WorldWideScience

Sample records for threatened marine turtles

  1. PIR Marine Turtle Nesting

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  2. PIR Marine Turtle Strandings

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  3. Status of marine turtle rehabilitation in Queensland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaylene Flint

    2017-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

    threaten nesting beaches and reproductive success, and pollution and eutrophication is threatening important coastal foraging habitats for turtles worldwide. Exploitation and bycatch in other fisheries has seriously reduced marine turtle populations. The synergistic effects of other human-induced stressors may seriously reduce the capacity of some turtle populations to adapt to the current rates of climate change. Conservation recommendations to increase the capacity of marine turtle populations to adapt to climate change include increasing population resilience, for example by the use of turtle exclusion devices in fisheries, protection of nesting beaches from the viewpoints of both conservation and coastal management, and increased international conservation efforts to protect turtles in regions where there is high unregulated or illegal fisheries (including turtle harvesting). Increasing research efforts on the critical knowledge gaps of processes influencing population numbers, such as identifying ocean foraging hotspots or the processes that underlie the initiation of nesting migrations and selection of breeding areas, will inform adaptive management in a changing climate.

  5. PIR Marine Turtle Ocean Captures & Observations

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-15

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

  7. Global Conservation Priorities for Marine Turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  8. Global conservation priorities for marine turtles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bryan P Wallace

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

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

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

  12. Novel Bio-Logging Tool for Studying Fine-Scale Behaviors of Marine Turtles in Response to Sound

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reny B. Tyson

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Increases in the spatial scale and intensity of activities that produce marine anthropogenic sound highlight the importance of understanding the impacts and effects of sound on threatened species such as marine turtles. Marine turtles detect and behaviorally respond to low-frequency sounds, however few studies have directly examined their behavioral responses to specific types or intensities of anthropogenic or natural sounds. Recent advances in the development of bio-logging tools, which combine acoustic and fine-scale movement measurements, have allowed for evaluations of animal responses to sound. Here, we describe these tools and present a case study demonstrating the potential application of a newly developed technology (ROTAG, Loggerhead Instruments, Inc. to examine behavioral responses of freely swimming marine turtles to sound. The ROTAG incorporates a three-axis accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer to record the turtle's pitch, roll, and heading; a pressure sensor to record turtle depth; a hydrophone to record the turtle's received underwater acoustic sound field; a temperature gauge; and two VHF radio telemetry transmitters and antennas for tag and turtle tracking. Tags can be programmed to automatically release via a timed corrodible link several hours or days after deployment. We describe an example of the data collected with these tags and present a case study of a successful ROTAG deployment on a juvenile green turtle (Chelonia mydas in the Paranaguá Estuary Complex, Brazil. The tag was deployed for 221 min, during which several vessels passed closely (<2 km by the turtle. The concurrent movement and acoustic data collected by the ROTAG were examined during these times to determine if the turtle responded to these anthropogenic sound sources. While fine-scale behavioral responses were not apparent (second-by-second, the turtle did appear to perform dives during which it remained still on or near the sea floor during several

  13. 50 CFR 223.205 - Sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

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

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jullie M Sarmiento-Ramírez

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

  17. Marine Turtles Surveys in Nosy Iranja Kely, North-Western ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    the island, these activities also have a positive impact on the south, helping to reduce threats such as poaching and allow an effective monitoring of nesting marine turtles on the island. Keywords: Chelonia mydas, eretmochelys imbricata, nesting activity, ecotourism, Iranja island, Madagscar West Indian Ocean Journal of ...

  18. Analysis of sugarcane herbicides in marine turtle nesting areas and assessment of risk using in vitro toxicity assays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allan, Hannah L; van de Merwe, Jason P; Finlayson, Kimberly A; O'Brien, Jake W; Mueller, Jochen F; Leusch, Frederic D L

    2017-10-01

    Agricultural processes are associated with many different herbicides that can contaminate surrounding environments. In Queensland, Australia, herbicides applied to agricultural crops may pose a threat to valuable coastal habitats including nesting beaches for threatened loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta). This study 1) measured concentrations of herbicides in the beach sand of Mon Repos, an important marine turtle nesting beach in Australia that is adjacent to significant sugarcane crops, and 2) investigated the toxicity of these herbicides to marine turtles using a cell-based assay. Samples of sand from turtle nest depth and water from surrounding agricultural drains and wetlands were collected during the wet season when herbicide runoff was expected to be the greatest and turtles were nesting. Samples were extracted using solid phase extraction and extracts were analysed using chemical analysis targeting herbicides, as well as bioanalytical techniques (IPAM-assay and loggerhead turtle skin cell cytotoxicity assay). Twenty herbicides were detected in areas between sugarcane crops and the nesting beach, seven of which were also detected in the sand extracts. Herbicides present in the nearby wetland were also detected in the beach sand, indicating potential contamination of the nesting beach via the river outlet as well as ground water. Although herbicides were detected in nesting sand, bioassays using loggerhead turtle skin cells indicated a low risk of acute toxicity at measured environmental concentrations. Further research should investigate potentially more subtle effects, such as endocrine disruption and mixture effects, to better assess the threat that herbicides pose to this population of marine turtles. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Preliminary data on the occurrence of marine turtles in the Laje de Santos Marine State Park (SP, Brazil

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    Ana Carolina Luchetta

    Full Text Available Abstract Although marine turtles have always been observed by divers, there are few scientific works on marine turtles in the Laje de Santos Marine State Park (PEMLS. Diurnal (bimonthly and nocturnal (biannual surveys were conducted between 2013 and 2015 for a more comprehensive study, totalizing 42 hours of diurnal observations and the capture of 41 turtles during nocturnal dives. During the diurnal surveys, visual observations were made from two land based sites (Paredão da Face Sul and Portinho. The numbers of heads (heads observed whether they are of the same turtle or not and turtles (individuals observed in groups were counted. The results showed the presence of marine turtles throughout the year. More turtles were observed from Paredão da Face Sul than from Portinho, the latter being a more sheltered point and a site preferred by divers. The nocturnal surveys consisted of the capture of turtles through scuba diving so they could be measured and weighed and tagged according to the guide-lines of the TAMAR project. Four nocturnal surveys were conducted and in the last survey three tagged turtles were captured, two of them having been tagged during this study. The measurements of these turtles indicated their growth during the study period.The present survey also highlighted the importance of the PEMLS as a feeding area for juvenile marine turtles.

  20. Latitudinal diversity gradients in Mesozoic non-marine turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholson, David B.; Holroyd, Patricia A.; Valdes, Paul; Barrett, Paul M.

    2016-11-01

    The latitudinal biodiversity gradient (LBG)-the pattern of increasing taxonomic richness with decreasing latitude-is prevalent in the structure of the modern biota. However, some freshwater taxa show peak richness at mid-latitudes; for example, extant Testudines (turtles, terrapins and tortoises) exhibit their greatest diversity at 25° N, a pattern sometimes attributed to recent bursts of climatically mediated species diversification. Here, we test whether this pattern also characterizes the Mesozoic distribution of turtles, to determine whether it was established during either their initial diversification or as a more modern phenomenon. Using global occurrence data for non-marine testudinate genera, we find that subsampled richness peaks at palaeolatitudes of 15-30° N in the Jurassic, 30-45° N through the Cretaceous to the Campanian, and from 30° to 60° N in the Maastrichtian. The absence of a significant diversity peak in southern latitudes is consistent with results from climatic models and turtle niche modelling that demonstrate a dearth of suitable turtle habitat in Gondwana during the Jurassic and Late Cretaceous. Our analyses confirm that the modern testudinate LBG has a deep-time origin and further demonstrate that LBGs are not always expressed as a smooth, equator-to-pole distribution.

  1. 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

  2. Post-breeding migration routes of marine turtles from Bonaire and Klein Bonaire, Caribbean Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Becking, L. E.; Christianen, M. J. A.; Nava, M. I.; Miller, N.; Willis, S.; van Dam, R. P.

    2016-01-01

    The management of small rookeries is key to conserving the regional genetic diversity of marine turtle populations and requires knowledge on population connectivity between breeding and foraging areas. To elucidate the geographic scope of the populations of marine turtles breeding at Bonaire and

  3. Climate driven egg and hatchling mortality threatens survival of eastern Pacific leatherback turtles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pilar Santidrián Tomillo

    Full Text Available Egg-burying reptiles need relatively stable temperature and humidity in the substrate surrounding their eggs for successful development and hatchling emergence. Here we show that egg and hatchling mortality of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea in northwest Costa Rica were affected by climatic variability (precipitation and air temperature driven by the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO. Drier and warmer conditions associated with El Niño increased egg and hatchling mortality. The fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC projects a warming and drying in Central America and other regions of the World, under the SRES A2 development scenario. Using projections from an ensemble of global climate models contributed to the IPCC report, we project that egg and hatchling survival will rapidly decline in the region over the next 100 years by ∼50-60%, due to warming and drying in northwestern Costa Rica, threatening the survival of leatherback turtles. Warming and drying trends may also threaten the survival of sea turtles in other areas affected by similar climate changes.

  4. Climate Driven Egg and Hatchling Mortality Threatens Survival of Eastern Pacific Leatherback Turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santidrián Tomillo, Pilar; Saba, Vincent S.; Blanco, Gabriela S.; Stock, Charles A.; Paladino, Frank V.; Spotila, James R.

    2012-01-01

    Egg-burying reptiles need relatively stable temperature and humidity in the substrate surrounding their eggs for successful development and hatchling emergence. Here we show that egg and hatchling mortality of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) in northwest Costa Rica were affected by climatic variability (precipitation and air temperature) driven by the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Drier and warmer conditions associated with El Niño increased egg and hatchling mortality. The fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projects a warming and drying in Central America and other regions of the World, under the SRES A2 development scenario. Using projections from an ensemble of global climate models contributed to the IPCC report, we project that egg and hatchling survival will rapidly decline in the region over the next 100 years by ∼50–60%, due to warming and drying in northwestern Costa Rica, threatening the survival of leatherback turtles. Warming and drying trends may also threaten the survival of sea turtles in other areas affected by similar climate changes. PMID:22649544

  5. Informing Marine Protected Area Designation and Management for Nesting Olive Ridley Sea Turtles Using Satellite Tracking

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiffany M. Dawson

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the horizontal and vertical habitat of olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea, a threatened species, is critical for determining regions for protection and relevant gear modifications that may effectively reduce bycatch, the largest threat to this species. Satellite transmitters were used to determine the movement and dive behavior of 21 female olive ridley turtles tagged in Pongara National Park, Gabon during the 2012, 2013, and 2015 nesting seasons. A switching state-space model was used to filter the tracking data and categorize the internesting and post-nesting movements. Gridded utilization distribution (UD home range analysis of tracking data revealed that the entire core habitat occurred in the Komo Estuary during the internesting period. Within the Komo Estuary, 58% of this core UD occurred in shipping lanes. Dive data from the 2015 tagging season revealed that during the internesting period, turtles spent the majority of their time resting on the estuary seabed. Approximately 20% of all dive time was spent on the bottom and all maximum dive depths corresponded to the depth of the seabed, indicating that bottom set gear during the internesting period may pose the greatest potential for fisheries interactions. National parks currently protect many of the nesting sites and the Gabon Bleu initiative has formally designated 10 new marine parks and a network of community and industrial fishing zones; this data was a layer used in determining the park and zone boundaries. Shared use of the estuary by fisheries, shipping, and olive ridley turtles creates a need for management measures to reduce interactions. Thus, the results from this study can further provide detailed information that can be used to support the development of evidence-based management plans.

  6. Conservation Status of Marine Biodiversity in Oceania: An Analysis of Marine Species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beth A. Polidoro

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Given the economic and cultural dependence on the marine environment in Oceania and a rapidly expanding human population, many marine species populations are in decline and may be vulnerable to extinction from a number of local and regional threats. IUCN Red List assessments, a widely used system for quantifying threats to species and assessing species extinction risk, have been completed for 1190 marine species in Oceania to date, including all known species of corals, mangroves, seagrasses, sea snakes, marine mammals, sea birds, sea turtles, sharks, and rays present in Oceania, plus all species in five important perciform fish groups. Many of the species in these groups are threatened by the modification or destruction of coastal habitats, overfishing from direct or indirect exploitation, pollution, and other ecological or environmental changes associated with climate change. Spatial analyses of threatened species highlight priority areas for both site- and species-specific conservation action. Although increased knowledge and use of newly available IUCN Red List assessments for marine species can greatly improve conservation priorities for marine species in Oceania, many important fish groups are still in urgent need of assessment.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-30

    Assessment of marine debris ingestion by sea turtles is important, especially to ensure their survival. From January to December 2011, 23 specimens of five species of sea turtles were found dead or dying after being rehabilitated, along the coast of the municipality of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. To detect the presence of marine debris in the digestive tract of these turtles, we conducted a postmortem examination from the esophagus until the distal portion of the large intestine for each specimen. Of the total number of turtles, 39% had ingested marine debris such as soft plastic, hard plastic, metal, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle caps, human hair, tampons, and latex condoms. Five of the seven sea turtles species are found along the Brazilian coast, where they feed and breed. A large number of animals are exposed to various kinds of threats, including debris ingestion. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. 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)

  10. Contamination in marine turtle (Dermochelys coriaca) egg shells of Playon de Mexiquillo, Michoacan, Mexico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vazquez, G.F.; Reyes, M.C.; Fenandez, G. [Cd. Universitaria (Mexico)] [and others

    1997-02-01

    Concern for the decreasing population sizes of marine turtles around the world is growing. Potential contamination within habitats of marine turtles, and human activities, such as poaching, modification of nesting sites, and capture of adult turtles, may be responsible for their decreasing populations. Little is known about the baseline levels and physiological effects of environmental contaminants on marine turtle populations. Responding to this concern, the Mexican government has designated areas along the Mexican coastline to preserve marine turtle nesting habitats. {open_quotes}Playon de Mexiquillo{close_quotes}, Michocan, Mexico is one of the coastal preservation areas located near the mouth of Rio la Manzanilla which flows between Sierra Madre del Sur and the Pacific Ocean. Samples of seawater, sand, and marine turtle egg (Dermochelys Coriaca) shells were collected monthly from October, 1992-March, 1993. Contaminants investigated were oil and grease, and metals (cadmium, copper, zinc, nickel, and lead). Seawater samples were collected where the turtles lay eggs in the preservation area and sand samples were taken from the area surrounding the eggs. 12 refs., 1 fig., 4 tabs.

  11. To eat or not to eat? Debris selectivity by marine turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    Marine debris is a growing problem for wildlife, and has been documented to affect more than 267 species worldwide. We investigated the prevalence of marine debris ingestion in 115 sea turtles stranded in Queensland between 2006-2011, and assessed how the ingestion rates differ between species (Eretmochelys imbricata vs. Chelonia mydas) and by turtle size class (smaller oceanic feeders vs. larger benthic feeders). Concurrently, we conducted 25 beach surveys to estimate the composition of the debris present in the marine environment. Based on this proxy measurement of debris availability, we modeled turtles' debris preferences (color and type) using a resource selection function, a method traditionally used for habitat and food selection. We found no significant difference in the overall probability of ingesting debris between the two species studied, both of which have similar life histories. Curved carapace length, however, was inversely correlated with the probability of ingesting debris; 54.5% of pelagic sized turtles had ingested debris, whereas only 25% of benthic feeding turtles were found with debris in their gastrointestinal system. Benthic and pelagic sized turtles also exhibited different selectivity ratios for debris ingestion. Benthic phase turtles had a strong selectivity for soft, clear plastic, lending support to the hypothesis that sea turtles ingest debris because it resembles natural prey items such as jellyfish. Pelagic turtles were much less selective in their feeding, though they showed a trend towards selectivity for rubber items such as balloons. Most ingested items were plastic and were positively buoyant. This study highlights the need to address increasing amounts of plastic in the marine environment, and provides evidence for the disproportionate ingestion of balloons by marine turtles.

  12. To eat or not to eat? Debris selectivity by marine turtles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qamar Schuyler

    Full Text Available Marine debris is a growing problem for wildlife, and has been documented to affect more than 267 species worldwide. We investigated the prevalence of marine debris ingestion in 115 sea turtles stranded in Queensland between 2006-2011, and assessed how the ingestion rates differ between species (Eretmochelys imbricata vs. Chelonia mydas and by turtle size class (smaller oceanic feeders vs. larger benthic feeders. Concurrently, we conducted 25 beach surveys to estimate the composition of the debris present in the marine environment. Based on this proxy measurement of debris availability, we modeled turtles' debris preferences (color and type using a resource selection function, a method traditionally used for habitat and food selection. We found no significant difference in the overall probability of ingesting debris between the two species studied, both of which have similar life histories. Curved carapace length, however, was inversely correlated with the probability of ingesting debris; 54.5% of pelagic sized turtles had ingested debris, whereas only 25% of benthic feeding turtles were found with debris in their gastrointestinal system. Benthic and pelagic sized turtles also exhibited different selectivity ratios for debris ingestion. Benthic phase turtles had a strong selectivity for soft, clear plastic, lending support to the hypothesis that sea turtles ingest debris because it resembles natural prey items such as jellyfish. Pelagic turtles were much less selective in their feeding, though they showed a trend towards selectivity for rubber items such as balloons. Most ingested items were plastic and were positively buoyant. This study highlights the need to address increasing amounts of plastic in the marine environment, and provides evidence for the disproportionate ingestion of balloons by marine turtles.

  13. Differential impact of marine debris ingestion during ontogenetic dietary shift of green turtles in Uruguayan waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vélez-Rubio, G M; Teryda, N; Asaroff, P E; Estrades, A; Rodriguez, D; Tomás, J

    2018-02-01

    Anthropogenic debris ingestion has been reported for green turtles in all their life stages worldwide. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the marine debris ingestion by green turtles stranded in Uruguayan coast between 2005 and 2013. Debris items were categorized and quantified by frequency of occurrence, relative weight, volume and number of items. A total of 96 dead stranded turtles were analyzed and 70% presented debris in their guts. The majority of debris found were plastic, being hard plastics the most abundant in weight. We found no differences in debris ingestion in stranded turtles a long the Uruguayan coast. However we detected a negative correlation between the presence of debris and turtle's size. Smaller turtles are new recruits to neritic grounds indicating that the early juvenile stage of this species is the most vulnerable to this threat in the Southwestern Atlantic. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Heavy metal residues in tissues of marine turtles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Storelli, M.M.; Marcotrigiano, G.O.

    2003-01-01

    Heavy metal concentrations in the tissues of marine turtles are presented. The most frequently monitored elements are mercury, cadmium and lead; and the tissues mainly analysed in nearly all the stranded individuals are muscle, liver and kidney. The highest mercury and cadmium levels were found in liver and kidney respectively; the majority of the lead burden existed in bones and carapace, while arsenic was present mainly in muscle tissue. Mercury occurred quite completely as methylmercury in muscle, whereas in liver the main form was the inorganic one. Arsenic was exclusively present in the metallorganic form either in muscle tissue or in liver. Metals in the eggs were mainly present in the yolk. Significantly higher concentration of mercury, copper, zinc and iron were found in yolk than albumen, while shell contained highest levels of manganese and copper. The load of trace metals in these animals strictly correlated with the species seems to depend on their different food behaviour

  15. To Eat or Not to Eat? Debris Selectivity by Marine Turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    Marine debris is a growing problem for wildlife, and has been documented to affect more than 267 species worldwide. We investigated the prevalence of marine debris ingestion in 115 sea turtles stranded in Queensland between 2006–2011, and assessed how the ingestion rates differ between species (Eretmochelys imbricata vs. Chelonia mydas) and by turtle size class (smaller oceanic feeders vs. larger benthic feeders). Concurrently, we conducted 25 beach surveys to estimate the composition of the debris present in the marine environment. Based on this proxy measurement of debris availability, we modeled turtles’ debris preferences (color and type) using a resource selection function, a method traditionally used for habitat and food selection. We found no significant difference in the overall probability of ingesting debris between the two species studied, both of which have similar life histories. Curved carapace length, however, was inversely correlated with the probability of ingesting debris; 54.5% of pelagic sized turtles had ingested debris, whereas only 25% of benthic feeding turtles were found with debris in their gastrointestinal system. Benthic and pelagic sized turtles also exhibited different selectivity ratios for debris ingestion. Benthic phase turtles had a strong selectivity for soft, clear plastic, lending support to the hypothesis that sea turtles ingest debris because it resembles natural prey items such as jellyfish. Pelagic turtles were much less selective in their feeding, though they showed a trend towards selectivity for rubber items such as balloons. Most ingested items were plastic and were positively buoyant. This study highlights the need to address increasing amounts of plastic in the marine environment, and provides evidence for the disproportionate ingestion of balloons by marine turtles. PMID:22829894

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mayeul Dalleau

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

  20. 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...

  1. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carreras, Carlos; Godley, Brendan J.; León, Yolanda M.; Hawkes, Lucy A.; Revuelta, Ohiana; Raga, Juan A.; Tomás, Jesús

    2013-01-01

    Nesting by three species of marine turtles persists in the Dominican Republic, despite historic threats and long-term population decline. We conducted a genetic survey of marine turtles in the Dominican Republic in order to link them with other rookeries around the Caribbean. We sequenced a 740bp fragment of the control region of the mitochondrial DNA of 92 samples from three marine turtle species [hawksbill (n = 48), green (n = 2) and leatherback (n = 42)], and incorporated published data from other nesting populations and foraging grounds. The leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) in the Dominican Republic appeared to be isolated from Awala-Yalimapo, Cayenne, Trinidad and St. Croix but connected with other Caribbean populations. Two distinct nesting populations of hawksbill turtles (Eremochelys imbricata) were detected in the Dominican Republic and exhibited interesting patterns of connectivity with other nesting sites and juvenile and adult male foraging aggregations. The green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) has almost been extirpated from the Dominican Republic and limited inference could be made from our samples. Finally, results were compared with Lagrangian drifting buoys and published Lagrangian virtual particles that travelled through the Dominican Republic and Caribbean waters. Conservation implications of sink-source effects or genetic isolation derived from these complex inter-connections are discussed for each species and population. PMID:23840394

  3. An Immunohistochemical Approach to Identify the Sex of Young Marine Turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tezak, Boris M; Guthrie, Kathleen; Wyneken, Jeanette

    2017-08-01

    Marine turtles exhibit temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD). During critical periods of embryonic development, the nest's thermal environment directs whether an embryo will develop as a male or female. At warmer sand temperatures, nests tend to produce female-biased sex ratios. The rapid increase of global temperature highlights the need for a clear assessment of its effects on sea turtle sex ratios. However, estimating hatchling sex ratios at rookeries remains imprecise due to the lack of sexual dimorphism in young marine turtles. We rely mainly upon laparoscopic procedures to verify hatchling sex; however, in some species, morphological sex can be ambiguous even at the histological level. Recent studies using immunohistochemical (IHC) techniques identified that embryonic snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) ovaries overexpressed a particular cold-induced RNA-binding protein in comparison to testes. This feature allows the identification of females vs. males. We modified this technique to successfully identify the sexes of loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) hatchlings, and independently confirmed the results by standard histological and laparoscopic methods that reliably identify sex in this species. We next tested the CIRBP IHC method on gonad samples from leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea). Leatherbacks display delayed gonad differentiation, when compared to other sea turtles, making hatchling gonads difficult to sex using standard H&E stain histology. The IHC approach was successful in both C. caretta and D. coriacea samples, offering a much-needed tool to establish baseline hatchling sex ratios, particularly for assessing impacts of climate change effects on leatherback turtle hatchlings and sea turtle demographics. Anat Rec, 300:1512-1518, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domènech, Francesc; Tomás, Jesús; Crespo-Picazo, José Luis; García-Párraga, Daniel; Raga, Juan Antonio; Aznar, Francisco Javier

    2017-01-01

    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 (turtles that occur at very low densities (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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    Animals are assumed to obtain/conserve energy effectively to maximise their fitness, which manifests itself in a variety of behavioral strategies. For marine animals, however, these behavioral strategies are generally unknown due to the lack of high-resolution monitoring techniques in marine habitats. As large marine herbivores, immature green turtles do not need to allocate energy to reproduction but are at risk of shark predation, although it is a rare occurrence. They are therefore assumed to select/use feeding and resting sites that maximise their fitness in terms of somatic growth, while avoiding predation. We investigated fine-scale behavioral patterns (feeding, resting and other behaviors), microhabitat use and time spent on each behavior for eight immature green turtles using data loggers including: depth, global positioning system, head acceleration, speed and video sensors. Immature green turtles at Iriomote Island, Japan, spent an average of 4.8 h feeding on seagrass each day, with two peaks, between 5∶00 and 9∶00, and between 17∶00 and 20∶00. This feeding pattern appeared to be restricted by gut capacity, and thus maximised energy acquisition. Meanwhile, most of the remaining time was spent resting at locations close to feeding grounds, which allowed turtles to conserve energy spent travelling and reduced the duration of periods exposed to predation. These behavioral patterns and time allocations allow immature green turtles to effectively obtain/conserve energy for growth, thus maximising their fitness. PMID:23840367

  7. Ingestion of marine debris by loggerhead sea turtles, Caretta caretta, in the Adriatic Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazar, Bojan; Gračan, Romana

    2011-01-01

    We examined the occurrence of marine debris in the gastrointestinal tract of 54 loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) found stranded or incidentally captured dead by fisheries in the Adriatic Sea, with a curved carapace length of 25.0-79.2 cm. Marine debris was present in 35.2% of turtles and included soft plastic, ropes, Styrofoam and monofilament lines found in 68.4%, 42.1%, 15.8% and 5.3% of loggerheads that have ingested debris, respectively. The dry mass of debris per turtle was low, ranging from 0.05). Marine debris averaged 2.2 ± 8.0% of dry mass of gut content, with a maximum of 35% found in a juvenile turtle that most likely died due to debris ingestion. Considering the relatively high occurrence of debris intake and possible sub-lethal effects of even small quantities of marine debris, this can be an additional factor of concern for loggerheads in the Adriatic Sea. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Anatomical evidence for intracardiac blood shunting in marine turtles

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Its presence suggests that right to left intra-cardiac blood shunts may be a feature of diving in sea turtles; the sphincter providing a mechanism for the control of blood flow through the heart. The comparative anatomy of the pulmonary arteries of selected terrestrial reptiles suggests that a similar mechanism exists in ...

  9. Anatomical Evidence for Intracardiac Blood Shunting in Marine Turtles

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... suggests that right to left intra-cardiac blood shunts may be a feature of diving in sea turtles; the sphincter providing a mechanism for the control of blood flow through the heart. The comparative anatomy of the pulmonary arteries of selected terrestrial reptiles suggests that a similar mechanism exists in non-diving species.

  10. Climate change overruns resilience conferred by temperature-dependent sex determination in sea turtles and threatens their survival.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santidrián Tomillo, Pilar; Genovart, Meritxell; Paladino, Frank V; Spotila, James R; Oro, Daniel

    2015-08-01

    Temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) is the predominant form of environmental sex determination (ESD) in reptiles, but the adaptive significance of TSD in this group remains unclear. Additionally, the viability of species with TSD may be compromised as climate gets warmer. We simulated population responses in a turtle with TSD to increasing nest temperatures and compared the results to those of a virtual population with genotypic sex determination (GSD) and fixed sex ratios. Then, we assessed the effectiveness of TSD as a mechanism to maintain populations under climate change scenarios. TSD populations were more resilient to increased nest temperatures and mitigated the negative effects of high temperatures by increasing production of female offspring and therefore, future fecundity. That buffered the negative effect of temperature on the population growth. TSD provides an evolutionary advantage to sea turtles. However, this mechanism was only effective over a range of temperatures and will become inefficient as temperatures rise to levels projected by current climate change models. Projected global warming threatens survival of sea turtles, and the IPCC high gas concentration scenario may result in extirpation of the studied population in 50 years. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Ingestion of marine plastic debris by green turtle(Chelonia mydas) in davao gulf, Mindanao, Philippines

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Abreo, Neil A.S.; Macusi, Edison D.; Blatchley, Darrell D.

    2016-01-01

    Marine plastic debris is a global problem that is threatening marine biodiversity. Different marine organisms have been exposed to the lethal and sub-lethal effects of this problem. Sub-lethal effects include reduced fitness due to reduced feeding, reduced reproductive output, limb amputation,

  15. Incidental catch of marine turtles by the artisanal fisheries on Santa Catarina Island, SC, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalia Hanazaki

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available The five species of sea turtles, which inhabit the Brazilian shore, have a wordwide distribution and are threatened with extinction. The south of Brazil is characterized as a feeding and breeding area of at least three of these species. The presence of turtles close to the shore and their incidental catch are occurrences reported by artisan fishermen of the Island of Santa Catarina in this work. The study was based on a questionnaire, applied to fishermen and fishfarmers at selected spots on the island. Scientific and popular names were matched using illustrations. The spots with the highest number of events and captures were close to the islands, rocky coasts and stony grounds, i.e. areas related with the foraging habits of the most abundant species, Chelonia mydas. The place, depth and size of the net are characteristics, which influence the capture. The time the net remains in the water is a factor which is fundamental to the survival of the captured turtles. The flesh of the turtle is used as an occasional feeding resource. Capacitation programs and training applied to the communities involved are recommended.

  16. Nest inundation from sea-level rise threatens sea turtle population viability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pike, David A; Roznik, Elizabeth A; Bell, Ian

    2015-07-01

    Contemporary sea-level rise will inundate coastal habitats with seawater more frequently, disrupting the life cycles of terrestrial fauna well before permanent habitat loss occurs. Sea turtles are reliant on low-lying coastal habitats worldwide for nesting, where eggs buried in the sand remain vulnerable to inundation until hatching. We show that saltwater inundation directly lowers the viability of green turtle eggs (Chelonia mydas) collected from the world's largest green turtle nesting rookery at Raine Island, Australia, which is undergoing enigmatic decline. Inundation for 1 or 3 h reduced egg viability by less than 10%, whereas inundation for 6 h reduced viability by approximately 30%. All embryonic developmental stages were vulnerable to mortality from saltwater inundation. Although the hatchlings that emerged from inundated eggs displayed normal physical and behavioural traits, hypoxia during incubation could influence other aspects of the physiology or behaviour of developing embryos, such as learning or spatial orientation. Saltwater inundation can directly lower hatching success, but it does not completely explain the consistently low rates of hatchling production observed on Raine Island. More frequent nest inundation associated with sea-level rise will increase variability in sea turtle hatching success spatially and temporally, due to direct and indirect impacts of saltwater inundation on developing embryos.

  17. A molecular phylogeny for marine turtles: trait mapping, rate assessment, and conservation relevance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowen, B W; Nelson, W S; Avise, J C

    1993-06-15

    Nucleotide sequences from the cytochrome b gene of mitochondrial DNA were employed to resolve phylogenetic controversies and to assess molecular evolutionary rates in marine turtles (Chelonioidea). Findings of special relevance to conservation biology include discovery of a distant relationship between Natator and other cheloniid species, the paraphyly of Chelonia mydas with respect to Chelonia agassizi, and genetic distinctiveness of Lepidochelys kempi from Lepidochelys olivacea. A longstanding debate in evolutionary ecology was resolved by phylogenetic mapping of dietary habits, which indicates that the spongivore Eretmochelys imbricata evolved from a carnivorous rather than a herbivorous ancestor. Sequence divergences at intergeneric and interfamilial levels, when assessed against fossil-based separation times, support previous suggestions (from microevolutionary comparisons) that mitochondrial DNA in marine turtles evolves much more slowly than under the "conventional" vertebrate clock. This slow pace of nucleotide replacement is consistent with recent hypotheses linking substitution rate to generation length and metabolic pace.

  18. Conservation hotspots for marine turtle nesting in the United States based on coastal development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuentes, Mariana M P B; Gredzens, Christian; Bateman, Brooke L; Boettcher, Ruth; Ceriani, Simona A; Godfrey, Matthew H; Helmers, David; Ingram, Dianne K; Kamrowski, Ruth L; Pate, Michelle; Pressey, Robert L; Radeloff, Volker C

    2016-12-01

    Coastal areas provide nesting habitat for marine turtles that is critical for the persistence of their populations. However, many coastal areas are highly affected by coastal development, which affects the reproductive success of marine turtles. Knowing the extent to which nesting areas are exposed to these threats is essential to guide management initiatives. This information is particularly important for coastal areas with both high nesting density and dense human development, a combination that is common in the United States. We assessed the extent to which nesting areas of the loggerhead (Caretta caretta), the green (Chelonia mydas), the Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), and leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) in the continental United States are exposed to coastal development and identified conservation hotspots that currently have high reproductive importance and either face high exposure to coastal development (needing intervention), or have low exposure to coastal development, and are good candidates for continued and future protection. Night-time light, housing, and population density were used as proxies for coastal development and human disturbance. About 81.6% of nesting areas were exposed to housing and human population, and 97.8% were exposed to light pollution. Further, most (>65%) of the very high- and high-density nesting areas for each species/subpopulation, except for the Kemp's ridley, were exposed to coastal development. Forty-nine nesting sites were selected as conservation hotspots; of those high-density nesting sites, 49% were sites with no/low exposure to coastal development and the other 51% were exposed to high-density coastal development. Conservation strategies need to account for ~66.8% of all marine turtle nesting areas being on private land and for nesting sites being exposed to large numbers of seasonal residents. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  19. trans-6-Hexadecenoic acid in the Atlantic leatherbackDermochelys coriacea coriacea L. and other marine turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hooper, S N; Ackman, R G

    1970-03-01

    Depot fat from the Atlantic leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea coriacea L.) was shown to contain ≈3% oftrans-6-hexadecenoic acid. Structural details were elucidated through comparative aspects of isolation techniques, NMR, IR, hydrogenation, oxidative fission, etc., and confirmed by similarity of properties with those of a sample of fatty acid of this structure isolated from the seed oil ofPicramnia sellowii. One additional leather-back turtle oil sample, and depot fat from two other marine turtles, the loggerhead (Caretta caretta caretta) and ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea kempi) contained this acid, that from the ridley in a lower proportion. No corresponding C18 acid was detected in the leatherback oil.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bryan P Wallace

    2010-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-17

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. The current situation of inorganic elements in marine turtles: A general review and meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cortés-Gómez, Adriana A; Romero, Diego; Girondot, Marc

    2017-10-01

    Inorganic elements (Pb, Cd, Hg, Al, As, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Se and Zn) are present globally in aquatic systems and their potential transfer to marine turtles can be a serious threat to their health status. The environmental fate of these contaminants may be traced by the analysis of turtle tissues. Loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) are the most frequently investigated of all the sea turtle species with regards to inorganic elements, followed by Green turtles (Chelonia mydas); all the other species have considerably fewer studies. Literature shows that blood, liver, kidney and muscle are the tissues most frequently used for the quantification of inorganic elements, with Pb, Cd, Cu and Zn being the most studied elements. Chelonia mydas showed the highest concentrations of Cr in muscle (4.8 ± 0.12), Cu in liver (37 ± 7) and Mg in kidney (17 μg g -1 ww), Cr and Cu from the Gulf of Mexico and Mg from Japanese coasts; Lepidochelys olivacea presented the highest concentrations of Pb in blood (4.46 5) and Cd in kidney (150 ± 110 μg g -1 ww), both from the Mexican Pacific; Caretta caretta from the Mediterranean Egyptian coast had the highest report of Hg in blood (0.66 ± 0.13 μg g -1 ww); and Eretmochelys imbricata from Japan had the highest concentration of As in muscle (30 ± 13 13 μg g -1 ww). The meta-analysis allows us to examine some features that were not visible when data was analyzed alone. For instance, Leatherbacks show a unique pattern of concentration compared to other species. Additionally, contamination of different tissues shows some tendencies independent of the species with liver and kidney on one side and bone on the other being different from other tissues. This review provides a general perspective on the accumulation and distribution of these inorganic elements alongside existing information for the 7 sea turtle species. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Fine-scale tracking of marine turtles using GPS-Argos PTTs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yasuda, Tohya; Arai, Nobuaki

    2005-05-01

    High-accuracy location data of wildlife telemetry using conventional satellite location systems are difficult to obtain. However, such data are necessary to clarify the nature of movements and home range sizes of animals. In order to measure the high-accuracy location data, we developed new GPS-Argos Platform Terminal Transmitters (PTTs) which transmit both the conventional location and GPS location simultaneously. Two experiments, one in an artificial rearing pond and the other in the open sea, were performed. First, two hawksbill turtles were tracked with the PTTs in a 5 ha breeding pond in Thailand. Their home ranges using both data were calculated and found to be 2.96 ha and 0.93 ha by the GPS data, and 156,740 ha and 184,478 ha by a conventional data. Secondly, a female green turtle attached with the GPS-Argos was released from the coast of Pangnga Province, Thailand. There was a relationship between depth and speed of travel based on the GPS data. The data from the PTT showed that the turtle moved south along the coastline at the depth of less than 20 m for 5 days, and then stayed at a depth of less than 10 m for 4 days. However, we could not find any clear relationship using conventional data. Only a meandering movement at a variety of depths was observed. The results of the two experiments indicated the PTTs have an enormous potential for enhancing our understanding of fine-scale movement patterns and home ranges of marine turtles.

  6. 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...

  7. Analysis of marine turtle strandings (Reptilia: Testudine occurring on coast of Bahia State, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aline Lopes-Souza

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available This study provides an analysis of the occurrence and the spatial and temporal distribution of marine turtle strandings found in the south of the State of Bahia. Data was collected between January 2006 and June 2008. This study covers an area of 220 km of the southern coast of Bahia State (northeastern Brazil, and spatial analyses were made considering data collected in three bases suported by Petrobras-Petróleo Brasileiro S/A distributed in the area. The records were sorted according to month and year, species, age group and sex. A total of 260 stranding were reported: 183 of Chelonia mydas (74.1%, the most frequent species. The highest number of strandings was recorded in Gamboa do Morro Base. Juveniles presented the highest densities, but no differences between adults and small juveniles were detected. Males were more frequently stranded in Gamboa do Morro Base, while females were more frequent in Ilhéus Base. An increase in the number of stranding between 2006 and 2008 was noted; moreover, the months with more records were January, February, March, October and December. The number of stranding events was discontinuously distributed in the study area. This study also demonstrated the usefulness of implement different strategies of recording marine turtle strandings: direct monitoring efforts (patrol in remote beaches and educational campaigns applied on beaches frequented by tourists. This study demonstrated that, despite spatial nearby, the three bases attend independent biological systems and show different stranding dynamics, thus different conservancy actions should be implemented in order to improve the knowledge on natural history of sea-turtles in the southern coast of Bahia State.

  8. The role of social marketing, marine turtles and sustainable tourism in reducing plastic pollution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eagle, Lynne; Hamann, Mark; Low, David R

    2016-06-15

    Environmental plastic pollution constitutes a significant hazard to marine turtles, human health and well-being. We describe a transdisciplinary approach to draw together findings from diverse disciplines in order to highlight key environmental pollution problems and their consequences, together with social marketing-based strategies to address the problems. The example of plastic pollution and impacts to marine turtles illustrates the severity of the problem. Wildlife tourism and sustainable tourism activity have not focussed on specific behaviours to change and have had minimal impact on subsequent human behaviour regarding environmental issues, indicating the need for new strategies. Social marketing principles offer promise, but there is a need to investigate the utility of various theoretical foundations to aid the design and implementation of interventions. We offer insight towards using sophisticated multi-method research to develop insights into behaviours and segmentation-based strategies, that can aid the identification of barriers to, and enablers of, sustained behaviour change. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  9. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

    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

  11. 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

  12. Protection of marine birds and turtles at St Brandon's Rock, Indian ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A survey of seabirds and turtles at St Brandon's Rock, 400 km north of Mauritius, was undertaken in 2010. We estimated that 1 084 191 seabirds comprising seven breeding species and excluding non-breeders were present at the archipelago and we counted 279 turtle tracks and nesting pits of green turtles Chelonia ...

  13. Distribution pattern of anthropogenic marine debris along the gastrointestinal tract of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) as implications for rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colferai, André S; Silva-Filho, Rodolfo Pinho; Martins, Aryse Moreira; Bugoni, Leandro

    2017-06-15

    Pollution from anthropogenic marine debris (AMD) is currently the most widely distributed and lasting anthropic impact in the marine environment, affecting hundreds of species, including all sea turtles. In this study, the patterns of AMD distribution along the gastrointestinal tract (GT) and their relationship with obstructions and faecalomas in 62 green turtles (Chelonia mydas) that died during rehabilitation in southern Brazil were determined. The GT was split in seven sections, corresponding to the natural organs and intestinal areas morphologically and physiologically distinct. Mean mass (4.24g) and area (146.74cm 2 ) of AMD in the stomach were higher than in other sections. The anterior portion of the rectum had the highest number of obstructions, followed by the stomach. AMD was associated with the obstructions, with positive correlation between faecalomas and AMD masses. Organs and subdivisions showed marked differences in susceptibility to obstructions caused by AMD, which deserves attention in clinical interventions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. Using Satellite Tracking to Optimize Protection of Long-Lived Marine Species: Olive Ridley Sea Turtle Conservation in Central Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maxwell, Sara M.; Breed, Greg A.; Nickel, Barry A.; Makanga-Bahouna, Junior; Pemo-Makaya, Edgard; Parnell, Richard J.; Formia, Angela; Ngouessono, Solange; Godley, Brendan J.; Costa, Daniel P.; Witt, Matthew J.; Coyne, Michael S.

    2011-01-01

    Tractable conservation measures for long-lived species require the intersection between protection of biologically relevant life history stages and a socioeconomically feasible setting. To protect breeding adults, we require knowledge of animal movements, how movement relates to political boundaries, and our confidence in spatial analyses of movement. We used satellite tracking and a switching state-space model to determine the internesting movements of olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) (n = 18) in Central Africa during two breeding seasons (2007-08, 2008-09). These movements were analyzed in relation to current park boundaries and a proposed transboundary park between Gabon and the Republic of Congo, both created to reduce unintentional bycatch of sea turtles in marine fisheries. We additionally determined confidence intervals surrounding home range calculations. Turtles remained largely within a 30 km radius from the original nesting site before departing for distant foraging grounds. Only 44.6 percent of high-density areas were found within the current park but the proposed transboundary park would incorporate 97.6 percent of high-density areas. Though tagged individuals originated in Gabon, turtles were found in Congolese waters during greater than half of the internesting period (53.7 percent), highlighting the need for international cooperation and offering scientific support for a proposed transboundary park. This is the first comprehensive study on the internesting movements of solitary nesting olive ridley sea turtles, and it suggests the opportunity for tractable conservation measures for female nesting olive ridleys at this and other solitary nesting sites around the world. We draw from our results a framework for cost-effective protection of long-lived species using satellite telemetry as a primary tool. PMID:21589942

  18. Using satellite tracking to optimize protection of long-lived marine species: olive ridley sea turtle conservation in Central Africa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara M Maxwell

    Full Text Available Tractable conservation measures for long-lived species require the intersection between protection of biologically relevant life history stages and a socioeconomically feasible setting. To protect breeding adults, we require knowledge of animal movements, how movement relates to political boundaries, and our confidence in spatial analyses of movement. We used satellite tracking and a switching state-space model to determine the internesting movements of olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea (n = 18 in Central Africa during two breeding seasons (2007-08, 2008-09. These movements were analyzed in relation to current park boundaries and a proposed transboundary park between Gabon and the Republic of Congo, both created to reduce unintentional bycatch of sea turtles in marine fisheries. We additionally determined confidence intervals surrounding home range calculations. Turtles remained largely within a 30 km radius from the original nesting site before departing for distant foraging grounds. Only 44.6 percent of high-density areas were found within the current park but the proposed transboundary park would incorporate 97.6 percent of high-density areas. Though tagged individuals originated in Gabon, turtles were found in Congolese waters during greater than half of the internesting period (53.7 percent, highlighting the need for international cooperation and offering scientific support for a proposed transboundary park. This is the first comprehensive study on the internesting movements of solitary nesting olive ridley sea turtles, and it suggests the opportunity for tractable conservation measures for female nesting olive ridleys at this and other solitary nesting sites around the world. We draw from our results a framework for cost-effective protection of long-lived species using satellite telemetry as a primary tool.

  19. Using satellite tracking to optimize protection of long-lived marine species: olive ridley sea turtle conservation in Central Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maxwell, Sara M; Breed, Greg A; Nickel, Barry A; Makanga-Bahouna, Junior; Pemo-Makaya, Edgard; Parnell, Richard J; Formia, Angela; Ngouessono, Solange; Godley, Brendan J; Costa, Daniel P; Witt, Matthew J; Coyne, Michael S

    2011-05-11

    Tractable conservation measures for long-lived species require the intersection between protection of biologically relevant life history stages and a socioeconomically feasible setting. To protect breeding adults, we require knowledge of animal movements, how movement relates to political boundaries, and our confidence in spatial analyses of movement. We used satellite tracking and a switching state-space model to determine the internesting movements of olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) (n = 18) in Central Africa during two breeding seasons (2007-08, 2008-09). These movements were analyzed in relation to current park boundaries and a proposed transboundary park between Gabon and the Republic of Congo, both created to reduce unintentional bycatch of sea turtles in marine fisheries. We additionally determined confidence intervals surrounding home range calculations. Turtles remained largely within a 30 km radius from the original nesting site before departing for distant foraging grounds. Only 44.6 percent of high-density areas were found within the current park but the proposed transboundary park would incorporate 97.6 percent of high-density areas. Though tagged individuals originated in Gabon, turtles were found in Congolese waters during greater than half of the internesting period (53.7 percent), highlighting the need for international cooperation and offering scientific support for a proposed transboundary park. This is the first comprehensive study on the internesting movements of solitary nesting olive ridley sea turtles, and it suggests the opportunity for tractable conservation measures for female nesting olive ridleys at this and other solitary nesting sites around the world. We draw from our results a framework for cost-effective protection of long-lived species using satellite telemetry as a primary tool.

  20. Sedimentology, geochemistry and rock magnetic properties of beach sands in Galapagos Islands - implications for nesting marine turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perez-Cruz, L.; Urrutia-Fucugauchi, J.; Vazquez-Gutierrez, F.; Carranza-Edwards, A.

    2007-12-01

    Marine turtles are well known for their navigation ability in the open ocean and fidelity to nesting beaches. Green turtle adult females migrate from foraging areas to island nesting beaches, traveling hundreds or thousands of kilometers each way. The marine turtle breeding in the Galapagos Islands is the Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas agassisi); fairly common throughout the islands but with nesting sites located at Las Bachas (Santa Cruz), Barahona and Quinta Playa (Isabela), Salinas (Baltra), Gardner Bay (Española) and Bartolomé Islet. In order to characterize and to identify the geochemical signature of nesting marine turtle beaches in Galapagos Islands, sedimentological, geochemical and rock magnetic parameters are used. A total of one hundred and twenty sand samples were collected in four beaches to relate compositional characteristics between equivalent areas, these are: Las Bachas, Salinas, Barahona and Quinta Playa. Grain size is evaluated using laser particle analysis (Model Coulter LS 230). Bulk ICP-MS geochemical analysis is performed, following trace elements are analyzed: Al, V, Cr, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd, Ba, Pb, Fe, Mn, K, Na, Mg, Sr, Ca and Hg; and low-field magnetic susceptibility is measured in all samples at low and high frequencies. Granulometric analysis showed that Barahona and Quinta Playa are characterized for fine grained sands. In contrast, Salinas and Las Bachas exhibit medium to coarse sands. Trace metals concentrations and magnetic susceptibility show different distribution patterns in the beach sands. Calcium is the most abundant element in the samples. In particular, Co, K, and Na show similar concentrations in the four beaches. Las Bachas beach shows highest concentrations of Pb and Hg (maximum values 101.1 and 118.5 mg/kg, respectively), we suggest that the enrichment corresponds to an anthropogenic signal. Salinas beach samples show high concentrations of Fe, V, Cr, Zn, Mn and the highest values of magnetic susceptibility (maximum

  1. Determining sex ratios of turtle hatchlings

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Previous status assessments of marine turtles have assumed that the natural sex ratio of a marine turtle population is 1:1 (e.g. Conant et al. 2009). However, this...

  2. Notes on the status and incidental capture of marine turtles by the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    turtle by eight subsistence fishing communities in south west Madagascar. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with fishers from each community over a period of three weeks during March 2002. Turtles were captured as part of a seasonal, multi-species fishery using spear guns and shark gill nets.

  3. Elucidation of the first definitively identified life cycle for a marine turtle blood fluke (Trematoda: Spirorchiidae) enables informed control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cribb, Thomas H; Crespo-Picazo, Jose L; Cutmore, Scott C; Stacy, Brian A; Chapman, Phoebe A; García-Párraga, Daniel

    2017-01-01

    Blood flukes of the family Spirorchiidae are significant pathogens of both free-ranging and captive marine turtles. Despite a significant proportion of marine turtle mortality being attributable to spirorchiid infections, details of their life cycles remain almost entirely unknown. Here we report on the molecular elucidation of the complete life cycle of a marine spirorchiid, identified as Amphiorchis sp., infecting vermetid gastropods and captive hatched neonate Caretta caretta in the Oceanogràfic Aquarium, in Valencia, Spain. Specimens of a vermetid gastropod, Thylaeodus cf. rugulosus (Monterosato, 1878), collected from the aquarium filtration system housing diseased C. caretta, were infected with sporocysts and cercariae consistent with the family Spirorchiidae. We generated rDNA sequence data [internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) and partial 28S rDNA] from infections from the vermetid which were identical to sequences generated from eggs from the serosa of the intestine of neonate C. caretta, and an adult spirorchiid from the liver of a C. caretta from Florida, USA. Given the reliability of these markers in the delineation of trematode species, we consider all three stages to represent the same species and tentatively identify it as a species of Amphiorchis Price, 1934. The source of infection at the Oceanogràfic Foundation Rehabilitation Centre, Valencia, Spain, is inferred to be an adult C. caretta from the western Mediterranean being rehabilitated in the same facility. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that this Amphiorchis sp. is closely related to other spirorchiids of marine turtles (species of Carettacola Manter & Larson, 1950, Hapalotrema Looss, 1899 and Learedius Price, 1934). We discuss implications of the present findings for the control of spirorchiidiasis in captivity, for the better understanding of epidemiology in wild individuals, and the elucidation of further life cycles. Copyright © 2016 Australian Society for Parasitology. Published by

  4. The comparative osteology ofPlesiochelys biglerin. sp., a new coastal marine turtle from the Late Jurassic of Porrentruy (Switzerland).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Püntener, Christian; Anquetin, Jérémy; Billon-Bruyat, Jean-Paul

    2017-01-01

    During the Late Jurassic, several groups of eucryptodiran turtles inhabited the shallow epicontinental seas of Western Europe. Plesiochelyidae are an important part of this first radiation of crown-group turtles into coastal marine ecosystems. Fossils of Plesiochelyidae occur in many European localities, and are especially abundant in the Kimmeridgian layers of the Swiss Jura Mountains (Solothurn and Porrentruy). In the mid-19th century, the quarries of Solothurn (NW Switzerland) already provided a large amount of fossil turtles, most notably Plesiochelys etalloni , the best-known plesiochelyid species. Recent excavations in the Porrentruy area (NW Switzerland) revealed new fossils of Plesiochelys , including numerous well-preserved shells with associated cranial and postcranial material. Out of 80 shells referred to Plesiochelys , 41 are assigned to a new species, Plesiochelys bigleri n. sp., including a skull-shell association. We furthermore refer 15 shells to Plesiochelys etalloni , and 24 shells to Plesiochelys sp. Anatomical comparisons show that Plesiochelys bigleri can clearly be differentiated from Plesiochelys etalloni by cranial features. The shell anatomy and the appendicular skeleton of Plesiochelys bigleri and Plesiochelys etalloni are very similar. However, a statistical analysis demonstrates that the thickness of neural bones allows to separate the two species based on incomplete material. This study furthermore illustrates the extent of intraspecific variation in the shell anatomy of Plesiochelys bigleri and Plesiochelys etalloni .

  5. The comparative osteology of Plesiochelys bigleri n. sp., a new coastal marine turtle from the Late Jurassic of Porrentruy (Switzerland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Püntener

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Background During the Late Jurassic, several groups of eucryptodiran turtles inhabited the shallow epicontinental seas of Western Europe. Plesiochelyidae are an important part of this first radiation of crown-group turtles into coastal marine ecosystems. Fossils of Plesiochelyidae occur in many European localities, and are especially abundant in the Kimmeridgian layers of the Swiss Jura Mountains (Solothurn and Porrentruy. In the mid-19th century, the quarries of Solothurn (NW Switzerland already provided a large amount of fossil turtles, most notably Plesiochelys etalloni, the best-known plesiochelyid species. Recent excavations in the Porrentruy area (NW Switzerland revealed new fossils of Plesiochelys, including numerous well-preserved shells with associated cranial and postcranial material. Methods/results Out of 80 shells referred to Plesiochelys, 41 are assigned to a new species, Plesiochelys bigleri n. sp., including a skull–shell association. We furthermore refer 15 shells to Plesiochelys etalloni, and 24 shells to Plesiochelys sp. Anatomical comparisons show that Plesiochelys bigleri can clearly be differentiated from Plesiochelys etalloni by cranial features. The shell anatomy and the appendicular skeleton of Plesiochelys bigleri and Plesiochelys etalloni are very similar. However, a statistical analysis demonstrates that the thickness of neural bones allows to separate the two species based on incomplete material. This study furthermore illustrates the extent of intraspecific variation in the shell anatomy of Plesiochelys bigleri and Plesiochelys etalloni.

  6. The green turtle Chelonia mydas as a marine and coastal environmental sentinels: anthropogenic activities and diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabela Guarnier Domiciano

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The green turtle Chelonia mydas is a widely distributed, slowly maturing species with a complex life cycle, using both oceanic and coastal environments. The species is exposed to different threats and is considered an environmental sentinel that indicates variation among, and the severity of hazards to marine ecosystems. This study aimed to describe both anthropogenic impacts, and infectious and parasitic diseases in C. mydas - including cases along the Brazilian coast - and implications for conservation. Bycatch is reported as the main threat to the conservation of this species, followed by debris ingestion, collisions with boats, dredging, and chronic environmental contamination. All of these impacts may directly or indirectly cause death, by facilitating contact with pathological agents and by increasing vulnerability to secondary diseases. The pathological agents associated with lesions include viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and helminths. Fibropapillomatosis is an example of a chronic disease characterized by cutaneous and visceral tumors that affects mostly juvenile C. mydas worldwide and is associated with the Chelonid herpesvirus 5. The bacterias Vibrio alginolyticus, Aeromonas hydrophila, and Pseudomonas fluorescens are found in the aquatic environment and among C. mydas lesions in various organs. Trematode adults and eggs of the family Spirorchiidae are also frequent in systemic cardiovascular diseases of C. mydas. The direct impacts of anthropogenic activities and diseases are synergistic and may affect the specie’s health and conservation. Therefore, the monitoring and systematic diagnosing of diseases and causes of death - including necropsy, histopathology, and molecular exams - are necessary to assess a population’s health, to support appropriate decisions of coastal management and to target future research topics that optimize C. mydas conservation.

  7. Managing conflicts between economic activities and threatened migratory marine species toward creating a multiobjective blue economy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Linda R; Nel, Ronel; Oosthuizen, Herman; Meÿer, Mike; Kotze, Deon; Anders, Darrell; McCue, Steven; Bachoo, Santosh

    2018-04-01

    Harnessing the economic potential of the oceans is key to combating poverty, enhancing food security, and strengthening economies. But the concomitant risk of intensified resource extraction to migratory species is worrying given these species contribute to important ecological processes, often underpin alternative livelihoods, and are mostly already threatened. We thus sought to quantify the potential conflict between key economic activities (5 fisheries and hydrocarbon exploitation) and sea turtle migration corridors in a region with rapid economic development: southern and eastern Africa. We satellite tracked the movement of 20 loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and 14 leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) turtles during their postnesting migrations. We used movement-based kernel density estimation to identify migration corridors for each species. We overlaid these corridors on maps of the distribution and intensity of economic activities, quantified the extent of overlap and threat posed by each activity on each species, and compared the effects of activities. These results were compared with annual bycatch rates in the respective fisheries. Both species' 3 corridors overlapped most with longline fishing, but the effect was worse for leatherbacks: their bycatch rates of approximately 1500/year were substantial relative to the regional population size of 50 years of conservation, potentially affecting >80% of loggerheads, 33% of the (critically endangered) leatherbacks, and their nesting beaches. We support establishing blue economies (i.e., generating wealth from the ocean), but oceans need to be carefully zoned and responsibly managed in both space and time to achieve economic (resource extraction), ecological (conservation, maintenance of processes), and social (maintenance of alternative livelihood opportunities, alleviate poverty) objectives. © 2017 Society for Conservation Biology.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanny Arroyo-Arce

    2015-09-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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)

  11. 77 FR 45571 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife; 90-Day Finding on a Petition To Delist the Green Turtle in...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-08-01

    ... submissions will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, Corel WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only. FOR... probability'' that a species is either threatened or endangered to support a positive 90-day finding. To make... petitioners' assertions. In other words, conclusive information indicating the species may meet the ESA's...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilana Kelly

    2017-01-01

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

  14. Thalassemys bruntrutana n. sp., a new coastal marine turtle from the Late Jurassic of Porrentruy (Switzerland, and the paleobiogeography of the Thalassemydidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Püntener

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Background. The Swiss Jura Mountains are a key region for Late Jurassic eucryptodiran turtles. Already in the mid 19th century, the Solothurn Turtle Limestone (Solothurn, NW Switzerland yielded a great amount of Kimmeridgian turtles that are traditionally referred to Plesiochelyidae, Thalassemydidae, and Eurysternidae. In the past few years, fossils of these coastal marine turtles were also abundantly discovered in the Kimmeridgian of the Porrentruy region (NW Switzerland. These findings include numerous sub-complete shells, out of which we present two new specimens of Thalassemys (Thalassemydidae in this study.Methods. We compare the new material from Porrentruy to the type species Th. hugii, which is based on a well preserved specimen from the Solothurn Turtle Limestone (Solothurn, Switzerland. In order to improve our understanding of the paleogeographic distribution of Thalassemys, anatomical comparisons are extended to Thalassemys remains from other European countries, notably Germany and England.Results. While one of the two Thalassemys specimens from Porrentruy can be attributed to Th. hugii, the other specimen represents a new species, Th. bruntrutana n. sp. It differs from Th. hugii by several features: more elongated nuchal that strongly thickens anterolaterally; wider vertebral scales; proportionally longer plastron; broader and less inclined xiphiplastron; wider angle between scapular process and acromion process. Our results show that Th. hugii and Th. bruntrutana also occur simultaneously in the Kimmeridgian of Solothurn as well as in the Kimmeridgian of England (Kimmeridge Clay. This study is an important step towards a better understanding of the paleobiogeographic distribution of Late Jurassic turtles in Europe.

  15. Ingestion and defecation of marine debris by loggerhead sea turtles, Caretta caretta, from by-catches in the South-West Indian Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoarau, Ludovic; Ainley, Lara; Jean, Claire; Ciccione, Stéphane

    2014-07-15

    Marine debris, caused by anthropogenic pollution, is a major problem impacting marine wildlife worldwide. This study documents and quantifies the ingestion and defecation of debris by 74 loggerhead sea turtles, Caretta caretta, in the South-West Indian Ocean. Debris was found in 51.4% of gut or fecal samples of loggerheads by-catch from Reunion Island long liners. Anthropogenic debris was ubiquitous in our samples with plastics accounting for 96.2% of the total debris collected. No significant relationship was detected between the characteristics of ingested debris and the biometric characteristics of loggerheads. The number, weight, volume and mean length of debris were higher in gut content of deceased loggerheads than in fecal samples of live turtles, but not significantly, except for the mean length. This is the first record of debris ingestion by sea turtles in the Indian Ocean and our results highlight the magnitude of this pollution of the marine environment. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Nuclear markers reveal a complex introgression pattern among marine turtle species on the Brazilian coast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vilaça, Sibelle T; Vargas, Sarah M; Lara-Ruiz, Paula; Molfetti, Érica; Reis, Estéfane C; Lôbo-Hajdu, Gisele; Soares, Luciano S; Santos, Fabrício R

    2012-09-01

    Surprisingly, a high frequency of interspecific sea turtle hybrids has been previously recorded in a nesting site along a short stretch of the Brazilian coast. Mitochondrial DNA data indicated that as much as 43% of the females identified as Eretmochelys imbricata are hybrids in this area (Bahia State of Brazil). It is a remarkable find, because most of the nesting sites surveyed worldwide, including some in northern Brazil, presents no hybrids, and rare Caribbean sites present no more than 2% of hybrids. Thus, a detailed understanding of the hybridization process is needed to evaluate natural or anthropogenic causes of this regional phenomenon in Brazil, which could be an important factor affecting the conservation of this population. We analysed a set of 12 nuclear markers to investigate the pattern of hybridization involving three species of sea turtles: hawksbill (E. imbricata), loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea). Our data indicate that most of the individuals in the crossings L. olivacea × E. imbricata and L. olivacea × C. caretta are F1 hybrids, whereas C. caretta × E. imbricata crossings present F1 and backcrosses with both parental species. In addition, the C. caretta × E. imbricata hybridization seems to be gender and species biased, and we also found one individual with evidence of multispecies hybridization among C. caretta × E. imbricata × Chelonia mydas. The overall results also indicate that hybridization in this area is a recent phenomenon, spanning at least two generations or ~40 years. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  17. Marine turtles of the Gal?pagos Islands and adjacent areas of the eastern Pacific on the basis of observations made by J.R. Slevin 1905-1906

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fritts, T.H.

    1981-01-01

    The field notes of J. R. Slevin written during the expedition of the California Academy of Sciences to the Galapagos Islands in 1905-1096 contain previously unavailable data on the marine turtles of the eastern Pacific. 'Land basking' by green turtles in Galapagos was predominately, if not exclusively, a female behavior. These terrestrial emergences were not concentrated in the major reproductive season of Galapagos turtles. Female Chelonia were also collected on shore during daylight hours on Socorro Island southwest of Baja California, Mexico. Chelonia, green turtles, were observed to feed on seaweed, the leaves and shoots of mangrove trees, and the leaves of another unidentified shoreline shrub. Comparative data on the gonads of dark and yellow turtles indicated that the latter did not breed in Galapagos during Slevin's stay. Lepidochelys olivacea, the olive ridley, was recorded in Galapagos waters and fed on fish eggs

  18. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Agusa, Tetsuro; Takagi, Kozue; Kubota, Reiji; Anan, Yasumi; Iwata, Hisato; Tanabe, Shinsuke

    2008-01-01

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

  20. Evidence of opposing fitness effects of parental heterozygosity and relatedness in a critically endangered marine turtle?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, K P; Jorgensen, T H; Jolliffe, K G; Richardson, D S

    2017-11-01

    How individual genetic variability relates to fitness is important in understanding evolution and the processes affecting populations of conservation concern. Heterozygosity-fitness correlations (HFCs) have been widely used to study this link in wild populations, where key parameters that affect both variability and fitness, such as inbreeding, can be difficult to measure. We used estimates of parental heterozygosity and genetic similarity ('relatedness') derived from 32 microsatellite markers to explore the relationship between genetic variability and fitness in a population of the critically endangered hawksbill turtle, Eretmochelys imbricata. We found no effect of maternal MLH (multilocus heterozygosity) on clutch size or egg success rate, and no single-locus effects. However, we found effects of paternal MLH and parental relatedness on egg success rate that interacted in a way that may result in both positive and negative effects of genetic variability. Multicollinearity in these tests was within safe limits, and null simulations suggested that the effect was not an artefact of using paternal genotypes reconstructed from large samples of offspring. Our results could imply a tension between inbreeding and outbreeding depression in this system, which is biologically feasible in turtles: female-biased natal philopatry may elevate inbreeding risk and local adaptation, and both processes may be disrupted by male-biased dispersal. Although this conclusion should be treated with caution due to a lack of significant identity disequilibrium, our study shows the importance of considering both positive and negative effects when assessing how variation in genetic variability affects fitness in wild systems. © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  1. Australia’s protected area network fails to adequately protect the world’s most threatened marine fishes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen R. Devitt

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In order to maintain ecosystems and biodiversity, Australia has long invested in the development of marine and terrestrial protected area networks. Within this land- and sea-scape, northern Australia represents a global population stronghold for four species of the world’s most threatened marine fish family, the sawfishes (family Pristidae. The distribution of sawfishes across northern Australia has previously only been coarsely estimated, and the adequacy of their representation in protected areas has not been evaluated. The calculated range of each species was intersected with Australia’s marine and terrestrial protected area datasets, and targets of 10% marine and 17% inland range protection were used to determine adequacy of sawfish range protection. Marine targets have been achieved for all species, but the inland range protection targets have not been met for any species. Results indicate that further protection of inland habitats is required in order to improve sawfish protection and habitat connectivity.

  2. Global patterns of marine mammal, seabird, and sea turtle bycatch reveal taxa-specific and cumulative megafauna hotspots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewison, Rebecca L; Crowder, Larry B; Wallace, Bryan P; Moore, Jeffrey E; Cox, Tara; Zydelis, Ramunas; McDonald, Sara; DiMatteo, Andrew; Dunn, Daniel C; Kot, Connie Y; Bjorkland, Rhema; Kelez, Shaleyla; Soykan, Candan; Stewart, Kelly R; Sims, Michelle; Boustany, Andre; Read, Andrew J; Halpin, Patrick; Nichols, W J; Safina, Carl

    2014-04-08

    Recent research on ocean health has found large predator abundance to be a key element of ocean condition. Fisheries can impact large predator abundance directly through targeted capture and indirectly through incidental capture of nontarget species or bycatch. However, measures of the global nature of bycatch are lacking for air-breathing megafauna. We fill this knowledge gap and present a synoptic global assessment of the distribution and intensity of bycatch of seabirds, marine mammals, and sea turtles based on empirical data from the three most commonly used types of fishing gears worldwide. We identify taxa-specific hotspots of bycatch intensity and find evidence of cumulative impacts across fishing fleets and gears. This global map of bycatch illustrates where data are particularly scarce--in coastal and small-scale fisheries and ocean regions that support developed industrial fisheries and millions of small-scale fishers--and identifies fishing areas where, given the evidence of cumulative hotspots across gear and taxa, traditional species or gear-specific bycatch management and mitigation efforts may be necessary but not sufficient. Given the global distribution of bycatch and the mitigation success achieved by some fleets, the reduction of air-breathing megafauna bycatch is both an urgent and achievable conservation priority.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  4. Palaeoecology of triassic stem turtles sheds new light on turtle origins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joyce, Walter G; Gauthier, Jacques A

    2004-01-07

    Competing hypotheses of early turtle evolution contrast sharply in implying very different ecological settings-aquatic versus terrestrial-for the origin of turtles. We investigate the palaeoecology of extinct turtles by first demonstrating that the forelimbs of extant turtles faithfully reflect habitat preferences, with short-handed turtles being terrestrial and long-handed turtles being aquatic. We apply this metric to the two successive outgroups to all living turtles with forelimbs preserved, Proganochelys quenstedti and Palaeochersis talampayensis, to discover that these earliest turtle outgroups were decidedly terrestrial. We then plot the observed distribution of aquatic versus terrestrial habits among living turtles onto their hypothesized phylogenies. Both lines of evidence indicate that although the common ancestor of all living turtles was aquatic, the earliest turtles clearly lived in a terrestrial environment. Additional anatomical and sedimentological evidence favours these conclusions. The freshwater aquatic habitat preference so characteristic of living turtles cannot, consequently, be taken as positive evidence for an aquatic origin of turtles, but must rather be considered a convergence relative to other aquatic amniotes, including the marine sauropterygians to which turtles have sometimes been allied.

  5. A report on the hybridization between two species of threatenedAsian box turtles (Testudines: Cuora) in the wild on Hainan Island(China) with comments on the origin of 'Serrata'-like turtles.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shi, H.; Parham, James F.; Simison, W. Brian; Wang, J.; Gong, S.; Fu, B.

    2004-03-01

    Ten new turtle taxa were described from pet trade specimens from China since the 1980s (see Fritz and Obst, 1998; Fritz and Obst, 1999; Parham et al., 2001 for a review). Specimens similar to one of these taxa, Cuora serrata Iverson and McCord, 1992 (originally Cuora galbinifrons serrata, elevated by Fritz and Obst, 1997), were shown to be hybrids of male Cuora mouhotii (Gray, 1862; formerly Pyxidea, but see Stuart and Parham, 2004) and females of Cuora galbinifrons Bourret, 1939 or Cuora bourreti Obst and Reimann, 1994 (Parham et al., 2001; and Stuart and Parham, 2004).

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. The advantages of going large: genome-wide SNPs clarify the complex population history and systematics of the threatened western pond turtle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spinks, Phillip Q; Thomson, Robert C; Shaffer, H Bradley

    2014-05-01

    As the field of phylogeography has matured, it has become clear that analyses of one or a few genes may reveal more about the history of those genes than the populations and species that are the targets of study. To alleviate these concerns, the discipline has moved towards larger analyses of more individuals and more genes, although little attention has been paid to the qualitative or quantitative gains that such increases in scale and scope may yield. Here, we increase the number of individuals and markers by an order of magnitude over previously published work to comprehensively assess the phylogeographical history of a well-studied declining species, the western pond turtle (Emys marmorata). We present a new analysis of 89 independent nuclear SNP markers and one mitochondrial gene sequence scored for rangewide sampling of >900 individuals, and compare these to smaller-scale, rangewide genetic and morphological analyses. Our enlarged SNP data fundamentally revise our understanding of evolutionary history for this lineage. Our results indicate that the gains from greatly increasing both the number of markers and individuals are substantial and worth the effort, particularly for species of high conservation concern such as the pond turtle, where accurate assessments of population history are a prerequisite for effective management. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Mitochondrial DNA markers of loggerhead marine turtles (Caretta caretta (Testudines: Cheloniidae nesting at Kyparissia Bay, Greece, confirm the western Greece unit and regional structuring

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Carreras

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Genetic markers have been widely used in marine turtles to assess population structuring and origin of individuals in common feeding grounds, which are key elements for understanding their ecology and for developing conservation strategies. However, these analyses are very sensitive to missing information, especially from abundant nesting sites. Kyparissia Bay (western Greece hosts the second largest Mediterranean nesting aggregation of the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta, but the genetic profile of this nesting site has not, as yet, been described using the extended version of the historically used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA marker. This marker was genotyped for 36 individuals nesting at Kyparissia Bay and haplotype frequencies obtained were compared with published data from other Mediterranean nesting sites. The results confirmed the connection between Kyparissia and other western Greek nesting sites and the isolation of this western Greek group from other Mediterranean nesting areas. As a consequence of this isolation, this abundant group of nesting aggregations (almost 30% of the Mediterranean stock is not likely to significantly contribute to the recovery of other declining Mediterranean units.

  11. 75 FR 68767 - Taking of Threatened or Endangered Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-11-09

    ... North Pacific Ocean so that human-caused mortality and serious injury are less than 10 percent of a PBR... impact to the human environment or effects on threatened or endangered species beyond those analyzed in... determination that incidental taking from commercial fishing will have a negligible impact on the endangered...

  12. 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

  13. 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…

  14. Terrestrial Turtle Habitats Potentially Impacted

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Dickerson, Dena

    1999-01-01

    .... This group includes the tortoises and box turtles with two species Federally threatened and three species having protection in at least one state. Three of these protected species are associated with environmental issues at 21 USACE projects from 5 USACE Districts.

  15. Geographic patterns of genetic variation in a broadly distributed marine vertebrate: new insights into loggerhead turtle stock structure from expanded mitochondrial DNA sequences.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian M Shamblin

    Full Text Available Previous genetic studies have demonstrated that natal homing shapes the stock structure of marine turtle nesting populations. However, widespread sharing of common haplotypes based on short segments of the mitochondrial control region often limits resolution of the demographic connectivity of populations. Recent studies employing longer control region sequences to resolve haplotype sharing have focused on regional assessments of genetic structure and phylogeography. Here we synthesize available control region sequences for loggerhead turtles from the Mediterranean Sea, Atlantic, and western Indian Ocean basins. These data represent six of the nine globally significant regional management units (RMUs for the species and include novel sequence data from Brazil, Cape Verde, South Africa and Oman. Genetic tests of differentiation among 42 rookeries represented by short sequences (380 bp haplotypes from 3,486 samples and 40 rookeries represented by long sequences (∼800 bp haplotypes from 3,434 samples supported the distinction of the six RMUs analyzed as well as recognition of at least 18 demographically independent management units (MUs with respect to female natal homing. A total of 59 haplotypes were resolved. These haplotypes belonged to two highly divergent global lineages, with haplogroup I represented primarily by CC-A1, CC-A4, and CC-A11 variants and haplogroup II represented by CC-A2 and derived variants. Geographic distribution patterns of haplogroup II haplotypes and the nested position of CC-A11.6 from Oman among the Atlantic haplotypes invoke recent colonization of the Indian Ocean from the Atlantic for both global lineages. The haplotypes we confirmed for western Indian Ocean RMUs allow reinterpretation of previous mixed stock analysis and further suggest that contemporary migratory connectivity between the Indian and Atlantic Oceans occurs on a broader scale than previously hypothesized. This study represents a valuable model for

  16. 75 FR 8305 - Taking of Threatened or Endangered Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-24

    ... be disregarded. In this regard, the committee notes that Webster's Dictionary defines the term... marine mammals, were analyzed in a draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement prepared by the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (WPFMC 2008) pursuant to the ] National Environmental Policy...

  17. A decision framework for prioritizing multiple management actions for threatened marine megafauna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuentes, M M P B; Blackwood, J; Jones, B; Kim, M; Leis, B; Limpus, C J; Marsh, H; Mitchell, J; Pouzols, F M; Pressey, R L; Visconti, P

    2015-01-01

    Resources for conserving biodiversity are invariably insufficient. This situation creates the need for transparent, systematic frameworks to help stakeholders prioritize the allocation of resources across multiple management actions. We developed a novel framework that explicitly prioritizes actions to minimize the impacts of several threats across a species' range. The framework uses a budget constraint and maximizes conservation outcomes from a set of management actions, accounting for the likelihood of the action being successfully applied and accepted by local and Indigenous communities. This approach is novel in that it integrates local knowledge and expert opinion with optimization software, thereby minimizing assumptions about likelihood of success of actions and their effectiveness. To test the framework, we used the eastern Gulf of Carpentaria and Torres Strait population of the flatback turtle, Natator depressus, as a case study. This approach allowed the framework to be applied in a data-poor context, a situation common in conservation planning. The framework identified the best set of actions to maximize the conservation of flatback eggs for scenarios with different budgets and management parameters and allowed comparisons between optimized and preselected scenarios. Optimized scenarios considered all implementable actions to explore how to best allocate resources with a specified budget and focus. Preselected scenarios were used to evaluate current allocations of funds and/or potential budget allocations suggested by different stakeholders. Scenarios that used a combination of aerial and ground strategies to reduce predation of eggs performed better than scenarios that focused only on reducing harvest of eggs. The performances of optimized and preselected scenarios were generally similar among scenarios that targeted similar threats. However, the cost-effectiveness of optimized scenarios was usually higher than that of preselected scenarios

  18. 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. PMID

  19. 77 FR 75999 - 2013 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle Observer Requirement

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-12-26

    ... (Lepidochelys olivacea) sea turtles are listed as threatened, except for breeding colony populations of green... (Lepidochelys kempii), loggerhead (Caretta caretta; North Pacific distinct population segment), leatherback...

  20. 78 FR 77428 - 2014 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle Observer Requirement

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-12-23

    ... population segment), green (Chelonia mydas), and olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) sea turtles are listed... or threatened under the ESA. Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), loggerhead (Caretta caretta; North...

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. Willingness to pay for threatened and endangered marine species:A review of the literature and prospects for policy use

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel K Lew

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Non-market valuation methods have been employed to estimate willingness to pay for numerous threatened, endangered, and rare (TER species over the past few decades. While most of these efforts have focused on terrestrial species, over 30 published studies have been conducted to measure economic values associated with the preservation, protection, and enhancement of scores of marine species. In this paper, this literature is reviewed and assessed, and an evaluation of the suitability of existing TER species values as inputs for the analysis of marine and coastal policies, and the prospects and challenges for improving them, are discussed. The published literature is found to suffer from coverage issues, both geographical and in terms of species types. It includes stated preference valuation studies focused on marine species only in developed countries (United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Spain, and Greece, with the highest concentration of studies occurring in the United States. The species valued primarily can be classified as charismatic megafauna—seals and sea lions, whales, and sea turtles—plus well-known fish species, like salmon. Only a small handful of lesser known species are included among those valued to date. Species value estimates were as much as $356 (2013 U.S. dollars, but differed in the frequency of payments (e.g., lump sum vs. annual, the entity paying (e.g., household, resident, or visitor, and the specific good being valued (e.g., species preservation or a type of enhancement. Potential sources of errors arising from the use of these values for policy analyses, and the temporal stability of them, provide reasons to be cautious in their application. Nevertheless, several trends in the literature appear to provide reasons to be optimistic about the literature, particularly the recent expansion of types of species valued and more policy-relevant values.

  4. 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

  5. 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...

  6. Size matters: Predator outbreaks threaten foundation species in small Marine Protected Areas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cody S Clements

    Full Text Available The unanticipated impacts of consumers in fragmented habitats are frequently a challenge for ecosystem management. On Indo-Pacific coral reefs, crown-of-thorns sea stars (Acanthaster spp. are coral predators whose outbreaks cause precipitous coral decline. Across large spatial scales, Acanthaster densities are lower in large no-take Marine Protected Areas (MPAs and reefs subject to limited human exploitation. However, using a combination of observational and manipulative experiments, we found that Acanthaster densities within a network of small, no-take MPAs on reef flats in Fiji were ~2-3.4 times greater inside MPAs than in adjacent fished areas and ~2-2.5 times greater than the upper threshold density indicative of an outbreak. This appeared to result from selective Acanthaster migration to the coral-rich MPAs from fished areas that are coral-poor and dominated by macroalgae. Small MPAs can dramatically increase the cover of foundation species like corals, but may selectively attract coral predators like Acanthaster due to greater food densities within MPAs or because the MPAs are too small to support Acanthaster enemies. As coral cover increases, their chemical and visual cues may concentrate Acanthaster to outbreak densities that cause coral demise, compromising the value of small MPAs. An understanding of predator dynamics as a function of habitat type, size, and fragmentation needs to be incorporated into MPA design and management.

  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. Evaluating spatial patterns of dioxins in sediments to aid determination of potential implications for marine reptiles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hermanussen, S.; Gaus, C. [National Research Centre for Environmental Toxicology, Brisbane (Australia); Limpus, C.J. [Queensland Environmental Protection Agency, Brisbane (Australia); Paepke, O. [ERGO Forschungsgesellschaft mbH, Hamburg (Germany); Blanshard, W. [Sea World, Gold Coast (Australia); Connell, D. [School of Public Health, Griffith Univ., Brisbane (Australia)

    2004-09-15

    Recent investigations have identified elevated concentrations of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (dioxins) in marine sediments and wildlife of Queensland, Australia. While it has been demonstrated that the contamination is widespread and predominantly land-based, limited information exists on the pathways and fate of these compounds within the near-shore marine system. This environment supports unique and threatened species including green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas). Adult green turtles are predominantly herbivorous, feeding on seagrass and algae. Apart from initial migration to feeding grounds (at {proportional_to}10 years of age) and intermittent migrations to breeding grounds (at {proportional_to}30-50 years and thereafter), green turtles remain and feed within relatively small home ranges. Long life-span (50 years or more), near-shore feeding grounds and highly specialized food requirements render green turtles potentially vulnerable to contaminant exposure. Recent studies have shown a relationship between PCDD/F concentrations found in herbivorous marine wildlife and concentrations in sediments of their habitats. Hence, the spatial evaluation of sediment PCDD/F distribution may assist the assessment of green turtle exposure and its potential implications. The present study provides baseline information on green turtle PCDD/F concentrations in Queensland, Australia and investigates exposure pathways. In addition, spatial distribution of PCDD/Fs in sediments from known green turtle feeding regions is assessed using geographic information systems. This represents the first stage of a large scale investigation into the exposure and sensitivity of marine reptiles to dioxins and dioxin-like compounds and to evaluate whether poor health status observed in some populations may be related to contaminant exposure.

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Kauai Acoustic Thermometry of Ocean Climate Project and Its Associated Marine Mammal Research Program: Vol 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    1995-05-01

    Eretmochelys imbricata), and olive ridley ( Lepidochelys olivacea ). Hawksbills and leatherbacks are listed at the federal and state levels as endangered (DLNR...schauinslandi green sea turtle Chelonia mydas leatherback sea turtle Dermochelys coriacea olive ridley sea turtle Lepidochelys olivacea hawksbill sea...Dermochelys coriacea), and olive ridley sea turtle ( Lepidochelys olivacea ); and the following threatened species: loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Work, Thierry M.; Balazs, George H.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Conservation of marine megafauna through minimization of fisheries bycatch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Žydelis, Ramūnas; Wallace, Bryan P; Gilman, Eric L; Werner, Timothy B

    2009-06-01

    Many populations of marine megafauna, including seabirds, sea turtles, marine mammals, and elasmobranchs, have declined in recent decades due largely to anthropogenic mortality. To successfully conserve these long-lived animals, efforts must be prioritized according to feasibility and the degree to which they address threats with the highest relative impacts on population dynamics. Recently, Wilcox and Donlan (2007, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment) and Donlan and Wilcox (2008, Biological Invasions) proposed a conservation strategy of "compensatory mitigation" in which fishing industries offset bycatch of seabirds and sea turtles by funding eradication of invasive mammalian predators from the terrestrial reproductive sites of these marine animals. Although this is a creative and conceptually compelling approach, we find it flawed as a conservation tool because it has narrow applicability among marine megafauna, it does not address the most pervasive threats to marine megafauna, and it is logistically and financially infeasible. Invasive predator eradication does not adequately offset the most pressing threat to most marine megafauna populations--fisheries bycatch. For seabird populations, fisheries bycatch and invasive predators infrequently are overlapping threats. Invasive predators have limited population-level impacts on sea turtles and marine mammals and no impacts on elasmobranchs, all of which are threatened by bycatch. Implementing compensatory mitigation in marine fisheries is unrealistic due to inadequate monitoring, control, and surveillance in the majority of fleets. Therefore, offsetting fisheries bycatch with eradication of invasive predators would be less likely to reverse population declines than reducing bycatch. We recommend that efforts to mitigate bycatch in marine capture fisheries should address multiple threats to sensitive bycatch species groups, but these efforts should first institute proven bycatch avoidance and reduction methods

  16. Arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, and selenium levels in blood of four species of turtles from the Amazon in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burger, Joanna; Jeitner, Christian; Schneider, Larissa; Vogt, Richard; Gochfeld, Michael

    2010-01-01

    Using blood as a method of assessing metal levels in turtles may be useful for populations that are threatened or endangered or are decreasing. In this study the levels of arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), and selenium (Se) in blood of four species of turtles from the tributaries of the Rio Negro in the Amazon of Brazil were examined. The turtles included the six-tubercled Amazon (river) turtle (Podocnemis sextuberculata), red-headed Amazon (river) turtle (Podocnemis erythrocephala), big-headed Amazon (river) turtle (Peltocephalus dumerilianus), and matamata turtle (Chelus fimbriatus). Blood samples were taken from the vein in the left hind leg of each turtle. There were significant interspecific differences in the sizes of the turtles from the Rio Negro, and in concentrations of Pb, Hg, and Se; the smallest species (red-headed turtles) had the highest levels of Pb in their blood, while Se levels were highest in big-headed turtles and lowest in red-headed turtles. Hg in blood was highest in matamata, intermediate in big-headed, and lowest in the other two turtles. Even though females were significantly larger than males, there were no significant differences in metal levels as a function of gender, and the only relationship of metals to size was for Cd. Variations in metal levels among species suggest that blood may be a useful bioindicator. Metal levels were not high enough to pose a health risk to the turtles or to consumers, such as humans.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. The role of turtles as coral reef macroherbivores

    KAUST Repository

    Goatley, Christopher H. R.

    2012-06-29

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

  20. 75 FR 53925 - Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp and Summer Flounder Trawling Requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-02

    ... mydas) turtles are listed as threatened, except for breeding populations of green turtles in Florida and..., must be larger. This prevents this style of cut from being used on smaller TED frames. In 2006, the... DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 223 [Docket No...

  1. Metal contents of marine turtle eggs (Chelonia mydas; Lepidochelys olivacea) from the tropical eastern pacific and the implications for human health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, David A; Guzmán, Héctor M; Van Hinsberg, Vincent J; Potvin, Catherine

    2016-10-02

    Concentrations of eight elements were measured in Chelonia mydas and Lepidochelys olivacea eggs collected along the Pacific coast of Panama. Manganese (Mn), iron (Fe), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), and mercury (Hg) concentrations were similar to previous reports of these species from around the world, while lead (Pb) was lower than previous reports. Cd posed the highest health risk to people who regularly eat the eggs, with average consumption rates leading to target hazard quotients (THQ) of up to 0.35 ± 0.15. Our conclusions indicate that current turtle egg consumption in isolated, coastal Pacific communities may pose a health concern for young children, and that youth and young adults should limit their consumption of turtle eggs to reduce their total intake of nonessential metals.

  2. Effects of illegal harvest of eggs on the population decline of leatherback turtles in Las Baulas Marine National Park, Costa Rica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomillo, Pilar Santidrián; Saba, Vincent S; Piedra, Rotney; Paladino, Frank V; Spotila, James R

    2008-10-01

    Within 19 years the nesting population of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) at Parque Nacional Marino Las Baulas declined from 1500 turtles nesting per year to about 100. We analyzed the effects of fishery bycatch and illegal harvesting (poaching) of eggs on this population. We modeled the population response to different levels of egg harvest (90, 75, 50, and 25%) and the effect of eradicating poaching at different times during the population decline. We compared effects of 90% poaching with those of 20% adult mortality because both of these processes were present in the population at Las Baulas. There was a stepwise decline in number of nesting turtles at all levels of egg harvest. Extirpation times for different levels of poaching ranged from 45 to 282 years. The nesting population declined more slowly and survived longer with 20% adult mortality (146 years) than it did with 90% poaching (45 years). Time that elapsed until poaching stopped determined the average population size at which the population stabilized, ranging from 90 to 420 nesting turtles. Our model predicted that saving clutches lost naturally would restore the population when adult mortality rates were low and would contribute more to population recovery when there were short remigration intervals between nesting seasons and a large proportion of natural loss of clutches. Because the model indicated that poaching was the most important cause of the leatherback decline at Las Baulas, protecting nests on the beach and protecting the beach from development are critical for survival of this population. Nevertheless, the model predicted that current high mortality rates of adults will prevent population recovery. Therefore, protection of the beach habitat and nests must be continued and fishery bycatch must be reduced to save this population.

  3. Highly diverse, poorly studied and uniquely threatened by climate change: an assessment of marine biodiversity on South Georgia's continental shelf.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oliver T Hogg

    Full Text Available We attempt to quantify how significant the polar archipelago of South Georgia is as a source of regional and global marine biodiversity. We evaluate numbers of rare, endemic and range-edge species and how the faunal structure of South Georgia may respond to some of the fastest warming waters on the planet. Biodiversity data was collated from a comprehensive review of reports, papers and databases, collectively representing over 125 years of polar exploration. Classification of each specimen was recorded to species level and fully geo-referenced by depth, latitude and longitude. This information was integrated with physical data layers (e.g. temperature, salinity and flow providing a visualisation of South Georgia's biogeography across spatial, temporal and taxonomic scales, placing it in the wider context of the Southern Hemisphere. This study marks the first attempt to map the biogeography of an archipelago south of the Polar Front. Through it we identify the South Georgian shelf as the most speciose region of the Southern Ocean recorded to date. Marine biodiversity was recorded as rich across taxonomic levels with 17,732 records yielding 1,445 species from 436 families, 51 classes and 22 phyla. Most species recorded were rare, with 35% recorded only once and 86% recorded <10 times. Its marine fauna is marked by the cumulative dominance of endemic and range-edge species, potentially at their thermal tolerance limits. Consequently, our data suggests the ecological implications of environmental change to the South Georgian marine ecosystem could be severe. If sea temperatures continue to rise, we suggest that changes will include depth profile shifts of some fauna towards cooler Antarctic Winter Water (90-150 m, the loss of some range-edge species from regional waters, and the wholesale extinction at a global scale of some of South Georgia's endemic species.

  4. 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)

  5. A threatened beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) population in the traffic lane: vessel-generated noise characteristics of the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McQuinn, Ian H; Lesage, Véronique; Carrier, Dominic; Larrivée, Geneviève; Samson, Yves; Chartrand, Sylvain; Michaud, Robert; Theriault, James

    2011-12-01

    The threatened resident beluga population of the St. Lawrence Estuary shares the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park with significant anthropogenic noise sources, including marine commercial traffic and a well-established, vessel-based whale-watching industry. Frequency-dependent (FD) weighting was used to approximate beluga hearing sensitivity to determine how noise exposure varied in time and space at six sites of high beluga summer residency. The relative contribution of each source to acoustic habitat degradation was estimated by measuring noise levels throughout the summer and noise signatures of typical vessel classes with respect to traffic volume and sound propagation characteristics. Rigid-hulled inflatable boats were the dominant noise source with respect to estimated beluga hearing sensitivity in the studied habitats due to their high occurrence and proximity, high correlation with site-specific FD-weighted sound levels, and the dominance of mid-frequencies (0.3-23 kHz) in their noise signatures. Median C-weighted sound pressure level (SPL(RMS)) had a range of 19 dB re 1 μPa between the noisiest and quietest sites. Broadband SPL(RMS) exceeded 120 dB re 1 μPa 8-32% of the time depending on the site. Impacts of these noise levels on St. Lawrence beluga will depend on exposure recurrence and individual responsiveness. © 2011 Acoustical Society of America

  6. Estimating effects of tidal power projects and climate change on threatened and endangered marine species and their food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busch, D Shallin; Greene, Correigh M; Good, Thomas P

    2013-12-01

    Marine hydrokinetic power projects will operate as marine environments change in response to increased atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. We considered how tidal power development and stressors resulting from climate change may affect Puget Sound species listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA) and their food web. We used risk tables to assess the singular and combined effects of tidal power development and climate change. Tidal power development and climate change posed risks to ESA-listed species, and risk increased with incorporation of the effects of these stressors on predators and prey of ESA-listed species. In contrast, results of a model of strikes on ESA-listed species from turbine blades suggested that few ESA-listed species are likely to be killed by a commercial-scale tidal turbine array. We applied scenarios to a food web model of Puget Sound to explore the effects of tidal power and climate change on ESA-listed species using more quantitative analytical techniques. To simulate development of tidal power, we applied results of the blade strike model. To simulate environmental changes over the next 50 years, we applied scenarios of change in primary production, plankton community structure, dissolved oxygen, ocean acidification, and freshwater flooding events. No effects of tidal power development on ESA-listed species were detected from the food web model output, but the effects of climate change on them and other members of the food web were large. Our analyses exemplify how natural resource managers might assess environmental effects of marine technologies in ways that explicitly incorporate climate change and consider multiple ESA-listed species in the context of their ecological community. Estimación de los Efectos de Proyectos de Energía de las Mareas y el Cambio Climático sobre Especies Marinas Amenazadas y en Peligro y su Red Alimentaria. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology No claim to original US government works.

  7. Reproductive biology and genetic diversity of the green turtle (Chelonia mydas) in Vamizi island, Mozambique.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anastácio, Rita; Santos, Camila; Lopes, Cardoso; Moreira, Helena; Souto, Luis; Ferrão, Jorge; Garnier, Julie; Pereira, Mário J

    2014-01-01

    Vamizi, an Island located in the Western Indian Ocean, is visited by a small and not fully characterized green turtle (Chelonia mydas (L.)) population. This population is threatened by natural hazards and several human activities, which are used to identify conservation priorities for marine turtles. It was our aim to contribute to the knowledge of marine turtles that nest in Vamizi, with respect to its regional management, and to an area that may possibly be included on the UNESCO World Heritage List due to its potential Outstanding Universal Value. Here, we evaluate the nesting parameters (incubation period, clutch size, hatching and emergence successes rates) and patterns over an 8-year (2003 - 2010) conservation program. We also present the results of genetic diversity based on the analysis of approximately an 850 pb fragment of the mitochondrial DNA control region. We found that Vamizi beaches host a small number of nesting females, approximately 52 per year, but these have shown a reduction in their length. High hatching success (88.5 ± SD 17.2%, N = 649), emergence success rates (84.5 ± SD 20.4%, N = 649) were observed, and genetic diversity (N = 135), with 11 haplotypes found (7 new). It was also observed, in the later years of this study, a reduction in the incubation period, a dislocation of the nesting peak activity and an increase in the number of flooded nests and an increase of the number of nests in areas with lower human activity. Some resilience and behavioral plasticity seems to occur regarding human territory occupancy and climate changes. However, regardless of the results, aspects like what seems to be the reduction of some cohorts, the number of flooded nests and the diminishing of the incubation period (East and South facing beaches), show that conservation efforts have to be improved.

  8. Molecular phylogeny and divergence of the map turtles (Emydidae: Graptemys).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomson, Robert C; Spinks, Phillip Q; Shaffer, H Bradley

    2018-04-01

    The map turtles (genus Graptemys) comprise a morphologically diverse clade that forms a major component of the southeastern US hotspot of chelonian diversity. Map turtles have experienced both recent and rapid diversification resulting in long-standing uncertainty regarding species boundaries and phylogenetic relationships within the genus as well as timing of their divergence. We present a phylogeny for the group that includes geographically representative sampling for all described species and subspecies. We make use of an empirical prior on rates of molecular evolution to estimate divergence times with a molecular clock under a coalescent framework. Together, the phylogeny and divergence time estimates suggest that diversification has been both more recent and more rapid than has so far been suspected. We provide a well-supported evolutionary framework for Graptemys that is necessary for understanding map turtle diversity, biogeography, and for conservation of this threatened clade of turtles. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Population Structure and Growth of the Threatened Pen Shell, Pinna rudis (Linnaeus, 1758 in a Western Mediterranean Marine Protected Area

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. NEBOT COLOMER

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Coastal ecosystems are being extensively degraded by human activities. Benthic, slow-growing and long-lived species are highly vulnerable to these impacts. Marine protected areas might avoid biodiversity losses through habitat protection. The pen shell Pinna rudis is a protected species, but scarce data are available on its ecology and biology. The present study is a comprehensive ecological study encompassing several unknown aspects of the growth and inner record in relation to habitat types, density and size distribution. A total of 418 strip transects were conducted by scuba diving in the Marine Protected Area of Cabrera National Park (39.14° N, 2.96° E, during the summers of 2011, 2012 and 2013. Sampling was conducted across different habitats and depths exploring 152,146.35 m2 in total. Densities varied spatially within the park (from 0 to 6.89 ind./100 m2 corresponding to a wide range of sizes and ages. Most pen shells were patchily distributed and mainly concentrated in caves. Two hotspots with high densities represent the highest densities ever recorded worldwide, showing a possible link to high larval accumulation and settlement. The population size structure showed a unimodal distribution with shell width ranging from 6.2 to 25.0 cm, with an average shell width of 16.0 ± 3.4 cm. The absolute growth was asymptotic, with a maximum age and length of 28-31 years and 45 cm, respectively. This study on the biology and ecology of a well-established population of Pinna rudis in the Western Mediterranean could set a baseline for the conservation of this species in other areas.

  10. Small-scale fisheries bycatch jeopardizes endangered Pacific loggerhead turtles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S Hoyt Peckham

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Although bycatch of industrial-scale fisheries can cause declines in migratory megafauna including seabirds, marine mammals, and sea turtles, the impacts of small-scale fisheries have been largely overlooked. Small-scale fisheries occur in coastal waters worldwide, employing over 99% of the world's 51 million fishers. New telemetry data reveal that migratory megafauna frequent coastal habitats well within the range of small-scale fisheries, potentially producing high bycatch. These fisheries occur primarily in developing nations, and their documentation and management are limited or non-existent, precluding evaluation of their impacts on non-target megafauna.30 North Pacific loggerhead turtles that we satellite-tracked from 1996-2005 ranged oceanwide, but juveniles spent 70% of their time at a high use area coincident with small-scale fisheries in Baja California Sur, Mexico (BCS. We assessed loggerhead bycatch mortality in this area by partnering with local fishers to 1 observe two small-scale fleets that operated closest to the high use area and 2 through shoreline surveys for discarded carcasses. Minimum annual bycatch mortality in just these two fleets at the high use area exceeded 1000 loggerheads year(-1, rivaling that of oceanwide industrial-scale fisheries, and threatening the persistence of this critically endangered population. As a result of fisher participation in this study and a bycatch awareness campaign, a consortium of local fishers and other citizens are working to eliminate their bycatch and to establish a national loggerhead refuge.Because of the overlap of ubiquitous small-scale fisheries with newly documented high-use areas in coastal waters worldwide, our case study suggests that small-scale fisheries may be among the greatest current threats to non-target megafauna. Future research is urgently needed to quantify small-scale fisheries bycatch worldwide. Localizing coastal high use areas and mitigating bycatch in

  11. Prime time for turtle conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    A. Ross Kiester; Deanna H. Olson

    2011-01-01

    Our turtle heritage is diminishing at a rate outpacing that of other main animal groups. The 2011-Year of the Turtle partnership and campaign is an opportunity to raise awareness for turtles, celebrate our turtle heritage, herald conservation and research successes, and identify gaps in our understanding that can be the focus of future work. We outline seven...

  12. 76 FR 52888 - Western Pacific Pelagic Fisheries; American Samoa Longline Gear Modifications To Reduce Turtle...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-24

    ... Modifications To Reduce Turtle Interactions AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic... longline hooks fish deeper than 100 meters (m) to reduce interactions with Pacific green sea turtles. This... are fatal. To reduce these interactions, the Council recommended in Amendment 5 that NMFS require...

  13. Presence of plastic debris in loggerhead turtle stranded along the Tuscany coasts of the Pelagos Sanctuary for Mediterranean Marine Mammals (Italy).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campani, Tommaso; Baini, Matteo; Giannetti, Matteo; Cancelli, Fabrizio; Mancusi, Cecilia; Serena, Fabrizio; Marsili, Letizia; Casini, Silvia; Fossi, Maria Cristina

    2013-09-15

    This work evaluated the presence and the frequency of occurrence of marine litter in the gastrointestinal tract of 31 Caretta caretta found stranded or accidentally bycaught in the North Tyrrhenian Sea. Marine debris were present in 71% of specimens and were subdivided in different categories according to Fulmar Protocol (OSPAR 2008). The main type of marine debris found was user plastic, with the main occurrence of sheetlike user plastic. The small juveniles showed a mean±SD of marine debris items of 19.00±23.84, while the adult specimens showed higher values of marine litter if compared with the juveniles (26.87±35.85). The occurrence of marine debris observed in this work confirms the high impact of marine debris in the Mediterranean Sea in respect to other seas and oceans, and highlights the importance of Caretta caretta as good indicator for marine litter in the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) of European Union. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. A toothed turtle from the Late Jurassic of China and the global biogeographic history of turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joyce, Walter G; Rabi, Márton; Clark, James M; Xu, Xing

    2016-10-28

    the ambiguous phylogenetic relationships of these three lineages, it is unclear if their diversification was driven by vicariance as well, or if they display a vicariance-like pattern. The clean, primary signal apparent among early turtles is secondarily obliterated throughout the Late Cretaceous to Recent by extensive dispersal of continental turtles and by multiple invasions of marine habitats.

  15. Underwater Hearing in Turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willis, Katie L

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Biases and best approaches for assessing debris ingestion in sea turtles, with a case study in the Mediterranean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casale, Paolo; Freggi, Daniela; Paduano, Valentina; Oliverio, Marco

    2016-09-15

    In a sample of 567 loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) from the central Mediterranean, debris occurrence varied according to methods and turtle source, and was up to 80% in pelagic turtles. Frequencies of plastic types, size and color are also reported. These results and a critical review of 49 studies worldwide indicate that: (i) the detected occurrence of plastic (% turtles) is affected by several factors (e.g., necropsy/feces, ecological zone, type and date of finding, captivity period for feces collection), (ii) mixed dataset and opportunistic approaches provide results which are biased , not comparable, and ultimately of questionable value, (iii) only turtles assumed to have had a normal feeding behaviour at the time of capture or death should be considered, (iv) turtle foraging ecology and possible selectivity may undermine the use of turtles as indicator species for monitoring marine litter, as recently proposed for the Mediterranean. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  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. Green Turtle Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  19. European Atlantic Turtles

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brongersma, L.D.

    1972-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Turtles as hopeful monsters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rieppel, O

    2001-11-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Fecal bacterial communities of wild-captured and stranded green turtles (Chelonia mydas) on the Great Barrier Reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahasan, Md Shamim; Waltzek, Thomas B; Huerlimann, Roger; Ariel, Ellen

    2017-12-01

    Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) are endangered marine herbivores that break down food particles, primarily sea grasses, through microbial fermentation. However, the microbial community and its role in health and disease is still largely unexplored. In this study, we investigated and compared the fecal bacterial communities of eight wild-captured green turtles to four stranded turtles in the central Great Barrier Reef regions that include Bowen and Townsville. We used high-throughput sequencing analysis targeting the hypervariable V1-V3 regions of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene. At the phylum level, Firmicutes predominated among wild-captured green turtles, followed by Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria. In contrast, Proteobacteria (Gammaproteobacteria) was the most significantly dominant phylum among all stranded turtles, followed by Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes. In addition, Fusobacteria was also significantly abundant in stranded turtles. No significant differences were found between the wild-captured turtles in Bowen and Townsville. At the family level, the core bacterial community consisted of 25 families that were identified in both the wild-captured and stranded green turtles, while two unique sets of 14 families each were only found in stranded or wild-captured turtles. The predominance of Bacteroides in all groups indicates the importance of these bacteria in turtle gut health. In terms of bacterial diversity and richness, wild-captured green turtles showed a higher bacterial diversity and richness compared with stranded turtles. The marked differences in the bacterial communities between wild-captured and stranded turtles suggest the possible dysbiosis in stranded turtles in addition to potential causal agents. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alfaro Nuñez, Luis Alonso

    of the CFPHV among these species. Singleplex and nested PCR, Sanger sequencing and qPCR techniques were used to achieve these goal. Moreover, by using next generation sequencing we obtained a large number of full turtle mitochondrial genomes and a few entire CFPHV genomes were obtained from various samples....... Finally, large quantities of nuclear DNA data was generated by shotgun sequencing across two species of marine turtles. The most remarkable findings indicate that 100% of the FP exhibiting green turtles yielded CFPHV DNA sequences, unexpectedly, so did 15% of the clinically healthy turtles, presumably...

  6. 40 CFR 230.30 - Threatened and endangered species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ....11). The Department of Commerce has authority over some threatened and endangered marine mammals, fish and reptiles. (b) Possible loss of values: The major potential impacts on threatened or endangered...

  7. Salmonella from Baby Turtles

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2017-01-09

    Dr. Stacey Bosch, a veterinarian with CDC, discusses her article on Salmonella infections associated with baby turtles.  Created: 1/9/2017 by National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID).   Date Released: 1/9/2017.

  8. Quantifying Nearshore Sea Turtle Densities: Applications of Unmanned Aerial Systems for Population Assessments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sykora-Bodie, Seth T; Bezy, Vanessa; Johnston, David W; Newton, Everette; Lohmann, Kenneth J

    2017-12-18

    Although sea turtles face significant pressure from human activities, some populations are recovering due to conservation programs, bans on the trade of turtle products, and reductions in bycatch. While these trends are encouraging, the status of many populations remains unknown and scientific monitoring is needed to inform conservation and management decisions. To address these gaps, this study presents methods for using unmanned aerial systems (UAS) to conduct population assessments. Using a fixed-wing UAS and a modified strip-transect method, we conducted aerial surveys along a three-kilometer track line at Ostional, Costa Rica during a mass-nesting event of olive ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea). We visually assessed images collected during six transects for sea turtle presence, resulting in 682 certain detections. A cumulative total of 1091 certain and probable turtles were detected in the collected imagery. Using these data, we calculate estimates of sea turtle density (km -2 ) in nearshore waters. After adjusting for both availability and perception biases, we developed a low-end estimate of 1299 ± 458 and a high-end estimate of 2086 ± 803 turtles per km -2 . This pilot study illustrates how UAS can be used to conduct robust, safe, and cost-effective population assessments of sea turtle populations in coastal marine ecosystems.

  9. Palaeoecology of triassic stem turtles sheds new light on turtle origins.

    OpenAIRE

    Joyce, Walter G.; Gauthier, Jacques A.

    2004-01-01

    Competing hypotheses of early turtle evolution contrast sharply in implying very different ecological settings-aquatic versus terrestrial-for the origin of turtles. We investigate the palaeoecology of extinct turtles by first demonstrating that the forelimbs of extant turtles faithfully reflect habitat preferences, with short-handed turtles being terrestrial and long-handed turtles being aquatic. We apply this metric to the two successive outgroups to all living turtles with forelimbs preserv...

  10. Encroachment of Human Activity on Sea Turtle Nesting Sites

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. The Ozobranchus leech is a candidate mechanical vector for the fibropapilloma-associated turtle herpesvirus found latently infecting skin tumors on Hawaiian green turtles (Chelonia mydas)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Greenblatt, Rebecca J.; Work, Thierry M.; Balazs, George H.; Sutton, Claudia A.; Casey, Rufina N.; Casey, James W.

    2004-01-01

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

  13. Legal and institutional tools to mitigate plastic pollution affecting marine species: Argentina as a case study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    González Carman, Victoria; Machain, Natalia; Campagna, Claudio

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • Plastic pollution in Argentina harms vulnerable marine species of turtles and mammals. • One tool to advance their conservation is policy. • The legal and institutional framework pertinent to plastic pollution is explored. • Laws and agencies are in place, yet implementation and enforcement is deficient. • Interventions to mitigate plastic pollution and protect marine species are advanced. - Abstract: Plastics are the most common form of debris found along the Argentine coastline. The Río de la Plata estuarine area is a relevant case study to describe a situation where ample policy exists against a backdrop of plastics disposed by populated coastal areas, industries, and vessels; with resultant high impacts of plastic pollution on marine turtles and mammals. Policy and institutions are in place but the impact remains due to ineffective waste management, limited public education and awareness, and weaknesses in enforcement of regulations. This context is frequently repeated all over the world. We list possible interventions to increase the effectiveness of policy that require integrating efforts among governments, the private sector, non-governmental organizations and the inhabitants of coastal cities to reduce the amount of plastics reaching the Río de la Plata and protect threatened marine species. What has been identified for Argentina applies to the region and globally

  14. Human Salmonellosis and Pet Turtles

    OpenAIRE

    Bowering, David J.; Jessop, John; Black, W.

    1987-01-01

    Turtles have long been implicated as carriers of salmonella species, which can and do infect humans. This report reviews the British Columbia Provincial Laboratory's experience with turtle-associated salmonellosis from 1964 to 1985. The author identifies the salmonella serotypes that were most often associated with turtles during this period and discusses the impact that public-health measures may have had on human salmonellosis.

  15. 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

  16. Marine

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Govers, L.; Man in 't Veld, W.A.; Meffert, J.P.; Bouma, T.J.; van Rijswick, P.C.; Heusinkveld, J.H.T.; Orth, R.J.; van Katwijk, M.M.; van der Heide, T.

    2016-01-01

    Phytophthora species are potent pathogens that can devastate terrestrial plants, causing billions of dollars of damage yearly to agricultural crops and harming fragile ecosystems worldwide. Yet, virtually nothing is known about the distribution and pathogenicity of their marine relatives.

  17. Deepwater Horizon MC252 marine mammal data from the Environmental Response Management Application (ERMA) containing marine mammal aerial observations, bottlenose dolphin stock boundaries, dolphin telemetry datasets, marine mammal unusual mortality events (UME), related marine mammal data, and sea turtle data collected for the DWH response between 2010-04-28 and 2010-08-25 in the Northern Gulf of Mexico (NCEI Accession 0163809)

    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 represent marine mammal surveys, observations,...

  18. "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…

  19. Turtles and culverts, and alternative energy development: an unreported but potentially significant mortality threat to the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovich, J.E.; Ennen, J.R.; Madrak, S.; Grover, B.

    2011-01-01

    Culverts are often used to increase the permeability of roaded landscapes for wildlife, including turtles. Although the benefits of culverts as safe passages for turtles are well documented, under some conditions culverts can entrap them and cause mortality. Here we report a culvert-related mortality in the federally threatened desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) at a wind energy facility in California and offer simple recommendations to mitigate the negative effects of culverts for wildlife in general.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Effects of Marine Mammals on Columbia River Salmon Listed under the Endangered Species Act : Recovery Issues for Threatened and Endangered Snake River Salmon : Technical Report 3 of 11.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Park, Donn L.

    1993-06-01

    Most research on the Columbia and Snake Rivers in recent years has been directed to downstream migrant salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) losses at dams. Comparatively little attentions has been given to adult losses. Recently an estimated 378,4000 adult salmon and steelhead (O. mykiss) were unaccounted-for from Bonneville Dam to terminal areas upstream. It is now apparent that some of this loss was due to delayed mortality from wounded by marine mammals. This report reviews the recent literature to define predatory effects of marine mammals on Columbia River salmon.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, J.B.

    2005-01-01

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

  4. A giant chelonioid turtle from the late Cretaceous of Morocco with a suction feeding apparatus unique among tetrapods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bardet, Nathalie; Jalil, Nour-Eddine; de Lapparent de Broin, France; Germain, Damien; Lambert, Olivier; Amaghzaz, Mbarek

    2013-01-01

    Secondary adaptation to aquatic life occurred independently in several amniote lineages, including reptiles during the Mesozoic and mammals during the Cenozoic. These evolutionary shifts to aquatic environments imply major morphological modifications, especially of the feeding apparatus. Mesozoic (250-65 Myr) marine reptiles, such as ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs, mosasaurid squamates, crocodiles, and turtles, exhibit a wide range of adaptations to aquatic feeding and a broad overlap of their tooth morphospaces with those of Cenozoic marine mammals. However, despite these multiple feeding behavior convergences, suction feeding, though being a common feeding strategy in aquatic vertebrates and in marine mammals in particular, has been extremely rarely reported for Mesozoic marine reptiles. A relative of fossil protostegid and dermochelyoid sea turtles, Ocepechelon bouyai gen. et sp. nov. is a new giant chelonioid from the Late Maastrichtian (67 Myr) of Morocco exhibiting remarkable adaptations to marine life (among others, very dorsally and posteriorly located nostrils). The 70-cm-long skull of Ocepechelon not only makes it one of the largest marine turtles ever described, but also deviates significantly from typical turtle cranial morphology. It shares unique convergences with both syngnathid fishes (unique long tubular bony snout ending in a rounded and anteriorly directed mouth) and beaked whales (large size and elongated edentulous jaws). This striking anatomy suggests extreme adaptation for suction feeding unmatched among known turtles. The feeding apparatus of Ocepechelon, a bony pipette-like snout, is unique among tetrapods. This new taxon exemplifies the successful systematic and ecological diversification of chelonioid turtles during the Late Cretaceous. This new evidence for a unique trophic specialization in turtles, along with the abundant marine vertebrate faunas associated to Ocepechelon in the Late Maastrichtian phosphatic beds of Morocco, further

  5. A giant chelonioid turtle from the late Cretaceous of Morocco with a suction feeding apparatus unique among tetrapods.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathalie Bardet

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Secondary adaptation to aquatic life occurred independently in several amniote lineages, including reptiles during the Mesozoic and mammals during the Cenozoic. These evolutionary shifts to aquatic environments imply major morphological modifications, especially of the feeding apparatus. Mesozoic (250-65 Myr marine reptiles, such as ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs, mosasaurid squamates, crocodiles, and turtles, exhibit a wide range of adaptations to aquatic feeding and a broad overlap of their tooth morphospaces with those of Cenozoic marine mammals. However, despite these multiple feeding behavior convergences, suction feeding, though being a common feeding strategy in aquatic vertebrates and in marine mammals in particular, has been extremely rarely reported for Mesozoic marine reptiles. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A relative of fossil protostegid and dermochelyoid sea turtles, Ocepechelon bouyai gen. et sp. nov. is a new giant chelonioid from the Late Maastrichtian (67 Myr of Morocco exhibiting remarkable adaptations to marine life (among others, very dorsally and posteriorly located nostrils. The 70-cm-long skull of Ocepechelon not only makes it one of the largest marine turtles ever described, but also deviates significantly from typical turtle cranial morphology. It shares unique convergences with both syngnathid fishes (unique long tubular bony snout ending in a rounded and anteriorly directed mouth and beaked whales (large size and elongated edentulous jaws. This striking anatomy suggests extreme adaptation for suction feeding unmatched among known turtles. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: The feeding apparatus of Ocepechelon, a bony pipette-like snout, is unique among tetrapods. This new taxon exemplifies the successful systematic and ecological diversification of chelonioid turtles during the Late Cretaceous. This new evidence for a unique trophic specialization in turtles, along with the abundant marine vertebrate faunas associated to

  6. A Giant Chelonioid Turtle from the Late Cretaceous of Morocco with a Suction Feeding Apparatus Unique among Tetrapods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bardet, Nathalie; Jalil, Nour-Eddine; de Lapparent de Broin, France; Germain, Damien; Lambert, Olivier; Amaghzaz, Mbarek

    2013-01-01

    Background Secondary adaptation to aquatic life occurred independently in several amniote lineages, including reptiles during the Mesozoic and mammals during the Cenozoic. These evolutionary shifts to aquatic environments imply major morphological modifications, especially of the feeding apparatus. Mesozoic (250–65 Myr) marine reptiles, such as ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs, mosasaurid squamates, crocodiles, and turtles, exhibit a wide range of adaptations to aquatic feeding and a broad overlap of their tooth morphospaces with those of Cenozoic marine mammals. However, despite these multiple feeding behavior convergences, suction feeding, though being a common feeding strategy in aquatic vertebrates and in marine mammals in particular, has been extremely rarely reported for Mesozoic marine reptiles. Principal Findings A relative of fossil protostegid and dermochelyoid sea turtles, Ocepechelon bouyai gen. et sp. nov. is a new giant chelonioid from the Late Maastrichtian (67 Myr) of Morocco exhibiting remarkable adaptations to marine life (among others, very dorsally and posteriorly located nostrils). The 70-cm-long skull of Ocepechelon not only makes it one of the largest marine turtles ever described, but also deviates significantly from typical turtle cranial morphology. It shares unique convergences with both syngnathid fishes (unique long tubular bony snout ending in a rounded and anteriorly directed mouth) and beaked whales (large size and elongated edentulous jaws). This striking anatomy suggests extreme adaptation for suction feeding unmatched among known turtles. Conclusion/Significance The feeding apparatus of Ocepechelon, a bony pipette-like snout, is unique among tetrapods. This new taxon exemplifies the successful systematic and ecological diversification of chelonioid turtles during the Late Cretaceous. This new evidence for a unique trophic specialization in turtles, along with the abundant marine vertebrate faunas associated to Ocepechelon in the Late

  7. Respiration in neonate sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, Edwin R; Paladino, Frank V; Strohl, Kingman P; Santidrián T, Pilar; Klann, Kenneth; Spotila, James R

    2007-03-01

    The pattern and control of respiration is virtually unknown in hatchling sea turtles. Using incubator-raised turtles, we measured oxygen consumption, frequency, tidal volume, and minute volume for leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) and olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) turtle hatchlings for the first six days after pipping. In addition, we tested the hatchlings' response to hypercapnic, hyperoxic, and hypoxic challenges over this time period. Hatchling sea turtles generally showed resting ventilation characteristics that are similar to those of adults: a single breath followed by a long respiratory pause, slow frequency, and high metabolic rate. With hypercapnic challenge, both species responded primarily by elevating respiratory frequency via a decrease in the non-ventilatory period. Leatherback resting tidal volume increased with age but otherwise, neither species' resting respiratory pattern nor response to gas challenge changed significantly over the first few days after hatching. At the time of nest emergence, sea turtles have achieved a respiratory pattern that is similar to that of actively diving adults.

  8. The diapsid origin of turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoch, Rainer R; Sues, Hans-Dieter

    2016-06-01

    The origin of turtles has been a persistent unresolved problem involving unsettled questions in embryology, morphology, and paleontology. New fossil taxa from the early Late Triassic of China (Odontochelys) and the Late Middle Triassic of Germany (Pappochelys) now add to the understanding of (i) the evolutionary origin of the turtle shell, (ii) the ancestral structural pattern of the turtle skull, and (iii) the phylogenetic position of Testudines. As has long been postulated on the basis of molecular data, turtles evolved from diapsid reptiles and are more closely related to extant diapsids than to parareptiles, which had been suggested as stem group by some paleontologists. The turtle cranium with its secondarily closed temporal region represents a derived rather than a primitive condition and the plastron partially evolved through the fusion of gastralia. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  9. Research on intact marine ecosystems: a lost era.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stachowitsch, Michael

    2003-07-01

    It is proposed that a new, fifth era should be added to the four historical phases of marine research identified by Rupert Riedl, specifically an era devoted to studying and ameliorating disturbed marine ecosystems. In an age of global environmental deterioration, many marine ecosystems and organisms are high on the list of threatened entities. This poor status prompts research that would otherwise have been unnecessary and hinders research that would normally have been conducted. I argue that research into intact marine ecosystems is becoming increasingly difficult, and that most of our future insights into marine habitats will stem from knowledge gained by examining various disfunctions of those systems rather than their functions. The new era will therefore differ from past research in its underlying aim, the range of topics studied, the selection and funding of those topics, the validity of its conclusions, and in its urgency. Sea turtles and cetaceans are cited as case studies at the organismic level, shallow-water benthic communities, including coral reefs, at the ecosystem level.

  10. 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.

  11. Legal and institutional tools to mitigate plastic pollution affecting marine species: Argentina as a case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González Carman, Victoria; Machain, Natalia; Campagna, Claudio

    2015-03-15

    Plastics are the most common form of debris found along the Argentine coastline. The Río de la Plata estuarine area is a relevant case study to describe a situation where ample policy exists against a backdrop of plastics disposed by populated coastal areas, industries, and vessels; with resultant high impacts of plastic pollution on marine turtles and mammals. Policy and institutions are in place but the impact remains due to ineffective waste management, limited public education and awareness, and weaknesses in enforcement of regulations. This context is frequently repeated all over the world. We list possible interventions to increase the effectiveness of policy that require integrating efforts among governments, the private sector, non-governmental organizations and the inhabitants of coastal cities to reduce the amount of plastics reaching the Río de la Plata and protect threatened marine species. What has been identified for Argentina applies to the region and globally. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 77 FR 20774 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Proposed Threatened Status for Distinct Population Segments of...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-06

    ... DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 223 RIN 0648-XZ58 Endangered and Threatened Species; Proposed Threatened Status for Distinct Population Segments of the Bearded Seal AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric...

  15. Turtle care and husbandry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wappel, Sharon M; Schulte, Michelle S

    2004-05-01

    Chelonians (turtles, tortoises, and terrapins) are not as well represented in private reptile collections as are snakes and lizards. Thismay be due in part to the fact that they often require more space and time for proper care. Nonetheless, they are still popular pets.Unfortunately, many people are not aware of what constitutes proper care for these animals. This article will discuss basic captive husbandry and nutrition issues of common chelonians, as well as recognizing illness, capture and restraint, sample collection, medication administration, and preventive care.

  16. 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...

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 77 FR 58357 - Marine Mammals; File No. 17355

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-20

    ... due form for a permit to conduct research on marine mammals and sea turtles. DATES: Written, telefaxed... Features box on the Applications and Permits for Protected Species (APPS) home page, https://apps.nmfs.noaa... scientific research on 38 species of cetaceans, four species of pinnipeds, and five species of sea turtles in...

  20. A quantitative analysis of the state of knowledge of turtles of the United States and Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Ennen, Joshua R.

    2013-01-01

    The “information age” ushered in an explosion of knowledge and access to knowledge that continues to revolutionize society. Knowledge about turtles, as measured by number of published papers, has been growing at an exponential rate since the early 1970s, a phenomenon mirrored in all scientific disciplines. Although knowledge about turtles, as measured by number of citations for papers in scientific journals, has been growing rapidly, this taxonomic group remains highly imperiled suggesting that knowledge is not always successfully translated into effective conservation of turtles. We reviewed the body of literature on turtles of the United States and Canada and found that: 1) the number of citations is biased toward large-bodied species, 2) the number of citations is biased toward wide-ranging species, and 3) conservation status has little effect on the accumulation of knowledge for a species, especially after removing the effects of body size or range size. The dispersion of knowledge, measured by Shannon Weiner diversity and evenness indices across species, was identical from 1994 to 2009 suggesting that poorly studied species remained poorly-studied species while well-studied species remained well studied. Several species listed as threatened or endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (e.g., Pseudemys alabamensis, Sternotherus depressus, and Graptemys oculifera) remain poorly studied with the estimated number of citations for each ranging from only 13-24. The low number of citations for these species could best be explained by their restricted distribution and/or their smaller size. Despite the exponential increase in knowledge of turtles in the United States and Canada, no species of turtle listed under the Endangered Species Act has ever been delisted for reason of recovery. Therefore, increased knowledge does not necessarily contribute appreciably to recovery of threatened turtles.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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....

  5. 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....

  6. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sale, Alessandro; Luschi, Paolo

    2009-11-07

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Modeling neck mobility in fossil turtles

    OpenAIRE

    Werneburg, Ingmar; Hinz, Juliane K.; Gumpenberger, Michaela; Volpato, Virginie; Natchev, Nikolay; Joyce, Walter G.

    2014-01-01

    Turtles have the unparalleled ability to retract their heads and necks within their shell but little is known about the evolution of this trait. Extensive analysis of neck mobility in turtles using radiographs, CT scans, and morphometry reveals that basal turtles possessed less mobility in the neck relative to their extant relatives, although the anatomical prerequisites for modern mobility were already established. Many extant turtles are able to achieve hypermobility by dislocating the cent...

  15. 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

  16. Evolutionary distinctiveness of the endangered Kemp's ridley sea turtle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowen, B W; Meylan, A B; Avise, J C

    1991-08-22

    The endangered Kemp's ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempi) nests almost exclusively at a single locality in the western Gulf of Mexico, whereas the olive ridley (L. olivacea) nests globally in warm oceans. Morphological similarities between kempi and olivacea, and a geographical distribution that "...makes no sense at all under modern conditions of climate and geography", raise questions about the degree of evolutionary divergence between these taxa. Analysis of mitochondrial (mt) DNA restriction sites shows that Kemp's ridley is distinct from the olive ridley in matriarchal phylogeny, and that the two are sister taxa with respect to other marine turtles. Separation of olive and the Kemp's ridley lineages may date to formation of the Isthmus of Panama, whereas the global spread of the olive ridley lineage occurred recently. In contrast to recent examples in which molecular genetic assessments challenged systematic assignments underlying conservation programmes, our mtDNA data corroborate the taxonomy of an endangered form.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  18. 76 FR 32929 - Western Pacific Pelagic Fisheries; American Samoa Longline Gear Modifications To Reduce Turtle...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-06-07

    ... Modifications To Reduce Turtle Interactions AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic... hooks are set at depths of 100 meters (m) or deeper to reduce interactions between longline fishing and... above were established to reduce the number and severity of interactions with protected species, the...

  19. Geographic distribution of the tortoises and freshwater turtles of Colombia and their representation in the protected area network

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Forero Medina, German; Yusti Munoz, Ana Paola; Castano Mora, Olga V

    2014-01-01

    Colombia has a remarkable diversity of tortoises and freshwater turtles. However, a considerable portion of these species is threatened, and for others there is not enough information to make an adequate evaluation of their conservation status. This study is a first approximation to the quantitative evaluation of the geographic distribution of Colombia's non-marine chelonians. Based on records of occurrence for each species, we evaluated the geographic distribution using statistical models (maxent), hydrological basins, and the extent of occurrence and area of occupancy. Based on the presence data and the models, we studied the representation of each species in national natural parks (NNP), which correspond to the most rigorous conservation category of IUCN classification in Colombia, and other types of protected areas such as private reserves. We generated distribution models and estimated the area (km 2 ) for 25 out of 27 species in the country. This information will be valuable for updating and evaluating the threat categories at the national level. The areas with the highest species richness correspond to the riverine ecosystems of the Amazon and Orinoco River Basins and the Caribbean Region, particularly the Western Caribbean. This region is a top priority not only because of its richness but also because of the presence of endemics and its high level of threat. Only 56 % of the species have confirmed records within national parks. A greater portion could be present in these areas according to the statistical models, but only ten of those species would have more than 10 % of their ranges within a park's boundary. Although the resulting models have certain limitations due to the nature of the data and analyses, they can be a starting point for research on the occurrence of turtles in NNP. Endemic species are poorly represented in protected areas, both in NNP and in other categories. Thus, protected areas that can assure the persistence of their

  20. Videography reveals in-water behavior of loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta at a foraging ground

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samir Harshad Patel

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Assessing sea turtle behavior at the foraging grounds has been primarily limited to the interpretation of remotely-sensed data. As a result, there is a general lack of detailed understanding regarding the habitat use of sea turtles during a phase that accounts for a majority of their lives. Thus, this study aimed to fill these data gaps by providing detailed information about the feeding habits, prey availability, buoyancy control and water column usage by 73 loggerhead turtles across 45.7 hours of video footage obtained from a remotely operated vehicle (ROV from 2008 – 2014. We developed an ethogram to account for 27 potential environmental and behavioral parameters. Turtles were filmed through the entire water column and we quantified the frequency of behaviors such as flipper beats, breaths, defecations, feedings and reactions to the ROV. We used the ROV’s depth sensor and visible cues (i.e. water surface or benthic zone in view to distinguish depth zones and assess the turtles’ use of the water column. We also quantified interactions with sympatric biota, including potential gelatinous and non-gelatinous prey species, fish (including sharks, marine mammals and other sea turtles. We discovered that turtles tended to remain within the near surface and surface zones of the water column through the majority of the footage. During benthic dives, turtles consistently exhibited negative buoyancy and some turtles exhibited a dichotomous foraging behavior, first foraging within the water column, then diving to the benthic environment. Videography allowed us to combine behavioral observations and habitat features that cannot be captured by traditional telemetry methods, resulting in a broader understanding of loggerheads’ ecological role in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boris Pavlin

    2015-01-01

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

  2. 78 FR 46563 - Endangered and Threatened Species: Proposed Rule To Designate Critical Habitat for the Northwest...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-01

    ... DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 226 [Docket No. 130513467-3467-01] RIN 0648-BD27 Endangered and Threatened Species: Proposed Rule To Designate Critical Habitat for the Northwest Atlantic Ocean Loggerhead Sea Turtle Distinct Population Segment (DPS) and...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Spatial and temporal habitat-use patterns of wood turtles at the western edge of their distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donald J. Brown; Mark D. Nelson; David J. Rugg; Richard R. Buech; Deahn M. Donner

    2016-01-01

    Wood Turtles (Glyptemys insculpta) are a state threatened species at the western edge of their geographic distribution in Minnesota, United States. There is currently little published information regarding habitat use of western populations to assist with conservation initiatives. The primary purpose of this study was to investigate habitat use of...

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Salinity tolerances of two Australian freshwater turtles,Chelodina expansaandEmydura macquarii(Testudinata: Chelidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bower, Deborah S; Scheltinga, David M; Clulow, Simon; Clulow, John; Franklin, Craig E; Georges, Arthur

    2016-01-01

    Freshwater biota experience physiological challenges in regions affected by salinization, but often the effects on particular species are poorly understood. Freshwater turtles are of particular concern as they appear to have limited ability to cope with environmental conditions that are hyperosmotic to their body fluids. Here, we determined the physiological responses of two Australian freshwater chelid turtles, Emydura macquarii and Chelodina expansa , exposed to freshwater (0‰) and brackish water (15‰, representing a hyperosmotic environment). Brackish water is common in the Murray-Darling River Basin within the natural range of these species in Australia during periods of drought, yet it is unknown how well these species tolerate saline conditions. We hypothesized that these turtles would be unable to maintain homeostasis in the 15‰ water treatment and would suffer osmotic loss of water, increased ionic concentrations and a decrease in body mass. Results revealed that these turtles had elevated plasma concentrations of sodium, chloride, urea and uric acid in the plasma. Plasma ionic concentrations increased proportionally more in E. macquarii than in C. expansa . Individuals of both species reduced feeding in 15‰ water, indicating that behaviour may provide an additional means for freshwater turtles to limit ion/solute influx when in hyperosmotic environments. This osmoregulatory behaviour may allow for persistence of turtles in regions affected by salinization; however, growth rates and body condition may be affected in the long term. Although we demonstrate that these turtles have mechanisms to survive temporarily in saline waters, it is likely that sustained salinization of waterways will exceed their short- to medium-term capacity to survive increased salt levels, making salinization a potentially key threatening process for these freshwater reptiles.

  9. Demographics of an ornate box turtle population experiencing minimal human-induced disturbances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Converse, S.J.; Iverson, J.B.; Savidge, J.A.

    2005-01-01

    Human-induced disturbances may threaten the viability of many turtle populations, including populations of North American box turtles. Evaluation of the potential impacts of these disturbances can be aided by long-term studies of populations subject to minimal human activity. In such a population of ornate box turtles (Terrapene ornata ornata) in western Nebraska, we examined survival rates and population growth rates from 1981-2000 based on mark-recapture data. The average annual apparent survival rate of adult males was 0.883 (SE = 0.021) and of adult females was 0.932 (SE = 0.014). Minimum winter temperature was the best of five climate variables as a predictor of adult survival. Survival rates were highest in years with low minimum winter temperatures, suggesting that global warming may result in declining survival. We estimated an average adult population growth rate (????) of 1.006 (SE = 0.065), with an estimated temporal process variance (????2) of 0.029 (95% CI = 0.005-0.176). Stochastic simulations suggest that this mean and temporal process variance would result in a 58% probability of a population decrease over a 20-year period. This research provides evidence that, unless unknown density-dependent mechanisms are operating in the adult age class, significant human disturbances, such as commercial harvest or turtle mortality on roads, represent a potential risk to box turtle populations. ?? 2005 by the Ecological Society of America.

  10. Patterning of the turtle shell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moustakas-Verho, Jacqueline E; Cebra-Thomas, Judith; Gilbert, Scott F

    2017-08-01

    Interest in the origin and evolution of the turtle shell has resulted in a most unlikely clade becoming an important research group for investigating morphological diversity in developmental biology. Many turtles generate a two-component shell that nearly surrounds the body in a bony exoskeleton. The ectoderm covering the shell produces epidermal scutes that form a phylogenetically stable pattern. In some lineages, the bones of the shell and their ectodermal covering become reduced or lost, and this is generally associated with different ecological habits. The similarity and diversity of turtles allows research into how changes in development create evolutionary novelty, interacting modules, and adaptive physiology and anatomy. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria As Bio-Indicator Of Polluted Effluent In The Green Turtles, In Oman

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Antibiotic resistant bacteria were studied as bio-indicators of marine polluted effluents during egg-laying in green turtles. A non-invasive procedure for sampling oviductal fluid was used to test for exposure of turtles to pollution in Ras Al-Hadd, Oman, which is one of the most important nesting beaches in the world. Each sample was obtained by inserting a 15 cm sterile swab gently into the cloacal vent as the sphincter muscle is relaxed and the cloacal lining is unfolde...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1986-01-01

    Lepidochelys kempii," Biol- .ogy and Conservation of Sea Turtles, K. A. Bjorndal, ed., Smithsonian Institu- tion...1977. "Kemp’s Ridley. Lepidochelys kempii (Garmaan 1880), Undoubtedly the Most Endangered Marine Turtle Today (with Notes on the Current . Status of...Lepidochetys olivacea )," Bulletin of the Maryland Herpetological Society, Vol 13, No. 3, pp 170-192. .% 44 ’.r.d 0 ? -,~’ yd’~ - .4. * *1 .4 4 .11 A -4.. .4 www ha .4. A h$i. *1 .4U I -1 ’I,. 4. p

  13. Dynamics of turtle cones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naka, K I; Itoh, M A; Chappell, R L

    1987-02-01

    The response dynamics of turtle photoreceptors (cones) were studied by the cross-correlation method using a white-noise-modulated light stimulus. Incremental responses were characterized by the kernels. White-noise-evoked responses with a peak-to-peak excursion of greater than 5 mV were linear, with mean square errors of approximately 8%, a degree of linearity comparable to the horizontal cell responses. Both a spot (0.17 mm diam) and a large field of light produced almost identical kernels. The amplitudes of receptor kernels obtained at various mean irradiances fitted approximately the Weber-Fechner relationship and the mean levels controlled both the amplitude and the response dynamics; kernels were slow and monophasic at low mean irradiance and were fast and biphasic at high mean irradiance. This is a parametric change and is a piecewise linearization. Horizontal cell kernels evoked by the small spot of light were monophasic and slower than the receptor kernels produced by the same stimulus. Larger spots of light or a steady annular illumination transformed the slow horizontal cell kernel into a fast kernel similar to those of the receptors. The slowing down of the kernel waveform was modeled by a simple low-pass circuit and the presumed feedback from horizontal cells onto cones did not appear to play a major role.

  14. 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.

  15. Turtles From an Arkadelphia Formation—Midway Group Lag Deposit (Maastrichtian—Paleocene, Hot Spring County, Arkansas, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin A. Becker

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The Arkadelphia Formation—Midway Group (Maastrichtian—Paleocene contact near Malvern, Arkansas preserves a K-Pg boundary assemblage of turtle species consisting of skull, shell, and non-shell postcranial skeletal elements. The Malvern turtles are preserved within a coquina lag deposit that comprises the basalmost Midway Group and also contains an abundance of other reptiles, as well as chondrichthyans, osteichthyans, and invertebrates. This coquina lag deposit records a complex taphonomic history of exhumation and reburial of vertebrate skeletal elements along a dynamic ancestral shoreline in southwestern Arkansas during the late Cretaceous-early Paleocene. Based on stratigraphic occurrence, the Malvern turtle assemblage indicates that these marine reptiles were living at or near the time of the K-Pg mass extinction and represent some of the latest Cretaceous turtles yet recovered from the Gulf Coastal Plain of the United States.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth L. Sim

    2015-07-01

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

  17. The origin of turtles: a paleontological perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joyce, Walter G

    2015-05-01

    The origin of turtles and their unusual body plan has fascinated scientists for the last two centuries. Over the course of the last decades, a broad sample of molecular analyses have favored a sister group relationship of turtles with archosaurs, but recent studies reveal that this signal may be the result of systematic biases affecting molecular approaches, in particular sampling, non-randomly distributed rate heterogeneity among taxa, and the use of concatenated data sets. Morphological studies, by contrast, disfavor archosaurian relationships for turtles, but the proposed alternative topologies are poorly supported as well. The recently revived paleontological hypothesis that the Middle Permian Eunotosaurus africanus is an intermediate stem turtle is now robustly supported by numerous characters that were previously thought to be unique to turtles and that are now shown to have originated over the course of tens of millions of years unrelated to the origin of the turtle shell. Although E. africanus does not solve the placement of turtles within Amniota, it successfully extends the stem lineage of turtles to the Permian and helps resolve some questions associated with the origin of turtles, in particular the non-composite origin of the shell, the slow origin of the shell, and the terrestrial setting for the origin of turtles. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angélica María Sánchez-Sarmiento

    2016-04-01

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

  19. 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...

  20. Immunoglobulin genes of the turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magadán-Mompó, Susana; Sánchez-Espinel, Christian; Gambón-Deza, Francisco

    2013-03-01

    The availability of reptile genomes for the use of the scientific community is an exceptional opportunity to study the evolution of immunoglobulin genes. The genome of Chrysemys picta bellii and Pelodiscus sinensis is the first one that has been reported for turtles. The scanning for immunoglobulin genes resulted in the presence of a complex locus for the immunoglobulin heavy chain (IGH). This IGH locus in both turtles contains genes for 13 isotypes in C. picta bellii and 17 in P. sinensis. These correspond with one immunoglobulin M, one immunoglobulin D, several immunoglobulins Y (six in C. picta bellii and eight in P. sinensis), and several immunoglobulins that are similar to immunoglobulin D2 (five in C. picta belli and seven in P. sinensis) that was previously described in Eublepharis macularius. It is worthy to note that IGHD2 are placed in an inverted transcriptional orientation and present sequences for two immunoglobulin domains that are similar to bird IgA domains. Furthermore, its phylogenetic analysis allows us to consider about the presence of IGHA gene in a primitive reptile, so we would be dealing with the memory of the gene that originated from the bird IGHA. In summary, we provide a clear picture of the immunoglobulins present in a turtle, whose analysis supports the idea that turtles emerged from the evolutionary line from the differentiation of birds and the presence of the IGHA gene present in a common ancestor.

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Are coastal protected areas always effective in achieving population recovery for nesting sea turtles?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nel, Ronel; Punt, André E; Hughes, George R

    2013-01-01

    Sea turtles are highly migratory and usually dispersed, but aggregate off beaches during the nesting season, rendering them vulnerable to coastal threats. Consequently, coastal Marine Protection Areas (MPAs) have been used to facilitate the recovery of turtle populations, but the effectiveness of these programs is uncertain as most have been operating for less than a single turtle generation (orcoastal MPAs. This provides a unique opportunity to evaluate the long-term effect of spatial protection on the abundance of two highly migratory turtle species with different life history characteristics. Population responses were assessed by modeling the number of nests over time in an index area (13 km) and an expanded monitoring area (53 km) with varying survey effort. Loggerhead abundance increased dramatically from∼250 to>1700 nests pa (index area) especially over the last decade, while leatherback abundance increased initially∼10 to 70 nests pa (index area), but then stabilized. Although leatherbacks have higher reproductive output per female and comparable remigration periods and hatching success to loggerheads, the leatherback population failed to expand. Our results suggest that coastal MPAs can work but do not guarantee the recovery of sea turtle populations as pressures change over time. Causes considered for the lack of population growth include factors in the MPA (expansion into unmonitored areas or incubation environment) of outside of the MPA (including carrying capacity and fishing mortality). Conservation areas for migratory species thus require careful design to account for species-specific needs, and need to be monitored to keep track of changing pressures.

  9. 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

  10. The endoskeletal origin of the turtle carapace.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirasawa, Tatsuya; Nagashima, Hiroshi; Kuratani, Shigeru

    2013-01-01

    The turtle body plan, with its solid shell, deviates radically from those of other tetrapods. The dorsal part of the turtle shell, or the carapace, consists mainly of costal and neural bony plates, which are continuous with the underlying thoracic ribs and vertebrae, respectively. Because of their superficial position, the evolutionary origins of these costo-neural elements have long remained elusive. Here we show, through comparative morphological and embryological analyses, that the major part of the carapace is derived purely from endoskeletal ribs. We examine turtle embryos and find that the costal and neural plates develop not within the dermis, but within deeper connective tissue where the rib and intercostal muscle anlagen develop. We also examine the fossils of an outgroup of turtles to confirm that the structure equivalent to the turtle carapace developed independently of the true osteoderm. Our results highlight the hitherto unravelled evolutionary course of the turtle shell.

  11. The endoskeletal origin of the turtle carapace

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirasawa, Tatsuya; Nagashima, Hiroshi; Kuratani, Shigeru

    2013-01-01

    The turtle body plan, with its solid shell, deviates radically from those of other tetrapods. The dorsal part of the turtle shell, or the carapace, consists mainly of costal and neural bony plates, which are continuous with the underlying thoracic ribs and vertebrae, respectively. Because of their superficial position, the evolutionary origins of these costo-neural elements have long remained elusive. Here we show, through comparative morphological and embryological analyses, that the major part of the carapace is derived purely from endoskeletal ribs. We examine turtle embryos and find that the costal and neural plates develop not within the dermis, but within deeper connective tissue where the rib and intercostal muscle anlagen develop. We also examine the fossils of an outgroup of turtles to confirm that the structure equivalent to the turtle carapace developed independently of the true osteoderm. Our results highlight the hitherto unravelled evolutionary course of the turtle shell. PMID:23836118

  12. 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...... from five globally distributed marine turtle species was analysed in order to detect the presence of CFPHV DNA. These samples represent both clinical (FP tumour) and subclinical (non-tumour) CFPHV infections. Validated methods were developed and applied in order to determine the global prevalence...... of the CFPHV among these species. Singleplex and nested PCR, Sanger sequencing and qPCR techniques were used to achieve these goal. Moreover, by using next generation sequencing we obtained a large number of full turtle mitochondrial genomes and a few entire CFPHV genomes were obtained from various samples...

  13. Modeling neck mobility in fossil turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werneburg, Ingmar; Hinz, Juliane K; Gumpenberger, Michaela; Volpato, Virginie; Natchev, Nikolay; Joyce, Walter G

    2015-05-01

    Turtles have the unparalleled ability to retract their heads and necks within their shell but little is known about the evolution of this trait. Extensive analysis of neck mobility in turtles using radiographs, CT scans, and morphometry reveals that basal turtles possessed less mobility in the neck relative to their extant relatives, although the anatomical prerequisites for modern mobility were already established. Many extant turtles are able to achieve hypermobility by dislocating the central articulations, which raises cautions about reconstructing the mobility of fossil vertebrates. A 3D-model of the Late Triassic turtle Proganochelys quenstedti reveals that this early stem turtle was able to retract its head by tucking it sideways below the shell. The simple ventrolateral bend seen in this stem turtle, however, contrasts with the complex double-bend of extant turtles. The initial evolution of neck retraction therefore occurred in a near-synchrony with the origin of the turtle shell as a place to hide the unprotected neck. In this early, simplified retraction mode, the conical osteoderms on the neck provided further protection. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Transitional fossils and the origin of turtles

    OpenAIRE

    Lyson, Tyler R.; Bever, Gabe S.; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S.; Joyce, Walter G.; Gauthier, Jacques A.

    2010-01-01

    The origin of turtles is one of the most contentious issues in systematics with three currently viable hypotheses: turtles as the extant sister to (i) the crocodile–bird clade, (ii) the lizard–tuatara clade, or (iii) Diapsida (a clade composed of (i) and (ii)). We reanalysed a recent dataset that allied turtles with the lizard–tuatara clade and found that the inclusion of the stem turtle Proganochelys quenstedti and the ‘parareptile’ Eunotosaurus africanus results in a single overriding morph...

  15. A Mycoplasma species of Emydidae turtles in the northeastern USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ossiboff, Robert J; Raphael, Bonnie L; Ammazzalorso, Alyssa D; Seimon, Tracie A; Niederriter, Holly; Zarate, Brian; Newton, Alisa L; McAloose, Denise

    2015-04-01

    Mycoplasma infections can cause significant morbidity and mortality in captive and wild chelonians. As part of a health assessment of endangered bog turtles (Glyptemys muhlenbergii) in the northeastern US, choanal and cloacal swabs from these and other sympatric species, including spotted turtles (Clemmys guttata), eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina), wood turtles (Glyptemys insculpta), and common snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) from 10 sampling sites in the states (US) of Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, were tested by PCR for Mycoplasma. Of 108 turtles tested, 63 (58.3%) were PCR positive for Mycoplasma including 58 of 83 bog turtles (70%), three of three (100%) eastern box turtles, and two of 11 (18%) spotted turtles; all snapping turtles (n = 7) and wood turtles (n = 4) were negative. Sequence analysis of portions of the 16S-23S intergenic spacer region and the 16S ribosomal RNA gene revealed a single, unclassified species of Mycoplasma that has been previously reported in eastern box turtles, ornate box turtles (Terrapene ornata ornata), western pond turtles (Emys marmorata), and red-eared sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans). We document a high incidence of Mycoplasma, in the absence of clinical disease, in wild emydid turtles. These findings, along with wide distribution of the identified Mycoplasma sp. across a broad geographic region, suggest this bacterium is likely a commensal inhabitant of bog turtles, and possibly other species of emydid turtles, in the northeastern US.

  16. Biochemical indices and life traits of loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) from Cape Verde Islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vieira, Sara; Martins, Samir; Hawkes, Lucy A; Marco, Adolfo; Teodósio, M Alexandra

    2014-01-01

    The loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) is an endangered marine reptile for whom assessing population health requires knowledge of demographic parameters such as individual growth rate. In Cape Verde, as within several populations, adult female loggerhead sea turtles show a size-related behavioral and trophic dichotomy. While smaller females are associated with oceanic habitats, larger females tend to feed in neritic habitats, which is reflected in their physiological condition and in their offspring. The ratio of RNA/DNA provides a measure of cellular protein synthesis capacity, which varies depending on changes in environmental conditions such as temperature and food availability. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the combined use of morphometric data and biochemical indices as predictors of the physiological condition of the females of distinct sizes and hatchlings during their nesting season and how temperature may influence the physiological condition on the offspring. Here we employed biochemical indices based on nucleic acid derived indices (standardized RNA/DNA ratio-sRD, RNA concentration and DNA concentration) in skin tissue as a potential predictor of recent growth rate in nesting females and hatchling loggerhead turtles. Our major findings were that the physiological condition of all nesting females (sRD) decreased during the nesting season, but that females associated with neritic habitats had a higher physiological condition than females associated with oceanic habitats. In addition, the amount of time required for a hatchling to right itself was negatively correlated with its physiological condition (sRD) and shaded nests produced hatchlings with lower sRD. Overall, our results showed that nucleic acid concentrations and ratios of RNA to DNA are an important tool as potential biomarkers of recent growth in marine turtles. Hence, as biochemical indices of instantaneous growth are likely temperature-, size- and age-dependent, the utility and

  17. Biochemical indices and life traits of loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta from Cape Verde Islands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Vieira

    Full Text Available The loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta is an endangered marine reptile for whom assessing population health requires knowledge of demographic parameters such as individual growth rate. In Cape Verde, as within several populations, adult female loggerhead sea turtles show a size-related behavioral and trophic dichotomy. While smaller females are associated with oceanic habitats, larger females tend to feed in neritic habitats, which is reflected in their physiological condition and in their offspring. The ratio of RNA/DNA provides a measure of cellular protein synthesis capacity, which varies depending on changes in environmental conditions such as temperature and food availability. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the combined use of morphometric data and biochemical indices as predictors of the physiological condition of the females of distinct sizes and hatchlings during their nesting season and how temperature may influence the physiological condition on the offspring. Here we employed biochemical indices based on nucleic acid derived indices (standardized RNA/DNA ratio-sRD, RNA concentration and DNA concentration in skin tissue as a potential predictor of recent growth rate in nesting females and hatchling loggerhead turtles. Our major findings were that the physiological condition of all nesting females (sRD decreased during the nesting season, but that females associated with neritic habitats had a higher physiological condition than females associated with oceanic habitats. In addition, the amount of time required for a hatchling to right itself was negatively correlated with its physiological condition (sRD and shaded nests produced hatchlings with lower sRD. Overall, our results showed that nucleic acid concentrations and ratios of RNA to DNA are an important tool as potential biomarkers of recent growth in marine turtles. Hence, as biochemical indices of instantaneous growth are likely temperature-, size- and age

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  19. Effects of glyphosate herbicide on the gastrointestinal microflora of Hawaiian green turtles (Chelonia mydas) Linnaeus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kittle, Ronald P; McDermid, Karla J; Muehlstein, Lisa; Balazs, George H

    2018-02-01

    In Hawaii, glyphosate-based herbicides frequently sprayed near shorelines may be affecting non-target marine species. Glyphosate inhibits aromatic amino acid biosynthesis (shikimate pathway), and is toxic to beneficial gut bacteria in cattle and chickens. Effects of glyphosate on gut bacteria in marine herbivorous turtles were assessed in vitro. When cultures of mixed bacterial communities from gastrointestinal tracts of freshly euthanized green turtles (Chelonia mydas), were exposed for 24h to six glyphosate concentrations (plus deionized water control), bacterial density was significantly lower at glyphosate concentrations≥2.2×10 -4 gL -1 (absorbance measured at 600nm wavelength). Using a modified Kirby-Bauer disk diffusion assay, the growth of four bacterial isolates (Pantoea, Proteus, Shigella, and Staphylococcus) was significantly inhibited by glyphosate concentrations≥1.76×10 -3 gL -1 . Reduced growth or lower survival of gut bacteria in green turtles exposed to glyphosate could have adverse effects on turtle digestion and overall health. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. 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.

  1. Cumulative Effects of Human Activities on Marine Mammal Populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    marine mammals and sea turtles. She has studied habitat use of whales and dolphins, underwater sound levels and environmental impacts of offshore wind ... turbines on marine mammals, and migration pathways and hot spots of marine predators at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as part...predators in the marine environment. He has conducted field research in Alaska, California, Canada , Mexico, New Zealand, and Russia and has published more

  2. 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)

  3. Turtle geometry the Python way

    OpenAIRE

    Battle, S.

    2014-01-01

    An introduction to coding using Python’s on-screen ‘turtle’ that can be commanded with a few simple instructions including forward, backward, left and right. The turtle leaves a trace that can be used to draw geometric figures. This workshop is aimed at beginners of all ages. The aim is to learn a smattering of programming and a little bit of geometry in a fun way.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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 ...

  10. 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...

  11. 42 CFR 71.52 - Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 1 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins. 71.52 Section 71..., INSPECTION, LICENSING FOREIGN QUARANTINE Importations § 71.52 Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins. (a) Definitions. As used in this section the term: Turtles includes all animals commonly known as turtles...

  12. 76 FR 77465 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Proposed Threatened Status for Distinct Population Segments of...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-13

    ... Population Segments of the Bearded Seal AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic... population segments (DPS) of the bearded seal (Erignathus barbatus) as threatened species under the... posed to this population by the projected habitat changes. Extension of Final Listing Determination The...

  13. More on Sea Turtles and Seaweed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xin, Tian

    2005-01-01

    "Sea turtle" and "seaweed"--otherwise known as "returnee from abroad" and "unemployed from abroad," respectively-- are a pair of popular new terms that are innately connected. In this article, the author discusses the common plight faced by "sea turtles" and "seaweeds" who returned from…

  14. Endangered Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas of the Northern Mariana Islands: Nesting Ecology, Poaching, and Climate Concerns

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tammy M. Summers

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Marine turtles in the western Pacific remain threatened by anthropogenic impacts, but the region lacks long-term biological data for assessing conservation status and trends. The Central West Pacific (CWP population of green turtles (Chelonia mydas was listed as Endangered by the U.S. in 2016, highlighting a need to fill existing data gaps. This study focuses on the subset of this population nesting in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI. Using 11 years of nesting data, we (i estimate reproductive demographic parameters, (ii quantify abundance and trends, and (iii estimate the impacts of anthropogenic threats, such as poaching of nesting females and increasing sand temperatures. In 2006–2016, nesting beach surveys, identification tagging, and nest excavations were conducted on Saipan, and rapid assessments of nesting activity were conducted on Tinian and Rota. On Saipan, temperature data-loggers were deployed inside nests and evidence of poaching (adults and eggs was recorded. This study documents year-round nesting with a peak in March–July. Nester abundance for the three islands combined was 11.9 ± 5.7 (mean ± standard deviation females annually, with at least 62.8 ± 35.1 nests observed per year. For 39 tagged individuals, straight carapace length was 95.6 ± 4.5 cm, remigration interval was 4.6 ± 1.3 years, and somatic growth was 0.3 ± 0.2 cm/yr. Reproductive parameter estimates included clutch frequency of 7.0 ± 1.3 nests per female, inter-nesting interval of 11.4 ± 1.0 days, clutch size of 93.5 ± 21.4 eggs, incubation period of 56.7 ± 6.4 days, hatching success of 77.9 ± 27.0%, and emergence success of 69.6 ± 30.3%. Mean nest temperature of 30.9 ± 1.5°C was above the pivotal threshold of 29.0°C for temperature dependent sex determination, suggesting a female bias may already exist. Model results suggest (i hatching success decreases and embryonic death increases when nests experience maximum temperatures

  15. Checklist of marine tetrapods (reptiles, seabirds, and mammals) of Turkey

    OpenAIRE

    GÜÇLÜSOY, Harun; KARAUZ, Emine Sühendan; KIRAÇ, Cem Orkun; BİLECENOĞLU, Murat

    2014-01-01

    The occurrence of a total of 61 marine tetrapod species is presented in this paper, including 3 sea turtles, 43 sea birds, and 15 marine mammals. Distribution of each reported species along the Black Sea, Sea of Marmara, Aegean, and Levantine coasts of Turkey is mentioned, associated with key references.

  16. North American box turtles: A natural history

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dodd, C. Kenneth

    2002-01-01

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

  17. Transitional fossils and the origin of turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyson, Tyler R; Bever, Gabe S; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S; Joyce, Walter G; Gauthier, Jacques A

    2010-12-23

    The origin of turtles is one of the most contentious issues in systematics with three currently viable hypotheses: turtles as the extant sister to (i) the crocodile-bird clade, (ii) the lizard-tuatara clade, or (iii) Diapsida (a clade composed of (i) and (ii)). We reanalysed a recent dataset that allied turtles with the lizard-tuatara clade and found that the inclusion of the stem turtle Proganochelys quenstedti and the 'parareptile' Eunotosaurus africanus results in a single overriding morphological signal, with turtles outside Diapsida. This result reflects the importance of transitional fossils when long branches separate crown clades, and highlights unexplored issues such as the role of topological congruence when using fossils to calibrate molecular clocks.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard J Hamilton

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

  19. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Recognizing Excellence: Turtles and Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erickson, Susan; Howard, Sue

    2011-01-01

    Participating in the Disney Planet Challenge (DPC) program allowed this author's 22 fourth-grade students an opportunity to be involved in a real-world problem: how to protect a threatened species and become its advocate. Using many different technology tools, the students informed their community about a threatened species--the Blanding's…

  3. The girdles of the oldest fossil turtle, Proterochersis robusta, and the age of the turtle crown

    OpenAIRE

    Joyce, Walter G; Schoch, Rainer R; Lyson, Tyler R

    2013-01-01

    Background: Proterochersis robusta from the Late Triassic (Middle Norian) of Germany is the oldest known fossil turtle (i.e. amniote with a fully formed turtle shell), but little is known about its anatomy. A newly prepared, historic specimen provides novel insights into the morphology of the girdles and vertebral column of this taxon and the opportunity to reassess its phylogenetic position.Results: The anatomy of the pectoral girdle of P. robusta is similar to that of other primitive turtle...

  4. Evolutionary origin of the turtle skull.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bever, G S; Lyson, Tyler R; Field, Daniel J; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S

    2015-09-10

    Transitional fossils informing the origin of turtles are among the most sought-after discoveries in palaeontology. Despite strong genomic evidence indicating that turtles evolved from within the diapsid radiation (which includes all other living reptiles), evidence of the inferred transformation between an ancestral turtle with an open, diapsid skull to the closed, anapsid condition of modern turtles remains elusive. Here we use high-resolution computed tomography and a novel character/taxon matrix to study the skull of Eunotosaurus africanus, a 260-million-year-old fossil reptile from the Karoo Basin of South Africa, whose distinctive postcranial skeleton shares many unique features with the shelled body plan of turtles. Scepticism regarding the status of Eunotosaurus as the earliest stem turtle arises from the possibility that these shell-related features are the products of evolutionary convergence. Our phylogenetic analyses indicate strong cranial support for Eunotosaurus as a critical transitional form in turtle evolution, thus fortifying a 40-million-year extension to the turtle stem and moving the ecological context of its origin back onto land. Furthermore, we find unexpected evidence that Eunotosaurus is a diapsid reptile in the process of becoming secondarily anapsid. This is important because categorizing the skull based on the number of openings in the complex of dermal bone covering the adductor chamber has long held sway in amniote systematics, and still represents a common organizational scheme for teaching the evolutionary history of the group. These discoveries allow us to articulate a detailed and testable hypothesis of fenestral closure along the turtle stem. Our results suggest that Eunotosaurus represents a crucially important link in a chain that will eventually lead to consilience in reptile systematics, paving the way for synthetic studies of amniote evolution and development.

  5. Human activities threaten coral reefs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tveitdal, Svein; Bjoerke, Aake

    2002-01-01

    Research indicates that 58 per cent of the coral reefs of the world are threatened by human activities. Pollution and global heating represent some of the threats. Coral reefs just beneath the surface of the sea are very sensitive to temperature changes. Since 1979, mass death of coral reefs has been reported increasingly often. More than 1000 marine species live in the coral reefs, among these are one fourth of all marine species of fish. It is imperative that the coral reefs be preserved, as coastal communities all over the world depend on them as sources of food and as they are the raw materials for important medicines. The article discusses the threats to the coral reefs in general and does not single out any particular energy-related activity as the principal threat. For instance, the El-Nino phenomenon of the Pacific Ocean is probably involved in mass death of coral reefs and in the North Sea large parts of deep-water reefs have been crushed by heavy beam trawlers fishing for bottom fish

  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. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juliana Costa Jordão

    2015-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Antibiotic Resistant Bacterial Isolates from Captive Green Turtles and In Vitro Sensitivity to Bacteriophages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandro Delli Paoli Carini

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to test multidrug resistant isolates from hospitalised green turtles (Chelonia mydas and their environment in North Queensland, Australia, for in vitro susceptibility to bacteriophages. Seventy-one Gram-negative bacteria were isolated from green turtle eye swabs and water samples. Broth microdilution tests were used to determine antibiotic susceptibility. All isolates were resistant to at least two antibiotics, with 24% being resistant to seven of the eight antibiotics. Highest resistance rates were detected to enrofloxacin (77% and ampicillin (69.2%. More than 50% resistance was also found to amoxicillin/clavulanic acid (62.5%, ceftiofur (53.8%, and erythromycin (53.3%. All the enriched phage filtrate mixtures resulted in the lysis of one or more of the multidrug resistant bacteria, including Vibrio harveyi and V. parahaemolyticus. These results indicate that antibiotic resistance is common in Gram-negative bacteria isolated from hospitalised sea turtles and their marine environment in North Queensland, supporting global concern over the rapid evolution of multidrug resistant genes in the environment. Using virulent bacteriophages as antibiotic alternatives would not only be beneficial to turtle health but also prevent further addition of multidrug resistant genes to coastal waters.

  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

    2010-09-01

    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.

  12. Diatoms and Other Epibionts Associated with Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) Sea Turtles from the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majewska, Roksana; Santoro, Mario; Bolaños, Federico; Chaves, Gerardo; De Stefano, Mario

    2015-01-01

    Although the sea turtles have long been familiar and even iconic to marine biologists, many aspects of their ecology remain unaddressed. The present study is the first of the epizoic diatom community covering the olive ridley turtle's (Lepidochelys olivacea) carapace and the first describing diatoms living on sea turtles in general, with the primary objective of providing detailed information on turtle epibiotic associations. Samples of turtle carapace including the associated diatom biofilm and epizoic macro-fauna were collected from Ostional beach (9° 59´ 23.7´´ N 85° 41´ 52.6´´ W), Costa Rica, during the arribada event in October 2013. A complex diatom community was present in every sample. In total, 11 macro-faunal and 21 diatom taxa were recorded. Amongst diatoms, the most numerous were erect (Achnanthes spp., Tripterion spp.) and motile (Haslea sp., Navicula spp., Nitzschia spp., Proschkinia sp.) forms, followed by adnate Amphora spp., while the most common macro-faunal species was Stomatolepas elegans (Cirripedia). Diatom densities ranged from 8179 ± 750 to 27685 ± 4885 cells mm-2. Epizoic microalgae were either partly immersed or entirely encapsulated within an exopolymeric coat. The relatively low diatom species number, stable species composition and low inter-sample dissimilarities (14.4% on average) may indicate a mutualistic relationship between the epibiont and the basibiont. Dispersal of sea turtle diatoms is probably highly restricted and similar studies will help to understand both diatom diversity, evolution and biogeography, and sea turtle ecology and foraging strategies.

  13. Diatoms and Other Epibionts Associated with Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea Sea Turtles from the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roksana Majewska

    Full Text Available Although the sea turtles have long been familiar and even iconic to marine biologists, many aspects of their ecology remain unaddressed. The present study is the first of the epizoic diatom community covering the olive ridley turtle's (Lepidochelys olivacea carapace and the first describing diatoms living on sea turtles in general, with the primary objective of providing detailed information on turtle epibiotic associations. Samples of turtle carapace including the associated diatom biofilm and epizoic macro-fauna were collected from Ostional beach (9° 59´ 23.7´´ N 85° 41´ 52.6´´ W, Costa Rica, during the arribada event in October 2013. A complex diatom community was present in every sample. In total, 11 macro-faunal and 21 diatom taxa were recorded. Amongst diatoms, the most numerous were erect (Achnanthes spp., Tripterion spp. and motile (Haslea sp., Navicula spp., Nitzschia spp., Proschkinia sp. forms, followed by adnate Amphora spp., while the most common macro-faunal species was Stomatolepas elegans (Cirripedia. Diatom densities ranged from 8179 ± 750 to 27685 ± 4885 cells mm-2. Epizoic microalgae were either partly immersed or entirely encapsulated within an exopolymeric coat. The relatively low diatom species number, stable species composition and low inter-sample dissimilarities (14.4% on average may indicate a mutualistic relationship between the epibiont and the basibiont. Dispersal of sea turtle diatoms is probably highly restricted and similar studies will help to understand both diatom diversity, evolution and biogeography, and sea turtle ecology and foraging strategies.

  14. 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. PMID:27293722

  15. Simulating transoceanic migrations of young loggerhead sea turtles: merging magnetic navigation behavior with an ocean circulation model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putman, Nathan F; Verley, Philippe; Shay, Thomas J; Lohmann, Kenneth J

    2012-06-01

    Young loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from eastern Florida, USA, undertake a transoceanic migration in which they gradually circle the Sargasso Sea before returning to the North American coast. Loggerheads possess a 'magnetic map' in which regional magnetic fields elicit changes in swimming direction along the migratory pathway. In some geographic areas, however, ocean currents move more rapidly than young turtles can swim. Thus, the degree to which turtles can control their migratory movements has remained unclear. In this study, the movements of young turtles were simulated within a high-resolution ocean circulation model using several different behavioral scenarios, including one in which turtles drifted passively and others in which turtles swam briefly in accordance with experimentally derived data on magnetic navigation. Results revealed that small amounts of oriented swimming in response to regional magnetic fields profoundly affected migratory routes and endpoints. Turtles that engaged in directed swimming for as little as 1-3 h per day were 43-187% more likely than passive drifters to reach the Azores, a productive foraging area frequented by Florida loggerheads. They were also more likely to remain within warm-water currents favorable for growth and survival, avoid areas on the perimeter of the migratory route where predation risk and thermal conditions pose threats, and successfully return to the open-sea migratory route if carried into coastal areas. These findings imply that even weakly swimming marine animals may be able to exert strong effects on their migratory trajectories and open-sea distributions through simple navigation responses and minimal swimming.

  16. Marine mammal observations conducted during US National Science Foundation geophysical research cruises in the global oceans from the platforms Maurice Ewing, Marcus G. Langseth, Thomas G. Thompson, and the R/V Knorr from 28 May 2003 to 25 August 2009 (NODC Accession 0083783)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — All marine mammals and sea turtles that were visually observed during a marine geophysical survey were recorded to: 1) determine whether a mitigation measure needed...

  17. Demographic and genetic status of an isolated population of bog turtles (Glyptemys muhlenbergii): Implications for managing small populations of long-lived animals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pittman, Shannon E.; King, T.L.; Faurby, S.; Dorcas, M.E.

    2011-01-01

    In this study, we sought to determine the population stability and genetic diversity of one isolated population of the federally-threatened bog turtle (Glyptemys muhlenbergii) in North Carolina. Using capture-recapture data, we estimated adult survival and population growth rate from 1992 to 2007. We found that the population decreased from an estimated 36 adult turtles in 1994 to approximately 11 adult turtles in 2007. We found a constant adult survival of 0. 893 (SE = 0. 018, 95% confidence interval, 0. 853-0. 924) between 1992 and 2007. Using 18 microsatellite markers, we compared the genetic status of this population with five other bog turtle populations. The target population displayed allelic richness (4. 8 ?? 0. 5) and observed heterozygosity (0. 619 ?? 0. 064) within the range of the other bog turtle populations. Coalescent analysis of population growth rate, effective population size, and timing of population structuring event also indicated the genetics of the target population were comparable to the other populations studied. Estimates of effective population size were a proportion of the census size in all populations except the target population, in which the effective population size was larger than the census size (30 turtles vs. 11 turtles). We attribute the high genetic diversity in the target population to the presence of multiple generations of old turtles. This study illustrates that the demographic status of populations of long-lived species may not be reflected genetically if a decline occurred recently. Consequently, the genetic integrity of populations of long-lived animals experiencing rapid demographic bottlenecks may be preserved through conservation efforts effective in addressing demographic problems. ?? 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. Coendangered hard-ticks: threatened or threatening?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cozma Vasile

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The overwhelming majority of animal conservation projects are focused on vertebrates, despite most of the species on Earth being invertebrates. Estimates state that about half of all named species of invertebrates are parasitic in at least one stage of their development. The dilemma of viewing parasites as biodiversity or pest has been discussed by several authors. However, ticks were omitted. The latest taxonomic synopses of non-fossil Ixodidae consider valid 700 species. Though, how many of them are still extant is almost impossible to tell, as many of them are known only from type specimens in museums and were never collected since their original description. Moreover, many hosts are endangered and as part of conservation efforts of threatened vertebrates, a common practice is the removal of, and treatment for external parasites, with devastating impact on tick populations. There are several known cases when the host became extinct with subsequent coextinction of their ectoparasites. For our synoptic approach we have used the IUCN status of the host in order to evaluate the status of specifically associated hard-ticks. As a result, we propose a number of 63 coendangered and one extinct hard-tick species. On the other side of the coin, the most important issue regarding tick-host associations is vectorial transmission of microbial pathogens (i.e. viruses, bacteria, protozoans. Tick-borne diseases of threatened vertebrates are sometimes fatal to their hosts. Mortality associated with pathogens acquired from ticks has been documented in several cases, mostly after translocations. Are ticks a real threat to their coendangered host and should they be eliminated? Up to date, there are no reliable proofs that ticks listed by us as coendangered are competent vectors for pathogens of endangered animals.

  2. 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

  3. Emydid herpesvirus 1 infection in northern map turtles (Graptemys geographica) and painted turtles (Chrysemys picta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ossiboff, Robert J; Newton, Alisa L; Seimon, Tracie A; Moore, Robert P; McAloose, Denise

    2015-05-01

    A captive, juvenile, female northern map turtle (Graptemys geographica) was found dead following a brief period of weakness and nasal discharge. Postmortem examination identified pneumonia with necrosis and numerous epithelial, intranuclear viral inclusion bodies, consistent with herpesviral pneumonia. Similar intranuclear inclusions were also associated with foci of hepatocellular and splenic necrosis. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) screening of fresh, frozen liver for the herpesviral DNA-dependent DNA polymerase gene yielded an amplicon with 99.2% similarity to recently described emydid herpesvirus 1 (EmyHV-1). Molecular screening of turtles housed in enclosures that shared a common circulation system with the affected map turtle identified 4 asymptomatic, EmyHV-1 PCR-positive painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) and 1 asymptomatic northern map turtle. Herpesvirus transmission between painted and map turtles has been previously suggested, and our report provides the molecular characterization of a herpesvirus in asymptomatic painted turtles that can cause fatal herpesvirus-associated disease in northern map turtles. © 2015 The Author(s).

  4. Marine pollution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gerlach, S.A.

    1981-01-01

    The author of this book has combined his own vast experience as a marine biologist with a critical evaluation of the ever-increasing literature in a work which highlights those longterm effects and dangerous materials most threatening on a global scale. This English translation of the highly acclaimed German original has been revised and expanded to keep pace with the rapid process of research in the field. A particularly large number of changes were made in the chapter on oil pollution, and new chapters on waste heat and radioactivity in the ocean have been added. (orig.)

  5. 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.

  6. Rhinochelys amaberti Moret (1935, a protostegid turtle from the Early Cretaceous of France

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isaure Scavezzoni

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Modern marine turtles (chelonioids are the remnants of an ancient radiation that roots in the Cretaceous. The oldest members of that radiation are first recorded from the Early Cretaceous and a series of species are known from the Albian-Cenomanian interval, many of which have been allocated to the widespread but poorly defined genus Rhinochelys, possibly concealing the diversity and the evolution of early marine turtles. In order to better understand the radiation of chelonioids, we redescribe the holotype and assess the taxonomy of Rhinochelys amaberti Moret (1935 (UJF-ID.11167 from the Late Albian (Stoliczkaia dispar Zone of the Vallon de la Fauge (Isère, France. We also make preliminary assessments of the phylogenetic relationships of Chelonioidea using two updated datasets that widely sample Cretaceous taxa, especially Rhinochelys. Rhinochelys amaberti is a valid taxon that is supported by eight autapomorphies; an emended diagnosisis proposed. Our phylogenetic analyses suggest that Rhinochelys could be polyphyletic, but constraining it as a monophyletic entity does not produce trees that are significantly less parsimonious. Moreover, support values and stratigraphic congruence indexes are fairly low for the recovered typologies, suggesting that missing data still strongly affect our understanding of the Cretaceous diversification of sea turtles.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Trace elements in loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) stranded in mainland Portugal: Bioaccumulation and tissue distribution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicolau, Lídia; Monteiro, Sílvia S; Pereira, Andreia T; Marçalo, Ana; Ferreira, Marisa; Torres, Jordi; Vingada, José; Eira, Catarina

    2017-07-01

    Pollution is among the most significant threats that endanger sea turtles worldwide. Waters off the Portuguese mainland are acknowledged as important feeding grounds for juvenile loggerheads. However, there is no data on trace element concentrations in marine turtles occurring in these waters. We present the first assessment of trace element concentrations in loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) occurring off the coast of mainland Portugal. Also, we compare our results with those from other areas and discuss parameters that may affect element concentrations. Trace element concentrations (As, Cd, Cu, Pb, Mn, Hg, Ni, Se, Zn) were determined in kidney, liver and muscle samples from 38 loggerheads stranded between 2011 and 2013. As was the only element with higher concentrations in muscle (14.78 μg g -1 ww) than in liver or kidney. Considering non-essential elements, Cd presented the highest concentrations in kidney (34.67 μg g -1 ) and liver (5.03 μg g -1 ). Only a weak positive link was found between renal Cd and turtle size. Inter-elemental correlations were observed in both liver and kidney tissues. Hepatic Hg values (0.30 ± 0.03 μg g -1 ) were higher than values reported in loggerheads in the Canary Islands but lower than in Mediterranean loggerheads. Cd concentrations in the present study were only exceeded by values found in turtles from the Pacific. Although many endogenous and exogenous parameters related with complex life cycle changes and wide geographic range may influence trace element accumulation, the concentrations of Cd are probably related to the importance of crustaceans in loggerhead diet in the Portuguese coast. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. The Box Turtle: Room with a View on Species Decline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belzer, Bill; Steisslinger, Mary Beth

    1999-01-01

    Surveys salient aspects of eastern box-turtle natural history. Explores the societal and ecological factors that have contributed to the decline of the box-turtle population. Contains 18 references. (WRM)

  10. The western pond turtle: Habitat and history. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Holland, D.C.

    1994-08-01

    The western pond turtle is known from many areas of Oregon. The majority of sightings and other records occur in the major drainages of the Klamath, Rogue, Umpqua, Willamette and Columbia River systems. A brief overview is presented of the evolution of the Willamette-Puget Sound hydrographic basin. A synopsis is also presented of the natural history of the western pond turtle, as well as, the status of this turtle in the Willamette drainage basin. The reproductive ecology and molecular genetics of the western pond turtle are discussed. Aquatic movements and overwintering of the western pond turtle are evaluated. The effect of introduced turtle species on the status of the western pond turtle was investigated in a central California Pond. Experiments were performed to determine if this turtle could be translocated as a mitigation strategy

  11. Molecular oxidative stress markers in olive ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) and their relation to metal concentrations in wild populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cortés-Gómez, Adriana A; Morcillo, Patricia; Guardiola, Francisco A; Espinosa, Cristobal; Esteban, María A; Cuesta, Alberto; Girondot, Marc; Romero, Diego

    2018-02-01

    Due to their longevity and extensive migration areas, marine turtles are able to accumulate diverse contaminants over many years and as a consequence they represent an interesting bioindicator species for marine ecosystem pollution. Metals provoke toxicological effects in many aquatic animal species, but marine turtles have been under-investigated in this area. Thus, we have determined the presence of certain inorganic elements (As, Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, Se and Zn) in olive ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) and related them to metallothionein (MT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione reductase (GR) transcription and/or enzymatic activities. Gene expression of sod, cat and gr was found to be higher in blood than liver or kidney but most of the significant relationships were found in liver, not only for gene expression but also for enzyme activities. This must be related to the role the liver has as the first filter organ. Several positive relationships of sod, cat and gr gene expression in the different tissues were found in this population, as well as very high Cd concentrations. This could mean that these turtles are adapting to the metals-production of ROS and damage through a high transcription of these antioxidants. Multiple positive relationships with GR seem to be part of its compensatory effect due to the decrease of SOD production against the high and chronic exposure to certain xenobiotics. CAT, on the other hand, seems not to be used much, and glutathione detoxification of H 2 O 2 may be more important in this species. Finally, despite the very high Cd concentrations found in this population, no significant relationship was found in any tissue with metallothionein gene expression. These results, along with very high Cd concentrations and a negative relationship with Cu, lead us to consider some kind of disruption in mt gene expression in these turtles. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. 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.

  13. Host-specific phenotypic plasticity of the turtle barnacle Chelonibia testudinaria: a widespread generalist rather than a specialist.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chi Chiu Cheang

    Full Text Available Turtle barnacles are common epibionts on marine organisms. Chelonibia testudinaria is specific on marine turtles whereas C. patula is a host generalist, but rarely found on turtles. It has been questioned why C. patula, being abundant on a variety of live substrata, is almost absent from turtles. We evaluated the genetic (mitochondrial COI, 16S and 12S rRNA, and amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP and morphological differentiation of C. testudinaia and C. patula from different hosts, to determine the mode of adaptation exhibited by Chelonibia species on different hosts. The two taxa demonstrate clear differences in shell morphology and length of 4-6(th cirri, but very similar in arthropodal characters. Moreover, we detected no genetic differentiation in mitochondrial DNA and AFLP analyses. Outlier detection infers insignificant selection across loci investigated. Based on combined morphological and molecular evidence, we proposed that C. testudinaria and C. patula are conspecific, and the two morphs with contrasting shell morphologies and cirral length found on different host are predominantly shaped by developmental plasticity in response to environmental setting on different hosts. Chelonibia testudinaria is, thus, a successful general epibiotic fouler and the phenotypic responses postulated can increase the fitness of the animals when they attach on hosts with contrasting life-styles.

  14. 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

  15. Shell bone histology indicates terrestrial palaeoecology of basal turtles

    OpenAIRE

    Scheyer, Torsten; Sander, P. Martin

    2009-01-01

    The palaeoecology of basal turtles from the Late Triassic was classically viewed as being semi-aquatic, similar to the lifestyle of modern snapping turtles. Lately, this view was questioned based on limb bone proportions, and a terrestrial palaeoecology was suggested for the turtle stem. Here, we present independent shell bone microstructural evidence for a terrestrial habitat of the oldest and basal most well-known turtles, i.e. the Upper Triassic Proterochersis robusta and Proganochelys que...

  16. Ultrastructure and characteristics of eggshells of the olive ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) from Gahirmatha, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahoo, G; Mohapatra, B K; Sahoo, R K; Mohanty-Hejmadi, P

    1996-01-01

    The structure of a chelonian eggshell is of prime importance for the developing embryo. It acts as a protective covering as well as mediator in the exchange of heat and water. The fresh eggshell of the olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) turtle displays a variety of structural forms in their aragonite framework. Its netted substrate, loose texture and poorly organised crystallites favour the easy exchange of air and water during its development. The shell consists mostly of calcium in carbonate form and K, Mg, Fe, Ni, Pb, Zn, Co, Cr, Cu, Mn and Cd in traces. Ba and Sr in traces are also a feature of the thermal analysis graph. Phosphorous was not detected in the shell and its absence eliminates an earlier suggestion of it being a key factor in the development of aragonite crystals in the inorganic structure of marine turtle eggshells. Its combustion characteristics, which have not been previously reported, are recorded.

  17. Reptilian prey of the sonora mud turtle (Kinosternon sonoriense) with comments on saurophagy and ophiophagy in North American Turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovich, J.; Drost, C.; Monatesti, A.J.; Casper, D.; Wood, D.A.; Girard, M.

    2010-01-01

    We detected evidence of predation by the Sonora mud turtle (Kinosternon sonoriense) on the Arizona alligator lizard (Elgaria kingii nobilis) and the ground snake (Sonora semiannulata) at Montezuma Well, Yavapai County, Arizona. Lizards have not been reported in the diet of K. sonoriense, and saurophagy is rare in turtles of the United States, having been reported previously in only two other species:, the false map turtle (Graptemys pseudogeographica) and the eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina). While the diet of K. sonoriense includes snakes, ours is the first record of S. semiannulata as food of this turtle. Ophiophagy also is rare in turtles of the United States with records for only five other species of turtles. Given the opportunistic diets of many North American turtles, including K. sonoriense, the scarcity of published records of saurophagy and ophiophagy likely represents a shortage of observations, not rarity of occurrence.

  18. 50 CFR 648.106 - Sea Turtle conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

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

  19. Turtle bycatch in the pelagic longline fishery off southern Africa ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Capture by pelagic longline fisheries has been identified as a key threat to turtle populations. This study is the first assessment of turtle bycatch in the South African pelagic longline fishery for tunas Thunnus spp. and swordfish Xiphias gladius. A total of 181 turtles was caught on observed sets between 1998 and 2005, at a ...

  20. 21 CFR 1240.62 - Turtles intrastate and interstate requirements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Turtles intrastate and interstate requirements....62 Turtles intrastate and interstate requirements. (a) Definition. As used in this section the term “turtles” includes all animals commonly known as turtles, tortoises, terrapins, and all other animals of...

  1. Morphological study of the plastron of the African sideneck turtle ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The morphological analysis of the plastron of the African sideneck turtle (Pelusios castaneus) was carried out using fifty adult turtles comprising twenty female and thirty male turtles picked up at different times from various river banks in Ibadan, Nigeria. The aim of the study was to provide baseline information that could be ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Fibropapillomatosis (FP) is a neoplastic disease that affects marine turtles worldwide, especially green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas). FP tumors can develop on the body surface of marine turtles and also internally in the oral cavity and viscera. Depending on their quantity, size and anatomical distribution, these tumors can interfere with hydrodynamics and the ability to feed, hence scoring systems have been proposed in an attempt to quantify the clinical manifestation of FP. In order to establish a new scoring system adapted to geographic regions, we examined 214 juvenile green sea turtles with FP caught or rescued at Brazilian feeding areas, counted their 7466 tumors and classified them in relation to their size and anatomical distribution. The patterns in quantity, size and distribution of tumors revealed interesting aspects in the clinical manifestation of FP in specimens studied in Brazil, and that FP scoring systems developed for other areas might not perform adequately when applied to sea turtles on the Southwest Atlantic Ocean. We therefore propose a novel method to evaluate the clinical manifestation of FP: fibropapillomatosis index (FPI) that provides the Southwest Atlantic fibropapillomatosis score (FPSSWA). In combination, these indexing and scoring systems allow for a more objective, rapid and detailed evaluation of the severity of FP in green sea turtles. While primarily designed for the clinical manifestation of FP currently witnessed in our dataset, this index and the score system can be adapted for other areas and compare the characteristics of the disease across regions. In conclusion, scoring systems to classify the severity of FP can assist our understanding on the environmental factors that modulate its development and its impacts on the individual and population health of green sea turtles. PMID:27936118

  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. Geometry and self-righting of turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domokos, Gábor; Várkonyi, Péter L

    2008-01-07

    Terrestrial animals with rigid shells face imminent danger when turned upside down. A rich variety of righting strategies of beetle and turtle species have been described, but the exact role of the shell's geometry in righting is so far unknown. These strategies are often based on active mechanisms, e.g. most beetles self-right via motion of their legs or wings; flat, aquatic turtles use their muscular neck to flip back. On the other hand, highly domed, terrestrial turtles with short limbs and necks have virtually no active control: here shape itself may serve as a fundamental tool. Based on field data gathered on a broad spectrum of aquatic and terrestrial turtle species we develop a geometric model of the shell. Inspired by recent mathematical results, we demonstrate that a simple mechanical classification of the model is closely linked to the animals' righting strategy. Specifically, we show that the exact geometry of highly domed terrestrial species is close to optimal for self-righting, and the shell's shape is the predominant factor of their ability to flip back. Our study illustrates how evolution solved a far-from-trivial geometrical problem and equipped some turtles with monostatic shells: beautiful forms, which rarely appear in nature otherwise.

  5. Evolutionary origin of the turtle shell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyson, Tyler R; Bever, Gabe S; Scheyer, Torsten M; Hsiang, Allison Y; Gauthier, Jacques A

    2013-06-17

    The origin of the turtle shell has perplexed biologists for more than two centuries. It was not until Odontochelys semitestacea was discovered, however, that the fossil and developmental data could be synthesized into a model of shell assembly that makes predictions for the as-yet unestablished history of the turtle stem group. We build on this model by integrating novel data for Eunotosaurus africanus-a Late Guadalupian (∼260 mya) Permian reptile inferred to be an early stem turtle. Eunotosaurus expresses a number of relevant characters, including a reduced number of elongate trunk vertebrae (nine), nine pairs of T-shaped ribs, inferred loss of intercostal muscles, reorganization of respiratory muscles to the ventral side of the ribs, (sub)dermal outgrowth of bone from the developing perichondral collar of the ribs, and paired gastralia that lack both lateral and median elements. These features conform to the predicted sequence of character acquisition and provide further support that E. africanus, O. semitestacea, and Proganochelys quenstedti represent successive divergences from the turtle stem lineage. The initial transformations of the model thus occurred by the Middle Permian, which is congruent with molecular-based divergence estimates for the lineage, and remain viable whether turtles originated inside or outside crown Diapsida. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mui, Amy B.

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

  7. [Identification of turtle shell, tortoise plastron and their counterfeit products].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Z Z; Lin, J M; Ye, G M; Quan, S C; Hu, J H

    2000-05-01

    To identify the commercial Chinese medicines turtle shell and tortoise plastron. Morphological identification and differential thermal analysis (DTA). 2 kinds of counterfeit turtle shell and 3 kinds of counterfeit tortoise plastron were found, and their morphological and DTA identification features were proposed. Sea turtle shells presently on the market are sham commodities of turtle shell, which derive from Lissemys punctata and Pelochelys bibroni indigenous to south Asia, while plastrons of Ocadia sinensis, Chelonia mydas and Lepidochelys olivacea are counterfeit products of tortoise plastron. Turtle shells, tortoise plastrons and their counterfeit products may be exactly distinguished by morphological and DTA features.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 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.

  9. Diatoms and Other Epibionts Associated with Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) Sea Turtles from the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majewska, Roksana; Santoro, Mario; Bolaños, Federico; Chaves, Gerardo; De Stefano, Mario

    2015-01-01

    Although the sea turtles have long been familiar and even iconic to marine biologists, many aspects of their ecology remain unaddressed. The present study is the first of the epizoic diatom community covering the olive ridley turtle’s (Lepidochelys olivacea) carapace and the first describing diatoms living on sea turtles in general, with the primary objective of providing detailed information on turtle epibiotic associations. Samples of turtle carapace including the associated diatom biofilm and epizoic macro-fauna were collected from Ostional beach (9° 59´ 23.7´´ N 85° 41´ 52.6´´ W), Costa Rica, during the arribada event in October 2013. A complex diatom community was present in every sample. In total, 11 macro-faunal and 21 diatom taxa were recorded. Amongst diatoms, the most numerous were erect (Achnanthes spp., Tripterion spp.) and motile (Haslea sp., Navicula spp., Nitzschia spp., Proschkinia sp.) forms, followed by adnate Amphora spp., while the most common macro-faunal species was Stomatolepas elegans (Cirripedia). Diatom densities ranged from 8179 ± 750 to 27685 ± 4885 cells mm-2. Epizoic microalgae were either partly immersed or entirely encapsulated within an exopolymeric coat. The relatively low diatom species number, stable species composition and low inter-sample dissimilarities (14.4% on average) may indicate a mutualistic relationship between the epibiont and the basibiont. Dispersal of sea turtle diatoms is probably highly restricted and similar studies will help to understand both diatom diversity, evolution and biogeography, and sea turtle ecology and foraging strategies. PMID:26083535

  10. 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.

  11. 77 FR 31835 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-05-30

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XC049 Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric...

  12. 78 FR 60254 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-10-01

    ... and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS... regulations governing listed fish and wildlife permits (50 CFR 222-226). NMFS issues permits based on findings... conduct water quality, [[Page 60255

  13. 78 FR 34653 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-10

    ... DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XC717 Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Commerce. ACTION: Notice of decision and availability of...

  14. 78 FR 43145 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-07-19

    ... DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XC767 Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Commerce. ACTION: Notice of availability. SUMMARY: This...

  15. TURTLE 24.0 diffusion depletion code

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Altomare, S.; Barry, R.F.

    1971-09-01

    TURTLE is a two-group, two-dimensional (x-y, x-z, r-z) neutron diffusion code featuring a direct treatment of the nonlinear effects of xenon, enthalpy, and Doppler. Fuel depletion is allowed. TURTLE was written for the study of azimuthal xenon oscillations, but the code is useful for general analysis. The input is simple, fuel management is handled directly, and a boron criticality search is allowed. Ten thousand space points are allowed (over 20,000 with diagonal symmetry). TURTLE is written in FORTRAN IV and is tailored for the present CDC-6600. The program is core-contained. Provision is made to save data on tape for future reference. (auth)

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-02-28

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

  18. Climate change and temperature-linked hatchling mortality at a globally important sea turtle nesting site.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

    The study of temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) in vertebrates has attracted major scientific interest. Recently, concerns for species with TSD in a warming world have increased because imbalanced sex ratios could potentially threaten population viability. In contrast, relatively little attention has been given to the direct effects of increased temperatures on successful embryonic development. Using 6603 days of sand temperature data recorded across 6 years at a globally important loggerhead sea turtle rookery-the Cape Verde Islands-we show the effects of warming incubation temperatures on the survival of hatchlings in nests. Incorporating published data (n = 110 data points for three species across 12 sites globally), we show the generality of relationships between hatchling mortality and incubation temperature and hence the broad applicability of our findings to sea turtles in general. We use a mechanistic approach supplemented by empirical data to consider the linked effects of warming temperatures on hatchling output and on sex ratios for these species that exhibit TSD. Our results show that higher temperatures increase the natural growth rate of the population as more females are produced. As a result, we project that numbers of nests at this globally important site will increase by approximately 30% by the year 2100. However, as incubation temperatures near lethal levels, the natural growth rate of the population decreases and the long-term survival of this turtle population is threatened. Our results highlight concerns for species with TSD in a warming world and underline the need for research to extend from a focus on temperature-dependent sex determination to a focus on temperature-linked hatchling mortalities. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Blood Biochemical Reference Intervals for Wild Ornate Box Turtles ( Terrapene ornata) during the Active Season.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harden, Leigh Anne; Fernandez, Jennifer; Milanovich, Joseph R; Struecker, Brock P; Midway, Stephen R

    2018-03-21

    Blood biochemical and hematology analyses are helpful indicators of the physiologic health of animals, particularly when making conservation and management decisions for threatened species. In this study, we 1) established blood biochemical reference intervals for two populations of threatened, free-ranging ornate box turtles ( Terrapene ornata) in northern Illinois during their active season and 2) examined the effects of individual carapace temperature ( T c ) on blood biochemical variables by using a Bayesian hierarchic framework. Individual blood variables differed throughout the active season (May-September 2015), but there were few distinct patterns in concentrations over time. When controlling for individual variability, blood biochemical variables potassium, sodium, chloride, ionized calcium, hematocrit (percentage of packed cell volume), and osmolality showed no effect of T c (i.e., slope estimates for these variables were not credibly different from zero) and had little individual variation. Glucose and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) were found to have slopes credibly different from zero, with glucose having an estimated positive slope and BUN having an estimated negative slope, suggesting different relationships in response to T c when controlling for individual variability. These physiologic blood data will serve as important baseline reference values for the clinical evaluation of wild ornate box turtles presented for veterinary care or for comparison to other studies of wild populations. Further, this study highlights the importance of considering individual-level effects (e.g., T c ) on physiologic health variables.

  20. Tactile Turtle: Explorations in Space with Visually Impaired Children and a Floor Turtle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gay, Penny

    1989-01-01

    The article describes a project in which blind and partially sighted children used a computer-guided floor turtle to develop spatial concepts such as right and left and accurate facing movements. (Author/DB)

  1. 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.

  2. Seasonal movements and habitat preferences for the spotted turtle and eastern box turtle in Massachusetts

    OpenAIRE

    Kaye, Delia R.J.; Walsh, Kevin M.; Ross, Christopher M.

    2001-01-01

    Seasonal habitat use and population dynamics of a spotted turtle (Clemmys guttata) population and an eastern box turtle (Terrapene c. carolina) population in southeastern Massachusetts are presented in this paper. The two-year study, conducted between March 1998 and December 1999, was part of a mitigation plan proposed by the Massachusetts Highway Department (MassHighway) and approved by the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program (NHESP) to mitigate for 1.0 hectares of ...

  3. Diving behavior and movements of juvenile hawksbill turtles Eretmochelys imbricata on a Caribbean coral reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blumenthal, J. M.; Austin, T. J.; Bothwell, J. B.; Broderick, A. C.; Ebanks-Petrie, G.; Olynik, J. R.; Orr, M. F.; Solomon, J. L.; Witt, M. J.; Godley, B. J.

    2009-03-01

    As historically abundant spongivores, hawksbill turtles Eretmochelys imbricata likely played a key ecological role on coral reefs. However, coral reefs are now experiencing global declines and many hawksbill populations are critically reduced. For endangered species, tracking movement has been recognized as fundamental to management. Since movements in marine vertebrates encompass three dimensions, evaluation of diving behavior and range is required to characterize marine turtle habitat. In this study, habitat use of hawksbill turtles on a Caribbean coral reef was elucidated by quantifying diel depth utilization and movements in relation to the boundaries of marine protected areas. Time depth recorders (TDRs) and ultrasonic tags were deployed on 21 Cayman Islands hawksbills, ranging in size from 26.4 to 58.4 cm straight carapace length. Study animals displayed pronounced diel patterns of diurnal activity and nocturnal resting, where diurnal dives were significantly shorter, deeper, and more active. Mean diurnal dive depth (±SD) was 8 ± 5 m, range 2-20 m, mean nocturnal dive depth was 5 ± 5 m, range 1-14 m, and maximum diurnal dive depth was 43 ± 27 m, range 7-91 m. Larger individuals performed significantly longer dives. Body mass was significantly correlated with mean dive depth for nocturnal but not diurnal dives. However, maximum diurnal dive depth was significantly correlated with body mass, suggesting partitioning of vertical habitat by size. Thus, variable dive capacity may reduce intraspecific competition and provide resistance to degradation in shallow habitats. Larger hawksbills may also represent important predators on deep reefs, creating a broad ecological footprint over a range of depths.

  4. 76 FR 52940 - Draft 2011 Marine Mammal Stock Assessment Reports

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-24

    ... of reports to: Chief, Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Conservation Division, Office of Protected... were reviewed and considered for updating for 2011: Steller sea lion (western and eastern stocks... (California sea lion, California harbor seal, Northern Oregon/Washington coast harbor porpoise, Washington...

  5. African Journal of Marine Science - Vol 38, No 3 (2016)

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Protection of marine birds and turtles at St Brandon's Rock, Indian Ocean, requires conservation of the entire atoll · EMAIL FULL TEXT EMAIL FULL TEXT · DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT. SW Evans, N Cole, H Kylin, NS Choong Kwet Yive, V Tatayah, J Merven, H Bouwman, 317-327.

  6. Estimation of Flattened Musk Turtle (Sternotherus depressus) survival, recapture, and recovery rate during and after a disease outbreak

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fonnesbeck, C.J.; Dodd, C.K.

    2003-01-01

    We estimated survivorship, recapture probabilities and recovery rates in a threatened population of Flattened Musk Turtles (Sternotherus depressus) through a disease outbreak in Alabama in 1985. We evaluated a set of models for the demographic effects of disease by analyzing recaptures and recoveries simultaneously. Multiple-model inference suggested survival was temporally dynamic, whereas recapture probability was sex- and age-specifc. Biweekly survivorship declined from 98-99% before to 82-88% during the outbreak. Live recapture was twice as likely for male turtles relative to juveniles or females, whereas dead recoveries varied only slightly by sex and age. Our results suggest modest reduction in survival over a relatively short time period may severely affect population status.

  7. Discovery of chemosynthesis-based association on the Cretaceous basal leatherback sea turtle from Japan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert G. Jenkins

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available We report a Late Cretaceous chemosynthetic community fueled by decomposing basal leatherback sea turtle on the ocean floor in the western Pacific. The fossil association representing this community has been recovered from the matrix of a concretion containing a single carapace of Mesodermochelys sp. from Late Cretaceous outer shelf to upper slope deposit of northern Hokkaido, Japan. The carapace displays boreholes most likely performed by boring bivalves, and is associated with molluscan shells, mainly Provanna cf. nakagawensis and Thyasira tanabei. Since this association is similar to fauna already known from Late Cretaceous hydrocarbon seeps, sunken wood, and plesiosaur-falls in Hokkaido, it is suggested that all types of chemosynthesis-based communities in the Late Cretaceous of western Pacific may have belonged to the same regional pool of animals and were not yet fully differentiated into three independent types of communities as it is known today. This finding also indicates that the sulfophilic stage of the vertebrate-fall communities was supported not only by plesiosaur carcasses, which were previously reported, but also by sea turtle carcasses. It highlights the possibility of surviving vertebrate-fall communities through the end-Cretaceous mass extinction event on carcasses of sea turtles which are the only large marine vertebrates surviving this event.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Work, Thierry M.; Dagenais, Julie; Balazs, George H.; Schumacher, Joanne; Lewis, Teresa D.; Leong, Jo-Ann C.; Casey, Rufina N.; Casey, James W.

    2009-01-01

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

  11. Blanding’s Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii Potential Habitat Mapping Using Aerial Orthophotographic Imagery and Object Based Classification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Douglas J. King

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Blanding’s turtle (Emydoidea blandingii is a threatened species under Canada’s Species at Risk Act. In southern Québec, field based inventories are ongoing to determine its abundance and potential habitat. The goal of this research was to develop means for mapping of potential habitat based on primary habitat attributes that can be detected with high-resolution remotely sensed imagery. Using existing spring leaf-off 20 cm resolution aerial orthophotos of a portion of Gatineau Park where some Blanding’s turtle observations had been made, habitat attributes were mapped at two scales: (1 whole wetlands; (2 within wetland habitat features of open water, vegetation (used for camouflage and thermoregulation, and logs (used for spring sun-basking. The processing steps involved initial pixel-based classification to eliminate most areas of non-wetland, followed by object-based segmentations and classifications using a customized rule sequence to refine the wetland map and to map the within wetland habitat features. Variables used as inputs to the classifications were derived from the orthophotos and included image brightness, texture, and segmented object shape and area. Independent validation using field data and visual interpretation showed classification accuracy for all habitat attributes to be generally over 90% with a minimum of 81.5% for the producer’s accuracy of logs. The maps for each attribute were combined to produce a habitat suitability map for Blanding’s turtle. Of the 115 existing turtle observations, 92.3% were closest to a wetland of the two highest suitability classes. High-resolution imagery combined with object-based classification and habitat suitability mapping methods such as those presented provide a much more spatially explicit representation of detailed habitat attributes than can be obtained through field work alone. They can complement field efforts to document and track turtle activities and can contribute to

  12. Variation in osteocytes morphology vs bone type in turtle shell and their exceptional preservation from the Jurassic to the present.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cadena, Edwin A; Schweitzer, Mary H

    2012-09-01

    Here we describe variations in osteocytes derived from each of the three bone layers that comprise the turtle shell. We examine osteocytes in bone from four extant turtle species to form a morphological 'baseline', and then compare these with morphologies of osteocytes preserved in Cenozoic and Mesozoic fossils. Two different morphotypes of osteocytes are recognized: flattened-oblate osteocytes (FO osteocytes), which are particularly abundant in the internal cortex and lamellae of secondary osteons in cancellous bone, and stellate osteocytes (SO osteocytes), principally present in the interstitial lamellae between secondary osteons and external cortex. We show that the morphology of osteocytes in each of the three bone layers is conserved through ontogeny. We also demonstrate that these morphological variations are phylogenetically independent, as well as independent of the bone origin (intramembranous or endochondral). Preservation of microstructures consistent with osteocytes in the morphology in Cenozoic and Mesozoic fossil turtle bones appears to be common, and occurs in diverse diagenetic environments including marine, freshwater, and terrestrial deposits. These data have potential to illuminate aspects of turtle biology and evolution previously unapproachable, such as estimates of genome size of extinct species, differences in metabolic rates among different bones from a single individual, and potential function of osteocytes as capsules for preservation of ancient biomolecules. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Body burdens of heavy metals in Lake Michigan wetland turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Dayna L; Cooper, Matthew J; Kosiara, Jessica M; Lamberti, Gary A

    2016-02-01

    Tissue heavy metal concentrations in painted (Chrysemys picta) and snapping (Chelydra serpentina) turtles from Lake Michigan coastal wetlands were analyzed to determine (1) whether turtles accumulated heavy metals, (2) if tissue metal concentrations were related to environmental metal concentrations, and (3) the potential for non-lethal sampling techniques to be used for monitoring heavy metal body burdens in freshwater turtles. Muscle, liver, shell, and claw samples were collected from painted and snapping turtles and analyzed for cadmium, chromium, copper, iron, lead, magnesium, manganese, and zinc. Turtle tissues had measurable quantities of all eight metals analyzed. Statistically significant correlations between tissue metal concentrations and sediment metal concentrations were found for a subset of metals. Metals were generally found in higher concentrations in the larger snapping turtles than in painted turtles. In addition, non-lethal samples of shell and claw were found to be possible alternatives to lethal liver and muscle samples for some metals. Human consumption of snapping turtles presents potential health risks if turtles are harvested from contaminated areas. Overall, our results suggest that turtles could be a valuable component of contaminant monitoring programs for wetland ecosystems.

  14. Shell bone histology indicates terrestrial palaeoecology of basal turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheyer, Torsten M; Sander, P Martin

    2007-08-07

    The palaeoecology of basal turtles from the Late Triassic was classically viewed as being semi-aquatic, similar to the lifestyle of modern snapping turtles. Lately, this view was questioned based on limb bone proportions, and a terrestrial palaeoecology was suggested for the turtle stem. Here, we present independent shell bone microstructural evidence for a terrestrial habitat of the oldest and basal most well-known turtles, i.e. the Upper Triassic Proterochersis robusta and Proganochelys quenstedti. Comparison of their shell bone histology with that of extant turtles preferring either aquatic habitats or terrestrial habitats clearly reveals congruence with terrestrial turtle taxa. Similarities in the shell bones of these turtles are a diploe structure with well-developed external and internal cortices, weak vascularization of the compact bone layers and a dense nature of the interior cancellous bone with overall short trabeculae. On the other hand, 'aquatic' turtles tend to reduce cortical bone layers, while increasing overall vascularization of the bone tissue. In contrast to the study of limb bone proportions, the present study is independent from the uncommon preservation of appendicular skeletal elements in fossil turtles, enabling the palaeoecological study of a much broader range of incompletely known turtle taxa in the fossil record.

  15. Plasma lead, silicon and titanium concentrations are considerably higher in green sea turtle from the suburban coast than in those from the rural coast in Okinawa, Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsukano, Kenji; Suzuki, Kazuyuki; Noda, Jun; Yanagisawa, Makio; Kameda, Kazunari; Sera, Koichiro; Nishi, Yasunobu; Shimamori, Toshio; Morimoto, Yasuyo; Yokota, Hiroshi; Asakawa, Mitsuhiko

    2017-12-22

    The purpose of this study was to compare the concentration of trace elements in the plasma of sea turtles that inhabited the suburban (Okinawa Main Island, n=8) and the rural coast (Yaeyama Island, n=57) in Okinawa, Japan. Particle induced X-ray emission allowed detection of 20 trace and major elements. The wild sea turtles in the suburban coast in Okinawa were found to have high concentrations of Pb, Si and Ti in the plasma when compared to the rural area but there were no significant changes in the Al, As and Hg concentrations. These results may help to suggest the status of some elements in a marine environment. Further, monitoring the plasma trace and major element status in sea turtles can be used as a bio-monitoring approach by which specific types of elements found here could indicate effects that are related to human activities.

  16. Subsistence hunting for turtles in Northwestern Ecuador

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carr, John L; Almendariz, Ana; Simmons, John E; Nielsen, Mark T

    2014-01-01

    We describe the subsistence exploitation of an entire turtle fauna in Esmerald's Province, Ecuador. We collected first hand accounts and witnessed a number of capture techniques used by rural afroecuadorian and chachi inhabitants of the Cayapas Santiago River basin. The diversity of techniques indicated a practical knowledge of the ecology of the species. Chelydra acutirostris, Kinosternon leucostomum, Rhinoclemmys annulata, Melanosterna, and R. nasuta were captured and eaten. Poziando involved cleaning pools in a stream bed during the relatively dry season by removing live plants, organic detritus, and then seining with baskets; we observed R. melanosterna and K. leucostomum captured in this way. Pitfall traps baited with fruit were used to catch R. melanosterna during forays on land. Basket traps (Canasto tortuguero) with a wooden slat funnel across the opening are floated with balsa lashed to the sides. Banana or Xanthosoma leaf bait in the basket traps caught R. melanosterna, R. nasuta, and K. leucostomum. Marshy areas were probed for R. melanosterna and K. leucostomum. Direct capture by hand was also common. Turtles were relished as food items; all turtles captured were consumed, usually in soup or stew. Use of turtles for food in the region was pervasive, perhaps because fish and game populations were depleted.

  17. Embryonic death is linked to maternal identity in the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anthony R Rafferty

    Full Text Available Leatherback turtles have an average global hatching success rate of ~50%, lower than other marine turtle species. Embryonic death has been linked to environmental factors such as precipitation and temperature, although, there is still a lot of variability that remains to be explained. We examined how nesting season, the time of nesting each season, the relative position of each clutch laid by each female each season, maternal identity and associated factors such as reproductive experience of the female (new nester versus remigrant and period of egg retention between clutches (interclutch interval affected hatching success and stage of embryonic death in failed eggs of leatherback turtles nesting at Playa Grande, Costa Rica. Data were collected during five nesting seasons from 2004/05 to 2008/09. Mean hatching success was 50.4%. Nesting season significantly influenced hatching success in addition to early and late stage embryonic death. Neither clutch position nor nesting time during the season had a significant affect on hatching success or the stage of embryonic death. Some leatherback females consistently produced nests with higher hatching success rates than others. Remigrant females arrived earlier to nest, produced more clutches and had higher rates of hatching success than new nesters. Reproductive experience did not affect stage of death or the duration of the interclutch interval. The length of interclutch interval had a significant affect on the proportion of eggs that failed in each clutch and the developmental stage they died at. Intrinsic factors such as maternal identity are playing a role in affecting embryonic death in the leatherback turtle.

  18. Embryonic Death Is Linked to Maternal Identity in the Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rafferty, Anthony R.; Santidrián Tomillo, Pilar; Spotila, James R.; Paladino, Frank V.; Reina, Richard D.

    2011-01-01

    Leatherback turtles have an average global hatching success rate of ∼50%, lower than other marine turtle species. Embryonic death has been linked to environmental factors such as precipitation and temperature, although, there is still a lot of variability that remains to be explained. We examined how nesting season, the time of nesting each season, the relative position of each clutch laid by each female each season, maternal identity and associated factors such as reproductive experience of the female (new nester versus remigrant) and period of egg retention between clutches (interclutch interval) affected hatching success and stage of embryonic death in failed eggs of leatherback turtles nesting at Playa Grande, Costa Rica. Data were collected during five nesting seasons from 2004/05 to 2008/09. Mean hatching success was 50.4%. Nesting season significantly influenced hatching success in addition to early and late stage embryonic death. Neither clutch position nor nesting time during the season had a significant affect on hatching success or the stage of embryonic death. Some leatherback females consistently produced nests with higher hatching success rates than others. Remigrant females arrived earlier to nest, produced more clutches and had higher rates of hatching success than new nesters. Reproductive experience did not affect stage of death or the duration of the interclutch interval. The length of interclutch interval had a significant affect on the proportion of eggs that failed in each clutch and the developmental stage they died at. Intrinsic factors such as maternal identity are playing a role in affecting embryonic death in the leatherback turtle. PMID:21695086

  19. 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

  20. Baseline heavy metals and metalloid values in blood of loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) from Baja California Sur, Mexico

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ley-Quinonez, C.; Zavala-Norzagaray, A.A.; Espinosa-Carreon, T.L.; Peckham, H.; Marquez-Herrera, C.; Campos-Villegas, L.; Aguirre, A.A.

    2011-01-01

    Highlights: → We report baseline levels of selected heavy metals in blood of Pacific loggerhead turtles. → Blood was used to measure in a relatively non-invasive way baseline values of heavy metals. → Zn and Cd were found in high concentrations compared to levels reported in other parts of the world. → Cu concentrations in blood are high as they relate to concentrations in muscle. → No correlations were found between of heavy metals and metalloids analyzed and the size of the turtles. - Abstract: Environmental pollution due to heavy metals is having an increased impact on marine wildlife accentuated by anthropogenic changes in the planet including overfishing, agricultural runoff and marine emerging infectious diseases. Sea turtles are considered sentinels of ecological health in marine ecosystems. The objective of this study was to determine baseline concentrations of zinc, cadmium, copper, nickel, selenium, manganese, mercury and lead in blood of 22 clinically healthy, loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta), captured for several reasons in Puerto Lopez Mateos, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Zinc was the most prevalent metal in blood (41.89 μg g -1 ), followed by Selenium (10.92 μg g -1 ). The mean concentration of toxic metal Cadmium was 6.12 μg g -1 and 1.01 μg g -1 respectively. Mean concentrations of metals followed this pattern: Zn > Se > Ni > Cu > Mn > Cd > Pb and Hg. We can conclude that blood is an excellent tissue to measure in relatively non-invasive way baseline values of heavy metals in Caretta caretta.

  1. Exploring the presence of pollutants at sea: Monitoring heavy metals and pesticides in loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) from the western Mediterranean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novillo, O; Pertusa, J F; Tomás, J

    2017-11-15

    Marine turtles are considered good sentinel species for environmental assessment because of their long lifespan, feeding ecology, habitat use and migratory nature. In the present study, we assessed presence of cadmium, lead and mercury, together with organic pollutants, both in fat and muscle tissue of 25 stranded loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) stranded along the Valencian Community coast (East Spain) (43.7±13.5cm). Mean concentrations of Cd, Pb and Hg were 0.04μg/g w.w., 0.09μg/g w.w. and 0.03μg/g w.w. in fat and 0.05μg/g, 0.08μg/g and 0.04μg/g in muscle, respectively. These measures indicate a relatively low mean heavy metal concentration, which may be explained by juvenile size and developmental stage of the turtles analysed. A preliminary non-targeted analysis (using time-of-flight (TOF) technology), made for the first time in marine turtles, allowed to detect 39 different pesticides, most of them previously undetected in this species. Most of the organic substances detected are used in agricultural activities, and the use of 15 of them (38.5%) is not approved in the European Union. Our sample did not show any trend on pollutant contents in relation to turtle size or stranding location, probably because of the high diversity of pollutants found. However, the potential for a positive latitudinal gradient should be explored in future studies due to riverine inputs and high agricultural and industrial activities in the area. Despite the high diversity of pollutants found here, comparative studies of pollutants in other matrices at sea are needed to ascertain whether the loggerhead turtle is a good sentinel of chemical pollution in the western Mediterranean. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. 77 FR 37867 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed Rulemaking To Revise Critical Habitat for...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-25

    .... 110207102-2084-02] RIN 0648-BA81 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed Rulemaking To Revise Critical Habitat for Hawaiian Monk Seals AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS... extension of the deadline for a final critical habitat determination. SUMMARY: We, National Marine Fisheries...

  3. Body plan of turtles: an anatomical, developmental and evolutionary perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagashima, Hiroshi; Kuraku, Shigehiro; Uchida, Katsuhisa; Kawashima-Ohya, Yoshie; Narita, Yuichi; Kuratani, Shigeru

    2012-03-01

    The evolution of the turtle shell has long been one of the central debates in comparative anatomy. The turtle shell consists of dorsal and ventral parts: the carapace and plastron, respectively. The basic structure of the carapace comprises vertebrae and ribs. The pectoral girdle of turtles sits inside the carapace or the rib cage, in striking contrast to the body plan of other tetrapods. Due to this topological change in the arrangement of skeletal elements, the carapace has been regarded as an example of evolutionary novelty that violates the ancestral body plan of tetrapods. Comparing the spatial relationships of anatomical structures in the embryos of turtles and other amniotes, we have shown that the topology of the musculoskeletal system is largely conserved even in turtles. The positional changes seen in the ribs and pectoral girdle can be ascribed to turtle-specific folding of the lateral body wall in the late developmental stages. Whereas the ribs of other amniotes grow from the axial domain to the lateral body wall, turtle ribs remain arrested axially. Marginal growth of the axial domain in turtle embryos brings the morphologically short ribs in to cover the scapula dorsocaudally. This concentric growth appears to be induced by the margin of the carapace, which involves an ancestral gene expression cascade in a new location. These comparative developmental data allow us to hypothesize the gradual evolution of turtles, which is consistent with the recent finding of a transitional fossil animal, Odontochelys, which did not have the carapace but already possessed the plastron.

  4. Impact of marine debris on Antarctic fur seals Arctocephalus gazella at Cape Shirreff: diet dependent ingestion and entanglement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bravo Rebolledo, Elisa; Franeker, van J.A.

    2015-01-01

    For several decades it has been known that plastics in the marine environment can harm marine organisms, most visibly birds, turtles and mammals (Shomura and Yoshida, 1985). These animals can become entangled in this synthetic debris and can ingest macro- and micro-plastics. Recently, increased

  5. A Middle Triassic stem-turtle and the evolution of the turtle body plan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoch, Rainer R; Sues, Hans-Dieter

    2015-07-30

    The origin and early evolution of turtles have long been major contentious issues in vertebrate zoology. This is due to conflicting character evidence from molecules and morphology and a lack of transitional fossils from the critical time interval. The ∼220-million-year-old stem-turtle Odontochelys from China has a partly formed shell and many turtle-like features in its postcranial skeleton. Unlike the 214-million-year-old Proganochelys from Germany and Thailand, it retains marginal teeth and lacks a carapace. Odontochelys is separated by a large temporal gap from the ∼260-million-year-old Eunotosaurus from South Africa, which has been hypothesized as the earliest stem-turtle. Here we report a new reptile, Pappochelys, that is structurally and chronologically intermediate between Eunotosaurus and Odontochelys and dates from the Middle Triassic period (∼240 million years ago). The three taxa share anteroposteriorly broad trunk ribs that are T-shaped in cross-section and bear sculpturing, elongate dorsal vertebrae, and modified limb girdles. Pappochelys closely resembles Odontochelys in various features of the limb girdles. Unlike Odontochelys, it has a cuirass of robust paired gastralia in place of a plastron. Pappochelys provides new evidence that the plastron partly formed through serial fusion of gastralia. Its skull has small upper and ventrally open lower temporal fenestrae, supporting the hypothesis of diapsid affinities of turtles.

  6. The girdles of the oldest fossil turtle, Proterochersis robusta, and the age of the turtle crown.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joyce, Walter G; Schoch, Rainer R; Lyson, Tyler R

    2013-12-06

    Proterochersis robusta from the Late Triassic (Middle Norian) of Germany is the oldest known fossil turtle (i.e. amniote with a fully formed turtle shell), but little is known about its anatomy. A newly prepared, historic specimen provides novel insights into the morphology of the girdles and vertebral column of this taxon and the opportunity to reassess its phylogenetic position. The anatomy of the pectoral girdle of P. robusta is similar to that of other primitive turtles, including the Late Triassic (Carnian) Proganochelys quenstedti, in having a vertically oriented scapula, a large coracoid foramen, a short acromion process, and bony ridges that connect the acromion process with the dorsal process, glenoid, and coracoid, and by being able to rotate along a vertical axis. The pelvic elements are expanded distally and suturally attached to the shell, but in contrast to modern pleurodiran turtles the pelvis is associated with the sacral ribs. The primary homology of the character "sutured pelvis" is unproblematic between P. robusta and extant pleurodires. However, integration of all new observations into the most complete phylogenetic analysis that support the pleurodiran nature of P. robusta reveals that this taxon is more parsimoniously placed along the phylogenetic stem of crown Testudines. All current phylogenetic hypotheses therefore support the basal placement of this taxon, imply that the sutured pelvis of this taxon developed independently from that of pleurodires, and conclude that the age of the turtle crown is Middle Jurassic.

  7. Light and scanning electron microscopic studies on the esophageal spines in the Pacific ridley turtle, Lepidochelys olivacea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshie, S; Honma, Y

    1976-02-01

    The peculairly specialized esophagus of the Pacific ridley turtle, Lepidochelys olivacea, was described by light and scanning electron microscopic studies. The esophagus is lined by a stratified squamous epithelium with remarkable keratinization, and its major part forms a number of large spines which have been called "pharyngeal teeth." The epithelium consists of three strate: stratum germinativum, stratum spinosum and stratum corneum. The surface of the spine is covered by a scaly keratin of possibly sloughing cells, and the cornified layer on the spine is very thick (more than 100 mu), reaching 3 to 7 times the depth of the corresponding layer in other parts. This peculiar structure in the marine turtle without toothed jaws prabably is used for breaking food into small pieces.

  8. Five decades of marine megafauna surveys from Micronesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Summer L. Martin

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Long-term data are critical for assessing the status, trends, abundance, and distributions of wildlife populations. However, such data streams are often lacking for protected species, especially highly mobile marine vertebrates. Using five decades of aerial surveys, we assessed changes in marine megafauna on the insular coral reef ecosystem of Guam (Marianas Archipelago in Micronesia. The data allowed estimates of relative abundance, trends, and geographic distributions for several important taxa: sea turtles, sharks, manta rays, small delphinids, and large delphinids. These surveys occurred in 32 years from 1963-2012 amounting to 632 flights lasting 809 hours over a 70.16 km2 area. Over this span, surveyors recorded 10,622 turtle, 1,026 shark, 60 manta ray, 7,515 small delphinid, and 95 large delphinid observations. Since the 1960s, sea turtles increased an order of magnitude (r = 0.07 and sharks decreased five-fold (r = -0.03. Turtle increases were largely restricted to one geographical area, where optimal habitat coincides with low human density and a marine protected area. Shark observations declined proximate to human population centers. Trends for the other taxa were less informative, but each taxon had geographic foci. Protections in the region may be working to recover turtle populations, but failing (or have not yet had sufficient time to recover overfished shark populations. Long-term analyses of vulnerable marine megafauna in this data-limited region are uncommon, and should be used to guide more focused studies that inform regional management and conservation of these species.

  9. MicroRNAs support a turtle + lizard clade.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyson, Tyler R; Sperling, Erik A; Heimberg, Alysha M; Gauthier, Jacques A; King, Benjamin L; Peterson, Kevin J

    2012-02-23

    Despite much interest in amniote systematics, the origin of turtles remains elusive. Traditional morphological phylogenetic analyses place turtles outside Diapsida-amniotes whose ancestor had two fenestrae in the temporal region of the skull (among the living forms the tuatara, lizards, birds and crocodilians)-and allied with some unfenestrate-skulled (anapsid) taxa. Nonetheless, some morphological analyses place turtles within Diapsida, allied with Lepidosauria (tuatara and lizards). Most molecular studies agree that turtles are diapsids, but rather than allying them with lepidosaurs, instead place turtles near or within Archosauria (crocodilians and birds). Thus, three basic phylogenetic positions for turtles with respect to extant Diapsida are currently debated: (i) sister to Diapsida, (ii) sister to Lepidosauria, or (iii) sister to, or within, Archosauria. Interestingly, although these three alternatives are consistent with a single unrooted four-taxon tree for extant reptiles, they differ with respect to the position of the root. Here, we apply a novel molecular dataset, the presence versus absence of specific microRNAs, to the problem of the phylogenetic position of turtles and the root of the reptilian tree, and find that this dataset unambiguously supports a turtle + lepidosaur group. We find that turtles and lizards share four unique miRNA gene families that are not found in any other organisms' genome or small RNA library, and no miRNAs are found in all diapsids but not turtles, or in turtles and archosaurs but not in lizards. The concordance between our result and some morphological analyses suggests that there have been numerous morphological convergences and reversals in reptile phylogeny, including the loss of temporal fenestrae.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra Dorland

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    conservation. ASEAN Academic Press. Ltd, London, 361 pp. Mortimer JA (2006) Simple, yet effective: Protection at the nesting beach. SWoT State of the World's Sea Turtles. Report, 1: 8. Mortimer JA, Balazs GH (1999) Post-nesting migrations of hawksbill turtles in the. Granitic Seychelles and implications for conservation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, M S Y

    2013-12-01

    Adding new taxa to morphological phylogenetic analyses without substantially revising the set of included characters is a common practice, with drawbacks (undersampling of relevant characters) and potential benefits (character selection is not biased by preconceptions over the affinities of the 'retrofitted' taxon). Retrofitting turtles (Testudines) and other taxa to recent reptile phylogenies consistently places turtles with anapsid-grade parareptiles (especially Eunotosaurus and/or pareiasauromorphs), under both Bayesian and parsimony analyses. This morphological evidence for turtle-parareptile affinities appears to contradict the robust genomic evidence that extant (living) turtles are nested within diapsids as sister to extant archosaurs (birds and crocodilians). However, the morphological data are almost equally consistent with a turtle-archosaur clade: enforcing this molecular scaffold onto the morphological data does not greatly increase tree length (parsimony) or reduce likelihood (Bayesian inference). Moreover, under certain analytic conditions, Eunotosaurus groups with turtles and thus also falls within the turtle-archosaur clade. This result raises the possibility that turtles could simultaneously be most closely related to a taxon traditionally considered a parareptile (Eunotosaurus) and still have archosaurs as their closest extant sister group. © 2013 The Author. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2013 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  13. First records in Guinea Bissau of Adamawa Turtle Dove Streptopelia ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    There are no confirmed records of the Adamawa Turtle Dove Streptopelia hypopyrrha in north-eastern Guinea Bissau and there is very little information available on the biology of the species. Eight individuals of the Adamawa Turtle Dove were identified from the game bags of sport hunters in north-eastern Guinea Bissau, ...

  14. Assessing Trophic Position and Mercury Accumulation in Sanpping Turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

    This study determined the trophic position and the total mercury concentrations of snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) captured from 26 freshwater sites in Rhode Island. Turtles were captured in baited wire cages, and a non-lethal sampling technique was used in which tips of ...

  15. 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...

  16. A large phylogeny of turtles (Testudines) using molecular data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Guillon, J.-M.; Guéry, L.; Hulin, V.; Girondot, M.

    2012-01-01

    Turtles (Testudines) form a monophyletic group with a highly distinctive body plan. The taxonomy and phylogeny of turtles are still under discussion, at least for some clades. Whereas in most previous studies, only a few species or genera were considered, we here use an extensive compilation of DNA

  17. Three novel herpesviruses of endangered Clemmys and Glyptemys turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ossiboff, Robert J; Raphael, Bonnie L; Ammazzalorso, Alyssa D; Seimon, Tracie A; Newton, Alisa L; Chang, Tylis Y; Zarate, Brian; Whitlock, Alison L; McAloose, Denise

    2015-01-01

    The rich diversity of the world's reptiles is at risk due to significant population declines of broad taxonomic and geographic scope. Significant factors attributed to these declines include habitat loss, pollution, unsustainable collection and infectious disease. To investigate the presence and significance of a potential pathogen on populations of critically endangered bog turtles (Glyptemys muhlenbergii) as well sympatric endangered wood (G. insculpta) and endangered spotted (Clemmys guttata) turtles in the northeastern United States, choanal and cloacal swabs collected from 230 turtles from 19 sites in 5 states were screened for herpesvirus by polymerase chain reaction. We found a high incidence of herpesvirus infection in bog turtles (51.5%; 105/204) and smaller numbers of positive wood (5) and spotted (1) turtles. Sequence and phylogenetic analysis revealed three previously uncharacterized alphaherpesviruses. Glyptemys herpesvirus 1 was the predominant herpesvirus detected and was found exclusively in bog turtles in all states sampled. Glyptemys herpesvirus 2 was found only in wood turtles. Emydid herpesvirus 2 was found in a small number of bog turtles and a single spotted turtle from one state. Based on these findings, Glyptemys herpesvirus 1 appears to be a common infection in the study population, whereas Glyptemys herpesvirus 2 and Emydid herpesvirus 2 were not as frequently detected. Emydid herpesvirus 2 was the only virus detected in more than one species. Herpesviruses are most often associated with subclinical or mild infections in their natural hosts, and no sampled turtles showed overt signs of disease at sampling. However, infection of host-adapted viruses in closely related species can result in significant disease. The pathogenic potential of these viruses, particularly Emydid herpesvirus 2, in sympatric chelonians warrants additional study in order to better understand the relationship of these viruses with their endangered hosts.

  18. Threatened bird valuation in Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kerstin K Zander

    Full Text Available Threatened species programs need a social license to justify public funding. A contingent valuation survey of a broadly representative sample of the Australian public found that almost two thirds (63% supported funding of threatened bird conservation. These included 45% of a sample of 645 respondents willing to pay into a fund for threatened bird conservation, 3% who already supported bird conservation in another form, and 15% who could not afford to pay into a conservation fund but who nevertheless thought that humans have a moral obligation to protect threatened birds. Only 6% explicitly opposed such payments. Respondents were willing to pay about AUD 11 annually into a conservation fund (median value, including those who would pay nothing. Highest values were offered by young or middle aged men, and those with knowledge of birds and those with an emotional response to encountering an endangered bird. However, the prospect of a bird going extinct alarmed almost everybody, even most of those inclined to put the interests of people ahead of birds and those who resent the way threatened species sometimes hold up development. The results suggest that funding for threatened birds has widespread popular support among the Australian population. Conservatively they would be willing to pay about AUD 14 million per year, and realistically about AUD 70 million, which is substantially more than the AUD 10 million currently thought to be required to prevent Australian bird extinctions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  20. Invasion of the turtles? : exotic turtles in the Netherland: a risk assessment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bugter, R.J.F.; Ottburg, F.G.W.A.; Roessink, I.; Jansman, H.A.H.; Grift, van der E.A.; Griffioen, A.J.

    2011-01-01

    The authors of this report assessed the risk of exotic turtles becoming invasive in the Netherlands. Main components of the risk are the large scale of introduction of discarded pets to Dutch nature and possible suitability of species to survive and reproduce successfully under present or future

  1. 3 CFR 8337 - Proclamation 8337 of January 6, 2009. Establishment of the Rose Atoll Marine National Monument

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... the seabird and turtle species of the Central Pacific. Threatened Pisonia atoll forest trees are also... the proper care and management of the objects to be protected; WHEREAS it is in the public interest to... for the care and management of the historic and scientific objects therein: NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE...

  2. The impact of debris on marine life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gall, S C; Thompson, R C

    2015-03-15

    Marine debris is listed among the major perceived threats to biodiversity, and is cause for particular concern due to its abundance, durability and persistence in the marine environment. An extensive literature search reviewed the current state of knowledge on the effects of marine debris on marine organisms. 340 original publications reported encounters between organisms and marine debris and 693 species. Plastic debris accounted for 92% of encounters between debris and individuals. Numerous direct and indirect consequences were recorded, with the potential for sublethal effects of ingestion an area of considerable uncertainty and concern. Comparison to the IUCN Red List highlighted that at least 17% of species affected by entanglement and ingestion were listed as threatened or near threatened. Hence where marine debris combines with other anthropogenic stressors it may affect populations, trophic interactions and assemblages. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Vibrio cholerae Colonization of Soft-Shelled Turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jiazheng; Yan, Meiying; Gao, He; Lu, Xin; Kan, Biao

    2017-07-15

    Vibrio cholerae is an important human pathogen and environmental microflora species that can both propagate in the human intestine and proliferate in zooplankton and aquatic organisms. Cholera is transmitted through food and water. In recent years, outbreaks caused by V. cholerae -contaminated soft-shelled turtles, contaminated mainly with toxigenic serogroup O139, have been frequently reported, posing a new foodborne disease public health problem. In this study, the colonization by toxigenic V. cholerae on the body surfaces and intestines of soft-shelled turtles was explored. Preferred colonization sites on the turtle body surfaces, mainly the carapace and calipash of the dorsal side, were observed for the O139 and O1 strains. Intestinal colonization was also found. The colonization factors of V. cholerae played different roles in the colonization of the soft-shelled turtle's body surface and intestine. Mannose-sensitive hemagglutinin (MSHA) of V. cholerae was necessary for body surface colonization, but no roles were found for toxin-coregulated pili (TCP) or N -acetylglucosamine-binding protein A (GBPA). Both TCP and GBPA play important roles for colonization in the intestine, whereas the deletion of MSHA revealed only a minor colonization-promoting role for this factor. Our study demonstrated that V. cholerae can colonize the surfaces and the intestines of soft-shelled turtles and indicated that the soft-shelled turtles played a role in the transmission of cholera. In addition, this study showed that the soft-shelled turtle has potential value as an animal model in studies of the colonization and environmental adaption mechanisms of V. cholerae in aquatic organisms. IMPORTANCE Cholera is transmitted through water and food. Soft-shelled turtles contaminated with Vibrio cholerae (commonly the serogroup O139 strains) have caused many foodborne infections and outbreaks in recent years, and they have become a foodborne disease problem. Except for epidemiological

  4. Breeding sex ratio and population size of loggerhead turtles from Southwestern Florida.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacob A Lasala

    Full Text Available Species that display temperature-dependent sex determination are at risk as a result of increasing global temperatures. For marine turtles, high incubation temperatures can skew sex ratios towards females. There are concerns that temperature increases may result in highly female-biased offspring sex ratios, which would drive a future sex ratio skew. Studying the sex ratios of adults in the ocean is logistically very difficult because individuals are widely distributed and males are inaccessible because they remain in the ocean. Breeding sex ratios (BSR are sought as a functional alternative to study adult sex ratios. One way to examine BSR is to determine the number of males that contribute to nests. Our goal was to evaluate the BSR for loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta nesting along the eastern Gulf of Mexico in Florida, from 2013-2015, encompassing three nesting seasons. We genotyped 64 nesting females (approximately 28% of all turtles nesting at that time and up to 20 hatchlings from their nests (n = 989 using 7 polymorphic microsatellite markers. We identified multiple paternal contributions in 70% of the nests analyzed and 126 individual males. The breeding sex ratio was approximately 1 female for every 2.5 males. We did not find repeat males in any of our nests. The sex ratio and lack of repeating males was surprising because of female-biased primary sex ratios. We hypothesize that females mate offshore of their nesting beaches as well as en route. We recommend further comparisons of subsequent nesting events and of other beaches as it is imperative to establish baseline breeding sex ratios to understand how growing populations behave before extreme environmental effects are evident.

  5. Migratory corridors of adult female Kemp’s ridley turtles in the Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaver, Donna J.; Hart, Kristen M.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Rubio, Cynthia; Sartain-Iverson, Autumn R.; Pena, Jaime; Gamez, Daniel Gomez; Gonzales Diaz Miron, Raul de Jesus; Burchfield, Patrick M.; Martinez, Hector J.; Ortiz, Jaime

    2016-01-01

    For many marine species, locations of migratory pathways are not well defined. We used satellite telemetry and switching state-space modeling (SSM) to define the migratory corridor used by Kemp's ridley turtles (Lepidochelys kempii) in the Gulf of Mexico. The turtles were tagged after nesting at Padre Island National Seashore, Texas, USA from 1997 to 2014 (PAIS; n = 80); Rancho Nuevo, Tamaulipas, Mexico from 2010 to 2011 (RN; n = 14); Tecolutla, Veracruz, Mexico from 2012 to 2013 (VC; n = 13); and Gulf Shores, Alabama, USA during 2012 (GS; n = 1). The migratory corridor lies in nearshore Gulf of Mexico waters in the USA and Mexico with mean water depth of 26 m and a mean distance of 20 km from the nearest mainland coast. Migration from the nesting beach is a short phenomenon that occurs from late-May through August, with a peak in June. There was spatial similarity of post-nesting migratory pathways for different turtles over a 16 year period. Thus, our results indicate that these nearshore Gulf waters represent a critical migratory habitat for this species. However, there is a gap in our understanding of the migratory pathways used by this and other species to return from foraging grounds to nesting beaches. Therefore, our results highlight the need for tracking reproductive individuals from foraging grounds to nesting beaches. Continued tracking of adult females from PAIS, RN, and VC nesting beaches will allow further study of environmental and bathymetric components of migratory habitat and threats occurring within our defined corridor. Furthermore, the existence of this migratory corridor in nearshore waters of both the USA and Mexico demonstrates that international cooperation is necessary to protect essential migratory habitat for this imperiled species.

  6. A turtle-like swimming robot using a smart soft composite (SSC) structure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Hyung-Jung; Song, Sung-Hyuk; Ahn, Sung-Hoon

    2013-01-01

    This paper describes the development of a biomimetic swimming robot based on the locomotion of a marine turtle. To realize the smooth, soft flapping motions of this type of turtle, a novel actuator was also developed, using a smart soft composite (SSC) structure that can generate bending and twisting motions in a simple, lightweight structure. The SSC structure is a composite consisting of an active component to generate the actuation force, a passive component to determine the twisting angle of the structure, and a matrix to combine the components. The motion of such a structure can be designed by specifying the angle between a filament of the scaffold structure and a shape-memory alloy (SMA) wire. The bending and twisting motion of the SSC structure is explained in terms of classical laminate theory, and cross-ply and angled-ply structures were fabricated to evaluate its motion. Finally, the turtle-like motion of a swimming robot was realized by employing a specially designed SSC structure. To mimic the posterior positive twisting angle of a turtle’s flipper during the upstroke, the SMA wire on the upper side was offset, and a positive ply-angled scaffold was used. Likewise, for the anterior negative twisting angle of the flipper during the downstroke, an offset SMA wire on the lower side and a positive ply-angled scaffold were also required. The fabricated flipper’s length is 64.3 mm and it realizes 55 mm bending and 24° twisting. The resulting robot achieved a swimming speed of 22.5 mm s −1 . (paper)

  7. Are thermal barriers "higher" in deep sea turtle nests?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santidrián Tomillo, Pilar; Fonseca, Luis; Paladino, Frank V; Spotila, James R; Oro, Daniel

    2017-01-01

    Thermal tolerances are affected by the range of temperatures that species encounter in their habitat. Daniel Janzen hypothesized in his "Why mountain passes are higher in the tropics" that temperature gradients were effective barriers to animal movements where climatic uniformity was high. Sea turtles bury their eggs providing some thermal stability that varies with depth. We assessed the relationship between thermal uniformity and thermal tolerance in nests of three species of sea turtles. We considered that barriers were "high" when small thermal changes had comparatively large effects and "low" when the effects were small. Mean temperature was lower and fluctuated less in species that dig deeper nests. Thermal barriers were comparatively "higher" in leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) nests, which were the deepest, as embryo mortality increased at lower "high" temperatures than in olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) and green turtle (Chelonia mydas) nests. Sea turtles have temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) and embryo mortality increased as temperature approached the upper end of the transitional range of temperatures (TRT) that produces both sexes (temperature producing 100% female offspring) in leatherback and olive ridley turtles. As thermal barriers are "higher" in some species than in others, the effects of climate warming on embryo mortality is likely to vary among sea turtles. Population resilience to climate warming may also depend on the balance between temperatures that produce female offspring and those that reduce embryo survival.

  8. Are thermal barriers "higher" in deep sea turtle nests?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pilar Santidrián Tomillo

    Full Text Available Thermal tolerances are affected by the range of temperatures that species encounter in their habitat. Daniel Janzen hypothesized in his "Why mountain passes are higher in the tropics" that temperature gradients were effective barriers to animal movements where climatic uniformity was high. Sea turtles bury their eggs providing some thermal stability that varies with depth. We assessed the relationship between thermal uniformity and thermal tolerance in nests of three species of sea turtles. We considered that barriers were "high" when small thermal changes had comparatively large effects and "low" when the effects were small. Mean temperature was lower and fluctuated less in species that dig deeper nests. Thermal barriers were comparatively "higher" in leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea nests, which were the deepest, as embryo mortality increased at lower "high" temperatures than in olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea and green turtle (Chelonia mydas nests. Sea turtles have temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD and embryo mortality increased as temperature approached the upper end of the transitional range of temperatures (TRT that produces both sexes (temperature producing 100% female offspring in leatherback and olive ridley turtles. As thermal barriers are "higher" in some species than in others, the effects of climate warming on embryo mortality is likely to vary among sea turtles. Population resilience to climate warming may also depend on the balance between temperatures that produce female offspring and those that reduce embryo survival.

  9. Aging the oldest turtles: the placodont affinities of Priscochelys hegnabrunnensis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheyer, Torsten M.

    2008-09-01

    Priscochelys hegnabrunnensis, a fragmentary piece of armour shell from the Muschelkalk of Germany (Upper Triassic) with few diagnostic morphological features, was recently proposed to represent the oldest known stem turtle. As such, the specimen is of high importance because it shifts the date of the first appearance of turtles back about 20 Ma, which equals about 10% of the total stratigraphic range of the group. In this paper, I present new morphologic, histologic and neutron tomographic (NT) data that relate to the microstructure of the bone of the specimen itself. In opposition to the previous morphologic descriptions, P. hegnabrunnensis was found to share several distinctive features (i.e. bone sutures congruent with scute sulci, absence of a diploe structure with interior cancellous bone, thin vascular canals radiating outwards from distinct centres in each field and rugose ventral bone surface texture consisting of mineralised fibre bundles) with cyamodontoid placodonts (Diapsida: Sauropterygia) and fewer with stem turtles (i.e. depth of sulci). Two aspects that were previously thought to be relevant for the assignment to the turtle stem (conical scutes and presence of foramina) are argued to be of dubious value. P. hegnabrunnensis is proposed to represent a fragmentary piece of cyamodontoid armour consisting of fused conical plates herein. The specimen is not a part of the turtle stem and thus does not represent the oldest turtle. Accordingly, P. hegnabrunnensis does not shorten the ghost lineage to the potential sister group of turtles.

  10. Are thermal barriers "higher" in deep sea turtle nests?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santidrián Tomillo, Pilar; Fonseca, Luis; Paladino, Frank V.; Spotila, James R.; Oro, Daniel

    2017-01-01

    Thermal tolerances are affected by the range of temperatures that species encounter in their habitat. Daniel Janzen hypothesized in his “Why mountain passes are higher in the tropics” that temperature gradients were effective barriers to animal movements where climatic uniformity was high. Sea turtles bury their eggs providing some thermal stability that varies with depth. We assessed the relationship between thermal uniformity and thermal tolerance in nests of three species of sea turtles. We considered that barriers were “high” when small thermal changes had comparatively large effects and “low” when the effects were small. Mean temperature was lower and fluctuated less in species that dig deeper nests. Thermal barriers were comparatively “higher” in leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) nests, which were the deepest, as embryo mortality increased at lower “high” temperatures than in olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) and green turtle (Chelonia mydas) nests. Sea turtles have temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) and embryo mortality increased as temperature approached the upper end of the transitional range of temperatures (TRT) that produces both sexes (temperature producing 100% female offspring) in leatherback and olive ridley turtles. As thermal barriers are “higher” in some species than in others, the effects of climate warming on embryo mortality is likely to vary among sea turtles. Population resilience to climate warming may also depend on the balance between temperatures that produce female offspring and those that reduce embryo survival. PMID:28545092

  11. Baseline heavy metals and metalloid values in blood of loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) from Baja California Sur, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ley-Quiñónez, C; Zavala-Norzagaray, A A; Espinosa-Carreón, T L; Peckham, H; Marquez-Herrera, C; Campos-Villegas, L; Aguirre, A A

    2011-09-01

    Environmental pollution due to heavy metals is having an increased impact on marine wildlife accentuated by anthropogenic changes in the planet including overfishing, agricultural runoff and marine emerging infectious diseases. Sea turtles are considered sentinels of ecological health in marine ecosystems. The objective of this study was to determine baseline concentrations of zinc, cadmium, copper, nickel, selenium, manganese, mercury and lead in blood of 22 clinically healthy, loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta), captured for several reasons in Puerto López Mateos, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Zinc was the most prevalent metal in blood (41.89 μg g⁻¹), followed by Selenium (10.92 μg g⁻¹). The mean concentration of toxic metal Cadmium was 6.12 μg g⁻¹ and 1.01μg g⁻¹ respectively. Mean concentrations of metals followed this pattern: Zn>Se>Ni>Cu>Mn>Cd>Pb and Hg. We can conclude that blood is an excellent tissue to measure in relatively non-invasive way baseline values of heavy metals in Caretta caretta. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Phylogenetic relationships among extinct and extant turtles: the position of Pleurodira and the effects of the fossils on rooting crown-group turtles

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sterli, J.

    2010-01-01

    The origin and evolution of the crown-group of turtles (Cryptodira + Pleurodira) is one of the most interesting topics in turtle evolution, second perhaps only to the phylogenetic position of turtles among amniotes. The present contribution focuses on the former problem, exploring the phylogenetic

  15. 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).

  16. Marine megaherbivore grazing may increase seagrass tolerance to high nutrient loads

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Christianen, M.J.A.; Govers, L.L.; Bouma, T.J.; Kiswara, W.; Roelofs, J.G.M.; Lamers, L.P.M.; Van Katwijk, M.

    2012-01-01

    1.Populations of marine megaherbivores including green turtle (Chelonia mydas) have declined dramatically at a global scale as a result of overharvesting and habitat loss. This decline can be expected to also affect the tolerance of seagrass systems to coastal eutrophication. Until now, however,

  17. Western Indian Ocean Journal of Marine Science - Vol 4, No 2 (2005)

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Notes on the status and incidental capture of marine turtles by the subsistence fishing communities of South West Madagascar · EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT. R C Walker, E Roberts, 219-226. http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/wiojms.v4i2.28491 ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donna J Shaver

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

  19. 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

  20. Phallus development in the turtle Trachemys scripta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larkins, Christine E; Cohn, Martin J

    2015-01-01

    Development of a phallus occurs in almost all amniotes; however, considerable variation in phallus morphology among different amniote lineages has contributed to the debate about their structural homology. Mammals are the only amniotes that form a closed urethral tube within the penis. In contrast, the phallus of reptiles and birds has an open urethral groove, or sulcus spermaticus, that facilitates directional flow of sperm along the penis. One condition of structural homology is that the organs should share a common developmental origin; de novo development from different embryonic progenitors would indicate that the structure re-evolved in a new position. Although a common developmental origin does not itself demonstrate homology, different origins could indicate a lack of homology. To further understand how development of external genitalia evolved in amniotes, we examined this in the turtle Trachemys scripta. We found that phallus development in the turtle closely resembles that of mice at the tissue, cellular, and molecular levels, consistent with the hypothesis that their phalluses are homologous structures. We find that acquisition of specialized characters, such as a closed urethral tube, involved lineage-specific specialization of the common plan for amniote phallus development.

  1. Antimycobacterial Metabolites from Marine Invertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daletos, Georgios; Ancheeva, Elena; Chaidir, Chaidir; Kalscheuer, Rainer; Proksch, Peter

    2016-10-01

    Marine organisms play an important role in natural product-based drug research due to accumulation of structurally unique and bioactive metabolites. The exploration of marine-derived compounds may significantly extend the scientific knowledge of potential scaffolds for antibiotic drug discovery. Development of novel antitubercular agents is especially significant as the emergence of drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains remains threateningly high. Marine invertebrates (i.e., sponges, corals, gorgonians) as a source of new chemical entities are the center of research for several scientific groups, and the wide spectrum of biological activities of marine-derived compounds encourages scientists to carry out investigations in the field of antibiotic research, including tuberculosis treatment. The present review covers published data on antitubercular natural products from marine invertebrates grouped according to their biogenetic origin. Studies on the structure-activity relationships of these important leads are highlighted as well. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  2. Threatened plants of Southern Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Hall, AV

    1980-05-01

    Full Text Available Lists are provided of 1 915 vascular plant taxa regarded to be either extinct or variously threatened in southern Africa, the region south of (but excluding) Angola, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. These include 39 recently extinct taxa} 105 endangered...

  3. TRIBE, TONGUE, ENCULTURATION THREATENED Ephraim ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Ike Odimegwu

    Chukwu: Tribe, Tongue, Enculturation Threatened. 234 language. Alluding to sign language, Basden (60) describes medical cult recruitment of baby male boys via supposedly supernatural engraven signs on the baby's body. During the dedication, the dibia (medicine man) detects some sign which convinces him that this ...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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 ...

  7. 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...

  8. How to Explain a Cycloid to a Turtle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leron, Uri; Armon, Uzi

    1988-01-01

    Discusses various representations of a curve and the relationships between them. Describes mathematical exercises which use Logo to derive a turtle procedure for graphically representing a cycloid. Provides a proof of the trigonometric series formula to show equality. (RT)

  9. A carapace-like bony 'body tube' in an early triassic marine reptile and the onset of marine tetrapod predation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiao-hong Chen

    Full Text Available Parahupehsuchus longus is a new species of marine reptile from the Lower Triassic of Yuan'an County, Hubei Province, China. It is unique among vertebrates for having a body wall that is completely surrounded by a bony tube, about 50 cm long and 6.5 cm deep, comprising overlapping ribs and gastralia. This tube and bony ossicles on the back are best interpreted as anti-predatory features, suggesting that there was predation pressure upon marine tetrapods in the Early Triassic. There is at least one sauropterygian that is sufficiently large to feed on Parahupehsuchus in the Nanzhang-Yuan'an fauna, together with six more species of potential prey marine reptiles with various degrees of body protection. Modern predators of marine tetrapods belong to the highest trophic levels in the marine ecosystem but such predators did not always exist through geologic time. The indication of marine-tetrapod feeding in the Nanzhang-Yuan'an fauna suggests that such a trophic level emerged for the first time in the Early Triassic. The recovery from the end-Permian extinction probably proceeded faster than traditionally thought for marine predators. Parahupehsuchus has superficially turtle-like features, namely expanded ribs without intercostal space, very short transverse processes, and a dorsal outgrowth from the neural spine. However, these features are structurally different from their turtle counterparts. Phylogeny suggests that they are convergent with the condition in turtles, which has a fundamentally different body plan that involves the folding of the body wall. Expanded ribs without intercostal space evolved at least twice and probably even more among reptiles.

  10. A carapace-like bony 'body tube' in an early triassic marine reptile and the onset of marine tetrapod predation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xiao-hong; Motani, Ryosuke; Cheng, Long; Jiang, Da-yong; Rieppel, Olivier

    2014-01-01

    Parahupehsuchus longus is a new species of marine reptile from the Lower Triassic of Yuan'an County, Hubei Province, China. It is unique among vertebrates for having a body wall that is completely surrounded by a bony tube, about 50 cm long and 6.5 cm deep, comprising overlapping ribs and gastralia. This tube and bony ossicles on the back are best interpreted as anti-predatory features, suggesting that there was predation pressure upon marine tetrapods in the Early Triassic. There is at least one sauropterygian that is sufficiently large to feed on Parahupehsuchus in the Nanzhang-Yuan'an fauna, together with six more species of potential prey marine reptiles with various degrees of body protection. Modern predators of marine tetrapods belong to the highest trophic levels in the marine ecosystem but such predators did not always exist through geologic time. The indication of marine-tetrapod feeding in the Nanzhang-Yuan'an fauna suggests that such a trophic level emerged for the first time in the Early Triassic. The recovery from the end-Permian extinction probably proceeded faster than traditionally thought for marine predators. Parahupehsuchus has superficially turtle-like features, namely expanded ribs without intercostal space, very short transverse processes, and a dorsal outgrowth from the neural spine. However, these features are structurally different from their turtle counterparts. Phylogeny suggests that they are convergent with the condition in turtles, which has a fundamentally different body plan that involves the folding of the body wall. Expanded ribs without intercostal space evolved at least twice and probably even more among reptiles.

  11. Abundance of juvenile eastern box turtles in manages forest stands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Z. Felix; Y. Wang; H. Czech; C. Schweitzer

    2008-01-01

    Between 2002 and 2005, we used drift fences and artificial pools to sample juvenile eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina) in northeastern Alabama in forest stands experimentally treated to retain various amounts of overstory trees—clear-cuts and those with 25%–50% and 75%–100% of trees retained.We captured juvenile turtles only in clear-cut and 25%–50% retention...

  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. Complete mitochondrial genome suggests diapsid affinities of turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zardoya, R; Meyer, A

    1998-11-24

    Despite more than a century of debate, the evolutionary position of turtles (Testudines) relative to other amniotes (reptiles, birds, and mammals) remains uncertain. One of the major impediments to resolving this important evolutionary problem is the highly distinctive and enigmatic morphology of turtles that led to their traditional placement apart from diapsid reptiles as sole descendants of presumably primitive anapsid reptiles. To address this question, the complete (16,787-bp) mitochondrial genome sequence of the African side-necked turtle (Pelomedusa subrufa) was determined. This molecule contains several unusual features: a (TA)n microsatellite in the control region, the absence of an origin of replication for the light strand in the WANCY region of five tRNA genes, an unusually long noncoding region separating the ND5 and ND6 genes, an overlap between ATPase 6 and COIII genes, and the existence of extra nucleotides in ND3 and ND4L putative ORFs. Phylogenetic analyses of the complete mitochondrial genome sequences supported the placement of turtles as the sister group of an alligator and chicken (Archosauria) clade. This result clearly rejects the Haematothermia hypothesis (a sister-group relationship between mammals and birds), as well as rejecting the placement of turtles as the most basal living amniotes. Moreover, evidence from both complete mitochondrial rRNA genes supports a sister-group relationship of turtles to Archosauria to the exclusion of Lepidosauria (tuatara, snakes, and lizards). These results challenge the classic view of turtles as the only survivors of primary anapsid reptiles and imply that turtles might have secondarily lost their skull fenestration.

  14. Marine biodiversity characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boeuf, Gilles

    2011-05-01

    Oceans contain the largest living volume of the "blue" planet, inhabited by approximately 235-250,000 described species, all groups included. They only represent some 13% of the known species on the Earth, but the marine biomasses are really huge. Marine phytoplankton alone represents half the production of organic matter on Earth while marine bacteria represent more than 10%. Life first appeared in the oceans more than 3.8 billion years ago and several determining events took place that changed the course of life, ranging from the development of the cell nucleus to sexual reproduction going through multi-cellular organisms and the capture of organelles. Of the 31 animal phyla currently listed, 12 are exclusively marine phyla and have never left the ocean. An interesting question is to try to understand why there are so few marine species versus land species? This pattern of distribution seems pretty recent in the course of Evolution. From an exclusively marine world, since the beginning until 440 million years ago, land number of species much increased 110 million years ago. Specific diversity and ancestral roles, in addition to organizational models and original behaviors, have made marine organisms excellent reservoirs for identifying and extracting molecules (>15,000 today) with pharmacological potential. They also make particularly relevant models for both fundamental and applied research. Some marine models have been the source of essential discoveries in life sciences. From this diversity, the ocean provides humankind with renewable resources, which are highly threatened today and need more adequate management to preserve ocean habitats, stocks and biodiversity. Copyright © 2011 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  15. Diatoms on the carapace of common snapping turtles: Luticola spp. dominate despite spatial variation in assemblages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shelly C Wu

    Full Text Available Filamentous algae are often visible on the carapaces of freshwater turtles and these algae are dominated by a few species with varying geographic distributions. Compared to filamentous algae, little is known about the much more speciose microalgae on turtles. Our objectives were to compare the diatom flora on a single turtle species (the common snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina across part of its range to examine spatial patterns and determine whether specific diatom taxa were consistently associated with turtles (as occurs in the filamentous alga Basicladia spp.. Using preserved turtle specimens from museums, we systematically sampled diatoms on the carapaces of 25 snapping turtles across five states. The diverse diatom assemblages formed two groups-the southern Oklahoma group and the northern Illinois/Wisconsin/New York group, with Arkansas not differing from either group. Of the six diatom species found in all five states, four species are widespread, whereas Luticola cf. goeppertiana and L. cf. mutica are undescribed species, known only from turtles in our study. L. cf. goeppertiana comprised 83% of the diatom abundance on Oklahoma turtles and was relatively more abundant on southern turtles (Oklahoma and Arkansas than on northern turtles (where mean abundance/state was > 10%. L. cf. mutica was the most abundant species (40% on New York turtles. Some Luticola species are apparently turtle associates and results support a pattern of spatial variation in Luticola species, similar to that in Basicladia. Using museum specimens is an efficient and effective method to study the distribution of micro-epibionts.

  16. Diatoms on the carapace of common snapping turtles: Luticola spp. dominate despite spatial variation in assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Shelly C; Bergey, Elizabeth A

    2017-01-01

    Filamentous algae are often visible on the carapaces of freshwater turtles and these algae are dominated by a few species with varying geographic distributions. Compared to filamentous algae, little is known about the much more speciose microalgae on turtles. Our objectives were to compare the diatom flora on a single turtle species (the common snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina) across part of its range to examine spatial patterns and determine whether specific diatom taxa were consistently associated with turtles (as occurs in the filamentous alga Basicladia spp.). Using preserved turtle specimens from museums, we systematically sampled diatoms on the carapaces of 25 snapping turtles across five states. The diverse diatom assemblages formed two groups-the southern Oklahoma group and the northern Illinois/Wisconsin/New York group, with Arkansas not differing from either group. Of the six diatom species found in all five states, four species are widespread, whereas Luticola cf. goeppertiana and L. cf. mutica are undescribed species, known only from turtles in our study. L. cf. goeppertiana comprised 83% of the diatom abundance on Oklahoma turtles and was relatively more abundant on southern turtles (Oklahoma and Arkansas) than on northern turtles (where mean abundance/state was > 10%). L. cf. mutica was the most abundant species (40%) on New York turtles. Some Luticola species are apparently turtle associates and results support a pattern of spatial variation in Luticola species, similar to that in Basicladia. Using museum specimens is an efficient and effective method to study the distribution of micro-epibionts.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    The Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) and Olive Ridley Turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) are the only sea turtles with recorded landings in the Pulau Pinang coastal area. The Green Turtle has been the most abundant and widely distributed sea turtle in this area since it was first surveyed in 1995. Statistical analysis by the Pulau Pinang Department of Fisheries on the distribution of sea turtles from 2001 through 2009 has identified Pantai Kerachut and Telok Kampi as the most strongly preferred beaches for Green Turtle landings, with records for almost every month in every year. Green Turtle tracks and nests have also been found along the coast of Pulau Pinang at Batu Ferringhi, Tanjong Bungah, Pantai Medan, Pantai Belanda, Telok Kumbar, Gertak Sanggul, Moonlight Beach, Telok Duyung, Telok Aling, Telok Bahang and Telok Katapang. The Olive Ridley Turtle is present in smaller numbers; landing and nesting have only been recorded on a few beaches. There are no previous records of Olive Ridley landings at Pantai Kerachut and Telok Kampi, but tracks and nests have been found at Telok Kumbar, Tanjong Bungah, Pantai Medan, Telok Duyung and Gertak Sanggul. A Turtle Conservation Centre has been established at Pantai Kerachut to protect these species from extinction in Pulau Pinang. This paper presents details of the records and distribution of sea turtles in Pulau Pinang from 1995 through 2009. PMID:24575226

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munoz, F.A.; Estrada-Parra, S.; Romero-Rojas, A.; Work, Thierry M.; Gonzalez-Ballesteros, E.; Estrada-Garcia, I.

    2009-01-01

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

  20. Emerging from the rib: resolving the turtle controversies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, Ritva; Riccio, Paul; Gilbert, Scott F; Cebra-Thomas, Judith

    2015-05-01

    Two of the major controversies in the present study of turtle shell development involve the mechanism by which the carapacial ridge initiates shell formation and the mechanism by which each rib forms the costal bones adjacent to it. This paper claims that both sides of each debate might be correct-but within the species examined. Mechanism is more properly "mechanisms," and there is more than one single way to initiate carapace formation and to form the costal bones. In the initiation of the shell, the rib precursors may be kept dorsal by either "axial displacement" (in the hard-shell turtles) or "axial arrest" (in the soft-shell turtle Pelodiscus), or by a combination of these. The former process would deflect the rib into the dorsal dermis and allow it to continue its growth there, while the latter process would truncate rib growth. In both instances, though, the result is to keep the ribs from extending into the ventral body wall. Our recent work has shown that the properties of the carapacial ridge, a key evolutionary innovation of turtles, differ greatly between these two groups. Similarly, the mechanism of costal bone formation may differ between soft-shell and hard-shell turtles, in that the hard-shell species may have both periosteal flattening as well as dermal bone induction, while the soft-shelled turtles may have only the first of these processes. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Origin of the unique ventilatory apparatus of turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyson, Tyler R; Schachner, Emma R; Botha-Brink, Jennifer; Scheyer, Torsten M; Lambertz, Markus; Bever, G S; Rubidge, Bruce S; de Queiroz, Kevin

    2014-11-07

    The turtle body plan differs markedly from that of other vertebrates and serves as a model system for studying structural and developmental evolution. Incorporation of the ribs into the turtle shell negates the costal movements that effect lung ventilation in other air-breathing amniotes. Instead, turtles have a unique abdominal-muscle-based ventilatory apparatus whose evolutionary origins have remained mysterious. Here we show through broadly comparative anatomical and histological analyses that an early member of the turtle stem lineage has several turtle-specific ventilation characters: rigid ribcage, inferred loss of intercostal muscles and osteological correlates of the primary expiratory muscle. Our results suggest that the ventilation mechanism of turtles evolved through a division of labour between the ribs and muscles of the trunk in which the abdominal muscles took on the primary ventilatory function, whereas the broadened ribs became the primary means of stabilizing the trunk. These changes occurred approximately 50 million years before the evolution of the fully ossified shell.

  2. Survey on the presence of non-dioxine-like PCBs (NDL-PCBs) in loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) stranded in south Mediterranean coasts (Sicily, Southern Italy).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cammilleri, Gaetano; Calvaruso, Enza; Pantano, Licia; Cascio, Giovanni Lo; Randisi, Barbara; Macaluso, Andrea; Vazzana, Mirella; Caracappa, Giulia; Giangrosso, Giuseppe; Vella, Antonio; Ferrantelli, Vincenzo

    2017-11-01

    A total of 71 loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) stranded along the coasts of Sicily (Southern Italy) were examined for non-dioxine like polychlorinated biphenyl (NDL-PCB) levels in muscle and adipose tissue by a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS) method. The results revealed 6 high-indicator congener (∑ 6 PCB IND ) levels in 45% of the loggerhead turtles examined, with mean values of 980.39 ± 2508.39 ng/g wet weight in adipose tissue and 102.53 ± 238.58 ng/g wet weight in muscle tissue. The hexachloro and heptachloro PCB congeners were the most abundant in both the sample types. The highest NDL-PCB levels were reached in an adipose tissue sample of a loggerhead turtle of 80 kg stranded along the coasts of Termini Imerese (14 183.85 ng/g wet wt). No significant correlation was found between modified Fulton's K values of the loggerhead turtles and PCB contents (S = 47 151, p > 0.05). Furthermore, no significant differences were found between sexes (W = 365, p >  0.05). The PCB levels found in the present study were much higher than those found in the literature. The present study is the first report on the existence of NDL-PCBs in loggerhead turtles stranded in Sicilian coasts confirming C. caretta as a valuable indicator of contaminant exposure in the marine environment because of their specific biological and ecological characteristics. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:2997-3002. © 2017 SETAC. © 2017 SETAC.

  3. ESTABLISHMENT OF A FIBRINOGEN REFERENCE INTERVAL IN ORNATE BOX TURTLES (TERRAPENE ORNATA ORNATA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parkinson, Lily; Olea-Popelka, Francisco; Klaphake, Eric; Dadone, Liza; Johnston, Matthew

    2016-09-01

    This study sought to establish a reference interval for fibrinogen in healthy ornate box turtles ( Terrapene ornata ornata). A total of 48 turtles were enrolled, with 42 turtles deemed to be noninflammatory and thus fitting the inclusion criteria and utilized to estimate a fibrinogen reference interval. Turtles were excluded based upon physical examination and blood work abnormalities. A Shapiro-Wilk normality test indicated that the noninflammatory turtle fibrinogen values were normally distributed (Gaussian distribution) with an average of 108 mg/dl and a 95% confidence interval of the mean of 97.9-117 mg/dl. Those turtles excluded from the reference interval because of abnormalities affecting their health had significantly different fibrinogen values (P = 0.313). A reference interval for healthy ornate box turtles was calculated. Further investigation into the utility of fibrinogen measurement for clinical usage in ornate box turtles is warranted.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael R Heithaus

    2014-08-01

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

  6. [Threatened late miscarriage. French guidelines].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carcopino, X; Barde, K; Petrovic, M; Beucher, G; Capmas, P; Huchon, C; Deffieux, X; d'Ercole, C; Bretelle, F

    2014-12-01

    To define guidelines for the management of women diagnosed with threatened late miscarriage (TLM). A systematic review of the literature was performed using Pubmed and the Cochrane library databases and the guidelines from main international societies. Management of women diagnosed with threatened LM requires a complete history-taking searching for a previous history of LM and/or of premature delivery (Grade B). Speculum examination is required to diagnose membrane prolapse (Grade B) and vaginal ultrasound scan is recommended to measure the cervical length (Grade B). Finally, initial management should allow to rule out chorioamniotitis (Grade B). Vaginal progesterone therapy (90-200mg daily) is recommended for women diagnosed with a sole shortened cervix (Mc Donald technique) associated with systematic tocolytic therapy (indometacine) and antibiotics are to be recommended in women diagnosed with TLM with dilated cervical os eventually associated with membrane prolapse (GradeC). Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  7. Forelimb muscle function in pig-nosed turtles, Carettochelys insculpta: testing neuromotor conservation between rowing and flapping in swimming turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivera, Angela R. V.; Blob, Richard W.

    2013-01-01

    Changes in muscle activation patterns can lead to new locomotor modes; however, neuromotor conservation—the evolution of new forms of locomotion through changes in structure without concurrent changes to underlying motor patterns—has been documented across diverse styles of locomotion. Animals that swim using appendages do so via rowing (anteroposterior oscilations) or flapping (dorsoventral oscilations). Yet few studies have compared motor patterns between these swimming modes. In swimming turtles, propulsion is generated exclusively by limbs. Kinematically, turtles swim using multiple styles of rowing (freshwater species), flapping (sea turtles) and a unique hybrid style with superficial similarity to flapping by sea turtles and characterized by increased dorsoventral motions of synchronously oscillated forelimbs that have been modified into flippers (Carettochelys insculpta). We compared forelimb motor patterns in four species of turtle (two rowers, Apalone ferox and Trachemys scripta; one flapper, Caretta caretta; and Carettochelys) and found that, despite kinematic differences, motor patterns were generally similar among species with a few notable exceptions: specifically, presence of variable bursts for pectoralis and triceps in Trachemys (though timing of the non-variable pectoralis burst was similar), and the timing of deltoideus activity in Carettochelys and Caretta compared with other taxa. The similarities in motor patterns we find for several muscles provide partial support for neuromotor conservation among turtles using diverse locomotor styles, but the differences implicate deltoideus as a prime contributor to flapping limb motions. PMID:23966596

  8. Hox code in embryos of Chinese soft-shelled turtle Pelodiscus sinensis correlates with the evolutionary innovation in the turtle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohya, Yoshie Kawashima; Kuraku, Shigehiro; Kuratani, Shigeru

    2005-03-15

    Turtles have the most unusual body plan of the amniotes, with a dorsal shell consisting of modified ribs. Because this morphological change in the ribs can be described as an axial-level specific alteration, the evolution of the turtle carapace should depend on changes in the Hox code. To identify turtle-specific changes in developmental patterns, we cloned several Hox genes from the Chinese soft-shelled turtle, Pelodiscus sinensis, examined their expression patterns during embryogenesis, and compared them with those of chicken and mouse embryos. We detected possibly turtle-specific derived traits in Hoxc-6 expression, which is restricted to the paraxial part of the embryo; in the expression of Hoxa-5 and Hoxb-5, the transcripts of which were detected only at the cervical level; and in Hoxc-8 and Hoxa-7 expression, which is shifted anteriorly relative to that of the other two amniote groups. From the known functions of the Hox orthologs in model animals, these P. sinensis-specific changes apparently correlate with specializations in the turtle-specific body plan. Copyright 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  9. One foot out the door: limb function during swimming in terrestrial versus aquatic turtles

    OpenAIRE

    Young, Vanessa K Hilliard; Vest, Kaitlyn G.; Rivera, Angela R. V.; Espinoza, Nora R.; Blob, Richard W.

    2017-01-01

    Specialization for a new habitat often entails a cost to performance in the ancestral habitat. Although aquatic lifestyles are ancestral among extant cryptodiran turtles, multiple lineages, including tortoises (Testudinidae) and emydid box turtles (genus Terrapene), independently specialized for terrestrial habitats. To what extent is swimming function retained in such lineages despite terrestrial specialization? Because tortoises diverged from other turtles over 50 Ma, but box turtles did so...

  10. Synthetic polymers in the marine environment: a rapidly increasing, long-term threat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Charles James

    2008-10-01

    Synthetic polymers, commonly known as plastics, have been entering the marine environment in quantities paralleling their level of production over the last half century. However, in the last two decades of the 20th Century, the deposition rate accelerated past the rate of production, and plastics are now one of the most common and persistent pollutants in ocean waters and beaches worldwide. Thirty years ago the prevailing attitude of the plastic industry was that "plastic litter is a very small proportion of all litter and causes no harm to the environment except as an eyesore" [Derraik, J.G.B., 2002. The pollution of the marine environment by plastic debris: a review. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 44(9), 842-852]. Between 1960 and 2000, the world production of plastic resins increased 25-fold, while recovery of the material remained below 5%. Between 1970 and 2003, plastics became the fastest growing segment of the US municipal waste stream, increasing nine-fold, and marine litter is now 60-80% plastic, reaching 90-95% in some areas. While undoubtedly still an eyesore, plastic debris today is having significant harmful effects on marine biota. Albatross, fulmars, shearwaters and petrels mistake floating plastics for food, and many individuals of these species are affected; in fact, 44% of all seabird species are known to ingest plastic. Sea turtles ingest plastic bags, fishing line and other plastics, as do 26 species of cetaceans. In all, 267 species of marine organisms worldwide are known to have been affected by plastic debris, a number that will increase as smaller organisms are assessed. The number of fish, birds, and mammals that succumb each year to derelict fishing nets and lines in which they become entangled cannot be reliably known; but estimates are in the millions. We divide marine plastic debris into two categories: macro, >5 mm and micro, plastic micro-debris by filter feeders at the base of the food web is known to occur, but has not been quantified

  11. Protecting the Sacred Water Bundle: Education about Fracking at Turtle Mountain Community College

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blue, Stacie

    2017-01-01

    Leaving the plains of North Dakota and entering the hills known as the Turtle Mountains, the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians (TMBCI) reservation is found. Located on the TMBCI reservation, Turtle mountain Community College (TMCC) has provided opportunities for all interested parties to learn about fracking and why the tribe banned it.…

  12. 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...

  13. Calcium spikes and calcium plateaux evoked by differential polarization in dendrites of turtle motoneurones in vitro

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hounsgaard, J; Kiehn, O

    1993-01-01

    The ability of dendrites in turtle motoneurones to support calcium spikes and calcium plateaux was investigated using differential polarization by applied electric fields. 2. Electric fields were generated by passing current through transverse slices of the turtle spinal cord between two plate......+ spikes and Ca2+ plateaux are present in dendrites of spinal motoneurones of the turtle....

  14. Deep time perspective on turtle neck evolution: chasing the Hox code by vertebral morphology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Böhmer, Christine; Werneburg, Ingmar

    2017-08-21

    The unparalleled ability of turtle neck retraction is possible in three different modes, which characterize stem turtles, living side-necked (Pleurodira), and hidden-necked (Cryptodira) turtles, respectively. Despite the conservatism in vertebral count among turtles, there is significant functional and morphological regionalization in the cervical vertebral column. Since Hox genes play a fundamental role in determining the differentiation in vertebra morphology and based on our reconstruction of evolutionary genetics in deep time, we hypothesize genetic differences among the turtle groups and between turtles and other land vertebrates. We correlated anterior Hox gene expression and the quantifiable shape of the vertebrae to investigate the morphological modularity in the neck across living and extinct turtles. This permitted the reconstruction of the hypothetical ancestral Hox code pattern of the whole turtle clade. The scenario of the evolution of axial patterning in turtles indicates shifts in the spatial expression of HoxA-5 in relation to the reduction of cervical ribs in modern turtles and of HoxB-5 linked with a lower morphological differentiation between the anterior cervical vertebrae observed in cryptodirans. By comparison with the mammalian pattern, we illustrate how the fixed count of eight cervical vertebrae in turtles resulted from the emergence of the unique turtle shell.

  15. 78 FR 4835 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plan for the North Pacific Right Whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-23

    ... and Threatened Species; Recovery Plan for the North Pacific Right Whale AGENCY: National Marine... public review of the draft Recovery Plan (Plan) for the North Pacific right whale (Eubalaena japonica... approval. DATES: Comments on the draft Plan must be received by close of business on March 11, 2013...

  16. 76 FR 5339 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-31

    ... DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XA182 Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS... are issued in accordance with and are subject to the ESA and NMFS regulations governing listed fish...

  17. 78 FR 59005 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-25

    ... and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS... with Section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531-1543) and regulations governing listed fish.... Applications Received Permit 1415 The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services' (USFWS) Red Bluff Fish and Wildlife...

  18. 77 FR 67796 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-11-14

    ... DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XC342 Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS... NMFS regulations governing listed fish and wildlife permits (50 CFR parts 222-226). Those individuals...

  19. 78 FR 32378 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-30

    ... and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS... application was provided by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and the Public Utility... Department of Fish and Wildlife submitted an application for an ESA permit to operate the Nason Creek spring...

  20. 77 FR 67794 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-11-14

    ... and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS.... 1531 et. seq) and regulations governing listed fish and wildlife permits (50 CFR 222-226). NMFS issues... implemented as part of the Whatcom Creek Long-term Restoration Plan by documenting fish population trends...

  1. 77 FR 2037 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-13

    ... DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XA928 Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS... advises the public that a direct take permit has been issued to the Washington Department of Fish and...

  2. 78 FR 28805 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-16

    ... and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS..., NMFS received an application, including an HGMP, from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, a section... the Snake River basin, rear juveniles, and release eggs, juveniles, and adult fish into upper Salmon...

  3. 77 FR 76001 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-12-26

    ... and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS... regulations governing listed fish and wildlife permits(50 CFR parts 222-226). NMFS issues permits based on... described below, researchers do not expect to kill any listed fish but a small number may die as an...

  4. 78 FR 74116 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-12-10

    ... and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS... plans and request for comment. SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that the Oregon Department of Fish and... River and Columbia River basins by providing hatchery fish to support fishing opportunities while...

  5. 78 FR 69374 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-19

    ... and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS...)(1)(A) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et. seq) and regulations governing listed fish and wildlife permits... proposes to capture the fish (using backpack electrofishing), identify, and release them. The WDNR does not...

  6. 75 FR 2106 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-14

    ... and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS... NMFS regulations (50 CFR parts 222-226) governing listed fish and wildlife permits. Species Covered in... steelhead not to exceed 2 percent of the total number of fish captured for each life stage and species...

  7. 78 FR 18963 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-28

    ... and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS... governing listed fish and wildlife permits (50 CFR parts 222-226). NMFS issues permits based on findings... Administrator for Fisheries, NMFS. Applications Received Permit 17551 The California Department of Fish and...

  8. 76 FR 6400 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-04

    ... and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS...)(1)(A) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and regulations governing listed fish and wildlife permits..., the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) submitted an application and supporting documents to NMFS...

  9. 77 FR 63294 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-10-16

    ... and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS... Klallam Tribe and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife have submitted five Hatchery and Genetic... programs are currently operating, and all five hatchery programs raise fish native to the Elwha River basin...

  10. 78 FR 77659 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-12-24

    ... DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XD040 Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS... NMFS regulations (50 CFR parts 222-226) governing listed fish and wildlife permits. [[Page 77660...

  11. 76 FR 2664 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-14

    ... and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS...) and 14092 (applicant: California Department of Fish and Game). In that notice, the permit application... American green sturgeon associated with conducting surveys measuring fish response to initial and...

  12. 78 FR 31518 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-24

    ... DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XC690 Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS... Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), and U.S. Bureau of...

  13. 77 FR 3743 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-25

    ... and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS... with section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531-1543) and regulations governing listed fish... listed fish but a small number may die as an unintended result of the research activities. The objectives...

  14. 78 FR 79674 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-12-31

    ... and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS... the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and regulations governing listed fish and wildlife permits (50 CFR.... Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) submitted an application and supporting documents to NMFS for a...

  15. 76 FR 5338 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-31

    ... DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XA183 Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS... regulations (50 CFR parts 222-226) governing listed fish and wildlife permits. [[Page 5339

  16. 76 FR 6401 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-04

    ... DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XA110 Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS... and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife submitted to NMFS, pursuant to the protective...

  17. 78 FR 25954 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-03

    ... and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS... 15, 2012, NMFS received an application, including an HGMP, from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game... salmon returning to the Snake River basin, rear juveniles, and release eggs, juveniles, and adult fish...

  18. 76 FR 8713 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-15

    ... and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS... (16 U.S.C. 1531-1543) and regulations governing listed fish and wildlife permits (50 CFR parts 222-226... handling of fish is already covered under the Incidental Take Statement associated with the Biological...

  19. 76 FR 2663 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-14

    ... and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS... and steelhead, and natural juvenile green sturgeon while carrying out a study measuring fish response... species, taking of length measurements), tissue sampling, release of moribund fish or fish carcasses back...

  20. The Agassiz's desert tortoise genome provides a resource for the conservation of a threatened species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc Tollis

    Full Text Available Agassiz's desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii is a long-lived species native to the Mojave Desert and is listed as threatened under the US Endangered Species Act. To aid conservation efforts for preserving the genetic diversity of this species, we generated a whole genome reference sequence with an annotation based on deep transcriptome sequences of adult skeletal muscle, lung, brain, and blood. The draft genome assembly for G. agassizii has a scaffold N50 length of 252 kbp and a total length of 2.4 Gbp. Genome annotation reveals 20,172 protein-coding genes in the G. agassizii assembly, and that gene structure is more similar to chicken than other turtles. We provide a series of comparative analyses demonstrating (1 that turtles are among the slowest-evolving genome-enabled reptiles, (2 amino acid changes in genes controlling desert tortoise traits such as shell development, longevity and osmoregulation, and (3 fixed variants across the Gopherus species complex in genes related to desert adaptations, including circadian rhythm and innate immune response. This G. agassizii genome reference and annotation is the first such resource for any tortoise, and will serve as a foundation for future analysis of the genetic basis of adaptations to the desert environment, allow for investigation into genomic factors affecting tortoise health, disease and longevity, and serve as a valuable resource for additional studies in this species complex.

  1. The Agassiz's desert tortoise genome provides a resource for the conservation of a threatened species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tollis, Marc; DeNardo, Dale F; Cornelius, John A; Dolby, Greer A; Edwards, Taylor; Henen, Brian T; Karl, Alice E; Murphy, Robert W; Kusumi, Kenro

    2017-01-01

    Agassiz's desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) is a long-lived species native to the Mojave Desert and is listed as threatened under the US Endangered Species Act. To aid conservation efforts for preserving the genetic diversity of this species, we generated a whole genome reference sequence with an annotation based on deep transcriptome sequences of adult skeletal muscle, lung, brain, and blood. The draft genome assembly for G. agassizii has a scaffold N50 length of 252 kbp and a total length of 2.4 Gbp. Genome annotation reveals 20,172 protein-coding genes in the G. agassizii assembly, and that gene structure is more similar to chicken than other turtles. We provide a series of comparative analyses demonstrating (1) that turtles are among the slowest-evolving genome-enabled reptiles, (2) amino acid changes in genes controlling desert tortoise traits such as shell development, longevity and osmoregulation, and (3) fixed variants across the Gopherus species complex in genes related to desert adaptations, including circadian rhythm and innate immune response. This G. agassizii genome reference and annotation is the first such resource for any tortoise, and will serve as a foundation for future analysis of the genetic basis of adaptations to the desert environment, allow for investigation into genomic factors affecting tortoise health, disease and longevity, and serve as a valuable resource for additional studies in this species complex.

  2. Pathologies of the digestive system caused by marine debris in Chelonia mydas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jerdy, Hassan; Werneck, Max Rondon; da Silva, Maria Aparecida; Ribeiro, Rachel Bittencourt; Bianchi, Mariah; Shimoda, Eduardo; de Carvalho, Eulógio Carlos Queiróz

    2017-03-15

    The growth of human population and deficient pollution control measures pose significant challenge to the environment. Despite conservation efforts, all sea turtle species are at some risk of extinction. The present study investigated the effect of marine debris on the gastrointestinal tract of green turtles in southeastern Brazil. Of the 777 animals evaluated, 290 showed marine debris in one segment of the gastrointestinal tract. The presence of these materials in the gastrointestinal tract may be harmful, independent of the segment involved, and increases the risk of impaction. Marine debris has become a significant hazard to Chelonia mydas in the region surveyed, causing perforation, rupture, or fecal impaction that, when not treated, is potentially fatal, exposing the intestine to bacterial infection. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Blood oxygen transport in common map turtles during simulated hibernation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maginniss, Leigh A; Ekelund, Summer A; Ultsch, Gordon R

    2004-01-01

    We assessed the effects of cold and submergence on blood oxygen transport in common map turtles (Graptemys geographica). Winter animals were acclimated for 6-7 wk to one of three conditions at 3 degrees C: air breathing (AB-3 degrees C), normoxic submergence (NS-3 degrees C), and hypoxic (PO2=49 Torr) submergence (HS-3 degrees C). NS-3 degrees C turtles exhibited a respiratory alkalosis (pH 8.07; PCO2=7.9 Torr; [lactate]=2.2 mM) relative to AB-3 degrees C animals (pH 7.89; PCO2=13.4 Torr; [lactate]=1.1 mM). HS-3 degrees C animals experienced a profound metabolic acidosis (pH 7.30; PCO2=7.9 Torr; [lactate]=81 mM). NS-3 degrees C turtles exhibited an increased blood O2 capacity; however, isoelectric focusing revealed no seasonal changes in the isohemoglobin (isoHb) profile. Blood O2 affinity was significantly increased by cold acclimation; half-saturation pressures (P50's) for air-breathing turtles at 3 degrees and 22 degrees C were 6.5 and 18.8 Torr, respectively. P50's for winter animals submerged in normoxic and hypoxic water were 5.2 and 6.5 Torr, respectively. CO2 Bohr slopes (Delta logP50/Delta pH) were -0.15, -0.16, and -0.07 for AB-3 degrees C, NS-3 degrees C, and HS-3 degrees C turtles, respectively; the corresponding value for AB-22 degrees C was -0.37. The O2 equilibrium curve (O2EC) shape was similar for AB-3 degrees C and NS-3 degrees C turtles; Hill plot n coefficients ranged from 1.8 to 2.0. The O2EC shape for HS-3 degrees C turtles was anomalous, exhibiting high O2 affinity below P50 and a right-shifted segment above half-saturation. We suggest that increases in Hb-O2 affinity and O2 capacity enhance extrapulmonary O2 uptake by turtles overwintering in normoxic water. The anomalous O2EC shape and reduced CO2 Bohr effect of HS-3 degrees C turtles may also promote some aerobic metabolism in hypoxic water.

  4. Eutrophication and the dietary promotion of sea turtle tumors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyle S. Van Houtan

    2014-09-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Physiological ramifications for loggerhead turtles captured in pelagic longlines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williard, Amanda; Parga, Mariluz; Sagarminaga, Ricardo; Swimmer, Yonat

    2015-10-01

    Bycatch of endangered loggerhead turtles in longline fisheries results in high rates of post-release mortality that may negatively impact populations. The factors contributing to post-release mortality have not been well studied, but traumatic injuries and physiological disturbances experienced as a result of capture are thought to play a role. The goal of our study was to gauge the physiological status of loggerhead turtles immediately upon removal from longline gear in order to refine our understanding of the impacts of capture and the potential for post-release mortality. We analysed blood samples collected from longline- and hand-captured loggerhead turtles, and discovered that capture in longline gear results in blood loss, induction of the systemic stress response, and a moderate increase in lactate. The method by which turtles are landed and released, particularly if released with the hook or line still attached, may exacerbate stress and lead to chronic injuries, sublethal effects or delayed mortality. Our study is the first, to the best of our knowledge, to document the physiological impacts of capture in longline gear, and our findings underscore the importance of best practices gear removal to promote post-release survival in longline-captured turtles. © 2015 The Author(s).

  7. Homeotic shift at the dawn of the turtle evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szczygielski, Tomasz

    2017-04-01

    All derived turtles are characterized by one of the strongest reductions of the dorsal elements among Amniota, and have only 10 dorsal and eight cervical vertebrae. I demonstrate that the Late Triassic turtles, which represent successive stages of the shell evolution, indicate that the shift of the boundary between the cervical and dorsal sections of the vertebral column occurred over the course of several million years after the formation of complete carapace. The more generalized reptilian formula of at most seven cervicals and at least 11 dorsals is thus plesiomorphic for Testudinata. The morphological modifications associated with an anterior homeotic change of the first dorsal vertebra towards the last cervical vertebra in the Triassic turtles are partially recapitulated by the reduction of the first dorsal vertebra in crown-group Testudines, and they resemble the morphologies observed under laboratory conditions resulting from the experimental changes of Hox gene expression patterns. This homeotic shift hypothesis is supported by the, unique to turtles, restriction of Hox-5 expression domains, somitic precursors of scapula, and brachial plexus branches to the cervical region, by the number of the marginal scute-forming placodes, which was larger in the Triassic than in modern turtles, and by phylogenetic analyses.

  8. Spatial Ecology of Blanding’s Turtles (Emydoidea blandingii) in Southcentral New Hampshire with Implications to Road Mortality

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Walston, Leroy J.; Najjar, Stephen J.; LaGory, Kirk E.; Drake, Sean M.

    2015-06-27

    Understanding the spatial ecology and habitat requirements of rare turtle species and the factors that threaten their populations is important for the success of long-term conservation programs. We present results on an eight-year field study in which we used radiotelemetry to monitor the activity and habitat use of 23 adult (male, n = 7; female, n = 16) Blanding’s turtles in southcentral New Hampshire. We found that females occupied home ranges (as defined by minimum convex polygons) that were approximately two times larger than the home ranges of males. Despite the sex difference in home range size, we found no sex difference in core area size (defined as the 50% kernel density estimate). We found that activity patterns varied by season, with increased activity each month after hibernation, and peak activity coinciding with the late spring-early summer nesting season. We observed sex-based and seasonal differences in wetland use. Males appeared to prefer emergent and scrub-shrub wetlands in each season, whereas females preferred scrub-shrub wetlands in spring and ponds in summer and fall. We identified road mortality risk as a potentially important threat for this population because females crossed roads ten times more frequently than males (based on proportion of observations). The preservation of wetland networks, as well as the implementation of measures to minimize road mortality, are important considerations for the long-term persistence of this population.

  9. Dispersion of radioactively contamination turtles on the SRP: research and reconnaissance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lamb, T.; Taylor, B.; Gibbons, J.W.

    1986-01-01

    Although SREL continued long-term studies on turtles during 1986, much research effort centered on contaminated turtle dispersion. The problem of radionuclide contamination in turtles and their dispersal through aquatic sites on and off the Savannah River Plant (SRP) was approached along three fronts. The first involved site reconnaissance, where aquatic habitats, adjacent to contaminated areas on the SRP were identified and surveyed for contaminated turtles. The second approach involved the development of a dispersal model. Third, mitochondrial DNA analysis was conducted to assess genetic differentiation between turtle populations inhabiting either side of the Savannah River near SRP. 1 figures, 2 tables

  10. The fossil record of turtles in Colombia; a review of the discoveries, research and future challenges

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cadena, Edwin A

    2014-01-01

    This is a review article on the fossil record of turtles in colombia that includes: the early cretaceous turtles from Zapatoca and Villa de Leyva localities; the giant turtles from the Paleocene Cerrejon and Calenturitas Coal Mines; the early Miocene, earliest record of Chelus from Pubenza, Cundinamarca; the early to late Miocene large podocnemids, chelids and testudinids from Castilletes, Alta Guajira and La Venta; and the small late Pleistocene kinosternids from Pubenza, Cundinamarca. I also discuss here the current gaps in the fossil record of tropical South American turtles, as well as the ongoing research and future projects to be developed in order to understand better the evolutionary history of Colombian turtles.

  11. Residency and movement patterns of an apex predatory shark (Galeocerdo cuvier) at the Galapagos Marine Reserve.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acuña-Marrero, David; Smith, Adam N H; Hammerschlag, Neil; Hearn, Alex; Anderson, Marti J; Calich, Hannah; Pawley, Matthew D M; Fischer, Chris; Salinas-de-León, Pelayo

    2017-01-01

    The potential effectiveness of marine protected areas (MPAs) as a conservation tool for large sharks has been questioned due to the limited spatial extent of most MPAs in contrast to the complex life history and high mobility of many sharks. Here we evaluated the movement dynamics of a highly migratory apex predatory shark (tiger shark Galeocerdo cuvier) at the Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR). Using data from satellite tracking passive acoustic telemetry, and stereo baited remote underwater video, we estimated residency, activity spaces, site fidelity, distributional abundances and migration patterns from the GMR and in relation to nesting beaches of green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas), a seasonally abundant and predictable prey source for large tiger sharks. Tiger sharks exhibited a high degree of philopatry, with 93% of the total satellite-tracked time across all individuals occurring within the GMR. Large sharks (> 200 cm TL) concentrated their movements in front of the two most important green sea turtle-nesting beaches in the GMR, visiting them on a daily basis during nocturnal hours. In contrast, small sharks (< 200 cm TL) rarely visited turtle-nesting areas and displayed diurnal presence at a third location where only immature sharks were found. Small and some large individuals remained in the three study areas even outside of the turtle-nesting season. Only two sharks were satellite-tracked outside of the GMR, and following long-distance migrations, both individuals returned to turtle-nesting beaches at the subsequent turtle-nesting season. The spatial patterns of residency and site fidelity of tiger sharks suggest that the presence of a predictable source of prey and suitable habitats might reduce the spatial extent of this large shark that is highly migratory in other parts of its range. This highly philopatric behaviour enhances the potential effectiveness of the GMR for their protection.

  12. Residency and movement patterns of an apex predatory shark (Galeocerdo cuvier at the Galapagos Marine Reserve.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Acuña-Marrero

    Full Text Available The potential effectiveness of marine protected areas (MPAs as a conservation tool for large sharks has been questioned due to the limited spatial extent of most MPAs in contrast to the complex life history and high mobility of many sharks. Here we evaluated the movement dynamics of a highly migratory apex predatory shark (tiger shark Galeocerdo cuvier at the Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR. Using data from satellite tracking passive acoustic telemetry, and stereo baited remote underwater video, we estimated residency, activity spaces, site fidelity, distributional abundances and migration patterns from the GMR and in relation to nesting beaches of green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas, a seasonally abundant and predictable prey source for large tiger sharks. Tiger sharks exhibited a high degree of philopatry, with 93% of the total satellite-tracked time across all individuals occurring within the GMR. Large sharks (> 200 cm TL concentrated their movements in front of the two most important green sea turtle-nesting beaches in the GMR, visiting them on a daily basis during nocturnal hours. In contrast, small sharks (< 200 cm TL rarely visited turtle-nesting areas and displayed diurnal presence at a third location where only immature sharks were found. Small and some large individuals remained in the three study areas even outside of the turtle-nesting season. Only two sharks were satellite-tracked outside of the GMR, and following long-distance migrations, both individuals returned to turtle-nesting beaches at the subsequent turtle-nesting season. The spatial patterns of residency and site fidelity of tiger sharks suggest that the presence of a predictable source of prey and suitable habitats might reduce the spatial extent of this large shark that is highly migratory in other parts of its range. This highly philopatric behaviour enhances the potential effectiveness of the GMR for their protection.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Threatened fish and fishers along the Brazilian Atlantic Forest Coast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Begossi, Alpina; Salivonchyk, Svetlana; Hallwass, Gustavo; Hanazaki, Natalia; Lopes, Priscila F M; Silvano, Renato A M

    2017-12-01

    Small-scale fisheries of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest Coast (BAFC) depend on fish resources for food and income. Thus, if the catch diminishes or if fish species that are a target for fishers are overexploited or impacted, this could affect fishers' livelihoods. The exclusion of threatened fish species from the catch is believed to be a threat to small-scale fisheries, which is likely to be the case along the BAFC. Many fish species are currently listed as threatened or vulnerable, whereas there is not enough biological information available to determine the status of the majority of the other species. Failure to protect the BAFC biodiversity might negatively impact fishers' income and the regional economy of local small-scale fisheries. We collected data from 1986 to 2009 through 347 interviews and 24-h food recall surveys at seven southeastern coastal sites of the Atlantic Forest. We show that important species of consumed fish are currently threatened: of the 65 species mentioned by fishers as the most consumed fishes, 33% are decreasing and 54% have an unknown status. Thus, biological and ecological data for BAFC marine species are urgently needed, along with co-management, to promote fish conservation.

  16. Description of cloacoscopy in the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Filippo Spadola

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the study was to describe cloacoscopy in the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta and to evaluate its efficacy in clinical practice. Cloacoscopy was performed on 31 turtles, 23 females and 8 males. Thirty minutes before anaesthesia, meloxicam (0.4 mg/kg was administered intramuscularly. Turtles were anaesthetised with a combination of 0.04 mg/kg dexmedetomidine and 4 mg/kg ketamine administered intramuscularly. Cloacoscopy was performed with a diagnostic telescope (10 mm diameter, 30 cm long, 0°, with an operating sheath or with a flexible colonoscope (13 mm diameter, 160 cm long. Turtles were placed in dorsal recumbence and endoscope was inserted through the vent. In the distal part of the proctodeum, phallus or clitoris were easily visualized. A finger and thumb were placed around the vent to act as a valve in order to control the fluid infusion. Flushing the cloaca with warm saline and 0.6% lidocaine allowed clear view. The urethral orifice was located centrally within the urogenital sinus. Further proximally, the slit of the urodeum with the distal sphincter of the colon could be visualized. Passing gently through the urethral orifice allowed direct visualization of the urinary bladder. After withdrawing and re-directing the endoscope into the coprodeum, the terminal part of the intestine was reached. From 31 loggerhead turtles examined, fishing lines were found in 23 animals. Cloacoscopy proved to be a feasible diagnostic method and it is suggested as a routine diagnostic tool for clinical assessment of loggerhead turtle patients.

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. 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

  20. Protection of Marine Fish Stocks at Risk of Extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    J.A. Musick; S.A. Berkeley; G.M. Cailliet; M. Camhi; G. Huntsman; M. Nammack; Melvin L. Warren

    2000-01-01

    The American Fisheries Society (AFS) recommends that registory agencies closely scrutinize both marine fish and invertebrate stocks that may be at risk of extinction and take remedial action before populations are threatened or endungered. Initial AFS analyses of marine stocks at risk in North America show at least four primary geographic "hot spots" with...

  1. Strengthened enforcement enhances marine sanctuary performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brendan P. Kelaher

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Marine sanctuaries are areas where the extraction of biota is not permitted. Although most marine sanctuaries have a positive influence on biotic communities, not all sanctuaries are meeting their conservation objectives. Amidst possible explanations (e.g., size, age and isolation, insufficient enforcement is often speculated to be a key driver of marine sanctuary underperformance. Despite this, there are few studies directly linking quantitative enforcement data to changes in biotic communities within marine sanctuaries. Here, we used an asymmetrical-BACI experimental design from 2006–2012 to test whether new enforcement initiatives enhanced abundances of target fishes and threatened species in an existing large sub-tropical marine sanctuary relative to areas open to fishing. Implementation of the new enforcement initiatives in 2010 was associated with a 201% increase in annual fine rate and a significant increase in target fish and elasmobranch abundance, as well as sightings of a critically-endangered shark, in the marine sanctuary relative to areas open to fishing. Overall, these results demonstrate that strengthening enforcement can have a rapid positive influence on target fish and perhaps threatened species in a subtropical marine sanctuary. From this, we contend that increased enforcement guided by risk-based compliance planning and operations may be a useful first step for improving underperforming marine sanctuaries.

  2. Satellite tracking of threatened species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, M.; Lunsford, A.; Ellis, D.; Robinson, J.; Coronado, P.; Campbell, W.

    1998-01-01

    In 1990, a joint effort of two U.S. federal agencies, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, began. We initially joined forces in a project that used satellite telemetry to discover the winter home of a tiny dwindling population of Siberian Cranes. Since then several projects have emerged, and a web site was created to follow some of these activities. This web site is called the Satellite Tracking of Threatened Species and its location is http://sdcd.gsfc.nasa.gov/ISTO/satellite_tracking. It describes the overall program, and links you to three subsections that describe the projects in more detail: Satellite Direct Readout, Birdtracks, and Birdworld.

  3. Fascinating and forgotten: the conservation status of marine elapid snakes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2013-01-01

    Abstract.—An assessment of marine elapid snakes found 9% of marine elapids are threatened with extinction, and an additional 6% are Near Threatened. A large portion (34%) is Data Deficient. An analysis of distributions revealed the greatest species diversity is found in Southeast Asia and northern...... Australia. Three of the seven threatened species occur at Ashmore and Hibernia Reefs in the Timor Sea, while the remaining threatened taxa occur in the Philippines, Niue, and Solomon Islands. The majority of Data Deficient species are found in Southeast Asia. Threats to marine snakes include loss of coral...... reefs and coastal habitat, incidental bycatch in fisheries, as well as fisheries that target snakes for leather. The presence of two Critically Endangered and one Endangered species in the Timor Sea suggests the area is of particular conservation concern. More rigorous, long-term monitoring...

  4. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philippe Gaspar

    Full Text Available 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tisdell, Clem; Wilson, Clevo

    2005-04-01

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

  10. A Carapace-Like Bony ‘Body Tube’ in an Early Triassic Marine Reptile and the Onset of Marine Tetrapod Predation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xiao-hong; Motani, Ryosuke; Cheng, Long; Jiang, Da-yong; Rieppel, Olivier

    2014-01-01

    Parahupehsuchus longus is a new species of marine reptile from the Lower Triassic of Yuan’an County, Hubei Province, China. It is unique among vertebrates for having a body wall that is completely surrounded by a bony tube, about 50 cm long and 6.5 cm deep, comprising overlapping ribs and gastralia. This tube and bony ossicles on the back are best interpreted as anti-predatory features, suggesting that there was predation pressure upon marine tetrapods in the Early Triassic. There is at least one sauropterygian that is sufficiently large to feed on Parahupehsuchus in the Nanzhang-Yuan’an fauna, together with six more species of potential prey marine reptiles with various degrees of body protection. Modern predators of marine tetrapods belong to the highest trophic levels in the marine ecosystem but such predators did not always exist through geologic time. The indication of marine-tetrapod feeding in the Nanzhang-Yuan’an fauna suggests that such a trophic level emerged for the first time in the Early Triassic. The recovery from the end-Permian extinction probably proceeded faster than traditionally thought for marine predators. Parahupehsuchus has superficially turtle-like features, namely expanded ribs without intercostal space, very short transverse processes, and a dorsal outgrowth from the neural spine. However, these features are structurally different from their turtle counterparts. Phylogeny suggests that they are convergent with the condition in turtles, which has a fundamentally different body plan that involves the folding of the body wall. Expanded ribs without intercostal space evolved at least twice and probably even more among reptiles. PMID:24718682

  11. 50 CFR 224.101 - Enumeration of endangered marine and anadromous species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... imbricata); Kemp's ridley turtle (Lepidochelys kempii); Leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea); Olive ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) breeding colony population on the Pacific coast of Mexico. Note to...

  12. Chelonitoxism outbreak caused from consuming turtle, Eastern Samar, Philippines, August 2013.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ventura, Ray Justin; Ching, Paola Katrina; de los Reyes, Vikki Carr; Sucaldito, Ma Nemia; Tayag, Enrique

    2015-01-01

    On 21 August 2013, the Event-based Surveillance and Response system of the Department of Health, Philippines captured a foodborne illness event among residents of a coastal village in Eastern Samar, Philippines. The suspected cause was the consumption of a sea turtle found near the village. A team from the Department of Health was sent to conduct an outbreak investigation. A case was defined as any person in Arteche, Eastern Samar, who developed dry mouth and burning sensation in the throat from 15 August to 27 August, 2013. Severity of the disease was classified as mild, moderate or severe. We conducted records review, environmental investigation, interviews of key informants and a retrospective cohort study. Sixty-eight cases were identified; four died (case fatality rate = 6%). All cases had a history of turtle meat consumption. Dose-dependent relationship was noted between amount of turtle meat consumed and the risk of illness. In the cohort study, consumption of turtle meat and turtle meat soup were associated with illness. This study identified turtle meat as the source of this foodborne outbreak and emphasized the dangers of consuming turtle meat. Other reported cases of turtle meat poisoning in the Philippines suggest that turtle consumption is an ongoing practice in the country. By publishing information about sea turtle poisoning outbreaks in the Philippines, we hope to raise awareness of the potential severe health effects from ingesting these endangered sea creatures.

  13. High incidence of deformity in aquatic turtles in the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bell, Barbara; Spotila, James R.; Congdon, Justin

    2006-01-01

    The John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge is subject to pollution from multiple sources. We studied development of snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) and painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) embryos from the refuge from 2000 through 2003. Mean annual deformity rate of pooled painted turtle clutches over four years ranged from 45 to 71%, while that of snapping turtle clutches ranged from 13 to 19%. Lethal deformities were more common than minor or moderate deformities in embryos of both species. Adult painted turtles had a higher deformity rate than adult snapping turtles. Snapping turtles at JHNWR had high levels of PAH contamination in their fat. This suggests that PAHs are involved in the high level of deformities. Other contaminants may also play a role. Although the refuge offers many advantages to resident turtle populations, pollution appears to place a developmental burden on the life history of these turtles. - This paper presents findings on the prevalence of developmental abnormalities in turtles at a national wildlife refuge that have direct relevance to studies on the effects of contamination on development and morphology of vertebrates

  14. One foot out the door: limb function during swimming in terrestrial versus aquatic turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Vanessa K Hilliard; Vest, Kaitlyn G; Rivera, Angela R V; Espinoza, Nora R; Blob, Richard W

    2017-01-01

    Specialization for a new habitat often entails a cost to performance in the ancestral habitat. Although aquatic lifestyles are ancestral among extant cryptodiran turtles, multiple lineages, including tortoises (Testudinidae) and emydid box turtles (genus Terrapene), independently specialized for terrestrial habitats. To what extent is swimming function retained in such lineages despite terrestrial specialization? Because tortoises diverged from other turtles over 50 Ma, but box turtles did so only 5 Ma, we hypothesized that swimming kinematics for box turtles would more closely resemble those of aquatic relatives than those of tortoises. To test this prediction, we compared high-speed video of swimming Russian tortoises (Testudo horsfieldii), box turtles (Terrapene carolina) and two semi-aquatic emydid species: sliders (Trachemys scripta) and painted turtles (Chrysemys picta). We identified different kinematic patterns between limbs. In the forelimb, box turtle strokes most resemble those of tortoises; for the hindlimb, box turtles are more similar to semi-aquatic species. Such patterns indicate functional convergence of the forelimb of terrestrial species, whereas the box turtle hindlimb exhibits greater retention of ancestral swimming motions. © 2017 The Author(s).

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Studies on bioactive peptide from Chinese soft-shelled turtle ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This paper dealt with a novel anti-hypertensive collagen peptide from Chinese soft-shelled turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis), which was an efficient inhibitor of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE, EC 3.4.15.1). ACE plays an important physiological role in the regulation of blood pressure by virtue of the rennin angiotensin ...

  18. Studies on bioactive peptide from Chinese soft-shelled turtle ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Yomi

    2012-03-27

    Mar 27, 2012 ... blood pressure while oxidative stress is implicated in the pathogenesis of hypertension and stroke (Münzel and. Keaney, 2001; Fiordaliso et al., 2006). Therefore, anti- oxidant therapy provides another choice to hypertension patient. MATERIALS AND METHODS. Chinese soft-shelled turtle was provided by ...

  19. Body temperature of the loggerhead sea turtle Caretta caretta and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Lepidochelys olivacea L respectively, after emerging from water of 27,SoC to nest. (Mrosovsky &. Pritchard 1971). Smaller but significant temperature differentials have been reported for green and hawksbill turtles by Hirth (1962). Records of body temperatures of free-ranging animals are scarce; the only record being.

  20. 78 FR 9024 - Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp Trawling Requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-07

    ... (TEDs) in their nets is not warranted at this time. Thus, we are discontinuing our Environmental Review... populations. During this past summer, we shifted observer effort from the offshore otter shrimp trawl fishery..., assuming that roughly one-third to one-half of the small turtles would not be excluded by the TED but would...