, entre 6°20'S y 7°10'S, y desde la costa hasta 35 mn mar afuera. Se analizaron y describieron los aparejos de enmalle por ser los que más interactuaban con estas tortugas, así como las características de las embarcaciones. Se registraron las tortugas capturadas por la flota artesanal entre enero 1996 y diciembre 1998; se identificó las especies capturadas y se analizó la captura por unidad de esfuerzo (CPUE; la información se correlacionó con la temperatura superficial del mar (TSM. Se analizó un total de 265 operaciones de pesca, capturándose un total de 383 tortugas, correspondiendo 80,4% a la tortuga pico de loro (Lepidochelys olivacea, 19,3% a la tortuga verde (Chelonia mydas y 0.2% a la tortuga carey (Eretmochelys imbricata. Se encontró una correlación altamente significativa entre las capturas de tortugas marinas y la TSM con un intervalo de confianza del 99% (Pearson; r = 0,787; σ = 0,000; N = 36. Se recomienda reforzar la colaboración entre entidades públicas y privadas para implementar medidas de manejo adecuadas para la conservación de estas especies amenazadas, sobre todo ante la eventualidad de un fenómeno ENOS.The main purpose of this work is to present evidence of sea turtles by-catch increase in northern Peru during the 1997-1998 El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO process. The study area is located off Lambayeque, between 6°20'S and 7°10'S, and from the coastline up to 35 nm offshore. The gillnet artisanal fishery was analyzed and described, since this was the fishing gear which most interact with sea turtles, the boat characteristics were evaluated as well. Sea turtle captures and species identification were registered from January 1996 until December 1998. The catch per unit effort (CPUE was

  3. 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.

  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. Deep-sea octopus (Graneledone boreopacifica) conducts the longest-known egg-brooding period of any animal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robison, Bruce; Seibel, Brad; Drazen, Jeffrey

    2014-01-01

    Octopuses typically have a single reproductive period and then they die (semelparity). Once a clutch of fertilized eggs has been produced, the female protects and tends them until they hatch. In most shallow-water species this period of parental care can last from 1 to 3 months, but very little is known about the brooding of deep-living species. In the cold, dark waters of the deep ocean, metabolic processes are often slower than their counterparts at shallower depths. Extrapolations from data on shallow-water octopus species suggest that lower temperatures would prolong embryonic development periods. Likewise, laboratory studies have linked lower temperatures to longer brooding periods in cephalopods, but direct evidence has not been available. We found an opportunity to directly measure the brooding period of the deep-sea octopus Graneledone boreopacifica, in its natural habitat. At 53 months, it is by far the longest egg-brooding period ever reported for any animal species. These surprising results emphasize the selective value of prolonged embryonic development in order to produce competitive hatchlings. They also extend the known boundaries of physiological adaptations for life in the deep sea.

  6. The influence of different salinity conditions on egg buoyancy and development and yolk sac larval survival and morphometric traits of Baltic Sea sprat (Sprattus sprattus balticus Schneider

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph Petereit

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available The small pelagic sprat (Sprattus sprattus is a key ecologic player in the Baltic Sea. However, there is long-term variability in recruitment which is thought to be influenced by fluctuations in abiotic and biotic conditions experienced during the early life stages. This study concentrates on the influence of different ambient salinities on sprat egg development, egg buoyancy and survival as well as early yolk sac larval morphometric traits. Egg buoyancy significantly decreased with increasing salinity experienced during fertilization and/or incubation experiments. Field egg buoyancy measurements in 2007 and 2008 exhibited annual and seasonal differences in specific gravity, potentially associated with changes in adult sprat vertical distribution. Neither egg development time nor the duration of the yolk sac phase differed among salinity treatments. At eye pigmentation, larval standard length exhibited high variance among individuals but did not differ among treatments. The largest ecological impact of salinity experienced during spawning was the modification the buoyancy of eggs and yolk sac larvae, which determines their vertical habitat in the Baltic Sea. There are strong thermo- and oxyclines in the Baltic Sea, and thus salinity can indirectly impact the survival of these early life stages by modifying the ambient temperatures and oxygen conditions experienced.

  7. Hatching success in brackish water of Perca fluviatilis eggs obtained from the western Baltic Sea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Emil Aputsiaq Flindt; Skovrind, Mikkel; Olsen, Morten Tange

    2016-01-01

    tolerance of the eggs in vivo, and the salinities at which some populations spawn in situ (7 vs. 9.6 ‰). In the present study, hatching success of perch was determined in vivo for a Danish, western Baltic, brackish water population at salinities of 4, 7, 10 and 12 ‰. Furthermore, in order to place...... the population genetically among other European perch populations, individual egg samples were sequenced for a 390 base pair fragment of the mtDNA Dloop region. Hatching occurred at all four salinities, with no statistical differences among treatments. Successful hatching at 12 ‰ is well above salinities of 7......‰, which has previously been the highest reported from in vivo studies. This discrepancy is likely to be a result of methodological differences (e.g. different temperature) or perhaps interspecific variability in egg hatching abilities among perch populations. The perch from the present study consisted...

  8. 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

  9. Total lipid in the broodstock diet did not affect fatty acid composition and quality of eggs of sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Mª Navas

    2001-03-01

    Full Text Available To determine whether an increase in the quantity of lipids ingested by sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax broodstock could improve egg quality, three year-old sea bass were fed three different diets: a natural diet (Control group, and two artificial diets containing 10% or 17% of total lipids. In two consecutive reproductive seasons, the spawning results, the lipid classes and the fatty acid composition of the eggs were studied. No differences in the absolute content of lipids or in the percentage of different lipid classes were observed between the eggs from the three groups. Both experimental groups fed with the artificial diets produced eggs of poor quality, with low percentages of buoyancy and hatching. Those observed in the eggs from the Control Group were significantly higher (p> 0.01 than those of the experimental groups. The higher hatching rate of the eggs from the Control Group was associated with higher DHA:EPA and AA:EPA ratios. The data obtained showed that the fatty acid composition of the eggs was affected by the fatty acid composition of the diets but not by the total quantity of lipids administered to the broodstock.

  10. Trophic Interactions in the Baltic Sea: Predation on cod eggs by clupeids

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Neumann, Viola

    datasets on stomach contents of sprat and herring, ambient hydrographic conditions, ichthyoplankton distribution and abundance as well as predator distribution and abundance from hydroacoustic data for the 1990s and 2004-2008. Changes in diet composition of sprat and herring were investigated, including....... As a next step, predation pressure was quantified separately for egg development stages, both for cod and sprat (Paper III). Furthermore, ichthyoplankton prey selection by clupeids was investigated, with specific focus of predation on different fish egg species and development stages, to improve our...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. North Sea mackerel egg survey: dutch participation may and June 2011

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Damme, van C.J.G.

    2012-01-01

    Every three years an international North Sea survey is carried out by two European institutes, Institute for Marine Research (IMR) from Norway and Institute for Marine Resources and Ecosystem Studies (IMARES) from the Netherlands, to monitor the spatial and seasonal distribution of North Sea

  14. 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.

  15. Comparative performances of eggs and embryos of sea urchin (Paracentrotus lividus) in toxicity bioassays used for assessment of marine sediment quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khosrovyan, A; Rodríguez-Romero, A; Salamanca, M J; Del Valls, T A; Riba, I; Serrano, F

    2013-05-15

    The potential toxicity of sediments from various ports was assessed by means of two different liquid-phase toxicity bioassays (acute and chronic) with embryos and eggs of sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus. Performances of embryos and eggs of P. lividus in these bioassays were compared for their interchangeable applicability in integrated sediment quality assessment. The obtained endpoints (percentages of normally developed plutei and fertilized eggs) were linked to physical and chemical properties of sediments and demonstrated dependence on sediment contamination. The endpoints in the two bioassays were strongly correlated and generally exhibited similar tendency throughout the samples. Therein, embryos demonstrated higher sensitivity to elutriate exposure, compared to eggs. It was concluded that these tests could be used interchangeably for testing toxicity of marine sediments. Preferential use of any of the bioassays can be determined by the discriminatory capacity of the test or vulnerability consideration of the test subject to the surrounding conditions. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. BIOASSAY-GUIDED FRACTINATION OF ANTIMITOTIC COMPOUND FROM ONGKEA CORTEX (MEZZETTIA PARVIFLORA BECC TOWARDS SEA URCHIN EGGS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muh. Akbar Bahar

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Ongkea cortex, the wood bark of Mezzettia Parviflora Becc, is a traditional medicine originated from Southeastern Sulawesi (Indonesia. It has been empirically known to have antitumor property. In this study, we examined the antiproliferative activity and obtained the antimitotic compound of ongkea cortex. Antimitotic activity was ultimately determined by the inhibition of cleavage-stage of newly fertilized sea urchin (Lytechinus variegatus eggs. A bioassay-guided fractination was performed in order to find the bioactive substance of ongkea cortex. The IC50 values of methanolic extract, ethyl acetate-soluble part of metanolic extract and ethil acetat insoluble part of metanolic extract were      1221.68 µg/mL,  2.69 µg/mL, and 15.15 µg/mL, respectively. Ethyl acetate-soluble part of metanolic extract was further investigated. It was partitionated using vacuum liquid column chromatoghraphy with different solvent system by increasing their polarities. There were three different fractions obtained. Fraction III exerted the highest inhibition activity with IC50 value of 1.33 µg/mL.  It was separated subsequently to result four groups of compounds. III-C group presented the most potent inhibition activity with IC50 value of  0.7147 µg/mL. It was then subjected to preparative TLC and yieldedsix groups of subfractions. III-C-3 subfraction was indicated as the most potent compound with IC50 value of 0.3378 µg/mL. It was ten times weaker compared with antimitotic activity of Vincristine with IC50 of 0.0351 µg/mL. As a conclusian, ongkea cortex might have antimitotic property with the highest rate inhibition activity exhibited by III-C-3 compound. Keywords: ongkea cortex, Mezzettia Parviflora Becc, sea urchin eggs, antimitotic compound, antiproliverative activity

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-15

    Organochlorine pesticides and PCB (POPs) concentrations were determined in the blood and eggs of green and hawksbill turtles. We compared concentrations between species, analyzed the relationship between turtle size and the POPs concentrations and the relationship between the concentrations in the blood of the nesting turtles and their eggs. We expected higher concentrations in the hawksbill turtle because of its higher trophic level, but concentrations were not higher in all the cases. Significant differences were found in δ-HCH blood concentrations. Lindane, heptachlor epoxide and PCB 101 concentrations were significantly higher in the hawksbill eggs. The relationship between the size of the turtles and the POP concentrations in the eggs of the hawksbills showed a negative correlation. No correlation was found between the size of the female and concentrations in the blood. In eggs, only the hawksbill turtles exhibited negative correlation in the concentration of mirex and PCB 44 and size. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Fatal trematodiasis in research turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, C A; Griffith, J W; Tenorio, P; Hytrek, S; Lang, C M

    1998-08-01

    During a 5-year period, 16 freshwater turtles (Trachemys scripta elegans and Chrysemys picta) that were purchased for research purposes died spontaneously. Clinical signs of disease included lethargy, constant swimming, swimming sideways, hemiplegia, and ulcerative lesions on the carapace. At necropsy, subcutaneous edema, hepatic necrosis, pancreatic necrosis, splenic necrosis, and intestinal parasites were identified. Histologically, trematode eggs were seen within the liver, brain, spleen, kidney, myocardium, lung, pancreas, testes, and bladder, and were associated with granulomatous reactions. The size and distribution of the eggs were consistent with Spirorchis sp. infection, although adults could not be found to confirm the species. Spirorchid flukes are 1 to 2 mm long and inhabit the heart and blood vessels where they produce eggs. Spirorchis parvus are capable of invading various tissues, including pancreas and the central nervous system. The pathogenicity of the flukes seems to be related to widespread deposition of the eggs, which may block small blood vessels within the intestines, causing necrosis and bacteremia. Antemortem diagnosis is made by direct examination of fecal smears for eggs. Postmortem diagnosis is accomplished by examination of tissues for adult parasites and microgranulomas associated with the fluke eggs. The parasite requires a snail intermediate host to complete its life cycle. Intramuscular or oral administration of praziquantel is reported to be an effective treatment.

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. Modelling retention and dispersion mechanisms of bluefin tuna eggs and larvae in the Northwest Mediterranean Sea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mariani, Patrizio; MacKenzie, Brian; Iudicone, D.

    2010-01-01

    Knowledge of early life history of most fish species in the Mediterranean Sea is sparse and processes affecting their recruitment are poorly understood. This is particularly true for bluefin tuna, Thunnus thynnus, even though this species is one of the world's most valued fish species. Here we...... develop, apply and validate an individually based coupled biological-physical oceanographic model of fish early life history in the Mediterranean Sea. We first validate the general structure of the coupled model with a 12-day Lagrangian drift study of anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) larvae in the Catalan...... mesoscale processes in the Balearic area and thus potentially affect bluefin tuna larvae. These modelling approaches can increase understanding of bluefin tuna recruitment processes and eventually contribute to management of bluefin tuna fisheries....

  2. Effects of salinity and sea salt type on egg activation, fertilization, buoyancy and early embryology of European eel, Anguilla anguilla

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Sune Riis; Butts, Ian; Munk, Peter

    2016-01-01

    sizes, while the remaining four salt types resulted in smaller eggs. All salt types except NaCl treatments led to high fertilization rates and had no effect on fertilization success as well as egg neutral buoyancies at 7 h post-fertilization. The study points to the importance of considering ionic...... and egg buoyancy. Egg diameter after activation, using natural seawater adjusted to different salinities, varied among female eels, but no consistent pattern emerged. Activation salinities between 30–40 practical salinity unit (psu) produced higher quality eggs and generally larger egg diameters. Chorion...

  3. 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 ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martha L Baena

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

  5. Studies on transplantation of marine turtle nests at Karachi coast (Sindh), Pakistan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Firdous, F.

    2011-01-01

    Egg clutches of two species of marine turtles, namely Chelonia mydas and Lepidochelys olivacea, were collected during 1974 to 1997 and transplanted to the protected enclosures. The emerging hatching were released to the natural environment. The experiment helped to produce an average of 19495.5 hatch lings per year of green and 1174.5 per year of olive ridley turtles. (author)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daphne Wrobel Goldberg

    2011-01-01

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

  7. Isolation and properties of the acid site-specific endonuclease from mature eggs of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus intermedius

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sibirtsev, Yu.T.; Konechnyi, A.A.; Rasskazov, V.A.

    1986-01-01

    An acid site-specific endonuclease has been detected in mature sea urchin eggs and cells of embryos at early stages of differentiation. Fractionation with ammonium sulfate, followed by chromatography on columns with DEAE, phosphocellulose, and hydroxyapatite resulted in an 18,000-fold purification. The molecular weight of the enzyme was determined at ∼ 29,000, the optimum pH 5.5. The activity of the enzyme does not depend on divalent metal ions, EDTA, ATP, and tRNA, but it is modulated to a substantial degree by NaCl. The maximum rate of cleavage of the DNA supercoil (form I) is observed at 100 mM NaCl. Increasing the NaCl concentration to 350 mM only slightly lowers the rate of cleavage of form I, yielding form II, but entirely suppresses the accumulation of form III. Restriction analysis of the products of enzymatic hydrolysis of Co1E1 and pBR322 DNA showed that at the early stages of hydrolysis the enzyme exhibits pronounced specificity for definite sites, the number of which is 12 for Co1 E1 DNA and 8 sites for pBR322 DNA

  8. Temporal trend studies on tetra- and pentabrominated diphenyl ethers and hexabromocyclododecane in guillemot egg from the Baltic Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sellström, Ulla; Bignert, Anders; Kierkegaard, Amelie; Häggberg, Lisbeth; de Wit, Cynthia A; Olsson, Mats; Jansson, Bo

    2003-12-15

    Guillemot eggs from the Baltic Sea, sampled between 1969 and 2001, were analyzed for tetra- and pentabromodiphenyl ethers (2,2',4,4'-tetraBDE (BDE-47), 2,2',4,4',5-pentaBDE (BDE-99), and 2,2',4,4',6-pentaBDE (BDE-100)), and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD). This temporal trend study indicates that the concentrations of the polybrominated diphenyl ether compounds increased from the 1970s to the 1980s, peaking around the mid- to the late-1980s. These peaks are then followed by a rapid decrease in concentrations during the rest of the study period, with the concentrations of the major BDE congener below 100 ng/g lipid weight at the end of the period. This corresponds to less than 10% of its peak values. The concentrations of HBCD show a different pattern over time. After a peak in the middle of the 1970s followed by a decrease, the concentrations increased during the latter part of the 1980s. During the recent 10-yr period no significant change has occurred, and the annual mean concentrations are more or less stable at a higher level as compared to the beginning of the study period.

  9. 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.

  10. Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, polychlorinated dibenzofurans and non-ortho-PCBs in eggs of white-tailed sea eagles collected along the Swedish coast in the Baltic Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nordlöf, Ulrika; Helander, Björn; Zebühr, Yngve; Bignert, Anders; Asplund, Lillemor

    2012-11-01

    Concentrations of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDD), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDF), and dioxin-like non-ortho-PCBs were measured in white-tailed sea eagle (WTSE) eagle eggs collected along the Swedish coast of the Baltic Sea during the period 1992-2004. The eggs represent two different subpopulations with significantly different nestling brood sizes; the Baltic Proper (BP) with an approximately normal nestling brood size (1.62), and the south Bothnian Sea (sBS) with reduced nestling brood size (1.22) combined with a significantly higher rate of dead eggs. The aim was to investigate if this difference in reproductive outcome was linked to differences in exposure to dioxin-like compounds. Three eggs collected in Greenland in 2000 were included in the study to provide a reference sea eagle population outside of the Baltic Sea region. The concentrations of ∑PCDD, ∑PCDF and ∑non-ortho-PCB in the two subpopulations from the Baltic Sea (BS) region ranged from 0.41-4.1, 1.2-5.3 and 180-970 ng/g lipids, respectively, while in the Greenland population the ranges were 0.11-0.16, 0.22-0.33 and 57-83 ng/g lipid, respectively. 2,3,4,7,8-PCDF was the predominant congener in all areas and accounted for on average 31-49% of the total ∑PCDD/F concentrations. The total toxic equivalents (TEQ) in sBS WTSEs were higher (approximately 39 ng TEQ/g lipid) than reported in eggs for many other birds, and the major contributors to the TEQ in the Baltic Sea were the non-ortho-PCBs. A principal component analysis (PCA) showed a difference in congener pattern between the two Baltic regions that was statistically significant (Hotelling's T(2) test). We found no significant differences in the total TEQ between the two populations (sBS-BP) and thus no evidence was found linking the reproductive impairment in WTSE in sBS to the concentrations of PCDD/Fs or non-ortho-PCBs in the eggs. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin, C. S.

    2005-12-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Coinfection with a novel fibropapilloma-associated herpesvirus and a novel Spirorchis sp. in an eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina) in Florida.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yonkers, Sara B; Schneider, Renata; Reavill, Drury R; Archer, Linda L; Childress, April L; Wellehan, James F X

    2015-07-01

    Herpesviruses are important pathogens of chelonians, and include Chelonid herpesvirus 5, which is associated with fibropapillomatosis in sea turtles. Spirorchid trematodes are blood flukes that reside within the cardiovascular system of marine turtles and may be associated with severe disease. An eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina) at the South Florida Wildlife Care Center (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) was presented to the facility with papillomatous growths behind both rear legs. Surgical removal resulted in remission for 8 months; however, lesions recurred, prompting a second surgery and acyclovir therapy. Surgical biopsies revealed subacute superficial inflammation associated with the supporting stroma of the cutaneous papillomas and granulomas within the superficial dermis containing fragmented and collapsed brown trematode eggs surrounded by multinucleated giant cells and epithelioid macrophages. Pan-herpesviral and pan-trematode consensus polymerase chain reaction and sequencing were run on tissue samples. Comparative sequence analysis revealed a novel alphaherpesvirus and a novel trematode in the genus Spirorchis. The animal became anorexic and was euthanized due to poor quality of life. While we do not yet have a complete understanding of the effects of herpesvirus and trematode infections in eastern box turtles, the findings thus presented provide initial insights into the disease relationships among these chelonians. © 2015 The Author(s).

  14. 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.

  15. Centrosome structure and function is altered by chloral hydrate and diazepam during the first reproductive cell cycles in sea urchin eggs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schatten, H.; Chakrabarti, A.

    1998-01-01

    This paper explores the mode of action of the tranquillizers chloral hydrate and diazepam during fertilization and mitosis of the first reproductive cell cycles in sea urchin eggs. Most striking effects of these drugs are the alteration of centrosomal material and the abnormal microtubule configurations during exposure and after recovery from the drugs. This finding is utilized to study the mechanisms of centrosome compaction and decompaction and the dynamic configurational changes of centrosomal material and its interactions with microtubules. When 0.1% chloral hydrate or 350-750 microM diazepam is applied at specific phases during the first cell cycle of sea urchin eggs, expanded centrosomal material compacts at distinct regions and super-compacts into dense spheres while microtubules disassemble. When eggs are treated before pronuclear fusion, centrosomal material aggregates around each of the two pronuclei while microtubules disappear. Upon recovery, atypical asters oftentimes with multiple foci are formed from centrosomal material surrounding the pronuclei which indicates that the drugs have affected centrosomal material and prevent it from functioning normally. Electron microscopy and immunofluorescence studies with antibodies that routinely stain centrosomes in sea urchin eggs (4D2; and Ah-6) depict centrosomal material that is altered when compared to control cells. This centrosomal material is not able to reform normal microtubule patterns upon recovery but will form multiple asters around the two pronuclei. When cells are treated with 0.1% chloral hydrate or 350-750 microM diazepam during mitosis, the bipolar centrosomal material becomes compacted and aggregates into multiple dense spheres while spindle and polar microtubules disassemble. With increased incubation time, the smaller dense centrosome particles aggregate into bigger and fewer spheres. Upon recovery, unusual irregular microtubule configurations are formed from centrosomes that have lost their

  16. Enzymatic methods for the determination of pollution in seawater using salt resistant alkaline phosphatase from eggs of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus intermedius

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Menzorova, Natalie I.; Seitkalieva, Alexandra V.; Rasskazov, Valery A.

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Alkaline phosphatase from eggs of the sea urchin (StAP) proved to be active in seawater. • Activity of StAP is inhibited by very low concentrations of heavy metal. • A test to assess sea and fresh water quality has been developed basing on StAP. • For the first time a salt resistant alkaline phosphatase has been found in eukaryote. - Abstract: A new salt resistant alkaline phosphatase from eggs of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus intermedius (StAP) has been shown to have a unique property to hydrolyze substrate in seawater without loss of enzymatic activity. The enzyme has pH optimum at 8.0–8.5. Model experiments showed various concentrations of copper, zinc, cadmium and lead added to seawater or a standard buffer mixture to inhibit completely the enzyme activity at the concentrations of 15–150 μg/l. StAP sensitivity to the presence in seawater of metals, pesticides, detergents and oil products appears to be considerably less. Samples of seawater taken from aquatic areas of the Troitsy Bay of the Peter the Great Bay, Japan Sea have been shown to inhibit the enzyme activity; the same was shown for the samples of fresh waters. The phosphatase inhibition assay developed proved to be highly sensitive, technically easy-to use allowing to test a great number of samples

  17. Clusters of deep-sea egg-brooding octopods associated with warm fluid discharge: An ill-fated fragment of a larger, discrete population?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartwell, Anne M.; Voight, Janet R.; Wheat, C. Geoffrey

    2018-05-01

    Benthic octopods cluster on bare rock on Dorado Outcrop, a 3000 m deep basalt exposure. The outcrop hosts intermittent discharge of relatively cool (up to 12.3 °C) hydrothermal fluid that carries about half as much oxygen as bottom seawater ( 54 μM vs. 108 μM). We analyzed 231 h of video footage and still images taken by sub-sea vehicles in 2013 and 2014 that documented the clustered octopods, members of the poorly-known genus Muusoctopus. The largest cluster (102 octopods) occurred in a 19 m2 area of fluid discharge, where the basalt was sediment-free; individual octopods were also seen across the outcrop. The clustered octopods appeared to be brooding eggs and a total of 11 egg clutches were confirmed. None of the 186 eggs closely examined showed embryonic development. The intermittent fluid discharge may clear the basalt of sediment and attract gravid octopods which then spawn. However, the increased temperature and limited oxygen of the discharging fluids may threaten the octopods' survival. Octopods in/near areas of discharging fluid had significantly higher estimated respiration rates (3.1-9.8 contractions/min) than did octopods away from discharging fluid (0.8-6.0 contractions/min). Warm fluids likely increase the octopods' metabolic rate and thus their oxygen demand but provide only limited oxygen. The resultant physiological stress is hypothesized to eventually kill eggs near fluid discharge. We hypothesize, because these eggs do not survive, the population is sustained by a larger pool of undetectable females that brood their eggs inside cool conduits of this and perhaps other, unstudied basalt outcrops.

  18. 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)

  19. Protective effects of chicken egg yolk antibody (IgY) against experimental Vibrio splendidus infection in the sea cucumber (Apostichopus japonicus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiaoyu; Jing, Kailin; Wang, Xitao; Li, Yuan; Zhang, Meixia; Li, Zhen; Xu, Le; Wang, Lili; Xu, Yongping

    2016-01-01

    Vibrio splendidus is one of the most harmful pathogens associated with skin ulceration syndrome in the sea cucumber (Apostichopus japonicus) due to its high virulence and frequency of appearance. The objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of chicken egg yolk antibody (IgY) against V. splendidus infection in the sea cucumber. Whole V. splendidus cells were used as an immunogen to immunize 20 White Leghorn hens (25 weeks old). IgY was produced from egg yolks obtained from these immunized hens using water dilution, two-step salt precipitation and ultrafiltration. The purity of the IgY produced was approximately 83%. Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay indicated a high specificity for IgY with a maximum antibody titer of 320,000. The growth of V. splendidus in liquid medium was significantly inhibited by IgY in a dose-dependent manner at concentrations ranging from 1 to 10 mg/mL. The protective effects of IgY were evaluated in sea cucumber by intraperitoneally injecting anti-V. splendidus IgY antibodies (10 mg/mL) or immersing the sea cucumber in aqueous IgY (1 g/L) after an intraperitoneal injection of V. splendidus. Intraperitoneal injection resulted in an 80% survival while immersion resulted in a 75% survival during the 11-day experimental period. The survival rates were significantly higher than the positive control and the non-specific IgY group (P sea cucumber treated with specific IgY than those treated with non-specific IgY. The phagocytosis of coelomocytes for V. splendidus in the presence of specific IgY was significantly (P sea cucumbers against V. splendidus infection. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. 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.

  1. Egg Allergy

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Staying Safe Videos for Educators Search English Español Egg Allergy KidsHealth / For Teens / Egg Allergy What's in ... but it's worth it. What Happens With an Egg Allergy? Eggs aren't bad. But when you' ...

  2. Linking spawning ground extent to environmental factors - patterns and dispersal during the egg phase of four North Sea fishes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Höffle, Hannes; van Damme, Cindy J. G.; Fox, Clive J.

    2018-01-01

    , the location of the spawning grounds appeared stable on the broad scale but centres of egg abundance varied between the surveyed years. Potential effects of long-term climate change and anthropogenic short-term disturbances, such as seismic surveys, on fish reproduction are discussed, pointing out the demand...... surveys in 2004 and 2009, the present study uses Generalized Additive Mixed Models (GAMMs) to delimit these spawning grounds using the distribution of recently spawned eggs, investigates their relationship to specific environmental conditions and examines egg dispersal during their development. Results...

  3. 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

  4. Modelling the beginning and end of a planktonic life stage — the distribution of cod eggs and settled juveniles in the North Sea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Höffle, Hannes; Munk, Peter

    2012-01-01

    distribution of haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus), whiting (Merlangius merlangus), and plaice (Pleuronectes platessa). Findings indicated that in the egg stage, the environment is more important for the probability of occurrence, while abundance is more under the control of spatial dependency. Modelling......The North Sea cod stock is close to the southern limit of the species’ range. Therefore, it might be vulnerable to future climate change. Direct as well as indirect effects of climate forcing may have the greatest effects on early life stages. Here we present a study on the distribution of cod...

  5. 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

  6. Egg production and shell relationship of the land hermit crab Coenobita scaevola (Anomura: Coenobitidae from Wadi El-Gemal, Red Sea, Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wafaa S. Sallam

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the present study is to characterize the fecundity of the land hermit crab Coenobita scaevola as well as the influence of shell type on fecundity using morphometric relationships. Hermit crabs were collected monthly from January to December 2007 from the protected area of Wadi El-Gemal, at Marsa Alam on the Red Sea, and ovigerous females were selected. Hermit crab wet weight and the gastropod shell weight were recorded. The number of eggs carried by females of several sizes (CL, carapace length, stages of development and egg size were determined. Shells of eight gastropod species were occupied by ovigerous females of C. scaevola. Shells of Nerita undata was the most occupied (65.7%, particularly by individuals falling within the size range 5.0–7.0 mm CL. Only 35 berried females were recorded during May, July and September and the mean fecundity was 679.8 ± 140 eggs. Fecundity was found positively correlated with crab size and shell dimensions. The relationship between fecundity and the internal volume of the occupied shell was ranked as the most correlated. The impact of shell utilization on hermit crab fecundity is discussed.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Metal accumulation and evaluation of effects in a freshwater turtle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Shuangying; Halbrook, Richard S; Sparling, Donald W; Colombo, Robert

    2011-11-01

    A variety of contaminants have been detected in aquatic and terrestrial environments around the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PGDP), Kentucky. The presence of these contaminants at the PGDP may pose a risk to biota, yet little is known about the bioaccumulation of contaminants and associated effects in wildlife, especially in aquatic turtles. The current study was initiated to evaluate: (1) the accumulation of heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, and Hg) in aquatic ecosystems associated with the PGDP using red-eared slider turtle (Trachemys scripta elegans) as biomonitors; (2) maternal transfer of heavy metals; and (3) potential hematological and immunological effects resulting from metal accumulation. A total of 26 turtles were collected from 7 ponds located south, adjacent, and north of the PGDP. Liver Cu concentrations were significantly different among ponds and Cu concentrations in eggs were positively correlated with female Cu concentrations in kidney. The concentrations of heavy metals measured in turtle tissues and eggs were low and, based on previous studies of reptiles and established avian threshold levels of heavy metals, did not appear to have adverse effects on aquatic turtles inhabiting ponds near the PGDP. However, total white blood cell counts, heterophil to lymphocyte ratio, and phytohemagglutinin stimulation index were correlated with metal concentrations. Because other factors may affect the hematological and immunological indices, further investigation is needed to determine if these effects are associated with metal exposure, other contaminants, or disease.