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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. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    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.

  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. 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.

  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. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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).

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 50 CFR 223.205 - Sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

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

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kan, Da

    2004-01-01

    This article talks about those who come back to China after studies abroad, characterized as "sea turtles" and those scholars who have remained in China to arduously pursue their studies, characterized as "ground beetles". " Sea turtles" are those foreign MBAs and Ph.D.s who are objects of praise, admiration and are…

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 50 CFR Appendix F to Part 622 - Specifications for Sea Turtle Mitigation Gear and Sea Turtle Handling and Release Requirements

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 12 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Specifications for Sea Turtle Mitigation Gear and Sea Turtle Handling and Release Requirements F Appendix F to Part 622 Wildlife and Fisheries...—Specifications for Sea Turtle Mitigation Gear and Sea Turtle Handling and Release Requirements A. Sea...

  11. 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…

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1997-01-01

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

  6. 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…

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 50 CFR 665.812 - Sea turtle take mitigation measures.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 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...

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 11 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 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 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  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. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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,…

  4. 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. 226.208 Section 226.208 Wildlife and Fisheries NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND... Critical habitat for green turtle. (a) Culebra Island, Puerto Rico—Waters surrounding the island of...

  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. 226.208 Section 226.208 Wildlife and Fisheries NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND... Critical habitat for green turtle. (a) Culebra Island, Puerto Rico—Waters surrounding the island of...

  6. 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... green turtle. (a) Culebra Island, Puerto Rico—Waters surrounding the island of Culebra from the...

  7. 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

  8. 77 FR 29586 - Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp Trawling Requirements; Correction

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-05-18

    ... Part 223 RIN 0648-BC10 Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp Trawling Requirements; Correction AGENCY... turtle excluder devices (TEDs) in their nets, and announced five public hearings to be held in...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-20

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cohen, J.B.

    2005-01-01

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

  20. 50 CFR 660.720 - Interim protection for sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 11 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Interim protection for sea turtles. 660.720 Section 660.720 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND... Migratory Fisheries § 660.720 Interim protection for sea turtles. (a) Until the effective date of §§...

  1. 50 CFR 660.720 - Interim protection for sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 13 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Interim protection for sea turtles. 660.720 Section 660.720 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND... Migratory Fisheries § 660.720 Interim protection for sea turtles. (a) Until the effective date of §§...

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Interim protection for sea turtles. 660.720 Section 660.720 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND... Migratory Fisheries § 660.720 Interim protection for sea turtles. (a) Until the effective date of §§...

  3. 50 CFR 660.720 - Interim protection for sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 13 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Interim protection for sea turtles. 660.720 Section 660.720 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND... Migratory Fisheries § 660.720 Interim protection for sea turtles. (a) Until the effective date of §§...

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 13 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Interim protection for sea turtles. 660.720 Section 660.720 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND... Migratory Fisheries § 660.720 Interim protection for sea turtles. (a) Until the effective date of §§...

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

    EPA Science Inventory

    T'he.loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta came is the only recurrent nesting species of sea turtle in southeastern Virginia (Lutcavage & Musick, 1985; Dodd, 1988). Inasmuch as the loggerhead is a federally threatened species, the opportunity to gather data on its nesting ecology is imp...

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-12-01

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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Gulf Coast Sea Turtle Hatchlings Released at KSC

    NASA Video Gallery

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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. 226.208 Section 226.208 Wildlife and Fisheries NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITAT §...

  17. 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...

  18. 76 FR 29718 - Western Pacific Pelagic Fisheries; American Samoa Longline Gear Modifications To Reduce Turtle...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-05-23

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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)

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 75 FR 47825 - Emergency Exemption; Issuance of Emergency Permit to Rehabilitate Sea Turtles Affected by the...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-08-09

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

  12. 77 FR 75999 - 2013 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle Observer Requirement

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-12-26

    ... 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 prevent or reduce prohibited sea turtle takes, and to determine whether additional measures to implement...

  13. 75 FR 81201 - 2011 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle Observer Requirement

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-12-27

    ... 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 a given fishery, evaluate existing measures to prevent or reduce prohibited sea turtle takes, and...

  14. 77 FR 474 - 2012 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle Observer Requirement

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-01-05

    ... 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 or reduce prohibited sea turtle takes, and to determine whether additional measures to implement...

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 50 CFR 224.104 - Special requirements for fishing activities to protect endangered sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

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

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

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

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

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-12-23

    ... 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 prevent or reduce prohibited sea turtle takes, and to determine whether additional measures to implement...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. 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; Hernández, Vicente Guzmán; 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

    2017-04-04

    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 demonstrates the

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 77 FR 60637 - Western Pacific Pelagic Fisheries; Revised Limits on Sea Turtle Interactions in the Hawaii...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-10-04

    ... Fisheries; Revised Limits on Sea Turtle Interactions in the Hawaii Shallow-Set Longline Fishery AGENCY... Pacific loggerhead sea turtles. NMFS also makes administrative housekeeping changes to the regulations... turtles, seabirds, and marine mammals. NMFS may issue a maximum of 164 longline permits for the deep-...

  16. 50 CFR 223.206 - Exceptions to prohibitions relating to sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... sea turtles. 223.206 Section 223.206 Wildlife and Fisheries NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE... Exceptions to prohibitions relating to sea turtles. (a) Permits—(1) Scientific research, education... turtles, in accordance with and subject to the conditions of part 222, subpart C—General Permit...

  17. 50 CFR 223.206 - Exceptions to prohibitions relating to sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... sea turtles. 223.206 Section 223.206 Wildlife and Fisheries NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE... Exceptions to prohibitions relating to sea turtles. (a) Permits—(1) Scientific research, education... turtles, in accordance with and subject to the conditions of part 222, subpart C—General Permit...

  18. 50 CFR 223.206 - Exceptions to prohibitions relating to sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... sea turtles. 223.206 Section 223.206 Wildlife and Fisheries NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE... Exceptions to prohibitions relating to sea turtles. (a) Permits—(1) Scientific research, education... turtles, in accordance with and subject to the conditions of part 222, subpart C—General Permit...

  19. 50 CFR 223.206 - Exceptions to prohibitions relating to sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... turtles. 223.206 Section 223.206 Wildlife and Fisheries NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE, NATIONAL... to prohibitions relating to sea turtles. (a) Permits—(1) Scientific research, education, zoological... zoological exhibition, or to enhance the propagation or survival of threatened species of sea turtles,...

  20. 77 FR 34334 - Western Pacific Pelagic Fisheries; Revised Limits on Sea Turtle Interactions in the Hawaii...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-06-11

    ... Fisheries; Revised Limits on Sea Turtle Interactions in the Hawaii Shallow-Set Longline Fishery AGENCY... fishery and leatherback and loggerhead sea turtles. NMFS also proposes administrative housekeeping changes... turtle, seabird, and marine mammal handling and mitigation gear and techniques. NMFS may issue a...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-05-24

    ... of Sea Turtles in Shrimp Fisheries; Certifications Pursuant to Public Law 101-162 SUMMARY: On April... nations have adopted programs to reduce the incidental capture of sea turtles in their shrimp fisheries... environments in 26 other countries and one economy do not pose a threat of the incidental taking of sea...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1998-01-01

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

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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. .

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 77 FR 45571 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife; 90-Day Finding on a Petition To Delist the Green Turtle in...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-08-01

    ...; 90-Day Finding on a Petition To Delist the Green Turtle in Hawaii and Notice of Status Review AGENCY...: We, NMFS, announce a 90-day finding on a petition to identify the Hawaiian population of the green... Species Act (ESA). The green turtle was listed under the ESA on July 28, 1978. Breeding populations of...

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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).

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 76 FR 32929 - Western Pacific Pelagic Fisheries; American Samoa Longline Gear Modifications To Reduce Turtle...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-06-07

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 77 FR 48106 - Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp and Summer Flounder Trawling Requirements; Correction

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-08-13

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office ] DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 223 RIN 0648-AW93 Sea Turtle Conservation... amendment. SUMMARY: On May 21, 2012, we published a final rule to revise the turtle excluder devices...

  15. 77 FR 37647 - Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp Trawling Requirements; Public Hearing Notification

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-06-22

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 223 RIN 0648-BC10 Sea Turtle Conservation... fishing to use turtle excluder devices (TEDs) in their nets, which was published in the Federal...

  16. 77 FR 38266 - Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp Trawling Requirements; Public Hearing

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-06-27

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 223 RIN 0648-BC10 Sea Turtle Conservation... fishing to use turtle excluder devices (TEDs) in their nets, which was published in the Federal...

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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).

  16. 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

  17. Conceptual Model Development for Sea Turtle Nesting Habitat: Support for USACE Navigation Projects

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-08-01

    value range schemes to include in a spatially explicit ecological model for sea turtle nesting habitat. INTRODUCTION: Much of the Atlantic and Gulf...create or improve the area. Key spatial parameters will be extracted from remote sensing data to be used as input in a spatially explicit ecological ...of key, spatial parameters and value range schemes to include in a spatially explicit ecological model for sea turtle nesting habitat. 15. SUBJECT

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 76 FR 52888 - Western Pacific Pelagic Fisheries; American Samoa Longline Gear Modifications To Reduce Turtle...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-08-24

    ... Fisheries; American Samoa Longline Gear Modifications To Reduce Turtle Interactions AGENCY: National Marine... Pacific green sea turtles. This final rule also makes administrative clarifications to the names of..., and other pelagic fish. The fishery interacts with (hooks or entangles) Pacific green sea...

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Optimal feeding frequency of captive head-started green turtles (Chelonia mydas).

    PubMed

    Kanghae, H; Thongprajukaew, K; Yeetam, P; Jarit-Ngam, T; Hwan-Air, W; Rueangjeen, S; Kittiwattanawong, K

    2016-09-25

    Optimal feeding frequency was investigated to improve head-started propagation programme of juvenile green turtles (Chelonia mydas). The 15-day-old turtles (25-26 g body weight) were fed for ad libitum intake at one (1MD), two (2MD), three (3MD) or four (4MD) meals daily over a 3-month trial. Responses in growth, feed utilization, faecal characteristics, haematological parameters and carapace elemental composition were used to compare treatment effects. At the end of the feeding trial, no treatment had induced mortality. Growth performance in terms of weight gain and specific growth rate was similar in turtles fed 2MD, 3MD or 4MD (p > 0.05), but 1MD differed from these (p < 0.05), and feeding at excess frequency (3MD and 4MD) increased the within-group size variation. Turtles fed 2MD had significantly lower feed intake than in 3MD and 4MD groups, but the feed conversion ratios were similar. Faecal digestive enzyme analysis indicated higher catabolism of lipid and protein in the deprivation group (1MD), when compared with turtles fed at least twice daily. The feeding frequency did not affect the specific activities of carbohydrate-digesting enzymes. The results on enzymes activities were corroborated by the transition enthalpy characteristics of faeces, indicating nutrients remaining after digestion. The 2MD treatment also improved the haematological characteristics and the carapace quality, relative to low or excess feeding. Overall, the findings indicate that feeding juvenile green turtles twice a day is the preferred option in their head-started propagation. This promotes growth, reduces feed consumption, and improves health and carapace quality.

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Radiographic features of the limbs of juvenile and subadult loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta)

    PubMed Central

    Valente, Ana Luisa; Marco, Ignasi; Zamora, Maria Angeles; Parga, Maria Luz; Lavín, Santiago; Alegre, Ferran; Cuenca, Rafaela

    2007-01-01

    This study aimed to provide the normal radiographic anatomic appearance of the limbs of the loggerhead sea turtle, Caretta caretta. Dorsopalmar and dorsoplantar radiographs were taken of the forelimbs and hindlimbs of 15 juvenile and 15 subadult loggerhead sea turtles, 17 alive and 13 dead. For comparison, computed tomographic, gross anatomic, osteologic, and histologic studies were performed on the limbs of 5 of the sea turtles. Bones from the distal part of the fore and hind flippers were seen in detail with a mammographic film–screen combination. The pectoral and pelvic girdles, superimposed by the carapace, were better seen on standard radiographs with the use of rare-earth intensifying screens. Mammographic radiographs of the manus of 5 small juvenile turtles showed active growth zones. Visualization of bone contours in the distal part of the limbs was clearer than in mammals owing to the very few superimpositions. The presence of a substantial amount of cartilage in the epiphyses produced better visibility of limb ends. We conclude that use of a mammography film–screen combination is the best way to evaluate the bony and joint structures of the limbs of sea turtles. Radiography provides reliable images for clinical purposes. Considering the low cost and logistics of this technique, it is a practical ancillary test for marine animal rehabilitation centers to use. PMID:17955906

  8. [Clusters of Fusarium solani infection in juvenile captive born Caretta caretta sea turtles].

    PubMed

    Garcia-Hartmann, M; Hennequin, C; Catteau, S; Béatini, C; Blanc, V

    2017-03-01

    Various yeasts and filamentous fungi are described as the cause of infection in sea turtles. Among them, Fusarium solani is responsible both for superficial and invasive infection in weakened adults (capture, stranding), and wild nest contamination, causing massive losses during hatching. We illustrate the pathogenicity of this fungus in sea turtles, through our experience with the species Caretta caretta (loggerhead turtle) and its reproduction, which was obtained for the first time in 2010 at the marine park Marineland, Antibes and renewed in 2011 and 2013. The first generation (6 viable newborns e.g. 0.9% of the nest) was severely affected by an infectious agent causing skin and multifocal organ lesions. Microbiological samples allowed to establish F. solani as the etiological agent. Antifungal therapy with posaconazole cured 2 (33%) of the brood. Epidemiological investigations, infection control and hygiene measures as well as diagnosis criteria, preemptive and curative treatment procedures allowed better prevention and cure and finally higher survival rates in subsequent broods, in 2011 and 2013 (80 viable newborns e.g. 6.6% of the nest and 50% survival rate). F. solani appears as a major threat for the successful reproduction of sea turtles in the wild. As observed, this threat is also of concern during captive breeding. The conditions of transmission and pathogenicity of Fusarium spp. in these animals are discussed in light of the literature cases that occurred in adult sea turtles and in wild nests, and of our breeding experience.

  9. Reference intervals for plasma biochemical and hematologic measures in loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from Moreton Bay, Australia.

    PubMed

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

    2010-07-01

    Biochemical and hematologic reference intervals have been reported for loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta, Linnaeus 1758), but low sample numbers and simple statistical analyses have constrained their diagnostic usefulness. During June 2007-May 2008, 101 loggerhead sea turtles in Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia, were captured by hand from boats; clinically assessed to determine health status; blood was sampled; and biochemical and hematologic variables were measured. Of these turtles, 66 were classified as clinically healthy and 23 as unhealthy. Reference intervals were calculated using data from clinically healthy turtles. Of the clinically unhealthy turtles, 82 and 45% had at least one biochemical and hematologic result, respectively, outside of at least one of the calculated intervals. However, only low proportions of unhealthy loggerhead sea turtles had abnormal results for each variable. The highest percentage of unhealthy turtles that were outside at least one estimated reference interval was 35%, for thrombocyte counts. Neither sex nor maturity category (mature versus large immature) influenced the risk of being clinically unhealthy. These are the first plasma biochemical and hematologic reference intervals reported for loggerhead sea turtles from the southwestern Pacific Ocean. We conclude that, for loggerhead sea turtles in Moreton Bay, separate reference intervals are required for mature and immature turtles for thrombocyte counts and for male and female turtles for lymphocyte, heterophil, and total white cell counts; otherwise, a single reference interval can be used regardless of age or sex. When estimating reference intervals in loggerhead sea turtles, it is desirable to use both methods for calculating reference intervals used in this study because intervals can differ substantially between methods for some variables. Joint interpretation using reference intervals from both methods allows the categorization of results as "normal," "suspect

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-14

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

  11. Trace elements in blood of sea turtles Lepidochelys olivacea in the Gulf of California, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Zavala-Norzagaray, A A; Ley-Quiñónez, C P; Espinosa-Carreón, T L; Canizalez-Román, A; Hart, C E; Aguirre, A A

    2014-11-01

    This study determined the concentrations of heavy metals in blood collected from Pacific Ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) inhabiting the coast of Guasave, Mexico, in the Gulf of California. The highest reported metal concentration in blood was Zn, followed by Se. Of nonessential toxic metals, As was reported in higher percentage compared to Cd. The concentrations of metals detected were present as follows: Zn > Se > Mn > As > Ni > Cd > Cu. Cd concentration in blood is higher in our population in comparison with other populations of L. olivacea, and even higher in other species of sea turtles. Our study reinforces the usefulness of blood for the monitoring of the levels of contaminating elements, and is easily accessible and nonlethal for sea turtles.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Werneck, M R; Silva, R J

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Crude oil as a stranding cause among loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in the Canary Islands, Spain (1998-2011).

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

    We report the number of strandings caused by crude oil among loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) in the Canary Islands between 1998 and 2011 and analyze the impact of the designation of the Canary Islands as a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA) in 2005. Among 1,679 stranded loggerhead turtles, 52 turtles stranded due to crude oil (3.1%). The survival rate of the turtles stranded by crude oil was 88%. All turtles that died because of crude oil stranding had signs of ingestion of crude oil and lesions, included esophageal impaction, necrotizing gastroenteritis, necrotizing hepatitis, and tubulonephrosis. The number of strandings caused by crude oil after 2005 was significantly lower than it was before 2006. We show that the designation of the Canary Islands as a PSSA in 2005 by the International Maritime Organization was associated with a reduction of sea turtle strandings caused by crude oil.

  18. Effects of organochlorine compounds on cytochrome P450 aromatase activity in an immortal sea turtle cell line.

    PubMed

    Keller, Jennifer M; McClellan-Green, Patricia

    2004-01-01

    Many classes of environmental contaminants affect the reproductive function of animals through interactions with the endocrine system. The primary components affected by endocrine active compounds (EACs) are the steroid receptors and the enzymes responsible for steroidogenesis. This study sought to develop an in vitro model for assessing EAC effects in sea turtles by examining their ability to alter cytochrome P450 aromatase (CYP19) activity. Aromatase is the enzyme responsible for the conversion of testosterone to estradiol. This enzyme is critical in the sexual differentiation of reptiles which demonstrate temperature-dependent sex determination. An immortal testis cell line GST-TS from a green sea turtle was grown in culture at 30 degrees C in RPMI 1640 media. The cells were exposed to three known aromatase inducers; dexamethasone (Dex), 8Br-cyclic AMP, or human chronic gonadotropin (HCG) and one aromatase inhibitor 4-androstenol-dione (4-OHA). In addition, the GST-TS cells were exposed to 0.1-30 microM atrazine and 3-100 microM 4,4'-DDE. The inducing compounds that have been shown to increase aromatase activity in other systems failed to induce aromatase activity in the GST-TS cells, yet exposure to the inhibiting compound, 4-OHA, did result in a significant reduction. Atrazine (0.1, 1.0 and 10 microM) significantly induced aromatase activity following a 24 h exposure, and 4,4'-DDE inhibited the activity but only at cytotoxic concentrations (100 microM). Based on these results, this in vitro model can be useful in examining the endocrine effects of EACs in sea turtles.

  19. Pharmacokinetics of marbofloxacin after a single oral dose to loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta).

    PubMed

    Marín, P; Lai, O R; Laricchiuta, P; Marzano, G; Di Bello, A; Cárceles, C M; Crescenzo, G

    2009-10-01

    The single-dose disposition kinetics of marbofloxacin (MBX) were determined in clinically healthy loggerhead sea turtles (n=5) after oral (PO) administration of 2 mg kg(-1) bodyweight. Marbofloxacin plasma concentrations were determined by DAD-HPLC (LOD/LOQ 0.015/0.05 microg ml(-1)). Data were subjected to non-compartmental analysis. Following PO administration, marbofloxacin achieved maximum plasma concentrations of 11.66+/-2.53 mg L(-1) at 15.00+/-3.00 h. The absence of general adverse reactions in the turtles of the study, and the favourable pharmacokinetic properties (long half-life and high maximum plasma concentration) of MBX administered PO at the single-dose of 2 mg kg(-1) suggest the possibility of its safe and effective clinical use in loggerhead sea turtles.

  20. Microhabitat selection by sea turtles in a dynamic thermal marine environment.

    PubMed

    Schofield, Gail; Bishop, Charles M; Katselidis, Kostas A; Dimopoulos, Panayotis; Pantis, John D; Hays, Graeme C

    2009-01-01

    1. Reproductive fitness is often compromised at the margins of a species' range due to sub-optimal conditions. 2. Set against this backdrop, the Mediterranean's largest loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) rookery at Zakynthos (Greece) presents a conundrum, being at a very high latitude for this species, yet hosting a high concentration of nesting. 3. We used visual surveys combined with global positioning system (GPS) tracking to show that at the start of the breeding season, individuals showed microhabitat selection, with females residing in transient patches of warm water. As the sea warmed in the summer, this selection was no longer evident. 4. As loggerhead turtles are ectothermic, this early season warm-water selection presumably speeds up egg maturation rates before oviposition, thereby allowing more clutches to be incubated when sand conditions are optimal during the summer. 5. Active selection of warm waters may allow turtles to initiate nesting at an earlier date.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Comparative study of organohalogen contamination between two populations of Eastern Atlantic loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta).

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

    We evaluated the presence of 37 organohalogen contaminants in plasma samples from 162 juvenile and 197 adult loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) from the archipelagos of the Canary Islands and Cape Verde, respectively, and compared the contamination profiles found. We detected five organochlorine pesticides (OCP) and 16 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The concentrations of the two groups of contaminants were higher in turtles from the Canary Islands (OCPs, 1.04 vs. 0.37 ng/mL; PCBs, 1.92 vs. 0.08 ng/mL). We also observed a different profile of PCB contamination between the two populations. In addition, there was a negative correlation between body size and the total concentration of PCBs in the Canary Islands turtles, but not in turtles from Cape Verde. The present study presents the first data on the organochlorine contaminants (OCs) of live turtles from Canary Islands. In addition, we perform a comparison of the levels and profiles of OCs between these two different groups of loggerhead sea turtles from the Eastern Atlantic.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-08-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-16

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martin, Kathleen Carol

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dimopoulos, Dimitrios I.; Pantis, John D.

    2003-01-01

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

  10. 50 CFR 224.104 - Special requirements for fishing activities to protect endangered sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Special requirements for fishing activities to protect endangered sea turtles. 224.104 Section 224.104 Wildlife and Fisheries NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE...

  11. 50 CFR 224.104 - Special requirements for fishing activities to protect endangered sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Special requirements for fishing activities to protect endangered sea turtles. 224.104 Section 224.104 Wildlife and Fisheries NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE...

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

  13. Trace metals (Cd, Cu, Ni, and Zn) in blood and eggs of the sea turtle Lepidochelys olivacea from a nesting colony of Oaxaca, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Páez-Osuna, Federico; Calderón-Campuzano, María F; Soto-Jiménez, Martín F; Ruelas-Inzunza, Jorge R

    2010-11-01

    Trace metals (Cd, Cu, Ni, and Zn) concentrations were assessed in the sea turtle Lepidochelys olivacea from a nesting colony of Oaxaca, Mexico. Twenty-five female turtles were sampled, a total of 250 eggs were collected during the "arribada" event of the 2005-2006 season. Zn concentrations were highest in the yolk [72.3 ± 10.9 μg/g dry weight (dw)] and blood (58.4 ± 4.7 μg/g dw), whereas Ni concentrations were highest in the shell (48.5 ± 12.9 μg/g dw). The mean concentrations of Cu, and Cd in the analyzed tissues were lower than those reported in other sea turtle species. However, Zn and Ni concentrations in the yolk and shell, respectively, had the same distribution pattern observed at loggerhead and green turtles. On the basis of one nesting season, the maternal transfer and/or the excretion rates of trace metals via eggs-laying, estimated in terms of metal burdens in whole body, were 0.2, 7.8, 3.4, and 21.5% for Cd, Cu, Zn, and Ni, respectively.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Santoro, Mario; Hernández, Giovanna; Caballero, Magaly

    2006-12-01

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

  16. Evidence for geomagnetic imprinting and magnetic navigation in the natal homing of sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Brothers, J Roger; Lohmann, Kenneth J

    2015-02-02

    Natal homing is a pattern of behavior in which animals migrate away from their geographic area of origin and then return to reproduce in the same location where they began life [1-3]. Although diverse long-distance migrants accomplish natal homing [1-8], little is known about how they do so. The enigma is epitomized by loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta), which leave their home beaches as hatchlings and migrate across entire ocean basins before returning to nest in the same coastal area where they originated [9, 10]. One hypothesis is that turtles imprint on the unique geomagnetic signature of their natal area and use this information to return [1]. Because Earth's field changes over time, geomagnetic imprinting should cause turtles to change their nesting locations as magnetic signatures drift slightly along coastlines. To investigate, we analyzed a 19-year database of loggerhead nesting sites in the largest sea turtle rookery in North America. Here we report a strong association between the spatial distribution of turtle nests and subtle changes in Earth's magnetic field. Nesting density increased significantly in coastal areas where magnetic signatures of adjacent beach locations converged over time, whereas nesting density decreased in places where magnetic signatures diverged. These findings confirm central predictions of the geomagnetic imprinting hypothesis and provide strong evidence that such imprinting plays an important role in natal homing in sea turtles. The results give credence to initial reports of geomagnetic imprinting in salmon [11, 12] and suggest that similar mechanisms might underlie long-distance natal homing in diverse animals.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-01

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

  20. 77 FR 27411 - Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp Trawling Requirements

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-05-10

    ... skimmer trawls, pusher-head trawls, and wing nets (butterfly trawls) rigged for fishing to use turtle... (butterfly trawls). For example, on May 8, 2009, NMFS published a notice of intent (NOI) to prepare an... (butterfly trawls) rigged for fishing in Mississippi and Alabama state waters. Before the emergency...

  1. 78 FR 9024 - Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp Trawling Requirements

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-02-07

    ..., pusher-head trawls, and wing nets (butterfly trawls) rigged for fishing to use turtle excluder devices... (77 FR 27411) that would require all skimmer trawls, pusher-head trawls, and wing nets (butterfly... trawls, pusher-head trawls, and wing nets (butterfly trawls) will be collectively referred to as...

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1983-01-01

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

  3. Residues of petroleum hydrocarbons in tissues of sea turtles exposed to the Ixtoc I oil spill

    SciTech Connect

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

    1983-04-01

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

  4. Corticosterone and thyroxine in cold-stunned Kemp's ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii).

    PubMed

    Hunt, Kathleen E; Innis, Charles; Rolland, Rosalind M

    2012-09-01

    Kemp's ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii), a critically endangered species, frequently strand on the shores of Cape Cod (Massachusetts, USA) in late autumn in a state of "cold-stunning" exhibiting low body temperature and related clinical issues. Stranded turtles are transported to the New England Aquarium (Boston, Massachusetts, USA) for treatment and rehabilitation. This study tested the hypothesis that cold-stunned sea turtles might exhibit high corticosterone ("stress hormone") or low thyroxine (which is often affected by temperature), or both, and that monitoring of both hormones may be useful for assessing recovery. In a retrospective analysis, 87 archived plasma samples were assayed from 56 cold-stunned juvenile Kemp's ridley sea turtles for corticosterone and free thyroxine (fT4). Upon admission, mean corticosterone was the highest yet reported for a population of sea turtles (39.3 +/- 2.5 ng/ml; mean +/- standard error of the mean [SEM]) and fT4 was usually undetectable. On admission, corticosterone was negatively correlated with white blood cell count but was not correlated with blood glucose. There were no differences in either hormone between survivors and nonsurvivors on admission. After 18+ days in recovery, surviving turtles' corticosterone dropped significantly to levels typical of baseline in other species (0.9 +/- 1.0 ng/ml) while fT4 increased significantly (1.3 +/- 1.5 pg/ml). During recovery, corticosterone was positively correlated with blood glucose and was not correlated with white blood cell count. Turtles that showed persistent deficits in feeding, activity, or both during recovery had significantly lower fT4 than did turtles with no such deficits. The "high corticosterone, low fT4" endocrine profile seen on admission may be a useful marker of cold-stunning in this and other species. Further studies are necessary to determine whether low thyroid hormones play a causal role in deficits in feeding and activity during recovery

  5. Growth-related changes in histology and immunolocalization of steroid hormone receptors in gonads of the immature male green turtle (Chelonia mydas).

    PubMed

    Otsuka, Saori; Suzuki, Masatsugu; Kamezaki, Naoki; Shima, Tatsuya; Wakatsuki, Motoki; Kon, Yasuhiro; Ohtaishi, Noriyuki

    2008-03-01

    Studies on the population dynamics of sea turtles require histological evaluation of the ontogenetic development and the activity of the gonads for reproduction. To investigate the growth-related changes of gonads in the immature male green turtle (Chelonia mydas), the histological changes of testes and epididymides and the localization of the androgen receptor, estrogen receptor alpha, estrogen receptor beta, and progesterone receptor were examined. The testes were categorized histologically into six developmental stages, and a scarce relationship between straight carapace length and gonadal development was confirmed based on the histological analysis. Several kinds of steroid hormone receptors were examined to show distributions in both testes and epididymides, for which their immunoreactivities were enhanced according to the developmental stage of the testes. These results suggest that straight carapace length is not an adequate indicator of maturity determination, whereas histological and immunohistochemical evaluations are useful in identifying the growth stages of green turtles, owing to the higher sensitivity to steroid hormones that appear during growth.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-15

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-02-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Malone, R.F.; Guarisco, M.

    1988-02-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Trophic status drives interannual variability in nesting numbers of marine turtles.

    PubMed

    Broderick, A C; Godley, B J; Hays, G C

    2001-07-22

    Large annual fluctuations are seen in breeding numbers in many populations of non-annual breeders. We examined the interannual variation in nesting numbers of populations of green (Chelonia mydas) (n = 16 populations), loggerhead (Caretta caretta) (n = 10 populations), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) (n = 9 populations) and hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) (n = 10 populations). Interannual variation was greatest in the green turtle. When comparing green and loggerhead turtles nesting in Cyprus we found that green turtles were more likely to change the interval between laying seasons and showed greater variation in the number of clutches laid in a season. We suggest that these differences are driven by the varying trophic statuses of the different species. Green turtles are herbivorous, feeding on sea grasses and macro-algae, and this primary production will be more tightly coupled with prevailing environmental conditions than the carnivorous diet of the loggerhead turtle.

  14. Brevetoxin in blood, biological fluids, and tissues of sea turtles naturally exposed to Karenia brevis blooms in central west Florida.

    PubMed

    Fauquier, Deborah A; Flewelling, Leanne J; Maucher, Jennifer; Manire, Charles A; Socha, Victoria; Kinsel, Michael J; Stacy, Brian A; Henry, Michael; Gannon, Janet; Ramsdell, John S; Landsberg, Jan H

    2013-06-01

    In 2005 and 2006, the central west Florida coast experienced two intense Karenia brevis red tide events lasting from February 2005 through December 2005 and August 2006 through December 2006. Strandings of sea turtles were increased in the study area with 318 turtles (n = 174, 2005; n = 144, 2006) stranding between 1 January 2005 and 31 December 2006 compared to the 12-yr average of 43 +/- 23 turtles. Live turtles (n = 61) admitted for rehabilitation showed clinical signs including unresponsiveness, paresis, and circling. Testing of biological fluids and tissues for the presence of brevetoxin activity by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay found toxin present in 93% (52 of 56) of live stranded sea turtles, and 98% (42 of 43) of dead stranded sea turtles tested. Serial plasma samples were taken from several live sea turtles during rehabilitation and toxin was cleared from the blood within 5-80 days postadmit depending upon the species tested. Among dead animals the highest brevetoxin levels were found in feces, stomach contents, and liver. The lack of significant pathological findings in the majority of animals necropsied supports toxin-related mortality.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Huang, Hsiang-Wen

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Hsiang-Wen

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Underwater sightings of sea turtles in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Rosman, I.; Boland, G.S.; Martin, L.; Chandler, C.

    1987-10-01

    Between 1975 and 1985, eight scientific studies were conducted in the northern Gulf of Mexico. The purpose here was to review the data collected from all eight studies for information concerning underwater sightings of sea turtles. Records of 1,024 scuba dives, 909 hours of underwater video and submersible observations, and some 1,500 days of time-lapse photographic observations were compiled from published reports, data logs, and photographic material. The effort yielded 268 verifiable underwater sightings of sea turtles, 231 of which came from time-lapse cameras. The majority of sightings that could be identified by species were of loggerheads. Other species sighted included three leatherbacks and one Kemp's Ridley.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-12-31

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

  1. Computed tomographic anatomy of the head of the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta).

    PubMed

    Arencibia, A; Rivero, M A; De Miguel, I; Contreras, S; Cabrero, A; Orós, J

    2006-10-01

    The heads of three loggerhead sea turtles were disarticulated and imaged immediately to minimize postmortem changes and then frozen and sectioned. For computed tomography (CT) imaging, the heads were positioned in ventral recumbency. Transverse CT images with soft-tissue window were obtained from the olfactory sac region to the temporomandibular joint region. After CT imaging, the heads were sectioned and the gross sections were compared to CT images, to assist in the accurate identification of the anatomic structures. Different clinically relevant anatomic structures were identified and labelled in two series of photographs (CT images and anatomic cross-sections). CT images provided good differentiation between the bones and the soft tissues of the head. The information presented in this paper should serve as an initial reference to evaluate CT images of the head of the loggerhead sea turtle and to assist in the interpretation of lesions of this region.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Vitellogenin (VTG) conservation in sea turtles: anti-VTG antibody in Chelonia mydas versus Caretta caretta.

    PubMed

    Zaccaroni, Annalisa; Zucchini, Marina; Segatta, Lorenzo; Gamberoni, Matteo; Freggi, Daniela; Accorsi, Pier A; Scaravelli, Dino; Gardner, Susan C

    2010-01-01

    Vitellogenin (VTG) is considered as a marker of endocrine disruption. A Western blot method for VTG quantification in Caretta caretta turtle plasma was developed using anti-VTG antibody for Chelonia mydas. A screening of samples (n = 61) collected in the southern Mediterranean Sea around Lampedusa Island, Italy, was performed. The antibody showed a good cross-reactivity with C. caretta VTG, suggesting a certain conservation of the core of the protein in different sea turtle species. The optimal operative condition for Western blot analysis consists of using diluted plasma at 1:50. In field samples, a certain mismatch with morphological sexing was observed, and VTG was detected in young animals. These results suggest the possibility of a precocious activation of VTG-encoding genes before sexual maturation and/or exposure to endocrine disrupter substances.

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

    PubMed

    Foran, David R; Ray, Rebecca L

    2016-07-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-03

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-07

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  14. Are we working towards global research priorities for management and conservation of sea turtles?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rees, A.F.; Alfaro-Shigueto, J.; Barata, P.C.R.; Bjorndal, K.A.; Bolten, A.B.; Bourjea, J.; Broderick, A.C.; Campbell, L.M.; Cardona, L.; Carreras, C.; Casale, P.; Ceriani, S.A.; Dutton, P.H.; Eguchi, T.; Formia, A.; Fuentes, M.M.P.B.; Fuller, W.J.; Girondot, M.; Godfrey, M.H.; Hamann, M.; Hart, Kristen M.; Hays, G.C.; Hochscheid, S.; Kaska, Y.; Jensen, M.P.; Mangel, J.C.; Mortimer, J.A.; Naro-Maciel, E.; Ng, C.K.Y.; Nichols, W.J.; Phillott, A.D.; Reina, R.D.; Revuelta, O.; Schofield, G.; Seminoff, J.A.; Shanker, K.; Tomás, J.; van de Merwe, J.P.; Van Houtan, K.S.; Vander Zanden, H.B.; Wallace, B.P.; Wedemeyer-Strombel, K.R.; Work, Thierry M.; Godley, B.J.

    2016-01-01

    In 2010, an international group of 35 sea turtle researchers refined an initial list of more than 200 research questions into 20 metaquestions that were considered key for management and conservation of sea turtles. These were classified under 5 categories: reproductive biology, biogeography, population ecology, threats and conservation strategies. To obtain a picture of how research is being focused towards these key questions, we undertook a systematic review of the peer-reviewed literature (2014 and 2015) attributing papers to the original 20 questions. In total, we reviewed 605 articles in full and from these 355 (59%) were judged to substantively address the 20 key questions, with others focusing on basic science and monitoring. Progress to answering the 20 questions was not uniform, and there were biases regarding focal turtle species, geographic scope and publication outlet. Whilst it offers some meaningful indications as to effort, quantifying peer-reviewed literature output is obviously not the only, and possibly not the best, metric for understanding progress towards informing key conservation and management goals. Along with the literature review, an international group based on the original project consortium was assigned to critically summarise recent progress towards answering each of the 20 questions. We found that significant research is being expended towards global priorities for management and conservation of sea turtles. Although highly variable, there has been significant progress in all the key questions identified in 2010. Undertaking this critical review has highlighted that it may be timely to undertake one or more new prioritizing exercises. For this to have maximal benefit we make a range of recommendations for its execution. These include a far greater engagement with social sciences, widening the pool of contributors and focussing the questions, perhaps disaggregating ecology and conservation.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kendall, W.L.; Richardson, J.I.; Rees, Alan F.

    2008-01-01

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

  16. COCCIDIAL INFECTION OF THE ADRENAL GLANDS OF LEATHERBACK SEA TURTLES (DERMOCHELYS CORIACEA).

    PubMed

    Ferguson, Sara D; Wellehan, James F X; Frasca, Salvatore; Innis, Charles J; Harris, Heather S; Miller, Melissa; Weber, E Scott; Walden, Heather Stockdale; Greiner, Ellis C; Merigo, Constance; Stacy, Brian A

    2016-10-01

    Histologic lesions incidental to the cause of death were observed in the adrenal glands of 17 subadult and adult leatherback sea turtles ( Dermochelys coriacea ) found dead or moribund on or near shore in North America. Round bodies, 250-300 μm in diameter composed of an outer capsule and large multinucleated cells surrounding a central mass of acellular material were distributed throughout the affected glands. Protozoal etiology was suspected based on some resemblance to coccidia; however, features diagnostic for coccidial infection were lacking in all but one case, which had a focal area of adrenalitis containing zoites. A novel eucoccidian partial 18S rRNA genetic sequence was consistently detected in adrenal glands with lesions. With the use of quantitative PCR, a specific area of the V4 region of the coccidian 18S gene was quantified in affected adrenal glands and correlated significantly with density of the histologic lesions. A second distinct, but closely related, 18S sequence was also amplified from the adrenal gland of one turtle and from a fecal sample containing unsporulated coccidian oocysts. The two 18S sequences identified from leatherback sea turtles form a clade within the family Eimeriidae. Further investigation is required to understand better the morphology of the life stages, life cycle, and potential effects of this coccidian parasite on adrenal function.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

    Assessments of large-scale disasters, such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, are problematic because while measurements of post-disturbance conditions are common, measurements of pre-disturbance baselines are only rarely available. Without adequate observations of pre-disaster organismal and environmental conditions, it is impossible to assess the impact of such catastrophes on animal populations and ecological communities. Here, we use long-term biological tissue records to provide pre-disaster data for a vulnerable marine organism. Keratin samples from the carapace of loggerhead sea turtles record the foraging history for up to 18 years, allowing us to evaluate the effect of the oil spill on sea turtle foraging patterns. Samples were collected from 76 satellite-tracked adult loggerheads in 2011 and 2012, approximately one to two years after the spill. Of the 10 individuals that foraged in areas exposed to surface oil, none demonstrated significant changes in foraging patterns post spill. The observed long-term fidelity to foraging sites indicates that loggerheads in the northern Gulf of Mexico likely remained in established foraging sites, regardless of the introduction of oil and chemical dispersants. More research is needed to address potential long-term health consequences to turtles in this region. Mobile marine organisms present challenges for researchers to monitor effects of environmental disasters, both spatially and temporally. We demonstrate that biological tissues can reveal long-term histories of animal behavior and provide critical pre-disaster baselines following an anthropogenic disturbance or natural disaster.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

    Assessments of large-scale disasters, such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, are problematic because while measurements of post-disturbance conditions are common, measurements of pre-disturbance baselines are only rarely available. Without adequate observations of pre-disaster organismal and environmental conditions, it is impossible to assess the impact of such catastrophes on animal populations and ecological communities. Here, we use long-term biological tissue records to provide pre-disaster data for a vulnerable marine organism. Keratin samples from the carapace of loggerhead sea turtles record the foraging history for up to 18 years, allowing us to evaluate the effect of the oil spill on sea turtle foraging patterns. Samples were collected from 76 satellite-tracked adult loggerheads in 2011 and 2012, approximately one to two years after the spill. Of the 10 individuals that foraged in areas exposed to surface oil, none demonstrated significant changes in foraging patterns post spill. The observed long-term fidelity to foraging sites indicates that loggerheads in the northern Gulf of Mexico likely remained in established foraging sites, regardless of the introduction of oil and chemical dispersants. More research is needed to address potential long-term health consequences to turtles in this region. Mobile marine organisms present challenges for researchers to monitor effects of environmental disasters, both spatially and temporally. We demonstrate that biological tissues can reveal long-term histories of animal behavior and provide critical pre-disaster baselines following an anthropogenic disturbance or natural disaster.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-15

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

  3. Helminth communities of loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) from Central and Western Mediterranean Sea: the importance of host's ontogeny.

    PubMed

    Santoro, Mario; Badillo, Francisco J; Mattiucci, Simonetta; Nascetti, Giuseppe; Bentivegna, Flegra; Insacco, Gianni; Travaglini, Andrea; Paoletti, Michela; Kinsella, John M; Tomás, Jesús; Raga, Juan A; Aznar, Francisco J

    2010-09-01

    We investigated the factors providing structure to the helminth communities of 182 loggerhead sea turtles, Caretta caretta, collected in 6 localities from Central and Western Mediterranean. Fifteen helminth taxa (10 digeneans, 4 nematodes and 1 acanthocephalan) were identified, of which 12 were specialist to marine turtles; very low numbers of immature individuals of 3 species typical from fish or cetaceans were also found. These observations confirm the hypothesis that phylogenetic factors restrict community composition to helminth species specific to marine turtles. There were significant community dissimilarities between turtles from different localities, the overall pattern being compatible with the hypothesis that parasite communities reflect the ontogenetic shift that juvenile loggerheads undergo from oceanic to neritic habitats. The smallest turtles at the putative oceanic, pelagic-feeding stage harboured only the 2 digenean species that were regionally the most frequent, i.e. Enodiotrema megachondrus and Calycodes anthos; the largest turtles at the putative neritic, bottom-feeding stage harboured 11 helminth taxa, including 3 nematode species that were rare or absent in turtles that fed partially on pelagic prey. Mean species richness per host was low (range: 1.60-1.89) and did not differ between localities. Variance ratio tests indicated independent colonization of each helminth species. Both features are expected in ectothermic and vagrant hosts living in the marine environment.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Parham, James F.

    2005-01-01

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

  5. Relationships between carapace sizes and plasma major and trace element status in captive hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata).

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationships between carapace parameters as indicators of age and plasma elements in 25 captive hawksbill sea turtles. Particle-induced X-ray emission allowed detection of 23 trace and major elements. There were significant but weak correlations between the virtual carapace surface area and plasma bromide (r = -0.552, P<0.01), phosphorus (r = 0.547, P<0.01), lead (r =-0.434, P<0.05) and strontium (r = 0.599, P<0.01), while there were no significant correlations with other elements. These results suggest that major and trace plasma elements in captive sea turtles show almost no variation with carapace parameters, suggesting that the increase in plasma elements seen in wild sea turtles might be the result of marine pollution.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Validation of the use of doubly labeled water for estimating metabolic rate in the green turtle (Chelonia mydas L.): a word of caution.

    PubMed

    Jones, T Todd; Hastings, Mervin D; Bostrom, Brian L; Andrews, Russel D; Jones, David R

    2009-08-01

    Marine turtles often have extremely high water turnover accompanied by a low field metabolic rate (FMR), a combination that can contraindicate the use of doubly labelled water (DLW). Therefore, we conducted a validation study to assess the suitability of the DLW technique for determining FMR of marine turtles. Six green turtles (22.42+/-3.13 kg) were injected with DLW and placed in a tank of seawater with a respirometer for continuous monitoring of oxygen consumption (MR) over a 5-day period. Trials were conducted for turtles in both fed and fasted states. Respiratory exchange ratio (RER) was determined in a dry respirometer and used to calculate energy expenditure. For fed and fasted turtles, total body water (TBW) was 66.67+/-3.37% and 58.70+/-7.63% of body mass, and water flux rates were 9.57+/-1.33% and 6.14+/-0.65% TBW day(-1), respectively. Water turnover in fasted turtles was 36% lower than that of fed turtles but MR (from oxygen consumption) of fasted turtles (13.77+/-1.49 kJ kg(-1) day(-1)) was 52% lower than in fed turtles (28.66+/-5.31 kJ kg(-1) day(-1)). Deuterium to oxygen-18 turnover rate (k(d):k(o)) ratios averaged 0.91+/-0.02 for fed turtles and 1.07+/-0.16 for fasted turtles. Fed turtles had a mean group difference of 8% and a mean individual difference of 53% between DLW and respirometry. The DLW method gave negative MR values in fasted turtles and could not be compared with respirometry data. Researchers should use caution when applying the DLW method in marine reptiles, especially when high water flux causes >90% of the labeled oxygen turnover to be due to water exchange.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Damazo, Lindsey Renee Eggers

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Forecasting the viability of sea turtle eggs in a warming world.

    PubMed

    Pike, David A

    2014-01-01

    Animals living in tropical regions may be at increased risk from climate change because current temperatures at these locations already approach critical physiological thresholds. Relatively small temperature increases could cause animals to exceed these thresholds more often, resulting in substantial fitness costs or even death. Oviparous species could be especially vulnerable because the maximum thermal tolerances of incubating embryos is often lower than adult counterparts, and in many species mothers abandon the eggs after oviposition, rendering them immobile and thus unable to avoid extreme temperatures. As a consequence, the effects of climate change might become evident earlier and be more devastating for hatchling production in the tropics. Loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) have the widest nesting range of any living reptile, spanning temperate to tropical latitudes in both hemispheres. Currently, loggerhead sea turtle populations in the tropics produce nearly 30% fewer hatchlings per nest than temperate populations. Strong correlations between empirical hatching success and habitat quality allowed global predictions of the spatiotemporal impacts of climate change on this fitness trait. Under climate change, many sea turtle populations nesting in tropical environments are predicted to experience severe reductions in hatchling production, whereas hatching success in many temperate populations could remain unchanged or even increase with rising temperatures. Some populations could show very complex responses to climate change, with higher relative hatchling production as temperatures begin to increase, followed by declines as critical physiological thresholds are exceeded more frequently. Predicting when, where, and how climate change could impact the reproductive output of local populations is crucial for anticipating how a warming world will influence population size, growth, and stability.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  16. Biological effects: Marine mammals and sea turtles (chapter 14). Book chapter

    SciTech Connect

    Haebler, R.

    1994-01-01

    All spills are different, varying in type and amount of oil spilled, species exposed, and geographic and atmospheric conditions. It is important to understand as much as possible about both the natural history and characteristics of various species and the specific effects oil has on wildlife. Doing so improves the ability to extrapolate from one spill to another and improves prediction of types and severity of effects to wildlife. This chapter presents an overview of the biological effects of oil on marine mammals and sea turtles.

  17. Pathologic findings in hatchling and posthatchling leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) from Florida.

    PubMed

    Miller, Debra L; Wyneken, Jeanette; Rajeev, Sreekumari; Perrault, Justin; Mader, Douglas R; Weege, James; Baldwin, Charles A

    2009-10-01

    In an attempt to identify critical health issues affecting the survival of endangered leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), a prospective study was conducted in several dead-in-nest hatchlings and captive posthatchlings to examine pathologic changes and presence of pathogenic microorganisms. Numerous histopathologic changes were identified. Although bacterial etiologies were suspected in deaths of captive individuals, a single causative organism was not identified but rather, a mixed population of bacterial flora was cultured. Muscle degeneration observed in most samples implicates a potential environmental factor in species survival and needs future investigation.

  18. Salt and water regulation by the leatherback sea turtle Dermochelys coriacea.

    PubMed

    Reina, Richard D; Jones, T Todd; Spotila, James R

    2002-07-01

    We measured the salt and water balance of hatchling leatherback sea turtles, Dermochelys coriacea, during their first few days of life to investigate how they maintain homeostasis under the osmoregulatory challenge of a highly desiccating terrestrial environment and then a hyperosmotic marine environment. Hatchlings desiccated rapidly when denied access to sea water, with their hematocrit increasing significantly from 30.32+/-0.54 % to 38.51+/-1.35 % and plasma Na(+) concentration increasing significantly from 138.2+/-3.3 to 166.2+/-11.2 mmol l(-1) in 12 h. When hatchlings were subsequently put into sea water, hematocrit decreased and plasma Na(+) concentration was unchanged but both were significantly elevated above pretreatment values. In other hatchlings kept in sea water for 48 h, body mass and plasma Na(+) concentration increased significantly, but hematocrit did not increase. These data show that hatchlings were able to osmoregulate effectively and gain mass by drinking sea water. We stimulated hatchlings to secrete salt from the salt glands by injecting a salt load of 27 mmol kg(-1). The time taken for secretion to begin in newly hatched turtles was longer than that in 4-day-old hatchlings, but the secretory response was identical at 4.15+/-0.40 and 4.13+/-0.59 mmol Na(+) kg(-1) h(-1) respectively. Adrenaline and methacholine were both potent inhibitors of salt gland secretion in a dose-dependent manner, although methacholine administered simultaneously with a subthreshold salt load elicited a transient secretory response. The results showed that hatchling leatherbacks are able to tolerate significant changes in internal composition and efficiently use their salt glands to establish internal ionic and water balance when in sea water.

  19. Development and evaluation of three mortality prediction indices for cold-stunned Kemp's ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii)

    PubMed Central

    Stacy, N. I.; Innis, C. J.; Hernandez, J. A.

    2013-01-01

    Kemp's ridley sea turtle is an endangered species found in the Gulf of Mexico and along the east coast of the USA. Cold-stunned Kemp's ridley turtles are often found stranded on beaches of Massachusetts and New York in November and December each year. When found alive, turtles are transported to rehabilitation centres for evaluation and treatment. Blood gas and chemistry analytes of major clinical relevance in sea turtles were selected to develop mortality prediction indices (MPI)s. Testing the diagnostic performance of various combinations of blood gas and chemistry analytes by receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analysis resulted in the development of three mortality prediction indices. The sensitivity and specificity of the best performing MPI (based on three blood analytes: pH, pO2, and potassium) was 88 and 80%, respectively. Using ROC analysis, the area under the curve = 0.896 (95% confidence interval = 0.83–0.94). The use of validated MPIs based on four blood analytes (pH, pCO2, pO2, and potassium) could be useful for better diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of cold-stunned sea turtles when admitted to rehabilitation facilities. PMID:27293587

  20. Reproductive status of captive Loggerhead sea turtles based on serum levels of gonadal steroid hormones, corticosterone and thyroxin.

    PubMed

    Valente, Ana Luisa S; Velarde, Roser; Parga, Maria Luz; Marco, Ignasi; Lavin, Santiago; Alegre, Ferran; Cuenca, Rafaela

    2011-02-01

    Serum levels of gonadal steroid hormones, corticosterone and thyroxin (T(4)), were monitored monthly in two male and one female captive Loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) over a period of 12 months in 2004 and 3 months in 2006. Ovary ultrasonography was performed in April and July 2006. The turtles were kept together in an outdoor sea pool in natural temperature and photoperiod conditions from May to November, then in separate indoor pools from December to April. Circulating hormone levels were measured by radioimmunoassay. Oestradiol levels in the female turtle surged significantly in July, as did the progesterone level in September. Total testosterone levels were different in both males, but both peaked in September. The peaks of oestradiol in the female and testosterone in the males did not coincide, both showing delay with respect to the hormone cycle described in free-ranging Loggerhead sea turtles. A seasonal pattern in T(4) levels was not observed. The three captive turtles showed very low corticosterone levels throughout the year, with a September peak coinciding with the peaks of progesterone in females and testosterone in males. The results suggested that conditions of captivity should be as close as possible to natural conditions throughout the entire year since the process of vitellogenesis in this species is protracted. Exposure to natural conditions for only a few months is insufficient to induce reproduction/oviposition.

  1. Levels of perfluorinated acids (PFCAs) in different tissues of Lepidochelys olivacea sea turtles from the Escobilla beach (Oaxaca, Mexico).

    PubMed

    Pasanisi, Eugenia; Cortés-Gómez, Adriana A; Pérez-López, Marcos; Soler, Francisco; Hernández-Moreno, David; Guerranti, Cristiana; Martellini, Tania; Fuentes-Mascorro, Gisela; Romero, Diego; Cincinelli, Alessandra

    2016-12-01

    Lepidochelys olivacea is the most abundant and globally distributed sea turtle species in the world and thus, monitoring this species for persistent organic pollutants, such as perfluorinated chemicals, is fundamental for their protection. This study was the first to evaluate the occurrence of five PFCAs (PFOA, PFNA, PFDA, PFUnA, PFDoA) in liver and blood samples of Olive Ridley turtle population from the Escobilla beach (Oaxaca, Mexico). PFDA and PFUnA were the predominant PFCs in blood samples (detected in 93% and 84% of samples, respectively) and were also present in the highest concentrations. Liver samples showed higher PFCA concentrations than whole blood samples, with PFNA and PFDA the most abundant PFCs congeners in liver samples, detected in 65% and 47% of the samples, respectively. The measured levels of contaminants in the blood samples of Lepidochelys olivacea sea turtles were compared to the levels reported in the literature for other turtle species. While linear significant correlations between PFNA, PFDA and PFUnA concentrations in blood samples and curved carapace lengths were determined, no correlation was found for PFOA, supporting the hypothesis that sea turtles could have a higher ability to eliminate this perfluorinated chemical from their blood than other PFCAs. However, we do not know if the concentrations are species or sampling areas dependent.

  2. Measuring the level of agreement in hematologic and biochemical values between blood sampling sites in leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea).

    PubMed

    Stewart, Kimberly; Mitchell, Mark A; Norton, Terry; Krecek, Rosina C

    2012-12-01

    Conservation programs to protect endangered sea turtles are being instituted worldwide. A common practice in these programs is to collect blood to evaluate the health of the turtles. Several different venipuncture sites are used to collect blood from sea turtles for hematologic and biochemistry tests, depending on the species. To date, it is unknown what affect venipuncture site may have on sample results. The purpose of this study was to measure the level of agreement between hematologic and biochemistry values collected from the dorsal cervical sinus and the interdigital vein of leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) sea turtles. Paired heparinized blood samples were obtained from the dorsal cervical sinus and the interdigital vein of 12 adult female nesting leatherback sea turtles on Keys Beach, St. Kitts, West Indies. Even though the sample population was small, the data for each chemistry were normally distributed, except for creatine kinase (CK). There was no significant difference when comparing biochemistry or hematologic values by venipuncture site, except for CK (P = 0.02). The level of agreement between sampling sites was considered good for albumin, calcium, globulin, glucose, packed cell volume, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, total protein, total solids, uric acid, white blood cell count, and all of the individual white cell types, while the level of agreement for aspartate aminotransferase and CK were considered poor. This information, coupled with the fact that the interdigital vein affords a less-invasive procedure, demonstrates that the interdigital vein is an appropriate location to use when establishing a hematologic and biochemical profile for leatherback sea turtles.

  3. Juvenile recruitment in loggerhead sea turtles linked to decadal changes in ocean circulation.

    PubMed

    Ascani, François; Van Houtan, Kyle S; Di Lorenzo, Emanuele; Polovina, Jeffrey J; Jones, T Todd

    2016-11-01

    Given the threats of climate change, understanding the relationship of climate with long-term population dynamics is critical for wildlife conservation. Previous studies have linked decadal climate oscillations to indices of juvenile recruitment in loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta), but without a clear understanding of mechanisms. Here, we explore the underlying processes that may explain these relationships. Using the eddy-resolving Ocean General Circulation Model for the Earth Simulator, we generate hatch-year trajectories for loggerhead turtles emanating from Japan over six decades (1950-2010). We find that the proximity of the high-velocity Kuroshio Current to the primary nesting areas in southern Japan is remarkably stable and that hatchling dispersal to oceanic habitats itself does not vary on decadal timescales. However, we observe a shift in latitudes of trajectories, consistent with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). In a negative PDO phase, the Kuroshio Extension Current (KEC) is strong and acts as a physical barrier to the northward transport of neonates. As a result, hatch-year trajectories remain mostly below 35°N in the warm, unproductive region south of the Transition Zone Chlorophyll Front (TZCF). During a positive PDO phase, however, the KEC weakens facilitating the neonates to swim north of the TZCF into cooler and more productive waters. As a result, annual cohorts from negative PDO years may face a lack of resources, whereas cohorts from positive PDO years may find sufficient resources during their pivotal first year. These model outputs indicate that the ocean circulation dynamics, combined with navigational swimming behavior, may be a key factor in the observed decadal variability of sea turtle populations.

  4. Pharmacokinetic behavior of meloxicam in loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) after intramuscular and intravenous administration.

    PubMed

    Lai, Olimpia R; Di Bello, Antonio; Soloperto, Simona; Freggi, Daniela; Marzano, Giacomo; Cavaliere, Leonardo; Crescenzo, Giuseppe

    2015-04-01

    Data on reptile analgesia are scarce for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and opioids and almost completely lacking in sea turtles, even though emergencies requiring correct pain management are very frequent in their rehabilitative medicine; therefore, dosage regimens extrapolated from other species involve the risk of clinical failure and damage to the animals. We describe the pharmacokinetic behavior of meloxicam in the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta). We chose meloxicam because of its selective anti-cyclooxygenase-2 activity and lesser adverse side effects. No data are available on the capacity of turtles to tolerate NSAIDs, so we chose a dose of 0.1 mg/kg of meloxicam. Plasma concentrations of meloxicam were unexpectedly low both for intravenous (IV; maximum concentration [C(max)] = 0.04±0.02 µg/mL) and intramuscular (IM; C(max) = 0.07±0.09 µg/mL) administration. A double-peak phenomenon occurred after both IV (time for second peak concentration T(max2) = 10.33±10.89 h) and IM (T(max2) = 1.17±0.75 h). The second peak after IM injection was premature, so some difficulty and delay in absorption appears to be an appropriate explanation. Furthermore, the area under the curve, and therefore systemic bioavailability (F = 31.82±28.24%), after both IV (0.30±0.29) and IM (0.10±0.03) injection appeared particularly limited. Terminal elimination slope and mean residence time indicated fast elimination after IM dosing; as a consequence, plasma concentrations dropped below analytic limits in 8 h. Considering that IM is the favored route of administration of drugs in rescue centers, it is unlikely that meloxicam at 0.1 mg/kg is an appropriate choice, particularly in long-term pain management protocols.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Effective conservation strategies for highly migratory species must incorporate information about long-distance movements and locations of high-use foraging areas. However, the inherent challenges of directly monitoring these factors call for creative research approaches and innovative application of existing tools. Highly migratory marine species, such as marine turtles, regularly travel hundreds or thousands of kilometers between breeding and feeding areas, but identification of migratory routes and habitat use patterns remains elusive. Here we use satellite telemetry in combination with compound-specific isotope analysis of amino acids to confirm that insights from bulk tissue stable isotope analysis can reveal divergent migratory strategies and within-population segregation of foraging groups of critically endangered leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) across the Pacific Ocean. Among the 78 turtles studied, we found a distinct dichotomy in δ15N values of bulk skin, with distinct “low δ15N” and “high δ15N” groups. δ15N analysis of amino acids confirmed that this disparity resulted from isotopic differences at the base of the food chain and not from differences in trophic position between the two groups. Satellite tracking of 13 individuals indicated that their bulk skin δ15N value was linked to the particular foraging region of each turtle. These findings confirm that prevailing marine isoscapes of foraging areas can be reflected in the isotopic compositions of marine turtle body tissues sampled at nesting beaches. We use a Bayesian mixture model to show that between 82 and 100% of the 78 skin-sampled turtles could be assigned with confidence to either the eastern Pacific or western Pacific, with 33 to 66% of all turtles foraging in the eastern Pacific. Our forensic approach validates the use of stable isotopes to depict leatherback turtle movements over broad spatial ranges and is timely for establishing wise conservation efforts in

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  10. Incubation temperature effects on hatchling performance in the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta).

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. First application of comet assay in blood cells of Mediterranean loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta).

    PubMed

    Caliani, Ilaria; Campani, Tommaso; Giannetti, Matteo; Marsili, Letizia; Casini, Silvia; Fossi, Maria Cristina

    2014-05-01

    The aim of this study was to validate the comet assay in erythrocytes of Caretta caretta, a species never investigated for genotoxicity. We studied 31 loggerhead sea turtles from three Italian marine rescue centres. Peripheral blood samples were collected from all the animals and the comet assay applied. All comet cells were analysed using two methods: visual scoring and computer image analysis. The % DNA in tail mean value ± SD and Damage Index were 21.56 ± 15.41 and 134.83 ± 94.12, respectively. A strong and statistically significant statistically correlation between the two analytical methods was observed (r = 0.95; p < 0.05). These results demonstrate that the comet assay is a useful method to detect the possible effects of genotoxic agents in loggerhead sea turtle and to increase the knowledge about the ecotoxicological health status of this threatened species.

  12. Salmonella enterica prevalence in leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) in St. Kitts, West Indies.

    PubMed

    Dutton, Clayton S; Revan, Floyd; Wang, Chengming; Xu, Chuanling; Norton, Terry M; Stewart, Kimberly M; Kaltenboeck, Bernhard; Soto, Esteban

    2013-09-01

    Salmonella spp. are gram-negative bacteria capable of causing diseases in a wide range of aquatic and terrestrial animals, including humans. Sea and terrestrial turtles have been recognized as carriers of this zoonotic pathogen. In this project, conventional and molecular diagnostic methods were combined to investigate the prevalence of Salmonella enterica in leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) that used the island of St. Kitts, West Indies as a nesting ground during 2011 (n = 21). Isolates obtained from selective media were screened and colonies suspected of being Salmonella spp. were confirmed by fluorescence resonance energy transfer polymerase chain reaction. The prevalence of S. enterica within this sample population during this period was found to be 14.2%. Moreover, due to the increasing risk of antibiotic resistance in enteric bacteria, antimicrobial susceptibility was investigated in all recovered Salmonella spp. isolates utilizing the broth microdilution method. All isolates were susceptible to the lowest concentration of kanamycin, gentamicin, ciprofloxacin, enrofloxacin, nalidixic acid, and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole tested. Further research should be pursued to understand the interaction of this bacterial pathogen with the environment, host, and other microbial communities, and to further develop faster, more sensitive, and more specific diagnostic methods.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-12-01

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

  14. Antibiotic resistant bacteria as bio-indicator of polluted effluent in the green turtles, Chelonia mydas in Oman.

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-01

    Antibiotic resistant bacteria were studied as bio-indicators of marine polluted effluents during egg-laying in green turtles. A non-invasive procedure for sampling oviductal fluid was used to test for exposure of turtles to pollution in Ras Al-Hadd, Oman, which is one of the most important nesting beaches in the world. Each sample was obtained by inserting a 15 cm sterile swab gently into the cloacal vent as the sphincter muscle is relaxed and the cloacal lining is unfolded to the outside. Forty turtles were sampled. A hundred and thirty-two species of bacteria from 7 genera were isolated. The dominant isolate was Citrobacter. Among the isolates 60.6% were multiple resistant to 15 tested antibiotics. The dominant resistance to antibiotics was ampicillin followed by streptomycin and sulphamethoxazole. Sampling oviductal fluid for resistant bacteria to antibiotics is valuable way to assess exposure to polluted effluents during feeding and migratory in turtles. Polluted effluents using bacteria as bio-indicator may influence reproductive potential in this endangered species.

  15. Antibiotic Resistance of Gram Negatives isolates from loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in the central Mediterranean Sea.

    PubMed

    Foti, M; Giacopello, C; Bottari, Teresa; Fisichella, V; Rinaldo, D; Mammina, C

    2009-09-01

    Previous studies on fish and marine mammals support the hypothesis that marine species harbor antibiotic resistance and therefore may serve as reservoirs for antibiotic-resistance genetic determinants. The aim of this study was to assess the resistance to antimicrobial agents of Gram negative strains isolated from loggerhead sea turtles (Carettacaretta). Oral and cloacal swabs from 19 live-stranded loggerhead sea turtles, with hooks fixed into the gut, were analyzed. The antimicrobial resistance of the isolates to 31 antibiotics was assessed using the disk-diffusion method. Conventional biochemical tests identified Citrobacter spp., Proteus spp., Enterobacter spp., Escherichia spp., Providencia spp., Morganella spp., Pantoea spp., Pseudomonas spp. and Shewanella spp. Highest prevalences of resistance was detected to carbenicillin (100%), cephalothin (92.6%), oxytetracycline (81.3%) and amoxicillin (77.8%). The isolates showing resistance to the widest range of antibiotics were identified as Citrobacterfreundii, Proteusvulgaris, Providenciarettgeri and Pseudomonasaeruginosa. In this study, antibiotic resistant bacteria reflect marine contamination by polluted effluents and C.caretta is considered a bioindicator which can be used as a monitor for pollution.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-13

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-05-01

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