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Sample records for turtle nesting revealed

  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. 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 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-10-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

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

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    Stéphane Caut

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

  7. Use of artificial nests to investigate predation on freshwater turtle nests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael N. Marchand; John A. Litvaitis; Thomas J. Maier; Richard M. DeGraaf

    2002-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation has raised concerns that populations of generalist predators have increased and are affecting a diverse group of prey. Previous research has included the use of artificial nests to investigate the role of predation on birds that nest on or near the ground. Because predation also is a major factor limiting populations of freshwater turtles, we...

  8. Coastal leatherback turtles reveal conservation hotspot

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

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    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.

  10. Light pollution affects nesting behavior of loggerhead turtles and predation risk of nests and hatchlings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Elton; Marco, Adolfo; da Graça, Jesemine; Pérez, Héctor; Abella, Elena; Patino-Martinez, Juan; Martins, Samir; Almeida, Corrine

    2017-08-01

    The introduction of artificial light into wildlife habitats is a rapidly expanding aspect of global change, which has many negative impacts on a wide range of taxa. In this experimental study, which took place on a beach located on the island of Boa Vista (Cabo Verde), three types of artificial light were tested on nesting loggerhead sea turtles as well as on ghost crabs, which intensively predate on nests and hatchlings, to determine the effects they would produce on the behavior of both species. Over the course of 36days, female loggerheads and ghost crabs were studied under yellow, orange and red lights, with observations also being made on dark nights that served as a control treatment. During this period, the frequencies of nesting attempts, the time taken by turtles to complete each phase of the nesting process, and ghost crab abundance and behaviors were carefully recorded. 1146 loggerhead nesting attempts were observed and recorded during the experiments, and results showed a decrease in nesting attempts of at least 20% when artificial lighting was present. A significant decline in successful attempts was also observed within the central sections of the beach, which corresponded to those that received more light. This artificial lighting significantly increased the time that turtles spent on the nesting process and forced them to do more extensive beach crawls. Despite this, the presence of light had no apparent effect on the final selection of the nesting site. Yellow and orange lights significantly disrupted the sea finding behavior and turtles were often unable to orient themselves seaward under these color lights. Disoriented turtles were observed crawling in circuitous paths in front of the light source for several minutes. In addition, artificial lights had the potential to increase the number of ghost crabs present within the illuminated stretches of the beach. However, only yellow lighting produced a significant change on aggressive and prey

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

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    Salih H. Durmus

    2011-07-01

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

  12. Effectiveness of nest site restoration for the endangered northern map turtle : report 2 : use of artificial nesting sites and wildlife exclusion fences to enhance nesting success : research summary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-10-01

    The Northern Map Turtle, is a state Endangered Species, found only in the : lower Susquehanna River in Maryland. The only area where nests of this : species are not heavily impacted by predators is in the town of Port Deposit. : However, turtles nest...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie M O'Connor

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-07

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lei, Juan; Booth, David T

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Lei

    2017-06-01

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

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

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    Michael D Arendt

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

  1. The Influences of Soil Characteristics on Nest-Site Selection in Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Page, R.

    2017-12-01

    A variety of animals dig nests and lay their eggs in soil, leaving them to incubate and hatch without assistance from the parents. Nesting habitat is important for these organisms many of which exhibit temperature dependent sex determination (TSD) whereby the incubation temperature determines the sex of each hatchling. However, suitable nesting habitat may be limited due to anthropogenic activities and global temperature increases. Soil thermal properties are critical to these organisms and are positively correlated with water retention and soil carbon; carbon-rich soils result in higher incubation temperatures. We investigated nest-site selection in painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) inhabiting an anthropogenic pond in south central Pennsylvania. We surveyed for turtle nests and documented location, depth, width, temperature, canopy coverage, clutch size, and hatch success for a total of 31 turtle nests. To address the influence of soil carbon and particle size on nest selection, we analyzed samples collected from: 1) actual nests that were depredated, 2) false nests, incomplete nests aborted during digging prior to nest completion, and 3) randomized locations. Soil samples were separated into coarse, medium, and fine grain size fractions through a stack of sieves. Samples were combusted in a total carbon analyzer to measure weight percent organic carbon. We found that anthropogenic activity at this site has created homogenous, sandy, compacted soils at the uppermost layer that may limit females' access to appropriate nesting habitat. Turtle nesting activity was limited to a linear region north of the pond and was constrained by an impassable rail line. Relative to other studies, turtle nests were notably shallow (5.8±0.9 cm) and placed close to the pond. Compared to false nests and random locations, turtle-selected sites averaged greater coarse grains (35% compared to 20.24 and 20.57%) and less fine grains (47% compared to 59 and 59, respectively). Despite

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

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    Martha L Baena

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

  3. Nesting Habitat Suitability for Olive Ridley Turtles (Lepidochelys Olivacea) at the Gahirmatha Rookery, Odisha Coast of India

    OpenAIRE

    Satyaranjan BEHERA; Basudev TRIPATHY; Kupuswamy SIVAKUMAR; Binod Chandra CHOUDHURY; Chandrasekhar KAR

    2013-01-01

    The changes in the beach dynamics at Gahirmatha sea turtle rookery along Odisha coast of India have forced the olive ridley turtles to nests in a non-conducive environment. In the recent past, non-availability of nesting beach due to erosion was hypothesized to be one of the major reasons for non-occurrence of arribada at Gahirmatha. This paper reviews the current status of nesting habitat for olive ridley turtles at Gahirmatha and suggests onshore and offshore developmental activities close ...

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

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    Paolo Casale

    2008-09-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damazo, Lindsey Renee Eggers

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.Y.A AlKindi

    2003-06-01

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

  8. Effectiveness of nest site restoration for the endangered northern map turtle : report 2 : use of artificial nesting sites and wildlife exclusion fence to enhance nesting success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-10-01

    The Northern Map Turtle, Graptemys geographica, is a Maryland state endangered species, found only in the lower Susquehanna River in Maryland. The only area where nests of this species are not heavily impacted by predators occurs in the town of Port ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philippine Chambault

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

  10. Nesting Habitat Suitability for Olive Ridley Turtles (Lepidochelys Olivacea at the Gahirmatha Rookery, Odisha Coast of India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Satyaranjan BEHERA

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The changes in the beach dynamics at Gahirmatha sea turtle rookery along Odisha coast of India have forced the olive ridley turtles to nests in a non-conducive environment. In the recent past, non-availability of nesting beach due to erosion was hypothesized to be one of the major reasons for non-occurrence of arribada at Gahirmatha. This paper reviews the current status of nesting habitat for olive ridley turtles at Gahirmatha and suggests onshore and offshore developmental activities close to Gahirmatha rookery should be monitored efficiently so that future arribada at this rookery should not be troubled due to habitat destruction.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

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

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    Justin R Perrault

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thiago Zagonel Serafini

    2009-07-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-03-01

    In previous studies on nesting green turtles under natural conditions from different geographical regions, 17-β-estradiol (E(2) ) was either undetectable or detected at very low levels. RIA and other related techniques were not sensitive enough to measure low E(2) values in the green turtles. In this study, a sensitive method was used in detecting low hormone concentrations: high performance liquid chromatography with tandem quadruple mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS). Using this technique, estradiol for the first time was detected in nesting green turtles during the peak season (June-October) at Ras Al-Hadd Reserve, Oman. The E(2) values recorded from this study were the highest ever recorded from nesting green turtles in any geographical region, but the levels did not vary significantly throughout different phases of nesting. The presence of E(2) during nesting presumably plays a role in the physiology and behavior of this species. Ras Al-Hadd hosts one of the largest nesting populations of green turtles in the world, and an understanding of their nesting patterns may be of value in conservation and management programs for this endangered species. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc., A Wiley Company.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    Serum protein concentrations provide insight into the nutritional and immune status of organisms. It has been suggested that some marine turtles are capital breeders that fast during the nesting season. In this study, we documented serum proteins in neophyte and remigrant nesting leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea). This allowed us to establish trends across the nesting season to determine whether these physiological parameters indicate if leatherbacks forage or fast while on nesting grounds. Using the biuret method and agarose gel electrophoresis, total serum protein (median = 5.0 g/dl) and protein fractions were quantified and include pre-albumin (median = 0.0 g/dl), albumin (median = 1.81 g/dl), α1-globulin (median = 0.90 g/dl), α2-globulin (median = 0.74 g/dl), total α-globulin (median = 1.64 g/dl), β-globulin (median = 0.56 g/dl), γ-globulin (median = 0.81 g/dl) and total globulin (median = 3.12 g/dl). The albumin:globulin ratio (median = 0.59) was also calculated. Confidence intervals (90%) were used to establish reference intervals. Total protein, albumin and total globulin concentrations declined in successive nesting events. Protein fractions declined at less significant rates or remained relatively constant during the nesting season. Here, we show that leatherbacks are most likely fasting during the nesting season. A minimal threshold of total serum protein concentrations of around 3.5–4.5 g/dl may physiologically signal the end of the season's nesting for individual leatherbacks. The results presented here lend further insight into the interaction between reproduction, fasting and energy reserves and will potentially improve the conservation and management of this imperiled species. PMID:27293623

  18. Effectiveness of nest site restoration for the endangered northern map turtle. Report no. 1 : nest site selection and nest success from 2013-2014 and establishment of environmental center : [research summary].

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-05-01

    The Northern Map Turtle, Graptemys geographica, is a Maryland state : Endangered Species, found only in the lower Susquehanna River in Maryland. : The only area where nests of this species are not heavily impacted by predators : occurs in the town of...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David T Booth

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

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

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    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Multidecadal trends in the nesting phenology of Pacific and Atlantic leatherback turtles are associated with population demography

    OpenAIRE

    Robinson, Nathan J.; Valentine, Sara E.; Santidrián Tomillo, Pilar; Saba, Vincent S.; Spotila, James R.; Paladino, Frank V.

    2013-01-01

    Knowledge of the mechanisms influencing phenology can provide insights into the adaptability of species to climate change. Here, we investigated the factors influencing multidecadal trends in the nesting phenology of the leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea at Playa Grande, Costa Rica, in the eastern Pacific Ocean and at Sandy Point, US Virgin Islands, in the western Atlantic Ocean. Between 1993 and 2013, the median nesting date (MND) at Playa Grande occurred later, at a rate of ~0.3 d yr-...

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

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    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noga Neeman

    2015-06-01

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

  5. Habitat characteristics of nesting areas and of predated nests in a Mediterranean population of the European pond turtle, Emys orbicularis galloitalica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco A.L. Zuffi

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available one of the largest population of Emys orbicularis galloitalica of central Italy inhabits the canal system wet areas within a natural protected park. Features of nesting habitats, nest structure, and predation patterns of 209 nests of a large population of the European pond turtle are here presented and analysed. Nest sites were characterised by sunny bushy areas in strip habitat, digged along north-south oriented canals, on average with about 26% of the area covered by vegetation, less than one meter distant from 30 cm height bushes, at about 11 m from water and at about 13 m distance from wooded areas, 28 m away from a road. Principal Component and discriminant analyses were used on 20 selected variables in order to reduce the number of physical variables, and indicate that canal border, strip habitat, and canal orientation are grouping variables, that correctly classified 41.6%, 66.5%, and 100 % respectively of nest presence.

  6. Effectiveness of nest site restoration for the endangered northern map turtle. Report no. 1 : nest site selection and nest success from 2013-2014 and establishment of environmental center.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-05-01

    The Northern Map Turtle, Graptemys geographica, is a Maryland state Endangered Species, found only in the : lower Susquehanna River in Maryland. The only area where nests of this species are not heavily impacted by : predators occurs in the town of P...

  7. Inheritance of nesting behaviour across natural environmental variation in a turtle with temperature-dependent sex determination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGaugh, Suzanne E; Schwanz, Lisa E; Bowden, Rachel M; Gonzalez, Julie E; Janzen, Fredric J

    2010-04-22

    Nesting behaviour is critical for reproductive success in oviparous organisms with no parental care. In organisms where sex is determined by incubation temperature, nesting behaviour may be a prime target of selection in response to unbalanced sex ratios. To produce an evolutionary change in response to sex-ratio selection, components of nesting behaviour must be heritable. We estimated the field heritability of two key components of nesting behaviour in a population of painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) with temperature-dependent sex determination by applying the 'animal model' to a pedigree reconstructed from genotype data. We obtained estimates of low to non-detectable heritability using repeated records across all environments. We then determined environment-specific heritability by grouping records with similar temperatures for the winter preceding the nesting season, a variable known to be highly associated with our two traits of interest, nest vegetation cover and Julian date of nesting. The heritability estimates of nest vegetation cover and Julian date of nesting were qualitatively highest and significant, or nearly so, after hot winters. Additive genetic variance for these traits was not detectable after cold winters. Our analysis suggests that the potential for evolutionary change of nesting behaviour may be dependent on the thermal conditions of the preceding winter, a season that is predicted to be especially subject to climate change.

  8. 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.

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

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    Vanessa S. Bézy

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Zhiyong; Hu, Hongda; Huang, Yuxia

    2018-08-01

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

  11. Exploring scenarios of light pollution from coastal development reaching sea turtle nesting beaches near Cabo Pulmo, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory M. Verutes

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available New coastal development may offer economic benefits to resort builders and even local communities, but these projects can also impact local ecosystems, key wildlife, and the draw for tourists. We explore how light from Cabo Cortés, a proposed coastal development in Baja California Sur, Mexico, may alter natural light cues used by sea turtle hatchlings. We adapt a viewshed approach to model exterior light originating from the resort under plausible zoning scenarios. This spatially explicit information allows stakeholders to evaluate the likely impact of alternative development options. Our model suggests that direct light’s ability to reach sea turtle nesting beaches varies greatly by source location and height—with some plausible development scenarios leading to significantly less light pollution than others. Our light pollution maps can enhance decision-making, offering clear guidance on where to avoid elevated lamps or when to recommend lighting restrictions. Communities can use this information to participate in development planning to mitigate ecological, aesthetic and economic impacts from artificial lighting. Though tested in Mexico, our approach and free, open-source software can be applied in other places around the world to better understand and manage the threats of light pollution to sea turtles. Keywords: Artificial light, Viewshed analysis, Sea turtle conservation, Coastal resort management, InVEST

  12. Beyond harm's reach? Submersion of river turtle nesting areas and implications for restoration actions after Amazon hydropower development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norris, Darren; Michalski, Fernanda; Gibbs, James P

    2018-01-01

    The global expansion of energy demands combined with abundant rainfall, large water volumes and high flow in tropical rivers have led to an unprecedented expansion of dam constructions in the Amazon. This expansion generates an urgent need for refined approaches to river management; specifically a move away from decision-making governed by overly generalized guidelines. For the first time we quantify direct impacts of hydropower reservoir establishment on an Amazon fresh water turtle. We conducted surveys along 150 km of rivers upstream of a new dam construction during the low water months that correspond to the nesting season of Podocnemis unifilis in the study area. Comparison of nest-areas before (2011, 2015) and after (2016) reservoir filling show that reservoir impacts extend 13% beyond legally defined limits. The submerged nesting areas accounted for a total of 3.8 ha of nesting habitat that was inundated as a direct result of the reservoir filling in 2016. Our findings highlight limitations in the development and implementation of existing Brazilian environmental impact assessment process. We also propose potential ways to mitigate the negative impacts of dams on freshwater turtles and the Amazonian freshwater ecosystems they inhabit.

  13. Beyond harm’s reach? Submersion of river turtle nesting areas and implications for restoration actions after Amazon hydropower development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michalski, Fernanda; Gibbs, James P.

    2018-01-01

    The global expansion of energy demands combined with abundant rainfall, large water volumes and high flow in tropical rivers have led to an unprecedented expansion of dam constructions in the Amazon. This expansion generates an urgent need for refined approaches to river management; specifically a move away from decision-making governed by overly generalized guidelines. For the first time we quantify direct impacts of hydropower reservoir establishment on an Amazon fresh water turtle. We conducted surveys along 150 km of rivers upstream of a new dam construction during the low water months that correspond to the nesting season of Podocnemis unifilis in the study area. Comparison of nest-areas before (2011, 2015) and after (2016) reservoir filling show that reservoir impacts extend 13% beyond legally defined limits. The submerged nesting areas accounted for a total of 3.8 ha of nesting habitat that was inundated as a direct result of the reservoir filling in 2016. Our findings highlight limitations in the development and implementation of existing Brazilian environmental impact assessment process. We also propose potential ways to mitigate the negative impacts of dams on freshwater turtles and the Amazonian freshwater ecosystems they inhabit. PMID:29333347

  14. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Karla G Barrientos Munoz; Cristian Ramirez Gallego; Vivian Paez

    2014-01-01

    The olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) is the most common sea turtle to nest in Colombia. El valle beach is considered the most important nesting beach for this species in South America. Intensive direct capture of nesting females and egg poaching for consumption and local commercial purposes has been a common practice for years. We conducted an analysis of the nesting ecology of the olive ridley on el valle beach in the northern pacific of Colombia in 2008. A total of 164 clutches were transferred to an artificial hatchery for protection. The peak of nesting occurred from the second half of August until the end of September, accounting for 64.6 % of all nests. Along the beach, the section most frequently used was section 3, with 26 % of the nests. The nests were laid mainly in zone 3.69 %. We encountered 55 nesting females and marked 46 of them. Mean CCL was 64.9 ± 2.4 cm and mean CCW was 68.6 ± 2.6 cm. females laid on average of 87.3 ± 14.2 eggs per clutch. We recorded two nesting events per female, with a mean inter-nesting period of 18.8 ± 4.2 days. The reproductive output for the season was 181.5 ± 34.8 eggs / female. Mean hatching success was 81.1 ± 12.1 % and mean emergence success was 77.6 ± 12.7 %. The incubation period was 65 ± 4.7 days. Our study is a valuable contribution to knowledge of the reproductive ecology of the olive ridley population regionally and globally.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Darren Norris

    2018-06-01

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

  17. 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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz, Cynthia C; Vermeiren, Peter

    2018-04-01

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin, C. S.

    2005-12-01

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

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

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    Lori Lee Lum

    2005-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinaei, Mahmood; Bolouki, Mehdi

    2017-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew J Spanier

    2010-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    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.

  12. Sensory Evolution and Ecology of Early Turtles Revealed by Digital Endocranial Reconstructions

    OpenAIRE

    Stephan Lautenschlager; Gabriel S. Ferreira; Gabriel S. Ferreira; Gabriel S. Ferreira; Ingmar Werneburg; Ingmar Werneburg; Ingmar Werneburg

    2018-01-01

    In the past few years, new fossil finds and novel methodological approaches have prompted intensive discussions about the phylogenetic affinities of turtles and rekindled the debate on their ecological origin, with very distinct scenarios, such as fossoriality and aquatic habitat occupation, proposed for the earliest stem-turtles. While research has focused largely on the origin of the anapsid skull and unique postcranial anatomy, little is known about the endocranial anatomy of turtles. Here...

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

  16. Integrative demographic modeling reveals population level impacts of PCB toxicity to juvenile snapping turtles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Salice, Christopher J.; Rowe, Christopher L.; Eisenreich, Karen M.

    2014-01-01

    A significant challenge in ecotoxicology and risk assessment lies in placing observed contaminant effects in a meaningful ecological context. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have been shown to affect juvenile snapping turtle survival and growth but the ecological significance of these effects is difficult to discern without a formal, population-level assessment. We used a demographic matrix model to explore the potential population-level effects of PCBs on turtles. Our model showed that effects of PCBs on juvenile survival, growth and size at hatching could translate to negative effects at the population level despite the fact that these life cycle components do not typically contribute strongly to population level processes. This research points to the utility of using integrative demographic modeling approaches to better understand contaminant effects in wildlife. The results indicate that population-level effects are only evident after several years, suggesting that for long-lived species, detecting adverse contaminant effects could prove challenging. -- Highlights: • Previous studies have shown the PCBs can impact juvenile snapping turtles. • We used a demographic model of turtles to evaluate population-level PCB effects. • PCB effects on turtles may translate to negative population responses. • Long-term monitoring is needed to detect contaminant effects on natural turtle populations. • Demographic models can improve our understanding contaminant ecotoxicity. -- A demographic model was used to show that PCB induced effects on young snapping turtles can result in adverse effects at the population level

  17. 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.

  18. Sensory Evolution and Ecology of Early Turtles Revealed by Digital Endocranial Reconstructions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephan Lautenschlager

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available In the past few years, new fossil finds and novel methodological approaches have prompted intensive discussions about the phylogenetic affinities of turtles and rekindled the debate on their ecological origin, with very distinct scenarios, such as fossoriality and aquatic habitat occupation, proposed for the earliest stem-turtles. While research has focused largely on the origin of the anapsid skull and unique postcranial anatomy, little is known about the endocranial anatomy of turtles. Here, we provide 3D digital reconstructions and comparative descriptions of the brain, nasal cavity, neurovascular structures and endosseous labyrinth of Proganochelys quenstedti, one of the earliest stem-turtles, as well as other turtle taxa. Our results demonstrate that P. quenstedti retained a simple tube-like brain morphology with poorly differentiated regions and mediocre hearing and vision, but a well-developed olfactory sense. Endocast shape analysis indicates that an increase in size and regionalization of the brain took place in the course of turtle evolution, achieving an endocast diversity comparable to other amniote groups. Based on the new evidence presented herein, we further conclude that P. quenstedti was a highly terrestrial, but most likely not fossorial, taxon.

  19. Endogenous and exogenous ice-nucleating agents constrain supercooling in the hatchling painted turtle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costanzo, Jon P; Baker, Patrick J; Dinkelacker, Stephen A; Lee, Richard E

    2003-02-01

    Hatchlings of the painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) commonly hibernate in their shallow, natal nests. Survival at temperatures below the limit of freeze tolerance (approximately -4 degrees C) apparently depends on their ability to remain supercooled, and, whereas previous studies have reported that supercooling capacity improves markedly with cold acclimation, the mechanistic basis for this change is incompletely understood. We report that the crystallization temperature (T(c)) of recently hatched (summer) turtles acclimated to 22 degrees C and reared on a substratum of vermiculite or nesting soil was approximately 5 degrees C higher than the T(c) determined for turtles acclimated to 4 degrees C and tested in winter. This increase in supercooling capacity coincided with elimination of substratum (and, in fewer cases, eggshell) that the hatchlings had ingested; however, this association was not necessarily causal because turtles reared on a paper-covered substratum did not ingest exogenous matter but nevertheless showed a similar increase in supercooling capacity. Our results for turtles reared on paper revealed that seasonal development of supercooling capacity fundamentally requires elimination of ice-nucleating agents (INA) of endogenous origin: summer turtles, but not winter turtles, produced feces (perhaps derived from residual yolk) that expressed ice-nucleating activity. Ingestion of vermiculite or eggshell, which had modest ice-nucleating activity, had no effect on the T(c), whereas ingestion of nesting soil, which contained two classes of potent INA, markedly reduced the supercooling capacity of summer turtles. This effect persisted long after the turtles had purged their guts of soil particles, because the T(c) of winter turtles reared on nesting soil (mean +/- S.E.M.=-11.6+/-1.4 degrees C) was approximately 6 degrees C higher than the T(c) of winter turtles reared on vermiculite or paper. Experiments in which winter turtles were fed INA commonly found in

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-30

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

  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. Radio-tagging technology reveals extreme nest-drifting behavior in a eusocial insect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sumner, Seirian; Lucas, Eric; Barker, Jessie; Isaac, Nick

    2007-01-23

    Kin-selection theory underlies our basic understanding of social evolution [1, 2]. Nest drifting in eusocial insects (where workers move between nests) presents a challenge to this paradigm, since a worker should remain as a helper on her natal colony, rather than visit other colonies to which she is less closely related. Here we reveal nest drifting as a strategy by which workers may maximize their indirect fitness by helping on several related nests, preferring those where the marginal return from their help is greatest. By using a novel monitoring technique, radio frequency identification (RFID) tagging, we provide the first accurate estimate of drifting in a eusocial insect: 56% of females drifted in a natural population of the eusocial paper wasp Polistes canadensis, exceeding previous records of drifting in natural populations by more than 30-fold. We demonstrate that drifting cannot be explained through social parasitism, queen succession, mistakes in nest identity, or methodological bias. Instead, workers appear to gain indirect fitness benefits by helping on several related colonies in a viscous population structure. The potential importance of this strategy as a component of the kin-selected benefits for a social insect worker has previously been overlooked because of methodological difficulties in quantifying and studying drifting.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-07-01

    The olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) is the most common sea turtle to nest in Colombia. El valle beach is considered the most important nesting beach for this species in South America. Intensive direct capture of nesting females and egg poaching for consumption and local commercial purposes has been a common practice for years. We conducted an analysis of the nesting ecology of the olive ridley on el valle beach in the northern pacific of Colombia in 2008. A total of 164 clutches were transferred to an artificial hatchery for protection. The peak of nesting occurred from the second half of August until the end of September, accounting for 64.6 % of all nests. Along the beach, the section most frequently used was section 3, with 26 % of the nests. The nests were laid mainly in zone 3.69 %. We encountered 55 nesting females and marked 46 of them. Mean CCL was 64.9 ± 2.4 cm and mean CCW was 68.6 ± 2.6 cm. females laid on average of 87.3 ± 14.2 eggs per clutch. We recorded two nesting events per female, with a mean inter-nesting period of 18.8 ± 4.2 days. The reproductive output for the season was 181.5 ± 34.8 eggs / female. Mean hatching success was 81.1 ± 12.1 % and mean emergence success was 77.6 ± 12.7 %. The incubation period was 65 ± 4.7 days. Our study is a valuable contribution to knowledge of the reproductive ecology of the olive ridley population regionally and globally.

  4. Multi-modal homing in sea turtles: modeling dual use of geomagnetic and chemical cues in island-finding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Courtney S Endres

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Sea turtles are capable of navigating across large expanses of ocean to arrive at remote islands for nesting, but how they do so has remained enigmatic. An interesting example involves green turtles (Chelonia mydas that nest on Ascension Island, a tiny land mass located approximately 2000 km from the turtles' foraging grounds along the coast of Brazil. Sensory cues that turtles are known to detect, and which might hypothetically be used to help locate Ascension Island, include the geomagnetic field, airborne odorants, and waterborne odorants. One possibility is that turtles use magnetic cues to arrive in the vicinity of the island, then use chemical cues to pinpoint its location. As a first step toward investigating this hypothesis, we used oceanic, atmospheric, and geomagnetic models to assess whether magnetic and chemical cues might plausibly be used by turtles to locate Ascension Island. Results suggest that waterborne and airborne odorants alone are insufficient to guide turtles from Brazil to Ascension, but might permit localization of the island once turtles arrive in its vicinity. By contrast, magnetic cues might lead turtles into the vicinity of the island, but would not typically permit its localization because the field shifts gradually over time. Simulations reveal, however, that the sequential use of magnetic and chemical cues can potentially provide a robust navigational strategy for locating Ascension Island. Specifically, one strategy that appears viable is following a magnetic isoline into the vicinity of Ascension Island until an odor plume emanating from the island is encountered, after which turtles might either: (1 initiate a search strategy; or (2 follow the plume to its island source. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that sea turtles, and perhaps other marine animals, use a multi-modal navigational strategy for locating remote islands.

  5. Multi-Modal Homing in Sea Turtles: Modeling Dual Use of Geomagnetic and Chemical Cues in Island-Finding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Endres, Courtney S; Putman, Nathan F; Ernst, David A; Kurth, Jessica A; Lohmann, Catherine M F; Lohmann, Kenneth J

    2016-01-01

    Sea turtles are capable of navigating across large expanses of ocean to arrive at remote islands for nesting, but how they do so has remained enigmatic. An interesting example involves green turtles (Chelonia mydas) that nest on Ascension Island, a tiny land mass located approximately 2000 km from the turtles' foraging grounds along the coast of Brazil. Sensory cues that turtles are known to detect, and which might hypothetically be used to help locate Ascension Island, include the geomagnetic field, airborne odorants, and waterborne odorants. One possibility is that turtles use magnetic cues to arrive in the vicinity of the island, then use chemical cues to pinpoint its location. As a first step toward investigating this hypothesis, we used oceanic, atmospheric, and geomagnetic models to assess whether magnetic and chemical cues might plausibly be used by turtles to locate Ascension Island. Results suggest that waterborne and airborne odorants alone are insufficient to guide turtles from Brazil to Ascension, but might permit localization of the island once turtles arrive in its vicinity. By contrast, magnetic cues might lead turtles into the vicinity of the island, but would not typically permit its localization because the field shifts gradually over time. Simulations reveal, however, that the sequential use of magnetic and chemical cues can potentially provide a robust navigational strategy for locating Ascension Island. Specifically, one strategy that appears viable is following a magnetic isoline into the vicinity of Ascension Island until an odor plume emanating from the island is encountered, after which turtles might either: (1) initiate a search strategy; or (2) follow the plume to its island source. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that sea turtles, and perhaps other marine animals, use a multi-modal navigational strategy for locating remote islands.

  6. 77 FR 474 - 2012 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle Observer Requirement

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-05

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

  7. 78 FR 77428 - 2014 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle Observer Requirement

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-12-23

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

  8. Sea turtles nesting in Surinam

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schulz, J.P.

    1975-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier Hernández-Fernández

    2017-12-01

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

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. NESTED SHELLS REVEAL THE REJUVENATION OF THE ORION–ERIDANUS SUPERBUBBLE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ochsendorf, Bram B.; Brown, Anthony G. A.; Tielens, Alexander G. G. M.; Bally, John

    2015-01-01

    The Orion–Eridanus superbubble is the prototypical superbubble owing to its proximity and evolutionary state. Here we provide a synthesis of recent observational data from WISE and Planck with archival data, allowing us to draw a new and more complete picture on the history and evolution of the Orion–Eridanus region. We discuss the general morphological structures and observational characteristics of the superbubble and derive quantitative properties of the gas and dust inside Barnard’s Loop. We reveal that Barnard’s Loop is a complete bubble structure that, together with the λ Ori region and other smaller-scale bubbles, expands within the Orion–Eridanus superbubble. We argue that the Orion–Eridanus superbubble is larger and more complex than previously thought, and that it can be viewed as a series of nested shells, superimposed along the line of sight. During the lifetime of the superbubble, Hii region champagne flows and thermal evaporation of embedded clouds continuously mass-load the superbubble interior, while winds or supernovae from the Orion OB association rejuvenate the superbubble by sweeping up the material from the interior cavities in an episodic fashion, possibly triggering the formation of new stars that form shells of their own. The steady supply of material into the superbubble cavity implies that dust processing from interior supernova remnants is more efficient than previously thought. The cycle of mass loading, interior cleansing, and star formation repeats until the molecular reservoir is depleted or the clouds have been disrupted. While the nested shells come and go, the superbubble remains for tens of millions of years

  13. NESTED SHELLS REVEAL THE REJUVENATION OF THE ORION–ERIDANUS SUPERBUBBLE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ochsendorf, Bram B.; Brown, Anthony G. A.; Tielens, Alexander G. G. M. [Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, P.O. Box 9513, NL-2300 RA (Netherlands); Bally, John, E-mail: ochsendorf@strw.leidenuniv.nl [CASA, APS, UCB389, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80389 (United States)

    2015-08-01

    The Orion–Eridanus superbubble is the prototypical superbubble owing to its proximity and evolutionary state. Here we provide a synthesis of recent observational data from WISE and Planck with archival data, allowing us to draw a new and more complete picture on the history and evolution of the Orion–Eridanus region. We discuss the general morphological structures and observational characteristics of the superbubble and derive quantitative properties of the gas and dust inside Barnard’s Loop. We reveal that Barnard’s Loop is a complete bubble structure that, together with the λ Ori region and other smaller-scale bubbles, expands within the Orion–Eridanus superbubble. We argue that the Orion–Eridanus superbubble is larger and more complex than previously thought, and that it can be viewed as a series of nested shells, superimposed along the line of sight. During the lifetime of the superbubble, Hii region champagne flows and thermal evaporation of embedded clouds continuously mass-load the superbubble interior, while winds or supernovae from the Orion OB association rejuvenate the superbubble by sweeping up the material from the interior cavities in an episodic fashion, possibly triggering the formation of new stars that form shells of their own. The steady supply of material into the superbubble cavity implies that dust processing from interior supernova remnants is more efficient than previously thought. The cycle of mass loading, interior cleansing, and star formation repeats until the molecular reservoir is depleted or the clouds have been disrupted. While the nested shells come and go, the superbubble remains for tens of millions of years.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  15. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Fernández, Javier

    2017-12-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  18. Radio tagging technology reveals extreme nest drifting behavior in a eusocial insect

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sumner, Seirian; Lucas, Eric; Barker, Jessie

    2007-01-01

    Kin-selection theory underlies our basic understanding of social evolution 1 and 2. Nest drifting in eusocial insects (where workers move between nests) presents a challenge to this paradigm, since a worker should remain as a helper on her natal colony, rather than visit other colonies to which s...

  19. 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.

  20. MORTALIDAD EMBRIONARIA EN CUATRO NIDOS DE TORTUGA CARDÓN Dermochelys coriacea EN PLAYA SAN LUIS, SECTOR LOS CHIVOS, CUMANÁ, ESTADO I SUCRE EMBRYONIC MORTALITY IN FOUR NEST OF LEATHERBACK TURTLE Dermochelys coriacea IN SAN LUIS BEACH, SECTOR LOS CHIVOS, CUMANÁ, SUCRE STATE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Velásquez

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available We analyzed the reproductive characteristics of four nets of leatherback turtles ( Dermochelys coriacea which spawned in San Luis beach, sector Los Chivos, Cumaná, Sucre State. The turtles deposited a total of 312 eggs ( =78 per nest, of which 102 eggs showed no apparent development ( = 25.50, 13 were dead embryos ( = 3.25 and 155 were coral type eggs (without fecundation ( = 38.75. Among the dead embryos (13, 84.62% had reached the late embryonic state (EETT and the rest the medium state (EEM. The average hatching success was 65.94%, with a minimum value in a turtle that laid 77 eggs (46.75 % and the maximum (91.17 % in another who laid 72 eggs. There was a high correlation between the number of eggs without apparent development (HSDA and corals, with a highly significant relationship (r = 0.97 between weight and curved carapace length in embryos.

  1. 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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Kristen M.; Fujisaki, Ikuko

    2010-01-01

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

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  5. Do roads reduce painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) populations?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorland, Alexandra; Rytwinski, Trina; Fahrig, Lenore

    2014-01-01

    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.

  6. Regional drivers of clutch loss reveal important trade-offs for beach-nesting birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maslo, Brooke; Schlacher, Thomas A; Weston, Michael A; Huijbers, Chantal M; Anderson, Chris; Gilby, Ben L; Olds, Andrew D; Connolly, Rod M; Schoeman, David S

    2016-01-01

    Coastal birds are critical ecosystem constituents on sandy shores, yet are threatened by depressed reproductive success resulting from direct and indirect anthropogenic and natural pressures. Few studies examine clutch fate across the wide range of environments experienced by birds; instead, most focus at the small site scale. We examine survival of model shorebird clutches as an index of true clutch survival at a regional scale (∼200 km), encompassing a variety of geomorphologies, predator communities, and human use regimes in southeast Queensland, Australia. Of the 132 model nests deployed and monitored with cameras, 45 (34%) survived the experimental exposure period. Thirty-five (27%) were lost to flooding, 32 (24%) were depredated, nine (7%) buried by sand, seven (5%) destroyed by people, three (2%) failed by unknown causes, and one (1%) was destroyed by a dog. Clutch fate differed substantially among regions, particularly with respect to losses from flooding and predation. 'Topographic' exposure was the main driver of mortality of nests placed close to the drift line near the base of dunes, which were lost to waves (particularly during storms) and to a lesser extent depredation. Predators determined the fate of clutches not lost to waves, with the depredation probability largely influenced by region. Depredation probability declined as nests were backed by higher dunes and were placed closer to vegetation. This study emphasizes the scale at which clutch fate and survival varies within a regional context, the prominence of corvids as egg predators, the significant role of flooding as a source of nest loss, and the multiple trade-offs faced by beach-nesting birds and those that manage them.

  7. Regional drivers of clutch loss reveal important trade-offs for beach-nesting birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brooke Maslo

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Coastal birds are critical ecosystem constituents on sandy shores, yet are threatened by depressed reproductive success resulting from direct and indirect anthropogenic and natural pressures. Few studies examine clutch fate across the wide range of environments experienced by birds; instead, most focus at the small site scale. We examine survival of model shorebird clutches as an index of true clutch survival at a regional scale (∼200 km, encompassing a variety of geomorphologies, predator communities, and human use regimes in southeast Queensland, Australia. Of the 132 model nests deployed and monitored with cameras, 45 (34% survived the experimental exposure period. Thirty-five (27% were lost to flooding, 32 (24% were depredated, nine (7% buried by sand, seven (5% destroyed by people, three (2% failed by unknown causes, and one (1% was destroyed by a dog. Clutch fate differed substantially among regions, particularly with respect to losses from flooding and predation. ‘Topographic’ exposure was the main driver of mortality of nests placed close to the drift line near the base of dunes, which were lost to waves (particularly during storms and to a lesser extent depredation. Predators determined the fate of clutches not lost to waves, with the depredation probability largely influenced by region. Depredation probability declined as nests were backed by higher dunes and were placed closer to vegetation. This study emphasizes the scale at which clutch fate and survival varies within a regional context, the prominence of corvids as egg predators, the significant role of flooding as a source of nest loss, and the multiple trade-offs faced by beach-nesting birds and those that manage them.

  8. Response of beach-nesting American Oystercatchers to off-road vehicles: An experimental approach reveals physiological nuances and decreased nest attendance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felton, Shilo K.; Pollock, Kenneth H.; Simons, Theodore R.

    2018-01-01

    Shorebird populations face increasing challenges as rising sea levels and growing human populations constrain their breeding habitats. On recreational beaches, the nesting season often coincides with a season of high visitor use, increasing the potential for conflict, which may negatively influence beach-nesting shorebird species. We designed a field experiment to study the responses of nesting American Oystercatchers (Haematopus palliatus) to off-road passenger vehicles (ORVs) at Cape Hatteras and Cape Lookout National Seashores in North Carolina, USA. We used continuous video and heart rate recordings to assess changes in the behavior and physiology of incubating oystercatchers. We conducted driving experiments affecting 7 nesting pairs in 2014 and 19 nesting pairs in 2015, between April and July of each year. Experimental treatments were repeated throughout the incubation period for each nest. Although responses were highly variable within and among pairs, paired randomized permutation tests indicated that, overall, oystercatcher pairs spent a greater proportion of time with their heads up and exhibited slower heart rates during driving treatments. Pairs also left their nests more frequently and attended their nests for a lower proportion of time during driving treatments, although these responses diminished over time. Higher nest attendance and lower departure rates late in incubation may have reflected a stronger attachment to nests closer to hatching or habituation to the driving treatment, although individuals continued to exhibit physiological responses to passing vehicles throughout incubation. Beach-nesting birds may benefit from reduced vehicle traffic at their nesting sites, allowing parents to spend more time attending the nest and less time on defensive behaviors.

  9. Annual survival of Florida nesting loggerheads

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

    Nascent fungal infections are currently considered as one of the main threats for biodiversity and ecosystem health, and have driven several animal species into critical risk of extinction. Sea turtles are one of the most endangered groups of animals and only seven species have survived to date. Here, we described two pathogenic species, i.e., Fusarium falciforme and Fusarium keratoplasticum, that are globally distributed in major turtle nesting areas for six sea turtle species and that are i...

  13. Homology of the enigmatic nuchal bone reveals novel reorganization of the shoulder girdle in the evolution of the turtle shell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyson, Tyler R; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S; Bever, Gabe S; Joyce, Walter G; de Queiroz, Kevin; Abzhanov, Arhat; Gauthier, Jacques A

    2013-01-01

    The turtle shell represents a unique modification of the ancestral tetrapod body plan. The homologies of its approximately 50 bones have been the subject of debate for more than 200 years. Although most of those homologies are now firmly established, the evolutionary origin of the dorsal median nuchal bone of the carapace remains unresolved. We propose a novel hypothesis in which the nuchal is derived from the paired, laterally positioned cleithra-dorsal elements of the ancestral tetrapod pectoral girdle that are otherwise retained among extant tetrapods only in frogs. This hypothesis is supported by origin of the nuchal as paired, mesenchymal condensations likely derived from the neural crest followed by a unique two-stage pattern of ossification. Further support is drawn from the establishment of the nuchal as part of a highly conserved "muscle scaffold" wherein the cleithrum (and its evolutionary derivatives) serves as the origin of the Musculus trapezius. Identification of the nuchal as fused cleithra is congruent with its general spatial relationships to other elements of the shoulder girdle in the adult morphology of extant turtles, and it is further supported by patterns of connectivity and transformations documented by critical fossils from the turtle stem group. The cleithral derivation of the nuchal implies an anatomical reorganization of the pectoral girdle in which the dermal portion of the girdle was transformed from a continuous lateral-ventral arc into separate dorsal and ventral components. This transformation involved the reduction and eventual loss of the scapular rami of the clavicles along with the dorsal and superficial migration of the cleithra, which then fused with one another and became incorporated into the carapace. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  15. Delimitation of the embryonic thermosensitive period for sex determination using an embryo growth model reveals a potential bias for sex ratio prediction in turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Girondot, Marc; Monsinjon, Jonathan; Guillon, Jean-Michel

    2018-04-01

    The sexual phenotype of the gonad is dependent on incubation temperature in many turtles, all crocodilians, and some lepidosaurians. At hatching, identification of sexual phenotype is impossible without sacrificing the neonates. For this reason, a general method to infer sexual phenotype from incubation temperatures is needed. Temperature influences sex determination during a specific period of the embryonic development, starting when the gonad begins to form. At constant incubation temperatures, this thermosensitive period for sex determination (TSP) is located at the middle third of incubation duration (MTID). When temperature fluctuates, the position of the thermosensitive period for sex determination can be shifted from the MTID because embryo growth is affected by temperature. A method is proposed to locate the thermosensitive period for sex determination based on modelling the embryo growth, allowing its precise identification from a natural regime of temperatures. Results from natural nests and simulations show that the approximation of the thermosensitive period for sex determination to the middle third of incubation duration may create a quasi-systematic bias to lower temperatures when computing the average incubation temperature during this period and thus a male-bias for sex ratio estimate. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Conductivity anisotropy helps to reveal the microscopic structure of a density wave at imperfect nesting

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grigoriev, P.D.; Kostenko, S.S.

    2015-01-01

    Superconductivity or metallic state may coexist with density wave ordering at imperfect nesting of the Fermi surface. In addition to the macroscopic spatial phase separation, there are, at least, two possible microscopic structures of such coexistence: (i) the soliton-wall phase and (ii) the ungapped Fermi-surface pockets. We show that the conductivity anisotropy allows us to distinguish these two microscopic density-wave structures. The results obtained may help to analyze the experimental observations in layered organic metals (TMTSF) 2 PF 6 , (TMTSF) 2 ClO 4 , α-(BEDT-TTF) 2 KHg(SCN) 4 and in other compounds

  17. Conductivity anisotropy helps to reveal the microscopic structure of a density wave at imperfect nesting

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grigoriev, P.D., E-mail: grigorev@itp.ac.ru [L.D. Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics, Chernogolovka 142432 (Russian Federation); Institut Laue-Langevin, Grenoble (France); Kostenko, S.S. [Institute of Problems of Chemical Physics, 142432 Chernogolovka (Russian Federation)

    2015-03-01

    Superconductivity or metallic state may coexist with density wave ordering at imperfect nesting of the Fermi surface. In addition to the macroscopic spatial phase separation, there are, at least, two possible microscopic structures of such coexistence: (i) the soliton-wall phase and (ii) the ungapped Fermi-surface pockets. We show that the conductivity anisotropy allows us to distinguish these two microscopic density-wave structures. The results obtained may help to analyze the experimental observations in layered organic metals (TMTSF){sub 2}PF{sub 6}, (TMTSF){sub 2}ClO{sub 4}, α-(BEDT-TTF){sub 2}KHg(SCN){sub 4} and in other compounds.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey A Seminoff

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. The discovery of deep-water seagrass meadows in a pristine Indian Ocean wilderness revealed by tracking green turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esteban, N; Unsworth, R K F; Gourlay, J B Q; Hays, G C

    2018-03-21

    Our understanding of global seagrass ecosystems comes largely from regions characterized by human impacts with limited data from habitats defined as notionally pristine. Seagrass assessments also largely focus on shallow-water coastal habitats with comparatively few studies on offshore deep-water seagrasses. We satellite tracked green turtles (Chelonia mydas), which are known to forage on seagrasses, to a remote, pristine deep-water environment in the Western Indian Ocean, the Great Chagos Bank, which lies in the heart of one of the world's largest marine protected areas (MPAs). Subsequently we used in-situ SCUBA and baited video surveys to survey the day-time sites occupied by turtles and discovered extensive monospecific seagrass meadows of Thalassodendron ciliatum. At three sites that extended over 128 km, mean seagrass cover was 74% (mean range 67-88% across the 3 sites at depths to 29 m. The mean species richness of fish in seagrass meadows was 11 species per site (mean range 8-14 across the 3 sites). High fish abundance (e.g. Siganus sutor: mean MaxN.site -1  = 38.0, SD = 53.7, n = 5) and large predatory shark (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos) (mean MaxN.site -1  = 1.5, SD = 0.4, n = 5) were recorded at all sites. Such observations of seagrass meadows with large top predators, are limited in the literature. Given that the Great Chagos Bank extends over approximately 12,500 km 2 and many other large deep submerged banks exist across the world's oceans, our results suggest that deep-water seagrass may be far more abundant than previously suspected. Copyright © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  5. Stable isotopes of C and N reveal habitat dependent dietary overlap between native and introduced turtles Pseudemys rubriventris and Trachemys scripta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearson, Steven H; Avery, Harold W; Kilham, Susan S; Velinsky, David J; Spotila, James R

    2013-01-01

    Habitat degradation and species introductions are two of the leading causes of species declines on a global scale. Invasive species negatively impact native species through predation and competition for limited resources. The impacts of invasive species may be increased in habitats where habitat degradation is higher due to reductions of prey abundance and distribution. Using stable isotope analyses and extensive measurements of resource availability we determined how resource availability impacts the long term carbon and nitrogen assimilation of the invasive red-eared slider turtle (Trachemys scripta elegans) and a native, threatened species, the red-bellied turtle (Pseudemys rubriventris) at two different freshwater wetland complexes in Pennsylvania, USA. At a larger wetland complex with greater vegetative species richness and diversity, our stable isotope analyses showed dietary niche partitioning between species, whereas analyses from a smaller wetland complex with lower vegetative species richness and diversity showed significant dietary niche overlap. Determining the potential for competition between these two turtle species is important to understanding the ecological impacts of red-eared slider turtles in wetland habitats. In smaller wetlands with increased potential for competition between native turtles and invasive red-eared slider turtles we expect that when shared resources become limited, red-eared slider turtles will negatively impact native turtle species leading to long term population declines. Protection of intact wetland complexes and the reduction of introduced species populations are paramount to preserving populations of native species.

  6. Stable isotopes of C and N reveal habitat dependent dietary overlap between native and introduced turtles Pseudemys rubriventris and Trachemys scripta.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven H Pearson

    Full Text Available Habitat degradation and species introductions are two of the leading causes of species declines on a global scale. Invasive species negatively impact native species through predation and competition for limited resources. The impacts of invasive species may be increased in habitats where habitat degradation is higher due to reductions of prey abundance and distribution. Using stable isotope analyses and extensive measurements of resource availability we determined how resource availability impacts the long term carbon and nitrogen assimilation of the invasive red-eared slider turtle (Trachemys scripta elegans and a native, threatened species, the red-bellied turtle (Pseudemys rubriventris at two different freshwater wetland complexes in Pennsylvania, USA. At a larger wetland complex with greater vegetative species richness and diversity, our stable isotope analyses showed dietary niche partitioning between species, whereas analyses from a smaller wetland complex with lower vegetative species richness and diversity showed significant dietary niche overlap. Determining the potential for competition between these two turtle species is important to understanding the ecological impacts of red-eared slider turtles in wetland habitats. In smaller wetlands with increased potential for competition between native turtles and invasive red-eared slider turtles we expect that when shared resources become limited, red-eared slider turtles will negatively impact native turtle species leading to long term population declines. Protection of intact wetland complexes and the reduction of introduced species populations are paramount to preserving populations of native species.

  7. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-10-15

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Judith Ullmann

    2015-06-01

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

  10. A Large Accumulation of Avian Eggs from the Late Cretaceous of Patagonia (Argentina) Reveals a Novel Nesting Strategy in Mesozoic Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández, Mariela S.; García, Rodolfo A.; Fiorelli, Lucas; Scolaro, Alejandro; Salvador, Rodrigo B.; Cotaro, Carlos N.; Kaiser, Gary W.; Dyke, Gareth J.

    2013-01-01

    We report the first evidence for a nesting colony of Mesozoic birds on Gondwana: a fossil accumulation in Late Cretaceous rocks mapped and collected from within the campus of the National University of Comahue, Neuquén City, Patagonia (Argentina). Here, Cretaceous ornithothoracine birds, almost certainly Enanthiornithes, nested in an arid, shallow basinal environment among sand dunes close to an ephemeral water-course. We mapped and collected 65 complete, near-complete, and broken eggs across an area of more than 55 m2. These eggs were laid either singly, or occasionally in pairs, onto a sandy substrate. All eggs were found apparently in, or close to, their original nest site; they all occur within the same bedding plane and may represent the product of a single nesting season or a short series of nesting attempts. Although there is no evidence for nesting structures, all but one of the Comahue eggs were half-buried upright in the sand with their pointed end downwards, a position that would have exposed the pole containing the air cell and precluded egg turning. This egg position is not seen in living birds, with the exception of the basal galliform megapodes who place their eggs within mounds of vegetation or burrows. This accumulation reveals a novel nesting behaviour in Mesozoic Aves that was perhaps shared with the non-avian and phylogenetically more basal troodontid theropods. PMID:23613776

  11. A large accumulation of avian eggs from the late cretaceous of patagonia (Argentina) reveals a novel nesting strategy in mesozoic birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández, Mariela S; García, Rodolfo A; Fiorelli, Lucas; Scolaro, Alejandro; Salvador, Rodrigo B; Cotaro, Carlos N; Kaiser, Gary W; Dyke, Gareth J

    2013-01-01

    We report the first evidence for a nesting colony of mesozoic birds on Gondwana: a fossil accumulation in Late Cretaceous rocks mapped and collected from within the campus of the National University of Comahue, Neuquén City, Patagonia (Argentina). Here, Cretaceous ornithothoracine birds, almost certainly Enanthiornithes, nested in an arid, shallow basinal environment among sand dunes close to an ephemeral water-course. We mapped and collected 65 complete, near-complete, and broken eggs across an area of more than 55 m(2). These eggs were laid either singly, or occasionally in pairs, onto a sandy substrate. All eggs were found apparently in, or close to, their original nest site; they all occur within the same bedding plane and may represent the product of a single nesting season or a short series of nesting attempts. Although there is no evidence for nesting structures, all but one of the Comahue eggs were half-buried upright in the sand with their pointed end downwards, a position that would have exposed the pole containing the air cell and precluded egg turning. This egg position is not seen in living birds, with the exception of the basal galliform megapodes who place their eggs within mounds of vegetation or burrows. This accumulation reveals a novel nesting behaviour in Mesozoic Aves that was perhaps shared with the non-avian and phylogenetically more basal troodontid theropods.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Marine tourism and the locations of protected turtles on Sukamade Beach, Meru Betiri National Park, East Java

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prihadi, D. J.; Shofiyullah, A.; Dhahiyat, Y.

    2018-04-01

    The research was conducted in Sukamade Beach, Meru Betiri National Park, East Java. The purpose of this research was to identify marine tourism activity and to determine the differences in the characteristics of turtle-nesting beaches towards the number and species of turtles that came to the beach. Data collection conducted in August-September 2014. The method used in this research was a survey method at 7 reseach stations to collect primary data (biophysical characteristics) and secondary data. The Primary data was collected by monitoring turtles, width and slope of the beach, temperature, pH, moisture, sand texture, and beach vegetation conditions at each station. The results of the research shows that marine tourisms always involve tourists who attend to see turtle nesting, when turtles arrive at the beach, and turtles return to the sea, how large the turtles and how they lay eggs on the beach, and the release of little turtles (tukik). The number of turtles that landed from station 1 to station 7 is as many as 311 individuals of three species. The most dominant species of turtles that arrived at the beach is green turtle (Chelonia mydas), followed by olive ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivaceae) and leatherbacks turtles (Dermochelys coriacea).

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jullie M Sarmiento-Ramírez

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon Benhamou

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

    Using satellite transmitters, we determined the internesting movements, spatial ecology and diving behavior of East Pacific green turtles (Chelonia mydas) nesting on Nombre de Jesús and Zapotillal beaches along the Pacific coast of northwestern Costa Rica. Kernel density analysis indicated that turtles spent most of their time in a particularly small area in the vicinity of the nesting beaches (50% utilization distribution was an area of 3 km(2) ). Minimum daily distance traveled during a 12 day internesting period was 4.6 ± 3.5 km. Dives were short and primarily occupied the upper 10 m of the water column. Turtles spent most of their time resting at the surface and conducting U-dives (ranging from 60 to 81% of the total tracking time involved in those activities). Turtles showed a strong diel pattern, U-dives mainly took place during the day and turtles spent a large amount of time resting at the surface at night. The lack of long-distance movements demonstrated that this area was heavily utilized by turtles during the nesting season and, therefore, was a crucial location for conservation of this highly endangered green turtle population. The unique behavior of these turtles in resting at the surface at night might make them particularly vulnerable to fishing activities near the nesting beaches. © 2012 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd, ISZS and IOZ/CAS.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

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    Kimberly Smelker

    2014-01-01

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

  5. 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)

  6. Partitioning the sources of demographic variation reveals density-dependent nest predation in an island bird population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sofaer, Helen R; Sillett, T Scott; Langin, Kathryn M; Morrison, Scott A; Ghalambor, Cameron K

    2014-07-01

    Ecological factors often shape demography through multiple mechanisms, making it difficult to identify the sources of demographic variation. In particular, conspecific density can influence both the strength of competition and the predation rate, but density-dependent competition has received more attention, particularly among terrestrial vertebrates and in island populations. A better understanding of how both competition and predation contribute to density-dependent variation in fecundity can be gained by partitioning the effects of density on offspring number from its effects on reproductive failure, while also evaluating how biotic and abiotic factors jointly shape demography. We examined the effects of population density and precipitation on fecundity, nest survival, and adult survival in an insular population of orange-crowned warblers (Oreothlypis celata) that breeds at high densities and exhibits a suite of traits suggesting strong intraspecific competition. Breeding density had a negative influence on fecundity, but it acted by increasing the probability of reproductive failure through nest predation, rather than through competition, which was predicted to reduce the number of offspring produced by successful individuals. Our results demonstrate that density-dependent nest predation can underlie the relationship between population density and fecundity even in a high-density, insular population where intraspecific competition should be strong.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jullie M Sarmiento-Ramírez

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-23

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

  10. 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

  11. Comparative Study of Plasma Parameters in Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys Olivacea and Hawksbill (Eretmochelys Imbricata During Nesting

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    A.Y.A. Alkindi

    2002-06-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study is to investigate the role of plasma level parameters during nesting activity and provide data potentially useful to future studies on the dynamics of reproductive and stress hormones in the most endangered sea turtle species in the world. Plasma parameters in the sea turtles, olive ridley (Lipodochelys oliveacea and hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata from Masirah Island, Oman, were analyzed relative to nesting stress. To date, no study has been conducted on plasma parameter levels in sea turtles during nesting. Field observations were conducted under ideal temperature conditions. At the time of sampling, there was no significant difference for cloacal, sand, air or water temperature for the two species. Electrolytes (Cl¯, Ca++, K+, Na+ and Mg++, cholesterol, urea, uric acid and osmolarity were measured during nesting. Both species were observed to spend between 1.5 and 2.00 hours on the nesting grounds. Some had successful oviposition and completed all nesting phases, while others with incomplete nesting phases failed to oviposit their  eggs. Under both conditions, the turtles of both species had an exhaustive and stressful nesting exercise. Plasma parameter values, both intra-specifically and inter-specifically, were not significantly different for oviposited and non-oviposited turtles. This may indicate that both species have the same physiological adjustment relative to plasma parameters whether or not the turtles oviposited their eggs.

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

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    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.

  13. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juanita Joseph

    2016-04-01

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

  15. Finite element modeling of shell shape in the freshwater turtle Pseudemys concinna reveals a trade-off between mechanical strength and hydrodynamic efficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivera, Gabriel; Stayton, C Tristan

    2011-10-01

    Aquatic species can experience different selective pressures on morphology in different flow regimes. Species inhabiting lotic regimes often adapt to these conditions by evolving low-drag (i.e., streamlined) morphologies that reduce the likelihood of dislodgment or displacement. However, hydrodynamic factors are not the only selective pressures influencing organismal morphology and shapes well suited to flow conditions may compromise performance in other roles. We investigated the possibility of morphological trade-offs in the turtle Pseudemys concinna. Individuals living in lotic environments have flatter, more streamlined shells than those living in lentic environments; however, this flatter shape may also make the shells less capable of resisting predator-induced loads. We tested the idea that "lotic" shell shapes are weaker than "lentic" shell shapes, concomitantly examining effects of sex. Geometric morphometric data were used to transform an existing finite element shell model into a series of models corresponding to the shapes of individual turtles. Models were assigned identical material properties and loaded under identical conditions, and the stresses produced by a series of eight loads were extracted to describe the strength of the shells. "Lotic" shell shapes produced significantly higher stresses than "lentic" shell shapes, indicating that the former is weaker than the latter. Females had significantly stronger shell shapes than males, although these differences were less consistent than differences between flow regimes. We conclude that, despite the potential for many-to-one mapping of shell shape onto strength, P. concinna experiences a trade-off in shell shape between hydrodynamic and mechanical performance. This trade-off may be evident in many other turtle species or any other aquatic species that also depend on a shell for defense. However, evolution of body size may provide an avenue of escape from this trade-off in some cases, as changes in

  16. Spatial structure and nest demography reveal the influence of competition, parasitism and habitat quality on slavemaking ants and their hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scharf, Inon; Fischer-Blass, Birgit; Foitzik, Susanne

    2011-03-28

    Natural communities are structured by intra-guild competition, predation or parasitism and the abiotic environment. We studied the relative importance of these factors in two host-social parasite ecosystems in three ant communities in Europe (Bavaria) and North America (New York, West Virginia). We tested how these factors affect colony demography, life-history and the spatial pattern of colonies, using a large sample size of more than 1000 colonies. The strength of competition was measured by the distance to the nearest competitor. Distance to the closest social parasite colony was used as a measure of parasitism risk. Nest sites (i.e., sticks or acorns) are limited in these forest ecosystems and we therefore included nest site quality as an abiotic factor in the analysis. In contrast to previous studies based on local densities, we focus here on the positioning and spatial patterns and we use models to compare our predictions to random expectations. Colony demography was universally affected by the size of the nest site with larger and more productive colonies residing in larger nest sites of higher quality. Distance to the nearest competitor negatively influenced host demography and brood production in the Bavarian community, pointing to an important role of competition, while social parasitism was less influential in this community. The New York community was characterized by the highest habitat variability, and productive colonies were clustered in sites of higher quality. Colonies were clumped on finer spatial scales, when we considered only the nearest neighbors, but more regularly distributed on coarser scales. The analysis of spatial positioning within plots often produced different results compared to those based on colony densities. For example, while host and slavemaker densities are often positively correlated, slavemakers do not nest closer to potential host colonies than expected by random. The three communities are differently affected by biotic and

  17. Spatial structure and nest demography reveal the influence of competition, parasitism and habitat quality on slavemaking ants and their hosts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fischer-Blass Birgit

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Natural communities are structured by intra-guild competition, predation or parasitism and the abiotic environment. We studied the relative importance of these factors in two host-social parasite ecosystems in three ant communities in Europe (Bavaria and North America (New York, West Virginia. We tested how these factors affect colony demography, life-history and the spatial pattern of colonies, using a large sample size of more than 1000 colonies. The strength of competition was measured by the distance to the nearest competitor. Distance to the closest social parasite colony was used as a measure of parasitism risk. Nest sites (i.e., sticks or acorns are limited in these forest ecosystems and we therefore included nest site quality as an abiotic factor in the analysis. In contrast to previous studies based on local densities, we focus here on the positioning and spatial patterns and we use models to compare our predictions to random expectations. Results Colony demography was universally affected by the size of the nest site with larger and more productive colonies residing in larger nest sites of higher quality. Distance to the nearest competitor negatively influenced host demography and brood production in the Bavarian community, pointing to an important role of competition, while social parasitism was less influential in this community. The New York community was characterized by the highest habitat variability, and productive colonies were clustered in sites of higher quality. Colonies were clumped on finer spatial scales, when we considered only the nearest neighbors, but more regularly distributed on coarser scales. The analysis of spatial positioning within plots often produced different results compared to those based on colony densities. For example, while host and slavemaker densities are often positively correlated, slavemakers do not nest closer to potential host colonies than expected by random. Conclusions The

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

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    Christopher N.S. Poonian

    2016-03-01

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

  19. Turtles for tessellations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Feijs, L.M.G.; Hu, J.

    2013-01-01

    We developed an approach to creating vector graphics representations of tessellations for purposes of teaching creative programming and laser cutting. The approach is based on turtle graphics. The lines of the turtle’s trail define the tiles of the tessellation. The turtle is defined in an

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-01

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

  2. Validation of ultrasound as a noninvasive tool to measure subcutaneous fat depth in leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Heather S.; Benson, Scott R.; James, Michael C.; Martin, Kelly J.; Stacy, Brian A.; Daoust, Pierre-Yves; Rist, Paul M.; Work, Thierry M.; Balazs, George H.; Seminoff, Jeffrey A.

    2016-01-01

    Leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) undergo substantial cyclical changes in body condition between foraging and nesting. Ultrasonography has been used to measure subcutaneous fat as an indicator of body condition in many species but has not been applied in sea turtles. To validate this technique in leatherback turtles, ultrasound images were obtained from 36 live-captured and dead-stranded immature and adult turtles from foraging and nesting areas in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Ultrasound measurements were compared with direct measurements from surgical biopsy or necropsy. Tissue architecture was confirmed histologically in a subset of turtles. The dorsal shoulder region provided the best site for differentiation of tissues. Maximum fat depth values with the front flipper in a neutral (45–90°) position demonstrated good correlation with direct measurements. Ultrasound-derived fat measurements may be used in the future for quantitative assessment of body condition as an index of health in this critically endangered species.

  3. VALIDATION OF ULTRASOUND AS A NONINVASIVE TOOL TO MEASURE SUBCUTANEOUS FAT DEPTH IN LEATHERBACK SEA TURTLES (DERMOCHELYS CORIACEA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Heather S; Benson, Scott R; James, Michael C; Martin, Kelly J; Stacy, Brian A; Daoust, Pierre-Yves; Rist, Paul M; Work, Thierry M; Balazs, George H; Seminoff, Jeffrey A

    2016-03-01

    Leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) undergo substantial cyclical changes in body condition between foraging and nesting. Ultrasonography has been used to measure subcutaneous fat as an indicator of body condition in many species but has not been applied in sea turtles. To validate this technique in leatherback turtles, ultrasound images were obtained from 36 live-captured and dead-stranded immature and adult turtles from foraging and nesting areas in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Ultrasound measurements were compared with direct measurements from surgical biopsy or necropsy. Tissue architecture was confirmed histologically in a subset of turtles. The dorsal shoulder region provided the best site for differentiation of tissues. Maximum fat depth values with the front flipper in a neutral (45-90°) position demonstrated good correlation with direct measurements. Ultrasound-derived fat measurements may be used in the future for quantitative assessment of body condition as an index of health in this critically endangered species.

  4. Non-invasive genetics outperforms morphological methods in faecal dietary analysis, revealing wild boar as a considerable conservation concern for ground-nesting birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oja, Ragne; Soe, Egle; Valdmann, Harri; Saarma, Urmas

    2017-01-01

    Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) and other grouse species represent conservation concerns across Europe due to their negative abundance trends. In addition to habitat deterioration, predation is considered a major factor contributing to population declines. While the role of generalist predators on grouse predation is relatively well known, the impact of the omnivorous wild boar has remained elusive. We hypothesize that wild boar is an important predator of ground-nesting birds, but has been neglected as a bird predator because traditional morphological methods underestimate the proportion of birds in wild boar diet. To distinguish between different mammalian predator species, as well as different grouse prey species, we developed a molecular method based on the analysis of mitochondrial DNA that allows accurate species identification. We collected 109 wild boar faeces at protected capercaillie leks and surrounding areas and analysed bird consumption using genetic methods and classical morphological examination. Genetic analysis revealed that the proportion of birds in wild boar faeces was significantly higher (17.3%; 4.5×) than indicated by morphological examination (3.8%). Moreover, the genetic method allowed considerably more precise taxonomic identification of consumed birds compared to morphological analysis. Our results demonstrate: (i) the value of using genetic approaches in faecal dietary analysis due to their higher sensitivity, and (ii) that wild boar is an important predator of ground-nesting birds, deserving serious consideration in conservation planning for capercaillie and other grouse.

  5. 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.

  6. 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. PMID

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert J Ossiboff

    Full Text Available 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.

  8. 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

  9. AMAPPS turtle data

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

  16. Cutaneous fibroma in a captive common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzales-Viera, O; Bauer, G; Bauer, A; Aguiar, L S; Brito, L T; Catão-Dias, J L

    2012-11-01

    An adult female common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) had a mass on the plantar surface of the right forelimb that was removed surgically. Microscopical examination revealed many spindle cells with mild anisocytosis and anisokaryosis and a surrounding collagenous stroma. There were no mitoses. Immunohistochemistry showed that the spindle cells expressed vimentin, but not desmin. A diagnosis of cutaneous fibroma was made. Tumours are reported uncommonly in chelonian species. Cutaneous fibroma has been diagnosed in an alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii), but not previously in a common snapping turtle. Crown Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. The Classroom Animal: Snapping Turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kramer, David C.

    1987-01-01

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

  18. Sea Turtle Radio Telemetry Data

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  19. 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...

  20. 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

    Turtles (Testudinata) are a successful lineage of vertebrates with about 350 extant species that inhabit all major oceans and landmasses with tropical to temperate climates. The rich fossil record of turtles documents the adaptation of various sub-lineages to a broad range of habitat preferences, but a synthetic biogeographic model is still lacking for the group. We herein describe a new species of fossil turtle from the Late Jurassic of Xinjiang, China, Sichuanchelys palatodentata sp. nov., that is highly unusual by plesiomorphically exhibiting palatal teeth. Phylogenetic analysis places the Late Jurassic Sichuanchelys palatodentata in a clade with the Late Cretaceous Mongolochelys efremovi outside crown group Testudines thereby establishing the prolonged presence of a previously unrecognized clade of turtles in Asia, herein named Sichuanchelyidae. In contrast to previous hypotheses, M. efremovi and Kallokibotion bajazidi are not found within Meiolaniformes, a clade that is here reinterpreted as being restricted to Gondwana. A revision of the global distribution of fossil and recent turtle reveals that the three primary lineages of derived, aquatic turtles, including the crown, Paracryptodira, Pan-Pleurodira, and Pan-Cryptodira can be traced back to the Middle Jurassic of Euramerica, Gondwana, and Asia, respectively, which resulted from the primary break up of Pangaea at that time. The two primary lineages of Pleurodira, Pan-Pelomedusoides and Pan-Chelidae, can similarly be traced back to the Cretaceous of northern and southern Gondwana, respectively, which were separated from one another by a large desert zone during that time. The primary divergence of crown turtles was therefore driven by vicariance to the primary freshwater aquatic habitat of these lineages. The temporally persistent lineages of basal turtles, Helochelydridae, Meiolaniformes, Sichuanchelyidae, can similarly be traced back to the Late Mesozoic of Euramerica, southern Gondwana, and Asia. Given

  1. Triangular Nests!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, R. I.

    2002-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Multiple Polyploidization Events across Asteraceae with Two Nested Events in the Early History Revealed by Nuclear Phylogenomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Chien-Hsun; Zhang, Caifei; Liu, Mian; Hu, Yi; Gao, Tiangang; Qi, Ji; Ma, Hong

    2016-11-01

    Biodiversity results from multiple evolutionary mechanisms, including genetic variation and natural selection. Whole-genome duplications (WGDs), or polyploidizations, provide opportunities for large-scale genetic modifications. Many evolutionarily successful lineages, including angiosperms and vertebrates, are ancient polyploids, suggesting that WGDs are a driving force in evolution. However, this hypothesis is challenged by the observed lower speciation and higher extinction rates of recently formed polyploids than diploids. Asteraceae includes about 10% of angiosperm species, is thus undoubtedly one of the most successful lineages and paleopolyploidization was suggested early in this family using a small number of datasets. Here, we used genes from 64 new transcriptome datasets and others to reconstruct a robust Asteraceae phylogeny, covering 73 species from 18 tribes in six subfamilies. We estimated their divergence times and further identified multiple potential ancient WGDs within several tribes and shared by the Heliantheae alliance, core Asteraceae (Asteroideae-Mutisioideae), and also with the sister family Calyceraceae. For two of the WGD events, there were subsequent great increases in biodiversity; the older one proceeded the divergence of at least 10 subfamilies within 10 My, with great variation in morphology and physiology, whereas the other was followed by extremely high species richness in the Heliantheae alliance clade. Our results provide different evidence for several WGDs in Asteraceae and reveal distinct association among WGD events, dramatic changes in environment and species radiations, providing a possible scenario for polyploids to overcome the disadvantages of WGDs and to evolve into lineages with high biodiversity. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  4. 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.

  5. Persistent Leatherback Turtle Migrations Present Opportunities for Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

    Effective transboundary conservation of highly migratory marine animals requires international management cooperation as well as clear scientific information about habitat use by these species. Populations of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) in the eastern Pacific have declined by >90% during the past two decades, primarily due to unsustainable egg harvest and fisheries bycatch mortality. While research and conservation efforts on nesting beaches are ongoing, relatively little is known about this population of leatherbacks' oceanic habitat use and migration pathways. We present the largest multi-year (2004–2005, 2005–2006, and 2007) satellite tracking dataset (12,095 cumulative satellite tracking days) collected for leatherback turtles. Forty-six females were electronically tagged during three field seasons at Playa Grande, Costa Rica, the largest extant nesting colony in the eastern Pacific. After completing nesting, the turtles headed southward, traversing the dynamic equatorial currents with rapid, directed movements. In contrast to the highly varied dispersal patterns seen in many other sea turtle populations, leatherbacks from Playa Grande traveled within a persistent migration corridor from Costa Rica, past the equator, and into the South Pacific Gyre, a vast, low-energy, low-productivity region. We describe the predictable effects of ocean currents on a leatherback migration corridor and characterize long-distance movements by the turtles in the eastern South Pacific. These data from high seas habitats will also elucidate potential areas for mitigating fisheries bycatch interactions. These findings directly inform existing multinational conservation frameworks and provide immediate regions in the migration corridor where conservation can be implemented. We identify high seas locations for focusing future conservation efforts within the leatherback dispersal zone in the South Pacific Gyre. PMID:18630987

  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. Turtle Watch: Community Engagement and Action

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Elaine; Baudains, Catherine

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daphne Wrobel Goldberg

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Establishing demographic parameters for loggerhead turtles in the northeastern Pacific Ocean: growth rates, age determination, annual habitat use, and population connectivity

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Loggerhead turtles nesting in Japan (i.e. the source rookery for individuals along the U.S. West coast and Pacific Mexico) have recently been declared a Distinct...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  13. Evolution of the turtle body plan by the folding and creation of new muscle connections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagashima, Hiroshi; Sugahara, Fumiaki; Takechi, Masaki; Ericsson, Rolf; Kawashima-Ohya, Yoshie; Narita, Yuichi; Kuratani, Shigeru

    2009-07-10

    The turtle shell offers a fascinating case study of vertebrate evolution, based on the modification of a common body plan. The carapace is formed from ribs, which encapsulate the scapula; this stands in contrast to the typical amniote body plan and serves as a key to understanding turtle evolution. Comparative analyses of musculoskeletal development between the Chinese soft-shelled turtle and other amniotes revealed that initial turtle development conforms to the amniote pattern; however, during embryogenesis, lateral rib growth results in a shift of elements. In addition, some limb muscles establish new turtle-specific attachments associated with carapace formation. We propose that the evolutionary origin of the turtle body plan results from heterotopy based on folding and novel connectivities.

  14. The origin of the turtle body plan: bridging a famous morphological gap.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, M S

    1993-09-24

    A restudy of pareiasaurs reveals that these primitive reptiles are the nearest relatives of turtles. The two groups share numerous derived characters, such as a reduced presacral count, an acromion process, and a trochanter major, which are absent in other basal amniotes. Many traits long thought specific to chelonians also occur in pareiasaurs and must have evolved before the distinctive turtle shell appeared. Evidence uniting captorhinid or procolophonoids with turtles is shown to be weak. The phylogeny proposed here also suggests that certain features of the earliest turtle (Proganochelys) that have been interpreted as specializations, such as the large supratemporal and robust metacarpals, are primitive for turtles. In pareiasaurs, the osteoderms represent the precursors of the chelonian shell and the morphology of the anterior region is consistent with the idea that the shoulder girdle in turtles has migrated posteriorly into the rib cage.

  15. Nest marking behavior and chemical composition of olfactory cues involved in nest recognition in Megachile rotundata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guédot, Christelle; Buckner, James S; Hagen, Marcia M; Bosch, Jordi; Kemp, William P; Pitts-Singer, Theresa L

    2013-08-01

    In-nest observations of the solitary bee, Megachile rotundata (F.), revealed that nesting females apply olfactory cues to nests for nest recognition. On their way in and out of the nest, females drag the abdomen along the entire length of the nest, and sometimes deposit fluid droplets from the tip of the abdomen. The removal of bee-marked sections of the nest resulted in hesitation and searching behavior by females, indicating the loss of olfactory cues used for nest recognition. Chemical analysis of female cuticles and the deposits inside marked nesting tubes revealed the presence of hydrocarbons, wax esters, fatty aldehydes, and fatty alcohol acetate esters. Chemical compositions were similar across tube samples, but proportionally different from cuticular extracts. These findings reveal the importance of lipids as chemical signals for nest recognition and suggest that the nest-marking cues are derived from a source in addition to, or other than, the female cuticle.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meletis Zoe

    2010-01-01

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

  17. Hawaii ESI: NESTS (Nest Points)

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  18. Maryland ESI: NESTS (Nest Points)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for raptors in Maryland. Vector points in this data set represent bird nesting sites. Species-specific...

  19. Louisiana ESI: NESTS (Nest Points)

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  20. Use of Dry Tortugas National Park by threatened and endangered marine turtles: Chapter 5

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    Satellite and acoustic tracking results for green turtles, hawksbills, and loggerheads have revealed patterns in the proportion of time that tagged turtles spend within various zones of the park, including the RNA. Green turtles primarily utilize the shallow areas in the northern portion of the park. Hawksbills were mostly observed near Garden Key and loggerheads were observed throughout DRTO. Our record of turtle captures, recaptures, and sightings over the last 4 years serves as a baseline database for understanding the size classes of each species present in the park, as well as species-specific habitats in DRTO waters.

  1. Effects of environmentally relevant concentrations of atrazine on gonadal development of snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina).

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Solla, Shane R; Martin, Pamela A; Fernie, Kimberly J; Park, Brad J; Mayne, Gregory

    2006-02-01

    The herbicide atrazine has been suspected of affecting sexual development by inducing aromatase, resulting in the increased conversion of androgens to estrogens. We used snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina), a species in which sex is dependent on the production of estrogen through aromatase activity in a temperature-dependent manner, to investigate if environmentally relevant exposures to atrazine affected gonadal development. Eggs were incubated in soil to which atrazine was applied at a typical field application rate (3.1 L/ha), 10-fold this rate (31 L/ha), and a control rate (no atrazine) for the duration of embryonic development. The incubation temperature (25 degrees C) was selected to produce only males. Although some males with testicular oocytes and females were produced in the atrazine-treated groups (3.3-3.7%) but not in the control group, no statistical differences were found among treatments. Furthermore, snapping turtle eggs collected from natural nests in a corn field were incubated at the pivotal temperature (27.5 degrees C) at which both males and females normally would be produced, and some males had oocytes in the testes (15.4%). The presence of low numbers of males with oocytes may be a natural phenomenon, and we have limited evidence to suggest that the presence of normal males with oocytes may represent a feminizing effect of atrazine. Histological examination of the thyroid gland revealed no effect on thyroid morphology.

  2. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paolo Casale

    2011-03-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Beach Geomorphology and Kemp's Ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) Nest Site Selection along Padre Island, Texas, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Culver, M.; Gibeaut, J. C.; Shaver, D. J.; Tissot, P.; Starek, M. J.

    2017-12-01

    The Kemp's ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii) is the most endangered sea turtle in the world, largely due to the limited geographic range of its nesting habitat. In the U.S., the majority of nesting occurs along Padre Island National Seashore (PAIS) in Texas. There has been limited research regarding the connection between beach geomorphology and Kemp's ridley nesting patterns, but studies concerning other sea turtle species suggest that certain beach geomorphology variables, such as beach slope and width, influence nest site selection. This research investigates terrestrial habitat variability of the Kemp's ridley sea turtle and quantifies the connection between beach geomorphology and Kemp's ridley nest site selection on PAIS and South Padre Island, Texas. Airborne topographic lidar data collected annually along the Texas coast from 2009 through 2012 was utilized to extract beach geomorphology characteristics, such as beach slope and width, dune height, and surface roughness, among others. The coordinates of observed Kemp's ridley nests from corresponding years were integrated with the aforementioned data in statistical models, which analyzed the influence of both general trends in geomorphology and individual morphologic variables on nest site selection. This research identified the terrestrial habitat variability of the Kemp's ridley and quantified the range of geomorphic characteristics of nesting beaches. Initial results indicate that dune width, beach width, and wind speed are significant variables in relation to nest presence, using an alpha of 0.1. Higher wind speeds and narrower beaches and foredunes favor nest presence. The average nest elevation is 1.13 m above mean sea level, which corresponds to the area directly below the potential vegetation line, and the majority of nesting occurs between the elevations of 0.68 m and 1.4 m above mean sea level. The results of this study include new information regarding Kemp's ridley beach habitat and its

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-15

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

  9. Occupancy modeling reveals territory-level effects of nest boxes on the presence, colonization, and persistence of a declining raptor in a fruit-growing region.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Megan E Shave

    Full Text Available Nest boxes for predators in agricultural regions are an easily implemented tool to improve local habitat quality with potential benefits for both conservation and agriculture. The potential for nest boxes to increase raptor populations in agricultural regions is of particular interest given their positions as top predators. This study examined the effects of cherry orchard nest boxes on the local breeding population of a declining species, the American Kestrel (Falco sparverius, in a fruit-growing region of Michigan. During the 2013-2016 study, we added a total of 23 new nest boxes in addition to 24 intact boxes installed previously; kestrels used up to 100% of our new boxes each season. We conducted temporally-replicated surveys along four roadside transects divided into 1.6 km × 500 m sites. We developed a multi-season occupancy model under a Bayesian framework and found that nest boxes had strong positive effects on first-year site occupancy, site colonization, and site persistence probabilities. The estimated number of occupied sites increased between 2013 and 2016, which correlated with the increase in number of sites with boxes. Kestrel detections decreased with survey date but were not affected by time of day or activity at the boxes themselves. These results indicate that nest boxes determined the presence of kestrels at our study sites and support the conclusion that the local kestrel population is likely limited by nest site availability. Furthermore, our results are highly relevant to the farmers on whose properties the boxes were installed, for we can conclude that installing a nest box in an orchard resulted in a high probability of kestrels occupying that orchard or the areas adjacent to it.

  10. Occupancy modeling reveals territory-level effects of nest boxes on the presence, colonization, and persistence of a declining raptor in a fruit-growing region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shave, Megan E; Lindell, Catherine A

    2017-01-01

    Nest boxes for predators in agricultural regions are an easily implemented tool to improve local habitat quality with potential benefits for both conservation and agriculture. The potential for nest boxes to increase raptor populations in agricultural regions is of particular interest given their positions as top predators. This study examined the effects of cherry orchard nest boxes on the local breeding population of a declining species, the American Kestrel (Falco sparverius), in a fruit-growing region of Michigan. During the 2013-2016 study, we added a total of 23 new nest boxes in addition to 24 intact boxes installed previously; kestrels used up to 100% of our new boxes each season. We conducted temporally-replicated surveys along four roadside transects divided into 1.6 km × 500 m sites. We developed a multi-season occupancy model under a Bayesian framework and found that nest boxes had strong positive effects on first-year site occupancy, site colonization, and site persistence probabilities. The estimated number of occupied sites increased between 2013 and 2016, which correlated with the increase in number of sites with boxes. Kestrel detections decreased with survey date but were not affected by time of day or activity at the boxes themselves. These results indicate that nest boxes determined the presence of kestrels at our study sites and support the conclusion that the local kestrel population is likely limited by nest site availability. Furthermore, our results are highly relevant to the farmers on whose properties the boxes were installed, for we can conclude that installing a nest box in an orchard resulted in a high probability of kestrels occupying that orchard or the areas adjacent to it.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lalire, Maxime

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaspar, Philippe; Lalire, Maxime

    2017-01-01

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

  13. The first “lost year” of Mediterranean sea turtles: dispersal patterns indicate subregional management units for conservation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Casale, Paolo; Mariani, Patrizio

    2014-01-01

    Identifying highly frequented areas is a priority for sea turtle conservation, and the distribution of young individuals in open waters represents a major knowledge gap due to methodological biases. The drift of hatchlings from 38 loggerhead and 10 green turtle nesting sites in the Mediterranean......-scale international approach. In-water studies in specific zones are identified as a research priority for improving the current knowledge and inform conservation plans....... The Levantine zone may be particularly key for the conservation of the Mediterranean populations of both species, since it may host the highest concentration of individuals. Subregional management units identified by dispersal patterns may facilitate turtle conservation through a relatively small...

  14. Ocular fibropapillomas of green turtles (Chelonia mydas).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, D E; Ginn, P E; Miller, T R; Bramson, L; Jacobson, E R

    1994-05-01

    Histologic evaluation of four eyes from three stranded juvenile green turtles (Chelonia mydas) from Florida, USA revealed ocular fibropapillomas composed of an overlying hyperplastic epithelium, various amounts of a thickened, well vascularized, collagenous stroma, and a moderate-to-dense population of reactive fibroblasts. The histologic morphology of the ocular fibropapillomas varied depending on whether the eyelid, conjunctiva, limbus, or cornea was the primary site of tumor origin. Fibropapillomas arising from the limbus, conjunctiva, or eyelid tended to be polyploid or pedunculated with a high degree of arborization. They often filled the conjunctival fornices and extended externally to be ulcerated on the distal aspects. Corneal fibropapillomas were more sessile and multinodular with less arborization. Some corneal tumors consisted primarily of a broad fibrovascular stroma and mild epithelial hyperplasia, whereas others had a markedly hyperplastic epithelium supported by stalks of fibrovascular stromal tissue. In green turtles ocular fibropapillomas may be locally invasive and associated with severe blindness and systemic debilitation.

  15. "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…

  16. Nest Construction by a Ground-nesting Bird Represents a Potential Trade-off Between Egg Crypticity and Thermoregulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Predation selects against conspicuous colors in bird eggs and nests, while thermoregulatory constraints select for nest building behavior that regulates incubation temperatures. We present results that reveal a trade-off between nest crypticity and thermoregulation of eggs base...

  17. Recent Demographic History and Present Fine-Scale Structure in the Northwest Atlantic Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) Turtle Population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molfetti, Érica; Torres Vilaça, Sibelle; Georges, Jean-Yves; Plot, Virginie; Delcroix, Eric; Le Scao, Rozen; Lavergne, Anne; Barrioz, Sébastien; dos Santos, Fabrício Rodrigues; de Thoisy, Benoît

    2013-01-01

    The leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea is the most widely distributed sea turtle species in the world. It exhibits complex life traits: female homing and migration, migrations of juveniles and males that remain poorly known, and a strong climatic influence on resources, breeding success and sex-ratio. It is consequently challenging to understand population dynamics. Leatherbacks are critically endangered, yet the group from the Northwest Atlantic is currently considered to be under lower risk than other populations while hosting some of the largest rookeries. Here, we investigated the genetic diversity and the demographic history of contrasted rookeries from this group, namely two large nesting populations in French Guiana, and a smaller one in the French West Indies. We used 10 microsatellite loci, of which four are newly isolated, and mitochondrial DNA sequences of the control region and cytochrome b. Both mitochondrial and nuclear markers revealed that the Northwest Atlantic stock of leatherbacks derives from a single ancestral origin, but show current genetic structuration at the scale of nesting sites, with the maintenance of migrants amongst rookeries. Low nuclear genetic diversities are related to founder effects that followed consequent bottlenecks during the late Pleistocene/Holocene. Most probably in response to climatic oscillations, with a possible influence of early human hunting, female effective population sizes collapsed from 2 million to 200. Evidence of founder effects and high numbers of migrants make it possible to reconsider the population dynamics of the species, formerly considered as a metapopulation model: we propose a more relaxed island model, which we expect to be a key element in the currently observed recovering of populations. Although these Northwest Atlantic rookeries should be considered as a single evolutionary unit, we stress that local conservation efforts remain necessary since each nesting site hosts part of the genetic

  18. Western Pond Turtle Head-starting and Reintroduction, 2005-2006 Annual Report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2006-11-01

    This report covers the results of the western pond turtle head-starting and reintroduction project for the period of October 2005-September 2006. Wild hatchling western pond turtles from the Columbia River Gorge were reared at the Woodland Park and Oregon zoos in 2005 and 2006 as part of the recovery effort for this Washington State endangered species. The objective of the program is to reduce losses to introduced predators like bullfrogs and largemouth bass by raising the hatchlings to a size where they are too large to be eaten by most of these predators. Twenty-six turtles were placed at the Woodland Park Zoo and 62 at the Oregon Zoo in fall 2005. These turtles joined two that were held back from release in summer 2005 due to their small size. All 90 juvenile turtles were released at three sites in the Columbia Gorge in 2006. Twenty-eight juvenile turtles were released at the Klickitat ponds, 22 at the Klickitat lake, 21 at the Skamania site, and 19 at Pierce National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). This brought the total number of head-start turtles released since 1991 to 944; 285 for the Klickitat ponds, 158 for the Klickitat lake, 227 for the Skamania pond complex, and 274 at Pierce NWR. In 2006, 20 females from the Klickitat population were equipped with transmitters and monitored for nesting activity. Fifteen nests were located and protected; these produced 55 hatchlings. The hatchlings were collected in September and transported to the Oregon and Woodland Park zoos for rearing in the head-start program. One wild hatchling captured in spring 2006 was placed in the head-start program to attain more growth in captivity. During the 2006 field season trapping effort, 414 western pond turtles were captured in the Columbia Gorge, including 374 previously head-started turtles. These recaptures, together with confirmed nesting by head-start females and visual resightings, indicate the program is succeeding in boosting juvenile recruitment to increase the populations

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Unusual raptor nests around the world

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, D.H.; Craig, T.; Craig, E.; Postupalsky, S.; LaRue, C.T.; Nelson, R.W.; Anderson, D.W.; Henny, C.J.; Watson, J.; Millsap, B.A.; Dawson, J.W.; Cole, K.L.; Martin, E.M.; Margalida, A.; Kung, P.

    2009-01-01

    From surveys in many countries, we report raptors using unusual nesting materials (e.g., paper money, rags, metal, antlers, and large bones) and unusual nesting situations. For example, we documented nests of Steppe Eagles Aquila nipalensis and Upland Buzzards Buteo hemilasius on the ground beside well-traveled roads, Saker Falcon Falco cherrug eyries in attics and a cistern, and Osprey Pandion haliaetus nests on the masts of boats and on a suspended automobile. Other records include a Golden Eagle A. chrysaetos nest 7.0 m in height, believed to be the tallest nest ever described, and, for the same species, we report nesting in rudimentary nests. Some nest sites are within a few meters of known predators or competitors. These unusual observations may be important in revealing the plasticity of a species' behavioral repertoire. ?? 2009 The Raptor Research Foundation, Inc.

  2. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Vasoactivity of hydrogen sulfide in normoxic and anoxic turtles (Trachemys scripta)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stecyk, Jonathan A.W.; Jensen, Nini Skovgaard; Nilsson, Göran E.

    2010-01-01

    Systemic vascular resistance (Rsys) of freshwater turtles increases substantially during anoxia, but the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. We investigated whether hydrogen sulfide (H2S), an endogenously produced metabolite believed to be an O2 sensor/transducer of vasomotor tone......, contributes to the increased Rsys of anoxic red-eared slider turtles (Trachemys scripta). Vascular infusion of the H2S donor NaHS in anesthetized turtles at 21°C and fully recovered normoxic turtles at 5°C and 21°C revealed H2S to be a potent vasoconstrictor of the systemic circulation. Likewise, wire...... myography of isolated turtle mesenteric and pulmonary arteries demonstrated H2S to mediate an anoxia-induced constriction. Intriguingly, however, NaHS did not exert vasoconstrictory effects during anoxia (6 h at 21°C; 14 days at 5°C) when plasma H2S concentration, estimated from the colorimetric measurement...

  6. The relationship between gut contents and supercooling capacity in hatchling painted turtles (Chrysemys picta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Packard, Gary C; Packard, Mary J

    2006-05-01

    Painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) typically spend their first winter of life in a shallow, subterranean hibernaculum (the natal nest) where they seemingly withstand exposure to ice and cold by resisting freezing and becoming supercooled. However, turtles ingest soil and fragments of eggshell as they are hatching from their eggs, and the ingestate usually contains efficient nucleating agents that cause water to freeze at high subzero temperatures. Consequently, neonatal painted turtles have only a modest ability to undergo supercooling in the period immediately after hatching. We studied the limit for supercooling (SCP) in hatchlings that were acclimating to different thermal regimes and then related SCPs of the turtles to the amount of particulate matter in their gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Turtles that were transferred directly from 26 degrees C (the incubation temperature) to 2 degrees C did not purge soil from their gut, and SCPs for these animals remained near -4 degrees C for the 60 days of the study. Animals that were held at 26 degrees C for the duration of the experiment usually cleared soil from their GI tract within 24 days, but SCPs for these turtles were only slightly lower after 60 days than they were at the outset of the experiment. Hatchlings that were acclimating slowly to 2 degrees C cleared soil from their gut within 24 days and realized a modest reduction in their SCP. However, the limit of supercooling in the slowly acclimating animals continued to decline even after all particulate material had been removed from their GI tract, thereby indicating that factors intrinsic to the nucleating agents themselves also may have been involved in the acclimation of hatchlings to low temperature. The lowest SCPs for turtles that were acclimating slowly to 2 degrees C were similar to SCPs recorded in an earlier study of animals taken from natural nests in late autumn, so the current findings affirm the importance of seasonally declining temperatures in

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  8. Seasonal change in the capacity for supercooling by neonatal painted turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Packard, G C; Packard, M J; McDaniel, L L

    2001-05-01

    Hatchlings of the North American painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) typically spend their first winter of life inside the shallow, subterranean nest where they completed incubation the preceding summer. This facet of their natural history commonly causes neonates in northerly populations to be exposed in mid-winter to ice and cold, which many animals survive by remaining unfrozen and supercooled. We measured the limit of supercooling in samples of turtles taken shortly after hatching and in other samples after 2 months of acclimation (or acclimatization) to a reduced temperature in the laboratory or field. Animals initially had only a limited capacity for supercooling, but they acquired an ability to undergo deeper supercooling during the course of acclimation. The gut of most turtles was packed with particles of soil and eggshell shortly after hatching, but not after acclimation. Thus, the relatively high limit of supercooling for turtles in the days immediately after hatching may have resulted from the ingestion of soil (and associated nucleating agents) by the animals as they were freeing themselves from their eggshell, whereas the relatively low limit of supercooling attained by acclimated turtles may have resulted from their purging their gut of its contents. Parallels may, therefore, exist between the natural-history strategy expressed by hatchling painted turtles and that expressed by numerous terrestrial arthropods that withstand the cold of winter by sustaining a state of supercooling.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia Azanza Ricardo

    2013-12-01

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

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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....

  15. 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....

  16. Sea Turtle Satellite Telemetry Data

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  17. Metals and metalloids in whole blood and tissues of Olive Ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) from La Escobilla Beach (Oaxaca, Mexico)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cortés-Gómez, Adriana A.; Fuentes-Mascorro, Gisela; Romero, Diego

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • We evaluate the concentrations of inorganic pollutants in Olive Ridley turtles. • Information can be used to monitoring the pollutants in habitats of sea turtles. • The renal cadmium levels is the highest ever reported worldwide for any sea turtle species. • Pb levels have declined in recent years in this population. - Abstract: Concentrations of eight metals and metalloids (Pb, Cd, Cu, Zn, Mn, Se, Ni and As) were evaluated from 41 nesting females (blood) and 13 dead (tissues) Olive Ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea), a species classified as vulnerable and also listed in Appendix I of the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). The mean blood, liver and kidney lead concentration were 0.02 ± 0.01, 0.11 ± 0.08 and 0.06 ± 0.03 μg g −1 ww respectively, values lower than other turtle species and locations, which it could be due to the gradual disuse of leaded gasoline in Mexico and Central America since the 1990s. Mean concentration of cadmium was 0.17 ± 0.08 (blood), 82.88 ± 36.65 (liver) and 150.88 ± 110.99 μg g −1 (kidney). To our knowledge, the mean renal cadmium levels found is the highest ever reported worldwide for any sea turtle species, while other six elements showed a concentration similar to other studies in sea turtles

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wendy E D Piniak

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

  19. Experimental feeding of Hydrilla verticillata colonized by stigonematales cyanobacteria induces vacuolar myelinopathy in painted turtles (Chrysemys picta.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Albert D Mercurio

    Full Text Available Vacuolar myelinopathy (VM is a neurologic disease primarily found in birds that occurs when wildlife ingest submerged aquatic vegetation colonized by an uncharacterized toxin-producing cyanobacterium (hereafter "UCB" for "uncharacterized cyanobacterium". Turtles are among the closest extant relatives of birds and many species directly and/or indirectly consume aquatic vegetation. However, it is unknown whether turtles can develop VM. We conducted a feeding trial to determine whether painted turtles (Chrysemys picta would develop VM after feeding on Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata, colonized by the UCB (Hydrilla is the most common "host" of UCB. We hypothesized turtles fed Hydrilla colonized by the UCB would exhibit neurologic impairment and vacuolation of nervous tissues, whereas turtles fed Hydrilla free of the UCB would not. The ability of Hydrilla colonized by the UCB to cause VM (hereafter, "toxicity" was verified by feeding it to domestic chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus or necropsy of field collected American coots (Fulica americana captured at the site of Hydrilla collections. We randomly assigned ten wild-caught turtles into toxic or non-toxic Hydrilla feeding groups and delivered the diets for up to 97 days. Between days 82 and 89, all turtles fed toxic Hydrilla displayed physical and/or neurologic impairment. Histologic examination of the brain and spinal cord revealed vacuolations in all treatment turtles. None of the control turtles exhibited neurologic impairment or had detectable brain or spinal cord vacuolations. This is the first evidence that freshwater turtles can become neurologically impaired and develop vacuolations after consuming toxic Hydrilla colonized with the UCB. The southeastern United States, where outbreaks of VM occur regularly and where vegetation colonized by the UCB is common, is also a global hotspot of freshwater turtle diversity. Our results suggest that further investigations into the effect of the

  20. Sea Turtle Research Program Summary Report

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    1997-01-01

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

  1. Sea turtle photo-identification database

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-05-01

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

  5. Nest predators of open and cavity nesting birds in oak woodlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kathryn L. Purcell; Jared Verner

    1999-01-01

    Camera setups revealed at least three species of rodents and seven species of birds as potential predators at artificial open nests. Surprisingly, among avian predators identified at open nests, one third were Bullock's Orioles (Icterus bullockii). Two rodent species and three bird species were potential predators at artificial cavity nests. This high predator...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  7. Western Pond Turtle Head-starting and Reintroduction; 2004-2005 Annual Report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2005-09-01

    This report covers the results of the western pond turtle head-starting and reintroduction project for the period of October 2004-September 2005. Wild hatchling western pond turtles from the Columbia River Gorge were reared at the Woodland Park and Oregon Zoos in 2004 and 2005 as part of the recovery effort for this Washington State endangered species. The objective of the program is to reduce losses to introduced predators like bullfrogs and largemouth bass by raising the hatchlings to a size where they are too large to be eaten by most of these predators. Thirty-five turtles were placed at the Woodland Park Zoo and 53 at the Oregon Zoo. Of these, 77 head-started juvenile turtles were released at three sites in the Columbia Gorge in 2005. Four were held back to attain more growth in captivity. Eleven were released at the Klickitat ponds, 22 at the Klickitat lake, 39 at the Skamania site, and 5 at Pierce National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). This brought the total number of head-start turtles released since 1991 to 257 for the Klickitat ponds, 136 for the Klickitat lake, 206 for the Skamania pond complex, and 255 at Pierce NWR. In 2005, 34 females from the two Columbia Gorge populations were equipped with transmitters and monitored for nesting activity. Twenty-four nests were located and protected; these produced 90 hatchlings. The hatchlings were collected in September and transported to the Oregon and Woodland Park zoos for rearing in the head-start program. During the 2005 field season trapping effort, 486 western pond turtles were captured in the Columbia Gorge, including 430 previously head-started turtles. These recaptures, together with confirmed nesting by head-start females and visual resightings, indicate the program is succeeding in boosting juvenile recruitment to increase the populations. Records were also collected on 216 individual painted turtles captured in 2005 during trapping efforts at Pierce NWR, to gather baseline information on this native

  8. 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...

  9. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  12. Effects of environmental contaminants on snapping turtles of a tidal wetland

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Albers, P H; Sileo, L; Mulhern, B M

    1986-01-01

    Snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) were collected from a brackish-water and a nearly freshwater area in the contaminated Hackensack Meadowlands of New Jersey and an uncontaminated freshwater area in Maryland to determine the effects of environmental contaminants on a resident wetland species. No turtles were observed or caught in Meadowlands at two trapping sites that were the most heavily contaminated by metals. Snapping turtles from the brackish-water area had an unusually low lipid content of body fat and reduced growth compared to turtles from the freshwater areas in New Jersey and Maryland. Despite the serious metal contamination of the Hackensack Meadowlands, the metal content of kidneys and livers from New Jersey turtles was low and not greatly different from that of the Maryland turtles. Organochlorine pesticide concentrations in body fat were generally low at all three study areas. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) concentrations in fat were highest in male turtles from the New Jersey brackish-water area. Analysis of blood for amino-levulinic acid dehydratase, albumin, glucose, hemoglobin, osmolatility, packed cell volume, total protein, triglycerides, and uric acid failed to reveal any differences among groups that would indicated physiological impairment related to contaminants.

  13. Effects of environmental contaminants on snapping turtles of a tidal wetland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albers, P.H.; Sileo, L.; Mulhern, B.M.

    1986-01-01

    Snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) were collected from a brackish-water and a nearly freshwater area in the contaminated Hackensack Meadowlands of New Jersey and an uncontaminated freshwater area in Maryland to determine the effects of environmental contaminants on a resident wetland species. No turtles were observed or caught in the Meadowlands at two trapping sites that were the most heavily contaminated by metals. Snapping turtles from the brackish-water area had an unusually low lipid content of body fat and reduced growth compared to turtles from the fresh-water areas in New Jersey and Maryland. Despite the serious metal contamination of the Hackensack Meadowlands, the metal content of kidneys and livers from New Jersey turtles was low and not greatly different from that of the Maryland turtles. Organochlorine pesticide concentrations in body fat were generally low at all three study areas. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) concentrations in fat were highest in male turtles from the New Jersey brackish-water area. Analysis of blood for amino-levulinic acid dehydratase, albumin, glucose, hemoglobin, osmolality, packed cell volume, total protein, triglycerides, and uric acid failed to reveal any differences among groups that would indicate physiological impairment related to contaminants.

  14. Skeletal remodelling suggests the turtle's shell is not an evolutionary straitjacket.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordero, Gerardo Antonio; Quinteros, Kevin

    2015-04-01

    Recent efforts to decipher the enigma of the turtle's shell revealed that distantly related turtle species deploy diverse processes during shell development. Even so, extant species share in common a shoulder blade (scapula) that is encapsulated within the shell. Thus, evolutionary change in the correlated development of the shell and scapula probably underpins the evolution of highly derived shell morphologies. To address this expectation, we conducted one of the most phylogenetically comprehensive surveys of turtle development, focusing on scapula growth and differentiation in embryos, hatchlings and adults of 13 species. We report, to our knowledge, the first description of secondary differentiation owing to skeletal remodelling of the tetrapod scapula in turtles with the most structurally derived shell phenotypes. Remodelling and secondary differentiation late in embryogenesis of box turtles (Emys and Terrapene) yielded a novel skeletal segment (i.e. the suprascapula) of high functional value to their complex shell-closing system. Remarkably, our analyses suggest that, in soft-shelled turtles (Trionychidae) with extremely flattened shells, a similar transformation is linked to truncated scapula growth. Skeletal remodelling, as a form of developmental plasticity, might enable the seemingly constrained turtle body plan to diversify, suggesting the shell is not an evolutionary straitjacket. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  15. 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.

  16. Skeletal remodelling suggests the turtle's shell is not an evolutionary straitjacket

    OpenAIRE

    Cordero, Gerardo Antonio; Quinteros, Kevin

    2015-01-01

    Recent efforts to decipher the enigma of the turtle's shell revealed that distantly related turtle species deploy diverse processes during shell development. Even so, extant species share in common a shoulder blade (scapula) that is encapsulated within the shell. Thus, evolutionary change in the correlated development of the shell and scapula probably underpins the evolution of highly derived shell morphologies. To address this expectation, we conducted one of the most phylogenetically compre...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan Sazima

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-12-09

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Purification and properties of glutathione reductase from liver of the anoxia-tolerant turtle, Trachemys scripta elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willmore, William G; Storey, Kenneth B

    2007-03-01

    Glutathione reductase (GR) is a homodimeric flavoprotein that catalyzes the reduction of oxidized glutathione (GSSG) using NADPH as a cofactor. The enzyme is a major component of cellular defense mechanisms against oxidative injury. In this study, GR was purified from the liver of the anoxia-tolerant turtle, Trachemys scripta elegans. The overall fold purifications were 13.3- and 12.1-fold with final specific activities of 5.5 and 1.44 U/mg of protein for control and anoxic turtle GR, respectively. SDS-PAGE of purified turtle liver GR showed a single protein band at approximately 55 kDa. Reverse phase HPLC of turtle GR revealed a single peak that had the same retention time as yeast GR. No new isoform of GR was detected in liver of T. s. elegans during anoxia. The K (m) values of turtle GR for GSSG and NADPH was 44.6 and 6.82 microM, respectively, suggesting a substantially higher affinity of turtle GR toward GSSG than most other vertebrates. Unlike other human GR, NADP(+ )did not inhibit turtle GR activity. The activation energy of turtle GR, calculated from the slope of the Arrhenius plot, was 32.2 +/- 2.64 kJ/mol. Turtle GR had high activity under a broad pH range (having activity between pHs 4 and 10; optimal activity at pH 6.5) and the enzyme maintains activity under the pH drop that occurs under anoxic conditions. The high affinity of turtle GR suggests that turtles have high redox buffering capacity of tissues to protect against oxidative stress encountered during anoxia/reoxygenation.

  2. Nesting ecology of Podocnemis expansa (Schweigger, 1812 and Podocnemis unifilis (Troschel, 1848 (Testudines, Podocnemididae in the Javaés River, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    PD. Ferreira Júnior

    Full Text Available Nest site has influence on incubation duration and hatching success of two Neotropical turtles, the Giant Amazon River Turtle (Podocnemis expansa and Yellow-Spotted Side-Neck Turtle (Podocnemis unifilis - "Tracajá". The 2000 and 2001 nesting seasons have been monitored at the Javaés River in Bananal Island, Brazil. Although they nest on the same beaches, there is a separation of the nesting areas of P unifilis and P. expansa nests on the upper parts of the beach. The incubation duration for P. expansa is influenced by the nesting period, the height of the nest from the river, the clutch size, and the grain size in the site of the nest. Nests of Podocnemis expansa placed in coarse sediments have shorter incubation duration than those placed in finer sediments. The hatching success in P. expansa is influenced by grain size, incubation duration, and nesting period. The grain size is negatively correlated with hatching success, indicating that the nests situated in finer-grained sand have better chances of successful egg hatching than those in coarser-grained sand. Nests of the end of the reproductive season have lower hatching success and incubation duration than those at the start of the season. For P. unifilis, the nesting period and nest depth influence the incubation duration; moreover, the river dynamics significantly affect the hatching success. The oscillation of the river level and the moment of initial increase, the height of the nest from the river level, and the nesting period are all decisive components for hatching success. The results of this research show the importance of protecting areas with great geological diversity, wherein the features of the environment can affect the microenvironment of nests, with consequences on incubation duration and hatching success.

  3. 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.

  4. Hierarchically nested river landform sequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasternack, G. B.; Weber, M. D.; Brown, R. A.; Baig, D.

    2017-12-01

    River corridors exhibit landforms nested within landforms repeatedly down spatial scales. In this study we developed, tested, and implemented a new way to create river classifications by mapping domains of fluvial processes with respect to the hierarchical organization of topographic complexity that drives fluvial dynamism. We tested this approach on flow convergence routing, a morphodynamic mechanism with different states depending on the structure of nondimensional topographic variability. Five nondimensional landform types with unique functionality (nozzle, wide bar, normal channel, constricted pool, and oversized) represent this process at any flow. When this typology is nested at base flow, bankfull, and floodprone scales it creates a system with up to 125 functional types. This shows how a single mechanism produces complex dynamism via nesting. Given the classification, we answered nine specific scientific questions to investigate the abundance, sequencing, and hierarchical nesting of these new landform types using a 35-km gravel/cobble river segment of the Yuba River in California. The nested structure of flow convergence routing landforms found in this study revealed that bankfull landforms are nested within specific floodprone valley landform types, and these types control bankfull morphodynamics during moderate to large floods. As a result, this study calls into question the prevailing theory that the bankfull channel of a gravel/cobble river is controlled by in-channel, bankfull, and/or small flood flows. Such flows are too small to initiate widespread sediment transport in a gravel/cobble river with topographic complexity.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaleyla Kelez

    2016-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark Allan Ditmer

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

  10. Nest-niche differentiation in two sympatric columbid species from a Mediterranean Tetraclinis woodland: Considerations for forest management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanane, Saâd; Yassin, Mohamed

    2017-01-01

    Studies of niche partitioning among Columbid species have mainly addressed food habits and foraging activities, while partitioning in relation to nest-niche differentiation has been little studied. Here we investigate whether two sympatric columbid species-Woodpigeon (Columba palumbus) and Turtle dove (Streptopelia turtur)-occupy similar niches. A total of 74 nests were monitored: 37 nests for each species. The study, conducted in June 2016, attempted to determine the factors that may play a role in nest-niche differentiation among the two sympatric columbid species in a Moroccan Thuya (Tetraclinis articulata) forest. We used Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Linear Discriminant Analysis (LDA) to test the relevance of nest placement, proximity of food resources, forest edge and human presence variables in the nest distribution of the two species. The results show substantial niche segregation in the T. articulata nest-trees selected by Woodpigeons and Turtle doves, with selection depending primarily on the tree size and nest height. Observed nest-niche partitioning may diminish the potential for competition between these species and enhance opportunities for their coexistence. Management policies and practices aimed at ensuring the presence of mixed-sized class of Thuya trees must be prioritized. We recommend additional studies designed to: (1) reproduce the same experimental approach on other Mediterranean Thuya forests to improve our understanding of the effects of different levels of anthropogenic disturbance on the breeding behaviour of these two game species; (2) better understand the spatio-temporal dynamics of Woodpigeon and Turtle dove coexistence in the region; and (3) better identify the spatio-temporal extent of the effect of forest management on Woodpigeon and Turtle dove site occupancy.

  11. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-05-15

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

  13. 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...

  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. 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

  16. Predicting bycatch hotspots for endangered leatherback turtles on longlines in the Pacific Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roe, John H; Morreale, Stephen J; Paladino, Frank V; Shillinger, George L; Benson, Scott R; Eckert, Scott A; Bailey, Helen; Tomillo, Pilar Santidrián; Bograd, Steven J; Eguchi, Tomoharu; Dutton, Peter H; Seminoff, Jeffrey A; Block, Barbara A; Spotila, James R

    2014-02-22

    Fisheries bycatch is a critical source of mortality for rapidly declining populations of leatherback turtles, Dermochelys coriacea. We integrated use-intensity distributions for 135 satellite-tracked adult turtles with longline fishing effort to estimate predicted bycatch risk over space and time in the Pacific Ocean. Areas of predicted bycatch risk did not overlap for eastern and western Pacific nesting populations, warranting their consideration as distinct management units with respect to fisheries bycatch. For western Pacific nesting populations, we identified several areas of high risk in the north and central Pacific, but greatest risk was adjacent to primary nesting beaches in tropical seas of Indo-Pacific islands, largely confined to several exclusive economic zones under the jurisdiction of national authorities. For eastern Pacific nesting populations, we identified moderate risk associated with migrations to nesting beaches, but the greatest risk was in the South Pacific Gyre, a broad pelagic zone outside national waters where management is currently lacking and may prove difficult to implement. Efforts should focus on these predicted hotspots to develop more targeted management approaches to alleviate leatherback bycatch.

  17. 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

  18. A continuation of base-line studies for environmentally monitoring Space Transportation Systems (STS) at John F. Kennedy Space Center. Volume 4: Threatened and endangered species of the Kennedy Space Center. Part 1: Marine turtle studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehrhart, L. M.

    1980-01-01

    The status of marine turtle populations in the KSC area was studied using data from previous results from ground and aerial surveillance conducted from 1976 to April 1979. During ground surveillance, various data were recorded on emergent turtles such as: species, weight, tag number (if previously tagged), time discovered, activity at discovery and the location of discovery. Observations were also made on nesting and reproductive characteristics, population estimates, immigration and emigration and growth rate of the turtles. Mortality studies were additionally made and autopsies performed on dead turtles found in the area. It is concluded that further mortality documentation should be done just prior to and just after a future space launch operation in order to accurately assess the cause and effect relationship of such a launch on the turtle population.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanny Arroyo-Arce

    2015-09-01

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

  1. Quantitative genetics of plastron shape in slider turtles (Trachemys scripta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myers, Erin M; Janzen, Fredric J; Adams, Dean C; Tucker, John K

    2006-03-01

    Shape variation is widespread in nature and embodies both a response to and a source for evolution and natural selection. To detect patterns of shape evolution, one must assess the quantitative genetic underpinnings of shape variation as well as the selective environment that the organisms have experienced. Here we used geometric morphometrics to assess variation in plastron shell shape in 1314 neonatal slider turtles (Trachemys scripta) from 162 clutches of laboratory-incubated eggs from two nesting areas. Multivariate analysis of variance indicated that nesting area has a limited role in describing plastron shape variation among clutches, whereas differences between individual clutches were highly significant, suggesting a prominent clutch effect. The covariation between plastron shape and several possible maternal effect variables (yolk hormone levels and egg dimensions) was assessed for a subset of clutches and found to be negligible. We subsequently employed several recently proposed methods for estimating heritability from shape variables, and generalized a univariate approach to accommodate unequal sample sizes. Univariate estimates of shape heritability based on Procrustes distances yielded large values for both nesting populations (h2 approximately 0.86), and multivariate estimates of maximal additive heritability were also large for both nesting populations (h2max approximately 0.57). We also estimated the dominant trend in heritable shape change for each nesting population and found that the direction of shape evolution was not the same for the two sites. Therefore, although the magnitude of shape evolution was similar between nesting populations, the manner in which plastron shape is evolving is not. We conclude that the univariate approach for assessing quantitative genetic parameters from geometric morphometric data has limited utility, because it is unable to accurately describe how shape is evolving.

  2. 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

  3. Identification and evaluation of semiochemicals for the biological control of the beetle Omorgus suberosus (F. (Coleoptera: Trogidae, a facultative predator of eggs of the sea turtle Lepidochelys olivacea (Eschscholtz.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vieyle Cortez

    Full Text Available The beetle Omorgus suberosus (F. is a facultative predator of eggs of the olive ridley turtle Lepidochelys olivacea (Eschscholtz. Laboratory and field investigations were conducted in order to characterize volatile attractants of O. suberosus and to explore the potential for application of these volatiles in a selective mass trapping method. Headspace sorptive extraction (HSSE coupled to thermo-desorption gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (TD-GC-MS analysis of the volatile constituents from beetles or turtle nests revealed 24 potential compounds. However, electroantennographic (EAG measurements revealed antennal sensitivity only to indole, linoleic acid, trimethylamine, dimethyl sulphide, dimethyl disulphide and ammonia. Behavioural tests showed that these compounds are highly attractive to O. suberosus. Field trapping experiments revealed that indole and ammonia were more attractive than the other volatile compounds and showed similar attractiveness to that produced by conventional baits (chicken feathers. The use of a combined bait of indole and NH3 would therefore be the most effective trap design. The data presented are the first to demonstrate effective massive capture of O. suberosus using an attractant-based trapping method. These findings have potential for the development of an efficient mass trapping method for control of this beetle as part of efforts towards conservation of L. olivacea at La Escobilla in Oaxaca, Mexico.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boris Pavlin

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Thermal biology of eastern box turtles in a longleaf pine system managed with prescribed fire.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roe, John H; Wild, Kristoffer H; Hall, Carlisha A

    2017-10-01

    Fire can influence the microclimate of forest habitats by removing understory vegetation and surface debris. Temperature is often higher in recently burned forests owing to increased light penetration through the open understory. Because physiological processes are sensitive to temperature in ectotherms, we expected fire-maintained forests to improve the suitability of the thermal environment for turtles, and for turtles to seasonally associate with the most thermally-optimal habitats. Using a laboratory thermal gradient, we determined the thermal preference range (T set ) of eastern box turtles, Terrapene carolina, to be 27-31°C. Physical models simulating the body temperatures experienced by turtles in the field revealed that surface environments in a fire-maintained longleaf pine forest were 3°C warmer than adjacent unburned mixed hardwood/pine forests, but the fire-maintained forest was never of superior thermal quality owing to wider T e fluctuations above T set and exposure to extreme and potentially lethal temperatures. Radiotracked turtles using fire-managed longleaf pine forests maintained shell temperatures (T s ) approximately 2°C above those at a nearby unburned forest, but we observed only moderate seasonal changes in habitat use which were inconsistent with thermoregulatory behavior. We conclude that turtles were not responding strongly to the thermal heterogeneity generated by fire in our system, and that other aspects of the environment are likely more important in shaping habitat associations. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Cavity Nesting Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Virgil E. Scott; Keith E. Evans; David R. Patton; Charles P. Stone

    1977-01-01

    Many species of cavity-nesting birds have declined because of habitat reduction. In the eastern United States, where primeval forests are gone, purple martins depend almost entirely on man-made nesting structures (Allen and Nice 1952). The hole-nesting population of peregrine falcons disappeared with the felling of the giant trees upon which they depended (Hickey and...

  7. 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

  8. Status of marine turtle rehabilitation in Queensland.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  9. Status of marine turtle rehabilitation in Queensland

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

  10. Status of marine turtle rehabilitation in Queensland

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guirlet, Elodie; Das, Krishna; Girondot, Marc

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-07-30

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

  13. Sea Turtles and Strategies for Language Skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tippins, Deborah; And Others

    1993-01-01

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

  14. 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. Columbia River ESI: NESTS (Nest Points)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for bird nesting sites in the Columbia River area. Vector points in this data set represent locations of...

  16. A Risk Assessment Approach to Manage Inundation of Elseya albagula Nests in Impounded Waters: A Win-Win Situation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDougall, A. J.; Espinoza, T.; Hollier, C.; Limpus, D. J.; Limpus, C. J.

    2015-03-01

    A risk assessment process was used to trial the impact of potential new operating rules on the frequency of nest inundation for the White-throated snapping turtle, Elseya albagula, in the impounded waters of the Burnett River, Queensland, Australia. The proposed operating rules would increase the barrage storage level during the turtle nesting season (May-July) and then would be allowed to reduce to a lower level for incubation for the rest of the year. These proposed operating rules reduce rates of nest inundation by altering water levels in the Ben Anderson Barrage impoundment of the Burnett River. The rules operate throughout the turtle reproductive period and concomitantly improve stability of littoral habitat and fishway operation. Additionally, the proposed rules are expected to have positive socio-economic benefits within the region. While regulated water resources will inherently have a number of negative environmental implications, these potential new operating rules have the capacity to benefit the environment while managing resources in a more sustainable manner. The operating rules have now been enacted in subordinate legislation and require the operator to maintain water levels to minimize turtle nest inundation.

  17. 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.

  18. 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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  20. Mitochondrial haplotype distribution and phylogenetic relationship of an endangered species Reeve's turtle (Mauremys reevesii in East Asia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hong-Shik Oh

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available This study was examined to reveal haplotype distribution and phylogenetic relationship using mitochondrial DNA CYTB gene sequences of Reeve’s turtle (Mauremys reevesii of East Asia. CYTB sequences of Reeve’s turtles were divided into 6 haplotypes (Hap01–Hap06. Chinese turtles were found in Hap01, Hap02, Hap04, and Hap05, and Hap01 was the highest frequency of 85.0%. Korean Turtles were found in Hap01, Hap03, Hap04, and Hap05, and Hap03 was the highest frequency of 52.1%. Although there was no haplotype which includes only the CYTB sequence exclusive for Reeve’s turtles of Korea, since no CYTB sequence of China was found in Hap03, it would be possible that Hap03 turtles of Korea are separated from those of China. The haplotypes of Reeve’s turtles of East Asia were monophyletic, which indicated that they had been evolved from a single maternal lineage, but went through local evolution after geographical migration and isolation in East Asia.

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Garland Kathryn

    2010-01-01

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

  4. Pancreatitis associated with the helminth serpinema microcephalus (Nematoda: Camallanidae) in exotic red-eared slider turtles (Trachemys scripta elegans)

    OpenAIRE

    Hidalgo-Vila, J.; Martínez-Silvestre, A.; Ribas, A.; Casanova, J.C.; Pérez-Santigosa, N.; Díaz-Paniagua, Carmen

    2011-01-01

    Pancreatitis associated with the helminth Serpinema microcephalus was found in three of 19 free-ranging red-eared slider turtles (Trachemys scripta elegans) captured between March 2003 and September 2004 in southern Spain. Microscopic changes were associated with parasite migrations and were characterized by central areas of necrosis surrounded by leukocytes and resulted in destruction of exocrine tissue. The blood profile of one of the three female turtles revealed eosinophilia and hyperglyc...

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. Modern turtle origins: the oldest known cryptodire.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaffney, E S; Hutchison, J H; Jenkins, F A; Meeker, L J

    1987-07-17

    The discovery of a turtle in the Early Jurassic(185 million years before present) Kayenta Formation of northeastern Arizona provides significant evidence about the origin of modern turtles. This new taxon possesses many of the primitive features expected in the hypothetical common ancestor of pleurodires and cryptodires, the two groups of modern turtles. It is identified as the oldest known cryptodire because of the presence of a distinctive cryptodiran jaw mechanism consisting of a trochlea over the otic chamber that redirects the line of action of the adductor muscle. Aquatic habits appear to have developed very early in turtle evolution. Kayentachelys extends the known record of cryptodires back at least 45 million years and documents a very early stage in the evolution of modern turtles.

  8. 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.

  9. Lower Cretaceous fossils from China shed light on the ancestral body plan of crown softshell turtles (Trionychidae, Cryptodira).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brinkman, Donald; Rabi, Márton; Zhao, Lijun

    2017-07-27

    Pan-trionychids or softshell turtles are a highly specialized and widespread extant group of aquatic taxa with an evolutionary history that goes back to the Early Cretaceous. The earliest pan-trionychids had already fully developed the "classic" softshell turtle morphology and it has been impossible to resolve whether they are stem members of the family or are within the crown. This has hindered our understanding of the evolution of the two basic body plans of crown-trionychids. Thus it remains unclear whether the more heavily ossified shell of the cyclanorbines or the highly reduced trionychine morphotype is the ancestral condition for softshell turtles. A new pan-trionychid from the Early Cretaceous of Zhejiang, China, Perochelys hengshanensis sp. nov., allows a revision of softshell-turtle phylogeny. Equal character weighting resulted in a topology that is fundamentally inconsistent with molecular divergence date estimates of deeply nested extant species. In contrast, implied weighting retrieved Lower Cretaceous Perochelys spp. and Petrochelys kyrgyzensis as stem trionychids, which is fully consistent with their basal stratigraphic occurrence and an Aptian-Santonian molecular age estimate for crown-trionychids. These results indicate that the primitive morphology for soft-shell turtles is a poorly ossified shell like that of crown-trionychines and that shell re-ossification in cyclanorbines (including re-acquisition of peripheral elements) is secondary.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sale, Alessandro; Luschi, Paolo

    2009-01-01

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

  12. Nested Potential Games

    OpenAIRE

    Hiroshi Uno

    2007-01-01

    This paper proposes a new class of potential games, the nested potential games, which generalize the potential games defined in Monderer and Shapley (1996), as well as the pseudo-potential games defined in Dubey et al. (2006). We show that each maximizer of a nested potential is a Nash equilibrium.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natália Cristina Fidelis Bahia

    2010-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Energy budgets and a climate space diagram for the turtle, Chrysemys scripta

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Foley, R. E.

    1976-01-01

    Heat energy budgets were computed and a steady state climate space was generated for a 1000 g red-eared turtle (Chrysemys scripta). Evaporative water loss (EWL) was measured from C. scripta at three wind speeds (10-400 cm sec/sup -1/) and at four air temperatures (5 to 35/sup 0/C) in a wind tunnel. EWL increased as air temperature and wind speed increased. Smaller turtles dehydrated at a faster rate than large turtles. Heat transfer by convection was measured from aluminum castings of C. scripta at three temperature differences between casting and air (..delta..T 15/sup 0/, 10/sup 0/ and 5/sup 0/C) for three windspeeds (10 to 400 cm sec/sup -1/). Convective heat transfer coefficients increased as wind speed and ..delta..T increased. Wind speed has a large effect on the shape of the climate space. At high wind speeds, heat loss by evaporation and convection are greatly increased. In still air (10 cm sec/sup -1/), a turtle cannot remain exposed to full sunlight when air temperatures exceed 19/sup 0/C. When wind speed increases to 400 cm sec/sup -1/, the turtle can bask for long periods of time at temperatures as high as 32/sup 0/C. Basking patterns of C. scripta probably shift from a unimodal pattern in the spring to a bimodal pattern in summer and return to a unimodal pattern in fall. Terrestrial activity may be extensive in the spring and fall but is limited during the hot summer months to periods of rainfall. Nesting activities cannot occur around solar noon because increased metabolic heat loading and high solar radiation intensity could cause death.

  17. Stress hormone levels in a freshwater turtle from sites differing in human activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polich, Rebecca L

    2016-01-01

    Glucocorticoids, such as corticosterone (CORT), commonly serve as a measure of stress levels in vertebrate populations. These hormones have been implicated in regulation of feeding behaviour, locomotor activity, body mass, lipid metabolism and other crucial behaviours and physiological processes. Thus, understanding how glucocorticoids fluctuate seasonally and in response to specific stressors can yield insight into organismal health and the overall health of populations. I compared circulating CORT concentrations between two similar populations of painted turtle, Chrysemys picta, which differed primarily in the level of exposure to human recreational activities. I measured basal CORT concentrations as well as the CORT stress response and did not find any substantive difference between the two populations. This similarity may indicate that painted turtles are not stressed by the presence of humans during the nesting season. The results of this study contribute to our understanding of CORT concentrations in freshwater reptiles, a group that is historically under-represented in studies of circulating hormone concentrations; specifically, studies that seek to use circulating concentrations of stress hormones, such as CORT, as a measure of the effect of human activities on wild populations. They also give insight into how these species as a whole may respond to human recreational activities during crucial life-history stages, such as the nesting season. Although there was no discernable difference between circulating CORT concentrations between the urban and rural populations studied, I did find a significant difference in circulating CORT concentrations between male and female C. picta. This important finding provides better understanding of the sex differences between male and female painted turtles and adds to our understanding of this species and other species of freshwater turtle.

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diego F Amorocho

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. A circuit for detection of interaural time differences in the nucleus laminaris of turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willis, Katie L; Carr, Catherine E

    2017-11-15

    The physiological hearing range of turtles is approximately 50-1000 Hz, as determined by cochlear microphonics ( Wever and Vernon, 1956a). These low frequencies can constrain sound localization, particularly in red-eared slider turtles, which are freshwater turtles with small heads and isolated middle ears. To determine if these turtles were sensitive to interaural time differences (ITDs), we investigated the connections and physiology of their auditory brainstem nuclei. Tract tracing experiments showed that cranial nerve VIII bifurcated to terminate in the first-order nucleus magnocellularis (NM) and nucleus angularis (NA), and the NM projected bilaterally to the nucleus laminaris (NL). As the NL received inputs from each side, we developed an isolated head preparation to examine responses to binaural auditory stimulation. Magnocellularis and laminaris units responded to frequencies from 100 to 600 Hz, and phase-locked reliably to the auditory stimulus. Responses from the NL were binaural, and sensitive to ITD. Measures of characteristic delay revealed best ITDs around ±200 μs, and NL neurons typically had characteristic phases close to 0, consistent with binaural excitation. Thus, turtles encode ITDs within their physiological range, and their auditory brainstem nuclei have similar connections and cell types to other reptiles. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  3. 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.

  4. Sequence of a cDNA encoding turtle high mobility group 1 protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Jifang; Hu, Bi; Wu, Duansheng

    2005-07-01

    In order to understand sequence information about turtle HMG1 gene, a cDNA encoding HMG1 protein of the Chinese soft-shell turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis) was amplified by RT-PCR from kidney total RNA, and was cloned, sequenced and analyzed. The results revealed that the open reading frame (ORF) of turtle HMG1 cDNA is 606 bp long. The ORF codifies 202 amino acid residues, from which two DNA-binding domains and one polyacidic region are derived. The DNA-binding domains share higher amino acid identity with homologues sequences of chicken (96.5%) and mammalian (74%) than homologues sequence of rainbow trout (67%). The polyacidic region shows 84.6% amino acid homology with the equivalent region of chicken HMG1 cDNA. Turtle HMG1 protein contains 3 Cys residues located at completely conserved positions. Conservation in sequence and structure suggests that the functions of turtle HMG1 cDNA may be highly conserved during evolution. To our knowledge, this is the first report of HMG1 cDNA sequence in any reptilian.

  5. 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

  6. Calcium transport in turtle bladder

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sabatini, S.; Kurtzman, N.A.

    1987-01-01

    Unidirectional 45 Ca fluxes were measured in the turtle bladder under open-circuit and short-circuit conditions. In the open-circuited state net calcium flux (J net Ca ) was secretory (serosa to mucosa). Ouabain reversed J net Ca to an absorptive flux. Amiloride reduced both fluxes such that J net Ca was not significantly different from zero. Removal of mucosal sodium caused net calcium absorption; removal of serosal sodium caused calcium secretion. When bladders were short circuited, J net Ca decreased to approximately one-third of control value but remained secretory. When ouabain was added under short-circuit conditions, J net Ca was similar in magnitude and direction to ouabain under open-circuited conditions (i.e., absorptive). Tissue 45 Ca content was ≅30-fold lower when the isotope was placed in the mucosal bath, suggesting that the apical membrane is the resistance barrier to calcium transport. The results obtained in this study are best explained by postulating a Ca 2+ -ATPase on the serosa of the turtle bladder epithelium and a sodium-calcium antiporter on the mucosa. In this model, the energy for calcium movement would be supplied, in large part, by the Na + -K + -ATPase. By increasing cell sodium, ouabain would decrease the activity of the mucosal sodium-calcium exchanger (or reverse it), uncovering active calcium transport across the serosa

  7. Projected response of an endangered marine turtle population to climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-11-01

    Assessing the potential impacts of climate change on individual species and populations is essential for the stewardship of ecosystems and biodiversity. Critically endangered leatherback turtles in the eastern Pacific Ocean are excellent candidates for such an assessment because their sensitivity to contemporary climate variability has been substantially studied. If incidental fisheries mortality is eliminated, this population still faces the challenge of recovery in a rapidly changing climate. Here we combined an Earth system model, climate model projections assessed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and a population dynamics model to estimate a 7% per decade decline in the Costa Rica nesting population over the twenty-first century. Whereas changes in ocean conditions had a small effect on the population, the ~2.5°C warming of the nesting beach was the primary driver of the decline through reduced hatching success and hatchling emergence rate. Hatchling sex ratio did not substantially change. Adjusting nesting phenology or changing nesting sites may not entirely prevent the decline, but could offset the decline rate. However, if future observations show a long-term decline in hatching success and emergence rate, anthropogenic climate mitigation of nests (for example, shading, irrigation) may be able to preserve the nesting population.

  8. Free-living and captive turtles and tortoises as carriers of new Chlamydia spp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitura, Agata; Niemczuk, Krzysztof; Zaręba, Kinga; Zając, Magdalena; Laroucau, Karine; Szymańska-Czerwińska, Monika

    2017-01-01

    A variety of Chlamydia species belonging to the Chlamydiaceae family have been reported in reptilian hosts but scarce data about their occurrence in turtles and tortoises are available. In this study, research was conducted to acquire information on invasive alien species (IAS) of turtles and indigenous turtles and tortoises, living both free and in captivity, as possible reservoirs of Chlamydiaceae. Analysis of specimens (pharyngeal and cloacal swabs and tissues) from 204 turtles and tortoises revealed an overall Chlamydiaceae prevalence of 18.3% and 28.6% among free-living and captive animals respectively, with variable levels of shedding. Further testing conducted with a species-specific real-time PCR and microarray test was unsuccessful. Subsequently sequencing was applied to genotype the Chlamydiaceae-positive samples. Almost the full lengths of the 16S rRNA and ompA genes as well as the 16S-23S intergenic spacer (IGS) and 23S rRNA domain I were obtained for 14, 20 and 8 specimens respectively. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA amplicons revealed two distinct branches. Group 1 (10 specimens), specific to freshwater turtles and reported here for the first time, was most closely related to Chlamydia (C.) pneumoniae strains and the newly described Candidatus C. sanzinia. Group 2 (four specimens), detected in Testudo spp. samples, showed highest homology to C. pecorum strains but formed a separate sub-branch. Finally, molecular analysis conducted on positive samples together with their geographical distribution in places distant from each other strongly suggest that Group 1 specimens correspond to a new species in the Chlamydiaceae family. In-depth studies of Chlamydia spp. from turtles and tortoises are needed to further characterise these atypical strains and address arising questions about their pathogenicity and zoonotic potential.

  9. Free-living and captive turtles and tortoises as carriers of new Chlamydia spp.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agata Mitura

    Full Text Available A variety of Chlamydia species belonging to the Chlamydiaceae family have been reported in reptilian hosts but scarce data about their occurrence in turtles and tortoises are available. In this study, research was conducted to acquire information on invasive alien species (IAS of turtles and indigenous turtles and tortoises, living both free and in captivity, as possible reservoirs of Chlamydiaceae. Analysis of specimens (pharyngeal and cloacal swabs and tissues from 204 turtles and tortoises revealed an overall Chlamydiaceae prevalence of 18.3% and 28.6% among free-living and captive animals respectively, with variable levels of shedding. Further testing conducted with a species-specific real-time PCR and microarray test was unsuccessful. Subsequently sequencing was applied to genotype the Chlamydiaceae-positive samples. Almost the full lengths of the 16S rRNA and ompA genes as well as the 16S-23S intergenic spacer (IGS and 23S rRNA domain I were obtained for 14, 20 and 8 specimens respectively. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA amplicons revealed two distinct branches. Group 1 (10 specimens, specific to freshwater turtles and reported here for the first time, was most closely related to Chlamydia (C. pneumoniae strains and the newly described Candidatus C. sanzinia. Group 2 (four specimens, detected in Testudo spp. samples, showed highest homology to C. pecorum strains but formed a separate sub-branch. Finally, molecular analysis conducted on positive samples together with their geographical distribution in places distant from each other strongly suggest that Group 1 specimens correspond to a new species in the Chlamydiaceae family. In-depth studies of Chlamydia spp. from turtles and tortoises are needed to further characterise these atypical strains and address arising questions about their pathogenicity and zoonotic potential.

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. Flown The Nest

    OpenAIRE

    Sebbane, Nathalie

    2012-01-01

    Lorsque le quotidien régional, The Champion, commence à publier Flown The Nest en 1972 sous forme d’épisodes, Bird’s Nest Soup est déjà en vente, et la troisième partie de l’autobiographie d’Hanna, Housekeeper At Large, est sous presse. L’édition de 2009 contient Flown The Nest et Housekeeper at Large. Dans Bird’s Nest Soup, Hanna Greally racontait les dix-huit années de sa vie passées au sein d’un hôpital psychiatrique. Les raisons pour lesquelles elle y avait été enfermée, à la demande de s...

  15. Phenotypic plasticity in the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina): long-term physiological effects of chronic hypoxia during embryonic development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wearing, Oliver H; Eme, John; Rhen, Turk; Crossley, Dane A

    2016-01-15

    Studies of embryonic and hatchling reptiles have revealed marked plasticity in morphology, metabolism, and cardiovascular function following chronic hypoxic incubation. However, the long-term effects of chronic hypoxia have not yet been investigated in these animals. The aim of this study was to determine growth and postprandial O2 consumption (V̇o2), heart rate (fH), and mean arterial pressure (Pm, in kPa) of common snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) that were incubated as embryos in chronic hypoxia (10% O2, H10) or normoxia (21% O2, N21). We hypothesized that hypoxic development would modify posthatching body mass, metabolic rate, and cardiovascular physiology in juvenile snapping turtles. Yearling H10 turtles were significantly smaller than yearling N21 turtles, both of which were raised posthatching in normoxic, common garden conditions. Measurement of postprandial cardiovascular parameters and O2 consumption were conducted in size-matched three-year-old H10 and N21 turtles. Both before and 12 h after feeding, H10 turtles had a significantly lower fH compared with N21 turtles. In addition, V̇o2 was significantly elevated in H10 animals compared with N21 animals 12 h after feeding, and peak postprandial V̇o2 occurred earlier in H10 animals. Pm of three-year-old turtles was not affected by feeding or hypoxic embryonic incubation. Our findings demonstrate that physiological impacts of developmental hypoxia on embryonic reptiles continue into juvenile life. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  16. The hooked element in the pes of turtles (Testudines): a global approach to exploring primary and secondary homology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joyce, Walter G; Werneburg, Ingmar; Lyson, Tyler R

    2013-01-01

    The hooked element in the pes of turtles was historically identified by most palaeontologists and embryologists as a modified fifth metatarsal, and often used as evidence to unite turtles with other reptiles with a hooked element. Some recent embryological studies, however, revealed that this element might represent an enlarged fifth distal tarsal. We herein provide extensive new myological and developmental observations on the hooked element of turtles, and re-evaluate its primary and secondary homology using all available lines of evidence. Digital count and timing of development are uninformative. However, extensive myological, embryological and topological data are consistent with the hypothesis that the hooked element of turtles represents a fusion of the fifth distal tarsal with the fifth metatarsal, but that the fifth distal tarsal dominates the hooked element in pleurodiran turtles, whereas the fifth metatarsal dominates the hooked element of cryptodiran turtles. The term ‘ansulate bone’ is proposed to refer to hooked elements that result from the fusion of these two bones. The available phylogenetic and fossil data are currently insufficient to clarify the secondary homology of hooked elements within Reptilia. PMID:24102560

  17. Turtle Hearing Capability Based on ABR Signal assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raja Bidin Raja Hassan

    2010-08-01

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

  18. Endangered species: where leatherback turtles meet fisheries.

    OpenAIRE

    Ferraroli , S.; Georges , J.-Y.; Gaspar , P.; Le Maho , Y.

    2004-01-01

    International audience; The dramatic worldwide decline in populations of the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) is largely due to the high mortality associated with their interaction with fisheries, so a reduction of this overlap is critical to their survival. The discovery of narrow migration corridors used by the leatherbacks in the Pacific Ocean raised the possibility of protecting the turtles by restricting fishing in these key areas. Here we use satellite tracking to show that the...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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).

  2. Nest Site Characteristics of Cavity Nesting Birds in Central Missouri

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffery D. Brawn; Bernice Tannenbaum; Keith E. Evans

    1984-01-01

    Two study sites in central Missouri oak-hickory forests were searched for nest sites of cavity nesting birds. Researchers located and measured 133 nests of 11 species. Cavity nesting bird habitat selection is affected by both snag characteristics and vegetation structure.

  3. 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

  4. The amino acid sequence of snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) ribonuclease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beintema, Jacob; Broos, Jaap; Meulenberg, Janneke; Schüller, Cornelis

    1985-01-01

    Snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) ribonuclease was isolated from pancreatic tissue. Turtle ribonuclease binds much more weakly to the affinity chromatography matrix used than mammalian ribonucleases. The amino acid sequence was determined from overlapping peptides obtained from three different

  5. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. Nested and Hierarchical Archimax copulas

    KAUST Repository

    Hofert, Marius; Huser, Raphaë l; Prasad, Avinash

    2017-01-01

    The class of Archimax copulas is generalized to nested and hierarchical Archimax copulas in several ways. First, nested extreme-value copulas or nested stable tail dependence functions are introduced to construct nested Archimax copulas based on a single frailty variable. Second, a hierarchical construction of d-norm generators is presented to construct hierarchical stable tail dependence functions and thus hierarchical extreme-value copulas. Moreover, one can, by itself or additionally, introduce nested frailties to extend Archimax copulas to nested Archimax copulas in a similar way as nested Archimedean copulas extend Archimedean copulas. Further results include a general formula for the density of Archimax copulas.

  10. Nested and Hierarchical Archimax copulas

    KAUST Repository

    Hofert, Marius

    2017-07-03

    The class of Archimax copulas is generalized to nested and hierarchical Archimax copulas in several ways. First, nested extreme-value copulas or nested stable tail dependence functions are introduced to construct nested Archimax copulas based on a single frailty variable. Second, a hierarchical construction of d-norm generators is presented to construct hierarchical stable tail dependence functions and thus hierarchical extreme-value copulas. Moreover, one can, by itself or additionally, introduce nested frailties to extend Archimax copulas to nested Archimax copulas in a similar way as nested Archimedean copulas extend Archimedean copulas. Further results include a general formula for the density of Archimax copulas.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2006-08-15

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  13. 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,…

  14. 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...

  15. 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 ...

  16. 77 FR 27411 - Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp Trawling Requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-05-10

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

  17. 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 ...

  18. Metals and metalloids in whole blood and tissues of Olive Ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) from La Escobilla Beach (Oaxaca, Mexico).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cortés-Gómez, Adriana A; Fuentes-Mascorro, Gisela; Romero, Diego

    2014-12-15

    Concentrations of eight metals and metalloids (Pb, Cd, Cu, Zn, Mn, Se, Ni and As) were evaluated from 41 nesting females (blood) and 13 dead (tissues) Olive Ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea), a species classified as vulnerable and also listed in Appendix I of the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). The mean blood, liver and kidney lead concentration were 0.02 ± 0.01, 0.11 ± 0.08 and 0.06 ± 0.03 μ gg(-1) ww respectively, values lower than other turtle species and locations, which it could be due to the gradual disuse of leaded gasoline in Mexico and Central America since the 1990s. Mean concentration of cadmium was 0.17 ± 0.08 (blood), 82.88 ± 36.65 (liver) and 150.88 ± 110.9 9μg g(-1) (kidney). To our knowledge, the mean renal cadmium levels found is the highest ever reported worldwide for any sea turtle species, while other six elements showed a concentration similar to other studies in sea turtles. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Superposition Enhanced Nested Sampling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefano Martiniani

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The theoretical analysis of many problems in physics, astronomy, and applied mathematics requires an efficient numerical exploration of multimodal parameter spaces that exhibit broken ergodicity. Monte Carlo methods are widely used to deal with these classes of problems, but such simulations suffer from a ubiquitous sampling problem: The probability of sampling a particular state is proportional to its entropic weight. Devising an algorithm capable of sampling efficiently the full phase space is a long-standing problem. Here, we report a new hybrid method for the exploration of multimodal parameter spaces exhibiting broken ergodicity. Superposition enhanced nested sampling combines the strengths of global optimization with the unbiased or athermal sampling of nested sampling, greatly enhancing its efficiency with no additional parameters. We report extensive tests of this new approach for atomic clusters that are known to have energy landscapes for which conventional sampling schemes suffer from broken ergodicity. We also introduce a novel parallelization algorithm for nested sampling.

  20. Serenbe Nest Cottages

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Butler, T.; Curtis, O.; Kim, E.; Roberts, S.; Stephenson, R.

    2012-12-01

    As part of the NAHB Research Center Industry Partnership, Southface partnered with Martin Dodson Builders and the Serenbe community on the construction of a new test home in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA in the mixed humid climate zone. The most recent subdivision within the Serenbe community, the Nest, will contain 15 small footprint cottage style homes, and Southface has selected Lot Nine, as the test home for this study. This Nest subdivision serves as a project showcase for both the builder partner and the Serenbe community as a whole. The planning and design incorporated into the Nest cottages will be implemented in each home within the subdivision. These homes addresses Building America Savings targets and serve as a basis of design for other homes Martin Dodson plans to build within the Serenbe community.

  1. Serenbe Nest Cottages

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Butler, T. [NAHB Research Center Industry Partnership, Upper Marlboro, MD (United States); Curtis, O. [NAHB Research Center Industry Partnership, Upper Marlboro, MD (United States); Kim, E. [NAHB Research Center Industry Partnership, Upper Marlboro, MD (United States); Roberts, S. [NAHB Research Center Industry Partnership, Upper Marlboro, MD (United States); Stephenson, R. [NAHB Research Center Industry Partnership, Upper Marlboro, MD (United States)

    2012-12-01

    As part of the NAHB Research Center Industry Partnership, Southface partnered with Martin Dodson Builders and the Serenbe community on the construction of a new test home in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA, in the mixed humid climate zone. The most recent subdivision within the Serenbe community, the Nest, will contain 15 small footprint cottage-style homes, and Southface has selected Lot Nine, as the test home for this study. This Nest subdivision serves as a project showcase for both the builder partner and the Serenbe community as a whole. The planning and design incorporated into the Nest cottages will be implemented in each home within the subdivision. These homes addresses Building America savings targets and serve as a basis of design for other homes Martin Dodson plans to build within the Serenbe community.

  2. Temperature Effects on Development and Phenotype in a Free-Living Population of Western Pond Turtles (Emys marmorata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christie, Nicole E; Geist, Nicholas R

    Changes in temperature regimes are occurring globally due to climate change as well as habitat alterations. Temperatures are expected to continue to rise in the future, along with a greater degree of climatic instability. Such changes could have potentially serious consequences for oviparous ectotherms, especially those with temperature-dependent sex determination. To investigate the effects of temperature on a range of developmental phenomena in a population of western pond turtles (Emys marmorata), we placed temperature sensors on top of each layer of eggs within nests and recorded temperatures hourly through the first 2-3 mo of incubation. These methods allowed us to look at in situ nest temperatures with high resolution. We found that mean incubation temperatures were similar between different nests and at different levels within nests but that incubation temperature fluctuations and maximum incubation temperatures differed greatly in both cases. The hatchling turtles were more likely to be female if they spent 30% or more of their sex-determining period of incubation above 29°C. Hatching success was best predicted by the maximum incubation temperature. We also found that incubation duration tended to be shorter as the mean temperature increased. However, exposure to either extremely high or low temperatures extended incubation times.

  3. Enclosed nests may provide greater thermal than nest predation benefits compared with open nests across latitudes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Thomas E.; Boyce, Andy J.; Fierro-Calderon, Karolina; Mitchell, Adam E.; Armstad, Connor E.; Mouton, James C.; Bin Soudi, Evertius E.

    2017-01-01

    Nest structure is thought to provide benefits that have fitness consequences for several taxa. Traditionally, reduced nest predation has been considered the primary benefit underlying evolution of nest structure, whereas thermal benefits have been considered a secondary or even non-existent factor. Yet, the relative roles of these factors on nest structures remain largely unexplored.Enclosed nests have a constructed or natural roof connected to sides that allow a restricted opening or tube entrance that provides cover in all directions except the entrance, whereas open nests are cups or platforms that are open above. We show that construction of enclosed nests is more common among songbirds (Passeriformes) in tropical and southern hemisphere regions than in north temperate regions. This geographic pattern may reflect selection from predation risk, under long-standing assumptions that nest predation rates are higher in southern regions and that enclosed nests reduce predation risk compared with open cup nests. We therefore compared nest predation rates between enclosed vs. open nests in 114 songbird species that do not nest in tree holes among five communities of coexisting birds, and for 205 non-hole-nesting species from the literature, across northern temperate, tropical, and southern hemisphere regions.Among coexisting species, enclosed nests had lower nest predation rates than open nests in two south temperate sites, but not in either of two tropical sites or a north temperate site. Nest predation did not differ between nest types at any latitude based on literature data. Among 319 species from both our field studies and the literature, enclosed nests did not show consistent benefits of reduced predation and, in fact, predation was not consistently higher in the tropics, contrary to long-standing perspectives.Thermal benefits of enclosed nests were indicated based on three indirect results. First, species that built enclosed nests were smaller than species using

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paolo Casale

    2009-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. The importance of illumination in nest site choice and nest characteristics of cavity nesting birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podkowa, Paweł; Surmacki, Adrian

    2017-05-02

    Light has a significant impact on many aspects of avian biology, physiology and behaviour. An increasing number of studies show that illumination may positively influences birds' offspring fitness by e.g. acceleration of embryo development, stimulation of skeleton growth or regulation of circadian rhythm. Because nest cavities have especially low illumination, suitable light levels may be especially important for species which nest there. We may therefore expect that birds breeding in relatively dim conditions should prefer brighter nest sites and/or evolve behavioral mechanisms to secure sufficient light levels in the nest. Using nest boxes with modified internal illumination, we experimentally tested whether light regime is a cue for nest site selection of secondary cavity-nesting species. Additionally, we investigated whether nest building strategies are tuned to internal illumination. Our results demonstrate that, nest boxes with elevated illumination were chosen twice as often as dark nest boxes. Moreover, birds built higher nests in dark nest boxes than birds in boxes with elevated illumination, which suggests a mechanism of compensating for low light conditions. Our results provide the first experimental support for the idea that nest site choice and nest building behaviour in cavity-nesting birds are influenced by ambient illumination.

  9. Variability in nest survival rates and implications to nesting studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klett, A.T.; Johnson, D.H.

    1982-01-01

    We used four reasonably large samples (83-213) of Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) and Blue-winged Teal (A. discors) nests on an interstate highway right-of-way in southcentral North Dakota to evaluate potential biases in hatch-rate estimates. Twelve consecutive, weekly searches for nests were conducted with a cable-chain drag in 1976 and 1977. Nests were revisited at weekly intervals. Four methods were used to estimate hatch rates for the four data sets: the Traditional Method, the Mayfield Method, and two modifications of the Mayfield Method that are sometimes appropriate when daily mortality rates of nests are not constant. Hatch rates and the average age of nests at discovery declined as the interval between searches decreased, suggesting that mortality rates were not constant in our samples. An analysis of variance indicated that daily mortality rates varied with the age of nests in all four samples. Mortality was generally highest during the early laying period, moderately high during the late laying period, and lowest during incubation. We speculate that this relationship of mortality to nest age might be due to the presence of hens at nests or to differences in the vulnerability of nest sites to predation. A modification of the Mayfield Method that accounts for age-related variation in nest mortality was most appropriate for our samples. We suggest methods for conducting nesting studies and estimating nest success for species possessing similar nesting habits.

  10. The cavity-nest ant Temnothorax crassispinus prefers larger nests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitrus, S

    Colonies of the ant Temnothorax crassispinus inhabit mostly cavities in wood and hollow acorns. Typically in the field, nest sites that can be used by the ant are a limited resource. In a field experiment, it was investigated whether the ants prefer a specific size of nest, when different ones are available. In July 2011, a total of 160 artificial nests were placed in a beech-pine forest. Four artificial nests (pieces of wood with volume cavities, ca 415, 605, 730, and 980 mm 3 , respectively) were located on each square meter of the experimental plot. One year later, shortly before the emergence of new sexuals, the nests were collected. In July 2012, colonies inhabited more frequently bigger nests. Among queenright colonies, the ones which inhabited bigger nests had more workers. However, there was no relationship between volume of nest and number of workers for queenless colonies. Queenright colonies from bigger nests produced more sexual individuals, but there was no correlation between number of workers and sex allocation ratio, or between volume of nest and sex allocation ratio. In a laboratory experiment where ant colonies were kept in 470 and 860 mm 3 nests, larger colonies allocated more energy to produce sexual individuals. The results of this study show the selectivity of T. crassispinus ants regarding the size of nest cavity, and that the nest volume has an impact on life history parameters.

  11. Feathering Your Nest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nabors, Martha L.; Edwards, Linda Carol; Decker, Suzanne

    2010-01-01

    The first-grade classroom was like a natural history museum. Bird nests of every shape and size lay on top of bookshelves that lined two walls. Methods students, who were visiting the classroom in preparation for the science lessons they would teach there, were immediately inspired by the collection. They used the collection as a springboard for…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  13. Fiber Tracking Cylinder Nesting

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stredde, H.

    1999-01-01

    The fiber tracker consists of 8 concentric carbon fiber cylinders of varying diameters, from 399mm to 1032.2mm and two different lengths. 1.66 and 2.52 meters. Each completed cylinder is covered over the entire o.d. with scintillating fiber ribbons with a connector on each ribbon. These ribbons are axial (parallel to the beam line) at one end and stereo (at 3 deg. to the beam line) at the other. The ribbon connectors have dowel pins which are used to match with the connectors on the wave guide ribbons. These dowel pins are also used during the nesting operation, locating and positioning measurements. The nesting operation is the insertion of one cylinder into another, aligning them with one another and fastening them together into a homogeneous assembly. For ease of assembly. the nesting operation is accomplished working from largest diameter to smallest. Although the completed assembly of all 8 cylinders glued and bolted together is very stiff. individual cylinders are relatively flexible. Therefore. during this operation, No.8 must be supported in a manner which maintains its integrity and yet allows the insertion of No.7. This is accomplished by essentially building a set of dummy end plates which replicate a No.9 cylinder. These end plates are mounted on a wheeled cart that becomes the nesting cart. Provisions for a protective cover fastened to these rings has been made and will be incorporated in finished product. These covers can be easily removed for access to No.8 and/or the connection of No.8 to No.9. Another wheeled cart, transfer cart, is used to push a completed cylinder into the cylinder(s) already mounted in the nesting cart.

  14. 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.

  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. Endangered species: where leatherback turtles meet fisheries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferraroli, Sandra; Georges, Jean-Yves; Gaspar, Philippe; Le Maho, Yvon

    2004-06-03

    The dramatic worldwide decline in populations of the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) is largely due to the high mortality associated with their interaction with fisheries, so a reduction of this overlap is critical to their survival. The discovery of narrow migration corridors used by the leatherbacks in the Pacific Ocean raised the possibility of protecting the turtles by restricting fishing in these key areas. Here we use satellite tracking to show that there is no equivalent of these corridors in the North Atlantic Ocean, because the turtles disperse actively over the whole area. But we are able to identify a few 'hot spots' where leatherbacks meet fisheries and where conservation efforts should be focused.

  17. Oviductal morphology in relation to hormonal levels in the snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alkindi, A Y A; Mahmoud, I Y; Woller, M J; Plude, J L

    2006-02-01

    Microscopic and in situ visual observations were used to relate circulating hormone levels to morphological changes in the oviduct of the snapping turtle Chelydra serpentina throughout the ovarian cycle. Increase in levels of progesterone (P), estradiol (E2) and testosterone (T) levels coincide with an increase in number and growth of endometrial glands, luminal epithelial cells and secretory droplets throughout the oviduct. Testosterone and estradiol levels rose significantly (P < 0.05) after the May-June period and remained high throughout the rest of the summer. Progesterone levels remained stable throughout the summer, with a brief decline in July due to luteolysis. Hormonal values declined significantly (P < 0.001) at the end of the ovarian cycle in the fall. In situ visual observation of fresh oviducts at different stages of gravidity in recently ovulated turtles revealed that proteinaceous like components from the endometrial glands were released into the lumen to form fibers. The morphological features of the oviduct remained active throughout the summer months even though the snapping turtle is a monoclutch species which deposits all the eggs in late-May to mid-June. The high steroid levels correlate with and may be responsible for the secretory activity present throughout the summer and their decline correlates with change to low secretory activity in the fall. Calcium deposition accompanied by morphological changes in luminal cells are suggestive of secretory activity. In the egg-bearing turtles, uterine Ca2+ concentrations measured by flame atomic absorption spectrophotometry revealed significantly higher Ca2+ concentrations (P < 0.001) in eggs with soft shell than eggs without shell. There was a significant increase in calcium granules and proteinaceous fibers in luminal surface of the uterus during the period of eggshelling. This supports the fact that in the snapping turtle like in other reptiles, eggshelling process occurs in the uterus.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  19. Relating annual increments of the endangered Blanding's turtle plastron growth to climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard, Monik G; Laroque, Colin P; Herman, Thomas B

    2014-05-01

    This research is the first published study to report a relationship between climate variables and plastron growth increments of turtles, in this case the endangered Nova Scotia Blanding's turtle (Emydoidea blandingii). We used techniques and software common to the discipline of dendrochronology to successfully cross-date our growth increment data series, to detrend and average our series of 80 immature Blanding's turtles into one common chronology, and to seek correlations between the chronology and environmental temperature and precipitation variables. Our cross-dated chronology had a series intercorrelation of 0.441 (above 99% confidence interval), an average mean sensitivity of 0.293, and an average unfiltered autocorrelation of 0.377. Our master chronology represented increments from 1975 to 2007 (33 years), with index values ranging from a low of 0.688 in 2006 to a high of 1.303 in 1977. Univariate climate response function analysis on mean monthly air temperature and precipitation values revealed a positive correlation with the previous year's May temperature and current year's August temperature; a negative correlation with the previous year's October temperature; and no significant correlation with precipitation. These techniques for determining growth increment response to environmental variables should be applicable to other turtle species and merit further exploration.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyle S Van Houtan

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

  1. Fatal trematodiasis in research turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1998-08-01

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

  2. Helminth communities of the exotic introduced turtle, Trachemys scripta elegans in southwestern Spain: Transmission from native turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hidalgo-Vila, J; Díaz-Paniagua, C; Ribas, A; Florencio, M; Pérez-Santigosa, N; Casanova, J C

    2009-06-01

    We report the prevalence and diversity of helminth parasites found in native turtles Mauremys leprosa and Emys orbicularis from three localities in southwestern Spain and we describe the helminth communities of exotic turtles Trachemys scripta elegans coexisting in the wild with both native turtle species. Five nematodes species were identified, of which Serpinema microcephalus was the only species common between two localities, although infection parameters were different between them. This is the first report of cross transmission of S. microcephalus and Falcaustra donanaensis from native to exotic turtles and the first report of genus Physaloptera in turtles of the Palearctic Region. Continuous releasing of exotic pet turtles in wildlife ecosystems increases the risk of parasite introductions and, consequently, potential transmission to native species, and highlights the impending need for regulation of pet turtle trade in Europe.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Embryonic common snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) preferentially regulate intracellular tissue pH during acid-base challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shartau, Ryan B; Crossley, Dane A; Kohl, Zachary F; Brauner, Colin J

    2016-07-01

    The nests of embryonic turtles naturally experience elevated CO2 (hypercarbia), which leads to increased blood PCO2  and a respiratory acidosis, resulting in reduced blood pH [extracellular pH (pHe)]. Some fishes preferentially regulate tissue pH [intracellular pH (pHi)] against changes in pHe; this has been proposed to be associated with exceptional CO2 tolerance and has never been identified in amniotes. As embryonic turtles may be CO2 tolerant based on nesting strategy, we hypothesized that they preferentially regulate pHi, conferring tolerance to severe acute acid-base challenges. This hypothesis was tested by investigating pH regulation in common snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) reared in normoxia then exposed to hypercarbia (13 kPa PCO2 ) for 1 h at three developmental ages: 70% and 90% of incubation, and yearlings. Hypercarbia reduced pHe but not pHi, at all developmental ages. At 70% of incubation, pHe was depressed by 0.324 pH units while pHi of brain, white muscle and lung increased; heart, liver and kidney pHi remained unchanged. At 90% of incubation, pHe was depressed by 0.352 pH units but heart pHi increased with no change in pHi of other tissues. Yearlings exhibited a pHe reduction of 0.235 pH units but had no changes in pHi of any tissues. The results indicate common snapping turtles preferentially regulate pHi during development, but the degree of response is reduced throughout development. This is the first time preferential pHi regulation has been identified in an amniote. These findings may provide insight into the evolution of acid-base homeostasis during development of amniotes, and vertebrates in general. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  6. Nested cellular automata

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Quasthoff, U.

    1985-07-01

    Cellular automata by definition consist of a finite or infinite number of cells, say of unit length, with each cell having the same transition function. These cells are usually considered as the smallest elements and so the space filled with these cells becomes discrete. Nevertheless, large pictures created by such cellular automata look very fractal. So we try to replace each cell by a couple of smaller cells, which have the same transition functions as the large ones. There are automata where this replacement does not destroy the macroscopic structure. In these cases this nesting process can be iterated. The paper contains large classes of automata with the above properties. In the case of one dimensional automata with two states and next neighbour interaction and a nesting function of the same type a complete classification is given. (author)

  7. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Pancreatitis associated with the helminth Serpinema microcephalus (Nematoda: Camallanidae) in exotic red-eared slider turtles (Trachemys scripta elegans).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hidalgo-Vila, Judit; Martínez-Silvestre, Albert; Ribas, Alexis; Casanova, Joan Carles; Pérez-Santigosa, Natividad; Díaz-Paniagua, Carmen

    2011-01-01

    Pancreatitis associated with the helminth Serpinema microcephalus was found in three of 19 free-ranging red-eared slider turtles (Trachemys scripta elegans) captured between March 2003 and September 2004 in southern Spain. Microscopic changes were associated with parasite migrations and were characterized by central areas of necrosis surrounded by leukocytes and resulted in destruction of exocrine tissue. The blood profile of one of the three female turtles revealed eosinophilia and hyperglycemia, common in helminth infections and pancreatic disorders respectively. These are the first reported cases of pancreatitis caused by the nematode S. microcephalus in the exotic and newly colonized host T. s. elegans.

  11. Why wasp foundresses change nests: relatedness, dominance, and nest quality.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Perttu Seppä

    Full Text Available The costs and benefits of different social options are best understood when individuals can be followed as they make different choices, something that can be difficult in social insects. In this detailed study, we follow overwintered females of the social wasp Polistes carolina through different nesting strategies in a stratified habitat where nest site quality varies with proximity to a foraging area, and genetic relatedness among females is known. Females may initiate nests, join nests temporarily or permanently, or abandon nests. Females can become helpers or egglayers, effectively workers or queens. What they actually do can be predicted by a combination of ecological and relatedness factors. Advantages through increased lifetime success of individuals and nests drives foundresses of the social wasp Polistes from solitary to social nest founding. We studied reproductive options of spring foundresses of P. carolina by monitoring individually-marked wasps and assessing reproductive success of each foundress by using DNA microsatellites. We examined what behavioral decisions foundresses make after relaxing a strong ecological constraint, shortage of nesting sites. We also look at the reproductive consequences of different behaviors. As in other Polistes, the most successful strategy for a foundress was to initiate a nest as early as possible and then accept others as subordinates. A common feature for many P. carolina foundresses was, however, that they reassessed their reproductive options by actively monitoring other nests at the field site and sometimes moving permanently to new nests should that offer better (inclusive fitness prospects compared to their original nests. A clear motivation for moving to new nests was high genetic relatedness; by the end of the foundress period all females were on nests with full sisters.

  12. Why Wasp Foundresses Change Nests: Relatedness, Dominance, and Nest Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seppä, Perttu; Queller, David C.; Strassmann, Joan E.

    2012-01-01

    The costs and benefits of different social options are best understood when individuals can be followed as they make different choices, something that can be difficult in social insects. In this detailed study, we follow overwintered females of the social wasp Polistes carolina through different nesting strategies in a stratified habitat where nest site quality varies with proximity to a foraging area, and genetic relatedness among females is known. Females may initiate nests, join nests temporarily or permanently, or abandon nests. Females can become helpers or egglayers, effectively workers or queens. What they actually do can be predicted by a combination of ecological and relatedness factors. Advantages through increased lifetime success of individuals and nests drives foundresses of the social wasp Polistes from solitary to social nest founding. We studied reproductive options of spring foundresses of P. carolina by monitoring individually-marked wasps and assessing reproductive success of each foundress by using DNA microsatellites. We examined what behavioral decisions foundresses make after relaxing a strong ecological constraint, shortage of nesting sites. We also look at the reproductive consequences of different behaviors. As in other Polistes, the most successful strategy for a foundress was to initiate a nest as early as possible and then accept others as subordinates. A common feature for many P. carolina foundresses was, however, that they reassessed their reproductive options by actively monitoring other nests at the field site and sometimes moving permanently to new nests should that offer better (inclusive) fitness prospects compared to their original nests. A clear motivation for moving to new nests was high genetic relatedness; by the end of the foundress period all females were on nests with full sisters. PMID:23049791

  13. Movement patterns for a critically endangered species, the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), linked to foraging success and population status.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, Helen; Fossette, Sabrina; Bograd, Steven J; Shillinger, George L; Swithenbank, Alan M; Georges, Jean-Yves; Gaspar, Philippe; Strömberg, K H Patrik; Paladino, Frank V; Spotila, James R; Block, Barbara A; Hays, Graeme C

    2012-01-01

    Foraging success for pelagic vertebrates may be revealed by horizontal and vertical movement patterns. We show markedly different patterns for leatherback turtles in the North Atlantic versus Eastern Pacific, which feed on gelatinous zooplankton that are only occasionally found in high densities. In the Atlantic, travel speed was characterized by two modes, indicative of high foraging success at low speeds (turtles. The most parsimonious explanation for these findings is that Eastern Pacific turtles rarely achieve high foraging success. This is the first support for foraging behaviour differences between populations of this critically endangered species and suggests that longer periods searching for prey may be hindering population recovery in the Pacific while aiding population maintenance in the Atlantic.

  14. Spectral sensitivity of the photointrinsic iris in the red-eared slider turtle (Trachemys scripta elegans).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sipe, Grayson O; Dearworth, James R; Selvarajah, Brian P; Blaum, Justin F; Littlefield, Tory E; Fink, Deborah A; Casey, Corinne N; McDougal, David H

    2011-01-01

    Our goal in this study was to examine the red-eared slider turtle for a photomechanical response (PMR) and define its spectral sensitivity. Pupils of enucleated eyes constricted to light by ∼11%, which was one-third the response measured in alert behaving turtles at ∼33%. Rates of constriction in enucleated eyes that were measured by time constants (1.44-3.70 min) were similar to those measured in turtles at 1.97 min. Dilation recovery rates during dark adaptation for enucleated eyes were predicted using line equations and computed times for reaching maximum sizes between 26 and 44 min. Times were comparable to the measures in turtles where maximum pupil size occurred within 40 min and possessed a time constant of 12.78 min. Hill equations were used to derive irradiance threshold values from enucleated hemisected eyes and then plot a spectral sensitivity curve. The analysis of the slopes and maximum responses revealed contribution from at least two different photopigments, one with a peak at 410 nm and another with a peak at 480 nm. Fits by template equations suggest that contractions are triggered by multiple photopigments in the iris including an opsin-based visual pigment and some other novel photopigment, or a cryptochrome with an absorbance spectrum significantly different from that used in our model. In addition to being regulated by retinal feedback via parasympathetic nervous pathways, the results support that the iris musculature is photointrinsically responsive. In the turtle, the control of its direct pupillary light response (dPLR) includes photoreceptive mechanisms occurring both in its iris and in its retina. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. 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.

  16. Helminths of hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata from the Pacific coast of Costa Rica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Santoro M.

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Parasitological examination of a stranded hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata from Pacific coast of Costa Rica revealed the presence of a rich digenean fauna including Carettacola stunkardi (Spirorchiidae, Enodiotrema reductum (Plagiorchiidae, Cricocephalus albus, Adenogaster serialis, Epi-bathra crassa, Pleurogonius lobatus, P. trigonocephalus, P. linearis, and Pyelosomum posterorchis (Pronocephalidae. All helminths except C. albus and P. lobatus represent new geographical records for Costa Rica. Carettacola stunkardi is reported for first time in an Eastern Pacific hawksbill turtle and its pathological changes are here described. Histologically, nodular lesions on the serosal surface of intestine revealed a mixed infiltrate of heterophils, lymphocytes, and histiocytes within necrotic debris. Granulomas with spirorchiid eggs were observed in the mucosa, sub-mucosa and muscular layers of stomach and intestine, gallbladder and liver.

  17. Accumulation and selective maternal transfer of contaminants in the turtle Trachemys scripta associated with coal ash deposition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nagle, R.D.; Rowe, C.L.; Congdon, J.D. [University of Georgia, Aiken, SC (USA). Savannah River Ecology Laboratory

    2001-07-01

    Coal combustion wastes are enriched in a number of potentially toxic compounds and may pose risks to biota exposed to the wastes. Slider turtles (Trachemys scripta) are common inhabitants of coal ash settling basins in South Carolina, USA, where they feed on contaminated prey items and accumulate high levels of potentially toxic compounds in their tissues. Furthermore, female sliders sometimes nest in contaminated spill piles and thus may expose embryos to contaminated soils. We examined two potential pathways by which female T. scripta may influence the survivorship and quality of their offspring in a contaminated habitat: (1) nesting in contaminated soil and (2) maternal transfer of pollutants. Eggs were collected from turtles captured in coal ash-polluted or unpolluted sites; individual clutches were incubated in both ash-contaminated and uncontaminated soil in outdoor, artificial nests. Incubation in contaminated soil was associated with reduced embryo survivorship. Adult females from the polluted site accumulated high levels of As, Cd, Cr, and Se in their tissues, yet Se was the only element transferred maternally to hatchlings at relatively high levels. Hatchlings from polluted-site females exhibited reduced O{sub 2} consumption rates compared to hatchlings from reference sites. Relatively high levels of Se transferred to hatchlings by females at the ash-polluted site might contribute to the observed differences in hatchling physiology.

  18. 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

  19. Intelligent nesting system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Đuričić Zoran

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available The economy of the process for the manufacture of parts from sheet metal plates depends on successful solution of the process of cutting various parts from sheet metal plates. Essentially, the problem is to arrange contours within a defined space so that they take up minimal surface. When taken in this way, the considered problem assumes a more general nature; it refers to the utilization of a flat surface, and it can represent a general principle of arranging 2D contours on a certain surface. The paper presents a conceptual solution and a prototypal intelligent nesting system for optimal cutting. The problem of nesting can generally be divided into two intellectual phases: recognition and classification of shapes, and arrangement of recognized shapes on a given surface. In solving these problems, methods of artificial intelligence are applied. In the paper, trained neural network is used for recognition of shapes; on the basis of raster record of a part's drawing, it recognizes the part's shape and which class it belongs to. By means of the expert system, based on rules defined on the basis of acquisition of knowledge from manufacturing sections, as well as on the basis of certain mathematical algorithms, parts are arranged on the arrangement surface. Both systems can also work independently, having been built on the modular principle. The system uses various product models as elements of integration for the entire system. .

  20. Neste plans three projects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1993-01-01

    Neste Chemicals (Helsinki) is discussing three joint ventures with local authorities in China, says Mikko Haapavaara, v.p./Asia. The projects should help the Finnish producer to increase sales in Asia by a considerable amount by 2000, he says. The plan involves production of polyethylene (PE), unsaturated polyester resins and PE compounding-all core operations. Sites have not been selected, but Shanghai is the favored location for the PE operations. The company is also looking at a site in the south, near Hong Kong, and at locations near Beijing. The PE plant would need to be near an ethylene unit, says Haapavaara. The PE resin plant would be designed to produce about 150,000 m.t./year and would cost about No. 150 million. A part of the output would need to be exported to take care of the financing, the company says. A feasibility study now under way with the potential Chinese partners should be completed by the end of March. The plant would use Neste's linear low-density PE process, proved in a world-scale plant at Beringen, Belgium. The compounding units would produce specialty PE material for the wire and cable and pipe industry. The company is a joint venture partner in a propane dehydrogenation/polypropylene (PP) plant and a minority partner in a Qualipoly, the 20,000 m.t./year unsaturated polyester resin producer

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. PyNEST: a convenient interface to the NEST simulator

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jochen M Eppler

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The neural simulation tool NEST (http://www.nest-initiative.org is a simulator for heterogeneous networks of point neurons or neurons with a small number of compartments. It aims at simulations of large neural systems with more than 10^4 neurons and 10^7 to 10^9 synapses. NEST is implemented in C++ and can be used on a large range of architectures from single-core laptops over multi-core desktop computers to super-computers with thousands of processor cores. Python (http://www.python.org is a modern programming language that has recently received considerable attention in Computational Neuroscience. Python is easy to learn and has many extension modules for scientific computing (e.g. http://www.scipy.org. In this contribution we describe PyNEST, the new user interface to NEST. PyNEST combines NEST’s efficient simulation kernel with the simplicity and flexibility of Python. Compared to NEST’s native simulation language SLI, PyNEST makes it easier to set up simulations, generate stimuli, and analyze simulation results. We describe how PyNEST connects NEST and Python and how it is implemented. With a number of examples, we illustrate how it is used.

  4. 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.

  5. Time-lapse video sysem used to study nesting gyrfalcons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Booms, Travis; Fuller, Mark R.

    2003-01-01

    We used solar-powered time-lapse video photography to document nesting Gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus) food habits in central West Greenland from May to July in 2000 and 2001. We collected 2677.25 h of videotape from three nests, representing 94, 87, and 49% of the nestling period at each nest. The video recorded 921 deliveries of 832 prey items. We placed 95% of the items into prey categories. The image quality was good but did not reveal enough detail to identify most passerines to species. We found no evidence that Gyrfalcons were negatively affected by the video system after the initial camera set-up. The video system experienced some mechanical problems but proved reliable. The system likely can be used to effectively document the food habits and nesting behavior of other birds, especially those delivering large prey to a nest or other frequently used site.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kara L. Dodge

    2018-03-01

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

  7. The influence of nest-site characteristics on the nesting success of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Choice of nest site has important consequences for nest survival. We examined nest-site characteristics relative to nest success in Karoo Prinias breeding in coastal dwarf shrubland, where high nest predation is the main cause of nest failure. Initially, we compared nests that failed during the building, laying, incubation and ...

  8. Exertional Myopathy in a Juvenile Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas Entangled in a Large Mesh Gillnet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brianne E. Phillips

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available A juvenile female green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas was found entangled in a large mesh gillnet in Pamlico Sound, NC, and was weak upon presentation for treatment. Blood gas analysis revealed severe metabolic acidosis and hyperlactatemia. Plasma biochemistry analysis showed elevated aspartate aminotransferase and creatine kinase, marked hypercalcemia, hyperphosphatemia, and hyperkalemia. Death occurred within 24 hours of presentation despite treatment with intravenous and subcutaneous fluids and sodium bicarbonate. Necropsy revealed multifocal to diffuse pallor of the superficial and deep pectoral muscles. Mild, multifocal, and acute myofiber necrosis was identified by histopathological examination. While histological changes in the examined muscle were modest, the acid-base, mineral, and electrolyte abnormalities were sufficiently severe to contribute to this animal’s mortality. Exertional myopathy in reptiles has not been well characterized. Sea turtle mortality resulting from forced submergence has been attributed to blood gas derangements and seawater aspiration; however, exertional myopathy may also be an important contributing factor. If possible, sea turtles subjected to incidental capture and entanglement that exhibit weakness or dull mentation should be clinically evaluated prior to release to minimize the risk of delayed mortality. Treatment with appropriate fluid therapy and supportive care may mitigate the effects of exertional myopathy in some cases.

  9. Using Artificial Nests to Study Nest Predation in Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belthoff, James R.

    2005-01-01

    A simple and effective field exercise that demonstrates factors affecting predation on bird nests is described. With instructor guidance, students in high school biology or college-level biology, ecology, animal behavior, wildlife management or ornithology laboratory courses can collaborate to design field experiments related to nest depredation.

  10. 77 FR 75999 - 2013 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle Observer Requirement

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-12-26

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

  11. Tracking the movements of a post-nesting Southern River Terrapin (Batagur affinis edwardmolli)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Pelf-Nyok; Wong, Adrian

    2015-09-01

    A Southern River Terrapin (Batagur affinis edwardmolli) Conservation Project was initiated on one terrapin nesting bank in 2011, following the discovery of a River Terrapin population in the Kemaman River, Terengganu in 2010. Since this project was initiated, Turtle Conservation Society of Malaysia (TCS) was instrumental in the gazettement of three nesting banks along the Kemaman River, from which all River Terrapin eggs are collected for incubation. However, there are at least a dozen other "unprotected" nesting banks along the river, where all eggs were collected for human consumption. This project attempted to determine the movements of a post-nesting River Terrapin, with hopes that it would provide the preliminary baseline information on the utilization of adjacent nesting banks. The solution was a GPS tracking device that transmitted coordinates every hour over cellular networks. Location-based data was sent via Short Message Service (SMS) to our own SMS gateway running on a Raspberry Pi credit-card size computer, which was then logged in a database and presented graphically via Google Maps. It was a complete tracking and monitoring system. This solution enabled researchers to remotely track the movements of a River Terrapin, hence reducing the costs of research. The movements of a post-nesting River Terrapin were tracked for eight days before the battery was drained. On the third day, this River Terrapin ascended an adjacent riverbank and spent less than an hour on the bank, presumably to deposit her remaining eggs. This study confirmed that River Terrapins do utilize other suitable nesting banks if/whenever available. Results from such tracking studies will be used to leverage on the protection of adjacent nesting banks, thus providing greater protection for the critically endangered River Terrapins.

  12. Critical Windows of Cardiovascular Susceptibility to Developmental Hypoxia in Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) Embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tate, Kevin B; Kohl, Zachary F; Eme, John; Rhen, Turk; Crossley, Dane A

    2015-01-01

    Environmental conditions fluctuate dramatically in some reptilian nests. However, critical windows of environmental sensitivity for cardiovascular development have not been identified. Continuous developmental hypoxia has been shown to alter cardiovascular form and function in embryonic snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina), and we used this species to identify critical periods during which hypoxia modifies the cardiovascular phenotype. We hypothesized that incubation in 10% O2 during specific developmental periods would have differential effects on the cardiovascular system versus overall somatic growth. Two critical windows were identified with 10% O2 from 50% to 70% of incubation, resulting in relative heart enlargement, either via preservation of or preferential growth of this tissue, while exposure to 10% O2 from 20% to 70% of incubation resulted in a reduction in arterial pressure. The deleterious or advantageous aspects of these embryonic phenotypes in posthatching snapping turtles have yet to be explored. However, identification of these critical windows has provided insight into how the developmental environment alters the phenotype of reptiles and will also be pivotal in understanding its impact on the fitness of egg-laying reptiles.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maira C. Proietti

    2014-02-01

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

  15. Diagnosis and management of oviductal disease in three red-eared slider turtles (Trachemys scripta elegans).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mans, C; Sladky, K K

    2012-04-01

    Three mature, female, red-eared slider turtles (Trachemys scripta elegans) were individually, and separately, diagnosed with different forms of oviductal disease. Case 1 presented with acute cloacal bleeding and was diagnosed with acute oviductal rupture and ectopic eggs in the coelom. Case 2 presented for repeated scratching in the direction of the cloaca and was diagnosed with chronic oviductal impaction and coelomitis. Both cases were treated successfully by endoscopy-assisted complete ovariosalpingectomy via a bilateral prefemoral approach. Case 3 presented with a reduced appetite and signs of nesting behaviour and was diagnosed with obstructive dystocia associated with bacterial salpingitis. Successful treatment consisted of transcloacal egg removal and systemic antibiotics. Complete recovery was achieved in all three turtles, which remained disease-free 23 to 33 months later. Oviductal disease can present with a variety of clinical signs, and an accurate diagnosis can be made based on a thorough history, physical examination and appropriate diagnostic techniques. © 2012 British Small Animal Veterinary Association.

  16. 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

  17. 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 ...

  18. 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.

  19. Snapping turtles, a biological screen for PCB's

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Olafsson, P.G.; Bryan, A.M.; Bush, B.; Stone, W.

    1983-01-01

    Snapping turtles are capable of storing extremely high concentration of organochlorine compounds in their fat without any apparent detrimental effect. This tolerance, to high bioconcentration, permits a wide gradation between the extremes in pollution levels and facilitates the detection of extremely toxic substances present in trace amounts. Consequently snapping turtles provide an excellent biological screen for these compounds.

  20. 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...

  1. 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

  2. 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, ...

  3. Jordan Isomorphisms on Nest Subalgebras

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aili Yang

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper is devoted to the study of Jordan isomorphisms on nest subalgebras of factor von Neumann algebras. It is shown that every Jordan isomorphism ϕ between the two nest subalgebras algMβ and algMγ is either an isomorphism or an anti-isomorphism.

  4. Neste Corporation - a successful year

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ihamuotila, J.

    1991-01-01

    The past year proved a successful one for Neste Corporation. Profitability was good and operations were consistently developed. Neste is committed to giving high priority to productivity and know- how to ensure that this success continues into the future. Important developments affecting the structure of Neste Corporation during 1990 included the amalgamation of Neste's oil-related activities into a single division, the increasing concentration of Neste Chemicals, activities in Central and Southern Europe and a major strengthening of oil exploration and production operations. Neste Oil turned in a good result during 1990. Neste imported a total of 8.9 million tonnes of crude oil during 1990. Imports from the Soviet Union at 5.2 million tonnes, were over 2 million tonnes less than planned. Some 2.5 million tonnes were imported from the North Sea, and 1.2 million tonnes from the Middle East. The year was one of expansion, diversification, and solid profit for Neste Chemicals. Net sales grew by 18 % compared to 1989 and the division recorded a satisfactory performance. Petrochemicals and polyolefins production increased suhstantially as a result of plants completed, acquired, or leased during 1989. The gas division's net sales during 1990 were 46 % higher than during 1989. This growth largely resulted from an increase in the consumption of natural gas and an expansion in the volume of international IPG business. The division's profitability remained satisfactory

  5. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peckham, S Hoyt; Maldonado Diaz, David; Walli, Andreas; Ruiz, Georgita; Crowder, Larry B; Nichols, Wallace J

    2007-10-17

    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 partnership with small

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathan J Robinson

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

  9. Mourning Dove nesting habitat and nest success in Central Missouri

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drobney, R.D.; Schulz, J.H.; Sheriff, S.L.; Fuemmeler, W.J.

    1998-01-01

    Previous Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) nesting studies conducted in areas containing a mixture of edge and continuous habitats have focused on edge habitats. Consequently, little is known about the potential contribution of continuous habitats to dove production. In this study we evaluated the relative importance of these two extensive habitat types by monitoring the habitat use and nest success of 59 radio-marked doves during 1990-1991 in central Missouri. Of 83 nests initiated by our marked sample, most (81.9%) were located in edge habitats. Although continuous habitats were selected less as nest sites, the proportion of successful nests did not differ significantly from that in edge habitats. Our data indicate that continuous habitats should not be considered marginal nesting habitat. If the intensity of use and nest success that we observed are representative regionally or nationally, continuous habitats could contribute substantially to annual Mourning Dove production because of the high availability of these habitats throughout much of the Mourning Dove breeding range.

  10. Removal of nonnative slider turtles (Trachemys scripta) and effects on native Sonora mud turtles (Kinosternon sonoriense) at Montezuma Well, Yavapai County, Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drost, Charles A.; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Madrak, Sheila V.; Monatesti, A.J.

    2011-01-01

    The National Park Service (NPS) estimates that 234 national parks contain nonnative, invasive animal species that are of management concern (National Park Service, 2004). Understanding and controlling invasive species is thus an important priority within the NPS (National Park Service, 1996). The slider turtle (Trachemys scripta) is one such invasive species. Native to the Southeastern United States (Ernst and Lovich, 2009), as well as Mexico, Central America, and portions of South America (Ernst and Barbour, 1989), the slider turtle has become established throughout the continental United States and in other locations around the world (Burke and others, 2000). Slider turtle introductions have been suspected to be a threat to native turtles (Holland 1994; da Silva and Blasco, 1995), however, there has not been serious study of their effects until recently. Cadi and Joly (2003) found that slider turtles outcompeted European pond turtles (Emys orbicularis) for preferred basking sites under controlled experimental conditions, demonstrating for the first time direct competition for resources between a native and an exotic turtle species. Similarly, Spinks and others (2003) suggested that competition for basking sites between slider turtles and Pacific pond turtles (Actinemys marmorata) was partly responsible for the decline of Pacific pond turtles observed at their study site in California. They concluded that the impact of introduced slider turtles was 'almost certainly negative' for the western pond turtle. In the most recent critical study to assess the effects of introduced slider turtles on native turtles, Cadi and Joly (2004) demonstrated that European pond turtles that were kept under experimentally controlled conditions with slider turtles lost body weight and exhibited higher rates of mortality than in control groups of turtles comprised of the same species, demonstrating potential population-level effects on native species. Slider turtles are not native to

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  12. Nest site selection by Hypsiboas faber(Anura, Hylidae in Southern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    André L. Luza

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Male gladiator frogs of Hypsiboas Wagler, 1830 build nests on available substrate surrounding ponds and streams where female spawn eggs during the breeding period. Although gladiator frogs seem to show plasticity in the way they construct their nests, there is no study reporting if these species present preferences about microhabitat conditions for nest-building (mainly under subtropical climate. Predation pressure and environmental conditions have been considered major processes shaping the great diversity of reproductive strategies performed by amphibians, but microhabitat conditions should explain where to build a nest as well as how nest looks. This study aimed to test nest site selection for nest-building by Hypsiboas faber(Wied-Neuwied, 1821, determining which factors are related to nest site selection and nest features. The survey was conducted at margins of two permanent ponds in Southern Brazil. Habitat factors were evaluated in 18 plots with nest and 18 plots in the surrounding without nest (control, describing vegetation structure and heterogeneity, and substrate characteristics. Water temperature was measured inside the nest and in its adjacency. Nest features assessed were area, depth and temperature. Habitat characteristics differed between plots with and without nest. Microhabitat selected for nest-building was characterized by great vegetation cover and height, as well as shallower water and lower cover of organic matter in suspension than in plots without nest. Differences between temperature inside nest and in its adjacency were not observed. No relationship between nest features and habitat descriptors was evidenced. Results revealed that Hypsiboas faber does not build nests anywhere. Males seem to prefer more protected habitats, probably avoiding predation, invasion of conspecific males and inclement weather. Lack of differences between temperature inside- and outside-nest suggest that nest do not improve this

  13. The Nest Home

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pickerill, Heath [Missouri Univ. of Science and Technology, Rolla, MO (United States)

    2016-07-11

    The purpose of the project was to build a competitive solar-powered house for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015 held in Irvine, California. The house, named the Nest Home, was an innovative design that works with the environment to meet the needs of the occupants, identified as a growing family. Reused materials were instrumental in the design. Three refurbished shipping containers composed the primary structure of the house, creating an open floor plan that defies common architecture for container homes. The exterior siding was made of deconstructed shipping pallets collected locally. Other recycled products included carpet composed of discarded fishing nets, denim batting made of recycled blue jeans that outperform traditional fiberglass insulation in sound proofing and thermal resistance, and kitchen cabinets that were purchased used and refinished. Collectively these elements formed a well-balanced blend of modern design, comfort, and sustainability. The house was Missouri University of Science and Technology’s sixth entry in the DOE Solar Decathlon. Missouri S&T has been invited to compete in six of the seven decathlons held, more than any other university worldwide. The house was brought back to Rolla after the Decathlon in California where it has been placed in its permanent location on the S&T campus.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cynthia J Lagueux

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  16. 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

  17. Data Hiding Based on a Two-Layer Turtle Shell Matrix

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiao-Zhu Xie

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Data hiding is a technology that embeds data into a cover carrier in an imperceptible way while still allowing the hidden data to be extracted accurately from the stego-carrier, which is one important branch of computer science and has drawn attention of scholars in the last decade. Turtle shell-based (TSB schemes have become popular in recent years due to their higher embedding capacity (EC and better visual quality of the stego-image than most of the none magic matrices based (MMB schemes. This paper proposes a two-layer turtle shell matrix-based (TTSMB scheme for data hiding, in which an extra attribute presented by a 4-ary digit is assigned to each element of the turtle shell matrix with symmetrical distribution. Therefore, compared with the original TSB scheme, two more bits are embedded into each pixel pair to obtain a higher EC up to 2.5 bits per pixel (bpp. The experimental results reveal that under the condition of the same visual quality, the EC of the proposed scheme outperforms state-of-the-art data hiding schemes.

  18. 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.

  19. Nesting ecology of Arctic loons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, Margaret R.

    1979-01-01

    Arctic Loons were studied on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska, from the time of their arrival in May to their departure in September, in 1974 and 1975. Pairs arrived on breeding ponds as soon as sufficient meltwater was available to allow their take-off and landing. Loons apparently do not initiate nests immediately after their arrival, even when nest-sites are available. Delayed egg-laying may be dependent on a period of yolk formation. Delaying yolk formation until after arrival on nest ponds is an adaptation by loons to the variable time suitable habitat becomes available for nesting. Predation of eggs by Glaucous Gulls, Long-tailed and Parasitic jaegers and foxes varied in relation to the location of the nest-site, and the availability of alternate prey. Hatching success was the lowest recorded for Arctic Loons (5%) in 1974, when eggs of both loons and Cackling Geese were taken in large numbers by predators. Hatching success increased to 32% in 1975 when an abundance of tundra voles was observed. No loon eggs hatched after the hatching of the Cackling Goose eggs when this alternate prey was no longer available. Nests destroyed by foxes were predominantly along shorelines, and those by gulls and jaegers were predominantly on islands. Nest-site selection by Arctic Loons may reflect an adaptive response to varying selective pressures by their predators.

  20. Treatment of turtle aquaculture effluent by an improved multi-soil-layer system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Ying; Huang, Yu-ting; Ji, Hong-fang; Nie, Xin-jun; Zhang, Zhi-yuan; Ge, Chuan; Luo, An-cheng; Chen, Xin

    2015-02-01

    Concentrated turtle aquaculture effluent poses an environmental threat to water bodies, and therefore needs to be treated prior to disposal. This study was conducted to assess the effect of multi-soil-layer (MSL) systems treating turtle aquaculture effluent with adding different amounts of sludge. Four MSL systems were constructed with dry weight ratios of sludge with 0%, 5%, 10%, and 20% (MSL 1, MSL 2, MSL 3, and MSL 4, respectively). The turtle aquaculture effluent had an average chemical oxygen demand (COD), ammonia nitrogen (NH4(+)-N) and total nitrogen (TN) concentration of 288.4, 213.4, and 252.0 mg/L, respectively. The COD/TN (C/N) ratio was 1.2. The results showed that the four MSL systems could effectively treat the COD, NH4(+)-N, and TN, and MSL 4 showed significantly improved NH4(+)-N removal efficiency, suggesting the potential of sludge addition to improve the turtle aquaculture effluent treatment. The average COD, TN, and NH4(+)-N removal efficiencies of MSL 4 were 70.3%, 66.5%, and 72.7%, respectively. To further interpret the contribution of microorganisms to the removal, the microbial community compositions and diversities of the four MSL systems were measured. Comparisons of the denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) profiles revealed that the amount of nitrifying bacteria and diversity in MSL 4 were higher than those in the other three systems. We concluded that adding 20% of sludge improved the NH4(+)-N removal and stability of the system for nitrification, due to the enrichment of the nitrifying bacteria in MSL 4.

  1. Developmental exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) alters sexual differentiation in painted turtles (Chrysemys picta)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jandegian, Caitlin M.; Deem, Sharon L.; Bhandari, Ramji K.; Holliday, Casey M.; Nicks, Diane; Rosenfeld, Cheryl S.; Selcer, Kyle; Tillitt, Donald E.; vom Saal, Fredrick S.; Velez, Vanessa; Yang, Ying; Holliday, Dawn K.

    2015-01-01

    Environmental chemicals can disrupt endocrine signaling and adversely impact sexual differentiation in wildlife. Bisphenol A (BPA) is an estrogenic chemical commonly found in a variety of habitats. In this study, we used painted turtles (Chrysemys picta), which have temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD), as an animal model for ontogenetic endocrine disruption by BPA. We hypothesized that BPA would override TSD and disrupt sexual development. We incubated farm-raised turtle eggs at the male-producing temperature (26 °C), randomly assigned individuals to treatment groups: control, vehicle control, 17β-estradiol (E2, 20 ng/g-egg) or 0.01, 1.0, 100 μg BPA/g-egg and harvested tissues at hatch. Typical female gonads were present in 89% of the E2-treated “males”, but in none of the control males (n = 35). Gonads of BPA-exposed turtles had varying amounts of ovarian-like cortical (OLC) tissue and disorganized testicular tubules in the medulla. Although the percentage of males with OLCs increased with BPA dose (BPA-low = 30%, BPA-medium = 33%, BPA-high = 39%), this difference was not significant (p = 0.85). In all three BPA treatments, SOX9 patterns revealed disorganized medullary testicular tubules and β-catenin expression in a thickened cortex. Liver vitellogenin, a female-specific liver protein commonly used as an exposure biomarker, was not induced by any of the treatments. Notably, these results suggest that developmental exposure to BPA disrupts sexual differentiation in painted turtles. Further examination is necessary to determine the underlying mechanisms of sex reversal in reptiles and how these translate to EDC exposure in wild populations.

  2. Bristol Bay, Alaska Subarea ESI: NESTS (Nest Points)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for nesting seabirds (alcids, pelagic birds), gulls, terns, diving birds, and raptors in the Bristol Bay...

  3. Do Predation Rates on Artificial Nests Accurately Reflect Predation Rates on Natural Bird Nests?

    Science.gov (United States)

    David I. King; Richard M. DeGraaf; Curtice R. Griffin; Thomas J. Maier

    1999-01-01

    Artificial nests are widely used in avian field studies. However, it is unclear how well predation rates on artificial nests reflect predation rates on natural nests. Therefore, we compared survival rates of artificial nests (unused natural nests baited with House Sparrow eggs) with survival rates of active bird nests in the same habitat at the same sites. Survival...

  4. Effectiveness of Chain Link Turtle Fence and Culverts in Reducing Turtle Mortality and Providing Connectivity along U.S. Hwy 83, Valentine National Wildlife Refuge, Nebraska, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-12-01

    We evaluated the effectiveness of existing turtle fences through collecting and analyzing turtle mortality data along U.S. Hwy 83, in and around Valentine National Wildlife Refuge, Nebraska, USA. We also investigated the level of connectivity for tur...

  5. 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.

  6. The role of turtles as coral reef macroherbivores

    KAUST Repository

    Goatley, Christopher H. R.; Hoey, Andrew; Bellwood, David R.

    2012-01-01

    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.

  7. The role of turtles as coral reef macroherbivores.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher H R Goatley

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

  8. Replication and persistence of VHSV IVb in freshwater turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodwin, Andrew E; Merry, Gwenn E

    2011-05-09

    With the emergence of viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV) strain IVb in the Great Lakes of North America, hatchery managers have become concerned that this important pathogen could be transmitted by animals other than fish. Turtles are likely candidates because they are poikilotherms that feed on dead fish, but there are very few reports of rhabdovirus infections in reptiles and no reports of the fish rhabdoviruses in animals other than teleosts. We injected common snapping turtles Chelydra serpentine and red-eared sliders Trachemys scripta elegans intraperitoneally with 10(4) median tissue culture infectious dose (TCID50) of VHSV-IVb and 21 d later were able to detect the virus by quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase PCR (qrt-RTPCR) in pools of kidney, liver, and spleen. In a second experiment, snapping turtles, red-eared sliders, yellow-bellied sliders T. scripta scripta, and northern map turtles Grapetemys geographica at 14 degrees C were allowed to feed on tissues from bluegill dying of VHSV IVb disease. Turtle kidney, spleen, and brain pools were not positive by qrt-RTPCR on Day 3 post feeding, but were positive on Days 10 and 20. Map turtles on Day 20 post-feeding were positive by both qrt-RTPCR and by cell culture. Our work shows that turtles that consume infected fish are a possible vector for VHSV IVb, and that the fish rhabdoviruses may have a broader host range than previously suspected.

  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. Neuroanatomy of the marine Jurassic turtle Plesiochelys etalloni (Testudinata, Plesiochelyidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carabajal, Ariana Paulina; Sterli, Juliana; Müller, Johannes; Hilger, André

    2013-01-01

    Turtles are one of the least explored clades regarding endocranial anatomy with few available descriptions of the brain and inner ear of extant representatives. In addition, the paleoneurology of extinct turtles is poorly known and based on only a few natural cranial endocasts. The main goal of this study is to provide for the first time a detailed description of the neuroanatomy of an extinct turtle, the Late Jurassic Plesiochelysetalloni, including internal carotid circulation, cranial endocast and inner ear, based on the first digital 3D reconstruction using micro CT scans. The general shape of the cranial endocast of P. etalloni is tubular, with poorly marked cephalic and pontine flexures. Anteriorly, the olfactory bulbs are clearly differentiated suggesting larger bulbs than in any other described extinct or extant turtle, and indicating a higher capacity of olfaction in this taxon. The morphology of the inner ear of P. etalloni is comparable to that of extant turtles and resembles those of slow-moving terrestrial vertebrates, with markedly low, short and robust semicircular canals, and a reduced lagena. In P. etalloni the arterial pattern is similar to that found in extant cryptodires, where all the internal carotid branches are protected by bone. As the knowledge of paleoneurology in turtles is scarce and the application of modern techniques such as 3D reconstructions based on CT scans is almost unexplored in this clade, we hope this paper will trigger similar investigations of this type in other turtle taxa.

  11. Nested Cohort - R software package

    Science.gov (United States)

    NestedCohort is an R software package for fitting Kaplan-Meier and Cox Models to estimate standardized survival and attributable risks for studies where covariates of interest are observed on only a sample of the cohort.

  12. Pre-nesting and nesting behavior of the Swainson's warbler

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meanley, B.

    1969-01-01

    The Swainson?s Warbler is one of the least known of southern birds. Although fairly common in some parts of its summer range, observations of its breeding biology have been made by very few persons. The present study was conducted mostly at Macon, Georgia; Pendleton Ferry, Arkansas; and Dismal Swamp, Virginia....In central Georgia and east-central Arkansas, Swainson?s Warblers usually arrive on their territories during the first two weeks in April. Territories in several localities ranged in size from 0.3 to 4.8 acres. A color-marked Arkansas male occupied the same territory for at least four months. Hostile encounters between territorial male Swainson?s Warblers usually take place along the boundary of adjacent territories. Paired males were more aggressive than unpaired males. Toward the end of an encounter one of the two males would usually perform a display in which the wing and tail feathers were spread and the tail vibrated. Following boundary encounters males drifted back onto their territories and usually sang unbroken courses of songs for several minutes.....During pre-nesting at Macon, a mated pair spent the day mostly on the ground within 20 feet of each other, often foragin g 3 to 4 feet apart. What may have been a form of courtship display, in which the male flew from a perch down to the female and either pecked her rump or pounced on her, occurred about three times each hour throughout the day. During this period the male sang less than at other times during the breeding season.....First nests are usually built by the first week in May. Although other investigators reported finding nests of this species outside of the defended territory, all nests that I have found were within the territory. The large, bulky nest of this species usually is placed 2-6 feet above the ground. It is built by the female from materials gathered close to the nest site; and takes two or three days to complete.....Three and occasionally four white eggs are laid. The female

  13. Tiny Turtles Purchased at Pet Stores are a Potential High Risk for Salmonella Human Infection in the Valencian Region, Eastern Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marin, Clara; Vega, Santiago; Marco-Jiménez, Francisco

    2016-07-01

    Turtles may be considered unsafe pets, particularly in households with children. This study aimed to assess Salmonella carriage by turtles in pet stores and in private ownership to inform the public of the potential health risk, enabling informed choices around pet selection. During the period between September and October 2013, 24 pet stores and 96 private owners were sampled in the Valencian Region (Eastern Spain). Salmonella identification procedure was based on ISO 6579: 2002 recommendations (Annex D). Salmonella strains were serotyped in accordance with Kauffman-White-Le-Minor technique. The rate of isolation of Salmonella was very high from pet store samples (75.0% ± 8.8%) and moderate for private owners (29.0% ± 4.6%). Serotyping revealed 18 different serotypes among two Salmonella enterica subspecies: S. enterica subsp. enterica and S. enterica subsp. diarizonae. Most frequently isolated serotypes were Salmonella Typhimurium (39.5%, 17/43) and Salmonella Pomona (9.3%, 4/43). Serotypes identified have previously been reported in turtles, and child Salmonella infections associate with pet turtle exposure. The present study clearly demonstrates that turtles in pet stores, as well as in private owners, could be a direct or indirect source of a high risk of human Salmonella infections. In addition, pet stores should advise their customers of the potential risks associated with reptile ownership.

  14. Comprehensive survey of carapacial ridge-specific genes in turtle implies co-option of some regulatory genes in carapace evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuraku, Shigehiro; Usuda, Ryo; Kuratani, Shigeru

    2005-01-01

    The turtle shell is an evolutionary novelty in which the developmental pattern of the ribs is radically modified. In contrast to those of other amniotes, turtle ribs grow laterally into the dorsal dermis to form a carapace. The lateral margin of carapacial primordium is called the carapacial ridge (CR), and is thought to play an essential role in carapace patterning. To reveal the developmental mechanisms underlying this structure, we systematically screened for genes expressed specifically in the CR of the Chinese soft-shelled turtle, Pelodiscus sinensis, using microbead-based differential cDNA analysis and real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. We identified orthologs of Sp5, cellular retinoic acid-binding protein-I (CRABP-I), adenomatous polyposis coli down-regulated 1 (APCDD1), and lymphoid enhancer-binding factor-1 (LEF-1). Although these genes are conserved throughout the major vertebrate lineages, comparison of their expression patterns with those in chicken and mouse indicated that these genes have acquired de novo expression in the CR in the turtle lineage. In association with the expression of LEF-1, the nuclear localization of beta-catenin protein was detected in the CR ectoderm, suggesting that the canonical Wnt signaling triggers carapace development. These findings indicate that the acquisition of the turtle shell did not involve the creation of novel genes, but was based on the co-option of pre-existing genes.

  15. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  18. RANAVIRUS EPIZOOTIC IN CAPTIVE EASTERN BOX TURTLES (TERRAPENE CAROLINA CAROLINA) WITH CONCURRENT HERPESVIRUS AND MYCOPLASMA INFECTION: MANAGEMENT AND MONITORING.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sim, Richard R; Allender, Matthew C; Crawford, LaTasha K; Wack, Allison N; Murphy, Kevin J; Mankowski, Joseph L; Bronson, Ellen

    2016-03-01

    Frog virus 3 (FV3) and FV3-like viruses are members of the genus Ranavirus (family Iridoviridae) and are becoming recognized as significant pathogens of eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina) in North America. In July 2011, 5 turtles from a group of 27 in Maryland, USA, presented dead or lethargic with what was later diagnosed as fibrinonecrotic stomatitis and cloacitis. The presence of FV3-like virus and herpesvirus was detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in the tested index cases. The remaining 22 animals were isolated, segregated by severity of clinical signs, and treated with nutritional support, fluid therapy, ambient temperature management, antibiotics, and antiviral therapy. Oral swabs were tested serially for FV3-like virus by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) and tested at day 0 for herpesvirus and Mycoplasma sp. by conventional PCR. With oral swabs, 77% of the 22 turtles were FV3-like virus positive; however, qPCR on tissues taken during necropsy revealed the true prevalence was 86%. FV3-like virus prevalence and the median number of viral copies being shed significantly declined during the outbreak. The prevalence of herpesvirus and Mycoplasma sp. by PCR of oral swabs at day 0 was 55% and 68%, respectively. The 58% survival rate was higher than previously reported in captive eastern box turtles for a ranavirus epizootic. All surviving turtles brumated normally and emerged the following year with no clinical signs during subsequent monitoring. The immediate initiation of treatment and intensive supportive care were considered the most important contributing factors to the successful outcome in this outbreak.

  19. Impacts of plastic ingestion on post-hatchling loggerhead turtles off South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, Peter G; Cole, Georgina; Spiby, Kevin; Nel, Ronel; Osborne, Alexis; Perold, Vonica

    2016-06-15

    Twenty-four of 40 (60%) loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta post-hatchlings (carapaceTurtles selected for white (38%) and blue (19%) items, but translucent items (23%) were under-represented compared to beach mesodebris. Ingested loads did not decrease up to 52days in captivity, indicating long retention times. Plastic killed 11 turtles by blocking their digestive tracts or bladders, and contributed to the deaths of five other turtles. Our results indicate that the amount and diversity of plastic ingested by post-hatchling loggerhead turtles off South Africa have increased over the last four decades, and now kill some turtles. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Influence of olfactory and visual cover on nest site selection and nest success for grassland-nesting birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogarty, Dillon T; Elmore, R Dwayne; Fuhlendorf, Samuel D; Loss, Scott R

    2017-08-01

    Habitat selection by animals is influenced by and mitigates the effects of predation and environmental extremes. For birds, nest site selection is crucial to offspring production because nests are exposed to extreme weather and predation pressure. Predators that forage using olfaction often dominate nest predator communities; therefore, factors that influence olfactory detection (e.g., airflow and weather variables, including turbulence and moisture) should influence nest site selection and survival. However, few studies have assessed the importance of olfactory cover for habitat selection and survival. We assessed whether ground-nesting birds select nest sites based on visual and/or olfactory cover. Additionally, we assessed the importance of visual cover and airflow and weather variables associated with olfactory cover in influencing nest survival. In managed grasslands in Oklahoma, USA, we monitored nests of Northern Bobwhite ( Colinus virginianus ), Eastern Meadowlark ( Sturnella magna ), and Grasshopper Sparrow ( Ammodramus savannarum ) during 2015 and 2016. To assess nest site selection, we compared cover variables between nests and random points. To assess factors influencing nest survival, we used visual cover and olfactory-related measurements (i.e., airflow and weather variables) to model daily nest survival. For nest site selection, nest sites had greater overhead visual cover than random points, but no other significant differences were found. Weather variables hypothesized to influence olfactory detection, specifically precipitation and relative humidity, were the best predictors of and were positively related to daily nest survival. Selection for overhead cover likely contributed to mitigation of thermal extremes and possibly reduced detectability of nests. For daily nest survival, we hypothesize that major nest predators focused on prey other than the monitored species' nests during high moisture conditions, thus increasing nest survival on these

  1. The Gulf Stream frontal system: A key oceanographic feature in the habitat selection of the leatherback turtle?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambault, Philippine; Roquet, Fabien; Benhamou, Simon; Baudena, Alberto; Pauthenet, Etienne; de Thoisy, Benoît; Bonola, Marc; Dos Reis, Virginie; Crasson, Rodrigue; Brucker, Mathieu; Le Maho, Yvon; Chevallier, Damien

    2017-05-01

    Although some associations between the leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea and the Gulf Stream current have been previously suggested, no study has to date demonstrated strong affinities between leatherback movements and this particular frontal system using thorough oceanographic data in both the horizontal and vertical dimensions. The importance of the Gulf Stream frontal system in the selection of high residence time (HRT) areas by the North Atlantic leatherback turtle is assessed here for the first time using state-of-the-art ocean reanalysis products. Ten adult females from the Eastern French Guianese rookery were satellite tracked during post-nesting migration to relate (1) their horizontal movements to physical gradients (Sea Surface Temperature (SST), Sea Surface Height (SSH) and filaments) and biological variables (micronekton and chlorophyll a), and (2) their diving behaviour to vertical structures within the water column (mixed layer, thermocline, halocline and nutricline). All the turtles migrated northward towards the Gulf Stream north wall. Although their HRT areas were geographically remote (spread between 80-30 °W and 28-45 °N), all the turtles targeted similar habitats in terms of physical structures, i.e. strong gradients of SST, SSH and a deep mixed layer. This close association with the Gulf Stream frontal system highlights the first substantial synchronization ever observed in this species, as the HRTs were observed in close match with the autumn phytoplankton bloom. Turtles remained within the enriched mixed layer at depths of 38.5±7.9 m when diving in HRT areas, likely to have an easier access to their prey and maximize therefore the energy gain. These depths were shallow in comparison to those attained within the thermocline (82.4±5.6 m) while crossing the nutrient-poor subtropical gyre, probably to reach cooler temperatures and save energy during the transit. In a context of climate change, anticipating the evolution of such frontal

  2. Interspecific nest use by aridland birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah M. Finch

    1982-01-01

    Nest holes drilled by woodpeckers (Picidae) are frequently used by secondary cavity-nesting species, but interspecific use of open and domed nests is less well known. Nests constructed by many southwestern desert birds last longer than one year (pers. obs.) and are consequently reused by the same pair (e.g., Abert's Towhees [Pipilo aberti], pers. obs.) or by other...

  3. Constructing bald eagle nests with natural materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    T. G. Grubb

    1995-01-01

    A technique for using natural materials to build artificial nests for bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and other raptors is detailed. Properly constructed nests are as permanently secured to the nest tree or cliff substrate as any eagle-built nest or human-made platform. Construction normally requires about three hours and at least two people. This technique is...

  4. 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 ...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. Western Pond Turtle Observations - Region 1 [ds313

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — This dataset was developed in an effort to compile Western Pond Turtle (Clemmys marmorata) observations in CDFG Region 1. Steve Burton (CDFG Staff Environmental...

  10. 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.

  11. Nest use is influenced by the positions of nests and drinkers in aviaries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lentfer, T L; Gebhardt-Henrich, S G; Fröhlich, E K F; von Borell, E

    2013-06-01

    The influence of the nest location and the placement of nipple drinkers on nest use by laying hens in a commercial aviary was assessed. Twenty pens in a laying hen house were equipped with the same commercial aviary system, but the pens differed in the nest location and the placement of nipple drinkers. Nests were placed along the walls in 10 pens, and nipple drinkers were installed in front of the nests in 5 of these pens. The other 10 pens were equipped with nests placed on a tier within the aviary (integrated nests). Nipple drinkers were installed in front of the nests in 5 of these pens. A total of 225 Lohmann Selected Leghorns were housed per pen. The hens were offered 4 nests per pen: 2 facing the service corridor of the laying hen house and 2 facing the outdoor area. The numbers of nest eggs and mislaid eggs were counted daily per pen. At 25, 36, and 43 wk of age, the nest platforms were videotaped and the behavior of laying hens in front of the nests was analyzed. The nest location affected the stationary and locomotive behaviors in front of the nests. Hens in front of the integrated nests and the nests with drinkers displayed more stationary behaviors than hens in front of wall-placed nests or nests without drinkers. No difference in the number of nest eggs could be detected, but the integration of the nests inside the aviary led to a more even distribution of hens while nest searching. In the pens with wall-placed nests, significantly more hens laid eggs in the nests at the wall near the service corridor than at the wall near the outdoor area. Due to this imbalance, crowding in front of the preferred nests occurred and pushing and agonistic interactions on the nest platforms were significantly more frequent. Placement of nipple drinkers in front of nests had no effect on the number of eggs laid in those nests.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-22

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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. PMID:28192469

  15. 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...

  16. Demographic evidence of illegal harvesting of an endangered asian turtle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sung, Yik-Hei; Karraker, Nancy E; Hau, Billy C H

    2013-12-01

    Harvesting pressure on Asian freshwater turtles is severe, and dramatic population declines of these turtles are being driven by unsustainable collection for food markets, pet trade, and traditional Chinese medicine. Populations of big-headed turtle (Platysternon megacephalum) have declined substantially across its distribution, particularly in China, because of overcollection. To understand the effects of chronic harvesting pressure on big-headed turtle populations, we examined the effects of illegal harvesting on the demography of populations in Hong Kong, where some populations still exist. We used mark-recapture methods to compare demographic characteristics between sites with harvesting histories and one site in a fully protected area. Sites with a history of illegal turtle harvesting were characterized by the absence of large adults and skewed ratios of juveniles to adults, which may have negative implications for the long-term viability of populations. These sites also had lower densities of adults and smaller adult body sizes than the protected site. Given that populations throughout most of the species' range are heavily harvested and individuals are increasingly difficult to find in mainland China, the illegal collection of turtles from populations in Hong Kong may increase over time. Long-term monitoring of populations is essential to track effects of illegal collection, and increased patrolling is needed to help control illegal harvesting of populations, particularly in national parks. Because few, if any, other completely protected populations remain in the region, our data on an unharvested population of big-headed turtles serve as an important reference for assessing the negative consequences of harvesting on populations of stream turtles. Evidencia Demográfica de la Captura Ilegal de una Tortuga Asiática en Peligro. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  17. Hydrodynamic role of longitudinal ridges in a leatherback turtle swimming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bang, Kyeongtae; Kim, Jooha; Lee, Sang-Im; Choi, Haecheon

    2015-11-01

    The leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), the fastest swimmer and the deepest diver among marine turtles, has five longitudinal ridges on its carapace. These ridges are the most remarkable morphological features distinguished from other marine turtles. To investigate the hydrodynamic role of these ridges in the leatherback turtle swimming, we model a carapace with and without ridges by using three dimensional surface data of a stuffed leatherback turtle in the National Science Museum, Korea. The experiment is conducted in a wind tunnel in the ranges of the real leatherback turtle's Reynolds number (Re) and angle of attack (α). The longitudinal ridges function differently according to the flow condition (i.e. Re and α). At low Re and negative α that represent the swimming condition of hatchlings and juveniles, the ridges significantly decrease the drag by generating streamwise vortices and delaying the main separation. On the other hand, at high Re and positive α that represent the swimming condition of adults, the ridges suppress the laminar separation bubble near the front part by generating streamwise vortices and enhance the lift and lift-to-drag ratio. Supported by the NRF program (2011-0028032).

  18. 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