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Sample records for green sea turtles

  1. The Green Sea Turtle of the Cayman Islands

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Considine, James L.; Winberry, John J.

    1978-01-01

    The green sea turtle is an economically valuable animal because of the many articles produced from it, including food stuffs. This article describes the history of turtle hunting and the attempts that have been made to domesticate and raise this reptile in captivity. (MA)

  2. Movement mysteries unveiled: spatial ecology of juvenile green sea turtles

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shaver, Donna J.; Hart, Kristen M.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Rubio, Cynthia; Sartain-Iverson, Autumn R.

    2013-01-01

    Locations of important foraging areas are not well defined for many marine species. Unraveling these mysteries is vital to develop conservation strategies for these species, many of which are threatened or endangered. Satellite-tracking is a tool that can reveal movement patterns at both broad and fine spatial scales, in all marine environments. This chapter presents records of the longest duration track of an individual juvenile green turtle (434 days) and highest number of tracking days in any juvenile green turtle study (5483 tracking days) published to date. In this chapter, we use spatial modeling techniques to describe movements and identify foraging areas for juvenile green turtles (Chelonia mydas) captured in a developmental habitat in south Texas, USA. Some green turtles established residency in the vicinity of their capture and release site, but most used a specific habitat feature (i.e., a jettied pass) to travel between the Gulf of Mexico and a nearby bay. Still others moved southward within the Gulf of Mexico into Mexican coastal waters, likely in response to decreasing water temperatures. These movements to waters off the coast of Mexico highlight the importance of international cooperation in restoration efforts undertaken on behalf of this imperiled species.

  3. The Role of Geomagnetic Cues in Green Turtle Open Sea Navigation

    PubMed Central

    Benhamou, Simon; Sudre, Joël; Bourjea, Jérome; Ciccione, Stéphane; De Santis, Angelo; Luschi, Paolo

    2011-01-01

    Background Laboratory and field experiments have provided evidence that sea turtles use geomagnetic cues to navigate in the open sea. For instance, green turtles (Chelonia mydas) displaced 100 km away from their nesting site were impaired in returning home when carrying a strong magnet glued on the head. However, the actual role of geomagnetic cues remains unclear, since magnetically treated green turtles can perform large scale (>2000 km) post-nesting migrations no differently from controls. Methodology/Principal Findings In the present homing experiment, 24 green turtles were displaced 200 km away from their nesting site on an oceanic island, and tracked, for the first time in this type of experiment, with Global Positioning System (GPS), which is able to provide much more frequent and accurate locations than previously used tracking methods. Eight turtles were magnetically treated for 24–48 h on the nesting beach prior to displacement, and another eight turtles had a magnet glued on the head at the release site. The last eight turtles were used as controls. Detailed analyses of water masses-related (i.e., current-corrected) homing paths showed that magnetically treated turtles were able to navigate toward their nesting site as efficiently as controls, but those carrying magnets were significantly impaired once they arrived within 50 km of home. Conclusions/Significance While green turtles do not seem to need geomagnetic cues to navigate far from the goal, these cues become necessary when turtles get closer to home. As the very last part of the homing trip (within a few kilometers of home) likely depends on non-magnetic cues, our results suggest that magnetic cues play a key role in sea turtle navigation at an intermediate scale by bridging the gap between large and small scale navigational processes, which both appear to depend on non-magnetic cues. PMID:22046329

  4. Immunological evaluation of captive green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) with ulcerative dermatitis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muñoz, Fernando Alberto; Estrada-Para; Sergio; Romero-Rojas, Andrés; Gonzalez-Ballesteros, Erik; Work, Thierry; Villaseñor-Gaona, Hector; Estrada-Garcia, Iris

    2013-01-01

    Ulcerative dermatitis (UD) is common in captive sea turtles and manifests as skin erosions and ulcers associated with gram-negative bacteria. This study compared clinically healthy and UD-affected captive turtles by evaluating hematology, histopathology, immunoglobulin levels, and delayed-type hypersensitivity assay. Turtles with UD had significantly lower weight, reduced delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) responses, and higher heterophil:lymphocyte ratios. This study is the first to assay DTH in green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and suggests that UD is associated with immunosuppression.

  5. Investigating the potential role of persistent organic pollutants in Hawaiian green sea turtle fibropapillomatosis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keller, Jennifer M.; Balazs, George H.; Nilsen, Frances; Rice, Marc; Work, Thierry M.; Jensen, Brenda A.

    2014-01-01

    It has been hypothesized for decades that environmental pollutants may contribute to green sea turtle fibropapillomatosis (FP), possibly through immunosuppression leading to greater susceptibility to the herpesvirus, the putative causative agent of this tumor-forming disease. To address this question, we measured concentrations of 164 persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and halogenated phenols in 53 Hawaiian green turtle (Chelonia mydas) plasma samples archived by the Biological and Environmental Monitoring and Archival of Sea Turtle Tissues (BEMAST) project at the National Institute of Standards and Technology Marine Environmental Specimen Bank. Four groups of turtles were examined: free-ranging turtles from Kiholo Bay (0% FP, Hawaii), Kailua Bay (low FP, 8%, Oahu), and Kapoho Bay (moderate FP, 38%, Hawaii) and severely tumored stranded turtles that required euthanasia (high FP, 100%, Main Hawaiian Islands). Four classes of POPs and seven halogenated phenols were detected in at least one of the turtles, and concentrations were low (often <200 pg/g wet mass). The presence of halogenated phenols in sea turtles is a novel discovery; their concentrations were higher than most man-made POPs, suggesting that the source of most of these compounds was likely natural (produced by the algal turtle diet) rather than metabolites of man-made POPs. None of the compounds measured increased in concentration with increasing prevalence of FP across the four groups of turtles, suggesting that these 164 compounds are not likely primary triggers for the onset of FP. However, the stranded, severely tumored, emaciated turtle group (n = 14) had the highest concentrations of POPs, which might suggest that mobilization of contaminants with lipids into the blood during late-stage weight loss could contribute to the progression of the disease. Taken together, these data suggest that POPs are not a major cofactor in causing the onset of FP.

  6. Behavioral Response of Reef Fish and Green Sea Turtles to Midfrequency Sonar.

    PubMed

    Watwood, Stephanie L; Iafrate, Joseph D; Reyier, Eric A; Redfoot, William E

    2016-01-01

    There is growing concern over the potential effects of high-intensity sonar on wild fish populations and commercial fisheries. Acoustic telemetry was employed to measure the movements of free-ranging reef fish and sea turtles in Port Canaveral, FL, in response to routine submarine sonar testing. Twenty-five sheepshead (Archosargus probatocephalus), 28 gray snapper (Lutjanus griseus), and 29 green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) were tagged, with movements monitored for a period of up to 4 months using an array of passive acoustic receivers. Baseline residency was examined for fish and sea turtles before, during, and after the test event. No mortality of tagged fish or sea turtles was evident from the sonar test event. There was a significant increase in the daily residency index for both sheepshead and gray snapper at the testing wharf subsequent to the event. No broad-scale movement from the study site was observed during or immediately after the test. PMID:26611089

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:23624526

  8. EFFECTS OF "SWIM WITH THE TURTLES" TOURIST ATTRACTIONS ON GREEN SEA TURTLE (CHELONIA MYDAS) HEALTH IN BARBADOS, WEST INDIES.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Kimberly; Norton, Terry; Mohammed, Hamish; Browne, Darren; Clements, Kathleen; Thomas, Kirsten; Yaw, Taylor; Horrocks, Julia

    2016-04-01

    Along the West Coast of Barbados a unique relationship has developed between endangered green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) and humans. Fishermen began inadvertently provisioning these foraging turtles with fish offal discarded from their boats. Although initially an indirect supplementation, this activity became a popular attraction for visitors. Subsequently, demand for this activity increased, and direct supplementation or provisioning with food began. Food items offered included raw whole fish (typically a mixture of false herring [Harengula clupeola] and pilchard [Harengula humeralis]), filleted fish, and lesser amounts of processed food such as hot dogs, chicken, bread, or various other leftovers. Alterations in behavior and growth rates as a result of the provisioning have been documented in this population. The purpose of this study was to determine how tourism-based human interactions are affecting the overall health of this foraging population and to determine what potential health risks these interactions may create for sea turtles. Juvenile green sea turtles (n=29) were captured from four sites off the coast of Barbados, West Indies, and categorized into a group that received supplemental feeding as part of a tour (n=11) or an unsupplemented group (n=18) that consisted of individuals that were captured at sites that did not provide supplemental feeding. Following capture, a general health assessment of each animal was conducted. This included weight and morphometric measurements, a systematic physical examination, determination of body condition score and body condition index, epibiota assessment and quantification, and clinical pathology including hematologic and biochemical testing and nutritional assessments. The supplemented group was found to have changes to body condition, vitamin, mineral, hematologic, and biochemical values. Based on these results, recommendations were made to decrease negative behaviors and health impacts for turtles as a result

  9. Inorganic elements in green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas): relationships among external and internal tissues

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Faust, Derek R.; Hooper, Michael J.; Cobb, George P.; Barnes, Melanie; Shaver, Donna; Ertolacci, Shauna; Smith, Philip N.

    2014-01-01

    Inorganic elements from anthropogenic sources have entered marine environments worldwide and are detectable in marine organisms, including sea turtles. Threatened and endangered classifications of sea turtles have heretofore made assessments of contaminant concentrations difficult because of regulatory restrictions on obtaining samples using nonlethal techniques. In the present study, claw and skin biopsy samples were examined as potential indicators of internal tissue burdens in green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas). Significant relationships were observed between claw and liver, and claw and muscle concentrations of mercury, nickel, arsenic, and selenium (p < 0.05). Similarly, significant relationships were observed between skin biopsy concentrations and those in liver, kidney, and muscle tissues for mercury, arsenic, selenium, and vanadium (p < 0.05). Concentrations of arsenic, barium, chromium, nickel, strontium, vanadium, and zinc in claws and skin biopsies were substantially elevated when compared with all other tissues, indicating that these highly keratinized tissues may represent sequestration or excretion pathways. Correlations between standard carapace length and cobalt, lead, and manganese concentrations were observed (p < 0.05), indicating that tissue concentrations of these elements may be related to age and size. Results suggest that claws may indeed be useful indicators of mercury and nickel concentrations in liver and muscle tissues, whereas skin biopsy inorganic element concentrations may be better suited as indicators of mercury, selenium, and vanadium concentrations in liver, kidney, and muscle tissues of green sea turtles.

  10. Inorganic elements in green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas): relationships among external and internal tissues.

    PubMed

    Faust, Derek R; Hooper, Michael J; Cobb, George P; Barnes, Melanie; Shaver, Donna; Ertolacci, Shauna; Smith, Philip N

    2014-09-01

    Inorganic elements from anthropogenic sources have entered marine environments worldwide and are detectable in marine organisms, including sea turtles. Threatened and endangered classifications of sea turtles have heretofore made assessments of contaminant concentrations difficult because of regulatory restrictions on obtaining samples using nonlethal techniques. In the present study, claw and skin biopsy samples were examined as potential indicators of internal tissue burdens in green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas). Significant relationships were observed between claw and liver, and claw and muscle concentrations of mercury, nickel, arsenic, and selenium (p < 0.05). Similarly, significant relationships were observed between skin biopsy concentrations and those in liver, kidney, and muscle tissues for mercury, arsenic, selenium, and vanadium (p < 0.05). Concentrations of arsenic, barium, chromium, nickel, strontium, vanadium, and zinc in claws and skin biopsies were substantially elevated when compared with all other tissues, indicating that these highly keratinized tissues may represent sequestration or excretion pathways. Correlations between standard carapace length and cobalt, lead, and manganese concentrations were observed (p < 0.05), indicating that tissue concentrations of these elements may be related to age and size. Results suggest that claws may indeed be useful indicators of mercury and nickel concentrations in liver and muscle tissues, whereas skin biopsy inorganic element concentrations may be better suited as indicators of mercury, selenium, and vanadium concentrations in liver, kidney, and muscle tissues of green sea turtles. PMID:24889685

  11. Multiple Distant Origins for Green Sea Turtles Aggregating off Gorgona Island in the Colombian Eastern Pacific

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:22319635

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

    PubMed Central

    Velez-Zuazo, Ximena; Pacheco, Aldo S.

    2016-01-01

    Hybridization among sea turtle species has been widely reported in the Atlantic Ocean, but their detection in the Pacific Ocean is limited to just two individual hybrid turtles, in the northern hemisphere. Herein, we report, for the first time in the southeast Pacific, the presence of a sea turtle hybrid between the green turtle Chelonia mydas and the hawksbill turtle Eretmochelys imbricata. This juvenile sea turtle was captured in northern Peru (4°13′S; 81°10′W) on the 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. PMID:26925333

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

    PubMed

    Kelez, Shaleyla; Velez-Zuazo, Ximena; Pacheco, Aldo S

    2016-01-01

    Hybridization among sea turtle species has been widely reported in the Atlantic Ocean, but their detection in the Pacific Ocean is limited to just two individual hybrid turtles, in the northern hemisphere. Herein, we report, for the first time in the southeast Pacific, the presence of a sea turtle hybrid between the green turtle Chelonia mydas and the hawksbill turtle Eretmochelys imbricata. This juvenile sea turtle was captured in northern Peru (4°13'S; 81°10'W) on the 5(th) of January, 2014. The individual exhibited morphological characteristics of C. mydas such as dark green coloration, single pair of pre-frontal scales, four post-orbital scales, and mandibular median ridge, while the presence of two claws in each frontal flipper, and elongated snout resembled the features of E. imbricata. In addition to morphological evidence, we confirmed the hybrid status of this animal using genetic analysis of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome oxidase I, which revealed that the hybrid individual resulted from the cross between a female E. imbricata and a male C. mydas. Our report extends the geographical range of occurrence of hybrid sea turtles in the Pacific Ocean, and is a significant observation of interspecific breeding between one of the world's most critically endangered populations of sea turtles, the east Pacific E. imbricata, and a relatively healthy population, the east Pacific C. mydas. PMID:26925333

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

    PubMed

    Read, Tyffen C; Wantiez, Laurent; Werry, Jonathan M; Farman, Richard; Petro, George; Limpus, Colin J

    2014-01-01

    Marine megafauna tend to migrate vast distances, often crossing national borders and pose a significant challenge to managers. This challenge is particularly acute in the Pacific, which contains numerous small island nations and thousands of kilometers of continental margins. The green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas, is one such megafauna that is endangered in Pacific waters due to the overexploitation of eggs and adults for human consumption. Data from long-term tagging programs in Queensland (Australia) and New Caledonia were analysed to investigate the migrations by C. mydas across the Coral Sea between their nesting site and their feeding grounds. A review of data collected over the last 50 years by different projects identified multiple migrations of C. mydas to and from New Caledonia (n = 97) and indicate that turtles foraging in New Caledonia nest in the Great Barrier Reef (Australia) and vice versa. Several explanations exist for turtles exhibiting this energetically costly movement pattern from breeding to distant foraging grounds (1200-2680 km away) despite viable foraging habitat being available in the local vicinity. These include hatchling drift, oceanic movements and food abundance predictability. Most of the tag recoveries in New Caledonia belonged to females from the south Great Barrier Reef genetic stock. Some females (n = 2) even showed fidelity to foraging sites located 1200 km away from the nesting site located in New Caledonia. This study also reveals previously unknown migrations pathways of turtles within the Coral Sea. PMID:24940598

  15. Migrations of Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas) between Nesting and Foraging Grounds across the Coral Sea

    PubMed Central

    Read, Tyffen C.; Wantiez, Laurent; Werry, Jonathan M.; Farman, Richard; Petro, George; Limpus, Colin J.

    2014-01-01

    Marine megafauna tend to migrate vast distances, often crossing national borders and pose a significant challenge to managers. This challenge is particularly acute in the Pacific, which contains numerous small island nations and thousands of kilometers of continental margins. The green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas, is one such megafauna that is endangered in Pacific waters due to the overexploitation of eggs and adults for human consumption. Data from long-term tagging programs in Queensland (Australia) and New Caledonia were analysed to investigate the migrations by C. mydas across the Coral Sea between their nesting site and their feeding grounds. A review of data collected over the last 50 years by different projects identified multiple migrations of C. mydas to and from New Caledonia (n = 97) and indicate that turtles foraging in New Caledonia nest in the Great Barrier Reef (Australia) and vice versa. Several explanations exist for turtles exhibiting this energetically costly movement pattern from breeding to distant foraging grounds (1200–2680 km away) despite viable foraging habitat being available in the local vicinity. These include hatchling drift, oceanic movements and food abundance predictability. Most of the tag recoveries in New Caledonia belonged to females from the south Great Barrier Reef genetic stock. Some females (n = 2) even showed fidelity to foraging sites located 1200 km away from the nesting site located in New Caledonia. This study also reveals previously unknown migrations pathways of turtles within the Coral Sea. PMID:24940598

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    The unique anatomical features of turtles have raised unanswered questions about the origin of their unique body plan. We generated and analyzed draft genomes of the soft-shell turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis) and the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas); our results indicated the close relationship of the turtles to the bird-crocodilian lineage, from which they split ~267.9–248.3 million years ago (Upper Permian to Triassic). We also found extensive expansion of olfactory receptor genes in these turtles. Embryonic gene expression analysis identified an hourglass-like divergence of turtle and chicken embryogenesis, with maximal conservation around the vertebrate phylotypic period, rather than at later stages that show the amniote-common pattern. Wnt5a expression was found in the growth zone of the dorsal shell, supporting the possible co-option of limb-associated Wnt signaling in the acquisition of this turtle-specific novelty. Our results suggest that turtle evolution was accompanied by an unexpectedly conservative vertebrate phylotypic period, followed by turtle-specific repatterning of development to yield the novel structure of the shell. PMID:23624526

  17. Cause-specific temporal and spatial trends in green sea turtle strandings in the Hawaiian Archipelago (1982-2003)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chaloupka, M.; Work, T.M.; Balazs, G.H.; Murakawa, S.K.K.; Morris, R.

    2008-01-01

    We investigated cause-specific temporal and spatial trends in sea turtle strandings in the Hawaiian Archipelago. Five species of sea turtle were recorded in 3,861 strandings over a 22-year period (1982-2003). Green turtles comprised 97% of these strandings with size and gender composition reflecting the demographic structure of the resident green turtle population and relative green turtle abundance in Hawaiian waters. The cause of strandings was determined by necropsy based on a complete gross external and internal examination. Totally 75% of the 3,732 green turtle strandings were from Oahu where strandings occur year-round. The most common known cause of the green turtle strandings was the tumour-forming disease, fibropapillomatosis (28%) followed by hook-and-line fishing gear-induced trauma (7%), gillnet fishing gear-induced trauma (5%), boat strike (2.5%), and shark attack (2.7%). Miscellaneous causes comprised 5.4% of strandings whereas 49% of green turtle strandings could not be attributed to any known cause. Green turtle strandings attributable to boat strike were more likely from Kauai and Oahu while fibropapilloma strandings were more likely from Oahu and Maui. Hook-and-line gear strandings were more likely from Oahu due to higher per capita inshore fishing effort. The specific mortality rate (conditional probability) for fibropapillomatosis was 88%, 69% for gillnet gear and 52% for hook-and-line gear. The probability of a dead green turtle stranding increased from 1982 but levelled off by the mid-1990s. The declining mortality risk was because the prevalence and severity of fibropapillomatosis has decreased recently and so has the mortality risk attributable to gillnet gear. Despite exposure to disease and inshore fishing gears, the Hawaiian green turtle stock continues to recover following protection since the late 1970s. Nevertheless, measures to reduce incidental capture of sea turtles in coastal Hawaiian fisheries would be prudent, especially since

  18. Stable isotopes in barnacles as a tool to understand green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) regional movement patterns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Detjen, M.; Sterling, E.; Gómez, A.

    2015-03-01

    Sea turtles are migratory animals that travel long distances between their feeding and breeding grounds. Traditional methods for researching sea turtle migratory behavior have important disadvantages, and the development of alternatives would enhance our ability to monitor and manage these globally endangered species. Here we report on the isotope signatures in green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) barnacles (Platylepas sp.) and discuss their potential relevance as tools with which to study green sea turtle migration and habitat use patterns. We analyzed oxygen (δ18O) and carbon (δ13C) isotope ratios in barnacle calcite layers from specimens collected from green turtles captured at the Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge (PANWR) in the Central Pacific. Carbon isotopes were not informative in this study. However, the oxygen isotope results suggest likely regional movement patterns when mapped onto a predictive oxygen isotope map of the Pacific. Barnacle proxies could therefore complement other methods in understanding regional movement patterns, informing more effective conservation policy that takes into account connectivity between populations.

  19. Stable isotopes in barnacles as a tool to understand green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) regional movement patterns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Detjen, M.; Sterling, E.; Gómez, A.

    2015-12-01

    Sea turtles are migratory animals that travel long distances between their feeding and breeding grounds. Traditional methods for researching sea turtle migratory behavior have important disadvantages, and the development of alternatives would enhance our ability to monitor and manage these globally endangered species. Here we report on the isotope signatures in green sea-turtle (Chelonia mydas) barnacles (Platylepas sp.) and discuss their potential relevance as tools with which to study green sea turtle migration and habitat use patterns. We analyzed oxygen (δ18O) and carbon (δ13C) isotope ratios in barnacle calcite layers from specimens collected from green turtles captured at the Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge (PANWR) in the central Pacific. Carbon isotopes were not informative in this study. However, the oxygen isotope results suggest likely regional movement patterns when mapped onto a predictive oxygen isotope map of the Pacific. Barnacle proxies could therefore complement other methods in understanding regional movement patterns, informing more effective conservation policy that takes into account connectivity between populations.

  20. Establishment of reference intervals for plasma protein electrophoresis in Indo-Pacific green sea turtles, Chelonia mydas.

    PubMed

    Flint, Mark; Matthews, Beren J; Limpus, Colin J; Mills, Paul C

    2015-01-01

    Biochemical and haematological parameters are increasingly used to diagnose disease in green sea turtles. Specific clinical pathology tools, such as plasma protein electrophoresis analysis, are now being used more frequently to improve our ability to diagnose disease in the live animal. Plasma protein reference intervals were calculated from 55 clinically healthy green sea turtles using pulsed field electrophoresis to determine pre-albumin, albumin, α-, β- and γ-globulin concentrations. The estimated reference intervals were then compared with data profiles from clinically unhealthy turtles admitted to a local wildlife hospital to assess the validity of the derived intervals and identify the clinically useful plasma protein fractions. Eighty-six per cent {19 of 22 [95% confidence interval (CI) 65-97]} of clinically unhealthy turtles had values outside the derived reference intervals, including the following: total protein [six of 22 turtles or 27% (95% CI 11-50%)], pre-albumin [two of five, 40% (95% CI 5-85%)], albumin [13 of 22, 59% (95% CI 36-79%)], total albumin [13 of 22, 59% (95% CI 36-79%)], α- [10 of 22, 45% (95% CI 24-68%)], β- [two of 10, 20% (95% CI 3-56%)], γ- [one of 10, 10% (95% CI 0.3-45%)] and β-γ-globulin [one of 12, 8% (95% CI 0.2-38%)] and total globulin [five of 22, 23% (8-45%)]. Plasma protein electrophoresis shows promise as an accurate adjunct tool to identify a disease state in marine turtles. This study presents the first reference interval for plasma protein electrophoresis in the Indo-Pacific green sea turtle. PMID:27293722

  1. Establishment of reference intervals for plasma protein electrophoresis in Indo-Pacific green sea turtles, Chelonia mydas

    PubMed Central

    Flint, Mark; Matthews, Beren J.; Limpus, Colin J.; Mills, Paul C.

    2015-01-01

    Biochemical and haematological parameters are increasingly used to diagnose disease in green sea turtles. Specific clinical pathology tools, such as plasma protein electrophoresis analysis, are now being used more frequently to improve our ability to diagnose disease in the live animal. Plasma protein reference intervals were calculated from 55 clinically healthy green sea turtles using pulsed field electrophoresis to determine pre-albumin, albumin, α-, β- and γ-globulin concentrations. The estimated reference intervals were then compared with data profiles from clinically unhealthy turtles admitted to a local wildlife hospital to assess the validity of the derived intervals and identify the clinically useful plasma protein fractions. Eighty-six per cent {19 of 22 [95% confidence interval (CI) 65–97]} of clinically unhealthy turtles had values outside the derived reference intervals, including the following: total protein [six of 22 turtles or 27% (95% CI 11–50%)], pre-albumin [two of five, 40% (95% CI 5–85%)], albumin [13 of 22, 59% (95% CI 36–79%)], total albumin [13 of 22, 59% (95% CI 36–79%)], α- [10 of 22, 45% (95% CI 24–68%)], β- [two of 10, 20% (95% CI 3–56%)], γ- [one of 10, 10% (95% CI 0.3–45%)] and β–γ-globulin [one of 12, 8% (95% CI 0.2–38%)] and total globulin [five of 22, 23% (8–45%)]. Plasma protein electrophoresis shows promise as an accurate adjunct tool to identify a disease state in marine turtles. This study presents the first reference interval for plasma protein electrophoresis in the Indo-Pacific green sea turtle.

  2. Non-migratory breeding by isolated green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) in the Indian Ocean: biological and conservation implications.

    PubMed

    Whiting, Scott D; Murray, Wendy; Macrae, Ismail; Thorn, Robert; Chongkin, Mohammad; Koch, Andrea U

    2008-04-01

    Green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) are renowned for their long-distance migrations but have less fame for short-distance migrations or non-migratory behavior. We present satellite telemetric evidence from Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Indian Ocean for the first predominantly non-migratory green sea turtle (C. mydas) population. The mean migration distance from the nesting beach to the foraging grounds was 35.5 km with a maximum mean transit time of 3.4 days. The behavior of this population has major implications for our general understanding of green turtle behavior and their life cycle and for conservation. Firstly, these results indicate a level of juvenile or adult non-breeding homing behavior from the open ocean to foraging grounds adjacent to their natal nesting beach. Secondly, a non-migratory breeding phase reduces the consumption of reproductive energy utilized, potentially resulting in higher fecundity for this population. Thirdly, the close proximity of the nesting and foraging habitats allows for uniformity in management and conservation strategies rarely possible for wide-ranging green turtle populations. PMID:18046497

  3. Non-migratory breeding by isolated green sea turtles ( Chelonia mydas) in the Indian Ocean: biological and conservation implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whiting, Scott D.; Murray, Wendy; Macrae, Ismail; Thorn, Robert; Chongkin, Mohammad; Koch, Andrea U.

    2008-04-01

    Green sea turtles ( Chelonia mydas) are renowned for their long-distance migrations but have less fame for short-distance migrations or non-migratory behavior. We present satellite telemetric evidence from Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Indian Ocean for the first predominantly non-migratory green sea turtle ( C. mydas) population. The mean migration distance from the nesting beach to the foraging grounds was 35.5 km with a maximum mean transit time of 3.4 days. The behavior of this population has major implications for our general understanding of green turtle behavior and their life cycle and for conservation. Firstly, these results indicate a level of juvenile or adult non-breeding homing behavior from the open ocean to foraging grounds adjacent to their natal nesting beach. Secondly, a non-migratory breeding phase reduces the consumption of reproductive energy utilized, potentially resulting in higher fecundity for this population. Thirdly, the close proximity of the nesting and foraging habitats allows for uniformity in management and conservation strategies rarely possible for wide-ranging green turtle populations.

  4. Molecular Characterization of Coccidia Associated with an Epizootic in Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas) in South East Queensland, Australia.

    PubMed

    Chapman, Phoebe A; Owen, Helen; Flint, Mark; Traub, Rebecca J; Cribb, Thomas H; Mills, Paul C

    2016-01-01

    In the spring of 2014, mass mortalities among wild green sea turtles occurred off the coast of south-east Queensland, Australia. The suspected causative agent was Caryospora cheloniae, an eimeriid coccidian implicated in previous epizootics. Necropsies were undertaken on a subset of 11 dead turtles, with subsequent histopathology and molecular analyses. All turtles returned positive PCR results for coccidial infection in various tissues; these included the brain, gastrointestinal tract, lung, kidney and thyroid. Granulomatous encephalitis was consistently observed, as well as enteritis and, less frequently, thyroiditis and nephritis. Sequencing and phylogenetic analyses indicated the presence of two distinct coccidian genotypes, presumably separate species-one associated with the brain, gastrointestinal tract and lung, and the second with the thyroid and kidney. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference analyses placed the first genotype closest to the lankesterellid genus Schellackia, rather than in the Eimeriidae, while the second was paraphyletic to the eimeriids. Presence of coccidial stages in extra-intestinal tissues of the primary host raises questions about the potential presence of intermediate or paratenic hosts within the life cycles, as well as their current placement relative to the genus Caryospora. This study represents the first genetic characterization of this emerging disease agent in green sea turtles, an endangered species, and has relevance for life-cycle elucidation and future development of diagnostics. PMID:26901786

  5. Molecular Characterization of Coccidia Associated with an Epizootic in Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas) in South East Queensland, Australia

    PubMed Central

    Chapman, Phoebe A.; Owen, Helen; Flint, Mark; Traub, Rebecca J.; Cribb, Thomas H.; Mills, Paul C.

    2016-01-01

    In the spring of 2014, mass mortalities among wild green sea turtles occurred off the coast of south-east Queensland, Australia. The suspected causative agent was Caryospora cheloniae, an eimeriid coccidian implicated in previous epizootics. Necropsies were undertaken on a subset of 11 dead turtles, with subsequent histopathology and molecular analyses. All turtles returned positive PCR results for coccidial infection in various tissues; these included the brain, gastrointestinal tract, lung, kidney and thyroid. Granulomatous encephalitis was consistently observed, as well as enteritis and, less frequently, thyroiditis and nephritis. Sequencing and phylogenetic analyses indicated the presence of two distinct coccidian genotypes, presumably separate species—one associated with the brain, gastrointestinal tract and lung, and the second with the thyroid and kidney. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference analyses placed the first genotype closest to the lankesterellid genus Schellackia, rather than in the Eimeriidae, while the second was paraphyletic to the eimeriids. Presence of coccidial stages in extra-intestinal tissues of the primary host raises questions about the potential presence of intermediate or paratenic hosts within the life cycles, as well as their current placement relative to the genus Caryospora. This study represents the first genetic characterization of this emerging disease agent in green sea turtles, an endangered species, and has relevance for life-cycle elucidation and future development of diagnostics. PMID:26901786

  6. Good news for sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Hays, Graeme C

    2004-07-01

    Following the overexploitation of sea turtle populations, conservation measures are now in place in many areas. However, the overall impact of these measures is often unknown because there are few long time-series showing trends in population sizes. In a recent paper, George Balazs and Milani Chaloupka chart the number of green turtles Chelonia mydas nesting in Hawaii over the past 30 years and reveal a remarkably quick increase in the size of this population following the instigation of conservation measures during the 1970s. Importantly, this work shows how even a small population of sea turtles can recover rapidly, suggesting that Allee effects do not impede conservation efforts in operation worldwide. PMID:16701283

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

  8. Validation of back-calculated body lengths and timing of growth mark deposition in Hawaiian green sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Goshe, Lisa R; Snover, Melissa L; Hohn, Aleta A; Balazs, George H

    2016-05-01

    Somatic growth rate data for wild sea turtles can provide insight into life-stage durations, time to maturation, and total lifespan. When appropriately validated, the technique of skeletochronology allows prior growth rates of sea turtles to be calculated with considerably less time and labor than required by mark--recapture studies. We applied skeletochronology to 10 dead, stranded green turtles Chelonia mydas that had previously been measured, tagged, and injected with OTC (oxytetracycline) during mark-recapture studies in Hawaii for validating skeletochronological analysis. We tested the validity of back-calculating carapace lengths (CLs) from diameters of LAGs (lines of arrested growth), which mark the outer boundaries of individual skeletal growth increments. This validation was achieved by comparing CLs estimated from measurements of the LAG proposed to have been deposited closest to the time of tagging to actual CLs measured at the time of tagging. Measureable OTC-mark diameters in five turtles also allowed us to investigate the time of year when LAGs are deposited. We found no significant difference between CLs measured at tagging and those estimated through skeletochronology, which supports calculation of somatic growth rates by taking the difference between CLs estimated from successive LAG diameters in humerus bones for this species. Back-calculated CLs associated with the OTC mark and growth mark deposited closest to tagging indicated that annual LAGs are deposited in the spring. The results of this validation study increase confidence in utilization of skeletochronology to rapidly obtain accurate age and growth data for green turtles. PMID:27096079

  9. Individual variation in feeding habitat use by adult female green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas): are they obligately neritic herbivores?

    PubMed

    Hatase, Hideo; Sato, Katsufumi; Yamaguchi, Manami; Takahashi, Kotaro; Tsukamoto, Katsumi

    2006-08-01

    Satellite telemetry and stable isotope analysis were used to confirm that oceanic areas (where water depths are >200 m) are alternative feeding habitats for adult female green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas), which have been thought to be obligate herbivores in neritic areas (where depths are <200 m). Four females were tagged with satellite transmitters and tracked during post-nesting periods from Ogasawara Islands, Japan. Three females migrated to neritic habitats, while transmissions from another female ceased in an oceanic habitat. The overall mean nighttime dive depths during oceanic swimming periods in two females were <20 m, implying that the main function of their nighttime dives were resting with neutral buoyancy, whereas the means in two other females were >20 m, implying that they not only rested, but also foraged on macroplankton that exhibit diel vertical migration. Comparisons of stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios between 89 females and the prey items in a three-source mixing model estimated that 69% of the females nesting on Ogasawara Islands mainly used neritic habitats and 31% mainly used oceanic habitats. Out of four females tracked by satellite, two females were inferred from isotope ratios to be neritic herbivores and the two others oceanic planktivores. Although post-nesting movements for four females were not completely consistent with the inferences from isotope ratios, possibly due to short tracking periods (28-42 days), their diving behaviors were consistent with the inferences. There were no relationships between body size and the two isotope ratios, indicating a lack of size-related differences in feeding habitat use by adult female green turtles, which was in contrast with loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta). These results and previous findings suggest that ontogenetic habitat shifts by sea turtles are facultative, and consequently, their life histories are polymorphic. PMID:16683139

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  11. Phaeohyphomycosis resulting in obstructive tracheitis in three green sea turtles Chelonia mydas stranded along the Florida coast.

    PubMed

    Donnelly, Kyle; Waltzek, Thomas B; Wellehan, James F X; Sutton, Deanna A; Wiederhold, Nathan P; Stacy, Brian A

    2015-04-01

    Three wild immature green sea turtles Chelonia mydas were found alive but lethargic on the shores of the Indian River Lagoon and Gulf of Mexico in Florida, USA, and subsequently died. Necropsy findings in all 3 turtles included partial occlusion of the trachea by a mass comprised of granulomatous inflammation. Pigmented fungal hyphae were observed within the lesion by histology and were characterized by culture and sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer 2 domain of the rRNA gene and D1/D2 region of the fungal 28s gene. The dematiaceous fungus species Veronaea botryosa was isolated from the tracheal mass in 2 cases, and genetic sequence of V. botryosa was detected by polymerase chain reaction in all 3 cases. Genetic sequencing and fungal cultures also detected other dematiaceous fungi, including a Cladosporium sp., an Ochroconis sp., and a Cochliobolus sp. These cases are the first report of phaeohyphomycosis caused by V. botryosa in wild marine animals. PMID:25850403

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Allen, Camryn D.; Robbins, Michelle N.; Eguchi, Tomoharu; Owens, David W.; Meylan, Anne B.; Meylan, Peter A.; Kellar, Nicholas M.; Schwenter, Jeffrey A.; Nollens, Hendrik H.; LeRoux, Robin A.; Dutton, Peter H.; Seminoff, Jeffrey A.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Allen, Camryn D; Robbins, Michelle N; Eguchi, Tomoharu; Owens, David W; Meylan, Anne B; Meylan, Peter A; Kellar, Nicholas M; Schwenter, Jeffrey A; Nollens, Hendrik H; LeRoux, Robin A; Dutton, Peter H; Seminoff, Jeffrey A

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

    The morphology and diffusional water permeability (P d) of red blood cells (RBCs) from green sea turtle (GST) (Chelonia mydas) are presented for the first time. The RBCs had an ellipsoidal shape with full-axis lengths (diameters): D = 14.4 μm; d = 10.2 μm; h = 2.8 μm. The values of P d (cm s(-1)) were 5.1 × 10(-3) at 15 °C, 5.7 × 10(-3) at 20 °C, 6.3 × 10(-3) at 25 °C, 6.8 × 10(-3) at 30 °C, and 7.9 × 10(-3) at 37 °C (i.e., significantly higher than in human RBCs in which it was measured to be 4.2 × 10(-3) at 25 °C, 5.0 × 10(-3) at 30 °C, and 6.2 × 10(-3) at 37 °C). There was a lack of inhibition of P d of GST RBCs by p-chloromercuribenzoate (PCMB), a well-known inhibitor of the RBC water channel proteins (WCPs). The activation energy of water diffusion (E a,d) in GST RBCs was 15.0 ± 1.6 kJ mol(-1) which is lower than the E a,d for human RBCs (~25 kJ mol(-1)). These results indicate that in the membrane of GST RBCs, there were no WCPs that were inhibited by the mercurial reagent, while the lipid bilayer of this membrane is unusually permeable to water. This is likely to be a phylogenetically old trait, like that found in amphibians and even the later birds, all of which have nucleated erythrocytes; and it is also likely to be a result of the animal's adaptation to a herbivorous diet (algae and seagrasses). PMID:25534259

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    In mammals, lipemic blood from sampling too soon after an animal feeds can have substantial effects on biochemical values. Plasma biochemical values in reptiles may be affected by species, age, season, and nutritional state. However, fasting status is not routinely considered when sampling reptile blood. In this paper, we evaluated 2-hour postprandial blood collection in two sea turtle species to investigate the effects of feeding on hematological and plasma biochemical values. Feeding had no significant effects on hematological values in either species, nor did it have an effect on plasma biochemistry values in Kemp's ridley sea turtles. In postprandial green turtles, total protein, albumin, ALP, AST, ALT, amylase, and cholesterol increased significantly, and chloride decreased significantly. Although statistically significant changes were observed, the median percent differences between pre- and postprandial values did not exceed 10% for any of these analytes and would not likely alter the clinical interpretation. PMID:21776356

  18. Organochlorine residues in eggs of loggerhead and green sea turtles nesting at Merritt Island, Florida--July and August, 1976

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, D.R., Jr.; Krynitsky, A.J.

    1980-01-01

    Eggs from nine clutches of loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) and two clutches of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) were collected as they were laid on Merritt Island, Florida. Eggs were incubated, frozen, and analyzed for organochlorines. Levels of DDE and PCB, the major contaminants, averaged less than 0.08 ppm in loggerhead eggs and were even lower in green turtle eggs. These concentrations are far below levels thought to be potentially harmful. Loggerhead eggs were frozen after 43-52 days incubation; both DDE and PCB declined significantly during this interval. Authors estimate that DDE averaged about 0.2 ppm in loggerhead eggs when they were laid. DDE levels in eggs of both turtle species were less than levels in eggs of crocodiles (Crocodylus acutus) from Everglades National Park and in eggs of 13 species of aquatic birds nesting on Merritt Island. The remarkably low residues in the turtle eggs probably indicate that, when not nesting, the turtles live and feed in areas remote from Florida.

  19. Tumors in sea turtles: the insidious menace of fibropapillomatosis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Work, Thierry M.; Balazs, George H.

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Sea Turtle Navigation and the Detection of Geomagnetic Field Features

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    The lives of sea turtles consist of a continuous series of migrations. As hatchlings, the turtles swim from their natal beaches into the open sea, often taking refuge in circular current systems (gyres) that serve as moving, open-ocean nursery grounds. The juveniles of many populations subsequently take up residence in coastal feeding areas that are located hundreds or thousands of kilometres from the beaches on which the turtles hatched; some juveniles also migrate between summer and winter habitats. As adults, turtles periodically leave their feeding grounds and migrate to breeding and nesting regions, after which many return to their own specific feeding sites. The itinerant lifestyle characteristic of most sea turtle species is thus inextricably linked to an ability to orient and navigate accurately across large expanses of seemingly featureless ocean.In some sea turtle populations, migratory performance reaches extremes. The total distances certain green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and loggerheads (Caretta caretta) traverse over the span of their lifetimes exceed tens of thousands of kilometres, several times the diameter of the turtle's home ocean basin. Adult migrations between feeding and nesting habitats can require continuous swimming for periods of several weeks. In addition, the paths of migrating turtles often lead almost straight across the open ocean and directly to the destination, leaving little doubt that turtles can navigate to distant target sites with remarkable efficiency.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-15

    Biomonitoring of blood is commonly used to identify and quantify occupational or environmental exposure to chemical contaminants. Increasingly, this technique has been applied to wildlife contaminant monitoring, including for green turtles, allowing for the non-lethal evaluation of chemical exposure in their nearshore environment. The sources, composition, bioavailability and toxicity of metals in the marine environment are, however, often unknown and influenced by numerous biotic and abiotic factors. These factors can vary considerably across time and space making the selection of the most informative elements for biomonitoring challenging. This study aimed to validate an ICP-MS multi-element screening method for green turtle blood in order to identify and facilitate prioritisation of target metals for subsequent fully quantitative analysis. Multi-element screening provided semiquantitative results for 70 elements, 28 of which were also determined through fully quantitative analysis. Of the 28 comparable elements, 23 of the semiquantitative results had an accuracy between 67% and 112% relative to the fully quantified values. In lieu of any available turtle certified reference materials (CRMs), we evaluated the use of human blood CRMs as a matrix surrogate for quality control, and compared two commonly used sample preparation methods for matrix related effects. The results demonstrate that human blood provides an appropriate matrix for use as a quality control material in the fully quantitative analysis of metals in turtle blood. An example for the application of this screening method is provided by comparing screening results from blood of green turtles foraging in an urban and rural region in Queensland, Australia. Potential targets for future metal biomonitoring in these regions were identified by this approach. PMID:25655987

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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 naturally more eye-catching…

  3. Stormy oceans are associated with declines in sea turtle hatching.

    PubMed

    Van Houtan, Kyle S; Bass, Oron L

    2007-08-01

    Many sea turtle populations are below 10% of their pre-Columbian numbers [1-4]. Though historic and systematic over-exploitation is the principal cause of these declines, sea turtles face similar threats today. Adults and juveniles are actively hunted and commercial fisheries catch them incidentally. Nesting suffers from beach development, egg poaching and the poaching of nesting females. Accompanying these familiar hazards is the largely unknown consequences of recent climate change. Here we report monitoring surveys from the Dry Tortugas National Park (DTNP, 24.64N 82.86W), Florida, and show that hurricanes and other storm events are an additional and increasing threat to loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) and green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) nesting. Both species are listed by the US Endangered Species Act and the IUCN considers them 'endangered'. PMID:17686427

  4. Global analysis of anthropogenic debris ingestion by sea turtles.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:23914794

  5. More on Sea Turtles and Seaweed

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Xin, Tian

    2005-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Ingestion of artificial debris is considered as a significant stress for wildlife including sea turtles. To investigate how turtles react to artificial debris under natural conditions, we deployed animal-borne video cameras on loggerhead and green turtles in addition to feces and gut contents analyses from 2007 to 2015. Frequency of occurrences of artificial debris in feces and gut contents collected from loggerhead turtles were 35.7% (10/28) and 84.6% (11/13), respectively. Artificial debris appeared in all green turtles in feces (25/25) and gut contents (10/10), and green turtles ingested more debris (feces; 15.8 ± 33.4 g, gut; 39.8 ± 51.2 g) than loggerhead turtles (feces; 1.6 ± 3.7 g, gut; 9.7 ± 15.0 g). In the video records (60 and 52.5 hours from 10 loggerhead and 6 green turtles, respectively), turtles encountered 46 artificial debris and ingested 23 of them. The encounter-ingestion ratio of artificial debris in green turtles (61.8%) was significantly higher than that in loggerhead turtles (16.7%). Loggerhead turtles frequently fed on gelatinous prey (78/84), however, green turtles mainly fed marine algae (156/210), and partly consumed gelatinous prey (10/210). Turtles seemed to confuse solo drifting debris with their diet, and omnivorous green turtles were more attracted by artificial debris. PMID:27305858

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Ingestion of artificial debris is considered as a significant stress for wildlife including sea turtles. To investigate how turtles react to artificial debris under natural conditions, we deployed animal-borne video cameras on loggerhead and green turtles in addition to feces and gut contents analyses from 2007 to 2015. Frequency of occurrences of artificial debris in feces and gut contents collected from loggerhead turtles were 35.7% (10/28) and 84.6% (11/13), respectively. Artificial debris appeared in all green turtles in feces (25/25) and gut contents (10/10), and green turtles ingested more debris (feces; 15.8 ± 33.4 g, gut; 39.8 ± 51.2 g) than loggerhead turtles (feces; 1.6 ± 3.7 g, gut; 9.7 ± 15.0 g). In the video records (60 and 52.5 hours from 10 loggerhead and 6 green turtles, respectively), turtles encountered 46 artificial debris and ingested 23 of them. The encounter-ingestion ratio of artificial debris in green turtles (61.8%) was significantly higher than that in loggerhead turtles (16.7%). Loggerhead turtles frequently fed on gelatinous prey (78/84), however, green turtles mainly fed marine algae (156/210), and partly consumed gelatinous prey (10/210). Turtles seemed to confuse solo drifting debris with their diet, and omnivorous green turtles were more attracted by artificial debris. PMID:27305858

  9. BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS: MARINE MAMMALS AND SEA TURTLES

    EPA Science Inventory

    In the description of the Arthur Kill biological features presented in Chapter 1, marine mammals and sea turtles are not discussed since they are not regular residents of this area. owever, marine turtles, seals, and cetaccans are occasionally sighted in the Arthur Kill, and they...

  10. Measuring Energy Expenditure in Sub-Adult and Hatchling Sea Turtles via Accelerometry

    PubMed Central

    Halsey, Lewis G.; Jones, T. Todd; Jones, David R.; Liebsch, Nikolai; Booth, David T.

    2011-01-01

    Measuring the metabolic of sea turtles is fundamental to understanding their ecology yet the presently available methods are limited. Accelerometry is a relatively new technique for estimating metabolic rate that has shown promise with a number of species but its utility with air-breathing divers is not yet established. The present study undertakes laboratory experiments to investigate whether rate of oxygen uptake (o2) at the surface in active sub-adult green turtles Chelonia mydas and hatchling loggerhead turtles Caretta caretta correlates with overall dynamic body acceleration (ODBA), a derivative of acceleration used as a proxy for metabolic rate. Six green turtles (25–44 kg) and two loggerhead turtles (20 g) were instrumented with tri-axial acceleration logging devices and placed singly into a respirometry chamber. The green turtles were able to submerge freely within a 1.5 m deep tank and the loggerhead turtles were tethered in water 16 cm deep so that they swam at the surface. A significant prediction equation for mean o2 over an hour in a green turtle from measures of ODBA and mean flipper length (R2 = 0.56) returned a mean estimate error across turtles of 8.0%. The range of temperatures used in the green turtle experiments (22–30°C) had only a small effect on o2. A o2-ODBA equation for the loggerhead hatchling data was also significant (R2 = 0.67). Together these data indicate the potential of the accelerometry technique for estimating energy expenditure in sea turtles, which may have important applications in sea turtle diving ecology, and also in conservation such as assessing turtle survival times when trapped underwater in fishing nets. PMID:21829613

  11. Measuring energy expenditure in sub-adult and hatchling sea turtles via accelerometry.

    PubMed

    Halsey, Lewis G; Jones, T Todd; Jones, David R; Liebsch, Nikolai; Booth, David T

    2011-01-01

    Measuring the metabolic of sea turtles is fundamental to understanding their ecology yet the presently available methods are limited. Accelerometry is a relatively new technique for estimating metabolic rate that has shown promise with a number of species but its utility with air-breathing divers is not yet established. The present study undertakes laboratory experiments to investigate whether rate of oxygen uptake (VO2) at the surface in active sub-adult green turtles Chelonia mydas and hatchling loggerhead turtles Caretta caretta correlates with overall dynamic body acceleration (ODBA), a derivative of acceleration used as a proxy for metabolic rate. Six green turtles (25-44 kg) and two loggerhead turtles (20 g) were instrumented with tri-axial acceleration logging devices and placed singly into a respirometry chamber. The green turtles were able to submerge freely within a 1.5 m deep tank and the loggerhead turtles were tethered in water 16 cm deep so that they swam at the surface. A significant prediction equation for mean VO2 over an hour in a green turtle from measures of ODBA and mean flipper length (R(2) = 0.56) returned a mean estimate error across turtles of 8.0%. The range of temperatures used in the green turtle experiments (22-30 °C) had only a small effect on Vo₂. A VO2-ODBA equation for the loggerhead hatchling data was also significant (R(2) = 0.67). Together these data indicate the potential of the accelerometry technique for estimating energy expenditure in sea turtles, which may have important applications in sea turtle diving ecology, and also in conservation such as assessing turtle survival times when trapped underwater in fishing nets. PMID:21829613

  12. Magnetite in Black Sea Turtles (Chelonia agassizi)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fuentes, A.; Urrutia-Fucugauchi, J.; Garduño, V.; Sanchez, J.; Rizzi, A.

    2004-12-01

    Previous studies have reported experimental evidence for magnetoreception in marine turtles. In order to increase our knowledge about magnetoreception and biogenic mineralization, we have isolated magnetite particles from the brain of specimens of black sea turtles Chelonia agassizi. Our samples come from natural deceased organisms collected the reserve area of Colola Maruata in southern Mexico. The occurrence of magnetite particles in brain tissue of black sea turtles offers the opportunity for further studies to investigate possible function of ferrimagnetic material, its mineralogical composition, grain size, texture and its location and structural arrangement within the host tissue. After sample preparation and microscopic examination, we localized and identified the ultrafine unidimensional particles of magnetite by scanning electron microscope (SEM). Particles present grain sizes between 10.0 to 40.0Mm. Our study provides, for the first time, evidence for biogenic formation of this material in the black sea turtles. The ultrafine particles are apparently superparamagnetic. Preliminary results from rock magnetic measurements are also reported and correlated to the SEM observations. The black turtle story on the Michoacan coast is an example of formerly abundant resource which was utilized as a subsistence level by Nahuatl indigenous group for centuries, but which is collapsing because of intensive illegal commercial exploitation. The most important nesting and breeding grounds for the black sea turtle on any mainland shore are the eastern Pacific coastal areas of Maruata and Colola, in Michoacan. These beaches are characterized by important amounts of magnetic mineral (magnetites and titanomagnetites) mixed in their sediments.

  13. Developing ultraviolet illumination of gillnets as a method to reduce sea turtle bycatch.

    PubMed

    Wang, John; Barkan, Joel; Fisler, Shara; Godinez-Reyes, Carlos; Swimmer, Yonat

    2013-10-23

    Fisheries bycatch of marine animals has been linked to population declines of multiple species, including many sea turtles. Altering the visual cues associated with fishing gear may reduce sea turtle bycatch. We examined the effectiveness of illuminating gillnets with ultraviolet (UV) light-emitting diodes for reducing green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) interactions. We found that the mean sea turtle capture rate was reduced by 39.7% in UV-illuminated nets compared with nets without illumination. In collaboration with commercial fishermen, we tested UV net illumination in a bottom-set gillnet fishery in Baja California, Mexico. We did not find any difference in overall target fish catch rate or market value between net types. These findings suggest that UV net illumination may have applications in coastal and pelagic gillnet fisheries to reduce sea turtle bycatch. PMID:23883577

  14. Eutrophication and the dietary promotion of sea turtle tumors

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Celia M.; Dailer, Meghan L.; Kawachi, Migiwa

    2014-01-01

    The tumor-forming disease fibropapillomatosis (FP) has afflicted sea turtle populations for decades with no clear cause. A lineage of α-herpesviruses associated with these tumors has existed for millennia, suggesting environmental factors are responsible for its recent epidemiology. In previous work, we described how herpesviruses could cause FP tumors through a metabolic influx of arginine. We demonstrated the disease prevails in chronically eutrophied coastal waters, and that turtles foraging in these sites might consume arginine-enriched macroalgae. Here, we test the idea using High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) to describe the amino acid profiles of green turtle (Chelonia mydas) tumors and five common forage species of macroalgae from a range of eutrophic states. Tumors were notably elevated in glycine, proline, alanine, arginine, and serine and depleted in lysine when compared to baseline samples. All macroalgae from eutrophic locations had elevated arginine, and all species preferentially stored environmental nitrogen as arginine even at oligotrophic sites. From these results, we estimate adult turtles foraging at eutrophied sites increase their arginine intake 17–26 g daily, up to 14 times the background level. Arginine nitrogen increased with total macroalgae nitrogen and watershed nitrogen, and the invasive rhodophyte Hypnea musciformis significantly outperformed all other species in this respect. Our results confirm that eutrophication substantially increases the arginine content of macroalgae, which may metabolically promote latent herpesviruses and cause FP tumors in green turtles. PMID:25289187

  15. 50 CFR Appendix F to Part 622 - Specifications for Sea Turtle Mitigation Gear and Sea Turtle Handling and Release Requirements

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... disentangling and dehooking entangled sea turtles. One long-handled device to pull an “inverted V” is required... used to disentangle sea turtles from fishing gear and disengage any hooks, or to clip the line...

  16. 50 CFR 648.109 - Sea turtle conservation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... Summer Flounder Fisheries § 648.109 Sea turtle conservation. Sea turtle regulations are found at 50 CFR... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Sea turtle conservation. 648.109 Section 648.109 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND...

  17. 50 CFR 648.109 - Sea turtle conservation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... Summer Flounder Fisheries § 648.109 Sea turtle conservation. Sea turtle regulations are found at 50 CFR... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 12 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Sea turtle conservation. 648.109 Section 648.109 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND...

  18. 50 CFR 648.109 - Sea turtle conservation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... Summer Flounder Fisheries § 648.109 Sea turtle conservation. Sea turtle regulations are found at 50 CFR... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 12 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Sea turtle conservation. 648.109 Section 648.109 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND...

  19. 50 CFR 648.109 - Sea turtle conservation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... Summer Flounder Fisheries § 648.109 Sea turtle conservation. Sea turtle regulations are found at 50 CFR... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 12 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Sea turtle conservation. 648.109 Section 648.109 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND...

  20. 50 CFR 648.106 - Sea Turtle conservation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

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

  1. Sea Turtles: An Auditorium Program, Grades 6-9.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Aquarium in Baltimore, MD. Dept. of Education.

    The National Aquarium in Baltimore's sea turtle auditorium program introduces students in grades 6-9 to the seven (or eight, depending on which expert is consulted) species of sea turtles alive today. The program, which includes slides, films, artifacts, and discussion, focuses on sea turtle biology and conservation. This booklet covers most of…

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1997-01-01

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

  3. Global population genetic structure and male-mediated gene flow in the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas): analysis of microsatellite loci.

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, Mark A; Schwartz, Tonia S; Karl, Stephen A

    2004-01-01

    We assessed the degree of population subdivision among global populations of green sea turtles, Chelonia mydas, using four microsatellite loci. Previously, a single-copy nuclear DNA study indicated significant male-mediated gene flow among populations alternately fixed for different mitochondrial DNA haplotypes and that genetic divergence between populations in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans was more common than subdivisions among populations within ocean basins. Even so, overall levels of variation at single-copy loci were low and inferences were limited. Here, the markedly more variable microsatellite loci confirm the presence of male-mediated gene flow among populations within ocean basins. This analysis generally confirms the genetic divergence between the Atlantic and Pacific. As with the previous study, phylogenetic analyses of genetic distances based on the microsatellite loci indicate a close genetic relationship among eastern Atlantic and Indian Ocean populations. Unlike the single-copy study, however, the results here cannot be attributed to an artifact of general low variability and likely represent recent or ongoing migration between ocean basins. Sequence analyses of regions flanking the microsatellite repeat reveal considerable amounts of cryptic variation and homoplasy and significantly aid in our understanding of population connectivity. Assessment of the allele frequency distributions indicates that at least some of the loci may not be evolving by the stepwise mutation model. PMID:15126404

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

  6. Epizootiology of spirorchiid infection in green turtles (Chelonia mydas) in Hawaii.

    PubMed

    Work, Thierry M; Balazs, George H; Schumacher, Jody L; Amarisa, Marie

    2005-08-01

    We describe the epizootiology of spirorchiid trematode infections in Hawaiian green turtles (Chelonia mydas) by quantifying tissue egg burdens in turtles submitted for necropsy and by assessing antibody response to crude adult worm and egg antigens among a variety of age groups. Hapalotrema sp. and Laeredius sp. predominated in turtles infected with spirorchiids. Tissue egg burdens decreased with increasing size and increased with deteriorating body condition of turtles. No relationship was found between tissue egg burdens and sex or fibropapillomatosis status. Tissue egg burdens increased in turtles from southeast to northwest in the main Hawaiian Islands (Hawaii to Kauai). Hatchling and captive-reared turtles had significantly lower levels of antibodies against crude worm and egg antigens. Based on tissue egg burdens and antibody status, we hypothesize that immature turtles become infected with spirorchiids shortly after recruiting into coastal foraging pastures from the pelagic environment, that infection levels decrease with age, and that spirorchiids detrimentally affect the body condition of sea turtles independent of tumor burden. The low intensity of infection in turtles with the endemic trematode Carettacola hawaiiensis suggests either that turtles are less susceptible to infection with this parasite or that the parasite is outcompeted by species of Hapalotrema and Laeredius. Given that the 2 latter species are found in the Pacific and other oceans, they are not likely endemic and were probably introduced into Hawaii through an undetermined route. PMID:17089757

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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,…

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  10. 50 CFR 226.208 - Critical habitat for green turtle.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Critical habitat for green turtle. 226... ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITAT § 226.208 Critical habitat for green turtle. (a) Culebra Island, Puerto Rico—Waters surrounding the island of...

  11. 50 CFR 226.208 - Critical habitat for green turtle.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Critical habitat for green turtle. 226... ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITAT § 226.208 Critical habitat for green turtle. (a) Culebra Island, Puerto Rico—Waters surrounding the island of...

  12. 50 CFR 226.208 - Critical habitat for green turtle.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Critical habitat for green turtle. 226... ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITAT § 226.208 Critical habitat for green turtle. (a) Culebra Island, Puerto Rico—Waters surrounding the island of...

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Contemporary sea-level rise will inundate coastal habitats with seawater more frequently, disrupting the life cycles of terrestrial fauna well before permanent habitat loss occurs. Sea turtles are reliant on low-lying coastal habitats worldwide for nesting, where eggs buried in the sand remain vulnerable to inundation until hatching. We show that saltwater inundation directly lowers the viability of green turtle eggs (Chelonia mydas) collected from the world's largest green turtle nesting rookery at Raine Island, Australia, which is undergoing enigmatic decline. Inundation for 1 or 3 h reduced egg viability by less than 10%, whereas inundation for 6 h reduced viability by approximately 30%. All embryonic developmental stages were vulnerable to mortality from saltwater inundation. Although the hatchlings that emerged from inundated eggs displayed normal physical and behavioural traits, hypoxia during incubation could influence other aspects of the physiology or behaviour of developing embryos, such as learning or spatial orientation. Saltwater inundation can directly lower hatching success, but it does not completely explain the consistently low rates of hatchling production observed on Raine Island. More frequent nest inundation associated with sea-level rise will increase variability in sea turtle hatching success spatially and temporally, due to direct and indirect impacts of saltwater inundation on developing embryos. PMID:26587269

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

    Contemporary sea-level rise will inundate coastal habitats with seawater more frequently, disrupting the life cycles of terrestrial fauna well before permanent habitat loss occurs. Sea turtles are reliant on low-lying coastal habitats worldwide for nesting, where eggs buried in the sand remain vulnerable to inundation until hatching. We show that saltwater inundation directly lowers the viability of green turtle eggs (Chelonia mydas) collected from the world's largest green turtle nesting rookery at Raine Island, Australia, which is undergoing enigmatic decline. Inundation for 1 or 3 h reduced egg viability by less than 10%, whereas inundation for 6 h reduced viability by approximately 30%. All embryonic developmental stages were vulnerable to mortality from saltwater inundation. Although the hatchlings that emerged from inundated eggs displayed normal physical and behavioural traits, hypoxia during incubation could influence other aspects of the physiology or behaviour of developing embryos, such as learning or spatial orientation. Saltwater inundation can directly lower hatching success, but it does not completely explain the consistently low rates of hatchling production observed on Raine Island. More frequent nest inundation associated with sea-level rise will increase variability in sea turtle hatching success spatially and temporally, due to direct and indirect impacts of saltwater inundation on developing embryos. PMID:26587269

  16. Case descriptions of fibropapillomatosis in rehabilitating loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta in the southeastern USA.

    PubMed

    Page-Karjian, Annie; Norton, Terry M; Harms, Craig; Mader, Doug; Herbst, Larry H; Stedman, Nancy; Gottdenker, Nicole L

    2015-08-20

    Fibropapillomatosis (FP) is a debilitating neoplastic disease that affects all species of hard-shelled sea turtles, including loggerhead turtles Caretta caretta. FP can represent an important clinical concern in rehabilitating turtles, since managing these infectious lesions often requires special husbandry provisions including quarantine, and FP may affect clinical progression, extend rehabilitation duration, and complicate prognoses. Here we describe cases of rehabilitating loggerhead turtles with FP (designated FP+). Medical records of FP+ loggerhead cases from 3 sea turtle rehabilitation facilities in the southeastern USA were reviewed. Between 2001 and 2014, FP was observed in 8 of 818 rehabilitating loggerhead turtles (0.98% overall prevalence in admitted patients). FP+ loggerhead size classes represented were large juvenile (straight carapace length, SCL: 58.1-80 cm; n=7) and adult (SCL>87 cm; n=1). Three turtles presented with FP, and 5 developed tumors during rehabilitation within a range of 45 to 319 d. Sites of new tumor growth included the eyes, sites of trauma, neck, and glottis. FP+ turtles were scored as mildly (3/8), moderately (4/8), or heavily (1/8) afflicted. The mean total time in rehabilitation was 476±355 d (SD) (range: 52-1159 d). Six turtles were released without visible evidence of FP, 1 turtle was released with mild FP, and 1 turtle with internal FP was euthanized. Clinical decision-making for FP+ loggerhead patients can be aided by such information as time to tumor development, anatomic locations to monitor for new tumor growth, husbandry considerations, diagnostic and treatment options, and comparisons to FP in rehabilitating green turtles Chelonia mydas. PMID:26290503

  17. Comparison of functional aspects of the coagulation cascade in human and sea turtle plasmas.

    PubMed

    Soslau, Gerald; Wallace, Bryan; Vicente, Catherine; Goldenberg, Seth J; Tupis, Todd; Spotila, James; George, Robert; Paladino, Frank; Whitaker, Brent; Violetta, Gary; Piedra, Rotney

    2004-08-01

    Functional hemostatic pathways are critical for the survival of all vertebrates and have been evolving for more than 400 million years. The overwhelming majority of studies of hemostasis in vertebrates have focused on mammals with very sparse attention paid to reptiles. There have been virtually no studies of the coagulation pathway in sea turtles whose ancestors date back to the Jurassic period. Sea turtles are often exposed to rapidly altered environmental conditions during diving periods. This may reduce their blood pH during prolonged hypoxic dives. This report demonstrates that five species of turtles possess only one branch of the mammalian coagulation pathway, the extrinsic pathway. Mixing studies of turtle plasmas with human factor-deficient plasmas indicate that the intrinsic pathway factors VIII and IX are present in turtle plasma. These two factors may play a significant role in supporting the extrinsic pathway by feedback loops. The intrinsic factors, XI and XII are not detected which would account for the inability of reagents to induce coagulation via the intrinsic pathway in vitro. The analysis of two turtle factors, factor II (prothrombin) and factor X, demonstrates that they are antigenically/functionally similar to the corresponding human factors. The turtle coagulation pathway responds differentially to both pH and temperature relative to each turtle species and relative to human samples. The coagulation time (prothrombin time) increases as the temperature decreases between 37 and 15 degrees C. The increased time follows a linear relationship, with similar slopes for loggerhead, Kemps ridley and hawksbill turtles as well as for human samples. Leatherback turtle samples show a dramatic nonlinear increased time below 23 degrees C, and green turtle sample responses were similar but less dramatic. All samples also showed increased prothrombin times as the pH decreased from 7.8 to 6.4, except for three turtle species. The prothrombin times decreased

  18. Symbiotic Cellulose Degradation in Green Turtles, Chelonia mydas L

    PubMed Central

    Fenchel, T. M.; McRoy, C. P.; Ogden, J. C.; Parker, P.; Rainey, W. E.

    1979-01-01

    A postgastric, fermentative breakdown of structural plant tissue was demonstrated for green turtles. About 90% cellulose was hydrolyzed. Bacterial and protozoan numbers compared with those of the rumen. PMID:16345350

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cohen, J.B.

    2005-01-01

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

  20. 50 CFR 665.812 - Sea turtle take mitigation measures.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... disentangling and dehooking entangled sea turtles. One long-handled device to pull an “inverted V” is required... causing further injury to the sea turtle, the vessel owner or operator must disentangle and remove the... paragraphs (b)(3) and (b)(4) of this section; and (iii) Disentangle and remove the gear, or cut the line...

  1. 50 CFR 665.812 - Sea turtle take mitigation measures.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... disentangling and dehooking entangled sea turtles. One long-handled device to pull an “inverted V” is required... causing further injury to the sea turtle, the vessel owner or operator must disentangle and remove the... paragraphs (b)(3) and (b)(4) of this section; and (iii) Disentangle and remove the gear, or cut the line...

  2. 50 CFR 665.812 - Sea turtle take mitigation measures.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... disentangling and dehooking entangled sea turtles. One long-handled device to pull an “inverted V” is required... causing further injury to the sea turtle, the vessel owner or operator must disentangle and remove the... paragraphs (b)(3) and (b)(4) of this section; and (iii) Disentangle and remove the gear, or cut the line...

  3. 50 CFR 665.812 - Sea turtle take mitigation measures.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... disentangling and dehooking entangled sea turtles. One long-handled device to pull an “inverted V” is required... causing further injury to the sea turtle, the vessel owner or operator must disentangle and remove the... paragraphs (b)(3) and (b)(4) of this section; and (iii) Disentangle and remove the gear, or cut the line...

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... disentangling and dehooking entangled sea turtles. One long-handled device to pull an “inverted V” is required... causing further injury to the sea turtle, the vessel owner or operator must disentangle and remove the... paragraphs (b)(3) and (b)(4) of this section; and (iii) Disentangle and remove the gear, or cut the line...

  5. LOGGERHEAD SEA TURTLE LATE NESTING ECOLOGY IN VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA

    EPA Science Inventory

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Malashichev, Yegor

    2016-04-01

    The righting responses, when the animal rights itself over one side of the body after been overturned on the back, are one of the simplest ways to test for laterality, especially in lower vertebrates. In anuran amphibians unilateral preferences in righting responses correlated to the degree of the use of alternating-limb (asynchronous) movements during locomotion. Turtles is one of the underrepresented vertebrate groups in the studies of laterality, while possess also different types of locomotion (with synchronous or asynchronous use of the contralateral limbs), which allows testing the hypothesis on functional relationship between the mode of locomotion and the strength of laterality. We studied two species of sea turtles, Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) and Olive Ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea), which differ from the majority of other representatives of the order in that they mostly utilize synchronous locomotion, when all four limbs move simultaneously in strokes (scratching). In righting response tests turtles demonstrated individual and weak population level laterality, which differed in strength. The Green turtle was less lateralized with the majority of individuals being ambipreferent. The Olive Ridley turtle had a greater number of lateralized individuals and a greater average strength of laterality. Interspecies comparison to land tortoises, which use only asynchronous (alternating-limb) walking (crawling), confirmed the rule found in amphibians: the more asynchronous locomotion is used, the greater is the strength of laterality in righting. Hence, data from turtles and amphibians may represent a phenomenon common for all quadruped vertebrates. We also discuss possible biomechanical and neurological correlates of this evolutionary change in locomotory patterns and lateralization in sea turtles when adapting to sea life. PMID:26772421

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-15

    During 2014, six loggerhead turtles, Caretta caretta and one green turtle, Chelonia mydas, found stranded on the Tuscany coast of Italy, were examined for the presence of specific bacterial and viral agents, along with their role as carriers of fish and human pathogens. Thirteen different species of bacteria, 10 Gram negative and 3 Gram positive, were identified. Among them, two strains of Vibrio parahaemolyticus and one strain of Lactococcus garviae were recovered and confirmed by specific PCR protocols. No trh and tdh genes were detected in V. parahaemolyticus. The first isolation of L. garviae and the first detection of Betanodavirus in sea turtles indicate the possibility for sea turtles to act as carriers of fish pathogens. Furthermore, the isolation of two strains of V. parahaemolyticus highlights the possible role of these animals in human pathogens' diffusion. PMID:26931392

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    The quantification of circulating plasma immunoglobulins represents a valuable diagnostic tool in human and veterinary immunology, although its application is very limited in reptile medicine to date. The objectives of our study were the development and standardization of a competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (cELISA) for the measurement of total plasma immunoglobulins (Igs; both IgM and IgY) in loggerhead sea turtles (LST; Caretta caretta; n = 254) and green turtles (GT; Chelonia mydas; n = 111), the establishment of reference intervals for Ig for both species, and the examination of associations between Ig and total protein (TP), condition index, and water temperature. The cELISA for Ig was successfully developed and optimized. Reference intervals for Ig were 0.38-0.94 g/dL in LST (median: 0.59 g/dL; range: 0.16-2.15 g/dL) and 0.40-0.85 g/dL in GT (median: 0.58 g/dL; range: 0.18-1.80 g/dL). In LST, there were positive linear relationships of Ig with TP, and TP with Ig and condition index, and a negative relationship of Ig with condition index. The positive linear relationships of Ig with TP, and TP with Ig were also identified in GT. These positive associations of Ig and TP were expected, as Ig represents fractions of TP, and TP reportedly increases with straight carapace length and weight. The negative association of Ig with condition index may indicate potential biological variations. The cELISA and reference intervals for total Ig of LST and GT presented herein have the potential to be useful as a diagnostic and research tool for sea turtle immunology. PMID:26699523

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-12-01

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

  11. 50 CFR Appendix F to Part 622 - Specifications for Sea Turtle Mitigation Gear and Sea Turtle Handling and Release Requirements

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... disentangling and dehooking entangled sea turtles. One long-handled device to pull an “inverted V” is required... gear specified in paragraphs A.1. through 4. of this Appendix F must be used to disentangle sea...

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

    PubMed

    Fitzpatrick, Richard; Thums, Michele; Bell, Ian; Meekan, Mark G; Stevens, John D; Barnett, Adam

    2012-01-01

    During the reproductive season, sea turtles use a restricted area in the vicinity of their nesting beaches, making them vulnerable to predation. At Raine Island (Australia), the highest density green turtle Chelonia mydas rookery in the world, tiger sharks Galeocerdo cuvier have been observed to feed on green turtles, and it has been suggested that they may specialise on such air-breathing prey. However there is little information with which to examine this hypothesis. We compared the spatial and temporal components of movement behaviour of these two potentially interacting species in order to provide insight into the predator-prey relationship. Specifically, we tested the hypothesis that tiger shark movements are more concentrated at Raine Island during the green turtle nesting season than outside the turtle nesting season when turtles are not concentrated at Raine Island. Turtles showed area-restricted search behaviour around Raine Island for ∼3-4 months during the nesting period (November-February). This was followed by direct movement (transit) to putative foraging grounds mostly in the Torres Straight where they switched to area-restricted search mode again, and remained resident for the remainder of the deployment (53-304 days). In contrast, tiger sharks displayed high spatial and temporal variation in movement behaviour which was not closely linked to the movement behaviour of green turtles or recognised turtle foraging grounds. On average, tiger sharks were concentrated around Raine Island throughout the year. While information on diet is required to determine whether tiger sharks are turtle specialists our results support the hypothesis that they target this predictable and plentiful prey during turtle nesting season, but they might not focus on this less predictable food source outside the nesting season. PMID:23284819

  13. A Comparison of the Seasonal Movements of Tiger Sharks and Green Turtles Provides Insight into Their Predator-Prey Relationship

    PubMed Central

    Fitzpatrick, Richard; Thums, Michele; Bell, Ian; Meekan, Mark G.; Stevens, John D.; Barnett, Adam

    2012-01-01

    During the reproductive season, sea turtles use a restricted area in the vicinity of their nesting beaches, making them vulnerable to predation. At Raine Island (Australia), the highest density green turtle Chelonia mydas rookery in the world, tiger sharks Galeocerdo cuvier have been observed to feed on green turtles, and it has been suggested that they may specialise on such air-breathing prey. However there is little information with which to examine this hypothesis. We compared the spatial and temporal components of movement behaviour of these two potentially interacting species in order to provide insight into the predator-prey relationship. Specifically, we tested the hypothesis that tiger shark movements are more concentrated at Raine Island during the green turtle nesting season than outside the turtle nesting season when turtles are not concentrated at Raine Island. Turtles showed area-restricted search behaviour around Raine Island for ∼3–4 months during the nesting period (November–February). This was followed by direct movement (transit) to putative foraging grounds mostly in the Torres Straight where they switched to area-restricted search mode again, and remained resident for the remainder of the deployment (53–304 days). In contrast, tiger sharks displayed high spatial and temporal variation in movement behaviour which was not closely linked to the movement behaviour of green turtles or recognised turtle foraging grounds. On average, tiger sharks were concentrated around Raine Island throughout the year. While information on diet is required to determine whether tiger sharks are turtle specialists our results support the hypothesis that they target this predictable and plentiful prey during turtle nesting season, but they might not focus on this less predictable food source outside the nesting season. PMID:23284819

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-15

    Palmyra Atoll, in the Central Pacific, is a unique marine ecosystem because of its remarkably intact food web and limited anthropogenic stressors. However during World War II the atoll was structurally reconfigured into a military installation and questions remain whether this may have impacted the health of the atoll's ecosystems and species. To address the issue we assessed green sea turtle (n=157) health and exposure to contaminants at this foraging ground from 2008 to 2012. Physical exams were performed and blood was sampled for testosterone analysis, plasma biochemistry analysis, hematology and heavy metal exposure. Hematological and plasma chemistries were consistent with concentrations reported for healthy green turtles. Heavy metal screenings revealed low concentrations of most metals, except for high concentrations of iron and aluminum. Body condition indices showed that <1% of turtles had poor body condition. In this study, we provide the first published blood values for a markedly healthy sea turtle population at a remote Central Pacific Atoll. PMID:25455822

  15. Interannual differences for sea turtles bycatch in Spanish longliners from Western Mediterranean Sea.

    PubMed

    Báez, José C; Macías, David; García-Barcelona, Salvador; Real, Raimundo

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies showed that regional abundance of loggerhead and leatherback turtles could oscillate interannually according to oceanographic and climatic conditions. The Western Mediterranean is an important fishing area for the Spanish drifting longline fleet, which mainly targets swordfish, bluefin tuna, and albacore. Due to the spatial overlapping in fishing activity and turtle distribution, there is an increasing sea turtle conservation concern. The main goal of this study is to analyse the interannual bycatch of loggerhead and leatherback turtles by the Spanish Mediterranean longline fishery and to test the relationship between the total turtle by-catch of this fishery and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). During the 14 years covered in this study, the number of sea turtle bycatches was 3,940 loggerhead turtles and 8 leatherback turtles, 0.499 loggerhead turtles/1000 hooks and 0.001014 leatherback turtles/1000 hooks. In the case of the loggerhead turtle the positive phase of the NAO favours an increase of loggerhead turtles in the Western Mediterranean Sea. However, in the case of leatherback turtle the negative phase of the NAO favours the presence of leatherback turtle. This contraposition could be related to the different ecophysiological response of both species during their migration cycle. PMID:24764769

  16. Interannual Differences for Sea Turtles Bycatch in Spanish Longliners from Western Mediterranean Sea

    PubMed Central

    Báez, José C.; García-Barcelona, Salvador

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies showed that regional abundance of loggerhead and leatherback turtles could oscillate interannually according to oceanographic and climatic conditions. The Western Mediterranean is an important fishing area for the Spanish drifting longline fleet, which mainly targets swordfish, bluefin tuna, and albacore. Due to the spatial overlapping in fishing activity and turtle distribution, there is an increasing sea turtle conservation concern. The main goal of this study is to analyse the interannual bycatch of loggerhead and leatherback turtles by the Spanish Mediterranean longline fishery and to test the relationship between the total turtle by-catch of this fishery and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). During the 14 years covered in this study, the number of sea turtle bycatches was 3,940 loggerhead turtles and 8 leatherback turtles, 0.499 loggerhead turtles/1000 hooks and 0.001014 leatherback turtles/1000 hooks. In the case of the loggerhead turtle the positive phase of the NAO favours an increase of loggerhead turtles in the Western Mediterranean Sea. However, in the case of leatherback turtle the negative phase of the NAO favours the presence of leatherback turtle. This contraposition could be related to the different ecophysiological response of both species during their migration cycle. PMID:24764769

  17. Magnetic Navigation in Sea Turtles: Insights from Secular Variation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Putman, N. F.; Lohmann, K.

    2011-12-01

    Sea turtles are iconic migrants that posses a sensitive magnetic-sense that guides their long-distance movements in a variety of contexts. In the first few hours after hatching turtles use the magnetic field to maintain an offshore compass heading to reach deeper water, out of the reach of nearshore predators. Young turtles engage in directed swimming in response to regional magnetic fields that exist along their transoceanic migratory path. Older turtles also use magnetic information to relocate foraging sites and islands used for nesting after displacement. Numerous hypotheses have been put forth to explain how magnetic information functions in these movements, however, there is little consensus among animal navigation researchers. A particular vexing issue is how magnetic navigation can function under the constraints of the constant, gradual shifting of the earth's magnetic field (secular variation). Here, I present a framework based on models of recent geomagnetic secular variation to explore several navigational mechanisms proposed for sea turtles. I show that while examination of secular variation likely falsifies some hypothetical navigational strategies, it provides key insights into the selective pressures that could maintain other navigational mechanisms. Moreover, examination of secular variation's influence on the navigational precision in reproductive migrations of sea turtles offers compelling explanations for the population structure along sea turtle nesting beaches as well as spatiotemporal variation in nesting turtle abundance.

  18. Global Analysis of Anthropogenic Debris Ingestion by Sea Turtles

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Terrestrial basking sea turtles are responding to spatio-temporal sea surface temperature patterns

    PubMed Central

    Van Houtan, Kyle S.; Halley, John M.; Marks, Wendy

    2015-01-01

    Naturalists as early as Darwin observed terrestrial basking in green turtles (Chelonia mydas), but the distribution and environmental influences of this behaviour are poorly understood. Here, we examined 6 years of daily basking surveys in Hawaii and compared them with the phenology of local sea surface temperatures (SST). Data and models indicated basking peaks when SST is coolest, and we found this timeline consistent with bone stress markings. Next, we assessed the decadal SST profiles for the 11 global green turtle populations. Basking generally occurs when winter SST falls below 23°C. From 1990 to 2014, the SST for these populations warmed an average 0.04°C yr−1 (range 0.01–0.09°C yr−1); roughly three times the observed global average over this period. Owing to projected future warming at basking sites, we estimated terrestrial basking in green turtles may cease globally by 2100. To predict and manage for future climate change, we encourage a more detailed understanding for how climate influences organismal biology. PMID:25589483

  20. 50 CFR 648.106 - Sea Turtle conservation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 60629, Sept. 29, 2011. Sea turtle regulations are found at 50 CFR parts 222 and 223. Effective Date Note... fillet number by two. If summer flounder are filleted into single (butterfly) fillets, each fillet...

  1. Gulf Coast Sea Turtle Hatchlings Released at KSC

    NASA Video Gallery

    The first group of hatchlings from endangered sea turtle eggs brought from beaches along the northern U.S. Gulf Coast was released into the Atlantic Ocean off NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida...

  2. A primitive protostegid from Australia and early sea turtle evolution

    PubMed Central

    Kear, Benjamin P; Lee, Michael S.Y

    2005-01-01

    Sea turtles (Chelonioidea) are a prominent group of modern marine reptiles whose early history is poorly understood. Analysis of exceptionally well preserved fossils of Bouliachelys suteri gen. et sp. nov., a large-bodied basal protostegid (primitive chelonioid) from the Early Cretaceous (Albian) of Australia, indicates that early sea turtles were both larger and more diverse than previously thought. The analysis implies at least five distinct sea turtle lineages existed around 100 million years ago. Currently, the postcranially primitive Ctenochelys and Toxochelys are interpreted as crown-group sea turtles closely related to living cheloniids (e.g. Chelonia); in contrast, the new phylogeny suggests that they are transitional (intermediate stem-taxa) between continental testudines and derived, pelagic chelonioids. PMID:17148342

  3. Three millennia of human and sea turtle interactions in Remote Oceania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allen, M. S.

    2007-12-01

    Sea turtles are one of the largest vertebrates in the shallow water ecosystems of Remote Oceania, occurring in both sea grass pastures and on coral reefs. Their functional roles, however, over ecological and evolutionary times scales are not well known, in part because their numbers have been so drastically reduced. Ethnographic and archaeological data is analysed to assess long-term patterns of human sea turtle interactions (mainly green and hawksbill) prior to western contact and the magnitude of turtle losses in this region. From the ethnographic data two large-scale patterns emerge, societies where turtle capture and consumption was controlled by chiefs and priests versus those where control over turtle was more flexible and consumption more egalitarian. Broadly the distinction is between societies on high (volcanic and raised coral) islands versus atolls, but the critical variables are the ratio of land to shallow marine environments, combined with the availability of refugia. Archaeological evidence further highlights differences in the rate and magnitude of turtle losses across these two island types, with high islands suffering both large and rapid declines while those on atolls are less marked. These long-term historical patterns help explain the ethnographic endpoints, with areas that experienced greater losses apparently developing more restrictive social controls over time. Finally, if current turtle migration patterns held in the past, with annual movements between western foraging grounds and eastern nesting beaches, then intensive harvesting from 2,800 Before Present in West Polynesia probably affected turtle abundance and coral reef ecology in East Polynesia well before the actual arrival of human settlers, the latter a process that most likely began 1,400 years later.

  4. Estimating At-Sea Mortality of Marine Turtles from Stranding Frequencies and Drifter Experiments

    PubMed Central

    Koch, Volker; Peckham, Hoyt; Mancini, Agnese; Eguchi, Tomoharu

    2013-01-01

    Strandings of marine megafauna can provide valuable information on cause of death at sea. However, as stranding probabilities are usually very low and highly variable in space and time, interpreting the results can be challenging. We evaluated the magnitude and distribution of at-sea mortality of marine turtles along the Pacific coast of Baja California Sur, México during 2010–11, using a combination of counting stranded animals and drifter experiments. A total of 594 carcasses were found during the study period, with loggerhead (62%) and green turtles (31%) being the most common species. 87% of the strandings occurred in the southern Gulf of Ulloa, a known hotspot of loggerhead distribution in the Eastern Pacific. While only 1.8% of the deaths could be definitively attributed to bycatch (net marks, hooks), seasonal variation in stranding frequencies closely corresponded to the main fishing seasons. Estimated stranding probabilities from drifter experiments varied among sites and trials (0.05–0.8), implying that only a fraction of dead sea turtles can be observed at beaches. Total mortality estimates for 15-day periods around the floater trials were highest for PSL, a beach in the southern Gulf of Ulloa, ranging between 11 sea turtles in October 2011 to 107 in August 2010. Loggerhead turtles were the most numerous, followed by green and olive ridley turtles. Our study showed that drifter trials combined with beach monitoring can provide estimates for death at sea to measure the impact of small-scale fisheries that are notoriously difficult to monitor for by-catch. We also provided recommendations to improve the precision of the mortality estimates for future studies and highlight the importance of estimating impacts of small–scale fisheries on marine megafauna. PMID:23483880

  5. Separation and characterization of metallothionein in the liver of sea turtles by high performance liquid chromatographylinductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shinsuke, T.; Yasumi, A.; Takashi, K.

    2003-05-01

    To investigate whether trace metals bind to metallothioneins (MTs) in the hepatocytosol of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata), MT fraction was obtained by ultracentrifugation and gel filtration methods. MTs separated from hepatocytosol were further purified and characterized by high performance liquid chromatography/inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. In addition, the involvement of MTs in the accumulation of trace metals in the liver of sea turtle was examine. Gel filtration analysis showed that significant amounts of Cu, Zn, Ag and Cd were bound to MT in the cytosol of sea turtles, suggesting that such trace metals were primarily detoxified by interaction with MTs in the liver. Elution profiles of these trace metals by anion-exchange chromatography were different between green turtles and hawksbill turtles. These results suggest the presence of multiple isoforms of MT in the liver of both sea turtles; however, constituents of isoforms were different between green and hawksbill turtles. In both species, we observed the elevation of the height of a specific peak in elution profile with an increase in Cu concentration in hepatocytosol. This result suggests the presence of a novel MT isoform related to copper accumulation in the liver of sea turtles.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. 76 FR 29718 - Western Pacific Pelagic Fisheries; American Samoa Longline Gear Modifications To Reduce Turtle...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-05-23

    ... Fisheries; American Samoa Longline Gear Modifications To Reduce Turtle Interactions AGENCY: National Marine... Pacific green sea turtles, which will enable American Samoa longline fishing vessels to continue... turtle populations. DATES: Comments on Amendment 5, including an environmental assessment, must...

  9. 50 CFR 226.208 - Critical habitat for green turtle.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Critical habitat for green turtle. 226.208 Section 226.208 Wildlife and Fisheries NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITAT § 226.208 Critical habitat...

  10. 50 CFR 226.208 - Critical habitat for green turtle.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Critical habitat for green turtle. 226.208 Section 226.208 Wildlife and Fisheries NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITAT § 226.208 Critical habitat...

  11. Sea Turtles and Strategies for Language Skills.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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)

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26701754

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Nesting Phenology of Marine Turtles: Insights from a Regional Comparative Analysis on Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas)

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Changes in phenology, the timing of seasonal activities, are among the most frequently observed responses to environmental disturbances and in marine species are known to occur in response to climate changes that directly affects ocean temperature, biogeochemical composition and sea level. We examined nesting seasonality data from long-term studies at 8 green turtle (Chelonia mydas) rookeries that include 21 specific nesting sites in the South-West Indian Ocean (SWIO). We demonstrated that temperature drives patterns of nesting seasonality at the regional scale. We found a significant correlation between mean annual Sea Surface Temperature (SST) and dates of peak nesting with rookeries exposed to higher SST having a delayed nesting peak. This supports the hypothesis that temperature is the main factor determining peak nesting dates. We also demonstrated a spatial synchrony in nesting activity amongst multiple rookeries in the northern part of the SWIO (Aldabra, Glorieuses, Mohéli, Mayotte) but not with the eastern and southern rookeries (Europa, Tromelin), differences which could be attributed to females with sharply different adult foraging conditions. However, we did not detect a temporal trend in the nesting peak date over the study period or an inter-annual relation between nesting peak date and SST. The findings of our study provide a better understanding of the processes that drive marine species phenology. The findings will also help to predict their ability to cope with climate change and other environmental perturbations. Despite demonstrating this spatial shift in nesting phenology, no trend in the alteration of nesting dates over more than 20 years was found. PMID:23056527

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

    PubMed

    Putman, Nathan F; Naro-Maciel, Eugenia

    2013-10-01

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

  17. Blood Gases, Biochemistry, and Hematology of Galapagos Green Turtles (Chelonia Mydas)

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    The green turtle, Chelonia mydas, is an endangered marine chelonian with a circum-global distribution. Reference blood parameter intervals have been published for some chelonian species, but baseline hematology, biochemical, and blood gas values are lacking from the Galapagos sea turtles. Analyses were done on blood samples drawn from 28 green turtles captured in two foraging locations on San Cristóbal Island (14 from each site). Of these turtles, 20 were immature and of unknown sex; the other eight were males (five mature, three immature). A portable blood analyzer (iSTAT) was used to obtain near immediate field results for pH, lactate, pO2, pCO2, HCO3−, Hct, Hb, Na, K, iCa, and Glu. Parameter values affected by temperature were corrected in two ways: (1) with standard formulas; and (2) with auto-corrections made by the iSTAT. The two methods yielded clinically equivalent results. Standard laboratory hematology techniques were employed for the red and white blood cell counts and the hematocrit determination, which was also compared to the hematocrit values generated by the iSTAT. Of all blood analytes, only lactate concentrations were positively correlated with body size. All other values showed no significant difference between the two sample locations nor were they correlated with body size or internal temperature. For hematocrit count, the iSTAT blood analyzer yielded results indistinguishable from those obtained with high-speed centrifugation. The values reported in this study provide baseline data that may be useful in comparisons among populations and in detecting changes in health status among Galapagos sea turtles. The findings might also be helpful in future efforts to demonstrate associations between specific biochemical parameters and disease. PMID:24824065

  18. 50 CFR 224.104 - Special requirements for fishing activities to protect endangered sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

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

  19. 75 FR 47825 - Emergency Exemption; Issuance of Emergency Permit to Rehabilitate Sea Turtles Affected by the...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-08-09

    ... Fish and Wildlife Service Emergency Exemption; Issuance of Emergency Permit to Rehabilitate Sea Turtles... sea turtle species. We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have authorized Texas State Aquarium, under an Endangered Species Act (ESA) permit, to aid sea turtles affected by the oil spill....

  20. 75 FR 70900 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Reporting of Sea Turtle Entanglement in Fishing...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-11-19

    ... of Sea Turtle Entanglement in Fishing Gear or Marine Debris AGENCY: National Oceanic and Atmospheric... of a currently approved collection. This collection of information involves sea turtles becoming... prevent the recovery of endangered and threatened sea turtle populations. The National Marine...

  1. 50 CFR 648.126 - Protection of threatened and endangered sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

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

  2. 50 CFR 224.104 - Special requirements for fishing activities to protect endangered sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

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

  3. 50 CFR 648.129 - Protection of threatened and endangered sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... sea turtles. This section supplements existing regulations issued to regulate incidental take of sea turtles under authority of the Endangered Species Act under 50 CFR parts 222 and 223. In addition to the... sea turtles. 648.129 Section 648.129 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND...

  4. 50 CFR 224.104 - Special requirements for fishing activities to protect endangered sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

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

  5. 50 CFR 648.129 - Protection of threatened and endangered sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... sea turtles. This section supplements existing regulations issued to regulate incidental take of sea turtles under authority of the Endangered Species Act under 50 CFR parts 222 and 223. In addition to the... sea turtles. 648.129 Section 648.129 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND...

  6. 50 CFR 648.129 - Protection of threatened and endangered sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... sea turtles. This section supplements existing regulations issued to regulate incidental take of sea turtles under authority of the Endangered Species Act under 50 CFR parts 222 and 223. In addition to the... sea turtles. 648.129 Section 648.129 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND...

  7. 50 CFR 224.104 - Special requirements for fishing activities to protect endangered sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

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

  8. 77 FR 14347 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Reporting of Sea Turtle Incidental Take in...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-03-09

    ... of Sea Turtle Incidental Take in Virginia Chesapeake Bay Pound Net Operations AGENCY: National... endangered and threatened sea turtles, found both live and dead, in their pound net operations. When a live or dead sea turtle is discovered during a pound net trip, the Virginia pound net fisherman...

  9. 50 CFR 224.104 - Special requirements for fishing activities to protect endangered sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

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

  10. 50 CFR 648.129 - Protection of threatened and endangered sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... sea turtles. This section supplements existing regulations issued to regulate incidental take of sea turtles under authority of the Endangered Species Act under 50 CFR parts 222 and 223. In addition to the... sea turtles. 648.129 Section 648.129 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND...

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26941625

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-01

    Spirorchiid trematodes are implicated as an important cause of stranding and mortality in sea turtles worldwide. However, the impact of these parasites on sea turtle health is poorly understood due to biases in study populations and limited or missing data for some host species and regions, including the southeastern United States. We examined necropsy findings and parasitological data from 89 loggerhead Caretta caretta and 59 green turtles Chelonia mydas that were found dead or moribund (i.e. stranded) in Florida (USA) and evaluated the role of spirorchiidiasis in the cause of death. High prevalence of infection in the stranding population was observed, and most infections were regarded as incidental to the cause of death. Spirorchiidiasis was causal or contributory to death in some cases; however, notable host injury and/or large numbers of parasites were observed in some animals, including nutritionally robust turtles, with no apparent relationship to cause of death. New spirorchiid species records for the region were documented and identified genera included Neospirorchis, Hapalotrema, Carettacola, and Learedius. Parasites inhabited and were associated with injury and inflammation in a variety of anatomic locations, including large arteries, the central nervous system, endocrine organs, and the gastrointestinal tract. These findings provide essential information on the diversity of spirorchiids found in Florida sea turtles, as well as prevalence of infection and the spectrum of associated pathological lesions. Several areas of needed study are identified with regard to potential health implications in the turtle host, and findings caution against over-interpretation in individual cases. PMID:20481091

  14. Tissue enzyme activities in the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta).

    PubMed

    Anderson, Eric T; Socha, Victoria L; Gardner, Jennifer; Byrd, Lynne; Manire, Charles A

    2013-03-01

    The loggerhead sea turtle, Caretta caretta, one of the seven species of threatened or endangered sea turtles worldwide, is one of the most commonly encountered marine turtles off the eastern coast of the United States and Gulf of Mexico. Although biochemical reference ranges have been evaluated for several species of sea turtles, tissue specificity of the commonly used plasma enzymes is lacking. This study evaluated the tissue specificity of eight enzymes, including amylase, lipase, creatine kinase (CK), gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and alanine aminotransferase (ALT), in 30 tissues from five stranded loggerhead sea turtles with no evidence of infectious disease. Amylase and lipase showed the greatest tissue specificity, with activity found only in pancreatic samples. Creatine kinase had high levels present in skeletal and cardiac muscle, and moderate levels in central nervous system and gastrointestinal samples. Gamma-glutamyl transferase was found in kidney samples, but only in very low levels. Creatine kinase, ALP, AST, and LDH were found in all tissues evaluated and ALT was found in most, indicating low tissue specificity for these enzymes in the loggerhead. PMID:23505704

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24465748

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  17. Body temperature stability achieved by the large body mass of sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Sato, Katsufumi

    2014-10-15

    To investigate the thermal characteristics of large reptiles living in water, temperature data were continuously recorded from 16 free-ranging loggerhead turtles, Caretta caretta, during internesting periods using data loggers. Core body temperatures were 0.7-1.7°C higher than ambient water temperatures and were kept relatively constant. Unsteady numerical simulations using a spherical thermodynamic model provided mechanistic explanations for these phenomena, and the body temperature responses to fluctuating water temperature can be simply explained by a large body mass with a constant thermal diffusivity and a heat production rate rather than physiological thermoregulation. By contrast, body temperatures increased 2.6-5.1°C in 107-152 min during their emergences to nest on land. The estimated heat production rates on land were 7.4-10.5 times the calculated values in the sea. The theoretical prediction that temperature difference between body and water temperatures would increase according to the body size was confirmed by empirical data recorded from several species of sea turtles. Comparing previously reported data, the internesting intervals of leatherback, green and loggerhead turtles were shorter when the body temperatures were higher. Sea turtles seem to benefit from a passive thermoregulatory strategy, which depends primarily on the physical attributes of their large body masses. PMID:25147244

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26941625

  19. Direct evidence of swimming demonstrates active dispersal in the sea turtle "lost years".

    PubMed

    Putman, Nathan F; Mansfield, Katherine L

    2015-05-01

    Although oceanic dispersal in larval and juvenile marine animals is widely studied, the relative contributions of swimming behavior and ocean currents to movements and distribution are poorly understood [1-4]. The sea turtle "lost years" [5] (often referred to as the surface-pelagic [6] or oceanic [7] stage) are a classic example. Upon hatching, young turtles migrate offshore and are rarely observed until they return to coastal waters as larger juveniles [5]. Sightings of small turtles downcurrent of nesting beaches and in association with drifting organisms (e.g., Sargassum algae) led to this stage being described as a "passive migration" during which turtles' movements are dictated by ocean currents [5-10]. However, laboratory and modeling studies suggest that dispersal trajectories might also be shaped by oriented swimming [11-15]. Here, we use an experimental approach designed to directly test the passive-migration hypothesis by deploying pairs of surface drifters alongside small green (Chelonia mydas) and Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) wild-caught turtles, tracking their movements via satellite telemetry. We conclusively demonstrate that these turtles do not behave as passive drifters. In nearly all cases, drifter trajectories were uncharacteristic of turtle trajectories. Species-specific and location-dependent oriented swimming behavior, inferred by subtracting track velocity from modeled ocean velocity, contributed substantially to individual movement and distribution. These findings highlight the importance of in situ observations for depicting the dispersal of weakly swimming animals. Such observations, paired with information on the mechanisms of orientation, will likely allow for more accurate predictions of the ecological and evolutionary processes shaped by animal movement. PMID:25866396

  20. No slip locomotion of hatchling sea turtles on granular media

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mazouchova, Nicole; Li, Chen; Gravish, Nick; Savu, Andrei; Goldman, Daniel

    2009-11-01

    Sea turtle locomotion occurs predominantly in aquatic environments. However after hatching from a nest on a beach, the juvenile turtles (hatchlings), must run across several hundred meters of granular media to reach the water. To discover how these organisms use aquatically adapted limbs for effective locomotion on sand, we use high speed infrared video to record hatchling Loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) kinematics in a field site on Jekyll Island, GA, USA. A portable fluidized bed trackway allows variation of the properties of the granular bed including volume fraction and angle up to the angle of repose. Despite being adapted for life in water, on all treatments the turtles use strategies similar to terrestrial organisms when moving on sand. Speeds up to 3 BL/sec are generated not by paddling in sand, but by limb movement that minimizes slip of the flippers, thus maintaining force below the yield stress of the medium. We predict turtle speed using a model which incorporates the yield stress of the granular medium as a function of surface angle.

  1. ORGANOCHLORINE CONTAMINANTS IN SEA TURTLES FROM THE EASTERN PACIFIC

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  2. 50 CFR 660.720 - Interim protection for sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 13 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Interim protection for sea turtles. 660.720 Section 660.720 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE (CONTINUED) FISHERIES OFF WEST COAST STATES Highly Migratory Fisheries § 660.720 Interim...

  3. First gut contents in a Cretaceous sea turtle

    PubMed Central

    Kear, Benjamin P

    2005-01-01

    Modern sea turtles utilize a variety of feeding strategies ranging from herbivory to omnivory. In contrast, the diets of fossil sea turtles are poorly known. This study reports the first direct evidence: inoceramid bivalve shell pieces (encased in phosphatic material) preserved within the body cavities of several small protostegid turtles (cf. Notochelone) from the Lower Cretaceous of Australia. The shell fragments are densely packed and approximately 5–20 mm across. Identical shell accumulations have been found within coprolite masses from the same deposits; these are of a correct size to have originated from Notochelone, and indicate that benthic molluscs were regular food items. The thin, flexible inoceramid shells (composed of organic material integrated into a prismatic calcite framework) appear to have been bitten into segments and ingested, presumably in conjunction with visceral/mantle tissues and encrusting organisms. Although protostegids have been elsewhere interpreted as potential molluscivores, their primitive limb morphology is thought to have limited them to surface feeding. However, the evidence here that at least some forms were able to utilize benthic invertebrate prey indicates that, like modern sea turtles, protostegids probably exhibited a much broader range of feeding habits. PMID:17148341

  4. Encroachment of Human Activity on Sea Turtle Nesting Sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    Igs in vertebrates comprise equally sized H and L chains, with exceptions such as H chain-only Abs in camels or natural Ag receptors in sharks. In Reptilia, Igs are known as IgYs. Using immunoassays with isotype-specific mAbs, in this study we show that green turtles (Chelonia mydas) have a 5.7S 120-kDa IgY comprising two equally sized H/L chains with truncated Fc and a 7S 200-kDa IgY comprised of two differently sized H chains bound to L chains and apparently often noncovalently associated with an antigenically related 90-kDa moiety. Both the 200- and 90-kDa 7S molecules are made in response to specific Ag, although the 90-kDa molecule appears more prominent after chronic Ag stimulation. Despite no molecular evidence of a hinge, electron microscopy reveals marked flexibility of Fab arms of 7S and 5.7S IgY. Both IgY can be captured with protein G or melon gel, but less so with protein A. Thus, turtle IgY share some characteristics with mammalian IgG. However, the asymmetrical structure of some turtle Ig and the discovery of an Ig class indicative of chronic antigenic stimulation represent striking advances in our understanding of immunology. PMID:26500346

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-15

    Despite the current environmental concern regarding the risk posed by contamination in marine ecosystems, the concentrations of pollutants in sea turtles have not been thoroughly elucidated. In the current study, we determined the concentrations of 18 organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), 18 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and 11 inorganic elements (Cu, Mn, Pb, Zn, Cd, Ni, Cr, As, Al, Hg and Se) for the first time in two sea turtle species (Chelonia mydas and Eretmochelys imbricata). Only five of the 18 analyzed OCPs were detected in both species. The average total OCP concentration was higher in green turtles than in hawksbills (0.33 ng/ml versus 0.20 ng/ml). Higher concentrations of individual congeners and total PCBs were also detected in green turtles than in hawksbills (∑PCBs=0.73ng/ml versus 0.19 ng/ml), and different PCB contamination profiles were observed in these two species. Concerning PAHs, we also observed a different contamination profile and higher levels of contamination in green turtles (∑PAHs=12.06 ng/ml versus 2.95 ng/ml). Di- and tri-cyclic PAHs were predominant in both populations, suggesting a petrogenic origin, rather than urban sources of PAHs. Additionally, all of the samples exhibited detectable levels of the 11 inorganic elements. In this case, we also observed relevant differences between both species. Thus, Zn was the most abundant inorganic element in hawksbills (an essential inorganic element), whereas Ni, a well-known toxicant, was the most abundant inorganic element in green turtles. The presence of contaminants is greater in green turtles relative to hawksbill turtles, suggesting a greater exposure to hazardous chemical contaminants for green turtles. These results provide baseline data for these species that can serve for future monitoring purposes outlined in the EU's Marine Strategy Framework Directive. PMID:24602915

  8. 77 FR 52 - Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery; Framework Adjustment 23

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-01-03

    ... measures to: Minimize impacts on sea turtles through the requirement of a turtle deflector dredge; improve.... According to recent research indicating where sea turtle interactions most often occur, the proposed area... loggerheads, but Kemps ridley turtles and one green sea turtle have also been observed to interact...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26701754

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-06-12

    Beginning in October 2000, subadult loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta showing clinical signs of a neurological disorder were found in waters off south Florida, USA. Histopathology indicated generalized and neurologic spirorchiidiasis. In loggerhead sea turtles (LST) with neurospirorchiidiasis, adult trematodes were found in the meninges of the brain and spinal cord of 7 and 3 affected turtles respectively, and multiple encephalic intravascular or perivascular eggs were associated with granulomatous or mixed leukocytic inflammation, vasculitis, edema, axonal degeneration and occasional necrosis. Adult spirorchiids were dissected from meningeal vessels of 2 of 11 LST brains and 1 of 10 spinal cords and were identified as Neospirorchis sp. Affected LST were evaluated for brevetoxins, ciguatoxins, saxitoxins, domoic acid and palytoxin. While tissues from 7 of 20 LST tested positive for brevetoxins, the levels were not considered to be in a range causing acute toxicosis. No known natural (algal blooms) or anthropogenic (pollutant spills) stressors co-occurred with the turtle mortality. While heavy metal toxicosis and organophosphate toxicosis were also investigated as possible causes, there was no evidence for their involvement. We speculate that the clinical signs and pathologic changes seen in the affected LST resulted from combined heavy spirorchiid parasitism and possible chronic exposure to a novel toxin present in the diet of LST. PMID:16875401

  11. Warm Water and Cool Nests Are Best. How Global Warming Might Influence Hatchling Green Turtle Swimming Performance

    PubMed Central

    Booth, David T.; Evans, Andrew

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21826236

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

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

  13. Seasonal Variation in Sea Turtle Density and Abundance in the Southeast Florida Current and Surrounding Waters.

    PubMed

    Bovery, Caitlin M; Wyneken, Jeanette

    2015-01-01

    Assessment and management of sea turtle populations is often limited by a lack of available data pertaining to at-sea distributions at appropriate spatial and temporal resolutions. Assessing the spatial and temporal distributions of marine turtles in an open system poses both observational and analytical challenges due to the turtles' highly migratory nature. Surface counts of marine turtles in waters along the southern part of Florida's east coast were made in and adjacent to the southeast portion of the Florida Current using standard aerial surveys during 2011 and 2012 to assess their seasonal presence. This area is of particular concern for sea turtles as interest increases in offshore energy developments, specifically harnessing the power of the Florida Current. While it is understood that marine turtles use these waters, here we evaluate seasonal variation in sea turtle abundance and density over two years. Density of sea turtles observed within the study area ranged from 0.003 turtles km-2 in the winter of 2011 to 0.064 turtles km-2 in the spring of 2012. This assessment of marine turtles in the waters off southeast Florida quantifies their in-water abundance across seasons in this area to establish baselines and inform future management strategies of these protected species. PMID:26717520

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26319030

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gyuris, E.

    1994-07-01

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

  16. Chemical Contamination of Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) Eggs in Peninsular Malaysia: Implications for Conservation and Public Health

    PubMed Central

    van de Merwe, Jason P.; Hodge, Mary; Olszowy, Henry A.; Whittier, Joan M.; Ibrahim, Kamarruddin; Lee, Shing Y.

    2009-01-01

    Background Persistent organic pollutants (POPs)—such as organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)—and heavy metals have been reported in sea turtles at various stages of their life cycle. These chemicals can disrupt development and function of wildlife. Furthermore, in areas such as Peninsular Malaysia, where the human consumption of sea turtle eggs is prevalent, egg contamination may also have public health implications. Objective In the present study we investigated conservation and human health risks associated with the chemical contamination of green turtle (Chelonia mydas) eggs in Peninsular Malaysia. Methods Fifty-five C. mydas eggs were collected from markets in Peninsular Malaysia and analyzed for POPs and heavy metals. We conducted screening risk assessments (SRAs) and calculated the percent of acceptable daily intake (ADI) for POPs and metals to assess conservation and human health risks associated with egg contamination. Results C. mydas eggs were available in 9 of the 33 markets visited. These eggs came from seven nesting areas from as far away as Borneo Malaysia. SRAs indicated a significant risk to embryonic development associated with the observed arsenic concentrations. Furthermore, the concentrations of coplanar PCBs represented 3 300 times the ADI values set by the World Health Organization. Conclusions The concentrations of POPs and heavy metals reported in C. mydas eggs from markets in Peninsular Malaysia pose considerable risks to sea turtle conservation and human health. PMID:19750104

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baldwin, H. A.

    1972-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-15

    Documenting the extent of fishery gear interactions is critical to wildlife conservation efforts, especially for reducing entanglements and ingestion. This study summarizes fishery gear interactions involving common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus truncatus), Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) and sea turtles: loggerhead (Caretta caretta), green turtle (Chelonia mydas), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), and olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) stranding in Florida waters during 1997-2009. Fishery gear interactions for all species combined were 75.3% hook and line, 18.2% trap pot gear, 4.8% fishing nets, and 1.7% in multiple gears. Total reported fishery gear cases increased over time for dolphins (p<0.05), manatees (p<0.01), loggerheads (p<0.05) and green sea turtles (p<0.05). The proportion of net interaction strandings relative to total strandings for loggerhead sea turtles increased (p<0.05). Additionally, life stage and sex patterns were examined, fishery gear interaction hotspots were identified and generalized linear regression modeling was conducted. PMID:24613263

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-08-01

    In order to determine the potential effects of contaminants in juveniles of East Pacific green turtle, Chelonia mydas, captured alive, circulating trace metal and organochlorine pesticide concentrations were correlated with body condition, antioxidant enzyme activities and lipid peroxidation levels. Turtles were sampled in Punta Abreojos (PAO) and Bahía Magdalena (BMA). Turtles from PAO showed higher silicon and cadmium concentrations, but lower α-hexachlorocyclohexane, γ-hexachlorocyclohexane, hexachlorobenzene and aldrin concentrations than individuals from BMA. In BMA cadmium concentration decreased as the standard carapace length of the turtles increased. In PAO concentrations of α-hexachlorocyclohexane, heptachlor and hexachlorobenzene were positively correlated with the weight of the individuals. Lipid peroxidation levels were positively correlated with cadmium concentrations. In turtles captured in PAO, enzymatic antioxidant activities correlated mostly with pesticide concentrations, while in individuals from BMA enzyme activities were correlated with trace element concentrations. Correlations between antioxidant enzyme activities and concentration of xenobiotics suggest physiological sensitivity of East Pacific green turtles to chemicals. Regional differences found could be influenced by habitat conditions such as currents, upwellings (PAO) and agricultural activities (BMA). We suggest that, combined, circulating contaminant concentrations, lipid peroxidation levels and antioxidant enzyme activities in sea turtles could be used as biomarkers of the habitat conditions. PMID:21377544

  20. Seasonal variation in sea turtle density and abundance in the southeast Florida current and surrounding waters

    SciTech Connect

    Bovery, Caitlin M.; Wyneken, Jeanette

    2015-12-30

    Assessment and management of sea turtle populations is often limited by a lack of available data pertaining to at-sea distributions at appropriate spatial and temporal resolutions. Assessing the spatial and temporal distributions of marine turtles in an open system poses both observational and analytical challenges due to the turtles’ highly migratory nature. Surface counts of marine turtles in waters along the southern part of Florida’s east coast were made in and adjacent to the southeast portion of the Florida Current using standard aerial surveys during 2011 and 2012 to assess their seasonal presence. This area is of particular concern for sea turtles as interest increases in offshore energy developments, specifically harnessing the power of the Florida Current. While it is understood that marine turtles use these waters, here we evaluate seasonal variation in sea turtle abundance and density over two years. Density of sea turtles observed within the study area ranged from 0.003 turtles km-2 in the winter of 2011 to 0.064 turtles km-2 in the spring of 2012. As a result, this assessment of marine turtles in the waters off southeast Florida quantifies their in-water abundance across seasons in this area to establish baselines and inform future management strategies of these protected species.

  1. Seasonal variation in sea turtle density and abundance in the southeast Florida current and surrounding waters

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Bovery, Caitlin M.; Wyneken, Jeanette

    2015-12-30

    Assessment and management of sea turtle populations is often limited by a lack of available data pertaining to at-sea distributions at appropriate spatial and temporal resolutions. Assessing the spatial and temporal distributions of marine turtles in an open system poses both observational and analytical challenges due to the turtles’ highly migratory nature. Surface counts of marine turtles in waters along the southern part of Florida’s east coast were made in and adjacent to the southeast portion of the Florida Current using standard aerial surveys during 2011 and 2012 to assess their seasonal presence. This area is of particular concern formore » sea turtles as interest increases in offshore energy developments, specifically harnessing the power of the Florida Current. While it is understood that marine turtles use these waters, here we evaluate seasonal variation in sea turtle abundance and density over two years. Density of sea turtles observed within the study area ranged from 0.003 turtles km-2 in the winter of 2011 to 0.064 turtles km-2 in the spring of 2012. As a result, this assessment of marine turtles in the waters off southeast Florida quantifies their in-water abundance across seasons in this area to establish baselines and inform future management strategies of these protected species.« less

  2. Seasonal Variation in Sea Turtle Density and Abundance in the Southeast Florida Current and Surrounding Waters

    PubMed Central

    Bovery, Caitlin M.; Wyneken, Jeanette

    2015-01-01

    Assessment and management of sea turtle populations is often limited by a lack of available data pertaining to at-sea distributions at appropriate spatial and temporal resolutions. Assessing the spatial and temporal distributions of marine turtles in an open system poses both observational and analytical challenges due to the turtles’ highly migratory nature. Surface counts of marine turtles in waters along the southern part of Florida’s east coast were made in and adjacent to the southeast portion of the Florida Current using standard aerial surveys during 2011 and 2012 to assess their seasonal presence. This area is of particular concern for sea turtles as interest increases in offshore energy developments, specifically harnessing the power of the Florida Current. While it is understood that marine turtles use these waters, here we evaluate seasonal variation in sea turtle abundance and density over two years. Density of sea turtles observed within the study area ranged from 0.003 turtles km-2 in the winter of 2011 to 0.064 turtles km-2 in the spring of 2012. This assessment of marine turtles in the waters off southeast Florida quantifies their in-water abundance across seasons in this area to establish baselines and inform future management strategies of these protected species. PMID:26717520

  3. Riding on the fast lane: how sea turtles behave in post-nesting migration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Y.-H.; Cheng, I.-J.; Centurioni, L.

    2014-07-01

    Sea turtles are known as powerful swimmers. How do they behave when riding in strong currents during their migrations? In this study, three, satellite-tagged, post-nesting green turtles travelled from Lanyu Island, east of Taiwan, partly within the Kuroshio to their foraging sites approximately 1000 km away in the Ryukyu Archipelago. Their swimming behaviors were analyzed by comparing their migration velocities estimated from Argos tag data with ocean currents derived from a data simulation model and from AVISO advection estimates. Results suggest that the turtles take advantage of Kuroshio during the initial portion of their migration routes. They must then make a great effort to swim eastward, at speeds over 1 m s-1, toward their foraging sites to avoid being carried off course by the strong current. The cues that might cause the change in swimming direction were evaluated with a Principle Component Analysis. The factors considered are ambient current velocity, wind, eddy activity (vorticity), magnetic field (latitude) and water temperature. The analysis shows that the ambient current and water temperature are negatively correlated with the eastward swimming velocity. This suggests that the changes in ocean current and a drop of water temperature, likely due to eddies impinging on the Kuroshio, may trigger the eastward swimming. Despite the differences among migratory routes of three Argos-tagged turtles after leaving the Kuroshio, they all reached foraging sites in the same general area. That suggests there may be more complex cues that guide the turtles to their foraging sites during their post-nesting migrations.

  4. Cutaneous hyalohyphomycosis caused by Fusarium solani in a loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta L.).

    PubMed Central

    Cabañes, F J; Alonso, J M; Castellá, G; Alegre, F; Domingo, M; Pont, S

    1997-01-01

    Fusarium solani was reported as the agent of a cutaneous infection in an injured sea turtle collected in the Mediterranean Sea. The turtle was treated with both a topical 10% solution of iodine in alcohol and ketoconazole. The source of the causal agent was traced to the sand in the tank in which the turtle was maintained. The strain was only sensitive in vitro to amphotericin B and was resistant to 5-fluorocytosine, fluconazole, itraconazole, and ketoconazole. PMID:9399554

  5. Propofol anesthesia in loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtles.

    PubMed

    MacLean, Robert A; Harms, Craig A; Braun-McNeill, Joanne

    2008-01-01

    Rapid, safe, and effective methods of anesthetic induction and recovery are needed for sea turtles, especially in cases eligible for immediate release. This study demonstrates that intravenous propofol provides a rapid induction of anesthesia in loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtles and results in rapid recovery, allowing safe return to water shortly after the procedure. Forty-nine loggerhead sea turtles were recovered as local fishery by-catch in pound nets and transported to a surgical suite for laparoscopic sex determination. Treatment animals (n = 32) received 5 mg/kg propofol intravenously (i.v.) as a rapid bolus, whereas control animals (n = 17) received no propofol. For analgesia, all animals received a 4 ml infusion of 1% lidocaine, locally, as well as 2 mg/kg ketoprofen intramuscularly (i.m.). Physiologic data included heart and respiratory rate, temperature, and a single blood gas sample collected upon termination of the laparoscopy. Subjective data included jaw tone and ocular reflex: 3 (vigorous) to 0 (none detected). Anesthetic depth was scored from 1, no anesthesia, to 3, surgical anesthesia. Turtles receiving propofol became apneic for a minimum of 5 min with a mean time of 13.7 +/- 8.3 min to the first respiration. Limb movement returned at a mean time of 21.1 +/- 16.8 min. The treatment animals were judged to be sedated for approximately 30 min (mean anesthetic depth score > or = 1.5) when compared to controls. Median respiratory rates for treatment animals were slower compared to controls for the first 15 min, then after 35 min, they became significantly faster than the controls. Median heart rates of control animals became significantly slower than treatment animals between 40 and 45 min. Physiologic differences between groups persisted a minimum of 55 min. Possible explanations for heart rate and respiratory rate differences later in the monitoring period include a compensatory recovery of treatment animals from anesthesia-induced hypoxia and

  6. 76 FR 58781 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plans; Recovery Plan for the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-09-22

    ... Plans; Recovery Plan for the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS...- National Recovery Plan (Recovery Plan) for the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys kempii). The Recovery...: The Bi-National Recovery Plan for the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys kempii) is available...

  7. Organochlorine contaminants in sea turtles from the Eastern Pacific.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Susan C; Pier, M Dawn; Wesselman, Raymond; Juárez, J Arturo

    2003-09-01

    We measured organochlorine residues in three species of sea turtles from the Baja California peninsula, Mexico. Seventeen of 21 organochlorine pesticides analyzed were detected, with heptachlor epoxide and gamma-hexachlorocyclohexane the most prevalent (14 (40%) and 11 (31%) of the 35 tissue samples, respectively). PCBs were detected in all but one of the 9 turtles studied, with congener 18 the most commonly detected (8 (23%) of the samples). The dioxin-like congeners 118 and 180 were detected in 4 (11%) and 3 (9%) of the samples, respectively. Percent contribution of congeners was negatively correlated to their octanol-water partition coefficients, with kidney and muscle containing more lower-chlorinated congeners than liver or adipose samples. Levels of organochlorines detected in the present study were low, potentially attributable to the feeding habits of the predominant species collected in this study (herbivorous) and/or the samples obtained in an unindustrialized region. PMID:12932489

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1998-01-01

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

  9. 50 CFR 648.126 - Protection of threatened and endangered sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... Species Act under 50 CFR parts 222 and 223. In addition to the measures required under those parts, NMFS... sea turtles. 648.126 Section 648.126 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT... sea turtles. Link to an amendment published at 76 FR 60635, Sept. 29, 2011. This section...

  10. 78 FR 51705 - Proposed Designation of Marine Critical Habitat for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Caretta caretta...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-08-21

    ... our comments. The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on July 18, 2013 (78 FR 43006... Marine Critical Habitat for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Caretta caretta, Under the Endangered Species Act... related to our Proposed Designation of Marine Critical Habitat for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle,...

  11. 75 FR 81201 - 2011 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle Observer Requirement

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-12-27

    ... Sea Turtle Observer Requirement for Fisheries (72 FR 43176, August 3, 2007) may be obtained at http... to place observers (72 FR 43176, August 3, 2007). These regulations specify that NMFS may place... for Sea Turtle Observer Requirement AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National...

  12. 78 FR 65959 - Proposed Designation of Marine Critical Habitat for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Caretta caretta...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-11-04

    ... your comments. The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on July 18, 2013 (78 FR 43006... Marine Critical Habitat for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Caretta caretta, Under the Endangered Species Act... related to our Proposed Designation of Marine Critical Habitat for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle,...

  13. Underwater, low-frequency noise in a coastal sea turtle habitat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samuel, Y.; Morreale, S. J.; Clark, C. W.; Greene, C. H.; Richmond, M. E.

    2005-03-01

    Underwater sound was recorded in one of the major coastal foraging areas for juvenile sea turtles in the Peconic Bay Estuary system in Long Island, New York. The recording season of the underwater environment coincided with the sea turtle activity season in an inshore area where there is considerable boating and recreational activity, especially during the summer between Independence Day and Labor Day. Within the range of sea turtle hearing, average noise pressure reached 110 dB during periods of high human activity and diminished proportionally, down to 80 dB, with decreasing human presence. Therefore, during much of the season when sea turtles are actively foraging in New York waters, their coastal habitats are flooded with underwater noise. During the period of highest human activity, average noise pressures within the range of frequencies heard by sea turtles were greater by over two orders of magnitude (26 dB) than during the lowest period of human activity. Sea turtles undoubtedly are exposed to high levels of noise, most of which is anthropogenic. Results suggest that continued exposure to existing high levels of pervasive anthropogenic noise in vital sea turtle habitats and any increase in noise could affect sea turtle behavior and ecology. .

  14. Association of sea turtles with petroleum platforms in the north-central Gulf of Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Lohoefener, R.; Hoggard, W.; Mullin, K.; Roden, C.; Rogers, C.

    1990-06-01

    There are over 4,500 petroleum platforms in the north-central Gulf of Mexico. Explosives are commonly used to remove platforms and have the potential to kill nearby sea turtles. From June 1988-June 1990, the authors used aerial surveys to study turtle density and the spatial relationship between turtles and platforms offshore of Louisiana. They sighted 316 turtles most of which (92%) were loggerheads. Seventy-eight percent were sighted just east of the Mississippi River offshore of the Chandeleur Islands. East of the river, turtle densities ranged from 0.92 (winter) to 4.83 turtles/100 sq km (spring). West of the river, annual densities ranged from 0.11-0.50 turtles/100 sq km. East of the river, three statistical tests indicated that turtles were generally closer to platforms than expected by chance alone. West of the river, turtles were randomly located with respect to platform locations. Before explosives are used, current mitigation measures require that no turtle can be sighted within 1,000 m of the platform. East of the river, the probability of a turtle being within 1,000 m of any platform selected at random was about 60%; west of the river, 2-7%. West of the river to about 92 W, the mitigation measures should protect turtles but offshore of the Chandeleur Islands, special precautions should be taken.

  15. Fidelity and over-wintering of sea turtles

    PubMed Central

    Broderick, Annette C; Coyne, Michael S; Fuller, Wayne J; Glen, Fiona; Godley, Brendan J

    2007-01-01

    While fidelity to breeding sites is well demonstrated in marine turtles, emerging knowledge of migratory routes and key foraging sites is of limited conservation value unless levels of fidelity can be established. We tracked green (Chelonia mydas, n=10) and loggerhead (Caretta caretta, n=10) turtles during their post-nesting migration from the island of Cyprus to their foraging grounds. After intervals of 2–5 years, five of these females were recaptured at the nesting beach and tracked for a second migration. All five used highly similar migratory routes to return to the same foraging and over-wintering areas. None of the females visited other foraging habitats over the study period (units lasted on average 305 days; maximum, 1356 days), moving only to deeper waters during the winter months where they demonstrated extremely long resting dives of up to 10.2 h (the longest breath-holding dive recorded for a marine vertebrate). High levels of fidelity and the relatively discrete nature of the home ranges demonstrate that protection of key migratory pathways, foraging and over-wintering sites can serve as an important tool for the future conservation of marine turtles. PMID:17456456

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

    PubMed

    Sale, Alessandro; Luschi, Paolo

    2009-11-01

    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

  17. Long-Term Climate Forcing in Loggerhead Sea Turtle Nesting

    PubMed Central

    Van Houtan, Kyle S.; Halley, John M.

    2011-01-01

    The long-term variability of marine turtle populations remains poorly understood, limiting science and management. Here we use basin-scale climate indices and regional surface temperatures to estimate loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) nesting at a variety of spatial and temporal scales. Borrowing from fisheries research, our models investigate how oceanographic processes influence juvenile recruitment and regulate population dynamics. This novel approach finds local populations in the North Pacific and Northwest Atlantic are regionally synchronized and strongly correlated to ocean conditions—such that climate models alone explain up to 88% of the observed changes over the past several decades. In addition to its performance, climate-based modeling also provides mechanistic forecasts of historical and future population changes. Hindcasts in both regions indicate climatic conditions may have been a factor in recent declines, but future forecasts are mixed. Available climatic data suggests the Pacific population will be significantly reduced by 2040, but indicates the Atlantic population may increase substantially. These results do not exonerate anthropogenic impacts, but highlight the significance of bottom-up oceanographic processes to marine organisms. Future studies should consider environmental baselines in assessments of marine turtle population variability and persistence. PMID:21589639

  18. Long-term climate forcing in loggerhead sea turtle nesting.

    PubMed

    Van Houtan, Kyle S; Halley, John M

    2011-01-01

    The long-term variability of marine turtle populations remains poorly understood, limiting science and management. Here we use basin-scale climate indices and regional surface temperatures to estimate loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) nesting at a variety of spatial and temporal scales. Borrowing from fisheries research, our models investigate how oceanographic processes influence juvenile recruitment and regulate population dynamics. This novel approach finds local populations in the North Pacific and Northwest Atlantic are regionally synchronized and strongly correlated to ocean conditions--such that climate models alone explain up to 88% of the observed changes over the past several decades. In addition to its performance, climate-based modeling also provides mechanistic forecasts of historical and future population changes. Hindcasts in both regions indicate climatic conditions may have been a factor in recent declines, but future forecasts are mixed. Available climatic data suggests the Pacific population will be significantly reduced by 2040, but indicates the Atlantic population may increase substantially. These results do not exonerate anthropogenic impacts, but highlight the significance of bottom-up oceanographic processes to marine organisms. Future studies should consider environmental baselines in assessments of marine turtle population variability and persistence. PMID:21589639

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

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-15

    Ingestion of anthropogenic debris represents an important threat to marine turtle populations. Information has been limited to inventories of debris ingested and its consequences, but why ingestion occurs and the conditions that enable it are less understood. Here we report on the occurrence of plastic ingestion in young green turtles (Chelonia mydas) inhabiting the Río de la Plata (SW Atlantic). This estuarine area is characterized by a frontal system that accumulates anthropogenic debris. We explored exposure of green turtles to plastic and its ingestion via debris distribution, habitat use and digestive tract examination. Results indicated that there is considerable overlap of frontal accumulated plastic and core foraging areas of the animals. Exposure results in ingestion, as shown by the high frequency of plastic found in the digestive tracts. The Río de la Plata estuarine front is an area of conservation concern for young green turtles. PMID:24315702

  1. Relating tumor score to hematology in green turtles with fibropapillomatosis in Hawaii

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Work, T.M.; Balazs, G.H.

    1999-01-01

    The relationship between hematologic status and severity of tumor affliction in green turtles (Chelonia mydas) with fibropapillomatosis (FP) was examined. During 1 wk periods in July 1997 and July 1998, we bled 108 free-ranging green turtles from Pala'au (Molokai, Hawaii, USA) where FP is endemic. Blood was analyzed for hematocrit, estimated total solids, total white blood cell (WBC) count and differential WBC count. Each turtle was assigned a subjective tumor score ranging from 0 (no visible external tumors) to 3 (heavily tumored) that indicated the severity of FP. There was a progressive increase in monocytes and a decrease in all other hematologic parameters except heterophils and total numbers of white blood cells as tumor score increased. These data indicate that tumor score can relate to physiologic status of green turtles afflicted with FP, and that tumor score is a useful field monitor of severity of FP in this species.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1997-01-01

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

  3. Venous blood gases and lactates of wild loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) following two capture techniques.

    PubMed

    Harms, Craig A; Mallo, Kate M; Ross, Patricia M; Segars, Al

    2003-04-01

    During summer of 2001, venous blood gases were determined in loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) captured by trawl (n = 16) in coastal waters of South Carolina and Georgia (USA) as part of a sea turtle census program and captured in pound nets (n = 6) in coastal North Carolina (USA) during a study of sea turtle population biology. Trawls were towed for 30 min, so turtles captured were forcibly submerged for < or = 30 min. Pound nets are passive gear in which fish and sea turtles are funneled into a concentrated area and removed periodically. Sea turtles in pound nets are free to surface and to feed at will. Blood was obtained from the dorsal cervical sinus as quickly as possible after landing on the boat (range 2-10 min trawl, 1-2 min pound net) and at 30 min after landing just prior to release. Blood gases including pH, partial pressures of O2 and CO2 (pO2, pCO2), and lactate were measured within 10 min. Instrument measurements for pH, pO2, and pCO2 made at 37 C were corrected to cloacal temperature and HCO3- was calculated from temperature-corrected pH and pCO2. Venous blood pH and bicarbonate were higher, and pO2 and lactate were lower from pound net-captured turtles compared to trawl captured turtles at the initial sampling time. In pound net turtles, pH and bicarbonate declined and lactate increased during 30 min on deck. In trawled sea turtles, venous blood pH increased and pCO2 and pO2 decreased during the 30 min on deck. Both capture systems caused perturbations in blood gas, acid-base, and lactate status, though alterations were greater in trawl captured turtles. PMID:12918445

  4. 75 FR 12496 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plans; Recovery Plan for the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-03-16

    ... Plans; Recovery Plan for the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle AGENCIES: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS... availability for public review of the draft Bi-National Recovery Plan (Plan) for the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle... turtles. The Plan identifies substantive actions needed to achieve recovery by addressing the threats...

  5. The genetic structure of Australasian green turtles (Chelonia mydas): exploring the geographical scale of genetic exchange.

    PubMed

    Dethmers, Kiki E M; Broderick, Damien; Moritz, Craig; Fitzsimmons, Nancy N; Limpus, Colin J; Lavery, Shane; Whiting, Scott; Guinea, Mick; Prince, Robert I T; Kennett, Rod

    2006-11-01

    Ecological and genetic studies of marine turtles generally support the hypothesis of natal homing, but leave open the question of the geographical scale of genetic exchange and the capacity of turtles to shift breeding sites. Here we combine analyses of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation and recapture data to assess the geographical scale of individual breeding populations and the distribution of such populations through Australasia. We conducted multiscale assessments of mtDNA variation among 714 samples from 27 green turtle rookeries and of adult female dispersal among nesting sites in eastern Australia. Many of these rookeries are on shelves that were flooded by rising sea levels less than 10 000 years (c. 450 generations) ago. Analyses of sequence variation among the mtDNA control region revealed 25 haplotypes, and their frequency distributions indicated 17 genetically distinct breeding stocks (Management Units) consisting either of individual rookeries or groups of rookeries in general that are separated by more than 500 km. The population structure inferred from mtDNA was consistent with the scale of movements observed in long-term mark-recapture studies of east Australian rookeries. Phylogenetic analysis of the haplotypes revealed five clades with significant partitioning of sequence diversity (Phi = 68.4) between Pacific Ocean and Southeast Asian/Indian Ocean rookeries. Isolation by distance was indicated for rookeries separated by up to 2000 km but explained only 12% of the genetic structure. The emerging general picture is one of dynamic population structure influenced by the capacity of females to relocate among proximal breeding sites, although this may be conditional on large population sizes as existed historically across this region. PMID:17054494

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    In response to seasonality and spatial segregation of resources, sea turtles undertake long journeys between their nesting sites and foraging grounds. While satellite tracking has made it possible to outline their migration routes, we still have little knowledge of how they select their foraging grounds and adapt their migration to dynamic environmental conditions. Here, we analyzed the trajectories and diving behavior of 19 adult green turtles (Chelonia mydas) during their post-nesting migration from French Guiana and Suriname to their foraging grounds off the coast of Brazil. First Passage Time analysis was used to identify foraging areas located off Ceará state of Brazil, where the associated habitat corresponds to favorable conditions for seagrass growth, i.e. clear and shallow waters. The dispersal and diving patterns of the turtles revealed several behavioral adaptations to the strong hydrodynamic processes induced by both the North Brazil current and the Amazon River plume. All green turtles migrated south-eastward after the nesting season, confirming that they coped with the strong counter North Brazil current by using a tight corridor close to the shore. The time spent within the Amazon plume also altered the location of their feeding habitats as the longer individuals stayed within the plume, the sooner they initiated foraging. The green turtles performed deeper and shorter dives while crossing the mouth of the Amazon, a strategy which would help turtles avoid the most turbulent upper surface layers of the plume. These adjustments reveal the remarkable plasticity of this green turtle population when reducing energy costs induced by migration. PMID:26398528

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    In response to seasonality and spatial segregation of resources, sea turtles undertake long journeys between their nesting sites and foraging grounds. While satellite tracking has made it possible to outline their migration routes, we still have little knowledge of how they select their foraging grounds and adapt their migration to dynamic environmental conditions. Here, we analyzed the trajectories and diving behavior of 19 adult green turtles (Chelonia mydas) during their post-nesting migration from French Guiana and Suriname to their foraging grounds off the coast of Brazil. First Passage Time analysis was used to identify foraging areas located off Ceará state of Brazil, where the associated habitat corresponds to favorable conditions for seagrass growth, i.e. clear and shallow waters. The dispersal and diving patterns of the turtles revealed several behavioral adaptations to the strong hydrodynamic processes induced by both the North Brazil current and the Amazon River plume. All green turtles migrated south-eastward after the nesting season, confirming that they coped with the strong counter North Brazil current by using a tight corridor close to the shore. The time spent within the Amazon plume also altered the location of their feeding habitats as the longer individuals stayed within the plume, the sooner they initiated foraging. The green turtles performed deeper and shorter dives while crossing the mouth of the Amazon, a strategy which would help turtles avoid the most turbulent upper surface layers of the plume. These adjustments reveal the remarkable plasticity of this green turtle population when reducing energy costs induced by migration. PMID:26398528

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Veterinary care plays an influential role in sea turtle rehabilitation, especially in endangered species. Physiological characteristics, hematological and plasma biochemistry profiles, are useful references for clinical management in animals, especially when animals are during the convalescence period. In this study, these factors associated with sea turtle surviving were analyzed. The blood samples were collected when sea turtles remained alive, and then animals were followed up for surviving status. The results indicated that significantly negative correlation was found between buoyancy disorders (BD) and sea turtle surviving (p < 0.05). Furthermore, non-surviving sea turtles had significantly higher levels of aspartate aminotranspherase (AST), creatinine kinase (CK), creatinine and uric acid (UA) than surviving sea turtles (all p < 0.05). After further analysis by multiple logistic regression model, only factors of BD, creatinine and UA were included in the equation for calculating summarized health index (SHI) for each individual. Through evaluation by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve, the result indicated that the area under curve was 0.920 ± 0.037, and a cut-off SHI value of 2.5244 showed 80.0% sensitivity and 86.7% specificity in predicting survival. Therefore, the developed SHI could be a useful index to evaluate health status of sea turtles and to improve veterinary care at rehabilitation facilities. PMID:25803431

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26365568

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calcagni, Gianluca

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-30

    Assessment of marine debris ingestion by sea turtles is important, especially to ensure their survival. From January to December 2011, 23 specimens of five species of sea turtles were found dead or dying after being rehabilitated, along the coast of the municipality of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. To detect the presence of marine debris in the digestive tract of these turtles, we conducted a postmortem examination from the esophagus until the distal portion of the large intestine for each specimen. Of the total number of turtles, 39% had ingested marine debris such as soft plastic, hard plastic, metal, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle caps, human hair, tampons, and latex condoms. Five of the seven sea turtles species are found along the Brazilian coast, where they feed and breed. A large number of animals are exposed to various kinds of threats, including debris ingestion. PMID:26454630

  14. Raccoon removal reduces sea turtle nest depredation in the Ten Thousand Islands of Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Garmestani, A.S.; Percival, H.F.

    2005-01-01

    Predation by raccoons, Procyon lotor marinus (L.), is the primary cause of sea turtle nest loss in the Ten Thousand Islands archipelago. Four islands within Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge were surveyed for sea turtle nesting activity from 1991-95. Raccoons depredated 76-100% of nests on Panther Key from 1991-94, until 14 raccoons were removed in 1995 resulting in 0% depredation and 2 more were removed in 1996 resulting in 0% depredation. Raccoon removal may be an effective management option for increasing sea turtle nest survival on barrier islands.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. 76 FR 32929 - Western Pacific Pelagic Fisheries; American Samoa Longline Gear Modifications To Reduce Turtle...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-06-07

    ... Fisheries; American Samoa Longline Gear Modifications To Reduce Turtle Interactions AGENCY: National Marine... interactions between longline fishing and Pacific green sea turtles. DATES: Comments on the proposed rule must..., mitigation, handling, and release techniques for sea turtles, seabirds, and marine mammals. Fishermen...

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

    PubMed

    Müller, Christin; Townsend, Kathy; Matschullat, Jörg

    2012-02-01

    The persistence of marine debris such as discarded polymer bags has become globally an increasing hazard to marine life. To date, over 177 marine species have been recorded to ingest man-made polymers that cause life-threatening complications such as gut impaction and perforation. This study set out to test the decay characteristics of three common types of shopping bag polymers in sea turtle gastrointestinal fluids (GIF): standard and degradable plastic, and biodegradable. Fluids were obtained from the stomachs, small intestines and large intestines of a freshly dead Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) and a Loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta). Controls were carried out with salt and freshwater. The degradation rate was measured over 49 days, based on mass loss. Degradation rates of the standard and the degradable plastic bags after 49 days across all treatments and controls were negligible. The biodegradable bags showed mass losses between 3 and 9%. This was a much slower rate than reported by the manufacturers in an industrial composting situation (100% in 49 days). The GIF of the herbivorous Green turtle showed an increased capacity to break down the biodegradable polymer relative to the carnivorous Loggerhead, but at a much lower rate than digestion of natural vegetative matter. While the breakdown rate of biodegradable polymers in the intestinal fluids of sea turtles is greater than standard and degradable plastics, it is proposed that this is not rapid enough to prevent morbidity. Further study is recommended to investigate the speed at which biodegradable polymers decompose outside of industrial composting situations, and their durability in marine and freshwater systems. PMID:22209368

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

    PubMed

    Lazar, Bojan; Gračan, Romana

    2011-01-01

    We examined the occurrence of marine debris in the gastrointestinal tract of 54 loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) found stranded or incidentally captured dead by fisheries in the Adriatic Sea, with a curved carapace length of 25.0-79.2 cm. Marine debris was present in 35.2% of turtles and included soft plastic, ropes, Styrofoam and monofilament lines found in 68.4%, 42.1%, 15.8% and 5.3% of loggerheads that have ingested debris, respectively. The dry mass of debris per turtle was low, ranging from <0.01 to 0.71 g, and the ingestion was not significantly affected by sex or body size (all p>0.05). Marine debris averaged 2.2 ± 8.0% of dry mass of gut content, with a maximum of 35% found in a juvenile turtle that most likely died due to debris ingestion. Considering the relatively high occurrence of debris intake and possible sub-lethal effects of even small quantities of marine debris, this can be an additional factor of concern for loggerheads in the Adriatic Sea. PMID:21036372

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

    We examined habitat selection by green turtles Chelonia mydas at Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida, USA. We tracked 15 turtles (6 females and 9 males) using platform transmitter terminals (PTTs); 13 of these turtles were equipped with additional acoustic transmitters. Location data by PTTs comprised periods of 40 to 226 d in varying months from 2009 to 2012. Core areas were concentrated in shallow water (mean bathymetry depth of 7.7 m) with a comparably dense coverage of seagrass; however, the utilization distribution overlap index indicated a low degree of habitat sharing. The probability of detecting a turtle on an acoustic receiver was inversely associated with the distance from the receiver to turtle capture sites and was lower in shallower water. The estimated daily detection probability of a single turtle at a given acoustic station throughout the acoustic array was small (<0.1 in any year), and that of multiple turtle detections was even smaller. However, the conditional probability of multiple turtle detections, given at least one turtle detection at a receiver, was much higher despite the small number of tagged turtles in each year (n = 1 to 5). Also, multiple detections of different turtles at a receiver frequently occurred within a few minutes (40%, or 164 of 415, occurred within 1 min). Our numerical estimates of core area overlap, co-occupancy probabilities, and habitat characterization for green turtles could be used to guide conservation of the area to sustain the population of this species.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. What Makes Them Pay? Values of Volunteer Tourists Working for Sea Turtle Conservation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campbell, Lisa M.; Smith, Christy

    2006-07-01

    As charismatic mega-fauna, sea turtles attract many volunteers to conservation programs. This article examines the ways in which volunteers value sea turtles, in the specific context of volunteers working with the Caribbean Conservation Corporation, at Tortuguero, Costa Rica. The complexity of volunteer values is explored using a qualitative approach. In-depth interviews with 31 volunteers were conducted in July of 1999 and 2000. Interviews probed, among other things, interest in sea turtles and their conservation, motives for participating, and the most gratifying parts of their volunteer experience. Results show that volunteers hold multiple and complex values for sea turtles, but particular values dominate. Results have implications for understanding human-environment relations and the emerging study of volunteer tourism. There are also management implications for volunteer programs hoping to attract participants.

  3. EVALUATING MULTIPLE STRESSORS IN LOGGERHEAD SEA TURTLES: DEVELOPING A TWO-SEX SPATIALLY EXPLICIT MODEL

    EPA Science Inventory

    North Atlantic loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta L.) populations respond to the integrated effects of multiple environmental stressors. Environmental stressors often occur in spatially distinct frameworks and affect distinct age classes, sexes, and subpopulations differentia...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. A simple humane method to euthanize a sea turtle

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Work, Thierry M.; Balazs, George H.

    2013-01-01

    Increased interconnectedness, communication, and demands of society require that wildlife professionals make every effort to consider animal welfare when handling animals. The challenge can be daunting, particularly when a wild animal needs to be euthanized. In some cases, biologists are in remote areas under conditions that may be less than ideal to properly and swiftly dispatch an animal, either because of a lack of proper supplies or veterinary training. Societal demands for consideration of animal welfare are not limited to wildlife professionals. Native cultures, fishermen and hunters have traditional methods of capturing or killing wildlife that are now under increasing public scrutiny. A current example is in Australia where aborigines were criticized for the practice of dispatching sea turtles by throwing a cement block at the animals’ heads resulting in negative public reaction (Queensland Times 2010).

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-05-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-15

    Highly migratory marine species can travel long distances and across entire ocean basins to reach foraging and breeding grounds, yet gaps persist in our knowledge of oceanic dispersal and habitat use. This is especially true for sea turtles, whose complex life history and lengthy pelagic stage present unique conservation challenges. Few studies have explored how these young at-sea turtles navigate their environment, but advancements in satellite technology and numerical models have shown that active and passive movements are used in relation to open ocean features. Here, we provide the first study, to the best of our knowledge, to simultaneously combine a high-resolution physical forcing ocean circulation model with long-term multi-year tracking data of young, trans-oceanic North Pacific loggerhead sea turtles during their 'lost years' at sea. From 2010 to 2014, we compare simulated trajectories of passive transport with empirical data of 1-3 year old turtles released off Japan (29.7-37.5 straight carapace length cm). After several years, the at-sea distribution of simulated current-driven trajectories significantly differed from that of the observed turtle tracks. These results underscore current theories on active dispersal by young oceanic-stage sea turtles and give further weight to hypotheses of juvenile foraging strategies for this species. Such information can also provide critical geographical information for spatially explicit conservation approaches to this endangered population. PMID:27252021

  9. Immune status of free-ranging green turtles with fibropapillomatosis from Hawaii

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Work, T.M.; Rameyer, R.A.; Balazs, G.H.; Cray, C.; Chang, S.P.

    2001-01-01

    Cell-mediated and humoral immune status of free-ranging green turtles (Chelonia mydas) in Hawaii (USA) with and without fibropapillornatosis (FP) were assessed. Tumored and non-tumored turtles from Kaneohe Bay (KB) on the island of Oahu and from FP-free areas on the west (Kona/Kohala) coast of the island of Hawaii were sampled from April 1998 through February 1999. Turtles on Oahu were grouped (0-3) for severity of tumors with 0 for absence of tumors, 1 for light, 2 for moderate, and 3 for most severe. Turtles were weighed, straight carapace length measured and the regression slope of weight to straight carapace length compared between groups (KB0, KB1, KB2, KB3, Kona). Blood was assayed for differential white blood cell count, hematocrit, in vitro peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) proliferation in the presence of concanavalin A (ConA) and phytohaemagglutinin (PHA), and protein electrophoresis. On Oahu, heterophil/lymphocyte ratio increased while eosinophil/monocyte ratio decreased with increasing tumors score. Peripheral blood mononuclear cell proliferation indices for ConA and PHA were significantly lower for turtles with tumor scores 2 and 3. Tumor score 3 turtles (KB3) had significantly lower hematocrit, total protein, alpha 1, alpha 2, and gamma globulins than the other four groups. No significant differences in immune status were seen between non-tumored (or KB1) turtles from Oahu and Hawaii. There was no significant difference between groups in regression slopes of body condition to carapace length. We conclude that turtles with severe FP are imunosuppressed. Furthermore, the lack of significant difference in immune status between non-tumored (and KB1) turtles from Oahu and Kona/Kohala indicates that immunosuppression may not be a prerequisite for development of FP.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

    Conclusions: Green turtles in St. Joseph Bay have relatively small home ranges and many contain multiple activity centers. The frequent use of channels by turtles suggests bathymetry plays a major role in habitat selection of juvenile green turtles, particularly as temperatures drop in winter. The quality and density of seagrass habitat in St. Joseph Bay and its proximity to deep channels appears to provide ideal conditions for juvenile greens. The results of this study help define characteristics of foraging habitat utilized by juvenile greens in the northern Gulf of Mexico that managers can use in creating protected areas such as aquatic preserves.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-23

    Fibropapillomatosis (FP) comprises a majority of green turtle stranding in Hawaii; however, green turtles in the Pacific are also susceptible to non-FP related causes of death. We present here necropsy findings from 230 free-ranging green turtles originating from Hawaii, the Mariana archipelago, Palmyra Atoll, American Samoa, and Johnston Atoll that died from non-FP related causes. Most turtles died from fishing-induced or boat strike trauma followed by infectious/inflammatory diseases, nutritional problems (mainly cachexia), and an array of physiologic problems. Infectious/inflammatory problems included bacterial diseases of the lungs, eyes, liver or intestines, spirorchid fluke infection, or polyarthritis of unknown origin. Likelihood of a successful diagnosis of cause of death was a function of post-mortem decomposition. Fibropapillomatosis was not seen in turtles submitted from outside Hawaii. The preponderance of anthropogenic causes of mortality offers some management opportunities to mitigate causes of death in these animals by, for example, implementing measures to decrease boating and fishing interactions. PMID:26203881

  13. Current transport of leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) in the ocean.

    PubMed Central

    Luschi, P; Sale, A; Mencacci, R; Hughes, G R; Lutjeharms, J R E; Papi, F

    2003-01-01

    While the long-distance movements of pelagic vertebrates are becoming known thanks to satellite telemetry, the factors determining their courses have hardly been investigated. We have analysed the effects of oceanographic factors on the post-nesting movements of three satellite-tracked leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) moving in the southwest Indian Ocean. By superimposing the turtle tracks on contemporaneous images of sea-surface temperatures and sea height anomalies, we show that currentrelated features dominate the shape of the reconstructed routes. After an initial offshore movement, turtles moved along straight routes when in the core of the current, or executed loops within eddies. Large parts of the routes were strikingly similar to those of surface drifters tracked in the same region. These findings document that long-lasting oceanic movements of marine turtles may be shaped by oceanic currents. PMID:14667360

  14. Current transport of leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) in the ocean.

    PubMed

    Luschi, P; Sale, A; Mencacci, R; Hughes, G R; Lutjeharms, J R E; Papi, F

    2003-11-01

    While the long-distance movements of pelagic vertebrates are becoming known thanks to satellite telemetry, the factors determining their courses have hardly been investigated. We have analysed the effects of oceanographic factors on the post-nesting movements of three satellite-tracked leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) moving in the southwest Indian Ocean. By superimposing the turtle tracks on contemporaneous images of sea-surface temperatures and sea height anomalies, we show that currentrelated features dominate the shape of the reconstructed routes. After an initial offshore movement, turtles moved along straight routes when in the core of the current, or executed loops within eddies. Large parts of the routes were strikingly similar to those of surface drifters tracked in the same region. These findings document that long-lasting oceanic movements of marine turtles may be shaped by oceanic currents. PMID:14667360

  15. The use of spirometry to evaluate pulmonary function in olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) with positive buoyancy disorders.

    PubMed

    Schmitt, Todd L; Munns, Suzanne; Adams, Lance; Hicks, James

    2013-09-01

    This study utilized computed spirometry to compare the pulmonary function of two stranded olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) presenting with a positive buoyancy disorder with two healthy captive olive ridley sea turtles held in a large public aquarium. Pulmonary function test (PFT) measurements demonstrated that the metabolic cost of breathing was much greater for animals admitted with positive buoyancy than for the normal sea turtles. Positively buoyant turtles had higher tidal volumes and significantly lower breathing-frequency patterns with significantly higher expiration rates, typical of gasp-type breathing. The resulting higher energetic cost of breathing in the diseased turtles may have a significant impact on their long-term survival. The findings represent a method for clinical respiratory function analysis for an individual animal to assist with diagnosis, therapy, and prognosis. This is the first study, to our knowledge, to evaluate objectively sea turtles presenting with positive buoyancy and respiratory disease using pulmonary function tests. PMID:24063092

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  17. Orientation of hatchling loggerhead sea turtles to regional magnetic fields along a transoceanic migratory pathway.

    PubMed

    Fuxjager, Matthew J; Eastwood, Brian S; Lohmann, Kenneth J

    2011-08-01

    Young loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from the east coast of Florida, USA, undertake a transoceanic migration around the North Atlantic Gyre, the circular current system that flows around the Sargasso Sea. Previous experiments indicated that loggerhead hatchlings, when exposed to magnetic fields replicating those that exist at five widely separated locations along the migratory pathway, responded by swimming in directions that would, in each case, help turtles remain in the gyre and advance along the migratory route. In this study, hatchlings were exposed to several additional magnetic fields that exist along or outside of the gyre's northern boundary. Hatchlings responded to fields that exist within the gyre currents by swimming in directions consistent with their migratory route at each location, whereas turtles exposed to a field that exists north of the gyre had an orientation that was statistically indistinguishable from random. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that loggerhead turtles entering the sea for the first time possess a navigational system in which a series of regional magnetic fields sequentially trigger orientation responses that help steer turtles along the migratory route. By contrast, hatchlings may fail to respond to fields that exist in locations beyond the turtles' normal geographic range. PMID:21753042

  18. High rates of growth recorded for hawksbill sea turtles in Anegada, British Virgin Islands

    PubMed Central

    Hawkes, Lucy A; McGowan, Andrew; Broderick, Annette C; Gore, Shannon; Wheatley, Damon; White, Jim; Witt, Matthew J; Godley, Brendan J

    2014-01-01

    Management of species of conservation concern requires knowledge of demographic parameters, such as rates of recruitment, survival, and growth. In the Caribbean, hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) have been historically exploited in huge numbers to satisfy trade in their shells and meat. In the present study, we estimated growth rate of juvenile hawksbill turtles around Anegada, British Virgin Islands, using capture–mark–recapture of 59 turtles over periods of up to 649 days. Turtles were recaptured up to six times, having moved up to 5.9 km from the release location. Across all sizes, turtles grew at an average rate of 9.3 cm year−1 (range 2.3–20.3 cm year−1), and gained mass at an average of 3.9 kg year−1 (range 850 g–16.1 kg year−1). Carapace length was a significant predictor of growth rate and mass gain, but there was no relationship between either variable and sea surface temperature. These are among the fastest rates of growth reported for this species, with seven turtles growing at a rate that would increase their body size by more than half per year (51–69% increase in body length). This study also demonstrates the importance of shallow water reef systems for the developmental habitat for juvenile hawksbill turtles. Although growth rates for posthatching turtles in the pelagic, and turtles larger than 61 cm, are not known for this population, the implications of this study are that Caribbean hawksbill turtles in some areas may reach body sizes suggesting sexual maturity in less time than previously considered. PMID:24834324

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Swimming performance of hatchling green turtles is affected by incubation temperature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burgess, Elizabeth A.; Booth, David T.; Lanyon, Janet M.

    2006-08-01

    In an experiment repeated for two separate years, incubation temperature was found to affect the body size and swimming performance of hatchling green turtles ( Chelonia mydas). In the first year, hatchlings from eggs incubated at 26°C were larger in size than hatchlings from 28 and 30°C, whilst in the second year hatchlings from 25.5°C were similar in size to hatchings from 30°C. Clutch of origin influenced the size of hatchlings at all incubation temperatures even when differences in egg size were taken into account. In laboratory measurements of swimming performance, in seawater at 28°C, hatchlings from eggs incubated at 25.5 and 26°C had a lower stroke rate frequency and lower force output than hatchlings from 28 and 30°C. These differences appeared to be caused by the muscles of hatchlings from cooler temperatures fatiguing at a faster rate. Clutch of origin did not influence swimming performance. This finding that hatchling males incubated at lower temperature had reduced swimming ability may affect their survival whilst running the gauntlet of predators in shallow near-shore waters, prior to reaching the relative safety of the open sea.

  1. Baseline plasma corticosterone, haematological and biochemical results in nesting and rehabilitating loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta)

    PubMed Central

    Flower, Jennifer E.; Norton, Terry M.; Andrews, Kimberly M.; Nelson, Steven E.; Parker, Clare E.; Romero, L. Michael; Mitchell, Mark A.

    2015-01-01

    The evaluation of hormonal responses to stress in reptiles relies on acquisition of baseline corticosterone concentrations; however, the stress associated with the restraint needed to collect the blood samples can affect the results. The purpose of this study was to determine a time limit for the collection of blood samples to evaluate baseline corticosterone, haematological and biochemical results in nesting (n = 11) and rehabilitating (n = 16) loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta). Blood samples were collected from the dorsal cervical sinus of each turtle immediately after touching the animal (t0; 0–3 min) and 3 (t3; 3–6 min), 6 (t6; 6–9 min; nesting turtles only), 10 (t10; 10–13 min) and 30 min (t30; rehabilitating turtles only) after the initial hands-on time. Consistent between the rehabilitating and nesting turtles, there was a subtle yet significant increase in white blood cell counts over time. Despite the fact that white blood cell counts increased during the sampling period, there was no direct correlation between white blood cell count and corticosterone in the sampled turtles. In the nesting turtles, significant elevations in corticosterone were noted between t0 and t3 (P = 0.014) and between t0 and t6 (P = 0.022). Values at t10 were not significantly different from those at t0 (P = 0.102); however, there was a trend for the corticosterone values to continue to increase. These results suggest that sampling of nesting loggerhead sea turtles within 3 min of handling will provide baseline corticosterone concentrations in their natural environment. Significant elevations in corticosterone were also noted in the rehabilitating loggerhead sea turtles between t0 and t10 (P = 0.02) and between t0 and t30 of sampling (P = 0.0001). These results suggest that sampling of loggerhead sea turtles within 6 min of handling should provide baseline corticosterone concentrations in a rehabilitation setting. The delay in

  2. 75 FR 25840 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plans; Recovery Plan for the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-05-10

    ... Availability of the draft Plan for public review and comment (75 FR 12496). This Plan discusses the natural... Plans; Recovery Plan for the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle AGENCIES: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS... Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys kempii). The Kemp's Ridley Recovery Plan is a bi-national plan...

  3. Modeling protected species as an undesirable output: the case of sea turtle interactions in Hawaii's longline fishery.

    PubMed

    Huang, Hui; Leung, PingSun

    2007-09-01

    Interactions with sea turtles have occurred at an alarming rate in swordfish longlining in Hawaii in recent years and various regulations have been put forward to protect sea turtles. In order to understand the cost of reducing sea turtle interactions, methods have been developed to derive the shadow price of sea turtle bycatch based on fisher's welfare loss from a specific regulation. This paper illustrates an alternative method of calculating temporal and trip-specific cost of sea turtle bycatch reduction. The advantages of this method lie in the computation of shadow price without assuming specific regulation implementation and its relatively modest data requirement. A parametric output distance function is used to simultaneously model desirable and undesirable catches. Using the duality argument, the revenue-related shadow price of sea turtle bycatch can be derived from the estimated distance function. Average shadow price of sea turtle bycatch for the period 1991-1999 is estimated to be US $30873 in 1991 dollars. Average shadow prices of sea turtle bycatch by trip characteristics, such as fishing year, trip type and location are also estimated. Such information can be useful for policy makers to analyze tradeoffs and make appropriate policy decisions. PMID:17010504

  4. Behaviour of leatherback sea turtles, Dermochelys coriacea, during the migratory cycle

    PubMed Central

    James, Michael C; Myers, Ransom A; Ottensmeyer, C. Andrea

    2005-01-01

    Leatherback sea turtles, Dermochelys coriacea, undertake broad oceanic movements. While satellite telemetry has been used to investigate the post-nesting behaviour of female turtles tagged on tropical nesting beaches, long-term behavioural patterns of turtles of different sexes and sizes have not been described. Here we investigate behaviour for 25 subadult and adult male and female turtles satellite-tagged in temperate waters off Nova Scotia, Canada. Although sex and reproductive condition contributed to variation in migratory patterns, the migratory cycle of all turtles included movement between temperate and tropical waters. Marked changes in rates of travel, and diving and surfacing behaviour, accompanied southward movement away from northern foraging areas. As turtles approached higher latitudes the following spring and summer, they assumed behaviours consistent with regular foraging activity and eventually settled in coastal areas off Canada and the northeastern USA. Behavioural patterns corresponding to various phases of the migratory cycle were consistent across multiple animals and were repeated within individuals that completed return movements to northern waters. We consider the potential biological significance of these patterns, including how turtle behaviour relates to predator avoidance, thermoregulation and prey distribution. PMID:16048769

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

    Sea turtles are a charismatic and ancient ocean species and can serve as key indicators for ocean ecosystems, including coral reefs and sea grass beds as well as coastal beaches. Genotoxicity studies in the species are absent, limiting our understanding of the impact of environmental toxicants on sea turtles. Hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) is a ubiquitous environmental problem worldwide, and recent studies show it is a global marine pollutant of concern. Thus, we evaluated the cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of soluble and particulate Cr(VI) in hawksbill sea turtle cells. Particulate Cr(VI) was both cytotoxic and genotoxic to sea turtle cells. Concentrations of 0.1, 0.5, 1, and 5μg/cm(2) lead chromate induced 108, 79, 54, and 7% relative survival, respectively. Additionally, concentrations of 0, 0.1, 0.5, 1, and 5μg/cm(2) lead chromate induced damage in 4, 10, 15, 26, and 36% of cells and caused 4, 11, 17, 30, and 56 chromosome aberrations in 100 metaphases, respectively. For soluble Cr, concentrations of 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2.5, and 5μM sodium chromate induced 84, 69, 46, 25, and 3% relative survival, respectively. Sodium chromate induced 3, 9, 9, 14, 21, and 29% of metaphases with damage, and caused 3, 10, 10, 16, 26, and 39 damaged chromosomes in 100 metaphases at concentrations of 0, 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2.5, and 5μM sodium chromate, respectively. These data suggest that Cr(VI) may be a concern for hawksbill sea turtles and sea turtles in general. PMID:24952338

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

    Despite being identified in 1938, many aspects of the pathogenesis and epidemiology of fibropapillomatosis (FP) in marine turtles are yet to be fully uncovered. Current knowledge suggests that FP is an emerging infectious disease, with the prevalence varying both spatially and temporally, even between localities in close proximity to each other. A high prevalence of FP in marine turtles has been correlated with residency in areas of reduced water quality, indicating that there is an environmental influence on disease presentation. Chelonid herpesvirus 5 (ChHV5) has been identified as the likely aetiological agent of FP. The current taxonomic position of ChHV5 is in the family Herpesviridae, subfamily Alphaherpesvirinae, genus Scutavirus. Molecular differentiation of strains has revealed that a viral variant is typically present at specific locations, even within sympatric species of marine turtles, indicating that the disease FP originates regionally. There is uncertainty surrounding the exact path of transmission and the conditions that facilitate lesion development, although recent research has identified atypical genes within the genome of ChHV5 that may play a role in pathogenesis. This review discusses emerging areas where researchers might focus and theories behind the emergence of FP globally since the 1980s, which appear to be a multi-factorial interplay between the virus, the host and environmental factors influencing disease expression. PMID:27256025

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

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

  9. Heavy metal accumulation in four species of sea turtles from the Baja California peninsula, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Susan C; Fitzgerald, Sionnan L; Vargas, Baudilio Acosta; Rodríguez, Lia Méndez

    2006-02-01

    Heavy metals were assessed in four species of sea turtles from the Baja California Peninsula, Mexico, representing the first report of heavy metal concentrations in tissues of post-yearling sea turtles from the Eastern Pacific. Concentrations of Cd measured in C. mydas kidney (653 microg/g dry wt) were the highest ever reported for any sea turtle species. Cd accumulated preferentially in kidney and the ratios of kidney to liver Cd in Baja California turtles were among the highest reported for sea turtles globally. Zn, Ni, and Mn concentrations were also significantly higher in kidney than other tissues, while Cu and Fe were greatest in liver, and all metals were lowest in muscle. With the exception of one value (69.9 microg/g in kidney of C. caretta), Pb was low in all tissues from Baja California. In comparisons across species, kidney of C. mydas had greater Zn and Ni concentrations as compared to other species, although there was no difference in liver metal levels among the species. Positive correlations were detected in the concentrations of Cd, Cu and Ni with the straight carapace length of C. caretta. PMID:16502335

  10. Effects of rising temperature on the viability of an important sea turtle rookery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

    A warming world poses challenges for species with temperature-dependent sex determination, including sea turtles, for which warmer incubation temperatures produce female hatchlings. We combined in situ sand temperature measurements with air temperature records since 1850 and predicted warming scenarios from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to derive 250-year time series of incubation temperatures, hatchling sex ratios, and operational sex ratios for one of the largest sea turtles rookeries globally (Cape Verde Islands, Atlantic). We estimate that light-coloured beaches currently produce 70.10% females whereas dark-coloured beaches produce 93.46% females. Despite increasingly female skewed sex ratios, entire feminization of this population is not imminent. Rising temperatures increase the number of breeding females and hence the natural rate of population growth. Predicting climate warming impacts across hatchlings, male-female breeding ratios and nesting numbers provides a holistic approach to assessing the conservation concerns for sea turtles in a warming world.

  11. Plasma biochemical and PCV ranges for healthy, wild, immature hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Whiting, S D; Guinea, M L; Fomiatti, K; Flint, M; Limpus, C J

    2014-06-14

    In recent years, the use of blood chemistry as a diagnostic tool for sea turtles has been demonstrated, but much of its effectiveness relies on reference intervals. The first comprehensive blood chemistry values for healthy wild hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) sea turtles are presented. Nineteen blood chemistry analytes and packed cell volume were analysed for 40 clinically healthy juvenile hawksbill sea turtles captured from a rocky reef habitat in northern Australia. We used four statistical approaches to calculate reference intervals and to investigate their use with non-normal distributions and small sample sizes, and to compare upper and lower limits between methods. Eleven analytes were correlated with curved carapace length indicating that body size should be considered when designing future studies and interpreting analyte values. PMID:24675772

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  14. Synchronous activity lowers the energetic cost of nest escape for sea turtle hatchlings.

    PubMed

    Rusli, Mohd Uzair; Booth, David T; Joseph, Juanita

    2016-05-15

    A potential advantage of group movement in animals is increased locomotion efficiency. This implies a reduced energetic cost for individuals that occur in larger groups such as herds, flocks and schools. When chelonian hatchlings hatch in the underground nest with finite energy for their post-hatching dispersal phase, they face the challenge of minimizing energetic expenditure while escaping the nest. The term 'social facilitation' has been used to describe the combined digging effort of sea turtle hatchlings during nest escape. Given that in a normal clutch, a substantial part of the energy reserve within the residual yolk is used by hatchlings in the digging out process, a decreased cohort size may reduce the energy reserve available to cross the beach and sustain the initial swimming frenzy. This hypothesis was experimentally tested by varying cohort size in hatchling green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and measuring energy expenditure during the nest escape process using open-flow respirometry. The energetic cost of escaping through 40 cm of sand was calculated to vary between 4.4 and 28.3 kJ per individual, the cost decreasing as the number of individuals in the cohort increased. This represents 11-68% of the energy contained in a hatchling's residual yolk at hatching. The reduced energetic cost associated with large cohorts resulted from both a lower metabolic rate per individual and a shortened nest escape time. We conclude that synchronous digging activity of many hatchlings during nest escape evolved not only to facilitate rapid nest emergence but also to reduce the energetic cost to individuals. PMID:27207954

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Werneck, M R; Silva, R J

    2015-12-01

    The present study offers a parasitological analysis of juvenile individuals of the green turtle ( Chelonia mydas ) found on the Brazilian coast between 2004 and 2011. Helminths were found in 90 out of 136 individuals (66.2%, CI = 57.7-74.0). In total, 29,411 helminths were collected, belonging to the families Brachycoeliidae, Cladorchiidae, Microscaphidiidae, Pronocephalidae, Rhytidodidae, and Spirorchiidae. Mean species richness was 4.74 (CI = 4.03-5.46), the mean intensity was 327 (CI = 223-489), and the mean abundance was 216 (CI = 146-339). This study also reports new geographical records for: Angiodictyum longum, Angiodictyum parallelum, Rameshwarotrema uterocrescens, Pyelosomum cochlear, Schizamphistomum scleroporum, Cymatocarpus solearis, and Neospirorchis sp. This is the first analysis of helminth composition in juveniles of green turtles. PMID:26312398

  17. A Model of Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta) Habitat and Movement in the Oceanic North Pacific

    PubMed Central

    Abecassis, Melanie; Senina, Inna; Lehodey, Patrick; Gaspar, Philippe; Parker, Denise; Balazs, George; Polovina, Jeffrey

    2013-01-01

    Habitat preferences for juvenile loggerhead turtles in the North Pacific were investigated with data from two several-year long tagging programs, using 224 satellite transmitters deployed on wild and captive-reared turtles. Animals ranged between 23 and 81 cm in straight carapace length. Tracks were used to investigate changes in temperature preferences and speed of the animals with size. Average sea surface temperatures along the tracks ranged from 18 to 23 °C. Bigger turtles generally experienced larger temperature ranges and were encountered in warmer surface waters. Seasonal differences between small and big turtles suggest that the larger ones dive deeper than the mixed layer and subsequently target warmer surface waters to rewarm. Average swimming speeds were under 1 km/h and increased with size for turtles bigger than 30 cm. However, when expressed in body lengths per second (bl s−1), smaller turtles showed much higher swimming speeds (>1 bl s−1) than bigger ones (0.5 bl s−1). Temperature and speed values at size estimated from the tracks were used to parameterize a habitat-based Eulerian model to predict areas of highest probability of presence in the North Pacific. The model-generated habitat index generally matched the tracks closely, capturing the north-south movements of tracked animals, but the model failed to replicate observed east-west movements, suggesting temperature and foraging preferences are not the only factors driving large-scale loggerhead movements. Model outputs could inform potential bycatch reduction strategies. PMID:24039901

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

    PubMed

    Abecassis, Melanie; Senina, Inna; Lehodey, Patrick; Gaspar, Philippe; Parker, Denise; Balazs, George; Polovina, Jeffrey

    2013-01-01

    Habitat preferences for juvenile loggerhead turtles in the North Pacific were investigated with data from two several-year long tagging programs, using 224 satellite transmitters deployed on wild and captive-reared turtles. Animals ranged between 23 and 81 cm in straight carapace length. Tracks were used to investigate changes in temperature preferences and speed of the animals with size. Average sea surface temperatures along the tracks ranged from 18 to 23 °C. Bigger turtles generally experienced larger temperature ranges and were encountered in warmer surface waters. Seasonal differences between small and big turtles suggest that the larger ones dive deeper than the mixed layer and subsequently target warmer surface waters to rewarm. Average swimming speeds were under 1 km/h and increased with size for turtles bigger than 30 cm. However, when expressed in body lengths per second (bl s(-1)), smaller turtles showed much higher swimming speeds (>1 bl s (-1) ) than bigger ones (0.5 bl s(-1)). Temperature and speed values at size estimated from the tracks were used to parameterize a habitat-based Eulerian model to predict areas of highest probability of presence in the North Pacific. The model-generated habitat index generally matched the tracks closely, capturing the north-south movements of tracked animals, but the model failed to replicate observed east-west movements, suggesting temperature and foraging preferences are not the only factors driving large-scale loggerhead movements. Model outputs could inform potential bycatch reduction strategies. PMID:24039901

  19. Spatial and temporal statistical analysis of bycatch data: Patterns of sea turtle bycatch in the North Atlantic

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

    Loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) sea turtle distributions and movements in offshore waters of the western North Atlantic are not well understood despite continued efforts to monitor, survey, and observe them. Loggerhead and leatherback sea turtles are listed as endangered by the World Conservation Union, and thus anthropogenic mortality of these species, including fishing, is of elevated interest. This study quantifies spatial and temporal patterns of sea turtle bycatch distributions to identify potential processes influencing their locations. A Ripley's K function analysis was employed on the NOAA Fisheries Atlantic Pelagic Longline Observer Program data to determine spatial, temporal, and spatio-temporal patterns of sea turtle bycatch distributions within the pattern of the pelagic fishery distribution. Results indicate that loggerhead and leatherback sea turtle catch distributions change seasonally, with patterns of spatial clustering appearing from July through October. The results from the space-time analysis indicate that sea turtle catch distributions are related on a relatively fine scale (30-200 km and 1-5 days). The use of spatial and temporal point pattern analysis, particularly K function analysis, is a novel way to examine bycatch data and can be used to inform fishing practices such that fishing could still occur while minimizing sea turtle bycatch. ?? 2008 NRC.

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

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-01-05

    ... Fisheries (72 FR 43176, August 3, 2007) may be obtained at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/turtles/regulations... opportunity for comment, those fisheries in which the agency intends to place observers (72 FR 43176, August 3... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XA892 2012 Annual Determination for Sea...

  1. 77 FR 75999 - 2013 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle Observer Requirement

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-12-26

    ... FR 43176, August 3, 2007) may be obtained at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/turtles/regulations.htm or... opportunity for comment, those fisheries in which the agency intends to place observers (72 FR 43176, August 3... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XC379 2013 Annual Determination for Sea...

  2. Knowledge and Attitudes Regarding Sea Turtles in Elementary Students on Zakynthos, Greece.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dimopoulos, Dimitrios I.; Pantis, John D.

    2003-01-01

    Utilizes a 32-item survey instrument to measure knowledge and attitudes of 5th and 6th grade students regarding sea turtle conservation on Zakynthos, Greece. Results indicate low knowledge scores and high scores for attitudes, but an overall positive correlation between knowledge and attitudes. Knowledge, understanding and/or concern, and locus of…

  3. 78 FR 77428 - 2014 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle Observer Requirement

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-12-23

    ... Fisheries (72 FR 43176, August 3, 2007) may be obtained at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/turtles/regulations... opportunity for comment, those fisheries in which the agency intends to place observers (72 FR 43176, August 3... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XD008 2014 Annual Determination for Sea...

  4. 77 FR 48106 - Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp and Summer Flounder Trawling Requirements; Correction

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-08-13

    ...-5794. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background On May 21, 2012 (77 FR 29905), we published a final rule.... Correction Accordingly, the final rule published on May 21, 2012 (77 FR 29905), is corrected and is effective... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 223 RIN 0648-AW93 Sea Turtle...

  5. Learning & Knowledge Production in North Carolina Sea Turtle Conservation Communities of Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martin, Kathleen Carol

    2010-01-01

    This dissertation focused upon non-formal and informal learning practices and knowledge production amongst [adult] participants involved in local sea turtle conservation practices along the US Atlantic coast. In the United States, adult learning and adult education has historically occurred within non-formal settings (e.g., through community-based…

  6. Establishment, characterization, and toxicological application of loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) primary skin fibroblast cell cultures.

    PubMed

    Webb, Sarah J; Zychowski, Gregory V; Bauman, Sandy W; Higgins, Benjamin M; Raudsepp, Terje; Gollahon, Lauren S; Wooten, Kimberly J; Cole, Jennifer M; Godard-Codding, Céline

    2014-12-16

    Pollution is a well-known threat to sea turtles but its impact is poorly understood. In vitro toxicity testing presents a promising avenue to assess and monitor the effects of environmental pollutants in these animals within the legal constraints of their endangered status. Reptilian cell cultures are rare and, in sea turtles, largely derived from animals affected by tumors. Here we describe the full characterization of primary skin fibroblast cell cultures derived from biopsies of multiple healthy loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta), and the subsequent optimization of traditional in vitro toxicity assays to reptilian cells. Characterization included validating fibroblast cells by morphology and immunocytochemistry, and optimizing culture conditions by use of growth curve assays with a fractional factorial experimental design. Two cell viability assays, MTT and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and an assay measuring cytochrome P4501A (CYP1A) expression by quantitative PCR were optimized in the characterized cells. MTT and LDH assays confirmed cytotoxicity of perfluorooctanoic acid at 500 μM following 72 and 96 h exposures while CYP1A5 induction was detected after 72 h exposure to 0.1-10 μM benzo[a]pyrene. This research demonstrates the validity of in vitro toxicity testing in sea turtles and highlights the need to optimize mammalian assays to reptilian cells. PMID:25384208

  7. 50 CFR 223.206 - Exceptions to prohibitions relating to sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Exceptions to prohibitions relating to sea turtles. 223.206 Section 223.206 Wildlife and Fisheries NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS THREATENED MARINE AND ANADROMOUS SPECIES Restrictions Applicable...

  8. 50 CFR 223.206 - Exceptions to prohibitions relating to sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Exceptions to prohibitions relating to sea turtles. 223.206 Section 223.206 Wildlife and Fisheries NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS THREATENED MARINE AND ANADROMOUS SPECIES Restrictions Applicable...

  9. 77 FR 31062 - Programs To Reduce Incidental Capture of Sea Turtles in Shrimp Fisheries; Certifications Pursuant...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-05-24

    ... governing the incidental capture of sea turtles in its commercial shrimp fishery comparable to the program... regulatory program in their commercial shrimp trawl fishery. The Department also certified 26 shrimp... are: the Bahamas, Belize, China, the Dominican Republic, Fiji, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Oman, Peru,...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-15

    OBJECTIVE To determine central corneal thickness (total corneal thickness [TCT], epithelial thickness [ET], and stromal thickness [ST]), anterior chamber depth (ACD), and intraocular pressure (IOP) in Kemp's ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii). DESIGN Prospective cross-sectional study. ANIMALS 25 healthy rehabilitated juvenile Kemp's ridley sea turtles. PROCEDURES Body weight and straight-line standard carapace length (SCL) were recorded. All turtles underwent a complete anterior segment ophthalmic examination. Central TCT, ET, ST, and ACD were determined by use of a spectral-domain optical coherence tomography device. Intraocular pressure was determined with a rebound tonometer; the horse setting was used to measure IOP in all 25 turtles, and the undefined setting was also used to measure IOP in 20 turtles. For each variable, 3 measurements were obtained bilaterally. The mean was calculated for each eye and used for analysis purposes. RESULTS The mean ± SD body weight and SCL were 3.85 ± 1.05 kg (8.47 ± 2.31 lb) and 29 ± 3 cm, respectively. The mean ± SD TCT, ET, ST, and ACD were 288 ± 23 μm, 100 ± 6 μm, 190 ± 19 μm, and 581 ± 128 μm, respectively. Mean ± SD IOP was 6.5 ± 1.0 mm Hg when measured with the horse setting and 3.8 ± 1.1 mm Hg when measured with the undefined setting. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results provided preliminary reference ranges for objective assessment of ophthalmic variables in healthy juvenile Kemp's ridley sea turtles. PMID:26953922

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

    High seas oceanic ecosystems are considered important habitat for juvenile sea turtles, yet much remains cryptic about this important life-history period. Recent progress on climate and fishery impacts in these so-called lost years is promising, but the developmental biogeography of hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) has not been widely described in the Pacific Ocean. This knowledge gap limits the effectiveness of conservation management for this globally endangered species. We address this with 30 years of stranding observations, 20 years of bycatch records, and recent simulations of natal dispersal trajectories in the Hawaiian Archipelago. We synthesize the analyses of these data in the context of direct empirical observations, anecdotal sightings, and historical commercial harvests from the insular Pacific. We find hawksbills 0-4 years of age, measuring 8-34 cm straight carapace length, are found predominantly in the coastal pelagic waters of Hawaii. Unlike other species, we find no direct evidence of a prolonged presence in oceanic habitats, yet satellite tracks of passive drifters (simulating natal dispersal) and our small sample sizes suggest that an oceanic phase for hawksbills cannot be dismissed. Importantly, despite over 600 million hooks deployed and nearly 6000 turtle interactions, longline fisheries have never recorded a single hawksbill take. We address whether the patterns we observe are due to population size and gear selectivity. Although most sea turtle species demonstrate clear patterns of oceanic development, hawksbills in the North Pacific may by contrast occupy a variety of ecosystems including coastal pelagic waters and shallow reefs in remote atolls. This focuses attention on hazards in these ecosystems - entanglement and ingestion of marine debris - and perhaps away from longline bycatch and decadal climate regimes that affect sea turtle development in oceanic regions. PMID:27110350

  14. Aerobic bacterial flora of nesting green turtles (Chelonia mydas) from Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Santoro, Mario; Hernández, Giovanna; Caballero, Magaly

    2006-12-01

    Bacteriological examination of 70 nesting green turtles (Chelonia mydas) from Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica was performed to investigate nasal and cloacal aerobic bacteria. A total of 325 bacterial isolates were obtained, including 10 Gram-negative and three Gram-positive genera. Two hundred thirty-nine were Gram-negative and 86 were Gram-positive isolates. Klebsiella pneumoniae was the most common microbe identified in turtle samples: 27/70 (38.5%) in cloacal, and 33/70 (47.1%) in nasal samples. The Enterobacteriaceae family, including Enterobacter agglomerans, E. cloacae, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella oxytoca, K. pneumoniae, and Serratia marcescens, was the largest Gram-negative group of bacteria recovered and comprised 127 of 239 (53.1%) of the Gram-negative isolates. Staphylococcus species was the largest Gram-positive bacteria group, including S. aureus, S. cromogenes, S. epidermis, and S. intermedius, and made up 63 of 86 (73.2%) of the Gram-positive isolates recovered. The results of this study demonstrate that the aerobic bacterial flora of nesting green turtles at Tortuguero National Park is composed of a very wide spectrum of bacteria, including several potential pathogens. PMID:17315444

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

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

  17. Residues of petroleum hydrocarbons in tissues of sea turtles exposed to the IXTOC I oil spill

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hall, R.J.; Belisle, A.A.; Sileo, L.

    1983-01-01

    Sea turtles found dead when the Ixtoc I oil spill reached Texas waters were necropsied and tissues were analyzed for residues of petroleum hydrocarbons. Two of the three turtles were in poor flesh, but had no apparent oil-caused lesions. There was evidence of oil in all tissues examined and indications that the exposure had been chronic. Comparisons with results of studies done on birds indicate consumption of 50,000 ppm or more of oil in the diet. Some possible mechanisms of mortality are suggested.

  18. Isolation and characterization of novel microsatellites from the critically endangered hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata).

    PubMed

    Miro-Herrans, Aida T; Velez-Zuazo, Ximena; Acevedo, Jenny P; McMillan, W Owen

    2008-09-01

    We isolated and characterized 12 microsatellite loci from the hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata). The loci exhibited a variable number of alleles that ranged from three to 14 with an average observed heterozygosity of 0.70 (SD 0.18) across 40 hawksbill turtles from the Caribbean. The polymorphism exhibited individually and in combination makes them suitable for fine-scale genetic studies. In particular, the low probability of identity and high paternity exclusion of these markers makes them highly useful for parentage and relatedness studies. These new markers greatly increase the power of genetic studies directed towards the conservation of this endangered species. PMID:21585983

  19. 77 FR 27411 - Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp Trawling Requirements

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-05-10

    ... presenting various approaches to regulating trawl fisheries in the Atlantic Ocean (74 FR 21627). The scoping... skimmer trawls, pusher-head trawls, and wing nets (butterfly trawls) rigged for fishing to use turtle... (butterfly trawls). For example, on May 8, 2009, NMFS published a notice of intent (NOI) to prepare...

  20. The Kuroshio Extension Bifurcation Region: A pelagic hotspot for juvenile loggerhead sea turtles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Polovina, Jeffrey; Uchida, Itaru; Balazs, George; Howell, Evan A.; Parker, Denise; Dutton, Peter

    2006-02-01

    Satellite telemetry of 43 juvenile loggerhead sea turtles ( Caretta caretta) in the western North Pacific together with satellite-remotely sensed oceanographic data identified the Kuroshio Extension Bifurcation Region (KEBR) as a forage hotspot for these turtles. In the KEBR juvenile loggerheads resided in Kuroshio Extension Current (KEC) meanders and the associated anti-cyclonic (warm core) and cyclonic (cold core) eddies during the fall, winter, and spring when the KEC water contains high surface chlorophyll. Turtles often remained at a specific feature for several months. However, in the summer when the KEC waters become vertically stratified and surface chlorophyll levels are low, the turtles moved north up to 600 km from the main axis of KEC to the Transition Zone Chlorophyll Front (TZCF). In some instances, the loggerheads swam against geostrophic currents, and seasonally all turtles moved north and south across the strong zonal flow. Loggerhead turtles traveling westward in the KEBR had their directed westward movement reduced 50% by the opposing current, while those traveling eastward exhibited an increase in directed zonal movement. It appears, therefore, that these relatively weak-swimming juvenile loggerheads are not passive drifters in a major ocean current but are able to move east, west, north, and south through this very energetic and complex habitat. These results indicate that oceanic regions, specifically the KEBR, represent an important juvenile forage habitat for this threatened species. Interannual and decadal changes in productivity of the KEBR may be important to the species's population dynamics. Further, conservation efforts should focus on identifying and reducing threats to the survival of loggerhead turtles in the KEBR.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-15

    Fibropapillomatosis (FP), a neoplastic disease characterized by the formation of multiple tumors affecting different species of sea turtles and, most often, the green turtle (Chelonia mydas), is considered one of the major threats to the survival of this species. Recent studies indicate that Chelonid herpesvirus (ChHV5) is the etiological agent of this disease, though its association with anthropogenically altered environments and the immune status of these animals also appears to contribute to disease expression and tumor formation. In this study, tumor biopsy and secretions from green turtles captured off the coast of São Paulo State, Brazil, were used in histological and molecular analyses to detect and characterize circulating ChHV5. In 40.9% of cases, the tumor histopathological findings revealed focal ballooning degeneration with intranuclear inclusion bodies, results which are suggestive of viral infection. ChHV5 was detected using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on the animals' skin, ocular tumor biopsies, and ocular and oral secretions. The analysis of the detected ChHV5 sequences revealed two distinct genetic sequences together. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that Brazilian samples were similar to ChHV5 samples described for the Atlantic phylogeographic group and are therefore part of the same clade as the Gulf of Guinea and Puerto Rico samples. This similarity suggests a possible flow of the virus between these three regions. PMID:27016769

  2. Waste characterization study for the Kemp's Ridley sea turtle. Technical memo

    SciTech Connect

    Malone, R.F.; Guarisco, M.

    1988-02-01

    The Kemp's Ridley sea turtle, Lepidochelys kempi, is an endangered species. The National Marine Fisheries Service's Head Start program is part of an international operation to save the turtles from extinction. Under the Head Start program, eggs from the Ridley's only known wild nesting beach at Rancho Nuevo in Mexico are transported to Padre Island on the Texas coast to be hatched. The head start enables the turtles to develop a survival advantage. The principal objective was to develop baseline waste-characterization data required to design a waste-water treatment scheme for the Galveston Head Start facility. As a secondary objective, preliminary testing of some filtration components was undertaken to determine which units were most appropriate for inclusion in a wastewater treatment scheme.

  3. Mitogenomic sequences better resolve stock structure of southern Greater Caribbean green turtle rookeries.

    PubMed

    Shamblin, Brian M; Bjorndal, Karen A; Bolten, Alan B; Hillis-Starr, Zandy M; Lundgren, Ian; Naro-Maciel, Eugenia; Nairn, Campbell J

    2012-05-01

    Analyses of mitochondrial control region polymorphisms have supported the presence of several demographically independent green turtle (Chelonia mydas) rookeries in the Greater Caribbean region. However, extensive sharing of common haplotypes based on 490-bp control region sequences confounds assessment of the scale of natal homing and population structure among regional rookeries. We screened the majority of the mitochondrial genomes of 20 green turtles carrying the common haplotype CM-A5 and representing the rookeries of Buck Island, St. Croix, United States Virgin Islands (USVI); Aves Island, Venezuela; Galibi, Suriname; and Tortuguero, Costa Rica. Five single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified that subdivided CM-A5 among regions. Mitogenomic pairwise φ(ST) values of eastern Caribbean rookery comparisons were markedly lower than the respective pairwise F(ST) values. This discrepancy results from the presence of haplotypes representing two divergent lineages in each rookery, highlighting the importance of choosing the appropriate test statistic for addressing the study question. Haplotype frequency differentiation supports demographic independence of Aves Island and Suriname, emphasizing the need to recognize the smaller Aves rookery as a distinct management unit. Aves Island and Buck Island rookeries shared mitogenomic haplotypes; however, frequency divergence suggests that the Buck Island rookery is sufficiently demographically isolated to warrant management unit status for the USVI rookeries. Given that haplotype sharing among rookeries is common in marine turtles with cosmopolitan distributions, mitogenomic sequencing may enhance inferences of population structure and phylogeography, as well as improve the resolution of mixed stock analyses aimed at estimating natal origins of foraging turtles. PMID:22432442

  4. Interpreting the spatio-temporal patterns of sea turtle strandings: Going with the flow

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hart, K.M.; Mooreside, P.; Crowder, L.B.

    2006-01-01

    Knowledge of the spatial and temporal distribution of specific mortality sources is crucial for management of species that are vulnerable to human interactions. Beachcast carcasses represent an unknown fraction of at-sea mortalities. While a variety of physical (e.g., water temperature) and biological (e.g., decomposition) factors as well as the distribution of animals and their mortality sources likely affect the probability of carcass stranding, physical oceanography plays a major role in where and when carcasses strand. Here, we evaluate the influence of nearshore physical oceanographic and wind regimes on sea turtle strandings to decipher seasonal trends and make qualitative predictions about stranding patterns along oceanfront beaches. We use results from oceanic drift-bottle experiments to check our predictions and provide an upper limit on stranding proportions. We compare predicted current regimes from a 3D physical oceanographic model to spatial and temporal locations of both sea turtle carcass strandings and drift bottle landfalls. Drift bottle return rates suggest an upper limit for the proportion of sea turtle carcasses that strand (about 20%). In the South Atlantic Bight, seasonal development of along-shelf flow coincides with increased numbers of strandings of both turtles and drift bottles in late spring and early summer. The model also predicts net offshore flow of surface waters during winter - the season with the fewest relative strandings. The drift bottle data provide a reasonable upper bound on how likely carcasses are to reach land from points offshore and bound the general timeframe for stranding post-mortem (< two weeks). Our findings suggest that marine turtle strandings follow a seasonal regime predictable from physical oceanography and mimicked by drift bottle experiments. Managers can use these findings to reevaluate incidental strandings limits and fishery takes for both nearshore and offshore mortality sources. ?? 2005 Elsevier Ltd

  5. Are Coastal Protected Areas Always Effective in Achieving Population Recovery for Nesting Sea Turtles?

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Sea turtles are highly migratory and usually dispersed, but aggregate off beaches during the nesting season, rendering them vulnerable to coastal threats. Consequently, coastal Marine Protection Areas (MPAs) have been used to facilitate the recovery of turtle populations, but the effectiveness of these programs is uncertain as most have been operating for less than a single turtle generation (or<20 yr). South Africa, however, hosts one of the longest running conservation programs, protecting nesting loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) turtles since 1963 in a series of coastal MPAs. This provides a unique opportunity to evaluate the long-term effect of spatial protection on the abundance of two highly migratory turtle species with different life history characteristics. Population responses were assessed by modeling the number of nests over time in an index area (13 km) and an expanded monitoring area (53 km) with varying survey effort. Loggerhead abundance increased dramatically from∼250 to>1700 nests pa (index area) especially over the last decade, while leatherback abundance increased initially∼10 to 70 nests pa (index area), but then stabilized. Although leatherbacks have higher reproductive output per female and comparable remigration periods and hatching success to loggerheads, the leatherback population failed to expand. Our results suggest that coastal MPAs can work but do not guarantee the recovery of sea turtle populations as pressures change over time. Causes considered for the lack of population growth include factors in the MPA (expansion into unmonitored areas or incubation environment) of outside of the MPA (including carrying capacity and fishing mortality). Conservation areas for migratory species thus require careful design to account for species-specific needs, and need to be monitored to keep track of changing pressures. PMID:23671683

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Magnetic navigation behavior and the oceanic ecology of young loggerhead sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Putman, Nathan F; Verley, Philippe; Endres, Courtney S; Lohmann, Kenneth J

    2015-04-01

    During long-distance migrations, animals navigate using a variety of sensory cues, mechanisms and strategies. Although guidance mechanisms are usually studied under controlled laboratory conditions, such methods seldom allow for navigation behavior to be examined in an environmental context. Similarly, although realistic environmental models are often used to investigate the ecological implications of animal movement, explicit consideration of navigation mechanisms in such models is rare. Here, we used an interdisciplinary approach in which we first conducted lab-based experiments to determine how hatchling loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) respond to magnetic fields that exist at five widely separated locations along their migratory route, and then studied the consequences of the observed behavior by simulating it within an ocean circulation model. Magnetic fields associated with two geographic regions that pose risks to young turtles (due to cold wintertime temperatures or potential displacement from the migratory route) elicited oriented swimming, whereas fields from three locations where surface currents and temperature pose no such risk did not. Additionally, at locations with fields that elicited oriented swimming, simulations indicate that the observed behavior greatly increases the likelihood of turtles advancing along the migratory pathway. Our findings suggest that the magnetic navigation behavior of sea turtles is intimately tied to their oceanic ecology and is shaped by a complex interplay between ocean circulation and geomagnetic dynamics. PMID:25833134

  8. Visual acuity thresholds of juvenile loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta): an electrophysiological approach.

    PubMed

    Bartol, Soraya Moein; Musick, John A; Ochs, Alfred L

    2002-01-01

    Visual evoked potentials measure dynamic properties of the visual system by recording transient electric responses of neural tissue identified to correspond to a specific visual stimulus, such as light or a striped grid. In this study, visual evoked potentials were used to test the visual acuity of juvenile loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in water. Subject animals were fitted with a Plexiglas goggle filled with filtered seawater. Stimuli of black and white striped gratings were presented to the turtles using a slide projector directing an image onto a screen via a rotatable mirror that shifted the striped pattern laterally one-half cycle. Bioelectric activity was collected using a digital averaging computer and subdermal platinum electrodes, implanted under the head scutes directly above the optic nerve and the contralateral optic tectum. To isolate the response signal from the noise, signal averaging techniques were used when collecting visual evoked potentials. The resulting response waveforms included a robust positive-negative compound that was used to track the turtle's response to visual stimulation. Acuity thresholds for these sea turtles, which were derived from linear regressions analysis of the positive-negative compound amplitudes versus stripe size, ranged from 0.130 to 0.215. This acuity level is comparable to other inshore, shallow water marine species. PMID:11913813

  9. Relationship of Blood Mercury Levels to Health Parameters in the Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta)

    PubMed Central

    Day, Rusty D.; Segars, Al L.; Arendt, Michael D.; Lee, A. Michelle; Peden-Adams, Margie M.

    2007-01-01

    Background Mercury is a pervasive environmental pollutant whose toxic effects have not been studied in sea turtles in spite of their threatened status and evidence of immunosuppression in diseased populations. Objectives In the present study we investigate mercury toxicity in loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) by examining trends between blood mercury concentrations and various health parameters. Methods Blood was collected from free-ranging turtles, and correlations between blood mercury concentrations and plasma chemistries, complete blood counts, lysozyme, and lymphocyte proliferation were examined. Lymphocytes were also harvested from free-ranging turtles and exposed in vitro to methylmercury to assess proliferative responses. Results Blood mercury concentrations were positively correlated with hematocrit and creatine phosphokinase activity, and negatively correlated with lymphocyte cell counts and aspartate amino-transferase. Ex vivo negative correlations between blood mercury concentrations and B-cell proliferation were observed in 2001 and 2003 under optimal assay conditions. In vitro exposure of peripheral blood leukocytes to methylmercury resulted in suppression of proliferative responses for B cells (0.1 μg/g and 0.35 μg/g) and T cells (0.7 μg/g). Conclusions The positive correlation between blood mercury concentration and hematocrit reflects the higher affinity of mercury species for erythrocytes than plasma, and demonstrates the importance of measuring hematocrit when analyzing whole blood for mercury. In vitro immunosuppression occurred at methylmercury concentrations that correspond to approximately 5% of the individuals captured in the wild. This observation and the negative correlation found ex vivo between mercury and lymphocyte numbers and mercury and B-cell proliferative responses suggests that subtle negative impacts of mercury on sea turtle immune function are possible at concentrations observed in the wild. PMID:17938730

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Huang, Hsiang-Wen

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the distribution of bycaught sea turtles could inform conservation strategies and priorities. This research analyses the distribution of turtles caught as longline fisheries bycatch on the high seas of the Atlantic Ocean. This research collected 18,142 bycatch observations and 47.1 million hooks from large-scale Taiwanese longline vessels in the Atlantic Ocean from June 2002 to December 2013. The coverage rates were ranged from 0.48% to 17.54% by year. Seven hundred and sixty-seven turtles were caught, and the major species were leatherback (59.8%), olive ridley (27.1%) and loggerhead turtles (8.7%). Most olive ridley (81.7%) and loggerhead (82.1%) turtles were hooked, while the leatherbacks were both hooked (44.0%) and entangled (31.8%). Depending on the species, 21.4% to 57.7% were dead when brought onboard. Most of the turtles were caught in tropical areas, especially in the Gulf of Guinea (15°N-10°S, 30°W-10°E), but loggerheads were caught in the south Atlantic Ocean (25°S-35°S, 40°W-10°E and 30°S-40°S, 55°W-45°W). The bycatch rate was the highest at 0.030 per 1000 hooks for leatherbacks in the tropical area. The bycatch rates of olive ridley ranged from 0 to 0.010 per thousand hooks. The loggerhead bycatch rates were higher in the northern and southern Atlantic Ocean and ranged from 0.0128 to 0.0239 per thousand hooks. Due to the characteristics of the Taiwanese deep-set longline fleet, bycatch rates were lower than those of coastal longline fisheries, but mortality rates were higher because of the long hours of operation. Gear and bait modification should be considered to reduce sea turtle bycatch and increase survival rates while reducing the use of shallow hooks would also be helpful. PMID:26267796

  12. Conservation Hotspots for the Turtles on the High Seas of the Atlantic Ocean

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Hsiang-Wen

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the distribution of bycaught sea turtles could inform conservation strategies and priorities. This research analyses the distribution of turtles caught as longline fisheries bycatch on the high seas of the Atlantic Ocean. This research collected 18,142 bycatch observations and 47.1 million hooks from large-scale Taiwanese longline vessels in the Atlantic Ocean from June 2002 to December 2013. The coverage rates were ranged from 0.48% to 17.54% by year. Seven hundred and sixty-seven turtles were caught, and the major species were leatherback (59.8%), olive ridley (27.1%) and loggerhead turtles (8.7%). Most olive ridley (81.7%) and loggerhead (82.1%) turtles were hooked, while the leatherbacks were both hooked (44.0%) and entangled (31.8%). Depending on the species, 21.4% to 57.7% were dead when brought onboard. Most of the turtles were caught in tropical areas, especially in the Gulf of Guinea (15°N-10°S, 30°W-10°E), but loggerheads were caught in the south Atlantic Ocean (25°S-35°S, 40°W-10°E and 30°S-40°S, 55°W-45°W). The bycatch rate was the highest at 0.030 per 1000 hooks for leatherbacks in the tropical area. The bycatch rates of olive ridley ranged from 0 to 0.010 per thousand hooks. The loggerhead bycatch rates were higher in the northern and southern Atlantic Ocean and ranged from 0.0128 to 0.0239 per thousand hooks. Due to the characteristics of the Taiwanese deep-set longline fleet, bycatch rates were lower than those of coastal longline fisheries, but mortality rates were higher because of the long hours of operation. Gear and bait modification should be considered to reduce sea turtle bycatch and increase survival rates while reducing the use of shallow hooks would also be helpful. PMID:26267796

  13. An unsuccessful attempt to elicit orientation responses to linearly polarized light in hatchling loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta)

    PubMed Central

    Mäthger, Lydia M.; Lohmann, Kenneth J.; Limpus, Colin J.; Fritsches, Kerstin A.

    2011-01-01

    Sea turtles undertake long migrations in the open ocean, during which they rely at least partly on magnetic cues for navigation. In principle, sensitivity to polarized light might be an additional sensory capability that aids navigation. Furthermore, polarization sensitivity has been linked to ultraviolet (UV) light perception which is present in sea turtles. Here, we tested the ability of hatchling loggerheads (Caretta caretta) to maintain a swimming direction in the presence of broad-spectrum polarized light. At the start of each trial, hatchling turtles, with their magnetic sense temporarily impaired by magnets, successfully established a steady course towards a light-emitting diode (LED) light source while the polarized light field was present. When the LED was removed, however, hatchlings failed to maintain a steady swimming direction, even though the polarized light field remained. Our results have failed to provide evidence for polarized light perception in young sea turtles and suggest that alternative cues guide the initial migration offshore. PMID:21282179

  14. Mitochondrial DNA Profiling of Illegal Tortoiseshell Products Derived from Hawksbill Sea Turtles.

    PubMed

    Foran, David R; Ray, Rebecca L

    2016-07-01

    The hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) is a highly endangered species, commonly poached for its ornate shell. "Tortoiseshell" products made from the shell are widely, although illegally, available in many countries. Hawksbills have a circumglobal distribution; thus, determining their origin is difficult, although genetic differences exist geographically. In the research presented, a procedure was developed to extract and amplify mitochondrial DNA from tortoiseshell items, in an effort to better understand where the species is being poached. Confiscated tortoiseshell items were obtained from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and DNA from 56 of them was analyzed. Multiple mitochondrial haplotypes were identified, including five not previously reported. Only one tortoiseshell item proved to be of Atlantic origin, while all others corresponded to genetic stocks in the Indo-Pacific region. The developed methodology allows for unique, and previously unattainable, genetic information on the illegal poaching of sea turtles for the decorative tortoiseshell trade. PMID:27364288

  15. Coplanar PCB distribution between chorioallantoic membranes and eggs of alligators and Loggerhead sea turtles

    SciTech Connect

    Bargar, T.A.; Cobb, G.P.

    1995-12-31

    The relative distribution of coplanar polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) between chorioallantoic membranes (CAMS) and eggs was investigated in inviable American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) and Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretra) eggs. Cam and egg extracts were fractionated by HPLC using a porous graphitic column (PGC) and an in line switching valve to separate coplanar from non-coplanar PCBs. The fractions were collected, concentrated by nitrogen evaporation, and injected on GC-ECD (60M DB-5 capillary column) for quantification. Alligator and Loggerhead sea turtle eggs contain toxicologically significant coplanar PCBs. Mono-ortho substituted PCBs were present with greater frequency relative to non-ortho substituted PCBs in both eggs and CAMS. The presence of coplanar PCBs in eggs appears to be correlated to coplanar PCB presence in CAMS. The chorioallantoic membrane could serve as a biomarker of embryo exposure to coplanar PCBs.

  16. Predicting the distribution of oceanic-stage Kemp's ridley sea turtles

    PubMed Central

    Putman, Nathan F.; Mansfield, Katherine L.; He, Ruoying; Shaver, Donna J.; Verley, Philippe

    2013-01-01

    The inaccessibility of open ocean habitat and the cryptic nature of small animals are fundamental problems when assessing the distribution of oceanic-stage sea turtles and other marine animals sharing similar life-history traits. Most methods that estimate patterns of abundance cannot be applied in situations that are extremely data limited. Here, we use a movement ecology framework to generate the first predicted distributions for the oceanic stage of the Kemp's ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii). Our simulations of particle dispersal within ocean circulation models reveal substantial annual variation in distribution and survival among simulated cohorts. Such techniques can help prioritize areas for conservation, and supply inputs for more realistic demographic models attempting to characterize population trends. PMID:23945206

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:27010287

  19. Evaluation of immune functions in captive immature loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta).

    PubMed

    Rousselet, Estelle; Levin, Milton; Gebhard, Erika; Higgins, Benjamin M; DeGuise, Sylvain; Godard-Codding, Céline A J

    2013-11-15

    Sea turtles face numerous environmental challenges, such as exposure to chemical pollution and biotoxins, which may contribute to immune system impairment, resulting in increased disease susceptibility. Therefore, a more thorough assessment of the host's immune response and its susceptibility is needed for these threatened and endangered animals. In this study, the innate and acquired immune functions of sixty-five clinically healthy, immature, captive loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) were assayed using non-lethal blood sample collection. Functional immune assays were developed and/or optimized for this species, including mitogen-induced lymphocyte proliferation, natural killer (NK) cell activity, phagocytosis, and respiratory burst. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and phagocytes were isolated by density gradient centrifugation on Ficoll-Paque and discontinuous Percoll gradients, respectively. The T lymphocyte mitogens ConA significantly induced lymphocyte proliferation at 1 and 2 μg/mL while PHA significantly induced lymphocyte proliferation at 5 and 10 μg/mL. The B lymphocyte mitogen LPS significantly induced proliferation at 1 μg/mL. Monocytes demonstrated higher phagocytic activity than eosinophils. In addition, monocytes exhibited respiratory burst. Natural killer cell activity was higher against YAC-1 than K-562 target cells. These optimized assays may help to evaluate the integrity of loggerhead sea turtle's immune system upon exposure to environmental contaminants, as well as part of a comprehensive health assessment and monitoring program. PMID:24094689

  20. Management of severe head injury with brain exposure in three loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta.

    PubMed

    Franchini, D; Cavaliere, L; Valastro, C; Carnevali, F; van der Esch, A; Lai, O; Di Bello, A

    2016-05-01

    The loggerhead Caretta caretta is the most common sea turtle in the Mediterranean. Currently, sea turtles are considered endangered, mainly due to the impact of human activities. Among traumatic lesions, those involving the skull, if complicated by brain exposure, are often life-threatening. In these cases, death could be the outcome of direct trauma of the cerebral tissue or of secondary meningoencephalitis. This uncontrolled study aims to evaluate the use of a plant-derived dressing (1 Primary Wound Dressing®) in 3 sea turtles with severe lesions of the skull exposing the brain. Following surgical curettage, the treatment protocol involved exclusive use of the plant-derived dressing applied on the wound surface as the primary dressing, daily for the first month and then every other day until the end of treatment. The wound and peri-wound skin were covered with a simple secondary dressing without any active compound (non-woven gauze with petroleum jelly). Data presented herein show an excellent healing process in all 3 cases and no side effects due to contact of the medication with the cerebral tissue. PMID:27137072

  1. Evidence of Fluconazole-Resistant Candida Species in Tortoises and Sea Turtles.

    PubMed

    Brilhante, Raimunda Sâmia Nogueira; Rodrigues, Pedro Henrique de Aragão; de Alencar, Lucas Pereira; Riello, Giovanna Barbosa; Ribeiro, Joyce Fonteles; de Oliveira, Jonathas Sales; Castelo-Branco, Débora de Souza Collares Maia; Bandeira, Tereza de Jesus Pinheiro Gomes; Monteiro, André Jalles; Rocha, Marcos Fábio Gadelha; Cordeiro, Rossana de Aguiar; Moreira, José Luciano Bezerra; Sidrim, José Júlio Costa

    2015-12-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the antifungal susceptibility of Candida spp. recovered from tortoises (Chelonoidis spp.) and sea turtles (Chelonia mydas, Caretta caretta, Lepidochelys olivacea, Eretmochelys imbricata). For this purpose, material from the oral cavity and cloaca of 77 animals (60 tortoises and 17 sea turtles) was collected. The collected specimens were seeded on 2% Sabouraud dextrose agar with chloramphenicol, and the identification was carried out by morphological and biochemical methods. Sixty-six isolates were recovered from tortoises, out of which 27 were C. tropicalis, 27 C. famata, 7 C. albicans, 4 C. guilliermondii and 1 C. intermedia, whereas 12 strains were obtained from sea turtles, which were identified as Candida parapsilosis (n = 4), Candida guilliermondii (n = 4), Candida tropicalis (n = 2), Candida albicans (n = 1) and Candida intermedia (n = 1). The minimum inhibitory concentrations for amphotericin B, itraconazole and fluconazole ranged from 0.03125 to 0.5, 0.03125 to >16 and 0.125 to >64, respectively. Overall, 19 azole-resistant strains (14 C. tropicalis and 5 C. albicans) were found. Thus, this study shows that Testudines carry azole-resistant Candida spp. PMID:26363919

  2. Embryonic sex steroid hormones accumulate in the eggshell of loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta).

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Shohei; Saito, Yoshimichi; Osawa, Akihisa; Katsumata, Etsuko; Karaki, Isuke; Nagaoka, Kentaro; Taya, Kazuyoshi; Watanabe, Gen

    2015-12-01

    Steroids hormones such as estradiol-17β (E2) and testosterone (T) are involved in gonadal differentiation of oviparous animals with temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD), and are greatly distributed. This hypothesizes that these embryonic steroid hormones probably accumulate in the eggshell throughout blood or/and chorioallantoic fluid in sea turtle species with TSD, producing females at higher temperature. To demonstrate this hypothesis, concentrations of E2 and T in the blood plasma from the hatchling loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) and in their eggshells were measured by radioimmunoassay. In the present study we propose that both concentrations of E2 and T in the blood plasma are correlated with amounts of these sex steroids in the eggshell. Moreover, contents of E2 in the eggshell showed a significant positive correlation with mean incubation temperatures during a thermosensitive period in the experimental nests, whereas T contents in the eggshell did not. Taken together, these findings indicated that embryonic E2 and T that accumulated in the eggshell can be extracted and measured. Furthermore, the present study suggested that contents of E2 in the eggshell may differ between male and female, and monitoring of these steroids is a useful method to identify the sex of loggerhead sea turtle hatchling. PMID:26050561

  3. Orientation behaviour of leatherback sea turtles within the North Atlantic subtropical gyre

    PubMed Central

    Dodge, Kara L.; Galuardi, Benjamin; Lutcavage, Molly E.

    2015-01-01

    Leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) travel thousands of kilometres between temperate feeding and tropical breeding/over-wintering grounds, with adult turtles able to pinpoint specific nesting beaches after multi-year absences. Their extensive migrations often occur in oceanic habitat where limited known sensory information is available to aid in orientation. Here, we examined the migratory orientation of adult male, adult female and subadult leatherbacks during their open-ocean movements within the North Atlantic subtropical gyre by analysing satellite-derived tracks from fifteen individuals over a 2-year period. To determine the turtles' true headings, we corrected the reconstructed tracks for current drift and found negligible differences between current-corrected and observed tracks within the gyre. Individual leatherback headings were remarkably consistent throughout the subtropical gyre, with turtles significantly oriented to the south-southeast. Adult leatherbacks of both sexes maintained similar mean headings and showed greater orientation precision overall. The consistent headings maintained by adult and subadult leatherbacks within the gyre suggest use of a common compass sense. PMID:25761714

  4. Orientation behaviour of leatherback sea turtles within the North Atlantic subtropical gyre.

    PubMed

    Dodge, Kara L; Galuardi, Benjamin; Lutcavage, Molly E

    2015-04-01

    Leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) travel thousands of kilometres between temperate feeding and tropical breeding/over-wintering grounds, with adult turtles able to pinpoint specific nesting beaches after multi-year absences. Their extensive migrations often occur in oceanic habitat where limited known sensory information is available to aid in orientation. Here, we examined the migratory orientation of adult male, adult female and subadult leatherbacks during their open-ocean movements within the North Atlantic subtropical gyre by analysing satellite-derived tracks from fifteen individuals over a 2-year period. To determine the turtles' true headings, we corrected the reconstructed tracks for current drift and found negligible differences between current-corrected and observed tracks within the gyre. Individual leatherback headings were remarkably consistent throughout the subtropical gyre, with turtles significantly oriented to the south-southeast. Adult leatherbacks of both sexes maintained similar mean headings and showed greater orientation precision overall. The consistent headings maintained by adult and subadult leatherbacks within the gyre suggest use of a common compass sense. PMID:25761714

  5. The interplay of homing and dispersal in green turtles: a focus on the southwestern atlantic.

    PubMed

    Naro-Maciel, Eugenia; Bondioli, Ana Cristina Vigliar; Martin, Meredith; de Pádua Almeida, Antônio; Baptistotte, Cecília; Bellini, Claudio; Marcovaldi, Maria Ângela; Santos, Armando José Barsante; Amato, George

    2012-01-01

    Current understanding of spatial ecology is insufficient in many threatened marine species, failing to provide a solid basis for conservation and management. To address this issue for globally endangered green turtles, we investigated their population distribution by sequencing a mitochondrial control region segment from the Rocas Atoll courtship area (n = 30 males) and four feeding grounds (FGs) in Brazil (n = 397), and compared our findings to published data (n (nesting) = 1205; n (feeding) = 1587). At Rocas Atoll, the first Atlantic courtship area sequenced to date, we found males were differentiated from local juveniles but not from nesting females. In combination with tag data, this indicates possible male philopatry. The most common haplotypes detected at the study sites were CMA-08 and CMA-05, and significant temporal variation was not revealed. Although feeding grounds were differentiated overall, intra-regional structure was less pronounced. Ascension was the primary natal source of the study FGs, with Surinam and Trindade as secondary sources. The study clarified the primary connectivity between Trindade and Brazil. Possible linkages to African populations were considered, but there was insufficient resolution to conclusively determine this connection. The distribution of FG haplotype lineages was nonrandom and indicative of regional clustering. The study investigated impacts of population size, geographic distance, ocean currents, and juvenile natal homing on connectivity, addressed calls for increased genetic sampling in the southwestern Atlantic, and provided data important for conservation of globally endangered green turtles. PMID:23045612

  6. Estimating total population size for adult female sea turtles: Accounting for non-nesters

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kendall, W.L.; Richardson, J.I.

    2008-01-01

    Assessment of population size and changes therein is important to sea turtle management and population or life history research. Investigators might be interested in testing hypotheses about the effect of current population size or density (number of animals per unit resource) on future population processes. Decision makers might want to determine a level of allowable take of individual turtles of specified life stage. Nevertheless, monitoring most stages of sea turtle life histories is difficult, because obtaining access to individuals is difficult. Although in-water assessments are becoming more common, nesting females and their hatchlings remain the most accessible life stages. In some cases adult females of a given nesting population are sufficiently philopatric that the population itself can be well defined. If a well designed tagging study is conducted on this population, survival, breeding probability, and the size of the nesting population in a given year can be estimated. However, with published statistical methodology the size of the entire breeding population (including those females skipping nesting in that year) cannot be estimated without assuming that each adult female in this population has the same probability of nesting in a given year (even those that had just nested in the previous year). We present a method for estimating the total size of a breeding population (including nesters those skipping nesting) from a tagging study limited to the nesting population, allowing for the probability of nesting in a given year to depend on an individual's nesting status in the previous year (i.e., a Markov process). From this we further develop estimators for rate of growth from year to year in both nesting population and total breeding population, and the proportion of the breeding population that is breeding in a given year. We also discuss assumptions and apply these methods to a breeding population of hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) from

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

    An investigation into the health of green turtles was undertaken near Gladstone, Queensland, in response to a dramatic increase in stranding numbers in the first half of 2011. A total of 56 live turtles were subject to clinical examination and blood sampling for routine blood profiles, and 12 deceased turtles underwent a thorough necropsy examination. This population of green turtles was found to be in poor body condition and a range of infectious and non-infectious conditions were identified in the unhealthy turtles, including hepato-renal insufficiency (up to 81%, 27/33 based on clinical pathology), cachexia (92%, 11/12), parasitism (75%, 9/12), cardiopulmonary anomalies (42%, 5/12), gastroenteritis (25%, 3/12), masses (25%, 3/12) and mechanical impediments (17%, 2/12 based on necropsy). Overall, there was no evidence to indicate a unifying disease as a primary cause of the mass mortality. Recent adverse weather events, historic regional contamination and nearby industrial activities are discussed as potential causative factors. PMID:25256011

  8. Blood concentrations of lactate, glucose and corticosterone in dispersing hatchling sea turtles

    PubMed Central

    Pereira, Carla M.; Booth, David T.; Bradley, Adrian J.; Limpus, Colin J.

    2013-01-01

    Summary Natal dispersal of sea turtles is an energetically demanding activity that is fuelled primarily by aerobic metabolism. However, during intense exercise reptiles can use anaerobic metabolism to supplement their energy requirements. We assessed anaerobic metabolism in dispersing hatchling loggerhead and flatback turtles by measuring the concentrations of blood lactate during crawling and at different times during the first four hours of their frenzy swim. We also measured concentrations of blood glucose and corticosterone. Blood lactate (12.13 to 2.03 mmol/L), glucose (6.25 to 3.8 mmol/L) and corticosterone (8.13 to 2.01 ng/mL) concentrations decreased significantly over time in both loggerhead and flatback hatchlings and no significant differences were found between the species. These results indicate that anaerobic metabolism makes a significant contribution to the dispersal phase of hatchling sea turtles during the beach crawl and the first few hours of the frenzy swim. PMID:23336077

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

    This study describes the implications of cardiac ventricular microscopy in Chelonia mydas relating to its ability to dive. For this work, 11 specimens of the marine turtle species C. mydas found dead on the coast of Rio Grande do Norte (Northeast Brazil) were used. After necropsy, fragments of the cardiac ventricular wall were fixed in 10% buffered formaldehyde solution for 24 h and then subjected to routine processing for light and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The ventricle in this species is formed by the epicardium, myocardium and endocardium. The subepicardial layer consists of highly vascularised connective tissue that emits septa to reinforce the myocardium surface. There is an abundant and diffuse subepicardial nerve plexus shown by immunostaining technique. The thickness of the spongy myocardium and the nature of its trabeculae varied between the heart chambers. The endocardium shows no characteristic elements of the heart conduction system. The valves have a hyaline cartilage skeleton, coated by dense irregular connective tissues characterised by elastic fibres. These findings in the green turtle ventricular microscopy are related to hypoxia resistance during diving. PMID:26268418

  11. 76 FR 52888 - Western Pacific Pelagic Fisheries; American Samoa Longline Gear Modifications To Reduce Turtle...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-08-24

    ..., 2011, NMFS published a proposed rule and request for public comments (76 FR 32929); the comment ended... Fisheries; American Samoa Longline Gear Modifications To Reduce Turtle Interactions AGENCY: National Marine... Pacific green sea turtles. This final rule also makes administrative clarifications to the names...

  12. A reassessment of the referral of Sea Turtle skulls to Osteopygis(Late Cretaceous, New Jersey, USA)

    SciTech Connect

    Parham, James F.

    2005-01-01

    Specimens referred to Osteopygis (Late Cretaceous-Paleocene,North America) represent a chimera, a polyphyletic mixture of taxa. Theholotype of Osteopygis (AMNH 1485) and more complete referred postcranialspecimens resemble non-marine stem cryptodires ("macrobaenids"). Becausethe skull material historically referredto Osteopygis sharessynapomorphies with cheloniid sea turtles, all current workers acceptOsteopygis as a stem-cheloniid sea turtle. Multiple lines of evidencecombine to support the hypothesis that sea turtle cranial material is notattributable to Osteopygis. These lines of evidence include: phylogenetichypotheses of character evolution, the tenuous historical attribution ofspecimens, and the taphonomy of the Hornerstown Formation. Thename-bearing Osteopygis material and referred postcrania are bestconsidered Eucryptodira incertae sedis (cf. "Macrobaenidae"). The cranialspecimens formerly assigned to the Osteopyginae now are restricted to theclade Euclastes and those referred to Osteopygis emarginatus are herereferred to Euclastes wielandi (comb. nov.). The 'decapitation' ofOsteopygis reconciles morphological trends within stemcheloniids.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

    Young loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from eastern Florida, USA, undertake a transoceanic migration in which they gradually circle the Sargasso Sea before returning to the North American coast. Loggerheads possess a 'magnetic map' in which regional magnetic fields elicit changes in swimming direction along the migratory pathway. In some geographic areas, however, ocean currents move more rapidly than young turtles can swim. Thus, the degree to which turtles can control their migratory movements has remained unclear. In this study, the movements of young turtles were simulated within a high-resolution ocean circulation model using several different behavioral scenarios, including one in which turtles drifted passively and others in which turtles swam briefly in accordance with experimentally derived data on magnetic navigation. Results revealed that small amounts of oriented swimming in response to regional magnetic fields profoundly affected migratory routes and endpoints. Turtles that engaged in directed swimming for as little as 1-3 h per day were 43-187% more likely than passive drifters to reach the Azores, a productive foraging area frequented by Florida loggerheads. They were also more likely to remain within warm-water currents favorable for growth and survival, avoid areas on the perimeter of the migratory route where predation risk and thermal conditions pose threats, and successfully return to the open-sea migratory route if carried into coastal areas. These findings imply that even weakly swimming marine animals may be able to exert strong effects on their migratory trajectories and open-sea distributions through simple navigation responses and minimal swimming. PMID:22573765

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-15

    Sea turtles reside in different acoustic environments with each life history stage and may have different hearing capacity throughout ontogeny. For this study, two independent yet complementary techniques for hearing assessment, i.e. behavioral and electrophysiological audiometry, were employed to (1) measure hearing in post-hatchling and juvenile loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta (19-62 cm straight carapace length) to determine whether these migratory turtles exhibit an ontogenetic shift in underwater auditory detection and (2) evaluate whether hearing frequency range and threshold sensitivity are consistent in behavioral and electrophysiological tests. Behavioral trials first required training turtles to respond to known frequencies, a multi-stage, time-intensive process, and then recording their behavior when they were presented with sound stimuli from an underwater speaker using a two-response forced-choice paradigm. Electrophysiological experiments involved submerging restrained, fully conscious turtles just below the air-water interface and recording auditory evoked potentials (AEPs) when sound stimuli were presented using an underwater speaker. No significant differences in behavior-derived auditory thresholds or AEP-derived auditory thresholds were detected between post-hatchling and juvenile sea turtles. While hearing frequency range (50-1000/1100 Hz) and highest sensitivity (100-400 Hz) were consistent in audiograms pooled by size class for both behavior and AEP experiments, both post-hatchlings and juveniles had significantly higher AEP-derived than behavior-derived auditory thresholds, indicating that behavioral assessment is a more sensitive testing approach. The results from this study suggest that post-hatchling and juvenile loggerhead sea turtles are low-frequency specialists, exhibiting little differences in threshold sensitivity and frequency bandwidth despite residence in acoustically distinct environments throughout ontogeny. PMID:24855679

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  17. Maternal Health Status Correlates with Nest Success of Leatherback Sea Turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) from Florida

    PubMed Central

    Perrault, Justin R.; Miller, Debra L.; Eads, Erica; Johnson, Chris; Merrill, Anita; Thompson, Larry J.; Wyneken, Jeanette

    2012-01-01

    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

  18. Examining factors that may influence accurate measurement of testosterone in sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Graham, Katherine M; Mylniczenko, Natalie D; Burns, Charlene M; Bettinger, Tammie L; Wheaton, Catharine J

    2016-01-01

    Differences in reported testosterone concentrations in male sea turtle blood samples are common in the veterinary literature, but may be accounted for by differences in sample handling and processing prior to assay. Therefore, our study was performed to determine best practices for testosterone analysis in male sea turtles (Caretta caretta and Chelonia mydas). Blood samples were collected into 5 collection tube types, and assay validation and measured testosterone concentrations were compared across different sample storage (fresh, refrigerated 1 week, or frozen), extraction (unextracted or ether-extracted), and processing treatment (untreated, homogenized, or dissociation reagent) conditions. Ether-extracted and dissociation reagent-treated samples validated in all conditions tested and are recommended for use, as unextracted samples validated only if assayed fresh. Dissociation reagent treatment was simpler to perform than ether extraction and resulted in total testosterone concentrations ~2.7-3.5 times greater than free testosterone measured in ether-extracted samples. Sample homogenization did not affect measured testosterone concentrations, and could be used to increase volume in gelled samples. An annual seasonal testosterone increase was observed in both species when ether extraction or dissociation reagent treatment was used. Annual deslorelin implant treatments in a Chelonia mydas male resulted in suppression of seasonal testosterone following the fourth treatment. Seasonal testosterone patterns resumed following discontinuation of deslorelin. Comparison of in-house and commercially available enzyme immunoassay kits revealed similar patterns of seasonal testosterone increases and deslorelin-induced suppression. Our study highlights the importance of methodological validation and provides laboratorians with best practices for testosterone enzyme immunoassay in sea turtles. PMID:26699527

  19. Measuring the effects of morphological changes to sea turtle nesting beaches over time with LiDAR data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamamoto, Kristina H.; Anderson, Sharolyn J.; Sutton, Paul C.

    2015-10-01

    Sea turtle nesting beaches in southeastern Florida were evaluated for changes from 1999 to 2005 using LiDAR datasets. Changes to beach volume were correlated with changes in several elevation-derived characteristics, such as elevation and slope. In addition, these changes to beach geomorphology were correlated to changes in nest success, illustrating that beach alterations may affect sea turtle nesting behavior. The ability to use LiDAR datasets to quickly and efficiently conduct beach comparisons for habitat use represents another benefit to this high spatial resolution data.

  20. Loggerhead sea turtle environmental sex determination: implications of moisture and temperature for climate change based predictions for species survival.

    PubMed

    Wyneken, Jeanette; Lolavar, Alexandra

    2015-05-01

    It has been proposed that because marine turtles have environmentally determined sex by incubation temperature, elevated temperatures might skew sex ratios to unsustainable levels, leading to extinction. Elevated temperatures may also reduce availability of suitable nesting sites via sea level rise. Increased tropical storm activity can directly affect nest site moisture, embryonic development, and the probability that nests will survive. Here, we question some of these assumptions and review the limits of sex ratio estimates. Sea turtles may be more resilient to climate change than previously thought, in part because of hitherto unappreciated mechanisms for coping with variable incubation conditions. PMID:25877336

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Population connectivity and spatial distribution are fundamentally related to ecology, evolution and behaviour. Here, we combined powerful genetic analysis with simulations of particle dispersal in a high-resolution ocean circulation model to investigate the distribution of green turtles foraging at the remote Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, central Pacific. We analysed mitochondrial sequences from turtles (n = 349) collected there over 5 years (2008–2012). Genetic analysis assigned natal origins almost exclusively (approx. 97%) to the West Central and South Central Pacific combined Regional Management Units. Further, our modelling results indicated that turtles could potentially drift from rookeries to Palmyra Atoll via surface currents along a near-Equatorial swathe traversing the Pacific. Comparing findings from genetics and modelling highlighted the complex impacts of ocean currents and behaviour on natal origins. Although the Palmyra feeding ground was highly differentiated genetically from others in the Indo-Pacific, there was no significant differentiation among years, sexes or stage-classes at the Refuge. Understanding the distribution of this foraging population advances knowledge of green turtles and contributes to effective conservation planning for this threatened species. PMID:24451389

  3. Disseminated Mycotic Infection Caused by Colletotrichum acutatum in a Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys kempi)

    PubMed Central

    Manire, Charles A.; Rhinehart, Howard L.; Sutton, Deanna A.; Thompson, Elizabeth H.; Rinaldi, Michael G.; Buck, John D.; Jacobson, Elliott

    2002-01-01

    Colletotrichum acutatum is a cosmopolitan plant pathogen with a wide host range. While the organism's phytopathogenic potential has been well documented, it has never been reported as an etiologic agent of disease in either animals or humans. In this case, a juvenile Kemp's ridley sea turtle, Lepidochelys kempi, probably with immune compromise following cold stunning (extended hypothermia), developed a disseminated mycotic infection in the lungs and kidneys. Prophylactic treatment with oral itraconazole did not prevent or cure the infection. This report of a Colletotrichum acutatum infection in an animal extends the range of disease caused by this organism beyond that of a phytopathogen. PMID:12409409

  4. 50 CFR 660.720 - Interim protection for sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... west of 150° W. long. and north of the equator (0° lat.). (2) Possess a light stick on board a longline vessel on the high seas of the Pacific Ocean west of 150° W. long. north of the equator. A light stick as used in this paragraph is any type of light emitting device, including any fluorescent glow...

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... west of 150° W. long. and north of the equator (0° lat.). (2) Possess a light stick on board a longline vessel on the high seas of the Pacific Ocean west of 150° W. long. north of the equator. A light stick as used in this paragraph is any type of light emitting device, including any fluorescent glow...

  6. 50 CFR 660.720 - Interim protection for sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... west of 150° W. long. and north of the equator (0° lat.). (2) Possess a light stick on board a longline vessel on the high seas of the Pacific Ocean west of 150° W. long. north of the equator. A light stick as used in this paragraph is any type of light emitting device, including any fluorescent glow...

  7. 50 CFR 660.720 - Interim protection for sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... west of 150° W. long. and north of the equator (0° lat.). (2) Possess a light stick on board a longline vessel on the high seas of the Pacific Ocean west of 150° W. long. north of the equator. A light stick as used in this paragraph is any type of light emitting device, including any fluorescent glow...

  8. Sedation and anesthesia of hatchling leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) for auditory evoked potential measurement in air and in water.

    PubMed

    Harms, Craig A; Piniak, Wendy E D; Eckert, Scott A; Stringer, Elizabeth M

    2014-03-01

    Sedation or anesthesia of hatchling leatherback sea turtles was employed to acquire auditory evoked potential (AEP) measurements in air and in water to assess their hearing sensitivity in relation to potential consequences from anthropogenic noise. To reduce artifacts in AEP collection caused by muscle movement, hatchlings were sedated with midazolam 2 or 3 mg/kg i.v. for in-air (n = 7) or in-water (n = 11) AEP measurements; hatchlings (n = 5) were anesthetized with ketamine 6 mg/kg and dexmedetomidine 30 microg/kg i.v. reversed with atipamezole 300 microg/kg, half i.m. and half i.v. for in-air AEP measurements. Midazolam-sedated turtles were also physically restrained with a light elastic wrap. For in-water AEP measurements, sedated turtles were brought to the surface every 45-60 sec, or whenever they showed intention signs for breathing, and not submerged again until they took a breath. Postprocedure temperature-corrected venous blood pH, pCO2, pO2, and HCO3- did not differ among groups, although for the midazolam-sedated in-water group, pCO2 trended lower, and in the ketamine-dexmedetomidine anesthetized group there was one turtle considered clinically acidotic (temperature-corrected pH = 7.117). Venous blood lactate was greater for hatchlings recently emerged from the nest than for turtles sedated with midazolam in air, with the other two groups falling intermediate between, but not differing significantly from the high and low lactate groups. Disruptive movements were less frequent with anesthesia than with sedation in the in-air group. Both sedation with midazolam and anesthesia with ketamine-dexmedetomidine were successful for allowing AEP measurements in hatchling leatherback sea turtles. Sedation allowed the turtle to protect its airway voluntarily while limiting flipper movement. Midazolam or ketamine-dexmedetomidine (and reversal with atipamezole) would be useful for other procedures requiring minor or major restraint in leatherback sea turtle hatchlings

  9. Stable Isotope Tracking of Endangered Sea Turtles: Validation with Satellite Telemetry and δ15N Analysis of Amino Acids

    PubMed Central

    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 δ15N values of bulk skin, with distinct “low δ15N” and “high δ15N” groups. δ15N 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 δ15N 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  12. Incubation Temperature Effects on Hatchling Performance in the Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta)

    PubMed Central

    Fisher, Leah R.; Godfrey, Matthew H.; Owens, David W.

    2014-01-01

    Incubation temperature has significant developmental effects on oviparous animals, including affecting sexual differentiation for several species. Incubation temperature also affects traits that can influence survival, a theory that is verified in this study for the Northwest Atlantic loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta). We conducted controlled laboratory incubations and experiments to test for an effect of incubation temperature on performance of loggerhead hatchlings. Sixty-eight hatchlings were tested in 2011, and 31 in 2012, produced from eggs incubated at 11 different constant temperatures ranging from 27°C to 33°C. Following their emergence from the eggs, we tested righting response, crawling speed, and conducted a 24-hour long swim test. The results support previous studies on sea turtle hatchlings, with an effect of incubation temperature seen on survivorship, righting response time, crawling speed, change in crawl speed, and overall swim activity, and with hatchlings incubated at 27°C showing decreased locomotor abilities. No hatchlings survived to be tested in both years when incubated at 32°C and above. Differences in survivorship of hatchlings incubated at high temperatures are important in light of projected higher sand temperatures due to climate change, and could indicate increased mortality from incubation temperature effects. PMID:25517114

  13. PHARMACOKINETICS OF TRAMADOL AND O-DESMETHYLTRAMADOL IN LOGGERHEAD SEA TURTLES (CARETTA CARETTA).

    PubMed

    Norton, Terry M; Cox, Sherry; Nelson, Steven E; Kaylor, Michelle; Thomas, Rachel; Hupp, Amy; Sladky, Kurt K

    2015-06-01

    The objective of this study was to determine the pharmacokinetics of two orally administered doses of tramadol (5 and 10 mg/kg) and its major metabolite (O-desmethyltramadol) (M1) in loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta). After oral administration, the half-life of tramadol administered at 5 and 10 mg/kg was 20.35 and 22.67 hr, whereas the half-life of M1 was 10.23 and 11.26 hr, respectively. The maximum concentration (Cmax) for tramadol after oral administration at 5 mg/kg and 10 mg/kg was 373 and 719 ng/ml, whereas that of M1 was 655 and 1,376 ng/ml, respectively. Tramadol administered orally to loggerhead sea turtles at both dosages provided measurable plasma concentrations of tramadol and O-desmethyltramadol for several days with no adverse effects. Plasma concentrations of tramadol and O-desmethyltramadol remained ≥100 ng/ml for at least 48 and 72 hr when tramadol was administered at 10 mg/kg. PMID:26056877

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-12-01

    Sea turtles have historically been an important food resource for many coastal inhabitants of Mexico. Today, the consumption of sea turtle meat and eggs continues in northwestern Mexico despite well-documented legal protection and market conditions providing easier access to other more reliable protein sources. Although there is growing evidence that consuming sea turtles may be harmful to human health due to biotoxins, environmental contaminants, viruses, parasites, and bacteria, many at-risk individuals, trusted information sources, and risk communicators may be unaware of this information. Therefore, we interviewed 134 residents and 37 physicians in a region with high rates of sea turtle consumption to: (1) examine their knowledge and perceptions concerning these risks, as a function of sex, age, occupation, education and location; (2) document the occurrence of illness resulting from consumption; and (3) identify information needs for effective risk communication. We found that 32% of physicians reported having treated patients who were sickened from sea turtle consumption. Although physicians believed sea turtles were an unhealthy food source, they were largely unaware of specific health hazards found in regional sea turtles, regardless of location. By contrast, residents believed that sea turtles were a healthy food source, regardless of sex, age, occupation, and education, and they were largely unaware of specific health hazards found in regional sea turtles, regardless of age, occupation, and education. Although most residents indicated that they would cease consumption if their physician told them it was unhealthy, women were significantly more likely to do so than men. These results suggest that residents may lack the necessary knowledge to make informed dietary decisions and physicians do not have enough accurate information to effectively communicate risks with their patients. PMID:20217184

  15. Heritable variation in heat shock gene expression: a potential mechanism for adaptation to thermal stress in embryos of sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Tedeschi, J N; Kennington, W J; Tomkins, J L; Berry, O; Whiting, S; Meekan, M G; Mitchell, N J

    2016-01-13

    The capacity of species to respond adaptively to warming temperatures will be key to their survival in the Anthropocene. The embryos of egg-laying species such as sea turtles have limited behavioural means for avoiding high nest temperatures, and responses at the physiological level may be critical to coping with predicted global temperature increases. Using the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) as a model, we used quantitative PCR to characterise variation in the expression response of heat-shock genes (hsp60, hsp70 and hsp90; molecular chaperones involved in cellular stress response) to an acute non-lethal heat shock. We show significant variation in gene expression at the clutch and population levels for some, but not all hsp genes. Using pedigree information, we estimated heritabilities of the expression response of hsp genes to heat shock and demonstrated both maternal and additive genetic effects. This is the first evidence that the heat-shock response is heritable in sea turtles and operates at the embryonic stage in any reptile. The presence of heritable variation in the expression of key thermotolerance genes is necessary for sea turtles to adapt at a molecular level to warming incubation environments. PMID:26763709

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:24447663

  17. Effects of Large and Small-Source Seismic Surveys on Marine Mammals and Sea Turtles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holst, M.; Richardson, W. J.; Koski, W. R.; Smultea, M. A.; Haley, B.; Fitzgerald, M. W.; Rawson, M.

    2006-05-01

    L-DEO implements a marine mammal and sea turtle monitoring and mitigation program during its seismic surveys. The program consists of visual observations, mitigation, and/or passive acoustic monitoring (PAM). Mitigation includes ramp ups, powerdowns, and shutdowns of the seismic source if marine mammals or turtles are detected in or about to enter designated safety radii. Visual observations for marine mammals and turtles have taken place during all 11 L-DEO surveys since 2003, and PAM was done during five of those. Large sources were used during six cruises (10 to 20 airguns; 3050 to 8760 in3; PAM during four cruises). For two interpretable large-source surveys, densities of marine mammals were lower during seismic than non- seismic periods. During a shallow-water survey off Yucatán, delphinid densities during non-seismic periods were 19x higher than during seismic; however, this number is based on only 3 sightings during seismic and 11 sightings during non-seismic. During a Caribbean survey, densities were 1.4x higher during non-seismic. The mean closest point of approach (CPA) for delphinids for both cruises was significantly farther during seismic (1043 m) than during non-seismic (151 m) periods (Mann-Whitney U test, P < 0.001). Large whales were only seen during the Caribbean survey; mean CPA during seismic was 1722 m compared to 1539 m during non-seismic, but sample sizes were small. Acoustic detection rates with and without seismic were variable for three large-source surveys with PAM, with rates during seismic ranging from 1/3 to 6x those without seismic (n = 0 for fourth survey). The mean CPA for turtles was closer during non-seismic (139 m) than seismic (228 m) periods (P < 0.01). Small-source surveys used up to 6 airguns or 3 GI guns (75 to 1350 in3). During a Northwest Atlantic survey, delphinid densities during seismic and non-seismic were similar. However, in the Eastern Tropical Pacific, delphinid densities during non-seismic were 2x those during

  18. Size-dependent, sex-dependent and seasonal changes in insulin-lige growth-factor-I in the loggerhead sea turtle

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Crain, D.A.; Bolten, A.B.; Bjorndal, K.A.; Guillette, L.J.; Gross, T.S.

    1995-01-01

    This study examines size-dependent, sex-dependent, and seasonal fluctuations in plasma insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) concentrations in loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta). Loggerhead turtles (n = 158) were captured in shrimp trawler nets during a 12-month survey in Cape Canaveral Channel, Florida. Plasma samples were analyzed using a validated heterologous radioimmunoassay. Large turtles (>75 cm straight-line carapace length) had significantly higher plasma IGF-I concentrations than small turtles (⩽75 cm; P < 0.0001). Plasma IGF-I concentrations did not vary seasonally in small turtles, but large turtles had significantly higher plasma IGF-I concentrations during the spring and summer months (P < 0.005). Within the large turtles, adult males had significantly lower IGF-I concentrations than females and subadult males (P < 0.05). These results and a review of loggerhead turtle natural history suggest that the seasonal fluctuations in plasma IGF-I of adult turtles are due to elevated IGF-I levels in reproductively active female turtles. Further research is needed to examine correlations between reproductive activities and plasma IGF-I concentrations in reptiles.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Santos, Robson G; Pinheiro, Hudson Tercio; Martins, Agnaldo Silva; Riul, Pablo; Bruno, Soraya Christina; Janzen, Fredric J; Ioannou, Christos C

    2016-07-13

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Sex ratio estimations of loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings by histological examination and nest temperatures at Fethiye beach, Turkey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaska, Yakup; Ilgaz, Çetin; Özdemir, Adem; Başkale, Eyüp; Türkozan, Oğuz; Baran, Ibrahim; Stachowitsch, Michael

    2006-07-01

    Hatchling sex ratios in the loggerhead turtle ( Caretta caretta) were estimated by placing electronic temperature recorders in 21 nests at Fethiye beach during 2000 2002. Over the seasons, the mean temperature in the middle third of the incubation period ranged from 26.7 to 32.1°C, and incubation periods ranged from 49 to 67 days. Based on the mean temperatures during the middle third of the incubation period, and on histologically sexed dead hatchlings, the sex ratios of hatchlings at Fethiye beach were roughly equal, i.e. 60 65% of the hatchlings were females. This contrasts with the highly female-skewed sex ratios in loggerhead turtles elsewhere; Fethiye has a relatively high proportion of male hatchlings. For endangered sea turtles, the knowledge of hatchling sex ratios at different beaches, coupled with appropriate conservation measures, can make an important contribution to their survival.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-13

    Some of the most basic questions of sea turtle life history are also the most elusive. Many uncertainties surround lifespan, growth rates, maturity and spatial structure, yet these are critical factors in assessing population status. Here we examine the keratinized hard tissues of the hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) carapace and use bomb radiocarbon dating to estimate growth and maturity. Scutes have an established dietary record, yet the large keratin deposits of hawksbills evoke a reliable chronology. We sectioned, polished and imaged posterior marginal scutes from 36 individual hawksbills representing all life stages, several Pacific populations and spanning eight decades. We counted the apparent growth lines, microsampled along growth contours and calibrated Δ(14)C values to reference coral series. We fit von Bertalanffy growth function (VBGF) models to the results, producing a range of age estimates for each turtle. We find Hawaii hawksbills deposit eight growth lines annually (range 5-14), with model ensembles producing a somatic growth parameter (k) of 0.13 (range 0.1-0.2) and first breeding at 29 years (range 23-36). Recent bomb radiocarbon values also suggest declining trophic status. Together, our results may reflect long-term changes in the benthic community structure of Hawaii reefs, and possibly shed light on the critical population status for Hawaii hawksbills. PMID:26740617

  5. Exogenous estradiol alters gonadal growth and timing of temperature sex determination in gonads of sea turtle.

    PubMed

    Díaz-Hernández, Verónica; Marmolejo-Valencia, Alejandro; Merchant-Larios, Horacio

    2015-12-01

    Temperature sex determining species offer a model for investigating how environmental cues become integrated to the regulation of patterning genes and growth, among bipotential gonads. Manipulation of steroid hormones has revealed the important role of aromatase in the regulation of the estrogen levels involved in temperature-dependent sex determination. Estradiol treatment counteracts the effect of male-promoting temperature, but the resulting ovarian developmental pattern differs from that manifested with the female-promoting temperature. Hypoplastic gonads have been reported among estradiol-treated turtles; however the estradiol effect on gonadal size has not been examined. Here we focused on the sea turtle Lepidochelys olivacea, which develops hypoplastic gonads with estradiol treatment. We studied the effect of estradiol on cell proliferation and on candidate genes involved in ovarian pattern. We found this effect is organ specific, causing a dramatic reduction in gonadal cell proliferation during the temperature-sensitive period. Although the incipient gonads resembled tiny ovaries, remodeling of the medullary cords and down-regulation of testicular factor Sox9 were considerably delayed. Contrastingly, with ovarian promoting temperature as a cue, exogenous estradiol induced the up-regulation of the ovary factor FoxL2, prior to the expression of aromatase. The strong expression of estrogen receptor alpha at the time of treatment suggests that it mediates estradiol effects. Overall results indicate that estradiol levels required for gonadal growth and to establish the female genetic network are delicately regulated by temperature. PMID:26465360

  6. Dietary shift of an invasive predator: rats, seabirds and sea turtles

    PubMed Central

    Caut, Stéphane; Angulo, Elena; Courchamp, Franck

    2008-01-01

    Rats have reached about 80% of the world's islands and are among the most successful invasive mammals. Rats are opportunistic predators that are notorious for their impact on a variety of animal and plant species. However, little documented evidence on the complexities of these interactions is available.In our study, we assessed the impact of black rats Rattus rattus introduced on a small uninhabited island with a relatively simple ecosystem, Surprise Island, New Caledonia. We also compared the diet of R. rattus in the presence and absence of breeding seabirds, assessing the dietary compensation for this potentially important food source. From 2002 to 2005, we used live trapping studies combined with stable isotope analysis and conventional diet analyses (direct observations, gut and faecal contents) to characterize the diet of rats.Our results suggest a heavy predatory impact on seabirds, which could constitute as much as 24% of the rat diet. Moreover, in the absence of birds, rats compensated marginally by preying more heavily on other components of their diet but mostly acquired a new resource. They shifted their diet by preying heavily upon another endangered species, the hatchlings of sea turtles Chelonia mydas, which could constitute the main resource in the diet of R. rattus in those periods. Abundance, body condition and distribution of the rats were consistent with heavy predation upon this additional resource.Synthesis and applications. In island ecosystems invasive rats prey mainly upon seabird eggs and chicks, thereby threatening their populations. Although rats are certainly capable of surviving on terrestrial foods outside the seabird nesting season, their ability to prey upon ephemeral but abundant resources, such as hatchling sea turtles, may contribute to maintaining their populations. This may explain their success on Surprise Island, an ecosystem of extreme conditions, and suggests that biologists and managers working with threatened species

  7. Forty-seven days of decay does not change persistent organic pollutant levels in loggerhead sea turtle eggs.

    PubMed

    Keller, Jennifer M

    2013-04-01

    Reptile and bird eggs are priority samples for specimen banking programs that assess spatial and temporal trends of environmental contaminants. From endangered species, such as sea turtles, nonlethal sampling is required (e.g., unhatched eggs collected postemergence). Previous contaminant monitoring studies have used unhatched sea turtle eggs, but no study has tested whether their concentrations represent levels found in fresh eggs (e.g., eggs collected within 24 h of oviposition). The author analyzed three fresh eggs from different nest depths and up to three unhatched eggs from 10 loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) nests in South Carolina, USA, for a suite of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Lipid-normalized POP concentrations were not significantly different (p > 0.05) between fresh and unhatched eggs or among different depths from the same nest. The POP concentrations in loggerhead eggs from South Carolina were higher than previously measured concentrations in eggs from Florida and slightly lower than concentrations in eggs from North Carolina. This pattern agrees with previously observed trends of increasing POP concentrations in loggerhead turtles inhabiting northern latitudes along the U.S. East Coast. Contaminant profiles are discussed, including a higher chlorinated pattern of polychlorinated biphenyls possibly associated with a Superfund site in nearby Brunswick, Georgia, USA, and unusual polybrominated diphenylether patterns seen in this and previous sea turtle studies. Concentrations correlated with one of eight measurements of reproductive success; levels were negatively correlated with egg mass (p < 0.05), which may have implications for hatchling fitness. The present study suggests that unhatched eggs can be used for POP-monitoring projects. PMID:23418059

  8. Long-term cold acclimation leads to high Q10 effects on oxygen consumption of loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta.

    PubMed

    Hochscheid, Sandra; Bentivegna, Flegra; Speakman, John R

    2004-01-01

    We monitored oxygen consumption (VO2), body temperatures (Tb), submersion intervals, and circadian rhythms of VO2 in nine loggerhead turtles during a 6-mo period. The turtles originated from the Tyrhennian Sea, South Italy (40 degrees 51'N, 14 degrees 17'E) and were kept in indoor tanks at constant photoperiod while being subject to the seasonal decline in water temperature (Tw=27.1 degrees to 15.3 degrees C). From summer to winter, all turtles underwent profound reductions in VO2 (Q10=5.4). Simultaneously, their activity was greatly reduced and submergence intervals increased. Over 24-h periods, however, the turtles showed no circadian rhythm in activity or VO2. However, there was a significant positive correlation between the proportion of a day spent actively swimming and VO2. Tb's were not significantly different from Tw and followed the same seasonal decline. A second experiment was conducted to establish the effect of short-term exposure to various temperatures on VO2. Tb equilibrated with the experimental Tw within 3 h. The metabolic responses were again positively correlated with changes in Tw, but this time the corresponding Q10 was only 1.3. On the basis of the range of body masses of the turtles used in this study (2-60 kg), the intraspecific scaling exponent for VO2 was 0.353. PMID:15095241

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26832230

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26832230

  12. 76 FR 37050 - Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for Sea Turtle Conservation and Recovery...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-06-24

    ...- approved testing protocols established to date include the ``small turtle test'' (55 FR 41092, October 9, 1990) and the ``wild turtle test'' (52 FR 24244, June 29, 1987). Additionally, NMFS has established a... turtles (66 FR 24287, May 14, 2001). Because testing with live leatherbacks is impossible, NMFS...

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

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-09-02

    ... established to date include the ``small turtle test'' (55 FR 41092, October 9, 1990) and the ``wild turtle... thickness and 1\\1/2\\ inch (3.8 cm) in depth, was evaluated using the small turtle test protocol (55 FR 41092... of a length of 3-inch (7.6-cm) diameter PVC pipe positioned perpendicular to the flow of water...

  14. Predicted sex ratio of juvenile Kemp's Ridley sea turtles captured near Steinhatchee, Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Geis, A.A.; Barichivich, W.J.; Wibbels, T.; Coyne, M.; Landry, A.M., Jr.; Owens, D.

    2005-01-01

    The Kemp's Ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) is one of the most endangered sea turtles in the world, and it possesses temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD). Sex ratios produced under TSD can vary widely and can affect the reproductive ecology of a population. Therefore, sex ratios produced from TSD are of ecological and conservation interest. The current study validated and utilized a testosterone radioimmunoassay (RIA) to examine the sex ratio of juvenile Kemp's Ridleys inhabiting the waters near Steinhatchee, Florida. Testosterone levels were measured in blood samples collected from juvenile Kemp's Ridleys captured over a three-year period. Results of this study indicate that a significant female bias (approximately 3.7:1) occurs in the aggregation of juvenile Kemp's Ridleys inhabiting the waters near Steinhatchee.

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

    PubMed

    Endres, Courtney S; Lohmann, Kenneth J

    2012-10-15

    During their long-distance migrations, sea turtles of several species feed on jellyfish and other invertebrates that are particularly abundant in ocean regions characterized by high productivity. An ability to distinguish productive oceanic regions from other areas, and to concentrate foraging activities in locations where prey density is highest, might therefore be adaptive. The volatile compound dimethyl sulfide (DMS) accumulates in the air above productive ocean areas such as upwelling and frontal zones. In principle, DMS might therefore serve as an indicator of high prey density for turtles. To determine whether turtles perceive DMS, juvenile loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) were placed into a water-filled arena in which DMS and other odorants could be introduced to the air above the water surface. Turtles exposed to air that had passed over a cup containing 10 nmol l(-1) DMS spent more time at the surface with their noses out of the water than control turtles, which were exposed to air that had passed over a cup containing distilled water. Odors that do not occur in the sea (cinnamon, jasmine and lemon) did not elicit increased surface time, implying that the response to DMS is unlikely to reflect a generalized response to any novel odor. The results demonstrate for the first time that sea turtles can detect DMS, an ability that might enable the identification of favorable foraging areas. PMID:23014568

  16. Pharmacokinetic behavior of meloxicam in loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) after intramuscular and intravenous administration.

    PubMed

    Lai, Olimpia R; Di Bello, Antonio; Soloperto, Simona; Freggi, Daniela; Marzano, Giacomo; Cavaliere, Leonardo; Crescenzo, Giuseppe

    2015-04-01

    Data on reptile analgesia are scarce for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and opioids and almost completely lacking in sea turtles, even though emergencies requiring correct pain management are very frequent in their rehabilitative medicine; therefore, dosage regimens extrapolated from other species involve the risk of clinical failure and damage to the animals. We describe the pharmacokinetic behavior of meloxicam in the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta). We chose meloxicam because of its selective anti-cyclooxygenase-2 activity and lesser adverse side effects. No data are available on the capacity of turtles to tolerate NSAIDs, so we chose a dose of 0.1 mg/kg of meloxicam. Plasma concentrations of meloxicam were unexpectedly low both for intravenous (IV; maximum concentration [C(max)] = 0.04±0.02 µg/mL) and intramuscular (IM; C(max) = 0.07±0.09 µg/mL) administration. A double-peak phenomenon occurred after both IV (time for second peak concentration T(max2) = 10.33±10.89 h) and IM (T(max2) = 1.17±0.75 h). The second peak after IM injection was premature, so some difficulty and delay in absorption appears to be an appropriate explanation. Furthermore, the area under the curve, and therefore systemic bioavailability (F = 31.82±28.24%), after both IV (0.30±0.29) and IM (0.10±0.03) injection appeared particularly limited. Terminal elimination slope and mean residence time indicated fast elimination after IM dosing; as a consequence, plasma concentrations dropped below analytic limits in 8 h. Considering that IM is the favored route of administration of drugs in rescue centers, it is unlikely that meloxicam at 0.1 mg/kg is an appropriate choice, particularly in long-term pain management protocols. PMID:25647596

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ditmer, Mark Allan; Stapleton, Seth Patrick

    2012-01-01

    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 vegetation types on hatch

  19. On the formation of a conservation hotspot for juvenile North Pacific loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wingfield, Dana K.

    2009-12-01

    This research examined the incorporation of highly productive regions within the marine system. I combined historical conservation literature, remotely sensed oceanography, ship based surveys, satellite tagged animals, and statistical models to explore an integrated approach to the identification of key oceanic regions that require incorporation into current marine conservation strategies. In my first chapter, I undertook a literature review of the term "hotspot", one of the most common ways by which scientists ascribe conservation prioritization in the marine and terrestrial systems. My results showed that marine literature has identified important areas of biodiversity and productivity (i.e. high primary production that results in trophic linkages and species aggregations) are in need of protection from human threats. However, current non-governmental organizations focus primarily on biodiversity, thus missing important areas of productivity for marine conservation. In my second chapter, I demonstrated how remotely sensed oceanography, ship-based surveys, and satellite tagged animals can help to identify the formation of such a "productivity hotspot". Specifically, I examined the connection between physical forcing (surface winds and vertical Ekman upwelling), sea-surface temperature, primary production (chlorophyll-a concentrations), retentive features of fronts and dynamic height, and prey abundance (red crabs) in the spatial and temporal concentration of the critically endangered North Pacific juvenile loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) within its foraging habitat off the Pacific coast of Baja California. Finally, in my third chapter, I identified habitat selection of loggerheads to better understand the species preference within suitable habitat. I sampled several environmental variables (depth, sea-surface temperature, and chlorophyll- a) within 'preferred' versus 'avoided' turtle habitat. Results from a generalized additive model showed the statistical

  20. Effects of acute fresh water exposure on water flux rates and osmotic responses in Kemp's ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempi)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ortiz, R. M.; Patterson, R. M.; Wade, C. E.; Byers, F. M.

    2000-01-01

    Water flux rates and osmotic responses of Kemp's Ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempi) acutely exposed to fresh water were quantified. Salt-water adapted turtles were exposed to fresh water for 4 d before being returned to salt water. During the initial salt water phase, absolute and relative water flux rates were 1.2+/-0.1 l d(-1) and 123.0+/-6.8 ml kg(-1) d(-1), respectively. When turtles were exposed to fresh water, rates increased by approximately 30%. Upon return to salt water, rates decreased to original levels. Plasma osmolality, Na(+), K(+), and Cl(-) decreased during exposure to fresh water, and subsequently increased during the return to salt water. The Na(+):K(+) ratio was elevated during the fresh water phase and subsequently decreased upon return to salt water. Aldosterone and corticosterone were not altered during exposure to fresh water. Elevated water flux rates during fresh water exposure reflected an increase in water consumption, resulting in a decrease in ionic and osmotic concentrations. The lack of a change in adrenocorticoids to acute fresh water exposure suggests that adrenal responsiveness to an hypo-osmotic environment may be delayed in marine turtles when compared to marine mammals.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25100699

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    The loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) is found throughout the waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. It is a protected species throughout much of its range due to threats such as habitat loss, fisheries interactions, hatchling predation, and marine debris. Loggerheads that occur in the southeastern U.S. are listed as "threatened" on the U.S. Endangered Species List, and receive state and federal protection. As part of an on-going population assessment conducted by the National Marine Fisheries Service, samples were collected from juvenile loggerhead sea turtles in Core Sound, North Carolina, between 2004 and 2007 to gain insight on the baseline health of the threatened Northwest Atlantic Ocean population. The aims of the current study were to establish hematologic and biochemical reference intervals for this population, and to assess variation of the hematologic and plasma biochemical analytes by season, water temperature, and sex and size of the turtles. Reference intervals for the clinical pathology parameters were estimated following Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute guidelines. Season, water temperature, sex, and size of the turtles were found to be significant factors of variation for parameter values. Seasonal variation could be attributed to physiological effects of decreasing photoperiod, cooler water temperature, and migration during the fall months. Packed cell volume, total protein, and albumin increased with increasing size of the turtles. The size-related differences in analytes documented in the present study are consistent with other reports of variation in clinical pathology parameters by size and age in sea turtles. As a component of a health assessment of juvenile loggerhead sea turtles in North Carolina, this study will serve as a baseline aiding in evaluation of trends for this population and as a diagnostic tool for assessing the health and prognosis for loggerhead sea turtles undergoing rehabilitation. PMID:25738772

  3. Clinical Pathology Reference Intervals for an In-Water Population of Juvenile Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Caretta caretta) in Core Sound, North Carolina, USA

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Associations between Organochlorine Contaminant Concentrations and Clinical Health Parameters in Loggerhead Sea Turtles from North Carolina, USA

    PubMed Central

    Keller, Jennifer M.; Kucklick, John R.; Stamper, M. Andrew; Harms, Craig A.; McClellan-Green, Patricia D.

    2004-01-01

    Widespread and persistent organochlorine (OC) contaminants, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and pesticides, are known to have broad-ranging toxicities in wildlife. In this study we investigated, for the first time, their possible health effects on loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta). Nonlethal fat biopsies and blood samples were collected from live turtles for OC contaminant analysis, and concentrations were compared with clinical health assessment data, including hematology, plasma chemistry, and body condition. Concentrations of total PCBs (∑PCBs), ∑DDTs, ∑chlordanes, dieldrin, and mirex were determined in 44 fat biopsies and 48 blood samples. Blood concentrations of ∑chlordanes were negatively correlated with red blood cell counts, hemoglobin, and hematocrit, indicative of anemia. Positive correlations were observed between most classes of OC contaminants and white blood cell counts and between mirex and ∑TCDD-like PCB concentrations and the heterophil:lymphocyte ratio, suggesting modulation of the immune system. All classes of OCs in the blood except dieldrin were correlated positively with aspartate aminotransferase (AST) activity, indicating possible hepatocellular damage. Mirex and ∑TCDD-like PCB blood concentrations were negatively correlated with alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity. Significant correlations to levels of certain OC contaminant classes also suggested possible alteration of protein (↑blood urea nitrogen, ↓albumin:globulin ratio), carbohydrate (↓glucose), and ion (↑sodium, ↓magnesium) regulation. These correlations suggest that OC contaminants may be affecting the health of loggerhead sea turtles even though sea turtles accumulate lower concentrations of OCs compared with other wildlife. PMID:15238280

  6. Inter-nesting habitat-use patterns of loggerhead sea turtles: Enhancing satellite tracking with benthic mapping

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

    The loggerhead sea turtle Caretta caretta faces declining nest numbers and bycatches from commercial longline fishing in the southeastern USA. Understanding spatial and temporal habitat-use patterns of these turtles, especially reproductive females in the neritic zone, is critical for guiding management decisions. To assess marine turtle habitat use within the Dry Tortugas National Park (DRTO), we used satellite telemetry to identify core-use areas for 7 loggerhead females inter-nesting and tracked in 2008 and 2009. This effort represents the first tracking of DRTO loggerheads, a distinct subpopulation that is 1 of 7 recently proposed for upgrading from threatened to endangered under the US Endangered Species Act. We also used a rapid, high-resolution, digital imaging system to map benthic habitats in turtle core-use areas (i.e. 50% kernel density zones). Loggerhead females were seasonal residents of DRTO for 19 to 51 d, and individual inter-nesting habitats were located within 1.9 km (2008) and 2.3 km (2009) of the nesting beach and tagging site. The core area common to all tagged turtles was 4.2 km2 in size and spanned a depth range of 7.6 to 11.5 m. Mapping results revealed the diversity and distributions of benthic cover available in the core-use area, as well as a heavily used corridor to/from the nesting beach. This combined tagging-mapping approach shows potential for planning and improving the effectiveness of marine protected areas and for developing spatially explicit conservation plans.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

    Temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) is the predominant form of environmental sex determination (ESD) in reptiles, but the adaptive significance of TSD in this group remains unclear. Additionally, the viability of species with TSD may be compromised as climate gets warmer. We simulated population responses in a turtle with TSD to increasing nest temperatures and compared the results to those of a virtual population with genotypic sex determination (GSD) and fixed sex ratios. Then, we assessed the effectiveness of TSD as a mechanism to maintain populations under climate change scenarios. TSD populations were more resilient to increased nest temperatures and mitigated the negative effects of high temperatures by increasing production of female offspring and therefore, future fecundity. That buffered the negative effect of temperature on the population growth. TSD provides an evolutionary advantage to sea turtles. However, this mechanism was only effective over a range of temperatures and will become inefficient as temperatures rise to levels projected by current climate change models. Projected global warming threatens survival of sea turtles, and the IPCC high gas concentration scenario may result in extirpation of the studied population in 50 years. PMID:25929883

  8. Olive Ridley Sea Turtle Hatching Success as a Function of the Microbial Abundance in Nest Sand at Ostional, Costa Rica

    PubMed Central

    Bézy, Vanessa S.; Valverde, Roldán A.; Plante, Craig J.

    2015-01-01

    Several studies have suggested that significant embryo mortality is caused by microbes, while high microbial loads are generated by the decomposition of eggs broken by later nesting turtles. This occurs commonly when nesting density is high, especially during mass nesting events (arribadas). However, no previous research has directly quantified microbial abundance and the associated effects on sea turtle hatching success at a nesting beach. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that the microbial abundance in olive ridley sea turtle nest sand affects the hatching success at Ostional, Costa Rica. We applied experimental treatments to alter the microbial abundance within the sand into which nests were relocated. We monitored temperature, oxygen, and organic matter content throughout the incubation period and quantified the microbial abundance within the nest sand using a quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) molecular analysis. The most successful treatment in increasing hatching success was the removal and replacement of nest sand. We found a negative correlation between hatching success and fungal abundance (fungal 18S rRNA gene copies g-1 nest sand). Of secondary importance in determining hatching success was the abundance of bacteria (bacterial 16S rRNA gene copies g-1 g-1 nest sand). Our data are consistent with the hypothesis that high microbial activity is responsible for the lower hatching success observed at Ostional beach. Furthermore, the underlying mechanism appears to be the deprivation of oxygen and exposure to higher temperatures resulting from microbial decomposition in the nest. PMID:25714355

  9. Hematology and plasma biochemistry analytes in five age groups of immature, captive-reared loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta).

    PubMed

    Rousselet, Estelle; Stacy, Nicole I; LaVictoire, Kara; Higgins, Benjamin M; Tocidlowski, Maryanne E; Flanagan, Joseph P; Godard-Codding, Céline A J

    2013-12-01

    Abstract: Blood samples of 85 immature, apparently healthy, captive-reared loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) were analyzed for 13 hematologic variables and total solids of 5 age groups (8, 20, 32, 44, and 56 mo old) and for 20 plasma biochemical analytes of 4 age groups (20 to 56 mo old). Each individual turtle was sampled under similar conditions during a blood collection period of 3 days. Hematologic analytes included packed cell volume, white blood cell (WBC) counts, WBC estimates, and leukocyte differentials. Biochemical analysis included albumin, alanine aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, amylase, aspartate aminotransferase, blood urea nitrogen, calcium, chloride, cholesterol, creatine kinase, creatinine, gamma glutamyltransferase, globulins, glucose, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, total bilirubin, total protein, total solids, and uric acid. In due consideration of small sample size in all five age groups, the results of hematologic and biochemical analysis were used to determine ranges for these analytes and to compare values among consecutive age groups. Several significant differences in some hematologic and biochemical variables were identified and need to be considered in the interpretation of blood work of immature, growing sea turtles in human care. PMID:24450044

  10. A simple, physiologically-based model of sea turtle remigration intervals and nesting population dynamics: Effects of temperature.

    PubMed

    Neeman, Noga; Spotila, James R; O'Connor, Michael P

    2015-09-01

    Variation in the yearly number of sea turtles nesting at rookeries can interfere with population estimates and obscure real population dynamics. Previous theoretical models suggested that this variation in nesting numbers may be driven by changes in resources at the foraging grounds. We developed a physiologically-based model that uses temperatures at foraging sites to predict foraging conditions, resource accumulation, remigration probabilities, and, ultimately, nesting numbers for a stable population of sea turtles. We used this model to explore several scenarios of temperature variation at the foraging grounds, including one-year perturbations and cyclical temperature oscillations. We found that thermally driven resource variation can indeed synchronize nesting in groups of turtles, creating cohorts, but that these cohorts tend to break down over 5-10 years unless regenerated by environmental conditions. Cohorts were broken down faster at lower temperatures. One-year perturbations of low temperature had a synchronizing effect on nesting the following year, while high temperature perturbations tended to delay nesting in a less synchronized way. Cyclical temperatures lead to cyclical responses both in nesting numbers and remigration intervals, with the amplitude and lag of the response depending on the duration of the cycle. Overall, model behavior is consistent with observations at nesting beaches. Future work should focus on refining the model to fit particular nesting populations and testing further whether or not it may be used to predict observed nesting numbers and remigration intervals. PMID:26113190

  11. Collecting a sample of loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings before a natural emergence does not reduce nest productivity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Salmon, Michael; Carthy, Raymond R.; Lohmann, Catherine M. F.; Lohmann, Kenneth J.; Wyneken, Jeanette

    2012-01-01

     In numerous studies involving hatchling sea turtles, researchers have collected small numbers of hatchlings from nests a few hours before the turtles would otherwise have emerged naturally. This procedure makes it possible to do experiments in which the behavioral or physiological responses of numerous hatchlings must be tested in a limited period of time, and also allows hatchlings to be released back into the sea in time to migrate offshore before dawn. In principle, however, the procedure might inadvertently reduce nest productivity (the number of hatchlings that successfully leave the nest), if digging into a nest prior to emergence somehow reduces the ability of the remaining turtles to emerge. We compared nest productivity in 67 experimental loggerhead nests, from which we removed 10 hatchlings before a natural emergence, to 95 control nests left undisturbed before a natural emergence. The 2 groups showed no statistical differences in productivity. We conclude that taking a few hatchlings from a loggerhead nest shortly before a natural emergence has no negative impact on hatchling production if sampling is done with care at locations where there are few nest predators, and at sites where an emergence can be predicted because nest deposition dates are known.

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

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-05-21

    ... 4 turtles to pass the ``small turtle test'' (55 FR 41092, October 9, 1990). The Boone Wedge Cut...) outside diameter aluminum or steel pipe with a wall thickness of at least \\1/8\\ inch (0.32 cm). Each of... piece of 3-inch (7.6-cm) inside diameter PVC pipe which measures 30 inches (76.2 cm) in length; the...

  13. Climate Impacts on Sea Turtle Breeding Phenology in Greece and Associated Foraging Habitats in the Wider Mediterranean Region.

    PubMed

    Patel, Samir H; Morreale, Stephen J; Saba, Vincent S; Panagopoulou, Aliki; Margaritoulis, Dimitris; Spotila, James R

    2016-01-01

    Sea turtles are vulnerable to climate change impacts in both their terrestrial (nesting beach) and oceanic habitats. From 1982 to 2012, air and sea surface temperatures at major high use foraging and nesting regions (n = 5) of loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) nesting in Greece have steadily increased. Here, we update the established relationships between sea surface temperature and nesting data from Zakynthos (latitude: 37.7°N), a major nesting beach, while also expanding these analyses to include precipitation and air temperature and additional nesting data from two other key beaches in Greece: Kyparissia Bay (latitude: 37.3°N) and Rethymno, Crete (latitude: 35.4°N). We confirmed that nesting phenology at Zakynthos has continued to be impacted by breeding season temperature; however, temperature has no consistent relationship with nest numbers, which are declining on Zakynthos and Crete but increasing at Kyparissia. Then using statistically downscaled outputs of 14 climate models assessed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), we projected future shifts in nesting for these populations. Based on the climate models, we projected that temperature at the key foraging and breeding sites (Adriatic Sea, Aegean Sea, Crete, Gulf of Gabès and Zakynthos/Kyparissia Bay; overall latitudinal range: 33.0°-45.8°N) for loggerhead turtles nesting in Greece will rise by 3-5°C by 2100. Our calculations indicate that the projected rise in air and ocean temperature at Zakynthos could cause the nesting season in this major rookery to shift to an earlier date by as much as 50-74 days by 2100. Although an earlier onset of the nesting season may provide minor relief for nest success as temperatures rise, the overall climatic changes to the various important habitats will most likely have an overall negative impact on this population. PMID:27332550

  14. Climate Impacts on Sea Turtle Breeding Phenology in Greece and Associated Foraging Habitats in the Wider Mediterranean Region

    PubMed Central

    Morreale, Stephen J.; Saba, Vincent S.; Panagopoulou, Aliki; Margaritoulis, Dimitris; Spotila, James R.

    2016-01-01

    Sea turtles are vulnerable to climate change impacts in both their terrestrial (nesting beach) and oceanic habitats. From 1982 to 2012, air and sea surface temperatures at major high use foraging and nesting regions (n = 5) of loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) nesting in Greece have steadily increased. Here, we update the established relationships between sea surface temperature and nesting data from Zakynthos (latitude: 37.7°N), a major nesting beach, while also expanding these analyses to include precipitation and air temperature and additional nesting data from two other key beaches in Greece: Kyparissia Bay (latitude: 37.3°N) and Rethymno, Crete (latitude: 35.4°N). We confirmed that nesting phenology at Zakynthos has continued to be impacted by breeding season temperature; however, temperature has no consistent relationship with nest numbers, which are declining on Zakynthos and Crete but increasing at Kyparissia. Then using statistically downscaled outputs of 14 climate models assessed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), we projected future shifts in nesting for these populations. Based on the climate models, we projected that temperature at the key foraging and breeding sites (Adriatic Sea, Aegean Sea, Crete, Gulf of Gabès and Zakynthos/Kyparissia Bay; overall latitudinal range: 33.0°—45.8°N) for loggerhead turtles nesting in Greece will rise by 3–5°C by 2100. Our calculations indicate that the projected rise in air and ocean temperature at Zakynthos could cause the nesting season in this major rookery to shift to an earlier date by as much as 50–74 days by 2100. Although an earlier onset of the nesting season may provide minor relief for nest success as temperatures rise, the overall climatic changes to the various important habitats will most likely have an overall negative impact on this population. PMID:27332550

  15. The Maternal Legacy: Female Identity Predicts Offspring Sex Ratio in the Loggerhead Sea Turtle

    PubMed Central

    Reneker, Jaymie L.; Kamel, Stephanie J.

    2016-01-01

    In organisms with temperature-dependent sex determination, the incubation environment plays a key role in determining offspring sex ratios. Given that global temperatures have warmed approximately 0.6 °C in the last century, it is necessary to consider how organisms will adjust to climate change. To better understand the degree to which mothers influence the sex ratios of their offspring, we use 24 years of nesting data for individual female loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) observed on Bald Head Island, North Carolina. We find that maternal identity is the best predictor of nest sex ratio in univariate and multivariate predictive models. We find significant variability in estimated nest sex ratios among mothers, but a high degree of consistency within mothers, despite substantial spatial and temporal thermal variation. Our results suggest that individual differences in nesting preferences are the main driver behind divergences in nest sex ratios. As such, a female’s ability to plastically adjust her nest sex ratios in response to environmental conditions is constrained, potentially limiting how individuals behaviorally mitigate the effects of environmental change. Given that many loggerhead populations already show female-biased offspring sex ratios, understanding maternal behavioral responses is critical for predicting the future of long-lived species vulnerable to extinction. PMID:27363786

  16. Phenological response of sea turtles to environmental variation across a species' northern range

    PubMed Central

    Mazaris, Antonios D.; Kallimanis, Athanasios S.; Pantis, John D.; Hays, Graeme C.

    2013-01-01

    Variations in environmental parameters (e.g. temperature) that form part of global climate change have been associated with shifts in the timing of seasonal events for a broad range of organisms. Most studies evaluating such phenological shifts of individual taxa have focused on a limited number of locations, making it difficult to assess how such shifts vary regionally across a species range. Here, by using 1445 records of the date of first nesting for loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) at different breeding sites, on different continents and in different years across a broad latitudinal range (25–39° ′N), we demonstrate that the gradient of the relationship between temperature and the date of first breeding is steeper at higher latitudes, i.e. the phenological responses to temperature appear strongest at the poleward range limit. These findings support the hypothesis that biological changes in response to climate change will be most acute at the poleward range limits and are in accordance with the predictions of MacArthur's hypothesis that poleward range limit for species range is environmentally limited. Our findings imply that the poleward populations of loggerheads are more sensitive to climate variations and thus they might display the impacts of climate change sooner and more prominently. PMID:23193130

  17. The Maternal Legacy: Female Identity Predicts Offspring Sex Ratio in the Loggerhead Sea Turtle.

    PubMed

    Reneker, Jaymie L; Kamel, Stephanie J

    2016-01-01

    In organisms with temperature-dependent sex determination, the incubation environment plays a key role in determining offspring sex ratios. Given that global temperatures have warmed approximately 0.6 °C in the last century, it is necessary to consider how organisms will adjust to climate change. To better understand the degree to which mothers influence the sex ratios of their offspring, we use 24 years of nesting data for individual female loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) observed on Bald Head Island, North Carolina. We find that maternal identity is the best predictor of nest sex ratio in univariate and multivariate predictive models. We find significant variability in estimated nest sex ratios among mothers, but a high degree of consistency within mothers, despite substantial spatial and temporal thermal variation. Our results suggest that individual differences in nesting preferences are the main driver behind divergences in nest sex ratios. As such, a female's ability to plastically adjust her nest sex ratios in response to environmental conditions is constrained, potentially limiting how individuals behaviorally mitigate the effects of environmental change. Given that many loggerhead populations already show female-biased offspring sex ratios, understanding maternal behavioral responses is critical for predicting the future of long-lived species vulnerable to extinction. PMID:27363786

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Man-made marine debris and sea turtle strandings on beaches of the upper Texas and southwestern Louisiana coasts, June 1987 through September 1989. Technical memo

    SciTech Connect

    Duronslet, M.J.; Revera, D.B.; Stanley, K.M.

    1991-02-01

    The upper Texas and southwestern Louisiana coastlines were divided into six sampling zones to survey the amounts, types and rates of accumulation of man-made marine debris, the number of sea turtle strandings, the incidence of sea turtle entanglements in marine debris and the incidence of ingestion of such debris by sea turtles. From June 1987 through September 1989, 473 sample plots were examined for marine debris. Significant differences were detected in mean number of debris items per 100 sq m of beach sampled by year, zone and month. Significant differences in mean weight of debris items per 100 sq m of beach sampled were detected by month and zone. Both number and weights (per 100 sq m) of debris were lowest in the winter months. Number per 100 sq m was greatest in August while weight per 100 sq m peaked in May. Tar balls and plastic items were the most frequently encountered marine debris items. Wooden items had the highest average weights while tar balls and polystyrene foam were the lightest items collected. A total of 171 sea turtles stranded on the surveyed beaches during the study. Of 26 gastrointestinal tracts examined, 16 had ingested some form of man-made debris. Six turtles were entangled in man-made debris and 9 were live stranded.

  20. Pathologic and parasitologic findings of cold-stunned Kemp's ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii) stranded on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, 2001-2006.

    PubMed

    Innis, Charles; Nyaoke, Akinyi C; Williams, C Rogers; Dunnigan, Bridget; Merigo, Constance; Woodward, Denise L; Weber, E Scott; Frasca, Salvatore

    2009-07-01

    Necropsy reports for 28 stranded, cold-stunned Kemp's ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii) that died between 2001 and 2006 were reviewed retrospectively. Gross and microscopic lesions were compiled to describe the pathologic and parasitologic findings in turtles that were found freshly dead on the beach or that died within 48 hr of stranding. Anatomic lesions of varying severity were identified in each of the examined turtles and were identified in tissues of the alimentary, respiratory, integumentary, nervous and sensory, and urogenital systems in order of decreasing frequency. Necrotizing enterocolitis and bacterial or fungal pneumonia were the most frequently encountered lesions that were considered clinically significant. Parasites and parasitic lesions were identified primarily in tissues of the alimentary system and included intestinal cestodiasis and parasitic granulomas containing larval cestodes or nematodes. Postlarval cestodes were also found in the coelom of two turtles. In many cases, the extent and severity of lesions were judged to be insufficient to have solely caused mortality, suggesting that additional factors such as metabolic, respiratory, and electrolyte derangements; hypothermia; and drowning may be important proximate causes of death in cold-stunned turtles. Results of this study provide insight into pathologic conditions that may be of clinical relevance to rehabilitation efforts for cold-stunned sea turtles. PMID:19617470

  1. Sea-surface temperature gradients across blue whale and sea turtle foraging trajectories off the Baja California Peninsula, Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Etnoyer, Peter; Canny, David; Mate, Bruce R.; Morgan, Lance E.; Ortega-Ortiz, Joel G.; Nichols, Wallace J.

    2006-02-01

    Sea-surface temperature (SST) fronts are integral to pelagic ecology in the North Pacific Ocean, so it is necessary to understand their character and distribution, and the way these features influence the behavior of endangered and highly migratory species. Here, telemetry data from sixteen satellite-tagged blue whales ( Balaenoptera musculus) and sea turtles ( Caretta caretta, Chelonia mydas, and Lepidochelys olivacea) are employed to characterize 'biologically relevant' SST fronts off Baja California Sur. High residence times are used to identify presumed foraging areas, and SST gradients are calculated across advanced very high resolution radiometer (AVHRR) images of these regions. The resulting values are compared to classic definitions of SST fronts in the oceanographic literature. We find subtle changes in surface temperature (between 0.01 and 0.10 °C/km) across the foraging trajectories, near the lowest end of the oceanographic scale (between 0.03 and 0.3 °C/km), suggesting that edge-detection algorithms using gradient thresholds >0.10 °C/km may overlook pelagic habitats in tropical waters. We use this information to sensitize our edge-detection algorithm, and to identify persistent concentrations of subtle SST fronts in the Northeast Pacific Ocean between 2002 and 2004. The lower-gradient threshold increases the number of fronts detected, revealing more potential habitats in different places than we find with a higher-gradient threshold. This is the expected result, but it confirms that pelagic habitat can be overlooked, and that the temperature gradient parameter is an important one.

  2. Unravelling the Microbiome of Eggs of the Endangered Sea Turtle Eretmochelys imbricata Identifies Bacteria with Activity against the Emerging Pathogen Fusarium falciforme

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24743166

  3. Histochemical and immunohistochemical studies of the gonads and paramesonephric ducts of male and female hatchlings of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta).

    PubMed

    Sarı, F; Kaska, Y

    2016-08-01

    The sex of neonatal sea turtles is difficult to determine, because neonates lack heteromorphic sex chromosomes and dimorphic external characteristics; internal dimorphic morphology is defined at hatching. We used histochemical staining and made measurements in the gonads and paramesonephric ducts (PD) of both sexes to determine structural differences in female and male loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) hatchlings. We detected differences in the gonads and PD between the sexes including the amounts of mucopolysaccharides, collagen and elastic fibers. We determined that the thickness of the gonadal cortex and the diameter of the PD lumen are reliable sex-specific characteristics. We also assessed immunolocalization of aromatase, an enzyme complex that converts androgens to estrogens, and found differences in the localization and intensity of aromatase immunostaining in the gonads and PD of female and male hatchlings. Comprehensive studies of the sexual differences of sea turtles are important for conservation programs. PMID:27437606

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background 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. Methods 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. Results 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. Conclusions Multiple modes of evolution seem to maintain MHC diversity in the loggerhead turtles, with relatively high polymorphism for an endangered species. PMID:23627726

  5. Sea turtle distribution along the boundary of the Gulf Stream current off eastern Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hoffman, W.; Fritts, T.H.

    1982-01-01

    Aerial surveys, out to 222 km off the east coast of central Florida during August 1980, revealed that marine turtles were distributed in a narrow zone west of the Gulf Stream. Of 255 loggerhead turtles, Caretta caretta, only three were observed east of the western boundary of the Gulf Stream. Radiometric thermometry revealed that the waters occupied by most Caretta were markedly cooler than the nearby waters of the Gulf Stream. Of 18 leatherback turtles, Dermochelys coriacea, all were seen west of the Gulf Stream in waters less than 70 m in depth. Marine turtles off eastern Florida are confined seasonally to nearshore waters west of the Gulf Stream. The records of Dermochelys in nearshore waters are in contrast with a deep water oceanic ecology often hypothesized for this species.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-15

    Marine species are experiencing unprecedented global impacts due to anthropogenic debris. Many recent studies have pointed out the hazards associated with marine litter ingestion, especially plastic debris - the most abundant and ubiquitous items in coastal and oceanic environments worldwide. In this study we provide the first in situ evidence of consumption of non-discarded synthetic rope fragments by green turtles. We explored the environmental risks to this endangered species associated with the grazing and consumption of anthropogenic debris in zones of human activity. Efforts to combat debris ingestion and reduce anthropogenic debris discharged into the world's oceans should be a priority for decision-makers and will need to involve multiple-approaches and the adoption of more environmentally friendly products and practices by the international community. PMID:26926779

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2002-01-01

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

  8. Application of diffusion approximation for risk assessments of sea turtle populations.

    PubMed

    Snover, Melissa L; Heppell, Selina S

    2009-04-01

    Population viability analysis (PVA) to forecast extinction risk is a commonly used tool in decision- and policy-making processes of governments and conservation organizations. A drawback to PVA is the high degree of uncertainty in these forecasts due to both population stochasticity and parameter estimation uncertainty. With sparse or noisy data, extinction probabilities frequently have 95% confidence intervals ranging from 0 to 1. To make stochastic simulation results more interpretable, we present a new metric, susceptibility to quasi-extinction (SQE), to assess whether or not a population is at risk of declining to a prespecified level (quasi-extinction). Following standard methods for diffusion approximation of extinction risk, we use a parametric bootstrap to determine the 95% CI for the probability of quasi-extinction. SQE is the proportion of this parametric bootstrap that indicates a high (defined as > or = 0.90) probability of quasi-extinction, resulting in a point estimate that integrates both parameter uncertainty and stochasticity in extinction forecasting. We demonstrate the application of the metric with sea turtle nest census data, which have a high degree of year-to-year variance and represent only a small fraction of the total population. Using population simulations, we found that for these types of data a critical SQE value of 0.40 corresponds to populations that have a true risk of quasi-extinction. The metric has an accuracy of > 80%, which can be increased further by lowering the 0.40 threshold and trading off Type I error (considering a population to be "not at risk" when it actually is) and Type II error (considering a population to be "at risk" when it actually is not), giving managers a flexible and quantitative tool for assessments of population status. PMID:19425438

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

    Marine turtles are large reptiles that compensate for high juvenile mortality by producing hundreds of hatchlings during a long reproductive lifespan. Most hatchlings are taken by predators during their migration to, and while resident in, the open ocean. Their survival depends upon crypticity, minimizing movement to avoid detection, and foraging efficiently to grow to a size too difficult for predators to either handle or swallow. While these behavioral antipredator tactics are known, changes in morphology accompanying growth may also improve survival prospects. These have been only superficially described in the literature. Here, we compare the similarities and differences in presumed morphological defenses of growing loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) posthatchlings, related species that differ in growth rate, timing of habitat shift (the return from oceanic to neritic locations), and size at maturity. In both species, vertebral spination and carapace widening increase disproportionally as small turtles grow, but later in ontogeny, the spines regress, sooner in ridley than in loggerhead turtles. Carapace widening occurs in both species but loggerheads are always longer than they are wide whereas in Kemp's ridley turtles, the carapace becomes as wide as long. Our analysis indicates that these changes are unrelated to when each species shifts habitat but are related to turtle size. We hypothesize that the spines function in small turtles as an early defense against gape-limited predators, but changes in body shape function throughout ontogeny-initially to make small turtles too wide to swallow and later by presenting an almost flat and hardened surface that large predators (such as a sharks) are unable to grasp. The extremely wide carapace of the Kemp's ridley may compensate for its smaller adult size (and presumed greater vulnerability) than the loggerhead. PMID:26126953

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Management of wounds in a loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) caused by traumatic bycatch injury from the spines of a spotted eagle ray (Aetobatus narinari).

    PubMed

    Bezjian, Marisa; Wellehan, James F X; Walsh, Michael T; Anderson, Eric; Jacobson, Elliott

    2014-06-01

    A subadult female loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) was caught in a trawl net off the west coast of Florida with a spotted eagle ray (Aetobatus narinari) spine lodged in the left stifle. Surgical removal of the spine was performed and antibiotic treatment was initiated. Four weeks later, endoscopy revealed a second spine entering an intestinal lumen. The fistulous tract of the left prefemoral fossa was surgically excised and the intestinal perforation was repaired. Dehiscence occurred and a vacuum-assisted closure (VAC) system was used on the wound for approximately 18 days to help reduce infection and increase the rate of healing. The left stifle wound was treated to heal by second intention. The turtle remained in rehabilitation for 19 mo before being released off the west coast of Florida. This case describes stingray envenomation injuries as a complex and potentially life-threatening bycatch effect to sea turtles caught in trawl nets. PMID:25000714

  12. Past primary sex-ratio estimates of 4 populations of Loggerhead sea turtle based on TSP durations.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monsinjon, Jonathan; Kaska, Yakup; Tucker, Tony; LeBlanc, Anne Marie; Williams, Kristina; Rostal, David; Girondot, Marc

    2016-04-01

    Ectothermic species are supposed to be strongly affected by climate change and particularly those that exhibit temperature-dependent sex-determination (TSD). Actually, predicting the embryonic response of such organism to incubation-temperature variations in natural conditions remains challenging. In order to assess the vulnerability of sea turtles, primary sex-ratio estimates should be produced at pertinent ecological time and spatial scales. Although information on this important demographic parameter is one of the priorities for conservation purpose, accurate methodology to produce such an estimate is still lacking. The most commonly used method invocates incubation duration as a proxy for sex-ratio. This method is inappropriate because temperature influences incubation duration during all development whereas sex is influenced by temperature during only part of development. The thermosensitive period of development for sex determination (TSP) lies in the middle third of development. A model of embryonic growth must be used to define precisely the position of the TSP at non-constant incubation temperatures. The thermal reaction norm for embryonic growth rate have been estimated for 4 distinct populations of the globally distributed and threatened marine turtle Caretta caretta. A thermal reaction norm describes the pattern of phenotypic expression of a single genotype across a range of temperatures. Moreover, incubation temperatures have been reconstructed for the last 35 years using a multi-correlative model with climate temperature. After development of embryos have been modelled, we estimated the primary sex-ratio based on the duration of the TSP. Our results suggests that Loggerhead sea turtles nesting phenology is linked with the period within which both sexes can be produced in variable proportions. Several hypotheses will be discussed to explain why Caretta caretta could be more resilient to climate change than generally thought for sex determination.

  13. Nano-tags for neonates and ocean-mediated swimming behaviours linked to rapid dispersal of hatchling sea turtles

    PubMed Central

    Scott, Rebecca; Biastoch, Arne; Roder, Christian; Stiebens, Victor A.; Eizaguirre, Christophe

    2014-01-01

    Dispersal during juvenile life stages drives the life-history evolution and dynamics of many marine vertebrate populations. However, the movements of juvenile organisms, too small to track using conventional satellite telemetry devices, remain enigmatic. For sea turtles, this led to the paradigm of the ‘lost years' since hatchlings disperse widely with ocean currents. Recently, advances in the miniaturization of tracking technology have permitted the application of nano-tags to track cryptic organisms. Here, the novel use of acoustic nano-tags on neonate loggerhead turtle hatchlings enabled us to witness first-hand their dispersal and behaviour during their first day at sea. We tracked hatchlings distances of up to 15 km and documented their rapid transport (up to 60 m min−1) with surface current flows passing their natal areas. Tracking was complemented with laboratory observations to monitor swimming behaviours over longer periods which highlighted (i) a positive correlation between swimming activity levels and body size and (ii) population-specific swimming behaviours (e.g. nocturnal inactivity) suggesting local oceanic conditions drive the evolution of innate swimming behaviours. Knowledge of the swimming behaviours of small organisms is crucial to improve the accuracy of ocean model simulations used to predict the fate of these organisms and determine resultant population-level implications into adulthood. PMID:25339720

  14. RNAi-Mediated Gene Silencing in a Gonad Organ Culture to Study Sex Determination Mechanisms in Sea Turtle

    PubMed Central

    Sifuentes-Romero, Itzel; Merchant-Larios, Horacio; Milton, Sarah L.; Moreno-Mendoza, Norma; Díaz-Hernández, Verónica; García-Gasca, Alejandra

    2013-01-01

    The autosomal Sry-related gene, Sox9, encodes a transcription factor, which performs an important role in testis differentiation in mammals. In several reptiles, Sox9 is differentially expressed in gonads, showing a significant upregulation during the thermo-sensitive period (TSP) at the male-promoting temperature, consistent with the idea that SOX9 plays a central role in the male pathway. However, in spite of numerous studies, it remains unclear how SOX9 functions during this event. In the present work, we developed an RNAi-based method for silencing Sox9 in an in vitro gonad culture system for the sea turtle, Lepidochelys olivacea. Gonads were dissected as soon as the embryos entered the TSP and were maintained in organ culture. Transfection of siRNA resulted in the decrease of both Sox9 mRNA and protein. Furthermore, we found coordinated expression patterns for Sox9 and the anti-Müllerian hormone gene, Amh, suggesting that SOX9 could directly or indirectly regulate Amh expression, as it occurs in mammals. These results demonstrate an in vitro method to knockdown endogenous genes in gonads from a sea turtle, which represents a novel approach to investigate the roles of important genes involved in sex determination or differentiation pathways in species with temperature-dependent sex determination. PMID:24705165

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-15

    The accumulation of litter in marine and coastal environments is a major threat to marine life. Data on marine litter in the gastrointestinal tract of stranded loggerhead turtles, Caretta caretta, found along the Portuguese continental coast was presented. Out of the 95 analysed loggerheads, litter was present in 56 individuals (59.0%) and most had less than 10 litter items (76.8%) and less than 5 g (dm) (96.8%). Plastic was the main litter category (frequency of occurrence=56.8%), while sheet (45.3%) was the most relevant plastic sub-category. There was no influence of loggerhead stranding season, cause of stranding or size on the amount of litter ingested (mean number and dry mass of litter items per turtle). The high ingested litter occurrence frequency in this study supports the use of the loggerhead turtle as a suitable tool to monitor marine litter trends, as required by the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive. PMID:26763321

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2000-01-01

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

  17. 77 FR 34334 - Western Pacific Pelagic Fisheries; Revised Limits on Sea Turtle Interactions in the Hawaii...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-06-11

    ... conservation and management measures for the shallow-set fishery in 2004 (69 FR 17329, April 2, 2004), as... turtles to the 2004 limits established under the regulations published at 69 FR 17329 (April 2, 2004... of 16 leatherbacks and 17 loggerheads (76 FR 13297, March 11, 2011). If the fishery reaches...

  18. Evidence for transoceanic migrations by loggerhead sea turtles in the southern Pacific Ocean.

    PubMed

    Boyle, M C; Fitzsimmons, N N; Limpus, C J; Kelez, S; Velez-Zuazo, X; Waycott, M

    2009-06-01

    Post-hatchling loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) in the northern Pacific and northern Atlantic Oceans undertake transoceanic developmental migrations. Similar migratory behaviour is hypothesized in the South Pacific Ocean as post-hatchling loggerhead turtles are observed in Peruvian fisheries, yet no loggerhead rookeries occur along the coast of South America. This hypothesis was supported by analyses of the size-class distribution of 123 post-hatchling turtles in the South Pacific and genetic analysis of mtDNA haplotypes of 103 nesting females in the southwest Pacific, 19 post-hatchlings stranded on the southeastern Australian beaches and 22 post-hatchlings caught by Peruvian longline fisheries. Only two haplotypes (CCP1 93% and CCP5 7%) were observed across all samples, and there were no significant differences in haplotype frequencies between the southwest Pacific rookeries and the post-hatchlings. By contrast, the predominant CCP1 haplotype is rarely observed in North Pacific rookeries and haplotype frequencies were strongly differentiated between the two regions (F(st)=0.82; p=<0.00001). These results suggest that post-hatchling loggerhead turtles emerging from the southwest Pacific rookeries are undertaking transoceanic migrations to the southeastern Pacific Ocean, thus emphasizing the need for a broader focus on juvenile mortality throughout the South Pacific to develop effective conservation strategies. PMID:19324768

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

    To understand the role of the immune system with respect to disease in reptiles, there is the need to develop tools to assess the host's immune response. An important tool is the development of molecular markers to identify immune cells, and these are limited for reptiles. We developed a technique for the cryopreservation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells and showed that a commercially available anti-CD3 epsilon chain antibody detects a subpopulation of CD3 positive peripheral blood lymphocytes in the marine turtle Chelonia mydas. In the thymus and in skin inoculated with phytohemagglutinin, the same antibody showed the classical staining pattern observed in mammals and birds. For Western blot, the anti-CD3 antibodies identified a 17.6 kDa band in membrane proteins of peripheral blood mononuclear cell compatible in weight to previously described CD3 molecules. This is the first demostration of CD3+ cells in reptiles using specific antibodies. ?? 2009 Elsevier B.V.

  20. Geographical variation of persistent organic pollutants in eggs of threatened loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from southeastern United States.

    PubMed

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

    2011-07-01

    Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are recognized manmade threats to sea turtle populations, but substantial uncertainty exists surrounding their exposure to contaminants and their sensitivity to toxic effects. This uncertainty creates difficulty for conservation managers to make informed decisions for the recovery of these threatened species. To provide baseline concentrations and spatial comparisons, we measured a large suite of POPs in loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) egg yolk samples collected from 44 nests in three distinct U.S. locations: North Carolina (NC), eastern Florida (E FL), and western Florida (W FL). The POPs included polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine pesticides such as dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethanes (DDTs), chlordanes, mirex, dieldin, hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), hexachlorobenzene, and toxaphene congeners, as well as polybrominated diphenyl ether congeners (PBDEs). Persistent organic pollutant concentrations were lowest in W FL, intermediate in E FL, and highest in NC egg samples, with several statistically significant spatial differences. This increasing gradient along the southeast coast around the Florida peninsula to North Carolina was explained partly by the foraging site selection of the nesting females. Data from previous tracking studies show that NC nesting females feed primarily along the U.S. eastern coast, whereas W FL nesting females forage in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. The E FL nesting females forage in areas that overlap these two. The foraging site selection also results in exposure to different patterns of POPs. An unusual PBDE pattern was seen in the NC samples, with nearly equal contributions of PBDE congeners 47, 100, and 154. These findings are important to managers assessing threats among different stocks or subpopulations of this threatened species. PMID:21509807

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    A recent analysis suggested that historical climate forcing on the oceanic habitat of neonate sea turtles explained two-thirds of interannual variability in contemporary loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtle nest counts in Florida, where nearly 90% of all nesting by this species in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean occurs. Here, we show that associations between annual nest counts and climate conditions decades prior to nest counts and those conditions one year prior to nest counts were not significantly different. Examination of annual nest count and climate data revealed that statistical artifacts influenced the reported 31-year lag association with nest counts. The projected importance of age 31 neophytes to annual nest counts between 2020 and 2043 was modeled using observed nest counts between 1989 and 2012. Assuming consistent survival rates among cohorts for a 5% population growth trajectory and that one third of the mature female population nests annually, the 41% decline in annual nest counts observed during 1998-2007 was not projected for 2029-2038. This finding suggests that annual nest count trends are more influenced by remigrants than neophytes. Projections under the 5% population growth scenario also suggest that the Peninsular Recovery Unit could attain the demographic recovery criteria of 106,100 annual nests by 2027 if nest counts in 2019 are at least comparable to 2012. Because the first year of life represents only 4% of the time elapsed through age 31, cumulative survival at sea across decades explains most cohort variability, and thus, remigrant population size. Pursuant to the U.S. Endangered Species Act, staggered implementation of protection measures for all loggerhead life stages has taken place since the 1970s. We suggest that the 1998-2007 nesting decline represented a lagged perturbation response to historical anthropogenic impacts, and that subsequent nest count increases since 2008 reflect a potential recovery response. PMID:24339901

  2. Historical versus Contemporary Climate Forcing on the Annual Nesting Variability of Loggerhead Sea Turtles in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  4. Predicting species interactions from edge responses: mongoose predation on hawksbill sea turtle nests in fragmented beach habitat

    PubMed Central

    Leighton, Patrick A; Horrocks, Julia A; Krueger, Barry H; Beggs, Jennifer A; Kramer, Donald L

    2008-01-01

    Because species respond differently to habitat boundaries and spatial overlap affects encounter rates, edge responses should be strong determinants of spatial patterns of species interactions. In the Caribbean, mongooses (Herpestes javanicus) prey on hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) eggs. Turtles nest in both open sand and vegetation patches, with a peak in nest abundance near the boundary between the two microhabitats; mongooses rarely leave vegetation. Using both artificial nests and hawksbill nesting data, we examined how the edge responses of these species predict the spatial patterns of nest mortality. Predation risk was strongly related to mongoose abundance but was not affected by nest density or habitat type. The product of predator and prey edge response functions accurately described the observed pattern of total prey mortality. Hawksbill preference for vegetation edge becomes an ecological trap in the presence of mongooses. This is the first study to predict patterns of predation directly from continuous edge response functions of interacting species, establishing a link between models of edge response and species interactions. PMID:18647718

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

    PubMed

    Martin, Jeannie Miller

    2013-09-15

    Once in the marine environment, debris poses a significant threat to marine life that can be prevented through the help of citizen science. Marine debris is any manufactured item that enters the ocean regardless of source, commonly plastics, metal, wood, glass, foam, cloth, or rubber. Citizen science is an effective way to engage volunteers in conservation initiatives and provide education and skill development. The Georgia Sea Turtle Center Marine Debris Initiative (GSTC-MDI) is a grant funded program developed to engage citizens in the removal of marine debris from the beaches of Jekyll Island, GA, USA and the surrounding areas. During the first year of effort, more than 200 volunteers donated over 460 h of service to the removal of marine debris. Of the debris removed, approximately 89% were plastics, with a significant portion being cigarette materials. Given the successful first year, the GSTC-MDI was funded again for a second year. PMID:23891032

  6. Shading and Watering as a Tool to Mitigate the Impacts of Climate Change in Sea Turtle Nests

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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 (<24°N) than in USA waters. Growth dynamics in southern waters in the NWA need more study because sample size was small. Within USA waters, the significant spatial effect in growth rates of immature loggerheads did not exhibit a consistent latitudinal trend. Growth rates declined significantly from 1997 through 2007 and then leveled off or increased. During this same interval, annual nest counts in Florida declined by 43 % (Witherington et al. in Ecol Appl 19:30–54, 2009) before rebounding. Whether these simultaneous declines reflect responses in 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-15

    In a sample of 567 loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) from the central Mediterranean, debris occurrence varied according to methods and turtle source, and was up to 80% in pelagic turtles. Frequencies of plastic types, size and color are also reported. These results and a critical review of 49 studies worldwide indicate that: (i) the detected occurrence of plastic (% turtles) is affected by several factors (e.g., necropsy/feces, ecological zone, type and date of finding, captivity period for feces collection), (ii) mixed dataset and opportunistic approaches provide results which are biased , not comparable, and ultimately of questionable value, (iii) only turtles assumed to have had a normal feeding behaviour at the time of capture or death should be considered, (iv) turtle foraging ecology and possible selectivity may undermine the use of turtles as indicator species for monitoring marine litter, as recently proposed for the Mediterranean. PMID:27321803

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

    PubMed Central

    Reisser, Julia; Marins, Luis F.; Marcovaldi, Maria A.; Soares, Luciano S.; Monteiro, Danielle S.; Wijeratne, Sarath; Pattiaratchi, Charitha; Secchi, Eduardo R.

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24688839

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Booth, David T.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Recent research on ocean health has found large predator abundance to be a key element of ocean condition. Fisheries can impact large predator abundance directly through targeted capture and indirectly through incidental capture of nontarget species or bycatch. However, measures of the global nature of bycatch are lacking for air-breathing megafauna. We fill this knowledge gap and present a synoptic global assessment of the distribution and intensity of bycatch of seabirds, marine mammals, and sea turtles based on empirical data from the three most commonly used types of fishing gears worldwide. We identify taxa-specific hotspots of bycatch intensity and find evidence of cumulative impacts across fishing fleets and gears. This global map of bycatch illustrates where data are particularly scarce—in coastal and small-scale fisheries and ocean regions that support developed industrial fisheries and millions of small-scale fishers—and identifies fishing areas where, given the evidence of cumulative hotspots across gear and taxa, traditional species or gear-specific bycatch management and mitigation efforts may be necessary but not sufficient. Given the global distribution of bycatch and the mitigation success achieved by some fleets, the reduction of air-breathing megafauna bycatch is both an urgent and achievable conservation priority. PMID:24639512

  14. a Continual Engagement Approach Through Gis-Mcda Conflict Resolution of Loggerhead Sea Turtle Bycatch in Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bojórquez-Tapia, L. A.

    2015-12-01

    Continual engagement is an approach that emphasizes of uninterrupted interaction with the stakeholders with the purpose of fully integrating their knowledge into policymaking process. It focuses on the creation of hybrid scientific-local knowledge highly relevant to community and policy makers needs, while balancing the power asymmetries among stakeholders. Hence, it presupposes a capacity for a continuous revision and adjustment of the analyses that support the policymaking process. While continual engagement implies a capacity for enabling an effective communication, translation and mediation of knowledge among the diverse stakeholders, experts and policymakers, it also means keeping a close eye out for how knowledge evolves and how new data and information is introduced along a policymaking process. Through a case study, the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) fishing bycatch in Mexico, a geographical information system-multicriteria modeling (GIS-MCDA) approach is presented to address the challenges of implementing continual engagement in conflict resolution processes. The GIS-MCDA combined the analytical hierarchy process (AHP) and compromise programming (CP) to generate consensus regarding the spatial pattern of conflicts. The AHP was fundamental for synthesizing the different sources of knowledge into a geospatial model. In particular, the AHP enabled the assess the salience, legitimacy, and credibility of the information produced for all involved. Results enabled the development of specific policies based upon an assessment of the risk of the loggerhead population to different levels of fishing bycatch, and the needs of the fishing communities in the region.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

    Recent research on ocean health has found large predator abundance to be a key element of ocean condition. Fisheries can impact large predator abundance directly through targeted capture and indirectly through incidental capture of nontarget species or bycatch. However, measures of the global nature of bycatch are lacking for air-breathing megafauna. We fill this knowledge gap and present a synoptic global assessment of the distribution and intensity of bycatch of seabirds, marine mammals, and sea turtles based on empirical data from the three most commonly used types of fishing gears worldwide. We identify taxa-specific hotspots of bycatch intensity and find evidence of cumulative impacts across fishing fleets and gears. This global map of bycatch illustrates where data are particularly scarce--in coastal and small-scale fisheries and ocean regions that support developed industrial fisheries and millions of small-scale fishers--and identifies fishing areas where, given the evidence of cumulative hotspots across gear and taxa, traditional species or gear-specific bycatch management and mitigation efforts may be necessary but not sufficient. Given the global distribution of bycatch and the mitigation success achieved by some fleets, the reduction of air-breathing megafauna bycatch is both an urgent and achievable conservation priority. PMID:24639512

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1997-01-01

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

  17. Cryptosporidium sp. Infections in Green Turtles, Chelonia mydas, as a Potential Source of Marine Waterborne Oocysts in the Hawaiian Islands

    PubMed Central

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

    1997-01-01

    For the first time, Cryptosporidium sp. oocysts were identified in fecal and intestinal samples from free-ranging marine turtles, Chelonia mydas, from the Hawaiian Islands. The oocysts produced positive reactions with commercial test kits recommended for the detection of human-infectious waterborne oocysts of Cryptosporidium parvum. PMID:16535658

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

    In this paper we determined the levels of 63 environmental contaminants, including organic (PCBs, organochlorine pesticides, and PAHs) and inorganic (As, Cd, Cu, Pb, Hg and Zn) compounds in the blood of loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) from two comparable populations that inhabit distinct geographic areas: the Adriatic Sea (Mediterranean basin) and the Canary Islands (Eastern Atlantic Ocean). All animals were sampled at the end of a period of rehabilitation in centers of wildlife recovery, before being released back into the wild, so they can be considered to be in good health condition. The dual purpose of this paper is to provide reliable data on the current levels of contamination of this species in these geographic areas, and secondly to compare the results of both populations, as it has been reported that marine biota inhabiting the Mediterranean basin is exposed to much higher pollution levels than that which inhabit in other areas of the planet. According to our results it is found that current levels of contamination by organic compounds are considerably higher in Adriatic turtles than in the Atlantic ones (∑PCBs, 28.45 vs. 1.12ng/ml; ∑OCPs, 1.63 vs. 0.19ng/ml; ∑PAHs, 13.39 vs. 4.91ng/ml; p<0.001 in all cases). This is the first time that levels of PAHs are reported in the Adriatic loggerheads. With respect to inorganic contaminants, although the differences were not as great, the Adriatic turtles appear to have higher levels of some of the most toxic elements such as mercury (5.74 vs. 7.59μg/ml, p<0.01). The results of this study confirm that the concentrations are larger in turtles from the Mediterranean, probably related to the high degree of anthropogenic pressure in this basin, and thus they are more likely to suffer adverse effects related to contaminants. PMID:25863507

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Marine protected areas (MPAs) are key tools for combatting the global overexploitation of endangered species. The prevailing paradigm is that MPAs are beneficial in helping to restore ecosystems to more ‘natural’ conditions. However, MPAs may have unintended negative effects when increasing densities of protected species exert destructive effects on their habitat. Here, we report on severe seagrass degradation in a decade-old MPA where hyper-abundant green turtles adopted a previously undescribed below-ground foraging strategy. By digging for and consuming rhizomes and roots, turtles create abundant bare gaps, thereby enhancing erosion and reducing seagrass regrowth. A fully parametrized model reveals that the ecosystem is approaching a tipping point, where consumption overwhelms regrowth, which could potentially lead to complete collapse of the seagrass habitat. Seagrass recovery will not ensue unless turtle density is reduced to nearly zero, eliminating the MPA's value as a turtle reserve. Our results reveal an unrecognized, yet imminent threat to MPAs, as sea turtle densities are increasing at major nesting sites and the decline of seagrass habitat forces turtles to concentrate on the remaining meadows inside reserves. This emphasizes the need for policy and management approaches that consider the interactions of protected species with their habitat. PMID:24403341

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-22

    Marine protected areas (MPAs) are key tools for combatting the global overexploitation of endangered species. The prevailing paradigm is that MPAs are beneficial in helping to restore ecosystems to more 'natural' conditions. However, MPAs may have unintended negative effects when increasing densities of protected species exert destructive effects on their habitat. Here, we report on severe seagrass degradation in a decade-old MPA where hyper-abundant green turtles adopted a previously undescribed below-ground foraging strategy. By digging for and consuming rhizomes and roots, turtles create abundant bare gaps, thereby enhancing erosion and reducing seagrass regrowth. A fully parametrized model reveals that the ecosystem is approaching a tipping point, where consumption overwhelms regrowth, which could potentially lead to complete collapse of the seagrass habitat. Seagrass recovery will not ensue unless turtle density is reduced to nearly zero, eliminating the MPA's value as a turtle reserve. Our results reveal an unrecognized, yet imminent threat to MPAs, as sea turtle densities are increasing at major nesting sites and the decline of seagrass habitat forces turtles to concentrate on the remaining meadows inside reserves. This emphasizes the need for policy and management approaches that consider the interactions of protected species with their habitat. PMID:24403341

  1. The influence of oceanographic features on the foraging behavior of the olive ridley sea turtle Lepidochelys olivacea along the Guiana coast

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chambault, Philippine; de Thoisy, Benoît; Heerah, Karine; Conchon, Anna; Barrioz, Sébastien; Dos Reis, Virginie; Berzins, Rachel; Kelle, Laurent; Picard, Baptiste; Roquet, Fabien; Le Maho, Yvon; Chevallier, Damien

    2016-03-01

    The circulation in the Western Equatorial Atlantic is characterized by a highly dynamic mesoscale activity that shapes the Guiana continental shelf. Olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) nesting in French Guiana cross this turbulent environment during their post-nesting migration. We studied how oceanographic and biological conditions drove the foraging behavior of 18 adult females, using satellite telemetry, remote sensing data (sea surface temperature, sea surface height, current velocity and euphotic depth), simulations of micronekton biomass (pelagic organisms) and in situ records (water temperature and salinity). The occurrence of foraging events throughout migration was located using Residence Time analysis, while an innovative proxy of the hunting time within a dive was used to identify and quantify foraging events during dives. Olive ridleys migrated northwestwards using the Guiana current and remained on the continental shelf at the edge of eddies formed by the North Brazil retroflection, an area characterized by low turbulence and high micronekton biomass. They performed mainly pelagic dives, hunting for an average 77% of their time. Hunting time within a dive increased with shallower euphotic depth and with lower water temperatures, and mean hunting depth increased with deeper thermocline. This is the first study to quantify foraging activity within dives in olive ridleys, and reveals the crucial role played by the thermocline on the foraging behavior of this carnivorous species. This study also provides novel and detailed data describing how turtles actively use oceanographic structures during post-nesting migration.

  2. Analysis of chorioallantoic membranes to assess PCB accumulation in American alligators and Loggerhead sea turtles from the coast of South Carolina

    SciTech Connect

    Cobb, G.P.; Wood, P.D.; O`Quinn, M.

    1995-12-31

    Investigation of contaminant burdens in threatened and endangered species is difficult due to the small number of samples that can be collected. Many samples can be collected if the sampling methods are non-lethal and more specifically non-invasive. Analysis of chorioallantoic membranes is demonstrated for American alligators and Loggerhead sea turtles. Significant differences were found in PCB, uptake by alligators from the Ashepoo-Combahee-Edisto Basin reference site and a contaminated site in Winyah Bay. Intrasite and intersite differences in uptake and distribution of PCB homologues were noted. These data will be discussed as they relate to egg viability and embryo development.

  3. Mixed-stock analysis reveals the migrations of juvenile hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) in the Caribbean Sea.

    PubMed

    Bowen, B W; Grant, W S; Hillis-Starr, Z; Shaver, D J; Bjorndal, K A; Bolten, A B; Bass, A L

    2007-01-01

    Hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) migrate between nesting beaches and feeding habitats that are often associated with tropical reefs, but it is uncertain which nesting colonies supply which feeding habitats. To address this gap in hawksbill biology, we compile previously published and new mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplotype data for 10 nesting colonies (N = 347) in the western Atlantic and compare these profiles to four feeding populations and four previously published feeding samples (N = 626). Nesting colonies differ significantly in mtDNA haplotype frequencies (Phi(ST) = 0.588, P < 0.001), corroborating earlier conclusions of nesting site fidelity and setting the stage for mixed-stock analysis. Feeding aggregations show lower but significant structure (Phi(ST) = 0.089, P < 0.001), indicating that foraging populations are not homogenous across the Caribbean Sea. Bayesian mixed-stock estimates of the origins of juveniles in foraging areas show a highly significant, but shallow, correlation with nesting population size (r = 0.378, P = 0.004), supporting the premise that larger rookeries contribute more juveniles to feeding areas. A significant correlation between the estimated contribution and geographical distance from nesting areas (r = -0.394, P = 0.003) demonstrates the influence of proximity on recruitment to feeding areas. The influence of oceanic currents is illustrated by pelagic stage juveniles stranded in Texas, which are assigned primarily (93%) to the upstream rookery in Yucatan. One juvenile had a haplotype previously identified only in the eastern Atlantic, invoking rare trans-oceanic migrations. The mixed-stock analysis demonstrates that harvests in feeding habitats will impact nesting colonies throughout the region, with the greatest detriment to nearby nesting populations. PMID:17181720

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Booth, David T.; Freeman, Candida

    2006-11-01

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

  5. Turtle Girls

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    In order to enhance protection and conservation strategies for endangered green turtles (Chelonia mydas), the identification of neritic habitats where this species aggregates is mandatory. Herein, we present new information about the population parameters and residence time of two neritic aggregations from 2010 to 2013; one in an upwelling dominated site (Paracas ∼14°S) and the other in an ecotone zone from upwelling to warm equatorial conditions (El Ñuro ∼4°S) in the Southeast Pacific. We predicted proportionally more adult individuals would occur in the ecotone site; whereas in the site dominated by an upwelling juvenile individuals would predominate. At El Ñuro, the population was composed by (15.3%) of juveniles, (74.9%) sub-adults, and (9.8%) adults, with an adult sex ratio of 1.16 males per female. Times of residence in the area ranged between a minimum of 121 and a maximum of 1015 days (mean 331.1 days). At Paracas the population was composed by (72%) of juveniles and (28%) sub-adults, no adults were recorded, thus supporting the development habitat hypothesis stating that throughout the neritic distribution there are sites exclusively occupied by juveniles. Residence time ranged between a minimum of 65 days and a maximum of 680 days (mean 236.1). High growth rates and body condition index values were estimated suggesting healthy individuals at both study sites. The population traits recorded at both sites suggested that conditions found in Peruvian neritic waters may contribute to the recovery of South Pacific green turtles. However, both aggregations are still at jeopardy due to pollution, bycatch and illegal catch and thus require immediate enforcing of conservation measurements. PMID:25409240

  7. Fast Growing, Healthy and Resident Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas) at Two Neritic Sites in the Central and Northern Coast of Peru: Implications for Conservation

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    In order to enhance protection and conservation strategies for endangered green turtles (Chelonia mydas), the identification of neritic habitats where this species aggregates is mandatory. Herein, we present new information about the population parameters and residence time of two neritic aggregations from 2010 to 2013; one in an upwelling dominated site (Paracas ∼14°S) and the other in an ecotone zone from upwelling to warm equatorial conditions (El Ñuro ∼4°S) in the Southeast Pacific. We predicted proportionally more adult individuals would occur in the ecotone site; whereas in the site dominated by an upwelling juvenile individuals would predominate. At El Ñuro, the population was composed by (15.3%) of juveniles, (74.9%) sub-adults, and (9.8%) adults, with an adult sex ratio of 1.16 males per female. Times of residence in the area ranged between a minimum of 121 and a maximum of 1015 days (mean 331.1 days). At Paracas the population was composed by (72%) of juveniles and (28%) sub-adults, no adults were recorded, thus supporting the development habitat hypothesis stating that throughout the neritic distribution there are sites exclusively occupied by juveniles. Residence time ranged between a minimum of 65 days and a maximum of 680 days (mean 236.1). High growth rates and body condition index values were estimated suggesting healthy individuals at both study sites. The population traits recorded at both sites suggested that conditions found in Peruvian neritic waters may contribute to the recovery of South Pacific green turtles. However, both aggregations are still at jeopardy due to pollution, bycatch and illegal catch and thus require immediate enforcing of conservation measurements. PMID:25409240

  8. Movements and Habitat-Use of Loggerhead Sea Turtles in the Northern Gulf of Mexico during the Reproductive Period

    PubMed Central

    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

  9. Evaluating the landscape of fear between apex predatory sharks and mobile sea turtles across a large dynamic seascape.

    PubMed

    Hammerschlag, Neil; Broderick, Annette C; Coker, John W; Coyne, Michael S; Dodd, Mark; Frick, Michael G; Godfrey, Matthew H; Godley, Brendan J; Griffin, DuBose B; Hartog, Kyra; Murphy, Sally R; Murphy, Thomas M; Nelson, Emily Rose; Williams, Kristina L; Witt, Matthew J; Hawkes, Lucy A

    2015-08-01

    The "landscape of fear" model has been proposed as a unifying concept in ecology, describing, in part, how animals behave and move about in their environment. The basic model predicts that as an animal's landscape changes from low to high risk of predation, prey species will alter their behavior to risk avoidance. However, studies investigating and evaluating the landscape of fear model across large spatial scales (tens to hundreds of thousands of square kilometers) in dynamic, open, aquatic systems involving apex predators and highly mobile prey are lacking. To address this knowledge gap, we investigated predator-prey relationships between. tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier) and loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) in the North Atlantic Ocean. This included the use of satellite tracking to examine shark and turtle distributions as well as their surfacing behaviors under varying levels of home range overlap. Our findings revealed patterns that deviated from our a priori predictions based on the landscape of fear model. Specifically, turtles did not alter their surfacing behaviors to risk avoidance when overlap in shark-turtle core home range was high. However, in areas of high overlap with turtles, sharks exhibited modified surfacing behaviors that may enhance predation opportunity. We suggest that turtles may be an important factor in determining shark,distribution, whereas for turtles, other life history trade-offs may play a larger role in defining their habitat use. We propose that these findings are a result of both biotic and physically driven factors that independently or synergistically affect predator-prey interactions in this system. These results have implications for evolutionary biology, community ecology; and wildlife conservation. Further, given the difficulty in studying highly migratory marine species, our approach and conclusions may be applied to the study of other predator-prey systems. PMID:26405737

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. 50 CFR 226.207 - Critical habitat for leatherback turtle.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Critical habitat for leatherback turtle... ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITAT § 226.207 Critical habitat for leatherback turtle. Leatherback Sea Turtle (dermochelys coriacea) The waters...

  12. 50 CFR 226.207 - Critical habitat for leatherback turtle.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Critical habitat for leatherback turtle... ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITAT § 226.207 Critical habitat for leatherback turtle. Leatherback Sea Turtle (dermochelys coriacea) The waters...

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

    PubMed

    Mattei, D; Veschetti, E; D'Ilio, S; Blasi, M F

    2015-09-15

    This study analyzed the carapace distribution of Ca, Cd, Cr, Cu, Mg, Mn, Pb, Sb, U, V and Zn by GF-AAS and ICP-AES in one specimen of Caretta caretta from Mediterranean Sea. Calcium, Mg, Mn, Pb, U, Zn were mainly distributed in the central area while Cd, Cr, Cu, Sb, V in lateral areas. Cadmium, Cr, Mg, Mn, Sb, U and V were different between lateral areas. The different distribution may be related to several exposures during lifetime and/or the shell ossification during growth. Carapace may be a suitable matrix for metal biomonitoring, however, further studies are required to confirm these findings. PMID:26072050

  14. Against Oversimplifying the Issues on Relocating Turtle Eggs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mrosovsky, Nicholas

    2008-04-01

    Translocating sea turtle eggs at risk from high tides to safer places is one of the most widely undertaken conservation measures on behalf of these species. Recent research work has shown that individual female turtles differ in their nest-site preferences. If more of the nests saved by translocation come from turtles with tendencies to lay near the water, might this perhaps interfere with natural selection? This possibility adds to the controversy already surrounding relocation of turtle nests.

  15. Global Population Genetic Structure and Male-Mediated Gene Flow in the Green Turtle (Chelonia Mydas): RFLP Analyses of Anonymous Nuclear Loci

    PubMed Central

    Karl, S. A.; Bowen, B. W.; Avise, J. C.

    1992-01-01

    We introduce an approach for the analysis of Mendelian polymorphisms in nuclear DNA (nDNA), using restriction fragment patterns from anonymous single-copy regions amplified by the polymerase chain reaction, and apply this method to the elucidation of population structure and gene flow in the endangered green turtle, Chelonia mydas. Seven anonymous clones isolated from a total cell DNA library were sequenced to generate primers for the amplification of nDNA fragments. Nine individuals were screened for restriction site polymorphisms at these seven loci, using 40 endonucleases. Two loci were monomorphic, while the remainder exhibited a total of nine polymorphic restriction sites and three size variants (reflecting 600-base pair (bp) and 20-bp deletions and a 20-bp insertion). A total of 256 turtle specimens from 15 nesting populations worldwide were then scored for these polymorphisms. Genotypic proportions within populations were in accord with Hardy-Weinberg expectations. Strong linkage disequilibrium observed among polymorphic sites within loci enabled multisite haplotype assignments. Estimates of the standardized variance in haplotype frequency among global collections (F(ST) = 0.17), within the Atlantic-Mediterranean (F(ST) = 0.13), and within the Indian-Pacific (F(ST) = 0.13), revealed a moderate degree of population substructure. Although a previous study concluded that nesting populations appear to be highly structured with respect to female (mitochondrial DNA) lineages, estimates of Nm based on nDNA data from this study indicate moderate rates of male-mediated gene flow. A positive relationship between genetic similarity and geographic proximity suggests historical connections and/or contemporary gene flow between particular rookery populations, likely via matings on overlapping feeding grounds, migration corridors or nonnatal rookeries. PMID:1350555

  16. Jellyfish Support High Energy Intake of Leatherback Sea Turtles (Dermochelys coriacea): Video Evidence from Animal-Borne Cameras

    PubMed Central

    Heaslip, Susan G.; Iverson, Sara J.; Bowen, W. Don; James, Michael C.

    2012-01-01

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

    PubMed

    Heaslip, Susan G; Iverson, Sara J; Bowen, W Don; James, Michael C

    2012-01-01

    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

  18. Tracing floating green algae blooms in the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea using Lagrangian transport simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Young-Gyu; Son, Young Baek; Choi, Byoung-Ju; Kim, Yong Hoon

    2014-05-01

    Lagrangian particle tracking experiments were conducted to understand the pathway of the floating green algae patches observed in the Yellow Sea (YS) and East China Sea (ECS) in summer 2011. The numerical simulation results indicated that dominant southerly winds during June and July 2011 were related to offshore movement of the floating green algae, especially their eastward extension in the YS/ECS. An infrequent and unusual event occurred in June 2011: a severe Tropical Strom MEARI, caused the green algae to detach from the coast and initiated movement to the east. After the typhoon event, sea surface temperature recovered rapidly enough to grow the floating green algae, and wind and local current controlled the movement of the massive floating algae patches (coastal accumulation or offshore advection in the area). Analysis of the floating green algae movement using satellite images during passage of Typhoon MAON in July 2011 revealed that the floating green algae patches were significantly controlled by both ocean currents and enhanced winds. These findings suggest that the floating green algae bloom off Qingdao, China and in the middle of the YS and ECS in the summer of 2011 occurred due to the combined effects of recent rapid expansion of seaweed aquaculture, strong winds, and the wind patterns in blooming regions. Our combined approach, using satellite data and numerical simulations, provides a robust estimate for tracing and monitoring changes in green algae blooms on a regional scale.

  19. Lung ventilation during treadmill locomotion in a semi-aquatic turtle, Trachemys scripta.

    PubMed

    Landberg, Tobias; Mailhot, Jeffrey D; Brainerd, Elizabeth L

    2009-10-01

    It is reasonable to presume that locomotion should have a mechanical effect on breathing in turtles. The turtle shell is rigid, and when the limbs protract and retract, air in the lungs should be displaced. This expectation was met in a previous study of the green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas; breathing completely ceased during terrestrial locomotion (Jackson and Prange, 1979. J Comp Physiol 134:315-319). In contrast, another study found no direct effect of locomotion on ventilation in the terrestrial box turtle, Terrapene carolina (Landberg et al., 2003. J Exp Biol 206:3391-3404). In this study we measured lung ventilation during treadmill locomotion in a semi-aquatic turtle, the red-eared slider, Trachemys scripta. Sliders breathed almost continuously during locomotion and during brief pauses between locomotor bouts. Tidal volume was relatively small (approximately 1 mL) during locomotion and approximately doubled during pauses. Minute ventilation was, however, not significantly smaller during locomotion because breath frequency was higher than that during the pauses. We found no consistent evidence for phase coupling between breathing and locomotion indicating that sliders do not use locomotor movements to drive breathing. We also found no evidence for a buccal-pump mechanism. Sliders, like box turtles, appear to use abdominal musculature to breathe during locomotion. Thus, locomotion affects lung ventilation differently in the three turtle species studied to date: the terrestrial Te. carolina shows no measurable effect of locomotion on ventilation; the semi-aquatic Tr. scripta breathes with smaller tidal volumes during locomotion; and the highly aquatic C. mydas stops breathing completely during terrestrial locomotion. PMID:18623107

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-07-01

    We analyzed mtDNA control region sequences of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) from Arvoredo Island, a foraging ground in southern Brazil, and identified eight haplotypes. Of these, CM-A8 (64%) and CM-A5 (22%) were dominant, the remainder presenting low frequencies (< 5%). Haplotype (h) and nucleotide (π) diversities were 0.5570 ± 0.0697 and 0.0021 ± 0.0016, respectively. Exact tests of differentiation and AMOVA Φ(ST) pairwise values between the study area and eight other Atlantic foraging grounds revealed significant differences in most areas, except Ubatuba and Rocas/Noronha, in Brazil (p > 0.05). Mixed Stock Analysis, incorporating eleven Atlantic and one Mediterranean rookery as possible sources of individuals, indicated Ascension and Aves islands as the main contributing stocks to the Arvoredo aggregation (68.01% and 22.96%, respectively). These results demonstrate the extensive relationships between Arvoredo Island and other Atlantic foraging and breeding areas. Such an understanding provides a framework for establishing adequate management and conservation strategies for this endangered species. PMID:21637527

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

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    We analyzed mtDNA control region sequences of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) from Arvoredo Island, a foraging ground in southern Brazil, and identified eight haplotypes. Of these, CM-A8 (64%) and CM-A5 (22%) were dominant, the remainder presenting low frequencies (< 5%). Haplotype (h) and nucleotide (π) diversities were 0.5570 ± 0.0697 and 0.0021 ± 0.0016, respectively. Exact tests of differentiation and AMOVA ΦST pairwise values between the study area and eight other Atlantic foraging grounds revealed significant differences in most areas, except Ubatuba and Rocas/Noronha, in Brazil (p > 0.05). Mixed Stock Analysis, incorporating eleven Atlantic and one Mediterranean rookery as possible sources of individuals, indicated Ascension and Aves islands as the main contributing stocks to the Arvoredo aggregation (68.01% and 22.96%, respectively). These results demonstrate the extensive relationships between Arvoredo Island and other Atlantic foraging and breeding areas. Such an understanding provides a framework for establishing adequate management and conservation strategies for this endangered species. PMID:21637527

  2. Saving Sea Turtles

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yacovelli, Gina

    2010-01-01

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

  3. Characterization of a Subtropical Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Eretmocheyles imbricata) Assemblage Utilizing Shallow Water Natural and Artificial Habitats in the Florida Keys

    PubMed Central

    Gorham, Jonathan C.; Clark, David R.; Bresette, Michael J.; Bagley, Dean A.; Keske, Carrie L.; Traxler, Steve L.; Witherington, Blair E.; Shamblin, Brian M.; Nairn, Campbell J.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Gorham, Jonathan C; Clark, David R; Bresette, Michael J; Bagley, Dean A; Keske, Carrie L; Traxler, Steve L; Witherington, Blair E; Shamblin, Brian M; Nairn, Campbell J

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Identification of likely foraging habitat of pelagic loggerhead sea turtles ( Caretta caretta) in the North Atlantic through analysis of telemetry track sinuosity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCarthy, Abigail L.; Heppell, Selina; Royer, Francois; Freitas, Carla; Dellinger, Thomas

    2010-07-01

    Changes in the behavior of individual animals in response to environmental characteristics can provide important information about habitat preference, as well as the relative risk that animals may face based on the amount of time spent in hazardous areas. We analyzed movement and habitat affinities of ten loggerhead turtles ( Caretta caretta) tagged with satellite transmitters in the spring and fall of 1998 near Madeira, Portugal for periods of 2-10 months. We analyzed the behavior of these individuals in relation to the marine environment they occupied. As a measure of behavior we calculated the straightness index (SI), the ratio of the displacement of the animal to the total distance traveled, for individual weekly segments of the 10 tracks. We then extracted information about chlorophyll a concentration, sea-surface temperature (SST), bathymetry, and geostrophic current of the ocean in a 20-km buffer surrounding the tracks, and examined their relationship to the straightness index using generalized linear models. Chlorophyll a value, bathymetry and SST were significantly related to the straightness index of the tracks of all ten animals, as was the circular standard deviation of the geostrophic current (Wald’s test: p = 0.001, p = 0.008, p = 0.025, and p = 0.049, respectively). We found a significant negative relationship between straightness index and chlorophyll, and positive relationships with ocean depth and SST indicating that animals are spending more time and searching more thoroughly in areas with high chlorophyll concentrations and in areas that are shallower, while moving in straight paths through very warm areas. We also found a positive relationship between straightness index and the circular standard deviation of surrounding geostrophic currents suggesting that these turtles are more likely to move in a straight line when in the presence of diffuse, less-powerful currents. Based on these relationships, we propose that conservation planning to

  6. A review of the green tides in the Yellow Sea, China.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiangqing; Wang, Zongling; Zhang, Xuelei

    2016-08-01

    The recurrent green tide of Ulva prolifera caused serious ecological problems in the Yellow Sea and attached substantial scientific study. The bloom originated in the Subei Shoal area and drifted to the coast of Shandong Province during the period from May to July, driven by a series of physical processes. Here we reviewed advances in the understanding of green tides in the Yellow Sea and elucidate the developmental model of this phenomenon. This knowledge will help resource managers to take reasonable measures to mitigate the impacts to the Yellow Sea. PMID:27337549

  7. Occurrence of fruiting structures allows determination of Purpureocillium lilacinum as an inciting agent of pleuritis and pneumonia in a loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) by histopathologic correlation to culture

    PubMed Central

    Schumacher, V.L.; Mangold, B.; Lenzycki, J.; Hinckley, L.; Sutton, D.A.; Frasca, S.

    2014-01-01

    Purpureocillium lilacinum and Beauveria bassiana were isolated from lung sampled at necropsy of a 12 year-old female loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) that had displayed abnormal buoyancy. Histopathologic evaluation revealed pleuritis and pneumonia with non-melanized, septate hyphae and fruiting structures identical to those of P. lilacinum. This case emphasizes the importance of a histological correlate to fungal culture when environmental fungi are isolated and demonstrates the infrequent phenomenon of fruiting or conidial production in tissue. PMID:25379399

  8. Three closely related herpesviruses are associated with fibropapillomatosis in marine turtles

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Quackenbush, S.L.; Work, T.M.; Balazs, G.H.; Casey, R.N.; Rovnak, J.; Chaves, A.; duToit, L.; Baines, J.D.; Parrish, C.R.; Bowser, P.R.; Casey, J.W.

    1998-01-01

    Green turtle fibropapillomatosis is a neoplastic disease of increasingly significant threat to the survivability of this species. Degenerate PCR primers that target highly conserved regions of genes encoding herpesvirus DNA polymerases were used to amplify a DNA sequence from fibropapillomas and fibromas from Hawaiian and Florida green turtles. All of the tumors tested (n= 23) were found to harbor viral DNA, whereas no viral DNA was detected in skin biopsies from tumor-negative turtles. The tissue distribution of the green turtle herpesvirus appears to be generally limited to tumors where viral DNA was found to accumulate at approximately two to five copies per cell and is occasionally detected, only by PCR, in some tissues normally associated with tumor development. In addition, herpesviral DNA was detected in fibropapillomas from two loggerhead and four olive ridley turtles. Nucleotide sequencing of a 483-bp fragment of the turtle herpesvirus DNA polymerase gene determined that the Florida green turtle and loggerhead turtle sequences are identical and differ from the Hawaiian green turtle sequence by five nucleotide changes, which results in two amino acid substitutions. The olive ridley sequence differs from the Florida and Hawaiian green turtle sequences by 15 and 16 nucleotide changes, respectively, resulting in four amino acid substitutions, three of which are unique to the olive ridley sequence. Our data suggest that these closely related turtle herpesviruses are intimately involved in the genesis of fibropapillomatosis.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Despite the long debate of whether or not multiple mating benefits the offspring, studies still show contradictory results. Multiple mating takes time and energy. Thus, if females fertilize their eggs with a single mating, why to mate more than once? We investigated and inferred paternal identity and number of sires in 12 clutches (240 hatchlings) of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) nests at Tortuguero, Costa Rica. Paternal alleles were inferred through comparison of maternal and hatchling genotypes, and indicated multiple paternity in at least 11 of the clutches (92%). The inferred average number of fathers was three (ranging from 1 to 5). Moreover, regression analyses were used to investigate for correlation of inferred clutch paternity with morphological traits of hatchlings fitness (emergence success, length, weight and crawling speed), the size of the mother, and an environmental variable (incubation temperature). We suggest and propose two different comparative approaches for evaluating morphological traits and clutch paternity, in order to infer greater offspring survival. First, clutches coded by the exact number of fathers and second by the exact paternal contribution (fathers who gives greater proportion of the offspring per nest). We found significant differences (P < 0.05) in clutches coded by the exact number of fathers for all morphological traits. A general tendency of higher values in offspring sired by two to three fathers was observed for the length and weight traits. However, emergence success and crawling speed showed different trends which unable us to reach any further conclusion. The second approach analysing the paternal contribution showed no significant difference (P > 0.05) for any of the traits. We conclude that multiple paternity does not provide any extra benefit in the morphological fitness traits or the survival of the offspring, when analysed following the proposed comparative statistical methods. PMID:25870773

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

    PubMed Central

    Jensen, Michael P.; Abreu-Grobois, F. Alberto

    2015-01-01

    Despite the long debate of whether or not multiple mating benefits the offspring, studies still show contradictory results. Multiple mating takes time and energy. Thus, if females fertilize their eggs with a single mating, why to mate more than once? We investigated and inferred paternal identity and number of sires in 12 clutches (240 hatchlings) of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) nests at Tortuguero, Costa Rica. Paternal alleles were inferred through comparison of maternal and hatchling genotypes, and indicated multiple paternity in at least 11 of the clutches (92%). The inferred average number of fathers was three (ranging from 1 to 5). Moreover, regression analyses were used to investigate for correlation of inferred clutch paternity with morphological traits of hatchlings fitness (emergence success, length, weight and crawling speed), the size of the mother, and an environmental variable (incubation temperature). We suggest and propose two different comparative approaches for evaluating morphological traits and clutch paternity, in order to infer greater offspring survival. First, clutches coded by the exact number of fathers and second by the exact paternal contribution (fathers who gives greater proportion of the offspring per nest). We found significant differences (P < 0.05) in clutches coded by the exact number of fathers for all morphological traits. A general tendency of higher values in offspring sired by two to three fathers was observed for the length and weight traits. However, emergence success and crawling speed showed different trends which unable us to reach any further conclusion. The second approach analysing the paternal contribution showed no significant difference (P > 0.05) for any of the traits. We conclude that multiple paternity does not provide any extra benefit in the morphological fitness traits or the survival of the offspring, when analysed following the proposed comparative statistical methods. PMID:25870773

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Geographic variation in marine turtle fibropapillomatosis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Greenblatt, R.J.; Work, T.M.; Dutton, P.; Sutton, C.A.; Spraker, T.R.; Casey, R.N.; Diez, C.E.; Parker, Dana C.; St. Ledger, J.; Balazs, G.H.; Casey, J.W.

    2005-01-01

    We document three examples of fibropapillomatosis by histology, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), and sequence analysis from three different geographic areas. Tumors compatible in morphology with fibropapillomatosis were seen in green turtles from Puerto Rico and San Diego (California) and in a hybrid loggerhead/ hawksbill turtle from Florida Bay (Florida). Tumors were confirmed as fibropapillomas on histology, although severity of disease varied between cases. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analyses revealed infection with the fibropapilloma-associated turtle herpesvirus (FPTHV) in all cases, albeit at highly variable copy numbers per cell. Alignment of a portion of the polymerase gene from each fibropapilloma-associated turtle herpesvirus isolate demonstrated geographic variation in sequence. These cases illustrate geographic variation in both the pathology and the virology of fibropapillomatosis.

  14. Learning from Experience: A Report from Mexico's Turtle Trip 2000.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jankowska, Marta Maja

    2000-01-01

    Fifteen high school students and adults from Idaho traveled to Mexico to assist the One World Workforce with monitoring the nests of olive ridley sea turtles. Only 1 percent of these endangered turtles mature to adulthood. The volunteers protected the eggs from poachers and helped the hatchlings get safely to the water. (TD)

  15. 50 CFR 222.309 - Permits for listed species of sea turtles involving the Fish and Wildlife Service.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... in accordance with either 50 CFR 17.22(a), if the species is endangered, or 50 CFR 17.32(a), if the... International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) (TIAS 8249, July 1, 1975) (50 CFR part... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Permits for listed species of sea...

  16. 50 CFR 222.309 - Permits for listed species of sea turtles involving the Fish and Wildlife Service.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... in accordance with either 50 CFR 17.22(a), if the species is endangered, or 50 CFR 17.32(a), if the... International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) (TIAS 8249, July 1, 1975) (50 CFR part... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Permits for listed species of sea...

  17. 50 CFR 222.309 - Permits for listed species of sea turtles involving the Fish and Wildlife Service.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... in accordance with either 50 CFR 17.22(a), if the species is endangered, or 50 CFR 17.32(a), if the... International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) (TIAS 8249, July 1, 1975) (50 CFR part... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Permits for listed species of sea...

  18. Expression of aromatase in the embryonic brain of the olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea), and the effect of bisphenol-A in sexually differentiated embryos.

    PubMed

    Gómez-Picos, Patsy; Sifuentes-Romero, Itzel; Merchant-Larios, Horacio; Hernández-Cornejo, Rubí; Díaz-Hernández, Verónica; García-Gasca, Alejandra

    2014-01-01

    Brain aromatase participates in several biological processes, such as regulation of the reproductive-endocrine axis, memory, stress, sexual differentiation of the nervous system, male sexual behavior, and brain repair. Here we report the isolation and expression of brain aromatase in olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) embryos incubated at male- and female-promoting temperatures (MPT and FPT, respectively), at the thermosensitive period (TSP) and the sex-differentiated period. Also, aromatase expression was assessed in differentiated embryos exposed to bisphenol-A (BPA) during the TSP. BPA is a monomer of polycarbonate plastics and is considered an endocrine-disrupting compound. Normal aromatase expression was measured in both forebrain and hindbrain, showing higher expression levels in the forebrain of differentiated embryos at both incubation temperatures. Although no significant differences were detected in the hindbrain, expression was slightly higher at MPT. BPA did not affect aromatase expression neither in forebrains or hindbrains from embryos incubated at MPT, whereas at FPT an inverted U-shape curve was observed in forebrains with significant differences at lower concentrations, whereas in hindbrains a non-significant increment was observed at higher concentrations. Our data indicate that both incubation temperature and developmental stage are critical factors affecting aromatase expression in the forebrain. Because of the timing and location of aromatase expression in the brain, we suggest that brain aromatase may participate in the imprinting of sexual trends related to reproduction and sexual behavior at the onset of sex differentiation, and BPA exposure may impair aromatase function in the female forebrain. PMID:26154314

  19. Substantial iron sequestration during green-clay authigenesis in modern deep-sea sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baldermann, A.; Warr, L. N.; Letofsky-Papst, I.; Mavromatis, V.

    2015-11-01

    In much of the global ocean, iron is a limiting nutrient for marine productivity. The formation of pyrite has been considered the most important sink of reactive iron in modern, organic-rich sediments. However, clay mineral transformations can also lead to long-term sequestration of iron during late diagenesis and in hydrothermal settings. Here we present evidence for substantial iron sequestration during the early diagenetic formation of ferruginous clay minerals, also called green-clay authigenesis, in the deep-sea environment of the Ivory Coast-Ghana Marginal Ridge. Using high-resolution electron microscopic methods and sequential sediment extraction techniques, we demonstrate that iron uptake by green-clay authigenesis can amount to 76 +/- 127 μmol Fe cm-2 kyr-1, which is on average six times higher than that of pyrite in suboxic subsurface sediments 5 m below the sea floor or shallower. Even at depths of 15 m below the sea floor or greater, rates of iron burial by green clay and pyrite are almost equal at ~80 μmol Fe cm-2 kyr-1. We conclude that green-clay formation significantly reduces the pore water inventory of dissolved iron in modern and ancient pelagic sediments, which challenges the long-standing conceptual view that clay mineral diagenesis is of little importance in current biogeochemical models of the marine iron cycle.

  20. An ancestral turtle from the Late Triassic of southwestern China.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:19037315

  1. A sinemydid turtle from the Jehol Biota provides insights into the basal divergence of crown turtles

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Chang-Fu; Rabi, Márton

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26553740

  2. A sinemydid turtle from the Jehol Biota provides insights into the basal divergence of crown turtles.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Chang-Fu; Rabi, Márton

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26553740

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  4. Food-poisoning outbreak and fatality following ingestion of sea turtle meat in the rural community of Ndrondroni, Mohéli Island, Comoros, December 2012.

    PubMed

    Ben Ali Mbaé, Saindou; Mlindassé, Mohamed; Mihidjaé, Saindou; Seyler, Thomas

    2016-09-15

    On 24-December-2012 newspapers reported food-poisoning cases in Ndrondroni, Comoros. The authors conducted an investigation and a case-control study to identify the source and control the outbreak. They identified eight cases. A 6-month breastfed infant died. The results suggest consumption of Eretmochelys imbricata caused the outbreak. A bio-toxin ingested by the turtle might be the source. The local authorities informed the population on the danger of turtle-meat consumption. Cooking does not destroy the toxin. PMID:27452931

  5. The Classroom Animal: Box Turtles.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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. Chelonitoxism outbreak caused from consuming turtle, Eastern Samar, Philippines, August 2013

    PubMed Central

    Ching, Paola Katrina; de los Reyes, Vikki Carr; Sucaldito, Ma Nemia; Tayag, Enrique

    2015-01-01

    Background On 21 August 2013, the Event-based Surveillance and Response system of the Department of Health, Philippines captured a foodborne illness event among residents of a coastal village in Eastern Samar, Philippines. The suspected cause was the consumption of a sea turtle found near the village. A team from the Department of Health was sent to conduct an outbreak investigation. Methods A case was defined as any person in Arteche, Eastern Samar, who developed dry mouth and burning sensation in the throat from 15 August to 27 August, 2013. Severity of the disease was classified as mild, moderate or severe. We conducted records review, environmental investigation, interviews of key informants and a retrospective cohort study. Results Sixty-eight cases were identified; four died (case fatality rate = 6%). All cases had a history of turtle meat consumption. Dose-dependent relationship was noted between amount of turtle meat consumed and the risk of illness. In the cohort study, consumption of turtle meat and turtle meat soup were associated with illness. Conclusion This study identified turtle meat as the source of this foodborne outbreak and emphasized the dangers of consuming turtle meat. Other reported cases of turtle meat poisoning in the Philippines suggest that turtle consumption is an ongoing practice in the country. By publishing information about sea turtle poisoning outbreaks in the Philippines, we hope to raise awareness of the potential severe health effects from ingesting these endangered sea creatures. PMID:26306210

  7. Grazing on green algae by the periwinkle Littorina littorea in the Wadden Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilhelmsen, U.; Reise, K.

    1994-06-01

    On sedimentary tidal flats in the Wadden Sea near the Island of Sylt, the periwinkle Littorina littorea occurred preferentially on clusters and beds of mussels and on shell beds (100 to 350 m-2), achieved moderate densities on green algal patches or mats (20 to 50 m-2), and remained rare on bare sediments (<5 m-2). Green algae covering>10% of sediment surface appeared in summer on approximately one third of the tidal zone, mainly in the upper and sheltered parts and almost never on mussel and shell beds. In feeding experiments, L. littorea ingested more of the dominant alge, Enteromorpha, than of Ulva, irrespective of whether or not algae were fresh or decaying. The tough thalli of Chaetomorpha were hardly consumed. Snails feeding on Enteromorpha produced fecal pellets from which new growth of Enteromorpha started. In the absence of periwinkles, Enteromorpha developed on mussels and the attached fucoids. Experimentally increased snail densities on sediments prevented green algal development, but the snails were unable to graze down established algal mats. It is concluded that natural densities of L. littorea hardly affect the ephemeral mass development of green algae on sediments. However, where the snails occur at high densities, i.e. on mussel beds, green algal development may be prevented.

  8. The Role of Turtles as Coral Reef Macroherbivores

    PubMed Central

    Goatley, Christopher H. R.; Hoey, Andrew S.; 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. PMID:22768189

  9. THE BOG TURTLE: Georgia's Rarest Turtle.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, Lawrence

    1991-01-01

    This article discusses the description and range, the status, the habitat, the natural history, and the proper management of the diminutive, rare, and endangered species known as the box turtle. (JJK)

  10. Artificial light on water attracts turtle hatchlings during their near shore transit.

    PubMed

    Thums, Michele; Whiting, Scott D; Reisser, Julia; Pendoley, Kellie L; Pattiaratchi, Charitha B; Proietti, Maira; Hetzel, Yasha; Fisher, Rebecca; Meekan, Mark G

    2016-05-01

    We examined the effect of artificial light on the near shore trajectories of turtle hatchlings dispersing from natal beaches. Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) hatchlings were tagged with miniature acoustic transmitters and their movements tracked within an underwater array of 36 acoustic receivers placed in the near shore zone. A total of 40 hatchlings were tracked, 20 of which were subjected to artificial light during their transit of the array. At the same time, we measured current speed and direction, which were highly variable within and between experimental nights and treatments. Artificial lighting affected hatchling behaviour, with 88% of individual trajectories oriented towards the light and spending, on average, 23% more time in the 2.25 ha tracking array (19.5 ± 5 min) than under ambient light conditions (15.8 ± 5 min). Current speed had little to no effect on the bearing (angular direction) of the hatchling tracks when artificial light was present, but under ambient conditions it influenced the bearing of the tracks when current direction was offshore and above speeds of approximately 32.5 cm s(-1). This is the first experimental evidence that wild turtle hatchlings are attracted to artificial light after entering the ocean, a behaviour that is likely to subject them to greater risk of predation. The experimental protocol described in this study can be used to assess the effect of anthropogenic (light pollution, noise, etc.) and natural (wave action, current, wind, moonlight) influences on the in-water movements of sea turtle hatchlings during the early phase of dispersal. PMID:27293795

  11. Artificial light on water attracts turtle hatchlings during their near shore transit

    PubMed Central

    Thums, Michele; Whiting, Scott D.; Reisser, Julia; Pendoley, Kellie L.; Proietti, Maira; Hetzel, Yasha; Fisher, Rebecca; Meekan, Mark G.

    2016-01-01

    We examined the effect of artificial light on the near shore trajectories of turtle hatchlings dispersing from natal beaches. Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) hatchlings were tagged with miniature acoustic transmitters and their movements tracked within an underwater array of 36 acoustic receivers placed in the near shore zone. A total of 40 hatchlings were tracked, 20 of which were subjected to artificial light during their transit of the array. At the same time, we measured current speed and direction, which were highly variable within and between experimental nights and treatments. Artificial lighting affected hatchling behaviour, with 88% of individual trajectories oriented towards the light and spending, on average, 23% more time in the 2.25 ha tracking array (19.5 ± 5 min) than under ambient light conditions (15.8 ± 5 min). Current speed had little to no effect on the bearing (angular direction) of the hatchling tracks when artificial light was present, but under ambient conditions it influenced the bearing of the tracks when current direction was offshore and above speeds of approximately 32.5 cm s−1. This is the first experimental evidence that wild turtle hatchlings are attracted to artificial light after entering the ocean, a behaviour that is likely to subject them to greater risk of predation. The experimental protocol described in this study can be used to assess the effect of anthropogenic (light pollution, noise, etc.) and natural (wave action, current, wind, moonlight) influences on the in-water movements of sea turtle hatchlings during the early phase of dispersal. PMID:27293795

  12. Circumpolar Arctic greening: Relationships to summer sea-ice concentrations, land temperatures and disturbance regimes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, D. A.; Bhatt, U. S.; Epstein, H. E.; Raynolds, M. K.; Frost, G. V.; Leibman, M. O.; Khomutov, A.; Jia, G.; Comiso, J. C.; Pinzon, J. E.; Tucker, C. J.; Webber, P. J.; Tweedie, C. E.

    2009-12-01

    The global distribution of Arctic tundra vegetation is closely tied to the presence of summer sea ice. Models predict that the reduction of sea ice will cause large changes to summer land-surface temperatures. Warming combined with increased natural and anthropogenic disturbance are expected to greatly increase arctic tundra productivity. To examine where tundra productivity is changing most rapidly, we studied 1982-2008 trends of sea-ice concentrations, summer warmth index (SWI) and the annual Maximum Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (MaxNDVI). We summarize the results according to the tundra adjacent to 14 Arctic seas. Sea-ice concentrations have declined and summer land temperatures have increased in all parts of the Arctic coast. The overall percentage increase in Arctic MaxNDVI was +7%. The trend was much greater in North America (+11%) than in Eurasia (+4%). Large percentage increases of MaxNDVI occurred inland from Davis Straight (+20%), Baffin Bay (+18%), Canadian Archipelago (+14%), Beaufort Sea (+12%), and Laptev Sea (+8%). Declines occurred in the W. Chukchi (-6%) and E. Bering (-5%) seas. The changes in NDVI are strongly correlated to changes in summer ground temperatures. Two examples from a 900-km north-south Arctic transect in Russia and long-term observations at a High Arctic site in Canada provide insights to where the changes in productivity are occurring most rapidly. At tree line near Kharp in northwest Siberia, alder shrubs are expanding vigorously in fire-disturbed areas; seedling establishment is occurring primarily in areas with disturbed mineral soils, particularly nonsorted circles. In the Low Arctic tundra areas of the central Yamal Peninsula greening is concentrated in riparian areas and upland landslides associated with degrading massive ground ice, where low-willow shrublands replace the zonal sedge, dwarf-shrub tundra growing on nutrient-poor sands. In polar desert landscapes near the Barnes Ice Cap, Baffin Island, Canada

  13. Green Fluorescence of Cytaeis Hydroids Living in Association with Nassarius Gastropods in the Red Sea

    PubMed Central

    Prudkovsky, Andrey A.; Ivanenko, Viatcheslav N.; Nikitin, Mikhail A.; Lukyanov, Konstantin A.; Belousova, Anna; Reimer, James D.; Berumen, Michael L.

    2016-01-01

    Green Fluorescent Proteins (GFPs) have been reported from a wide diversity of medusae, but only a few observations of green fluorescence have been reported for hydroid colonies. In this study, we report on fluorescence displayed by hydroid polyps of the genus Cytaeis Eschscholtz, 1829 (Hydrozoa: Anthoathecata: Filifera) found at night time in the southern Red Sea (Saudi Arabia) living on shells of the gastropod Nassarius margaritifer (Dunker, 1847) (Neogastropoda: Buccinoidea: Nassariidae). We examined the fluorescence of these polyps and compare with previously reported data. Intensive green fluorescence with a spectral peak at 518 nm was detected in the hypostome of the Cytaeis polyps, unlike in previous reports that reported fluorescence either in the basal parts of polyps or in other locations on hydroid colonies. These results suggest that fluorescence may be widespread not only in medusae, but also in polyps, and also suggests that the patterns of fluorescence localization can vary in closely related species. The fluorescence of polyps may be potentially useful for field identification of cryptic species and study of geographical distributions of such hydroids and their hosts. PMID:26840497

  14. Green Fluorescence of Cytaeis Hydroids Living in Association with Nassarius Gastropods in the Red Sea.

    PubMed

    Prudkovsky, Andrey A; Ivanenko, Viatcheslav N; Nikitin, Mikhail A; Lukyanov, Konstantin A; Belousova, Anna; Reimer, James D; Berumen, Michael L

    2016-01-01

    Green Fluorescent Proteins (GFPs) have been reported from a wide diversity of medusae, but only a few observations of green fluorescence have been reported for hydroid colonies. In this study, we report on fluorescence displayed by hydroid polyps of the genus Cytaeis Eschscholtz, 1829 (Hydrozoa: Anthoathecata: Filifera) found at night time in the southern Red Sea (Saudi Arabia) living on shells of the gastropod Nassarius margaritifer (Dunker, 1847) (Neogastropoda: Buccinoidea: Nassariidae). We examined the fluorescence of these polyps and compare with previously reported data. Intensive green fluorescence with a spectral peak at 518 nm was detected in the hypostome of the Cytaeis polyps, unlike in previous reports that reported fluorescence either in the basal parts of polyps or in other locations on hydroid colonies. These results suggest that fluorescence may be widespread not only in medusae, but also in polyps, and also suggests that the patterns of fluorescence localization can vary in closely related species. The fluorescence of polyps may be potentially useful for field identification of cryptic species and study of geographical distributions of such hydroids and their hosts. PMID:26840497

  15. Underwater Hearing in Turtles.

    PubMed

    Willis, Katie L

    2016-01-01

    The hearing of turtles is poorly understood compared with the other reptiles. Although the mechanism of transduction of sound into a neural signal via hair cells has been described in detail, the rest of the auditory system is largely a black box. What is known is that turtles have higher hearing thresholds than other reptiles, with best frequencies around 500 Hz. They also have lower underwater hearing thresholds than those in air, owing to resonance of the middle ear cavity. Further studies demonstrated that all families of turtles and tortoises share a common middle ear cavity morphology, with scaling best suited to underwater hearing. This supports an aquatic origin of the group. Because turtles hear best under water, it is important to examine their vulnerability to anthropogenic noise. However, the lack of basic data makes such experiments difficult because only a few species of turtles have published audiograms. There are also almost no behavioral data available (understandable due to training difficulties). Finally, few studies show what kinds of sounds are behaviorally relevant. One notable paper revealed that the Australian snake-necked turtle (Chelodina oblonga) has a vocal repertoire in air, at the interface, and under water. Findings like these suggest that there is more to the turtle aquatic auditory scene than previously thought. PMID:26611091

  16. PCBS AND OTHER CHLORINATED ORGANIC CONTAMINANTS IN TISSUES OF JUVENILE KEMP'S RIDLEY TURTLES (LEPIDOCHELYS KEMPI)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Concentrations of PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) and chlorinated pesticides were measured in liver and body fat samples of juvenile Kemp's ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempi). hese turtles were killed in the fall or early winter by rapid seasonal temperature drops and were ...

  17. Maximizing oyster-reef growth supports green infrastructure with accelerating sea-level rise.

    PubMed

    Ridge, Justin T; Rodriguez, Antonio B; Joel Fodrie, F; Lindquist, Niels L; Brodeur, Michelle C; Coleman, Sara E; Grabowski, Jonathan H; Theuerkauf, Ethan J

    2015-01-01

    Within intertidal communities, aerial exposure (emergence during the tidal cycle) generates strong vertical zonation patterns with distinct growth boundaries regulated by physiological and external stressors. Forecasted accelerations in sea-level rise (SLR) will shift the position of these critical boundaries in ways we cannot yet fully predict, but landward migration will be impaired by coastal development, amplifying the importance of foundation species' ability to maintain their position relative to rising sea levels via vertical growth. Here we show the effects of emergence on vertical oyster-reef growth by determining the conditions at which intertidal reefs thrive and the sharp boundaries where reefs fail, which shift with changes in sea level. We found that oyster reef growth is unimodal relative to emergence, with greatest growth rates occurring between 20-40% exposure, and zero-growth boundaries at 10% and 55% exposures. Notably, along the lower growth boundary (10%), increased rates of SLR would outpace reef accretion, thereby reducing the depth range of substrate suitable for reef maintenance and formation, and exacerbating habitat loss along developed shorelines. Our results identify where, within intertidal areas, constructed or natural oyster reefs will persist and function best as green infrastructure to enhance coastal resiliency under conditions of accelerating SLR. PMID:26442712

  18. Maximizing oyster-reef growth supports green infrastructure with accelerating sea-level rise

    PubMed Central

    Ridge, Justin T.; Rodriguez, Antonio B.; Joel Fodrie, F.; Lindquist, Niels L.; Brodeur, Michelle C.; Coleman, Sara E.; Grabowski, Jonathan H.; Theuerkauf, Ethan J.

    2015-01-01

    Within intertidal communities, aerial exposure (emergence during the tidal cycle) generates strong vertical zonation patterns with distinct growth boundaries regulated by physiological and external stressors. Forecasted accelerations in sea-level rise (SLR) will shift the position of these critical boundaries in ways we cannot yet fully predict, but landward migration will be impaired by coastal development, amplifying the importance of foundation species’ ability to maintain their position relative to rising sea levels via vertical growth. Here we show the effects of emergence on vertical oyster-reef growth by determining the conditions at which intertidal reefs thrive and the sharp boundaries where reefs fail, which shift with changes in sea level. We found that oyster reef growth is unimodal relative to emergence, with greatest growth rates occurring between 20–40% exposure, and zero-growth boundaries at 10% and 55% exposures. Notably, along the lower growth boundary (10%), increased rates of SLR would outpace reef accretion, thereby reducing the depth range of substrate suitable for reef maintenance and formation, and exacerbating habitat loss along developed shorelines. Our results identify where, within intertidal areas, constructed or natural oyster reefs will persist and function best as green infrastructure to enhance coastal resiliency under conditions of accelerating SLR. PMID:26442712

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Rivera, Angela R V; Blob, Richard W

    2013-10-23

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

  2. Young Children and Turtle Graphics Programming: Understanding Turtle Commands.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cuneo, Diane O.

    The LOGO programing language developed for children includes a set of primitive graphics commands that control the displacement and rotation of a display screen cursor called a turtle. The purpose of this study was to examine 4- to 7-year-olds' understanding of single turtle commands as transformations that connect turtle states and to…

  3. Abiotic factors influencing biomass accumulation of green tide causing Ulva spp. on Pyropia culture rafts in the Yellow Sea, China.

    PubMed

    Keesing, John K; Liu, Dongyan; Shi, Yajun; Wang, Yujue

    2016-04-15

    Annually recurrent green-tides in the Yellow Sea have been shown to result from direct disposal into the sea of fouling Ulva from Pyropia aquaculture. The role abiotic factors play in Ulva biomass accumulation on rafts was studied to find ways to mitigate this problem. Dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) was very high at all sites, but the highest Ulva biomass was associated with the lowest DIN and anthropogenic N. Under luxuriant background nutrient conditions, variability in temperature and periods of emersion, rather than pH, light and salinity determined Ulva biomass. Two dominant species of Ulva displayed differing tolerances to temperature and desiccation which helped explain why Ulva prolifera dominates floating green-tides. Rather than trying to mitigate green-tides only by reducing nutrient pollution, an earlier harvest of Pyropia in southern Jiangsu Province especially before temperatures increase greatly above 10°C during April, could reduce the biomass of U. prolifera disposed from rafts. PMID:26936121

  4. The Classroom Animal: Snapping Turtles.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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)

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-15

    Marine turtles are an iconic group of endangered animals threatened by debris ingestion. However, key aspects related to debris ingestion are still poorly known, including its effects on mortality and the original use of the ingested debris. Therefore, we analysed the impact of debris ingestion in 265 green turtles (Chelonia mydas) over a large geographical area and different habitats along the Brazilian coast. We determined the death rate due to debris ingestion and quantified the amount of debris that is sufficient to cause the death of juvenile green turtles. Additionally, we investigated the original use of the ingested debris. We found that a surprisingly small amount of debris was sufficient to block the digestive tract and cause death. We suggested that debris ingestion has a high death potential that may be masked by other causes of death. An expressive part of the ingested debris come from disposable and short-lived products. PMID:25749316

  6. Population characteristics of the intertidal green sea anemone, Anthopleura xanthogrammica, on the Oregon coast

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Batchelder, H. P.; Gonor, J. J.

    1981-09-01

    Field population censuses using a photographic quadrat method were used to describe the density and size structure of intertidal populations of the green sea anemone, Anthopleura xanthogrammica, on different types of rocky intertidal habitats on the Oregon coast. Anemone populations in marked plots were monitored for individual motility, growth, mortality and recruitment. Experiments were performed to evaluate anemone population responses to simulated harvesting. Rocky intertidal locations with dense populations of the green anemone are not abundant along the Oregon coast. No detectable fluctuations in anemone population density or size-frequency distribution were found during the 2-year study. Adult anemones showed little movement in either disturbed or undisturbed populations. No natural mortality or recruitment was found in study plots at any Oregon coastal location between July 1977 and May 1979. Removal of adult anemones from rock surfaces did not promote recruitment from the plankton onto the newly available surface, nor did individuals adjacent to depopulated plots rapidly immigrate into the cleared areas. Individual growth is inferred to be very slow in intertidal populations. Field studies indicate that A. xanthogrammica is a long-lived, slow growing species with limited, low or erratic recruitment and highly stable intertidal adult populations. This study indicates that harvest of A. xanthogrammica will probably not be possible on a continuing basis.

  7. Antiallergic effects of pigments isolated from green sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis) shells.

    PubMed

    Pozharitskaya, Olga N; Shikov, Alexander N; Makarova, Marina N; Ivanova, Svetlana A; Kosman, Vera M; Makarov, Valery G; Bazgier, Václav; Berka, Karel; Otyepka, Michal; Ulrichová, Jitka

    2013-12-01

    This study was undertaken to evaluate possible antiallergic effects of an extract of pigments from green sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis) shells. Effects were studied on animal models - guinea pig ileum contraction, rabbit eyes allergic conjunctivitis, and rabbit local skin irritation. The extract significantly reduced, in a dose-dependent manner, the histamine-induced contractions of the isolated guinea pig ileum with ID50 =1.2 µg/mL (in equivalents of spinochrome B), had an inhibitory effect on the model of ocular allergic inflammation surpassing the reference drug olopatadine, and did not show any irritating effect in rabbits. The extract predominantly contained polyhydroxy-1,4-naphthoquinone which would be responsible for the pharmacological activity. The active compounds of the extract were evaluated in silico with molecular docking. Molecular docking into H1R receptor structures obtained from molecular dynamic simulations showed that all spinochrome derivatives bind to the receptor active site, but spinochrome monomers fit better to it. The results of the present study suggest possibilities for the development of new agents for treating allergic diseases on the base of pigments from sea urchins shells. PMID:24288292

  8. Relative effects of gamete compatibility and hydrodynamics on fertilization in the green sea urchin Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis.

    PubMed

    Kregting, Louise T; Thomas, Florence I M; Bass, Anna L; Yund, Philip O

    2014-08-01

    Intraspecific variation in gamete compatibility among male/female pairs causes variation in the concentration of sperm required to achieve equivalent fertilization levels. Gamete compatibility is therefore potentially an important factor controlling mating success. Many broadcast-spawning marine invertebrates, however, also live in a dynamic environment where hydrodynamic conditions can affect the concentration of sperm reaching eggs during spawning. Thus flow conditions may moderate the effects of gamete compatibility on fertilization. Using the green sea urchin Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis as a model system, we assessed the relative effects of gamete compatibility (the concentration of sperm required to fertilize 50% of the eggs in specific male/female pairs; F50) and the root-mean-square of total velocity (urms; 0.01-0.11 m s(-1)) on fertilization in four locations near a spawning female (water column, wake eddy, substratum, and aboral surface) in both unidirectional and oscillatory flows. Percent fertilization decreased significantly with increasing urms at all locations and both flow regimes. However, although gamete compatibility varied by almost 1.5 orders of magnitude, it was not a significant predictor of fertilization for most combinations of position and flow. The notable exception was a significant effect of gamete compatibility on fertilization on the aboral surface under unidirectional flow. Our results suggest that selection on variation in gamete compatibility may be strongest in eggs fertilized on the aboral surface of sea urchins and that hydrodynamic conditions may add environmental noise to selection outcomes. PMID:25216500

  9. Sex Ratio Estimations of Loggerhead Sea Turtle Hatchlings at Kuriat Islands, Tunisia: Can Minor Nesting Sites Contribute to Compensate Globally Female-Biased Sex Ratio?

    PubMed Central

    Bradai, Mohamed Nejmeddine

    2014-01-01

    Hatchling sex ratios in the loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta were estimated by placing electronic temperature recorders in seven nests at Kuriat islands (Tunisia) during the 2013 nesting season. Based on the mean temperatures during the middle third of the incubation period, and on incubation duration, the sex ratio of hatchlings at Kuriat islands was highly male-biased. Presently, the majority of hatchling sex ratio studies are focused on major nesting areas, whereby the sex ratios are universally believed to be heavily female-biased. Here we present findings from a minor nesting site in the Mediterranean, where the hatchling sex ratio was found to be male-biased, suggesting a potential difference between major and minor nesting sites. PMID:25379528

  10. Sex ratio estimations of loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings at Kuriat islands, Tunisia: can minor nesting sites contribute to compensate globally female-biased sex ratio?

    PubMed

    Jribi, Imed; Bradai, Mohamed Nejmeddine

    2014-01-01

    Hatchling sex ratios in the loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta were estimated by placing electronic temperature recorders in seven nests at Kuriat islands (Tunisia) during the 2013 nesting season. Based on the mean temperatures during the middle third of the incubation period, and on incubation duration, the sex ratio of hatchlings at Kuriat islands was highly male-biased. Presently, the majority of hatchling sex ratio studies are focused on major nesting areas, whereby the sex ratios are universally believed to be heavily female-biased. Here we present findings from a minor nesting site in the Mediterranean, where the hatchling sex ratio was found to be male-biased, suggesting a potential difference between major and minor nesting sites. PMID:25379528

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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).

  12. Hypoxic turtles keep their cool.

    PubMed

    Madsen, Jesper G; Wang, Tobias; Madsen, Peter T

    2015-01-01

    Several species of freshwater turtles spend the winter submerged in ice-covered lakes in a state of severe metabolic depression. It has been proposed that the hibernating turtles are comatose and entirely unresponsive, which raises the question of how they detect the arrival of spring and whether they respond to sensory information during hibernation. Using evoked potential studies in cold hypoxic turtles exposed to light and vibration, we show that hibernating turtles maintain neural responsiveness to light stimuli during prolonged hypoxia, while responsiveness to vibration is lost. This reveals a state of differential neural shutdown, in different sensory systems in the cold hypoxic turtle brain. In behavioral studies we show that turtles held for 14 days in hibernation increase locomotor activity in response to light or elevated temperatures, but not to vibration or increased oxygen. We conclude that hibernating freshwater turtles are not comatose, but remain vigilant during overwintering in cold hypoxia. PMID:27227001

  13. Hypoxic turtles keep their cool

    PubMed Central

    Madsen, Jesper G; Wang, Tobias; Madsen, Peter T

    2015-01-01

    Several species of freshwater turtles spend the winter submerged in ice-covered lakes in a state of severe metabolic depression. It has been proposed that the hibernating turtles are comatose and entirely unresponsive, which raises the question of how they detect the arrival of spring and whether they respond to sensory information during hibernation. Using evoked potential studies in cold hypoxic turtles exposed to light and vibration, we show that hibernating turtles maintain neural responsiveness to light stimuli during prolonged hypoxia, while responsiveness to vibration is lost. This reveals a state of differential neural shutdown, in different sensory systems in the cold hypoxic turtle brain. In behavioral studies we show that turtles held for 14 days in hibernation increase locomotor activity in response to light or elevated temperatures, but not to vibration or increased oxygen. We conclude that hibernating freshwater turtles are not comatose, but remain vigilant during overwintering in cold hypoxia.

  14. Centrocins: isolation and characterization of novel dimeric antimicrobial peptides from the green sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis.

    PubMed

    Li, Chun; Haug, Tor; Moe, Morten K; Styrvold, Olaf B; Stensvåg, Klara

    2010-09-01

    As immune effector molecules, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) play an important role in the invertebrate immune system. Here, we present two novel AMPs, named centrocins 1 (4.5kDa) and 2 (4.4kDa), purified from coelomocyte extracts of the green sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis. The native peptides are cationic and show potent activities against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. The centrocins have an intramolecular heterodimeric structure, containing a heavy chain (30 amino acids) and a light chain (12 amino acids). The cDNA encoding the peptides and genomic sequences were cloned and sequenced. One putative isoform (centrocin 1b) was identified and one intron was found in the genes coding for the centrocins. The full length protein sequence of centrocin 1 consists of 119 amino acids, whereas centrocin 2 consists of 118 amino acids which both include a preprosequence of 51 or 50 amino acids for centrocins 1 and 2, respectively, and an interchain of 24 amino acids between the heavy and light chain. The difference of molecular mass between the native centrocins and the deduced sequences from cDNA indicates that the native centrocins contain a post-translational brominated tryptophan. In addition, two amino acids at the C-terminal, Gly-Arg, were removed from the light chains during the post-translational processing. The separate peptide chains of centrocin 1 were synthesized and the heavy chain alone was shown to be sufficient for antimicrobial activity. The genome of the closely related species, the purple sea urchin (S. purpuratus), was shown to contain two putative proteins with high similarity to the centrocins. PMID:20438753

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  16. Distribution and ecology of marine turtles in waters off the southeastern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fritts, T.H.; Hoffman, W.; McGehee, M.A.

    1983-01-01

    Aerial surveys of marine waters up to 222 km from shore in the Gulf of Mexico and nearby Atlantic Ocean suggest that marine turtles are largely distributed in waters less than 100 m in depth. The loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) was observed nearly 50 times as often in waters off eastern and western Florida as in the western Gulf of Mexico. Loggerheads were present year round but the frequency of sightings in the winter months was lower than at other seasons. Green turtles (Chelonia rnydas) were infrequently observed but were most conspicuous in waters off eastern Florida. Kemp's ridleys (Lepidochelys kempi) were most frequently sighted off southwestern Florida and rarely observed in the western Gulf of Mexico. Leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) were more conspicuous on the continental shelf than in adjacent deeper waters. A concentration of leatherback and loggerhead turtles occurred west of the Gulf Stream Current in August 1980, near Brevard County, Florida.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

  18. Effects of Oscillatory Flow on Fertilization in the Green Sea Urchin Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis

    PubMed Central

    Kregting, Louise T.; Bass, Anna L.; Guadayol, Òscar; Yund, Philip O.; Thomas, Florence I. M.

    2013-01-01

    Broadcast spawning invertebrates that live in shallow, high-energy coastal habitats are subjected to o