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Sample records for leatherback turtle migrations

  1. Persistent leatherback turtle migrations present opportunities for conservation.

    PubMed

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

    2008-07-15

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

  2. Persistent leatherback turtle migrations present opportunities for conservation.

    PubMed

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

    2008-07-15

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

  3. Persistent Leatherback Turtle Migrations Present Opportunities for Conservation

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Sale, Alessandro; Luschi, Paolo

    2009-11-01

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

  5. 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

  6. Robust hierarchical state-space models reveal diel variation in travel rates of migrating leatherback turtles.

    PubMed

    Jonsen, Ian D; Myers, Ransom A; James, Michael C

    2006-09-01

    1. Biological and statistical complexity are features common to most ecological data that hinder our ability to extract meaningful patterns using conventional tools. Recent work on implementing modern statistical methods for analysis of such ecological data has focused primarily on population dynamics but other types of data, such as animal movement pathways obtained from satellite telemetry, can also benefit from the application of modern statistical tools. 2. We develop a robust hierarchical state-space approach for analysis of multiple satellite telemetry pathways obtained via the Argos system. State-space models are time-series methods that allow unobserved states and biological parameters to be estimated from data observed with error. We show that the approach can reveal important patterns in complex, noisy data where conventional methods cannot. 3. Using the largest Atlantic satellite telemetry data set for critically endangered leatherback turtles, we show that the diel pattern in travel rates of these turtles changes over different phases of their migratory cycle. While foraging in northern waters the turtles show similar travel rates during day and night, but on their southward migration to tropical waters travel rates are markedly faster during the day. These patterns are generally consistent with diving data, and may be related to changes in foraging behaviour. Interestingly, individuals that migrate southward to breed generally show higher daytime travel rates than individuals that migrate southward in a non-breeding year. 4. Our approach is extremely flexible and can be applied to many ecological analyses that use complex, sequential data.

  7. Endangered species: where leatherback turtles meet fisheries.

    PubMed

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

    2004-06-01

    The dramatic worldwide decline in populations of the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) is largely due to the high mortality associated with their interaction with fisheries, so a reduction of this overlap is critical to their survival. The discovery of narrow migration corridors used by the leatherbacks in the Pacific Ocean raised the possibility of protecting the turtles by restricting fishing in these key areas. Here we use satellite tracking to show that there is no equivalent of these corridors in the North Atlantic Ocean, because the turtles disperse actively over the whole area. But we are able to identify a few 'hot spots' where leatherbacks meet fisheries and where conservation efforts should be focused. PMID:15175741

  8. Isotope Analysis Reveals Foraging Area Dichotomy for Atlantic Leatherback Turtles

    PubMed Central

    Angulo, Elena; Das, Krishna; Girondot, Marc

    2008-01-01

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

  9. 50 CFR 226.207 - Critical habitat for leatherback turtle.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Critical habitat for leatherback turtle... ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITAT § 226.207 Critical habitat for leatherback turtle. Leatherback Sea Turtle (dermochelys coriacea) The waters...

  10. 50 CFR 226.207 - Critical habitat for leatherback turtle.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Critical habitat for leatherback turtle... ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITAT § 226.207 Critical habitat for leatherback turtle. Leatherback Sea Turtle (dermochelys coriacea) The waters...

  11. Leatherback turtles: the menace of plastic.

    PubMed

    Mrosovsky, N; Ryan, Geraldine D; James, Michael C

    2009-02-01

    The leatherback, Dermochelyscoriacea, is a large sea turtle that feeds primarily on jellyfish. Floating plastic garbage could be mistaken for such prey. Autopsy records of 408 leatherback turtles, spanning 123 years (1885-2007), were studied for the presence or absence of plastic in the GI tract. Plastic was reported in 34% of these cases. If only cases from our first report (1968) of plastic were considered, the figure was 37%. Blockage of the gut by plastic was mentioned in some accounts. These findings are discussed in the context of removal of top predators from poorly understood food chains. PMID:19135688

  12. Coupled solar-magnetic orientation during leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias), arctic tern (Sterna paradisaea), and humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) long-distance migration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horton, T. W.; Holdaway, R. N.; Zerbini, A.; Andriolo, A.; Clapham, P. J.

    2010-12-01

    Determining how animals perform long-distance animal migration remains one of the most enduring and fundamental mysteries of behavioural ecology. It is widely accepted that navigation relative to a reference datum is a fundamental requirement of long-distance return migration between seasonal habitats, and significant experimental research has documented a variety of viable orientation and navigation cues. However, relatively few investigations have attempted to reconcile experimentally determined orientation and navigation capacities of animals with empirical remotely sensed animal track data, leaving most theories of navigation and orientation untested. Here we show, using basic hypothesis testing, that leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias), arctic tern (Sterna paradisaea), and humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) migration paths are non-randomly distributed in magnetic coordinate space, with local peaks in magnetic coordinate distributions equal to fractional multiples of the angular obliquity of Earth’s axis of rotation. Time series analysis of humpback whale migratory behaviours, including migration initiation, changes in course, and migratory stop-overs, further demonstrate coupling of magnetic and celestial orientation cues during long-distance migration. These unexpected and highly novel results indicate that diverse taxa integrate magnetic and celestial orientation cues during long-distance migration. These results are compatible with a 'map and compass' orientation and navigation system. Humpback whale migration track geometries further indicate a map and compass orientation system is used. Several humpback whale tracks include highly directional segments (Mercator latitude vs. longitude r2>0.99) exceeding 2000 km in length, despite exposure to variable strength (c. 0-1 km/hr) surface cross-currents. Humpback whales appear to be able to compensate for surface current drift. The remarkable directional

  13. Pink spot, white spot: the pineal skylight of the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea Vandelli 1761) skull and its possible role in the phenology of feeding migrations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Davenport, John; Jones, T. Todd; Work, Thierry M.; Balazs, George H.

    2014-01-01

    Leatherback turtles, Dermochelys coriacea, which have an irregular pink area on the crown of the head known as the pineal or ‘pink spot’, forage upon jellyfish in cool temperate waters along the western and eastern margins of the North Atlantic during the summer. Our study showed that the skeletal structures underlying the pink spot in juvenile and adult turtles are compatible with the idea of a pineal dosimeter function that would support recognition of environmental light stimuli. We interrogated an extensive turtle sightings database to elucidate the phenology of leatherback foraging during summer months around Great Britain and Ireland and compared the sightings with historical data for sea surface temperatures and day lengths to assess whether sea surface temperature or light periodicity/levels were likely abiotic triggers prompting foraging turtles to turn south and leave their feeding grounds at the end of the summer. We found that sea temperature was too variable and slow changing in the study area to be useful as a trigger and suggest that shortening of day lengths as the late summer equilux is approached provides a credible phenological cue, acting via the pineal, for leatherbacks to leave their foraging areas whether they are feeding close to Nova Scotia or Great Britain and Ireland.

  14. Bottom-up and climatic forcing on the worldwide population of leatherback turtles.

    PubMed

    Saba, Vincent S; Spotila, James R; Chavez, Francisco P; Musick, John A

    2008-05-01

    Nesting populations of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) in the Atlantic and western Indian Oceans are increasing or stable while those in the Pacific are declining. It has been suggested that leatherbacks in the eastern Pacific may be resource limited due to environmental variability derived from the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), but this has yet to be tested. Here we explored bottom-up forcing and the responding reproductive output of nesting leatherbacks worldwide. We achieved this through an extensive review of leatherback nesting and migration data and by analyzing the spatial, temporal, and quantitative nature of resources as indicated by net primary production at post-nesting female migration and foraging areas. Leatherbacks in the eastern Pacific were the smallest in body size and had the lowest reproductive output due to less productive and inconsistent resources within their migration and foraging areas. This derived from natural interannual and multidecadal climate variability together with an influence of anthropogenic climate warming that is possibly affecting these natural cycles. The reproductive output of leatherbacks in the Atlantic and western Indian Oceans was nearly twice that of turtles in the eastern Pacific. The inconsistent nature of the Pacific Ocean may also render western Pacific leatherbacks susceptible to a more variable reproductive output; however, it appears that egg harvesting on nesting beaches is their major threat. We suggest that the eastern Pacific leatherback population is more sensitive to anthropogenic mortality due to recruitment rates that are lower and more variable, thus accounting for much of the population differences compared to Atlantic and western Indian turtles. PMID:18543633

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  18. Hierarchical state-space estimation of leatherback turtle navigation ability.

    PubMed

    Mills Flemming, Joanna; Jonsen, Ian D; Myers, Ransom A; Field, Christopher A

    2010-01-01

    Remotely sensed tracking technology has revealed remarkable migration patterns that were previously unknown; however, models to optimally use such data have developed more slowly. Here, we present a hierarchical Bayes state-space framework that allows us to combine tracking data from a collection of animals and make inferences at both individual and broader levels. We formulate models that allow the navigation ability of animals to be estimated and demonstrate how information can be combined over many animals to allow improved estimation. We also show how formal hypothesis testing regarding navigation ability can easily be accomplished in this framework. Using Argos satellite tracking data from 14 leatherback turtles, 7 males and 7 females, during their southward migration from Nova Scotia, Canada, we find that the circle of confusion (the radius around an animal's location within which it is unable to determine its location precisely) is approximately 96 km. This estimate suggests that the turtles' navigation does not need to be highly accurate, especially if they are able to use more reliable cues as they near their destination. Moreover, for the 14 turtles examined, there is little evidence to suggest that male and female navigation abilities differ. Because of the minimal assumptions made about the movement process, our approach can be used to estimate and compare navigation ability for many migratory species that are able to carry electronic tracking devices. PMID:21203382

  19. Hierarchical state-space estimation of leatherback turtle navigation ability.

    PubMed

    Mills Flemming, Joanna; Jonsen, Ian D; Myers, Ransom A; Field, Christopher A

    2010-12-28

    Remotely sensed tracking technology has revealed remarkable migration patterns that were previously unknown; however, models to optimally use such data have developed more slowly. Here, we present a hierarchical Bayes state-space framework that allows us to combine tracking data from a collection of animals and make inferences at both individual and broader levels. We formulate models that allow the navigation ability of animals to be estimated and demonstrate how information can be combined over many animals to allow improved estimation. We also show how formal hypothesis testing regarding navigation ability can easily be accomplished in this framework. Using Argos satellite tracking data from 14 leatherback turtles, 7 males and 7 females, during their southward migration from Nova Scotia, Canada, we find that the circle of confusion (the radius around an animal's location within which it is unable to determine its location precisely) is approximately 96 km. This estimate suggests that the turtles' navigation does not need to be highly accurate, especially if they are able to use more reliable cues as they near their destination. Moreover, for the 14 turtles examined, there is little evidence to suggest that male and female navigation abilities differ. Because of the minimal assumptions made about the movement process, our approach can be used to estimate and compare navigation ability for many migratory species that are able to carry electronic tracking devices.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  1. 50 CFR 226.207 - Critical habitat for leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... element essential for conservation of leatherback turtles is the occurrence of prey species, primarily... leatherback sea turtles follows. ER26JA12.016 ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Critical habitat for leatherback...

  2. 50 CFR 226.207 - Critical habitat for leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... element essential for conservation of leatherback turtles is the occurrence of prey species, primarily... leatherback sea turtles follows. ER26JA12.016 ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Critical habitat for leatherback...

  3. 50 CFR 226.207 - Critical habitat for leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... element essential for conservation of leatherback turtles is the occurrence of prey species, primarily... leatherback sea turtles follows. ER26JA12.016 ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Critical habitat for leatherback...

  4. Climate change impacts on leatherback turtle pelagic habitat in the Southeast Pacific

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willis-Norton, Ellen; Hazen, Elliott L.; Fossette, Sabrina; Shillinger, George; Rykaczewski, Ryan R.; Foley, David G.; Dunne, John P.; Bograd, Steven J.

    2015-03-01

    Eastern Pacific populations of the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) have declined by over 90% during the past three decades. The decline is primarily attributed to human pressures, including unsustainable egg harvest, development on nesting beaches, and by-catch mortality. In particular, the effects of climate change may impose additional stresses upon already threatened leatherback populations. This study analyzes how the pelagic habitat of Eastern Pacific leatherbacks may be affected by climate change over the next century. This population adheres to a persistent migration pattern; following nesting at Playa Grande, Costa Rica, individuals move rapidly through equatorial currents and into foraging habitat within the oligotrophic South Pacific Gyre. Forty-six nesting females were fitted with satellite tags. Based on the turtle positions, ten environmental variables were sampled along the tracks. Presence/absence habitat models were created to determine the oceanographic characteristics of the preferred turtle habitat. Core pelagic habitat was characterized by relatively low sea surface temperatures and chlorophyll-a. Based on these habitat models, we predicted habitat change using output from the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory prototype Earth System Model under the Special Report on Emissions Scenario A2 (business-as-usual). Although the model predicted both habitat losses and gains throughout the region, we estimated that overall the core pelagic habitat of the Eastern Pacific leatherback population will decline by approximately 15% within the next century. This habitat modification might increase pressure on a critically endangered population, possibly forcing distributional shifts, behavioral changes, or even extinction.

  5. An oceanographic context for the foraging ecology of eastern Pacific leatherback turtles: Consequences of ENSO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saba, Vincent S.; Shillinger, George L.; Swithenbank, Alan M.; Block, Barbara A.; Spotila, James R.; Musick, John A.; Paladino, Frank V.

    2008-05-01

    We analyzed some of the primary biological and physical dynamics within the eastern Pacific leatherback turtle ( Dermochelys coriacea) migration area in relation to ENSO and leatherback nesting ecology at Parque Nacional Marino Las Baulas (PNMB), Costa Rica. We used data from remote sensing to calculate resource availability via a net primary production (NPP) model, and to analyze the physical dynamics of the migration area via sea surface temperature fronts. Within the migration area, NPP north of 15°S was highly governed by interannual variability as indicated by the Multivariate ENSO Index while south of 15°S, production had a more seasonal signal. Nesting peaks of leatherbacks at PNMB were associated with cool, highly productive La Niña events and with large-scale equatorial phytoplankton blooms encompassing 110°W that were induced by iron enrichment following the termination of El Niño events. Resource availability in the northern migration area (eastern equatorial Pacific) appeared to determine the nesting response for the population at PNMB, Costa Rica. We suggest that ENSO significantly influences the nesting ecology of leatherbacks at PNMB because the majority of the population consists of pelagic foragers that strictly rely on the eastern equatorial Pacific for prey consumption prior to the nesting season. Coastal foragers may be a minority in the population because of high mortality rates associated with coastal gillnet fisheries along Central and South America.

  6. Solitary Large Intestinal Diverticulitis in Leatherback Turtles (Dermochelys coriacea).

    PubMed

    Stacy, B A; Innis, C J; Daoust, P-Y; Wyneken, J; Miller, M; Harris, H; James, M C; Christiansen, E F; Foley, A

    2015-07-01

    Leatherback sea turtles are globally distributed and endangered throughout their range. There are limited data available on disease in this species. Initial observations of solitary large intestinal diverticulitis in multiple leatherbacks led to a multi-institutional review of cases. Of 31 subadult and adult turtles for which complete records were available, all had a single exudate-filled diverticulum, as large as 9.0 cm in diameter, arising from the large intestine immediately distal to the ileocecal junction. All lesions were chronic and characterized by ongoing inflammation, numerous intralesional bacteria, marked attenuation of the muscularis, ulceration, and secondary mucosal changes. In three cases, Morganella morganii was isolated from lesions. Diverticulitis was unrelated to the cause of death in all cases, although risk of perforation and other complications are possible. PMID:25239052

  7. Population level "flipperedness" in the eastern Pacific leatherback turtle.

    PubMed

    Sieg, Annette E; Zandonà, Eugenia; Izzo, Victor M; Paladino, Frank V; Spotila, James R

    2010-01-01

    Limb preference is a behavioral indicator of lateralized brain function that was recently elucidated experimentally in lower vertebrates. We assessed natural spontaneous limb use of nesting eastern Pacific leatherback turtles by recording which hindlimb flipper was extended overtop the cloaca to cover the egg chamber during oviposition. We found a population level right bias in 1889 observations of 361 individuals. This is the first report of a limb preference in Testudinata. PMID:19712702

  8. Resource Requirements of the Pacific Leatherback Turtle Population

    PubMed Central

    Jones, T. Todd; Bostrom, Brian L.; Hastings, Mervin D.; Van Houtan, Kyle S.; Pauly, Daniel; Jones, David R.

    2012-01-01

    The Pacific population of leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) has drastically declined in the last 25 years. This decline has been linked to incidental capture by fisheries, egg and meat harvesting, and recently, to climate variability and resource limitation. Here we couple growth rates with feeding experiments and food intake functions to estimate daily energy requirements of leatherbacks throughout their development. We then estimate mortality rates from available data, enabling us to raise food intake (energy requirements) of the individual to the population level. We place energy requirements in context of available resources (i.e., gelatinous zooplankton abundance). Estimated consumption rates suggest that a single leatherback will eat upward of 1000 metric tonnes (t) of jellyfish in its lifetime (range 924–1112) with the Pacific population consuming 2.1×106 t of jellyfish annually (range 1.0–3.7×106) equivalent to 4.2×108 megajoules (MJ) (range 2.0–7.4×108). Model estimates suggest 2–7 yr-old juveniles comprise the majority of the Pacific leatherback population biomass and account for most of the jellyfish consumption (1.1×106 t of jellyfish or 2.2×108 MJ per year). Leatherbacks are large gelatinous zooplanktivores with consumption to biomass ratios of 96 (up to 192 if feeding strictly on low energy density Cnidarians); they, therefore, have a large capacity to impact gelatinous zooplankton landscapes. Understanding the leatherback's needs for gelatinous zooplankton, versus the availability of these resources, can help us better assess population trends and the influence of climate induced resource limitations to reproductive output. PMID:23071518

  9. Resource requirements of the Pacific leatherback turtle population.

    PubMed

    Jones, T Todd; Bostrom, Brian L; Hastings, Mervin D; Van Houtan, Kyle S; Pauly, Daniel; Jones, David R

    2012-01-01

    The Pacific population of leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) has drastically declined in the last 25 years. This decline has been linked to incidental capture by fisheries, egg and meat harvesting, and recently, to climate variability and resource limitation. Here we couple growth rates with feeding experiments and food intake functions to estimate daily energy requirements of leatherbacks throughout their development. We then estimate mortality rates from available data, enabling us to raise food intake (energy requirements) of the individual to the population level. We place energy requirements in context of available resources (i.e., gelatinous zooplankton abundance). Estimated consumption rates suggest that a single leatherback will eat upward of 1000 metric tonnes (t) of jellyfish in its lifetime (range 924-1112) with the Pacific population consuming 2.1×10(6) t of jellyfish annually (range 1.0-3.7×10(6)) equivalent to 4.2×10(8) megajoules (MJ) (range 2.0-7.4×10(8)). Model estimates suggest 2-7 yr-old juveniles comprise the majority of the Pacific leatherback population biomass and account for most of the jellyfish consumption (1.1×10(6) t of jellyfish or 2.2×10(8) MJ per year). Leatherbacks are large gelatinous zooplanktivores with consumption to biomass ratios of 96 (up to 192 if feeding strictly on low energy density Cnidarians); they, therefore, have a large capacity to impact gelatinous zooplankton landscapes. Understanding the leatherback's needs for gelatinous zooplankton, versus the availability of these resources, can help us better assess population trends and the influence of climate induced resource limitations to reproductive output. PMID:23071518

  10. The leatherback turtle, Dermochelys coriacea, exhibits both polyandry and polygyny.

    PubMed

    Crim, J L; Spotila, L D; Spotila, J R; O'Connor, M; Reina, R; Williams, C J; Paladino, F V

    2002-10-01

    The leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) is an endangered species, and world-wide populations are declining. To understand better the mating structure of this pelagic and fragile species, we investigated paternity in nearly 1000 hatchlings from Playa Grande in Parque Marino Nacional Las Baulas, Costa Rica. We collected DNA samples from 36 adult female leatherbacks and assessed allele frequency distributions for three microsatellite loci. For 20 of these 36 females, we examined DNA from hatchlings representing multiple clutches, and in some cases assessed up to four successive clutches from the same female. We inferred paternal alleles by comparing maternal and hatchling genotypes. We could not reject the null hypothesis of single paternity in 12 of 20 families (31 of 50 clutches), but we did reject the null hypothesis in two families (eight of 50 clutches). In the remaining six families, the null hypothesis could not be accepted or rejected with certainty because the number of hatchlings exhibiting extra nonmaternal alleles was small, and could thus be a result of mutation or sample error. Successive clutches laid by the same female had the same paternal allelic contribution, indicating sperm storage or possibly monogamy. None of 20 females shared the same three-locus genotype whereas there were two instances of shared genotypes among 17 inferred paternal three-locus genotypes. We conclude that both polyandry and polygyny are part of the mating structure of this leatherback sea turtle population.

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

    PubMed

    Guirlet, Elodie; Das, Krishna; Girondot, Marc

    2008-07-30

    In sea turtles, parental investment is limited to the nutrients and energy invested in eggs that will support embryonic development. Leatherback females have the largest clutches with the biggest eggs of the sea turtles and the highest reproductive output in reptiles. The migration between foraging sites and nesting beaches also represents high energy expenditure. The toxicokinetic of pollutants in the tissues is thus expected to vary during those periods but there is a lack of information in reptiles. Concentrations of essential (Copper, Zinc, Selenium) and non-essentials elements (Cadmium, Lead, Mercury) were determined in blood (n=78) and eggs (n=76) of 46 free-ranging leatherback females collected in French Guiana. Maternal transfer to eggs and relationships between blood and eggs concentrations during the nesting season were investigated. All trace elements were detectable in both tissues. Levels of toxic metals were lower than essential elements likely due to the high pelagic nature of leatherbacks that seems to limit exposure to toxic elements. Significant relationships between blood and egg concentrations were observed for Se and Cd. Se could have an important role in embryonic development of leatherback turtles and Cd transfer could be linked to similar carrier proteins as Se. Finally, as multiple clutches were sampled from each female, trends in trace elements were investigated along the nesting season. No change was observed in eggs but changes were recorded in blood concentrations of Cu. Cu level decreased while blood Pb levels increased through the nesting season. The high demand on the body during the breeding season seems to affect blood Cu concentrations. Calcium requirement for egg production with concomitant Pb mobilization could explain the increase in blood Pb concentrations along the nesting season. PMID:18565604

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-07-01

    Ten nesting leatherback sea turtles on Trinidad were anaesthetised for electroretinogram (ERG) measurements, using ketamine and medetomidine, reversed with atipamezole. They weighed 242 to 324 kg and were given initial doses of 3 to 8 mg/kg ketamine and 30 to 80 microg/kg medetomidine administered into an external jugular vein; six of the turtles received supplementary doses of 2.6 to 3.9 mg/kg ketamine combined with 0 to 39 microg/kg medetomidine. The lower doses were used initially to ensure against overdosage and reduce the chances of residual effects after the turtles returned to the water, but successful ergs called for step-wise dose increases to the required level of anaesthesia. Respiratory rate, heart rate, electrocardiogram, cloacal temperature, and venous blood gases were monitored, and blood was collected for plasma biochemistry. At the end of the erg procedure, atipamezole was administered at 150 to 420 microg/kg (five times the dose of medetomidine), half intramuscularly and half intravascularly. The turtles were monitored and prevented from re-entering the water until their behaviour was normal. No apparent mortalities or serious anaesthetic complications occurred. The observed within-season return nesting rate of the anaesthetised turtles was comparable with that of unanaesthetised turtles. PMID:17617540

  13. Effect of longitudinal ridges on the aerodynamic performance of a leatherback turtle model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-11-01

    Leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) are known as the fastest swimmer and the deepest diver in the open ocean among marine turtles. Unlike other marine turtles, leatherback sea turtles have five longitudinal ridges on their carapace. To investigate the effect of these longitudinal ridges on the aerodynamic performance of a leatherback turtle model, the experiment is conducted in a wind tunnel at Re = 1.0 × 105 - 1.4 × 106 (including that of real leatherback turtle in cruising condition) based on the model length. We measure the drag and lift forces on the leatherback turtle model with and without longitudinal ridges. The presence of longitudinal ridges increases both the lift and drag forces on the model, but increases the lift-to-drag ratio by 15 - 40%. We also measure the velocity field around the model with and without the ridges using particle image velocimetry. More details will be shown in the presentation. Supported by the NRF program (2011-0028032).

  14. Effect of longitudinal ridges on the hydrodynamic performance of a leatherback turtle model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

    Leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) known as the fastest swimmer and the deepest diver among marine turtles have five longitudinal ridges on their carapace, and these ridges are the most remarkable morphological features distinguished from other marine turtles. To investigate the effect of these ridges on the hydrodynamic performance of the leatherback turtle, we model a carapace with and without ridges using a stuffed leatherback turtle in the National Science Museum, Korea. We measure the drag and lift forces on the ridged model in the ranges of real leatherback turtles' Reynolds number (Re) and angle of attack (α), and compare them with those of non-ridged model. At α < 6°, longitudinal ridges decrease drag on the ridged model by up to 32% compared to non-ridged model. On the other hand, at α > 6°, the drag and lift coefficients of the ridged model are higher than those of the non-ridged model, and the lift-to-drag ratio of the ridged model is higher by about 7% than that of the non-ridged model. We also measure the velocity field around both models using a particle image velocimetry and explain the hydrodynamic role of ridges in relation to diving behaviors of leatherback sea turtles. Supported by the NRF Program (2011-0028032).

  15. Acinetobacter sp. HM746599 isolated from leatherback turtle blood.

    PubMed

    Soslau, Gerald; Russell, Jacob A; Spotila, James R; Mathew, Andrew J; Bagsiyao, Pamela

    2011-09-01

    A newly described bacterial isolate, Acinetobacter sp. HM746599, has been obtained from leatherback sea turtle hatchling blood. The implication is that the hatchling was infected during development in the egg, which is substantiated by other studies to be reported by us in the future. The 16S rRNA gene sequence of the bacterium (GenBank accession number: HM746599) showed the greatest similarity to the identified species, Acinetobacter beijerinckii (97.6-99.78%) and Acinetobacter venetianus (99.78%). Acinetobacter sp. HM746599 are gram-negative, rod-shaped coccobacilli and are hemolytic/cytotoxic to human and sea turtle red blood cells (RBCs). Hemolysis is not the result of any detectable soluble toxin. Acinetobacter beijerinckii and A. venetianus hemolyze sheep RBCs while Acinetobacter sp. HM746599 does not, and unlike A. venetianus, the growth of Acinetobacter sp. HM746599 and A. beijerinckii is not supported by l-arginine. Many Acinetobacter species, especially hemolytic ones, are pathogenic to immunologically compromised humans and it is possible that, in addition to sea turtles, this bacterium might also be a danger to susceptible humans who handle infected hatchlings. The bacteria are available from CCUG (Culture Collection, University Gothenburg, Göteborg, Sweden) and from NRRL (Agricultural Research Service Culture Collection, Peoria, IL). PMID:21707734

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-22

    Fisheries bycatch is a critical source of mortality for rapidly declining populations of leatherback turtles, Dermochelys coriacea. We integrated use-intensity distributions for 135 satellite-tracked adult turtles with longline fishing effort to estimate predicted bycatch risk over space and time in the Pacific Ocean. Areas of predicted bycatch risk did not overlap for eastern and western Pacific nesting populations, warranting their consideration as distinct management units with respect to fisheries bycatch. For western Pacific nesting populations, we identified several areas of high risk in the north and central Pacific, but greatest risk was adjacent to primary nesting beaches in tropical seas of Indo-Pacific islands, largely confined to several exclusive economic zones under the jurisdiction of national authorities. For eastern Pacific nesting populations, we identified moderate risk associated with migrations to nesting beaches, but the greatest risk was in the South Pacific Gyre, a broad pelagic zone outside national waters where management is currently lacking and may prove difficult to implement. Efforts should focus on these predicted hotspots to develop more targeted management approaches to alleviate leatherback bycatch. PMID:24403331

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Fisheries bycatch is a critical source of mortality for rapidly declining populations of leatherback turtles, Dermochelys coriacea. We integrated use-intensity distributions for 135 satellite-tracked adult turtles with longline fishing effort to estimate predicted bycatch risk over space and time in the Pacific Ocean. Areas of predicted bycatch risk did not overlap for eastern and western Pacific nesting populations, warranting their consideration as distinct management units with respect to fisheries bycatch. For western Pacific nesting populations, we identified several areas of high risk in the north and central Pacific, but greatest risk was adjacent to primary nesting beaches in tropical seas of Indo-Pacific islands, largely confined to several exclusive economic zones under the jurisdiction of national authorities. For eastern Pacific nesting populations, we identified moderate risk associated with migrations to nesting beaches, but the greatest risk was in the South Pacific Gyre, a broad pelagic zone outside national waters where management is currently lacking and may prove difficult to implement. Efforts should focus on these predicted hotspots to develop more targeted management approaches to alleviate leatherback bycatch. PMID:24403331

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-22

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

  19. Spatio-temporal foraging patterns of a giant zooplanktivore, the leatherback turtle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fossette, Sabrina; Hobson, Victoria J.; Girard, Charlotte; Calmettes, Beatriz; Gaspar, Philippe; Georges, Jean-Yves; Hays, Graeme C.

    2010-05-01

    Understanding food web functioning through the study of natural bio-indicators may constitute a valuable and original approach. In the context of jellyfish proliferation in many overexploited marine ecosystems studying the spatio-temporal foraging patterns of the giant "jellyvore" leatherback turtle turns out to be particularly relevant. Here we analyzed long-term tracking data to assess spatio-temporal foraging patterns in 21 leatherback turtles during their pluri-annual migration in the Northern Atlantic. Through an analytical approach based on the animal's own motion (independent of currents) and diving behavior distinct zones of high and low foraging success were identified. High foraging success occurred in a sub-equatorial zone spanning the width of the Atlantic and at high (>30°N) latitudes. Between these zones in the centre of North Atlantic gyre there was low foraging success. This "ocean desert" area was traversed at high speed by leatherbacks on their way to more productive areas at higher latitudes. Animals traveled slowly in high foraging success areas and dived shallower (17.2 ± 8.0 km day - 1 and 53.6 ± 33.1 m mean ± SD respectively) than in low foraging success areas (51.0 ± 13.1 km day - 1 and 81.8 ± 56.2 m mean ± SD respectively). These spatio-temporal foraging patterns seem to relatively closely match the main features of the integrated meso-zooplankton distribution in the North Atlantic. Our method of defining high foraging success areas is intuitive and relatively easy to implement but also takes into account the impact of oceanic currents on animal's behavior.

  20. 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. PMID:21075937

  1. 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.

  2. Leatherback turtle movements, dive behavior, and habitat characteristics in ecoregions of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean.

    PubMed

    Dodge, Kara L; Galuardi, Benjamin; Miller, Timothy J; Lutcavage, Molly E

    2014-01-01

    Leatherback sea turtles, Dermochelys coriacea, are highly migratory predators that feed exclusively on gelatinous zooplankton, thus playing a unique role in coastal and pelagic food webs. From 2007 to 2010, we used satellite telemetry to monitor the movements and dive behavior of nine adult and eleven subadult leatherbacks captured on the Northeast USA shelf and tracked throughout the Northwest Atlantic. Leatherback movements and environmental associations varied by oceanographic region, with slow, sinuous, area-restricted search behavior and shorter, shallower dives occurring in cool (median sea surface temperature: 18.4°C), productive (median chlorophyll a: 0.80 mg m(-3)), shallow (median bathymetry: 57 m) shelf habitat with strong sea surface temperature gradients (median SST gradient: 0.23°C km(-1)) at temperate latitudes. Leatherbacks were highly aggregated in temperate shelf and slope waters during summer, early fall, and late spring and more widely dispersed in subtropical and tropical oceanic and neritic habitat during late fall, winter and early spring. We investigated the relationship of ecoregion, satellite-derived surface chlorophyll, satellite-derived sea surface temperature, SST gradient, chlorophyll gradient and bathymetry with leatherback search behavior using generalized linear mixed-effects models. The most well supported model showed that differences in leatherback search behavior were best explained by ecoregion and regional differences in bathymetry and SST. Within the Northwest Atlantic Shelves region, leatherbacks increased path sinuosity (i.e., looping movements) with increasing SST, but this relationship reversed within the Gulf Stream region. Leatherbacks increased path sinuosity with decreasing water depth in temperate and tropical shelf habitats. This relationship is consistent with increasing epipelagic gelatinous zooplankton biomass with decreasing water depth, and bathymetry may be a key feature in identifying leatherback foraging

  3. Leatherback turtle movements, dive behavior, and habitat characteristics in ecoregions of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean.

    PubMed

    Dodge, Kara L; Galuardi, Benjamin; Miller, Timothy J; Lutcavage, Molly E

    2014-01-01

    Leatherback sea turtles, Dermochelys coriacea, are highly migratory predators that feed exclusively on gelatinous zooplankton, thus playing a unique role in coastal and pelagic food webs. From 2007 to 2010, we used satellite telemetry to monitor the movements and dive behavior of nine adult and eleven subadult leatherbacks captured on the Northeast USA shelf and tracked throughout the Northwest Atlantic. Leatherback movements and environmental associations varied by oceanographic region, with slow, sinuous, area-restricted search behavior and shorter, shallower dives occurring in cool (median sea surface temperature: 18.4°C), productive (median chlorophyll a: 0.80 mg m(-3)), shallow (median bathymetry: 57 m) shelf habitat with strong sea surface temperature gradients (median SST gradient: 0.23°C km(-1)) at temperate latitudes. Leatherbacks were highly aggregated in temperate shelf and slope waters during summer, early fall, and late spring and more widely dispersed in subtropical and tropical oceanic and neritic habitat during late fall, winter and early spring. We investigated the relationship of ecoregion, satellite-derived surface chlorophyll, satellite-derived sea surface temperature, SST gradient, chlorophyll gradient and bathymetry with leatherback search behavior using generalized linear mixed-effects models. The most well supported model showed that differences in leatherback search behavior were best explained by ecoregion and regional differences in bathymetry and SST. Within the Northwest Atlantic Shelves region, leatherbacks increased path sinuosity (i.e., looping movements) with increasing SST, but this relationship reversed within the Gulf Stream region. Leatherbacks increased path sinuosity with decreasing water depth in temperate and tropical shelf habitats. This relationship is consistent with increasing epipelagic gelatinous zooplankton biomass with decreasing water depth, and bathymetry may be a key feature in identifying leatherback foraging

  4. Leatherback Turtle Movements, Dive Behavior, and Habitat Characteristics in Ecoregions of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean

    PubMed Central

    Dodge, Kara L.; Galuardi, Benjamin; Miller, Timothy J.; Lutcavage, Molly E.

    2014-01-01

    Leatherback sea turtles, Dermochelys coriacea, are highly migratory predators that feed exclusively on gelatinous zooplankton, thus playing a unique role in coastal and pelagic food webs. From 2007 to 2010, we used satellite telemetry to monitor the movements and dive behavior of nine adult and eleven subadult leatherbacks captured on the Northeast USA shelf and tracked throughout the Northwest Atlantic. Leatherback movements and environmental associations varied by oceanographic region, with slow, sinuous, area-restricted search behavior and shorter, shallower dives occurring in cool (median sea surface temperature: 18.4°C), productive (median chlorophyll a: 0.80 mg m−3), shallow (median bathymetry: 57 m) shelf habitat with strong sea surface temperature gradients (median SST gradient: 0.23°C km−1) at temperate latitudes. Leatherbacks were highly aggregated in temperate shelf and slope waters during summer, early fall, and late spring and more widely dispersed in subtropical and tropical oceanic and neritic habitat during late fall, winter and early spring. We investigated the relationship of ecoregion, satellite-derived surface chlorophyll, satellite-derived sea surface temperature, SST gradient, chlorophyll gradient and bathymetry with leatherback search behavior using generalized linear mixed-effects models. The most well supported model showed that differences in leatherback search behavior were best explained by ecoregion and regional differences in bathymetry and SST. Within the Northwest Atlantic Shelves region, leatherbacks increased path sinuosity (i.e., looping movements) with increasing SST, but this relationship reversed within the Gulf Stream region. Leatherbacks increased path sinuosity with decreasing water depth in temperate and tropical shelf habitats. This relationship is consistent with increasing epipelagic gelatinous zooplankton biomass with decreasing water depth, and bathymetry may be a key feature in identifying leatherback foraging

  5. Jellyfish support high energy intake of leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea): video evidence from animal-borne cameras.

    PubMed

    Heaslip, Susan G; Iverson, Sara J; Bowen, W Don; James, Michael C

    2012-01-01

    The endangered leatherback turtle is a large, highly migratory marine predator that inexplicably relies upon a diet of low-energy gelatinous zooplankton. The location of these prey may be predictable at large oceanographic scales, given that leatherback turtles perform long distance migrations (1000s of km) from nesting beaches to high latitude foraging grounds. However, little is known about the profitability of this migration and foraging strategy. We used GPS location data and video from animal-borne cameras to examine how prey characteristics (i.e., prey size, prey type, prey encounter rate) correlate with the daytime foraging behavior of leatherbacks (n = 19) in shelf waters off Cape Breton Island, NS, Canada, during August and September. Video was recorded continuously, averaged 1:53 h per turtle (range 0:08-3:38 h), and documented a total of 601 prey captures. Lion's mane jellyfish (Cyanea capillata) was the dominant prey (83-100%), but moon jellyfish (Aurelia aurita) were also consumed. Turtles approached and attacked most jellyfish within the camera's field of view and appeared to consume prey completely. There was no significant relationship between encounter rate and dive duration (p = 0.74, linear mixed-effects models). Handling time increased with prey size regardless of prey species (p = 0.0001). Estimates of energy intake averaged 66,018 kJ • d(-1) but were as high as 167,797 kJ • d(-1) corresponding to turtles consuming an average of 330 kg wet mass • d(-1) (up to 840 kg • d(-1)) or approximately 261 (up to 664) jellyfish • d(-1). Assuming our turtles averaged 455 kg body mass, they consumed an average of 73% of their body mass • d(-1) equating to an average energy intake of 3-7 times their daily metabolic requirements, depending on estimates used. This study provides evidence that feeding tactics used by leatherbacks in Atlantic Canadian waters are highly profitable and our results are consistent with estimates of mass gain prior to

  6. Identification of distinct movement patterns in Pacific leatherback turtle populations influenced by ocean conditions.

    PubMed

    Bailey, Helen; Benson, Scott R; Shillinger, George L; Bograd, Steven J; Dutton, Peter H; Eckert, Scott A; Morreale, Stephen J; Paladino, Frank V; Eguchi, Tomoharu; Foley, David G; Block, Barbara A; Piedra, Rotney; Hitipeuw, Creusa; Tapilatu, Ricardo F; Spotila, James R

    2012-04-01

    Interactions with fisheries are believed to be a major cause of mortality for adult leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), which is of particular concern in the Pacific Ocean, where they have been rapidly declining. In order to identify where these interactions are occurring and how they may be reduced, it is essential first to understand the movements and behavior of leatherback turtles. There are two regional nesting populations in the East Pacific (EP) and West Pacific (WP), comprising multiple nesting sites. We synthesized tracking data from the two populations and compared their movement patterns. A switching state-space model was applied to 135 Argos satellite tracks to account for observation error, and to distinguish between migratory and area-restricted search behaviors. The tracking data, from the largest leatherback data set ever assembled, indicated that there was a high degree of spatial segregation between EP and WP leatherbacks. Area-restricted search behavior mainly occurred in the southeast Pacific for the EP leatherbacks, whereas the WP leatherbacks had several different search areas in the California Current, central North Pacific, South China Sea, off eastern Indonesia, and off southeastern Australia. We also extracted remotely sensed oceanographic data and applied a generalized linear mixed model to determine if leatherbacks exhibited different behavior in relation to environmental variables. For the WP population, the probability of area-restricted search behavior was positively correlated with chlorophyll-a concentration. This response was less strong in the EP population, but these turtles had a higher probability of search behavior where there was greater Ekman upwelling, which may increase the transport of nutrients and consequently prey availability. These divergent responses to oceanographic conditions have implications for leatherback vulnerability to fisheries interactions and to the effects of climate change. The occurrence of

  7. Identification of distinct movement patterns in Pacific leatherback turtle populations influenced by ocean conditions.

    PubMed

    Bailey, Helen; Benson, Scott R; Shillinger, George L; Bograd, Steven J; Dutton, Peter H; Eckert, Scott A; Morreale, Stephen J; Paladino, Frank V; Eguchi, Tomoharu; Foley, David G; Block, Barbara A; Piedra, Rotney; Hitipeuw, Creusa; Tapilatu, Ricardo F; Spotila, James R

    2012-04-01

    Interactions with fisheries are believed to be a major cause of mortality for adult leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), which is of particular concern in the Pacific Ocean, where they have been rapidly declining. In order to identify where these interactions are occurring and how they may be reduced, it is essential first to understand the movements and behavior of leatherback turtles. There are two regional nesting populations in the East Pacific (EP) and West Pacific (WP), comprising multiple nesting sites. We synthesized tracking data from the two populations and compared their movement patterns. A switching state-space model was applied to 135 Argos satellite tracks to account for observation error, and to distinguish between migratory and area-restricted search behaviors. The tracking data, from the largest leatherback data set ever assembled, indicated that there was a high degree of spatial segregation between EP and WP leatherbacks. Area-restricted search behavior mainly occurred in the southeast Pacific for the EP leatherbacks, whereas the WP leatherbacks had several different search areas in the California Current, central North Pacific, South China Sea, off eastern Indonesia, and off southeastern Australia. We also extracted remotely sensed oceanographic data and applied a generalized linear mixed model to determine if leatherbacks exhibited different behavior in relation to environmental variables. For the WP population, the probability of area-restricted search behavior was positively correlated with chlorophyll-a concentration. This response was less strong in the EP population, but these turtles had a higher probability of search behavior where there was greater Ekman upwelling, which may increase the transport of nutrients and consequently prey availability. These divergent responses to oceanographic conditions have implications for leatherback vulnerability to fisheries interactions and to the effects of climate change. The occurrence of

  8. Effect of tidal overwash on the embryonic development of leatherback turtles in French Guiana.

    PubMed

    Caut, Stéphane; Guirlet, Elodie; Girondot, Marc

    2010-05-01

    In marine turtles, the physical conditions experienced by eggs during incubation affect embryonic development. In the leatherback, hatching success is known to be low in relation to other marine turtles as a result of high embryonic mortality. Moreover, the hatching success on Yalimapo in French Guiana, one major nesting beach for this species, is lower compared to other nesting sites. We assessed the rate of leatherback turtle embryonic mortality in order to investigate the tolerance of leatherback turtle clutches laid on Yalimapo beach to tidal overwash, and we highlight causes of poor hatching success. Of the 89 nests studied, 27 were overlapped by tide at least once during the incubation period (of which five nests were lost by erosion). The hatching success was on average significantly lower in overwashed nests than in non-overwashed, highlighting the existence of embryonic developmental arrest linked to tidal inundation. The stages of developmental arrest and their proportion are linked with time, frequency and level of overwash events. In the context of global warming and associated sea-level rise, understanding the detrimental effect of tidal inundation on the development of marine turtle nests is of interest in nesting sites where turtles are likely to be forced to nest closer to the tide line, thus exposing their nests to greater risk of nest overlap with sea and tidal inundation.

  9. Effect of tidal overwash on the embryonic development of leatherback turtles in French Guiana.

    PubMed

    Caut, Stéphane; Guirlet, Elodie; Girondot, Marc

    2010-05-01

    In marine turtles, the physical conditions experienced by eggs during incubation affect embryonic development. In the leatherback, hatching success is known to be low in relation to other marine turtles as a result of high embryonic mortality. Moreover, the hatching success on Yalimapo in French Guiana, one major nesting beach for this species, is lower compared to other nesting sites. We assessed the rate of leatherback turtle embryonic mortality in order to investigate the tolerance of leatherback turtle clutches laid on Yalimapo beach to tidal overwash, and we highlight causes of poor hatching success. Of the 89 nests studied, 27 were overlapped by tide at least once during the incubation period (of which five nests were lost by erosion). The hatching success was on average significantly lower in overwashed nests than in non-overwashed, highlighting the existence of embryonic developmental arrest linked to tidal inundation. The stages of developmental arrest and their proportion are linked with time, frequency and level of overwash events. In the context of global warming and associated sea-level rise, understanding the detrimental effect of tidal inundation on the development of marine turtle nests is of interest in nesting sites where turtles are likely to be forced to nest closer to the tide line, thus exposing their nests to greater risk of nest overlap with sea and tidal inundation. PMID:19969341

  10. Behavioral and metabolic contributions to thermoregulation in freely swimming leatherback turtles at high latitudes.

    PubMed

    Casey, James P; James, Michael C; Williard, Amanda S

    2014-07-01

    Leatherback turtles in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean have a broad geographic range that extends from nesting beaches near the equator to seasonal foraging grounds as far north as Canada. The ability of leatherbacks to maintain core body temperature (Tb) higher than that of the surrounding water is thought to be a key element of their biology that permits them to exploit productive waters at high latitudes. We provide the first recordings of Tb from freely swimming leatherbacks at a northern foraging ground, and use these data to assess the importance of behavioral adjustments and metabolic sources of heat for maintenance of the thermal gradient (Tg). The mean Tb for individual leatherbacks ranged from 25.4 ± 1.7 to 27.3 ± 0.3 °C, and Tg ranged from 10.7 ± 2.4 to 12.1 ± 1.7 °C. Variation in mean Tb was best explained by the amount of time that turtles spent in the relatively warm surface waters. A diel trend in Tb was apparent, with daytime cooling suggestive of prey ingestion and night-time warming attributable to endogenous heat production. We estimate that metabolic rates necessary to support the observed Tg are ~3 times higher than resting metabolic rate, and that specific dynamic action is an important source of heat for foraging leatherbacks. PMID:25141345

  11. On the dispersal of leatherback turtle hatchlings from Mesoamerican nesting beaches.

    PubMed

    Shillinger, George L; Di Lorenzo, Emanuele; Luo, Hao; Bograd, Steven J; Hazen, Elliott L; Bailey, Helen; Spotila, James R

    2012-06-22

    So little is known about the early life history of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) from hatchling to adulthood that this period has been termed the 'lost years'. For critically endangered eastern Pacific leatherback populations, continued and rapid declines underscore the urgent need to develop conservation strategies across all life stages. We investigate leatherback hatchling dispersal from four Mesoamerican nesting beaches using passive tracer experiments within a regional ocean modelling system. The evolution of tracer distribution from each of the nesting beaches showed the strong influence of eddy transport and coastal currents. Modelled hatchlings from Playa Grande, Costa Rica, were most likely to be entrained and transported offshore by large-scale eddies coincident with the peak leatherback nesting and hatchling emergence period. These eddies potentially serve as 'hatchling highways', providing a means of rapid offshore transport away from predation and a productive refuge within which newly hatched turtles can develop. We hypothesize that the most important leatherback nesting beach remaining in the eastern Pacific (Playa Grande) has been evolutionarily selected as an optimal nesting site owing to favourable ocean currents that enhance hatchling survival. PMID:22378803

  12. Endocrine responses to diverse stressors of capture, entanglement and stranding in leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea).

    PubMed

    Hunt, Kathleen E; Innis, Charles J; Merigo, Constance; Rolland, Rosalind M

    2016-01-01

    Leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) are exposed to many anthropogenic stressors, yet almost no data on stress physiology exist for this species. As a first step toward understanding the physiological responses of leatherback turtles to stress, and with the particular goal of assessment of the effect of capture, we quantified corticosterone (an adrenal stress hormone) and thyroxine (a regulator of metabolic rate, often inhibited by chronic stress) in 17 healthy leatherback turtles captured at sea for scientific study, with comparisons to 15 'distressed' leatherbacks that were found entangled in fishing gear (n = 8), confined in a weir net (n = 1) or stranded on shore (n = 6). Distressed leatherbacks had significantly elevated corticosterone (mean ± SEM 10.05 ± 1.72 ng/ml, median 8.38 ng/ml) and free thyroxine (mean 0.86 ± 0.37 pg/ml, median 0.08 pg/ml) compared with healthy leatherbacks sampled immediately before release (after ∼40 min of handling; corticosterone, mean 4.97 ± 0.62 ng/ml, median 5.21 ng/ml; and free thyroxine, mean 0.05 ± 0.05 pg/ml, median 0.00 pg/ml). The elevated thyroxine in distressed turtles compared with healthy turtles might indicate an energetic burden of entanglement and stranding. Six of the healthy leatherbacks were sampled twice, at ∼25 and ∼50 min after the time of first disturbance. In all six individuals, corticosterone was higher in the later sample (earlier sample, mean 2.74 ± 0.88 ng/ml, median 2.61 ng/ml; later sample, mean 5.43 ± 1.29 ng/ml, median 5.38 ng/ml), indicating that capture and handling elicit an adrenal stress response in this species. However, the corticosterone elevation after capture appeared relatively mild compared with the corticosterone concentrations of the entangled and stranded turtles. The findings suggest that capture and handling using the protocols described (e.g. capture duration <1 h) might represent only a mild stressor, whereas entanglement and stranding might represent moderate

  13. Endocrine responses to diverse stressors of capture, entanglement and stranding in leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea)

    PubMed Central

    Hunt, Kathleen E.; Innis, Charles J.; Merigo, Constance; Rolland, Rosalind M.

    2016-01-01

    Leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) are exposed to many anthropogenic stressors, yet almost no data on stress physiology exist for this species. As a first step toward understanding the physiological responses of leatherback turtles to stress, and with the particular goal of assessment of the effect of capture, we quantified corticosterone (an adrenal stress hormone) and thyroxine (a regulator of metabolic rate, often inhibited by chronic stress) in 17 healthy leatherback turtles captured at sea for scientific study, with comparisons to 15 ‘distressed’ leatherbacks that were found entangled in fishing gear (n = 8), confined in a weir net (n = 1) or stranded on shore (n = 6). Distressed leatherbacks had significantly elevated corticosterone (mean ± SEM 10.05 ± 1.72 ng/ml, median 8.38 ng/ml) and free thyroxine (mean 0.86 ± 0.37 pg/ml, median 0.08 pg/ml) compared with healthy leatherbacks sampled immediately before release (after ∼40 min of handling; corticosterone, mean 4.97 ± 0.62 ng/ml, median 5.21 ng/ml; and free thyroxine, mean 0.05 ± 0.05 pg/ml, median 0.00 pg/ml). The elevated thyroxine in distressed turtles compared with healthy turtles might indicate an energetic burden of entanglement and stranding. Six of the healthy leatherbacks were sampled twice, at ∼25 and ∼50 min after the time of first disturbance. In all six individuals, corticosterone was higher in the later sample (earlier sample, mean 2.74 ± 0.88 ng/ml, median 2.61 ng/ml; later sample, mean 5.43 ± 1.29 ng/ml, median 5.38 ng/ml), indicating that capture and handling elicit an adrenal stress response in this species. However, the corticosterone elevation after capture appeared relatively mild compared with the corticosterone concentrations of the entangled and stranded turtles. The findings suggest that capture and handling using the protocols described (e.g. capture duration <1 h) might represent only a mild stressor, whereas entanglement and stranding might represent

  14. Behavioral inference of diving metabolic rate in free-ranging leatherback turtles.

    PubMed

    Bradshaw, Corey J A; McMahon, Clive R; Hays, Graeme C

    2007-01-01

    Good estimates of metabolic rate in free-ranging animals are essential for understanding behavior, distribution, and abundance. For the critically endangered leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), one of the world's largest reptiles, there has been a long-standing debate over whether this species demonstrates any metabolic endothermy. In short, do leatherbacks have a purely ectothermic reptilian metabolic rate or one that is elevated as a result of regional endothermy? Recent measurements have provided the first estimates of field metabolic rate (FMR) in leatherback turtles using doubly labeled water; however, the technique is prohibitively expensive and logistically difficult and produces estimates that are highly variable across individuals in this species. We therefore examined dive duration and depth data collected for nine free-swimming leatherback turtles over long periods (up to 431 d) to infer aerobic dive limits (ADLs) based on the asymptotic increase in maximum dive duration with depth. From this index of ADL and the known mass-specific oxygen storage capacity (To(2)) of leatherbacks, we inferred diving metabolic rate (DMR) as To2/ADL. We predicted that if leatherbacks conform to the purely ectothermic reptilian model of oxygen consumption, these inferred estimates of DMR should fall between predicted and measured values of reptilian resting and field metabolic rates, as well as being substantially lower than the FMR predicted for an endotherm of equivalent mass. Indeed, our behaviorally derived DMR estimates (mean=0.73+/-0.11 mL O(2) min(-1) kg(-1)) were 3.00+/-0.54 times the resting metabolic rate measured in unrestrained leatherbacks and 0.50+/-0.08 times the average FMR for a reptile of equivalent mass. These DMRs were also nearly one order of magnitude lower than the FMR predicted for an endotherm of equivalent mass. Thus, our findings lend support to the notion that diving leatherback turtles are indeed ectothermic and do not demonstrate

  15. Behavioral inference of diving metabolic rate in free-ranging leatherback turtles.

    PubMed

    Bradshaw, Corey J A; McMahon, Clive R; Hays, Graeme C

    2007-01-01

    Good estimates of metabolic rate in free-ranging animals are essential for understanding behavior, distribution, and abundance. For the critically endangered leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), one of the world's largest reptiles, there has been a long-standing debate over whether this species demonstrates any metabolic endothermy. In short, do leatherbacks have a purely ectothermic reptilian metabolic rate or one that is elevated as a result of regional endothermy? Recent measurements have provided the first estimates of field metabolic rate (FMR) in leatherback turtles using doubly labeled water; however, the technique is prohibitively expensive and logistically difficult and produces estimates that are highly variable across individuals in this species. We therefore examined dive duration and depth data collected for nine free-swimming leatherback turtles over long periods (up to 431 d) to infer aerobic dive limits (ADLs) based on the asymptotic increase in maximum dive duration with depth. From this index of ADL and the known mass-specific oxygen storage capacity (To(2)) of leatherbacks, we inferred diving metabolic rate (DMR) as To2/ADL. We predicted that if leatherbacks conform to the purely ectothermic reptilian model of oxygen consumption, these inferred estimates of DMR should fall between predicted and measured values of reptilian resting and field metabolic rates, as well as being substantially lower than the FMR predicted for an endotherm of equivalent mass. Indeed, our behaviorally derived DMR estimates (mean=0.73+/-0.11 mL O(2) min(-1) kg(-1)) were 3.00+/-0.54 times the resting metabolic rate measured in unrestrained leatherbacks and 0.50+/-0.08 times the average FMR for a reptile of equivalent mass. These DMRs were also nearly one order of magnitude lower than the FMR predicted for an endotherm of equivalent mass. Thus, our findings lend support to the notion that diving leatherback turtles are indeed ectothermic and do not demonstrate

  16. The role of infrequent and extraordinary deep dives in leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea).

    PubMed

    Houghton, Jonathan D R; Doyle, Thomas K; Davenport, John; Wilson, Rory P; Hays, Graeme C

    2008-08-01

    Infrequent and exceptional behaviours can provide insight into the ecology and physiology of a particular species. Here we examined extraordinarily deep (300-1250 m) and protracted (>1h) dives made by critically endangered leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) in the context of three previously suggested hypotheses: predator evasion, thermoregulation and exploration for gelatinous prey. Data were obtained via satellite relay data loggers attached to adult turtles at nesting beaches (N=11) and temperate foraging grounds (N=2), constituting a combined tracking period of 9.6 years (N=26,146 dives) and spanning the entire North Atlantic Ocean. Of the dives, 99.6% (N=26,051) were to depths <300 m with only 0.4% (N=95) extending to greater depths (subsequently termed ;deep dives'). Analysis suggested that deep dives: (1) were normally distributed around midday; (2) may exceed the inferred aerobic dive limit for the species; (3) displayed slow vertical descent rates and protracted durations; (4) were much deeper than the thermocline; and (5) occurred predominantly during transit, yet ceased once seasonal residence on foraging grounds began. These findings support the hypothesis that deep dives are periodically employed to survey the water column for diurnally descending gelatinous prey. If a suitable patch is encountered then the turtle may cease transit and remain within that area, waiting for prey to approach the surface at night. If unsuccessful, then migration may continue until a more suitable site is encountered. Additional studies using a meta-analytical approach are nonetheless recommended to further resolve this matter. PMID:18689410

  17. Recent demographic history and present fine-scale structure in the Northwest Atlantic leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) turtle population.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Recent demographic history and present fine-scale structure in the Northwest Atlantic leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) turtle population.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Comparative health assessment of western Pacific leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) foraging off the coast of California, 2005-2007

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harris, Heather S.; Benson, Scott R.; Gilardi, Kirsten V.; Poppenga, Robert H.; Work, Thierry M.; Dutton, Peter H.; Mazet, Jonna A.K.

    2011-01-01

    Leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) are critically endangered, primarily threatened by the overharvesting of eggs, fisheries entanglement, and coastal development. The Pacific leatherback population has experienced a catastrophic decline over the past two decades. Leatherbacks foraging off the coast of California are part of a distinct Western Pacific breeding stock that nests on beaches in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands. Although it has been proposed that the rapid decline of Pacific leatherback turtles is due to increased adult mortality, little is known about the health of this population. Health assessments in leatherbacks have examined females on nesting beaches, which provides valuable biological information, but might have limited applicability to the population as a whole. During September 2005 and 2007, we conducted physical examinations on 19 foraging Pacific leatherback turtles and measured normal physiologic parameters, baseline hematologic and plasma biochemistry values, and exposure to heavy metals (cadmium, lead, and mercury), organochlorine contaminants, and domoic acid. We compared hematologic values of foraging Pacific leatherbacks with their nesting counterparts in Papua New Guinea (n=11) and with other nesting populations in the Eastern Pacific in Costa Rica (n=8) and in the Atlantic in St. Croix (n=12). This study provides the most comprehensive assessment to date of the health status of leatherbacks in the Pacific. We found significant differences in blood values between foraging and nesting leatherbacks, which suggests that health assessment studies conducted only on nesting females might not accurately represent the whole population. The establishment of baseline physiologic data and blood values for healthy foraging leatherback turtles, including males, provides valuable data for long-term health monitoring and comparative studies of this endangered population.

  1. Comparative health assessment of Western Pacific leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) foraging off the coast of California, 2005-2007.

    PubMed

    Harris, Heather S; Benson, Scott R; Gilardi, Kirsten V; Poppenga, Robert H; Work, Thierry M; Dutton, Peter H; Mazet, Jonna A K

    2011-04-01

    Leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) are critically endangered, primarily threatened by the overharvesting of eggs, fisheries entanglement, and coastal development. The Pacific leatherback population has experienced a catastrophic decline over the past two decades. Leatherbacks foraging off the coast of California are part of a distinct Western Pacific breeding stock that nests on beaches in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands. Although it has been proposed that the rapid decline of Pacific leatherback turtles is due to increased adult mortality, little is known about the health of this population. Health assessments in leatherbacks have examined females on nesting beaches, which provides valuable biological information, but might have limited applicability to the population as a whole. During September 2005 and 2007, we conducted physical examinations on 19 foraging Pacific leatherback turtles and measured normal physiologic parameters, baseline hematologic and plasma biochemistry values, and exposure to heavy metals (cadmium, lead, and mercury), organochlorine contaminants, and domoic acid. We compared hematologic values of foraging Pacific leatherbacks with their nesting counterparts in Papua New Guinea (n=11) and with other nesting populations in the Eastern Pacific in Costa Rica (n=8) and in the Atlantic in St. Croix (n=12). This study provides the most comprehensive assessment to date of the health status of leatherbacks in the Pacific. We found significant differences in blood values between foraging and nesting leatherbacks, which suggests that health assessment studies conducted only on nesting females might not accurately represent the whole population. The establishment of baseline physiologic data and blood values for healthy foraging leatherback turtles, including males, provides valuable data for long-term health monitoring and comparative studies of this endangered population. PMID:21441185

  2. Comparative health assessment of Western Pacific leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) foraging off the coast of California, 2005-2007.

    PubMed

    Harris, Heather S; Benson, Scott R; Gilardi, Kirsten V; Poppenga, Robert H; Work, Thierry M; Dutton, Peter H; Mazet, Jonna A K

    2011-04-01

    Leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) are critically endangered, primarily threatened by the overharvesting of eggs, fisheries entanglement, and coastal development. The Pacific leatherback population has experienced a catastrophic decline over the past two decades. Leatherbacks foraging off the coast of California are part of a distinct Western Pacific breeding stock that nests on beaches in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands. Although it has been proposed that the rapid decline of Pacific leatherback turtles is due to increased adult mortality, little is known about the health of this population. Health assessments in leatherbacks have examined females on nesting beaches, which provides valuable biological information, but might have limited applicability to the population as a whole. During September 2005 and 2007, we conducted physical examinations on 19 foraging Pacific leatherback turtles and measured normal physiologic parameters, baseline hematologic and plasma biochemistry values, and exposure to heavy metals (cadmium, lead, and mercury), organochlorine contaminants, and domoic acid. We compared hematologic values of foraging Pacific leatherbacks with their nesting counterparts in Papua New Guinea (n=11) and with other nesting populations in the Eastern Pacific in Costa Rica (n=8) and in the Atlantic in St. Croix (n=12). This study provides the most comprehensive assessment to date of the health status of leatherbacks in the Pacific. We found significant differences in blood values between foraging and nesting leatherbacks, which suggests that health assessment studies conducted only on nesting females might not accurately represent the whole population. The establishment of baseline physiologic data and blood values for healthy foraging leatherback turtles, including males, provides valuable data for long-term health monitoring and comparative studies of this endangered population.

  3. Behaviour and buoyancy regulation in the deepest-diving reptile: the leatherback turtle.

    PubMed

    Fossette, Sabrina; Gleiss, Adrian C; Myers, Andy E; Garner, Steve; Liebsch, Nikolai; Whitney, Nicholas M; Hays, Graeme C; Wilson, Rory P; Lutcavage, Molly E

    2010-12-01

    In the face of the physical and physiological challenges of performing breath-hold deep dives, marine vertebrates have evolved different strategies. Although behavioural strategies in marine mammals and seabirds have been investigated in detail, little is known about the deepest-diving reptile - the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea). Here, we deployed tri-axial accelerometers on female leatherbacks nesting on St Croix, US Virgin Islands, to explore their diving strategy. Our results show a consistent behavioural pattern within dives among individuals, with an initial period of active swimming at relatively steep descent angles (∼-40 deg), with a stroke frequency of 0.32 Hz, followed by a gliding phase. The depth at which the gliding phase began increased with the maximum depth of the dives. In addition, descent body angles and vertical velocities were higher during deeper dives. Leatherbacks might thus regulate their inspired air-volume according to the intended dive depth, similar to hard-shelled turtles and penguins. During the ascent, turtles actively swam with a stroke frequency of 0.30 Hz but with a low vertical velocity (∼0.40 ms(-1)) and a low pitch angle (∼+26 deg). Turtles might avoid succumbing to decompression sickness ('the bends') by ascending slowly to the surface. In addition, we suggest that the low body temperature of this marine ectotherm compared with that of endotherms might help reduce the risk of bubble formation by increasing the solubility of nitrogen in the blood. This physiological advantage, coupled with several behavioural and physical adaptations, might explain the particular ecological niche the leatherback turtle occupies among marine reptiles. PMID:21075949

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

    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 hatching

  6. Post-mortem investigations on a leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea stranded along the Northern Adriatic coastline.

    PubMed

    Poppi, Lisa; Zaccaroni, Annalisa; Pasotto, Daniela; Dotto, Giorgia; Marcer, Federica; Scaravelli, Dino; Mazzariol, Sandro

    2012-08-13

    Leatherback sea turtles Dermochelys coriacea are regularly reported in the Mediterranean Sea but rarely reach the northern Adriatic Sea. In the summer of 2009, a well-preserved carcass of an adult female of this species was found dead along the coast of Lido di Venezia. A complete necropsy was carried out, along with evaluation of levels of tissue trace elements. The the post-mortem revealed acute severe bacterial gastroenteritis caused by Photobacterium damselae ssp. piscicida, an opportunistic agent that infected an apparently debilitated animal weakened by ingested plastic debris. High levels of heavy metals (Hg, Pb, Cd and As) found in the liver and kidneys might have contributed to the animal's demise. These findings support previous indications that marine debris is one of the major threats to marine animals, particularly for critically endangered species such as the leatherback turtle.

  7. Hydrodynamic role of longitudinal dorsal ridges in a leatherback turtle swimming

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) are known to have a superior diving ability and be highly adapted to pelagic swimming. They have five longitudinal ridges on their carapace. Although it was conjectured that these ridges might be an adaptation for flow control, no rigorous study has been performed to understand their hydrodynamic roles. Here we show that these ridges are slightly misaligned to the streamlines around the body to generate streamwise vortices, and suppress or delay flow separation on the carapace, resulting in enhanced hydrodynamic performances during different modes of swimming. Our results suggest that shapes of some morphological features of living creatures, like the longitudinal ridges of the leatherback turtles, need not be streamlined for excellent hydro- or aerodynamic performances, contrary to our common physical intuition. PMID:27694826

  8. Hydrodynamic role of longitudinal dorsal ridges in a leatherback turtle swimming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-10-01

    Leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) are known to have a superior diving ability and be highly adapted to pelagic swimming. They have five longitudinal ridges on their carapace. Although it was conjectured that these ridges might be an adaptation for flow control, no rigorous study has been performed to understand their hydrodynamic roles. Here we show that these ridges are slightly misaligned to the streamlines around the body to generate streamwise vortices, and suppress or delay flow separation on the carapace, resulting in enhanced hydrodynamic performances during different modes of swimming. Our results suggest that shapes of some morphological features of living creatures, like the longitudinal ridges of the leatherback turtles, need not be streamlined for excellent hydro- or aerodynamic performances, contrary to our common physical intuition.

  9. Post-mortem investigations on a leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea stranded along the Northern Adriatic coastline.

    PubMed

    Poppi, Lisa; Zaccaroni, Annalisa; Pasotto, Daniela; Dotto, Giorgia; Marcer, Federica; Scaravelli, Dino; Mazzariol, Sandro

    2012-08-13

    Leatherback sea turtles Dermochelys coriacea are regularly reported in the Mediterranean Sea but rarely reach the northern Adriatic Sea. In the summer of 2009, a well-preserved carcass of an adult female of this species was found dead along the coast of Lido di Venezia. A complete necropsy was carried out, along with evaluation of levels of tissue trace elements. The the post-mortem revealed acute severe bacterial gastroenteritis caused by Photobacterium damselae ssp. piscicida, an opportunistic agent that infected an apparently debilitated animal weakened by ingested plastic debris. High levels of heavy metals (Hg, Pb, Cd and As) found in the liver and kidneys might have contributed to the animal's demise. These findings support previous indications that marine debris is one of the major threats to marine animals, particularly for critically endangered species such as the leatherback turtle. PMID:22885515

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:22021044

  12. Leatherback turtles are capital breeders: morphometric and physiological evidence from longitudinal monitoring.

    PubMed

    Plot, Virginie; Jenkins, Thomas; Robin, Jean-Patrice; Fossette, Sabrina; Georges, Jean-Yves

    2013-01-01

    Organisms compensate for reproduction costs through two major strategies: capital breeders store body reserves before reproduction and do not feed during the breeding season, whereas income breeders adjust their food intake depending on concurrent reproductive needs. Sea turtles are commonly considered capital breeders. Yet recent biometric and behavioral studies have suggested that sea turtles may in fact feed during reproduction. We tested this hypothesis in the leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea, nesting in French Guiana. Our study is based on the innovative use of longitudinal monitoring for morphological (body size, body mass, and body condition) and physiological (plasma glucose, triacylglycerides, urea, calcium, and hematocrit) measurements in 35 females throughout the 2006 nesting season. During their 71-d nesting period, leatherbacks lost a mean (±SE) of [Formula: see text] kg (i.e., ∼11% of their initial body mass of [Formula: see text] kg). Simultaneously, a significant decrease in plasma concentrations of glucose, triacylglycerides, and urea was observed throughout the nesting season, following typical patterns reported in other long-fasting animals that rely on lipid body stores. At the end of the nesting season, the interindividual variability in plasma concentrations was very low, which may characterize some minimum thresholds associated with the end of reproduction. We also identified a minimum necessary threshold for female body condition at the onset of reproduction; the body condition of any females beginning the nesting period below this threshold decreased dramatically. This study makes a compelling case that, in French Guiana, gravid leatherback females are anorexic during the nesting season (i.e., leatherback turtles are capital breeders). We further highlight the mechanisms that prevent this multiparous reptile from jeopardizing its own body condition while not feeding during reproduction. PMID:23799833

  13. Embryonic death is linked to maternal identity in the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea).

    PubMed

    Rafferty, Anthony R; Santidrián Tomillo, Pilar; Spotila, James R; Paladino, Frank V; Reina, Richard D

    2011-01-01

    Leatherback turtles have an average global hatching success rate of ~50%, lower than other marine turtle species. Embryonic death has been linked to environmental factors such as precipitation and temperature, although, there is still a lot of variability that remains to be explained. We examined how nesting season, the time of nesting each season, the relative position of each clutch laid by each female each season, maternal identity and associated factors such as reproductive experience of the female (new nester versus remigrant) and period of egg retention between clutches (interclutch interval) affected hatching success and stage of embryonic death in failed eggs of leatherback turtles nesting at Playa Grande, Costa Rica. Data were collected during five nesting seasons from 2004/05 to 2008/09. Mean hatching success was 50.4%. Nesting season significantly influenced hatching success in addition to early and late stage embryonic death. Neither clutch position nor nesting time during the season had a significant affect on hatching success or the stage of embryonic death. Some leatherback females consistently produced nests with higher hatching success rates than others. Remigrant females arrived earlier to nest, produced more clutches and had higher rates of hatching success than new nesters. Reproductive experience did not affect stage of death or the duration of the interclutch interval. The length of interclutch interval had a significant affect on the proportion of eggs that failed in each clutch and the developmental stage they died at. Intrinsic factors such as maternal identity are playing a role in affecting embryonic death in the leatherback turtle. PMID:21695086

  14. 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

  15. Tracking leatherback turtles from the world's largest rookery: assessing threats across the South Atlantic.

    PubMed

    Witt, Matthew J; Augowet Bonguno, Eric; Broderick, Annette C; Coyne, Michael S; Formia, Angela; Gibudi, Alain; Mounguengui Mounguengui, Gil Avery; Moussounda, Carine; NSafou, Monique; Nougessono, Solange; Parnell, Richard J; Sounguet, Guy-Philippe; Verhage, Sebastian; Godley, Brendan J

    2011-08-01

    Despite extensive work carried out on leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) in the North Atlantic and Indo-Pacific, very little is known of the at-sea distribution of this species in the South Atlantic, where the world's largest population nests in Gabon (central Africa). This paucity of data is of marked concern given the pace of industrialization in fisheries with demonstrable marine turtle bycatch in African/Latin American waters. We tracked the movements of 25 adult female leatherback turtles obtaining a range of fundamental and applied insights, including indications for methodological advancement. Individuals could be assigned to one of three dispersal strategies, moving to (i) habitats of the equatorial Atlantic, (ii) temperate habitats off South America or (iii) temperate habitats off southern Africa. While occupying regions with high surface chlorophyll concentrations, these strategies exposed turtles to some of the world's highest levels of longline fishing effort, in addition to areas with coastal gillnet fisheries. Satellite tracking highlighted that at least 11 nations should be involved in the conservation of this species in addition to those with distant fishing fleets. The majority of tracking days were, however, spent in the high seas, where effective implementation of conservation efforts is complex to achieve. PMID:21208949

  16. Core and body surface temperatures of nesting leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea).

    PubMed

    Burns, Thomas J; McCafferty, Dominic J; Kennedy, Malcolm W

    2015-07-01

    Leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) are the largest species of marine turtle and the fourth most massive extant reptile. In temperate waters they maintain body temperatures higher than surrounding seawater through a combination of insulation, physiological, and behavioural adaptations. Nesting involves physical activity in addition to contact with warm sand and air, potentially presenting thermal challenges in the absence of the cooling effect of water, and data are lacking with which to understand their nesting thermal biology. Using non-contact methods (thermal imaging and infrared thermometry) to avoid any stress-related effects, we investigated core and surface temperature during nesting. The mean±SE core temperature was 31.4±0.05°C (newly emerged eggs) and was not correlated with environmental conditions on the nesting beach. Core temperature of leatherbacks was greater than that of hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) nesting at a nearby colony, 30.0±0.13°C. Body surface temperatures of leatherbacks showed regional variation, the lateral and dorsal regions of the head were warmest while the carapace was the coolest surface. Surface temperature increased during the early nesting phases, then levelled off or decreased during later phases with the rates of change varying between body regions. Body region, behavioural phase of nesting and air temperature were found to be the best predictors of surface temperature. Regional variation in surface temperature were likely due to alterations in blood supply, and temporal changes in local muscular activity of flippers during the different phases of nesting. Heat exchange from the upper surface of the turtle was dominated by radiative heat loss from all body regions and small convective heat gains to the carapace and front flippers. PMID:25965013

  17. Core and body surface temperatures of nesting leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea).

    PubMed

    Burns, Thomas J; McCafferty, Dominic J; Kennedy, Malcolm W

    2015-07-01

    Leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) are the largest species of marine turtle and the fourth most massive extant reptile. In temperate waters they maintain body temperatures higher than surrounding seawater through a combination of insulation, physiological, and behavioural adaptations. Nesting involves physical activity in addition to contact with warm sand and air, potentially presenting thermal challenges in the absence of the cooling effect of water, and data are lacking with which to understand their nesting thermal biology. Using non-contact methods (thermal imaging and infrared thermometry) to avoid any stress-related effects, we investigated core and surface temperature during nesting. The mean±SE core temperature was 31.4±0.05°C (newly emerged eggs) and was not correlated with environmental conditions on the nesting beach. Core temperature of leatherbacks was greater than that of hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) nesting at a nearby colony, 30.0±0.13°C. Body surface temperatures of leatherbacks showed regional variation, the lateral and dorsal regions of the head were warmest while the carapace was the coolest surface. Surface temperature increased during the early nesting phases, then levelled off or decreased during later phases with the rates of change varying between body regions. Body region, behavioural phase of nesting and air temperature were found to be the best predictors of surface temperature. Regional variation in surface temperature were likely due to alterations in blood supply, and temporal changes in local muscular activity of flippers during the different phases of nesting. Heat exchange from the upper surface of the turtle was dominated by radiative heat loss from all body regions and small convective heat gains to the carapace and front flippers.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2005-01-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

    Leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) undergo substantial cyclical changes in body condition between foraging and nesting. Ultrasonography has been used to measure subcutaneous fat as an indicator of body condition in many species but has not been applied in sea turtles. To validate this technique in leatherback turtles, ultrasound images were obtained from 36 live-captured and dead-stranded immature and adult turtles from foraging and nesting areas in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Ultrasound measurements were compared with direct measurements from surgical biopsy or necropsy. Tissue architecture was confirmed histologically in a subset of turtles. The dorsal shoulder region provided the best site for differentiation of tissues. Maximum fat depth values with the front flipper in a neutral (45-90°) position demonstrated good correlation with direct measurements. Ultrasound-derived fat measurements may be used in the future for quantitative assessment of body condition as an index of health in this critically endangered species. PMID:27010287

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Climate Driven Egg and Hatchling Mortality Threatens Survival of Eastern Pacific Leatherback Turtles

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Egg-burying reptiles need relatively stable temperature and humidity in the substrate surrounding their eggs for successful development and hatchling emergence. Here we show that egg and hatchling mortality of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) in northwest Costa Rica were affected by climatic variability (precipitation and air temperature) driven by the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Drier and warmer conditions associated with El Niño increased egg and hatchling mortality. The fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projects a warming and drying in Central America and other regions of the World, under the SRES A2 development scenario. Using projections from an ensemble of global climate models contributed to the IPCC report, we project that egg and hatchling survival will rapidly decline in the region over the next 100 years by ∼50–60%, due to warming and drying in northwestern Costa Rica, threatening the survival of leatherback turtles. Warming and drying trends may also threaten the survival of sea turtles in other areas affected by similar climate changes. PMID:22649544

  5. Monitoring persistent organic pollutants in leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) confirms maternal transfer.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Kelly R; Keller, Jennifer M; Templeton, Ryan; Kucklick, John R; Johnson, Chris

    2011-07-01

    To assess threats to endangered species, it is critical to establish baselines for contaminant concentrations that may have detrimental consequences to individuals or populations. We measured contaminants in blubber and fat from dead leatherback turtles and established baselines in blood and eggs in nesting turtles. In fat, blubber, blood and eggs, the predominant PCBs were 153+132, 187+182, 138+163, 118, and 180+193. Total PCBs, 4,4'-DDE, total PBDEs and total chlordanes were significantly and positively correlated between blood and eggs, suggesting maternal transfer. Significant positive relationships also existed between fat and blubber in stranded leatherbacks. Less lipophilic PCBs appeared to more readily transfer from females to their eggs. PBDE profiles in the four tissues were similar to other wildlife populations but different from some turtle studies. Concentrations were lower than those shown to have acute toxic effects in other aquatic reptiles, but may have sub-lethal effects on hatchling body condition and health. PMID:21612801

  6. Climate driven egg and hatchling mortality threatens survival of eastern Pacific leatherback turtles.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

    Egg-burying reptiles need relatively stable temperature and humidity in the substrate surrounding their eggs for successful development and hatchling emergence. Here we show that egg and hatchling mortality of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) in northwest Costa Rica were affected by climatic variability (precipitation and air temperature) driven by the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Drier and warmer conditions associated with El Niño increased egg and hatchling mortality. The fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projects a warming and drying in Central America and other regions of the World, under the SRES A2 development scenario. Using projections from an ensemble of global climate models contributed to the IPCC report, we project that egg and hatchling survival will rapidly decline in the region over the next 100 years by ∼50-60%, due to warming and drying in northwestern Costa Rica, threatening the survival of leatherback turtles. Warming and drying trends may also threaten the survival of sea turtles in other areas affected by similar climate changes. PMID:22649544

  7. 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. PMID:19901372

  8. Genetic diversity and origin of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) from the Brazilian coast.

    PubMed

    Vargas, Sarah M; Araújo, Flávia C F; Monteiro, Danielle S; Estima, Sérgio C; Almeida, Antônio P; Soares, Luciano S; Santos, Fabrício R

    2008-01-01

    The leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) population that nests in Brazil is restricted to a few individuals, but high densities of pelagic individuals are observed along the southern and southeastern Brazilian coast. We investigated the diversity of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region in order to understand the relationship between nesting and pelagic leatherbacks from Brazil and elsewhere. High-quality 711-bp sequences were generated, analyzed, and compared with published data from worldwide populations. We detected the presence of shared haplotypes between nesting and pelagic aggregates from Brazil, as well as haplotypes shared with other nesting areas from the Atlantic and Pacific. Furthermore, the use of longer control region sequences allowed the subdivision of the common Atlantic haplotype A into 3 different haplotypes (A1, A3, and A4), thus improving the resolution of mtDNA-based leatherback phylogeography. The use of longer sequences partially supported a closer association between nesting and pelagic individuals from Brazil and pointed to a complex origin for the pelagic individuals in the Brazilian coast. PMID:18252731

  9. Fat head: an analysis of head and neck insulation in the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea).

    PubMed

    Davenport, John; Fraher, John; Fitzgerald, Edward; McLaughlin, Patrick; Doyle, Tom; Harman, Luke; Cuffe, Tracy

    2009-09-01

    Adult leatherback turtles are gigantothermic/endothermic when foraging in cool temperate waters, maintaining a core body temperature within the main body cavity of ca. 25 degrees C despite encountering surface temperatures of ca. 15 degrees C and temperatures as low as 0.4 degrees C during dives. Leatherbacks also eat very large quantities of cold, gelatinous prey (medusae and pyrosomas). We hypothesised that the head and neck of the leatherback would have structural features to minimise cephalic heat loss and limit cooling of the head and neck during food ingestion. By gross dissection and analytical computed tomography (validated by ground truthing dissection) of an embalmed specimen we confirmed this prediction. 21% of the head and neck was occupied by adipose tissue. This occurred as intracranial blubber, encapsulating the salt glands, medial portions of the eyeballs, plus the neurocranium and brain. The dorsal and lateral surfaces of the neck featured thick blubber pads whereas the carotid arteries and jugular veins were deeply buried in the neck and protected laterally by blubber. The oesophagus was surrounded by a thick sheath of adipose tissue whereas the oropharyngeal cavity had an adipose layer between it and the bony proportion of the palate, providing further ventral insulation for salt glands and neurocranium. PMID:19684207

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

  11. Unique characteristics of the trachea of the juvenile leatherback turtle facilitate feeding, diving and endothermy

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Davenport, John; Jones, T. Todd; Work, Thierry M.; Balazs, George H.

    2014-01-01

    The adult leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea overlaps in body size (300–500 kg) with many marine mammals, yet develops from a 50 g hatchling. Adults can dive deeper than 1200 m and have core body temperatures of 25 °C; hatchlings are near-surface dwellers. Juvenile leatherbacks have rarely been studied; here we present anatomical information for the upper respiratory tract of 3 turtles (66.7–83.0 cm straight carapace length; 33.2–53.4 kg body mass) incidentally captured by long-line fisheries. Combined with existing information from adults and hatchlings, our data show that there is an ontogenic shift in tracheal structure, with cartilaginous rings becoming broader and eventually fusing anteriorly. This ontogenic shift during independent existence is unique among extant deep-diving air breathing vertebrates. Tract wall thickness is graded, becoming progressively thinner from larynx to bronchi. In addition, cross-sectional shape becomes increasingly dorsoventrally flattened (more elliptical) from anterior to posterior. These characteristics ensure that the tract will collapse from posterior to anterior during dives. This study contains the first report of a double (= internally bifurcated) posterior section of the trachea; it is suggested that this allows continuous food movement along the esophagus without tracheal collapse. The whole upper respiratory tract (from larynx to lungs) has a vascular lining (thicker anteriorly than posteriorly) that appears to be a simple analog of the complex turbinates of birds and mammals. Our study confirmed that the leatherback tracheal structure represents a distinctive way of dealing with the challenges of diving in deep, cold sea water.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

  13. Global analysis of the effect of local climate on the hatchling output of leatherback turtles

    PubMed Central

    Santidrián Tomillo, Pilar; Saba, Vincent S.; Lombard, Claudia D.; Valiulis, Jennifer M.; Robinson, Nathan J.; Paladino, Frank V.; Spotila, James R.; Fernández, Carlos; Rivas, Marga L.; Tucek, Jenny; Nel, Ronel; Oro, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    The most recent climate change projections show a global increase in temperatures along with precipitation changes throughout the 21st century. However, regional projections do not always match global projections and species with global distributions may exhibit varying regional susceptibility to climate change. Here we show the effect of local climatic conditions on the hatchling output of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) at four nesting sites encompassing the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans. We found a heterogeneous effect of climate. Hatchling output increased with long-term precipitation in areas with dry climatic conditions (Playa Grande, Pacific Ocean and Sandy Point, Caribbean Sea), but the effect varied in areas where precipitation was high (Pacuare, Caribbean Sea) and was not detected at the temperate site (Maputaland, Indian Ocean). High air temperature reduced hatchling output only at the area experiencing seasonal droughts (Playa Grande). Climatic projections showed a drastic increase in air temperature and a mild decrease in precipitation at all sites by 2100. The most unfavorable conditions were projected for Sandy Point where hatching success has already declined over time along with precipitation levels. The heterogeneous effect of climate may lead to local extinctions of leatherback turtles in some areas but survival in others by 2100. PMID:26572897

  14. Global analysis of the effect of local climate on the hatchling output of leatherback turtles.

    PubMed

    Santidrián Tomillo, Pilar; Saba, Vincent S; Lombard, Claudia D; Valiulis, Jennifer M; Robinson, Nathan J; Paladino, Frank V; Spotila, James R; Fernández, Carlos; Rivas, Marga L; Tucek, Jenny; Nel, Ronel; Oro, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    The most recent climate change projections show a global increase in temperatures along with precipitation changes throughout the 21(st) century. However, regional projections do not always match global projections and species with global distributions may exhibit varying regional susceptibility to climate change. Here we show the effect of local climatic conditions on the hatchling output of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) at four nesting sites encompassing the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans. We found a heterogeneous effect of climate. Hatchling output increased with long-term precipitation in areas with dry climatic conditions (Playa Grande, Pacific Ocean and Sandy Point, Caribbean Sea), but the effect varied in areas where precipitation was high (Pacuare, Caribbean Sea) and was not detected at the temperate site (Maputaland, Indian Ocean). High air temperature reduced hatchling output only at the area experiencing seasonal droughts (Playa Grande). Climatic projections showed a drastic increase in air temperature and a mild decrease in precipitation at all sites by 2100. The most unfavorable conditions were projected for Sandy Point where hatching success has already declined over time along with precipitation levels. The heterogeneous effect of climate may lead to local extinctions of leatherback turtles in some areas but survival in others by 2100. PMID:26572897

  15. Maternal transfer of chlorinated contaminants in the leatherback turtles, Dermochelys coriacea, nesting in French Guiana.

    PubMed

    Guirlet, Elodie; Das, Krishna; Thomé, Jean-Pierre; Girondot, Marc

    2010-04-01

    We examined the maternal transfer of organochlorine contaminants (OCs), pesticides (DDTS and HCHs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and the temporal variation of blood and eggs concentrations from 38 leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) nesting in French Guiana. PCBs were found to be the dominant OCs with respective mean concentrations of 55.14 ng g(-1) lipid-mass for egg and 1.26 ng mL(-1) wet-mass for blood. OC concentrations were lower than concentrations measured in other marine turtles which might be due to the lower trophic position (diet based on gelatinous zooplankton) and to the location of their foraging and nesting grounds. All OCs detected in leatherback blood were detected in eggs, suggesting a maternal transfer of OCs. This transfer was shown to depend on female blood concentration for SigmaDDTs and for the most prevalent PCB congeners, since significant relationships were found between paired blood-egg concentrations. During the nesting season, OC concentrations in eggs and the percentage of lipid in eggs were found to decline in successive clutches, highlighting a process of offloading from females to their eggs and a decreasing investment of lipid from females into their clutches. OCs in eggs tended to be higher in females spending 3 years in the foraging grounds between two nesting seasons than in those spending 2 years, suggesting an impact of time spacing two breeding seasons, called remigration interval, and of location of the foraging grounds. PMID:20362323

  16. Global analysis of the effect of local climate on the hatchling output of leatherback turtles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santidrián Tomillo, Pilar; Saba, Vincent S.; Lombard, Claudia D.; Valiulis, Jennifer M.; Robinson, Nathan J.; Paladino, Frank V.; Spotila, James R.; Fernández, Carlos; Rivas, Marga L.; Tucek, Jenny; Nel, Ronel; Oro, Daniel

    2015-11-01

    The most recent climate change projections show a global increase in temperatures along with precipitation changes throughout the 21st century. However, regional projections do not always match global projections and species with global distributions may exhibit varying regional susceptibility to climate change. Here we show the effect of local climatic conditions on the hatchling output of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) at four nesting sites encompassing the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans. We found a heterogeneous effect of climate. Hatchling output increased with long-term precipitation in areas with dry climatic conditions (Playa Grande, Pacific Ocean and Sandy Point, Caribbean Sea), but the effect varied in areas where precipitation was high (Pacuare, Caribbean Sea) and was not detected at the temperate site (Maputaland, Indian Ocean). High air temperature reduced hatchling output only at the area experiencing seasonal droughts (Playa Grande). Climatic projections showed a drastic increase in air temperature and a mild decrease in precipitation at all sites by 2100. The most unfavorable conditions were projected for Sandy Point where hatching success has already declined over time along with precipitation levels. The heterogeneous effect of climate may lead to local extinctions of leatherback turtles in some areas but survival in others by 2100.

  17. Global analysis of the effect of local climate on the hatchling output of leatherback turtles.

    PubMed

    Santidrián Tomillo, Pilar; Saba, Vincent S; Lombard, Claudia D; Valiulis, Jennifer M; Robinson, Nathan J; Paladino, Frank V; Spotila, James R; Fernández, Carlos; Rivas, Marga L; Tucek, Jenny; Nel, Ronel; Oro, Daniel

    2015-11-17

    The most recent climate change projections show a global increase in temperatures along with precipitation changes throughout the 21(st) century. However, regional projections do not always match global projections and species with global distributions may exhibit varying regional susceptibility to climate change. Here we show the effect of local climatic conditions on the hatchling output of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) at four nesting sites encompassing the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans. We found a heterogeneous effect of climate. Hatchling output increased with long-term precipitation in areas with dry climatic conditions (Playa Grande, Pacific Ocean and Sandy Point, Caribbean Sea), but the effect varied in areas where precipitation was high (Pacuare, Caribbean Sea) and was not detected at the temperate site (Maputaland, Indian Ocean). High air temperature reduced hatchling output only at the area experiencing seasonal droughts (Playa Grande). Climatic projections showed a drastic increase in air temperature and a mild decrease in precipitation at all sites by 2100. The most unfavorable conditions were projected for Sandy Point where hatching success has already declined over time along with precipitation levels. The heterogeneous effect of climate may lead to local extinctions of leatherback turtles in some areas but survival in others by 2100.

  18. Dive and beak movement patterns in leatherback turtles Dermochelys coriacea during internesting intervals in French Guiana.

    PubMed

    Fossette, Sabrina; Gaspar, Philippe; Handrich, Yves; Le Maho, Yvon; Georges, Jean-Yves

    2008-03-01

    1. Investigating the foraging patterns of free-ranging species is essential to estimate energy/time budgets for assessing their real reproductive strategy. Leatherback turtles Dermochelys coriacea (Vandelli 1761), commonly considered as capital breeders, have been reported recently to prospect actively during the breeding season in French Guiana, Atlantic Ocean. In this study we investigate the possibility of this active behaviour being associated with foraging, by studying concurrently diving and beak movement patterns in gravid females equipped with IMASEN (Inter-MAndibular Angle SENsor). 2. Four turtles provided data for periods varying from 7.3 to 56.1 h while exhibiting continuous short and shallow benthic dives. Beak movement ('b-m') events occurred in 34% of the dives, on average 1.8 +/- 1.4 times per dive. These b-m events lasted between 1.5 and 20 s and occurred as isolated or grouped (two to five consecutive beak movements) events in 96.0 +/- 4.0% of the recorded cases, and to a lesser extent in series (> five consecutive beak movements). 3. Most b-m events occurred during wiggles at the bottom of U- and W-shaped dives and at the beginning and end of the bottom phase of the dives. W-shaped dives were associated most frequently with beak movements (65% of such dives) and in particular with grouped beak movements. 4. Previous studies proposed wiggles to be indicator of predatory activity, U- and W-shaped dives being putative foraging dives. Beak movements recorded in leatherbacks during the first hours of their internesting interval in French Guiana may be related to feeding attempts. 5. In French Guiana, leatherbacks show different mouth-opening patterns for different dive patterns, suggesting that they forage opportunistically on occasional prey, with up to 17% of the dives appearing to be successful feeding dives. 6. This study highlights the contrasted strategies adopted by gravid leatherbacks nesting on the Pacific coasts of Costa Rica, in the deep

  19. Assignment tests, telemetry and tag-recapture data converge to identify natal origins of leatherback turtles foraging in Atlantic Canadian waters.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Kelly R; James, Michael C; Roden, Suzanne; Dutton, Peter H

    2013-07-01

    Investigating migratory connectivity between breeding and foraging areas is critical to effective management and conservation of highly mobile marine taxa, particularly threatened, endangered, or economically important species that cross through regional, national and international boundaries. The leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea, Vandelli 1761) is one such transboundary species that spends time at breeding areas at low latitudes in the northwest Atlantic during spring and summer. From there, they migrate widely throughout the North Atlantic, but many show fidelity to one region off eastern Canada, where critical foraging habitat has been proposed. Our goal was to identify nesting beach origins for turtles foraging here. Using genetics, we identified natal beaches for 288 turtles that were live-captured off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada. Turtles were sampled (skin or blood) and genotyped using 17 polymorphic microsatellite markers. Results from three assignment testing programs (ONCOR, GeneClass2 and Structure) were compared. Our nesting population reference data set included 1417 individuals from nine Atlantic nesting assemblages. A supplementary data set for 83 foraging turtles traced to nesting beaches using flipper tags and/or PIT tags (n = 72), or inferred from satellite telemetry (n = 11), enabled ground-truthing of the assignments. We first assigned turtles using only genetic information and then used the supplementary recapture information to verify assignments. ONCOR performed best, assigning 64 of the 83 recaptured turtles to natal beaches (77·1%). Turtles assigned to Trinidad (164), French Guiana (72), Costa Rica (44), St. Croix (7), and Florida (1) reflect the relative size of those nesting populations, although none of the turtles were assigned to four other potential source nesting assemblages. Our results demonstrate the utility of genetic approaches for determining source populations of foraging marine animals and include the first

  20. Assignment tests, telemetry and tag-recapture data converge to identify natal origins of leatherback turtles foraging in Atlantic Canadian waters.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Kelly R; James, Michael C; Roden, Suzanne; Dutton, Peter H

    2013-07-01

    Investigating migratory connectivity between breeding and foraging areas is critical to effective management and conservation of highly mobile marine taxa, particularly threatened, endangered, or economically important species that cross through regional, national and international boundaries. The leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea, Vandelli 1761) is one such transboundary species that spends time at breeding areas at low latitudes in the northwest Atlantic during spring and summer. From there, they migrate widely throughout the North Atlantic, but many show fidelity to one region off eastern Canada, where critical foraging habitat has been proposed. Our goal was to identify nesting beach origins for turtles foraging here. Using genetics, we identified natal beaches for 288 turtles that were live-captured off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada. Turtles were sampled (skin or blood) and genotyped using 17 polymorphic microsatellite markers. Results from three assignment testing programs (ONCOR, GeneClass2 and Structure) were compared. Our nesting population reference data set included 1417 individuals from nine Atlantic nesting assemblages. A supplementary data set for 83 foraging turtles traced to nesting beaches using flipper tags and/or PIT tags (n = 72), or inferred from satellite telemetry (n = 11), enabled ground-truthing of the assignments. We first assigned turtles using only genetic information and then used the supplementary recapture information to verify assignments. ONCOR performed best, assigning 64 of the 83 recaptured turtles to natal beaches (77·1%). Turtles assigned to Trinidad (164), French Guiana (72), Costa Rica (44), St. Croix (7), and Florida (1) reflect the relative size of those nesting populations, although none of the turtles were assigned to four other potential source nesting assemblages. Our results demonstrate the utility of genetic approaches for determining source populations of foraging marine animals and include the first

  1. Pan-Atlantic analysis of the overlap of a highly migratory species, the leatherback turtle, with pelagic longline fisheries

    PubMed Central

    Fossette, S.; Witt, M. J.; Miller, P.; Nalovic, M. A.; Albareda, D.; Almeida, A. P.; Broderick, A. C.; Chacón-Chaverri, D.; Coyne, M. S.; Domingo, A.; Eckert, S.; Evans, D.; Fallabrino, A.; Ferraroli, S.; Formia, A.; Giffoni, B.; Hays, G. C.; Hughes, G.; Kelle, L.; Leslie, A.; López-Mendilaharsu, M.; Luschi, P.; Prosdocimi, L.; Rodriguez-Heredia, S.; Turny, A.; Verhage, S.; Godley, B. J.

    2014-01-01

    Large oceanic migrants play important roles in ecosystems, yet many species are of conservation concern as a result of anthropogenic threats, of which incidental capture by fisheries is frequently identified. The last large populations of the leatherback turtle, Dermochelys coriacea, occur in the Atlantic Ocean, but interactions with industrial fisheries could jeopardize recent positive population trends, making bycatch mitigation a priority. Here, we perform the first pan-Atlantic analysis of spatio-temporal distribution of the leatherback turtle and ascertain overlap with longline fishing effort. Data suggest that the Atlantic probably consists of two regional management units: northern and southern (the latter including turtles breeding in South Africa). Although turtles and fisheries show highly diverse distributions, we highlight nine areas of high susceptibility to potential bycatch (four in the northern Atlantic and five in the southern/equatorial Atlantic) that are worthy of further targeted investigation and mitigation. These are reinforced by reports of leatherback bycatch at eight of these sites. International collaborative efforts are needed, especially from nations hosting regions where susceptibility to bycatch is likely to be high within their exclusive economic zone (northern Atlantic: Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania, Senegal, Spain, USA and Western Sahara; southern Atlantic: Angola, Brazil, Namibia and UK) and from nations fishing in these high-susceptibility areas, including those located in international waters. PMID:24523271

  2. Pan-atlantic analysis of the overlap of a highly migratory species, the leatherback turtle, with pelagic longline fisheries.

    PubMed

    Fossette, S; Witt, M J; Miller, P; Nalovic, M A; Albareda, D; Almeida, A P; Broderick, A C; Chacón-Chaverri, D; Coyne, M S; Domingo, A; Eckert, S; Evans, D; Fallabrino, A; Ferraroli, S; Formia, A; Giffoni, B; Hays, G C; Hughes, G; Kelle, L; Leslie, A; López-Mendilaharsu, M; Luschi, P; Prosdocimi, L; Rodriguez-Heredia, S; Turny, A; Verhage, S; Godley, B J

    2014-04-01

    Large oceanic migrants play important roles in ecosystems, yet many species are of conservation concern as a result of anthropogenic threats, of which incidental capture by fisheries is frequently identified. The last large populations of the leatherback turtle, Dermochelys coriacea, occur in the Atlantic Ocean, but interactions with industrial fisheries could jeopardize recent positive population trends, making bycatch mitigation a priority. Here, we perform the first pan-Atlantic analysis of spatio-temporal distribution of the leatherback turtle and ascertain overlap with longline fishing effort. Data suggest that the Atlantic probably consists of two regional management units: northern and southern (the latter including turtles breeding in South Africa). Although turtles and fisheries show highly diverse distributions, we highlight nine areas of high susceptibility to potential bycatch (four in the northern Atlantic and five in the southern/equatorial Atlantic) that are worthy of further targeted investigation and mitigation. These are reinforced by reports of leatherback bycatch at eight of these sites. International collaborative efforts are needed, especially from nations hosting regions where susceptibility to bycatch is likely to be high within their exclusive economic zone (northern Atlantic: Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania, Senegal, Spain, USA and Western Sahara; southern Atlantic: Angola, Brazil, Namibia and UK) and from nations fishing in these high-susceptibility areas, including those located in international waters.

  3. Pan-atlantic analysis of the overlap of a highly migratory species, the leatherback turtle, with pelagic longline fisheries.

    PubMed

    Fossette, S; Witt, M J; Miller, P; Nalovic, M A; Albareda, D; Almeida, A P; Broderick, A C; Chacón-Chaverri, D; Coyne, M S; Domingo, A; Eckert, S; Evans, D; Fallabrino, A; Ferraroli, S; Formia, A; Giffoni, B; Hays, G C; Hughes, G; Kelle, L; Leslie, A; López-Mendilaharsu, M; Luschi, P; Prosdocimi, L; Rodriguez-Heredia, S; Turny, A; Verhage, S; Godley, B J

    2014-04-01

    Large oceanic migrants play important roles in ecosystems, yet many species are of conservation concern as a result of anthropogenic threats, of which incidental capture by fisheries is frequently identified. The last large populations of the leatherback turtle, Dermochelys coriacea, occur in the Atlantic Ocean, but interactions with industrial fisheries could jeopardize recent positive population trends, making bycatch mitigation a priority. Here, we perform the first pan-Atlantic analysis of spatio-temporal distribution of the leatherback turtle and ascertain overlap with longline fishing effort. Data suggest that the Atlantic probably consists of two regional management units: northern and southern (the latter including turtles breeding in South Africa). Although turtles and fisheries show highly diverse distributions, we highlight nine areas of high susceptibility to potential bycatch (four in the northern Atlantic and five in the southern/equatorial Atlantic) that are worthy of further targeted investigation and mitigation. These are reinforced by reports of leatherback bycatch at eight of these sites. International collaborative efforts are needed, especially from nations hosting regions where susceptibility to bycatch is likely to be high within their exclusive economic zone (northern Atlantic: Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania, Senegal, Spain, USA and Western Sahara; southern Atlantic: Angola, Brazil, Namibia and UK) and from nations fishing in these high-susceptibility areas, including those located in international waters. PMID:24523271

  4. Why are hatching and emergence success low? Mercury and selenium concentrations in nesting leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) and their young in Florida.

    PubMed

    Perrault, Justin; Wyneken, Jeanette; Thompson, Larry J; Johnson, Chris; Miller, Debra L

    2011-08-01

    Leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) have low hatching and emergence success compared to other sea turtle species. Postmortem examinations of hatchlings showed degeneration of heart and skeletal muscle that was similar to that found in other neonates with selenium deficient mothers. Selenium deficiency can result from elevated concentrations of bodily mercury. Ingested mercury is detoxified by the liver through mercury-selenium compound formation. In animals persistently exposed to mercury, the liver's ability to detoxify this element may decrease, especially if dietary selenium is insufficient. We measured mercury and selenium concentrations in nesting female leatherbacks and their hatchlings from Florida and compared the levels to hatching and emergence success. Both liver selenium and the liver selenium-to-mercury ratio positively correlated with leatherback hatching and emergence success. This study provides the first evidence for the roles of mercury and selenium in explaining low reproductive success in a globally imperiled species, the leatherback sea turtle. PMID:21722926

  5. Bioenergetics and diving activity of internesting leatherback turtles Dermochelys coriacea at Parque Nacional Marino Las Baulas, Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Wallace, Bryan P; Williams, Cassondra L; Paladino, Frank V; Morreale, Stephen J; Lindstrom, R Todd; Spotila, James R

    2005-10-01

    Physiology, environment and life history demands interact to influence marine turtle bioenergetics and activity. However, metabolism and diving behavior of free-swimming marine turtles have not been measured simultaneously. Using doubly labeled water, we obtained the first field metabolic rates (FMRs; 0.20-0.74 W kg(-1)) and water fluxes (16-30% TBW day(-1), where TBW=total body water) for free-ranging marine turtles and combined these data with dive information from electronic archival tags to investigate the bioenergetics and diving activity of reproductive adult female leatherback turtles Dermochelys coriacea. Mean dive durations (7.8+/-2.4 min (+/-1 s.d.), bottom times (2.7+/-0.8 min), and percentage of time spent in water temperatures (Tw) < or =24 degrees C (9.5+/-5.7%) increased with increasing mean maximum dive depths (22.6+/-7.1 m; all P< or =0.001). The FMRs increased with longer mean dive durations, bottom times and surface intervals and increased time spent in Tw< or =24 degrees C (all r2> or =0.99). This suggests that low FMRs and activity levels, combined with shuttling between different water temperatures, could allow leatherbacks to avoid overheating while in warm tropical waters. Additionally, internesting leatherback dive durations were consistently shorter than aerobic dive limits calculated from our FMRs (11.7-44.3 min). Our results indicate that internesting female leatherbacks maintained low FMRs and activity levels, thereby spending relatively little energy while active at sea. Future studies should incorporate data on metabolic rate, dive patterns, water temperatures, and body temperatures to develop further the relationship between physiological and life history demands and marine turtle bioenergetics and activity.

  6. Mercury and selenium ingestion rates of Atlantic leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea): a cause for concern in this species?

    PubMed

    Perrault, Justin R

    2014-08-01

    Bodily accumulation of certain toxic elements can cause physiologic harm to marine organisms and be detrimental to their health and survival. The leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) is a broadly distributed marine reptile capable of consuming hundreds of kilograms of gelatinous zooplankton each day. Little is known about toxicants present in these prey items. Specifically, mercury is a known neurotoxin with no known essential function, while selenium detoxifies bodily mercury, but can be toxic at elevated concentrations. I collected 121 leatherback prey items (i.e., gelatinous zooplankton) from known leatherback foraging grounds and sampled the esophagus and stomach contents of stranded turtles. All samples were analyzed for total mercury and selenium. Additionally, two prey items and three liver samples were analyzed for methylmercury, the most toxic form of the element. Total mercury concentrations in prey items ranged from 0.2 to 17 ppb, while selenium concentrations ranged from <10 to 616 ppb; methylmercury concentrations in liver ranged from 25 to 236 ppb. Prey items had methylmercury concentrations below the limits of detection (<0.4 ppb). Hazard quotients and exposure rates indicate that leatherbacks of all life stages may be at risk for selenium toxicity. For endangered species like the leatherback, continued anthropogenic deposition of mercury and selenium into the environment is concerning, especially since bodily mercury and selenium concentrations increase as organisms age. Because leatherbacks are long-lived and have large daily prey consumption rates, mercury and selenium loads may increase to physiologically harmful levels in this imperiled species. PMID:24853722

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:23272336

  9. 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. PMID:24063110

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Frequency response characteristics of isolated retinas from hatchling leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea L.) and loggerhead (Caretta caretta L.) sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Horch, Kenneth; Salmon, Michael

    2009-04-15

    Electroretinographic recordings were made from hatchling loggerhead and leatherback sea turtle eyecup preparations during presentation of sinusoidally modulated lights of different frequencies, mean intensities and colors. Cross-correlation analysis was performed to determine the extent to which the responses followed the intensity modulated light sources. For both species mean light intensity had no significant effect on the frequency modulated responses over a 1.5 log unit range of intensities. Both species showed the best following to blue light and the poorest tracking to red light. Leatherback retinas did not follow frequencies above 10 Hz, while loggerhead responses extended out to 15 Hz. These visual low pass filter characteristics are consistent with attributes of the visual ecology of each species, as well as with the latencies and slow rise times exhibited by these retinas to brief flashes of light. PMID:19146881

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Báez, José C.; García-Barcelona, Salvador

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Topsy-turvy: Turning the counter-current heat exchange of leatherback turtles upside down

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Davenport, John; Jones, T. Todd; Work, Thierry M.; Balazs, George H.

    2015-01-01

    Counter-current heat exchangers associated with appendages of endotherms feature bundles of closely applied arteriovenous vessels. The accepted paradigm is that heat from warm arterial blood travelling into the appendage crosses into cool venous blood returning to the body. High core temperature is maintained, but the appendage functions at low temperature. Leatherback turtles have elevated core temperatures in cold seawater and arteriovenous plexuses at the roots of all four limbs. We demonstrate that plexuses of the hindlimbs are situated wholly within the hip musculature, and that, at the distal ends of the plexuses, most blood vessels supply or drain the hip muscles, with little distal vascular supply to, or drainage from the limb blades. Venous blood entering a plexus will therefore be drained from active locomotory muscles that are overlaid by thick blubber when the adults are foraging in cold temperate waters. Plexuses maintain high limb muscle temperature and avoid excessive loss of heat to the core, the reverse of the accepted paradigm. Plexuses protect the core from overheating generated by muscular thermogenesis during nesting.

  18. Topsy-turvy: turning the counter-current heat exchange of leatherback turtles upside down.

    PubMed

    Davenport, John; Jones, T Todd; Work, Thierry M; Balazs, George H

    2015-10-01

    Counter-current heat exchangers associated with appendages of endotherms feature bundles of closely applied arteriovenous vessels. The accepted paradigm is that heat from warm arterial blood travelling into the appendage crosses into cool venous blood returning to the body. High core temperature is maintained, but the appendage functions at low temperature. Leatherback turtles have elevated core temperatures in cold seawater and arteriovenous plexuses at the roots of all four limbs. We demonstrate that plexuses of the hindlimbs are situated wholly within the hip musculature, and that, at the distal ends of the plexuses, most blood vessels supply or drain the hip muscles, with little distal vascular supply to, or drainage from the limb blades. Venous blood entering a plexus will therefore be drained from active locomotory muscles that are overlaid by thick blubber when the adults are foraging in cold temperate waters. Plexuses maintain high limb muscle temperature and avoid excessive loss of heat to the core, the reverse of the accepted paradigm. Plexuses protect the core from overheating generated by muscular thermogenesis during nesting. PMID:26445982

  19. Topsy-turvy: turning the counter-current heat exchange of leatherback turtles upside down

    PubMed Central

    Davenport, John; Jones, T. Todd; Work, Thierry M.; Balazs, George H.

    2015-01-01

    Counter-current heat exchangers associated with appendages of endotherms feature bundles of closely applied arteriovenous vessels. The accepted paradigm is that heat from warm arterial blood travelling into the appendage crosses into cool venous blood returning to the body. High core temperature is maintained, but the appendage functions at low temperature. Leatherback turtles have elevated core temperatures in cold seawater and arteriovenous plexuses at the roots of all four limbs. We demonstrate that plexuses of the hindlimbs are situated wholly within the hip musculature, and that, at the distal ends of the plexuses, most blood vessels supply or drain the hip muscles, with little distal vascular supply to, or drainage from the limb blades. Venous blood entering a plexus will therefore be drained from active locomotory muscles that are overlaid by thick blubber when the adults are foraging in cold temperate waters. Plexuses maintain high limb muscle temperature and avoid excessive loss of heat to the core, the reverse of the accepted paradigm. Plexuses protect the core from overheating generated by muscular thermogenesis during nesting. PMID:26445982

  20. Mercury and selenium concentrations in leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea): population comparisons, implications for reproductive success, hazard quotients and directions for future research.

    PubMed

    Perrault, Justin R; Miller, Debra L; Garner, Jeanne; Wyneken, Jeanette

    2013-10-01

    Leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) are long-distance migrants that travel thousands of km from foraging grounds to breeding and nesting grounds. These extensive journeys are fueled by ingestion of an estimated 300-400 kg of prey/d and likely result in exposure to high concentrations of environmental toxicants (e.g., mercury compounds). Increased bodily concentrations of mercury and its compounds in nesting female turtles may have detrimental effects on reproductive success. Leatherbacks have relatively low reproductive success compared with other sea turtles (global average hatching success ~50-60%). To assess toxicants and necessary nutrients as factors affecting leatherback turtle reproductive success at Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge (SPNWR), St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, we collected blood from nesting female leatherbacks and tissues from their hatchlings (blood from live turtles, liver and yolk sac from dead turtles). We compared the concentrations in those tissues to hatching and emergence success. We found that on SPNWR, hatching and emergence success were more closely related to seasonal factors than to total mercury and selenium concentrations in both nesting females and hatchlings. Selenium concentrations of nesting females were positively correlated with those of their hatchlings. Mercury and selenium in the liver of hatchlings were positively correlated with one another. Turtles with greater remigration intervals tended to have higher blood selenium concentrations, suggesting that selenium accumulates in leatherbacks through time. Through hazard quotients, we found evidence that selenium may be at or above concentrations that may cause physiologic harm to hatchlings. We also found evidence that population level differences exist for these trace elements. The concentrations of mercury and selenium established in this manuscript form a baseline for future toxicant studies.

  1. Mercury and selenium concentrations in leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea): population comparisons, implications for reproductive success, hazard quotients and directions for future research.

    PubMed

    Perrault, Justin R; Miller, Debra L; Garner, Jeanne; Wyneken, Jeanette

    2013-10-01

    Leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) are long-distance migrants that travel thousands of km from foraging grounds to breeding and nesting grounds. These extensive journeys are fueled by ingestion of an estimated 300-400 kg of prey/d and likely result in exposure to high concentrations of environmental toxicants (e.g., mercury compounds). Increased bodily concentrations of mercury and its compounds in nesting female turtles may have detrimental effects on reproductive success. Leatherbacks have relatively low reproductive success compared with other sea turtles (global average hatching success ~50-60%). To assess toxicants and necessary nutrients as factors affecting leatherback turtle reproductive success at Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge (SPNWR), St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, we collected blood from nesting female leatherbacks and tissues from their hatchlings (blood from live turtles, liver and yolk sac from dead turtles). We compared the concentrations in those tissues to hatching and emergence success. We found that on SPNWR, hatching and emergence success were more closely related to seasonal factors than to total mercury and selenium concentrations in both nesting females and hatchlings. Selenium concentrations of nesting females were positively correlated with those of their hatchlings. Mercury and selenium in the liver of hatchlings were positively correlated with one another. Turtles with greater remigration intervals tended to have higher blood selenium concentrations, suggesting that selenium accumulates in leatherbacks through time. Through hazard quotients, we found evidence that selenium may be at or above concentrations that may cause physiologic harm to hatchlings. We also found evidence that population level differences exist for these trace elements. The concentrations of mercury and selenium established in this manuscript form a baseline for future toxicant studies. PMID:23792248

  2. [Impact of artificial light on nesting in the leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea (Testudines: Dermochelyidae) at Cipara beach, Venezuela].

    PubMed

    Rondón Médicci, María; Buitrago, Joaquín; Mccoy, Michael

    2009-09-01

    The number of Leatherback turtle nests and their spatial distribution was compared between years with and without artificial light, and between dark and lighted beach segments, in Cipara Beach, Paria Peninsula, Venezuela. Residents were interviewed to identify their perceptions about the impact of artificial light on sea turtles. Mean volume of sand per meter of beach was larger at La Peña, Cipara and La Remate and smaller at Varadero (p<0.001), increasing from April to June and later decreasing until August (p<0.05). Mean percentage of gravel was higher at Varadero and La Peña, and lower at La Remate and Cipara. Most interviewed people said that artificial light does not affect sea turtles. Between 2000 and 2005, 1,217 leatherback landings and 1,056 nests were observed. Successful nests increased with the years (p=0.035) as well as total nest number (p=0.015). From 2000 through 2003 there were 743 landings, 661 nests and 374 clutches. During the two years with electric light (2004-2005), there were 474 landings, 395 nests and 232 clutches. Proportion of landings with nest building decreased significantly during the years with electric light (p=0.005), but nesting success did not vary (p=0.402). No significant difference was found between landings per beach meter in dark and lighted sectors (p=0.244), between nests built (p=0.379) and in the rate of successful nesting (p=0.516). Dark and lighted sectors did not differ in the proportion of landings with nest building (p=0.067) and success rate (p=0.833).

  3. [Impact of artificial light on nesting in the leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea (Testudines: Dermochelyidae) at Cipara beach, Venezuela].

    PubMed

    Rondón Médicci, María; Buitrago, Joaquín; Mccoy, Michael

    2009-09-01

    The number of Leatherback turtle nests and their spatial distribution was compared between years with and without artificial light, and between dark and lighted beach segments, in Cipara Beach, Paria Peninsula, Venezuela. Residents were interviewed to identify their perceptions about the impact of artificial light on sea turtles. Mean volume of sand per meter of beach was larger at La Peña, Cipara and La Remate and smaller at Varadero (p<0.001), increasing from April to June and later decreasing until August (p<0.05). Mean percentage of gravel was higher at Varadero and La Peña, and lower at La Remate and Cipara. Most interviewed people said that artificial light does not affect sea turtles. Between 2000 and 2005, 1,217 leatherback landings and 1,056 nests were observed. Successful nests increased with the years (p=0.035) as well as total nest number (p=0.015). From 2000 through 2003 there were 743 landings, 661 nests and 374 clutches. During the two years with electric light (2004-2005), there were 474 landings, 395 nests and 232 clutches. Proportion of landings with nest building decreased significantly during the years with electric light (p=0.005), but nesting success did not vary (p=0.402). No significant difference was found between landings per beach meter in dark and lighted sectors (p=0.244), between nests built (p=0.379) and in the rate of successful nesting (p=0.516). Dark and lighted sectors did not differ in the proportion of landings with nest building (p=0.067) and success rate (p=0.833). PMID:19928451

  4. Movement Patterns for a Critically Endangered Species, the Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), Linked to Foraging Success and Population Status

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Foraging success for pelagic vertebrates may be revealed by horizontal and vertical movement patterns. We show markedly different patterns for leatherback turtles in the North Atlantic versus Eastern Pacific, which feed on gelatinous zooplankton that are only occasionally found in high densities. In the Atlantic, travel speed was characterized by two modes, indicative of high foraging success at low speeds (<15 km d−1) and transit at high speeds (20–45 km d−1). Only a single mode was evident in the Pacific, which occurred at speeds of 21 km d−1 indicative of transit. The mean dive depth was more variable in relation to latitude but closer to the mean annual depth of the thermocline and nutricline for North Atlantic than Eastern Pacific turtles. The most parsimonious explanation for these findings is that Eastern Pacific turtles rarely achieve high foraging success. This is the first support for foraging behaviour differences between populations of this critically endangered species and suggests that longer periods searching for prey may be hindering population recovery in the Pacific while aiding population maintenance in the Atlantic. PMID:22615767

  5. Shape and material characteristics of the trachea in the leatherback sea turtle promote progressive collapse and reinflation during dives.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Colm; Kelliher, Denis; Davenport, John

    2012-09-01

    The leatherback turtle regularly undertakes deep dives and has been recorded attaining depths in excess of 1200 m. Its trachea is an almost solid, elliptical-section tube of uncalcified hyaline cartilage with minimal connective tissue between successive rings. The structure appears to be advantageous for diving and perfectly designed for withstanding repeated collapse and reinflation. This study applies Boyle's law to the respiratory system (lungs, trachea and larynx) and estimates the changes in tracheal volume during a dive. These changes are subsequently compared with the results predicted by a corresponding finite element (FE) structural model, itself based on laboratory studies of the trachea of an adult turtle. Boyle's law predicts that the lungs will collapse first during the initial stages of a dive with tracheal compression beginning at much deeper depths after complete air mass expulsion from the lungs. The FE model reproduces the changes extremely well (agreeing closely with Boyle's law estimations) and provides visual representation of the deformed tracheal luminal area. Initially, the trachea compresses both ventrally and dorsally before levelling ventrally. Bulges are subsequently formed laterally and become more pronounced at deeper depths. The geometric configuration of the tracheal structure confers both homogeneity and strength upon it, which makes it extremely well suited for enduring repeated collapse and re-expansion. The structure actually promotes collapse and is an adaptation to the turtle's natural environment in which large numbers of deep dives are performed annually. PMID:22660778

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

    Foraging success for pelagic vertebrates may be revealed by horizontal and vertical movement patterns. We show markedly different patterns for leatherback turtles in the North Atlantic versus Eastern Pacific, which feed on gelatinous zooplankton that are only occasionally found in high densities. In the Atlantic, travel speed was characterized by two modes, indicative of high foraging success at low speeds (<15 km d(-1)) and transit at high speeds (20-45 km d(-1)). Only a single mode was evident in the Pacific, which occurred at speeds of 21 km d(-1) indicative of transit. The mean dive depth was more variable in relation to latitude but closer to the mean annual depth of the thermocline and nutricline for North Atlantic than Eastern Pacific turtles. The most parsimonious explanation for these findings is that Eastern Pacific turtles rarely achieve high foraging success. This is the first support for foraging behaviour differences between populations of this critically endangered species and suggests that longer periods searching for prey may be hindering population recovery in the Pacific while aiding population maintenance in the Atlantic. PMID:22615767

  7. Estimating Limit Reference Points for Western Pacific Leatherback Turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) in the U.S. West Coast EEZ.

    PubMed

    Curtis, K Alexandra; Moore, Jeffrey E; Benson, Scott R

    2015-01-01

    Biological limit reference points (LRPs) for fisheries catch represent upper bounds that avoid undesirable population states. LRPs can support consistent management evaluation among species and regions, and can advance ecosystem-based fisheries management. For transboundary species, LRPs prorated by local abundance can inform local management decisions when international coordination is lacking. We estimated LRPs for western Pacific leatherbacks in the U.S. West Coast Exclusive Economic Zone (WCEEZ) using three approaches with different types of information on local abundance. For the current application, the best-informed LRP used a local abundance estimate derived from nest counts, vital rate information, satellite tag data, and fishery observer data, and was calculated with a Potential Biological Removal estimator. Management strategy evaluation was used to set tuning parameters of the LRP estimators to satisfy risk tolerances for falling below population thresholds, and to evaluate sensitivity of population outcomes to bias in key inputs. We estimated local LRPs consistent with three hypothetical management objectives: allowing the population to rebuild to its maximum net productivity level (4.7 turtles per five years), limiting delay of population rebuilding (0.8 turtles per five years), or only preventing further decline (7.7 turtles per five years). These LRPs pertain to all human-caused removals and represent the WCEEZ contribution to meeting population management objectives within a broader international cooperative framework. We present multi-year estimates, because at low LRP values, annual assessments are prone to substantial error that can lead to volatile and costly management without providing further conservation benefit. The novel approach and the performance criteria used here are not a direct expression of the "jeopardy" standard of the U.S. Endangered Species Act, but they provide useful assessment information and could help guide international

  8. Breeding Sex Ratios in Adult Leatherback Turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) May Compensate for Female-Biased Hatchling Sex Ratios

    PubMed Central

    Stewart, Kelly R.; Dutton, Peter H.

    2014-01-01

    For vertebrates with temperature-dependent sex determination, primary (or hatchling) sex ratios are often skewed, an issue of particular relevance to concerns over effects of climate change on populations. However, the ratio of breeding males to females, or the operational sex ratio (OSR), is important to understand because it has consequences for population demographics and determines the capacity of a species to persist. The OSR also affects mating behaviors and mate choice, depending on the more abundant sex. For sea turtles, hatchling and juvenile sex ratios are generally female-biased, and with warming nesting beach temperatures, there is concern that populations may become feminized. Our purpose was to evaluate the breeding sex ratio for leatherback turtles at a nesting beach in St. Croix, USVI. In 2010, we sampled nesting females and later sampled their hatchlings as they emerged from nests. Total genomic DNA was extracted and all individuals were genotyped using 6 polymorphic microsatellite markers. We genotyped 662 hatchlings from 58 females, matching 55 females conclusively to their nests. Of the 55, 42 females mated with one male each, 9 mated with 2 males each and 4 mated with at least 3 males each, for a multiple paternity rate of 23.6%. Using GERUD1.0, we reconstructed parental genotypes, identifying 47 different males and 46 females for an estimated breeding sex ratio of 1.02 males for every female. Thus we demonstrate that there are as many actively breeding males as females in this population. Concerns about female-biased adult sex ratios may be premature, and mate choice or competition may play more of a role in sea turtle reproduction than previously thought. We recommend monitoring breeding sex ratios in the future to allow the integration of this demographic parameter in population models. PMID:24505403

  9. Breeding sex ratios in adult leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) may compensate for female-biased hatchling sex ratios.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Kelly R; Dutton, Peter H

    2014-01-01

    For vertebrates with temperature-dependent sex determination, primary (or hatchling) sex ratios are often skewed, an issue of particular relevance to concerns over effects of climate change on populations. However, the ratio of breeding males to females, or the operational sex ratio (OSR), is important to understand because it has consequences for population demographics and determines the capacity of a species to persist. The OSR also affects mating behaviors and mate choice, depending on the more abundant sex. For sea turtles, hatchling and juvenile sex ratios are generally female-biased, and with warming nesting beach temperatures, there is concern that populations may become feminized. Our purpose was to evaluate the breeding sex ratio for leatherback turtles at a nesting beach in St. Croix, USVI. In 2010, we sampled nesting females and later sampled their hatchlings as they emerged from nests. Total genomic DNA was extracted and all individuals were genotyped using 6 polymorphic microsatellite markers. We genotyped 662 hatchlings from 58 females, matching 55 females conclusively to their nests. Of the 55, 42 females mated with one male each, 9 mated with 2 males each and 4 mated with at least 3 males each, for a multiple paternity rate of 23.6%. Using GERUD1.0, we reconstructed parental genotypes, identifying 47 different males and 46 females for an estimated breeding sex ratio of 1.02 males for every female. Thus we demonstrate that there are as many actively breeding males as females in this population. Concerns about female-biased adult sex ratios may be premature, and mate choice or competition may play more of a role in sea turtle reproduction than previously thought. We recommend monitoring breeding sex ratios in the future to allow the integration of this demographic parameter in population models. PMID:24505403

  10. Estimating Limit Reference Points for Western Pacific Leatherback Turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) in the U.S. West Coast EEZ

    PubMed Central

    Curtis, K. Alexandra; Moore, Jeffrey E.; Benson, Scott R.

    2015-01-01

    Biological limit reference points (LRPs) for fisheries catch represent upper bounds that avoid undesirable population states. LRPs can support consistent management evaluation among species and regions, and can advance ecosystem-based fisheries management. For transboundary species, LRPs prorated by local abundance can inform local management decisions when international coordination is lacking. We estimated LRPs for western Pacific leatherbacks in the U.S. West Coast Exclusive Economic Zone (WCEEZ) using three approaches with different types of information on local abundance. For the current application, the best-informed LRP used a local abundance estimate derived from nest counts, vital rate information, satellite tag data, and fishery observer data, and was calculated with a Potential Biological Removal estimator. Management strategy evaluation was used to set tuning parameters of the LRP estimators to satisfy risk tolerances for falling below population thresholds, and to evaluate sensitivity of population outcomes to bias in key inputs. We estimated local LRPs consistent with three hypothetical management objectives: allowing the population to rebuild to its maximum net productivity level (4.7 turtles per five years), limiting delay of population rebuilding (0.8 turtles per five years), or only preventing further decline (7.7 turtles per five years). These LRPs pertain to all human-caused removals and represent the WCEEZ contribution to meeting population management objectives within a broader international cooperative framework. We present multi-year estimates, because at low LRP values, annual assessments are prone to substantial error that can lead to volatile and costly management without providing further conservation benefit. The novel approach and the performance criteria used here are not a direct expression of the “jeopardy” standard of the U.S. Endangered Species Act, but they provide useful assessment information and could help guide

  11. Estimating Limit Reference Points for Western Pacific Leatherback Turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) in the U.S. West Coast EEZ.

    PubMed

    Curtis, K Alexandra; Moore, Jeffrey E; Benson, Scott R

    2015-01-01

    Biological limit reference points (LRPs) for fisheries catch represent upper bounds that avoid undesirable population states. LRPs can support consistent management evaluation among species and regions, and can advance ecosystem-based fisheries management. For transboundary species, LRPs prorated by local abundance can inform local management decisions when international coordination is lacking. We estimated LRPs for western Pacific leatherbacks in the U.S. West Coast Exclusive Economic Zone (WCEEZ) using three approaches with different types of information on local abundance. For the current application, the best-informed LRP used a local abundance estimate derived from nest counts, vital rate information, satellite tag data, and fishery observer data, and was calculated with a Potential Biological Removal estimator. Management strategy evaluation was used to set tuning parameters of the LRP estimators to satisfy risk tolerances for falling below population thresholds, and to evaluate sensitivity of population outcomes to bias in key inputs. We estimated local LRPs consistent with three hypothetical management objectives: allowing the population to rebuild to its maximum net productivity level (4.7 turtles per five years), limiting delay of population rebuilding (0.8 turtles per five years), or only preventing further decline (7.7 turtles per five years). These LRPs pertain to all human-caused removals and represent the WCEEZ contribution to meeting population management objectives within a broader international cooperative framework. We present multi-year estimates, because at low LRP values, annual assessments are prone to substantial error that can lead to volatile and costly management without providing further conservation benefit. The novel approach and the performance criteria used here are not a direct expression of the "jeopardy" standard of the U.S. Endangered Species Act, but they provide useful assessment information and could help guide international

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

    PubMed

    Spanier, Matthew J

    2010-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Spanier, Matthew J

    2010-12-01

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

  14. Persistent organic pollutant levels in eggs of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) point to a decrease in hatching success.

    PubMed

    De Andrés, Eva; Gómara, Belén; González-Paredes, Daniel; Ruiz-Martín, José; Marco, Adolfo

    2016-03-01

    Sea turtles are susceptible to environmental pollution, since many harmful effects have been reported for different chemicals over the last two decades. In this context, persistent organic pollutants (POPs), such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are of particular concern due to their endocrine-disrupting nature. The aims of this study were to provide additional baseline data on PCB and PBDE concentrations in eggs of Dermochelys coriacea; and to investigate whether any of the congeners could compromise reproductive success in this species. A total of 18 nests from different females were studied during the nesting season of 2008 at Reserva Pacuare Beach, in the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. Reproductive parameters (viability, fertility and hatching rates) were calculated for all nests and hatchling morphometrics were successfully measured in 8 of them. Two to three fresh eggs per nest were taken for contaminant study. Different congeners of POPs were purified and identified using gas chromatography (GC) coupled to an ion trap detector (GC-ITD MS/MS), as described below. Mean ± SD concentrations were calculated for POP congeners within each nest and clustering was also evaluated. Correlations were performed searching for potential relationships with reproductive parameters. POP levels were similar to those reported in French-Guiana populations and slightly lower than those associated to Florida populations. Sum of PBDEs showed a negative correlation to the hatching success, suggesting potential harmful effects of these contaminants on the reproduction of leatherbacks. PMID:26735737

  15. Persistent organic pollutant levels in eggs of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) point to a decrease in hatching success.

    PubMed

    De Andrés, Eva; Gómara, Belén; González-Paredes, Daniel; Ruiz-Martín, José; Marco, Adolfo

    2016-03-01

    Sea turtles are susceptible to environmental pollution, since many harmful effects have been reported for different chemicals over the last two decades. In this context, persistent organic pollutants (POPs), such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are of particular concern due to their endocrine-disrupting nature. The aims of this study were to provide additional baseline data on PCB and PBDE concentrations in eggs of Dermochelys coriacea; and to investigate whether any of the congeners could compromise reproductive success in this species. A total of 18 nests from different females were studied during the nesting season of 2008 at Reserva Pacuare Beach, in the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. Reproductive parameters (viability, fertility and hatching rates) were calculated for all nests and hatchling morphometrics were successfully measured in 8 of them. Two to three fresh eggs per nest were taken for contaminant study. Different congeners of POPs were purified and identified using gas chromatography (GC) coupled to an ion trap detector (GC-ITD MS/MS), as described below. Mean ± SD concentrations were calculated for POP congeners within each nest and clustering was also evaluated. Correlations were performed searching for potential relationships with reproductive parameters. POP levels were similar to those reported in French-Guiana populations and slightly lower than those associated to Florida populations. Sum of PBDEs showed a negative correlation to the hatching success, suggesting potential harmful effects of these contaminants on the reproduction of leatherbacks.

  16. The influence of fluvial dynamics and North Atlantic swells on the beach habitat of leatherback turtles at Grande Riviere Trinidad.

    PubMed

    Darsan, Junior; Jehu, Adam; Asmath, Hamish; Singh, Asha; Wilson, Matthew

    2016-09-15

    Grande Riviere beach, located on the north coast of Trinidad, West Indies, is internationally recognised as a critical habitat/nesting ground for the endangered leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea). Episodic extreme flooding of the Grande Riviere River led to the shifting of the river mouth and resulted in backshore beach erosion, with the most recent recorded event occurring in 2012. Following this event, the construction of a sand dam to arrest further erosion which threatened coastal infrastructure, precipitated a host of new problems ranging from beach instability to public health threats. In January 2013, high energy swell waves naturally in-filled the erosion channel, and the beach recovery continued over the successive months, thereby rendering the intervention in the previous year questionable. This paper presents a geomorphological analysis of beach dynamics for Grande Riviere, within the context of this erosion event. Data on beach profiles, sediment and coastal processes were collected using standard geomorphological techniques. Beach topographic analysis and water quality tests on impounded water in the erosion channel were conducted. Results indicate that the event created an erosion channel of 4843.42 m(3) over a contiguous area of 2794.25 m(2). While swell waves were able to naturally infill the channel, they also eroded 17,762 m(3) of sand overall across the beach. Water quality tests revealed that the impounded water was classified as a pollutant, and created challenges for remediation. Hydrologic and coastal geomorphologic interplay is responsible for the existence and sustainability of this coastal system. It is also evident that the beach system is able to recover naturally following extreme events. Our results demonstrate that effective and integrated management of such critical habitats remains dependent upon continuous monitoring data which should be used to inform policy and decision making.

  17. The influence of fluvial dynamics and North Atlantic swells on the beach habitat of leatherback turtles at Grande Riviere Trinidad.

    PubMed

    Darsan, Junior; Jehu, Adam; Asmath, Hamish; Singh, Asha; Wilson, Matthew

    2016-09-15

    Grande Riviere beach, located on the north coast of Trinidad, West Indies, is internationally recognised as a critical habitat/nesting ground for the endangered leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea). Episodic extreme flooding of the Grande Riviere River led to the shifting of the river mouth and resulted in backshore beach erosion, with the most recent recorded event occurring in 2012. Following this event, the construction of a sand dam to arrest further erosion which threatened coastal infrastructure, precipitated a host of new problems ranging from beach instability to public health threats. In January 2013, high energy swell waves naturally in-filled the erosion channel, and the beach recovery continued over the successive months, thereby rendering the intervention in the previous year questionable. This paper presents a geomorphological analysis of beach dynamics for Grande Riviere, within the context of this erosion event. Data on beach profiles, sediment and coastal processes were collected using standard geomorphological techniques. Beach topographic analysis and water quality tests on impounded water in the erosion channel were conducted. Results indicate that the event created an erosion channel of 4843.42 m(3) over a contiguous area of 2794.25 m(2). While swell waves were able to naturally infill the channel, they also eroded 17,762 m(3) of sand overall across the beach. Water quality tests revealed that the impounded water was classified as a pollutant, and created challenges for remediation. Hydrologic and coastal geomorphologic interplay is responsible for the existence and sustainability of this coastal system. It is also evident that the beach system is able to recover naturally following extreme events. Our results demonstrate that effective and integrated management of such critical habitats remains dependent upon continuous monitoring data which should be used to inform policy and decision making. PMID:27213864

  18. Effects of illegal harvest of eggs on the population decline of leatherback turtles in Las Baulas Marine National Park, Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Tomillo, Pilar Santidrián; Saba, Vincent S; Piedra, Rotney; Paladino, Frank V; Spotila, James R

    2008-10-01

    Within 19 years the nesting population of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) at Parque Nacional Marino Las Baulas declined from 1500 turtles nesting per year to about 100. We analyzed the effects of fishery bycatch and illegal harvesting (poaching) of eggs on this population. We modeled the population response to different levels of egg harvest (90, 75, 50, and 25%) and the effect of eradicating poaching at different times during the population decline. We compared effects of 90% poaching with those of 20% adult mortality because both of these processes were present in the population at Las Baulas. There was a stepwise decline in number of nesting turtles at all levels of egg harvest. Extirpation times for different levels of poaching ranged from 45 to 282 years. The nesting population declined more slowly and survived longer with 20% adult mortality (146 years) than it did with 90% poaching (45 years). Time that elapsed until poaching stopped determined the average population size at which the population stabilized, ranging from 90 to 420 nesting turtles. Our model predicted that saving clutches lost naturally would restore the population when adult mortality rates were low and would contribute more to population recovery when there were short remigration intervals between nesting seasons and a large proportion of natural loss of clutches. Because the model indicated that poaching was the most important cause of the leatherback decline at Las Baulas, protecting nests on the beach and protecting the beach from development are critical for survival of this population. Nevertheless, the model predicted that current high mortality rates of adults will prevent population recovery. Therefore, protection of the beach habitat and nests must be continued and fishery bycatch must be reduced to save this population. PMID:18637915

  19. Atlantic Leatherback Migratory Paths and Temporary Residence Areas

    PubMed Central

    López-Mendilaharsu, Milagros; Miller, Philip; Domingo, Andrés; Evans, Daniel; Kelle, Laurent; Plot, Virginie; Prosdocimi, Laura; Verhage, Sebastian; Gaspar, Philippe; Georges, Jean-Yves

    2010-01-01

    Background Sea turtles are long-distance migrants with considerable behavioural plasticity in terms of migratory patterns, habitat use and foraging sites within and among populations. However, for the most widely migrating turtle, the leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea, studies combining data from individuals of different populations are uncommon. Such studies are however critical to better understand intra- and inter-population variability and take it into account in the implementation of conservation strategies of this critically endangered species. Here, we investigated the movements and diving behaviour of 16 Atlantic leatherback turtles from three different nesting sites and one foraging site during their post-breeding migration to assess the potential determinants of intra- and inter-population variability in migratory patterns. Methodology/Principal Findings Using satellite-derived behavioural and oceanographic data, we show that turtles used Temporary Residence Areas (TRAs) distributed all around the Atlantic Ocean: 9 in the neritic domain and 13 in the oceanic domain. These TRAs did not share a common oceanographic determinant but on the contrary were associated with mesoscale surface oceanographic features of different types (i.e., altimetric features and/or surface chlorophyll a concentration). Conversely, turtles exhibited relatively similar horizontal and vertical behaviours when in TRAs (i.e., slow swimming velocity/sinuous path/shallow dives) suggesting foraging activity in these productive regions. Migratory paths and TRAs distribution showed interesting similarities with the trajectories of passive satellite-tracked drifters, suggesting that the general dispersion pattern of adults from the nesting sites may reflect the extent of passive dispersion initially experienced by hatchlings. Conclusions/Significance Intra- and inter-population behavioural variability may therefore be linked with initial hatchling drift scenarios and be highly

  20. Does prey size matter? Novel observations of feeding in the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) allow a test of predator-prey size relationships.

    PubMed

    Fossette, Sabrina; Gleiss, Adrian C; Casey, James P; Lewis, Andrew R; Hays, Graeme C

    2012-06-23

    Optimal foraging models predict that large predators should concentrate on large prey in order to maximize their net gain of energy intake. Here, we show that the largest species of sea turtle, Dermochelys coriacea, does not strictly adhere to this general pattern. Field observations combined with a theoretical model suggest that a 300 kg leatherback turtle would meet its energetic requirements by feeding for 3-4 h a day on 4 g jellyfish, but only if prey were aggregated in high-density patches. Therefore, prey abundance rather than prey size may, in some cases, be the overriding parameter for foraging leatherbacks. This is a classic example where the presence of small prey in the diet of a large marine predator may reflect profitable foraging decisions if the relatively low energy intake per small individual prey is offset by high encounter rates and minimal capture and handling costs. This study provides, to our knowledge, the first quantitative estimates of intake rate for this species. PMID:22090203

  1. Mass spectrometry-based sequencing and SRM-based quantitation of two novel vitellogenin isoforms in the leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea).

    PubMed

    Plumel, Marine I; Wasselin, Thierry; Plot, Virginie; Strub, Jean-Marc; Van Dorsselaer, Alain; Carapito, Christine; Georges, Jean-Yves; Bertile, Fabrice

    2013-09-01

    No biomarker has yet been discovered to identify the reproductive status of the endangered leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea). Although vitellogenin (VTG) could be used for this, its sequence is not known in D. coriacea and no quantitative assay has been carried out in this species to date. Using de novo sequencing-based proteomics, we unambiguously characterized sequences of two different VTG isoforms that we named Dc-VTG1 and Dc-VTG2. To our knowledge, this is the first clear evidence of different VTG isoforms and the structural characterization of derived yolk proteins in reptiles. This work illustrates how massive de novo sequencing can characterize novel sequences when working on "exotic" nonmodel species in which even nucleotide sequences are not available. We developed assays for absolute quantitation of these two isoforms using selected reaction monitoring (SRM) mass spectrometry, thus providing the first SRM assays developed specifically for a nonsequenced species. Plasma levels of Dc-VTG1 and Dc-VTG2 decreased as the nesting season proceeded, and were closely related to the increased levels of reproductive effort. The SRM assays developed here therefore provide an original and efficient approach for the reliable monitoring of reproduction cycles not only in D. coriacea, but potentially in other turtle species. PMID:23837631

  2. Marine turtle mitogenome phylogenetics and evolution.

    PubMed

    Duchene, Sebastián; Frey, Amy; Alfaro-Núñez, Alonzo; Dutton, Peter H; Thomas P Gilbert, M; Morin, Phillip A

    2012-10-01

    The sea turtles are a group of cretaceous origin containing seven recognized living species: leatherback, hawksbill, Kemp's ridley, olive ridley, loggerhead, green, and flatback. The leatherback is the single member of the Dermochelidae family, whereas all other sea turtles belong in Cheloniidae. Analyses of partial mitochondrial sequences and some nuclear markers have revealed phylogenetic inconsistencies within Cheloniidae, especially regarding the placement of the flatback. Population genetic studies based on D-Loop sequences have shown considerable structuring in species with broad geographic distributions, shedding light on complex migration patterns and possible geographic or climatic events as driving forces of sea-turtle distribution. We have sequenced complete mitogenomes for all sea-turtle species, including samples from their geographic range extremes, and performed phylogenetic analyses to assess sea-turtle evolution with a large molecular dataset. We found variation in the length of the ATP8 gene and a highly variable site in ND4 near a proton translocation channel in the resulting protein. Complete mitogenomes show strong support and resolution for phylogenetic relationships among all sea turtles, and reveal phylogeographic patterns within globally-distributed species. Although there was clear concordance between phylogenies and geographic origin of samples in most taxa, we found evidence of more recent dispersal events in the loggerhead and olive ridley turtles, suggesting more recent migrations (<1 Myr) in these species. Overall, our results demonstrate the complexity of sea-turtle diversity, and indicate the need for further research in phylogeography and molecular evolution. PMID:22750111

  3. Ontogenetic changes in tracheal structure facilitate deep dives and cold water foraging in adult leatherback sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Davenport, John; Fraher, John; Fitzgerald, Ed; McLaughlin, Patrick; Doyle, Tom; Harman, Luke; Cuffe, Tracy; Dockery, Peter

    2009-11-01

    Adult leatherbacks are large animals (300-500 kg), overlapping in size with marine pinniped and cetacean species. Unlike marine mammals, they start their aquatic life as 40-50 g hatchlings, so undergo a 10,000-fold increase in body mass during independent existence. Hatchlings are limited to the tropics and near-surface water. Adults, obligate predators on gelatinous plankton, encounter cold water at depth (<1280 m) or high latitude and are gigantotherms that maintain elevated core body temperatures in cold water. This study shows that there are great ontogenetic changes in tracheal structure related to diving and exposure to cold. Hatchling leatherbacks have a conventional reptilian tracheal structure with circular cartilaginous rings interspersed with extensive connective tissue. The adult trachea is an almost continuous ellipsoidal cartilaginous tube composed of interlocking plates, and will collapse easily in the upper part of the water column during dives, thus avoiding pressure-related structural and physiological problems. It is lined with an extensive, dense erectile vascular plexus that will warm and humidify cold inspired air and possibly retain heat on expiration. A sub-luminal lymphatic plexus is also present. Mammals and birds have independently evolved nasal turbinates to fulfil such a respiratory thermocontrol function; for them, turbinates are regarded as diagnostic of endothermy. This is the first demonstration of a turbinate equivalent in a living reptile.

  4. Ontogenetic changes in tracheal structure facilitate deep dives and cold water foraging in adult leatherback sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Davenport, John; Fraher, John; Fitzgerald, Ed; McLaughlin, Patrick; Doyle, Tom; Harman, Luke; Cuffe, Tracy; Dockery, Peter

    2009-11-01

    Adult leatherbacks are large animals (300-500 kg), overlapping in size with marine pinniped and cetacean species. Unlike marine mammals, they start their aquatic life as 40-50 g hatchlings, so undergo a 10,000-fold increase in body mass during independent existence. Hatchlings are limited to the tropics and near-surface water. Adults, obligate predators on gelatinous plankton, encounter cold water at depth (<1280 m) or high latitude and are gigantotherms that maintain elevated core body temperatures in cold water. This study shows that there are great ontogenetic changes in tracheal structure related to diving and exposure to cold. Hatchling leatherbacks have a conventional reptilian tracheal structure with circular cartilaginous rings interspersed with extensive connective tissue. The adult trachea is an almost continuous ellipsoidal cartilaginous tube composed of interlocking plates, and will collapse easily in the upper part of the water column during dives, thus avoiding pressure-related structural and physiological problems. It is lined with an extensive, dense erectile vascular plexus that will warm and humidify cold inspired air and possibly retain heat on expiration. A sub-luminal lymphatic plexus is also present. Mammals and birds have independently evolved nasal turbinates to fulfil such a respiratory thermocontrol function; for them, turbinates are regarded as diagnostic of endothermy. This is the first demonstration of a turbinate equivalent in a living reptile. PMID:19837885

  5. Serial assessment of the physiological status of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) during direct capture events in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean: comparison of post-capture and pre-release data

    PubMed Central

    Innis, Charles J.; Merigo, Constance; Cavin, Julie M.; Hunt, Kathleen; Dodge, Kara L.; Lutcavage, Molly

    2014-01-01

    The physiological status of seven leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) was assessed at two time points during ecological research capture events in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean. Data were collected as soon as possible after securing each turtle onboard the capture vessel and again immediately prior to release. Measured parameters included sea surface temperature, body temperature, morphometric data, sex, heart rate, respiratory rate and various haematological and blood biochemical variables. Results indicated generally stable physiological status in comparison to previously published studies of this species. However, blood pH and blood potassium concentrations increased significantly between the two time points (P = 0.0018 and P = 0.0452, respectively). Turtles were affected by a mild initial acidosis (mean [SD] temperature-corrected pH = 7.29 [0.07]), and blood pH increased prior to release (mean [SD] = 7.39 [0.07]). Initial blood potassium concentrations were considered normal (mean [SD] = 4.2 [0.9] mmol/l), but turtles experienced a mild to moderate increase in blood potassium concentrations during the event (mean [SD] pre-release potassium = 5.9 [1.7] mmol/l, maximum = 8.5 mmol/l). While these data support the general safety of direct capture for study of this species, the observed changes in blood potassium concentrations are of potential concern due to possible adverse effects of hyperkalaemia on cardiac function. The results of this study highlight the importance of physiological monitoring during scientific capture events. The results are also likely to be relevant to unintentional leatherback capture events (e.g. fisheries interactions), when interactions may be more prolonged or extreme. PMID:27293669

  6. Serial assessment of the physiological status of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) during direct capture events in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean: comparison of post-capture and pre-release data.

    PubMed

    Innis, Charles J; Merigo, Constance; Cavin, Julie M; Hunt, Kathleen; Dodge, Kara L; Lutcavage, Molly

    2014-01-01

    The physiological status of seven leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) was assessed at two time points during ecological research capture events in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean. Data were collected as soon as possible after securing each turtle onboard the capture vessel and again immediately prior to release. Measured parameters included sea surface temperature, body temperature, morphometric data, sex, heart rate, respiratory rate and various haematological and blood biochemical variables. Results indicated generally stable physiological status in comparison to previously published studies of this species. However, blood pH and blood potassium concentrations increased significantly between the two time points (P = 0.0018 and P = 0.0452, respectively). Turtles were affected by a mild initial acidosis (mean [SD] temperature-corrected pH = 7.29 [0.07]), and blood pH increased prior to release (mean [SD] = 7.39 [0.07]). Initial blood potassium concentrations were considered normal (mean [SD] = 4.2 [0.9] mmol/l), but turtles experienced a mild to moderate increase in blood potassium concentrations during the event (mean [SD] pre-release potassium = 5.9 [1.7] mmol/l, maximum = 8.5 mmol/l). While these data support the general safety of direct capture for study of this species, the observed changes in blood potassium concentrations are of potential concern due to possible adverse effects of hyperkalaemia on cardiac function. The results of this study highlight the importance of physiological monitoring during scientific capture events. The results are also likely to be relevant to unintentional leatherback capture events (e.g. fisheries interactions), when interactions may be more prolonged or extreme. PMID:27293669

  7. Serial assessment of the physiological status of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) during direct capture events in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean: comparison of post-capture and pre-release data.

    PubMed

    Innis, Charles J; Merigo, Constance; Cavin, Julie M; Hunt, Kathleen; Dodge, Kara L; Lutcavage, Molly

    2014-01-01

    The physiological status of seven leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) was assessed at two time points during ecological research capture events in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean. Data were collected as soon as possible after securing each turtle onboard the capture vessel and again immediately prior to release. Measured parameters included sea surface temperature, body temperature, morphometric data, sex, heart rate, respiratory rate and various haematological and blood biochemical variables. Results indicated generally stable physiological status in comparison to previously published studies of this species. However, blood pH and blood potassium concentrations increased significantly between the two time points (P = 0.0018 and P = 0.0452, respectively). Turtles were affected by a mild initial acidosis (mean [SD] temperature-corrected pH = 7.29 [0.07]), and blood pH increased prior to release (mean [SD] = 7.39 [0.07]). Initial blood potassium concentrations were considered normal (mean [SD] = 4.2 [0.9] mmol/l), but turtles experienced a mild to moderate increase in blood potassium concentrations during the event (mean [SD] pre-release potassium = 5.9 [1.7] mmol/l, maximum = 8.5 mmol/l). While these data support the general safety of direct capture for study of this species, the observed changes in blood potassium concentrations are of potential concern due to possible adverse effects of hyperkalaemia on cardiac function. The results of this study highlight the importance of physiological monitoring during scientific capture events. The results are also likely to be relevant to unintentional leatherback capture events (e.g. fisheries interactions), when interactions may be more prolonged or extreme.

  8. 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

  9. [False eggs (SAGs) facilitate social post-hatching emergence behaviour in Leatherback turtles Dermochelys coriacea (Testudines: Dermochelyidae) nests].

    PubMed

    Patiño-Martinez, Juan; Marco, Adolfo; Quiñones, Liliana; Calabuig, Cecilia P

    2010-09-01

    Hatchling emergence to the beach surface from deep sand nests occurs without parental care. Social behaviour among siblings is crucial to overcome this first challenge in sea turtles life. This study, carried out at the Caribbean coast of Colombia, describes the emergence social behaviour of hatchlings from eight nests, and assess the nests translocation effects on temporal patterns of emergence. For the first time, we propose that space released by dehydration of shelled albumen globes (SAGs) at the top of the clutch, might be a reproductive advantage, while facilitating neonates to group together in a very limited space, and favouring the synchrony of emergence. The mean time of groups emergence was of 3.3 days, varying between 1 and 6 days. We found that relocation of the nests did not significantly affect the temporal pattern of emergence, which was mainly nocturnal (77.7% of natural nests and 81.7% of translocated ones). The maximum number of emergences to the surface occurred at the lowest air temperatures (22:00h-06:00h). The selective advantage of this pattern is probably related to the greater rate of predation and mortality by hyperthermia observed during the day. PMID:20737848

  10. [False eggs (SAGs) facilitate social post-hatching emergence behaviour in Leatherback turtles Dermochelys coriacea (Testudines: Dermochelyidae) nests].

    PubMed

    Patiño-Martinez, Juan; Marco, Adolfo; Quiñones, Liliana; Calabuig, Cecilia P

    2010-09-01

    Hatchling emergence to the beach surface from deep sand nests occurs without parental care. Social behaviour among siblings is crucial to overcome this first challenge in sea turtles life. This study, carried out at the Caribbean coast of Colombia, describes the emergence social behaviour of hatchlings from eight nests, and assess the nests translocation effects on temporal patterns of emergence. For the first time, we propose that space released by dehydration of shelled albumen globes (SAGs) at the top of the clutch, might be a reproductive advantage, while facilitating neonates to group together in a very limited space, and favouring the synchrony of emergence. The mean time of groups emergence was of 3.3 days, varying between 1 and 6 days. We found that relocation of the nests did not significantly affect the temporal pattern of emergence, which was mainly nocturnal (77.7% of natural nests and 81.7% of translocated ones). The maximum number of emergences to the surface occurred at the lowest air temperatures (22:00h-06:00h). The selective advantage of this pattern is probably related to the greater rate of predation and mortality by hyperthermia observed during the day.

  11. Turtles.

    PubMed

    Marten, Gerald G

    2007-01-01

    Juvenile turtles have the capacity to eat more than 500 3rd and 4th instar mosquitos per day. Keeping one turtle in each water-storage tank during field trials for a dengue-control project in Honduras eliminated all mosquito production from the tanks. In Louisiana, keeping turtles in residential roadside ditches polluted by septic-tank effluent reduced Culex quinquefasciatus larvae and pupae by more than 99%. Turtles can serve as alternate hosts for Salmonella when kept in small pet containers, but the available evidence indicates that turtles create no Salmonella hazard in water-storage tanks or other mosquito-breeding habitats. Although turtles would probably not be practical for mosquito control in roadside ditches, they could be effective in storm-water catch basins or holding ponds.

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Evidence for transoceanic migrations by loggerhead sea turtles in the southern Pacific Ocean.

    PubMed

    Boyle, M C; Fitzsimmons, N N; Limpus, C J; Kelez, S; Velez-Zuazo, X; Waycott, M

    2009-06-01

    Post-hatchling loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) in the northern Pacific and northern Atlantic Oceans undertake transoceanic developmental migrations. Similar migratory behaviour is hypothesized in the South Pacific Ocean as post-hatchling loggerhead turtles are observed in Peruvian fisheries, yet no loggerhead rookeries occur along the coast of South America. This hypothesis was supported by analyses of the size-class distribution of 123 post-hatchling turtles in the South Pacific and genetic analysis of mtDNA haplotypes of 103 nesting females in the southwest Pacific, 19 post-hatchlings stranded on the southeastern Australian beaches and 22 post-hatchlings caught by Peruvian longline fisheries. Only two haplotypes (CCP1 93% and CCP5 7%) were observed across all samples, and there were no significant differences in haplotype frequencies between the southwest Pacific rookeries and the post-hatchlings. By contrast, the predominant CCP1 haplotype is rarely observed in North Pacific rookeries and haplotype frequencies were strongly differentiated between the two regions (F(st)=0.82; p=<0.00001). These results suggest that post-hatchling loggerhead turtles emerging from the southwest Pacific rookeries are undertaking transoceanic migrations to the southeastern Pacific Ocean, thus emphasizing the need for a broader focus on juvenile mortality throughout the South Pacific to develop effective conservation strategies.

  18. Evidence for transoceanic migrations by loggerhead sea turtles in the southern Pacific Ocean

    PubMed Central

    Boyle, M.C.; FitzSimmons, N.N.; Limpus, C.J.; Kelez, S.; Velez-Zuazo, X.; Waycott, M.

    2009-01-01

    Post-hatchling loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) in the northern Pacific and northern Atlantic Oceans undertake transoceanic developmental migrations. Similar migratory behaviour is hypothesized in the South Pacific Ocean as post-hatchling loggerhead turtles are observed in Peruvian fisheries, yet no loggerhead rookeries occur along the coast of South America. This hypothesis was supported by analyses of the size-class distribution of 123 post-hatchling turtles in the South Pacific and genetic analysis of mtDNA haplotypes of 103 nesting females in the southwest Pacific, 19 post-hatchlings stranded on the southeastern Australian beaches and 22 post-hatchlings caught by Peruvian longline fisheries. Only two haplotypes (CCP1 93% and CCP5 7%) were observed across all samples, and there were no significant differences in haplotype frequencies between the southwest Pacific rookeries and the post-hatchlings. By contrast, the predominant CCP1 haplotype is rarely observed in North Pacific rookeries and haplotype frequencies were strongly differentiated between the two regions (Fst=0.82; p=<0.00001). These results suggest that post-hatchling loggerhead turtles emerging from the southwest Pacific rookeries are undertaking transoceanic migrations to the southeastern Pacific Ocean, thus emphasizing the need for a broader focus on juvenile mortality throughout the South Pacific to develop effective conservation strategies. PMID:19324768

  19. Home range, habitat use, and migrations of hawksbill turtles tracked from Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hart, Kristen M.; Sartain-Iverson, Autumn R.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Pratt, Harold L.; Morley, Danielle; Feeley, Michael W.

    2012-01-01

    To determine habitat-use patterns of sub-adult hawksbills Eretmochelys imbricata, we conducted satellite- and acoustic-tracking of 3 turtles captured in August 2008 within Dry Tortugas National Park (DRTO), south Florida, USA, in the Gulf of Mexico; turtles ranged in size from 51.9 to 69.8 cm straight carapace length. After 263, 699, and 655 d of residence in the park, turtles migrated out of the DRTO. Within the park, core-use areas (i.e. 50% kernel density estimates) were 9.2 to 21.5 km2; all 3 turtle core-use areas overlapped in an area 6.1 km2 within a zone of the park with multiple human uses (e.g. fishing, anchoring). Two turtles migrated to Cuba and ceased transmitting after 320 and 687 tracking days; the third turtle migrated toward Key West, Florida, and ceased transmitting after 884 tracking days. The present study highlights previously unknown regional connections for hawksbills, possible turtle-harvest incidents, and fine-scale habitat use of sub-adult hawksbills within a United States National Park.

  20. Lymphocyte migration in the micro-channel of splenic sheathed capillaries in Chinese soft-shelled turtles, Pelodiscus sinensis.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qian; Ullah, Shakeeb; Liu, Yi; Yang, Ping; Chen, Bing; Waqas, Yasir; Bao, Huijun; Hu, Lisi; Li, Quanfu; Chen, Qiusheng

    2016-01-01

    The structural characteristics of the splenic sheathed capillary were investigated using light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). This study mainly focused on lymphocyte migration to the splenic white pulp via micro-channels in Chinese soft-shelled turtles, Pelodiscus sinensis. The results showed that the sheathed capillaries in the turtle spleen were high endothelial venule (HEV)-like vessels. These capillaries consist of micro-channels that facilitate lymphocyte migration to the splenic white pulp. The micro-channel is a dynamic structure comprising processes of endothelial cells, supporting cells, and ellipsoid-associated cells (EACs), which provides a microenvironment for lymphocyte migration. The pattern of lymphocyte migration in the micro-channel of the turtle spleen includes the following steps: (i) lymphocyte first adheres to the endothelium of the sheathed capillary, passes through the endothelial cells, and traverses through the basement membrane of the sheathed capillary; (ii) it then enters into the ellipsoid combined with supporting cells and EACs; and (iii) lymphocyte migrates from the ellipsoid to the periellipsoidal lymphatic sheath (PELS) via the micro-channel. This study provides morphological evidence for lymphocyte migration in the micro-channels of turtle spleens and also an insight into the mechanism of lymphocyte homing to the splenic white pulp of reptiles.

  1. 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

  2. 75 FR 53925 - Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp and Summer Flounder Trawling Requirements

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-09-02

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 223 RIN 0648-AW93 Sea Turtle Conservation... section 9 of the ESA if the conservation measures specified in the sea turtle conservation regulations (50... protocol to evaluate a candidate TED's ability to exclude adult leatherback sea turtles (66 FR 24287,...

  3. 76 FR 37050 - Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for Sea Turtle Conservation and Recovery...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-06-24

    ...- approved testing protocols established to date include the ``small turtle test'' (55 FR 41092, October 9, 1990) and the ``wild turtle test'' (52 FR 24244, June 29, 1987). Additionally, NMFS has established a... turtles (66 FR 24287, May 14, 2001). Because testing with live leatherbacks is impossible, NMFS...

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. Cutting the longline to extinction: new sea turtle campaign takes aim at industrial longline fishing and mercury-poisoned seafood.

    PubMed

    Ovetz, Robert

    2004-01-01

    Chanting "Get on the right track . . . stop killing the leatherback!," a festive protest of people of many ages dressed in colorful turtle costumes wound its way along the busy streets of San Francisco's Fishermen's Wharf. The action last October marked the launching of the Bay Area-based Sea Turtle Restoration Project's Save the Leatherback (www.savetheleatherback.com) campaign for a moratorium on longline fishing in the Pacific Ocean. Longline fishing in the Pacific kills tens of thousands of sea turtles annually to serve up swordfish, shark, and tuna poisoned with high levels of methylmercury for lucrative seafood markets in Japan, the United States, and Europe. PMID:17208747

  11. Distribution and ecology of marine turtles in waters off the southeastern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fritts, T.H.; Hoffman, W.; McGehee, M.A.

    1983-01-01

    Aerial surveys of marine waters up to 222 km from shore in the Gulf of Mexico and nearby Atlantic Ocean suggest that marine turtles are largely distributed in waters less than 100 m in depth. The loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) was observed nearly 50 times as often in waters off eastern and western Florida as in the western Gulf of Mexico. Loggerheads were present year round but the frequency of sightings in the winter months was lower than at other seasons. Green turtles (Chelonia rnydas) were infrequently observed but were most conspicuous in waters off eastern Florida. Kemp's ridleys (Lepidochelys kempi) were most frequently sighted off southwestern Florida and rarely observed in the western Gulf of Mexico. Leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) were more conspicuous on the continental shelf than in adjacent deeper waters. A concentration of leatherback and loggerhead turtles occurred west of the Gulf Stream Current in August 1980, near Brevard County, Florida.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

    Ingestion of marine debris can have lethal and sublethal effects on sea turtles and other wildlife. Although researchers have reported on ingestion of anthropogenic debris by marine turtles and implied incidences of debris ingestion have increased over time, there has not been a global synthesis of the phenomenon since 1985. Thus, we analyzed 37 studies published from 1985 to 2012 that report on data collected from before 1900 through 2011. Specifically, we investigated whether ingestion prevalence has changed over time, what types of debris are most commonly ingested, the geographic distribution of debris ingestion by marine turtles relative to global debris distribution, and which species and life-history stages are most likely to ingest debris. The probability of green (Chelonia mydas) and leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) ingesting debris increased significantly over time, and plastic was the most commonly ingested debris. Turtles in nearly all regions studied ingest debris, but the probability of ingestion was not related to modeled debris densities. Furthermore, smaller, oceanic-stage turtles were more likely to ingest debris than coastal foragers, whereas carnivorous species were less likely to ingest debris than herbivores or gelatinovores. Our results indicate oceanic leatherback turtles and green turtles are at the greatest risk of both lethal and sublethal effects from ingested marine debris. To reduce this risk, anthropogenic debris must be managed at a global level. PMID:23914794

  14. Mixed-stock analysis reveals the migrations of juvenile hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) in the Caribbean Sea.

    PubMed

    Bowen, B W; Grant, W S; Hillis-Starr, Z; Shaver, D J; Bjorndal, K A; Bolten, A B; Bass, A L

    2007-01-01

    Hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) migrate between nesting beaches and feeding habitats that are often associated with tropical reefs, but it is uncertain which nesting colonies supply which feeding habitats. To address this gap in hawksbill biology, we compile previously published and new mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplotype data for 10 nesting colonies (N = 347) in the western Atlantic and compare these profiles to four feeding populations and four previously published feeding samples (N = 626). Nesting colonies differ significantly in mtDNA haplotype frequencies (Phi(ST) = 0.588, P < 0.001), corroborating earlier conclusions of nesting site fidelity and setting the stage for mixed-stock analysis. Feeding aggregations show lower but significant structure (Phi(ST) = 0.089, P < 0.001), indicating that foraging populations are not homogenous across the Caribbean Sea. Bayesian mixed-stock estimates of the origins of juveniles in foraging areas show a highly significant, but shallow, correlation with nesting population size (r = 0.378, P = 0.004), supporting the premise that larger rookeries contribute more juveniles to feeding areas. A significant correlation between the estimated contribution and geographical distance from nesting areas (r = -0.394, P = 0.003) demonstrates the influence of proximity on recruitment to feeding areas. The influence of oceanic currents is illustrated by pelagic stage juveniles stranded in Texas, which are assigned primarily (93%) to the upstream rookery in Yucatan. One juvenile had a haplotype previously identified only in the eastern Atlantic, invoking rare trans-oceanic migrations. The mixed-stock analysis demonstrates that harvests in feeding habitats will impact nesting colonies throughout the region, with the greatest detriment to nearby nesting populations.

  15. Mixed-stock analysis reveals the migrations of juvenile hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) in the Caribbean Sea.

    PubMed

    Bowen, B W; Grant, W S; Hillis-Starr, Z; Shaver, D J; Bjorndal, K A; Bolten, A B; Bass, A L

    2007-01-01

    Hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) migrate between nesting beaches and feeding habitats that are often associated with tropical reefs, but it is uncertain which nesting colonies supply which feeding habitats. To address this gap in hawksbill biology, we compile previously published and new mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplotype data for 10 nesting colonies (N = 347) in the western Atlantic and compare these profiles to four feeding populations and four previously published feeding samples (N = 626). Nesting colonies differ significantly in mtDNA haplotype frequencies (Phi(ST) = 0.588, P < 0.001), corroborating earlier conclusions of nesting site fidelity and setting the stage for mixed-stock analysis. Feeding aggregations show lower but significant structure (Phi(ST) = 0.089, P < 0.001), indicating that foraging populations are not homogenous across the Caribbean Sea. Bayesian mixed-stock estimates of the origins of juveniles in foraging areas show a highly significant, but shallow, correlation with nesting population size (r = 0.378, P = 0.004), supporting the premise that larger rookeries contribute more juveniles to feeding areas. A significant correlation between the estimated contribution and geographical distance from nesting areas (r = -0.394, P = 0.003) demonstrates the influence of proximity on recruitment to feeding areas. The influence of oceanic currents is illustrated by pelagic stage juveniles stranded in Texas, which are assigned primarily (93%) to the upstream rookery in Yucatan. One juvenile had a haplotype previously identified only in the eastern Atlantic, invoking rare trans-oceanic migrations. The mixed-stock analysis demonstrates that harvests in feeding habitats will impact nesting colonies throughout the region, with the greatest detriment to nearby nesting populations. PMID:17181720

  16. 77 FR 34334 - Western Pacific Pelagic Fisheries; Revised Limits on Sea Turtle Interactions in the Hawaii...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-06-11

    ... conservation and management measures for the shallow-set fishery in 2004 (69 FR 17329, April 2, 2004), as... turtles to the 2004 limits established under the regulations published at 69 FR 17329 (April 2, 2004... of 16 leatherbacks and 17 loggerheads (76 FR 13297, March 11, 2011). If the fishery reaches...

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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. PMID:23671683

  1. 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.

  2. Leatherbacks swimming in silico: modeling and verifying their momentum and heat balance using computational fluid dynamics.

    PubMed

    Dudley, Peter N; Bonazza, Riccardo; Jones, T Todd; Wyneken, Jeanette; Porter, Warren P

    2014-01-01

    As global temperatures increase throughout the coming decades, species ranges will shift. New combinations of abiotic conditions will make predicting these range shifts difficult. Biophysical mechanistic niche modeling places bounds on an animal's niche through analyzing the animal's physical interactions with the environment. Biophysical mechanistic niche modeling is flexible enough to accommodate these new combinations of abiotic conditions. However, this approach is difficult to implement for aquatic species because of complex interactions among thrust, metabolic rate and heat transfer. We use contemporary computational fluid dynamic techniques to overcome these difficulties. We model the complex 3D motion of a swimming neonate and juvenile leatherback sea turtle to find power and heat transfer rates during the stroke. We combine the results from these simulations and a numerical model to accurately predict the core temperature of a swimming leatherback. These results are the first steps in developing a highly accurate mechanistic niche model, which can assists paleontologist in understanding biogeographic shifts as well as aid contemporary species managers about potential range shifts over the coming decades. PMID:25354303

  3. Leatherbacks Swimming In Silico: Modeling and Verifying Their Momentum and Heat Balance Using Computational Fluid Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Dudley, Peter N.; Bonazza, Riccardo; Jones, T. Todd; Wyneken, Jeanette; Porter, Warren P.

    2014-01-01

    As global temperatures increase throughout the coming decades, species ranges will shift. New combinations of abiotic conditions will make predicting these range shifts difficult. Biophysical mechanistic niche modeling places bounds on an animal’s niche through analyzing the animal’s physical interactions with the environment. Biophysical mechanistic niche modeling is flexible enough to accommodate these new combinations of abiotic conditions. However, this approach is difficult to implement for aquatic species because of complex interactions among thrust, metabolic rate and heat transfer. We use contemporary computational fluid dynamic techniques to overcome these difficulties. We model the complex 3D motion of a swimming neonate and juvenile leatherback sea turtle to find power and heat transfer rates during the stroke. We combine the results from these simulations and a numerical model to accurately predict the core temperature of a swimming leatherback. These results are the first steps in developing a highly accurate mechanistic niche model, which can assists paleontologist in understanding biogeographic shifts as well as aid contemporary species managers about potential range shifts over the coming decades. PMID:25354303

  4. The Migration Matrix: Marine Vertebrate Movements in Magnetic Coordinate Space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horton, T. W.; Holdaway, R. N.; Clapham, P. J.; Zerbini, A. N.; Andriolo, A.; Hays, G. C.; Egevang, C.; Domeier, M. L.; Lucas, N.

    2011-12-01

    Determining how vertebrates navigate during their long-distance migrations remains one of the most enduring and fundamental challenges of behavioral ecology. It is widely accepted that spatial orientation relative to a reference datum is a fundamental requirement of long-distance return migration between seasonal habitats, and a variety of viable positional and directional orientation cues, including the sun, stars, and magnetic field, have been documented experimentally. However, a fundamental question remains unanswered: Are empirically observed migratory movements compatible with modern theoretical frameworks of spatial orientation? To address this question, we analysed leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), arctic tern (Sterna paradisaea), humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), and great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) track maps, frequency distribution diagrams and time-series plots of animal locations in spherical magnetic coordinate space. Our analyses indicates that, although individual migration tracks are spatially and temporally distinct, vertebrate movements are non-randomly distributed in all three spherical magnetic coordinates (i.e. intensity, inclination, and declination). Stop-over locations, migratory destinations, and re-orientation points occur at similar magnetic coordinate locations, relative to tagging areas, in all four species, suggesting that a common system of magnetic orientation likely informs the navigational behaviors of these phylogenetically diverse taxa. Although our analyses demonstrate that the experiment-derived 'magnetic map' goal orientation theoretical framework of animal navigation is compatible with remotely-sensed migration track data, they also indicate that magnetic information is complemented by spatially and temporally contingent celestial stimuli during navigation.

  5. Contextualising the Last Survivors: Population Structure of Marine Turtles in the Dominican Republic.

    PubMed

    Carreras, Carlos; Godley, Brendan J; León, Yolanda M; Hawkes, Lucy A; Revuelta, Ohiana; Raga, Juan A; Tomás, Jesús

    2013-01-01

    Nesting by three species of marine turtles persists in the Dominican Republic, despite historic threats and long-term population decline. We conducted a genetic survey of marine turtles in the Dominican Republic in order to link them with other rookeries around the Caribbean. We sequenced a 740bp fragment of the control region of the mitochondrial DNA of 92 samples from three marine turtle species [hawksbill (n = 48), green (n = 2) and leatherback (n = 42)], and incorporated published data from other nesting populations and foraging grounds. The leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) in the Dominican Republic appeared to be isolated from Awala-Yalimapo, Cayenne, Trinidad and St. Croix but connected with other Caribbean populations. Two distinct nesting populations of hawksbill turtles (Eremochelys imbricata) were detected in the Dominican Republic and exhibited interesting patterns of connectivity with other nesting sites and juvenile and adult male foraging aggregations. The green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) has almost been extirpated from the Dominican Republic and limited inference could be made from our samples. Finally, results were compared with Lagrangian drifting buoys and published Lagrangian virtual particles that travelled through the Dominican Republic and Caribbean waters. Conservation implications of sink-source effects or genetic isolation derived from these complex inter-connections are discussed for each species and population.

  6. Contextualising the Last Survivors: Population Structure of Marine Turtles in the Dominican Republic.

    PubMed

    Carreras, Carlos; Godley, Brendan J; León, Yolanda M; Hawkes, Lucy A; Revuelta, Ohiana; Raga, Juan A; Tomás, Jesús

    2013-01-01

    Nesting by three species of marine turtles persists in the Dominican Republic, despite historic threats and long-term population decline. We conducted a genetic survey of marine turtles in the Dominican Republic in order to link them with other rookeries around the Caribbean. We sequenced a 740bp fragment of the control region of the mitochondrial DNA of 92 samples from three marine turtle species [hawksbill (n = 48), green (n = 2) and leatherback (n = 42)], and incorporated published data from other nesting populations and foraging grounds. The leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) in the Dominican Republic appeared to be isolated from Awala-Yalimapo, Cayenne, Trinidad and St. Croix but connected with other Caribbean populations. Two distinct nesting populations of hawksbill turtles (Eremochelys imbricata) were detected in the Dominican Republic and exhibited interesting patterns of connectivity with other nesting sites and juvenile and adult male foraging aggregations. The green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) has almost been extirpated from the Dominican Republic and limited inference could be made from our samples. Finally, results were compared with Lagrangian drifting buoys and published Lagrangian virtual particles that travelled through the Dominican Republic and Caribbean waters. Conservation implications of sink-source effects or genetic isolation derived from these complex inter-connections are discussed for each species and population. PMID:23840394

  7. Contextualising the Last Survivors: Population Structure of Marine Turtles in the Dominican Republic

    PubMed Central

    Carreras, Carlos; Godley, Brendan J.; León, Yolanda M.; Hawkes, Lucy A.; Revuelta, Ohiana; Raga, Juan A.; Tomás, Jesús

    2013-01-01

    Nesting by three species of marine turtles persists in the Dominican Republic, despite historic threats and long-term population decline. We conducted a genetic survey of marine turtles in the Dominican Republic in order to link them with other rookeries around the Caribbean. We sequenced a 740bp fragment of the control region of the mitochondrial DNA of 92 samples from three marine turtle species [hawksbill (n = 48), green (n = 2) and leatherback (n = 42)], and incorporated published data from other nesting populations and foraging grounds. The leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) in the Dominican Republic appeared to be isolated from Awala-Yalimapo, Cayenne, Trinidad and St. Croix but connected with other Caribbean populations. Two distinct nesting populations of hawksbill turtles (Eremochelys imbricata) were detected in the Dominican Republic and exhibited interesting patterns of connectivity with other nesting sites and juvenile and adult male foraging aggregations. The green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) has almost been extirpated from the Dominican Republic and limited inference could be made from our samples. Finally, results were compared with Lagrangian drifting buoys and published Lagrangian virtual particles that travelled through the Dominican Republic and Caribbean waters. Conservation implications of sink-source effects or genetic isolation derived from these complex inter-connections are discussed for each species and population. PMID:23840394

  8. Turtle Girls

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nelson, Charles; Ponder, Jennifer

    2010-01-01

    The day the Turtle Girls received Montel's adoption papers, piercing screams ricocheted across the school grounds instantaneously and simultaneously--in that moment, each student felt the joy of civic stewardship. Read on to find out how a visit to The Turtle Hospital inspired a group of elementary students to create a club devoted to supporting…

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Leatherback nests increasing significantly in Florida, USA; trends assessed over 30 years using multilevel modeling.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Kelly; Sims, Michelle; Meylan, Anne; Witherington, Blair; Brost, Beth; Crowder, Larry B

    2011-01-01

    Understanding population status for endangered species is critical to developing and evaluating recovery plans mandated by the Endangered Species Act. For sea turtles, changes in abundance are difficult to detect because most life stages occur in the water. Currently, nest counts are the most reliable way of assessing trends. We determined the rate of growth for leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) nest numbers in Florida (USA) using a multilevel Poisson regression. We modeled nest counts from 68 beaches over 30 years and, using beach-level covariates (including latitude), we allowed for partial pooling of information between neighboring beaches. This modeling approach is ideal for nest count data because it recognizes the hierarchical structure of the data while incorporating variables related to survey effort. Nesting has increased at all 68 beaches in Florida, with trends ranging from 3.1% to 16.3% per year. Overall, across the state, the number of nests has been increasing by 10.2% per year since 1979. Despite being a small population (probably < 1000 individuals), this nesting population may help achieve objectives in the federal recovery plan. This exponential growth rate mirrors trends observed for other Atlantic populations and may be driven partially by improved protection of nesting beaches. However, nesting is increasing even where beach protection has not been enhanced. Climate variability and associated marine food web dynamics, which could enhance productivity and reduce predators, may be driving this trend. PMID:21516903

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-10-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Sea turtle distribution along the boundary of the Gulf Stream current off eastern Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hoffman, W.; Fritts, T.H.

    1982-01-01

    Aerial surveys, out to 222 km off the east coast of central Florida during August 1980, revealed that marine turtles were distributed in a narrow zone west of the Gulf Stream. Of 255 loggerhead turtles, Caretta caretta, only three were observed east of the western boundary of the Gulf Stream. Radiometric thermometry revealed that the waters occupied by most Caretta were markedly cooler than the nearby waters of the Gulf Stream. Of 18 leatherback turtles, Dermochelys coriacea, all were seen west of the Gulf Stream in waters less than 70 m in depth. Marine turtles off eastern Florida are confined seasonally to nearshore waters west of the Gulf Stream. The records of Dermochelys in nearshore waters are in contrast with a deep water oceanic ecology often hypothesized for this species.

  15. Distorting Gene Pools by Conservation: Assessing the Case of Doomed Turtle Eggs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mrosovsky, N.

    2006-10-01

    Sea turtles have a high reproductive output and high mortality at early stages of the life cycle. In particular, many nests are laid below or close to high tide lines, and subsequently large numbers of eggs may be inundated and destroyed. A common conservation procedure is to relocate such doomed eggs to higher ground. This article examines this practice in the light of recent data revealing that some individual turtles tend to nest relatively near the water and others relatively higher up the beach. Discussion is focused on the question of why apparently poor placement of nests has not been selected against. Comparison between the ecology of leatherback and hawksbill turtle nesting beaches suggests that predictability of environmental conditions on the nesting beaches has an important influence on patterns of nest-site selection. Options are outlined for the management of nesting beaches where a high proportion of turtle eggs is subject to destruction by flooding.

  16. Pleated turtle escapes the box--shape changes in Dermochelys coriacea.

    PubMed

    Davenport, John; Plot, Virginie; Georges, Jean-Yves; Doyle, Thomas K; James, Michael C

    2011-10-15

    Typical chelonians have a rigid carapace and plastron that form a box-like structure that constrains several aspects of their physiology and ecology. The leatherback sea turtle, Dermochelys coriacea, has a flexible bony carapace strengthened by seven longitudinal ridges, whereas the plastron is reduced to an elliptical outer bony structure, so that the ventrum has no bony support. Measurements of the shell were made on adult female leatherbacks studied on the feeding grounds of waters off Nova Scotia (NS) and on breeding beaches of French Guiana (FG) to examine whether foraging and/or breeding turtles alter carapace size and/or shape. NS turtles exhibited greater mass and girth for a given curved carapace length (CCL) than FG turtles. Girth:CCL ratios rose during the feeding season, indicating increased girth. Measurements were made of the direct (straight) and surface (curved) distances between the medial longitudinal ridge and first right-hand longitudinal ridge (at 50% CCL). In NS turtles, the ratio of straight to curved inter-ridge distances was significantly higher than in FG turtles, indicating distension of the upper surfaces of the NS turtles between the ridges. FG females laid 11 clutches in the breeding season; although CCL and curved carapace width remained stable, girth declined between each nesting episode, indicating loss of mass. Straight to curved inter-ridge distance ratios did not change significantly during the breeding season, indicating loss of dorsal blubber before the onset of breeding. The results demonstrate substantial alterations in size and shape of female D. coriacea over periods of weeks to months in response to alterations in nutritional and reproductive status. PMID:21957111

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

    PubMed

    Arroyo-Arce, Stephanny; Salom-Pérez, Roberto

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Arroyo-Arce, Stephanny; Salom-Pérez, Roberto

    2015-09-01

    Little is known about the effects of jaguars on the population of marine turtles nesting in Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica. This study assessed jaguar predation impact on three species of marine turtles (Chelonia mydas, Dermochelys coriacea and Eretmochelys imbricata) that nest in Tortuguero beach. Jaguar predation data was obtained by using two methodologies, literature review (historical records prior the year 2005) and weekly surveys along the 29 km stretch of beach during the period 2005-2013. Our results indicated that jaguar predation has increased from one marine turtle in 1981 to 198 in 2013. Jaguars consumed annually an average of 120 (SD = 45) and 2 (SD = 3) green turtles and leatherbacks in Tortuguero beach, respectively. Based on our results we concluded that jaguars do not represent a threat to the population of green turtles that nest in Tortuguero beach, and it is not the main cause for population decline for leatherbacks and hawksbills. Future research should focus on continuing to monitor this predator-prey relationship as well as the factors that influence it so the proper management decisions can be taken. PMID:26666135

  19. Sea turtle species vary in their susceptibility to tropical cyclones.

    PubMed

    Pike, David A; Stiner, John C

    2007-08-01

    Severe climatic events affect all species, but there is little quantitative knowledge of how sympatric species react to such situations. We compared the reproductive seasonality of sea turtles that nest sympatrically with their vulnerability to tropical cyclones (in this study, "tropical cyclone" refers to tropical storms and hurricanes), which are increasing in severity due to changes in global climate. Storm surges significantly decreased reproductive output by lowering the number of nests that hatched and the number of hatchlings that emerged from nests, but the severity of this effect varied by species. Leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) began nesting earliest and most offspring hatched before the tropical cyclone season arrived, resulting in little negative effect. Loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) nested intermediately, and only nests laid late in the season were inundated with seawater during storm surges. Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) nested last, and their entire nesting season occurred during the tropical cyclone season; this resulted in a majority (79%) of green turtle nests incubating in September, when tropical cyclones are most likely to occur. Since this timing overlaps considerably with the tropical cyclone season, the developing eggs and nests are extremely vulnerable to storm surges. Increases in the severity of tropical cyclones may cause green turtle nesting success to worsen in the future. However, published literature suggests that loggerhead turtles are nesting earlier in the season and shortening their nesting seasons in response to increasing sea surface temperatures caused by global climate change. This may cause loggerhead reproductive success to improve in the future because more nests will hatch before the onset of tropical cyclones. Our data clearly indicate that sympatric species using the same resources are affected differently by tropical cyclones due to slight variations in the seasonal timing of nesting, a key life

  20. Sea turtle species vary in their susceptibility to tropical cyclones.

    PubMed

    Pike, David A; Stiner, John C

    2007-08-01

    Severe climatic events affect all species, but there is little quantitative knowledge of how sympatric species react to such situations. We compared the reproductive seasonality of sea turtles that nest sympatrically with their vulnerability to tropical cyclones (in this study, "tropical cyclone" refers to tropical storms and hurricanes), which are increasing in severity due to changes in global climate. Storm surges significantly decreased reproductive output by lowering the number of nests that hatched and the number of hatchlings that emerged from nests, but the severity of this effect varied by species. Leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) began nesting earliest and most offspring hatched before the tropical cyclone season arrived, resulting in little negative effect. Loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) nested intermediately, and only nests laid late in the season were inundated with seawater during storm surges. Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) nested last, and their entire nesting season occurred during the tropical cyclone season; this resulted in a majority (79%) of green turtle nests incubating in September, when tropical cyclones are most likely to occur. Since this timing overlaps considerably with the tropical cyclone season, the developing eggs and nests are extremely vulnerable to storm surges. Increases in the severity of tropical cyclones may cause green turtle nesting success to worsen in the future. However, published literature suggests that loggerhead turtles are nesting earlier in the season and shortening their nesting seasons in response to increasing sea surface temperatures caused by global climate change. This may cause loggerhead reproductive success to improve in the future because more nests will hatch before the onset of tropical cyclones. Our data clearly indicate that sympatric species using the same resources are affected differently by tropical cyclones due to slight variations in the seasonal timing of nesting, a key life

  1. 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).

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  5. High levels of polychlorinated biphenyls in tissues of Atlantic turtles stranded in the Canary Islands, Spain.

    PubMed

    Orós, J; González-Díaz, O M; Monagas, P

    2009-01-01

    Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs 28, 31, 52, 101, 138, 153, 180, and 209) were measured in tissue samples (liver and fat) from 30 loggerhead turtles Caretta caretta, 1 green turtle Chelonia mydas, and 1 leatherback Dermochelys coriacea stranded on the coasts of the Canary Islands, trying to establish a possible relation between PCB concentrations and the lesions and causes of death. Tissues from these turtles contained higher levels of PCBs than those reported in turtles from other geographical regions. Sigma PCB concentrations (1980+/-5320 ng g(-1)wet wt.) in the liver of loggerheads were higher than in the adipose tissue (450+/-1700 ng g(-1)wet wt.). Concentrations of PCB 209 in the liver (1200+/-3120 ng g(-1)wet wt.) of loggerheads and in the liver (530 ng g(-1)wet wt.) and adipose tissue (500 ng g(-1)wet wt.) of the leatherback were remarkable. Frequencies of detection of PCB 209 in the liver (15.5%) and adipose tissue (31%) were also remarkable. Cachexia was detected in 7 turtles (22%) and septicemia was diagnosed in 10 turtles (31%). Statistically, a positive correlation was detected between Sigma PCBs concentration and cachexia. Poor physical condition, cachexia and/or septicaemia could explain the high levels of PCBs and tissue distribution. However, no histological lesions exclusively attributed to the acute effects of PCBs were described. The most prevalent histological lesions were ulcerative and purulent oesophagitis, purulent dermatitis, necrotizing enteritis, and granulomatous pneumonia. The bacteria most frequently isolated were Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus sp., and Aeromonas sp. Although immunosupression as a result of PCBs pollution has been described previously, other factors in this study, such as incidental fishing, nutritional status, and exposition to different micro-organisms, make it difficult to establish a clear association between PCB concentrations and causes of death. PMID:19062067

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

    PubMed

    Huang, Hsiang-Wen

    2015-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Palaeontology: turtles in transition.

    PubMed

    Lee, Michael S Y

    2013-06-17

    One of the major remaining gaps in the vertebrate fossil record concerns the origin of turtles. The enigmatic little reptile Eunotosaurus could represent an important transitional form, as it has a rudimentary shell that resembles the turtle carapace.

  11. 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

  12. Marine debris and human impacts on sea turtles in southern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Bugoni, L; Krause, L; Petry, M V

    2001-12-01

    Dead stranded sea turtles were recovered and examined to determine the impact of anthropogenic debris and fishery activities on sea turtles on the coast of Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil. Esophagus/stomach contents of 38 juvenile green Chelonia mydas, 10 adults and sub-adults loggerhead Caretta caretta, and two leatherback Dermochelys coriacea turtles (adult or sub-adult) included plastic bags as the main debris ingested, predominated by white and colorless pieces. The ingestion of anthropogenic debris accounted for the death of 13.2% of the green turtles examined. Signs of damage over the body and carapace indicated that fishing activities caused the death of 13.6% (3/22) of loggerheads and 1.5% (1/56) of green turtles. Therefore, it appears that direct and indirect effects of fishing activities may pose a threat to these species in Brazilian waters. Other sources of plastic debris should be investigated as well as the direct impact of fisheries, especially bottom trawl and gill nets, in order to establish effective conservation action.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Do Roads Reduce Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta) Populations?

    PubMed Central

    Dorland, Alexandra; Rytwinski, Trina; Fahrig, Lenore

    2014-01-01

    Road mortality is thought to be a leading cause of turtle population decline. However, empirical evidence of the direct negative effects of road mortality on turtle population abundance is lacking. The purpose of this study was to provide a strong test of the prediction that roads reduce turtle population abundance. While controlling for potentially confounding variables, we compared relative abundance of painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) in 20 ponds in Eastern Ontario, 10 as close as possible to high traffic roads (Road sites) and 10 as far as possible from any major roads (No Road sites). There was no significant effect of roads on painted turtle relative abundance. Furthermore, our data do not support other predictions of the road mortality hypothesis; we observed neither a higher relative frequency of males to females at Road sites than at No Road sites, nor a lower average body size of turtles at Road than at No Road sites. We speculate that, although roads can cause substantial adult mortality in turtles, other factors, such as release from predation on adults and/or nests close to roads counter the negative effect of road mortality in some populations. We suggest that road mitigation for painted turtles can be limited to locations where turtles are forced to migrate across high traffic roads due, for example, to destruction of local nesting habitat or seasonal drying of ponds. This conclusion should not be extrapolated to other species of turtles, where road mortality could have a larger population-level effect than on painted turtles. PMID:24858065

  16. Opening and closing mechanisms of the leatherback sea turtle larynx: a crucial role for the tongue.

    PubMed

    Fraher, John; Davenport, John; Fitzgerald, Edward; McLaughlin, Patrick; Doyle, Tom; Harman, Luke; Cuffe, Tracy

    2010-12-15

    A combination of dissection and computed tomography scanning has provided significant novel insights into the structure and function of the Dermochelys coriacea larynx and its associated muscles. Several previously unknown features of the laryngeal aditus (glottis) are described and their functional significance in its opening and closure are considered. The tongue plays an essential part in producing and maintaining closure during dives and feeding bouts. Closure is brought about by compression of the glottis under the action of the two hyoglossus muscles. The tongue thus plays the role of the epiglottis of mammals, sealing the entrance to the larynx. As is already clear, opening is brought about by abduction of the arytenoid cartilages. In addition, there is a powerful mechanism for maintaining the larynx in close apposition to the hyoid plate during feeding and neck flexion, thereby enhancing the efficiency of feeding. PMID:21112993

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Putman, N. F.; Lohmann, K.

    2011-12-01

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

  18. The Classroom Animal: Box Turtles.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kramer, David C.

    1986-01-01

    Provides basic information on the anatomy, physiology, behaviors, and distribution patterns of the box turtle. Offers suggestions for the turtle's care and maintenance in a classroom environment. (ML)

  19. THE BOG TURTLE: Georgia's Rarest Turtle.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, Lawrence

    1991-01-01

    This article discusses the description and range, the status, the habitat, the natural history, and the proper management of the diminutive, rare, and endangered species known as the box turtle. (JJK)

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Sato, Katsufumi

    2014-10-15

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

  2. 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.

  3. Underwater Hearing in Turtles.

    PubMed

    Willis, Katie L

    2016-01-01

    The hearing of turtles is poorly understood compared with the other reptiles. Although the mechanism of transduction of sound into a neural signal via hair cells has been described in detail, the rest of the auditory system is largely a black box. What is known is that turtles have higher hearing thresholds than other reptiles, with best frequencies around 500 Hz. They also have lower underwater hearing thresholds than those in air, owing to resonance of the middle ear cavity. Further studies demonstrated that all families of turtles and tortoises share a common middle ear cavity morphology, with scaling best suited to underwater hearing. This supports an aquatic origin of the group. Because turtles hear best under water, it is important to examine their vulnerability to anthropogenic noise. However, the lack of basic data makes such experiments difficult because only a few species of turtles have published audiograms. There are also almost no behavioral data available (understandable due to training difficulties). Finally, few studies show what kinds of sounds are behaviorally relevant. One notable paper revealed that the Australian snake-necked turtle (Chelodina oblonga) has a vocal repertoire in air, at the interface, and under water. Findings like these suggest that there is more to the turtle aquatic auditory scene than previously thought.

  4. Terrestrial movement patterns of western pond turtles (Actinemys marmorata) in central California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pilliod, David S.; Welty, Justin L.; Stafford, Robert

    2013-01-01

    We used radio telemetry to track the terrestrial movements and seasonal habitat use patterns of Western Pond Turtles (Actinemys marmorata) near two ponds in the Carrizo Plain Ecological Reserve, California, USA. We captured 93 turtles in September 2005 and, of these, we tagged three males and six females(weighing > 300 g) with external transmitters. Tagged turtles traveled from 255–1,096 m over the 448-day study, and we found none further than 343 m from ponds. All turtles moved away from the ponds as water levels receded in the fall, resulting in periods of terrestrial overwintering ranging from 10–30 weeks (74–202 d). We found no evidence for group migrations as turtles departed ponds over 2–8 week periods, moved in different directions from their ponds, and used different habitats. Turtles overwintered mainly in oak and chaparral vegetation communities, which constituted most of the local vegetation. We found overwintering turtles in a variety of microhabitats, but all turtles were on the surface with their carapace just visible amongst the duff layer. Turtles returned to ponds over several weeks, sometimes months after they refilled with winter rains. In the winter of 2006–2007, no turtles returned to terrestrial overwintering sites used the previous year. Most of the turtles we tracked spent over half of each year on land, demonstrating the importance of terrestrial habitats around these seasonal ponds. This pattern is similar to pond turtles living in streams (overwinter on land), as compared to permanent ponds (turtles often remain in water).

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-15

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

  8. Young Children and Turtle Graphics Programming: Understanding Turtle Commands.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cuneo, Diane O.

    The LOGO programing language developed for children includes a set of primitive graphics commands that control the displacement and rotation of a display screen cursor called a turtle. The purpose of this study was to examine 4- to 7-year-olds' understanding of single turtle commands as transformations that connect turtle states and to…

  9. The Classroom Animal: Snapping Turtles.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kramer, David C.

    1987-01-01

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

  10. Hypoxic turtles keep their cool.

    PubMed

    Madsen, Jesper G; Wang, Tobias; Madsen, Peter T

    2015-01-01

    Several species of freshwater turtles spend the winter submerged in ice-covered lakes in a state of severe metabolic depression. It has been proposed that the hibernating turtles are comatose and entirely unresponsive, which raises the question of how they detect the arrival of spring and whether they respond to sensory information during hibernation. Using evoked potential studies in cold hypoxic turtles exposed to light and vibration, we show that hibernating turtles maintain neural responsiveness to light stimuli during prolonged hypoxia, while responsiveness to vibration is lost. This reveals a state of differential neural shutdown, in different sensory systems in the cold hypoxic turtle brain. In behavioral studies we show that turtles held for 14 days in hibernation increase locomotor activity in response to light or elevated temperatures, but not to vibration or increased oxygen. We conclude that hibernating freshwater turtles are not comatose, but remain vigilant during overwintering in cold hypoxia. PMID:27227001

  11. Chapter 2. Vulnerability of marine turtles to climate change.

    PubMed

    Poloczanska, Elvira S; Limpus, Colin J; Hays, Graeme C

    2009-01-01

    threaten nesting beaches and reproductive success, and pollution and eutrophication is threatening important coastal foraging habitats for turtles worldwide. Exploitation and bycatch in other fisheries has seriously reduced marine turtle populations. The synergistic effects of other human-induced stressors may seriously reduce the capacity of some turtle populations to adapt to the current rates of climate change. Conservation recommendations to increase the capacity of marine turtle populations to adapt to climate change include increasing population resilience, for example by the use of turtle exclusion devices in fisheries, protection of nesting beaches from the viewpoints of both conservation and coastal management, and increased international conservation efforts to protect turtles in regions where there is high unregulated or illegal fisheries (including turtle harvesting). Increasing research efforts on the critical knowledge gaps of processes influencing population numbers, such as identifying ocean foraging hotspots or the processes that underlie the initiation of nesting migrations and selection of breeding areas, will inform adaptive management in a changing climate. PMID:19895975

  12. Chapter 2. Vulnerability of marine turtles to climate change.

    PubMed

    Poloczanska, Elvira S; Limpus, Colin J; Hays, Graeme C

    2009-01-01

    threaten nesting beaches and reproductive success, and pollution and eutrophication is threatening important coastal foraging habitats for turtles worldwide. Exploitation and bycatch in other fisheries has seriously reduced marine turtle populations. The synergistic effects of other human-induced stressors may seriously reduce the capacity of some turtle populations to adapt to the current rates of climate change. Conservation recommendations to increase the capacity of marine turtle populations to adapt to climate change include increasing population resilience, for example by the use of turtle exclusion devices in fisheries, protection of nesting beaches from the viewpoints of both conservation and coastal management, and increased international conservation efforts to protect turtles in regions where there is high unregulated or illegal fisheries (including turtle harvesting). Increasing research efforts on the critical knowledge gaps of processes influencing population numbers, such as identifying ocean foraging hotspots or the processes that underlie the initiation of nesting migrations and selection of breeding areas, will inform adaptive management in a changing climate.

  13. 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

  14. Natal homing in juvenile loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta).

    PubMed

    Bowen, Brian W; Bass, Anna L; Chow, Shaio-Mei; Bostrom, Meredith; Bjorndal, Karen A; Bolten, Alan B; Okuyama, Toshinori; Bolker, Benjamin M; Epperly, Sheryan; Lacasella, Erin; Shaver, Donna; Dodd, Mark; Hopkins-Murphy, Sally R; Musick, John A; Swingle, Mark; Rankin-Baransky, Karen; Teas, Wendy; Witzell, Wayne N; Dutton, Peter H

    2004-12-01

    Juvenile loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) from West Atlantic nesting beaches occupy oceanic (pelagic) habitats in the eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean, whereas larger juvenile turtles occupy shallow (neritic) habitats along the continental coastline of North America. Hence the switch from oceanic to neritic stage can involve a trans-oceanic migration. Several researchers have suggested that at the end of the oceanic phase, juveniles are homing to feeding habitats in the vicinity of their natal rookery. To test the hypothesis of juvenile homing behaviour, we surveyed 10 juvenile feeding zones across the eastern USA with mitochondrial DNA control region sequences (N = 1437) and compared these samples to potential source (nesting) populations in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea (N = 465). The results indicated a shallow, but significant, population structure of neritic juveniles (PhiST = 0.0088, P = 0.016), and haplotype frequency differences were significantly correlated between coastal feeding populations and adjacent nesting populations (Mantel test R2 = 0.52, P = 0.001). Mixed stock analyses (using a Bayesian algorithm) indicated that juveniles occurred at elevated frequency in the vicinity of their natal rookery. Hence, all lines of evidence supported the hypothesis of juvenile homing in loggerhead turtles. While not as precise as the homing of breeding adults, this behaviour nonetheless places juvenile turtles in the vicinity of their natal nesting colonies. Some of the coastal hazards that affect declining nesting populations may also affect the next generation of turtles feeding in nearby habitats. PMID:15548292

  15. Turtle Graphics of Morphic Sequences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zantema, Hans

    2016-02-01

    The simplest infinite sequences that are not ultimately periodic are pure morphic sequences: fixed points of particular morphisms mapping single symbols to strings of symbols. A basic way to visualize a sequence is by a turtle curve: for every alphabet symbol fix an angle, and then consecutively for all sequence elements draw a unit segment and turn the drawing direction by the corresponding angle. This paper investigates turtle curves of pure morphic sequences. In particular, criteria are given for turtle curves being finite (consisting of finitely many segments), and for being fractal or self-similar: it contains an up-scaled copy of itself. Also space-filling turtle curves are considered, and a turtle curve that is dense in the plane. As a particular result we give an exact relationship between the Koch curve and a turtle curve for the Thue-Morse sequence, where until now for such a result only approximations were known.

  16. A phylogenomic analysis of turtles.

    PubMed

    Crawford, Nicholas G; Parham, James F; Sellas, Anna B; Faircloth, Brant C; Glenn, Travis C; Papenfuss, Theodore J; Henderson, James B; Hansen, Madison H; Simison, W Brian

    2015-02-01

    Molecular analyses of turtle relationships have overturned prevailing morphological hypotheses and prompted the development of a new taxonomy. Here we provide the first genome-scale analysis of turtle phylogeny. We sequenced 2381 ultraconserved element (UCE) loci representing a total of 1,718,154bp of aligned sequence. Our sampling includes 32 turtle taxa representing all 14 recognized turtle families and an additional six outgroups. Maximum likelihood, Bayesian, and species tree methods produce a single resolved phylogeny. This robust phylogeny shows that proposed phylogenetic names correspond to well-supported clades, and this topology is more consistent with the temporal appearance of clades and paleobiogeography. Future studies of turtle phylogeny using fossil turtles should use this topology as a scaffold for their morphological phylogenetic analyses.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kan, Da

    2004-01-01

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

  18. The diapsid origin of turtles.

    PubMed

    Schoch, Rainer R; Sues, Hans-Dieter

    2016-06-01

    The origin of turtles has been a persistent unresolved problem involving unsettled questions in embryology, morphology, and paleontology. New fossil taxa from the early Late Triassic of China (Odontochelys) and the Late Middle Triassic of Germany (Pappochelys) now add to the understanding of (i) the evolutionary origin of the turtle shell, (ii) the ancestral structural pattern of the turtle skull, and (iii) the phylogenetic position of Testudines. As has long been postulated on the basis of molecular data, turtles evolved from diapsid reptiles and are more closely related to extant diapsids than to parareptiles, which had been suggested as stem group by some paleontologists. The turtle cranium with its secondarily closed temporal region represents a derived rather than a primitive condition and the plastron partially evolved through the fusion of gastralia.

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

    PubMed

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

    1989-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Putman, Nathan F; Mansfield, Katherine L

    2015-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Putman, Nathan F; Mansfield, Katherine L

    2015-05-01

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

  2. 76 FR 40926 - Receipt of Applications for Endangered Species Permits

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-07-12

    ... ground penetrating radar, nests of loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) and leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) for the purpose of studying nesting...

  3. Young Children Learn Geometric Concepts Using Logo with a Screen Turtle and a Floor Turtle.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weaver, Constance L.

    This research was designed to investigate several primary questions in comparing the Logo floor turtle to the Logo screen turtle: (1) Do young children gain different geometric concepts from experiences with the floor turtle than they do with the screen turtle? (2) Do young children learn to use the four basic Logo commands more efficiently with…

  4. Fidelity and over-wintering of sea turtles

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

  5. Pet Turtles Continue to Spread Salmonella

    MedlinePlus

    ... https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_159393.html Pet Turtles Continue to Spread Salmonella 15 outbreaks in U.S. ... WEDNESDAY, June 15, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Kissing a turtle may be more than just yucky -- sometimes it ...

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-08-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. TORTIS (Toddler's Own Recursive Turtle Interpreter System).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perlman, Radia

    TORTIS (Toddler's Own Recursive Turtle Interpreter System) is a device which can be used to study or nurture the cognitive development of preschool children. The device consists of a "turtle" which the child can control by use of buttons on a control panel. The "turtle" can be made to move in prescribed directions, to take a given number of paces,…

  12. 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...

  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, 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. Engaging Students in Science: Turtle Nestwatch

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lewis, Elaine; Baudains, Catherine; Mansfield, Caroline

    2009-01-01

    Involving students in authentic science work is one way to enhance their interest in science. This paper reports a project in which Year 4-7 students actively participated in a study that involved the provision of a suitable nesting site for local turtles. The students collected data on turtle nests at the site and evidence of turtle hatchlings at…

  18. 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.

  19. Palaeoecology of triassic stem turtles sheds new light on turtle origins.

    PubMed Central

    Joyce, Walter G.; Gauthier, Jacques A.

    2004-01-01

    Competing hypotheses of early turtle evolution contrast sharply in implying very different ecological settings-aquatic versus terrestrial-for the origin of turtles. We investigate the palaeoecology of extinct turtles by first demonstrating that the forelimbs of extant turtles faithfully reflect habitat preferences, with short-handed turtles being terrestrial and long-handed turtles being aquatic. We apply this metric to the two successive outgroups to all living turtles with forelimbs preserved, Proganochelys quenstedti and Palaeochersis talampayensis, to discover that these earliest turtle outgroups were decidedly terrestrial. We then plot the observed distribution of aquatic versus terrestrial habits among living turtles onto their hypothesized phylogenies. Both lines of evidence indicate that although the common ancestor of all living turtles was aquatic, the earliest turtles clearly lived in a terrestrial environment. Additional anatomical and sedimentological evidence favours these conclusions. The freshwater aquatic habitat preference so characteristic of living turtles cannot, consequently, be taken as positive evidence for an aquatic origin of turtles, but must rather be considered a convergence relative to other aquatic amniotes, including the marine sauropterygians to which turtles have sometimes been allied. PMID:15002764

  20. Palaeoecology of triassic stem turtles sheds new light on turtle origins.

    PubMed

    Joyce, Walter G; Gauthier, Jacques A

    2004-01-01

    Competing hypotheses of early turtle evolution contrast sharply in implying very different ecological settings-aquatic versus terrestrial-for the origin of turtles. We investigate the palaeoecology of extinct turtles by first demonstrating that the forelimbs of extant turtles faithfully reflect habitat preferences, with short-handed turtles being terrestrial and long-handed turtles being aquatic. We apply this metric to the two successive outgroups to all living turtles with forelimbs preserved, Proganochelys quenstedti and Palaeochersis talampayensis, to discover that these earliest turtle outgroups were decidedly terrestrial. We then plot the observed distribution of aquatic versus terrestrial habits among living turtles onto their hypothesized phylogenies. Both lines of evidence indicate that although the common ancestor of all living turtles was aquatic, the earliest turtles clearly lived in a terrestrial environment. Additional anatomical and sedimentological evidence favours these conclusions. The freshwater aquatic habitat preference so characteristic of living turtles cannot, consequently, be taken as positive evidence for an aquatic origin of turtles, but must rather be considered a convergence relative to other aquatic amniotes, including the marine sauropterygians to which turtles have sometimes been allied.

  1. Characterization of marine mammals and turtles in the mid- and north-Atlantic areas of the US Outer Continental Shelf: executive summary for 1979. Final report 1979-81

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1981-04-01

    The program's objectives are as follows: (1) to determine which species of marine mammals and marine turtles inhabit and/or migrate through the study area; (2) to identify, delineate and describe areas of importance (feeding, breeding, calving, etc.) to marine mammals and marine turtles in the study area; (3) to determine the temporal and spatial distribution of marine mammals and marine turtles in the study area; (4) to estimate the size of and extent of marine mammal and marine turtle populations in the study area; and (5) to emphasize the above item 1-4 for those species classified as threatened or endangered by the Department of Interior and Department of Commerce.

  2. Molecular identification and pathology of Anisakis pegreffii (Nematoda: Anisakidae) infection in the Mediterranean loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta).

    PubMed

    Santoro, Mario; Mattiucci, Simonetta; Paoletti, Michela; Liotta, Annalisa; Uberti, Barbara Degli; Galiero, Giorgio; Nascetti, Giuseppe

    2010-11-24

    Nematodes of genus Anisakis spp. parasitize a wide range of marine hosts with marine mammals (mainly cetaceans) serving as definitive hosts, while fish, squid and other invertebrates serve as paratenic or intermediate hosts. Sea turtles can act as accidental or paratenic hosts for Anisakis spp. larvae, harbouring third-stage larvae unable to complete their life cycle in an ectothermic vertebrate. Post-mortem examination of 96 loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) stranded along the Italian coast of the Mediterranean Sea showed infection by Anisakis larvae Type I from 4 of 6 locations that were identified as belonging to Anisakis pegreffii by sequence analyses of the mtDNA cox2. Thirteen turtles (11 males and 2 females) were infected with A. pegreffii. Larvae were detected through gross necroscopy from 7 turtles, while in other 6 positive loggerhead sea turtles A. pegreffii larvae were revealed by histopathology. Pathological changes associated with A. pegreffii larvae in the stomach and intestine included necrosis and granulomatous response compatible with larvae migration. The role of the loggerhead sea turtle as an accidental host in the life cycle of this nematode is also discussed. This study is the first description of pathological changes associated with A. pegreffii in a sea turtle.

  3. Good news for sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Hays, Graeme C

    2004-07-01

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

  4. 77 FR 32909 - Listing Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Designating Critical Habitat; 12-Month...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-06-04

    ... of 1969, a precursor to the ESA (35 FR 8491). Leatherback sea turtles are the largest living turtles... recently, we designated critical habitat for leatherback sea turtles in the Pacific Ocean (77 FR 4170... for leatherback sea turtles in the Pacific Ocean (75 FR 319; January 5, 2010) as support for...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-11-01

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

  6. The origin of turtles: a paleontological perspective.

    PubMed

    Joyce, Walter G

    2015-05-01

    The origin of turtles and their unusual body plan has fascinated scientists for the last two centuries. Over the course of the last decades, a broad sample of molecular analyses have favored a sister group relationship of turtles with archosaurs, but recent studies reveal that this signal may be the result of systematic biases affecting molecular approaches, in particular sampling, non-randomly distributed rate heterogeneity among taxa, and the use of concatenated data sets. Morphological studies, by contrast, disfavor archosaurian relationships for turtles, but the proposed alternative topologies are poorly supported as well. The recently revived paleontological hypothesis that the Middle Permian Eunotosaurus africanus is an intermediate stem turtle is now robustly supported by numerous characters that were previously thought to be unique to turtles and that are now shown to have originated over the course of tens of millions of years unrelated to the origin of the turtle shell. Although E. africanus does not solve the placement of turtles within Amniota, it successfully extends the stem lineage of turtles to the Permian and helps resolve some questions associated with the origin of turtles, in particular the non-composite origin of the shell, the slow origin of the shell, and the terrestrial setting for the origin of turtles.

  7. Emydid herpesvirus 1 infection in northern map turtles (Graptemys geographica) and painted turtles (Chrysemys picta).

    PubMed

    Ossiboff, Robert J; Newton, Alisa L; Seimon, Tracie A; Moore, Robert P; McAloose, Denise

    2015-05-01

    A captive, juvenile, female northern map turtle (Graptemys geographica) was found dead following a brief period of weakness and nasal discharge. Postmortem examination identified pneumonia with necrosis and numerous epithelial, intranuclear viral inclusion bodies, consistent with herpesviral pneumonia. Similar intranuclear inclusions were also associated with foci of hepatocellular and splenic necrosis. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) screening of fresh, frozen liver for the herpesviral DNA-dependent DNA polymerase gene yielded an amplicon with 99.2% similarity to recently described emydid herpesvirus 1 (EmyHV-1). Molecular screening of turtles housed in enclosures that shared a common circulation system with the affected map turtle identified 4 asymptomatic, EmyHV-1 PCR-positive painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) and 1 asymptomatic northern map turtle. Herpesvirus transmission between painted and map turtles has been previously suggested, and our report provides the molecular characterization of a herpesvirus in asymptomatic painted turtles that can cause fatal herpesvirus-associated disease in northern map turtles.

  8. Immunoglobulin genes of the turtles.

    PubMed

    Magadán-Mompó, Susana; Sánchez-Espinel, Christian; Gambón-Deza, Francisco

    2013-03-01

    The availability of reptile genomes for the use of the scientific community is an exceptional opportunity to study the evolution of immunoglobulin genes. The genome of Chrysemys picta bellii and Pelodiscus sinensis is the first one that has been reported for turtles. The scanning for immunoglobulin genes resulted in the presence of a complex locus for the immunoglobulin heavy chain (IGH). This IGH locus in both turtles contains genes for 13 isotypes in C. picta bellii and 17 in P. sinensis. These correspond with one immunoglobulin M, one immunoglobulin D, several immunoglobulins Y (six in C. picta bellii and eight in P. sinensis), and several immunoglobulins that are similar to immunoglobulin D2 (five in C. picta belli and seven in P. sinensis) that was previously described in Eublepharis macularius. It is worthy to note that IGHD2 are placed in an inverted transcriptional orientation and present sequences for two immunoglobulin domains that are similar to bird IgA domains. Furthermore, its phylogenetic analysis allows us to consider about the presence of IGHA gene in a primitive reptile, so we would be dealing with the memory of the gene that originated from the bird IGHA. In summary, we provide a clear picture of the immunoglobulins present in a turtle, whose analysis supports the idea that turtles emerged from the evolutionary line from the differentiation of birds and the presence of the IGHA gene present in a common ancestor.

  9. The ontogeny of morphological defenses in Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) and loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Salmon, Michael; Higgins, Benjamin; Stewart, Joshua; Wyneken, Jeanette

    2015-08-01

    Marine turtles are large reptiles that compensate for high juvenile mortality by producing hundreds of hatchlings during a long reproductive lifespan. Most hatchlings are taken by predators during their migration to, and while resident in, the open ocean. Their survival depends upon crypticity, minimizing movement to avoid detection, and foraging efficiently to grow to a size too difficult for predators to either handle or swallow. While these behavioral antipredator tactics are known, changes in morphology accompanying growth may also improve survival prospects. These have been only superficially described in the literature. Here, we compare the similarities and differences in presumed morphological defenses of growing loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) posthatchlings, related species that differ in growth rate, timing of habitat shift (the return from oceanic to neritic locations), and size at maturity. In both species, vertebral spination and carapace widening increase disproportionally as small turtles grow, but later in ontogeny, the spines regress, sooner in ridley than in loggerhead turtles. Carapace widening occurs in both species but loggerheads are always longer than they are wide whereas in Kemp's ridley turtles, the carapace becomes as wide as long. Our analysis indicates that these changes are unrelated to when each species shifts habitat but are related to turtle size. We hypothesize that the spines function in small turtles as an early defense against gape-limited predators, but changes in body shape function throughout ontogeny-initially to make small turtles too wide to swallow and later by presenting an almost flat and hardened surface that large predators (such as a sharks) are unable to grasp. The extremely wide carapace of the Kemp's ridley may compensate for its smaller adult size (and presumed greater vulnerability) than the loggerhead.

  10. The ontogeny of morphological defenses in Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) and loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Salmon, Michael; Higgins, Benjamin; Stewart, Joshua; Wyneken, Jeanette

    2015-08-01

    Marine turtles are large reptiles that compensate for high juvenile mortality by producing hundreds of hatchlings during a long reproductive lifespan. Most hatchlings are taken by predators during their migration to, and while resident in, the open ocean. Their survival depends upon crypticity, minimizing movement to avoid detection, and foraging efficiently to grow to a size too difficult for predators to either handle or swallow. While these behavioral antipredator tactics are known, changes in morphology accompanying growth may also improve survival prospects. These have been only superficially described in the literature. Here, we compare the similarities and differences in presumed morphological defenses of growing loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) posthatchlings, related species that differ in growth rate, timing of habitat shift (the return from oceanic to neritic locations), and size at maturity. In both species, vertebral spination and carapace widening increase disproportionally as small turtles grow, but later in ontogeny, the spines regress, sooner in ridley than in loggerhead turtles. Carapace widening occurs in both species but loggerheads are always longer than they are wide whereas in Kemp's ridley turtles, the carapace becomes as wide as long. Our analysis indicates that these changes are unrelated to when each species shifts habitat but are related to turtle size. We hypothesize that the spines function in small turtles as an early defense against gape-limited predators, but changes in body shape function throughout ontogeny-initially to make small turtles too wide to swallow and later by presenting an almost flat and hardened surface that large predators (such as a sharks) are unable to grasp. The extremely wide carapace of the Kemp's ridley may compensate for its smaller adult size (and presumed greater vulnerability) than the loggerhead. PMID:26126953

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

    PubMed

    Brothers, J Roger; Lohmann, Kenneth J

    2015-02-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

    Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) populations have experienced global decline because of a history of intense commercial exploitation for shell and stuffed taxidermied whole animals, and harvest for eggs and meat. Improved understanding of genetic diversity and phylogeography is needed to aid conservation. In this study, we analyzed the most geographically comprehensive sample of hawksbill turtles from the Indo-Pacific Ocean, sequencing 766 bp of the mitochondrial control region from 13 locations (plus Aldabra, n = 4) spanning over 13500 km. Our analysis of 492 samples revealed 52 haplotypes distributed in 5 divergent clades. Diversification times differed between the Indo-Pacific and Atlantic lineages and appear to be related to the sea-level changes that occurred during the Last Glacial Maximum. We found signals of demographic expansion only for turtles from the Persian Gulf region, which can be tied to a more recent colonization event. Our analyses revealed evidence of transoceanic migration, including connections between feeding grounds from the Atlantic Ocean and Indo-Pacific rookeries. Hawksbill turtles appear to have a complex pattern of phylogeography, showing a weak isolation by distance and evidence of multiple colonization events. Our novel dataset will allow mixed-stock analyses of hawksbill turtle feeding grounds in the Indo-Pacific by providing baseline data needed for conservation efforts in the region. Eight management units are proposed in our study for the Indo-Pacific region that can be incorporated in conservation plans of this critically endangered species. PMID:26615184

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  14. 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)

  15. Modeling neck mobility in fossil turtles.

    PubMed

    Werneburg, Ingmar; Hinz, Juliane K; Gumpenberger, Michaela; Volpato, Virginie; Natchev, Nikolay; Joyce, Walter G

    2015-05-01

    Turtles have the unparalleled ability to retract their heads and necks within their shell but little is known about the evolution of this trait. Extensive analysis of neck mobility in turtles using radiographs, CT scans, and morphometry reveals that basal turtles possessed less mobility in the neck relative to their extant relatives, although the anatomical prerequisites for modern mobility were already established. Many extant turtles are able to achieve hypermobility by dislocating the central articulations, which raises cautions about reconstructing the mobility of fossil vertebrates. A 3D-model of the Late Triassic turtle Proganochelys quenstedti reveals that this early stem turtle was able to retract its head by tucking it sideways below the shell. The simple ventrolateral bend seen in this stem turtle, however, contrasts with the complex double-bend of extant turtles. The initial evolution of neck retraction therefore occurred in a near-synchrony with the origin of the turtle shell as a place to hide the unprotected neck. In this early, simplified retraction mode, the conical osteoderms on the neck provided further protection.

  16. A Mycoplasma species of Emydidae turtles in the northeastern USA.

    PubMed

    Ossiboff, Robert J; Raphael, Bonnie L; Ammazzalorso, Alyssa D; Seimon, Tracie A; Niederriter, Holly; Zarate, Brian; Newton, Alisa L; McAloose, Denise

    2015-04-01

    Mycoplasma infections can cause significant morbidity and mortality in captive and wild chelonians. As part of a health assessment of endangered bog turtles (Glyptemys muhlenbergii) in the northeastern US, choanal and cloacal swabs from these and other sympatric species, including spotted turtles (Clemmys guttata), eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina), wood turtles (Glyptemys insculpta), and common snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) from 10 sampling sites in the states (US) of Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, were tested by PCR for Mycoplasma. Of 108 turtles tested, 63 (58.3%) were PCR positive for Mycoplasma including 58 of 83 bog turtles (70%), three of three (100%) eastern box turtles, and two of 11 (18%) spotted turtles; all snapping turtles (n = 7) and wood turtles (n = 4) were negative. Sequence analysis of portions of the 16S-23S intergenic spacer region and the 16S ribosomal RNA gene revealed a single, unclassified species of Mycoplasma that has been previously reported in eastern box turtles, ornate box turtles (Terrapene ornata ornata), western pond turtles (Emys marmorata), and red-eared sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans). We document a high incidence of Mycoplasma, in the absence of clinical disease, in wild emydid turtles. These findings, along with wide distribution of the identified Mycoplasma sp. across a broad geographic region, suggest this bacterium is likely a commensal inhabitant of bog turtles, and possibly other species of emydid turtles, in the northeastern US.

  17. A Mycoplasma species of Emydidae turtles in the northeastern USA.

    PubMed

    Ossiboff, Robert J; Raphael, Bonnie L; Ammazzalorso, Alyssa D; Seimon, Tracie A; Niederriter, Holly; Zarate, Brian; Newton, Alisa L; McAloose, Denise

    2015-04-01

    Mycoplasma infections can cause significant morbidity and mortality in captive and wild chelonians. As part of a health assessment of endangered bog turtles (Glyptemys muhlenbergii) in the northeastern US, choanal and cloacal swabs from these and other sympatric species, including spotted turtles (Clemmys guttata), eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina), wood turtles (Glyptemys insculpta), and common snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) from 10 sampling sites in the states (US) of Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, were tested by PCR for Mycoplasma. Of 108 turtles tested, 63 (58.3%) were PCR positive for Mycoplasma including 58 of 83 bog turtles (70%), three of three (100%) eastern box turtles, and two of 11 (18%) spotted turtles; all snapping turtles (n = 7) and wood turtles (n = 4) were negative. Sequence analysis of portions of the 16S-23S intergenic spacer region and the 16S ribosomal RNA gene revealed a single, unclassified species of Mycoplasma that has been previously reported in eastern box turtles, ornate box turtles (Terrapene ornata ornata), western pond turtles (Emys marmorata), and red-eared sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans). We document a high incidence of Mycoplasma, in the absence of clinical disease, in wild emydid turtles. These findings, along with wide distribution of the identified Mycoplasma sp. across a broad geographic region, suggest this bacterium is likely a commensal inhabitant of bog turtles, and possibly other species of emydid turtles, in the northeastern US. PMID:25574806

  18. More on Sea Turtles and Seaweed

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Xin, Tian

    2005-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Why do turtles live so long

    SciTech Connect

    Gibbons, J.W.

    1987-04-01

    Turtles appear to live longer than most other species of vertebrates, according to both maximal lifespans from zoo records and survivorship patterns in natural populations. Turtle longevity may reflect low metabolic activity, an absence of physiological and anatomical senility, a large investment in the adult's protective shell, and a life history with a long maturation period.

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. North American box turtles: A natural history

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dodd, C. Kenneth

    2002-01-01

    Once a familiar backyard visitor in many parts of the United States and Mexico, the box turtle is losing the battle against extinction. In North American Box Turtles, C. Kenneth Dodd, Jr., has written the first book-length natural history of the twelve species and subspecies of this endangered animal. This volume includes comprehensive information on the species’ evolution, behavior, courtship and reproduction, habitat use, diet, population structure, systematics, and disease. Special features include color photos of all species, subspecies, and their habitats; a simple identification guide to both living and fossil species; and a summary of information on fossil Terrapene and Native uses of box turtles. End-of-chapter sections highlight future research directions, including the need for long-term monitoring and observation of box turtles within their natural habitat and conservation applications. A glossary and a bibliography of literature on box turtles accompany the text.

  4. Island-finding ability of marine turtles.

    PubMed Central

    Hays, Graeme C; Akesson, Susanne; Broderick, Annette C; Glen, Fiona; Godley, Brendan J; Papi, Floriano; Luschi, Paolo

    2003-01-01

    Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) swim from foraging grounds along the Brazilian coast to Ascension Island to nest, over 2200 km distant in the middle of the equatorial Atlantic. To test the hypothesis that turtles use wind-borne cues to locate Ascension Island we found turtles that had just completed nesting and then moved three individuals 50 km northwest (downwind) of the island and three individuals 50 km southeast (upwind). Their subsequent movements were tracked by satellite. Turtles released downwind returned to Ascension Island within 1, 2 and 4 days, respectively. By contrast, those released upwind had far more difficulty in relocating Ascension Island, two eventually returning after 10 and 27 days and the third heading back to Brazil after failing to find its way back to the island. These findings strongly support the hypothesis that wind-borne cues are used by turtles to locate Ascension Island. PMID:12952621

  5. Modeling loggerhead turtle movement in the Mediterranean: importance of body size and oceanography.

    PubMed

    Eckert, Scott A; Moore, Jeffrey E; Dunn, Daniel C; van Buiten, Ricardo Sagarminaga; Eckert, Karen L; Halpin, Patrick N

    2008-03-01

    Adapting state-space models (SSMs) to telemetry data has been helpful for dealing with location error and for modeling animal movements. We used a combination of two hierarchical Bayesian SSMs to estimate movement pathways from Argos satellite-tag data for 15 juvenile loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) in the western Mediterranean Sea, and to probabilistically assign locations to one of two behavioral movement types and relate those behaviors to environmental features. A Monte Carlo procedure helped propagate location uncertainty from the first SSM into the estimation of behavioral states and environment--behavior relationships in the second SSM. Turtles using oceanic habitats of the Balearic Sea (n = 9 turtles) within the western Mediterranean were more likely to exhibit "intensive search" behavior as might occur during foraging, but only larger turtles responded to variations in sea-surface height. This suggests that they were better able than smaller turtles to cue on environmental features that concentrate prey resources or were more dependent on high-quality feeding areas. These findings stress the importance of individual heterogeneity in the analysis of movement behavior and, taken in concert with descriptive studies of Pacific loggerheads, suggest that directed movements toward patchy ephemeral resources may be a general property of larger juvenile loggerheads in different populations. We discovered size-based variation in loggerhead distribution and documented use of the western Mediterranean Sea by turtles larger than previously thought to occur there. With one exception, only individuals > 57 cm curved carapace length used the most westerly basin in the Mediterranean (western Alborán Sea). These observations shed new light on loggerhead migration phenology.

  6. 76 FR 23305 - Endangered Species; File No. 15672

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-04-26

    ... permit to take leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) for purposes of scientific research. DATES... characterize the distribution, movements and dive behavior of leatherback sea turtles in the waters of New... leatherback sea turtles annually. Researchers would use animals that have been disentangled from fishing...

  7. 76 FR 58471 - Endangered Species; File No. 15634

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-09-21

    ... permit to take leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) for scientific research. DATES: Written... proposes to conduct research on leatherback sea turtles to continue long-term monitoring of their status... leatherbacks. Up to 55 sea turtles would be located annually through aerial surveys and subsequently...

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-04-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Transmission of Haemogregarina balli from painted turtles to snapping turtles through the leech Placobdella ornata.

    PubMed

    Siddall, M E; Desser, S S

    2001-10-01

    Six leeches (Placobdella ornata) were allowed to feed on a painted turtle (Chrysemys picta marginata) infected with Haemogregarina balli and subjected to a period of diapause before being allowed to feed on 2 laboratory-reared snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina). Weekly examination of thin blood films revealed infections of the turtles at 130 days postfeeding. These observations provide support for broad host specificity of hemogregarine parasites of chelonians. PMID:11695407

  12. Effect of cadmium on gonadal development in freshwater turtle (Trachemys scripta, Chrysemys picta) embryos.

    PubMed

    Kitana, Noppadon; Callard, Ian P

    2008-02-15

    Prior studies on painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) sub-populations near the Massachusetts Military Reservation (MMR), a Superfund site on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA, suggest several reproductive deficits which may be related to xenobiotics. Several heavy metals, including cadmium, have been detected in Cape Cod surface water and sediments. The present study was carried out to investigate the effect of an environmentally relevant dose of cadmium on gonadal development during the end of the germ cell migration phase and post-natal gonadal maturation in freshwater turtles. Comparison of cadmium concentration in eggs of C. picta from Cape Cod showed that eggs from the impacted site animals had significantly higher cadmium in yolk than eggs from the reference site animals (7.23 +/- 1.95 ng/g vs. 1.31 +/- 0.50 ng/g). Gonadal structure and the number of proliferating germ cells of neonates derived from eggs of adult females from these sites showed no marked difference between sites. However, apoptosis of oocytes was significantly increased in neonate C. picta from the impacted pond compared to the reference pond. The effect of an administered environmentally relevant dose of cadmium on germ cell number and oocyte apoptosis was subsequently assessed in lab-reared Trachemys scripta, a closely related freshwater turtle species. Assessment of isotopic cadmium transmission showed that 6.29% of cadmium applied to the eggshell was transmitted through the eggshell to the yolk. The results showed that the total number of germ cells in cadmium-treated (1 microg/g) embryos was less than half that found in control embryos. The reduced germ cell number in Cd-treated embryos suggests that cadmium may reduce proliferation and/or delay migration of germ cells to the genital ridge. The effects of cadmium on turtle gonadal development were found to extend into 3 months post hatch. Proliferation of oocytes was not influenced by exposure to cadmium in ovo. In contrast, apoptosis of oocytes

  13. Evolutionary origin of the turtle skull.

    PubMed

    Bever, G S; Lyson, Tyler R; Field, Daniel J; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S

    2015-09-10

    Transitional fossils informing the origin of turtles are among the most sought-after discoveries in palaeontology. Despite strong genomic evidence indicating that turtles evolved from within the diapsid radiation (which includes all other living reptiles), evidence of the inferred transformation between an ancestral turtle with an open, diapsid skull to the closed, anapsid condition of modern turtles remains elusive. Here we use high-resolution computed tomography and a novel character/taxon matrix to study the skull of Eunotosaurus africanus, a 260-million-year-old fossil reptile from the Karoo Basin of South Africa, whose distinctive postcranial skeleton shares many unique features with the shelled body plan of turtles. Scepticism regarding the status of Eunotosaurus as the earliest stem turtle arises from the possibility that these shell-related features are the products of evolutionary convergence. Our phylogenetic analyses indicate strong cranial support for Eunotosaurus as a critical transitional form in turtle evolution, thus fortifying a 40-million-year extension to the turtle stem and moving the ecological context of its origin back onto land. Furthermore, we find unexpected evidence that Eunotosaurus is a diapsid reptile in the process of becoming secondarily anapsid. This is important because categorizing the skull based on the number of openings in the complex of dermal bone covering the adductor chamber has long held sway in amniote systematics, and still represents a common organizational scheme for teaching the evolutionary history of the group. These discoveries allow us to articulate a detailed and testable hypothesis of fenestral closure along the turtle stem. Our results suggest that Eunotosaurus represents a crucially important link in a chain that will eventually lead to consilience in reptile systematics, paving the way for synthetic studies of amniote evolution and development.

  14. Evolutionary origin of the turtle skull.

    PubMed

    Bever, G S; Lyson, Tyler R; Field, Daniel J; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S

    2015-09-10

    Transitional fossils informing the origin of turtles are among the most sought-after discoveries in palaeontology. Despite strong genomic evidence indicating that turtles evolved from within the diapsid radiation (which includes all other living reptiles), evidence of the inferred transformation between an ancestral turtle with an open, diapsid skull to the closed, anapsid condition of modern turtles remains elusive. Here we use high-resolution computed tomography and a novel character/taxon matrix to study the skull of Eunotosaurus africanus, a 260-million-year-old fossil reptile from the Karoo Basin of South Africa, whose distinctive postcranial skeleton shares many unique features with the shelled body plan of turtles. Scepticism regarding the status of Eunotosaurus as the earliest stem turtle arises from the possibility that these shell-related features are the products of evolutionary convergence. Our phylogenetic analyses indicate strong cranial support for Eunotosaurus as a critical transitional form in turtle evolution, thus fortifying a 40-million-year extension to the turtle stem and moving the ecological context of its origin back onto land. Furthermore, we find unexpected evidence that Eunotosaurus is a diapsid reptile in the process of becoming secondarily anapsid. This is important because categorizing the skull based on the number of openings in the complex of dermal bone covering the adductor chamber has long held sway in amniote systematics, and still represents a common organizational scheme for teaching the evolutionary history of the group. These discoveries allow us to articulate a detailed and testable hypothesis of fenestral closure along the turtle stem. Our results suggest that Eunotosaurus represents a crucially important link in a chain that will eventually lead to consilience in reptile systematics, paving the way for synthetic studies of amniote evolution and development. PMID:26331544

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  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. PMID:25833134

  17. 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.

  18. Phenotypically linked dichotomy in sea turtle foraging requires multiple conservation approaches.

    PubMed

    Hawkes, Lucy A; Broderick, Annette C; Coyne, Michael S; Godfrey, Matthew H; Lopez-Jurado, Luis-Felipe; Lopez-Suarez, Pedro; Merino, Sonia Elsy; Varo-Cruz, Nuria; Godley, Brendan J

    2006-05-23

    Marine turtles undergo dramatic ontogenic changes in body size and behavior, with the loggerhead sea turtle, Caretta caretta, typically switching from an initial oceanic juvenile stage to one in the neritic, where maturation is reached and breeding migrations are subsequently undertaken every 2-3 years. Using satellite tracking, we investigated the migratory movements of adult females from one of the world's largest nesting aggregations at Cape Verde, West Africa. In direct contrast with the accepted life-history model for this species, results reveal two distinct adult foraging strategies that appear to be linked to body size. The larger turtles (n = 3) foraged in coastal waters, whereas smaller individuals (n = 7) foraged oceanically. The conservation implications of these findings are profound, with the population compartmentalized into habitats that may be differentially impacted by fishery threats in what is a global fishing hotspot. Although the protection of discrete areas containing coastal individuals may be attainable, the more numerous pelagic individuals are widely dispersed with individuals roaming over more than half a million square kilometers. Therefore, mitigation of fisheries by-catch for sea turtles in the east Atlantic will likely require complex and regionally tailored actions to account for this dichotomous behavior.

  19. 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

  20. Fifty-year trends in a box turtle population in Maryland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hall, R.J.; Henry, P.F.P.; Bunck, C.M.

    1999-01-01

    A survey conducted in 1995 investigated long term declines reported in a population of box turtles Terrapene Carolina monitored each decade since 1945 in bottomland hardwood forest at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Maryland. Methods duplicated past surveys in most respects, but were supplemented by radiotelemetry and a survey of dominant vegetation. Seventy different turtles were found on the 11.8 ha study area, a decline of >75% since peak populations were recorded in 1955. Searchers were less efficient in 1995 than in 1945-1975 for a variety of possible reasons. Among turtles recorded, approximately equal numbers persisted from each of the past five decades, with some individuals surviving >70 years. A sex ratio strongly favoring males was first recorded in 1975 and continued in 1995, but juveniles and subadults were found in greater proportion in 1995 than in any other survey. Six of nine radio-marked turtles left the bottomland study area and migrated to the adjoining bluffs to hibernate, suggesting more extensive movements and perhaps less stable home ranges than formerly thought. Age structure of trees indicated a gradual change to more shade-tolerant species. Examination of rates of change from survey data suggested that major losses probably resulted from changes in hydrology that exacerbated flooding in 1972, with recovery only beginning in 1995 and perhaps limited both by repeated flood events and successional changes in the forest. Slow recovery from losses may indicate that populations of the species would respond poorly to exploitation.

  1. 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.

  2. Science 101: How Do Animals Navigate during Migration?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robertson, William C.

    2007-01-01

    Migrating animals do amazing things. Homing pigeons can find their way "home" across hundreds of miles; salmon return to their spawning location thousands of miles away; turtles travel over eight thousand miles to lay their eggs in the spot where they originally hatched. Scientists have studied how animals navigate around the globe and have…

  3. Life history and environmental requirements of loggerhead turtles

    SciTech Connect

    Nelson, D.A.

    1988-08-01

    In the United States scattered nestings of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) may occur in most of its range from Texas to Florida and Florida to New Jersey; however, nesting concentrations occur on coastal islands of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia and on the coasts of Florida. The greatest portion of a loggerhead's life is spent in ocean and estuarine waters where it breeds in shallow waters adjacent to nesting beaches, feeds on a variety of fish and shellfish, and migrates generally north in the spring and summer and south in the fall and winter. The other part of its life is spent on coastal beaches where the female digs a nest, lays her eggs (average 120 eggs), the eggs hatch (in 46 to 65 days), and the hatchlings emerge from the nest as a group and orient seaward to become part of the aquatic system again. Nesting activity begins in the spring, peaks in midsummer, and declines until completion in late summer. A loggerhead female generally nests every other or every third year. Beach sand temperatures may affect nest site selection by females, the incubation time and hatching success of eggs, and the sex and emergence timing of hatchlings. Most management of sea turtles has been directed toward increasing hatching and hatchling success through predator control, egg relocation, and raising captive hatchlings. 183 refs.; 10 figs.; 3 tabs.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Geographic variation in marine turtle fibropapillomatosis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Greenblatt, R.J.; Work, T.M.; Dutton, P.; Sutton, C.A.; Spraker, T.R.; Casey, R.N.; Diez, C.E.; Parker, Dana C.; St. Ledger, J.; Balazs, G.H.; Casey, J.W.

    2005-01-01

    We document three examples of fibropapillomatosis by histology, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), and sequence analysis from three different geographic areas. Tumors compatible in morphology with fibropapillomatosis were seen in green turtles from Puerto Rico and San Diego (California) and in a hybrid loggerhead/ hawksbill turtle from Florida Bay (Florida). Tumors were confirmed as fibropapillomas on histology, although severity of disease varied between cases. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analyses revealed infection with the fibropapilloma-associated turtle herpesvirus (FPTHV) in all cases, albeit at highly variable copy numbers per cell. Alignment of a portion of the polymerase gene from each fibropapilloma-associated turtle herpesvirus isolate demonstrated geographic variation in sequence. These cases illustrate geographic variation in both the pathology and the virology of fibropapillomatosis.

  8. An Updated AP2 Beamline TURTLE Model

    SciTech Connect

    Gormley, M.; O'Day, S.

    1991-08-23

    This note describes a TURTLE model of the AP2 beamline. This model was created by D. Johnson and improved by J. Hangst. The authors of this note have made additional improvements which reflect recent element and magnet setting changes. The magnet characteristics measurements and survey data compiled to update the model will be presented. A printout of the actual TURTLE deck may be found in appendix A.

  9. Bibliography of marine turtles in Hawaii

    SciTech Connect

    Payne, S.F.

    1981-07-01

    Information on the organisms at proposed Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) sites is required to assess the potential impacts of OTEC power plant operations. This bibliography is the product of a literature survey on marine turtles at two proposed OTEC sites in Hawaii. The OTEC sites are located off Keahole Point, Hawaii and Kahe Point, Oahu. The references included in this bibliography provide information on the distribution, ecology and biology of marine turtles in Hawaii.

  10. Sex ratio of sea turtles: seasonal changes.

    PubMed

    Mrosovsky, N; Hopkins-Murphy, S R; Richardson, J I

    1984-08-17

    Sex ratios of hatchling loggerhead turtles Caretta caretta taken from South Carolina and Georgia ranged from no females in nests laid in late May to 80 percent females in those laid in early July; the sex ratio decreased to 10 percent females in nests laid in early August. These seasonal changes are consistent with the role of temperature in directing sexual differentiation in various reptiles. The data have implications for understanding the demography of sea turtles and for their conservation.

  11. 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.

  12. Fossorial Origin of the Turtle Shell.

    PubMed

    Lyson, Tyler R; Rubidge, Bruce S; Scheyer, Torsten M; de Queiroz, Kevin; Schachner, Emma R; Smith, Roger M H; Botha-Brink, Jennifer; Bever, G S

    2016-07-25

    The turtle shell is a complex structure that currently serves a largely protective function in this iconically slow-moving group [1]. Developmental [2, 3] and fossil [4-7] data indicate that one of the first steps toward the shelled body plan was broadening of the ribs (approximately 50 my before the completed shell [5]). Broadened ribs alone provide little protection [8] and confer significant locomotory [9, 10] and respiratory [9, 11] costs. They increase thoracic rigidity [8], which decreases speed of locomotion due to shortened stride length [10], and they inhibit effective costal ventilation [9, 11]. New fossil material of the oldest hypothesized stem turtle, Eunotosaurus africanus [12] (260 mya) [13, 14] from the Karoo Basin of South Africa, indicates the initiation of rib broadening was an adaptive response to fossoriality. Similar to extant fossorial taxa [8], the broad ribs of Eunotosaurus provide an intrinsically stable base on which to operate a powerful forelimb digging mechanism. Numerous fossorial correlates [15-17] are expressed throughout Eunotosaurus' skeleton. Most of these features are widely distributed along the turtle stem and into the crown clade, indicating the common ancestor of Eunotosaurus and modern turtles possessed a body plan significantly influenced by digging. The adaptations related to fossoriality likely facilitated movement of stem turtles into aquatic environments early in the groups' evolutionary history, and this ecology may have played an important role in stem turtles surviving the Permian/Triassic extinction event. PMID:27426515

  13. Fossorial Origin of the Turtle Shell.

    PubMed

    Lyson, Tyler R; Rubidge, Bruce S; Scheyer, Torsten M; de Queiroz, Kevin; Schachner, Emma R; Smith, Roger M H; Botha-Brink, Jennifer; Bever, G S

    2016-07-25

    The turtle shell is a complex structure that currently serves a largely protective function in this iconically slow-moving group [1]. Developmental [2, 3] and fossil [4-7] data indicate that one of the first steps toward the shelled body plan was broadening of the ribs (approximately 50 my before the completed shell [5]). Broadened ribs alone provide little protection [8] and confer significant locomotory [9, 10] and respiratory [9, 11] costs. They increase thoracic rigidity [8], which decreases speed of locomotion due to shortened stride length [10], and they inhibit effective costal ventilation [9, 11]. New fossil material of the oldest hypothesized stem turtle, Eunotosaurus africanus [12] (260 mya) [13, 14] from the Karoo Basin of South Africa, indicates the initiation of rib broadening was an adaptive response to fossoriality. Similar to extant fossorial taxa [8], the broad ribs of Eunotosaurus provide an intrinsically stable base on which to operate a powerful forelimb digging mechanism. Numerous fossorial correlates [15-17] are expressed throughout Eunotosaurus' skeleton. Most of these features are widely distributed along the turtle stem and into the crown clade, indicating the common ancestor of Eunotosaurus and modern turtles possessed a body plan significantly influenced by digging. The adaptations related to fossoriality likely facilitated movement of stem turtles into aquatic environments early in the groups' evolutionary history, and this ecology may have played an important role in stem turtles surviving the Permian/Triassic extinction event.

  14. Turtle Escapes the Plane: Some Advanced Turtle Geometry. Artificial Intelligence Memo Number 348.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    diSessa, Andy

    The LOGO Turtles, originally developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Artificial Intelligence Laboratory for teaching concepts in elementary geometry to primary-age children, can also be used in teaching higher-level mathematics. In the exercises described here, the turtle was programed to traverse curved surfaces. Both geometric and…

  15. Topography of Purkinje cells and other calbindin-immunoreactive cells within adult and hatchling turtle cerebellum.

    PubMed

    Ariel, Michael; Ward, Kyle C; Tolbert, Daniel L

    2009-12-01

    The turtle's cerebellum (Cb) is an unfoliated sheet, so the topography of its entire cortex can be easily studied physiologically by optical recordings. However, unlike the mammalian Cb, little is known about the topography of turtle Purkinje cells (PCs). Here, topography was examined using calbindin-D(28K) immunohistochemistry of adult and hatchling turtles (Trachemys scripta elegans, 2.5-15 cm carapace length). Each Cb was flattened between two Sylgard sheets and fixed in paraformaldehyde. Sections (52 microm thick) were cut parallel to the flattened cortex (tangential), resulting in calbindin-immunolabeled PCs being localized to three to six sections for each turtle. PC position and size were quantified using Neurolucida Image Analysis system. Although hatchling Cb were medial-laterally narrower (3.0 vs. 6.5 mm) and rostral-caudally shorter (2.5 vs. 5.5 mm) than adult Cb, both averaged near 15,000 PCs distributed uniformly. Hatchling PCs were smaller than adult PCs (178 vs. 551 microm(2)) and more densely packed (2,180 vs. 625 cells/mm(2)). Calbindin immunoreactivity also labeled non-PCs along the Cb's marginal rim and its caudal pole. Many of these were very small (22.9 microm(2)) ovoid-shaped cells clustered together, possibly proliferating external granule layer cells. Other labeled cells were larger and fusiform-shaped (12.6 x 33.4 microm) adjacent to inner granule cells along the marginal rim, suggestive of migrating cells. It is not known whether these are new neurons being generated within the adult and hatchling Cb and if they connect to efferent and afferent paths. Based on these anatomical findings, we suggest that unique physiological features may exist along the rim of the turtle Cb.

  16. The Box Turtle: Room with a View on Species Decline.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Belzer, Bill; Steisslinger, Mary Beth

    1999-01-01

    Surveys salient aspects of eastern box-turtle natural history. Explores the societal and ecological factors that have contributed to the decline of the box-turtle population. Contains 18 references. (WRM)

  17. Modifications of traps to reduce bycatch of freshwater turtles

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bury, R. Bruce

    2011-01-01

    Mortality of freshwater turtles varies among types and deployments of traps. There are few or no losses in hoop or fyke traps set where turtles may reach air, including placement in shallows, addition of floats on traps, and tying traps securely to a stake or to shore. Turtle mortality occurs when traps are set deep, traps are checked at intervals >1 day, and when turtles are captured as bycatch. Devices are available that exclude turtles from traps set for crab or game fish harvest. Slotted gates in front of the trap mouth reduce turtle entry, but small individuals still may be trapped. Incidental take of turtles is preventable by integrating several designs into aquatic traps, such as adding floats to the top of traps so turtles may reach air or an extension tube (chimney, ramp) that creates an escape route.

  18. 21 CFR 1240.62 - Turtles intrastate and interstate requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... the order Testudinata, class Reptilia, except marine species (families Dermachelidae and Chelonidae...; criminal penalties. (1) Any viable turtle eggs or live turtles with a carapace length of less than 4...

  19. Juvenile turtles for mosquito control in water storage tanks.

    PubMed

    Borjas, G; Marten, G G; Fernandez, E; Portillo, H

    1993-09-01

    Juvenile turtles, Trachemys scripta, provided highly effective control of mosquito larvae in cement tanks (pilas) where water was stored for household cleaning. When single turtles were introduced to tanks with histories of high mosquito production, nearly all turtles remained in good health and no mosquito larvae survived to the pupal stage. Families welcome turtles in their water storage containers in Honduras. Humane conditions for turtles can be assured by providing small quantities of table scraps to supplement their diet and by placing a small floating platform in the tank for basking. Although turtles can serve as alternate hosts for Salmonella, available evidence suggests that turtles in tanks should not be a source of human infection. Further confirmation that there is no Salmonella hazard should precede routine use of turtles for mosquito control. PMID:7902872

  20. Calcium transport in turtle bladder

    SciTech Connect

    Sabatini, S.; Kurtzman, N.A. )

    1987-12-01

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

  1. Against Oversimplifying the Issues on Relocating Turtle Eggs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mrosovsky, Nicholas

    2008-04-01

    Translocating sea turtle eggs at risk from high tides to safer places is one of the most widely undertaken conservation measures on behalf of these species. Recent research work has shown that individual female turtles differ in their nest-site preferences. If more of the nests saved by translocation come from turtles with tendencies to lay near the water, might this perhaps interfere with natural selection? This possibility adds to the controversy already surrounding relocation of turtle nests.

  2. Reptilian prey of the sonora mud turtle (Kinosternon sonoriense) with comments on saurophagy and ophiophagy in North American Turtles

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lovich, J.; Drost, C.; Monatesti, A.J.; Casper, D.; Wood, D.A.; Girard, M.

    2010-01-01

    We detected evidence of predation by the Sonora mud turtle (Kinosternon sonoriense) on the Arizona alligator lizard (Elgaria kingii nobilis) and the ground snake (Sonora semiannulata) at Montezuma Well, Yavapai County, Arizona. Lizards have not been reported in the diet of K. sonoriense, and saurophagy is rare in turtles of the United States, having been reported previously in only two other species:, the false map turtle (Graptemys pseudogeographica) and the eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina). While the diet of K. sonoriense includes snakes, ours is the first record of S. semiannulata as food of this turtle. Ophiophagy also is rare in turtles of the United States with records for only five other species of turtles. Given the opportunistic diets of many North American turtles, including K. sonoriense, the scarcity of published records of saurophagy and ophiophagy likely represents a shortage of observations, not rarity of occurrence.

  3. 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

  4. 21 CFR 1240.62 - Turtles intrastate and interstate requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Turtles intrastate and interstate requirements....62 Turtles intrastate and interstate requirements. (a) Definition. As used in this section the term “turtles” includes all animals commonly known as turtles, tortoises, terrapins, and all other animals...

  5. 21 CFR 1240.62 - Turtles intrastate and interstate requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Turtles intrastate and interstate requirements....62 Turtles intrastate and interstate requirements. (a) Definition. As used in this section the term “turtles” includes all animals commonly known as turtles, tortoises, terrapins, and all other animals...

  6. 21 CFR 1240.62 - Turtles intrastate and interstate requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Turtles intrastate and interstate requirements....62 Turtles intrastate and interstate requirements. (a) Definition. As used in this section the term “turtles” includes all animals commonly known as turtles, tortoises, terrapins, and all other animals...

  7. 50 CFR 648.109 - Sea turtle conservation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

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

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

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

  11. 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…

  12. 50 CFR 648.106 - Sea Turtle conservation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

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

  13. 50 CFR 648.109 - Sea turtle conservation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

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

  14. 50 CFR 648.109 - Sea turtle conservation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

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

  15. 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...

  16. 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,…

  17. 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...

  18. 50 CFR 648.109 - Sea turtle conservation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

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

  19. Clinical pathology reference intervals for an in-water population of juvenile loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in Core Sound, North Carolina, USA.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Terra R; McNeill, Joanne Braun; Avens, Larisa; Hall, April Goodman; Goshe, Lisa R; Hohn, Aleta A; Godfrey, Matthew H; Mihnovets, A Nicole; Cluse, Wendy M; Harms, Craig A

    2015-01-01

    The loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) is found throughout the waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. It is a protected species throughout much of its range due to threats such as habitat loss, fisheries interactions, hatchling predation, and marine debris. Loggerheads that occur in the southeastern U.S. are listed as "threatened" on the U.S. Endangered Species List, and receive state and federal protection. As part of an on-going population assessment conducted by the National Marine Fisheries Service, samples were collected from juvenile loggerhead sea turtles in Core Sound, North Carolina, between 2004 and 2007 to gain insight on the baseline health of the threatened Northwest Atlantic Ocean population. The aims of the current study were to establish hematologic and biochemical reference intervals for this population, and to assess variation of the hematologic and plasma biochemical analytes by season, water temperature, and sex and size of the turtles. Reference intervals for the clinical pathology parameters were estimated following Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute guidelines. Season, water temperature, sex, and size of the turtles were found to be significant factors of variation for parameter values. Seasonal variation could be attributed to physiological effects of decreasing photoperiod, cooler water temperature, and migration during the fall months. Packed cell volume, total protein, and albumin increased with increasing size of the turtles. The size-related differences in analytes documented in the present study are consistent with other reports of variation in clinical pathology parameters by size and age in sea turtles. As a component of a health assessment of juvenile loggerhead sea turtles in North Carolina, this study will serve as a baseline aiding in evaluation of trends for this population and as a diagnostic tool for assessing the health and prognosis for loggerhead sea turtles undergoing rehabilitation.

  20. Clinical Pathology Reference Intervals for an In-Water Population of Juvenile Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Caretta caretta) in Core Sound, North Carolina, USA

    PubMed Central

    Kelly, Terra R.; McNeill, Joanne Braun; Avens, Larisa; Hall, April Goodman; Goshe, Lisa R.; Hohn, Aleta A.; Godfrey, Matthew H.; Mihnovets, A. Nicole; Cluse, Wendy M.; Harms, Craig A.

    2015-01-01

    The loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) is found throughout the waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. It is a protected species throughout much of its range due to threats such as habitat loss, fisheries interactions, hatchling predation, and marine debris. Loggerheads that occur in the southeastern U.S. are listed as “threatened” on the U.S. Endangered Species List, and receive state and federal protection. As part of an on-going population assessment conducted by the National Marine Fisheries Service, samples were collected from juvenile loggerhead sea turtles in Core Sound, North Carolina, between 2004 and 2007 to gain insight on the baseline health of the threatened Northwest Atlantic Ocean population. The aims of the current study were to establish hematologic and biochemical reference intervals for this population, and to assess variation of the hematologic and plasma biochemical analytes by season, water temperature, and sex and size of the turtles. Reference intervals for the clinical pathology parameters were estimated following Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute guidelines. Season, water temperature, sex, and size of the turtles were found to be significant factors of variation for parameter values. Seasonal variation could be attributed to physiological effects of decreasing photoperiod, cooler water temperature, and migration during the fall months. Packed cell volume, total protein, and albumin increased with increasing size of the turtles. The size-related differences in analytes documented in the present study are consistent with other reports of variation in clinical pathology parameters by size and age in sea turtles. As a component of a health assessment of juvenile loggerhead sea turtles in North Carolina, this study will serve as a baseline aiding in evaluation of trends for this population and as a diagnostic tool for assessing the health and prognosis for loggerhead sea turtles undergoing rehabilitation. PMID

  1. Clinical pathology reference intervals for an in-water population of juvenile loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in Core Sound, North Carolina, USA.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Terra R; McNeill, Joanne Braun; Avens, Larisa; Hall, April Goodman; Goshe, Lisa R; Hohn, Aleta A; Godfrey, Matthew H; Mihnovets, A Nicole; Cluse, Wendy M; Harms, Craig A

    2015-01-01

    The loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) is found throughout the waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. It is a protected species throughout much of its range due to threats such as habitat loss, fisheries interactions, hatchling predation, and marine debris. Loggerheads that occur in the southeastern U.S. are listed as "threatened" on the U.S. Endangered Species List, and receive state and federal protection. As part of an on-going population assessment conducted by the National Marine Fisheries Service, samples were collected from juvenile loggerhead sea turtles in Core Sound, North Carolina, between 2004 and 2007 to gain insight on the baseline health of the threatened Northwest Atlantic Ocean population. The aims of the current study were to establish hematologic and biochemical reference intervals for this population, and to assess variation of the hematologic and plasma biochemical analytes by season, water temperature, and sex and size of the turtles. Reference intervals for the clinical pathology parameters were estimated following Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute guidelines. Season, water temperature, sex, and size of the turtles were found to be significant factors of variation for parameter values. Seasonal variation could be attributed to physiological effects of decreasing photoperiod, cooler water temperature, and migration during the fall months. Packed cell volume, total protein, and albumin increased with increasing size of the turtles. The size-related differences in analytes documented in the present study are consistent with other reports of variation in clinical pathology parameters by size and age in sea turtles. As a component of a health assessment of juvenile loggerhead sea turtles in North Carolina, this study will serve as a baseline aiding in evaluation of trends for this population and as a diagnostic tool for assessing the health and prognosis for loggerhead sea turtles undergoing rehabilitation. PMID:25738772

  2. Yolk hormone levels in the eggs of snapping turtles and painted turtles.

    PubMed

    Elf, P K; Lang, J W; Fivizzani, A J

    2002-06-01

    Although yolk steroids appear to play important roles in the development, growth, and behavior of some birds, their effects in oviparous reptiles are largely unknown. These investigations were initiated to determine initial levels of steroid hormones in the yolks of eggs from two turtle species. Clutches of snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) and of painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) eggs were collected and individual egg yolks were analyzed for estradiol-17beta (E(2)) and testosterone (T) using specific RIAs. E(2) and T levels differed significantly between species, the mean E(2) value in snapping turtles was 2.78+/-0.095 (ng/g) compared to 0.89+/-0.064 (ng/g) for painted turtles, and the mean value for T in snapping turtle yolks was 2.56+/-0.098 (ng/g) compared to 0.68+/-0.045 (ng/g) for painted turtles. In addition, E(2) levels were greater than T levels in both species. Within each species, there were significant differences among clutches from different females. E(2) levels in the snapping turtle yolks varied from a clutch mean of 1.38 to 4.55 ng/g and in painted turtles, the clutch means for E(2) varied from 0.34 to 1.34 ng/g. T levels demonstrated similar phenomena within species, with levels in snapping turtles varying from a clutch mean of 0.68 to 4.71 ng/g. Painted turtle levels of T varied from a clutch mean of 0.22 to 0.72 ng/g. There were also significant differences in the E(2)/T ratio, however, E(2)/T ratios did not differ between species. Painted turtle follicles of different sizes showed significant differences in levels of both E(2) and T, and these differences may reflect differing deposition patterns of these steroids in the egg yolk of this turtle during vitellogenesis. The differences in E(2) and T concentration reported here could have important implications for development, growth, and behavior in oviparous reptilian species. PMID:12161198

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 50 CFR 665.813 - Western Pacific longline fishing restrictions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ...) Limits on sea turtle interactions. (1) Maximum annual limits are established on the number of physical interactions that occur each calendar year between leatherback and loggerhead sea turtles and vessels... leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) is 16, and the annual limit for loggerhead sea turtles...

  7. 50 CFR 665.813 - Western Pacific longline fishing restrictions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ...) Limits on sea turtle interactions. (1) Maximum annual limits are established on the number of physical interactions that occur each calendar year between leatherback and loggerhead sea turtles and vessels... leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) is 16, and the annual limit for loggerhead sea turtles...

  8. Return migration.

    PubMed

    Gmelch, G

    1980-01-01

    The author reviews the findings of the growing literature on return migration. Topics covered include typologies of return migrants, reasons for return, adaptation and readjustment of returnees, and the impact of return migration on the migrants' home societies. The focus of the study is on international return migration, migration to Northern Europe and northeastern North America, and return migration to the southern and eastern fringes of Europe and the Caribbean

  9. Frogs and turtles: different ectotherm overwintering strategies.

    PubMed

    Penney, D G

    1987-01-01

    The ability of frogs and turtles to overwinter and to survive hypoxia and anoxia has long been a topic of interest. While data remains scant, the emerging picture shows fundamentally different approaches to overwintering in these two groups of ectotherms. Frogs are far more limited by availability of oxygen than are turtles, even at near-freezing ambient temperatures. The reasons for this probably involve the vastly greater cutaneous permeability of the former. With their extreme tolerance of anoxia and profound suppression of metabolism, overwintering in turtles should not be viewed as simply prolonged diving but rather as ectotherm hibernation. Their incredible diving capabilities are merely a spin-off of a successful overwintering strategy. The following discussion reviews the major physiological mechanisms involved in the overwintering strategies of these two ectotherm groups.

  10. 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.

  11. Comparative analysis of pleurodiran and cryptodiran turtle embryos depicts the molecular ground pattern of the turtle carapacial ridge.

    PubMed

    Pascual-Anaya, Juan; Hirasawa, Tatsuya; Sato, Iori; Kuraku, Shigehiro; Kuratani, Shigeru

    2014-01-01

    The turtle shell is a wonderful example of a genuine morphological novelty, since it has no counterpart in any other extant vertebrate lineages. The evolutionary origin of the shell is a question that has fascinated evolutionary biologists for over two centuries and it still remains a mystery. One of the turtle innovations associated with the shell is the carapacial ridge (CR), a bulge that appears at both sides of the dorsal lateral trunk of the turtle embryo and that probably controls the formation of the carapace, the dorsal moiety of the shell. Although from the beginning of this century modern genetic techniques have been applied to resolve the evolutionary developmental origin of the CR, the use of different models with, in principle, dissimilar results has hampered the establishment of a common mechanism for the origin of the shell. Although modern turtles are divided into two major groups, Cryptodira (or hidden-necked turtles) and Pleurodira (or side-necked turtles), molecular developmental studies have been carried out mostly using cryptodiran models. In this study, we revisit the past data obtained from cryptodiran turtles in order to reconcile the different results. We also analyze the histological anatomy and the expression pattern of main CR factors in a pleurodiran turtle, the red-bellied short-necked turtle Emydura subglobosa. We suggest that the turtle shell probably originated concomitantly with the co-option of the canonical Wnt signaling pathway into the CR in the last common ancestor of the turtle.

  12. Biosynthesis of Acetylcholine in Turtle Photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Lam, Dominic M. K.

    1972-01-01

    For determination of possible neurotransmitters synthesized by photoreceptor cells, turtle retinas were dissociated into single cells with proteolytic enzymes. These cells were partially separated by velocity sedimentation to yield a fraction rich in photoreceptors. Individual photoreceptor cells were then sucked into a micropipette and incubated with labeled precursors of known or suspected neurotransmitters. After incubation, the radioactive products were analyzed by high-voltage electrophoresis. Of all the chemicals tested, turtle photoreceptor cells synthesized only acetylcholine, suggesting that these cells may be cholinergic. Images PMID:4505678

  13. A new stem turtle from the Middle Jurassic of Scotland: new insights into the evolution and palaeoecology of basal turtles.

    PubMed

    Anquetin, Jérémy; Barrett, Paul M; Jones, Marc E H; Moore-Fay, Scott; Evans, Susan E

    2009-03-01

    The discovery of a new stem turtle from the Middle Jurassic (Bathonian) deposits of the Isle of Skye, Scotland, sheds new light on the early evolutionary history of Testudinata. Eileanchelys waldmani gen. et sp. nov. is known from cranial and postcranial material of several individuals and represents the most complete Middle Jurassic turtle described to date, bridging the morphological gap between basal turtles from the Late Triassic-Early Jurassic and crown-group turtles that diversify during the Late Jurassic. A phylogenetic analysis places the new taxon within the stem group of Testudines (crown-group turtles) and suggests a sister-group relationship between E. waldmani and Heckerochelys romani from the Middle Jurassic of Russia. Moreover, E. waldmani also demonstrates that stem turtles were ecologically diverse, as it may represent the earliest known aquatic turtle.

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

    PubMed

    Davis, Frederick R

    2005-09-01

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

  15. Ghrelin and leptin modulate the feeding behaviour of the hawksbill turtle Eretmochelys imbricata during nesting season

    PubMed Central

    Goldberg, Daphne Wrobel; Leitão, Santiago Alonso Tobar; Godfrey, Matthew H.; Lopez, Gustave Gilles; Santos, Armando José Barsante; Neves, Fabiana Alves; de Souza, Érica Patrícia Garcia; Moura, Anibal Sanchez; Bastos, Jayme da Cunha; Bastos, Vera Lúcia Freire da Cunha

    2013-01-01

    Female sea turtles have rarely been observed foraging during the nesting season. This suggests that prior to their migration to nesting beaches the females must store sufficient energy and nutrients at their foraging grounds and must be physiologically capable of undergoing months without feeding. Leptin (an appetite-suppressing protein) and ghrelin (a hunger-stimulating peptide) affect body weight by influencing energy intake in all vertebrates. We investigated the levels of these hormones and other physiological and nutritional parameters in nesting hawksbill sea turtles in Rio Grande do Norte State, Brazil, by collecting consecutive blood samples from 41 turtles during the 2010–2011 and 2011–2012 reproductive seasons. We found that levels of serum leptin decreased over the nesting season, which potentially relaxed suppression of food intake and stimulated females to begin foraging either during or after the post-nesting migration. Concurrently, we recorded an increasing trend in ghrelin, which may have stimulated food intake towards the end of the nesting season. Both findings are consistent with the prediction that post-nesting females will begin to forage, either during or immediately after their post-nesting migration. We observed no seasonal trend for other physiological parameters (values of packed cell volume and serum levels of alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, γ-glutamyl transferase, low-density lipoprotein, and high-density lipoprotein). The observed downward trends in general serum biochemistry levels were probably due to the physiological challenge of vitellogenesis and nesting in addition to limited energy resources and probable fasting. PMID:27293600

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

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

  18. How the turtle forms its shell: a paracrine hypothesis of carapace formation.

    PubMed

    Cebra-Thomas, Judith; Tan, Fraser; Sistla, Seeta; Estes, Eileen; Bender, Gunes; Kim, Christine; Riccio, Paul; Gilbert, Scott F

    2005-11-15

    We propose a two-step model for the evolutionary origin of the turtle shell. We show here that the carapacial ridge (CR) is critical for the entry of the ribs into the dorsal dermis. Moreover, we demonstrate that the maintenance of the CR and its ability to attract the migrating rib precursor cells depend upon fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling. Inhibitors of FGF allow the CR to degenerate, with the consequent migration of ribs along the ventral body wall. Beads containing FGF10 can rearrange rib migration in the chick, suggesting that the CR FGF10 plays an important role in attracting the rib rudiments. The co-ordinated growth of the carapacial plate and the ribs may be a positive feedback loop (similar to that of the limbs) caused by the induction of Fgf8 in the distal tips of the ribs by the FGF10-secreting mesenchyme of the CR. Once in the dermis, the ribs undergo endochrondral ossification. We provide evidence that the ribs act as signaling centers for the dermal ossification and that this ossification is due to bone morphogenetic proteins secreted by the rib. Thus, once the ribs are within the dermis, the ossification of the dermis is not difficult to achieve. This relatively rapid means of carapace formation would allow for the appearance of turtles in the fossil record without obvious intermediates. PMID:15968684

  19. A sinemydid turtle from the Jehol Biota provides insights into the basal divergence of crown turtles.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Chang-Fu; Rabi, Márton

    2015-11-10

    Morphological phylogenies stand in a major conflict with molecular hypotheses regarding the phylogeny of Cryptodira, the most diverse and widely distributed clade of extant turtles. However, molecular hypotheses are often considered a better estimate of phylogeny given that it is more consistent with the stratigraphic and geographic distribution of extinct taxa. That morphology fails to reproduce the molecular topology partly originates from problematic character polarization due to yet another contradiction around the composition of the cryptodiran stem lineage. Extinct sinemydids are one of these problematic clades: they have been either placed among stem-cryptodires, stem-chelonioid sea turtles, or even stem-turtles. A new sinemydid from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota (Yixian Formation, Barremian-Early Aptian) of China, Xiaochelys ningchengensis gen. et sp. nov., allows for a reassessment of the phylogenetic position of Sinemydidae. Our analysis indicates that sinemydids mostly share symplesiomorphies with sea turtles and their purported placement outside the crown-group of turtles is an artefact of previous datasets. The best current phylogenetic estimate is therefore that sinemydids are part of the stem lineage of Cryptodira together with an array of other Jurassic to Cretaceous taxa. Our study further emphasises the importance of using molecular scaffolds in global turtle analyses.

  20. A sinemydid turtle from the Jehol Biota provides insights into the basal divergence of crown turtles.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Chang-Fu; Rabi, Márton

    2015-01-01

    Morphological phylogenies stand in a major conflict with molecular hypotheses regarding the phylogeny of Cryptodira, the most diverse and widely distributed clade of extant turtles. However, molecular hypotheses are often considered a better estimate of phylogeny given that it is more consistent with the stratigraphic and geographic distribution of extinct taxa. That morphology fails to reproduce the molecular topology partly originates from problematic character polarization due to yet another contradiction around the composition of the cryptodiran stem lineage. Extinct sinemydids are one of these problematic clades: they have been either placed among stem-cryptodires, stem-chelonioid sea turtles, or even stem-turtles. A new sinemydid from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota (Yixian Formation, Barremian-Early Aptian) of China, Xiaochelys ningchengensis gen. et sp. nov., allows for a reassessment of the phylogenetic position of Sinemydidae. Our analysis indicates that sinemydids mostly share symplesiomorphies with sea turtles and their purported placement outside the crown-group of turtles is an artefact of previous datasets. The best current phylogenetic estimate is therefore that sinemydids are part of the stem lineage of Cryptodira together with an array of other Jurassic to Cretaceous taxa. Our study further emphasises the importance of using molecular scaffolds in global turtle analyses. PMID:26553740

  1. A sinemydid turtle from the Jehol Biota provides insights into the basal divergence of crown turtles

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Chang-Fu; Rabi, Márton

    2015-01-01

    Morphological phylogenies stand in a major conflict with molecular hypotheses regarding the phylogeny of Cryptodira, the most diverse and widely distributed clade of extant turtles. However, molecular hypotheses are often considered a better estimate of phylogeny given that it is more consistent with the stratigraphic and geographic distribution of extinct taxa. That morphology fails to reproduce the molecular topology partly originates from problematic character polarization due to yet another contradiction around the composition of the cryptodiran stem lineage. Extinct sinemydids are one of these problematic clades: they have been either placed among stem-cryptodires, stem-chelonioid sea turtles, or even stem-turtles. A new sinemydid from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota (Yixian Formation, Barremian-Early Aptian) of China, Xiaochelys ningchengensis gen. et sp. nov., allows for a reassessment of the phylogenetic position of Sinemydidae. Our analysis indicates that sinemydids mostly share symplesiomorphies with sea turtles and their purported placement outside the crown-group of turtles is an artefact of previous datasets. The best current phylogenetic estimate is therefore that sinemydids are part of the stem lineage of Cryptodira together with an array of other Jurassic to Cretaceous taxa. Our study further emphasises the importance of using molecular scaffolds in global turtle analyses. PMID:26553740

  2. 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. Body burdens of heavy metals in Lake Michigan wetland turtles.

    PubMed

    Smith, Dayna L; Cooper, Matthew J; Kosiara, Jessica M; Lamberti, Gary A

    2016-02-01

    Tissue heavy metal concentrations in painted (Chrysemys picta) and snapping (Chelydra serpentina) turtles from Lake Michigan coastal wetlands were analyzed to determine (1) whether turtles accumulated heavy metals, (2) if tissue metal concentrations were related to environmental metal concentrations, and (3) the potential for non-lethal sampling techniques to be used for monitoring heavy metal body burdens in freshwater turtles. Muscle, liver, shell, and claw samples were collected from painted and snapping turtles and analyzed for cadmium, chromium, copper, iron, lead, magnesium, manganese, and zinc. Turtle tissues had measurable quantities of all eight metals analyzed. Statistically significant correlations between tissue metal concentrations and sediment metal concentrations were found for a subset of metals. Metals were generally found in higher concentrations in the larger snapping turtles than in painted turtles. In addition, non-lethal samples of shell and claw were found to be possible alternatives to lethal liver and muscle samples for some metals. Human consumption of snapping turtles presents potential health risks if turtles are harvested from contaminated areas. Overall, our results suggest that turtles could be a valuable component of contaminant monitoring programs for wetland ecosystems. PMID:26832725

  4. Shell bone histology indicates terrestrial palaeoecology of basal turtles

    PubMed Central

    Scheyer, Torsten M; Sander, P.Martin

    2007-01-01

    The palaeoecology of basal turtles from the Late Triassic was classically viewed as being semi-aquatic, similar to the lifestyle of modern snapping turtles. Lately, this view was questioned based on limb bone proportions, and a terrestrial palaeoecology was suggested for the turtle stem. Here, we present independent shell bone microstructural evidence for a terrestrial habitat of the oldest and basal most well-known turtles, i.e. the Upper Triassic Proterochersis robusta and Proganochelys quenstedti. Comparison of their shell bone histology with that of extant turtles preferring either aquatic habitats or terrestrial habitats clearly reveals congruence with terrestrial turtle taxa. Similarities in the shell bones of these turtles are a diploe structure with well-developed external and internal cortices, weak vascularization of the compact bone layers and a dense nature of the interior cancellous bone with overall short trabeculae. On the other hand, ‘aquatic’ turtles tend to reduce cortical bone layers, while increasing overall vascularization of the bone tissue. In contrast to the study of limb bone proportions, the present study is independent from the uncommon preservation of appendicular skeletal elements in fossil turtles, enabling the palaeoecological study of a much broader range of incompletely known turtle taxa in the fossil record. PMID:17519193

  5. Shell bone histology indicates terrestrial palaeoecology of basal turtles.

    PubMed

    Scheyer, Torsten M; Sander, P Martin

    2007-08-01

    The palaeoecology of basal turtles from the Late Triassic was classically viewed as being semi-aquatic, similar to the lifestyle of modern snapping turtles. Lately, this view was questioned based on limb bone proportions, and a terrestrial palaeoecology was suggested for the turtle stem. Here, we present independent shell bone microstructural evidence for a terrestrial habitat of the oldest and basal most well-known turtles, i.e. the Upper Triassic Proterochersis robusta and Proganochelys quenstedti. Comparison of their shell bone histology with that of extant turtles preferring either aquatic habitats or terrestrial habitats clearly reveals congruence with terrestrial turtle taxa. Similarities in the shell bones of these turtles are a diploe structure with well-developed external and internal cortices, weak vascularization of the compact bone layers and a dense nature of the interior cancellous bone with overall short trabeculae. On the other hand, 'aquatic' turtles tend to reduce cortical bone layers, while increasing overall vascularization of the bone tissue. In contrast to the study of limb bone proportions, the present study is independent from the uncommon preservation of appendicular skeletal elements in fossil turtles, enabling the palaeoecological study of a much broader range of incompletely known turtle taxa in the fossil record. PMID:17519193

  6. Body burdens of heavy metals in Lake Michigan wetland turtles.

    PubMed

    Smith, Dayna L; Cooper, Matthew J; Kosiara, Jessica M; Lamberti, Gary A

    2016-02-01

    Tissue heavy metal concentrations in painted (Chrysemys picta) and snapping (Chelydra serpentina) turtles from Lake Michigan coastal wetlands were analyzed to determine (1) whether turtles accumulated heavy metals, (2) if tissue metal concentrations were related to environmental metal concentrations, and (3) the potential for non-lethal sampling techniques to be used for monitoring heavy metal body burdens in freshwater turtles. Muscle, liver, shell, and claw samples were collected from painted and snapping turtles and analyzed for cadmium, chromium, copper, iron, lead, magnesium, manganese, and zinc. Turtle tissues had measurable quantities of all eight metals analyzed. Statistically significant correlations between tissue metal concentrations and sediment metal concentrations were found for a subset of metals. Metals were generally found in higher concentrations in the larger snapping turtles than in painted turtles. In addition, non-lethal samples of shell and claw were found to be possible alternatives to lethal liver and muscle samples for some metals. Human consumption of snapping turtles presents potential health risks if turtles are harvested from contaminated areas. Overall, our results suggest that turtles could be a valuable component of contaminant monitoring programs for wetland ecosystems.

  7. Age and residency duration of loggerhead turtles at a North Pacific bycatch hotspot using skeletochronology

    PubMed Central

    Tomaszewicz, Calandra N. Turner; Seminoff, Jeffrey A.; Avens, Larisa; Goshe, Lisa R.; Peckham, S. Hoyt; Rguez-Baron, Juan M.; Bickerman, Kalyn; Kurle, Carolyn M.

    2015-01-01

    For migratory marine animals, like sea turtles, effective conservation can be challenging because key demographic information such as duration of life stages and exposure to spatially explicit threats in different habitats are often unknown. In the eastern Pacific near the Baja California Peninsula (BCP), Mexico, tens of thousands of endangered North Pacific loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) concentrate at a foraging area known to have high rates of fishery bycatch. Because stage survivorship of loggerheads in the BCP will vary significantly depending on the number of years spent in this region, we applied skeletochronology to empirically estimate residency duration in this loggerhead hotspot. The observed age distribution obtained from skeletochronology analysis of 146 dead-stranded loggerheads ranged from three to 24 years old, suggesting a BCP residency of >20 years. Given the maximum estimated age and a one-year migration to western Pacific nesting beaches, we infer age-at-maturation for BCP loggerheads at ~25 years old. We also examine survivorship at varying BCP residency durations by applying our findings to current annual mortality estimates. Predicted survivorship of loggerheads spending over 20 years in this BCP foraging habitat is less than 10%, and given that ~43,000 loggerhead turtles forage here, a significant number of turtles are at extreme risk in this region. This is the first empirical evidence supporting estimated age-at-maturation for BCP North Pacific loggerheads, and the first estimates of BCP stage survivorship. Our findings emphasize the urgent need for continued and effective international conservation efforts to minimize bycatch of this endangered species. PMID:25848136

  8. Biology and medicine of turtles and tortoises.

    PubMed

    Mautino, M; Page, C D

    1993-11-01

    Turtles and tortoises are unique reptiles that are gaining popularity as pets. Their anatomy and defense posture hinder, but do not preclude, clinical assessment and performance of routine diagnostic and therapeutic procedures by the clinician. A basic working knowledge of chelonian taxonomy, anatomy, physiology, husbandry, common diseases, and therapeutics will enable the veterinarian to provide health care to this order of reptiles.

  9. Biology and medicine of turtles and tortoises.

    PubMed

    Mautino, M; Page, C D

    1993-11-01

    Turtles and tortoises are unique reptiles that are gaining popularity as pets. Their anatomy and defense posture hinder, but do not preclude, clinical assessment and performance of routine diagnostic and therapeutic procedures by the clinician. A basic working knowledge of chelonian taxonomy, anatomy, physiology, husbandry, common diseases, and therapeutics will enable the veterinarian to provide health care to this order of reptiles. PMID:8249236

  10. Global Conservation Priorities for Marine Turtles

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    Where conservation resources are limited and conservation targets are diverse, robust yet flexible priority-setting frameworks are vital. Priority-setting is especially important for geographically widespread species with distinct populations subject to multiple threats that operate on different spatial and temporal scales. Marine turtles are widely distributed and exhibit intra-specific variations in population sizes and trends, as well as reproduction and morphology. However, current global extinction risk assessment frameworks do not assess conservation status of spatially and biologically distinct marine turtle Regional Management Units (RMUs), and thus do not capture variations in population trends, impacts of threats, or necessary conservation actions across individual populations. To address this issue, we developed a new assessment framework that allowed us to evaluate, compare and organize marine turtle RMUs according to status and threats criteria. Because conservation priorities can vary widely (i.e. from avoiding imminent extinction to maintaining long-term monitoring efforts) we developed a “conservation priorities portfolio” system using categories of paired risk and threats scores for all RMUs (n = 58). We performed these assessments and rankings globally, by species, by ocean basin, and by recognized geopolitical bodies to identify patterns in risk, threats, and data gaps at different scales. This process resulted in characterization of risk and threats to all marine turtle RMUs, including identification of the world's 11 most endangered marine turtle RMUs based on highest risk and threats scores. This system also highlighted important gaps in available information that is crucial for accurate conservation assessments. Overall, this priority-setting framework can provide guidance for research and conservation priorities at multiple relevant scales, and should serve as a model for conservation status assessments and priority-setting for

  11. Prevalence of Salmonella spp. in pet turtles and their environment

    PubMed Central

    Back, Du-San; Shin, Gee-Wook; Wendt, Mitchell

    2016-01-01

    Pet turtles are known as a source of Salmonella infection to humans when handled in captivity. Thirty four turtles purchased from pet shops and online markets in Korea were examined to determine whether the turtles and their environment were contaminated with Salmonella spp. Salmonella spp. were isolated from fecal samples of 17 turtles. These isolates were identified as S. enterica through 16S rRNA gene sequencing. The isolation rate of Salmonella spp. from the soil and water samples increased over time. We concluded that a high percentage of turtles being sold in pet shops were infected with Salmonella spp., and their environments tend to become contaminated over time unless they are maintained properly. These results indicate that pet turtles could be a potential risk of salmonellosis in Korea. PMID:27729933

  12. Turtle-Associated Salmonellosis, United States, 2006-2014.

    PubMed

    Bosch, Stacey; Tauxe, Robert V; Behravesh, Casey Barton

    2016-07-01

    During 2006-2014, a total of 15 multistate outbreaks of turtle-associated salmonellosis in humans were reported in the United States. Exposure to small pet turtles has long been recognized as a source of human salmonellosis. The risk to public health has persisted and may be increasing. Turtles are a popular reptilian pet among children, and numerous risky behaviors for the zoonotic transmission of Salmonella bacteria to children have been reported in recent outbreaks. Despite a long-standing federal ban against the sale and distribution of turtles <4 in (<10.16 cm) long, these small reptiles can be readily acquired through multiple venues and continue to be the main source of turtle-associated salmonellosis in children. Enhanced efforts are needed to minimize the disease risk associated with small turtle exposure. Prevention will require novel partnerships and a comprehensive One Health approach involving human, animal, and environmental health. PMID:27315584

  13. Turtle-Associated Salmonellosis, United States, 2006–2014

    PubMed Central

    Tauxe, Robert V.; Behravesh, Casey Barton

    2016-01-01

    During 2006–2014, a total of 15 multistate outbreaks of turtle-associated salmonellosis in humans were reported in the United States. Exposure to small pet turtles has long been recognized as a source of human salmonellosis. The risk to public health has persisted and may be increasing. Turtles are a popular reptilian pet among children, and numerous risky behaviors for the zoonotic transmission of Salmonella bacteria to children have been reported in recent outbreaks. Despite a long-standing federal ban against the sale and distribution of turtles <4 in (<10.16 cm) long, these small reptiles can be readily acquired through multiple venues and continue to be the main source of turtle-associated salmonellosis in children. Enhanced efforts are needed to minimize the disease risk associated with small turtle exposure. Prevention will require novel partnerships and a comprehensive One Health approach involving human, animal, and environmental health. PMID:27315584

  14. 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

  15. 76 FR 48806 - Endangered Species; File No. 16194

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-08-09

    ..., hawksbill, leatherback, Kemp's ridley, olive ridley, and unidentified hardshell sea turtles during SEFSC resource assessment cruises in the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Green... ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), and unidentified hardshell...

  16. 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.

  17. An ancestral turtle from the Late Triassic of southwestern China.

    PubMed

    Li, Chun; Wu, Xiao-Chun; Rieppel, Olivier; Wang, Li-Ting; Zhao, Li-Jun

    2008-11-27

    The origin of the turtle body plan remains one of the great mysteries of reptile evolution. The anatomy of turtles is highly derived, which renders it difficult to establish the relationships of turtles with other groups of reptiles. The oldest known turtle, Proganochelys from the Late Triassic period of Germany, has a fully formed shell and offers no clue as to its origin. Here we describe a new 220-million-year-old turtle from China, somewhat older than Proganochelys, that documents an intermediate step in the evolution of the shell and associated structures. A ventral plastron is fully developed, but the dorsal carapace consists of neural plates only. The dorsal ribs are expanded, and osteoderms are absent. The new species shows that the plastron evolved before the carapace and that the first step of carapace formation is the ossification of the neural plates coupled with a broadening of the ribs. This corresponds to early embryonic stages of carapace formation in extant turtles, and shows that the turtle shell is not derived from a fusion of osteoderms. Phylogenetic analysis places the new species basal to all known turtles, fossil and extant. The marine deposits that yielded the fossils indicate that this primitive turtle inhabited marginal areas of the sea or river deltas.

  18. An ancestral turtle from the Late Triassic of southwestern China.

    PubMed

    Li, Chun; Wu, Xiao-Chun; Rieppel, Olivier; Wang, Li-Ting; Zhao, Li-Jun

    2008-11-27

    The origin of the turtle body plan remains one of the great mysteries of reptile evolution. The anatomy of turtles is highly derived, which renders it difficult to establish the relationships of turtles with other groups of reptiles. The oldest known turtle, Proganochelys from the Late Triassic period of Germany, has a fully formed shell and offers no clue as to its origin. Here we describe a new 220-million-year-old turtle from China, somewhat older than Proganochelys, that documents an intermediate step in the evolution of the shell and associated structures. A ventral plastron is fully developed, but the dorsal carapace consists of neural plates only. The dorsal ribs are expanded, and osteoderms are absent. The new species shows that the plastron evolved before the carapace and that the first step of carapace formation is the ossification of the neural plates coupled with a broadening of the ribs. This corresponds to early embryonic stages of carapace formation in extant turtles, and shows that the turtle shell is not derived from a fusion of osteoderms. Phylogenetic analysis places the new species basal to all known turtles, fossil and extant. The marine deposits that yielded the fossils indicate that this primitive turtle inhabited marginal areas of the sea or river deltas. PMID:19037315

  19. Route optimisation and solving Zermelo's navigation problem during long distance migration in cross flows.

    PubMed

    Hays, Graeme C; Christensen, Asbjørn; Fossette, Sabrina; Schofield, Gail; Talbot, Julian; Mariani, Patrizio

    2014-02-01

    The optimum path to follow when subjected to cross flows was first considered over 80 years ago by the German mathematician Ernst Zermelo, in the context of a boat being displaced by ocean currents, and has become known as the 'Zermelo navigation problem'. However, the ability of migrating animals to solve this problem has received limited consideration, even though wind and ocean currents cause the lateral displacement of flyers and swimmers, respectively, particularly during long-distance journeys of 1000s of kilometres. Here, we examine this problem by combining long-distance, open-ocean marine turtle movements (obtained via long-term GPS tracking of sea turtles moving 1000s of km), with a high resolution basin-wide physical ocean model to estimate ocean currents. We provide a robust mathematical framework to demonstrate that, while turtles eventually arrive at their target site, they do not follow the optimum (Zermelo's) route. Even though adult marine turtles regularly complete incredible long-distance migrations, these vertebrates primarily rely on course corrections when entering neritic waters during the final stages of migration. Our work introduces a new perspective in the analysis of wildlife tracking datasets, with different animal groups potentially exhibiting different levels of complexity in goal attainment during migration. PMID:24304813

  20. A Middle Triassic stem-turtle and the evolution of the turtle body plan.

    PubMed

    Schoch, Rainer R; Sues, Hans-Dieter

    2015-07-30

    The origin and early evolution of turtles have long been major contentious issues in vertebrate zoology. This is due to conflicting character evidence from molecules and morphology and a lack of transitional fossils from the critical time interval. The ∼220-million-year-old stem-turtle Odontochelys from China has a partly formed shell and many turtle-like features in its postcranial skeleton. Unlike the 214-million-year-old Proganochelys from Germany and Thailand, it retains marginal teeth and lacks a carapace. Odontochelys is separated by a large temporal gap from the ∼260-million-year-old Eunotosaurus from South Africa, which has been hypothesized as the earliest stem-turtle. Here we report a new reptile, Pappochelys, that is structurally and chronologically intermediate between Eunotosaurus and Odontochelys and dates from the Middle Triassic period (∼240 million years ago). The three taxa share anteroposteriorly broad trunk ribs that are T-shaped in cross-section and bear sculpturing, elongate dorsal vertebrae, and modified limb girdles. Pappochelys closely resembles Odontochelys in various features of the limb girdles. Unlike Odontochelys, it has a cuirass of robust paired gastralia in place of a plastron. Pappochelys provides new evidence that the plastron partly formed through serial fusion of gastralia. Its skull has small upper and ventrally open lower temporal fenestrae, supporting the hypothesis of diapsid affinities of turtles. PMID:26106865

  1. A Middle Triassic stem-turtle and the evolution of the turtle body plan.

    PubMed

    Schoch, Rainer R; Sues, Hans-Dieter

    2015-07-30

    The origin and early evolution of turtles have long been major contentious issues in vertebrate zoology. This is due to conflicting character evidence from molecules and morphology and a lack of transitional fossils from the critical time interval. The ∼220-million-year-old stem-turtle Odontochelys from China has a partly formed shell and many turtle-like features in its postcranial skeleton. Unlike the 214-million-year-old Proganochelys from Germany and Thailand, it retains marginal teeth and lacks a carapace. Odontochelys is separated by a large temporal gap from the ∼260-million-year-old Eunotosaurus from South Africa, which has been hypothesized as the earliest stem-turtle. Here we report a new reptile, Pappochelys, that is structurally and chronologically intermediate between Eunotosaurus and Odontochelys and dates from the Middle Triassic period (∼240 million years ago). The three taxa share anteroposteriorly broad trunk ribs that are T-shaped in cross-section and bear sculpturing, elongate dorsal vertebrae, and modified limb girdles. Pappochelys closely resembles Odontochelys in various features of the limb girdles. Unlike Odontochelys, it has a cuirass of robust paired gastralia in place of a plastron. Pappochelys provides new evidence that the plastron partly formed through serial fusion of gastralia. Its skull has small upper and ventrally open lower temporal fenestrae, supporting the hypothesis of diapsid affinities of turtles.

  2. Cell Migration

    PubMed Central

    Trepat, Xavier; Chen, Zaozao; Jacobson, Ken

    2015-01-01

    Cell migration is fundamental to establishing and maintaining the proper organization of multicellular organisms. Morphogenesis can be viewed as a consequence, in part, of cell locomotion, from large-scale migrations of epithelial sheets during gastrulation, to the movement of individual cells during development of the nervous system. In an adult organism, cell migration is essential for proper immune response, wound repair, and tissue homeostasis, while aberrant cell migration is found in various pathologies. Indeed, as our knowledge of migration increases, we can look forward to, for example, abating the spread of highly malignant cancer cells, retarding the invasion of white cells in the inflammatory process, or enhancing the healing of wounds. This article is organized in two main sections. The first section is devoted to the single-cell migrating in isolation such as occurs when leukocytes migrate during the immune response or when fibroblasts squeeze through connective tissue. The second section is devoted to cells collectively migrating as part of multicellular clusters or sheets. This second type of migration is prevalent in development, wound healing, and in some forms of cancer metastasis. PMID:23720251

  3. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Snapping turtle

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Graves, Brent M.; Anderson, Stanley H.

    1987-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for the snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina). The model consolidates habitat use information into a framework appropriate for field application, and is scaled to produce an index between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) and 1.0 (optimum habitat). HSI models are designed to be used with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  4. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Slider turtle

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Morreale, Stephen J.; Gibbons, J. Whitfield

    1986-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for the slider turtle (Pseudemys scripta). The model consolidates habitat use information into a framework appropriate for field application and is scaled to produce an index between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) and 1.0 (optimum habitat). HSI models are designed to be used with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  5. 75 FR 52937 - Turtle Bayou Gas Storage Company, LLC; Notice of Application

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-08-30

    ... Energy Regulatory Commission Turtle Bayou Gas Storage Company, LLC; Notice of Application August 20, 2010. Take notice that on August 6, 2010, Turtle Bayou Gas Storage Company, LLC (Turtle Bayou), One Office... caverns and related facilities to be located in Chambers and Liberty Counties, Texas. Turtle Bayou...

  6. Geometric morphometrics of the shoulder girdle in extant turtles (Chelonii)

    PubMed Central

    Depecker, Marion; Berge, Christine; Penin, Xavier; Renous, Sabine

    2006-01-01

    The aim of this study was to identify shape patterns of the shoulder girdle in relation to different functional and environmental behaviours in turtles. The Procrustes method was used to compare the shoulder girdles (scapula and coracoid) of 88 adult extant turtles. The results indicate that four shape patterns can be distinguished. The shoulder girdles of (1) terrestrial (Testudinidae), (2) highly aquatic freshwater (Trionychidae, Carettochelyidae) and (3) marine turtles (Cheloniidae, Dermochelyidae) correspond to three specialized morphological patterns, whereas the shoulder girdle of (4) semi-aquatic freshwater turtles (Bataguridae, Chelidae, Chelydridae, Emydidae, Kinosternidae, Pelomedusidae, Platysternidae, Podocnemididae) is more generalized. In terrestrial turtles, the long scapular prong and the short coracoid are associated with a domed shell and a mode of locomotion in which walking is predominant. By contrast, highly aquatic freshwater turtles share traits with marine turtles. In both, the short scapular prong and the long coracoid are associated with a flat shell, and swimming locomotion. The enlarged attachment sites of the biceps, coracobrachialis magnus, and supracoracoideus also give these strong swimmers a mechanical advantage during adduction and retraction of the arm. Increasing size leads to allometrical shape changes that emphasize mechanical efficiency both in terrestrial and in aquatic turtles. PMID:16420377

  7. Assessing Trophic Position and Mercury Accumulation in Sanpping Turtles

    EPA Science Inventory

    This study determined the trophic position and the total mercury concentrations of snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) captured from 26 freshwater sites in Rhode Island. Turtles were captured in baited wire cages, and a non-lethal sampling technique was used in which tips of ...

  8. Learning from Experience: A Report from Mexico's Turtle Trip 2000.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jankowska, Marta Maja

    2000-01-01

    Fifteen high school students and adults from Idaho traveled to Mexico to assist the One World Workforce with monitoring the nests of olive ridley sea turtles. Only 1 percent of these endangered turtles mature to adulthood. The volunteers protected the eggs from poachers and helped the hatchlings get safely to the water. (TD)

  9. 42 CFR 71.52 - Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... (21 CFR 1240.62) regarding general prohibition. (g) Other permits. Permits to import certain species of turtles may be required under other Federal regulations (50 CFR parts 17 and 23) protecting such... 42 Public Health 1 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins. 71.52 Section...

  10. 42 CFR 71.52 - Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... (21 CFR 1240.62) regarding general prohibition. (g) Other permits. Permits to import certain species of turtles may be required under other Federal regulations (50 CFR parts 17 and 23) protecting such... 42 Public Health 1 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins. 71.52 Section...

  11. 42 CFR 71.52 - Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... (21 CFR 1240.62) regarding general prohibition. (g) Other permits. Permits to import certain species of turtles may be required under other Federal regulations (50 CFR parts 17 and 23) protecting such... 42 Public Health 1 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins. 71.52 Section...

  12. 42 CFR 71.52 - Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... (21 CFR 1240.62) regarding general prohibition. (g) Other permits. Permits to import certain species of turtles may be required under other Federal regulations (50 CFR parts 17 and 23) protecting such... 42 Public Health 1 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins. 71.52 Section...

  13. 50 CFR 226.209 - Critical habitat for hawksbill 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 hawksbill turtle... ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITAT § 226.209 Critical habitat for hawksbill turtle. (a) Mona and Monito Islands, Puerto Rico—Waters surrounding...

  14. 50 CFR 226.209 - Critical habitat for hawksbill 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 hawksbill turtle. 226... ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITAT § 226.209 Critical habitat for hawksbill turtle. (a) Mona and Monito Islands, Puerto Rico—Waters surrounding...

  15. 50 CFR 226.209 - Critical habitat for hawksbill 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 hawksbill turtle... ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITAT § 226.209 Critical habitat for hawksbill turtle. (a) Mona and Monito Islands, Puerto Rico—Waters surrounding...

  16. 50 CFR 226.208 - Critical habitat for green turtle.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

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

  17. 50 CFR 226.209 - Critical habitat for hawksbill 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 hawksbill turtle... ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITAT § 226.209 Critical habitat for hawksbill turtle. (a) Mona and Monito Islands, Puerto Rico—Waters surrounding...

  18. 50 CFR 226.208 - Critical habitat for green turtle.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

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

  19. 50 CFR 226.209 - Critical habitat for hawksbill 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 hawksbill turtle. 226... ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITAT § 226.209 Critical habitat for hawksbill turtle. (a) Mona and Monito Islands, Puerto Rico—Waters surrounding...

  20. 50 CFR 226.208 - Critical habitat for green turtle.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

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

  1. 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 §§...

  2. 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 §§...

  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. 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)

  5. 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 §§...

  6. 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 §§...

  7. 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...

  8. Geometric morphometrics of the shoulder girdle in extant turtles (Chelonii).

    PubMed

    Depecker, Marion; Berge, Christine; Penin, Xavier; Renous, Sabine

    2006-01-01

    The aim of this study was to identify shape patterns of the shoulder girdle in relation to different functional and environmental behaviours in turtles. The Procrustes method was used to compare the shoulder girdles (scapula and coracoid) of 88 adult extant turtles. The results indicate that four shape patterns can be distinguished. The shoulder girdles of (1) terrestrial (Testudinidae), (2) highly aquatic freshwater (Trionychidae, Carettochelyidae) and (3) marine turtles (Cheloniidae, Dermochelyidae) correspond to three specialized morphological patterns, whereas the shoulder girdle of (4) semi-aquatic freshwater turtles (Bataguridae, Chelidae, Chelydridae, Emydidae, Kinosternidae, Pelomedusidae, Platysternidae, Podocnemididae) is more generalized. In terrestrial turtles, the long scapular prong and the short coracoid are associated with a domed shell and a mode of locomotion in which walking is predominant. By contrast, highly aquatic freshwater turtles share traits with marine turtles. In both, the short scapular prong and the long coracoid are associated with a flat shell, and swimming locomotion. The enlarged attachment sites of the biceps, coracobrachialis magnus, and supracoracoideus also give these strong swimmers a mechanical advantage during adduction and retraction of the arm. Increasing size leads to allometrical shape changes that emphasize mechanical efficiency both in terrestrial and in aquatic turtles. PMID:16420377

  9. 77 FR 27411 - Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp Trawling Requirements

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-05-10

    ... presenting various approaches to regulating trawl fisheries in the Atlantic Ocean (74 FR 21627). The scoping... mortality of sea turtles in the southeastern U.S. shrimp fisheries, and to aid in the protection and... turtles in U.S. waters are listed as either endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act...

  10. Relative vulnerability of female turtles to road mortality

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Steen, D.A.; Aresco, M.J.; Beilke, S.G.; Compton, B.W.; Condon, E.P.; Dodd, C.K.; Forrester, H.; Gibbons, J.W.; Greene, J.L.; Johnson, G.; Langen, T.A.; Oldham, M.J.; Oxier, D.N.; Saumure, R.A.; Schueler, F.W.; Sleeman, J.M.; Smith, L.L.; Tucker, J.K.; Gibbs, J.P.

    2006-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that freshwater turtle populations are becoming increasingly male-biased. A hypothesized cause is a greater vulnerability of female turtles to road mortality. We evaluated this hypothesis by comparing sex ratios from published and unpublished population surveys of turtles conducted on- versus off-roads. Among 38 166 turtles from 157 studies reporting sex ratios, we found a consistently larger female fraction in samples from on-roads (61%) than off-roads (41%). We conclude that female turtles are indeed more likely to cross roadways than are males, which may explain recently reported skewed sex ratios near roadways and signify eventual population declines as females are differentially eliminated. ?? 2006 The Zoological Society of London.

  11. Pet turtles: a continuing international threat to public health.

    PubMed

    D'Aoust, J Y; Daley, E; Crozier, M; Sewell, A M

    1990-08-01

    The occurrence of Salmonella spp. in red-eared (Pseudemys scripta elegans) turtle eggs imported into Canada from Louisiana in June to September 1988 was examined. Of 28 lots tested, six (21%) lots from three of four exporters harbored salmonellae. Salmonella poona and Salmonella arizonae were frequently encountered in both fertile eggs and packaging moss. Turtles hatched in our laboratory from affected lots of eggs shed Salmonella in tank water for up to 11 months. Widespread use of gentamicin on turtle farms to produce Salmonella-free eggs for export apparently encouraged development of antibiotic resistance in bacterial strains. Of 37 Salmonella strains isolated in this study, 30 (81%) were gentamicin resistant. Such high levels of antibiotic-resistant salmonellae in turtle eggs pose a serious human health risk. Further marketing of turtle eggs and hatchlings should be curtailed until consistent production and distribution of Salmonella-free stocks can be assured.

  12. Compressive behavior of a turtle's shell: experiment, modeling, and simulation.

    PubMed

    Damiens, R; Rhee, H; Hwang, Y; Park, S J; Hammi, Y; Lim, H; Horstemeyer, M F

    2012-02-01

    The turtle's shell acts as a protective armor for the animal. By analyzing a turtle shell via finite element analysis, one can obtain the strength and stiffness attributes to help design man-made armor. As such, finite element analysis was performed on a Terrapene carolina box turtle shell. Experimental data from compression tests were generated to provide insight into the scute through-thickness behavior of the turtle shell. Three regimes can be classified in terms of constitutive modeling: linear elastic, perfectly inelastic, and densification regions, where hardening occurs. For each regime, we developed a model that comprises elasticity and densification theory for porous materials and obtained all the material parameters by correlating the model with experimental data. The different constitutive responses arise as the deformation proceeded through three distinctive layers of the turtle shell carapace. Overall, the phenomenological stress-strain behavior is similar to that of metallic foams. PMID:22301179

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

  14. 50 CFR 665.813 - Western Pacific longline fishing restrictions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ...) Limits on sea turtle interactions. (1) Maximum annual limits are established on the number of physical interactions that occur each calendar year between leatherback and loggerhead sea turtles and vessels... for leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) is 16, and the annual limit for loggerhead...

  15. 76 FR 47133 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-Day Finding and 12-Month Determination on a...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-08-04

    ... concerned. Previous Federal Actions In 1970, the leatherback sea turtle was listed as endangered (35 FR 8491... designated critical habitat for the leatherback sea turtle on March 23, 1979 (44 FR 17710), in the U.S... sea turtles may be warranted (May 5, 2011; 76 FR 25660). On February 23, 2011, the Sierra Club sent...

  16. 50 CFR 665.813 - Western Pacific longline fishing restrictions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ...) Limits on sea turtle interactions. (1) Maximum annual limits are established on the number of physical interactions that occur each calendar year between leatherback and North Pacific loggerhead sea turtles and... annual limit for leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) is 26, and the annual limit for...

  17. 50 CFR 665.813 - Western Pacific longline fishing restrictions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ...) Limits on sea turtle interactions. (1) Maximum annual limits are established on the number of physical interactions that occur each calendar year between leatherback and North Pacific loggerhead sea turtles and... annual limit for leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) is 26, and the annual limit for...

  18. Three Novel Herpesviruses of Endangered Clemmys and Glyptemys Turtles

    PubMed Central

    Ossiboff, Robert J.; Raphael, Bonnie L.; Ammazzalorso, Alyssa D.; Seimon, Tracie A.; Newton, Alisa L.; Chang, Tylis Y.; Zarate, Brian; Whitlock, Alison L.; McAloose, Denise

    2015-01-01

    The rich diversity of the world’s reptiles is at risk due to significant population declines of broad taxonomic and geographic scope. Significant factors attributed to these declines include habitat loss, pollution, unsustainable collection and infectious disease. To investigate the presence and significance of a potential pathogen on populations of critically endangered bog turtles (Glyptemys muhlenbergii) as well sympatric endangered wood (G. insculpta) and endangered spotted (Clemmys guttata) turtles in the northeastern United States, choanal and cloacal swabs collected from 230 turtles from 19 sites in 5 states were screened for herpesvirus by polymerase chain reaction. We found a high incidence of herpesvirus infection in bog turtles (51.5%; 105/204) and smaller numbers of positive wood (5) and spotted (1) turtles. Sequence and phylogenetic analysis revealed three previously uncharacterized alphaherpesviruses. Glyptemys herpesvirus 1 was the predominant herpesvirus detected and was found exclusively in bog turtles in all states sampled. Glyptemys herpesvirus 2 was found only in wood turtles. Emydid herpesvirus 2 was found in a small number of bog turtles and a single spotted turtle from one state. Based on these findings, Glyptemys herpesvirus 1 appears to be a common infection in the study population, whereas Glyptemys herpesvirus 2 and Emydid herpesvirus 2 were not as frequently detected. Emydid herpesvirus 2 was the only virus detected in more than one species. Herpesviruses are most often associated with subclinical or mild infections in their natural hosts, and no sampled turtles showed overt signs of disease at sampling. However, infection of host-adapted viruses in closely related species can result in significant disease. The pathogenic potential of these viruses, particularly Emydid herpesvirus 2, in sympatric chelonians warrants additional study in order to better understand the relationship of these viruses with their endangered hosts. PMID

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

    PubMed

    Ossiboff, Robert J; Raphael, Bonnie L; Ammazzalorso, Alyssa D; Seimon, Tracie A; Newton, Alisa L; Chang, Tylis Y; Zarate, Brian; Whitlock, Alison L; McAloose, Denise

    2015-01-01

    The rich diversity of the world's reptiles is at risk due to significant population declines of broad taxonomic and geographic scope. Significant factors attributed to these declines include habitat loss, pollution, unsustainable collection and infectious disease. To investigate the presence and significance of a potential pathogen on populations of critically endangered bog turtles (Glyptemys muhlenbergii) as well sympatric endangered wood (G. insculpta) and endangered spotted (Clemmys guttata) turtles in the northeastern United States, choanal and cloacal swabs collected from 230 turtles from 19 sites in 5 states were screened for herpesvirus by polymerase chain reaction. We found a high incidence of herpesvirus infection in bog turtles (51.5%; 105/204) and smaller numbers of positive wood (5) and spotted (1) turtles. Sequence and phylogenetic analysis revealed three previously uncharacterized alphaherpesviruses. Glyptemys herpesvirus 1 was the predominant herpesvirus detected and was found exclusively in bog turtles in all states sampled. Glyptemys herpesvirus 2 was found only in wood turtles. Emydid herpesvirus 2 was found in a small number of bog turtles and a single spotted turtle from one state. Based on these findings, Glyptemys herpesvirus 1 appears to be a common infection in the study population, whereas Glyptemys herpesvirus 2 and Emydid herpesvirus 2 were not as frequently detected. Emydid herpesvirus 2 was the only virus detected in more than one species. Herpesviruses are most often associated with subclinical or mild infections in their natural hosts, and no sampled turtles showed overt signs of disease at sampling. However, infection of host-adapted viruses in closely related species can result in significant disease. The pathogenic potential of these viruses, particularly Emydid herpesvirus 2, in sympatric chelonians warrants additional study in order to better understand the relationship of these viruses with their endangered hosts.

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

    PubMed

    Ossiboff, Robert J; Raphael, Bonnie L; Ammazzalorso, Alyssa D; Seimon, Tracie A; Newton, Alisa L; Chang, Tylis Y; Zarate, Brian; Whitlock, Alison L; McAloose, Denise

    2015-01-01

    The rich diversity of the world's reptiles is at risk due to significant population declines of broad taxonomic and geographic scope. Significant factors attributed to these declines include habitat loss, pollution, unsustainable collection and infectious disease. To investigate the presence and significance of a potential pathogen on populations of critically endangered bog turtles (Glyptemys muhlenbergii) as well sympatric endangered wood (G. insculpta) and endangered spotted (Clemmys guttata) turtles in the northeastern United States, choanal and cloacal swabs collected from 230 turtles from 19 sites in 5 states were screened for herpesvirus by polymerase chain reaction. We found a high incidence of herpesvirus infection in bog turtles (51.5%; 105/204) and smaller numbers of positive wood (5) and spotted (1) turtles. Sequence and phylogenetic analysis revealed three previously uncharacterized alphaherpesviruses. Glyptemys herpesvirus 1 was the predominant herpesvirus detected and was found exclusively in bog turtles in all states sampled. Glyptemys herpesvirus 2 was found only in wood turtles. Emydid herpesvirus 2 was found in a small number of bog turtles and a single spotted turtle from one state. Based on these findings, Glyptemys herpesvirus 1 appears to be a common infection in the study population, whereas Glyptemys herpesvirus 2 and Emydid herpesvirus 2 were not as frequently detected. Emydid herpesvirus 2 was the only virus detected in more than one species. Herpesviruses are most often associated with subclinical or mild infections in their natural hosts, and no sampled turtles showed overt signs of disease at sampling. However, infection of host-adapted viruses in closely related species can result in significant disease. The pathogenic potential of these viruses, particularly Emydid herpesvirus 2, in sympatric chelonians warrants additional study in order to better understand the relationship of these viruses with their endangered hosts. PMID:25875510

  1. Use of long-distance migration patterns of an endangered species to inform conservation planning for the world's largest marine protected area.

    PubMed

    Hays, Graeme C; Mortimer, Jeanne A; Ierodiaconou, Daniel; Esteban, Nicole

    2014-12-01

    Large marine protected areas (MPAs), each hundreds of thousands of square kilometers, have been set up by governments around the world over the last decade as part of efforts to reduce ocean biodiversity declines, yet their efficacy is hotly debated. The Chagos Archipelago MPA (640,000 km(2) ) (Indian Ocean) lies at the heart of this debate. We conducted the first satellite tracking of a migratory species, the green turtle (Chelonia mydas), within the MPA and assessed the species' use of protected versus unprotected areas. We developed an approach to estimate length of residence within the MPA that may have utility across migratory taxa including tuna and sharks. We recorded the longest ever published migration for an adult cheloniid turtle (3979 km). Seven of 8 tracked individuals migrated to distant foraging grounds, often ≥1000 km outside the MPA. One turtle traveled to foraging grounds within the MPA. Thus, networks of small MPAs, developed synergistically with larger MPAs, may increase the amount of time migrating species spend within protected areas. The MPA will protect turtles during the breeding season and will protect some turtles on their foraging grounds within the MPA and others during the first part of their long-distance postbreeding oceanic migrations. International cooperation will be needed to develop the network of small MPAs needed to supplement the Chagos Archipelago MPA.

  2. Use of long-distance migration patterns of an endangered species to inform conservation planning for the world's largest marine protected area.

    PubMed

    Hays, Graeme C; Mortimer, Jeanne A; Ierodiaconou, Daniel; Esteban, Nicole

    2014-12-01

    Large marine protected areas (MPAs), each hundreds of thousands of square kilometers, have been set up by governments around the world over the last decade as part of efforts to reduce ocean biodiversity declines, yet their efficacy is hotly debated. The Chagos Archipelago MPA (640,000 km(2) ) (Indian Ocean) lies at the heart of this debate. We conducted the first satellite tracking of a migratory species, the green turtle (Chelonia mydas), within the MPA and assessed the species' use of protected versus unprotected areas. We developed an approach to estimate length of residence within the MPA that may have utility across migratory taxa including tuna and sharks. We recorded the longest ever published migration for an adult cheloniid turtle (3979 km). Seven of 8 tracked individuals migrated to distant foraging grounds, often ≥1000 km outside the MPA. One turtle traveled to foraging grounds within the MPA. Thus, networks of small MPAs, developed synergistically with larger MPAs, may increase the amount of time migrating species spend within protected areas. The MPA will protect turtles during the breeding season and will protect some turtles on their foraging grounds within the MPA and others during the first part of their long-distance postbreeding oceanic migrations. International cooperation will be needed to develop the network of small MPAs needed to supplement the Chagos Archipelago MPA. PMID:25039538

  3. Migratory corridors of adult female Kemp’s ridley turtles in the Gulf of Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shaver, Donna J.; Hart, Kristen M.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Rubio, Cynthia; Sartain-Iverson, Autumn R.; Pena, Jaime; Gamez, Daniel Gomez; Gonzales Diaz Miron, Raul de Jesus; Burchfield, Patrick M.; Martinez, Hector J.; Ortiz, Jaime

    2016-01-01

    For many marine species, locations of migratory pathways are not well defined. We used satellite telemetry and switching state-space modeling (SSM) to define the migratory corridor used by Kemp's ridley turtles (Lepidochelys kempii) in the Gulf of Mexico. The turtles were tagged after nesting at Padre Island National Seashore, Texas, USA from 1997 to 2014 (PAIS; n = 80); Rancho Nuevo, Tamaulipas, Mexico from 2010 to 2011 (RN; n = 14); Tecolutla, Veracruz, Mexico from 2012 to 2013 (VC; n = 13); and Gulf Shores, Alabama, USA during 2012 (GS; n = 1). The migratory corridor lies in nearshore Gulf of Mexico waters in the USA and Mexico with mean water depth of 26 m and a mean distance of 20 km from the nearest mainland coast. Migration from the nesting beach is a short phenomenon that occurs from late-May through August, with a peak in June. There was spatial similarity of post-nesting migratory pathways for different turtles over a 16 year period. Thus, our results indicate that these nearshore Gulf waters represent a critical migratory habitat for this species. However, there is a gap in our understanding of the migratory pathways used by this and other species to return from foraging grounds to nesting beaches. Therefore, our results highlight the need for tracking reproductive individuals from foraging grounds to nesting beaches. Continued tracking of adult females from PAIS, RN, and VC nesting beaches will allow further study of environmental and bathymetric components of migratory habitat and threats occurring within our defined corridor. Furthermore, the existence of this migratory corridor in nearshore waters of both the USA and Mexico demonstrates that international cooperation is necessary to protect essential migratory habitat for this imperiled species.

  4. The Role of Turtles as Coral Reef Macroherbivores

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Herbivory is widely accepted as a vital function on coral reefs. To date, the majority of studies examining herbivory in coral reef environments have focused on the roles of fishes and/or urchins, with relatively few studies considering the potential role of macroherbivores in reef processes. Here, we introduce evidence that highlights the potential role of marine turtles as herbivores on coral reefs. While conducting experimental habitat manipulations to assess the roles of herbivorous reef fishes we observed green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) showing responses that were remarkably similar to those of herbivorous fishes. Reducing the sediment load of the epilithic algal matrix on a coral reef resulted in a forty-fold increase in grazing by green turtles. Hawksbill turtles were also observed to browse transplanted thalli of the macroalga Sargassum swartzii in a coral reef environment. These responses not only show strong parallels to herbivorous reef fishes, but also highlight that marine turtles actively, and intentionally, remove algae from coral reefs. When considering the size and potential historical abundance of marine turtles we suggest that these potentially valuable herbivores may have been lost from many coral reefs before their true importance was understood. PMID:22768189

  5. Putting longline bycatch of sea turtles into perspective.

    PubMed

    Lewison, Rebecca L; Crowder, Larry B

    2007-02-01

    Although some sea turtle populations are showing encouraging signs of recovery, others continue to decline. Reversing population declines requires an understanding of the primary factor(s) that underlie this persistent demographic trend. The list of putative factors includes direct turtle and egg harvest, egg predation, loss or degradation of nesting beach habitat, fisheries bycatch, pollution, and large-scale changes in oceanographic conditions and nutrient availability. Recently, fisheries bycatch, in particular bycatch from longline fisheries, has received increased attention and has been proposed as a primary source of turtle mortality. We reviewed the existing data on the relative impact of longline bycatch on sea turtle populations. Although bycatch rates from individual longline vessels are extremely low, the amount of gear deployed by longline vessels suggests that cumulative bycatch of turtles from older age classes is substantial. Current estimates suggest that even if pelagic longlines are not the largest single source of fisheries-related mortality, longline bycatch is high enough to warrant management actions in all fleets that encounter sea turtles. Nevertheless, preliminary data also suggest that bycatch from gillnets and trawl fisheries is equally high or higher than longline bycatch with far higher mortality rates. Until gillnet and trawl fisheries are subject to the same level of scrutiny given to pelagic longlines, our understanding of the overall impact of fisheries bycatch on vulnerable sea turtle populations will be incomplete.

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

    PubMed

    Goodwin, Andrew E; Merry, Gwenn E

    2011-05-01

    With the emergence of viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV) strain IVb in the Great Lakes of North America, hatchery managers have become concerned that this important pathogen could be transmitted by animals other than fish. Turtles are likely candidates because they are poikilotherms that feed on dead fish, but there are very few reports of rhabdovirus infections in reptiles and no reports of the fish rhabdoviruses in animals other than teleosts. We injected common snapping turtles Chelydra serpentine and red-eared sliders Trachemys scripta elegans intraperitoneally with 10(4) median tissue culture infectious dose (TCID50) of VHSV-IVb and 21 d later were able to detect the virus by quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase PCR (qrt-RTPCR) in pools of kidney, liver, and spleen. In a second experiment, snapping turtles, red-eared sliders, yellow-bellied sliders T. scripta scripta, and northern map turtles Grapetemys geographica at 14 degrees C were allowed to feed on tissues from bluegill dying of VHSV IVb disease. Turtle kidney, spleen, and brain pools were not positive by qrt-RTPCR on Day 3 post feeding, but were positive on Days 10 and 20. Map turtles on Day 20 post-feeding were positive by both qrt-RTPCR and by cell culture. Our work shows that turtles that consume infected fish are a possible vector for VHSV IVb, and that the fish rhabdoviruses may have a broader host range than previously suspected. PMID:21790064

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    Turtles are one of the least explored clades regarding endocranial anatomy with few available descriptions of the brain and inner ear of extant representatives. In addition, the paleoneurology of extinct turtles is poorly known and based on only a few natural cranial endocasts. The main goal of this study is to provide for the first time a detailed description of the neuroanatomy of an extinct turtle, the Late Jurassic Plesiochelysetalloni, including internal carotid circulation, cranial endocast and inner ear, based on the first digital 3D reconstruction using micro CT scans. The general shape of the cranial endocast of P. etalloni is tubular, with poorly marked cephalic and pontine flexures. Anteriorly, the olfactory bulbs are clearly differentiated suggesting larger bulbs than in any other described extinct or extant turtle, and indicating a higher capacity of olfaction in this taxon. The morphology of the inner ear of P. etalloni is comparable to that of extant turtles and resembles those of slow-moving terrestrial vertebrates, with markedly low, short and robust semicircular canals, and a reduced lagena. In P. etalloni the arterial pattern is similar to that found in extant cryptodires, where all the internal carotid branches are protected by bone. As the knowledge of paleoneurology in turtles is scarce and the application of modern techniques such as 3D reconstructions based on CT scans is almost unexplored in this clade, we hope this paper will trigger similar investigations of this type in other turtle taxa. PMID:23844257

  8. Collecting a sample of loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings before a natural emergence does not reduce nest productivity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Salmon, Michael; Carthy, Raymond R.; Lohmann, Catherine M. F.; Lohmann, Kenneth J.; Wyneken, Jeanette

    2012-01-01

     In numerous studies involving hatchling sea turtles, researchers have collected small numbers of hatchlings from nests a few hours before the turtles would otherwise have emerged naturally. This procedure makes it possible to do experiments in which the behavioral or physiological responses of numerous hatchlings must be tested in a limited period of time, and also allows hatchlings to be released back into the sea in time to migrate offshore before dawn. In principle, however, the procedure might inadvertently reduce nest productivity (the number of hatchlings that successfully leave the nest), if digging into a nest prior to emergence somehow reduces the ability of the remaining turtles to emerge. We compared nest productivity in 67 experimental loggerhead nests, from which we removed 10 hatchlings before a natural emergence, to 95 control nests left undisturbed before a natural emergence. The 2 groups showed no statistical differences in productivity. We conclude that taking a few hatchlings from a loggerhead nest shortly before a natural emergence has no negative impact on hatchling production if sampling is done with care at locations where there are few nest predators, and at sites where an emergence can be predicted because nest deposition dates are known.

  9. [Internal migration].

    PubMed

    Borisovna, L

    1991-06-01

    Very few studies have been conducted that truly permit explanation of internal migration and it repercussions on social and economic structure. It is clear however that a profound knowledge of the determinants and consequences of internal migration will be required as a basis for economic policy decisions that advance the goal of improving the level of living of the population. the basic supposition of most studies of the relationship of population and development is that socioeconomic development conditions demographic dynamics. The process of development in Mexico, which can be characterized by great heterogeneity, consequently produces great regional disparities. At the national level various studies have estimated the volume of internal migration in Mexico, but they have usually been limited to interstate migration because the main source of data, the census, is classified by states. But given the great heterogeneity within states in all the elements related to internal migration, it is clear that studies of internal migration within states are also needed. Such studies are almost nonexistent because of their technical difficulty. National level studies show that interstate migration increased significantly between 1940-80. The proportion of Mexicans living outside their states of birth increased by 558% in those years, compared to the 342% increase in the total Mexican population. Although Puebla has a high rate of increase, migration has kept it below Mexico's national growth rate. Migration between Puebla and other states and within Puebla has led to an increasing unevenness of spatial distribution. Between 1970-80, 57 of Puebla's municipios had growth rates above the state average of 2.8%/year, 6 had growth rates equal to the average, and 129 had growth rates that were below the average but not negative. 25 states with negative growth rates that were considered strongly expulsive. In 1980, 51.7% of the population was concentrated in the 57 municipios

  10. High incidence of deformity in aquatic turtles in the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge.

    PubMed

    Bell, Barbara; Spotila, James R; Congdon, Justin

    2006-08-01

    The John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge is subject to pollution from multiple sources. We studied development of snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) and painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) embryos from the refuge from 2000 through 2003. Mean annual deformity rate of pooled painted turtle clutches over four years ranged from 45 to 71%, while that of snapping turtle clutches ranged from 13 to 19%. Lethal deformities were more common than minor or moderate deformities in embryos of both species. Adult painted turtles had a higher deformity rate than adult snapping turtles. Snapping turtles at JHNWR had high levels of PAH contamination in their fat. This suggests that PAHs are involved in the high level of deformities. Other contaminants may also play a role. Although the refuge offers many advantages to resident turtle populations, pollution appears to place a developmental burden on the life history of these turtles. PMID:16360253

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

    An adult female common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) had a mass on the plantar surface of the right forelimb that was removed surgically. Microscopical examination revealed many spindle cells with mild anisocytosis and anisokaryosis and a surrounding collagenous stroma. There were no mitoses. Immunohistochemistry showed that the spindle cells expressed vimentin, but not desmin. A diagnosis of cutaneous fibroma was made. Tumours are reported uncommonly in chelonian species. Cutaneous fibroma has been diagnosed in an alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii), but not previously in a common snapping turtle. PMID:22578330

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

    PubMed

    Proietti, Maira C; Reisser, Julia; Marins, Luis F; Marcovaldi, Maria A; Soares, Luciano S; Monteiro, Danielle S; Wijeratne, Sarath; Pattiaratchi, Charitha; Secchi, Eduardo R

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Reisser, Julia; Marins, Luis F.; Marcovaldi, Maria A.; Soares, Luciano S.; Monteiro, Danielle S.; Wijeratne, Sarath; Pattiaratchi, Charitha; Secchi, Eduardo R.

    2014-01-01

    Hybridization between hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) and loggerhead (Caretta caretta) breeding groups is unusually common in Bahia state, Brazil. Such hybridization is possible because hawksbill and loggerhead nesting activities overlap temporally and spatially along the coast of this state. Nevertheless, the destinations of their offspring are not yet known. This study is the first to identify immature hawksbill × loggerhead hybrids (n = 4) from this rookery by analyzing the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of 157 immature turtles morphologically identified as hawksbills. We also compare for the first time modeled dispersal patterns of hawksbill, loggerhead, and hybrid offspring considering hatching season and oceanic phase duration of turtles. Particle movements varied according to season, with a higher proportion of particles dispersing southwards throughout loggerhead and hybrid hatching seasons, and northwards during hawksbill season. Hybrids from Bahia were not present in important hawksbill feeding grounds of Brazil, being detected only at areas more common for loggerheads. The genetic and oceanographic findings of this work indicate that these immature hybrids, which are morphologically similar to hawksbills, could be adopting behavioral traits typical of loggerheads, such as feeding in temperate waters of the western South Atlantic. Understanding the distribution, ecology, and migrations of these hybrids is essential for the development of adequate conservation and management plans. PMID:24688839

  14. Secretory proteins in the reproductive tract of the snapping turtle, Chelhydra serpentina.

    PubMed

    Mahmoud, I Y; Paulson, J R; Dudley, M; Patzlaff, J S; Al-Kindi, A Y A

    2004-12-01

    SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis was used to separate the secretory proteins produced by the epithelial and endometrial glands of the uterine tube and uterus in the snapping turtle Chelydra serpentina. The proteins were analyzed throughout the phases of the reproductive cycle from May to August, including preovulatory, ovulatory, postovulatory or luteal, and vitellogenic phases. The pattern of secretory proteins is quite uniform along the length of the uterine tube, and the same is true of the uterus, but the patterns for uterine tube and uterus are clearly different. We identify 13 major proteins in C. serpentina egg albumen. Bands co-migrating with 11 of these are found in the uterine tube, but at most 4 are found in the uterus, suggesting that the majority of the albumen proteins are most likely secreted in the uterine tube, not in the uterus. Although some of the egg albumen proteins are present in the uterine tube only at the time of ovulation, most of the bands corresponding to albumen proteins are present throughout the breeding season even though the snapping turtle is a monoclutch species. These results suggest that the glandular secretory phase in the uterine tube is active and quite homogeneous in function regardless of location or phase of the reproductive cycle. PMID:15596394

  15. Differences in habitat use by blanding's turtles, Emydoidea blandingii, and painted turtles, Chysemys picta, in the Nebraska sandhills

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bury, R. Bruce; Germano, David J.

    2003-01-01

    We sampled a variety of wetlands in the Nebraska sandhills at Valentine National Wildlife Refuge. Significantly more individuals of painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) occurred in lakes and open waters than in marshes or small ponds, and the opposite was true for Blanding's turtles (Emydoidea blandingii). Besides this marked difference in habitat use, 46% of the captured E. blandingii in pond/marsh habitat were juveniles, but only 31.6% in lakes and open water. Current information suggests that marshes and small ponds are important habitat for juvenile turtles, especially Emydoidea blandingii.

  16. Migration Theories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crida, Aurélien

    2015-08-01

    The great variety of the architectures of the extra-solar planetary systems has revealed the fundamental role played by planetary migration: the interactions between the planets and the gaseous disk in which they form leads to a modification of their orbits. Here, I will review the basic processes and the most recent results in this area.Planets up to ~50 Earth masses are prone to so-called type I migration.I will describe the processes at play, namely the Lindblad and corotation torques, and explain how the total torque depends on the planet mass and the local disk structure. Application to realistic disks shows one or two sweet spot(s) for outward migration of planets roughly between 5 and 30 Earth masses around the snowline ; this is confirmed by dedicated 3D numerical simulations. This has strong consequences on the formation of hot Super-Earths or mini-Neptunes.For smaller mass planets, it has been recently proposed that the heating of the neighboring gas by the luminous planet can lead to a positive torque, hence promoting outward migration. On the other hand, if the planet is not a heat source, a cold finger appears, whose resulting torque is negative. Applications of these two recent results should be discussed.Giant planets open gaps in the proto-planetary disk, and then are supposedly subject to type II migration, following the viscous accretion of the disk. This standard picture has been questioned recently, as gas appears to drift through the gap. Although the gap opening process is well understood in 2D for a planet on a fixed orbit, recent results on 3D simulations or migrating planets make the picture more accurate.Our ever better understanding of planet-disk interactions is of crucial importance as the statistics on extra solar systems keep growing and the results of these interactions are now imaged.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1979-01-01

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

  18. Turtle embryos move to optimal thermal environments within the egg.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Bo; Li, Teng; Shine, Richard; Du, Wei-Guo

    2013-08-23

    A recent study demonstrated that the embryos of soft-shelled turtles can reposition themselves within their eggs to exploit locally warm conditions. In this paper, we ask whether turtle embryos actively seek out optimal thermal environments for their development, as do post-hatching individuals. Specifically, (i) do reptile embryos move away from dangerously high temperatures as well as towards warm temperatures? and (ii) is such embryonic movement due to active thermoregulation, or (more simply) to passive embryonic repositioning caused by local heat-induced changes in viscosity of fluids within the egg? Our experiments with an emydid turtle (Chinemys reevesii) show that embryos avoid dangerously high temperatures by moving to cooler regions of the egg. The repositioning of embryos is an active rather than passive process: live embryos move towards a heat source, whereas dead ones do not. Overall, our results suggest that behavioural thermoregulation by turtle embryos is genuinely analogous to the thermoregulatory behaviour exhibited by post-hatching ectotherms.

  19. Looking southeast down the Turtle Creek Valley at the Edgar ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    Looking southeast down the Turtle Creek Valley at the Edgar Thomson works from a bluff at North Braddock (Martin Stupich) - U.S. Steel Edgar Thomson Works, Along Monongahela River, Braddock, Allegheny County, PA

  20. 45. Starboard elevation under way. Note large turtle deck and ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    45. Starboard elevation under way. Note large turtle deck and crane configuration. - U.S. Coast Guard Cutter WHITE SUMAC, U.S. Coast Guard 8th District Base, 4640 Urquhart Street, New Orleans, Orleans Parish, LA

  1. 51. Port elevation, in port. Note reduced turtle deck due ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    51. Port elevation, in port. Note reduced turtle deck due to quarters expansion. - U.S. Coast Guard Cutter WHITE SUMAC, U.S. Coast Guard 8th District Base, 4640 Urquhart Street, New Orleans, Orleans Parish, LA

  2. 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

    2013-09-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-01

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

  4. 50 CFR 648.106 - Sea Turtle conservation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Van Houtan, Kyle S; Bass, Oron L

    2007-08-01

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

  6. 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...

  7. Common snapping turtle preys on an adult western grebe

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Igl, L.D.; Peterson, S.L.

    2010-01-01

    The identification of predators of aquatic birds can be difficult. The Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentine) is considered a major predator of waterfowl and other aquatic birds, but the evidence for this reputation is based largely on circumstantial or indirect evidence rather than direct observations. Herein, the first documented observations of a snapping turtle attacking and killing an adult Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis) are described.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

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

  9. Lactate accumulation, glycogen depletion, and shell composition of hatchling turtles during simulated aquatic hibernation.

    PubMed

    Reese, Scott A; Ultsch, Gordon R; Jackson, Donald C

    2004-07-01

    We submerged hatchling western painted turtles Chrysemys picta Schneider, snapping turtles Chelydra serpentina L. and map turtles Graptemys geographica Le Sueur in normoxic and anoxic water at 3 degrees C. Periodically, turtles were removed and whole-body [lactate] and [glycogen] were measured along with relative shell mass, shell water, and shell ash. We analyzed the shell for [Na+], [K+], total calcium, total magnesium, Pi and total CO2. All three species were able to tolerate long-term submergence in normoxic water without accumulating any lactate, indicating sufficient extrapulmonary O2 extraction to remain aerobic even after 150 days. Survival in anoxic water was 15 days in map turtles, 30 days in snapping turtles, and 40 days in painted turtles. Survival of hatchlings was only about one third the life of their adult conspecifics in anoxic water. Much of the decrease in survival was attributable to a dramatically lower shell-bone content (44% ash in adult painted turtles vs. 3% ash in hatchlings of all three species) and a smaller buffer content of bone (1.3 mmol g(-1) CO2 in adult painted turtles vs. 0.13-0.23 mmol g(-1) CO2 in hatchlings of the three species). The reduced survivability of turtle hatchlings in anoxic water requires that hatchlings either avoid aquatic hibernacula that may become severely hypoxic or anoxic (snapping turtles), or overwinter terrestrially (painted turtles and map turtles). PMID:15235017

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Emerging from the rib: resolving the turtle controversies.

    PubMed

    Rice, Ritva; Riccio, Paul; Gilbert, Scott F; Cebra-Thomas, Judith

    2015-05-01

    Two of the major controversies in the present study of turtle shell development involve the mechanism by which the carapacial ridge initiates shell formation and the mechanism by which each rib forms the costal bones adjacent to it. This paper claims that both sides of each debate might be correct-but within the species examined. Mechanism is more properly "mechanisms," and there is more than one single way to initiate carapace formation and to form the costal bones. In the initiation of the shell, the rib precursors may be kept dorsal by either "axial displacement" (in the hard-shell turtles) or "axial arrest" (in the soft-shell turtle Pelodiscus), or by a combination of these. The former process would deflect the rib into the dorsal dermis and allow it to continue its growth there, while the latter process would truncate rib growth. In both instances, though, the result is to keep the ribs from extending into the ventral body wall. Our recent work has shown that the properties of the carapacial ridge, a key evolutionary innovation of turtles, differ greatly between these two groups. Similarly, the mechanism of costal bone formation may differ between soft-shell and hard-shell turtles, in that the hard-shell species may have both periosteal flattening as well as dermal bone induction, while the soft-shelled turtles may have only the first of these processes.

  13. Origin of the unique ventilatory apparatus of turtles.

    PubMed

    Lyson, Tyler R; Schachner, Emma R; Botha-Brink, Jennifer; Scheyer, Torsten M; Lambertz, Markus; Bever, G S; Rubidge, Bruce S; de Queiroz, Kevin

    2014-11-07

    The turtle body plan differs markedly from that of other vertebrates and serves as a model system for studying structural and developmental evolution. Incorporation of the ribs into the turtle shell negates the costal movements that effect lung ventilation in other air-breathing amniotes. Instead, turtles have a unique abdominal-muscle-based ventilatory apparatus whose evolutionary origins have remained mysterious. Here we show through broadly comparative anatomical and histological analyses that an early member of the turtle stem lineage has several turtle-specific ventilation characters: rigid ribcage, inferred loss of intercostal muscles and osteological correlates of the primary expiratory muscle. Our results suggest that the ventilation mechanism of turtles evolved through a division of labour between the ribs and muscles of the trunk in which the abdominal muscles took on the primary ventilatory function, whereas the broadened ribs became the primary means of stabilizing the trunk. These changes occurred approximately 50 million years before the evolution of the fully ossified shell.

  14. Unexpectedly low rangewide population genetic structure of the imperiled eastern box turtle Terrapene c. carolina.

    PubMed

    Kimble, Steven J A; Rhodes, O E; Williams, Rod N

    2014-01-01

    Rangewide studies of genetic parameters can elucidate patterns and processes that operate only over large geographic scales. Herein, we present a rangewide population genetic assessment of the eastern box turtle Terrapene c. carolina, a species that is in steep decline across its range. To inform conservation planning for this species, we address the hypothesis that disruptions to demographic and movement parameters associated with the decline of the eastern box turtle has resulted in distinctive genetic signatures in the form of low genetic diversity, high population structuring, and decreased gene flow. We used microsatellite genotype data from (n = 799) individuals from across the species range to perform two Bayesian population assignment approaches, two methods for comparing historical and contemporary migration among populations, an evaluation of isolation by distance, and a method for detecting barriers to gene flow. Both Bayesian methods of population assignment indicated that there are two populations rangewide, both of which have maintained high levels of genetic diversity (HO = 0.756). Evidence of isolation by distance was detected in this species at a spatial scale of 300-500 km, and the Appalachian Mountains were identified as the primary barrier to gene flow across the species range. We also found evidence for historical but not contemporary migration between populations. Our prediction of many, highly structured populations across the range was not supported. This may point to cryptic contemporary gene flow, which might in turn be explained by the presence of rare transients in populations. However these data may be influenced by historical signatures of genetic connectivity because individuals of this species can be long-lived. PMID:24647580

  15. Unexpectedly Low Rangewide Population Genetic Structure of the Imperiled Eastern Box Turtle Terrapene c. carolina

    PubMed Central

    Kimble, Steven J. A.; Rhodes Jr., O. E.; Williams, Rod N.

    2014-01-01

    Rangewide studies of genetic parameters can elucidate patterns and processes that operate only over large geographic scales. Herein, we present a rangewide population genetic assessment of the eastern box turtle Terrapene c. carolina, a species that is in steep decline across its range. To inform conservation planning for this species, we address the hypothesis that disruptions to demographic and movement parameters associated with the decline of the eastern box turtle has resulted in distinctive genetic signatures in the form of low genetic diversity, high population structuring, and decreased gene flow. We used microsatellite genotype data from (n = 799) individuals from across the species range to perform two Bayesian population assignment approaches, two methods for comparing historical and contemporary migration among populations, an evaluation of isolation by distance, and a method for detecting barriers to gene flow. Both Bayesian methods of population assignment indicated that there are two populations rangewide, both of which have maintained high levels of genetic diversity (HO = 0.756). Evidence of isolation by distance was detected in this species at a spatial scale of 300 – 500 km, and the Appalachian Mountains were identified as the primary barrier to gene flow across the species range. We also found evidence for historical but not contemporary migration between populations. Our prediction of many, highly structured populations across the range was not supported. This may point to cryptic contemporary gene flow, which might in turn be explained by the presence of rare transients in populations. However these data may be influenced by historical signatures of genetic connectivity because individuals of this species can be long-lived. PMID:24647580

  16. 77 FR 75614 - Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-12-21

    ... leatherback sea turtles in this fishery, other mitigation measures may be considered to compensate for any..., the Pacific Leatherback Conservation Area (PLCA) in order to enhance fishing opportunity in the... successfully in the Hawaii-based shallow-set pelagic longline fishery to limit takes of leatherback...

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

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

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

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

  19. 50 CFR 224.104 - Special requirements for fishing activities to protect endangered sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

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

  20. 50 CFR 224.104 - Special requirements for fishing activities to protect endangered sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

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

  1. 50 CFR 224.104 - Special requirements for fishing activities to protect endangered sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

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

  2. The Western Pond Turtle; Habitat and History, 1993-1994 Final Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Holland, Dan C.

    1994-08-01

    The western pond turtle is known from many areas of Oregon. The majority of sightings and other records occur in the major drainages of the Klamath, Rogue, Umpqua, Willamette and Columbia River systems. A brief overview is presented of the evolution of the Willamette-Puget Sound hydrographic basin. A synopsis is also presented of the natural history of the western pond turtle, as well as, the status of this turtle in the Willamette drainage basin. The reproductive ecology and molecular genetics of the western pond turtle are discussed. Aquatic movements and overwintering of the western pond turtle are evaluated. The effect of introduced turtle species on the status of the western pond turtle was investigated in a central California Pond. Experiments were performed to determine if this turtle could be translocated as a mitigation strategy.

  3. Forelimb muscle function in pig-nosed turtles, Carettochelys insculpta: testing neuromotor conservation between rowing and flapping in swimming turtles.

    PubMed

    Rivera, Angela R V; Blob, Richard W

    2013-10-23

    Changes in muscle activation patterns can lead to new locomotor modes; however, neuromotor conservation-the evolution of new forms of locomotion through changes in structure without concurrent changes to underlying motor patterns-has been documented across diverse styles of locomotion. Animals that swim using appendages do so via rowing (anteroposterior oscilations) or flapping (dorsoventral oscilations). Yet few studies have compared motor patterns between these swimming modes. In swimming turtles, propulsion is generated exclusively by limbs. Kinematically, turtles swim using multiple styles of rowing (freshwater species), flapping (sea turtles) and a unique hybrid style with superficial similarity to flapping by sea turtles and characterized by increased dorsoventral motions of synchronously oscillated forelimbs that have been modified into flippers (Carettochelys insculpta). We compared forelimb motor patterns in four species of turtle (two rowers, Apalone ferox and Trachemys scripta; one flapper, Caretta caretta; and Carettochelys) and found that, despite kinematic differences, motor patterns were generally similar among species with a few notable exceptions: specifically, presence of variable bursts for pectoralis and triceps in Trachemys (though timing of the non-variable pectoralis burst was similar), and the timing of deltoideus activity in Carettochelys and Caretta compared with other taxa. The similarities in motor patterns we find for several muscles provide partial support for neuromotor conservation among turtles using diverse locomotor styles, but the differences implicate deltoideus as a prime contributor to flapping limb motions.

  4. The embryological development of primary visual centres in the turtle Emys orbicularis.

    PubMed Central

    Hergueta, S; Lemire, M; Pieau, C; Ward, R; Repérant, J

    1993-01-01

    The development of the primary visual centres was studied in a series of embryos of the turtle, Emys orbicularis, incubated at 25 degrees C. The differentiation of both visual and nonvisual diencephalic and mesencephalic structures takes place entirely within the 2nd quarter of the period of incubation; this finding appears to be consistent with previous descriptions of the embryology of 2 other chelonian species, Lepidochelys and Chelydra. Two successive waves of migration, each dividing into internal and external sheaves, are involved in the formation of the structures of the diencephalon and mesencephalon. The primary visual centres, which comprise 2 hypothalamic, 5 thalamic and 5 pretectal zones of retinal projections, together with the 2 superficial layers of the tectum and a single tegmental projection zone, all have their origin in the external sheaf of the 1st wave of migration. The finding that the adult nucleus geniculatus lateralis dorsalis, pars ventralis arises from one of the migrations of the dorsal thalamus is discussed in the context of the debate over the possible homologues of the mammalian geniculostriate visual pathway. Images Fig. 1 (cont.) Fig. 1 Fig. 2 (cont.) Fig. 2 Fig. 3 (cont.) Fig. 3 Fig. 4 (cont.) Fig. 4 Fig. 5 (cont.) Fig. 5 Fig. 6 (cont.) Fig. 6 Fig. 7 Fig. 8 (cont.) Fig. 8 Fig. 9 (cont.) Fig. 9 Fig. 10 (cont.) Fig. 10 Fig. 11 Fig. 12 Fig. 13 Fig. 14 PMID:8300423

  5. Graptemys pulchra Baur 1893: Alabama Map Turtle

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Godwin, James C.; McCoy, C.J.; Rhodin, A. G. J.; Pritchard, P. C. H.; van Dijk, P. P.; Saumure, R.A.; Buhlmann, K.A.; Iverson, J.B.; Mittermeier, R.A.

    2014-01-01

    The Alabama Map Turtle, Graptemys pulchra (Family Emydidae), is a moderately large riverine species endemic to the Mobile Bay drainage system of Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi. Sexual size dimorphism is pronounced, with adult females (carapace length [CL] to 273 mm) attaining more than twice the size of adult males (CL to 117 mm). The species is an inhabitant of relatively large, swift creeks and rivers, often with wide sandbars. Stream sections open to the sun and with abundant basking sites in the form of logs and brush are preferred. Six to seven clutches of 4–7 eggs are laid each year on river sandbars. Although the species is locally abundant, populations are threatened by habitat destruction, declines in their prey base, commercial collection, and vandalism. It is listed as a Species of Special Concern in Alabama.

  6. 78 FR 65959 - Proposed Designation of Marine Critical Habitat for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Caretta caretta...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-11-04

    ... Marine Critical Habitat for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Caretta caretta, Under the Endangered Species Act... related to our Proposed Designation of Marine Critical Habitat for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Caretta... Critical Habitat for the Northwest Atlantic Ocean Loggerhead Sea Turtle Distinct Population Segment...

  7. 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...

  8. 78 FR 51705 - Proposed Designation of Marine Critical Habitat for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Caretta caretta...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-08-21

    ... Marine Critical Habitat for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Caretta caretta, Under the Endangered Species Act... related to our Proposed Designation of Marine Critical Habitat for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Caretta... Designation of Critical Habitat for the Northwest Atlantic Ocean Loggerhead Sea Turtle Distinct...

  9. 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.

  10. 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

    ... recommended and NMFS implemented a broad suite of sea turtle conservation and management measures for the... from fisheries that observe lower sea turtle and marine mammal conservation standards and, therefore... Fisheries; Revised Limits on Sea Turtle Interactions in the Hawaii Shallow-Set Longline Fishery...

  11. 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...

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

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

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

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

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 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. Loggerhead turtle movements reconstructed from 18O and 13C profiles from commensal barnacle shells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Killingley, John S.; Lutcavage, Molly

    1983-03-01

    Commensal barnacles, Chelonibia testudinaria, from logger-head turtles have 18O and 13C variations in their calcitic shells that record the environments in which the turtles live. Isotopic profiles from the barnacle shells can thus be interpreted to reconstruct movements of the host turtle between open ocean and brackish-water regimes.

  18. 75 FR 82409 - Endangered Species; Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-12-30

    ... import one Kemp's ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii) from Zoomarine-Mundo Aquatico SA, Portugal... sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata), leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta), and green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) collected in the wild in Nicaragua...

  19. Petrogenesis of the reversely-zoned Turtle pluton, southeastern California

    SciTech Connect

    Allen, C.M.

    1989-01-01

    Few plutons with a reversed geometry of a felsic rim and mafic core have been described in the geologic literature. The Turtle pluton of S.E. California is an intrusion composed of a granitic rim and granodioritic core and common microgranitoid enclaves. Field observations, mineral textures and chemistries, major and trace element geochemistry, and isotopic variability support a petrogenetic model of in situ, concomitant, magma mixing and fractional crystallization of rhyolitic magma progressively mixed with an increasing volume of andesitic magma, all without chemical contribution from entrained basaltic enclaves. Hornblende geobarometry indicates the Turtle pluton crystallized at about 3.5 kb. A crystallization sequence of biotite before hornblende (and lack of pyroxenes) suggests the initial granitic magma contained less than 4 wt% H{sub 2}O at temperatures less than 780C. U-Pb, Pb-Pb, Rb-Sr and oxygen isotope studies indicate the terrane intruded by the Turtle pluton is 1.8 Ga, that the Turtle pluton crystallized at 130 Ma, that the Target Granite and garnet aplites are about 100 Ma, and that these intrusions were derived from different sources. Models based on isotopic data suggest the rhyolitic end member magma of the Turtle pluton was derived from mafic igneous rocks, and was not derived from sampled Proterozoic country rocks. Similarity of common Sr and Pb isotopic ratios of these rocks to other Mesozoic intrusions in the Colorado River Region suggest the Turtle pluton and Target Granite have affinities like rocks to the east, including the Whipple Mountains and plutons of western Arizona. P-T-t history of the southern Turtle Mountains implies uplift well into the upper crust by Late Cretaceous time so that the heating and deformation events of the Late Cretaceous and Tertiary observed in flanking ranges did not affect the study area.

  20. The influence of oceanographic features on the foraging behavior of the olive ridley sea turtle Lepidochelys olivacea along the Guiana coast

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chambault, Philippine; de Thoisy, Benoît; Heerah, Karine; Conchon, Anna; Barrioz, Sébastien; Dos Reis, Virginie; Berzins, Rachel; Kelle, Laurent; Picard, Baptiste; Roquet, Fabien; Le Maho, Yvon; Chevallier, Damien

    2016-03-01

    The circulation in the Western Equatorial Atlantic is characterized by a highly dynamic mesoscale activity that shapes the Guiana continental shelf. Olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) nesting in French Guiana cross this turbulent environment during their post-nesting migration. We studied how oceanographic and biological conditions drove the foraging behavior of 18 adult females, using satellite telemetry, remote sensing data (sea surface temperature, sea surface height, current velocity and euphotic depth), simulations of micronekton biomass (pelagic organisms) and in situ records (water temperature and salinity). The occurrence of foraging events throughout migration was located using Residence Time analysis, while an innovative proxy of the hunting time within a dive was used to identify and quantify foraging events during dives. Olive ridleys migrated northwestwards using the Guiana current and remained on the continental shelf at the edge of eddies formed by the North Brazil retroflection, an area characterized by low turbulence and high micronekton biomass. They performed mainly pelagic dives, hunting for an average 77% of their time. Hunting time within a dive increased with shallower euphotic depth and with lower water temperatures, and mean hunting depth increased with deeper thermocline. This is the first study to quantify foraging activity within dives in olive ridleys, and reveals the crucial role played by the thermocline on the foraging behavior of this carnivorous species. This study also provides novel and detailed data describing how turtles actively use oceanographic structures during post-nesting migration.

  1. Sedimentology, geochemistry and rock magnetic properties of beach sands in Galapagos Islands - implications for nesting marine turtles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perez-Cruz, L.; Urrutia-Fucugauchi, J.; Vazquez-Gutierrez, F.; Carranza-Edwards, A.

    2007-12-01

    Marine turtles are well known for their navigation ability in the open ocean and fidelity to nesting beaches. Green turtle adult females migrate from foraging areas to island nesting beaches, traveling hundreds or thousands of kilometers each way. The marine turtle breeding in the Galapagos Islands is the Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas agassisi); fairly common throughout the islands but with nesting sites located at Las Bachas (Santa Cruz), Barahona and Quinta Playa (Isabela), Salinas (Baltra), Gardner Bay (Española) and Bartolomé Islet. In order to characterize and to identify the geochemical signature of nesting marine turtle beaches in Galapagos Islands, sedimentological, geochemical and rock magnetic parameters are used. A total of one hundred and twenty sand samples were collected in four beaches to relate compositional characteristics between equivalent areas, these are: Las Bachas, Salinas, Barahona and Quinta Playa. Grain size is evaluated using laser particle analysis (Model Coulter LS 230). Bulk ICP-MS geochemical analysis is performed, following trace elements are analyzed: Al, V, Cr, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd, Ba, Pb, Fe, Mn, K, Na, Mg, Sr, Ca and Hg; and low-field magnetic susceptibility is measured in all samples at low and high frequencies. Granulometric analysis showed that Barahona and Quinta Playa are characterized for fine grained sands. In contrast, Salinas and Las Bachas exhibit medium to coarse sands. Trace metals concentrations and magnetic susceptibility show different distribution patterns in the beach sands. Calcium is the most abundant element in the samples. In particular, Co, K, and Na show similar concentrations in the four beaches. Las Bachas beach shows highest concentrations of Pb and Hg (maximum values 101.1 and 118.5 mg/kg, respectively), we suggest that the enrichment corresponds to an anthropogenic signal. Salinas beach samples show high concentrations of Fe, V, Cr, Zn, Mn and the highest values of magnetic susceptibility (maximum

  2. 76 FR 4635 - Endangered Species; File No. 15552

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-01-26

    ...), loggerhead (Caretta caretta), Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea..., loggerhead, hawksbill, leatherback, Kemp's ridley, olive ridley, and unidentified hardshell sea turtles by... 120 olive ridley/ unknown hardshell sea turtles would be handled, identified, photographed,...

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Visual wavelength discrimination by the loggerhead turtle, Caretta caretta.

    PubMed

    Young, Morgan; Salmon, Michael; Forward, Richard

    2012-02-01

    Marine turtles are visual animals, yet we know remarkably little about how they use this sensory capacity. In this study, our purpose was to determine whether loggerhead turtles could discriminate between objects on the basis of color. We used light-adapted hatchlings to determine the minimum intensity of blue (450 nm), green (500 nm), and yellow (580 nm) visual stimuli that evoked a positive phototaxis (the phototaxis "threshold" [pt]). Juvenile turtles were later trained to associate each color (presented at 1 log unit above that color's pt) with food, then to discriminate between two colors (the original rewarded stimulus plus one of the other colors, not rewarded) when both were presented at 1 log unit above their pt. In the crucial test, turtles were trained to choose between the rewarded and unrewarded color when the colors varied in intensity. All turtles learned that task, demonstrating color discrimination. An association between blue and food was acquired in fewer trials than between yellow and food, perhaps because some prey of juvenile loggerheads in oceanic surface waters (jellyfishes, polyps, and pelagic gastropods) are blue or violet in color.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Physiological ramifications for loggerhead turtles captured in pelagic longlines.

    PubMed

    Williard, Amanda; Parga, Mariluz; Sagarminaga, Ricardo; Swimmer, Yonat

    2015-10-01

    Bycatch of endangered loggerhead turtles in longline fisheries results in high rates of post-release mortality that may negatively impact populations. The factors contributing to post-release mortality have not been well studied, but traumatic injuries and physiological disturbances experienced as a result of capture are thought to play a role. The goal of our study was to gauge the physiological status of loggerhead turtles immediately upon removal from longline gear in order to refine our understanding of the impacts of capture and the potential for post-release mortality. We analysed blood samples collected from longline- and hand-captured loggerhead turtles, and discovered that capture in longline gear results in blood loss, induction of the systemic stress response, and a moderate increase in lactate. The method by which turtles are landed and released, particularly if released with the hook or line still attached, may exacerbate stress and lead to chronic injuries, sublethal effects or delayed mortality. Our study is the first, to the best of our knowledge, to document the physiological impacts of capture in longline gear, and our findings underscore the importance of best practices gear removal to promote post-release survival in longline-captured turtles.

  12. 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. PMID:24465748

  13. Physiological ramifications for loggerhead turtles captured in pelagic longlines.

    PubMed

    Williard, Amanda; Parga, Mariluz; Sagarminaga, Ricardo; Swimmer, Yonat

    2015-10-01

    Bycatch of endangered loggerhead turtles in longline fisheries results in high rates of post-release mortality that may negatively impact populations. The factors contributing to post-release mortality have not been well studied, but traumatic injuries and physiological disturbances experienced as a result of capture are thought to play a role. The goal of our study was to gauge the physiological status of loggerhead turtles immediately upon removal from longline gear in order to refine our understanding of the impacts of capture and the potential for post-release mortality. We analysed blood samples collected from longline- and hand-captured loggerhead turtles, and discovered that capture in longline gear results in blood loss, induction of the systemic stress response, and a moderate increase in lactate. The method by which turtles are landed and released, particularly if released with the hook or line still attached, may exacerbate stress and lead to chronic injuries, sublethal effects or delayed mortality. Our study is the first, to the best of our knowledge, to document the physiological impacts of capture in longline gear, and our findings underscore the importance of best practices gear removal to promote post-release survival in longline-captured turtles. PMID:26490415

  14. 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.

  15. Eutrophication and the dietary promotion of sea turtle tumors.

    PubMed

    Van Houtan, Kyle S; Smith, Celia M; Dailer, Meghan L; Kawachi, Migiwa

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Physiological ramifications for loggerhead turtles captured in pelagic longlines

    PubMed Central

    Williard, Amanda; Parga, Mariluz; Sagarminaga, Ricardo; Swimmer, Yonat

    2015-01-01

    Bycatch of endangered loggerhead turtles in longline fisheries results in high rates of post-release mortality that may negatively impact populations. The factors contributing to post-release mortality have not been well studied, but traumatic injuries and physiological disturbances experienced as a result of capture are thought to play a role. The goal of our study was to gauge the physiological status of loggerhead turtles immediately upon removal from longline gear in order to refine our understanding of the impacts of capture and the potential for post-release mortality. We analysed blood samples collected from longline- and hand-captured loggerhead turtles, and discovered that capture in longline gear results in blood loss, induction of the systemic stress response, and a moderate increase in lactate. The method by which turtles are landed and released, particularly if released with the hook or line still attached, may exacerbate stress and lead to chronic injuries, sublethal effects or delayed mortality. Our study is the first, to the best of our knowledge, to document the physiological impacts of capture in longline gear, and our findings underscore the importance of best practices gear removal to promote post-release survival in longline-captured turtles. PMID:26490415

  17. Eutrophication and the dietary promotion of sea turtle tumors

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. Visual wavelength discrimination by the loggerhead turtle, Caretta caretta.

    PubMed

    Young, Morgan; Salmon, Michael; Forward, Richard

    2012-02-01

    Marine turtles are visual animals, yet we know remarkably little about how they use this sensory capacity. In this study, our purpose was to determine whether loggerhead turtles could discriminate between objects on the basis of color. We used light-adapted hatchlings to determine the minimum intensity of blue (450 nm), green (500 nm), and yellow (580 nm) visual stimuli that evoked a positive phototaxis (the phototaxis "threshold" [pt]). Juvenile turtles were later trained to associate each color (presented at 1 log unit above that color's pt) with food, then to discriminate between two colors (the original rewarded stimulus plus one of the other colors, not rewarded) when both were presented at 1 log unit above their pt. In the crucial test, turtles were trained to choose between the rewarded and unrewarded color when the colors varied in intensity. All turtles learned that task, demonstrating color discrimination. An association between blue and food was acquired in fewer trials than between yellow and food, perhaps because some prey of juvenile loggerheads in oceanic surface waters (jellyfishes, polyps, and pelagic gastropods) are blue or violet in color. PMID:22426631

  20. Metal accumulation and evaluation of effects in a freshwater turtle.

    PubMed

    Yu, Shuangying; Halbrook, Richard S; Sparling, Donald W; Colombo, Robert

    2011-11-01

    A variety of contaminants have been detected in aquatic and terrestrial environments around the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PGDP), Kentucky. The presence of these contaminants at the PGDP may pose a risk to biota, yet little is known about the bioaccumulation of contaminants and associated effects in wildlife, especially in aquatic turtles. The current study was initiated to evaluate: (1) the accumulation of heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, and Hg) in aquatic ecosystems associated with the PGDP using red-eared slider turtle (Trachemys scripta elegans) as biomonitors; (2) maternal transfer of heavy metals; and (3) potential hematological and immunological effects resulting from metal accumulation. A total of 26 turtles were collected from 7 ponds located south, adjacent, and north of the PGDP. Liver Cu concentrations were significantly different among ponds and Cu concentrations in eggs were positively correlated with female Cu concentrations in kidney. The concentrations of heavy metals measured in turtle tissues and eggs were low and, based on previous studies of reptiles and established avian threshold levels of heavy metals, did not appear to have adverse effects on aquatic turtles inhabiting ponds near the PGDP. However, total white blood cell counts, heterophil to lymphocyte ratio, and phytohemagglutinin stimulation index were correlated with metal concentrations. Because other factors may affect the hematological and immunological indices, further investigation is needed to determine if these effects are associated with metal exposure, other contaminants, or disease. PMID:21688058