Science.gov

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

    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

  13. 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

  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 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.

  1. 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

  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 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

  5. 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

  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

    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

  14. 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

  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

    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.

  7. 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

  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 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

  6. 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.

  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. 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

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  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 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

  14. 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

  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. 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...

  18. 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....

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  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. 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

  15. 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

  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. 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...

  2. 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...

  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. 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

  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. 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

  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. 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

  14. 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

  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. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  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. 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

  7. 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...

  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. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  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

    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 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  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. 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

  18. 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

  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. 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

  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  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. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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…

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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…

  8. 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

  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