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Sample records for green sea turtles

  1. The Green Sea Turtle of the Cayman Islands

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Considine, James L.; Winberry, John J.

    1978-01-01

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

  2. 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)

  3. Corneal fibropapillomatosis in green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) in Australia.

    PubMed

    Flint, M; Limpus, C J; Patterson-Kane, J C; Murray, P J; Mills, P C

    2010-05-01

    Chelonid corneal fibropapillomatosis has not previously been recorded in Australian waters. During 2008, 724 green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) were examined in Queensland, Australia at two sites, Moreton Bay (n=155) and Shoalwater Bay (n=569), during annual monitoring. In the same calendar year, 63 turtles were submitted from various sites in southern Queensland for post-mortem examination at the University of Queensland. Four of the 787 animals (0.5%) were found to have corneal fibropapillomas of varying size, with similar gross and microscopical features to those reported in other parts of the world. Two animals with corneal fibropapillomas also had cutaneous fibropapillomas. Clinical assessment indicated that these lesions had detrimental effects on the vision of the turtles and therefore their potential ability to source food, avoid predators and interact with conspecifics. Importantly, these findings represent an emergence of this manifestation of fibropapillomatosis in green sea turtle populations in the southern Pacific Ocean.

  4. An odyssey of the green sea turtle: Ascension Island revisited

    PubMed Central

    Bowen, Brian W.; Meylan, Anne B.; Avise, John C.

    1989-01-01

    Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) that nest on Ascension Island, in the south-central Atlantic, utilize feeding grounds along the coast of Brazil, more than 2000 km away. To account for the origins of this remarkable migratory behavior, Carr and Coleman [Carr, A. & Coleman, P. J. (1974) Nature (London) 249, 128-130] proposed a vicariant biogeographic scenario involving plate tectonics and natal homing. Under the Carr-Coleman hypothesis, the ancestors of Ascension Island green turtles nested on islands adjacent to South America in the late Cretaceous, soon after the opening of the equatorial Atlantic Ocean. Over the last 70 million years, these volcanic islands have been displaced from South America by sea-floor spreading, at a rate of about 2 cm/year. A population-specific instinct to migrate to Ascension Island is thus proposed to have evolved gradually over tens of millions of years of genetic isolation. Here we critically test the Carr-Coleman hypothesis by assaying genetic divergence among several widely separated green turtle rookeries. We have found fixed or nearly fixed mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) restriction site differences between some Atlantic rookeries, suggesting a severe restriction on contemporary gene flow. Data are consistent with a natal homing hypothesis. However, an extremely close similarity in overall mtDNA sequences of surveyed Atlantic green turtles from three rookeries is incompatible with the Carr-Coleman scenario. The colonization of Ascension Island, or at least extensive gene flow into the population, has been evolutionarily recent. Images PMID:16594013

  5. An odyssey of the green sea turtle: Ascension Island revisited.

    PubMed

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

    1989-01-01

    Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) that nest on Ascension Island, in the south-central Atlantic, utilize feeding grounds along the coast of Brazil, more than 2000 km away. To account for the origins of this remarkable migratory behavior, Carr and Coleman [Carr, A. & Coleman, P. J. (1974) Nature (London) 249, 128-130] proposed a vicariant biogeographic scenario involving plate tectonics and natal homing. Under the Carr-Coleman hypothesis, the ancestors of Ascension Island green turtles nested on islands adjacent to South America in the late Cretaceous, soon after the opening of the equatorial Atlantic Ocean. Over the last 70 million years, these volcanic islands have been displaced from South America by sea-floor spreading, at a rate of about 2 cm/year. A population-specific instinct to migrate to Ascension Island is thus proposed to have evolved gradually over tens of millions of years of genetic isolation. Here we critically test the Carr-Coleman hypothesis by assaying genetic divergence among several widely separated green turtle rookeries. We have found fixed or nearly fixed mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) restriction site differences between some Atlantic rookeries, suggesting a severe restriction on contemporary gene flow. Data are consistent with a natal homing hypothesis. However, an extremely close similarity in overall mtDNA sequences of surveyed Atlantic green turtles from three rookeries is incompatible with the Carr-Coleman scenario. The colonization of Ascension Island, or at least extensive gene flow into the population, has been evolutionarily recent.

  6. Surgical repair of a depressed fracture in a green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas.

    PubMed

    Naganobu, K; Ogawa, H; Oyadomari, N; Sugimoto, M

    2000-01-01

    Sea turtles are considered to be endangered species. A depressed fracture of a 35 kg green sea turtle was treated surgically. Isoflurane was used for induction and maintenance of anesthesia. Slow induction of and slow recovery from anesthesia was remarkable. After the operation, there was an improvement of general status, but head tilt and weakness of the left limbs persisted. As the turtle did not eat, force feeding using stomach tube was performed. The turtle died at about 6 months after the surgery.

  7. Monitoring mercury in green sea turtles using keratinized carapace fragments (scutes).

    PubMed

    Bezerra, M F; Lacerda, L D; Lima, E H S M; Melo, M T D

    2013-12-15

    The green sea turtles are facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild and the impacts of heavy metals contamination contributes with the decline of their populations. It is very important to assess noninvasive and nonlethal methods for monitoring Hg contamination in sea turtles. Thus, Hg concentrations were measured in keratinized fragments (scutes) and internal tissues of green sea turtles from the Ceará coast to test the usefulness of scutes as a monitoring subject for sea turtles. A significantly positive correlation was found between Hg concentrations in muscle and scutes, which demonstrate that scutes can be used as a predictive matrix of Hg concentration in muscle tissue of green sea turtles.

  8. Pulmonary function of the green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas.

    PubMed

    Gatz, R N; Glass, M L; Wood, S C

    1987-02-01

    Lung volumes, oxygen uptake (VO2), end-tidal PO2, and PCO2, diffusing capacity of the lungs for CO (DLCO), pulmonary blood flow (QL) and respiratory frequency were measured in the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) (49-127 kg body wt). Mean lung volume (VL) determined from helium dilution was 57 ml/kg and physiological dead space volume (VD) was about 3.6 ml/kg. QL, determined from acetylene uptake during rebreathing, increased in proportion to VO2 with temperature. Therefore, constant O2 content difference was maintained between pulmonary arterial and venous blood. DLCO, measured using a rebreathing technique, was 0.04 ml X kg-1 X min-1 X Torr-1 at 25 degrees C. Several cardiopulmonary characteristics in C. mydas are advantageous to diving: large tidal volume relative to functional residual capacity promotes fast exchange of the alveolar gas when the turtle surfaces for breathing: and the concomitant rise of pulmonary blood flow and O2 uptake with temperature assures efficient O2 transport regardless of wide temperature variations encountered during migrations.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  10. Green sea turtles: a discrete simulation of density-dependent population regulation.

    PubMed

    Bustard, H R; Tognetti, K P

    1969-02-28

    Field data on the nesting of the green sea turtle were used to construct a stochastic model. This model was simulated by use of a digital computer language simscript (Monte Carlo) to determine the relation between the percentage of nests destroyed and the size of the turtle population. Nest destruction is dependent on population density and provides a mechanism to regulate population size.

  11. 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.; Lutterschmidt, William I.

    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.

  12. 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

  13. Factors influencing survivorship of rehabilitating green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) with fibropapillomatosis.

    PubMed

    Page-Karjian, Annie; Norton, Terry M; Krimer, Paula; Groner, Maya; Nelson, Steven E; Gottdenker, Nicole L

    2014-09-01

    Marine turtle fibropapillomatosis (FP) is a debilitating, infectious neoplastic disease that has reached epizootic proportions in several tropical and subtropical populations of green turtles (Chelonia mydas). FP represents an important health concern in sea turtle rehabilitation facilities. The objectives of this study were to describe the observed epidemiology, biology, and survival rates of turtles affected by FP (FP+ turtles) in a rehabilitation environment; to evaluate clinical parameters as predictors of survival in affected rehabilitating turtles; and to provide information about case progression scenarios and potential outcomes for FP+ sea turtle patients. A retrospective case series analysis was performed using the medical records of the Georgia Sea Turtle Center (GSTC), Jekyll Island, Georgia, USA, during 2009-2013. Information evaluated included signalment, morphometrics, presenting complaint, time to FP onset, tumor score (0-3), co-morbid conditions, diagnostic test results, therapeutic interventions, and case outcomes. Overall, FP was present in 27/362 (7.5%) of all sea turtles admitted to the GSTC for rehabilitation, either upon admittance or during their rehabilitation. Of these, 25 were green and 2 were Kemp's ridley turtles. Of 10 turtles that had only plaque-like FP lesions, 60% had natural tumor regression, all were released, and they were significantly more likely to survive than those with classic FP (P = 0.02 [0.27-0.75, 95% CI]). Turtles without ocular FP were eight times more likely to survive than those with ocular FP (odds ratio = 8.75, P = 0.032 [1.21-63.43, 95% CI]). Laser-mediated tumor removal surgery is the treatment of choice for FP+ patients at the GSTC; number of surgeries was not significantly related to case outcome.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

    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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muñoz, Fernando Alberto; ,; ,; 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-15

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Conjunctivitis, tracheitis, and pneumonia associated with herpesvirus infection in green sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Jacobson, E R; Gaskin, J M; Roelke, M; Greiner, E C; Allen, J

    1986-11-01

    Fourteen juvenile (15- to 20-month-old) green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas), representative of a group of sea turtles with clinical signs of respiratory tract disease, were euthanatized and submitted for necropsy. Macroscopically, lesions included periglottal necrosis, tracheitis with intraluminal caseous and laminated necrotic debris, and severe pneumonia. Several turtles had caseous conjunctival exudate covering the eyes. Microscopically, the turtles had fibrinonecrotic inflammation around the glottal opening, tracheitis, and severe bronchopneumonia and interstitial pneumonia. In multifocal areas, periglottal and tracheal epithelial cells adjacent to areas of necrosis had hypertrophic nuclei with amphophilic intranuclear inclusions. A mixed population of primarily gram-negative microorganisms was isolated from the tracheal and glottal lesions. Attempts at viral isolation in cultures of green sea turtle kidney cells resulted in the development of cytopathic effects characterized by giant cell formation and development of intranuclear inclusions. Using electron microscopy, intranuclear viral particles (88 to 99 nm in diameter) were seen in inclusion-containing tracheal and glottal epithelial cells and infected green sea turtle kidney cells; particles were consistently seen enveloping from nuclear membranes, and mature particles (132 to 147 nm) were found in the cytoplasm. On the basis of size, conformation, location, and presence of an envelope, the particles most closely resembled those of herpes-viruses.

  20. 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.

  1. Quantitative requirement of the hatchling green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas, for valine, leucine, isoleucine and phenylalanine.

    PubMed

    Wood, F E; Wood, J R

    1977-08-01

    Hatchling green sea turtles were fed purified diets containing 36% crude protein (N X 6.25) to determine the quantitative requirements for valine, leucine, isoleucine and phenylalanine. Expressed as percentage of total dry diet, the hatchling green sea turtle requires 1.3% valine, 1.6% leucine, 1.0% isoleucine and 1.0% phenylalanine (in the presence of 0.5% tyrosine). Within the range of isoleucine-leucine levels investigated, there was no apparent interrelationship between the quantitative requirements of these two amino acids. Growth rate was decreased at a high level of phenylalanine, 3.0% of the dry diet.

  2. Evaluation of hematology and serum biochemistry of cold-stunned green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) in North Carolina, U.S.A.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Eric T; Harms, Craig A; Stringer, Elizabeth M; Cluse, Wendy M

    2011-06-01

    Hypothermia or cold-stunning is a condition in which the body temperature of an animal decreases below normal physiologic range and which has been linked to severe morbidity in sea turtles. Reports have focused on the physiologic changes caused by cold-stunning in Kemp's Ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii) and loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta), but few have evaluated the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas). This study evaluated hematologic and serum biochemical profiles of cold-stunned green sea turtles in North Carolina, USA. When compared with healthy, free-ranging juvenile green turtles from the same region, cold-stunned turtles exhibited hypoglycemia, hypocalcemia (both total and ionized calcium), hyponatremia, hypokalemia, hypoproteinemia, hypoalbuminemia, hyperphosphatemia, and elevations in uric acid and blood urea nitrogen. These findings contrast with some previously reported changes in cold-stunned Kemp's Ridley and loggerhead sea turtles. These results emphasize the importance of basing therapeutic regimens on biochemical analyses in cold-stunned sea turtles.

  3. The navigational feats of green sea turtles migrating from Ascension Island investigated by satellite telemetry.

    PubMed Central

    Luschi, P; Hays, G C; Del Seppia, C; Marsh, R; Papi, F

    1998-01-01

    Previous tagging studies of the movements of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) nesting at Ascension Island have shown that they shuttle between this remote target in the Atlantic Ocean and their feeding grounds on the Brazilian coast, a distance of 2300 km or more. Since a knowledge of sea turtle migration routes might allow inferences on the still unknown navigational mechanisms of marine animals, we tracked the postnesting migration of six green turtle females from Ascension Island to Brazil. Five of them reached the proximity of the easternmost stretch of the Brazilian coast, covering 1777-2342 km in 33-47 days. Their courses were impressively similar for the first 1000 km, with three turtles tracked over different dates following indistinguishable paths for the first 300 km. Only the sixth turtle made some relatively short trips in different directions around Ascension. The tracks show that turtles (i) are able to maintain straight courses over long distances in the open sea; (ii) may perform exploratory movements in different directions; (iii) appropriately correct their course during the journey according to external information; and (iv) initially keep the same direction as the west-south-westerly flowing current, possibly guided by chemical cues. PMID:9881473

  4. 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

  5. Potential Noncutaneous Sites of Chelonid Herpesvirus 5 Persistence and Shedding in Green Sea Turtles Chelonia mydas.

    PubMed

    Page-Karjian, Annie; Gottdenker, Nicole L; Whitfield, Jordyn; Herbst, Lawrence; Norton, Terry M; Ritchie, Branson

    2017-09-01

    Chelonid herpesvirus 5 (ChHV5), the likely etiologic agent of sea turtle fibropapillomatosis (FP), is predicted to be unevenly distributed within an infected turtle, in which productive virus replication and virion shedding occurs in cutaneous tumor keratinocytes. In this study, we measured and compared ChHV5 DNA quantities in tumors, skin, urine, major organs, and nervous tissue samples from green turtles Chelonia mydas. These samples were taken from the carcasses of 10 juvenile green turtles with and without clinical signs of FP that stranded in Florida during 2014. Quantitative PCR for ChHV5 UL30 was used to identify ChHV5 DNA in tumors, skin, heart, kidney, nerves, and urine sampled from five out of five FP-positive and three out of five FP-free turtles. The most frequently co-occurring sites were cutaneous tumor and kidney (n = 4). Novel data presented here include the identification of ChHV5 DNA in kidney, heart, and nerve samples from three FP-free turtles. These data support candidate nontumored anatomic sites of ChHV5 DNA localization and mobilization during two different disease states that may be involved in the ChHV5 infection cycle. Received September 8, 2016; accepted April 17, 2017.

  6. EXAMINING THE PREFERENCE FOR SHADE STRUCTURES IN FARMED GREEN SEA TURTLES (CHELONIA MYDAS) AND SHADE'S EFFECT ON GROWTH AND TEMPERATURES.

    PubMed

    Keller, Martha; Mustin, Walter

    2017-03-01

    The Cayman Turtle Farm raises thousands of green sea turtles ( Chelonia mydas ) annually under aquaculture conditions. Historically, the turtles have been raised in tanks without routine access to a shade structure. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of adding a shade structure on curved carapace length (CCL) and weight gain of green sea turtles. In addition, water and cloacal temperatures were compared across treatment groups and shade cover preferences observed. Ninety turtles were split equally into three treatment groups for this 8-wk study. In the first group turtles were kept in tanks in full sun, the second group in half-shaded tanks, and the third group in tanks completely covered with shade cloth. Time-lapse cameras mounted above half-shaded tanks were used to determine turtle shade structure preferences throughout the day. There were no differences in CCL among treatment groups. Significant increases in weights were noted in turtles kept in full sun and half-shaded tanks versus the fully shaded tanks. Significantly higher water and cloacal turtle temperatures were noted in the full-sun tank compared with the half-shaded or completely shaded tanks. A significantly lower number of turtles was observed in the sun in the half-shaded tanks, indicating a possible preference by turtles for a shade structure. Results suggest that providing shade structures for sea turtles results in a significant decrease in both overall water temperature as well as a reduction in maximum high daily temperatures. Results also suggest that turtles exhibit a preference for shade structures when it is provided as an option. From these results, we recommend that a shade structure be provided when housing green sea turtles in outdoor enclosures.

  7. Rise and fall over 26 years of a marine epizootic in Hawaiian green sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Chaloupka, Milani; Balazs, George H; Work, Thierry M

    2009-10-01

    Estimates of chronic disease prevalence are needed to improve our understanding of marine disease epizootiology, which is poorly known for marine megafauna such as marine turtles. An emerging worldwide threat to green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) is fibropapillomatosis (FP), which is a pandemic tumor-forming disease associated with herpes-viruses. We report on a 26-yr FP epidemic in the Hawaiian Archipelago and show that apparent disease prevalence in the world's main endemic hot spot increased rapidly following a late 1980s outbreak, peaked during the mid-1990s, and then declined steadily ever since. While this disease is a major cause of sea turtle stranding in Hawaiian waters and can be fatal, we also show that long-term tumor regression can occur even for turtles with advanced FP. The endemic Hawaiian green turtle stock was severely depleted by overexploitation prior to protection under the US Endangered Species Act in 1978. This stock has increased significantly ever since, despite exposure to a major chronic disease epidemic that is currently declining.

  8. Using blood samples to estimate persistent organic pollutants and metals in green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas).

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-01

    Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and heavy metals have been reported in a number of green turtle (Chelonia mydas) populations worldwide. However, due to ethical considerations, these studies have generally been on tissues from deceased and stranded animals. The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of blood samples to estimate the tissue contamination of live C. mydas populations. This study analysed 125 POP compounds and eight heavy metals in the blood, liver, kidney and muscle of 16 C. mydas from the Sea World Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Program, Gold Coast, Australia. Strong correlations were observed between blood and tissue concentrations for a number of POPs and metals. Furthermore, these correlations were observed over large ranges of turtle size, sex and condition. These results indicate that blood samples are a reliable non-lethal method for predicting chemical contamination in C. mydas.

  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. © 2014 SETAC.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

    Piniak, Wendy E D; Mann, David A; Harms, Craig A; Jones, T Todd; Eckert, Scott A

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Piniak, Wendy E. D.; Mann, David A.; Harms, Craig A.; Jones, T. Todd; Eckert, Scott A.

    2016-01-01

    Sea turtles spend much of their life in aquatic environments, but critical portions of their life cycle, such as nesting and hatching, occur in terrestrial environments, suggesting that it may be important for them to detect sounds in both air and water. In this study we compared underwater and aerial hearing sensitivities in five juvenile green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) by measuring auditory evoked potential responses to tone pip stimuli. Green sea turtles detected acoustic stimuli in both media, responding to underwater stimuli between 50 and 1600 Hz and aerial stimuli between 50 and 800 Hz, with maximum sensitivity between 200 and 400 Hz underwater and 300 and 400 Hz in air. When underwater and aerial hearing sensitivities were compared in terms of pressure, green sea turtle aerial sound pressure thresholds were lower than underwater thresholds, however they detected a wider range of frequencies underwater. When thresholds were compared in terms of sound intensity, green sea turtle sound intensity level thresholds were 2–39 dB lower underwater particularly at frequencies below 400 Hz. Acoustic stimuli may provide important environmental cues for sea turtles. Further research is needed to determine how sea turtles behaviorally and physiologically respond to sounds in their environment. PMID:27741231

  15. The primary structure of myoglobin from pacific green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas caranigra).

    PubMed

    Watts, D A; Angelides, T; Brown, W D

    1983-01-26

    The amino acid sequence of the main component myoglobin from skeletal muscle of Pacific green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas caranigra) has been determined. The globin is 153 residues in length and has a free amino-terminus. The heme-binding and internal residues are as found in mammalian myoglobins. Ten substitutions are observed between this myoglobin and that from map turtle. About 38, 52, 47 and 86 substitutions are noted in comparison with the myoglobins of other reptiles, mammals, birds and fish, respectively. The inferred pattern of structural stabilization and conservation of two loci are typical of tetrapod myoglobin.

  16. Evaluation of mercury mediated in vitro cytotoxicity among cell lines established from green sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hong; Tong, Jing; Bi, Yongyi; Wang, Chunhong; Guo, Liqiao; Lu, Yuanan

    2013-04-01

    In vitro cell cultures are currently tested for their application as a biological tool for enhanced monitoring and field evaluation of environmental toxic chemical pollution. Here cell lines established from green sea turtles (GSTs) were comparatively tested for their cytotoxic responses to mercury chloride (HgCl2) exposure and also their potential use as a biological tool for effective monitoring and screening of mercury contamination in environmental waters. Following a 24-h exposure to different concentrations of mercury solution, marine turtle cells were evaluated for their cytotoxic responses using three different endpoint bioassays: tetrazolium salt reduction (MTT), neutral red uptake (NR), and Coomassie blue (CB) methods. Cytotoxic sensitivities of GST cell lines to HgCl2 were determined and compared basing on their 50% inhibition concentration (IC50) values calculated from these tests. These marine turtle cells share a very different pattern of cytotoxic sensitivities and reactions to inorganic Mercury. Among these nine turtle cell lines, turtle liver cells (GST-LV) appear to be the most tolerant one to mercury exposure while turtle lung cells (GST-LG) exhibit to be the most sensitive one. Results from this in vitro study correlate well with in vivo examination of mercury concentration in the tissues of marine turtles and are also validated and ascertained by calculated regression equations showing a significant correlation (P<0.01) between these test methods. This study also reveals the cytotoxic effect of inorganic mercury on in vitro green turtle cells and also shows GST-LG to be a cell line with potential application in field monitoring and assessing mercury contamination as a bioindicator.

  17. Quantitative requirements of the hatchling green sea turtle for lysine, tryptophan, and methionine.

    PubMed

    Wood, J R; Wood, F E

    1977-02-01

    The quantitative requirement for the amino acids lysine, tryptophan, and methionine was determined for the hatchling green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas). Hatchling green sea turtles were fed synthetic diets of purified substances with the composition of the diet varying in the amount of lysine, tryptophan or methionine present. The lysine requirement was found to be 4.8% of the crude protein (N X 6.25) or 1.7% of the dry diet. The tryptophan requirement was found to be 0.63% of the crude protein or 0.22% of the dry diet. The methionine requirement, in the presence of adequate cystine (3.1% of the crude protein), was found to be 1.5% of the crude protein or 0.49% of the dry diet.

  18. Digenetic trematode community in nesting green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) from Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Santoro, Mario; Greiner, Ellis C; Morales, Juan Alberto; Rodríguez-Ortíz, Beatriz

    2006-12-01

    The digenetic community of 40 green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) was investigated at Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica. In total, 24,270 trematodes belonging to 29 species and 6 families including Clinostomidae 1, Microscaphidiidae 5, Paramphistomidae 2, Pronocephalidae 15, Rhytidodidae 2, and Spirorchiidae 4 were recorded from chelonians examined. Turtles harbored a mean of 7.63 +/- 3.5 SD species. Only 3 species, i.e., Learedius learedi, Microscaphidium reticulare, and Pyelosomum cochlear, infected more than 50% of the hosts sampled. Learedius learedi was the most prevalent (97.5%) and the second most abundant species with a mean of 25.6 +/- 21.6 SD. Only 1 core species, M. reticulare, was recovered from the gastrointestinal tract; it was the most abundant parasite, with a mean intensity of 477 +/- 1,180 SD, and the second most prevalent (77.5%). Diversity values ranged from 0.10 to 2.10, with a mean of 1.00 +/- 0.43 SD for the total component community and from 0.10 to 1.84, with a mean of 0.79 +/- 0.41 SD, for the gastrointestinal component community. Species richness was the highest recorded from a sea turtle species. All digenetic species were recorded from Costa Rica for the first time. This represents the first report on the helminth community of the green turtle.

  19. Hydrodynamic stability in posthatchling loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and green (Chelonia mydas) sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Dougherty, Erin; Rivera, Gabriel; Blob, Richard; Wyneken, Jeanette

    2010-05-01

    Swimming animals may experience a wide range of destabilizing forces resulting from the movements of their propulsors. These forces often cause movements in directions other than the intended trajectory (i.e., recoil motions), potentially increasing locomotor costs. We quantified rectilinear swimming stability for posthatchling loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and green turtles (Chelonia mydas). Sea turtles predominantly swim via "aquatic flight", which is characterized by synchronous dorsoventral flapping of their forelimbs. We tested four predictions about the effects of "aquatic flight" on stability: (1) it would produce little lateral recoil; (2) lateral recoil motions would be non-cyclic; (3) vertical recoil motions would be larger than lateral recoil motions; and (4) vertical recoil motions would be cyclic. Additionally, because posthatchling loggerheads possess dorsal keels on the shell that are absent in green turtles, we evaluated whether such keels might improve stability in swimming turtles. While our expectations for patterns of cyclicity in recoil motions (predictions 2 and 4) were met, our expectations for differences in their absolute and relative magnitudes (predictions 1 and 3) were not. We suggest that lateral recoil motions were greater than predicted due to slight asynchronies between the motions of the left and right foreflippers. Additionally, although minimum lateral recoil motions were smaller than minimum vertical recoil motions, maximum recoil motions were greater in the lateral direction, so that average recoil did not differ significantly between these directions. Finally, because loggerheads did not display higher levels of stability compared to green turtles, there is little evidence to support a stabilizing role for dorsal keels in loggerhead turtles.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Neurologic examination of sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Chrisman, C L; Walsh, M; Meeks, J C; Zurawka, H; LaRock, R; Herbst, L; Schumacher, J

    1997-10-15

    To determine whether neurologic examination techniques established for use on dogs and cats could be adapted for use on sea turtles. Prospective controlled observational study. 4 healthy Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas), 1 healthy Kemp's ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempi), and 6 Green Turtles suspected to have neurologic abnormalities. Neurologic examinations were performed while sea turtles were in and out of the water and in ventral and dorsal recumbency. Mentation, general activity, head and body posture, movement and coordination, thoracic and pelvic limb movement, strength and muscle tone, and tail movement were observed. Thoracic and pelvic limb flexor reflexes and nociception, righting response, cranial nerve reflexes, clasp and cloacal reflexes, and neck, dorsal scute, cloacal and tail nociception were tested. Results of neurologic evaluations were consistent for healthy sea turtles. Sea turtles suspected to have neurologic abnormalities had abnormal results. Many of the neurologic examination techniques used to evaluate dogs and cats can be adapted and used to evaluate sea turtles. A standardized neurologic examination should result in an accurate assessment of neurologic function in impaired sea turtles and should help in evaluating effects of rehabilitation efforts and suitability for return to their natural environment.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Characterization of single nucleotide polymorphism markers for the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas).

    PubMed

    Roden, Suzanne E; Dutton, Peter H; Morin, Phillip A

    2009-05-01

    We present data on 29 new single nucleotide polymorphism assays for the green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas. DNA extracts from 39 green turtles were used for two methods of single nucleotide polymorphism discovery. The first approach employed an amplified fragment length polymorphism technique. The second technique screened a microsatellite library. Allele-specific amplification assays were developed for high-throughput single nucleotide polymorphism genotyping and tested on two Pacific C. mydas nesting populations. Observed heterozygosities ranged from 0 to 0.95 for a Hawaiian population and from 0 to 0.85 for a Galapagos population. Each of the populations had one locus out of Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, SSCM2b and SSCM5 for Hawaii and Galapagos, respectively. No loci showed significant genotypic linkage disequilibrium across an expanded set of four Pacific nesting populations. However, two loci, SSCM4 and SSCM10b showed linkage disequilibrium across three populations indicating possible association.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chaloupka, Milani; Work, Thierry M.; Balazs, George H.; Murakawa, Shawn K. K.; Morris, Robert

    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

  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 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

  8. Reference intervals and relationships between health status, carapace length, body mass, and water temperature and concentrations of plasma total protein and protein electrophoretogram fractions in Atlantic loggerhead sea turtles and green turtles.

    PubMed

    Osborne, Ann G; Jacobson, Elliott R; Bresette, Michael J; Singewald, Dave A; Scarpino, Russell A; Bolten, Alan B

    2010-09-01

    To determine reference intervals for concentrations of plasma total protein (TP) and electrophoretogram fractions (ELFs) for healthy, wild loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) and green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and to assess relationships between TP and ELF concentrations and health status, body size, body mass, and water temperature. Evaluation study. 437 healthy and 35 ill Atlantic loggerhead sea turtles and 152 healthy and 3 ill Atlantic green turtles. Free-ranging turtles were captured from a nuclear power plant intake canal in southern Florida. Plasma samples were obtained from all turtles. Plasma TP and ELF concentrations were measured, and reference intervals were calculated. Wilcoxon rank-sum tests were used to compare TP and ELF values between healthy and ill loggerhead sea turtles. Spearman rank correlations were evaluated between concentrations of TP and ELFs and carapace length, body mass, and water temperature. Reference intervals for TP concentrations were 2.2 to 5.2 g/dL and 2.0 to 5.4 g/dL for loggerhead sea turtles and green turtles, respectively. Except for gamma-globulin, concentrations of ELFs were significantly higher in healthy than in ill loggerhead sea turtles. There was a positive correlation between TP, alpha-globulin, beta-globulin, and gamma-globulin concentrations and water temperature in loggerhead sea turtles and between only TP and alpha-globulin concentrations and water temperature in green turtles. Reference intervals for concentrations of TP and ELFs for healthy, free-ranging loggerhead sea turtles and green turtles can be used in combination with other diagnostic tools to assess health status of sea turtles.

  9. Morbidity in a juvenile green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) due to ocean-borne plastic.

    PubMed

    Stamper, M Andrew; Spicer, Chad W; Neiffer, Donald L; Mathews, Kristin S; Fleming, Gregory J

    2009-03-01

    An emaciated 2.36-kg juvenile green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas, was found floating off of Melbourne Beach, Florida, USA (28 degrees 2'4"N, 80 degrees 32'32"W). The turtle exhibited signs of cachexia, positive buoyancy, lethargy, and obstipation; was covered with barnacles; and was anorexic at the time of presentation. Dorsal-ventral radiographs with positive contrast confirmed obstruction of the gastrointestinal tract. Serum chemistry abnormalities reflected metabolic/nutritional deficiencies. Gastrointestinal prokinetics and oral/enema mineral oil applications were effective in relieving gastrointestinal obstruction with the turtle defecating a total of 74 foreign objects over a period of a month. After the removal of the foreign material, the turtle quickly regained normal behavior and health. The lack of blood parameters demonstrating infection or inflammation; the failure to respond to antibiotic and antifungal treatment as well as the parallel improvement in behavior and health after incremental evacuation of the plastic is highly suggestive of a cause and effect association.

  10. Intestinal and cloacal strictures in free-ranging and aquarium-maintained green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas).

    PubMed

    Erlacher-Reid, Claire D; Norton, Terry M; Harms, Craig A; Thompson, Rachel; Reese, David J; Walsh, Michael T; Stamper, M Andrew

    2013-06-01

    Intestinal or cloacal strictures that resulted in intestinal obstruction were diagnosed in six green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) from three rehabilitation facilities and two zoologic parks. The etiologies of the strictures were unknown in these cases. It is likely that anatomic adaptations of the gastrointestinal tract unique to the green sea turtle's herbivorous diet, paired with causes of reduced intestinal motility, may predispose the species to intestinal damage and subsequent obstructive intestinal disease. In aquarium-maintained green sea turtles, obesity, diet, reduced physical activity, chronic intestinal disease, and inappropriate or inadequate antibiotics might also be potential contributing factors. Clinical, radiographic, and hematologic abnormalities common among most of these sea turtles include the following: positive buoyancy; lethargy; inappetence; regurgitation; obstipation; dilated bowel and accumulation of oral contrast material; anemia; hypoglycemia; hypoalbuminemia; hypocalcemia; and elevated creatine kinase, aspartate aminotransferase, and blood urea nitrogen. Although these abnormalities are nonspecific with many possible contributing factors, intestinal disease, including strictures, should be considered a differential in green sea turtles that demonstrate all or a combination of these clinical findings. Although diagnostic imaging, including radiographs, computed tomography, or magnetic resonance imaging, are important in determining a cause for suspected gastrointestinal disease and identifying an anatomic location of obstruction, intestinal strictures were not successfully identified when using these imaging modalities. Lower gastrointestinal contrast radiography, paired with the use of oral contrast, was useful in identifying the suspected site of intestinal obstruction in two cases. Colonoscopy was instrumental in visually diagnosing intestinal stricture in one case. Therefore, lower gastrointestinal contrast radiography and

  11. Death in the octopus' garden: fatal blue-lined octopus envenomations of adult green sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Townsend, Kathy A; Altvater, Jens; Thomas, Michael C; Schuyler, Qamar A; Nette, Geoffrey W

    2012-01-01

    The blue-lined octopus Hapalochlaena fasciata contains the powerful neuromuscular blocker tetrodotoxin (TTX), which causes muscle weakness and respiratory failure. H. fasciata is regarded as one of the most venomous marine animals in the world, and multiple human fatalities have been attributed to the octopus. To date, there have been no recorded incidents of an envenomation of a wild animal. Here, we present a newly developed, multi-stage tandem mass spectrometry technique that provides unequivocal evidence for two cases of envenomation of two ~110 kg herbivorous green sea turtles by two tiny cryptic blue-lined octopuses (~4 cm body length). These cases of accidental ingestion provide evidence for the first time of the antipredator effect of TTX and highlight a previously unconsidered threat to turtles grazing within seagrass beds.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Molecular epidemiology and pathology of spirorchiid infection in green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas).

    PubMed

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

    2017-04-01

    Spirorchiid blood fluke infections affect endangered turtle populations globally, and are reported as a common cause of mortality in Queensland green sea turtles. Both the flukes and their ova are pathogenic and can contribute to the stranding or death of their host. Of particular interest are ova-associated brain lesions, which have been associated with host neurological deficits. Accurate estimations of disease frequency and the relative effect of infection relating to different spirorchiid species are made difficult by challenges in morphological identification of adults of some genera, and a lack of species-level identifying features for ova. A new specifically designed molecular assay was used to detect and identify cryptic spirorchiids and their ova in Queensland green sea turtle tissues collected from 2011 to 2014 in order to investigate epidemiology, tissue tropisms and pathology. Eight spirorchiid genotypes were detected in 14 distinct tissues, including multiple tissues for each. We found no evidence of a characteristic pathway of the eggs to the exterior; instead the results suggest that a high proportion of eggs become lost in dead-end tissues. The most common lesions observed were granulomas affecting most organs with varying severity, followed by arteritis and thrombi in the great vessels. The number of spirorchiid types detected increased with the presence and severity of granulomatous lesions. However, compared with other organs the brain showed relatively low levels of spirorchiid diversity. An inverse relationship between host age and spirorchiid diversity was evident for the liver and kidneys, but no such relationship was evident for other organs. Molecular data in this study, the first of its kind, provides the first species-level examination of spirorchiid ova and associated pathology, and paves the way for the future development of targeted ante-mortem diagnosis of spirorchiidiasis.

  15. Nocturnal activity in the green sea turtle alters daily profiles of melatonin and corticosterone.

    PubMed

    Jessop, Tim S; Limpus, Colin J; Whittier, Joan M

    2002-06-01

    In nature, green turtles (Chelonia mydas) can exhibit nocturnal activity in addition to their typically diurnal activity cycle. We examined whether nocturnal activity in captive and free-living green turtles altered daily plasma profiles of melatonin (MEL) and corticosterone (CORT). In captivity, diurnally active green turtles expressed distinct diel cycles in MEL and CORT; a nocturnal rise was observed in MEL and a diurnal rise was observed in CORT. However, when induced to perform both low- and high-intensity nocturnal activity, captive green turtles exhibited a significant decrease in MEL, compared to inactive controls. In contrast, plasma CORT increased significantly with nocturnal activity, and further, the relative increase in CORT was correlated with the intensity of the nocturnal behavior. In free-living green turtles that performed nocturnal activity including: nesting, mate searching, and feeding/swimming behaviors, plasma profiles in MEL and CORT exhibited relatively little, or no, daily fluctuation. Our findings demonstrate that nocturnal activity in green turtles is often associated with MEL and CORT profiles that resemble those measured during the day. We speculate that these conspicuous changes in MEL and CORT during nocturnal activity could either support or promote behaviors that enable acquisition of transient resources important to the survival and reproductive success of green turtles. (c) 2002 Elsevier Science (USA).

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

    PubMed

    Sinaei, Mahmood; Bolouki, Mehdi

    2017-06-19

    The green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) has been a species of global concern for decades. In this study, heavy metals (mercury: Hg; Cadmium: Cd; Lead: Pb; Copper: Cu; and Zinc: Zn) were measured in blood and three egg fraction of green sea turtles nesting on the northern coast of Sea of Oman. Heavy metals concentrations in blood, yolk, albumen, and egg shell ranged between 0.16-36.78, 0.006-33.88, 0.003-4.02, and 0.002-6.85 μg/g (ww), respectively. According to the results, all heavy metals found in blood samples (n = 12) also were detected in the various parts of the eggs (n = 48). Moreover, there were no significant differences between concentrations of heavy metals in different clutches laid in a nesting season. However, Pb concentrations in blood samples significantly increased in later clutches (p < 0.05), whereas Cu concentrations in blood samples exhibit a declining trend (p < 0.05). These results reveal the existence of maternal transfer phenomenon in green sea turtles on the northern coast of Sea of Oman. Results of this study suggest that heavy metals could be one of the factors influencing reductions in fertilization and hatching success. Results also indicate that green sea turtle on the northern coast of Sea of Oman have high capacity in rapid response and detoxification of heavy metals and/or from the low exposure levels of these turtles to the heavy metals. Further research is required concerning the effects of heavy metals on green sea turtles, especially on their possible influence of fetal development of turtles.

  17. Public Awareness Program and Development of Education Toolkit for Green Sea Turtle Conservation in Sarawak, Malaysia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hassan, Ruhana; Yahya, Nurhartini Kamalia; Ong, Leh Mui; Kheng, Lim Kian; Abidin, Zulkalnain Zainal; Ayob, Anuar; Jainal, Aslina Mohd

    2017-01-01

    Nobody knows exactly what happened during "the lost years" of the turtles in the wild, thus a green turtle headstarting project was carried out at Pantai Pandan, Lundu, Sarawak, Malaysia from June 2014 until December 2015 to shed some lights on the growth of hatchlings during a small part of their "lost years". As a consequent,…

  18. Pollutants and the health of green sea turtles resident to an urbanized estuary in San Diego, CA.

    PubMed

    Komoroske, Lisa M; Lewison, Rebecca L; Seminoff, Jeffrey A; Deheyn, Dimitri D; Dutton, Peter H

    2011-07-01

    Rapid expansion of coastal anthropogenic development means that critical foraging and developmental habitats often occur near highly polluted and urbanized environments. Although coastal contamination is widespread, the impact this has on long-lived vertebrates like the green turtle (Chelonia mydas) is unclear because traditional experimental methods cannot be applied. We coupled minimally invasive sampling techniques with health assessments to quantify contaminant patterns in a population of green turtles resident to San Diego Bay, CA, a highly urbanized and contaminated estuary. Several chemicals were correlated with turtle size, suggesting possible differences in physiological processes or habitat utilization between life stages. With the exception of mercury, higher concentrations of carapace metals as well as 4,4'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) and γ chlordane in blood plasma relative to other sea turtle studies raises important questions about the chemical risks to turtles resident to San Diego Bay. Mercury concentrations exceeded immune function no-effects thresholds and increased carapace metal loads were correlated with higher levels of multiple health markers. These results indicate immunological and physiological effects studies are needed in this population. Our results give insight into the potential conservation risk contaminants pose to sea turtles inhabiting this contaminated coastal habitat, and highlight the need to better manage and mitigate contaminant exposure in San Diego Bay. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. 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.

  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. PMID:27293722

  1. Hypothermic stunning of green sea turtles in a western Gulf of Mexico foraging habitat

    PubMed Central

    Tissot, Philippe E.; Streich, Mary M.; Walker, Jennifer Shelby; Rubio, Cynthia; Amos, Anthony F.; George, Jeffrey A.; Pasawicz, Michelle R.

    2017-01-01

    Texas waters provide one of the most important developmental and foraging habitats for juvenile green turtles (Chelonia mydas) in the western Gulf of Mexico, but hypothermic stunning is a significant threat and was the largest cause of green turtle strandings in Texas from 1980 through 2015; of the 8,107 green turtles found stranded, 4,529 (55.9%) were victims of hypothermic stunning. Additionally, during this time, 203 hypothermic stunned green turtles were found incidentally captured due to power plant water intake entrapment. Overall, 63.9% of 4,529 hypothermic stunned turtles were found alive, and 92.0% of those survived rehabilitation and were released. Numbers of green turtles recorded as stranded and as affected by hypothermic stunning increased over time, and were most numerous from 2007 through 2015. Large hypothermic stunning events (with more than 450 turtles documented) occurred during the winters of 2009–2010, 2010–2011, 2013–2014, and 2014–2015. Hypothermic stunning was documented between November and March, but peaked at various times depending on passage of severe weather systems. Hypothermic stunning occurred state-wide, but was most prevalent in South Texas, particularly the Laguna Madre. In the Laguna Madre, hypothermic stunning was associated with an abrupt drop in water temperatures strong northerly winds, and a threshold mean water temperature of 8.0°C predicted large turtle hypothermic stunning events. Knowledge of environmental parameters contributing to hypothermic stunning and the temporal and spatial distribution of turtles affected in the past, can aid with formulation of proactive, targeted search and rescue efforts that can ultimately save the lives of many affected individuals, and aid with recovery efforts for this bi-national stock. Such rescue efforts are required under the U.S. Endangered Species Act and respond to humanitarian concerns of the public. PMID:28306747

  2. Hypothermic stunning of green sea turtles in a western Gulf of Mexico foraging habitat.

    PubMed

    Shaver, Donna J; Tissot, Philippe E; Streich, Mary M; Walker, Jennifer Shelby; Rubio, Cynthia; Amos, Anthony F; George, Jeffrey A; Pasawicz, Michelle R

    2017-01-01

    Texas waters provide one of the most important developmental and foraging habitats for juvenile green turtles (Chelonia mydas) in the western Gulf of Mexico, but hypothermic stunning is a significant threat and was the largest cause of green turtle strandings in Texas from 1980 through 2015; of the 8,107 green turtles found stranded, 4,529 (55.9%) were victims of hypothermic stunning. Additionally, during this time, 203 hypothermic stunned green turtles were found incidentally captured due to power plant water intake entrapment. Overall, 63.9% of 4,529 hypothermic stunned turtles were found alive, and 92.0% of those survived rehabilitation and were released. Numbers of green turtles recorded as stranded and as affected by hypothermic stunning increased over time, and were most numerous from 2007 through 2015. Large hypothermic stunning events (with more than 450 turtles documented) occurred during the winters of 2009-2010, 2010-2011, 2013-2014, and 2014-2015. Hypothermic stunning was documented between November and March, but peaked at various times depending on passage of severe weather systems. Hypothermic stunning occurred state-wide, but was most prevalent in South Texas, particularly the Laguna Madre. In the Laguna Madre, hypothermic stunning was associated with an abrupt drop in water temperatures strong northerly winds, and a threshold mean water temperature of 8.0°C predicted large turtle hypothermic stunning events. Knowledge of environmental parameters contributing to hypothermic stunning and the temporal and spatial distribution of turtles affected in the past, can aid with formulation of proactive, targeted search and rescue efforts that can ultimately save the lives of many affected individuals, and aid with recovery efforts for this bi-national stock. Such rescue efforts are required under the U.S. Endangered Species Act and respond to humanitarian concerns of the public.

  3. Trace element reference intervals in the blood of healthy green sea turtles to evaluate exposure of coastal populations.

    PubMed

    Villa, C A; Flint, M; Bell, I; Hof, C; Limpus, C J; Gaus, C

    2017-01-01

    Exposure to essential and non-essential elements may be elevated for green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) that forage close to shore. Biomonitoring of trace elements in turtle blood can identify temporal trends over repeated sampling events, but any interpretation of potential health risks due to an elevated exposure first requires a comparison against a baseline. This study aims to use clinical reference interval (RI) methods to produce exposure baseline limits for essential and non-essential elements (Na, Mg, K, Ca, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Se, Mo, Cd, Sb, Ba, and Pb) using blood from healthy subadult turtles foraging in a remote and offshore part of the Great Barrier Reef. Subsequent blood biomonitoring of three additional coastal populations, which forage in areas dominated by agricultural, urban and military activities, showed clear habitat-specific differences in blood metal profiles relative to the those observed in the offshore population. Coastal turtles were most often found to have elevated concentrations of Co, Mo, Mn, Mg, Na, As, Sb, and Pb relative to the corresponding RIs. In particular, blood from turtles from the agricultural site had Co concentrations ranging from 160 to 840 μg/L (4-25 times above RI), which are within the order expected to elicit acute effects in many vertebrates. Additional clinical blood biochemistry and haematology results indicate signs of a systemic disease and the prevalence of an active inflammatory response in a high proportion (44%) of turtles from the agricultural site. Elevated Co, Sb, and Mn in the blood of these turtles significantly correlated with elevated markers of acute inflammation (total white cell counts) and liver dysfunction (alkaline phosphatase and total bilirubin). The results of this study support the notion that elevated trace element exposures may be adversely affecting the health of nearshore green sea turtles.

  4. Characterization of a reptilian epithelioid skin cell line derived from the green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas.

    PubMed

    Koment, R W; Haines, H

    1982-03-01

    A continuous line of epithelioid cells was established from explant skin tissues of the green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas. These cells, designated GTS, have been subcultured more than 60 times in commercially available mammalian cell culture medium supplemented with 5% bovine calf serum. Of those temperatures tested, optimal growth was achieved at 30 degrees C although replication occurred between 16 and 37 degrees C. These cells may be held as monolayers at 8 degrees C or stored frozen in growth medium containing 10% dimethyl-sulfoxide at -70 or -196 degrees C. The modal number of 55 chromosomes per cell is in agreement with the heterogametic female diploid number of this species. The GTS line represents the first established culture of normal epithelioid skin cells to be reported for a poikilothermic species.

  5. Development and application of biochemical and haematological reference intervals to identify unhealthy green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas).

    PubMed

    Flint, Mark; Morton, John M; Limpus, Colin J; Patterson-Kane, Janet C; Murray, Peter J; Mills, Paul C

    2010-09-01

    Biochemical and haematological reference intervals (RIs) have been reported for sea turtles, but their value for ante-mortem disease diagnosis may be limited due to small sample sizes and outdated statistical analyses. In the present study, 290 green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) were captured, clinically assessed and blood sampled. Of these, 211 were classified as 'clinically healthy' and 25 as 'clinically unhealthy'. RIs were estimated using data from the healthy turtles and compared with blood values from the unhealthy animals. All of the unhealthy animals had plasma biochemical and haematological values outside one or more RIs (albumin, 48% of unhealthy animals; alkaline phosphatase, 35%; aspartate transaminase, 13%; creatinine, 30%; globulin, 3%; glucose, 34%; lactic dehydrogenase, 26%; phosphorus, 22%; sodium, 13%; thrombocytes, 57%; and monocytes, 5%). Among small immature turtles, those with Chelonibia testudinaria plastron barnacle counts 20 were three times more likely to be unhealthy than those with no barnacles. In addition, small immature and mature turtles were more likely to be unhealthy than large immature turtles.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Stress Response of Juvenile Green Sea Turtles ( Chelonia mydas ) with Different Fibropapillomatosis Scores.

    PubMed

    Renan de Deus Santos, Marcelo; Dias Ferreira Júnior, Paulo; Cardoso Nóbrega, Yhuri; Merçon, Julia; Miura Pereira, Tatiana; Carvalho Gomes, Levy

    2017-07-01

    Green sea turtles ( Chelonia mydas ) with cutaneous fibropapillomatosis (FP) occur in some populations worldwide, and the survivability of these individuals may be compromised depending on the disease severity score. Furthermore, populations may be negatively affected in areas with a high prevalence of the disease. The stress responses (corticosterone, glucose, lactate, and hematocrit) to capture and handling were assessed in animals with different FP severity scores. From 18 January 2013 to 31 July 2014, 33 juvenile (sex was not determined) C. mydas were collected from the effluent of a steel mill in the state of Espírito Santo, Brazil, by casting a net from the bank of a canal in the morning. The body conditions of animals with FP scores of FP2 and FP3 were poor, which suggests that these turtles were unable to adequately feed themselves, and animals with an FP score of FP3 exhibited an impaired corticosterone response. This may compromise the fitness of animals in populations with a high incidence of advanced-stage FP.

  9. 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.

  10. The characterization of cytosolic glutathione transferase from four species of sea turtles: loggerhead (Caretta caretta), green (Chelonia mydas), olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea), and hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata).

    PubMed

    Richardson, Kristine L; Gold-Bouchot, Gerardo; Schlenk, Daniel

    2009-08-01

    Glutathione s-transferases (GST) play a critical role in the detoxification of exogenous and endogenous electrophiles, as well as the products of oxidative stress. As compared to mammals, GST activity has not been extensively characterized in reptiles. Throughout the globe, most sea turtle populations face the risk of extinction. Of the natural and anthropogenic threats to sea turtles, the effects of environmental chemicals and related biochemical mechanisms, such as GST catalyzed detoxification, are probably the least understood. In the present study, GST activity was characterized in four species of sea turtles with varied life histories and feeding strategies: loggerhead (Caretta caretta), green (Chelonia mydas), olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea), and hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata). Although similar GST kinetics was observed between species, rates of catalytic activities using class-specific substrates show inter- and intra-species variation. GST from the spongivorous hawksbill sea turtle shows 3-4.5 fold higher activity with the substrate 4-nitrobenzylchloride than the other 3 species. GST from the herbivorous green sea turtle shows 3 fold higher activity with the substrate ethacrynic acid than the carnivorous olive ridley sea turtle. The results of this study may provide insight into differences in biotransformation potential in the four species of sea turtles and the possible health impacts of contaminant biotransformation by sea turtles.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Sex Differences and the Heritability of Scute Pattern Abnormalities in the Green Sea Turtle from the Ogasawara Archipelago, Japan.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Shohei; Morimoto, Yukari; Kondo, Satomi; Sato, Takayuki; Suganuma, Hiroyuki; Arai, Katsuhiko; Watanabe, Gen

    2017-08-01

    Although scute pattern abnormalities in sea turtle species are considered to be strongly correlated with survival rate, there is little information available regarding these abnormalities and the primary cause for their development is unclear. For the conservation of sea turtle species, accumulating basic knowledge of scute pattern abnormalities is a fundamental step towards a better understanding of the causes of these abnormalities. In the present study, we counted vertebral and costal scutes from adults hunted for food (male and female) (n = 899), nesting females (n = 155), and hatchlings (n = 44,537) of the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) from the Ogasawara Archipelago, Japan. We found that the frequency of turtles with non-modal scute patterns was significantly greater in adult females than that in adult males (P = 0.02). Since females are produced by warmer incubation temperatures, and the period of sex determination coincides with the period of scute pattern determination, high incubation temperatures may be responsible for the induction of scute pattern abnormalities. Moreover, females with non-modal scute patterns produced a higher frequency of hatchlings with non-modal scute patterns than females with modal scute patterns (P < 0.01), indicating that scute abnormality may be heritable. For conservation of this species, our results suggest that decrease of the incubation temperature by cooling methods, such as provision of shade, may minimize the frequency of non-modal scute patterns, with consideration for the natural sex ratio.

  14. Potential effects of brevetoxins and toxic elements on various health variables in Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) and green (Chelonia mydas) sea turtles after a red tide bloom event.

    PubMed

    Perrault, Justin R; Stacy, Nicole I; Lehner, Andreas F; Mott, Cody R; Hirsch, Sarah; Gorham, Jonathan C; Buchweitz, John P; Bresette, Michael J; Walsh, Catherine J

    2017-12-15

    Natural biotoxins and anthropogenic toxicants pose a significant risk to sea turtle health. Documented effects of contaminants include potential disease progression and adverse impacts on development, immune function, and survival in these imperiled species. The shallow seagrass habitats of Florida's northwest coast (Big Bend) serve as an important developmental habitat for Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) and green (Chelonia mydas) sea turtles; however, few studies have been conducted in this area. Our objectives were (1) to evaluate plasma analytes (mass, minimum straight carapace length, body condition index [BCI], fibropapilloma tumor score, lysozyme, superoxide dismutase, reactive oxygen/nitrogen species, plasma protein electrophoresis, cholesterol, and total solids) in Kemp's ridleys and green turtles and their correlation to brevetoxins that were released from a red tide bloom event from July-October 2014 in the Gulf of Mexico near Florida's Big Bend, and (2) to analyze red blood cells in Kemp's ridleys and green turtles for toxic elements (arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, selenium, thallium) with correlation to the measured plasma analytes. Positive correlations were observed between brevetoxins and α2-globulins in Kemp's ridleys and α2- and γ-globulins in green turtles, indicating potential immunostimulation. Arsenic, cadmium, and lead positively correlated with superoxide dismutase in Kemp's ridleys, suggesting oxidative stress. Lead and mercury in green turtles negatively correlated with BCI, while mercury positively correlated with total tumor score of green turtles afflicted with fibropapillomatosis, suggesting a possible association with mercury and increased tumor growth. The total tumor score of green turtles positively correlated with total protein, total globulins, α2-globulins, and γ-globulins, further suggesting inflammation and immunomodulation as a result of fibropapillomatosis. Lastly, brevetoxin concentrations were positively related

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-06-01

    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=44.0cm (SD 6.7cm)). 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. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. 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.

  18. Satellite tagging of rehabilitated green sea turtles Chelonia mydas from the United Arab Emirates, including the longest tracked journey for the species.

    PubMed

    Robinson, David P; Jabado, Rima W; Rohner, Christoph A; Pierce, Simon J; Hyland, Kevin P; Baverstock, Warren R

    2017-01-01

    We collected movement data for eight rehabilitated and satellite-tagged green sea turtles Chelonia mydas released off the United Arab Emirates between 2005 and 2013. Rehabilitation periods ranged from 96 to 1353 days (mean = 437 ± 399 days). Seven of the eight tagged turtles survived after release; one turtle was killed by what is thought to be a post-release spear gun wound. The majority of turtles (63%) used shallow-water core habitats and established home ranges between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the same area in which they had originally washed ashore prior to rescue. Four turtles made movements across international boundaries, highlighting that regional cooperation is necessary for the management of the species. One turtle swam from Fujairah to the Andaman Sea, a total distance of 8283 km, which is the longest published track of a green turtle. This study demonstrates that sea turtles can be successfully reintroduced into the wild after sustaining serious injury and undergoing prolonged periods of intense rehabilitation.

  19. Satellite tagging of rehabilitated green sea turtles Chelonia mydas from the United Arab Emirates, including the longest tracked journey for the species

    PubMed Central

    Jabado, Rima W.; Rohner, Christoph A.; Pierce, Simon J.; Hyland, Kevin P.; Baverstock, Warren R.

    2017-01-01

    We collected movement data for eight rehabilitated and satellite-tagged green sea turtles Chelonia mydas released off the United Arab Emirates between 2005 and 2013. Rehabilitation periods ranged from 96 to 1353 days (mean = 437 ± 399 days). Seven of the eight tagged turtles survived after release; one turtle was killed by what is thought to be a post-release spear gun wound. The majority of turtles (63%) used shallow-water core habitats and established home ranges between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the same area in which they had originally washed ashore prior to rescue. Four turtles made movements across international boundaries, highlighting that regional cooperation is necessary for the management of the species. One turtle swam from Fujairah to the Andaman Sea, a total distance of 8283 km, which is the longest published track of a green turtle. This study demonstrates that sea turtles can be successfully reintroduced into the wild after sustaining serious injury and undergoing prolonged periods of intense rehabilitation. PMID:28873453

  20. Dune vegetation fertilization by nesting sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Hannan, Laura B; Roth, James D; Ehrhart, Llewellyn M; Weishampel, John F

    2007-04-01

    Sea turtle nesting presents a potential pathway to subsidize nutrient-poor dune ecosystems, which provide the nesting habitat for sea turtles. To assess whether this positive feedback between dune plants and turtle nests exists, we measured N concentration and delta15N values in dune soils, leaves from a common dune plant (sea oats [Uniola paniculata]), and addled eggs of loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and green turtles (Chelonia mydas) across a nesting gradient (200-1050 nests/km) along a 40.5-km stretch of beach in east central Florida, USA. The delta15N levels were higher in loggerhead than green turtle eggs, denoting the higher trophic level of loggerhead turtles. Soil N concentration and delta15N values were both positively correlated to turtle nest density. Sea oat leaf tissue delta15N was also positively correlated to nest density, indicating an increased use of augmented marine-based nutrient sources. Foliar N concentration was correlated with delta15N, suggesting that increased nutrient availability from this biogenic vector may enhance the vigor of dune vegetation, promoting dune stabilization and preserving sea turtle nesting habitat.

  1. 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.

  2. Mitochondrial DNA STR analysis as a tool for studying the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) populations: the Mediterranean Sea case study.

    PubMed

    Tikochinski, Y; Bendelac, R; Barash, A; Daya, A; Levy, Y; Friedmann, A

    2012-06-01

    The Mediterranean population of the green sea turtle Chelonia mydas is critically endangered. Genetic analysis of this population using the ordinary haplotyping system, based on sequence analysis of a segment of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) D-loop (control region), revealed very little variation. The most common haplotype, CM-A13, was observed in all but three individuals in hundreds of samples in previous studies. In search for a more informative marker we sequenced the 3' of the mitochondrial control region which contains an AT-rich microsatellite. We found a unique pattern that consists of four AT short tandem repeats (STRs) with varying copy numbers. This allowed us to construct a new haplotyping system composed of four different STR sizes for each mtDNA sequence. Our new mitochondrial STR (mtSTR) haplotyping approach revealed 33 different haplotypes within the nesting and stranded sea turtles along the Mediterranean Israeli seashore. The Israeli coast nesting females had 10 different haplotypes that can be used for monitoring and conservation purposes. The mtSTR haplotyping system can clearly assist in fingerprinting of individual turtles. Moreover, it can be used for estimating phylogenetic distances within populations. This case study shows that the mtSTR haplotyping is applicable for the study of global green sea turtle populations and could also be considered as markers of genetic variability in other species.

  3. 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

    2015-04-08

    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.

  4. 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

  5. Evidence of antibiotic resistance in Enterobacteriales isolated from green sea turtles, Chelonia mydas on the Great Barrier Reef.

    PubMed

    Ahasan, Md Shamim; Picard, Jacqueline; Elliott, Lisa; Kinobe, Robert; Owens, Leigh; Ariel, Ellen

    2017-07-15

    This study investigated Enterobacteriales and their antimicrobial resistance in green sea turtles captured adjacent to the central Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and proximate to urban development. Cloacal swabs were taken from 73 green turtles between 2015 and 2016. A total of 154 out of 341 Gram-negative bacterial isolates were identified as Enterobacteriales that represent 16 different species from 9 different genera. The dominant isolates were Citrobacter (30.52%), Edwardsiella (21.43%) and Escherichia (12.34%). The resistance against 12 antibiotics belonging to 6 different classes was determined. The isolates showed highest resistance to β-lactam antibiotics (78.57%) followed by quinolone (50%) and tetracycline classes (46.1%). Approximately one-third (37.7%) of the isolates identified exhibited multidrug-resistance. Isolates recovered from rehabilitated turtles were significantly multidrug resistant (p<0.009) compared to isolates from other study sites. These results provide baseline information on antimicrobial resistance while revealing gaps for further research to evaluate the level of pollution in the GBR. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Biochemical responses to fibropapilloma and captivity in the green turtle.

    PubMed

    Swimmer, J Y

    2000-01-01

    Blood biochemical parameters were compared for green turtles (Chelonia mydas) with and without green turtle fibropapillomatosis (GTFP) from both captive and wild populations in Hawaii (USA) and from a captive population from California (USA), during the period between 1994 and 1996. Statistical analysis did not detect an influence of disease in any of the blood parameters for free-ranging turtles; however, captive turtles in Hawaii with GTFP had significantly higher levels of alkaline phosphatase and significantly lower levels of lactate compared to non-tumored captive turtles. Multivariate analysis found that biochemical profiles could be used to accurately predict if turtles were healthy or afflicted with GTFP. Discriminant function analysis correctly classified turtles as being with or without GTFP in 89% of cases, suggesting that diseased animals had a distinct signature of plasma biochemistries. Measurements of blood parameters identified numerous differences between captive and wild green turtles in Hawaii. Levels of corticosterone, lactate, triglyceride, glucose, and calcium were significantly higher in wild green turtles as compared to captive turtles, while uric acid levels were significantly lower in wild turtles as compared to captive turtles. Additionally, turtles from Sea World of California (San Diego, California, USA), which had been in captivity the longest, had higher levels of alanine aminotransferase and triglycerides as compared to nearly all other groups. Differences in diet, sampling methods, environmental conditions, and turtle size, help to interpret these results.

  7. Quantitative computed tomography of the liver in juvenile green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas).

    PubMed

    Bonelli, Marília de Albuquerque; de Oliveira, Daniel Capucho; Costa, Lorena Adão Vescovi Séllos; Forattini, Jannine Garcia; Júnior, João Luiz Rossi; Leite, Flaviana Lima Guião; Costa, Fabiano Séllos

    2013-06-01

    Quantitative computed tomography (QCT) is a highly sensitive, applicable technique for determining the x-ray attenuation of organs. This technique reveals great precision in the detection of alterations in the x-ray attenuation of hepatic parenchyma, although the lack of studies establishing normal values limits its application in wild animals. The objective of this study was to establish mean hepatic attenuation values in four healthy juvenile sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) using QCT. Helical computed tomography scans were performed and regions of interest selected in the liver after multi-planar reconstruction images were obtained. The mean attenuation value for the hepatic parenchyma in these four turtles was 60.09 +/- 5.3 standard deviation Hounsfield units. Determining normal x-ray attenuation values of the liver increases knowledge of the computed tomographic anatomy of this species and may be useful in the investigation of hepatic diseases.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Seasonal variation in plasma catecholamines and adipose tissue lipolysis in adult female green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas).

    PubMed

    Hamann, Mark; Limpus, Colin J; Whittier, Joan M

    2003-02-15

    We investigated three aspects of potential interrenal regulation of reproduction in female green sea turtles, Chelonia mydas. First, seasonal trends in plasma catecholamines were examined from female C. mydas at different stages of their reproductive cycles. Second, variation in catecholamine levels during a nesting season were analysed in relation to restraint time, and ecological variables such as nesting habitat, body size, and reproductive investment. Third, catecholamine and corticosterone (CORT) induced lipolysis was investigated with adipose tissue collected from gravid green turtles, using in vitro incubations. Plasma epinephrine (EPI) was lowest in non-vitellogenic (1.55 +/- 0.26 ng/ml) and post-breeding (1.57 +/- 0.22 ng/ml) females, and highest in courting females (2.87 +/- 0.28). Concentrations of norepinephrine (NE) and EPI were relatively constant throughout a nesting season, and not significantly related to restraint time, reproductive investment or nesting habitat. In vitro concentrations of CORT (>3 ng/ml) and NE (2 ng/ml) induced significant release of glycerol after 6h of incubation. Epinephrine tended to induce an antilipolytic affect at low concentrations (0.25 ng/ml) and a net lipolytic response at higher concentrations (>1 ng/ml). Our data suggest that EPI may play a role in regulating body condition during vitellogenesis, and maintaining energy stores during prolonged aphagia during courtship and nesting in female green sea turtles. Furthermore, we provide preliminary evidence that suggests that catecholamine production may be either down regulated or de-sensitised in gravid female C. mydas. Copyright 2003 Elsevier Science (USA)

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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).

  14. Annual and diurnal cycles in plasma testosterone and thyroxine in the male green sea turtle Chelonia mydas.

    PubMed

    Licht, P; Wood, J F; Wood, F E

    1985-03-01

    Male plasma testosterone (T) and thyroxine (T4) were monitored over several annual cycles in a captive breeding colony of green sea turtles, Chelonia mydas. Daily and annual water temperatures varied by only approximately 1 and 3 degrees, respectively. A pronounced season cycle in plasma T was evident in the population as a whole and in individual animals: plasma T was at a nadir (approximately 3 ng/ml) in September-November and then increased progressively to a peak (27-39 ng/ml) in April; levels began declining immediately thereafter, coincident with the onset of copulatory behavior. By contrast, plasma T4 remained uniform (approximately 9 ng/ml) throughout the year and, thus, could not readily account for the decline in androgen levels. Plasma hormones were relatively stable over a 24-hr period at three times a year, and there was a correlation for individual plasma T levels sampled in April and May. Thus, limited sampling should allow identification of seasonal rhythms and individual variability in plasma T levels. Testis mass and spermatogenic activity were significantly greater in January than in September; i.e., spermatogenesis and androgen secretion were not "uncoupled." Copulatory activity began in April but did not peak until May-June, after plasma T had significantly declined. However, there was a significant (but weak) correlation between individual peak levels of plasma T (i.e., in April) and the quantitative level of mating activity (time spent mounting and number of mates) measured for the entire subsequent season. Thus, green turtles do not exhibit the "postnuptial" type of testis cycle typical of many temperate-zone turtles, and the levels of plasma androgen may be important for initiating and maintaining sex behavior, although they are not tightly linked during the mating season.

  15. The ontogeny of pulmonary surfactant secretion in the embryonic green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas).

    PubMed

    Sullivan, L C; Orgeig, S; Wood, P G; Daniels, C B

    2001-01-01

    Pulmonary surfactant, consisting predominantly of phosphatidylcholine (PC), is secreted from Type II cells into the lungs of all air-breathing vertebrates, where it functions to reduce surface tension. In mammals, glucocorticoids and thyroid hormones contribute to the maturation of the surfactant system. It is possible that phylogeny, lung structure, and the environment may influence the development of the surfactant system. Here, we investigate the ontogeny of PC secretion from cocultured Type II cells and fibroblasts in the sea turtle, Chelonia mydas, following 58, 62, and 73 d of incubation and after hatching. The influence of glucocorticoids and thyroid hormones on PC secretion was also examined. Basal PC secretion was lowest at day 58 (3%) and reached a maximal secretion rate of 10% posthatch. Dexamethasone (Dex) alone stimulated PC secretion only at day 58. Triiodothyronine (T(3)) stimulated PC secretion in cells isolated from days 58 and 73 embryos and from hatchling turtles. A combination of Dex and T(3) stimulated PC secretion at all time points.

  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; Peñaloza, 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. Regulation of hemoglobin function and whole blood oxygen affinity by carbon dioxide and pH in the loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas mydas).

    PubMed

    Isaacks, R E; Harkness, D R; White, J R

    1982-01-01

    The oxygen affinity of suspensions of erythrocytes from juvenile and adult loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and green sea (Chelonia mydas mydas) turtles decreased markedly with increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide (0 to near 15%) or hydrogen ion (pH 7.6 to pH 7.2). The P50's were higher with increases in pCO2, particularly at pH near 7.4, than were the P50's with increases in hydrogen ion concentration at any given CO2 concentration. Solutions of hemoglobins from the juvenile loggerhead (8-9 mos.) and green sea (10 mos.) turtles responded to 2, 3-DPG, ATP, or inositol-P5 when added at molar ratios of phosphate to hemoglobin of 4:1 and 20:1 in 0% and 6.29% CO2 but showed no decrease in oxygen affinity at these two CO2 levels in the green turtle when the molar ratio of phosphate to hemoglobin was 0.4. These compounds had little effect on the P50 of these hemoglobins in 14.6% CO2. The P50 of the adult loggerhead turtle hemoglobin did not increase in the presence of organic phosphates beyond the effect induced by CO2 alone. The P50 of hemoglobin from the adult green sea turtle increased only slightly when the molar ratio of phosphate to hemoglobin was 20:1 and at 0 and 6% CO2 concentration; little effect was observed at 14.6% CO2. These data demonstrate that blood oxygen affinities and hemoglobin function in these two species of marine turtles are altered significantly by CO2 and to a lesser degree by pH. It is suggested that such alterations may be of significance in vivo during prolonged diving when there are dramatic rises in blood pCO2 and [H+] and profound decreases in pO2.

  18. Concentrations and distributions of metals in tissues of stranded green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) from the southern Atlantic coast of Brazil.

    PubMed

    da Silva, Cinthia Carneiro; Varela, Antonio Sergio; Barcarolli, Indianara Fernanda; Bianchini, Adalto

    2014-01-01

    Silver (Ag), cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn) concentrations were analyzed in tissues of juvenile green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) found stranded along the southern Atlantic coast in Brazil. Green sea turtles were collected (n=29), measured (curved carapace length: CCL) and had their muscle, liver, and kidney dissected for metal concentration measurements. Sex was identified in 18 individuals (10 females and 8 males) through gonad histology. No gender differences in CCL and tissue metal concentrations were observed. In the muscle, there was a negative correlation between CCL and Cd and Cu concentrations. Metal concentrations were lower in the muscle than in the liver and kidney. Zn concentration in the muscle was the highest of all metals analyzed (16.6 mg/kg). The kidney showed the highest concentrations of Pb, Cd and Zn (5.4, 28.3 and 54.3 mg/kg, respectively), while the liver had the highest values of Ag and Cu (0.8 and 100.9 mg/kg, respectively). Tissue Ag, Zn and Cd concentrations were similar to those found in green sea turtles from other regions while Cu and Pb values were elevated, likely due to the metal-rich water and sediment reported in the collection area. In the liver and kidney, concentrations of non-essential (Ag, Cd and Pb) and essential (Cu or Zn) metals were positively correlated, likely due to an induced metallothionein synthesis to protect tissue against the toxic effect of metals. This is the first study to report and correlate the concentrations of essential and non-essential metals in tissues of green sea turtles in the Brazilian southern Atlantic coast, an important feeding and developing area for this turtle species. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  20. 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

  1. Occurrence of organochlorines in the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) on the northern coast of the state of São Paulo, Brazil.

    PubMed

    da Silva, Josilene; Taniguchi, Satie; Becker, José Henrique; Werneck, Max Rondon; Montone, Rosalinda Carmela

    2016-11-15

    Organochlorines (OCs), such as pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), are persistent, toxic and widely distributed through atmospheric transport and ocean currents. Few studies have been conducted on OCs in sea turtles, especially on the coast of Brazil. Chelonia mydas is the largest hard-shell sea turtle and is found tropical and subtropical regions in all oceans. The aim of the present study was to determine the occurrence of OCs in the green sea turtle (C. mydas). Fat, liver, kidney and muscle samples were collected from 27 juveniles found on the beach of the city of Ubatuba on the northern coast of the state of São Paulo, Brazil. OCs were extracted with organic solvents and the extract was purified with concentrated acid. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and electron capture detection were used for the identification and quantification of PCBs and pesticides, respectively. No organochlorine pesticides were detected in any of the samples. Concentrations of total PCBs in wet weight were <1.6 to 48.9ng/g in fat tissue, <1.6 to 17.4ng/g in liver tissue and <1.6 to 37.7ng/g in kidney tissue. The low levels found are mainly related to diet, as the green sea turtle is basically herbivorous and lower PCB contamination compared to other regions.

  2. Tracking sea turtles in the Everglades

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hart, Kristin M.

    2008-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has a long history of conducting research on threatened, endangered, and at-risk species inhabiting both terrestrial and marine environments, particularly those found within national parks and protected areas. In the coastal Gulf of Mexico region, for example, USGS scientist Donna Shaver at Padre Island National Seashore in Texas has focused on “headstarting” hatchlings of the rare Kemp’s ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii). She is also analyzing trends in sea turtle strandings onshore and interactions with Gulf shrimp fisheries. Along south Florida’s Gulf coast, the USGS has focused on research and monitoring for managing the greater Everglades ecosystem. One novel project involves the endangered green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas). The ecology and movements of adult green turtles are reasonably well understood, largely due to decades of nesting beach monitoring by a network of researchers and volunteers. In contrast, relatively little is known about the habitat requirements and movements of juvenile and subadult sea turtles of any species in their aquatic environment.

  3. Organohalogen contaminants in blood of Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) and green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) from the Gulf of Mexico.

    PubMed

    Swarthout, Robert F; Keller, Jennifer M; Peden-Adams, Margie; Landry, Andre M; Fair, Patricia A; Kucklick, John R

    2010-02-01

    The threat that exposure to organohalogen (OH) contaminants poses to endangered populations of Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) and green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) is not well understood, partly because few OH data are available. Blood samples from live juvenile and sub-adult L. kempii (n = 46) and C. mydas (n = 9) from the Gulf of Mexico and from L. kempii from the southeastern US coast (n = 3) were extracted using microwave-assisted extraction, and analyzed by large volume injection gas chromatography-mass spectrometry for 85 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), 25 organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and 27 polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). Plasma chemistries, hematology and immune responses were also assessed. Concentrations of SigmaPCBs (geometric mean, range: 3190 pg g(-1), 227-21590 pg g(-1) blood), SigmaDDTs (geometric mean, range: 541 pg g(-1), 161-4310 pg g(-1) blood) and OCPs in L. kempii from the Gulf were comparable to those reported in L. kempii from the Atlantic. SigmaPBDEs were detected in all samples (geometric mean, range: 146 pg g(-1), 19.5-1450 pg g(-1) blood), with PBDE 47, 99, 100, 153 and 154 being the predominant congeners. SigmaPCBs, SigmaDDTs and Sigmachlordanes were one order of magnitude lower in green turtles, and SigmaPBDE concentrations were lower by half due to trophic level differences. L. kempii from the southeast USA had higher percentages of highly chlorinated PCBs indicating exposure to Aroclor 1268. Blood urea nitrogen was positively correlated to Sigmachlordanes, and SigmaPCBs were inversely correlated to creatine phosphokinase in L. kempii. These data help establish baseline contaminant concentrations in live L. kempii and C. mydas.

  4. Development of the pulmonary surfactant system in the green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas.

    PubMed

    Johnston, S D; Daniels, C B; Booth, D T

    2001-05-01

    This study describes the developmental changes in pulmonary surfactant (PS) lipids throughout incubation in the sea turtle, Chelonia mydas. Total phospholipid (PL), disaturated phospholipid (DSP) and cholesterol (Chol) harvested from lung washings increased with advancing incubation, where secretion was maximal at pipping, coincident with the onset of pulmonary ventilation. The DSP/PL ratio increased, whereas the Chol/PL and the Chol/DSP ratio declined throughout development. The phospholipids, therefore, are independently regulated from Chol and their development matches that of mammals. To explore whether hypoxia could elicit an effect on the development of the PS system, embryos were exposed to a chronic dose of 17% O2 for the final approximately 40% of incubation. Hypoxia did not affect incubation time, absolute, nor relative abundance of the surfactant lipids, demonstrating that the development of the system is robust and that embryonic development continues unabated under mild hypoxia. Hypoxia-incubated hatchlings had lighter wet lung weights than those from normoxia, inferring that mild hypoxia facilitates lung clearance in this species.

  5. Sea turtles: navigating with magnetism.

    PubMed

    Lohmann, Kenneth J

    2007-02-06

    Young sea turtles use the Earth's magnetic field as a source of navigational information during their epic transoceanic migrations and while homing. A new study using satellite telemetry has now demonstrated for the first time that adult turtles also navigate using the Earth's magnetic field.

  6. 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.; 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Validation of an in vitro cytotoxicity test for four heavy metals using cell lines derived from a green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas).

    PubMed

    Tan, Fengxia; Wang, Min; Wang, Weimin; Alonso Aguirre, A; Lu, Yuanan

    2010-06-01

    Ten cell lines established from juvenile green sea turtles were tested and evaluated for their cytotoxic responses to four heavy metals: cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), zinc (Zn), and copper (Cu). Following a 24-h exposure to these metal salts at selected concentrations, test cells were comparatively characterized by morphology, viability, and proliferation. Experimental results indicated that all these metal salts were cytotoxic to these turtle cell lines at varied concentrations. Calculated 10% and 50% inhibitory concentration (IC(10) and IC(50)) values revealed that the cytotoxicities of Cd and Cr were significantly more potent than the other two metal salts (p < 0.01). Comparative analysis of IC(10) values in these ten cell lines showed that turtle lung cells (GT-LG) are the most sensitive cell line to Cd, Cr, Zn, and Cu. Among these turtle cell lines, turtle liver cells (GT-LV) are more tolerant than other cells to Cd, Cr, and Zn, while GT-EYE cells are more tolerant to Cu, as determined by IC(50) values. Overall, GT-LG represents the most sensitive cells to heavy metal contamination and may be used for initial environmental monitoring, while the highly tolerant nature of GT-LV and GT-EYE cells to the tested heavy metals suggest their potential use as an emergency last-resort indicator of potential metal-related adverse effect on human health.

  10. Observations of fibropapillomatosis in green turtles (Chelonia mydas) in Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Adnyana, W; Ladds, P W; Blair, D

    1997-10-01

    To determine the prevalence and manifestations of fibropapillomatosis in green turtles in Indonesia, to identify any relationship between fibropapillomatosis and concurrent parasitic infection, to ascertain the effect of fibropapillomatosis on health, and to examine whether environment might have an effect on the prevalence of fibropapillomatosis. 4407 green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and 401 hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) were examined. The occurrence of fibropapillomatosis was correlated with sex, maturity, curved carapace length, body weight/curved carapace length ratio, the number and distribution of tumours on the skin, parasite burdens, some haematological variables and the region of capture. Fibropapillomatosis was seen only in green turtles, and the overall prevalence in these was 21.5%. This prevalence increased with the curved carapace length up to 85 cm. The average number of tumours per affected turtle was 5 +/- SD 4.1 (range, 1 to 29), and was negatively correlated with the body weight/curved carapace length ratio (rs = -0.8; P = 0.001). The red blood cell count in turtles with fibropapilloma was lower than in non-fibropapilloma turtles captured and examined at the same time (P = 0.001). The prevalence of fibropapilloma in turtles captured near densely populated, industrial regions (26.3%) was greater than in turtles from sparsely populated areas (17.7%). Fibropapillomatosis in green sea turtles in Indonesia is of moderate occurrence: young mature turtles (curved carapace length = 85 cm) are most frequently affected. Fibropapilloma adversely affects health of turtles. Fluke infestation seems not to be a causal factor, but viral infection, perhaps with concurrent stress of environmental origin, seems likely.

  11. Effects of biotic and abiotic factors on the oxygen content of green sea turtle nests during embryogenesis.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chiu-Lin; Wang, Chun-Chun; Cheng, I-Jiunn

    2010-10-01

    Several biotic and abiotic factors can influence nest oxygen content during embryogenesis. Several of these factors were determined during each developmental stage of green sea turtle embryos on Wan-an Island, Penghu Archipelago, Taiwan. We examined oxygen content in 7 nests in 2007 and 11 in 2008. Oxygen in the adjacent sand, total and viable clutch sizes, air, sand and nest temperatures, and sand characters of each nest were also determined. Oxygen content was lower in late stages than in the early and middle stages. It was also lower in the middle layer than in the upper and bottom layers. Nest temperature showed opposite trends, reaching its maximum value in late stages of development. Nest oxygen content was influenced by fraction of viable eggs, total clutch sizes, sand temperatures, maximum nest temperature and maximum change in the nest temperature during incubation. Clutch size during embryogenesis was the most influential factor overall. However, the major influential factors were different for different developmental stages. In the first half of the incubation, the development rate was low, and the change in the nest oxygen content was influenced mainly by the clutch size. During the second half, the rapid embryonic development rate became the dominant factor, and hatchling activities caused even greater oxygen consumption during the last stage of development.

  12. 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.

  13. Renal oxalosis in free-ranging green turtles Chelonia mydas.

    PubMed

    Stacy, Brian A; Santoro, Mario; Morales, Juan Alberto; Huzella, Louis M; Kalasinsky, Victor F; Foley, Allen; Mettee, Nancy; Jacobson, Elliott R

    2008-06-19

    Eighteen green turtles Chelonia mydas recovered from the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of Florida and Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica, were diagnosed with renal oxalosis by histopathological examination. Affected sea turtles included 14 adults and 4 immature animals, which comprised 26% (18/69) of green turtle necropsy cases available for review. Calcium oxalate deposition ranged from small to moderate amounts and was associated with granuloma formation and destruction of renal tubules. All affected turtles died from traumatic events or health problems unrelated to renal oxalosis; however, 1 immature turtle had notable associated renal injury. Crystal composition was confirmed by infrared and scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray analysis. The source of calcium oxalate is unknown and is presumed to be of dietary origin.

  14. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. 50 CFR 223.205 - Sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Sea turtles. 223.205 Section 223.205... Threatened Marine and Anadromous Species § 223.205 Sea turtles. (a) The prohibitions of section 9 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1538) relating to endangered species apply to threatened species of sea turtle, except...

  16. 50 CFR 223.205 - Sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Sea turtles. 223.205 Section 223.205... Threatened Marine and Anadromous Species § 223.205 Sea turtles. (a) The prohibitions of section 9 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1538) relating to endangered species apply to threatened species of sea turtle, except...

  17. 50 CFR 223.205 - Sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Sea turtles. 223.205 Section 223.205... Threatened Marine and Anadromous Species § 223.205 Sea turtles. (a) The prohibitions of section 9 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1538) relating to endangered species apply to threatened species of sea turtle, except...

  18. 50 CFR 223.205 - Sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Sea turtles. 223.205 Section 223.205... Threatened Marine and Anadromous Species § 223.205 Sea turtles. (a) The prohibitions of section 9 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1538) relating to endangered species apply to threatened species of sea turtle, except...

  19. First records of dive durations for a hibernating sea turtle.

    PubMed

    Hochscheid, Sandra; Bentivegna, Flegra; Hays, Graeme C

    2005-03-22

    The first published record, from the early 1970s, of hibernation in sea turtles is based on the reports of the indigenous Indians and fishermen from Mexico, who hunted dormant green turtles (Chelonia mydas) in the Gulf of California. However, there were no successful attempts to investigate the biology of this particular behaviour further. Hence, data such as the exact duration and energetic requirements of dormant winter submergences are lacking. We used new satellite relay data loggers to obtain the first records of up to 7h long dives of a loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) overwintering in Greek waters. These represent the longest dives ever reported for a diving marine vertebrate. There is strong evidence that the dives were aerobic, because the turtle surfaced only for short intervals and before the calculated oxygen stores were depleted. This evidence suggests that the common belief that sea turtles hibernate underwater, as some freshwater turtles do, is incorrect.

  20. First records of dive durations for a hibernating sea turtle

    PubMed Central

    Hochscheid, Sandra; Bentivegna, Flegra; Hays, Graeme C

    2005-01-01

    The first published record, from the early 1970s, of hibernation in sea turtles is based on the reports of the indigenous Indians and fishermen from Mexico, who hunted dormant green turtles (Chelonia mydas) in the Gulf of California. However, there were no successful attempts to investigate the biology of this particular behaviour further. Hence, data such as the exact duration and energetic requirements of dormant winter submergences are lacking. We used new satellite relay data loggers to obtain the first records of up to 7 h long dives of a loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) overwintering in Greek waters. These represent the longest dives ever reported for a diving marine vertebrate. There is strong evidence that the dives were aerobic, because the turtle surfaced only for short intervals and before the calculated oxygen stores were depleted. This evidence suggests that the common belief that sea turtles hibernate underwater, as some freshwater turtles do, is incorrect. PMID:17148134

  1. State-dependent risk-taking by green sea turtles mediates top-down effects of tiger shark intimidation in a marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Heithaus, Michael R; Frid, Alejandro; Wirsing, Aaron J; Dill, Lawrence M; Fourqurean, James W; Burkholder, Derek; Thomson, Jordan; Bejder, Lars

    2007-09-01

    1. A predictive framework of community and ecosystem dynamics that applies across systems has remained elusive, in part because non-consumptive predator effects are often ignored. Further, it is unclear how much individual-level detail community models must include. 2. Previous studies of short-lived species suggest that state-dependent decisions add little to our understanding of community dynamics. Body condition-dependent decisions made by long-lived herbivores under risk of predation, however, might have greater community-level effects. This possibility remains largely unexplored, especially in marine environments. 3. In the relatively pristine seagrass community of Shark Bay, Australia, we found that herbivorous green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas Linnaeus, 1758) threatened by tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier Peron and LeSueur, 1822) select microhabitats in a condition-dependent manner. Turtles in poor body condition selected profitable, high-risk microhabitats, while turtles in good body condition, which are more abundant, selected safer, less profitable microhabitats. When predation risk was low, however, turtles in good condition moved into more profitable microhabitats. 4. Condition-dependent use of space by turtles shows that tiger sharks modify the spatio-temporal pattern of turtle grazing and their impacts on ecosystem dynamics (a trait-mediated indirect interaction). Therefore, state-dependent decisions by individuals can have important implications for community dynamics in some situations. 5. Our study suggests that declines in large-bodied sharks may affect ecosystems more substantially than assumed when non-lethal effects of these top predators on mesoconsumers are not considered explicitly.

  2. Global sea turtle conservation successes

    PubMed Central

    Mazaris, Antonios D.; Schofield, Gail; Gkazinou, Chrysoula; Almpanidou, Vasiliki; Hays, Graeme C.

    2017-01-01

    We document a tendency for published estimates of population size in sea turtles to be increasing rather than decreasing across the globe. To examine the population status of the seven species of sea turtle globally, we obtained 299 time series of annual nesting abundance with a total of 4417 annual estimates. The time series ranged in length from 6 to 47 years (mean, 16.2 years). When levels of abundance were summed within regional management units (RMUs) for each species, there were upward trends in 12 RMUs versus downward trends in 5 RMUs. This prevalence of more upward than downward trends was also evident in the individual time series, where we found 95 significant increases in abundance and 35 significant decreases. Adding to this encouraging news for sea turtle conservation, we show that even small sea turtle populations have the capacity to recover, that is, Allee effects appear unimportant. Positive trends in abundance are likely linked to the effective protection of eggs and nesting females, as well as reduced bycatch. However, conservation concerns remain, such as the decline in leatherback turtles in the Eastern and Western Pacific. Furthermore, we also show that, often, time series are too short to identify trends in abundance. Our findings highlight the importance of continued conservation and monitoring efforts that underpin this global conservation success story. PMID:28948215

  3. Respiration in Neonate Sea Turtles

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

    The pattern and control of respiration is virtually unknown in hatchling sea turtles. Using incubator-raised turtles, we measured oxygen consumption, frequency, tidal volume, and minute volume for leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) and olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) turtle hatchlings for the first six days after pipping. In addition, we tested the hatchlings’ response to hypercapnic, hyperoxic, and hypoxic challenges over this time period. Hatchling sea turtles generally showed resting ventilation characteristics that are similar to those of adults: a single breath followed by a long respiratory pause, slow frequency, and high metabolic rate. With hypercapnic challenge, both species responded primarily by elevating respiratory frequency via a decrease in the non-ventilatory period. Leatherback resting tidal volume increased with age but otherwise, neither species’ resting respiratory pattern nor response to gas challenge changed significantly over the first few days after hatching. At the time of nest emergence, sea turtles have achieved a respiratory pattern that is similar to that of actively diving adults. PMID:17258487

  4. "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…

  5. "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…

  6. Arsenic accumulation in three species of sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Saeki, K; Sakakibara, H; Sakai, H; Kunito, T; Tanabe, S

    2000-09-01

    Arsenic in the liver, kidney and muscle of three species of sea turtles, e.g., green turtles (Chelonia mydas), loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) and hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata), were determined using HG-AAS, followed by arsenic speciation analysis using HPLC-ICP-MS. The order of arsenic concentration in tissues was muscle > kidney > liver. Unexpectedly, the arsenic concentrations in the hawksbill turtles feeding mainly on sponges were higher than the two other turtles primarily eating algae and mollusk which accumulate a large amount of arsenic. Especially, the muscles of the hawksbill turtles contained remarkably high arsenic concentrations averaging 153 mg kg(-1) dry weight with the range of 23.1-205 mg kg(-1) (n = 4), even in comparison with the data from other organisms. The arsenic concentrations in the tissues of the green turtles were significantly decreased with standard carapace length as an indicator of growth. In arsenic compounds, arsenobetaine was mostly detected in the tissues of all the turtles. Besides arsenobetaine, a small amount of dimethylarsinic acid was also observed in the hawksbill turtles.

  7. Population genetics and phylogeography of sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Bowen, B W; Karl, S A

    2007-12-01

    The seven species of sea turtles occupy a diversity of niches, and have a history tracing back over 100 million years, yet all share basic life-history features, including exceptional navigation skills and periodic migrations from feeding to breeding habitats. Here, we review the biogeographic, behavioural, and ecological factors that shape the distribution of genetic diversity in sea turtles. Natal homing, wherein turtles return to their region of origin for mating and nesting, has been demonstrated with mtDNA sequences. These maternally inherited markers show strong population structure among nesting colonies while nuclear loci reveal a contrasting pattern of male-mediated gene flow, a phenomenon termed 'complex population structure'. Mixed-stock analyses indicate that multiple nesting colonies can contribute to feeding aggregates, such that exploitation of turtles in these habitats can reduce breeding populations across the region. The mtDNA data also demonstrate migrations across entire ocean basins, some of the longest movements of marine vertebrates. Multiple paternity occurs at reported rates of 0-100%, and can vary by as much as 9-100% within species. Hybridization in almost every combination among members of the Cheloniidae has been documented but the frequency and ultimate ramifications of hybridization are not clear. The global phylogeography of sea turtles reveals a gradient based on habitat preference and thermal regime. The cold-tolerant leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) shows no evolutionary partitions between Indo-Pacific and Atlantic populations, while the tropical green (Chelonia mydas), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), and ridleys (Lepidochelys olivacea vs. L. kempi) have ancient separations between oceans. Ridleys and loggerhead (Caretta caretta) also show more recent colonization between ocean basins, probably mediated by warm-water gyres that occasionally traverse the frigid upwelling zone in southern Africa. These rare events may

  8. Stable isotope discrimination factors and between-tissue isotope comparisons for bone and skin from captive and wild green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas).

    PubMed

    Turner Tomaszewicz, Calandra N; Seminoff, Jeffrey A; Price, Mike; Kurle, Carolyn M

    2017-08-31

    The ecological application of stable isotope analysis (SIA) relies on taxa- and tissue-specific stable carbon (Δ(13) C) and nitrogen (Δ(15) N) isotope discrimination factors, determined with captive animals reared on known diets for sufficient time to reflect dietary isotope ratios. However, captive studies often prohibit lethal sampling, are difficult with endangered species, and reflect conditions not experienced in the wild. We overcame these constraints and determined the Δ(13) C and Δ(15) N values for skin and cortical bone from green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) that died in captivity and evaluated the utility of a mathematical approach to predict discrimination factors. Using stable carbon (δ(13) C values) and nitrogen (δ(15) N values) isotope ratios from captive and wild turtles, we established relationships between bone stable isotope (SI) ratios and those from skin, a non-lethally sampled tissue, to facilitate comparisons of SI among studies using multiple tissues. The mean (±SD) Δ(13) C and Δ(15) N values (‰) between skin and bone from captive turtles and their diet (non-lipid extracted) were 2.3±0.3 and 4.1±0.4 and 2.1±0.6 and 5.1±1.1, respectively. The mathematically predicted Δ(13) C and Δ(15) N values were similar (within 1‰) to the experimentally derived values. The mean δ(15) N values from bone were higher than those from skin for captive (+1.0±0.9‰) and wild (+0.8±1.0‰) turtles; the mean δ(13) C values from bone were lower than those from skin for wild turtles (-0.6±0.9‰), but the same as for captive turtles. We used linear regression equations to describe bone vs skin relationships and create bone-to-skin isotope conversion equations. For sea turtles, we provide the first a) bone-diet SI discrimination factors, b) comparison of SI ratios from individual-specific bone and skin, and c) evaluation of the application of a mathematical approach to predict stable isotope discrimination factors. Our approach opens the door

  9. Reevaluation of the relative activities of the pituitary glycoprotein hormones (follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, and thyrotrophin) from the green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas.

    PubMed

    Licht, P; Papkoff, H

    1985-06-01

    The discovery that the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) previously prepared from the green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas, contained a major neurohypophysial contaminant prompted a repurification and characterization of the glycoprotein hormones in this turtle. Results reaffirmed the physicochemical distinctiveness of the three hormones. Minimal cross-contamination between hormones (less than 2%) was achieved by ion-exchange chromatography, subunit dissociation (of contaminating luteinizing hormone (LH], gel filtration, and immuno-affinity chromatography. New preparations of FSH and thyrotrophin (TSH) derived from adult pituitaries proved to be more potent than those described previously (the degree depending on the nature of the assay); FSH showed the expected increase in activity based on estimated contamination of previous preparations. LH was similar to original preparations except for enhanced activity in FSH radioreceptor assays. Binding assays (in heterologous and homologous systems) again demonstrated the general absence of an FSH-specific receptor in the reptilian (chelonian and squamate) testes. In an in vivo bioassay in the lizard Anolis, the turtle FSH was orders of magnitude more potent than LH in stimulating both testis growth and androgen secretion, but in vitro LH was considerably more potent than FSH in stimulating androgen secretion in squamate and chelonian testes. Thus, the possibility exists that androgen secretion in some chelonian systems may exhibit a high degree of LH specificity like that of mammals and birds.

  10. Non-targeted, high resolution mass spectrometry strategy for simultaneous monitoring of xenobiotics and endogenous compounds in green sea turtles on the Great Barrier Reef.

    PubMed

    Heffernan, Amy L; Gómez-Ramos, Maria M; Gaus, Caroline; Vijayasarathy, Soumini; Bell, Ian; Hof, Christine; Mueller, Jochen F; Gómez-Ramos, Maria J

    2017-12-01

    Chemical contamination poses a threat to ecosystem, biota and human health, and identifying these hazards is a complex challenge. Traditional hazard identification relies on a priori-defined targets of limited chemical scope, and is generally inappropriate for exploratory studies such as explaining toxicological effects in environmental systems. Here we present a non-target high resolution mass spectrometry environmental monitoring study with multivariate statistical analysis to simultaneously detect biomarkers of exposure (e.g. xenobiotics) and biomarkers of effect in whole turtle blood. Borrowing the concept from clinical chemistry, a case-control sampling approach was used to investigate the potential influence of xenobiotics of anthropogenic origin on free-ranging green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) from a remote, offshore 'control' site; and two coastal 'case' sites influenced by urban/industrial and agricultural activities, respectively, on the Great Barrier Reef in North Queensland, Australia. Multiple biomarkers of exposure, including sulfonic acids (n=9), a carbamate insecticide metabolite, and other industrial chemicals; and five biomarkers of effect (lipid peroxidation products), were detected in case sites. Additionally, two endogenous biomarkers of neuroinflammation and oxidative stress were identified, and showed moderate-to-strong correlations with clinical measures of inflammation and liver dysfunction. Our data filtering strategy overcomes limitations of traditional a priori selection of target compounds, and adds to the limited environmental xenobiotic metabolomics literature. To our knowledge this is the first case-control study of xenobiotics in marine megafauna, and demonstrates the utility of green sea turtles to link internal and external exposure, to explain potential toxicological effects in environmental systems. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Functional Measures of Sea Turtle Hearing

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-09-01

    anatomy among stages and species and physiologically by brainstem evoked potential techniques. Sea turtles employed in this work were provided by NMFS...SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES 14. ABSTRACT Sea turtle hearing was investigated fmorphometrically by analyzing variations in auditory anatomy a and physiologically by...A t Project Title: Functional Measures of Sea Turtle Hearing ONR Award No: N00014-02-1-0510 Organization Award No: 13051000 Final Report Award Period

  12. Geomagnetic Navigation in Sea Turtles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lohmann, K.; Putman, N.; Lohmann, C.

    2011-12-01

    Young loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from eastern Florida undertake a transoceanic migration in which they gradually circle the north Atlantic Ocean before returning to the North American coast. Newly hatched turtles (hatchlings) begin the migration with a 'magnetic map' in which regional magnetic fields function as navigational markers and elicit changes in swimming direction at crucial geographic boundaries. In laboratory experiments, young turtles that had never before been in the ocean were exposed to fields like those that exist at various, widely separated locations along their transoceanic migratory route. Turtles responded by swimming in directions that would, in each case, help them remain within the North Atlantic gyre currents and advance along the migratory pathway. The results demonstrate that turtles can derive both longitudinal and latitudinal information from the Earth's field, and provide strong evidence that hatchling loggerheads inherit a remarkably elaborate set of responses that function in guiding them along their open-sea migratory route. For young sea turtles, couplings of oriented swimming to regional magnetic fields appear to provide the fundamental building blocks from which natural selection can sculpt a sequence of responses capable of guiding first-time ocean migrants along complex migratory routes. The results imply that hatchlings from different populations in different parts of the world are likely to have magnetic navigational responses uniquely suited for the migratory routes that each group follows. Thus, from a conservation perspective, turtles from different populations are not interchangeable. From an evolutionary perspective, the responses are not incompatible with either secular variation or magnetic polarity reversals. As Earth's field gradually changes, strong selective pressure presumably acts to maintain an approximate match between the responses of hatchlings and the fields that exist at critical points along

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

    PubMed

    Van Houtan, Kyle S; Bass, Oron L

    2007-08-07

    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'.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  16. Radioimmunoassay of plasma progesterone, testosterone, total estrogen and immunoreactive gonadotropin in the nesting and non-nesting green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas (L.).

    PubMed

    Lance, V; Owens, D W; Callard, I P

    1979-08-15

    Plasma progesterone, testosterone, total estrogens and immunoreactive gonadotropin were measured in nesting and non-nesting sea turtles, Chelonia mydas. Progesterone and gonadotropin concentrations were significantly higher in nesting than in non-nesting turtles, testosterone was not significantly different in either group and total estrogens appeared to be slightly in the nesting group.

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    van de Merwe, Jason Paul; Hodge, Mary; Whittier, Joan Margaret; Lee, Shing Yip

    2009-03-01

    Investigation into persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in sea turtles is an important area of conservation research due to the harmful effects of these chemicals. However, the analysis of POPs in the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) has been limited by methods with relatively high limits of detection and high costs associated with multiple sample injections into complex arrangements of analytical equipment. The present study aimed to develop a method that could detect a large number of POPs in the blood, eggs and tissue of C. mydas at trace concentrations. A gas chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS) method was developed that could report 125 POP compounds to a limit of detection of <35 pg g(-1) using a single sample injection. The recoveries of internal standards ranged from 30% to 96%, and the standard reference materials were reported to within 70% of the certified values. The coefficient of variation of ten replicates of pooled egg sample was <20% for all compounds, indicating low within-run variation. This GC-MS/MS method is an improvement of previous methods for analysing POPs in C. mydas in that more compounds can be reported at lower concentrations and the accuracy and precision of the method are sound. This is particularly important for C. mydas as they occupy a low trophic level and have lower concentrations of POPs. This method is also simple to set up, and there are minimal differences in sample preparation for the different tissue types.

  1. Levels and distribution of polybrominated diphenyl ethers and organochlorine compounds in sea turtles from Japan.

    PubMed

    Malarvannan, Govindan; Takahashi, Shin; Isobe, Tomohiko; Kunisue, Tatsuya; Sudaryanto, Agus; Miyagi, Toshihiko; Nakamura, Masaru; Yasumura, Shigeki; Tanabe, Shinsuke

    2011-01-01

    Three species of sea turtles (green, hawksbill and loggerhead turtles) stranded along the coasts or caught (by-catch) around Ishigaki Island and Kochi, Japan were collected between 1998 and 2006 and analyzed for six organohalogen compounds viz., PBDEs, PCBs, DDTs, CHLs, HCHs and HCB. The present study is the first and foremost to report the occurrence of organohalogen compounds in the sea turtles from Japan. Among the compounds analyzed, concentrations of PCBs, DDTs and CHLs were the highest in all the turtle samples. PBDEs were ubiquitously present in all the turtle species. Comparing with the other two species, concentrations of organohalogens in green turtle were relatively low and decreasing trend in the concentrations were noted with increasing carapace length. Concentrations of OCs in sea turtles from the coasts of Ishigaki Island and Kochi were relatively low as compared to those from other locations in the world.

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 12 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Specifications for Sea Turtle Mitigation Gear and Sea Turtle Handling and Release Requirements F Appendix F to Part 622 Wildlife and Fisheries... 622—Specifications for Sea Turtle Mitigation Gear and Sea Turtle Handling and Release Requirements...

  5. Ontogenetic scaling of the humerus in sea turtles and its implications for locomotion.

    PubMed

    Nishizawa, Hideaki; Asahara, Masakazu; Kamezaki, Naoki

    2013-03-01

    In the present study, we analyzed the ontogenetic scaling of humeri in the green turtle (Chelonia mydas) and loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta). Green turtles have relatively thicker humeri than loggerhead turtles, indicating that the humerus of the green turtle can resist greater loads. Our results are consistent with isometry, or slightly negative allometry, of diameter in relation to length of the humerus in both species. Geometric similarity or isometry of the humerus in relation to body mass is supported by estimates of the cross-sectional properties of green turtles. Sea turtles are adapted for aquatic life, but also perform terrestrial locomotion. Thus, during terrestrial locomotion, which requires support against gravity, the observed scaling relationships indicate that there may be greater stress and fracture risk on the humeri of larger green turtles than on the humeri of smaller turtles. In aquatic habitats, in which limbs are mainly used for propulsion, the stress and fracture risk for green turtle humeri are estimated to increase with greater speed. This scaling pattern may be related to the possibility that smaller turtles swim at a relatively faster speed per body length.

  6. 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

  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

    2016-06-16

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

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

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-10-01

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

  10. Fluke (Spirorchiidae) infections in sea turtles stranded on Taiwan: prevalence and pathology.

    PubMed

    Chen, Hochang; Kuo, R-J; Chang, T-C; Hus, C-K; Bray, R A; Cheng, I-J

    2012-04-01

    The prevalence of spirorchiid fluke infections of marine turtles is high and may cause the death of the hosts throughout their ranges. Virtually nothing has been reported regarding the infective status of sea turtles stranded on Taiwan. Between 2007 and 2010, 30 green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and 2 loggerhead turtles ( Caretta caretta ), stranded and dead, were examined for spirorchiid flukes and their eggs. Twenty-four of the green turtles were juveniles, and the stranded loggerhead turtles were subadults. Adult spirorchiid flukes were found in 13 green turtles but not in the loggerheads. Four species of flukes were identified, namely, Leardius learedi , Hapalotrema postorchis , H. mehrai , and Carettacola hawaiiensis . The main infection sites were the major arteries and heart. Seventy percent of the green turtles harbored spirorchiid eggs, but no eggs were found in loggerheads. The largest eggs with bipolar spines, type I eggs, were found in every case. Although more than half of the stranded turtles were infected, parasite infections were not the main cause of death in the green turtles. Fishery by-catch is probably responsible for the mortality of these stranded turtles.

  11. Metal profiles used as environmental markers of green turtle (Chelonia mydas) foraging resources.

    PubMed

    Talavera-Saenz, Ana; Gardner, Susan C; Riosmena Rodriquez, Rafael; Acosta Vargas, Baudilio

    2007-02-01

    The Baja California Peninsula, Mexico serves an important role for feeding and developing sea turtles. High concentrations of metals detected in green turtles (Chelonia mydas) from Magdalena Bay prompted an investigation into the sources of metals in the region. We compared metal concentrations in sea turtle tissues with plant species found in their stomach contents, and with the same species of plants collected inside a sea turtle refuge area known as Estero Banderitas. Differences in the metal concentrations between marine plant species were minimal. Principal components analysis of the percent contribution of individual metals to the overall metal signature of each plant or tissue sample generated three principal components that explained 80.7% of the total variance in the data. The plant samples collected within Estero Banderitas formed a separate grouping from the green turtle tissue samples and the plants from the stomach contents. The plants in the stomach contents contained greater percent contributions of Cd and Zn than the plants collected inside the bay, while Pb and Mn contributed more to the metal profiles in the bay samples. The metal profiles in the sea turtle tissues more closely resembled the stomach contents than the same species of plants collected within Estero Banderitas, and suggest that sea turtles collected inside Magdalena Bay use foraging resources outside of the Estero Banderitas region. This work supports the suggestion that metal profiles can be used as "environmentally acquired markers" to improve our understanding of the extent of sea turtle foraging areas.

  12. Dehydration as an effective treatment for brevetoxicosis in loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta).

    PubMed

    Manire, Charles A; Anderson, Eric T; Byrd, Lynne; Fauquier, Deborah A

    2013-06-01

    Harmful algal blooms are known to cause morbidity and mortality to a large number of marine and estuarine organisms worldwide, including fish and marine mammals, birds, and turtles. The effects of these algal blooms on marine organisms are due to the various toxins produced by the different algal species. In southwest Florida, frequent blooms of the dinoflagellate Karenia brevis, which produces neurotoxins known as brevetoxins, cause widespread fish kills and affect many marine animals. In 2005-2007, numerous sea turtles of several species underwent treatment for brevetoxicosis at the Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital. In green sea turtles, Chelonia mydas, and Kemp's ridley sea turtles, Lepidochelys kempii, symptoms associated with brevetoxicosis were limited to neurologic signs, such as the inability to control the head (head bobbing) and nervous twitching. For these turtles, treatment involved removing the turtles from the environment containing the toxins and providing short-term supportive care. In loggerhead sea turtles, Caretta caretta, symptoms were more generalized; thus, a similar approach was unsuccessful, as was routine treatment for general toxicosis. Loggerhead sea turtles had more extreme neurologic symptoms including coma, and other symptoms that included generalized edema, conjunctival edema, and cloacal or penile prolapse. Treatment of brevetoxicosis in loggerhead sea turtles required a therapeutic regimen that initially included dehydration and systemic antihistamine treatment followed by supportive care.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Subcellular distribution of trace elements in the liver of sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Anan, Yasumi; Kunito, Takashi; Sakai, Haruya; Tanabe, Shinsuke

    2002-01-01

    Subcellular distribution of Cu, Zn, Se, Rb, Mo, Ag, Cd and Pb was determined in the liver of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) from Yaeyama Islands, Japan. Also, hepatic cytosol from sea turtles was applied on a Sephadex G-75 column and elution profiles of trace elements were examined. Copper, Zn, Se, Rb, Ag and Cd were largely present in cytosol in the liver of both species, indicating that cytosol was the significant site for the accumulation of these elements in sea turtles. In contrast, Mo and Pb were accumulated specifically in nuclear and mitochondrial fraction and microsomal fraction, respectively. Gel filtration analysis showed that Cu, Zn, Ag and Cd were bound to metallothionein (MT) in the cytosol of sea turtles. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the association of trace elements with MT in sea turtles.

  16. Heavy metal distribution in blood, liver and kidneys of Loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and Green (Chelonia mydas) sea turtles from the Northeast Mediterranean Sea.

    PubMed

    Yipel, Mustafa; Tekeli, İbrahim Ozan; İşler, Cafer Tayer; Altuğ, Muhammed Enes

    2017-08-09

    The aim of the present study was to determine the concentrations of the most investigated environmentally relevant heavy metals in two highly endangered sea turtle species (Caretta caretta and Chelonia mydas) from the important nesting area on the Northeast Mediterranean Sea. The highest mean concentration was of Fe, while Hg and Pb were lowest. All tissue concentrations of Al, As, Fe and Mn were significantly different between the species. In particular, As, Cd, Cu, Mn, Ni, Se, Zn concentrations were lower in Caretta caretta and Cd, Hg, Mn, Zn concentrations were lower in Chelonia mydas than those reported in other parts of the world. Compared to studies conductud in other parts of the Mediterranean, Cd was lower. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Applying generalized linear models as an explanatory tool of sex steroids, thyroid hormones and their relationships with environmental and physiologic factors in immature East Pacific green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas).

    PubMed

    Labrada-Martagón, Vanessa; Méndez-Rodríguez, Lia C; Mangel, Marc; Zenteno-Savín, Tania

    2013-09-01

    Generalized linear models were fitted to evaluate the relationship between 17β-estradiol (E2), testosterone (T) and thyroxine (T4) levels in immature East Pacific green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) and their body condition, size, mass, blood biochemistry parameters, handling time, year, season and site of capture. According to external (tail size) and morphological (<77.3 straight carapace length) characteristics, 95% of the individuals were juveniles. Hormone levels, assessed on sea turtles subjected to a capture stress protocol, were <34.7nmolTL(-1), <532.3pmolE2 L(-1) and <43.8nmolT4L(-1). The statistical model explained biologically plausible metabolic relationships between hormone concentrations and blood biochemistry parameters (e.g. glucose, cholesterol) and the potential effect of environmental variables (season and study site). The variables handling time and year did not contribute significantly to explain hormone levels. Differences in sex steroids between season and study sites found by the models coincided with specific nutritional, physiological and body condition differences related to the specific habitat conditions. The models correctly predicted the median levels of the measured hormones in green sea turtles, which confirms the fitted model's utility. It is suggested that quantitative predictions could be possible when the model is tested with additional data. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Evidence for a hormonal tactic maximizing green turtle reproduction in response to a pervasive ecological stressor.

    PubMed

    Jessop, T S; Hamann, M; Read, M A; Limpus, C J

    2000-06-01

    Mortality of breeding sea turtles due to excessive heat exposure after nesting activities is an unusual feature of the Raine Island green turtle rookery. Breeding turtles that fail to return to the ocean after oviposition can experience increasing body temperatures that exceed lethal limits (>39 degrees C) as ambient temperatures rise after sunrise. We investigated how acute increases in body temperature influenced plasma corticosterone (B) concentrations of individual turtles. Furthermore, interactions between progesterone (P) and testosterone (T) and increasing body temperature and the glucocorticoid corticosterone were examined for negative correlations. Breeding green turtles exhibited a 16-fold mean increase in plasma corticosterone concentration as body temperature (cloacal) rose from 28.2 to 40.7 degrees C in less than 6 h. However, the absolute increase in plasma B was small and much less than expected, despite the lethal stressor. Comparatively, the maximal B response to lethal heat stress was similar to plasma B concentrations obtained from breeding female turtles exposed to 8 h of capture stress. However, the maximal B response of breeding turtles exposed to heat and capture stressors was significantly less than the B response of nonbreeding adult female turtles subjected to an 8-h capture stressor. No negative correlations were observed between plasma T and plasma B, between plasma T and body temperature, between plasma P and plasma B, or between plasma P and body temperature. Our findings provide further evidence that reduced adrenocortical function operates in breeding green turtles in the presence of even the most pervasive of environmental stressors.

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-04-01

    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.

  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. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Moore, Melody K.; Work, Thierry M.; Balazs, George H.; Docherty, Douglas 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.

  6. 50 CFR 648.106 - Sea Turtle conservation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Sea Turtle conservation. 648.106 Section... Summer Flounder Fisheries § 648.106 Sea Turtle conservation. Link to an amendment published at 76 FR 60629, Sept. 29, 2011. Sea turtle regulations are found at 50 CFR parts 222 and 223. Effective Date Note...

  7. 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…

  8. 50 CFR 665.812 - Sea turtle take mitigation measures.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 13 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Sea turtle take mitigation measures. 665... Pacific Pelagic Fisheries § 665.812 Sea turtle take mitigation measures. (a) Possession and use of... sea turtle handling requirements set forth in paragraph (b) of this section. (1) Hawaii...

  9. 50 CFR 648.109 - Sea turtle conservation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 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 ATMOSPHERIC... Summer Flounder Fisheries § 648.109 Sea turtle conservation. Sea turtle regulations are found at 50...

  10. 50 CFR 665.812 - Sea turtle take mitigation measures.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 13 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Sea turtle take mitigation measures. 665... Pacific Pelagic Fisheries § 665.812 Sea turtle take mitigation measures. (a) Possession and use of... sea turtle handling requirements set forth in paragraph (b) of this section. (1) Hawaii...

  11. 50 CFR 648.109 - Sea turtle conservation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 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 ATMOSPHERIC... Summer Flounder Fisheries § 648.109 Sea turtle conservation. Sea turtle regulations are found at 50...

  12. 50 CFR 665.812 - Sea turtle take mitigation measures.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 13 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Sea turtle take mitigation measures. 665... Pacific Pelagic Fisheries § 665.812 Sea turtle take mitigation measures. (a) Possession and use of... sea turtle handling requirements set forth in paragraph (b) of this section. (1) Hawaii...

  13. 50 CFR 648.109 - Sea turtle conservation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 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 ATMOSPHERIC... Summer Flounder Fisheries § 648.109 Sea turtle conservation. Sea turtle regulations are found at 50...

  14. 50 CFR 648.106 - Sea Turtle conservation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

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

  15. 50 CFR 648.109 - Sea turtle conservation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 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 ATMOSPHERIC... Summer Flounder Fisheries § 648.109 Sea turtle conservation. Sea turtle regulations are found at 50...

  16. 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…

  17. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  19. Individual-level behavioral responses of immature green turtles to snorkeler disturbance.

    PubMed

    Griffin, Lucas P; Brownscombe, Jacob W; Gagné, Tyler O; Wilson, Alexander D M; Cooke, Steven J; Danylchuk, Andy J

    2017-03-01

    Despite many positive benefits of ecotourism, increased human encounters with wildlife may have detrimental effects on wild animals. As charismatic megafauna, nesting and foraging sea turtles are increasingly the focus of ecotourism activities. The purpose of our study was to quantify the behavioral responses of immature green turtles (Chelonia mydas) to disturbance by snorkelers, and to investigate whether turtles have individual-level responses to snorkeler disturbance. Using a standardized disturbance stimulus in the field, we recorded turtle behaviors pre- and post-disturbance by snorkelers. Ninety percent of turtles disturbed by snorkeler (n = 192) initiated their flights at distances of ≤3 m. Using principal component analysis, we identified two distinct turtle personality types, 'bold' and 'timid', based upon 145 encounters of 19 individually identified turtles and five disturbance response variables. There was significant intra-individual repeatability in behavioral responses to disturbance, but bolder turtles had more behavioral plasticity and less consistent responses than more timid individuals. Bolder individuals with reduced evasion responses might be at a higher risk of shark predation, while more timid turtles might have greater energetic consequences due to non-lethal predator effects and repeated snorkeler disturbance. Over the longer term, a turtle population with a mix of bold and timid individuals may promote more resilient populations. We recommend that snorkelers maintain >3 m distance from immature green turtles when snorkeling, and that ecotourism activities be temporally and spatially stratified. Further, turtle watching guidelines need to be communicated to both tour operators and independent snorkelers to reduce the disturbance of turtles.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Decompression sickness ('the bends') in sea turtles.

    PubMed

    García-Párraga, D; Crespo-Picazo, J L; de Quirós, Y Bernaldo; Cervera, V; Martí-Bonmati, L; Díaz-Delgado, J; Arbelo, M; Moore, M J; Jepson, P D; Fernández, Antonio

    2014-10-16

    Decompression sickness (DCS), as clinically diagnosed by reversal of symptoms with recompression, has never been reported in aquatic breath-hold diving vertebrates despite the occurrence of tissue gas tensions sufficient for bubble formation and injury in terrestrial animals. Similarly to diving mammals, sea turtles manage gas exchange and decompression through anatomical, physiological, and behavioral adaptations. In the former group, DCS-like lesions have been observed on necropsies following behavioral disturbance such as high-powered acoustic sources (e.g. active sonar) and in bycaught animals. In sea turtles, in spite of abundant literature on diving physiology and bycatch interference, this is the first report of DCS-like symptoms and lesions. We diagnosed a clinico-pathological condition consistent with DCS in 29 gas-embolized loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta from a sample of 67. Fifty-nine were recovered alive and 8 had recently died following bycatch in trawls and gillnets of local fisheries from the east coast of Spain. Gas embolization and distribution in vital organs were evaluated through conventional radiography, computed tomography, and ultrasound. Additionally, positive response following repressurization was clinically observed in 2 live affected turtles. Gas embolism was also observed postmortem in carcasses and tissues as described in cetaceans and human divers. Compositional gas analysis of intravascular bubbles was consistent with DCS. Definitive diagnosis of DCS in sea turtles opens a new era for research in sea turtle diving physiology, conservation, and bycatch impact mitigation, as well as for comparative studies in other air-breathing marine vertebrates and human divers.

  4. 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,…

  5. 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 Culebra...

  6. 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 Culebra...

  7. 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 Culebra...

  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.

  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. Morphologic and cytochemical characteristics of blood cells of juvenile loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta).

    PubMed

    Casal, A B; Orós, J

    2007-04-01

    A morphologic classification based on the cytochemical characteristics of blood cells of 35 juvenile loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) is described. Cytochemical stains included benzidine peroxidase, chloroacetate esterase, alpha-naphthyl butyrate esterase (with and without sodium fluoride), acid phosphatase (with and without tartaric acid), Sudan black B, periodic acid-Schiff, and toluidine blue. The morphologic characteristics of erythrocytes were similar to those reported in green turtles. Six types of white blood cells were identified: heterophils, eosinophils, basophils, lymphocytes, monocytes and thrombocytes. Except for the basophils, the rest of the white blood cells from loggerhead turtles had different cytochemical characteristics compared to blood cells from other sea turtle species. The leukocyte differential count was different from that reported for other sea turtle species. Heterophils were the most numerous leukocytes from these loggerhead turtles, followed by lymphocytes, eosinophils, monocytes and basophils. This paper provides a morphologic classification of blood cells of loggerhead sea turtles that is useful for veterinary surgeons involved in sea turtle conservation.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-05-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Work, Thierry M.; Balazs, G.H.; Wolcott, M.; Morris, Robert

    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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2017-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Biomonitoring marine habitats in reference to antibiotic resistant bacteria and ampicillin resistance determinants from oviductal fluid of the nesting green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas.

    PubMed

    Al-Bahry, S N; Al-Zadjali, M A; Mahmoud, I Y; Elshafie, A E

    2012-06-01

    During the egg-laying process, oviductal fluid was collected using a non-invasive procedure from the cloacal vent of the green turtles. Forty-two independent isolates of antibiotic-resistant bacteria from 11 genera were obtained from 20 turtles during nesting. The dominant isolate was Citrobacter (52.4%), followed by Pseudomonas, Proteus, Enterobacter, Salmonella, Escherichia coli, Shigella, Edwardsiella, Morganella, Providencia and Arcomobacter. Most of the isolates were resistant to ampicillin. Ampicillin-resistant isolates showed variations in their resistance for the following classes of β-lactamases: extended-spectrum β-lactamases (EBSLs), AmpC type β-lactamases C (AmpC), and screen-positive β-lactamase. None of the isolates produced metallo β-lactamase. Some ampicillin-resistant genes were detected by multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) only. Inhibitor based test (IBT) categorized some isolates as AmpC β-lactamase producers. β-Lactamase genes were detected from a few strains. The sequencing of those genes revealed the presence of cephamycinase (CMY) and AmpC β-lactamases. The oviductal fluid was used in this study as a source of bacterial antibiotic-resistant determinants for biomonitoring marine turtles exposed to contaminated effluents. This data can be of value in understanding the decline of this endangered species as a result of exposure to marine pollution which is threatening their survival.

  18. Inherent variation in stable isotope values and discrimination factors in two life stages of green turtles.

    PubMed

    Vander Zanden, Hannah B; Bjorndal, Karen A; Mustin, Walter; Ponciano, José Miguel; Bolten, Alan B

    2012-01-01

    We examine inherent variation in carbon and nitrogen stable isotope values of multiple soft tissues from a population of captive green turtles Chelonia mydas to determine the extent of isotopic variation due to individual differences in physiology. We compare the measured inherent variation in the captive population with the isotopic variation observed in a wild population of juvenile green turtles. Additionally, we measure diet-tissue discrimination factors to determine the offset that occurs between isotope values of the food source and four green turtle tissues. Tissue samples (epidermis, dermis, serum, and red blood cells) were collected from captive green turtles in two life stages (40 large juveniles and 30 adults) at the Cayman Turtle Farm, Grand Cayman, and analyzed for carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes. Multivariate normal models were fit to the isotope data, and the Bayesian Information Criterion was used for model selection. Inherent variation and discrimination factors differed among tissues and life stages. Inherent variation was found to make up a small portion of the isotopic variation measured in a wild population. Discrimination factors not only are tissue and life stage dependent but also appear to vary with diet and sea turtle species, thus highlighting the need for appropriate discrimination factors in dietary reconstructions and trophic-level estimations. Our measures of inherent variation will also be informative in field studies employing stable isotope analysis so that differences in diet or habitat are more accurately identified.

  19. Orientation and open-sea navigation in sea turtles

    PubMed

    Lohmann; Lohmann

    1996-01-01

    Loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings (Caretta caretta L.) emerge from underground nests, scramble to the sea and begin a transoceanic migration by swimming away from their natal beach and into the open ocean. Evidence suggests that hatchlings sequentially use three different sets of cues to maintain orientation during their initial migration offshore. While on the beach, hatchlings find the ocean by crawling towards the lower, brighter seaward horizon and away from the dark, elevated silhouettes of vegetation and dunes. Upon entering the ocean, turtles initially orient seawards by swimming into waves, which can be detected as orbital movements from under water. Laboratory experiments have demonstrated that turtles can transfer a course initiated on the basis of waves or visual cues to a course mediated by a magnetic compass. Thus, by setting a magnetic course on the basis of nearshore cues that indicate the seaward direction, hatchlings may continue on offshore headings after entering deep water beyond sight of land. Sea turtles may use the earth's magnetic field not only as a cue for compass orientation but also as a source of world-wide positional information. Recent experiments have demonstrated that loggerheads can detect subtle differences in magnetic field inclination and intensity, two geomagnetic features that vary across the surface of the earth. Because most nesting beaches and oceanic regions are marked by a unique combination of these features, these findings raise the possibility that adult sea turtles navigate using a bicoordinate magnetic map.

  20. 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.

  1. Two herpesviruses associated with disease in wild Atlantic loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta).

    PubMed

    Stacy, Brian A; Wellehan, James F X; Foley, Allen M; Coberley, Sadie S; Herbst, Lawrence H; Manire, Charles A; Garner, Michael M; Brookins, Milagros D; Childress, April L; Jacobson, Elliott R

    2008-01-01

    Herpesviruses are associated with lung-eye-trachea disease and gray patch disease in maricultured green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and with fibropapillomatosis in wild sea turtles of several species. With the exception fibropapillomatosis, no other diseases of wild sea turtles of any species have been associated with herpesviral infection. In the present study, six necropsied Atlantic loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) had gross and histological evidence of viral infection, including oral, respiratory, cutaneous, and genital lesions characterized by necrosis, ulceration, syncytial cell formation, and intranuclear inclusion bodies. Nested polymerase chain reaction targeting a conserved region of the herpesvirus DNA-dependent-DNA polymerase gene yielded two unique herpesviral sequences referred to as loggerhead genital-respiratory herpesvirus and loggerhead orocutaneous herpesvirus. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that these viruses are related to and are monophyletic with other chelonian herpesviruses within the subfamily alpha-herpesvirinae. We propose the genus Chelonivirus for this monophyletic group of chelonian herpesviruses.

  2. Fibropapillomatosis in green turtles Chelonia mydas in Brazil: characteristics of tumors and virus.

    PubMed

    Rodenbusch, C R; Baptistotte, C; Werneck, M R; Pires, T T; Melo, M T D; de Ataíde, M W; Testa, P; Alieve, M M; Canal, C W

    2014-10-16

    Fibropapillomatosis (FP) is a benign neoplasia that affects physiological functions of sea turtles and may lead to death. High prevalence of FP in sea turtle populations has prompted several research groups to study the disease and the associated herpesvirus, chelonid herpesvirus 5 (ChHV5). The present study detected and quantified ChHV5 in 153 fibropapilloma samples collected from green turtles Chelonia mydas on the Brazilian coast between 2009 and 2010 to characterize the relationship between viral load and tumor characteristics. Of the tumor samples collected, 73 and 87% were positive for ChHV5 in conventional PCR and real-time PCR, respectively, and viral loads ranged between 1 and 118.62 copies cell⁻¹. Thirty-three percent of turtles were mildly, 28% were moderately and 39% were severely affected with FP. Skin samples were used as negative control. High viral loads correlated positively with increasing FP severity in turtles sampled on the Brazilian coast and with samples from turtles found dead in the states of São Paulo and Bahia. Six viral variants were detected in tumor samples, 4 of which were similar to the Atlantic phylogenetic group. Two variants were similar to the western Atlantic/eastern Caribbean phylogenetic group. Co-infection in turtles with more than one variant was observed in the states of São Paulo and Bahia.

  3. Reproductive Disorders and Perinatology of Sea Turtles.

    PubMed

    Spadola, Filippo; Morici, Manuel; Santoro, Mario; Oliveri, Matteo; Insacco, Gianni

    2017-05-01

    Sea turtles' reproductive disorders are underdiagnosed, but potentially, there are several diseases that may affect gonads, genitalia, and annexes. Viruses, bacteria, and parasites may cause countless disorders, but more frequently the cause is traumatic or linked to human activities. Furthermore, veterinary management of the nest is of paramount importance as well as the care of newborns (also in captivity). This article gives an overview on the methods used to manage nests and reproductive activities of these endangered chelonians species.

  4. 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

  5. First Record of Fibropapillomatosis in a Green Turtle Chelonia mydas from the Baja California Peninsula.

    PubMed

    Reséndiz, Eduardo; Flores-Ramírez, Sergio; Koch, Volker; Cordero-Tapia, Amaury

    2016-12-01

    Fibropapillomatosis (FP) is characterized by multiple fibroepithelial tumors in all parts of the skin and has been reported in sea turtles worldwide. Clinically infected individuals are often emaciated and anemic. In Mexico, however, there are few records of this disease. In this study of green turtles Chelonia mydas in Laguna San Ignacio in Baja California Sur (BCS), we noted one juvenile with multifocal fibropapilloma lesions on the external upper surface of its eyes and hind flippers. Light microscopy revealed hyperkeratosis, epidermal hyperplasia, dermal papillary projections, and fibroblast proliferation. Electron microscopy revealed viral particles. Biopsies of normal skin were done to determine the origin of the turtle through genetic analysis. Its mitochondrial DNA matched that of a haplotype (CMP2) from a Hawaiian green turtle population. Finding FP in a turtle captured in BCS elucidates the need for further monitoring along the west coast of Mexico. Further investigation should include testing tumors to detect and characterize any chelonid herpesviruses and explore any association with FP and other diseases that pose a health risk to other sea turtle species. Received March 26, 2016; accepted August 3, 2016.

  6. Animal behaviour: geomagnetic map used in sea-turtle navigation.

    PubMed

    Lohmann, Kenneth J; Lohmann, Catherine M F; Ehrhart, Llewellyn M; Bagley, Dean A; Swing, Timothy

    2004-04-29

    Migratory animals capable of navigating to a specific destination, and of compensating for an artificial displacement into unfamiliar territory, are thought to have a compass for maintaining their direction of travel and a map sense that enables them to know their location relative to their destination. Compasses are based on environmental cues such as the stars, the Sun, skylight polarization and magnetism, but little is known about the sensory mechanism responsible for the map sense. Here we show that the green sea-turtle (Chelonia mydas) has a map that is at least partly based on geomagnetic cues.

  7. 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

  8. Global distribution of Chelonid fibropapilloma-associated herpesvirus among clinically healthy sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Alfaro-Núñez, Alonzo; Frost Bertelsen, Mads; Bojesen, Anders Miki; Rasmussen, Isabel; Zepeda-Mendoza, Lisandra; Tange Olsen, Morten; Gilbert, Marcus Thomas Pius

    2014-10-25

    Fibropapillomatosis (FP) is a neoplastic disease characterized by cutaneous tumours that has been documented to infect all sea turtle species. Chelonid fibropapilloma-associated herpesvirus (CFPHV) is believed to be the aetiological agent of FP, based principally on consistent PCR-based detection of herpesvirus DNA sequences from FP tumours. We used a recently described PCR-based assay that targets 3 conserved CFPHV genes, to survey 208 green turtles (Chelonia mydas). This included both FP tumour exhibiting and clinically healthy individuals. An additional 129 globally distributed clinically healthy individual sea turtles; representing four other species were also screened. CFPHV DNA sequences were obtained from 37/37 (100%) FP exhibiting green turtles, and 45/300 (15%) clinically healthy animals spanning all five species. Although the frequency of infected individuals per turtle population varied considerably, most global populations contained at least one CFPHV positive individual, with the exception of various turtle species from the Arabian Gulf, Northern Indian Ocean and Puerto Rico. Haplotype analysis of the different gene markers clustered the CFPHV DNA sequences for two of the markers (UL18 and UL22) in turtles from Turks and Caicos separate to all others, regardless of host species or geographic origin. Presence of CFPHV DNA within globally distributed samples for all five species of sea turtle was confirmed. While 100% of the FP exhibiting green turtles yielded CFPHV sequences, surprisingly, so did 15% of the clinically healthy turtles. We hypothesize that turtle populations with zero (0%) CFPHV frequency may be attributed to possible environmental differences, diet and/or genetic resistance in these individuals. Our results provide first data on the prevalence of CFPHV among seemingly healthy turtles; a factor that may not be directly correlated to the disease incidence, but may suggest of a long-term co-evolutionary latent infection interaction between

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

    Schuyler, Qamar A; Wilcox, Chris; Townsend, Kathy; Hardesty, B Denise; Marshall, N Justin

    2014-05-09

    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. 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. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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).

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-05-06

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Locomotor activity during the frenzy swim: analysing early swimming behaviour in hatchling sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Carla M; Booth, David T; Limpus, Colin J

    2011-12-01

    Swimming effort of hatchling sea turtles varies across species. In this study we analysed how swim thrust is produced in terms of power stroke rate, mean maximum thrust per power stroke and percentage of time spent power stroking throughout the first 18 h of swimming after entering the water, in both loggerhead and flatback turtle hatchlings and compared this with previous data from green turtle hatchlings. Loggerhead and green turtle hatchlings had similar power stroke rates and percentage of time spent power stroking throughout the trial, although mean maximum thrust was always significantly higher in green hatchlings, making them the most vigorous swimmers in our three-species comparison. Flatback hatchlings, however, were different from the other two species, with overall lower values in all three swimming variables. Their swimming effort dropped significantly during the first 2 h and kept decreasing significantly until the end of the trial at 18 h. These results support the hypothesis that ecological factors mould the swimming behaviour of hatchling sea turtles, with predator pressure being important in determining the strategy used to swim offshore. Loggerhead and green turtle hatchlings seem to adopt an intensely vigorous and energetically costly frenzy swim that would quickly take them offshore into the open ocean in order to reduce their exposure to near-shore aquatic predators. Flatback hatchlings, however, are restricted in geographic distribution and remain within the continental shelf region where predator pressure is probably relatively constant. For this reason, flatback hatchlings might use only part of their energy reserves during a less vigorous frenzy phase, with lower overall energy expenditure during the first day compared with loggerhead and green turtle hatchlings.

  1. Navigation and seasonal migratory orientation in juvenile sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Avens, Larisa; Lohmann, Kenneth J

    2004-05-01

    Juvenile loggerhead and green turtles that inhabit inshore waters of North Carolina, USA undertake long seasonal migrations, after which they often return to specific feeding areas. In addition, juvenile turtles are capable of homing to specific sites after being displaced. As a first step towards investigating the navigational mechanisms that underlie these movements, juvenile turtles were captured in coastal waters of North Carolina and displaced 30-167 km along circuitous routes while deprived of visual cues. At the testing location, turtles were tethered in a circular arena and permitted to swim while their orientation was monitored. Between May and September, when juvenile loggerhead and green turtles inhabit feeding areas along the North Carolina coast, turtles oriented in directions that corresponded closely with the most direct route back to their capture locations. During October and November, however, both loggerhead and green turtles oriented southward, a direction consistent with the migratory paths of turtles beginning their autumn migration. The results demonstrate for the first time that both homing and migratory orientation can be elicited in juvenile turtles under laboratory conditions in which orientation cues can be readily manipulated. In addition, the results provide evidence that juvenile loggerheads can assess their position relative to a goal using local cues available at the test site and are therefore capable of map-based navigation.

  2. Characterization of fibropapillomatosis in green turtles Chelonia mydas (Cheloniidae) captured in a foraging area in southeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Tagliolatto, Alícia Bertoloto; Guimarães, Suzana Machado; Lobo-Hajdu, Gisele; Monteiro-Neto, Cassiano

    2016-10-27

    Fibropapillomatosis (FP) is a multifactorial disease that affects all species of marine turtles, including green turtles Chelonia mydas (Linnaeus, 1758). It is characterised by the development of internal or external tumours that, depending on their locations and sizes, may intensely impact the health condition of sea turtles. The goal of this study was to characterise the disease in C. mydas found in a foraging area in southeastern Brazil, evaluate the prevalence in this region, and correlate presence and absence, size, body distribution, number of tumours, and disease severity with biometric variables of the captured green turtles. Between 2008 and 2014, the prevalence rate of FP was 43.09%, out of 246 green turtles. The size of the animals with FP was relatively greater than animals without tumours, and the prevalence of FP increased with animal size, peaking in the 60-80 cm size class. From 2013 to 2014, gross evaluation of fibropapillomas was performed. The number of tumours per turtle ranged from 1 to 158. The size of tumours ranged from <1 cm (Size A) to >10 cm (Size D); Size A tumours and turtles slightly affected by the disease (Score 1) predominated. Tumour progression (72.1%) and regression (32.8%) were seen in some recaptured individuals (n = 61). Moreover, 24.6% of these turtles showed both progressions and regressions of tumours.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2017-01-01

    In addition to eating contaminated prey, sea turtles may be exposed to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) from ingesting plastic debris that has absorbed these chemicals. Given the limited knowledge about POPs in pelagic sea turtles and how plastic ingestion influences POP exposure, our objectives were to: 1) provide baseline contaminant levels of three species of pelagic Pacific sea turtles; and 2) assess trends of contaminant levels in relation to species, sex, length, body condition and capture location. In addition, we hypothesized that if ingesting plastic is a significant source of POP exposure, then the amount of ingested plastic may be correlated to POP concentrations accumulated in fat. To address our objectives we compared POP concentrations in fat samples to previously described amounts of ingested plastic from the same turtles. Fat samples from 25 Pacific pelagic sea turtles [2 loggerhead (Caretta caretta), 6 green (Chelonia mydas) and 17 olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) turtles] were analyzed for 81 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), 20 organochlorine pesticides, and 35 brominated flame-retardants. The olive ridley and loggerhead turtles had higher ΣDDTs (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane and metabolites) than ΣPCBs, at a ratio similar to biota measured in the South China Sea and southern California. Green turtles had a ratio close to 1:1. These pelagic turtles had lower POP levels than previously reported in nearshore turtles. POP concentrations were unrelated to the amounts of ingested plastic in olive ridleys, suggesting that their exposure to POPs is mainly through prey. In green turtles, concentrations of ΣPCBs were positively correlated with the number of plastic pieces ingested, but these findings were confounded by covariance with body condition index (BCI). Green turtles with a higher BCI had eaten more plastic and also had higher POPs. Taken together, our findings suggest that sea turtles accumulate most POPs through their prey rather

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

    PubMed

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

    2018-01-01

    In addition to eating contaminated prey, sea turtles may be exposed to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) from ingesting plastic debris that has absorbed these chemicals. Given the limited knowledge about POPs in pelagic sea turtles and how plastic ingestion influences POP exposure, our objectives were to: 1) provide baseline contaminant levels of three species of pelagic Pacific sea turtles; and 2) assess trends of contaminant levels in relation to species, sex, length, body condition and capture location. In addition, we hypothesized that if ingesting plastic is a significant source of POP exposure, then the amount of ingested plastic may be correlated to POP concentrations accumulated in fat. To address our objectives we compared POP concentrations in fat samples to previously described amounts of ingested plastic from the same turtles. Fat samples from 25 Pacific pelagic sea turtles [2 loggerhead (Caretta caretta), 6 green (Chelonia mydas) and 17 olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) turtles] were analyzed for 81 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), 20 organochlorine pesticides, and 35 brominated flame-retardants. The olive ridley and loggerhead turtles had higher ΣDDTs (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane and metabolites) than ΣPCBs, at a ratio similar to biota measured in the South China Sea and southern California. Green turtles had a ratio close to 1:1. These pelagic turtles had lower POP levels than previously reported in nearshore turtles. POP concentrations were unrelated to the amounts of ingested plastic in olive ridleys, suggesting that their exposure to POPs is mainly through prey. In green turtles, concentrations of ΣPCBs were positively correlated with the number of plastic pieces ingested, but these findings were confounded by covariance with body condition index (BCI). Green turtles with a higher BCI had eaten more plastic and also had higher POPs. Taken together, our findings suggest that sea turtles accumulate most POPs through their prey rather

  5. Trace element accumulation in hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) and green turtles (Chelonia mydas) from Yaeyama Islands, Japan.

    PubMed

    Anan, Y; Kunito, T; Watanabe, I; Sakai, H; Tanabe, S

    2001-12-01

    Concentrations of 18 trace elements (V, Cr, Mn, Co, Cu, Zn, Se, Rb, Sr, Zr, Mo, Ag, Cd, Sb, Ba, Hg, Tl, and Pb) were determined in the liver, kidney, and muscle of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) from Yaeyama Islands, Okinawa, Japan. Accumulation features of trace elements in the three tissues were similar between green and hawksbill turtles. No gender differences in trace element accumulation in liver and kidney were found for most of the elements. Significant growth-dependent variations were found in concentrations of some elements in tissues of green and hawksbill turtles. Significant negative correlations (p < 0.05) were found between standard carapace length (SCL) and the concentrations of Cu, Zn, and Se in the kidney and V in muscle of green turtles and Mn in the liver, Rb and Ag in kidney, and Hg in muscle of hawksbill turtles. Concentrations of Sr, Mo, Ag, Sb, and Tl in the liver, Sb in kidney, and Sb and Ba in muscle of green turtles and Se and Hg in the liver and Co, Se, and Hg in kidney of hawksbill turtles increased with an increase in SCL (p < 0.05). Green and hawksbill turtles accumulated extremely high concentrations of Cu in the liver and Cd in kidney, whereas the levels of Hg in liver were low in comparison with those of other higher-trophic-level marine animals. High accumulation of Ag in the liver of green turtles was also observed. To evaluate the trophic transfer of trace elements, concentrations of trace elements were determined in stomach contents of green and hawksbill turtles. A remarkably high trophic transfer coefficient was found for Ag and Cd in green turtles and for Cd and Hg in hawksbill turtles.

  6. Using expert opinion to prioritize impacts of climate change on sea turtles' nesting grounds.

    PubMed

    Fuentes, M M P B; Cinner, J E

    2010-12-01

    Managers and conservationists often need to prioritize which impacts from climate change to deal with from a long list of threats. However, data which allows comparison of the relative impact from climatic threats for decision-making is often unavailable. This is the case for the management of sea turtles in the face of climate change. The terrestrial life stages of sea turtles can be negatively impacted by various climatic processes, such as sea level rise, altered cyclonic activity, and increased sand temperatures. However, no study has systematically investigated the relative impact of each of these climatic processes, making it challenging for managers to prioritize their decisions and resources. To address this we offer a systematic method for eliciting expert knowledge to estimate the relative impact of climatic processes on sea turtles' terrestrial reproductive phase. For this we used as an example the world's largest population of green sea turtles and asked 22 scientists and managers to answer a paper based survey with a series of pair-wise comparison matrices that compared the anticipated impacts from each climatic process. Both scientists and managers agreed that increased sand temperature will likely cause the most threat to the reproductive output of the nGBR green turtle population followed by sea level rise, then altered cyclonic activity. The methodology used proved useful to determine the relative impact of the selected climatic processes on sea turtles' reproductive output and provided valuable information for decision-making. Thus, the methodological approach can potentially be applied to other species and ecosystems of management concern. Copyright © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 75 FR 27649 - 2010 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle Observer Requirements

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-05-18

    ... (Lepidochelys kempii), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), and hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) sea turtles... Turtle Observer Requirements AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and... turtle interactions in a given fishery, evaluate existing measures to reduce or prevent prohibited...

  10. 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.

  11. Pinpointing 'Isla Meta': the case of sea turtles and albatrosses

    PubMed

    Papi; Luschi

    1996-01-01

    Satellite tracking has recently shown that the very long open-sea journeys of sea turtles and albatrosses share several features, in spite of the different physiological and environmental constraints to which turtles and birds are subjected. The reviews of data obtained by tracking migration and feeding routes show that both sea turtles and albatrosses are able (i) to pinpoint small, isolated targets by following straight courses, (ii) to continue on a bearing at night even when the moon is not visible, (iii) to compensate for wind or current drift and (iv) to return home after experimental, long-distance displacements. Sea turtles and albatrosses seem to rely on a position-fixing capacity which cannot be explained by known navigational mechanisms but might be shared by other animals that display similar feats of open-sea guidance. Future research will further benefit from satellite telemetry and other new techniques applied to experimental investigations.

  12. 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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

    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. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  15. Ocular morphology of the Leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea).

    PubMed

    Brudenall, Denise K; Schwab, Ivan R; Fritsches, Kerstin A

    2008-01-01

    The Leatherback sea turtle is the largest extant reptile and the sole member of the family Dermochelyidae. Here, the eye of this critically endangered marine turtle was investigated to determine the anatomy, optics, and optical sensitivity. Three Leatherback sea turtles, Dermochelys coriacea. The eye is small in proportion to body size of the adult compared to other vertebrates, with prominence of the retractor bulbi and pyramidalis muscles. The nictitans shows extensive folding of the bulbar conjunctiva as an apparent mechanism to increase the surface area for mucus secretion. The intraocular anatomy is consistent with an eye adapted to aquatic vision with minimal curvature of the cornea, a near-spherical lens, deep ciliary cleft and highly vascularized ciliary body. The optical sensitivity, a measure of the sensitivity to light of a given optical system, is higher than in other marine turtles studied but lower than those found in teleost fish that share a habitat with the Leatherback sea turtle. The Leatherback sea turtle shows ocular features that are characteristic of Chelonians with similarities to aquatic mammals. The calculated optical sensitivity suggests that compared to pelagic fishes, for instance, the Leatherback sea turtle eye is not particularly well adapted for vision in dim light even though this species is known to venture into deep, dark waters, and might feed at night.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

    The problem of how to protect sea turtle nests from terrestrial predators is of worldwide concern. On Queensland’s southern Sunshine Coast, depredation of turtle nests by the introduced European red fox (Vulpes vulpes) has been recorded as the primary terrestrial cause of egg and hatchling mortality. We investigated the impact of foxes on the nests of the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) and occasional green turtle (Chelonia mydas) over ten nesting seasons. Meshing of nests with fox exclusion devices (FEDs) was undertaken in all years accompanied by lethal fox control in the first five-year period, but not in the second five-year period. Lethal fox control was undertaken in the study area from 2005 to February 2010, but foxes still breached 27% (range19–52%) of turtle nests. In the second five-year period, despite the absence of lethal fox control, the average percentage of nests breached was less than 3% (range 0–4%). Comparison of clutch depredation rates in the two five-year periods demonstrated that continuous nest meshing may be more effective than lethal fox control in mitigating the impact of foxes on turtle nests. In the absence of unlimited resources available for the eradication of exotic predators, the use of FEDs and the support and resourcing of a dedicated volunteer base can be considered an effective turtle conservation tool on some beaches. PMID:28187181

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

  18. Plasma hormone levels in the green turtles Chelonia mydas during peak period of nesting at Ras Al-Hadd-Oman.

    PubMed

    Al-Habsi, A A; Alkindi, A Y A; Mahmoud, I Y; Owens, D W; Khan, T; Al-Abri, Aisha

    2006-10-01

    Circulating estradiol (E(2)), progesterone (Pro), testosterone, and corticosterone (B) levels were monitored in the green turtles Chelonia mydas during different nesting phases. Successful nesting includes emergence from sea, chamber and nest excavation, oviposition, burying the nest, and returning to sea. Unsuccessful nesting includes chamber and nest excavations but without oviposition. Blood samples were taken from the cervical sinus and collected within 5-min of capture to minimize stress. The samples were collected between 2000 and 0100 h during the peak season (May-October). High-performance liquid chromatography using a u.v. detection system coupled with tandem quadrupole mass spectrometry was used to measure B. Plasma B levels were significantly higher in successful and unsuccessful phases over emergence and excavation phases. However, B levels in successful versus unsuccessful or emergence versus excavation phases were not significantly different. Plasma steroid levels were measured by the Coat-A-Count RIA technique. Pro levels were significantly higher (P<0.005) in successful over unsuccessful turtles and also successful turtles over turtles in the other phases (P<0.01). The Pro levels immediately after nesting were found to be higher than that reported previously. Plasma testosterone values were higher in successful turtles but not significantly different from the turtles in other phases. Estrogen levels were undetected in all phases. Overall, the hormone values during different phases of nesting may play a major role in formulating the nesting behavior and physiology of the nesting activities in the green turtle.

  19. Gulf Coast Sea Turtle Hatchlings Released at KSC

    NASA Image and Video Library

    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...

  20. Two cases of pseudohermaphroditism in loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta.

    PubMed

    Crespo, Jose Luis; García-Párraga, Daniel; Giménez, Ignacio; Rubio-Guerri, Consuelo; Melero, Mar; Sánchez-Vizcaíno, José Manuel; Marco, Adolfo; Cuesta, Jose A; Muñoz, María Jesús

    2013-09-03

    Two juvenile (curved carapace lengths: 28 and 30 cm) loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta with precocious male external characteristics were admitted to the ARCA del Mar rescue area at the Oceanogràfic Aquarium in Valencia, Spain, in 2009 and 2010. Routine internal laparoscopic examination and subsequent histopathology confirmed the presence of apparently healthy internal female gonads in both animals. Extensive tissue biopsy and hormone induction assays were consistent with female sex. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of pseudohermaphroditism in loggerhead sea turtles based on sexual external characteristics and internal laparoscopic examination. Our findings suggest that the practice of using external phenotypical characteristics as the basis for gender identification in sea turtles should be reevaluated. Future research should focus on detecting more animals with sexual defects and their possible effects on the sea turtle population.

  1. 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.

  2. Estimating at-sea mortality of marine turtles from stranding frequencies and drifter experiments.

    PubMed

    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.

  3. Serum gonadotropins and gonadal steroids associated with ovulation and egg production in sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Wibbels, T; Owens, D W; Licht, P; Limpus, C; Reed, P C; Amoss, M S

    1992-07-01

    Changes in serum concentrations of gonadotropins and gonadal steroids during the periovulatory period were monitored in green, Chelonia mydas, and loggerhead, Caretta caretta, sea turtles. Turtles were from natural populations that nest on a coral island on the Great Barrier Reef. After nesting, each turtle was transferred to a holding tank and held for a maximum of 8 days. A time series of blood samples was obtained from each of five sea turtles (three C. mydas and two C. caretta) starting immediately after nesting and then at approximately 12-hr intervals until the time of release. Prior to release back into the ocean, each turtle was examined by laparoscopy to verify that ovulation had occurred. Serum concentrations of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), progesterone (PRO), and testosterone (T) in both species exhibited significant changes during this period. Surges of FSH, LH, and PRO were evident within approximately 20 to 50 hr after each turtle had nested. The significant change in FSH concentration during the periovulatory period is the first such report for a reptile. Coincident with maximal concentrations of FSH, LH, and PRO was a decline in T concentrations in both species. Estradiol-17 beta concentrations were near or below assay sensitivity in the C. mydas, whereas those in the C. caretta were detectable but exhibited no significant changes. The dynamic changes in FSH, LH, PRO, and T concentrations are consistent with the hypothesis that these hormones facilitate specific physiological events during ovulation and egg production.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  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. Saving sea turtles: the evolution of the IUCN Marine Turtle Group.

    PubMed

    Davis, Frederick R

    2005-09-01

    When Peter Scott became chairman of the Survival Service Commission of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) in 1963, he invited Archie Carr to chair the Marine Turtle Group (MTG). A leading authority on the ecology and conservation of sea turtles, Carr believed that the MTG could be the first international forum for sea turtle research and conservation. The assembly of data for the IUCN Red Data Book revealed which species of turtles were threatened with extinction and the array of risks that they faced. Although Carr and Scott differed on what courses of action should be taken in light of this, the MTG did emerge as an important international congress that remains an inspiration to current marine protection efforts.

  8. 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 for...

  9. 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 for...

  10. Energy expenditure of freely swimming adult green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and its link with body acceleration.

    PubMed

    Enstipp, Manfred R; Ciccione, Stéphane; Gineste, Benoit; Milbergue, Myriam; Ballorain, Katia; Ropert-Coudert, Yan; Kato, Akiko; Plot, Virginie; Georges, Jean-Yves

    2011-12-01

    Marine turtles are globally threatened. Crucial for the conservation of these large ectotherms is a detailed knowledge of their energy relationships, especially their at-sea metabolic rates, which will ultimately define population structure and size. Measuring metabolic rates in free-ranging aquatic animals, however, remains a challenge. Hence, it is not surprising that for most marine turtle species we know little about the energetic requirements of adults at sea. Recently, accelerometry has emerged as a promising tool for estimating activity-specific metabolic rates of animals in the field. Accelerometry allows quantification of the movement of animals (ODBA/PDBA, overall/partial dynamic body acceleration), which, after calibration, might serve as a proxy for metabolic rate. We measured oxygen consumption rates (V(O(2))) of adult green turtles (Chelonia mydas; 142.1±26.9 kg) at rest and when swimming within a 13 m-long swim channel, using flow-through respirometry. We investigated the effect of water temperature (T(w)) on turtle and tested the hypothesis that turtle body acceleration can be used as a proxy for V(O(2)). Mean mass-specific V(O(2)) (sV(O(2))) of six turtles when resting at a T(w) of 25.8±1.0°C was 0.50±0.09 ml min(-1) kg(-0.83). sV(O(2))increased significantly with T(w) and activity level. Changes in sV(O(2)) were paralleled by changes in respiratory frequency (f(R)). Deploying bi-axial accelerometers in conjunction with respirometry, we found a significant positive relationship between sV(O(2)) and PDBA that was modified by T(w). The resulting predictive equation was highly significant (r(2)=0.83, P<0.0001) and associated error estimates were small (mean algebraic error 3.3%), indicating that body acceleration is a good predictor of V(O(2)) in green turtles. Our results suggest that accelerometry is a suitable method to investigate marine turtle energetics at sea.

  11. Localization of fibropapilloma-associated turtle herpesvirus in green turtles (Chelonia mydas) by in-situ hybridization.

    PubMed

    Kang, K I; Torres-Velez, F J; Zhang, J; Moore, P A; Moore, D P; Rivera, S; Brown, C C

    2008-11-01

    Fibropapilloma-associated turtle herpesvirus (FPTHV) is the presumed aetiological agent of sea turtle fibropapillomatosis (FP). Intralesional DNA and RNA of the virus have been detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and reverse transcriptase-PCR (RT-PCR), respectively, but the exact location and distribution of the virus within the tumours have not been addressed. In this study, in-situ hybridization (ISH) was used to investigate viral transcriptional activity and localization of FPTHV. Twenty-five tumours were obtained from the skin or conjunctiva of 105 green turtles (Chelonia mydas) examined on two islands in Puerto Rico (Culebra and Culebrita). These lesions comprised 19 fibropapillomas and six fibromas. FPTHV mRNA transcripts were detected by ISH in three fibropapillomas, with positive reactions confined to the nuclei of clusters of epithelial cells. Viral DNA was detected by riboprobe ISH combined with denaturation in 14 tumours, including both fibropapillomas and fibromas. Signals were confined to the nuclei of acanthotic epithelial cells and were not seen in the subepithelial fibrous areas of the tumours. These results suggest that FPTHV is present in epithelial cells and transcriptionally active in fibropapillomas.

  12. 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

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... endangered sea turtles. (a) Shrimp fishermen in the southeastern United States and the Gulf of Mexico who... to civil penalties under the Act for incidental captures of endangered sea turtles by shrimp trawl...

  15. 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.

  16. 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)

  17. 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)

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

    PubMed

    Putman, Nathan F; Naro-Maciel, Eugenia

    2013-10-07

    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.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

    2010-04-09

    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.

  4. 78 FR 77428 - 2014 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle Observer Requirement

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-12-23

    ... (Dermochelys coriacea), and hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) sea turtles are listed as endangered. Loggerhead... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XD008 2014 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle... to learn more about sea turtle interactions in a given fishery, evaluate existing measures to...

  5. 77 FR 474 - 2012 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle Observer Requirement

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-01-05

    ... (Lepidochelys kempii), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), and hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) sea turtles... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XA892 2012 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle... learn more about sea turtle interactions in a given fishery, evaluate existing measures to prevent...

  6. 77 FR 75999 - 2013 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle Observer Requirement

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-12-26

    ...), and hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) sea turtles are listed as endangered. Loggerhead (Caretta... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XC379 2013 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle... to learn more about sea turtle interactions in a given fishery, evaluate existing measures to...

  7. 75 FR 81201 - 2011 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle Observer Requirement

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-12-27

    ... coriacea), and hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) sea turtles are listed as endangered. Loggerhead (Caretta... for Sea Turtle Observer Requirement AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic...' request. The purpose of observing identified fisheries is to learn more about sea turtle interactions in...

  8. 50 CFR 648.126 - Protection of threatened and endangered sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 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 supplements existing regulations issued to regulate incidental take of sea turtles under authority of the...

  9. 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...

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

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

  11. 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...

  12. 50 CFR 648.129 - Protection of threatened and endangered sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

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

  13. 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...

  14. 50 CFR 648.126 - Protection of threatened and endangered sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

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

  15. 50 CFR 648.129 - Protection of threatened and endangered sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

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

  16. 50 CFR 648.129 - Protection of threatened and endangered sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

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

  17. 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...

  18. 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

    ... 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, Caretta... Critical Habitat for the Northwest Atlantic Ocean Loggerhead Sea Turtle Distinct Population Segment (DPS...

  19. 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

    ... 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, Caretta... Designation of Critical Habitat for the Northwest Atlantic Ocean Loggerhead Sea Turtle Distinct Population...

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

  2. Ecological regime shift drives declining growth rates of sea turtles throughout the West Atlantic.

    PubMed

    Bjorndal, Karen A; Bolten, Alan B; Chaloupka, Milani; Saba, Vincent S; Bellini, Cláudio; Marcovaldi, Maria A G; Santos, Armando J B; Bortolon, Luis Felipe Wurdig; Meylan, Anne B; Meylan, Peter A; Gray, Jennifer; Hardy, Robert; Brost, Beth; Bresette, Michael; Gorham, Jonathan C; Connett, Stephen; Crouchley, Barbara Van Sciver; Dawson, Mike; Hayes, Deborah; Diez, Carlos E; van Dam, Robert P; Willis, Sue; Nava, Mabel; Hart, Kristen M; Cherkiss, Michael S; Crowder, Andrew G; Pollock, Clayton; Hillis-Starr, Zandy; Muñoz Tenería, Fernando A; Herrera-Pavón, Roberto; Labrada-Martagón, Vanessa; Lorences, Armando; Negrete-Philippe, Ana; Lamont, Margaret M; Foley, Allen M; Bailey, Rhonda; Carthy, Raymond R; Scarpino, Russell; McMichael, Erin; Provancha, Jane A; Brooks, Annabelle; Jardim, Adriana; López-Mendilaharsu, Milagros; González-Paredes, Daniel; Estrades, Andrés; Fallabrino, Alejandro; Martínez-Souza, Gustavo; Vélez-Rubio, Gabriela M; Boulon, Ralf H; Collazo, Jaime A; Wershoven, Robert; Guzmán Hernández, Vicente; Stringell, Thomas B; Sanghera, Amdeep; Richardson, Peter B; Broderick, Annette C; Phillips, Quinton; Calosso, Marta; Claydon, John A B; Metz, Tasha L; Gordon, Amanda L; Landry, Andre M; Shaver, Donna J; Blumenthal, Janice; Collyer, Lucy; Godley, Brendan J; McGowan, Andrew; Witt, Matthew J; Campbell, Cathi L; Lagueux, Cynthia J; Bethel, Thomas L; Kenyon, Lory

    2017-11-01

    Somatic growth is an integrated, individual-based response to environmental conditions, especially in ectotherms. Growth dynamics of large, mobile animals are particularly useful as bio-indicators of environmental change at regional scales. We assembled growth rate data from throughout the West Atlantic for green turtles, Chelonia mydas, which are long-lived, highly migratory, primarily herbivorous mega-consumers that may migrate over hundreds to thousands of kilometers. Our dataset, the largest ever compiled for sea turtles, has 9690 growth increments from 30 sites from Bermuda to Uruguay from 1973 to 2015. Using generalized additive mixed models, we evaluated covariates that could affect growth rates; body size, diet, and year have significant effects on growth. Growth increases in early years until 1999, then declines by 26% to 2015. The temporal (year) effect is of particular interest because two carnivorous species of sea turtles-hawksbills, Eretmochelys imbricata, and loggerheads, Caretta caretta-exhibited similar significant declines in growth rates starting in 1997 in the West Atlantic, based on previous studies. These synchronous declines in productivity among three sea turtle species across a trophic spectrum provide strong evidence that an ecological regime shift (ERS) in the Atlantic is driving growth dynamics. The ERS resulted from a synergy of the 1997/1998 El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO)-the strongest on record-combined with an unprecedented warming rate over the last two to three decades. Further support is provided by the strong correlations between annualized mean growth rates of green turtles and both sea surface temperatures (SST) in the West Atlantic for years of declining growth rates (r = -.94) and the Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) for all years (r = .74). Granger-causality analysis also supports the latter finding. We discuss multiple stressors that could reinforce and prolong the effect of the ERS. This study demonstrates the

  3. Ecological regime shift drives declining growth rates of sea turtles throughout the West Atlantic

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bjorndal, Karen A.; Bolten, Alan B.; Chaloupka, Milani; Saba, Vincent S.; Bellini, Cláudio; Marcovaldi, Maria A.G.; Santos, Armando J.B.; Bortolon, Luis Felipe Wurdig; Meylan, Anne B.; Meylan, Peter A.; Gray, Jennifer; Hardy, Robert; Brost, Beth; Bresette, Michael; Gorham, Jonathan C.; Connett, Stephen; Crouchley, Barbara Van Sciver; Dawson, Mike; Hayes, Deborah; Diez, Carlos E.; van Dam, Robert P.; Willis, Sue; Nava, Mabel; Hart, Kristen M.; Cherkiss, Michael S.; Crowder, Andrew; Pollock, Clayton; Hillis-Starr, Zandy; Muñoz Tenería, Fernando A.; Herrera-Pavón, Roberto; Labrada-Martagón, Vanessa; Lorences, Armando; Negrete-Philippe, Ana; Lamont, Margaret M.; Foley, Allen M.; Bailey, Rhonda; Carthy, Raymond R.; Scarpino, Russell; McMichael, Erin; Provancha, Jane A.; Brooks, Annabelle; Jardim, Adriana; López-Mendilaharsu, Milagros; González-Paredes, Daniel; Estrades, Andrés; Fallabrino, Alejandro; Martínez-Souza, Gustavo; Vélez-Rubio, Gabriela M.; Boulon, Ralf H.; Collazo, Jaime; Wershoven, Robert; Hernández, Vicente Guzmán; Stringell, Thomas B.; Sanghera, Amdeep; Richardson, Peter B.; Broderick, Annette C.; Phillips, Quinton; Calosso, Marta C.; Claydon, John A.B.; Metz, Tasha L.; Gordon, Amanda L.; Landry, Andre M.; Shaver, Donna J.; Blumenthal, Janice; Collyer, Lucy; Godley, Brendan J.; McGowan, Andrew; Witt, Matthew J.; Campbell, Cathi L.; Lagueux, Cynthia J.; Bethel, Thomas L.; Kenyon, Lory

    2017-01-01

    Somatic growth is an integrated, individual-based response to environmental conditions, especially in ectotherms. Growth dynamics of large, mobile animals are particularly useful as bio-indicators of environmental change at regional scales. We assembled growth rate data from throughout the West Atlantic for green turtles, Chelonia mydas, which are long-lived, highly migratory, primarily herbivorous mega-consumers that may migrate over hundreds to thousands of kilometers. Our dataset, the largest ever compiled for sea turtles, has 9690 growth increments from 30 sites from Bermuda to Uruguay from 1973 to 2015. Using generalized additive mixed models, we evaluated covariates that could affect growth rates; body size, diet, and year have significant effects on growth. Growth increases in early years until 1999, then declines by 26% to 2015. The temporal (year) effect is of particular interest because two carnivorous species of sea turtles – hawksbills, Eretmochelys imbricata, and loggerheads, Caretta caretta – exhibited similar significant declines in growth rates starting in 1997 in the West Atlantic, based on previous studies. These synchronous declines in productivity among three sea turtle species across a trophic spectrum provide strong evidence that an ecological regime shift (ERS) in the Atlantic is driving growth dynamics. The ERS resulted from a synergy of the 1997/1998 El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) – the strongest on record – combined with an unprecedented warming rate over the last two to three decades. Further support is provided by the strong correlations between annualized mean growth rates of green turtles and both sea surface temperatures (SST) in the West Atlantic for years of declining growth rates (r = -0.94) and the Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) for all years (r = 0.74). Granger-causality analysis also supports the latter finding. We discuss multiple stressors that could reinforce and prolong the effect of the ERS. This study

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Discovery of a Novel Single-Stranded DNA Virus from a Sea Turtle Fibropapilloma by Using Viral Metagenomics▿

    PubMed Central

    Ng, Terry Fei Fan; Manire, Charles; Borrowman, Kelly; Langer, Tammy; Ehrhart, Llewellyn; Breitbart, Mya

    2009-01-01

    Viral metagenomics, consisting of viral particle purification and shotgun sequencing, is a powerful technique for discovering viruses associated with diseases with no definitive etiology, viruses that share limited homology with known viruses, or viruses that are not culturable. Here we used viral metagenomics to examine viruses associated with sea turtle fibropapillomatosis (FP), a debilitating neoplastic disease affecting sea turtles worldwide. By means of purifying and shotgun sequencing the viral community directly from the fibropapilloma of a Florida green sea turtle, a novel single-stranded DNA virus, sea turtle tornovirus 1 (STTV1), was discovered. The single-stranded, circular genome of STTV1 was approximately 1,800 nucleotides in length. STTV1 has only weak amino acid level identities (25%) to chicken anemia virus in short regions of its genome; hence, STTV1 may represent the first member of a novel virus family. A total of 35 healthy turtles and 27 turtles with FP were tested for STTV1 using PCR, and only 2 turtles severely afflicted with FP were positive. The affected turtles were systemically infected with STTV1, since STTV1 was found in blood and all major organs. STTV1 exists as a quasispecies, with several genome variants identified in the fibropapilloma of each positive turtle, suggesting rapid evolution of this virus. The STTV1 variants were identical over the majority of their genomes but contained a hypervariable region with extensive divergence. This study demonstrates the potential of viral metagenomics for discovering novel viruses directly from animal tissue, which can enhance our understanding of viral evolution and diversity. PMID:19116258

  10. Discovery of a novel single-stranded DNA virus from a sea turtle fibropapilloma by using viral metagenomics.

    PubMed

    Ng, Terry Fei Fan; Manire, Charles; Borrowman, Kelly; Langer, Tammy; Ehrhart, Llewellyn; Breitbart, Mya

    2009-03-01

    Viral metagenomics, consisting of viral particle purification and shotgun sequencing, is a powerful technique for discovering viruses associated with diseases with no definitive etiology, viruses that share limited homology with known viruses, or viruses that are not culturable. Here we used viral metagenomics to examine viruses associated with sea turtle fibropapillomatosis (FP), a debilitating neoplastic disease affecting sea turtles worldwide. By means of purifying and shotgun sequencing the viral community directly from the fibropapilloma of a Florida green sea turtle, a novel single-stranded DNA virus, sea turtle tornovirus 1 (STTV1), was discovered. The single-stranded, circular genome of STTV1 was approximately 1,800 nucleotides in length. STTV1 has only weak amino acid level identities (25%) to chicken anemia virus in short regions of its genome; hence, STTV1 may represent the first member of a novel virus family. A total of 35 healthy turtles and 27 turtles with FP were tested for STTV1 using PCR, and only 2 turtles severely afflicted with FP were positive. The affected turtles were systemically infected with STTV1, since STTV1 was found in blood and all major organs. STTV1 exists as a quasispecies, with several genome variants identified in the fibropapilloma of each positive turtle, suggesting rapid evolution of this virus. The STTV1 variants were identical over the majority of their genomes but contained a hypervariable region with extensive divergence. This study demonstrates the potential of viral metagenomics for discovering novel viruses directly from animal tissue, which can enhance our understanding of viral evolution and diversity.

  11. 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. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

    Putman, Nathan F; Mansfield, Katherine L

    2015-05-04

    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.

  14. The magnetic map of hatchling loggerhead sea turtles.

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

    Young loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from eastern Florida, U.S.A., undertake a transoceanic migration in which they gradually circle the North Atlantic Ocean before returning to the North American coast. Hatchlings in the open sea are guided at least partly by a 'magnetic map' in which regional magnetic fields function as navigational markers and elicit changes in swimming direction at crucial locations along the migratory route. The magnetic map exists in turtles that have never migrated and thus appears to be inherited. Turtles derive both longitudinal and latitudinal information from the Earth's field, most likely by exploiting unique combinations of field inclination and intensity that occur in different geographic areas. Similar mechanisms may function in the migrations of diverse animals.

  15. Field anaesthesia of leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea).

    PubMed

    Harms, C A; Eckert, S A; Kubis, S A; Campbell, M; Levenson, D H; Crognale, M A

    2007-07-07

    Ten nesting leatherback sea turtles on Trinidad were anaesthetised for electroretinogram (ERG) measurements, using ketamine and medetomidine, reversed with atipamezole. They weighed 242 to 324 kg and were given initial doses of 3 to 8 mg/kg ketamine and 30 to 80 microg/kg medetomidine administered into an external jugular vein; six of the turtles received supplementary doses of 2.6 to 3.9 mg/kg ketamine combined with 0 to 39 microg/kg medetomidine. The lower doses were used initially to ensure against overdosage and reduce the chances of residual effects after the turtles returned to the water, but successful ergs called for step-wise dose increases to the required level of anaesthesia. Respiratory rate, heart rate, electrocardiogram, cloacal temperature, and venous blood gases were monitored, and blood was collected for plasma biochemistry. At the end of the erg procedure, atipamezole was administered at 150 to 420 microg/kg (five times the dose of medetomidine), half intramuscularly and half intravascularly. The turtles were monitored and prevented from re-entering the water until their behaviour was normal. No apparent mortalities or serious anaesthetic complications occurred. The observed within-season return nesting rate of the anaesthetised turtles was comparable with that of unanaesthetised turtles.

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 77 FR 29586 - Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp Trawling Requirements; Correction

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-05-18

    ... [Federal Register Volume 77, Number 97 (Friday, May 18, 2012)] [Proposed Rules] [Pages 29586-29587] [FR Doc No: 2012-12013] DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 223 RIN 0648-BC10 Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp Trawling Requirements; Correction AGENCY...

  20. Biotransformation of 2,2',5,5'-tetrachlorobiphenyl (PCB 52) and 3,3',4,4'-tetrachlorobiphenyl (PCB 77) by liver microsomes from four species of sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Richardson, Kristine L; Schlenk, Daniel

    2011-05-16

    The rates of oxidative metabolism of two tetrachlorobiphenyl congeners were determined in hepatic microsomes from four species of sea turtles, green (Chelonia mydas), olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea), loggerhead (Caretta caretta), and hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata). Hydroxylation of 3,3',4,4'-tetrachlorobiphenyl (PCB 77), an ortho-meta unsubstituted rodent cytochrome P450 (P450) 1A substrate PCB, was not observed in sea turtle microsomes. Sea turtle microsomes hydroxylated 2,2',5,5'-tetrachlorobiphenyl (PCB 52), a meta-para unsubstituted rodent P450 family 2 substrate PCB, at rates ranging from less than 0.5 to 53 pmol/min/mg protein. The P450 inhibitor ketoconazole inhibited hydroxylation of PCB 52, supporting the role of P450 catalysis. Sea turtle PCB 52 hydroxlyation rates strongly correlated with immunodetected P450 family 2-like and less so with P450 family 3-like hepatic proteins. Testosterone 6β-, 16α-, 16β-hydroxylase activities were also significantly correlated with the expression of these enzymes, indicating that P450 family 2 or P450 family 3 proteins are responsible for PCB hydroxylation in sea turtles. This study indicated species-specific PCB biotransformation in sea turtles and preferential elimination of meta-para unsubstituted PCB congeners over ortho-meta unsubstituted PCB congeners consistent with PCB accumulation patterns observed in tissues of sea turtles.

  1. Yolk embolism associated with trauma in vitellogenic sea turtles in Florida (USA): a review of 11 cases.

    PubMed

    Stacy, Brian A; Foley, Allen; Garner, Michael M; Mettee, Nancy

    2013-12-01

    Case information and postmortem examination findings are presented for 11 adult female sea turtles in reproductive form that died in Florida, USA. All had abundant, large vitellogenic follicles, and most were either gravid or had recently nested. Species included six loggerheads (Caretta caretta) and five green turtles (Chelonia mydas). Identified proximate causes of death included falls or entrapment by obstructions on nesting beaches, burial under collapsed dunes, and other traumatic injuries of different causes. Evidence of yolk embolization was found in 10 cases and suspected in an 11th turtle. Ten turtles also had various amounts of free intracoelomic yolk. Although the effects of yolk embolization are uncertain at this time, precedence of pathologic importance in other species suggests that embolism may complicate traumatic injuries, including seemingly minor events.

  2. Estimates of the non-market value of sea turtles in Tobago using stated preference techniques.

    PubMed

    Cazabon-Mannette, Michelle; Schuhmann, Peter W; Hailey, Adrian; Horrocks, Julia

    2017-05-01

    Economic benefits are derived from sea turtle tourism all over the world. Sea turtles also add value to underwater recreation and convey non-use values. This study examines the non-market value of sea turtles in Tobago. We use a choice experiment to estimate the value of sea turtle encounters to recreational SCUBA divers and the contingent valuation method to estimate the value of sea turtles to international tourists. Results indicate that turtle encounters were the most important dive attribute among those examined. Divers are willing to pay over US$62 per two tank dive for the first turtle encounter. The mean WTP for turtle conservation among international visitors to Tobago was US$31.13 which reflects a significant non-use value associated with actions targeted at keeping sea turtles from going extinct. These results illustrate significant non-use and non-consumptive use value of sea turtles, and highlight the importance of sea turtle conservation efforts in Tobago and throughout the Caribbean region. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Regional magnetic fields as navigational markers for sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Lohmann, K J; Cain, S D; Dodge, S A; Lohmann, C M

    2001-10-12

    Young loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from eastern Florida undertake a transoceanic migration in which they gradually circle the north Atlantic Ocean before returning to the North American coast. Here we report that hatchling loggerheads, when exposed to magnetic fields replicating those found in three widely separated oceanic regions, responded by swimming in directions that would, in each case, help keep turtles within the currents of the North Atlantic gyre and facilitate movement along the migratory pathway. These results imply that young loggerheads have a guidance system in which regional magnetic fields function as navigational markers and elicit changes in swimming direction at crucial geographic boundaries.

  4. Detection of Salmonella enterica Serovar Montevideo and Newport in Free-ranging Sea Turtles and Beach Sand in the Caribbean and Persistence in Sand and Seawater Microcosms.

    PubMed

    Ives, A-K; Antaki, E; Stewart, K; Francis, S; Jay-Russell, M T; Sithole, F; Kearney, M T; Griffin, M J; Soto, E

    2016-12-23

    Salmonellae are Gram-negative zoonotic bacteria that are frequently part of the normal reptilian gastrointestinal flora. The main objective of this project was to estimate the prevalence of non-typhoidal Salmonella enterica in the nesting and foraging populations of sea turtles on St. Kitts and in sand from known nesting beaches. Results suggest a higher prevalence of Salmonella in nesting leatherback sea turtles compared with foraging green and hawksbill sea turtles. Salmonella was cultured from 2/9 and identified by molecular diagnostic methods in 3/9 leatherback sea turtle samples. Salmonella DNA was detected in one hawksbill turtle, but viable isolates were not recovered from any hawksbill sea turtles. No Salmonella was detected in green sea turtles. In samples collected from nesting beaches, Salmonella was only recovered from a single dry sand sample. All recovered isolates were positive for the wzx gene, consistent with the O:7 serogroup. Further serotyping characterized serovars Montevideo and Newport present in cloacal and sand samples. Repetitive-element palindromic PCR (rep-PCR) fingerprint analysis and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis of the 2014 isolates from turtles and sand as well as archived Salmonella isolates recovered from leatherback sea turtles in 2012 and 2013, identified two distinct genotypes and four different pulsotypes, respectively. The genotyping and serotyping were directly correlated. To determine the persistence of representative strains of each serotype/genotype in these environments, laboratory-controlled microcosm studies were performed in water and sand (dry and wet) incubated at 25 or 35°C. Isolates persisted for at least 32 days in most microcosms, although there were significant decreases in culturable bacteria in several microcosms, with the greatest reduction in dry sand incubated at 35°C. This information provides a better understanding of the epizootiology of Salmonella in free-ranging marine reptiles and the potential

  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.

  6. First satellite tracks of neonate sea turtles redefine the 'lost years' oceanic niche.

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-22

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Arsenic in marine mammals, seabirds, and sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Kunito, Takashi; Kubota, Reiji; Fujihara, Junko; Agusa, Tetsuro; Tanabe, Shinsuke

    2008-01-01

    Although there have been numerous studies on arsenic in low-trophic-level marine organisms, few studies exist on arsenic in marine mammals, seabirds, and sea turtles. Studies on arsenic species and their concentrations in these animals are needed to evaluate their possible health effects and to deepen our understanding of how arsenic behaves and cycles in marine ecosystems. Most arsenic in the livers of marine mammals, seabirds, and sea turtles is AB, but this form is absent or occurs at surprisingly low levels in the dugong. Although arsenic levels were low in marine mammals, some seabirds, and some sea turtles, the black-footed albatross and hawksbill and loggerhead turtles showed high concentrations, comparable to those in marine organisms at low trophic levels. Hence, these animals may have a specific mechanism for accumulating arsenic. Osmoregulation in these animals may play a role in the high accumulation of AB. Highly toxic inorganic arsenic is found in some seabirds and sea turtles, and some evidence suggests it may act as an endocrine disruptor, requiring new and more detailed studies for confirmation. Furthermore, DMA(V) and arsenosugars, which are commonly found in marine animals and marine algae, respectively, might pose risks to highly exposed animals because of their tendency to form reactive oxygen species. In marine mammals, arsenic is thought to be mainly stored in blubber as lipid-soluble arsenicals. Because marine mammals occupy the top levels of their food chain, work to characterize the lipid-soluble arsenicals and how they cycle in marine ecosystems is needed. These lipid-soluble arsenicals have DMA precursors, the exact structures of which remain to be determined. Because many more arsenicals are assumed to be present in the marine environment, further advances in analytical capabilities can and will provide useful future information on the transformation and cycling of arsenic in the marine environment.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. Perfluoroalkyl contaminants in plasma of five sea turtle species: comparisons in concentration and potential health risks.

    PubMed

    Keller, Jennifer M; Ngai, Lily; Braun McNeill, Joanne; Wood, Lawrence D; Stewart, Kelly R; O'Connell, Steven G; Kucklick, John R

    2012-06-01

    The authors compared blood plasma concentrations of 13 perfluoroalkyl contaminants (PFCs) in five sea turtle species with differing trophic levels. Wild sea turtles were blood sampled from the southeastern region of the United States, and plasma was analyzed using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Mean concentrations of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), the predominant PFC, increased with trophic level from herbivorous greens (2.41 ng/g), jellyfish-eating leatherbacks (3.95 ng/g), omnivorous loggerheads (6.47 ng/g), to crab-eating Kemp's ridleys (15.7 ng/g). However, spongivorous hawksbills had surprisingly high concentrations of PFOS (11.9 ng/g) and other PFCs based on their trophic level. These baseline concentrations of biomagnifying PFCs demonstrate interesting species and geographical differences. The measured PFOS concentrations were compared with concentrations known to cause toxic effects in laboratory animals, and estimated margins of safety (EMOS) were calculated. Small EMOS (<100), suggestive of potential risk of adverse health effects, were observed for all five sea turtle species for immunosuppression. Estimated margins of safety less than 100 were also observed for liver, thyroid, and neurobehavorial effects for the more highly exposed species. These baseline concentrations and the preliminary EMOS exercise provide a better understanding of the potential health risks of PFCs for conservation managers to protect these threatened and endangered species. Copyright © 2012 SETAC.

  16. Investigation of plastic debris ingestion by four species of sea turtles collected as bycatch in pelagic Pacific longline fisheries

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clukey, Katherine E.; Lepczyk, Christopher A.; Balazs, George H.; Work, Thierry M.; Lynch, Jennifer M.

    2017-01-01

    Ingestion of marine debris is an established threat to sea turtles. The amount, type, color and location of ingested plastics in the gastrointestinal tracts of 55 sea turtles from Pacific longline fisheries from 2012 to 2016 were quantified, and compared across species, turtle length, body condition, sex, capture location, season and year. Six approaches for quantifying amounts of ingested plastic strongly correlated with one another and included: number of pieces, mass, volume and surface area of plastics, ratio of plastic mass to body mass, and percentage of the mass of gut contents consisting of plastic. All olive ridley (n = 37), 90% of green (n = 10), 80% of loggerhead (n = 5) and 0% of leatherback (n = 3) turtles had ingested plastic; green turtles ingested significantly more than olive ridleys. Most debris was in the large intestines. No adverse health impacts (intestinal lesions, blockage, or poor body condition) due directly to plastic ingestion were noted.

  17. Trading shallow safety for deep sleep: Juvenile green turtles select deeper resting sites as they grow

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hart, Kristen M.; White, Connor F.; Iverson, Autumn R; Whitney, Nick

    2016-01-01

    To better protect endangered green sea turtles Chelonia mydas, a more thorough understanding of the behaviors of each life stage is needed. Although dive profile analyses obtained using time-depth loggers have provided some insights into habitat use, recent work has shown that more fine-scale monitoring of body movements is needed to elucidate physical activity patterns. We monitored 11 juvenile green sea turtles with tri-axial acceleration data loggers in their foraging grounds in Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida, USA, for periods ranging from 43 to 118 h (mean ± SD: 72.8 ± 27.3 h). Approximately half of the individuals (n = 5) remained in shallow (overall mean depth less than 2 m) water throughout the experiment, whereas the remaining individuals (n = 6) made excursions to deeper (4 to 27 m) waters, often at night. Despite these differences in depth use, acceleration data revealed a consistent pattern of diurnal activity and nocturnal resting in most individuals. Nocturnal depth differences thus do not appear to represent differences in behavior, but rather different strategies to achieve the same behavior: rest. We calculated overall dynamic body acceleration (ODBA) to assess the relative energetic cost of each behavioral strategy in an attempt to explain the differences between them. Animals in deeper water experienced longer resting dives, more time resting per hour, and lower mean hourly ODBA. These results suggest that resting in deeper water provides energetic benefits that outweigh the costs of transiting to deep water and a potential increased risk of predation.

  18. 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. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Chemical contamination of green turtle (Chelonia mydas) eggs in peninsular Malaysia: implications for conservation and public health.

    PubMed

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

    2009-09-01

    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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

  3. Deforestation: risk of sex ratio distortion in hawksbill sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Kamel, Stephanie Jill; Mrosovsky, N

    2006-06-01

    Phenotypic sex in sea turtles is determined by nest incubation temperatures, with warmer temperatures producing females and cooler temperatures producing males. The common finding of highly skewed female-biased hatchling sex ratios in sea turtle populations could have serious repercussions for the long-term survival of these species and prompted us to examine the thermal profile of a relatively pristine hawksbill nesting beach in Guadeloupe, French West Indies. Data loggers placed at nest depth revealed that temperatures in the forested areas were significantly cooler than temperatures in the more open, deforested areas. Using these temperatures as a predictor of sex ratio, we were able to assess the relative contributions of the different beach zones to the primary sex ratio: significantly more males were likely to be produced in the forested areas. Coastal forests are therefore important male-producing areas for the hawksbill sea turtle, and this has urgent conservation implications. On Guadeloupe, as on many Caribbean islands, deforestation rates are high and show few signs of slowing, as there is continual pressure to develop beachfront areas. The destruction of coastal forest could have serious consequences both in terms of local nesting behavior and of regional demography through the effects on population sex ratios. Human alterations to nesting habitat in other reptile taxa have been shown to modify the thermal properties of nest sites in ways that can disrupt their ecology by allowing parasite transmission, increasing vulnerability to climate change, or rendering existing habitat unsuitable.

  4. Disseminated mycobacteriosis in a stranded loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta).

    PubMed

    Nardini, Giordano; Florio, Daniela; Di Girolamo, Nicola; Gustinelli, Andrea; Quaglio, Francesco; Fiorentini, Laura; Leopardi, Stefania; Fioravanti, Maria Letizia

    2014-06-01

    A loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) was found stranded alive along the Adriatic coast close to Ancona, Italy, displaying obtundation, tachypnea, and increased respiratory effort. It died a few hours after admission, and a postmortem examination was immediately performed. Miliary yellowish nodules were evident in the liver, and a lower number in the heart, stomach, and gut wall. Hundreds of whitish nodules were scattered in the lungs, with the majority of the pulmonary parenchyma being replaced by the lesions. Histologically, all nodular lesions consisted of a small central area of necrosis with acid-fast bacilli surrounded by epithelioid cells, macrophages, and lymphocytes. Giant cells were found in the spleen and the liver. Kidneys, lungs, liver, spleen, brain, and skin lesions were inoculated aseptically onto general isolation media and selective isolation media for mycobacteria. The isolate showed a restriction pattern identical to Mycobacterium chelonae by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first description of a disseminated infection caused by a potentially pathogenic mycobacteria in a stranded, free-ranging loggerhead sea turtle. Veterinary staff and biologists who handle sea turtles with suspected mycobacterial disease should protect themselves appropriately.

  5. 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.

  6. Do open-cycle hatcheries relying on tourism conserve sea turtles? Sri Lankan developments and economic-ecological considerations.

    PubMed

    Tisdell, Clem; Wilson, Clevo

    2005-04-01

    By combining economic analysis of markets with ecological parameters, this article considers the role that tourism-based sea turtle hatcheries (of an open-cycle type) can play in conserving populations of sea turtles. Background is provided on the nature and development of such hatcheries in Sri Lanka. The modeling facilitates the assessment of the impacts of turtle hatcheries on the conservation of sea turtles and enables the economic and ecological consequences of tourism, based on such hatcheries, to be better appreciated. The results demonstrate that sea turtle hatcheries serving tourists can make a positive contribution to sea turtle conservation, but that their conservation effectiveness depends on the way they are managed. Possible negative effects are also identified. Economic market models are combined with turtle population survival relationships to predict the conservation impact of turtle hatcheries and their consequence for the total economic value obtained from sea turtle populations.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-05-01

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

  9. 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. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Mycobacterium haemophilum infection in a juvenile leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea).

    PubMed

    Donnelly, Kyle; Waltzek, Thomas B; Wellehan, James F X; Stacy, Nicole I; Chadam, Maria; Stacy, Brian A

    2016-11-01

    Mycobacteriosis is infrequently reported in free-ranging sea turtles. Nontuberculous Mycobacterium haemophilum was identified as the causative agent of disseminated mycobacteriosis in a juvenile leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) that was found stranded on the Atlantic coast of Florida. Disseminated granulomatous inflammation was identified histologically, most notably affecting the nervous system. Identification of mycobacterial infection was based on cytologic, molecular, histologic, and microbiologic methods. Among stranded sea turtles received for diagnostic evaluation from the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts of the United States between 2004 and 2015, the diagnosis of mycobacteriosis was overrepresented in stranded oceanic-phase juveniles compared with larger size classes, which suggests potential differences in susceptibility or exposure among different life phases in this region. We describe M. haemophilum in a sea turtle, which contributes to the knowledge of diseases of small juvenile sea turtles, an especially cryptic life phase of the leatherback turtle.

  11. 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.

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

    DOE PAGES

    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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Use of multiple orientation cues by juvenile loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta.

    PubMed

    Avens, Larisa; Lohmann, Kenneth J

    2003-12-01

    Although the orientation cues used by hatchling sea turtles have been studied extensively, little is known about the mechanisms of orientation and navigation that guide older turtles. To investigate the orientation cues used by juvenile loggerheads Caretta caretta L., captured turtles were tethered in a water-filled arena located outdoors. Turtles tested under these conditions established and maintained headings in specific directions in the absence of wave cues, familiar landmarks and chemical gradients. Distorting the magnetic field around the anterior part of a turtle's body did not disrupt orientation if vision remained unimpaired. Similarly, eliminating visual cues by attaching frosted goggles did not disrupt orientation if the magnetic environment was undisturbed. However, when turtles experienced a simultaneous disruption of magnetic and visual cues, their orientation was altered. These results imply that sea turtles, like migratory birds and homing pigeons, are able to maintain headings using multiple sources of directional information.

  16. Changes in plasma levels of adrenaline, noradrenaline, glucose, lactate and CO2 in the green turtle, Chelonia mydas, during peak period of nesting.

    PubMed

    Alkindi, A Y A; Al-Habsi, A A; Mahmoud, I Y

    2008-02-01

    Plasma concentrations of stress hormones [adrenaline (ADR), noradrenaline (NR)], lactate, glucose and CO2 were monitored during peak nesting period (May-October) at different phases of nesting in the green turtle, Chelonia mydas. These include, emergence from sea, excavating body and nest chambers, oviposition, covering and camouflaging the nest and then returning to sea. Turtles that completed all phases of nesting including oviposition before returning to sea were considered "successful" turtles, while those that completed all phases but failed to lay their eggs were "unsuccessful". Blood samples were taken from the cervical sinus within 5min of capture to avoid stress due to handling. The turtles were usually sampled for blood between 20:00 and 1:00h of nesting time to ensure uniformity in the sampling. Plasma ADR and NR values were highly significant (P<0.001) in successful turtles over emergence, excavating and unsuccessful turtles. Plasma glucose levels remained stable throughout the nesting phases while lactate levels were significantly higher in successful turtles over the other phases (P<0.05) which signifies anaerobic metabolism during nesting. Plasma CO2 values were negatively correlated with ADR and NR (r=-0.258, P=0.03; r=-0.304, P=0.010), respectively. Hematocrit was significantly higher in successful phase (P<0.05) compared to other phases, and this may signify a higher degree of stress in successful turtles. Body temperature were significantly lower (P<0.005) in the excavating phase compared to the other three phases. Overall, body temperatures were lower than sand temperatures around the nest, which may indicate a behavioral thermoregulation used by the turtles during nesting. This information will be of value to the ongoing conservation program at Ras Al-Hadd Reserve in the Sultanate of Oman.

  17. Trace metals in an urbanized estuarine sea turtle food web in San Diego Bay, CA.

    PubMed

    Komoroske, Lisa M; Lewison, Rebecca L; Seminoff, Jeffrey A; Deustchman, Douglas D; Deheyn, Dimitri D

    2012-02-15

    San Diego Bay is an anthropogenically impacted waterway that is also a critical habitat for many sensitive species such as the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas). In this study, we quantified trace metal concentrations in sediment and organisms composing the green sea turtle diet, and identified bioaccumulation patterns for a suite of trace metals. We found Ag, Cd, Cu, Mn, Se, and Zn exhibited the highest bioaccumulation levels in this food web. Cu and Mn concentrations in resident biota displayed a strong spatial gradient from the mouth to the head of the Bay, which was different from the patterns found in the sediment itself. Sediment median concentrations followed a general pattern across the bay of Al>Mn>Cu≈Zn>Pb>As>Cd>Ag>Se>Hg. In contrast, eelgrass displayed differential patterns in the mouth versus the back of the Bay (three front Bay sites: Al>Mn>Zn>Cu>Pb>Se>Cd≈Ag>As; five back Bay sites: Mn>Al>Zn>Cu>Pb≈Se>Cd>Ag>Hg>As) with the exception of Shelter Island where levels of Zn and Cu were elevated as a result of anti-fouling paint pollution. Observed differences between sediment and biota metal patterns are likely due to complex processes related to trace metals input and bioavailability, habitat characteristics and specific metabolic functioning of the trace metals for each member of the food web. These data highlight the fact that for the San Diego Bay ecosystem, the current use of toxicity reference values scaled up from sediment and invertebrate testing ex-situ is likely to be inaccurate when transposed to the green sea turtle. Here, we illustrate how identifying spatial variability in metal exposure can improve our understanding of habitat utilization by sea turtles in highly urbanized estuaries. Monitoring contaminants directly in food webs of sensitive vertebrates may greatly improve our understanding of their direct and indirect exposure to potentially deleterious contamination, and should be considered in the future to improve traditional risk

  18. 50 CFR 222.309 - Permits for listed species of sea turtles involving the Fish and Wildlife Service.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Permits for listed species of sea turtles... species of sea turtles involving the Fish and Wildlife Service. (a) This section establishes specific... survival of endangered or threatened species of sea turtles; zoological exhibition or educational...

  19. 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...

  20. 50 CFR 222.309 - Permits for listed species of sea turtles involving the Fish and Wildlife Service.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Permits for listed species of sea turtles... species of sea turtles involving the Fish and Wildlife Service. (a) This section establishes specific... survival of endangered or threatened species of sea turtles; zoological exhibition or educational...

  1. 50 CFR 222.309 - Permits for listed species of sea turtles involving the Fish and Wildlife Service.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Permits for listed species of sea turtles... species of sea turtles involving the Fish and Wildlife Service. (a) This section establishes specific... survival of endangered or threatened species of sea turtles; zoological exhibition or educational...

  2. 50 CFR 222.309 - Permits for listed species of sea turtles involving the Fish and Wildlife Service.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Permits for listed species of sea turtles... species of sea turtles involving the Fish and Wildlife Service. (a) This section establishes specific... survival of endangered or threatened species of sea turtles; zoological exhibition or educational...

  3. 50 CFR 222.309 - Permits for listed species of sea turtles involving the Fish and Wildlife Service.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Permits for listed species of sea turtles... species of sea turtles involving the Fish and Wildlife Service. (a) This section establishes specific... survival of endangered or threatened species of sea turtles; zoological exhibition or educational...

  4. Finding the ‘lost years’ in green turtles: insights from ocean circulation models and genetic analysis

    PubMed Central

    Putman, Nathan F.; Naro-Maciel, Eugenia

    2013-01-01

    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

  5. Bile salts of the green turtle Chelonia mydas (L.)

    PubMed Central

    Haslewood, G A; Ikawa, S; Tökés, L; Wong, D

    1978-01-01

    1. Bile salts of the green turtle Chelonia mydas (L.) were analysed as completely as possible. 2. They consist of taurine conjugates of 3 alpha, 7 alpha, 12 alpha, 22 xi-tetrahydroxy-5 beta-cholestan-26-oic acid (tetrahydroxysterocholanic acid) and 3 alpha 12 alpha, 22 xi-trihydroxy-5 beta-cholestan-26-oic acid, with minor amounts of 3 alpha, 7 alpha, 12 alpha-trihydroxy-5beta-cholan-24-oic acid (cholic acid), 3alpha, 12 alpha-dihydroxy-5beta-cholan-24-oic acid (deoxycholic acid) and possibly other bile acids. 3. Cholic acid and deoxycholic acid represent the first known examples of bile acids common to chelonians and other animal forms: they may indicate independent evolution in chelonians to C24 bile acids. 4. The discovery of a 7-deoxy C27 bile acid is the first evidence that C27 bile acids or their conjugates have an enterohepatic circulation. PMID:656052

  6. Morphologic and cytochemical characteristics of blood cells from Hawaiian green turtles

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Work, Thierry M.; Raskin, R.E.; Balazs, George 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.

  7. 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. .

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

    PubMed

    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.

  9. Particle-induced X-ray emission analysis of elements in plasma from wild and captive sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata, Chelonia mydas, and Caretta caretta) in Okinawa, Japan.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Kazuyuki; Noda, Jun; Yanagisawa, Makio; Kawazu, Isao; Sera, Kouichiro; Fukui, Daisuke; Asakawa, Mitsuhiko; Yokota, Hiroshi

    2012-09-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the reliability of direct determination of trace and major element concentrations in plasma samples from wild (six hawksbill, nine green, and nine loggerhead) and captive sea turtles (25 howksbill, five green, and three loggerhead) in Okinawa, Japan. The particle induced X-ray emission method allowed detection of 23 trace and major elements (Al, As, Br, Ca, Cl, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, K, Mg, Mn, Mo, Ni, P, Pb, S, Se, Si, Sr, Ti, Y, and Zn). The wild sea turtles were found to have high concentrations of As and Pb in plasma compared with captive, but there were no significant changes in the Al and Hg concentrations. Loggerhead sea turtles were found to have significantly higher accumulation of As and Pb in plasma in comparison to other species. These findings may be useful when adjusting environmental and species-related factors in severely polluted marine ecosystems. Our results indicate that measuring the plasma As and Pb concentrations in wild sea turtles might be of help to assess the level of pollution in marine ecosystems, keeping in mind that loggerhead sea turtles had been shown to have higher levels of As and Pb in plasma.

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

    Sale, Alessandro; Luschi, Paolo

    2009-11-07

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Work, Thierry M.; Balazs, George 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.

  18. Stable isotopic comparison between loggerhead sea turtle tissues.

    PubMed

    Vander Zanden, Hannah B; Tucker, Anton D; Bolten, Alan B; Reich, Kimberly J; Bjorndal, Karen A

    2014-10-15

    Stable isotope analysis has been used extensively to provide ecological information about diet and foraging location of many species. The difference in isotopic composition between animal tissue and its diet, or the diet-tissue discrimination factor, varies with tissue type. Therefore, direct comparisons between isotopic values of tissues are inaccurate without an appropriate conversion factor. We focus on the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), for which a variety of tissues have been used to examine diet, habitat use, and migratory origin through stable isotope analysis. We calculated tissue-to-tissue conversions between two commonly sampled tissues. Epidermis and scute (the keratin covering on the carapace) were sampled from 33 adult loggerheads nesting at two beaches in Florida (Casey Key and Canaveral National Seashore). Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios were measured in the epidermis and the youngest portion of the scute tissue, which reflect the isotopic composition of the diet and habitat over similar time periods of the order of several months. Significant linear relationships were observed between the δ(13)C and δ(15)N values of these two tissues, indicating they can be converted reliably. Whereas both epidermis and scute samples are commonly sampled from nesting sea turtles to study trophic ecology and habitat use, the data from these studies have not been comparable without reliable tissue-to-tissue conversions. The equations provided here allow isotopic datasets using the two tissues to be combined in previously published and subsequent studies of sea turtle foraging ecology and migratory movement. In addition, we recommend that future isotopic comparisons between tissues of any organism utilize linear regressions to calculate tissue-to-tissue conversions. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  19. Leatherback sea turtle shell: A tough and flexible biological design.

    PubMed

    Chen, Irene H; Yang, Wen; Meyers, Marc A

    2015-12-01

    The leatherback sea turtle is unique among chelonians for having a soft skin which covers its osteoderms. The osteoderm is composed of bony plates that are interconnected with collagen fibers in a structure called suture. The soft dermis and suture geometry enable a significant amount of flexing of the junction between adjacent osteoderms. This design allows the body to contract better than a hard-shelled sea turtle as it dives to depths of over 1,000 m. The leatherback turtle has ridges along the carapace to enhance the hydrodynamic flow and provide a tailored stiffness. The osteoderms are of two types: flat and ridged. The structure of the two types of osteoderms is characterized and their mechanical properties are investigated with particular attention to the failure mechanisms. They both are bony structures with a porous core sandwiched between compact layers that form the outside and inside surfaces. The compressive strength is highly anisotropic by virtue of the interaction between loading orientation and arrangement of porous and compact components of osteoderms. The angle of interpenetration at the suture of osteoderms is analyzed and compared with analytical predictions. The sutures have a triangular shape with an angle of ∼30° which provides a balance between the tensile strength of the osteoderms and shear strength of the collagen fiber layer and is verified by Li-Ortiz-Boyce in a previous study. This is confirmed by an FEM analysis. A calculation is developed to quantify the flexibility of the carapace and plastron as a function of the angular displacement at the sutures, predicting the interdependence between geometrical parameters and flexibility. The leatherback turtle is a magnificent chelonian whose decreasing numbers have brought it to the brink of extinction in the Pacific Ocean. This first study of the structure of its shell provides important new insights that explain its amazing capacity for diving: depths of over 1,000 m have been recorded

  20. HEARING IN THE GIANT SEA TURTLE, Chelonia mydas*

    PubMed Central

    Ridgway, Sam H.; Wever, Ernest Glen; McCormick, James G.; Palin, Jerry; Anderson, John H.

    1969-01-01

    Measurement were made of the cochlear potentials in three specimens of the giant sea turtle, Chelonia mydas, in response to both aerial and mechanical stimulation of the ear. The results show maximum sensitivity in the region of 300 to 400 Hz, with a rather rapid decline in sensitivity for lower and especially for higher tones. The upper limit for the observation of cochlear potentials without injury is 2000 Hz, and a practical limit of usefulness of this ear is probably about 1000 Hz. PMID:5264146

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Casey, R.N.; Quackenbush, S.L.; Work, Thierry 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).

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

    PubMed Central

    Lalire, Maxime

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Gaspar, Philippe; Lalire, Maxime

    2017-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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

    ... 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 developed... and interested parties to assist in the recovery of loggerhead turtles. The Plan...

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-12-01

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

  12. Endoscopic evaluation of the esophagus and stomach in three loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) and a Malaysian giant turtle (Orlitia borneensis).

    PubMed

    Pressler, Barrak M; Goodman, Robert A; Harms, Craig A; Hawkins, Eleanor C; Lewbart, Greg A

    2003-03-01

    Three loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) and a Malaysian giant turtle (Orlitia borneensis) were presented with suspected or confirmed esophageal foreign bodies. Esophagoscopy was performed on all turtles, and gastroscopy was performed on three turtles. In all cases, endoscopy was easy to perform, and allowed visualization of most upper gastrointestinal features. The papillated esophagus was easy to navigate, but mucosal papillae in the loggerhead sea turtles prevented examination of the underlying mucosa. The stomach was easily entered and examined in both species, but the working endoscope length (100 cm) prevented inspection of the pyloric antrum and the duodenum in all turtles. The turtles in this report may serve as references for future endoscopic examinations of these species.

  13. Developmental cardiovascular physiology of the olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea).

    PubMed

    Crossley, Dane Alan; Crossley, Janna Lee; Smith, Camilla; Harfush, Martha; Sánchez-Sánchez, Hermilo; Garduño-Paz, Mónica Vanessa; Méndez-Sánchez, José Fernando

    2017-09-01

    Our understanding of reptilian cardiovascular development and regulation has increased substantially for two species the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) and the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) during the past two decades. However, what we know about cardiovascular maturation in many other species remains poorly understood or unknown. Embryonic sea turtles have been studied to understand the maturation of metabolic function, but these studies have not addressed the cardiovascular system. Although prior studies have been pivotal in characterizing development, and factors that influence it, the development of cardiovascular function, which supplies metabolic function, is unknown in sea turtles. During our investigation we focused on quantifying how cardiovascular morphological and functional parameters change, to provide basic knowledge of development in the olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea). Embryonic mass, as well as mass of the heart, lungs, liver, kidney, and brain increased during turtle embryo development. Although heart rate was constant during this developmental period, arterial pressure approximately doubled. Further, while embryonic olive ridley sea turtles lacked cholinergic tone on heart rate, there was a pronounced beta adrenergic tone on heart rate that decreased in strength at 90% of incubation. This beta adrenergic tone may be partially originating from the sympathetic nervous system at 90% of incubation, with the majority originating from circulating catecholamines. Data indicates that olive ridley sea turtles share traits of embryonic functional cardiovascular maturation with the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) but not the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina). Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. How do hatcheries influence embryonic development of sea turtle eggs? Experimental analysis and isolation of microorganisms in leatherback turtle eggs.

    PubMed

    Patino-Martinez, Juan; Marco, Adolfo; Quiñones, Liliana; Abella, Elena; Abad, Roberto Muriel; Diéguez-Uribeondo, Javier

    2012-01-01

    Many conservation programs consider translocation of turtle nests to hatcheries as a useful technique. The repeated use of the same incubation substrate over several seasons in these hatcheries could, however, be harmful to embryos if pathogens were able to accumulate or if the physical and chemical characteristics of the incubation environment were altered. However, this hypothesis has yet to be tested. We conducted two field experiments to evaluate the effects of hatchery sand and eggshell decay on the embryonic development of leatherback sea turtle eggs in Colombia. We identified the presence of both fungi and bacteria species on leatherback turtle eggs. Sea turtle eggs exposed to previously used hatchery substrates or to decaying eggshells during the first and middle third of the embryonic development produced hatchlings that were smaller and/or weighed less than control eggs. However, this did not negatively influence hatching success. The final third of embryonic development seems to be less susceptible to infection by microorganisms associated with decaying shells. We discuss the mechanisms that could be affecting sea turtle egg development when in contact with fungi. Further studies should seek to understand the infection process and the stages of development in which the fungi are more virulent to the eggs of this critically endangered species.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-06-15

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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Development of a Summarized Health Index (SHI) for use in predicting survival in sea turtles.

    PubMed

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. Risk Analysis Reveals Global Hotspots for Marine Debris Ingestion by Sea Turtles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schuyler, Q. A.; Wilcox, C.; Townsend, K.; Wedemeyer-Strombel, K.; Balazs, G.; van Sebille, E.; Hardesty, B. D.

    2016-02-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Sea turtle nesting distributions and oceanographic constraints on hatchling migration

    PubMed Central

    Putman, Nathan F.; Bane, John M.; Lohmann, Kenneth J.

    2010-01-01

    Patterns of abundance across a species's reproductive range are influenced by ecological and environmental factors that affect the survival of offspring. For marine animals whose offspring must migrate long distances, natural selection may favour reproduction in areas near ocean currents that facilitate migratory movements. Similarly, selection may act against the use of potential reproductive areas from which offspring have difficulty emigrating. As a first step towards investigating this conceptual framework, we analysed loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) nest abundance along the southeastern US coast as a function of distance to the Gulf Stream System (GSS), the ocean current to which hatchlings in this region migrate. Results indicate that nest density increases as distance to the GSS decreases. Distance to the GSS can account for at least 90 per cent of spatial variation in regional nest density. Even at smaller spatial scales, where local beach conditions presumably exert strong effects, at least 38 per cent of the variance is explained by distance from the GSS. These findings suggest that proximity to favourable ocean currents strongly influences sea turtle nesting distributions. Similar factors may influence patterns of abundance across the reproductive ranges of diverse marine animals, such as penguins, eels, salmon and seals. PMID:20573619

  3. Schistosomus Reflexus Syndrome in Olive Ridley Sea Turtles ( Lepidochelys olivacea).

    PubMed

    Bárcenas-Ibarra, A; Rojas-Lleonart, I; Lozano-Guzmán, R I; García-Gasca, A

    2017-01-01

    The olive ridley sea turtle ( Lepidochelys olivacea), considered the most abundant sea turtle species, is listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List. The most important nesting areas are located in the Eastern Pacific, and congenital malformations have been previously reported in this species. The present study was conducted in a single population at El Verde beach, one of the most important nesting beaches for the species in the northwestern Mexican Pacific. The study was based on embryos that had been incubated in a controlled environment. Schistosomus reflexus syndrome (SRS) was observed in 124 of 20 257 olive ridley embryos (0.6%), comprising 124 of 400 (31%) cases of congenital malformations over a 7-month period. Affected embryos had malformations of the carapace, bridge, or plastron, resulting in exposure of the abdominal or thoracic viscera, as well as spinal malformation and abnormal positioning of limbs adjacent to the head with subsequent ankylosis. SRS phenotypes (although lethal) varied from mild to severe, although most cases were severe. SRS was mostly associated with congenital malformations in the neck (short neck, 80%), tail (anury, 38%), and flippers (different types of dysmelias, 53%). In most cases of severe SRS, ankyloses were present. Documenting these findings could be important to identify the cause of the developmental defects, and identification of the cause of the defects may be of significance to the population and to our efforts to manage this and other populations at risk.

  4. Sea turtle nesting distributions and oceanographic constraints on hatchling migration.

    PubMed

    Putman, Nathan F; Bane, John M; Lohmann, Kenneth J

    2010-12-07

    Patterns of abundance across a species's reproductive range are influenced by ecological and environmental factors that affect the survival of offspring. For marine animals whose offspring must migrate long distances, natural selection may favour reproduction in areas near ocean currents that facilitate migratory movements. Similarly, selection may act against the use of potential reproductive areas from which offspring have difficulty emigrating. As a first step towards investigating this conceptual framework, we analysed loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) nest abundance along the southeastern US coast as a function of distance to the Gulf Stream System (GSS), the ocean current to which hatchlings in this region migrate. Results indicate that nest density increases as distance to the GSS decreases. Distance to the GSS can account for at least 90 per cent of spatial variation in regional nest density. Even at smaller spatial scales, where local beach conditions presumably exert strong effects, at least 38 per cent of the variance is explained by distance from the GSS. These findings suggest that proximity to favourable ocean currents strongly influences sea turtle nesting distributions. Similar factors may influence patterns of abundance across the reproductive ranges of diverse marine animals, such as penguins, eels, salmon and seals.

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

    PubMed

    Poli, C; Lopez, L C S; Mesquita, D O; Saska, C; Mascarenhas, R

    2014-05-01

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

  6. Spirorchiidiosis (Digenea: Spirorchiidae) and lesions associated with parasites in Caribbean green turtles (Chelonia mydas).

    PubMed

    Santoro, M; Morales, J A; Rodríguez-Ortíz, B

    2007-10-06

    Forty-seven nesting green turtles (Chelonia mydas) were examined for parasitic pathogens. Four species of cardiovascular flukes (Digenea: Spirorchiidae), Learedius learedi, Hapalotrema postorchis, Monticellius indicum and Amphiorchis solus were collected from 39 of 40 of the turtles, and Neospirorchis species were identified in seven of the 47 by histological examination. The pathological changes associated with the spirorchiids and their eggs included aneurysms, arteritis of great vessels with dark nodular thickenings, endocarditis, haemorrhagic lesions, thrombi, vasculitis, and granulomatous reactions in all the turtles. Ozobranchus branchiatus (Hirudinea: Ozobranchidae) leeches were found on the skin of 27 of the 47 turtles and were associated with traumatic purulent and ulcerative dermatitis. Oesophagitis associated with Rameshwarotrema uterocrescens (Digenea: Pronocephalidae) was recorded in 11 of 43 of the turtles. Petechial haemorrhages and unspecific crater-like ulcerated lesions on the gastric mucosa associated with Charaxicephaloides species and Charaxicephalus robustus (Digenea: Pronocephalidae) were observed in four of 40 of the turtles. Cholycystitis and ectasia of mucosal glands associated with Rhytidodoides similis (Digenea: Rhytidodidae) were observed in one of the 47 turtles. Fibropapillomas were observed on the skin of one turtle and fibromas on the skin of two of them.

  7. 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.

  8. Environmental Impact Research Program. Species Profiles: Life Histories and Environmental Requirements of Coastal Vertebrates and Invertebrates Pacific Ocean Region. Report 1. Green Turtle, Chelonia Mydas

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1989-07-01

    tropical and temperate seas Preferred common name ....... Green between lat. 35" N and 35"S and in turtle waters remaining above 20*C in the Other common...seven study sites some researchers to believe that ranging from the Kau District on the turtles are maturing at different Island of Hawaii (lat. 19°08’ N ...long. sizes. 155°30’W) to Kure Atoll (lat. 28°25’ N , long. 178൒’W) at the opposite end of the archipelago. Extrapolating from FISHERY rates in this

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Relating fibropapilloma tumor severity to blood parameters in green turtles Chelonia mydas.

    PubMed

    Hirama, Shigetomo; Ehrhart, Llewellyn M; Rea, Lorrie D; Kiltie, Richard A

    2014-08-21

    Fibropapillomatosis is a neoplastic disease that is commonly found in the green turtles Chelonia mydas in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. In the current project, juvenile green turtles were captured with large-mesh tangle nets in the Indian River Lagoon and on nearshore reefs of Indian River County, Florida, USA, in 1998 and 1999. The purpose of the study was to determine the relationship between the severity of the disease and the general health of green turtles as indicated by blood parameters. All turtles were measured and examined, and the overall severity of the disease was rated by the size, number, and location of external fibropapilloma tumors. Hematocrit, total protein, and hemoglobin concentration were measured and compared with tumor scores (tumor severity appraisal). As the tumor score increased, the blood parameters of turtles decreased; for instance, the percentage of decrease in hematocrit for mildly afflicted, moderately afflicted, and severely afflicted groups were 2.6, 18.3, and 45.5%, respectively. Severely afflicted turtles suffered from anemia, while individuals with mild affliction did not.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-12-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Parasitic Ulcerous Caseous Gastroesophagitis Associated with Rameshwarotrema uterocrescens Rao, 1975 (Digenea: Pronocephalidae) in a Juvenile Green Turtle [Chelonia mydas, Linnaeus 1758 (Testudines: Cheloniidae)]: A Case Report.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, Rachel B; Jerdy, Hassan; Wernek, Max R; Goldberg, Daphne W; Bianchi, Mariah; Carvalho, Eulà  Gio C Q

    2017-01-25

    Here we report a case of ulcerative caseous gastroesophagitis associated with Rameshwarotrema uterocrescens; Rao, 1975 (Digenea: Pronocephalidae) in a juvenile green turtle (Chelonia mydas) from Southern Brazil. Similar pathologies have been reported only in adult green turtles from Costa Rica. This paper presents the second report of parasitic esophagitis due R. uterocrescens and the first occurrence in juvenile green turtles along coastal Brazil.

  18. Comparative phylogeny and historical perspectives on population genetics of the Pacific hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) and green turtles (Chelonia mydas), inferred from feeding populations in the Yaeyama Islands, Japan.

    PubMed

    Nishizawa, Hideaki; Okuyama, Junichi; Kobayashi, Masato; Abe, Osamu; Arai, Nobuaki

    2010-01-01

    Mitochondrial DNA sequence polymorphisms and patterns of genetic diversity represent the genealogy and relative impacts of historical, geographic, and demographic events on populations. In this study, historical patterns of population dynamics and differentiation in hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) and green turtles (Chelonia mydas) in the Pacific were estimated from feeding populations in the Yaeyama Islands, Japan. Phylogenetic relationships of the haplotypes indicated that hawksbill and green turtles in the Pacific probably underwent very similar patterns and processes of population dynamics over the last million years, with population subdivision during the early Pleistocene and population expansion after the last glacial maximum. These significant contemporary historical events were suggested to have been caused by climatic and sea-level fluctuations. On the other hand, comparing our results to long-term population dynamics in the Atlantic, population subdivisions during the early Pleistocene were specific to Pacific hawksbill and green turtles. Therefore, regional differences in historical population dynamics are suggested. Despite limited sampling locations, these results are the first step in estimating the historical trends in Pacific sea turtles by using phylogenetics and population genetics.

  19. Compensatory responses to food restriction in juvenile green turtles (Chelonia mydas).

    PubMed

    Roark, Alison M; Bjorndal, Karen A; Bolten, Alan B

    2009-09-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess the compensatory responses to food restriction and subsequent increased food availability in juvenile green turtles (Chelonia mydas). Turtles were fed an ad libitum ration for 12 weeks (AL), a restricted ration for 12 weeks (R), or a restricted ration for 5 weeks and an ad libitum ration for 7 weeks (R-AL). Analysis of covariance was used to test the relationships between (1) growth and body size, (2) intake and body size, and (3) growth and intake for each of the three treatment groups. Body composition of turtles in each group was also evaluated at the beginning of the study and after weeks 5 and 12. After the switch to ad libitum feeding, R-AL turtles consumed comparable amounts of food and grew faster than AL turtles on a size-adjusted basis, but mean body sizes did not converge, although the overlap in their size ranges increased with time. The R-AL turtles also converted food to growth more efficiently and allocated proportionally more nutrients to protein accretion, thereby restoring body composition (except mineral content) to AL levels by the end of the study. Thus, accelerated size-specific growth without hyperphagia restored body condition but not size. These results indicate that (1) intake in juvenile green turtles is maximal when food is readily available and cannot be increased to compensate for a previous period of food limitation, (2) growth rates of ad libitum-fed turtles are only mildly plastic in response to past nutritional history, and (3) priority rules for nutrient allocation favor the attainment of an optimal condition rather than an optimal size. Nutritional setbacks experienced during the vulnerable juvenile stage could therefore have long-lasting consequences for wild turtles in terms of size-specific mortality risk, but these risks may be mitigated by the potential benefits of maintaining sufficient body stores.

  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. The use of mesoscale eddies by juvenile loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in the southwestern Atlantic.

    PubMed

    Gaube, Peter; Barceló, Caren; McGillicuddy, Dennis J; Domingo, Andrés; Miller, Philip; Giffoni, Bruno; Marcovaldi, Neca; Swimmer, Yonat

    2017-01-01

    Marine animals, such as turtles, seabirds and pelagic fishes, are observed to travel and congregate around eddies in the open ocean. Mesoscale eddies, large swirling ocean vortices with radius scales of approximately 50-100 km, provide environmental variability that can structure these populations. In this study, we investigate the use of mesoscale eddies by 24 individual juvenile loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in the Brazil-Malvinas Confluence region. The influence of eddies on turtles is assessed by collocating the turtle trajectories to the tracks of mesoscale eddies identified in maps of sea level anomaly. Juvenile loggerhead sea turtles are significantly more likely to be located in the interiors of anticyclones in this region. The distribution of surface drifters in eddy interiors reveals no significant association with the interiors of cyclones or anticyclones, suggesting higher prevalence of turtles in anticyclones is a result of their behavior. In the southern portion of the Brazil-Malvinas Confluence region, turtle swimming speed is significantly slower in the interiors of anticyclones, when compared to the periphery, suggesting that these turtles are possibly feeding on prey items associated with anomalously low near-surface chlorophyll concentrations observed in those features.

  2. The use of mesoscale eddies by juvenile loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in the southwestern Atlantic

    PubMed Central

    Barceló, Caren; McGillicuddy, Dennis J.; Domingo, Andrés; Miller, Philip; Giffoni, Bruno; Marcovaldi, Neca; Swimmer, Yonat

    2017-01-01

    Marine animals, such as turtles, seabirds and pelagic fishes, are observed to travel and congregate around eddies in the open ocean. Mesoscale eddies, large swirling ocean vortices with radius scales of approximately 50–100 km, provide environmental variability that can structure these populations. In this study, we investigate the use of mesoscale eddies by 24 individual juvenile loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in the Brazil-Malvinas Confluence region. The influence of eddies on turtles is assessed by collocating the turtle trajectories to the tracks of mesoscale eddies identified in maps of sea level anomaly. Juvenile loggerhead sea turtles are significantly more likely to be located in the interiors of anticyclones in this region. The distribution of surface drifters in eddy interiors reveals no significant association with the interiors of cyclones or anticyclones, suggesting higher prevalence of turtles in anticyclones is a result of their behavior. In the southern portion of the Brazil-Malvinas Confluence region, turtle swimming speed is significantly slower in the interiors of anticyclones, when compared to the periphery, suggesting that these turtles are possibly feeding on prey items associated with anomalously low near-surface chlorophyll concentrations observed in those features. PMID:28249020

  3. Longitude perception and bicoordinate magnetic maps in sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Putman, Nathan F; Endres, Courtney S; Lohmann, Catherine M F; Lohmann, Kenneth J

    2011-03-22

    Long-distance animal migrants often navigate in ways that imply an awareness of both latitude and longitude. Although several species are known to use magnetic cues as a surrogate for latitude, it is not known how any animal perceives longitude. Magnetic parameters appear to be unpromising as longitudinal markers because they typically vary more in a north-south rather than an east-west direction. Here we report, however, that hatchling loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from Florida, USA, when exposed to magnetic fields that exist at two locations with the same latitude but on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean, responded by swimming in different directions that would, in each case, help them advance along their circular migratory route. The results demonstrate for the first time that longitude can be encoded into the magnetic positioning system of a migratory animal. Because turtles also assess north-south position magnetically, the findings imply that loggerheads have a navigational system that exploits the Earth's magnetic field as a kind of bicoordinate magnetic map from which both longitudinal and latitudinal information can be extracted. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Ultrasonographic imaging of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta).

    PubMed

    Valente, A L; Parga, M L; Espada, Y; Lavin, S; Alegre, F; Marco, I; Cuenca, R

    2007-08-18

    Twenty live and five dead juvenile and subadult loggerhead sea turtles were examined ultrasonographically. Ten soft tissue areas of the integument were used as acoustic windows: cervical-dorsal and cervical-ventral, left and right cervicobrachial, left and right axillary, left and right prefemoral and left and right postfemoral windows. Anatomical cross-sections were performed on the dead turtles to provide reference data. The fourth and fifth cervical vertebrae, the spinal cord, and the venous sinuses of the external jugular vein were clearly visible through the cervical-dorsal acoustic window, and the oesophagus and the heart were imaged through the cervical-ventral acoustic window. The stomach was more frequently visible through the left axillary acoustic window. The liver could be imaged through both sides, but the right axillary acoustic window was better for visualising the gall bladder. The large and small intestines and the kidneys were visible through the right and left prefemoral acoustic windows; the kidneys were easily identified by their intense vasculature.

  5. Gastrointestinal helminth community of loggerhead sea turtle Caretta caretta in the Adriatic Sea.

    PubMed

    Gračan, Romana; Buršić, Moira; Mladineo, Ivona; Kučinić, Mladen; Lazar, Bojan; Lacković, Gordana

    2012-07-25

    We analysed the intestinal helminth community of 70 loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta with a curved carapace length ranging from 25 to 85.4 cm, recovered dead in neritic foraging habitats in the Adriatic Sea in 1995 to 2004. The overall prevalence of infection was high (70.0%), with a mean abundance of 36.8 helminth parasites per turtle. Helminth fauna comprised 5 trematodes (Calycodes anthos, Enodiotrema megachondrus, Orchidasma amphiorchis, Pachypsolus irroratus, Rhytidodes gelatinosus) and 3 nematodes (Sulcascaris sulcata, Anisakis spp., Hysterothylacium sp.), with 6 taxa specific for marine turtles. In terms of infection intensity and parasite abundance, O. amphiorchis was the dominant species (mean intensity: 49.8; mean abundance: 12.8), followed by R. gelatinosus (30.5 and 8.3, respectively) and P. irroratus (23.5 and 7.0, respectively), while larval Anisakis spp. exhibited the highest prevalence (34.3%). The intensity of helminth infection ranged from 1 to 302 (mean: 52.6 ± 69.1) and was not correlated with the size of turtles; this relationship held for all species, except R. gelatinosus (rS = 0.556, p < 0.05). In comparison to other marine habitats, the helminth community of Adriatic loggerheads is characterised by higher species diversity (Shannon-Wiener H' = 1.58) and evenness (E = 0.76), and lower dominance values (Berger-Parker d = 0.35), which can be attributed to the life history and feeding ecology of sea turtles in recruited neritic grounds and the diversity of their benthic prey.

  6. 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

  7. An interview-based approach to assess sea turtle bycatch in Italian waters

    PubMed Central

    Vasapollo, Claudio; Virgili, Massimo

    2017-01-01

    The loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta, Linnaeus, 1758) is the most abundant sea turtle species in the Mediterranean Sea, where commercial fishing appears to be the main driver of mortality. So far, information on sea turtle bycatch in Italy is limited both in space and time due to logistical problems in data collected through onboard observations and on a limited number of vessels involved. In the present study, sea turtle bycatch in Italian waters was examined by collecting fishermen’s information on turtle bycatch through an interview-based approach. Their replies enabled the identification of bycatch hotspots in relation to area, season and to the main gear types. The most harmful fishing gears resulted to be trawl nets, showing the highest probabilities of turtle bycatch with a hotspot in the Adriatic Sea, followed by longlines in the Ionian Sea and in the Sicily Channel. Estimates obtained by the present results showed that more than 52,000 capture events and 10,000 deaths occurred in Italian waters in 2014, highlighting a more alarming scenario than earlier studies. The work shows that in case of poor data from other sources, direct questioning of fishermen and stakeholders could represent a useful and cost-effective approach capable of providing sufficient data to estimate annual bycatch rates and identify high-risk gear/location/season combinations. PMID:28462017

  8. An interview-based approach to assess sea turtle bycatch in Italian waters.

    PubMed

    Lucchetti, Alessandro; Vasapollo, Claudio; Virgili, Massimo

    2017-01-01

    The loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta, Linnaeus, 1758) is the most abundant sea turtle species in the Mediterranean Sea, where commercial fishing appears to be the main driver of mortality. So far, information on sea turtle bycatch in Italy is limited both in space and time due to logistical problems in data collected through onboard observations and on a limited number of vessels involved. In the present study, sea turtle bycatch in Italian waters was examined by collecting fishermen's information on turtle bycatch through an interview-based approach. Their replies enabled the identification of bycatch hotspots in relation to area, season and to the main gear types. The most harmful fishing gears resulted to be trawl nets, showing the highest probabilities of turtle bycatch with a hotspot in the Adriatic Sea, followed by longlines in the Ionian Sea and in the Sicily Channel. Estimates obtained by the present results showed that more than 52,000 capture events and 10,000 deaths occurred in Italian waters in 2014, highlighting a more alarming scenario than earlier studies. The work shows that in case of poor data from other sources, direct questioning of fishermen and stakeholders could represent a useful and cost-effective approach capable of providing sufficient data to estimate annual bycatch rates and identify high-risk gear/location/season combinations.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. What makes them pay? Values of volunteer tourists working for sea turtle conservation.

    PubMed

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. Turtles

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lovich, Jeffrey E.; LaRoe, Edward T.; Farris, Gaye S.; Puckett, Catherine E.; Doran, Peter D.; Mac, Michael J.

    1995-01-01

    Turtles have existed virtually unchanged for the last 200 million years. Unfortunately, some of the same traits that allowed them to survive the ages often predispose them to endangerment. Delayed maturity and low and variable annual reproductive success make turtles unusually susceptible to increased mortality through exploitation and habitat modifications (Brooks et al. 1991; Congdon et al. 1993). In general, turtles are overlooked by wildlife managers in spite of their ecological significance and importance to humans. Turtles are, however, important as scavengers, herbivores, and carnivores, and often contribute significant biomass to ecosystems. In addition, they are an important link in ecosystems, providing dispersal mechanisms for plants, contributing to environmental diversity, and fostering symbiotic associations with a diverse array of organisms. Adults and eggs of many turtles have been used as a food resource by humans for centuries (Brooks et al. 1988; Lovich 1994). As use pressures and habitat destruction increase, management that considers the life-history traits of turtles will be needed.

  14. Lesions caused by cardiovascular flukes (Digenea: Spirorchidae) in stranded green turtles (Chelonia mydas).

    PubMed

    Gordon, A N; Kelly, W R; Cribb, T H

    1998-01-01

    Evidence of infection with spirorchid flukes (Digenea: Spirorchidae) was sought at necropsy of 96 stranded green turtles, Chelonia mydas, that were examined during the course of a survey of marine turtle mortality in southeastern Queensland, Australia. Three species of spirorchid (Hapalotrema mehrai, H. postorchis, and Neospirorchis schistosomatoides) were identified. Severe disease due to spirorchid fluke infection (spirorchidiasis) was implicated as the principal cause of mortality in 10 turtles (10%), and appeared to be one of multiple severe problems in an additional 29 turtles (30%). Although flukes were observed in only 45% of stranded C. mydas in this study, presumed spirorchid fluke infection was diagnosed in an additional 53% of turtles, based principally on characteristic necropsy lesions and to a lesser extent on the histopathological detection of spirorchid eggs. Characteristic necropsy lesions included miliary spirorchid egg granulomas, which were observed most readily on serosal surfaces, particularly of the small intestine. Cardiovascular lesions included mural endocarditis, arteritis, and thrombosis, frequently accompanied by aneurysm formation. Resolution of thrombi was observed to occur via a combination of granuloma formation about indigestible components (spirorchid fluke egg shells) and exteriorization through the vessel wall, which resulted in granulomatous nodules on the adventitial surface. Septic aortic thrombosis complicated by disseminated bacterial infection, observed in five turtles, was recorded for the first time. Egg granulomas were ubiquitous in turtle tissues throughout this study. Although they generally appeared to be mild or incidental lesions, they were occasionally associated with severe multifocal granulomatous pneumonia or meningitis.

  15. Effects of brevetoxin exposure on the immune system of loggerhead sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Walsh, Catherine J; Leggett, Stephanie R; Carter, Barbara J; Colle, Clarence

    2010-05-10

    Blooms of the toxic dinoflagellate, Karenia brevis, occur almost annually off the Florida coast. These blooms, commonly called "red tides", produce a group of neurotoxins collectively termed brevetoxins. Many species of sealife, including sea turtles, are severely impacted by brevetoxin exposure. Effects of brevetoxins on immune cells were investigated in rescued loggerhead sea turtles, Caretta caretta, as well as through in vitro experiments using peripheral blood leukocytes (PBL) collected from captive sea turtles. In rescued animals, plasma brevetoxin concentrations were measured using a competitive ELISA. Plasma lysozyme activity was measured using a turbidity assay. Lysozyme activity correlated positively with plasma brevetoxin concentrations. Differential expression of genes affected by brevetoxin exposure was determined using two separate suppression subtractive hybridization experiments. In one experiment, genes from PBL collected from sea turtles rescued from red tide toxin exposure were compared to genes from PBL collected from healthy captive loggerhead sea turtles. In the second experiment, PBL from healthy captive loggerhead sea turtles were exposed to brevetoxin (500 ng PbTx-2/ml) in vitro for 18 h and compared to unexposed PBL. Results from the subtraction hybridization experiment conducted with red tide rescued sea turtle PBL indicated that genes involved in oxidative stress or xenobiotic metabolism were up-regulated. Using quantitative real-time PCR, a greater than 2-fold increase in superoxide dismutase and thioredoxin and greater than 10-fold increase in expression of thiopurine S-methyltransferase were observed. Results from the in vitro subtraction hybridization experiment indicated that genes coding for cytochrome c oxidases were the major up-regulated genes. Using quantitative real-time PCR, a greater than 8-fold increase in expression of beta-tubulin and greater than 3-fold increase in expression of ubiquinol were observed. Brevetoxin

  16. 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).

  17. 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).

  18. 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

  19. Efficient establishment of primary fibroblast cultures from the hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata).

    PubMed

    Fukuda, Tomokazu; Kurita, Jun; Saito, Tomomi; Yuasa, Kei; Kurita, Masanobu; Donai, Kenichiro; Nitto, Hiroshi; Soichi, Makoto; Nishimori, Katsuhiko; Uchida, Takafumi; Isogai, Emiko; Onuma, Manabu; Sone, Hideko; Oseko, Norihisa; Inoue-Murayama, Miho

    2012-12-01

    The hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) is a critically endangered species at a risk of extinction. Preservation of the genomic and cellular information of endangered animals is important for future genetic and biological studies. Here, we report the efficient establishment of primary fibroblast cultures from skin tissue of the hawksbill sea turtle. We succeeded in establishing 19 primary cultures from 20 hawksbill sea turtle individuals (a success rate of 95%). These cells exhibited a fibroblast-like morphology and grew optimally at a temperature of 26°C, but experienced a loss of viability when cultured at 37°C. Chromosomal analysis using the primary cells derived here revealed that hawksbill sea turtles have a 2n = 56 karyotype. Furthermore, we showed that our primary cell cultures are free of several fish-related viruses, and this finding is important for preservation purposes. To our knowledge, this report is the first to describe primary cell cultures established from normal tissues of the hawksbill sea turtle. The results will contribute to the preservation of biodiversity, especially for the sea turtles that are critically endangered owing to human activities.

  20. 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.

  1. Active dispersal in loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) during the ‘lost years’

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  2. 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.

  3. Optimal-rearing density for head-starting green turtles (Chelonia mydas Linnaeus, 1758).

    PubMed

    Kanghae, Hirun; Thongprajukaew, Karun; Jatupornpitukchat, Sasiporn; Kittiwattanawong, Kongkiat

    2016-09-01

    While ex situ conservation programs of juvenile green turtles (Chelonia mydas Linnaeus, 1758), before release to natural habitats, have been conducted in several countries, the optimal-stocking density for husbandry has not yet been reported. The optimization of stocking density was the main purpose of this study. The 15-day-old post-hatching turtles (29.30 ± 0.05 g body weight) were reared in round fiberglass tanks at various stocking densities including 20 turtles/m(3) (20TM), 40 turtles/m(3) (40TM), 60 turtles/m(3) (60TM), and 80 turtles/m(3) (80TM), over an 8-week trial. Water quality, survival, growth performance, feed utilization, aggressive behavior, fecal digestive enzymes, and hematological parameters were compared between the treatments, and were used as indicators of a successful captive rearing program. The water quality across the four treatments was in the standard range, but a high-stocking density reduced the quality significantly. No mortality was observed in any treatment group. Superior growth and feed utilization were only observed with the 40TM treatment, relative to the others (P < 0.05). The turtles in this group had no aggressive behavior, as indicated by observing hind limb biting. This treatment manipulated the level of proteolytic activity of pepsin and trypsin in response to density stressor, but not amylase, lipase, and chymotrypsin. The 40TM treatment also maintained the hematological characteristics, indicating no negative effects on health status. Overall, the findings indicate that the captivity program of post-hatching turtles at 40 turtles/m(3) is the preferred option in their head-started propagation, as well as in public displays in zoos or aquaria. Zoo Biol. 35:454-461, 2016. © Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Work, Thierry M.; Rameyer, Robert; Balazs, George H.; Cray, Carolyn; Chang, Sandra 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.

  5. 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.

  6. AFLP fragment isolation technique as a method to produce random sequences for single nucleotide polymorphism discovery in the green turtle, Chelonia mydas.

    PubMed

    Roden, Suzanne E; Dutton, Peter H; Morin, Phillip A

    2009-01-01

    The green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas, was used as a case study for single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) discovery in a species that has little genetic sequence information available. As green turtles have a complex population structure, additional nuclear markers other than microsatellites could add to our understanding of their complex life history. Amplified fragment length polymorphism technique was used to generate sets of random fragments of genomic DNA, which were then electrophoretically separated with precast gels, stained with SYBR green, excised, and directly sequenced. It was possible to perform this method without the use of polyacrylamide gels, radioactive or fluorescent labeled primers, or hybridization methods, reducing the time, expense, and safety hazards of SNP discovery. Within 13 loci, 2547 base pairs were screened, resulting in the discovery of 35 SNPs. Using this method, it was possible to yield a sufficient number of loci to screen for SNP markers without the availability of prior sequence information.

  7. Characterisation of the green turtle's leukocyte subpopulations by flow cytometry and evaluation of their phagocytic activity.

    PubMed

    Muñoz, F A; Franco-Noguez, S Y; Gonzalez-Ballesteros, E; Negrete-Philippe, A C; Flores-Romo, L

    2014-06-01

    Phagocytosis is a fundamental aspect of innate immunity that is conserved across many species making it a potentially useful health-assessment tool for wildlife. In non-mammalian vertebrates, heterophils, monocytes, macrophages, melanomacrophages, and thrombocytes all have phagocytic properties. Recently, B lymphocytes from fish, amphibians, and aquatic turtles have also showed phagocytic capacity. Phagocytes can be studied by flow cytometry; however, the use of this tool is complicated in reptiles partly because nucleated erythrocytes complicate the procedure. We separated green turtle leukocytes by density gradient centrifugation and identified subpopulations by flow cytometry and confocal microscopy. Additionally, we assessed their ability to phagocytize Fluorspheres and Ovoalbumin-Alexa. We found that heterophils and lymphocytes but not monocytes could be easily identified by flow cytometry. While heterophils from adults and juvenile turtles were equally able to phagocytize fluorspheres, adults had significantly more phagocytic ability for OVA-Alexa. Lymphocytes had a mild phagocytic activity with fluorospheres (27-38 %; 39-45 %) and OVA-Alexa (35-46 %; 14-22 %) in juvenile and adult green turtles, respectively. Confocal microscopy confirmed phagocytosis of fluorospheres in both heterophils and lymphocytes. This provides the first evidence that green turtle lymphocytes have phagocytic activity and that this assay could potentially be useful to measure one aspect of innate immunity in this species.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Monitoring mercury in the loggerhead sea turtle, Caretta caretta.

    PubMed

    Day, Rusty D; Christopher, Steven J; Becker, Paul R; Whitaker, David W

    2005-01-15

    The validity of using blood samples and keratinized scutes for nonlethal routine monitoring of mercury (Hg) in loggerhead sea turtles, Caretta caretta, is evaluated in the context of how effectively these matrixes predict internal tissue Hg burdens and the different temporal scales of exposure they represent. Total Hg (THg) was measured in blood and scutes collected from live captures (n = 34) and liver, kidney, muscle, spinal cord, blood, and scutes collected from freshly stranded loggerhead turtles (n = 6) along the coast of the southeastern United States. Linear regressions between monitoring compartments and internal tissues from stranded animals were all statistically significant (r2 > 0.805, p < 0.015) but varied in their utility as a predictive tool depending on which tissues were paired. Blood was an effective predictor of THg in muscle (r2 = 0.988, p < 0.0001) and spinal cord (r2 = 0.988, p < 0.0001), while scute was the most accurate predictor of THg in liver (r2 = 0.948, p = 0.0010). The strength of the relationship between tissues types is believed to reflect the similarity in the temporal scales they represent and the variability in the fraction of methylmercury present. The stability of Hg in the scute matrix makes this tissue preferable for approximating long-term exposure, while blood Hg levels can be affected by recent changes in Hg intake. THg levels in blood and scutes from live captures were highly correlated (linear regression r2 = 0.926, p < 0.0001) and increased significantly with body mass (r2 = 0.173, p = 0.016 and r2 = 0.187, p = 0.012 respectively), further supporting thatthere is a component reflecting long-term accumulation of Hg in these matrixes. We also present a novel technique using the residuals from the blood-scute regression as an index of recent exposure (IRE). The interpretation of this value is derived from the comparison between the most recent Hg intake (which contributes to the Hg measured in the blood) relative to the

  11. Comparison of sea turtle thrombocyte aggregation to human platelet aggregation in whole blood.

    PubMed

    Soslau, Gerald; Prest, Phillip J; Class, Reiner; George, Robert; Paladino, Frank; Violetta, Gary

    2005-11-01

    The endangered sea turtles are living "fossils" that afford us an opportunity to study the hemostatic process as it likely existed millions of years ago. There are essentially no data about turtle thrombocyte aggregation prior to our studies. Thrombocytes are nucleated cells that serve the same hemostatic functions as the anucleated mammalian platelet. Sea turtle thrombocytes aggregate in response to collagen and beta-thrombin. Ristocetin induces an agglutination/aggregation response indicating the presence of a von Willebrand-like receptor, GPIb, found in all mammalian platelets. Samples treated with alpha-thrombin plus gamma-thrombin followed by ristocetin results in a rapid, stronger response than ristocetin alone. These responses are inhibited by the RGDS peptide that blocks fibrinogen cross-linking of mammalian platelets via the fibrinogen receptor, GPIIb/IIIa. Three platelet-like proteins, GPIb, GPIIb/IIIa and P-selection are detected in sea turtle thrombocytes by fluorescence activated cell sorting. Turtle thrombocytes do not respond to ADP, epinephrine, serotonin, thromboxane A2 mimetic, U46619, trypsin, or alpha-thrombin and gamma-thrombin added alone. Comparison of hemostasis in sea turtles to other vertebrates could provide a framework for understanding the structure/function and evolution of these pathways and their individual components.

  12. Metabolic and respiratory status of cold-stunned Kemp's ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii).

    PubMed

    Innis, Charles J; Tlusty, Michael; Merigo, Constance; Weber, E Scott

    2007-08-01

    "Cold-stunning" of sea turtles has been reported as a naturally occurring stressor for many years; however, the physiologic status of cold-stunned turtles has only been partially described. This study investigated initial and convalescent venous blood gas, acid-base, and critical plasma biochemical data for 26 naturally cold-stunned Kemp's ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii) from Cape Cod, MA, USA. Samples were analyzed for pH, pCO(2), pO(2), bicarbonate, plasma osmolality, sodium, potassium, chloride, ionized calcium, ionized magnesium, glucose, lactate, and blood urea nitrogen using a clinical point-of-care analyzer. Data were corrected for the patient's body temperature using both species-specific and more general correction methods. In general, venous blood gas, acid-base, and plasma biochemical data obtained for surviving cold-stunned Kemp's ridley sea turtles were consistent with previously documented data for sea turtles exposed to a wide range of temperatures and physiologic stressors. Data indicated that turtles were initially affected by metabolic and respiratory acidosis. Initial pH-corrected ionized calcium concentrations were lower than convalescent concentrations, and initial pH-corrected ionized magnesium concentrations were higher than convalescent concentrations.

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-12-09

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

  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.

  16. Salt gland adenitis as only cause of stranding of loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta.

    PubMed

    Orós, J; Camacho, M; Calabuig, P; Arencibia, A

    2011-06-16

    The present study describes pathological and microbiological findings in 9 stranded loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta, whose only observed lesion was bilateral purulent salt gland adenitis. Histological lesions ranged from the presence of abundant eosinophilic material associated with bacterial colonies in the lumen of the central ducts of the glandular lobules to the destruction of the glandular tissue and presence of abundant eosinophilic material composed of heterophils and cell debris, lined by multinucleated giant cells. Aeromonas hydrophila, Staphylococcus sp., and Vibrio alginolyticus were the bacteria most frequently isolated. Plasma concentrations of sodium and chloride and plasma osmolality from 2 turtles suffering from salt gland adenitis were, respectively 45.7, 69.2, and 45.7% higher than the mean value for healthy turtles. These cases suggest that failure to maintain homeostasis due to severe lesions in the salt glands can cause stranding and/or death of loggerhead sea turtles.

  17. 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

  18. 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

    2003-11-07

    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.

  19. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-08-01

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

  1. An Analysis of Sea Turtle Demographics along Maryland Shores, 1990-2015

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rhoades, C.; Driscoll, C.; Weschler, A.; Crawford, M.

    2016-02-01

    The Maryland Department of Natural Resources Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Stranding Program was established in the fall of 1990, and responded to their first documented sea turtle stranding in the summer of 1991. Over this twenty-five year period, 575 dead strandings of sea turtles have been documented. This research project analyzes all sea turtle case files from the initiation of this program for the following parameters in order to associate stranding trends; species, location (Atlantic Ocean v. Chesapeake Bay), seasonality, length, relative age, condition code, and sex. Further understanding these protected species will assist in conserving their coastal ecosystem and securing these species a sustainable future. Along with the parameters previously discussed, this study will also consider the factors contributing to the animal's death, if determined. These potential causes incorporate natural causes such as disease, and also detail instances of human interaction, including: dredge takes, commercial or recreational fishing interaction, power plant entrainment, propeller and boat strikes. A total of approximately 17% of the dead stranded sea turtles Maryland Department of Natural Resources responded to were found to have some proven aspect of human interaction. Lastly, in order to further investigate for human interaction stomach contents were analyzed for plastics or other forms of marine debris. This project will contribute to MD DNR and NOAA's mission, goals, and objectives by further understanding these protected species in order to conserve their coastal ecosystem and secure these species a sustainable future.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

    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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Ultrasound imaging of the inguinal region of adult male loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta).

    PubMed

    Pease, Anthony; Blanvillain, Gaëlle; Rostal, David; Owens, David; Segars, Al

    2010-03-01

    The biology and reproductive anatomy of male loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) have been difficult to study. The principle method for evaluation of the coelomic cavity in both adult and juvenile male sea turtles is celioscopy. The purpose of this study was to describe the technique and structures seen when scanning the inguinal region of live, wild-caught, adult male loggerhead sea turtles and to compare these findings to those resulting from celioscopy and necropsy. Twenty-one adult male loggerhead sea turtles were collected by trawling in the Cape Canaveral shipping channel in April 2007. All turtles were placed in dorsal recumbency and imaged with a Sonosite 180 Vet Plus (Sonosite, Inc., Bothell, Washington 98021, USA) and a microconvex, 4-7-MHz curvilinear array probe. The inguinal region was divided into four quadrants: cranial, lateral, medial, and caudal. Celioscopy was performed on 13 turtles, and biopsies were obtained of the testes and the epididymides to confirm correct identification of the structures. In the cranial aspect of the inguinal region, the urinary bladder and large and small intestines were identified. In the lateral inguinal region, the lung and kidney were seen. In the medial aspect of the inguinal region, the testis and epididymis were routinely identified. In the caudal aspect of the inguinal region, the coxofemoral joint was seen. A small learning curve was required; however, correlation with celioscopy and biopsy showed that consistent, repeatable identification of caudal coelomic structures was easily achieved. Ultrasound provided an inexpensive, rapid, noninvasive method to evaluate the reproductive anatomy of live-captured, male loggerhead sea turtles.

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

    PubMed

    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 (t 0; 0-3 min) and 3 (t 3; 3-6 min), 6 (t 6; 6-9 min; nesting turtles only), 10 (t 10; 10-13 min) and 30 min (t 30; 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 t 0 and t 3 (P = 0.014) and between t 0 and t 6 (P = 0.022). Values at t 10 were not significantly different from those at t 0 (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 t 0 and t 10 (P = 0.02) and between t 0 and t 30 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

  8. 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