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Sample records for loggerhead turtle caretta

  1. 78 FR 65959 - Proposed Designation of Marine Critical Habitat for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Caretta caretta...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-11-04

    ... Marine Critical Habitat for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Caretta caretta, Under the Endangered Species Act... related to our Proposed Designation of Marine Critical Habitat for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Caretta... Critical Habitat for the Northwest Atlantic Ocean Loggerhead Sea Turtle Distinct Population Segment (DPS...

  2. 78 FR 51705 - Proposed Designation of Marine Critical Habitat for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Caretta caretta...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-08-21

    ... Marine Critical Habitat for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Caretta caretta, Under the Endangered Species Act... related to our Proposed Designation of Marine Critical Habitat for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Caretta... Designation of Critical Habitat for the Northwest Atlantic Ocean Loggerhead Sea Turtle Distinct Population...

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-03

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

  7. Asynchronous emergence by loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) hatchlings.

    PubMed

    Houghton, J D; Hays, G C

    2001-03-01

    For many decades it has been accepted that marine turtle hatchlings from the same nest generally emerge from the sand together. However, for loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) nesting on the Greek Island of Kefalonia, a more asynchronous pattern of emergence has been documented. By placing temperature loggers at the top and bottom of nests laid on Kefalonia during 1998, we examined whether this asynchronous emergence was related to the thermal conditions within nests. Pronounced thermal variation existed not only between, but also within, individual nests. These within-nest temperature differences were related to the patterns of hatchling emergence, with hatchlings from nests displaying large thermal ranges emerging over a longer time-scale than those characterised by more uniform temperatures. In many egg-laying animals, parental care of the offspring may continue while the eggs are incubating and also after they have hatched. Consequently, the importance of the nest site for determining incubation conditions may be reduced since the parents themselves may alter the local environment. By contrast, in marine turtles, parental care ceases once the eggs have been laid and the nest site covered. The positioning of the nest site, in both space and time, may therefore have profound effects for marine turtles by affecting, for example, the survival of the eggs and hatchlings as well as their sex (Janzen and Paukstis 1991). During incubation, sea turtle embryos grow from a few cells at oviposition to a self-sufficient organism at hatching some 50-80 days later (Ackerman 1997). After hatching, the young turtles dig up through the sand and emerge typically en masse at the surface 1-7 nights later, with a number of stragglers following over the next few nights (Christens 1990). This contrasts with the frequently observed pattern of hatching asynchrony in birds. It has been suggested that the cause of mass emergence in turtles is that eggs within a clutch are fertilised

  8. Chronic shoulder osteoarthritis in a loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta).

    PubMed

    Raidal, S R; Shearer, P L; Prince, R I T

    2006-07-01

    This report describes the lesions seen in an extremely weak and emaciated adult male loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) found stranded near Perth, Western Australia. Blood collected from a dorsal cervical sinus immediately prior to euthanasia demonstrated severe anaemia, markedly elevated plasma concentrations of creatinine kinase (2263 U/L), alkaline phosphatase (58 U/L), urea (18.1 mmol/L) and hypoglycaemia (glucose 0.7 mmol/L). Necropsy examination demonstrated a severe chronic osteoarthritis of the right shoulder joint with marked remodelling of the glenoid fossa, coracoid, scapula and humerus. There was marked synovial effusion and periarticular fibrosis. Cytological examination and culture of synovial fluid failed to demonstrate an infectious agent. Other findings were low numbers of trypanorhynch cysts present on the surface of the liver and numerous spirorchid eggs in the attached mesentery. Several large and small spirorchid flukes were present in the heart and there was a localised endarteritis in the left aortic arch associated with this infection. Numerous nematode eggs and at least three species of spirorchid eggs were seen microscopically in faeces collected from the terminal colon. The pathogenesis and significance of these lesions is discussed.

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-01-15

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

  10. Effect of repeated tissue sampling on growth rates of juvenile loggerhead turtles Caretta caretta.

    PubMed

    Bjorndal, Karen A; Reich, Kimberly J; Bolten, Alan B

    2010-02-17

    We evaluated the effect of repeated tissue sampling on growth rates of juvenile loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta. Samples of blood, skin, and scute (keratinized epidermal layer covering the bony shell) were collected at 3 intervals over a 120 d period from 37 loggerheads; 8 control turtles were not sampled. No infections or scarring occurred at the sampling sites, and growth in mass of experimental and control turtles was not significantly different. The sampling regime did not affect the health or physiological status of the turtles.

  11. The occurrence of chemical elements and POPs in loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta): an overview.

    PubMed

    D'Ilio, S; Mattei, D; Blasi, M F; Alimonti, A; Bogialli, S

    2011-08-01

    Chemical elements and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are globally present in aquatic systems and their potential transfer to loggerhead marine turtles (Caretta caretta) has become a serious threat for their health status. The environmental fate of these xenobiotics may be traced by the analysis of turtles' tissues and blood. Generally, loggerhead turtles exhibited a higher metal load than other turtle species, this could be explained by differences in diet habits being food the main source of exposure. Literature shows that muscle, liver and kidney are most considered for the quantification of chemical elements, while, organic compounds are typically investigated in liver and fat. This paper is an overview of the international studies carried out on the quantification of chemical elements, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorines (OCs) and perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), in tissues, organs and fluids of C. caretta from the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Successive changes of hematologic characteristics and plasma chemistry values of juvenile loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta).

    PubMed

    Kakizoe, Yuka; Sakaoka, Ken; Kakizoe, Futoshi; Yoshii, Makoto; Nakamura, Hitoshi; Kanou, Yoshihiko; Uchida, Itaru

    2007-03-01

    Hematologic characteristics and plasma chemistry values of juvenile loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) from the ages of 1 mo to 3 yr were obtained to establish baseline values. Five clinically normal loggerhead turtles were selected from the same clutch and raised in an indoor artificial nesting beach. Blood samples were successively collected and examined for various blood characteristics for a maximum total of 15 times. Hematologic characteristics, including packed cell volume, white blood cell counts, and white blood cell differentials; and plasma chemistry values, including total bilirubin, total protein, albumin, glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase, glutamic pyruvic transaminase, gamma-glutamic transpeptidase, creatinine, blood urea nitrogen, uric acid, alkaline phosphatase, amylase, triglyceride, total cholesterol, ionized sodium, ionized potassium and ionized chlorine, were measured. These results were used to establish a hematology and blood chemistry baseline for captive juvenile loggerhead turtles and will aid in their medical management.

  15. GLOBAL PHYLOGEOGRAPHY OF THE LOGGERHEAD TURTLE (CARETTA CARETTA) AS INDICATED BY MITOCHONDRIAL DNA HAPLOTYPES.

    PubMed

    Bowen, Brian W; Kamezaki, Naoki; Limpus, Colin J; Hughes, George R; Meylan, Anne B; Avise, John C

    1994-12-01

    Restriction-site analyses of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) reveal substantial phylogeographic structure among major nesting populations in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans and the Mediterranean sea. Based on 176 samples from eight nesting populations, most breeding colonies were distinguished from other assayed nesting locations by diagnostic and often fixed restriction-site differences, indicating a strong propensity for natal homing by nesting females. Phylogenetic analyses revealed two distinctive matrilines in the loggerhead turtle that differ by a mean estimated sequence divergence p = 0.009, a value similar in magnitude to the deepest intraspecific mtDNA node (p = 0.007) reported in a global survey of the green sea turtle Chelonia mydas. In contrast to the green turtle, where a fundamental phylogenetic split distinguished turtles in the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea from those in the Indian and Pacific oceans, genotypes representing the two primary loggerhead mtDNA lineages were observed in both Atlantic-Mediterranean and Indian-Pacific samples. We attribute this aspect of phylogeographic structure in Caretta caretta to recent interoceanic gene flow, probably mediated by the ability of this temperate-adapted species to utilize habitats around southern Africa. These results demonstrate how differences in the ecology and geographic ranges of marine turtle species can influence their comparative global population structures. © 1994 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-20

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

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

    PubMed

    Casal, A B; Orós, J

    2007-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-06-16

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

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

    PubMed

    Avens, Larisa; Lohmann, Kenneth J

    2003-12-01

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

  1. Comparison of mercury burdens in chronically debilitated and healthy loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta).

    PubMed

    Day, Rusty D; Keller, Jennifer M; Harms, Craig A; Segars, Al L; Cluse, Wendy M; Godfrey, Matthew H; Lee, A Michelle; Peden-Adams, Margie; Thorvalson, Kelly; Dodd, Mark; Norton, Terry

    2010-01-01

    An increase in the incidence of debilitated loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) strandings in the southeastern United States has been observed in recent years. These turtles are characterized by emaciation and heavy burdens of external and internal parasites, and bacterial infections, but the underlying cause of their condition is unknown. To investigate further the causes of these strandings, a health assessment was performed on stranded, debilitated loggerhead turtles, and contaminant concentrations in various tissues were compared to those from healthy turtles. This portion of the study investigated the potential role of mercury (Hg) toxicity in the debilitated condition described above. Hematocrit, total protein, albumin, globulin, glucose, calcium, lymphocyte counts, heterophil:lymphocyte ratios, aspartate aminotransferase, uric acid, sodium, and chloride were altered in debilitated loggerheads relative to healthy animals. However, none of the aforementioned health indicators correlated with Hg concentrations in either red blood cells (RBCs) or plasma. The Hg concentration in RBCs was 129+/-72 (mean+/-standard deviation) times higher than in plasma, causing a significant dilution of Hg in whole blood due to extreme anemia. Mercury concentrations in RBCs (73.7+/-21.2 ng/g) and scutes (455+/-57 ng/g) from debilitated turtles were similar to or lower than those reported for healthy animals, indicating no elevation in Hg exposure before and during the progression of this condition. These findings suggest that Hg toxicity does not play a role in the debilitated loggerhead condition observed in the southeastern United States.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-08-18

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

  3. Cervical and coelomic radiologic features of the loggerhead sea turtle, Caretta caretta

    PubMed Central

    Valente, Ana Luisa; Cuenca, Rafaela; Parga, Maria Luz; Lavín, Santiago; Franch, Jordi; Marco, Ignasi

    2006-01-01

    Many investigators have undertaken radiologic studies in chelonians. However, descriptive papers focusing on the radiographic anatomy are limited to only a few species. The purpose of this article is to provide the normal cervical and coelomic radiographic appearance of the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), in the dorsoventral view, and to indicate useful landmarks to identify internal anatomic structures. Dorsoventral radiographs were taken of the neck and body of 30 loggerhead sea turtles by means of analog and digital radiography. At various points, distortion or superimposition of images due to the natural curvature of the shell hindered the accuracy of interpretation. The pectoral and pelvic girdles were easily recognized. Important external landmarks included the vertebral and lateral scutes, and important internal landmarks included the bronchi, coracoid bones, the caudal border of the pulmonary fields, and the acetabulum. PMID:17042381

  4. Pathology and molecular analysis of Hapalotrema mistroides (Digenea: Spirorchiidae) infecting a Mediterranean loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta.

    PubMed

    Santoro, M; Di Nocera, F; Iaccarino, D; Lawton, S P; Cerrone, A; Degli Uberti, B; D'Amore, M; Affuso, A; Hochscheid, S; Maffucci, F; Galiero, G

    2017-04-20

    Turtle blood flukes belonging to the family Spirorchiidae (Digenea) represent a major threat for sea turtle health and are considered the most important parasitic cause of turtle stranding and mortality worldwide. Despite the large diversity of spirorchiid species found globally, there are only 2 records for free-ranging Mediterranean sea turtles that date back to the late 1800s involving just Hapalotrema mistroides Monticelli, 1896. This study describes the first fatal confirmed case of spirorchiidiasis in a free-ranging Mediterranean loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta (Linnaeus) and, owing to the complexities of taxonomic identification of these parasites, provides the first molecular characterization and phylogenetic analysis of H. mistroides from the Mediterranean Sea. The loggerhead turtle showed cachexia and digestive disorders associated with severe damage to the pancreas and intestinal ganglia, caused by deposition of Hapalotrema eggs forming granulomas. Massive Hapalotrema egg emboli in several tissues and organs and encephalitis were the most probable contributions to the death of the turtle. The congruence between the phylogenetic analysis of both the ITS2 and 28S rDNA resolved the Italian and USA H. mistroides as the same species, confirming the parasite identification. The case here described clearly indicates that the blood flukes should be considered in the differential diagnosis of Mediterranean sea turtle diseases.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  7. Trace elements in loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) stranded in mainland Portugal: Bioaccumulation and tissue distribution.

    PubMed

    Nicolau, Lídia; Monteiro, Sílvia S; Pereira, Andreia T; Marçalo, Ana; Ferreira, Marisa; Torres, Jordi; Vingada, José; Eira, Catarina

    2017-07-01

    Pollution is among the most significant threats that endanger sea turtles worldwide. Waters off the Portuguese mainland are acknowledged as important feeding grounds for juvenile loggerheads. However, there is no data on trace element concentrations in marine turtles occurring in these waters. We present the first assessment of trace element concentrations in loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) occurring off the coast of mainland Portugal. Also, we compare our results with those from other areas and discuss parameters that may affect element concentrations. Trace element concentrations (As, Cd, Cu, Pb, Mn, Hg, Ni, Se, Zn) were determined in kidney, liver and muscle samples from 38 loggerheads stranded between 2011 and 2013. As was the only element with higher concentrations in muscle (14.78 μg g(-1) ww) than in liver or kidney. Considering non-essential elements, Cd presented the highest concentrations in kidney (34.67 μg g(-1)) and liver (5.03 μg g(-1)). Only a weak positive link was found between renal Cd and turtle size. Inter-elemental correlations were observed in both liver and kidney tissues. Hepatic Hg values (0.30 ± 0.03 μg g(-1)) were higher than values reported in loggerheads in the Canary Islands but lower than in Mediterranean loggerheads. Cd concentrations in the present study were only exceeded by values found in turtles from the Pacific. Although many endogenous and exogenous parameters related with complex life cycle changes and wide geographic range may influence trace element accumulation, the concentrations of Cd are probably related to the importance of crustaceans in loggerhead diet in the Portuguese coast. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Ingestion of marine litter by loggerhead sea turtles, Caretta caretta, in Portuguese continental waters.

    PubMed

    Nicolau, Lídia; Marçalo, Ana; Ferreira, Marisa; Sá, Sara; Vingada, José; Eira, Catarina

    2016-02-15

    The accumulation of litter in marine and coastal environments is a major threat to marine life. Data on marine litter in the gastrointestinal tract of stranded loggerhead turtles, Caretta caretta, found along the Portuguese continental coast was presented. Out of the 95 analysed loggerheads, litter was present in 56 individuals (59.0%) and most had less than 10 litter items (76.8%) and less than 5 g (dm) (96.8%). Plastic was the main litter category (frequency of occurrence=56.8%), while sheet (45.3%) was the most relevant plastic sub-category. There was no influence of loggerhead stranding season, cause of stranding or size on the amount of litter ingested (mean number and dry mass of litter items per turtle). The high ingested litter occurrence frequency in this study supports the use of the loggerhead turtle as a suitable tool to monitor marine litter trends, as required by the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-03-01

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

  11. Blood biochemistry reference values for wild juvenile loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from Madeira archipelago.

    PubMed

    Delgado, Cláudia; Valente, Ana; Quaresma, Isabel; Costa, Margarida; Dellinger, Thomas

    2011-07-01

    Standard biochemical parameters were determined in wild juvenile loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta living offshore Madeira Island, northeast Atlantic. We analyzed the influence of age, sex, sea surface temperature, and body condition index on biochemical parameters including uric acid, total bilirubin, total cholesterol, creatinine kinase (CK), glucose, total protein, urea nitrogen, lactate dehydrogenase, aspartate aminotranspherase (AST), gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT), albumin, alkaline phosphatase (ALP), sodium (NA), potassium (K), chloride, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. Significant positive correlations were found between turtle body size and total cholesterol, total protein, and albumin. Total protein and the enzymes AST and CK were lower than reported levels in adults. Calcium levels were lower than those reported in adult or captive turtles, but similar to wild juveniles from Australian waters, and were interpreted as normal for this age category. These data may be useful to evaluate the health status of stranded or injured animals and to improve veterinary care at rehabilitation centers.

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

    PubMed

    Lazar, Bojan; Gračan, Romana

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

  16. Chemical Contaminants Found in the Gastrointestinal Tract of Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Caretta caretta)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Athey, S. N.; Seaton, P. J.; Mead, R. N.

    2016-02-01

    Plastic is becoming increasingly more abundant in the marine environment. Plastic ingestion has been shown to be a source of exposure to a variety of harmful compounds, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), bisphenol A (BPA), and phthalates, which are known for their negative physiological effects on the endocrine system as well as their ability to adsorb and leach from plastic into the bodies of marine organisms. The physiological effects of these compounds on loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) still remain unknown. This study investigated the presence of toxicants on marine plastic samples collected from Bermuda, the Sargasso Sea, and the North Atlantic Ocean. Gas chromatography/triple quadruple mass spectrometry (GC/MS) analysis showed PAHs were present on many plastic debris samples. Plastic additives such as phthalates and (BPA) were also found. ΣPAH concentrations for anthracene, chrysene, benzo[b]fluoranthene, and benzo[k]fluoranthene for 2013 environmental plastic samples averaged 26.7ng/g of plastic. This study also examined the presence of these compounds in fluids from the stomach, small intestine, and large intestine from two adult loggerhead turtles. GC/MS analysis also showed the presence of BPA and phthalates on plastic samples, as well as in two out of the six gastrointestinal fluids samples. Average ΣPAH concentration for GI fluids for the loggerheads in the study was 58.7 ng/mL. This study showed plastic could be a significant source of PAHs in sea turtles and the first to detect PAHs in sea turtle GI fluid. Loggerhead sea turtles are a long living species and could accumulate high concentrations of these endocrine-disrupting chemicals throughout their lifetime.

  17. Glycoproteins in Rathke's gland secretions of loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempi) sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Radhakrishna, G; Chin, C C; Wold, F; Weldon, P J

    1989-01-01

    1. The Rathke's gland secretions of loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempi) sea turtles contain 20 and 10 mg of protein/ml, respectively. The proteins of each species were separated by gel filtration into two major fractions, one (35%) in the excluded volume, and one (50%) with a molecular mass of approximately 55 kDA. 2. The 55 kDa fraction from each species' secretions exhibits a single band on SDS-PAGE (Mr approximately equal to 55,000) and a single amino-terminal sequence. 3. The amino acid compositions of the two 55 kDa proteins are similar, and the first 15 residues of their amino terminus are identical. Both proteins contain glucosamine. 4. Analyses of the amino acid and amino sugar composition of the high molecular weight fractions from the two turtle species also indicate similarities; there are distinct differences between them and their 55 kDa proteins.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Helminth component community of the loggerhead sea turtle, Caretta caretta, from Madeira Archipelago, Portugal.

    PubMed

    Valente, Ana Luisa; Delgado, Cláudia; Moreira, Cláudia; Ferreira, Sandra; Dellinger, Thomas; Pinheiro de Carvalho, Miguel A A; Costa, Graça

    2009-02-01

    The helminth fauna of pelagic-stage loggerhead sea turtles, Caretta caretta, is still poorly known. Here, we describe the helminth-component community of healthy, free-ranging juvenile loggerhead sea turtles captured in the waters around Madeira Island, Portugal. Fifty-seven were used in this study. The esophagus, stomach, intestine, liver, gallbladder, spleen, kidneys, trachea, bronchi, urinary bladder, heart, left and right aortas, and coelomic cavity were macroscopically inspected; organs and tissues were removed and washed through a sieve. A search for parasites was made using a stereoscopic microscope; recovered parasites were fixed and stored in 70% alcohol until staining and identification. Prevalence, mean intensity, and mean abundance values were recorded. In total, 156 parasite specimens belonging to 9 species were found: nematodes included Anisakis simplex s.l. (larvae) and an unidentified species; digenetic trematodes present were Enodiotrema megachondrus, Rhytidodes gelatinosus, Pyelosomum renicapite, and Calycodes anthos; acanthocephalans included Bolbosoma vasculosum and Rhadinorhynchus pristis; a single cestode, Nybelinia sp., was present. Parasite infections were found to have both low prevalences and intensities. Possible reasons for this include the oligotrophic conditions of the pelagic habitat around Madeira; a 'dilution effect' because of the vastness of the area; and the small size, and thus ingestion rate, of the turtles. Results are discussed in terms of the various turtle populations that may use the waters surrounding Madeira. This work provides valuable information on the parasite fauna of a poorly known stage in the life of loggerhead sea turtles, thereby filling a fundamental gap with regard to features of the parasite fauna in this species.

  1. Biochemical Indices and Life Traits of Loggerhead Turtles (Caretta caretta) from Cape Verde Islands

    PubMed Central

    Vieira, Sara; Martins, Samir; Hawkes, Lucy A.; Marco, Adolfo; Teodósio, M. Alexandra

    2014-01-01

    The loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) is an endangered marine reptile for whom assessing population health requires knowledge of demographic parameters such as individual growth rate. In Cape Verde, as within several populations, adult female loggerhead sea turtles show a size-related behavioral and trophic dichotomy. While smaller females are associated with oceanic habitats, larger females tend to feed in neritic habitats, which is reflected in their physiological condition and in their offspring. The ratio of RNA/DNA provides a measure of cellular protein synthesis capacity, which varies depending on changes in environmental conditions such as temperature and food availability. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the combined use of morphometric data and biochemical indices as predictors of the physiological condition of the females of distinct sizes and hatchlings during their nesting season and how temperature may influence the physiological condition on the offspring. Here we employed biochemical indices based on nucleic acid derived indices (standardized RNA/DNA ratio-sRD, RNA concentration and DNA concentration) in skin tissue as a potential predictor of recent growth rate in nesting females and hatchling loggerhead turtles. Our major findings were that the physiological condition of all nesting females (sRD) decreased during the nesting season, but that females associated with neritic habitats had a higher physiological condition than females associated with oceanic habitats. In addition, the amount of time required for a hatchling to right itself was negatively correlated with its physiological condition (sRD) and shaded nests produced hatchlings with lower sRD. Overall, our results showed that nucleic acid concentrations and ratios of RNA to DNA are an important tool as potential biomarkers of recent growth in marine turtles. Hence, as biochemical indices of instantaneous growth are likely temperature-, size- and age-dependent, the utility and

  2. Biochemical indices and life traits of loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) from Cape Verde Islands.

    PubMed

    Vieira, Sara; Martins, Samir; Hawkes, Lucy A; Marco, Adolfo; Teodósio, M Alexandra

    2014-01-01

    The loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) is an endangered marine reptile for whom assessing population health requires knowledge of demographic parameters such as individual growth rate. In Cape Verde, as within several populations, adult female loggerhead sea turtles show a size-related behavioral and trophic dichotomy. While smaller females are associated with oceanic habitats, larger females tend to feed in neritic habitats, which is reflected in their physiological condition and in their offspring. The ratio of RNA/DNA provides a measure of cellular protein synthesis capacity, which varies depending on changes in environmental conditions such as temperature and food availability. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the combined use of morphometric data and biochemical indices as predictors of the physiological condition of the females of distinct sizes and hatchlings during their nesting season and how temperature may influence the physiological condition on the offspring. Here we employed biochemical indices based on nucleic acid derived indices (standardized RNA/DNA ratio-sRD, RNA concentration and DNA concentration) in skin tissue as a potential predictor of recent growth rate in nesting females and hatchling loggerhead turtles. Our major findings were that the physiological condition of all nesting females (sRD) decreased during the nesting season, but that females associated with neritic habitats had a higher physiological condition than females associated with oceanic habitats. In addition, the amount of time required for a hatchling to right itself was negatively correlated with its physiological condition (sRD) and shaded nests produced hatchlings with lower sRD. Overall, our results showed that nucleic acid concentrations and ratios of RNA to DNA are an important tool as potential biomarkers of recent growth in marine turtles. Hence, as biochemical indices of instantaneous growth are likely temperature-, size- and age-dependent, the utility and

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    Steroids hormones such as estradiol-17β (E2) and testosterone (T) are involved in gonadal differentiation of oviparous animals with temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD), and are greatly distributed. This hypothesizes that these embryonic steroid hormones probably accumulate in the eggshell throughout blood or/and chorioallantoic fluid in sea turtle species with TSD, producing females at higher temperature. To demonstrate this hypothesis, concentrations of E2 and T in the blood plasma from the hatchling loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) and in their eggshells were measured by radioimmunoassay. In the present study we propose that both concentrations of E2 and T in the blood plasma are correlated with amounts of these sex steroids in the eggshell. Moreover, contents of E2 in the eggshell showed a significant positive correlation with mean incubation temperatures during a thermosensitive period in the experimental nests, whereas T contents in the eggshell did not. Taken together, these findings indicated that embryonic E2 and T that accumulated in the eggshell can be extracted and measured. Furthermore, the present study suggested that contents of E2 in the eggshell may differ between male and female, and monitoring of these steroids is a useful method to identify the sex of loggerhead sea turtle hatchling. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-15

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

  6. Marine debris ingestion in loggerhead sea turtles, Caretta caretta, from the Western Mediterranean.

    PubMed

    Tomás, J; Guitart, R; Mateo, R; Raga, J A

    2002-03-01

    Marine debris represents an important threat for sea turtles, but information on this topic is scarce in some areas, such as the Mediterranean sea. This paper quantifies marine debris ingestion in 54 juvenile loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) illegally captured by fishermen in Spanish Mediterranean waters. Curved carapace length was measured, necropsies were performed and debris abundance and type was recorded. Different types of debris appeared in the gastrointestinal tract of 43 turtles (79.6%), being plastics the most frequent (75.9%). Tar, paper, Styrofoam, wood, reed, feathers, hooks, lines, and net fragments were also present. A regression analysis showed that the volume of debris increased proportionally to the size of the turtles. The high variety of debris found and the large differences in ingestion among turtles indicated low feeding discrimination of this species that makes it specially prone to debris ingestion. Our data suggest that more severe control of litter spills and greater promotion of environmental educational programmes are needed in the Western Mediterranean.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-07-25

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

  13. Incubation temperature, morphology and performance in loggerhead (Caretta caretta) turtle hatchlings from Mon Repos, Queensland, Australia

    PubMed Central

    Sim, Elizabeth L.; Booth, David T.; Limpus, Colin J.

    2015-01-01

    Marine turtles are vulnerable to climate change because their life history and reproduction are tied to environmental temperatures. The egg incubation stage is arguably the most vulnerable stage, because marine turtle eggs require a narrow range of temperatures for successful incubation. Additionally, incubation temperature affects sex, emergence success, morphology and locomotor performance of hatchlings. Hatchlings often experience high rates of predation in the first few hours of their life, and increased size or locomotor ability may improve their chances of survival. Between 2010 and 2013 we monitored the temperature of loggerhead (Caretta caretta; Linnaeus 1758) turtle nests at Mon Repos Rookery, and used these data to calculate a mean three day maximum temperature (T3dm) for each nest. We calculated the hatching and emergence success for each nest, then measured the mass, size and locomotor performance of hatchlings that emerged from those nests. Nests with a T3dm greater than 34°C experienced a lower emergence success and produced smaller hatchlings than nests with a T3dm lower than 34°C. Hatchlings from nests with a T3dm below 34°C performed better in crawling and swimming trials than hatchlings from nests with a T3dm above 34°C. Thus even non-lethal increases in global temperatures have the potential to detrimentally affect fitness and survival of marine turtle hatchlings. PMID:26002933

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-16

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

  15. PCB concentrations of eggs and chorioallantoic membranes of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge.

    PubMed

    Cobb, G P; Wood, P D

    1997-02-01

    PCBs were found in eggs and chorioallantoic membranes (CAMs) of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta). Total PCB concentrations in CAMs were larger than concentrations in eggs. Total PCB concentrations in egg and CAM tissues were highly correlated (r2 = 0.782; p = 0.0001). Sums of PCB congeners within homologue groups were also correlated in the two tissues. Data from these turtle eggs indicate 1) PCB concentrations in CAMs represent PCB concentrations in whole eggs and 2) CAMs can be collected in a nonlethal manner to determine PCB concentrations in sea turtle hatchlings.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-03

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-07-01

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

  18. Comparative study of hematologic and plasma biochemical variables in Eastern Atlantic juvenile and adult nesting loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta).

    PubMed

    Casal, Ana B; Camacho, María; López-Jurado, Luis F; Juste, Candelaria; Orós, Jorge

    2009-06-01

    Plasma biochemical and hematologic variables are important in the management of endangered sea turtles, such as loggerheads. However, studies on blood biochemistry and hematology of loggerheads are limited, and different concentrations according to variable criteria have been reported. The purpose of this study was to establish and compare baseline plasma chemistry and hematology values in Eastern Atlantic juvenile and adult nesting loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta). Blood samples were collected from 69 healthy juvenile loggerhead sea turtles after their rehabilitation in captivity, and from 34 adult nesting loggerheads after oviposition. Fresh blood was used for leukocyte differential count and PCV determination. Heparinized blood was used for RBC and WBC counts. Plasma biochemical concentrations were measured using an automated biochemical analyzer. For the comparative study, nonparametric statistical analysis was done using the Mann-Whitney U-test. Minimum, maximum, and median concentrations were obtained for 14 hematologic and 15 plasma chemistry variables. Statistically significant differences between juvenile and adult turtles were found for PCV; RBC, WBC, and leukocyte differential counts; total protein, albumin, globulins, calcium, triglycerides, glucose, total cholesterol and urea concentrations; and lactate dehydrogenase activity. Age, size, and reproductive status cause important variations in the hematologic and plasma biochemical results of loggerheads. The reference values obtained in this study may be used as a standard profile, useful for veterinary surgeons involved in sea turtle conservation.

  19. Metabolic and respiratory status of stranded juvenile loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta): 66 cases (2008-2009).

    PubMed

    Camacho, María; Quintana, María P; Luzardo, Octavio P; Estévez, María D; Calabuig, Pascual; Orós, Jorge

    2013-02-01

    To document venous blood gas, acid-base, and plasma biochemical values for stranded juvenile loggerhead turtles at admission to a rehabilitation facility, compare these values among stranding causes, investigate differences in these values for turtles that survived versus those that died, and establish the baseline values for successfully rehabilitated loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta). Retrospective case series. 66 stranded juvenile loggerhead turtles that were hospitalized between 2008 and 2009. Venous blood gas, acid-base, and plasma biochemical values at the time of admission were compared retrospectively among turtles with different stranding causes. Initial results were compared between turtles that survived and turtles that died. Results for survivors were compared between the time of admission and time of release. Results-57 (86.36%) turtles had various types of acid-base disorders at the time of admission to the rehabilitation facility. Of these, 33 (579%) had mixed acid-base disorders and 24 (42.1%) had primary acid-base disorders. All acid-base disorders were classified as mild to moderate, except 1 case of severe metabolic and respiratory acidosis. Except for the debilitated turtles (in which the mean initial glucose concentration was much lower than that observed for the rest of turtles), there was no difference in initial values when comparing stranding causes. Turtles that died during rehabilitation had significantly higher initial anion gap and osmolality, compared with turtles that survived. Acid-base disorders were present in most stranded juvenile loggerhead turtles. Evaluation of accurately obtained, temperature-corrected venous blood gas, acid-base, and plasma biochemical values can provide important clinical and prognostic information and a valuable basis for the implementation of adequate and rapid treatment for stranded loggerhead turtles admitted to rehabilitation facilities.

  20. Relationship of blood mercury levels to health parameters in the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta).

    PubMed

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

    2007-10-01

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

  1. Interaction between loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) and marine litter in Sardinia (Western Mediterranean Sea).

    PubMed

    Camedda, Andrea; Marra, Stefano; Matiddi, Marco; Massaro, Giorgio; Coppa, Stefania; Perilli, Angelo; Ruiu, Angelo; Briguglio, Paolo; de Lucia, G Andrea

    2014-09-01

    Anthropogenic debris in the environment affects many species that accidentally ingest it. The aim of this study is to evaluate the quantity and composition of marine litter ingested by loggerheads in Sardinia, thus supplying for the lack of data in the existing literature for this area. Seventeen of the 121 (14.04%) monitored turtles presented debris in their digestive tracts. Litter in faecal pellet of alive individuals (n = 91) and in gastro-intestinal contents of dead ones (n = 30) was categorized, counted and weighed. User plastic was the main category of ingested debris with a frequency of occurrence of 13.22% of the total sample, while sheet (12.39%) and fragments (9.09%) were the most relevant sub-categories. This study highlights for the first time the incidence of litter in alive turtles in Sardinia. This contribution improves the knowledge about marine litter interaction on Caretta caretta as bio-indicator. Results will be useful for the Marine Strategy implementation.

  2. Surgical repair of severe flipper lacerations in a loggerhead, Caretta caretta, and a Kemp's ridley, Lepidochelys kempii, sea turtle.

    PubMed

    Church, Melanie L; Grafinger, Michael S; Harms, Craig A; Lewbart, Gregory A; Christian, Larry S; Beasley, Jean F

    2009-12-01

    A loggerhead, Caretta caretta, and a Kemp's ridley, Lepidochelys kempii, sea turtle were presented to the North Carolina State University, College of Veterinary Medicine for evaluation of distal flipper injuries. The goal for both animals at presentation was to preserve limb function and avoid complete amputation. A severe full-thickness flipper laceration was successfully reapposed in the first case, and a rotational flap was used to cover exposed tissue in the second case. Limb function was improved and complete amputations were avoided in both turtles.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  4. Estimates of vital rates for a declining loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) subpopulation: implications for management

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lamont, Margaret M.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Carthy, Raymond R.

    2014-01-01

    Because subpopulations can differ geographically, genetically and/or phenotypically, using data from one subpopulation to derive vital rates for another, while often unavoidable, is not optimal. We used a two-state open robust design model to analyze a 14-year dataset (1998–2011) from the St. Joseph Peninsula, Florida (USA; 29.748°, −85.400°) which is the densest loggerhead (Caretta caretta) nesting beach in the Northern Gulf of Mexico subpopulation. For these analyses, 433 individuals were marked of which only 7.2 % were observed re-nesting in the study area in subsequent years during the study period. Survival was estimated at 0.86 and is among the highest estimates for all subpopulations in the Northwest Atlantic population. The robust model estimated a nesting assemblage size that ranged from 32 to 230 individuals each year with an annual average of 110. The model estimates indicated an overall population decline of 17 %. The results presented here for this nesting group represent the first estimates for this subpopulation. These data provide managers with information specific to this subpopulation that can be used to develop recovery plans and conduct subpopulation-specific modeling exercises explicit to the challenges faced by turtles nesting in this region.

  5. Polychlorinated biphenyls and other chlorinated organic contaminants in the tissues of Mediterranean loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta.

    PubMed

    Storelli, M M; Barone, G; Marcotrigiano, G O

    2007-02-15

    Polychlorinated biphenyls including coplanar congeners and DDT compounds were measured in different organs and tissues (liver, kidney, lung and muscle tissue) of loggerhead turtles Caretta caretta from the eastern Mediterranean Sea. The highest levels of these compounds were found in liver (PCBs: 52.32 ng/g; DDTs: 18.27 ng/g), followed by kidney (PCBs: 19.05 ng/g; DDTs: 5.70 ng/g), lung (PCBs: 12.75 ng/g; DDTs: 3.76 ng/g ) and muscle tissue (PCBs: 4.65 ng/g; DDTs: 1.45 ng/g). PCBs revealed a profile dominated by hexa-, penta- and hepta-chlorinated congeners, while among DDTs, the compound in the greatest concentration was p,p'-DDE, (liver: 85.2%, kidney: 93.6%, lung: 86.4%, muscle tissue: 93.2%). The estimated toxic equivalents (pg TEQs/g wet wt) of non- and mono-ortho PCBs were in the range of 1.54-5.86 pg TEQs/g wet wt. Non-ortho coplanar PCB 77 accounted for more than 90% of the total TEQs leaving to mono-ortho only 2.6-6.2%.

  6. On the formation of a conservation hotspot for juvenile North Pacific loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wingfield, Dana K.

    2009-12-01

    This research examined the incorporation of highly productive regions within the marine system. I combined historical conservation literature, remotely sensed oceanography, ship based surveys, satellite tagged animals, and statistical models to explore an integrated approach to the identification of key oceanic regions that require incorporation into current marine conservation strategies. In my first chapter, I undertook a literature review of the term "hotspot", one of the most common ways by which scientists ascribe conservation prioritization in the marine and terrestrial systems. My results showed that marine literature has identified important areas of biodiversity and productivity (i.e. high primary production that results in trophic linkages and species aggregations) are in need of protection from human threats. However, current non-governmental organizations focus primarily on biodiversity, thus missing important areas of productivity for marine conservation. In my second chapter, I demonstrated how remotely sensed oceanography, ship-based surveys, and satellite tagged animals can help to identify the formation of such a "productivity hotspot". Specifically, I examined the connection between physical forcing (surface winds and vertical Ekman upwelling), sea-surface temperature, primary production (chlorophyll-a concentrations), retentive features of fronts and dynamic height, and prey abundance (red crabs) in the spatial and temporal concentration of the critically endangered North Pacific juvenile loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) within its foraging habitat off the Pacific coast of Baja California. Finally, in my third chapter, I identified habitat selection of loggerheads to better understand the species preference within suitable habitat. I sampled several environmental variables (depth, sea-surface temperature, and chlorophyll- a) within 'preferred' versus 'avoided' turtle habitat. Results from a generalized additive model showed the statistical

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-03-01

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

  8. Comparison of blood values in foraging, nesting, and stranded loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) along the coast of Georgia, USA.

    PubMed

    Deem, Sharon L; Norton, Terry M; Mitchell, Mark; Segars, Al; Alleman, A Rick; Cray, Carolyn; Poppenga, Robert H; Dodd, Mark; Karesh, William B

    2009-01-01

    The health status of 83 loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta; 39 foraging, 31 nesting, and 13 stranded turtles) was analyzed using physical examinations, hematology, plasma biochemistry, plasma protein electrophoresis, and toxicologic parameters. Significant differences were noted in a number of health parameters between turtles exhibiting each of these behaviors. On physical examinations, stranded turtles had the highest prevalence of heavy carapace epibiont loads, miscellaneous abnormalities, emaciation, and weakness. Differences in hematologic values included a lower packed cell volume, higher number of lymphocytes, and lower number of monocytes in stranded turtles; lower white blood cell counts in foraging turtles; and significant differences in total solid values among turtles exhibiting all behaviors with the lowest values in stranded turtles and the highest values in nesting turtles. Differences in plasma biochemistry values included the highest uric acid, creatine kinase, and CO(2) values in stranded turtles; the highest glucose and potassium values in foraging turtles; and the highest cholesterol and triglyceride values, and lowest alanine aminotransferase, in nesting turtles. Differences in total protein, albumin, and globulin were found using plasma biochemistry values, with lowest values in stranded turtles and highest values in nesting females, whereas differences in blood urea nitrogen between turtles included the lowest values in nesting turtles and the highest in foraging turtles. Plasma organochlorine and polychlorinated biphenyl levels were below their limits of quantification in the 39 foraging, 11 nesting, and three stranded turtles tested. A statistically significant difference was noted in the level of whole blood mercury between the 23 foraging and 12 nesting turtles tested. There was no difference in arsenic or lead levels between turtles exhibiting any of the three behaviors. Although a few limitations exist with the present study and

  9. Loggerhead Turtles (Caretta caretta) Use Vision to Forage on Gelatinous Prey in Mid-Water

    PubMed Central

    Narazaki, Tomoko; Sato, Katsufumi; Abernathy, Kyler J.; Marshall, Greg J.; Miyazaki, Nobuyuki

    2013-01-01

    Identifying characteristics of foraging activity is fundamental to understanding an animals’ lifestyle and foraging ecology. Despite its importance, monitoring the foraging activities of marine animals is difficult because direct observation is rarely possible. In this study, we use an animal-borne imaging system and three-dimensional data logger simultaneously to observe the foraging behaviour of large juvenile and adult sized loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) in their natural environment. Video recordings showed that the turtles foraged on gelatinous prey while swimming in mid-water (i.e., defined as epipelagic water column deeper than 1 m in this study). By linking video and 3D data, we found that mid-water foraging events share the common feature of a marked deceleration phase associated with the capture and handling of the sluggish prey. Analysis of high-resolution 3D movements during mid-water foraging events, including presumptive events extracted from 3D data using deceleration in swim speed as a proxy for foraging (detection rate = 0.67), showed that turtles swam straight toward prey in 171 events (i.e., turning point absent) but made a single turn toward the prey an average of 5.7±6.0 m before reaching the prey in 229 events (i.e., turning point present). Foraging events with a turning point tended to occur during the daytime, suggesting that turtles primarily used visual cues to locate prey. In addition, an incident of a turtle encountering a plastic bag while swimming in mid-water was recorded. The fact that the turtle’s movements while approaching the plastic bag were analogous to those of a true foraging event, having a turning point and deceleration phase, also support the use of vision in mid-water foraging. Our study shows that integrated video and high-resolution 3D data analysis provides unique opportunities to understand foraging behaviours in the context of the sensory ecology involved in prey location. PMID:23776603

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-12

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-09-01

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

  13. Seasonal changes in serum gonadal steroids associated with migration, mating, and nesting in the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta).

    PubMed

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

    1990-07-01

    Adult male loggerhead sea turtles, Caretta caretta, exhibited a "prenuptial" spermatogenic cycle that was coincident with increased concentrations of serum testosterone (T). Serum T was high during the months when migration and mating have been recorded for males. In contrast to females, males appear to be annual breeders. Nine reproductively active female C. caretta (as verified through laparoscopy) were tagged with sonic transmitters and were repeatedly bled prior to migration. Four months prior to the nesting season, the ovaries of reproductively active females had hundreds of vitellogenic follicles of approximately 1.5 cm in diameter (i.e., half the size of ovulatory follicles). Approximately 4-6 weeks prior to migration from feeding grounds to mating and nesting areas, serum estradiol-17 beta (E2) concentrations increased significantly and remained high for approximately 4 weeks, suggesting a period of increased vitellogenesis. During a 1- to 2-week period prior to migration, serum E2 decreased significantly, while serum T concentrations increased (at least) until the time of migration. Serum T, E2, and progesterone (PRO) were elevated during nesting if a turtle was going to nest again during that nesting season. During the last nesting of a season, turtles had low serum concentrations of T, E2, and Pro. The prenuptial pattern of gonadal recrudescence and gonadal steroid production in both male and female C. caretta contrasts with those of many temperate freshwater turtles, and this type of reproductive pattern may have been facilitated by adaptation to a tropical marine environment.

  14. Evolution of MHC class I genes in the endangered loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) revealed by 454 amplicon sequencing.

    PubMed

    Stiebens, Victor A; Merino, Sonia E; Chain, Frédéric J J; Eizaguirre, Christophe

    2013-04-30

    In evolutionary and conservation biology, parasitism is often highlighted as a major selective pressure. To fight against parasites and pathogens, genetic diversity of the immune genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) are particularly important. However, the extensive degree of polymorphism observed in these genes makes it difficult to conduct thorough population screenings. We utilized a genotyping protocol that uses 454 amplicon sequencing to characterize the MHC class I in the endangered loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) and to investigate their evolution at multiple relevant levels of organization. MHC class I genes revealed signatures of trans-species polymorphism across several reptile species. In the studied loggerhead turtle individuals, it results in the maintenance of two ancient allelic lineages. We also found that individuals carrying an intermediate number of MHC class I alleles are larger than those with either a low or high number of alleles. Multiple modes of evolution seem to maintain MHC diversity in the loggerhead turtles, with relatively high polymorphism for an endangered species.

  15. Long-term behavior at foraging sites of adult female loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from three Florida rookeries.

    PubMed

    Foley, Allen M; Schroeder, Barbara A; Hardy, Robert; MacPherson, Sandra L; Nicholas, Mark

    2014-01-01

    We used satellite telemetry to study behavior at foraging sites of 40 adult female loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from three Florida (USA) rookeries. Foraging sites were located in four countries (USA, Mexico, the Bahamas, and Cuba). We were able to determine home range for 32 of the loggerheads. One turtle moved through several temporary residence areas, but the rest had a primary residence area in which they spent all or most of their time (usually >11 months per year). Twenty-four had a primary residence area that was <500 km(2) (mean = 191). Seven had a primary residence area that was ≥500 km(2) (range = 573-1,907). Primary residence areas were mostly restricted to depths <100 m. Loggerheads appeared to favor areas with larger-grained sediment (gravel and rock) over areas with smaller-grained sediment (mud). Short-term departures from primary residence areas were either looping excursions, typically involving 1-2 weeks of continuous travel, or movement to a secondary residence area where turtles spent 25-45 days before returning to their primary residence area. Ten turtles had a secondary residence area, and six used it as an overwintering site. For those six turtles, the primary residence area was in shallow water (<17 m) in the northern half of the Gulf of Mexico (GOM), and overwintering sites were farther offshore or farther south. We documented long winter dive times (>4 h) for the first time in the GOM. Characterizing behaviors at foraging sites helps inform and assess loggerhead recovery efforts.

  16. Effects of alfaxalone administered intravenously to healthy yearling loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) at three different doses.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Brianne E; Posner, Lysa P; Lewbart, Gregory A; Christiansen, Emily F; Harms, Craig A

    2017-04-15

    OBJECTIVE To compare physiologic and anesthetic effects of alfaxalone administered IV to yearling loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) at 3 different doses. DESIGN Randomized crossover study. ANIMALS 9 healthy yearling loggerhead sea turtles. PROCEDURES Animals received each of 3 doses of alfaxalone (3 mg/kg [1.4 mg/lb], 5 mg/kg [2.3 mg/lb], or 10 mg/kg [4.5 mg/lb]) administered IV in randomly assigned order, with a minimum 7-day washout period between doses. Endotracheal intubation was attempted following anesthetic induction, and heart rate, sedation depth, cloacal temperature, and respirations were monitored. Times to first effect, induction, first voluntary muscle movement, first respiration, and recovery were recorded. Venous blood gas analysis was performed at 0 and 30 minutes. Assisted ventilation was performed if apnea persisted 30 minutes following induction. RESULTS Median anesthetic induction time for all 3 doses was 2 minutes. Endotracheal intubation was accomplished in all turtles following induction. Heart rate significantly increased after the 3- and 5-mg/kg doses were administered. Median intervals from alfaxalone administration to first spontaneous respiration were 16, 22, and 54 minutes for the 3-, 5-, and 10-mg/kg doses, respectively, and median intervals to recovery were 28, 46, and 90 minutes, respectively. Assisted ventilation was required for 1 turtle after receiving the 5-mg/kg dose and for 5 turtles after receiving the 10-mg/kg dose. The 10-mg/kg dose resulted in respiratory acidosis and marked hypoxemia at 30 minutes. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE IV alfaxalone administration to loggerhead sea turtles resulted in a rapid anesthetic induction and dose-dependent duration of sedation. Assisted ventilation is recommended if the 10 mg/kg dose is administered.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-09

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

  18. Baseline heavy metals and metalloid values in blood of loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) from Baja California Sur, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Ley-Quiñónez, C; Zavala-Norzagaray, A A; Espinosa-Carreón, T L; Peckham, H; Marquez-Herrera, C; Campos-Villegas, L; Aguirre, A A

    2011-09-01

    Environmental pollution due to heavy metals is having an increased impact on marine wildlife accentuated by anthropogenic changes in the planet including overfishing, agricultural runoff and marine emerging infectious diseases. Sea turtles are considered sentinels of ecological health in marine ecosystems. The objective of this study was to determine baseline concentrations of zinc, cadmium, copper, nickel, selenium, manganese, mercury and lead in blood of 22 clinically healthy, loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta), captured for several reasons in Puerto López Mateos, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Zinc was the most prevalent metal in blood (41.89 μg g⁻¹), followed by Selenium (10.92 μg g⁻¹). The mean concentration of toxic metal Cadmium was 6.12 μg g⁻¹ and 1.01μg g⁻¹ respectively. Mean concentrations of metals followed this pattern: Zn>Se>Ni>Cu>Mn>Cd>Pb and Hg. We can conclude that blood is an excellent tissue to measure in relatively non-invasive way baseline values of heavy metals in Caretta caretta.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-15

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

  20. Ingestion and defecation of marine debris by loggerhead sea turtles, Caretta caretta, from by-catches in the South-West Indian Ocean.

    PubMed

    Hoarau, Ludovic; Ainley, Lara; Jean, Claire; Ciccione, Stéphane

    2014-07-15

    Marine debris, caused by anthropogenic pollution, is a major problem impacting marine wildlife worldwide. This study documents and quantifies the ingestion and defecation of debris by 74 loggerhead sea turtles, Caretta caretta, in the South-West Indian Ocean. Debris was found in 51.4% of gut or fecal samples of loggerheads by-catch from Reunion Island long liners. Anthropogenic debris was ubiquitous in our samples with plastics accounting for 96.2% of the total debris collected. No significant relationship was detected between the characteristics of ingested debris and the biometric characteristics of loggerheads. The number, weight, volume and mean length of debris were higher in gut content of deceased loggerheads than in fecal samples of live turtles, but not significantly, except for the mean length. This is the first record of debris ingestion by sea turtles in the Indian Ocean and our results highlight the magnitude of this pollution of the marine environment.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-10-01

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

  2. Inferring physiological energetics of loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) from existing data using a general metabolic theory.

    PubMed

    Marn, Nina; Kooijman, S A L M; Jusup, Marko; Legović, Tarzan; Klanjšček, Tin

    2017-05-01

    Loggerhead turtle is an endangered sea turtle species with a migratory lifestyle and worldwide distribution, experiencing markedly different habitats throughout its lifetime. Environmental conditions, especially food availability and temperature, constrain the acquisition and the use of available energy, thus affecting physiological processes such as growth, maturation, and reproduction. These physiological processes at the population level determine survival, fecundity, and ultimately the population growth rate-a key indicator of the success of conservation efforts. As a first step towards the comprehensive understanding of how environment shapes the physiology and the life cycle of a loggerhead turtle, we constructed a full life cycle model based on the principles of energy acquisition and utilization embedded in the Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) theory. We adapted the standard DEB model using data from published and unpublished sources to obtain parameter estimates and model predictions that could be compared with data. The outcome was a successful mathematical description of ontogeny and life history traits of the loggerhead turtle. Some deviations between the model and the data existed (such as an earlier age at sexual maturity and faster growth of the post-hatchlings), yet probable causes for these deviations were found informative and discussed in great detail. Physiological traits such as the capacity to withstand starvation, trade-offs between reproduction and growth, and changes in the energy budget throughout the ontogeny were inferred from the model. The results offer new insights into physiology and ecology of loggerhead turtle with the potential to lead to novel approaches in conservation of this endangered species. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-10-01

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

  6. Pharmacokinetics of danofloxacin after single dose intravenous, intramuscular and subcutaneous administration to loggerhead turtles Caretta caretta.

    PubMed

    Marín, Pedro; Bayón, Alejandro; Fernández-Varón, Emilio; Escudero, Elisa; Clavel, Cristina; Almela, Ramon; Cárceles, Carlos M

    2008-12-22

    The single-dose disposition kinetics of the antibiotic danofloxacin were determined in clinically normal loggerhead turtles (n = 6) after intravenous (IV), subcutaneous (SC) and intramuscular (IM) administration of 6 mg kg(-1) bodyweight. Danofloxacin concentrations were determined by high performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection. The concentration-time data were analyzed by non-compartmental kinetic methods. Steady-state volume of distribution, and total body clearance of danofloxacin after IV administration were estimated to be 1.02 +/- 0.17 1 kg(-1) and 0.11 +/- 0.01 1 h(-1) kg(-1), respectively. Following IM and SC administration, danofloxacin achieved maximum plasma concentrations of 10.25 +/- 4.59 and 10.35 +/- 4.45 mg l(-1) at 1.20 +/- 0.52 and 1.46 +/- 0.48 h, respectively. The absolute bioavailabilities after SC and IM routes were 98.72 +/- 11.73 and 104.81 +/- 14.97%, respectively. Danofloxacin shows a favourable pharmacokinetic profile in loggerhead turtles reflected by parameters such as a long half-life and a high bioavailability following a single dose of 6 mg kg(-1) by IM and SC routes; thus, it is likely that this treatment will be effective in loggerhead turtles with bacterial infections.

  7. Comparative study of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in plasma of Eastern Atlantic juvenile and adult nesting loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta).

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were measured in plasma samples of 162 juvenile loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from Canary Islands, and 205 adult nesting loggerheads from Cape Verde. All the 367 samples showed detectable values of some type of PAH. Phenanthrene was the PAH most frequently detected and at the highest concentration in both populations. Median concentrations of ∑PAHs in the plasma of loggerheads from the Canary Islands and Cape Verde were similar (5.5 and 4.6 ng/ml, respectively). Di- and tri-cyclic PAHs were predominant in both populations suggesting petrogenic origin rather than urban sources of PAHs. In the group of turtles from Canary Islands, there was evident an increasing level of contamination over the last few years. The present study represents the first data of contamination by PAHs in sea turtles from the studied areas. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Temporal, spatial, and body size effects on growth rates of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in the Northwest Atlantic

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bjorndal, Karen A.; Schroeder, Barbara A.; Foley, Allen M.; Witherington, Blair E.; Bresette, Michael; Clark, David; Herren, Richard M.; Arendt, Michael D.; Schmid, Jeffrey R.; Meylan, Anne B.; Meylan, Peter A.; Provancha, Jane A.; Hart, Kristen M.; Lamont, Margaret M.; Carthy, Raymond R.; Bolten, Alan B.

    2013-01-01

    In response to a call from the US National Research Council for research programs to combine their data to improve sea turtle population assessments, we analyzed somatic growth data for Northwest Atlantic (NWA) loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from 10 research programs. We assessed growth dynamics over wide ranges of geography (9–33°N latitude), time (1978–2012), and body size (35.4–103.3 cm carapace length). Generalized additive models revealed significant spatial and temporal variation in growth rates and a significant decline in growth rates with increasing body size. Growth was more rapid in waters south of the USA (<24°N) than in USA waters. Growth dynamics in southern waters in the NWA need more study because sample size was small. Within USA waters, the significant spatial effect in growth rates of immature loggerheads did not exhibit a consistent latitudinal trend. Growth rates declined significantly from 1997 through 2007 and then leveled off or increased. During this same interval, annual nest counts in Florida declined by 43 % (Witherington et al. in Ecol Appl 19:30–54, 2009) before rebounding. Whether these simultaneous declines reflect responses in productivity to a common environmental change should be explored to determine whether somatic growth rates can help interpret population trends based on annual counts of nests or nesting females. Because of the significant spatial and temporal variation in growth rates, population models of NWA loggerheads should avoid employing growth data from restricted spatial or temporal coverage to calculate demographic metrics such as age at sexual maturity.

  9. Hematology and plasma biochemistry analytes in five age groups of immature, captive-reared loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta).

    PubMed

    Rousselet, Estelle; Stacy, Nicole I; LaVictoire, Kara; Higgins, Benjamin M; Tocidlowski, Maryanne E; Flanagan, Joseph P; Godard-Codding, Céline A J

    2013-12-01

    Abstract: Blood samples of 85 immature, apparently healthy, captive-reared loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) were analyzed for 13 hematologic variables and total solids of 5 age groups (8, 20, 32, 44, and 56 mo old) and for 20 plasma biochemical analytes of 4 age groups (20 to 56 mo old). Each individual turtle was sampled under similar conditions during a blood collection period of 3 days. Hematologic analytes included packed cell volume, white blood cell (WBC) counts, WBC estimates, and leukocyte differentials. Biochemical analysis included albumin, alanine aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, amylase, aspartate aminotransferase, blood urea nitrogen, calcium, chloride, cholesterol, creatine kinase, creatinine, gamma glutamyltransferase, globulins, glucose, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, total bilirubin, total protein, total solids, and uric acid. In due consideration of small sample size in all five age groups, the results of hematologic and biochemical analysis were used to determine ranges for these analytes and to compare values among consecutive age groups. Several significant differences in some hematologic and biochemical variables were identified and need to be considered in the interpretation of blood work of immature, growing sea turtles in human care.

  10. Loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta): A target species for monitoring litter ingested by marine organisms in the Mediterranean Sea.

    PubMed

    Matiddi, Marco; Hochsheid, Sandra; Camedda, Andrea; Baini, Matteo; Cocumelli, Cristiano; Serena, Fabrizio; Tomassetti, Paolo; Travaglini, Andrea; Marra, Stefano; Campani, Tommaso; Scholl, Francesco; Mancusi, Cecilia; Amato, Ezio; Briguglio, Paolo; Maffucci, Fulvio; Fossi, Maria Cristina; Bentivegna, Flegra; de Lucia, Giuseppe Andrea

    2017-11-01

    Marine litter is any persistent, manufactured or processed solid material discarded, disposed of or abandoned in the marine and coastal environment. Ingestion of marine litter can have lethal and sub-lethal effects on wildlife that accidentally ingests it, and sea turtles are particularly susceptible to this threat. The European Commission drafted the 2008/56/EC Marine Strategy Framework Directive with the aim to achieve a Good Environmental Status (GES), and the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta, Linnaeus 1758) was selected for monitoring the amount and composition of litter ingested by marine animals. An analogous decision has been made under the UNEP/MAP Barcelona Convention for the protection of the Mediterranean Sea, following the Ecosystem Approach. This work provides for the first time, two possible scenarios for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive GES, both related to "Trends in the amount and composition of litter ingested by marine animals" in the Mediterranean Sea. The study validates the use of the loggerhead turtle as target indicator for monitoring the impact of litter on marine biota and calls for immediate use of this protocol throughout the Mediterranean basin and European Region. Both GES scenarios are relevant worldwide, where sea turtles and marine litter are present, for measuring the impact of ingested plastics and developing policy strategies to reduce it. In the period between 2011 and 2014, 150 loggerhead sea turtles, found dead, were collected from the Italian Coast, West Mediterranean Sea Sub-Region. The presence of marine litter was investigated using a standardized protocol for necropsies and lab analysis. The collected items were subdivided into 4 main categories, namely, IND-Industrial plastic, USE-User plastic, RUB-Non plastic rubbish, POL-Pollutants and 14 sub-categories, to detect local diversity. Eighty-five percent of the individuals considered (n = 120) were found to have ingested an average of 1.3 ± 0.2 g of

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Analysis of elemental composition of the eggshell before and after incubation in the loggerhead turtle ( Caretta caretta) in Oman.

    PubMed

    Al-Bahry, S N; Mahmoud, I Y; Melghit, K; Al-Amri, I

    2011-06-01

    To date, there are limited studies on loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) eggshell ultrastructure and its elemental composition. Eggs were collected from turtle nests immediately after oviposition and post hatching. Three eggshell layers were recognized. The outer calcareous layer consists of loose nodular units of different shapes and sizes with loose attachment between the units, resulting in numerous spaces and openings. Each unit consists of CaCO3 crystals in aragonite (99%) and calcite (1%). The middle layer has several strata with numerous openings connecting the calcareous and the inner shell membrane. Crystallites of the middle layer are a mix of amorphous material with aragonite (62%) and calcite (38%). The inner shell membrane has numerous reticular fibers mixed predominantly with halite (NaCl) and small amounts of sylvite. Thermogravimetry analysis of the calcareous showed a low exothermic peak at 425°C, which corresponds to a transitional phase from aragonite to calcite. A high endothermic peak at 814°C corresponds to decomposition of calcite CaCO3 to CaO and CO2. Electron diffraction confirmed the presence of NaCl halite crystal. A significant difference was found in the percentage of elements and crystal configurations in the three layers. This study has value in assessing the emergence success in this endangered species.

  14. Living together but remaining apart: Atlantic and Mediterranean loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in shared feeding grounds.

    PubMed

    Carreras, Carlos; Pascual, Marta; Cardona, Luis; Marco, Adolfo; Bellido, Juan Jesús; Castillo, Juan José; Tomás, Jesús; Raga, Juan Antonio; Sanfélix, Manuel; Fernández, Gloria; Aguilar, Alex

    2011-01-01

    Juvenile loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from Atlantic nesting populations migrate into the western Mediterranean, where they share feeding grounds with turtles originating in the Mediterranean. In this scenario, male-mediated gene flow may lead to the homogenization of these distant populations. To test this hypothesis, we genotyped 7 microsatellites from 56 Atlantic individuals sampled from feeding grounds in the western Mediterranean and then compared the observed allele frequencies with published data of 112 individuals from Mediterranean nesting beaches. Mediterranean populations were found to be genetically differentiated from the Atlantic stock reaching the western Mediterranean (F(st) = 0.029, P < 0.001); therefore, the possible mating events between Atlantic and Mediterranean individuals are not sufficient to homogenize these 2 areas. The differentiation observed between these 2 areas demonstrates that microsatellites are sufficiently powerful for mixed stock analysis and that individual assignment (IA) tests can be performed in combination with mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis. In a set of 197 individuals sampled in western Mediterranean feeding grounds, 87% were robustly assigned to Atlantic or Mediterranean groups with the combined marker, as compared with only 52% with mtDNA alone. These findings provide a new approach for tracking the movements of these oceanic migrants and have strong implications for the conservation of the species.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-09-01

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

  16. Associations between trace elements and clinical health parameters in the North Pacific loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) from Baja California Sur, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Ley-Quiñónez, César Paúl; Rossi-Lafferriere, Natalia Alejandra; Espinoza-Carreon, Teresa Leticia; Hart, Catherine Edwina; Peckham, Sherwood Hoyt; Aguirre, Alfredo Alonso; Zavala-Norzagaray, Alan Alfredo

    2017-04-01

    This study investigated selected trace elements toxicity in sea turtles Caretta caretta population from Baja California Sur (BCS), Mexico, by analyzing associations among Zn, Se, Cu, As, Cd, Ni, Mn, Pb, and Hg with various biochemical parameters (packed cell volume, leukocytes, and selected blood parameters), and whether their concentrations could have an impact on the health status of sea turtles. Blood samples from 22 loggerhead (C. caretta) sea turtles from BCS, Mexico, were collected for trace elements on biochemistry parameter analyses. Significant associations among trace element levels and the biochemistry parameters were found: Cd vs ALP (R (2) = 0.874, p ˂ 0.001), As vs ALP (R (2) = 0.656, p ˂ 0.001), Mn vs ALP (R (2) = 0.834, p ˂ 0.001), and Ni vs LDH (R (2) = 0.587, p ˂ 0.001). This study is the first report of the biochemical parameters of the North Pacific loggerhead sea turtle (C. caretta) from Baja California Sur, Mexico, and it is the first to observe several associations with toxic and essential trace elements. Our study reinforces the usefulness of blood for the monitoring of the levels of contaminating elements and the results suggest that, based on the associations with health clinical parameters, high levels of Cd and As could be representing a risk to the North Pacific loggerhead population health.

  17. Relationship between separation time of plasma from heparinized whole blood on plasma biochemical analytes of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta).

    PubMed

    Eisenhawer, Eliza; Courtney, Charles H; Raskin, Rose E; Jacobson, Elliott

    2008-06-01

    Concentrations and activities of selected biochemicals of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) were determined for plasma that was separated from whole blood samples that were kept up to 96 hr post collection (PC) in a refrigerator. Blood samples collected from seven juvenile captive loggerhead sea turtles were added to tubes containing lithium heparin and were placed on ice. Equal amounts of anticoagulated whole blood from the lithium heparin tubes were then aliquoted into plastic tubes and stored as whole blood under refrigeration until they were centrifuged at 0, 4, 24, 48, and 96 hr PC. Plasma was removed and the analytes that were measured were alkaline phosphatase (ALP), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), gamma glutamyl transferase (GGT), creatine kinase (CK), sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, cholesterol, glucose, urea nitrogen, uric acid, total protein, albumin, and globulin. Compared with values at 0 time, the only analyte to be significantly different at 24 hr PC was GGT (activity decreased by 25%). Compared with values at 0 time, significant differences at 96 hr PC were only seen in AST (2% increase), GGT (25% decrease), glucose (7% decrease), and uric acid (25% increase). Although a statistically significant difference was found in concentrations of phosphorus and cholesterol over time by repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA), the follow-up multiple comparison procedure could not define the specific time points at which significant differences occurred. For all other analytes, significant differences over the time course of the study were not found. In these instances, the power of the ANOVA was sufficient (> or = 0.80) to detect any arithmetic differences of a clinically relevant magnitude. Although plasma should be separated from the cellular component of blood as soon as possible PC, in a field situation in which a centrifuge is unavailable, samples can be stored in a portable cooler up to 24 hr without

  18. Breeding loggerhead marine turtles Caretta caretta in Dry Tortugas National Park, USA, show high fidelity to diverse habitats near nesting beaches

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

    We used satellite telemetry to identify in-water habitat used by individuals in the smallest North-west Atlantic subpopulation of adult nesting loggerhead turtles Caretta caretta during the breeding season. During 2010, 2011 and 2012 breeding periods, a total of 20 adult females used habitats proximal to nesting beaches with various levels of protection within Dry Tortugas National Park. We then used a rapid, high-resolution, digital imaging system to map habitat adjacent to nesting beaches, revealing the diversity and distribution of available benthic cover. Turtle behaviour showing measurable site-fidelity to these diverse habitats has implications for managing protected areas and human activities within them. Protecting diverse benthic areas adjacent to loggerhead turtle nesting beaches here and elsewhere could provide benefits for overall biodiversity conservation.

  19. An assessment of initial body size in loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) hatchlings in Turkey.

    PubMed

    Ozdemir, Adem; Ilgaz, Cetin; Kumlutaş, Yusuf; Durmuş, Salih Hakan; Kaska, Yakup; Türkozan, Oğuz

    2007-04-01

    Eggs, hatchlings, and adult loggerhead turtles, and incubation durations of clutches, were measured on three Turkish beaches (Dalyan, Fethiye and Göksu Delta), and some physical features of nests were compared. These features were not statistically different among the beaches, except for nest depth and distance to the high water mark. There was a positive relationship between hatchling mass and egg size. The carapace length of hatchlings was correlated with both egg diameter and incubation duration. The duration of asynchronous emergence of hatchlings on Fethiye beach was slightly longer than on the other two beaches, and the size of hatchlings decreased as asynchronous emergence proceeded. Of the hatchlings that emerged first, those that died were significantly smaller in SCL and mass than those that lived. These results suggest that smaller hatchlings may not be vigorous enough to emerge earlier from nests, and that they may be less fit.

  20. Tissue Lesions due to Spirorchiid Eggs in a Loggerhead Turtle (Caretta caretta Linnaeus 1758) from Brazil: The First Report Outside of the USA.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, Rachel Bittencourt; Jerdy, Hassan; Medina, Raphael Mansur; Bianchi, Mariah; Werneck, Max; Carvalho, Eulógio

    2017-07-24

    Spirorchiids (family Spirorchiidae Stunkard 1921) are a group of flukes that inhabit the circulatory system of turtles. Infection by members of the family Spirorchiidae involves egg deposition in the host blood stream, accumulation in tissues, which cause inflammatory reactions and embolisms, leading or contributing to the death of the host. Reports of Spirorchiids eggs lesions on loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta Linnaeus, 1758) were observed only in the USA hosts. In the present report a female loggerhead sea turtle was found dead on the beach in north State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. During gross necropsy, no parasites eggs nodules were found. But the microscopic analysis revealed a mild granulomatous inflammatory process due to eggs from the Family Spirorchiidae and both Langhans giant cells and foreign-body giant cells in heart, kidneys, intestines, lungs and spleen. The present note is the first record of tissue lesions due to spirorchiid eggs in a loggerhead sea turtle outside the USA and the first report of tissue lesions due to spirorchiid eggs in a loggerhead sea turtle in Brazil.

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Geographical variation of persistent organic pollutants in eggs of threatened loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from southeastern United States.

    PubMed

    Alava, Juan José; Keller, Jennifer M; Wyneken, Jeanette; Crowder, Larry; Scott, Geoffrey; Kucklick, John R

    2011-07-01

    Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are recognized manmade threats to sea turtle populations, but substantial uncertainty exists surrounding their exposure to contaminants and their sensitivity to toxic effects. This uncertainty creates difficulty for conservation managers to make informed decisions for the recovery of these threatened species. To provide baseline concentrations and spatial comparisons, we measured a large suite of POPs in loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) egg yolk samples collected from 44 nests in three distinct U.S. locations: North Carolina (NC), eastern Florida (E FL), and western Florida (W FL). The POPs included polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine pesticides such as dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethanes (DDTs), chlordanes, mirex, dieldin, hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), hexachlorobenzene, and toxaphene congeners, as well as polybrominated diphenyl ether congeners (PBDEs). Persistent organic pollutant concentrations were lowest in W FL, intermediate in E FL, and highest in NC egg samples, with several statistically significant spatial differences. This increasing gradient along the southeast coast around the Florida peninsula to North Carolina was explained partly by the foraging site selection of the nesting females. Data from previous tracking studies show that NC nesting females feed primarily along the U.S. eastern coast, whereas W FL nesting females forage in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. The E FL nesting females forage in areas that overlap these two. The foraging site selection also results in exposure to different patterns of POPs. An unusual PBDE pattern was seen in the NC samples, with nearly equal contributions of PBDE congeners 47, 100, and 154. These findings are important to managers assessing threats among different stocks or subpopulations of this threatened species. Copyright © 2011 SETAC.

  4. Maternal transfer and sublethal immune system effects of brevetoxin exposure in nesting loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from western Florida.

    PubMed

    Perrault, Justin R; Bauman, Katherine D; Greenan, Taylor M; Blum, Patricia C; Henry, Michael S; Walsh, Catherine J

    2016-11-01

    Blooms of Karenia brevis (also called red tides) occur almost annually in the Gulf of Mexico. The health effects of the neurotoxins (i.e., brevetoxins) produced by this toxic dinoflagellate on marine turtles are poorly understood. Florida's Gulf Coast represents an important foraging and nesting area for a number of marine turtle species. Most studies investigating brevetoxin exposure in marine turtles thus far focus on dead and/or stranded individuals and rarely examine the effects in apparently "healthy" free-ranging individuals. From May-July 2014, one year after the last red tide bloom, we collected blood from nesting loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) on Casey Key, Florida USA. These organisms show both strong nesting and foraging site fidelity. The plasma was analyzed for brevetoxin concentrations in addition to a number of health and immune-related parameters in an effort to establish sublethal effects of this toxin. Lastly, from July-September 2014, we collected unhatched eggs and liver and yolk sacs from dead-in-nest hatchlings from nests laid by the sampled females and tested these samples for brevetoxin concentrations to determine maternal transfer and effects on reproductive success. Using a competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), all plasma samples from nesting females tested positive for brevetoxin (reported as ng brevetoxin-3[PbTx-3] equivalents [eq]/mL) exposure (2.1-26.7ng PbTx-3eq/mL). Additionally, 100% of livers (1.4-13.3ng PbTx-3eq/mL) and yolk sacs (1.7-6.6ng PbTx-3eq/mL) from dead-in-nest hatchlings and 70% of eggs (<1.0-24.4ng PbTx-3eq/mL) tested positive for brevetoxin exposure with the ELISA. We found that plasma brevetoxin concentrations determined by an ELISA in nesting females positively correlated with gamma-globulins, indicating a potential for immunomodulation as a result of brevetoxin exposure. While the sample sizes were small, we also found that plasma brevetoxin concentrations determined by an ELISA in

  5. Lethal lesions and amputation caused by plastic debris and fishing gear on the loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta (Linnaeus, 1758). Three case reports from Terceira Island, Azores (NE Atlantic).

    PubMed

    Barreiros, João P; Raykov, Violin S

    2014-09-15

    In this note we report and discuss three cases involving two serious injuries and one death on three specimens of the loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta, found in Terceira Island, Azores (NE Atlantic). Plastic debris and lost/discarded fishing gear caused these accidents. In fact, these types of marine litter are known to cause several accidents all over the world involving many taxa. However, we think that this issue has probably a much wider impact and detected cases such as those reported here are but just a small sample of the whole unknown dimension of this serious marine pollution problem.

  6. Toxic elements and associations with hematology, plasma biochemistry, and protein electrophoresis in nesting loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from Casey Key, Florida.

    PubMed

    Perrault, Justin R; Stacy, Nicole I; Lehner, Andreas F; Poor, Savannah K; Buchweitz, John P; Walsh, Catherine J

    2017-09-19

    Toxic elements (arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, selenium, thallium) are a group of contaminants that are known to elicit developmental, reproductive, general health, and immune system effects in reptiles, even at low concentrations. Reptiles, including marine turtles, are susceptible to accumulation of toxic elements due to their long life span, low metabolic rate, and highly efficient conversion of prey into biomass. The objectives of this study were to (1) document concentrations of arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, selenium, and thallium in whole blood and keratin from nesting loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from Casey Key, Florida and document correlations thereof and (2) correlate whole blood toxic element concentrations to various hematological and plasma biochemistry analytes. Baselines for various hematological and plasma analytes and toxic elements in whole blood and keratin (i.e., scute) in nesting loggerheads are documented. Various correlations between the toxic elements and hematological and plasma biochemistry analytes were identified; however, the most intriguing were negative correlations between arsenic, cadmium, lead, and selenium with and α- and γ-globulins. Although various extrinsic and intrinsic variables such as dietary and feeding changes in nesting loggerheads need to be considered, this finding may suggest a link to altered humoral immunity. This study documents a suite of health variables of nesting loggerheads in correlation to contaminants and identifies the potential of toxic elements to impact the overall health of nesting turtles, thus presenting important implications for the conservation and management of this species. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Histochemical and immunohistochemical studies of the gonads and paramesonephric ducts of male and female hatchlings of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta).

    PubMed

    Sarı, F; Kaska, Y

    2016-08-01

    The sex of neonatal sea turtles is difficult to determine, because neonates lack heteromorphic sex chromosomes and dimorphic external characteristics; internal dimorphic morphology is defined at hatching. We used histochemical staining and made measurements in the gonads and paramesonephric ducts (PD) of both sexes to determine structural differences in female and male loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) hatchlings. We detected differences in the gonads and PD between the sexes including the amounts of mucopolysaccharides, collagen and elastic fibers. We determined that the thickness of the gonadal cortex and the diameter of the PD lumen are reliable sex-specific characteristics. We also assessed immunolocalization of aromatase, an enzyme complex that converts androgens to estrogens, and found differences in the localization and intensity of aromatase immunostaining in the gonads and PD of female and male hatchlings. Comprehensive studies of the sexual differences of sea turtles are important for conservation programs.

  8. Management of wounds in a loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) caused by traumatic bycatch injury from the spines of a spotted eagle ray (Aetobatus narinari).

    PubMed

    Bezjian, Marisa; Wellehan, James F X; Walsh, Michael T; Anderson, Eric; Jacobson, Elliott

    2014-06-01

    A subadult female loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) was caught in a trawl net off the west coast of Florida with a spotted eagle ray (Aetobatus narinari) spine lodged in the left stifle. Surgical removal of the spine was performed and antibiotic treatment was initiated. Four weeks later, endoscopy revealed a second spine entering an intestinal lumen. The fistulous tract of the left prefemoral fossa was surgically excised and the intestinal perforation was repaired. Dehiscence occurred and a vacuum-assisted closure (VAC) system was used on the wound for approximately 18 days to help reduce infection and increase the rate of healing. The left stifle wound was treated to heal by second intention. The turtle remained in rehabilitation for 19 mo before being released off the west coast of Florida. This case describes stingray envenomation injuries as a complex and potentially life-threatening bycatch effect to sea turtles caught in trawl nets.

  9. Spatial requirements of different life-stages of the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) from a distinct population segment in the northern Gulf of Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lamont, Margaret M.; Putman, Nathan F.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Hart, Kristen M.

    2015-01-01

    Many marine species have complex life histories that involve disparate developmental, foraging and reproductive habitats and a holistic assessment of the spatial requirements for different life stages is a challenge that greatly complicates their management. Here, we combined data from oceanographic modeling, nesting surveys, and satellite tracking to examine the spatial requirements of different life stages of Loggerhead Turtles (Caretta caretta) from a distinct population segment in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Our findings indicate that after emerging from nesting beaches in Alabama and Northwest Florida, hatchlings disperse widely and the proportion of turtles following a given route varies substantially through time, with the majority (mean of 74.4%) projected to leave the Gulf of Mexico. Adult females use neritic habitat throughout the northern and eastern Gulf of Mexico both during the inter-nesting phase and as post-nesting foraging areas. Movements and habitat use of juveniles and adult males represent a large gap in our knowledge, but given the hatchling dispersal predictions and tracks of post-nesting females it is likely that some Loggerhead Turtles remain in the Gulf of Mexico throughout their life. More than two-thirds of the Gulf provides potential habitat for at least one life-stage of Loggerhead Turtles. These results demonstrate the importance of the Gulf of Mexico to this Distinct Population Segment of Loggerhead Turtles. It also highlights the benefits of undertaking comprehensive studies of multiple life stages simultaneously: loss of individual habitats have the potential to affect several life stages thereby having long-term consequences to population recovery.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-08-01

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

  11. Accumulation and tissue distribution of heavy metals and essential elements in loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) from Spanish Mediterranean coastline of Murcia.

    PubMed

    Jerez, Silvia; Motas, Miguel; Cánovas, Régulo Angel; Talavera, Jesús; Almela, Ramón Miguel; Del Río, Alejandro Bayón

    2010-01-01

    Sea turtles are of increasing interest as potential bioindicators of the heavy metal pollution in marine ecosystems. In the present work, concentrations of heavy metals and essential elements (As, Cd, Hg, Pb, Se, Zn) in different organs and tissues (liver, kidney, muscle, bone, blood, central nervous system and skin) of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) were determined from stranded animals found along the Spanish Mediterranean coastlines of Murcia. Relatively high average levels of As (skin: 52.13 microg g(-1) dry weight; muscle: 40.95 microg g(-1) dry weight), and especially high individual levels of Zn in muscle tissue (1002.4 microg g(-1) dry weight) were detected. Furthermore, a significant degree of organotrophism of Cd was observed in kidney tissue. The concentrations detected, the distribution among the tissues and the differences observed between juvenile and adult specimens are generally compatible with chronic exposure to the elements studied, whilst levels produced by acute exposure were ruled out.

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

    PubMed

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

    1982-01-01

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

  13. Forelimb kinematics and motor patterns of swimming loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta): are motor patterns conserved in the evolution of new locomotor strategies?

    PubMed

    Rivera, Angela R V; Wyneken, Jeanette; Blob, Richard W

    2011-10-01

    Novel functions in animals may evolve through changes in morphology, muscle activity or a combination of both. The idea that new functions or behavior can arise solely through changes in structure, without concurrent changes in the patterns of muscle activity that control movement of those structures, has been formalized as the neuromotor conservation hypothesis. In vertebrate locomotor systems, evidence for neuromotor conservation is found across evolutionary transitions in the behavior of terrestrial species, and in evolutionary transitions from terrestrial species to flying species. However, evolutionary transitions in the locomotion of aquatic species have received little comparable study to determine whether changes in morphology and muscle function were coordinated through the evolution of new locomotor behavior. To evaluate the potential for neuromotor conservation in an ancient aquatic system, we quantified forelimb kinematics and muscle activity during swimming in the loggerhead sea turtle, Caretta caretta. Loggerhead forelimbs are hypertrophied into wing-like flippers that produce thrust via dorsoventral forelimb flapping. We compared kinematic and motor patterns from loggerheads with previous data from the red-eared slider, Trachemys scripta, a generalized freshwater species exhibiting unspecialized forelimb morphology and anteroposterior rowing motions during swimming. For some forelimb muscles, comparisons between C. caretta and T. scripta support neuromotor conservation; for example, the coracobrachialis and the latissimus dorsi show similar activation patterns. However, other muscles (deltoideus, pectoralis and triceps) do not show neuromotor conservation; for example, the deltoideus changes dramatically from a limb protractor/elevator in sliders to a joint stabilizer in loggerheads. Thus, during the evolution of flapping in sea turtles, drastic restructuring of the forelimb was accompanied by both conservation and evolutionary novelty in limb motor

  14. Trace element (Cd, Cu, Hg, Se, Zn) accumulation and tissue distribution in loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) from the Western Mediterranean Sea (southern Italy).

    PubMed

    Maffucci, F; Caurant, F; Bustamante, P; Bentivegna, F

    2005-02-01

    Cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), mercury (Hg), selenium (Se) and zinc (Zn) were determined in the liver, kidney and muscle of 29 loggerhead turtles, Caretta caretta, from the South Tyrrhenian Sea (Western Mediterranean). No significant differences (p>0.05) were detected between males and females. Trace element concentrations were not influenced by the size of the specimen except Se in the liver, which was negatively correlated with the curved carapace length (p<0.001). Muscles generally displayed the lowest trace element burdens, with the exception of Zn which contained concentrations as high as 176 microgg-1dwt. Kidneys displayed the highest Cd and Se mean concentrations (57.2+/-34.6 and 15.5+/-9.1 microgg-1dwt, respectively), while liver exhibited the highest Cu and Hg levels (37.3+/-8.7 and 1.1+/-1.7 microgg-1dwt, respectively). Whichever tissue is considered, the toxic elements had elevated coefficients of variation (i.e. from 60% to 177%) compared to those of the essential ones (i.e. from 14% to 65%), which is a consequence of homeostatic processes for Cu, Se and Zn. Globally, the concentrations of Hg remained low in all the considered tissues, possibly the result of low trophic level in sea turtles. In contrast, the diet of loggerhead turtles would result in a significant exposure to Cd. Highly significant correlations between Cd and Cu and Zn in the liver and kidney suggest that efficient detoxification processes involving MT occur which prevent Cd toxicity in loggerhead turtles.

  15. Exploring the presence of pollutants at sea: Monitoring heavy metals and pesticides in loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) from the western Mediterranean.

    PubMed

    Novillo, O; Pertusa, J F; Tomás, J

    2017-11-15

    Marine turtles are considered good sentinel species for environmental assessment because of their long lifespan, feeding ecology, habitat use and migratory nature. In the present study, we assessed presence of cadmium, lead and mercury, together with organic pollutants, both in fat and muscle tissue of 25 stranded loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) stranded along the Valencian Community coast (East Spain) (43.7±13.5cm). Mean concentrations of Cd, Pb and Hg were 0.04μg/g w.w., 0.09μg/g w.w. and 0.03μg/g w.w. in fat and 0.05μg/g, 0.08μg/g and 0.04μg/g in muscle, respectively. These measures indicate a relatively low mean heavy metal concentration, which may be explained by juvenile size and developmental stage of the turtles analysed. A preliminary non-targeted analysis (using time-of-flight (TOF) technology), made for the first time in marine turtles, allowed to detect 39 different pesticides, most of them previously undetected in this species. Most of the organic substances detected are used in agricultural activities, and the use of 15 of them (38.5%) is not approved in the European Union. Our sample did not show any trend on pollutant contents in relation to turtle size or stranding location, probably because of the high diversity of pollutants found. However, the potential for a positive latitudinal gradient should be explored in future studies due to riverine inputs and high agricultural and industrial activities in the area. Despite the high diversity of pollutants found here, comparative studies of pollutants in other matrices at sea are needed to ascertain whether the loggerhead turtle is a good sentinel of chemical pollution in the western Mediterranean. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Occurrence of fruiting structures allows determination of Purpureocillium lilacinum as an inciting agent of pleuritis and pneumonia in a loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) by histopathologic correlation to culture

    PubMed Central

    Schumacher, V.L.; Mangold, B.; Lenzycki, J.; Hinckley, L.; Sutton, D.A.; Frasca, S.

    2014-01-01

    Purpureocillium lilacinum and Beauveria bassiana were isolated from lung sampled at necropsy of a 12 year-old female loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) that had displayed abnormal buoyancy. Histopathologic evaluation revealed pleuritis and pneumonia with non-melanized, septate hyphae and fruiting structures identical to those of P. lilacinum. This case emphasizes the importance of a histological correlate to fungal culture when environmental fungi are isolated and demonstrates the infrequent phenomenon of fruiting or conidial production in tissue. PMID:25379399

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Parasitic outbreak of the copepod Balaenophilus manatorum in neonate loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from a head-starting program.

    PubMed

    Crespo-Picazo, J L; García-Parraga, D; Domènech, F; Tomás, J; Aznar, F J; Ortega, J; Corpa, J M

    2017-06-02

    Diseases associated to external parasitosis are scarcely reported in sea turtles. During the last decades several organism have been documented as a part of normal epibiont community connected to sea turtles. The copepod Balaenophilus manatorum has been cited as a part of epibiont fauna with some concern about its parasitic capacity. This study serves three purposes, i.e. (i) it sheds light on the type of life style that B. manatorum has developed with its hosts, particularly turtles; (ii) it makes a cautionary note of the potential health risks associated with B. manatorum in sea turtles under captivity conditions and in the wild, and (iii) it provides data on effective treatments against B. manatorum. We report for the first time a massive infestation of the copepod B. manatorum and subsequent acute mortality in a group of loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings. Four-month-old turtles from a head-starting program started exhibiting excitatory and fin rubbing behavior preceding an acute onset of lethargy, skin ulceration and death in some animals. All the individuals (n = 57) were affected by severe copepod load and presented different degrees of external macroscopic skin lesions. The ventral area of front flippers, axillar and pericloacal skin were mostly affected, and were the main parasite distribution regions. Copepods were also detected on plastron and carapace sutures. The gut contents of B. manatorum reacted positively for cytokeratin, indicating consumption of turtle skin. Severe ulcerative necrotic dermatitis and large amount of bacteria presence were the major histopathological findings. Individual fresh water immersion for 10 min and lufenuron administration (0.1 ppm) to the water system every 2 weeks proved effective for removing turtle parasites and to control re-infestation, respectively. The results from our study clearly indicated that B. manatorum individuals consume turtle skin. The pathological effects of this agent and the potential implications

  20. Effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals on estrogen receptor alpha and heat shock protein 60 gene expression in primary cultures of loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) erythrocytes.

    PubMed

    Cocci, Paolo; Capriotti, Martina; Mosconi, Gilberto; Palermo, Francesco Alessandro

    2017-10-01

    The loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) can be considered a good indicator species for studying the ecological impact of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) on wildlife. However, the effect of these environmental pollutants on nuclear steroid hormone signaling has not yet been addressed in sea turtles mainly due to the legal constraints of their endangered status. Here we describe the use of primary erythrocyte cell cultures as in vitro models for evaluating the effects of different EDCs on the expression of estrogen receptor α (ERα). In addition, we evaluated erythrocyte toxicity caused by EDCs using Alamar Blue assay and heat shock proteins 60 (HSP60) expression. Primary cultures of erythrocytes were exposed to increasing concentrations of 4-nonylphenol (4NP), Diisodecyl phthalate (DiDP), Tri-m-cresyl phosphate (TMCP) and Tributyltin (TBT) for 48h. Alamar Blue demonstrated that exposure of erythrocytes to each contaminant for up to 48h led to a significant impairment of cellular metabolic activity at 100μM, with the exception of TBT. Moreover, our data indicate that loggerhead erythrocytes constitutively express ERα and HSP60 at the transcript level and respond to EDCs by up-regulating their expression. In this regard, ERα was up-regulated in a dose-dependent manner after 48h exposure to both 4NP and TMCP. Interestingly, the dosage-dependent effects of DiDP on ERα expression were opposite in comparison to that obtained following exposure to the other tested compounds. This work provides the first indication regarding the potential of primary erythrocytes as study models for evaluating the effects of EDCs on sea turtles. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. 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.

  2. Fusarium solani is responsible for mass mortalities in nests of loggerhead sea turtle, Caretta caretta, in Boavista, Cape Verde.

    PubMed

    Sarmiento-Ramírez, Jullie M; Abella, Elena; Martín, María P; Tellería, María T; López-Jurado, Luis F; Marco, Adolfo; Diéguez-Uribeondo, Javier

    2010-11-01

    The fungus Fusarium solani (Mart.) Saccardo (1881) was found to be the cause of infections in the eggs of the sea turtle species Caretta caretta in Boavista Island, Cape Verde. Egg shells with early and severe symptoms of infection, as well as diseased embryos were sampled from infected nests. Twenty-five isolates with similar morphological characteristics were obtained. Their ITS rRNA gene sequences were similar to the GenBank sequences corresponding to F. solani and their maximum identity ranged from 95% to 100%. Phylogenetic parsimony and Bayesian analyses of these isolates showed that they belong to a single F. solani clade and that they are distributed in two subclades named A and C (the latter containing 23 out of 25). A representative isolate of subclade C was used in challenge inoculation experiments to test Koch postulates. Mortality rates were c. 83.3% in challenged eggs and 8.3% in the control. Inoculated challenged eggs exhibited the same symptoms as infected eggs found in the field. Thus, this work demonstrates that a group of strains of F. solani are responsible for the symptoms observed on turtle-nesting beaches, and that they represent a risk for the survival of this endangered species.

  3. Changes of loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) dive behavior associated with tropical storm passage during the inter-nesting period.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Maria; Tucker, Anton D; Beedholm, Kristian; Mann, David A

    2017-07-28

    To improve conservation strategies for threatened sea turtles more knowledge on their ecology, behavior, and how they cope with severe and changing weather conditions is needed. Satellite and animal motion datalogging tags were used to study the inter-nesting behavior of two female loggerhead turtles in the Gulf of Mexico, which regularly has hurricanes and tropical storms during nesting season. We contrast the behavioral patterns and swimming energetics of two turtles, the first tracked in calm weather and a second tracked before, during, and after a tropical storm. Turtle #1 was highly active and swam at the surface or submerged 95% of the time during the entire inter-nesting period with high estimated specific oxygen consumption rate (0.95 ml min(-1) kg(-0.83)). Turtle #2 was inactive for most of the first nine days of the inter-nesting period where she rested at the bottom (80% of the time) with low estimated oxygen consumption (0.62 ml min(-1) kg(-0.83)). Midway through the inter-nesting period turtle #2 encountered a tropical storm and became highly active (swimming 88% of the time during and 95% after the storm). Her oxygen consumption increased significantly to 0.97 ml min(-1) kg(-0.83) during and 0.98 ml min(-1) kg(-0.83) after the storm. However, despite of the tropical storm turtle #2 returned to the nesting beach, where she successfully re-nested 75 meters from her previous nest. Thus, the tropical storm had a minor effect on this female's individual nesting success, even though the storm caused 90% loss of Casey Key nests. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  4. Spatial distribution of loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) emergences along a highly dynamic beach in the northern Gulf of Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lamont, Margaret M.; Houser, Chris

    2014-01-01

    As coastlines change due to sea level rise and an increasing human presence, understanding how species, such as marine turtles, respond to alterations in habitat is necessary for proper management and conservation. Survey data from a major nesting beach in the northern Gulf of Mexico, where a revetment was installed, was used to assess spatial distribution of loggerhead emergences. Through use of Quadrat analysis and piecewise linear regression with breakpoint, we present evidence to suggest that nest site selection in loggerheads is determined in the nearshore environment, and by characteristics such as wave height, alongshore currents, depth and patterns of erosion and accretion. Areas of relatively dense nesting were found in areas with relatively strong alongshore currents, relatively small waves, a steep offshore slope and the largest historical rates of erosion. Areas of relatively dense nesting also corresponded to areas of low nesting success. Both nesting and non-nesting emergences were clustered immediately adjacent to the revetment and at other eroding sites along the beach. These results suggest that alterations to the nearshore environment from activities such as construction of a jetty, dredging or installation of pilings, may impact sea turtle nest distribution alongshore. We also show that piecewise linear regression with breakpoint is a technique that can be used with geomorphological and oceanographic data to predict locations of nest clumping and may be useful for managers at other nesting beaches.

  5. Increased expression of Hsp70 and Hsp90 mRNA as biomarkers of thermal stress in loggerhead turtle embryos (Caretta Caretta).

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    The survival and viability of sea turtle embryos is dependent upon favourable nest temperatures throughout the incubation period. Consequently, future generations of sea turtles may be at risk from increasing nest temperatures due to climate change, but little is known about how embryos respond to heat stress. Heat shock genes are likely to be important in this process because they code for proteins that prevent cellular damage in response to environmental stressors. This study provides the first evidence of an expression response in the heat shock genes of embryos of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) exposed to realistic and near-lethal temperatures (34°C and 36°C) for 1 or 3 hours. We investigated changes in Heat shock protein 60 (Hsp60), Hsp70, and Hsp90 mRNA in heart (n=24) and brain tissue (n=29) in response to heat stress. Under the most extreme treatment (36°C, 3h), Hsp70 increased mRNA expression by a factor of 38.8 in heart tissue and 15.7 in brain tissue, while Hsp90 mRNA expression increased by a factor of 98.3 in heart tissue and 14.7 in brain tissue. Hence, both Hsp70 and Hsp90 are useful biomarkers for assessing heat stress in the late-stage embryos of sea turtles. The method we developed can be used as a platform for future studies on variation in the thermotolerance response from the clutch to population scale, and can help us anticipate the resilience of reptile embryos to extreme heating events.

  6. Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) egg yolk concentrations of persistent organic pollutants and lipid increase during the last stage of embryonic development.

    PubMed

    Alava, Juan José; Keller, Jennifer M; Kucklick, John R; Wyneken, Jeanette; Crowder, Larry; Scott, Geoffrey I

    2006-08-15

    Data are scarce describing the concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides in sea turtle eggs. The purpose of this study was to establish appropriate sample collection methodology to monitor these contaminants in sea turtle eggs. Contaminant concentrations were measured in yolk samples from eggs that failed to hatch from three loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) nests collected in southern Florida to determine if concentrations change through embryonic development. One to three egg yolk samples per nest were analyzed from early, middle, and late developmental stages (n=22 eggs total). PCB and pesticide concentrations were determined by gas chromatography with electron capture detection (GC-ECD). Geometric mean concentrations of summation operatorPCBs (52 congeners), summation operatorDDTs, summation operatorchlordanes, and dieldrin in all eggs were 65.0 (range=7.11 to 3930 ng/g lipid), 67.1 (range=7.88 to 1340 ng/g lipid), 37.0 (range=4.04 to 685 ng/g lipid), and 11.1 ng/g lipid (range=1.69 to 44.0 ng/g lipid), respectively. Early and middle developmental stage samples had similar concentrations of PCBs and organochlorine pesticides on a wet-mass basis (ng/g tissue extracted), but the concentrations doubled by the late stage. This increase is most likely attributable to the 50% increase in lipid content observed in the late-stage yolk. These findings indicate that an early-stage sample cannot be directly compared to a late-stage sample, especially from different nests. These preliminary findings also allowed us to calculate the minimum number of eggs per nest required for analysis to obtain an acceptable mean concentration per nest. More research is required to investigate geographical trends of contaminant concentrations and potential health effects (i.e., abnormalities) caused by these contaminants on sea turtle development.

  7. Occurrence of organochlorine contaminants (PCBs, PCDDs and PCDFs) and pathologic findings in loggerhead sea turtles, Caretta caretta, from the Adriatic Sea (Mediterranean Sea).

    PubMed

    Storelli, Maria M; Zizzo, Nicola

    2014-02-15

    Livers of 12 loggerhead sea turtles, Caretta caretta from the Eastern Mediterranean Sea (Adriatic Sea) were analyzed for the presence of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and dibenzofurans (PCDFs). Pathological and microbiological studies were also carried out in order to provide a contribution to the knowledge of causes of Mediterranean turtle death. Boat-strike injuries, entanglement in derelict fishing nets and ingestion of hooks and monofilament lines are the causes of death most frequently observed. PCBs (average: 1,399 ng g(-1) fat basis) were the dominant chemicals, followed by PCDFs (average: 61 pg g(-1) fat basic) and PCDDs (average: 16 pg g(-1) fat basis). Hexachlorobiphenyl 153 accounted for the greatest proportion of the total PCBs, followed in order by PCB 138 and PCB 180 (14.1%). Mid-chlorinated, penta-through hepta-PCBs were among the top contributors to the sum of total PCBs, while the homolog pattern of PCCD/Fs was dominated by the tetra- to hexa-substituted congeners. In general the contamination level observed here was comparable with that reported in literature for specimens from different marine areas. Average TEQPCDD/Fs+Dl-PCBs concentration was 27.02 pg g(-1) wet weight (305.1 pg g(-1) lipid weight), with dioxin like-PCBs (93.4%) contributing much more to the total than PCDFs (3.9%) and PCDDs (2.7%). The appreciable concentration of TEQ would at first suggest that there are signs of potential threats to the health of these marine reptiles. Apart from PCBs, this is the first study documenting concentrations of PCDD/Fs in marine turtles from the Mediterranean Sea. Further investigations are urgently needed to characterize their contamination level for a better future protection and conservation of this endangered animal. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Strong male-biased operational sex ratio in a breeding population of loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) inferred by paternal genotype reconstruction analysis

    PubMed Central

    Lasala, Jacob A; Harrison, J Scott; Williams, Kris L; Rostal, David C

    2013-01-01

    Characterization of a species mating systems is fundamental for understanding the natural history and evolution of that species. Polyandry can result in the multiple paternity of progeny arrays. The only previous study of the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) in the USA showed that within the large peninsular Florida subpopulation, multiple paternity occurs in approximately 30% of clutches. Our study tested clutches from the smaller northern subpopulation for the presence of multiple paternal contributions. We examined mothers and up to 20 offspring from 19.5% of clutches laid across three nesting seasons (2008–2010) on the small nesting beach on Wassaw Island, Georgia, USA. We found that 75% of clutches sampled had multiple fathers with an average of 2.65 fathers per nest (1–7 fathers found). The average number of fathers per clutch varied among years and increased with female size. There was no relationship between number of fathers and hatching success. Finally, we found 195 individual paternal genotypes and determined that each male contributed to no more than a single clutch over the 3-year sampling period. Together these results suggest that the operational sex ratio is male-biased at this site. PMID:24363901

  9. Identification of likely foraging habitat of pelagic loggerhead sea turtles ( Caretta caretta) in the North Atlantic through analysis of telemetry track sinuosity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCarthy, Abigail L.; Heppell, Selina; Royer, Francois; Freitas, Carla; Dellinger, Thomas

    2010-07-01

    Changes in the behavior of individual animals in response to environmental characteristics can provide important information about habitat preference, as well as the relative risk that animals may face based on the amount of time spent in hazardous areas. We analyzed movement and habitat affinities of ten loggerhead turtles ( Caretta caretta) tagged with satellite transmitters in the spring and fall of 1998 near Madeira, Portugal for periods of 2-10 months. We analyzed the behavior of these individuals in relation to the marine environment they occupied. As a measure of behavior we calculated the straightness index (SI), the ratio of the displacement of the animal to the total distance traveled, for individual weekly segments of the 10 tracks. We then extracted information about chlorophyll a concentration, sea-surface temperature (SST), bathymetry, and geostrophic current of the ocean in a 20-km buffer surrounding the tracks, and examined their relationship to the straightness index using generalized linear models. Chlorophyll a value, bathymetry and SST were significantly related to the straightness index of the tracks of all ten animals, as was the circular standard deviation of the geostrophic current (Wald’s test: p = 0.001, p = 0.008, p = 0.025, and p = 0.049, respectively). We found a significant negative relationship between straightness index and chlorophyll, and positive relationships with ocean depth and SST indicating that animals are spending more time and searching more thoroughly in areas with high chlorophyll concentrations and in areas that are shallower, while moving in straight paths through very warm areas. We also found a positive relationship between straightness index and the circular standard deviation of surrounding geostrophic currents suggesting that these turtles are more likely to move in a straight line when in the presence of diffuse, less-powerful currents. Based on these relationships, we propose that conservation planning to

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-08-09

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

  11. Humoral immune responses to select marine bacteria in loggerhead, Caretta caretta, and Kemp's ridley, Lepidochelys kempii, sea turtles from the south eastern United States.

    PubMed

    Rodgers, Maria L; Toline, Catherine A; Rice, Charles D

    2017-10-12

    Serum from Kemp's ridley and loggerhead sea turtles was collected in summers of 2011, 2012, and 2013. Serum IgY recognition of lysate proteins from nine bacteria species and whole bacteria-specific IgY titers to these pathogens were quantified. Serum and purified IgY recognized proteins of all bacteria, with protein recognition in some species more pronounced than others. Circulating IgY titers against V. vulnificus, V. anguillarum, E. rhusiopathiae, and B. vesicularis changed over the years in Kemp's ridley turtles, while titers IgY against V. vulnificus, E. coli, V. parahaemolyticus, B. vesicularis, and M. marinum were different in loggerhead turtles. Serum lysozyme activity was constant for loggerhead turtles over the 3 years, while activity in Kemp's ridleys were lower in 2012 than 2013. Blood PCV, glucose levels, and serum protein levels were comparable to healthy turtles in previous studies, therefore, this study provides baseline information on antibody responses in healthy, wild turtles. Received 25 May 2017 accepted 09 Oct 2017 revised 15 Sep 2017.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  14. Causes of Stranding and Mortality, and Final Disposition of Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Caretta caretta) Admitted to a Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Gran Canaria Island, Spain (1998-2014): A Long-Term Retrospective Study

    PubMed Central

    Orós, Jorge; Montesdeoca, Natalia; Camacho, María; Arencibia, Alberto; Calabuig, Pascual

    2016-01-01

    Aims The aims of this study were to analyze the causes of stranding of 1,860 loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) admitted at the Tafira Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Gran Canaria Island, Spain, from 1998 to 2014, and to analyze the outcomes of the rehabilitation process to allow meaningful auditing of its quality. Methods Primary causes of morbidity were classified into seven categories: entanglement in fishing gear and/or plastics, ingestion of hooks and monofilament lines, trauma, infectious disease, crude oil, other causes, and unknown/undetermined. Final dispositions were calculated as euthanasia (Er), unassisted mortality (Mr), and release (Rr) rates. Time to death (Td) for euthanized and dead turtles, and length of stay for released (Tr) turtles were evaluated. Results The most frequent causes of morbidity were entanglement in fishing gear and/or plastics (50.81%), unknown/undetermined (20.37%), and ingestion of hooks (11.88%). The final disposition of the 1,634 loggerhead turtles admitted alive were: Er = 3.37%, Mr = 10.34%, and Rr = 86.29%. Er was significantly higher in the trauma category (18.67%) compared to the other causes of admission. The highest Mr was observed for turtles admitted due to trauma (30.67%). The highest Rr was observed in the crude oil (93.87%) and entanglement (92.38%) categories. The median Tr ranged from 12 days (unknown) to 70 days (trauma). Conclusions This survey is the first large-scale epidemiological study on causes of stranding and mortality of Eastern Atlantic loggerheads and demonstrates that at least 71.72% of turtles stranded due to anthropogenic causes. The high Rr (86.29%) emphasizes the importance of marine rehabilitation centers for conservation purposes. The stratified analysis by causes of admission of the three final disposition rates, and the parameters Td and Tr should be included in the outcome research of the rehabilitation process of sea turtles in order to allow comparative studies between marine

  15. Causes of Stranding and Mortality, and Final Disposition of Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Caretta caretta) Admitted to a Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Gran Canaria Island, Spain (1998-2014): A Long-Term Retrospective Study.

    PubMed

    Orós, Jorge; Montesdeoca, Natalia; Camacho, María; Arencibia, Alberto; Calabuig, Pascual

    2016-01-01

    The aims of this study were to analyze the causes of stranding of 1,860 loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) admitted at the Tafira Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Gran Canaria Island, Spain, from 1998 to 2014, and to analyze the outcomes of the rehabilitation process to allow meaningful auditing of its quality. Primary causes of morbidity were classified into seven categories: entanglement in fishing gear and/or plastics, ingestion of hooks and monofilament lines, trauma, infectious disease, crude oil, other causes, and unknown/undetermined. Final dispositions were calculated as euthanasia (Er), unassisted mortality (Mr), and release (Rr) rates. Time to death (Td) for euthanized and dead turtles, and length of stay for released (Tr) turtles were evaluated. The most frequent causes of morbidity were entanglement in fishing gear and/or plastics (50.81%), unknown/undetermined (20.37%), and ingestion of hooks (11.88%). The final disposition of the 1,634 loggerhead turtles admitted alive were: Er = 3.37%, Mr = 10.34%, and Rr = 86.29%. Er was significantly higher in the trauma category (18.67%) compared to the other causes of admission. The highest Mr was observed for turtles admitted due to trauma (30.67%). The highest Rr was observed in the crude oil (93.87%) and entanglement (92.38%) categories. The median Tr ranged from 12 days (unknown) to 70 days (trauma). This survey is the first large-scale epidemiological study on causes of stranding and mortality of Eastern Atlantic loggerheads and demonstrates that at least 71.72% of turtles stranded due to anthropogenic causes. The high Rr (86.29%) emphasizes the importance of marine rehabilitation centers for conservation purposes. The stratified analysis by causes of admission of the three final disposition rates, and the parameters Td and Tr should be included in the outcome research of the rehabilitation process of sea turtles in order to allow comparative studies between marine rehabilitation centers around the world.

  16. The ontogenetic scaling of bite force and head size in loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta): implications for durophagy in neritic, benthic habitats.

    PubMed

    Marshall, Christopher D; Guzman, Alejandra; Narazaki, Tomoko; Sato, Katsufumi; Kane, Emily A; Sterba-Boatwright, Blair D

    2012-12-01

    Ontogenetic studies of vertebrate feeding performance can help address questions relevant to foraging ecology. Feeding morphology and performance can either limit access to food resources or open up new trophic niches in both aquatic and terrestrial systems. Loggerhead sea turtles are long-lived vertebrates with complex life histories that are marked by an ontogenetic shift from an oceanic habitat to a coastal neritic habitat, and a transition from soft oceanic prey to hard, benthic prey. Although considered durophagous and strong biters, bite performance has not been measured in loggerheads, nor has the ontogeny of bite performance been characterized. In the present study, we collected measurements of bite force in loggerhead turtles from hatchlings to adults. When subadults reach the body size at which the ontogenetic shift occurs, their crushing capability is great enough for them to consume numerous species of hard benthic prey of small sizes. As loggerheads mature and bite performance increases, larger and harder benthic prey become accessible. Loggerhead bite performance eventually surpasses the crushing capability of other durophagous carnivores, thereby potentially reducing competition for hard benthic prey. The increasing bite performance and accompanying changes in morphology of the head and jaws are likely an effective mechanism for resource partitioning and decreasing trophic competition. Simultaneous measurements of body and head size and the use of non-linear reduced major axis regression show that bite force increases with significant positive allometry relative to body size (straight carapace length, straight carapace width and mass) and head size (head width, height and length). Simple correlation showed that all recorded morphometrics were good predictors of measured bite performance, but an AICc-based weighted regression showed that body size (straight carapace width followed by straight carapace length and mass, respectively) were more likely

  17. Potential adverse effects of inorganic pollutants on clinical parameters of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta): results from a nesting colony from Cape Verde, West Africa.

    PubMed

    Camacho, M; Orós, J; Boada, L D; Zaccaroni, A; Silvi, M; Formigaro, C; López, P; Zumbado, M; Luzardo, O P

    2013-12-01

    A large number of nesting loggerhead sea turtles (n = 201) were sampled to establish the blood levels of 11 elements (Cu, Mn, Pb, Zn, Cd, Ni, Cr, As, Al, Hg, and Se). Almost all of the samples showed detectable levels of these 11 elements, and Zn and Se exhibited the highest concentrations (median values as high as 6.05 and 2.28 μg/g, respectively). The median concentrations of the most toxic compounds, As, Cd, Pb, and Hg, were relatively low (0.38, 0.24, 0.06, and 0.03 μg/g, respectively). We also determined the haematological and biochemical parameters in a subsample of 50 turtles to evaluate the potential effects of these contaminants on clinical parameters and found several associations. Our study reinforces the usefulness of blood for the monitoring of the levels of contaminating elements and their adverse effects on blood parameters in sea turtles.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. “Going with the Flow” or Not: Evidence of Positive Rheotaxis in Oceanic Juvenile Loggerhead Turtles (Caretta caretta) in the South Pacific Ocean Using Satellite Tags and Ocean Circulation Data

    PubMed Central

    Kobayashi, Donald R.; Farman, Richard; Polovina, Jeffrey J.; Parker, Denise M.; Rice, Marc; Balazs, George H.

    2014-01-01

    The movement of juvenile loggerhead turtles (n = 42) out-fitted with satellite tags and released in oceanic waters off New Caledonia was examined and compared with ocean circulation data. Merging of the daily turtle movement data with drifter buoy movements, OSCAR (Ocean Surface Current Analyses - Real time) circulation data, and three different vertical strata (0–5 m, 0–40 m, 0–100 m) of HYCOM (HYbrid Coordinate Ocean Model) circulation data indicated the turtles were swimming against the prevailing current in a statistically significant pattern. This was not an artifact of prevailing directions of current and swimming, nor was it an artifact of frictional slippage. Generalized additive modeling was used to decompose the pattern of swimming into spatial and temporal components. The findings are indicative of a positive rheotaxis whereby an organism is able to detect the current flow and orient itself to swim into the current flow direction or otherwise slow down its movement. Potential mechanisms for the means and adaptive significance of rheotaxis in oceanic juvenile loggerhead turtles are discussed. PMID:25098694

  20. "Going with the flow" or not: evidence of positive rheotaxis in oceanic juvenile loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) in the South Pacific Ocean Using Satellite Tags and Ocean Circulation Data.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Donald R; Farman, Richard; Polovina, Jeffrey J; Parker, Denise M; Rice, Marc; Balazs, George H

    2014-01-01

    The movement of juvenile loggerhead turtles (n = 42) out-fitted with satellite tags and released in oceanic waters off New Caledonia was examined and compared with ocean circulation data. Merging of the daily turtle movement data with drifter buoy movements, OSCAR (Ocean Surface Current Analyses--Real time) circulation data, and three different vertical strata (0-5 m, 0-40 m, 0-100 m) of HYCOM (HYbrid Coordinate Ocean Model) circulation data indicated the turtles were swimming against the prevailing current in a statistically significant pattern. This was not an artifact of prevailing directions of current and swimming, nor was it an artifact of frictional slippage. Generalized additive modeling was used to decompose the pattern of swimming into spatial and temporal components. The findings are indicative of a positive rheotaxis whereby an organism is able to detect the current flow and orient itself to swim into the current flow direction or otherwise slow down its movement. Potential mechanisms for the means and adaptive significance of rheotaxis in oceanic juvenile loggerhead turtles are discussed.

  1. The magnetic map of hatchling loggerhead sea turtles.

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-01

    Various yeasts and filamentous fungi are described as the cause of infection in sea turtles. Among them, Fusarium solani is responsible both for superficial and invasive infection in weakened adults (capture, stranding), and wild nest contamination, causing massive losses during hatching. We illustrate the pathogenicity of this fungus in sea turtles, through our experience with the species Caretta caretta (loggerhead turtle) and its reproduction, which was obtained for the first time in 2010 at the marine park Marineland, Antibes and renewed in 2011 and 2013. The first generation (6 viable newborns e.g. 0.9% of the nest) was severely affected by an infectious agent causing skin and multifocal organ lesions. Microbiological samples allowed to establish F. solani as the etiological agent. Antifungal therapy with posaconazole cured 2 (33%) of the brood. Epidemiological investigations, infection control and hygiene measures as well as diagnosis criteria, preemptive and curative treatment procedures allowed better prevention and cure and finally higher survival rates in subsequent broods, in 2011 and 2013 (80 viable newborns e.g. 6.6% of the nest and 50% survival rate). F. solani appears as a major threat for the successful reproduction of sea turtles in the wild. As observed, this threat is also of concern during captive breeding. The conditions of transmission and pathogenicity of Fusarium spp. in these animals are discussed in light of the literature cases that occurred in adult sea turtles and in wild nests, and of our breeding experience. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  6. De novo transcriptome assembly of loggerhead sea turtle nesting of the Colombian Caribbean.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Fernández, Javier; Pinzón, Andrés; Mariño-Ramírez, Leonardo

    2017-09-01

    Loggerhead sea turtle Caretta caretta is widely distributed in the oceans of tropical and subtropical latitude. This turtle is an endangered species due to anthropic and natural factors that have decreased their population levels. In this study, RNA sequencing and de-novo assembly of genes expressed in blood were performed. The raw FASTQ files have been deposited on NCBI's SRA database with accession number SRX2629512. A total of 5.4 Gb raw sequence data were obtained, corresponding to 48,257,019 raw reads. Trinity pipeline was used to perform a de-novo assembly, we were able to identify 64,930 transcripts for female loggerhead turtle transcriptome with an N50 of 1131 bp. The obtained transcriptome data will be useful for further studies of the physiology, biochemistry and evolution in this species.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-02-01

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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Stable isotopic comparison between loggerhead sea turtle tissues.

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-10

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

  14. 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.

  15. Impacts of plastic ingestion on post-hatchling loggerhead turtles off South Africa.

    PubMed

    Ryan, Peter G; Cole, Georgina; Spiby, Kevin; Nel, Ronel; Osborne, Alexis; Perold, Vonica

    2016-06-15

    Twenty-four of 40 (60%) loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta post-hatchlings (carapace<9cm) that died within 2months of stranding on southern Cape beaches in April 2015 contained ingested anthropogenic debris. Plastic comprised of 99% of debris: 77% hard plastic fragments, 10% flexible packaging and 8% fibres; industrial pellets comprised only 3%, compared to ~70% in 1968-1973, when 12% of stranded post-hatchlings contained plastics. Turtles selected for white (38%) and blue (19%) items, but translucent items (23%) were under-represented compared to beach mesodebris. Ingested loads did not decrease up to 52days in captivity, indicating long retention times. Plastic killed 11 turtles by blocking their digestive tracts or bladders, and contributed to the deaths of five other turtles. Our results indicate that the amount and diversity of plastic ingested by post-hatchling loggerhead turtles off South Africa have increased over the last four decades, and now kill some turtles. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1980-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kaska, Yakup; Ilgaz, Cetin; Ozdemir, Adem; Başkale, Eyüp; Türkozan, Oğuz; Baran, Ibrahim; Stachowitsch, Michael

    2006-07-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-12-31

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

  1. Loggerhead turtle eggshells as a source of maternal nuclear genomic DNA for population genetic studies.

    PubMed

    Shamblin, Brian M; Dodd, Mark G; Williams, Kristina L; Frick, Michael G; Bell, Rebecca; Nairn, Campbell J

    2011-01-01

    Tagging studies on nesting beaches are commonly used to estimate nesting frequency, remigration interval and nesting population size for marine turtle rookeries. Estimates of these demographic parameters from tagging projects may be biased because of the small scale of tagging efforts relative to female nest site fidelity and the logistical difficulty of intercepting all nesting females. Therefore, alternative and supplemental means of individual identification of nesting females are required. We demonstrate that maternal nuclear microsatellite DNA can be isolated from unincubated eggshells of the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) through comparison of DNA extracted from 59 eggs collected within 15 h of oviposition and DNA derived from skin samples from respective nesting females. Scorable microsatellite genotypes were produced in 897 of 994 (90.2%) single-locus egg amplifications attempted. Among eggs from known females, 730 of 748 (97.6%) single-locus, egg-derived genotypes matched the respective skin-derived genotypes. Allelic dropout was the most common type of error, followed by the presence of nonmaternal, presumably paternal, alleles. Genotypes derived from unincubated eggshells permit individual assignment of nests and therefore demographic parameter estimates for loggerhead turtle nesting populations, despite genotyping errors that require further optimization. Although sampling unincubated eggs is destructive, this technique is noninvasive to nesting females and is applicable in marine turtle population genetics studies when individual resolution is required but direct interception of nesting females is undesirable or logistically infeasible.

  2. Growth dynamics of juvenile loggerhead sea turtles undergoing an ontogenetic habitat shift.

    PubMed

    Ramirez, Matthew D; Avens, Larisa; Seminoff, Jeffrey A; Goshe, Lisa R; Heppell, Selina S

    2017-04-01

    Ontogenetic niche theory predicts that individuals may undergo one or more changes in habitat or diet throughout their lifetime to maintain optimal growth rates, or to optimize trade-offs between mortality risk and growth. We combine skeletochronological and stable nitrogen isotope (δ(15)N) analyses of sea turtle humeri (n = 61) to characterize the growth dynamics of juvenile loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) during an oceanic-to-neritic ontogenetic shift. The primary objective of this study was to determine how ontogenetic niche theory extends to sea turtles, and to individuals with different patterns of resource use (discrete shifters, n = 23; facultative shifters n = 14; non-shifters, n = 24). Mean growth rates peaked at the start of the ontogenetic shift (based on change in δ(15)N values), but returned to pre-shift levels within 2 years. Turtles generally only experienced 1 year of relatively high growth, but the timing of peak growth relative to the start of an ontogenetic shift varied among individuals (before, n = 14; during, n = 12; after, n = 8). Furthermore, no reduction in growth preceded the transition, as is predicted by ontogenetic niche theory. Annual growth rates were similar between non-transitioning turtles resident in oceanic and neritic habitats and turtles displaying alternative patterns of resource use. These results suggest that factors other than maximization of size-specific growth may more strongly influence the timing of ontogenetic shifts in loggerhead sea turtles, and that alternative patterns of resource use may have limited influence on somatic growth and age at maturation in this species.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1995-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

  6. 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. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-02-01

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

  8. Inter-nesting habitat-use patterns of loggerhead sea turtles: Enhancing satellite tracking with benthic mapping

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

    The loggerhead sea turtle Caretta caretta faces declining nest numbers and bycatches from commercial longline fishing in the southeastern USA. Understanding spatial and temporal habitat-use patterns of these turtles, especially reproductive females in the neritic zone, is critical for guiding management decisions. To assess marine turtle habitat use within the Dry Tortugas National Park (DRTO), we used satellite telemetry to identify core-use areas for 7 loggerhead females inter-nesting and tracked in 2008 and 2009. This effort represents the first tracking of DRTO loggerheads, a distinct subpopulation that is 1 of 7 recently proposed for upgrading from threatened to endangered under the US Endangered Species Act. We also used a rapid, high-resolution, digital imaging system to map benthic habitats in turtle core-use areas (i.e. 50% kernel density zones). Loggerhead females were seasonal residents of DRTO for 19 to 51 d, and individual inter-nesting habitats were located within 1.9 km (2008) and 2.3 km (2009) of the nesting beach and tagging site. The core area common to all tagged turtles was 4.2 km2 in size and spanned a depth range of 7.6 to 11.5 m. Mapping results revealed the diversity and distributions of benthic cover available in the core-use area, as well as a heavily used corridor to/from the nesting beach. This combined tagging-mapping approach shows potential for planning and improving the effectiveness of marine protected areas and for developing spatially explicit conservation plans.

  9. 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.

  10. A mechanism that maintains alternative life histories in a loggerhead sea turtle population.

    PubMed

    Hatase, Hideo; Omuta, Kazuyoshi; Tsukamoto, Katsumi

    2013-11-01

    Intrapopulation variation in habitat use is commonly seen among mobile animals, yet the mechanisms maintaining it have rarely been researched among untrackable species. To investigate how alternative life histories are maintained in a population of the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), cumulative reproductive output was evaluated and compared between small planktivores inhabiting oceanic areas (with water depths > 200 m) and large benthivores inhabiting neritic areas (depths < 200 m) that sympatrically nested at Yakushima Island, Japan, from 1986 to 2011. In total, 362 nesting females sampled in three different years were classified into the two foraging groups based on stable isotope ratios in egg yolks. There were significant differences between the two foraging groups in most recorded life history parameters (clutch size, clutch frequency, breeding frequency, and remigration intervals), with the exception of emergence success. We did not find evidence of life history trade-offs, nor age-related changes in fecundity. Over the 26-year study period, we calculated a 2.4-fold greater reproductive output for neritic foragers than for oceanic ones, accounting for breeding and clutch frequency. Temporal consistencies in stable isotope ratios and remigration intervals within females suggested that female Japanese loggerheads show fidelity to respective foraging habitats throughout the adult stage. The large difference in productivity between the two groups was unlikely to be offset by the difference in survival during the period from aboveground emergence to first reproduction, suggesting that oceanic foragers have a lower level of fitness than neritic ones. Together with an absence of genetic structure between foraging groups, we infer that alternative life histories in a loggerhead turtle population are maintained by a conditional strategy.

  11. The Maternal Legacy: Female Identity Predicts Offspring Sex Ratio in the Loggerhead Sea Turtle

    PubMed Central

    Reneker, Jaymie L.; Kamel, Stephanie J.

    2016-01-01

    In organisms with temperature-dependent sex determination, the incubation environment plays a key role in determining offspring sex ratios. Given that global temperatures have warmed approximately 0.6 °C in the last century, it is necessary to consider how organisms will adjust to climate change. To better understand the degree to which mothers influence the sex ratios of their offspring, we use 24 years of nesting data for individual female loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) observed on Bald Head Island, North Carolina. We find that maternal identity is the best predictor of nest sex ratio in univariate and multivariate predictive models. We find significant variability in estimated nest sex ratios among mothers, but a high degree of consistency within mothers, despite substantial spatial and temporal thermal variation. Our results suggest that individual differences in nesting preferences are the main driver behind divergences in nest sex ratios. As such, a female’s ability to plastically adjust her nest sex ratios in response to environmental conditions is constrained, potentially limiting how individuals behaviorally mitigate the effects of environmental change. Given that many loggerhead populations already show female-biased offspring sex ratios, understanding maternal behavioral responses is critical for predicting the future of long-lived species vulnerable to extinction. PMID:27363786

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Keller, Jennifer M

    2013-04-01

    Reptile and bird eggs are priority samples for specimen banking programs that assess spatial and temporal trends of environmental contaminants. From endangered species, such as sea turtles, nonlethal sampling is required (e.g., unhatched eggs collected postemergence). Previous contaminant monitoring studies have used unhatched sea turtle eggs, but no study has tested whether their concentrations represent levels found in fresh eggs (e.g., eggs collected within 24 h of oviposition). The author analyzed three fresh eggs from different nest depths and up to three unhatched eggs from 10 loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) nests in South Carolina, USA, for a suite of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Lipid-normalized POP concentrations were not significantly different (p > 0.05) between fresh and unhatched eggs or among different depths from the same nest. The POP concentrations in loggerhead eggs from South Carolina were higher than previously measured concentrations in eggs from Florida and slightly lower than concentrations in eggs from North Carolina. This pattern agrees with previously observed trends of increasing POP concentrations in loggerhead turtles inhabiting northern latitudes along the U.S. East Coast. Contaminant profiles are discussed, including a higher chlorinated pattern of polychlorinated biphenyls possibly associated with a Superfund site in nearby Brunswick, Georgia, USA, and unusual polybrominated diphenylether patterns seen in this and previous sea turtle studies. Concentrations correlated with one of eight measurements of reproductive success; levels were negatively correlated with egg mass (p < 0.05), which may have implications for hatchling fitness. The present study suggests that unhatched eggs can be used for POP-monitoring projects.

  14. Decreasing annual nest counts in a globally important loggerhead sea turtle population.

    PubMed

    Witherington, Blair; Kubilis, Paul; Brost, Beth; Meylan, Anne

    2009-01-01

    The loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) nests on sand beaches, has both oceanic and neritic life stages, and migrates internationally. We analyzed an 18-year time series of Index Nesting Beach Survey (Index) nest-count data to describe spatial and temporal trends in loggerhead nesting on Florida (USA) beaches. The Index data were highly resolved: 368 fixed zones (mean length 0.88 km) were surveyed daily during annual 109-day survey seasons. Spatial and seasonal coverage averaged 69% of estimated total nesting by loggerheads in the state. We carried out trend analyses on both annual survey-region nest-count totals (N = 18) and annual zone-level nest densities (N = 18 x 368 = 6624). In both analyses, negative binomial regression models were used to fit restricted cubic spline curves to aggregated nest counts. Between 1989 and 2006, loggerhead nest counts on Florida Index beaches increased and then declined, with a net decrease over the 18-year period. This pattern was evident in both a trend model of annual survey-region nest-count totals and a mixed-effect, "single-region" trend model of annual zone-level nest densities that took into account both spatial and temporal correlation between counts. We also saw this pattern in a zone-level model that allowed trend line shapes to vary between six coastal subregions. Annual mean zone-level nest density declined significantly (-28%; 95% CI: -34% to -21%) between 1989 and 2006 and declined steeply (-43%; 95% CI: -48% to -39%) during 1998-2006. Rates of change in annual mean nest density varied more between coastal subregions during the "mostly increasing" period prior to 1998 than during the "steeply declining" period after 1998. The excellent fits (observed vs. expected count R2 > 0.91) of the mixed-effect zone-level models confirmed the presence of strong, positive, within-zone autocorrelation (R > 0.93) between annual counts, indicating a remarkable year-to-year consistency in the longshore spatial distribution of

  15. Movements and habitat-use of loggerhead sea turtles in the northern Gulf of Mexico during the reproductive period.

    PubMed

    Hart, Kristen M; Lamont, Margaret M; Sartain, Autumn R; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Stephens, Brail S

    2013-01-01

    Nesting strategies and use of important in-water habitats for far-ranging marine turtles can be determined using satellite telemetry. Because of a lack of information on habitat-use by marine turtles in the northern Gulf of Mexico, we used satellite transmitters in 2010 through 2012 to track movements of 39 adult female breeding loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) tagged on nesting beaches at three sites in Florida and Alabama. During the nesting season, recaptured turtles emerged to nest 1 to 5 times, with mean distance between emergences of 27.5 km; however, several turtles nested on beaches separated by ~250 km within a single season. Mean total distances traveled throughout inter-nesting periods for all turtles was 1422.0 ± 930.8 km. In-water inter-nesting sites, delineated using 50% kernel density estimation (KDE), were located a mean distance of 33.0 km from land, in water with mean depth of -31.6 m; other in-water inter-nesting sites, delineated using minimum convex polygon (MCP) approach, were located a mean 13.8 km from land and in water with a mean depth of -15.8 m. Mean size of in-water inter-nesting habitats were 61.9 km(2) (50% KDEs, n = 10) and 741.4 km(2) (MCPs, n = 30); these areas overlapped significantly with trawling and oil and gas extraction activities. Abundance estimates for this nesting subpopulation may be inaccurate in light of how much spread there is between nests of the same individual. Further, our results also have consequences for critical habitat designations for northern Gulf loggerheads, as protection of one nesting beach would not encompass the entire range used by turtles during breeding seasons.

  16. Movements and habitat-use of loggerhead sea turtles in the northern Gulf of Mexico during the reproductive period

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hart, Kristen M.; Lamont, Margaret M.; Sartain-Iverson, Autumn R.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Stephens, Brail S.

    2013-01-01

    Nesting strategies and use of important in-water habitats for far-ranging marine turtles can be determined using satellite telemetry. Because of a lack of information on habitat-use by marine turtles in the northern Gulf of Mexico, we used satellite transmitters in 2010 through 2012 to track movements of 39 adult female breeding loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) tagged on nesting beaches at three sites in Florida and Alabama. During the nesting season, recaptured turtles emerged to nest 1 to 5 times, with mean distance between emergences of 27.5 km; however, several turtles nested on beaches separated by ~250 km within a single season. Mean total distances traveled throughout inter-nesting periods for all turtles was 1422.0±930.8 km. In-water inter-nesting sites, delineated using 50% kernel density estimation (KDE), were located a mean distance of 33.0 km from land, in water with mean depth of −31.6 m; other in-water inter-nesting sites, delineated using minimum convex polygon (MCP) approach, were located a mean 13.8 km from land and in water with a mean depth of −15.8 m. Mean size of in-water inter-nesting habitats were 61.9 km2 (50% KDEs, n = 10) and 741.4 km2 (MCPs, n = 30); these areas overlapped significantly with trawling and oil and gas extraction activities. Abundance estimates for this nesting subpopulation may be inaccurate in light of how much spread there is between nests of the same individual. Further, our results also have consequences for critical habitat designations for northern Gulf loggerheads, as protection of one nesting beach would not encompass the entire range used by turtles during breeding seasons.

  17. Movements and Habitat-Use of Loggerhead Sea Turtles in the Northern Gulf of Mexico during the Reproductive Period

    PubMed Central

    Hart, Kristen M.; Lamont, Margaret M.; Sartain, Autumn R.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Stephens, Brail S.

    2013-01-01

    Nesting strategies and use of important in-water habitats for far-ranging marine turtles can be determined using satellite telemetry. Because of a lack of information on habitat-use by marine turtles in the northern Gulf of Mexico, we used satellite transmitters in 2010 through 2012 to track movements of 39 adult female breeding loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) tagged on nesting beaches at three sites in Florida and Alabama. During the nesting season, recaptured turtles emerged to nest 1 to 5 times, with mean distance between emergences of 27.5 km; however, several turtles nested on beaches separated by ∼250 km within a single season. Mean total distances traveled throughout inter-nesting periods for all turtles was 1422.0±930.8 km. In-water inter-nesting sites, delineated using 50% kernel density estimation (KDE), were located a mean distance of 33.0 km from land, in water with mean depth of −31.6 m; other in-water inter-nesting sites, delineated using minimum convex polygon (MCP) approach, were located a mean 13.8 km from land and in water with a mean depth of −15.8 m. Mean size of in-water inter-nesting habitats were 61.9 km2 (50% KDEs, n = 10) and 741.4 km2 (MCPs, n = 30); these areas overlapped significantly with trawling and oil and gas extraction activities. Abundance estimates for this nesting subpopulation may be inaccurate in light of how much spread there is between nests of the same individual. Further, our results also have consequences for critical habitat designations for northern Gulf loggerheads, as protection of one nesting beach would not encompass the entire range used by turtles during breeding seasons. PMID:23843971

  18. The Impact of Turtle Excluder Devices and Fisheries Closures on Loggerhead and Kemp's Ridley Strandings in the Western Gulf of Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lewison, R.L.; Crowder, L.B.; Shaver, D.J.

    2003-01-01

    The Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network has been monitoring turtle strandings for more than 20 years in the United States. High numbers of strandings in the early to mid-1980s prompted regulations to require turtle excluder devices (TEDs) on shrimping vessels (trawlers). Following year-round TED implementation in 1991, however, stranding levels in the Gulf of Mexico increased. We evaluated the efficacy of TEDs and other management actions (e.g., fisheries closures) on loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) turtle populations by analyzing a long-term, stranding data set from the western Gulf of Mexico. Our analyses suggest that both sea turtle population growth and shrimping activity have contributed to the observed increase in strandings. Compliance with regulations requiring turtle excluder devices was a significant factor in accounting for annual stranding variability: low compliance was correlated with high levels of strandings. Our projections suggest that improved compliance with TED regulations will reduce strandings to levels that, in conjunction with other protective measures, should promote population recoveries for loggerhead and Kemp's ridley turtles. Local, seasonal fisheries closures, concurrent with TED enforcement, could reduce strandings to even lower levels. A seasonal closure adjacent to a recently established Kemp's ridley nesting beach may also reduce mortality of nesting adults and thus promote long-term population persistence by fostering the establishment of a robust secondary nesting site.

  19. 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

  20. 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. © 2015 The Author(s).

  1. Past primary sex-ratio estimates of 4 populations of Loggerhead sea turtle based on TSP durations.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monsinjon, Jonathan; Kaska, Yakup; Tucker, Tony; LeBlanc, Anne Marie; Williams, Kristina; Rostal, David; Girondot, Marc

    2016-04-01

    Ectothermic species are supposed to be strongly affected by climate change and particularly those that exhibit temperature-dependent sex-determination (TSD). Actually, predicting the embryonic response of such organism to incubation-temperature variations in natural conditions remains challenging. In order to assess the vulnerability of sea turtles, primary sex-ratio estimates should be produced at pertinent ecological time and spatial scales. Although information on this important demographic parameter is one of the priorities for conservation purpose, accurate methodology to produce such an estimate is still lacking. The most commonly used method invocates incubation duration as a proxy for sex-ratio. This method is inappropriate because temperature influences incubation duration during all development whereas sex is influenced by temperature during only part of development. The thermosensitive period of development for sex determination (TSP) lies in the middle third of development. A model of embryonic growth must be used to define precisely the position of the TSP at non-constant incubation temperatures. The thermal reaction norm for embryonic growth rate have been estimated for 4 distinct populations of the globally distributed and threatened marine turtle Caretta caretta. A thermal reaction norm describes the pattern of phenotypic expression of a single genotype across a range of temperatures. Moreover, incubation temperatures have been reconstructed for the last 35 years using a multi-correlative model with climate temperature. After development of embryos have been modelled, we estimated the primary sex-ratio based on the duration of the TSP. Our results suggests that Loggerhead sea turtles nesting phenology is linked with the period within which both sexes can be produced in variable proportions. Several hypotheses will be discussed to explain why Caretta caretta could be more resilient to climate change than generally thought for sex determination.

  2. Associations between Organochlorine Contaminant Concentrations and Clinical Health Parameters in Loggerhead Sea Turtles from North Carolina, USA

    PubMed Central

    Keller, Jennifer M.; Kucklick, John R.; Stamper, M. Andrew; Harms, Craig A.; McClellan-Green, Patricia D.

    2004-01-01

    Widespread and persistent organochlorine (OC) contaminants, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and pesticides, are known to have broad-ranging toxicities in wildlife. In this study we investigated, for the first time, their possible health effects on loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta). Nonlethal fat biopsies and blood samples were collected from live turtles for OC contaminant analysis, and concentrations were compared with clinical health assessment data, including hematology, plasma chemistry, and body condition. Concentrations of total PCBs (∑PCBs), ∑DDTs, ∑chlordanes, dieldrin, and mirex were determined in 44 fat biopsies and 48 blood samples. Blood concentrations of ∑chlordanes were negatively correlated with red blood cell counts, hemoglobin, and hematocrit, indicative of anemia. Positive correlations were observed between most classes of OC contaminants and white blood cell counts and between mirex and ∑TCDD-like PCB concentrations and the heterophil:lymphocyte ratio, suggesting modulation of the immune system. All classes of OCs in the blood except dieldrin were correlated positively with aspartate aminotransferase (AST) activity, indicating possible hepatocellular damage. Mirex and ∑TCDD-like PCB blood concentrations were negatively correlated with alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity. Significant correlations to levels of certain OC contaminant classes also suggested possible alteration of protein (↑blood urea nitrogen, ↓albumin:globulin ratio), carbohydrate (↓glucose), and ion (↑sodium, ↓magnesium) regulation. These correlations suggest that OC contaminants may be affecting the health of loggerhead sea turtles even though sea turtles accumulate lower concentrations of OCs compared with other wildlife. PMID:15238280

  3. [Lymphocyte culture and partial karyotype of the marine turtle Caretta caretta (Testudines: Cheloniidae) in Santa Marta, Colombian Caribbean].

    PubMed

    López, Ellie Ann; Hernández-Fernández, Javier; Bernal-Villegas, Jaime

    2008-09-01

    Over the past few years an important reduction in the number of nesting marine turtle Caretta caretta individuals has been registered in the Colombian Caribbean, raising the question of a possible extinction in the medium-term. A conservation plan is needed. We studied the culture requirements for C. caretta lymphocytes and preliminary karyotype analysis for cytogenetic identification, immunological study and toxicology without the need to kill individuals. Peripheral blood samples were obtained from 47 individuals in Santa Marta, Colombia and tests were made until optimal conditions were established for lymphocyte culture. The karyotype had 56 chromosomes, 32 macrochromosomes and 24 micro-chromosomes. An ideogram showed that C. caretta has four groups of chromosomes. Sexual chromosomes were not observed. These results do not coincide with the karyotype described from the Pacific (Japan). The present study is the first to include a complete description of the chromosome morphology of turtles from the Atlantic Ocean. It is possible that one of the adaptive strategies of this species is genetic interchange with other species of the family, producing viable hybrids. Individuals in this study might be viable hybrids of C. caretta and further molecular studies are needed.

  4. Perception of dimethyl sulfide (DMS) by loggerhead sea turtles: a possible mechanism for locating high-productivity oceanic regions for foraging.

    PubMed

    Endres, Courtney S; Lohmann, Kenneth J

    2012-10-15

    During their long-distance migrations, sea turtles of several species feed on jellyfish and other invertebrates that are particularly abundant in ocean regions characterized by high productivity. An ability to distinguish productive oceanic regions from other areas, and to concentrate foraging activities in locations where prey density is highest, might therefore be adaptive. The volatile compound dimethyl sulfide (DMS) accumulates in the air above productive ocean areas such as upwelling and frontal zones. In principle, DMS might therefore serve as an indicator of high prey density for turtles. To determine whether turtles perceive DMS, juvenile loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) were placed into a water-filled arena in which DMS and other odorants could be introduced to the air above the water surface. Turtles exposed to air that had passed over a cup containing 10 nmol l(-1) DMS spent more time at the surface with their noses out of the water than control turtles, which were exposed to air that had passed over a cup containing distilled water. Odors that do not occur in the sea (cinnamon, jasmine and lemon) did not elicit increased surface time, implying that the response to DMS is unlikely to reflect a generalized response to any novel odor. The results demonstrate for the first time that sea turtles can detect DMS, an ability that might enable the identification of favorable foraging areas.

  5. a Continual Engagement Approach Through Gis-Mcda Conflict Resolution of Loggerhead Sea Turtle Bycatch in Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bojórquez-Tapia, L. A.

    2015-12-01

    Continual engagement is an approach that emphasizes of uninterrupted interaction with the stakeholders with the purpose of fully integrating their knowledge into policymaking process. It focuses on the creation of hybrid scientific-local knowledge highly relevant to community and policy makers needs, while balancing the power asymmetries among stakeholders. Hence, it presupposes a capacity for a continuous revision and adjustment of the analyses that support the policymaking process. While continual engagement implies a capacity for enabling an effective communication, translation and mediation of knowledge among the diverse stakeholders, experts and policymakers, it also means keeping a close eye out for how knowledge evolves and how new data and information is introduced along a policymaking process. Through a case study, the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) fishing bycatch in Mexico, a geographical information system-multicriteria modeling (GIS-MCDA) approach is presented to address the challenges of implementing continual engagement in conflict resolution processes. The GIS-MCDA combined the analytical hierarchy process (AHP) and compromise programming (CP) to generate consensus regarding the spatial pattern of conflicts. The AHP was fundamental for synthesizing the different sources of knowledge into a geospatial model. In particular, the AHP enabled the assess the salience, legitimacy, and credibility of the information produced for all involved. Results enabled the development of specific policies based upon an assessment of the risk of the loggerhead population to different levels of fishing bycatch, and the needs of the fishing communities in the region.

  6. 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.

  7. Historical versus Contemporary Climate Forcing on the Annual Nesting Variability of Loggerhead Sea Turtles in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean

    PubMed Central

    Arendt, Michael D.; Schwenter, Jeffrey A.; Witherington, Blair E.; Meylan, Anne B.; Saba, Vincent S.

    2013-01-01

    A recent analysis suggested that historical climate forcing on the oceanic habitat of neonate sea turtles explained two-thirds of interannual variability in contemporary loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtle nest counts in Florida, where nearly 90% of all nesting by this species in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean occurs. Here, we show that associations between annual nest counts and climate conditions decades prior to nest counts and those conditions one year prior to nest counts were not significantly different. Examination of annual nest count and climate data revealed that statistical artifacts influenced the reported 31-year lag association with nest counts. The projected importance of age 31 neophytes to annual nest counts between 2020 and 2043 was modeled using observed nest counts between 1989 and 2012. Assuming consistent survival rates among cohorts for a 5% population growth trajectory and that one third of the mature female population nests annually, the 41% decline in annual nest counts observed during 1998–2007 was not projected for 2029–2038. This finding suggests that annual nest count trends are more influenced by remigrants than neophytes. Projections under the 5% population growth scenario also suggest that the Peninsular Recovery Unit could attain the demographic recovery criteria of 106,100 annual nests by 2027 if nest counts in 2019 are at least comparable to 2012. Because the first year of life represents only 4% of the time elapsed through age 31, cumulative survival at sea across decades explains most cohort variability, and thus, remigrant population size. Pursuant to the U.S. Endangered Species Act, staggered implementation of protection measures for all loggerhead life stages has taken place since the 1970s. We suggest that the 1998–2007 nesting decline represented a lagged perturbation response to historical anthropogenic impacts, and that subsequent nest count increases since 2008 reflect a potential recovery response. PMID

  8. Historical versus contemporary climate forcing on the annual nesting variability of loggerhead sea turtles in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean.

    PubMed

    Arendt, Michael D; Schwenter, Jeffrey A; Witherington, Blair E; Meylan, Anne B; Saba, Vincent S

    2013-01-01

    A recent analysis suggested that historical climate forcing on the oceanic habitat of neonate sea turtles explained two-thirds of interannual variability in contemporary loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtle nest counts in Florida, where nearly 90% of all nesting by this species in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean occurs. Here, we show that associations between annual nest counts and climate conditions decades prior to nest counts and those conditions one year prior to nest counts were not significantly different. Examination of annual nest count and climate data revealed that statistical artifacts influenced the reported 31-year lag association with nest counts. The projected importance of age 31 neophytes to annual nest counts between 2020 and 2043 was modeled using observed nest counts between 1989 and 2012. Assuming consistent survival rates among cohorts for a 5% population growth trajectory and that one third of the mature female population nests annually, the 41% decline in annual nest counts observed during 1998-2007 was not projected for 2029-2038. This finding suggests that annual nest count trends are more influenced by remigrants than neophytes. Projections under the 5% population growth scenario also suggest that the Peninsular Recovery Unit could attain the demographic recovery criteria of 106,100 annual nests by 2027 if nest counts in 2019 are at least comparable to 2012. Because the first year of life represents only 4% of the time elapsed through age 31, cumulative survival at sea across decades explains most cohort variability, and thus, remigrant population size. Pursuant to the U.S. Endangered Species Act, staggered implementation of protection measures for all loggerhead life stages has taken place since the 1970s. We suggest that the 1998-2007 nesting decline represented a lagged perturbation response to historical anthropogenic impacts, and that subsequent nest count increases since 2008 reflect a potential recovery response.

  9. Sex ratio estimations of loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings at Kuriat islands, Tunisia: can minor nesting sites contribute to compensate globally female-biased sex ratio?

    PubMed

    Jribi, Imed; Bradai, Mohamed Nejmeddine

    2014-01-01

    Hatchling sex ratios in the loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta were estimated by placing electronic temperature recorders in seven nests at Kuriat islands (Tunisia) during the 2013 nesting season. Based on the mean temperatures during the middle third of the incubation period, and on incubation duration, the sex ratio of hatchlings at Kuriat islands was highly male-biased. Presently, the majority of hatchling sex ratio studies are focused on major nesting areas, whereby the sex ratios are universally believed to be heavily female-biased. Here we present findings from a minor nesting site in the Mediterranean, where the hatchling sex ratio was found to be male-biased, suggesting a potential difference between major and minor nesting sites.

  10. Small-Scale Fisheries Bycatch Jeopardizes Endangered Pacific Loggerhead Turtles

    PubMed Central

    Peckham, S. Hoyt; Diaz, David Maldonado; Walli, Andreas; Ruiz, Georgita; Crowder, Larry B.; Nichols, Wallace J.

    2007-01-01

    Background Although bycatch of industrial-scale fisheries can cause declines in migratory megafauna including seabirds, marine mammals, and sea turtles, the impacts of small-scale fisheries have been largely overlooked. Small-scale fisheries occur in coastal waters worldwide, employing over 99% of the world's 51 million fishers. New telemetry data reveal that migratory megafauna frequent coastal habitats well within the range of small-scale fisheries, potentially producing high bycatch. These fisheries occur primarily in developing nations, and their documentation and management are limited or non-existent, precluding evaluation of their impacts on non-target megafauna. Principal Findings/Methodology 30 North Pacific loggerhead turtles that we satellite-tracked from 1996–2005 ranged oceanwide, but juveniles spent 70% of their time at a high use area coincident with small-scale fisheries in Baja California Sur, Mexico (BCS). We assessed loggerhead bycatch mortality in this area by partnering with local fishers to 1) observe two small-scale fleets that operated closest to the high use area and 2) through shoreline surveys for discarded carcasses. Minimum annual bycatch mortality in just these two fleets at the high use area exceeded 1000 loggerheads year−1, rivaling that of oceanwide industrial-scale fisheries, and threatening the persistence of this critically endangered population. As a result of fisher participation in this study and a bycatch awareness campaign, a consortium of local fishers and other citizens are working to eliminate their bycatch and to establish a national loggerhead refuge. Conclusions/Significance Because of the overlap of ubiquitous small-scale fisheries with newly documented high-use areas in coastal waters worldwide, our case study suggests that small-scale fisheries may be among the greatest current threats to non-target megafauna. Future research is urgently needed to quantify small-scale fisheries bycatch worldwide. Localizing

  11. Use of a two-step Percoll gradient for separation of loggerhead sea turtle peripheral blood mononuclear cells.

    PubMed

    Harms, C A; Keller, J M; Kennedy-Stoskopf, S

    2000-07-01

    In order to determine a suitable procedure for isolating peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta), blood was collected using three different anticoagulants (sodium heparin, sodium citrate or potassium EDTA) and separated using a single step commercially-prepared arabinogalactan gradient of 1.077 g/ml density or multiple step Percoll gradients between 1.053 and 1.076 g/ml density (40-60% stock isotonic Percoll suspension). Heparinized blood centrifuged over a two-step 45/55% (1.059/1.070 g/ml) Percoll gradient yielded 99 to 100% mononuclear cells at the 45/55% interface. Mononuclear cell viability ranged from 85 to 97% with cell yields up to 9.2 x 10(6) cells/mL. An unexpected finding was a population of low density granulocytes migrating to 40% (1.053 g/ml) and 45% Percoll layers in the multiple step gradients. These granulocytes could be eliminated from the PBMC preparation by use of the two-step 45/55% Percoll gradient. Isolated PBMCs can be used for cellular immunology and toxicology studies on these threatened marine organisms for which other tissues can usually be obtained only sporadically from post-mortem specimens.

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-10-12

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

  13. Plasma levels of pollutants are much higher in loggerhead turtle populations from the Adriatic Sea than in those from open waters (Eastern Atlantic Ocean).

    PubMed

    Bucchia, Matteo; Camacho, María; Santos, Marcelo R D; Boada, Luis D; Roncada, Paola; Mateo, Rafael; Ortiz-Santaliestra, Manuel E; Rodríguez-Estival, Jaime; Zumbado, Manuel; Orós, Jorge; Henríquez-Hernández, Luis A; García-Álvarez, Natalia; Luzardo, Octavio P

    2015-08-01

    In this paper we determined the levels of 63 environmental contaminants, including organic (PCBs, organochlorine pesticides, and PAHs) and inorganic (As, Cd, Cu, Pb, Hg and Zn) compounds in the blood of loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) from two comparable populations that inhabit distinct geographic areas: the Adriatic Sea (Mediterranean basin) and the Canary Islands (Eastern Atlantic Ocean). All animals were sampled at the end of a period of rehabilitation in centers of wildlife recovery, before being released back into the wild, so they can be considered to be in good health condition. The dual purpose of this paper is to provide reliable data on the current levels of contamination of this species in these geographic areas, and secondly to compare the results of both populations, as it has been reported that marine biota inhabiting the Mediterranean basin is exposed to much higher pollution levels than that which inhabit in other areas of the planet. According to our results it is found that current levels of contamination by organic compounds are considerably higher in Adriatic turtles than in the Atlantic ones (∑PCBs, 28.45 vs. 1.12ng/ml; ∑OCPs, 1.63 vs. 0.19ng/ml; ∑PAHs, 13.39 vs. 4.91ng/ml; p<0.001 in all cases). This is the first time that levels of PAHs are reported in the Adriatic loggerheads. With respect to inorganic contaminants, although the differences were not as great, the Adriatic turtles appear to have higher levels of some of the most toxic elements such as mercury (5.74 vs. 7.59μg/ml, p<0.01). The results of this study confirm that the concentrations are larger in turtles from the Mediterranean, probably related to the high degree of anthropogenic pressure in this basin, and thus they are more likely to suffer adverse effects related to contaminants.

  14. 77 FR 75999 - 2013 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle Observer Requirement

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-12-26

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

  15. 75 FR 81201 - 2011 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle Observer Requirement

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-12-27

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-07-22

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-22

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

  19. Light pollution affects nesting behavior of loggerhead turtles and predation risk of nests and hatchlings.

    PubMed

    Silva, Elton; Marco, Adolfo; da Graça, Jesemine; Pérez, Héctor; Abella, Elena; Patino-Martinez, Juan; Martins, Samir; Almeida, Corrine

    2017-08-01

    The introduction of artificial light into wildlife habitats is a rapidly expanding aspect of global change, which has many negative impacts on a wide range of taxa. In this experimental study, which took place on a beach located on the island of Boa Vista (Cabo Verde), three types of artificial light were tested on nesting loggerhead sea turtles as well as on ghost crabs, which intensively predate on nests and hatchlings, to determine the effects they would produce on the behavior of both species. Over the course of 36days, female loggerheads and ghost crabs were studied under yellow, orange and red lights, with observations also being made on dark nights that served as a control treatment. During this period, the frequencies of nesting attempts, the time taken by turtles to complete each phase of the nesting process, and ghost crab abundance and behaviors were carefully recorded. 1146 loggerhead nesting attempts were observed and recorded during the experiments, and results showed a decrease in nesting attempts of at least 20% when artificial lighting was present. A significant decline in successful attempts was also observed within the central sections of the beach, which corresponded to those that received more light. This artificial lighting significantly increased the time that turtles spent on the nesting process and forced them to do more extensive beach crawls. Despite this, the presence of light had no apparent effect on the final selection of the nesting site. Yellow and orange lights significantly disrupted the sea finding behavior and turtles were often unable to orient themselves seaward under these color lights. Disoriented turtles were observed crawling in circuitous paths in front of the light source for several minutes. In addition, artificial lights had the potential to increase the number of ghost crabs present within the illuminated stretches of the beach. However, only yellow lighting produced a significant change on aggressive and prey

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-06-01

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

  2. Life History and Environmental Requirements of Loggerhead Turtles

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-08-01

    may become associated with sargassum rafts in the Gulf Stream (Caldwell 1968; Smith 1968; Fletemeyer 1978a, 1978b; Carr and Meylan 1980). Movement of...which which may contribute to the capture of indicates a maximum reproductive life turtles in trawls (Shoop and span of 32 years (i.e. it is unlikely...nesting exchange by sea turtle eggs. Am. at Melbourne Beach, Florida; I: Zool. 20(3):58. Size, growth, and reproductive biol- ogy. Biol. Conserv. 26:65-77

  3. Size Scaling in Western North Atlantic Loggerhead Turtles Permits Extrapolation between Regions, but Not Life Stages.

    PubMed

    Marn, Nina; Klanjscek, Tin; Stokes, Lesley; Jusup, Marko

    2015-01-01

    Sea turtles face threats globally and are protected by national and international laws. Allometry and scaling models greatly aid sea turtle conservation and research, and help to better understand the biology of sea turtles. Scaling, however, may differ between regions and/or life stages. We analyze differences between (i) two different regional subsets and (ii) three different life stage subsets of the western North Atlantic loggerhead turtles by comparing the relative growth of body width and depth in relation to body length, and discuss the implications. Results suggest that the differences between scaling relationships of different regional subsets are negligible, and models fitted on data from one region of the western North Atlantic can safely be used on data for the same life stage from another North Atlantic region. On the other hand, using models fitted on data for one life stage to describe other life stages is not recommended if accuracy is of paramount importance. In particular, young loggerhead turtles that have not recruited to neritic habitats should be studied and modeled separately whenever practical, while neritic juveniles and adults can be modeled together as one group. Even though morphometric scaling varies among life stages, a common model for all life stages can be used as a general description of scaling, and assuming isometric growth as a simplification is justified. In addition to linear models traditionally used for scaling on log-log axes, we test the performance of a saturating (curvilinear) model. The saturating model is statistically preferred in some cases, but the accuracy gained by the saturating model is marginal.

  4. Size Scaling in Western North Atlantic Loggerhead Turtles Permits Extrapolation between Regions, but Not Life Stages

    PubMed Central

    Marn, Nina; Klanjscek, Tin; Stokes, Lesley; Jusup, Marko

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Sea turtles face threats globally and are protected by national and international laws. Allometry and scaling models greatly aid sea turtle conservation and research, and help to better understand the biology of sea turtles. Scaling, however, may differ between regions and/or life stages. We analyze differences between (i) two different regional subsets and (ii) three different life stage subsets of the western North Atlantic loggerhead turtles by comparing the relative growth of body width and depth in relation to body length, and discuss the implications. Results and Discussion Results suggest that the differences between scaling relationships of different regional subsets are negligible, and models fitted on data from one region of the western North Atlantic can safely be used on data for the same life stage from another North Atlantic region. On the other hand, using models fitted on data for one life stage to describe other life stages is not recommended if accuracy is of paramount importance. In particular, young loggerhead turtles that have not recruited to neritic habitats should be studied and modeled separately whenever practical, while neritic juveniles and adults can be modeled together as one group. Even though morphometric scaling varies among life stages, a common model for all life stages can be used as a general description of scaling, and assuming isometric growth as a simplification is justified. In addition to linear models traditionally used for scaling on log-log axes, we test the performance of a saturating (curvilinear) model. The saturating model is statistically preferred in some cases, but the accuracy gained by the saturating model is marginal. PMID:26629702

  5. Medetomidine, ketamine, and sevoflurane for anesthesia of injured loggerhead sea turtles: 13 cases (1996-2000).

    PubMed

    Chittick, Elizabeth J; Stamper, M Andrew; Beasley, Jean F E; Lewbart, Gregory A; Horne, William A

    2002-10-01

    To determine safety and efficacy of an anesthetic protocol incorporating medetomidine, ketamine, and sevoflurane for anesthesia of injured loggerhead sea turtles. Retrospective study. 13 loggerhead sea turtles. Anesthesia was induced with medetomidine (50 microg/kg [22.7 microg/lb], IV) and ketamine (5 mg/kg (2.3 mg/lb], IV) and maintained with sevoflurane (0.5 to 2.5%) in oxygen. Sevoflurane was delivered with a pressure-limited intermittent-flow ventilator. Heart rate and rhythm, end-tidal partial pressure of CO2, and cloacal temperature were monitored continuously; venous blood gas analyses were performed intermittently. Administration of sevoflurane was discontinued 30 to 60 minutes prior to the end of the surgical procedure. Atipamezole (0.25 mg/kg [0.11 mg/lb], IV) was administered at the end of surgery. Median induction time was 11 minutes (range, 2 to 40 minutes; n = 11). Median delivered sevoflurane concentrations 15, 30, 60, and 120 minutes after intubation were 2.5 (n = 12), 1.5 (12), 1.25 (12), and 0.5% (8), respectively. Heart rate decreased during surgery to a median value of 15 beats/min (n = 11). End-tidal partial pressure of CO2 ranged from 2 to 16 mm Hg (n = 8); median blood gas values were within reference limits. Median time from atipamezole administration to extubation was 14 minutes (range, 2 to 84 minutes; n = 7). Results suggest that a combination of medetomidine and ketamine for induction and sevoflurane for maintenance provides safe, effective, controllable anesthesia in injured loggerhead sea turtles.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

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

  7. Physiologic and clinicopathologic effects of crude oil on loggerhead sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Lutcavage, M E; Lutz, P L; Bossart, G D; Hudson, D M

    1995-05-01

    The physiologic and clinicopathologic effects of weathered South Louisiana crude oil exposure were studied in the laboratory in juvenile loggerhead sea turtles. Sea turtles ingested oil incidentally, and oil was observed clinging to the nares, eyes, and upper esophagus, and was found in the feces. Oiled turtles had up to a four-fold increase in white blood cell counts, a 50% reduction in red blood cell counts, and red blood cell polychromasia. Most serum blood chemistries (e.g., BUN, protein) were within normal ranges, although glucose returned more slowly to baseline values than in the controls. Gross and histologic changes were present in the skin and mucosal surfaces of oiled turtles, including acute inflammatory cell infiltrates, dysplasia of epidermal epithelium, and a loss of cellular architectural organization of hte skin layers. The cellular changes in the epidermis are of particular concern because they may increase susceptibility to infection. Although many of the observed physiological insults resolved with a 21-day recovery period, the long-term biological effects of oil on sea turtles remain completely unknown.

  8. Linking loggerhead locations: using multiple methods to determine the origin of sea turtles in feeding grounds.

    PubMed

    Rees, ALan F; Carreras, Carlos; Broderick, Annette C; Margaritoulis, Dimitris; Stringell, Thomas B; Godley, Brendan J

    2017-01-01

    Many marine megavertebrate taxa, including sea turtles, disperse widely from their hatching or birthing locations but display natal homing as adults. We used flipper tagging, satellite tracking and genetics to identify the origin of loggerhead turtles living in Amvrakikos Gulf, Greece. This location has been identified as hosting regionally important numbers of large-juvenile to adult sized turtles that display long-term residency and/or association to the area, and also presents a male biased sex ratio for adults. A total of 20 individuals were linked to nesting areas in Greece through flipper tagging and satellite telemetry, with the majority (16) associated with Zakynthos Island. One additional female was tracked from Amvrakikos Gulf to Turkey where she likely nested. Mitochondrial DNA mixed stock analyses of turtles captured in Amvrakikos Gulf (n = 95) indicated 82% of individuals originated from Greek nesting stocks, mainly from Zakynthos Island (63%), with lesser contributions from central Turkey, Cyprus and Libya. These results suggest that the male-biased sex ratio found in Amvrakikos Gulf may be driven by the fact that males breed twice as frequently on Zakynthos, resulting in their using foraging grounds of greater proximity to the breeding site. Conservation measures in localised foraging habitats for the protection of marine vertebrates, such as sea turtles, may have positive impacts on several disparate breeding stocks and the use of multiple methods to determine source populations can indicate the relative effectiveness of these measures.

  9. 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.

  10. An Evaluation of Sea Turtle Populations and Survival Status on Vieques Island.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1982-06-22

    Loggerheads (Caretta caretta), which are known to live in Sargassum rafts - 7 during their early life, and in which they are effectively camoflaged S I... Sargassum itself (Buitrago, ms.), so it appears3 very probable that the early life of a Hawksbill turtle consists of i mergence from the nest; a run to the...sea followed by brisk paddling - for several hours to avoid being thrown back on shore by wave action; 3 . - a period of passive drifting in Sargassum

  11. Inferring foraging areas of nesting loggerhead turtles using satellite telemetry and stable isotopes.

    PubMed

    Ceriani, Simona A; Roth, James D; Evans, Daniel R; Weishampel, John F; Ehrhart, Llewellyn M

    2012-01-01

    In recent years, the use of intrinsic markers such as stable isotopes to link breeding and foraging grounds of migratory species has increased. Nevertheless, several assumptions still must be tested to interpret isotopic patterns found in the marine realm. We used a combination of satellite telemetry and stable isotope analysis to (i) identify key foraging grounds used by female loggerheads nesting in Florida and (ii) examine the relationship between stable isotope ratios and post-nesting migration destinations. We collected tissue samples for stable isotope analysis from 14 females equipped with satellite tags and an additional 57 untracked nesting females. Telemetry identified three post-nesting migratory pathways and associated non-breeding foraging grounds: (1) a seasonal continental shelf-constrained migratory pattern along the northeast U.S. coastline, (2) a non-breeding residency in southern foraging areas and (3) a residency in the waters adjacent to the breeding area. Isotopic variability in both δ(13)C and δ(15)N among individuals allowed identification of three distinct foraging aggregations. We used discriminant function analysis to examine how well δ(13)C and δ(15)N predict female post-nesting migration destination. The discriminant analysis classified correctly the foraging ground used for all but one individual and was used to predict putative feeding areas of untracked turtles. We provide the first documentation that the continental shelf of the Mid- and South Atlantic Bights are prime foraging areas for a large number (61%) of adult female loggerheads from the largest loggerhead nesting population in the western hemisphere and the second largest in the world. Our findings offer insights for future management efforts and suggest that this technique can be used to infer foraging strategies and residence areas in lieu of more expensive satellite telemetry, enabling sample sizes that are more representative at the population level.

  12. Inferring Foraging Areas of Nesting Loggerhead Turtles Using Satellite Telemetry and Stable Isotopes

    PubMed Central

    Ceriani, Simona A.; Roth, James D.; Evans, Daniel R.; Weishampel, John F.; Ehrhart, Llewellyn M.

    2012-01-01

    In recent years, the use of intrinsic markers such as stable isotopes to link breeding and foraging grounds of migratory species has increased. Nevertheless, several assumptions still must be tested to interpret isotopic patterns found in the marine realm. We used a combination of satellite telemetry and stable isotope analysis to (i) identify key foraging grounds used by female loggerheads nesting in Florida and (ii) examine the relationship between stable isotope ratios and post-nesting migration destinations. We collected tissue samples for stable isotope analysis from 14 females equipped with satellite tags and an additional 57 untracked nesting females. Telemetry identified three post-nesting migratory pathways and associated non-breeding foraging grounds: (1) a seasonal continental shelf–constrained migratory pattern along the northeast U.S. coastline, (2) a non-breeding residency in southern foraging areas and (3) a residency in the waters adjacent to the breeding area. Isotopic variability in both δ13C and δ15N among individuals allowed identification of three distinct foraging aggregations. We used discriminant function analysis to examine how well δ13C and δ15N predict female post-nesting migration destination. The discriminant analysis classified correctly the foraging ground used for all but one individual and was used to predict putative feeding areas of untracked turtles. We provide the first documentation that the continental shelf of the Mid- and South Atlantic Bights are prime foraging areas for a large number (61%) of adult female loggerheads from the largest loggerhead nesting population in the western hemisphere and the second largest in the world. Our findings offer insights for future management efforts and suggest that this technique can be used to infer foraging strategies and residence areas in lieu of more expensive satellite telemetry, enabling sample sizes that are more representative at the population level. PMID:23028943

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-03-22

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

  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. Erratum to: Estimates of vital rates for a declining loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) subpopulation: implications for management

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lamont, Margaret M.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Carthy, Raymond R.

    2015-01-01

    The Open Robust Model methods used for analysis in this study were developed by Kendall and Bjorkland (2001) and Kendall (2010). The language used in this manuscript to describe formatting and implementation of data for these analyses was derived heavily from Phillips et al. (2014). Therefore, the wording in the last paragraph of the ‘Materials and methods’ (p. 2662) and in the last paragraph of the ‘Results’ (p. 2663) of our publication is largely identical to the corresponding sections on pp. 865–866 in Phillips et al. (2014). Unfortunately, we did not indicate this adequately, thus proper credit was not given to the contribution of Phillips et al. (2014) in our publication.

  16. 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.

  17. 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).

  18. Biases and best approaches for assessing debris ingestion in sea turtles, with a case study in the Mediterranean.

    PubMed

    Casale, Paolo; Freggi, Daniela; Paduano, Valentina; Oliverio, Marco

    2016-09-15

    In a sample of 567 loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) from the central Mediterranean, debris occurrence varied according to methods and turtle source, and was up to 80% in pelagic turtles. Frequencies of plastic types, size and color are also reported. These results and a critical review of 49 studies worldwide indicate that: (i) the detected occurrence of plastic (% turtles) is affected by several factors (e.g., necropsy/feces, ecological zone, type and date of finding, captivity period for feces collection), (ii) mixed dataset and opportunistic approaches provide results which are biased , not comparable, and ultimately of questionable value, (iii) only turtles assumed to have had a normal feeding behaviour at the time of capture or death should be considered, (iv) turtle foraging ecology and possible selectivity may undermine the use of turtles as indicator species for monitoring marine litter, as recently proposed for the Mediterranean. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  1. Hybridization among the ancient mariners: characterization of marine turtle hybrids with molecular genetic assays.

    PubMed

    Karl, S A; Bowen, B W; Avise, J C

    1995-01-01

    Reports of hybridization between marine turtle species (family Cheloniidae) have been difficult to authenticate based solely on morphological evidence. Here we employ molecular genetic assays to document the sporadic, natural occurrence of viable interspecific hybrids between species representing four of the five genera of cheloniid sea turtles. Using multiple DNA markers from single-copy nuclear loci, eight suspected hybrids (based on morphology) were confirmed to be the products of matings involving the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) x Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) (N = 1 specimen), loggerhead turtle x hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) (N = 2), loggerhead turtle x green turtle (Chelonia mydas) (N = 4), and green turtle x hawksbill (N = 1). Molecular markers from mitochondrial DNA permitted identification of the maternal parental species in each cross. The species involved in these hybridization events represent evolutionary lineages thought to have separated 10-75 million years ago (mya) and thus may be among the oldest vertebrate lineages capable of producing viable hybrids in nature. In some cases, human intervention with the life cycles of marine turtles (e.g., through habitat alteration, captive rearing, or attempts to establish new breeding sites) may have increased the opportunities for interspecific hybridization.

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

    PubMed

    Nishizawa, Hideaki; Asahara, Masakazu; Kamezaki, Naoki

    2013-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Van Houtan, Kyle S; Bass, Oron L

    2007-08-07

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

  6. Inclusion bodies in loggerhead erythrocytes are associated with unstable hemoglobin and resemble human Heinz bodies.

    PubMed

    Basile, Filomena; Di Santi, Annalisa; Caldora, Mercedes; Ferretti, Luigi; Bentivegna, Flegra; Pica, Alessandra

    2011-08-01

    The aim of this study was to clarify the role of the erythrocyte inclusions found during the hematological screening of loggerhead population of the Mediterranean Sea. We studied the erythrocyte inclusions in blood specimens collected from six juvenile and nine adult specimens of the loggerhead turtle, Caretta caretta, from the Adriatic and Tyrrhenian Seas. Our study indicates that the percentage of mature erythrocytes containing inclusions ranged from 3 to 82%. Each erythrocyte contained only one round inclusion body. Inclusion bodies stained with May Grünwald-Giemsa show that their cytochemical and ultrastructure characteristics are identical to those of human Heinz bodies. Because Heinz bodies originate from the precipitation of unstable hemoglobin (Hb) and cause globular osmotic resistance to increase, we analyzed loggerhead Hb using electrophoresis and high-performance liquid chromatography to detect and quantitate Hb fractions. We also tested the resistance of Hb to alkaline pH, heat, isopropanol denaturation, and globular osmosis. Our hemogram results excluded the occurrence of any infection, which could be associated with an inclusion body, in all the specimens. Negative Feulgen staining indicated that the inclusion bodies are not derived from DNA fragmentation. We hypothesize that amino acid substitutions could explain why loggerhead Hb precipitates under normal physiologic conditions, forming Heinz bodies. The identification of inclusion bodies in loggerhead erythrocytes allow us to better understand the haematological characteristics and the physiology of these ancient reptiles, thus aiding efforts to conserve such an endangered species. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc., A Wiley Company.

  7. Coastal leatherback turtles reveal conservation hotspot.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Nathan J; Morreale, Stephen J; Nel, Ronel; Paladino, Frank V

    2016-11-25

    Previous studies have shown that the world's largest reptile - the leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea - conducts flexible foraging migrations that can cover thousands of kilometres between nesting sites and distant foraging areas. The vast distances that may be travelled by migrating leatherback turtles have greatly complicated conservation efforts for this species worldwide. However, we demonstrate, using a combination of satellite telemetry and stable isotope analysis, that approximately half of the nesting leatherbacks from an important rookery in South Africa do not migrate to distant foraging areas, but rather, forage in the coastal waters of the nearby Mozambique Channel. Moreover, this coastal cohort appears to remain resident year-round in shallow waters (<50 m depth) in a relatively fixed area. Stable isotope analyses further indicate that the Mozambique Channel also hosts large numbers of loggerhead turtles Caretta caretta. The rare presence of a resident coastal aggregation of leatherback turtles not only presents a unique opportunity for conservation, but alongside the presence of loggerhead turtles and other endangered marine megafauna in the Mozambique Channel, highlights the importance of this area as a marine biodiversity hotspot.

  8. Coastal leatherback turtles reveal conservation hotspot

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Nathan J.; Morreale, Stephen J.; Nel, Ronel; Paladino, Frank V.

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that the world’s largest reptile – the leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea – conducts flexible foraging migrations that can cover thousands of kilometres between nesting sites and distant foraging areas. The vast distances that may be travelled by migrating leatherback turtles have greatly complicated conservation efforts for this species worldwide. However, we demonstrate, using a combination of satellite telemetry and stable isotope analysis, that approximately half of the nesting leatherbacks from an important rookery in South Africa do not migrate to distant foraging areas, but rather, forage in the coastal waters of the nearby Mozambique Channel. Moreover, this coastal cohort appears to remain resident year-round in shallow waters (<50 m depth) in a relatively fixed area. Stable isotope analyses further indicate that the Mozambique Channel also hosts large numbers of loggerhead turtles Caretta caretta. The rare presence of a resident coastal aggregation of leatherback turtles not only presents a unique opportunity for conservation, but alongside the presence of loggerhead turtles and other endangered marine megafauna in the Mozambique Channel, highlights the importance of this area as a marine biodiversity hotspot. PMID:27886262

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Arsenic accumulation in three species of sea turtles.

    PubMed

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

    2000-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1992-07-01

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

  15. Vitellogenin in black turtle (Chelonia mydas agassizii): purification, partial characterization, and validation of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for its detection.

    PubMed

    Sifuentes-Romero, Itzel; Vázquez-Boucard, Celia; Sierra-Beltrán, Arturo P; Gardner, Susan C

    2006-02-01

    Black turtle plasmatic vitellogenin (VTG) was purified from 17beta-estradiol-induced males using ion-exchange chromatography. The isolated protein was identified as VTG by its glycolipoprotein nature and amino acid sequence homology with other vertebrate VTG. It was characterized as a 500-kDa dimer composed of two identical, 200- to 240-kDa monomers. Polyclonal antibodies raised against black turtle VTG showed high titer and specificity, as demonstrated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and Western blot analysis, respectively. The range of the assay was estimated to be between 15 ng/ml and 2 microg/ml, and the inter- and intra-assay coefficients of variation were 9.4 and 7.3%, respectively. Black turtle antibody cross-reacted with VTG of two other sea turtle species, Caretta caretta (loggerhead) and Eretmochelys imbricata (hawksbill), extending the applicability of the assay as part of a sea turtle health assessment program.

  16. Increased incidence of red imported fire ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) presence in loggerhead sea turtle (Testudines: Cheloniidae) nests and observations of hatchling mortality

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Parris, L.B.; Lamont, M.M.; Carthy, R.R.

    2002-01-01

    Hatching sea turtles may be at risk to fire ant predation during egg incubation, and especially at risk once pipped from the egg, prior to hatchling emergence from the nest. In addition to direct mortality, fire ants have the potential to inflict debilitating injuries that may directly affect survival of the young. The increased incidence of red imported fire ant induced mortality and envenomization of loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings on Cape San Blas suggests this invasive ant species may pose a serious threat to the future of this genetically distinct population.

  17. To Swim or Not to Swim: Potential Transmission of Balaenophilus manatorum (Copepoda: Harpacticoida) in Marine Turtles

    PubMed Central

    Tomás, Jesús; Crespo-Picazo, José Luis; García-Párraga, Daniel; Raga, Juan Antonio

    2017-01-01

    Species of Balaenophilus are the only harpacticoid copepods that exhibit a widespread, obligate association with vertebrates, i.e., B. unisetus with whales and B. manatorum with marine turtles and manatees. In the western Mediterranean, juveniles of the loggerhead sea turtle, Caretta caretta are the only available hosts for B. manatorum, which has been found occurring at high prevalence (>80%) on them. A key question is how these epibionts are transmitted from host to host. We investigated this issue based on experiments with live specimens of B. manatorum that were cultured with turtle skin. Specimens were obtained from head-started hatchlings of C. caretta from the western Mediterranean. Hatched nauplii crawled only on rough substrates and lacked the ability to swim. Only copepodites IV and V, and adults, were able to perform directional swimming. Legs 2, 3 and 4 played a major role in swimming and were only well-developed in these stages. Nauplii reared in wells with turtle skin readily fed on this item. Late copepodites and adults also fed on turtle skin but did not consume other potential food items such as fish skin, baleen plates or planktonic algae. Evidences suggest that the transmission of B. manatorum should rely on hosts’ bodily contacts and/or swimming of late developmental stages between spatially close hosts. The possibility of long-ranged dispersal is unlikely for two reasons. First, all developmental stages seem to depend on turtle skin as a food resource. Second, the average clutch size of ovigerous females was small (< 70 eggs) for free-living phases to successfully contact turtles that occur at very low densities (< 0.6 turtles·km−2) in the western Mediterranean. The high prevalence of B. manatorum in loggerhead turtles in this area raises the question whether these turtles have contacts, or tend to closely aggregate, more than is currently believed. PMID:28114412

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Orientation and open-sea navigation in sea turtles

    PubMed

    Lohmann; Lohmann

    1996-01-01

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

  1. Nuclear markers reveal a complex introgression pattern among marine turtle species on the Brazilian coast.

    PubMed

    Vilaça, Sibelle T; Vargas, Sarah M; Lara-Ruiz, Paula; Molfetti, Érica; Reis, Estéfane C; Lôbo-Hajdu, Gisele; Soares, Luciano S; Santos, Fabrício R

    2012-09-01

    Surprisingly, a high frequency of interspecific sea turtle hybrids has been previously recorded in a nesting site along a short stretch of the Brazilian coast. Mitochondrial DNA data indicated that as much as 43% of the females identified as Eretmochelys imbricata are hybrids in this area (Bahia State of Brazil). It is a remarkable find, because most of the nesting sites surveyed worldwide, including some in northern Brazil, presents no hybrids, and rare Caribbean sites present no more than 2% of hybrids. Thus, a detailed understanding of the hybridization process is needed to evaluate natural or anthropogenic causes of this regional phenomenon in Brazil, which could be an important factor affecting the conservation of this population. We analysed a set of 12 nuclear markers to investigate the pattern of hybridization involving three species of sea turtles: hawksbill (E. imbricata), loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea). Our data indicate that most of the individuals in the crossings L. olivacea × E. imbricata and L. olivacea × C. caretta are F1 hybrids, whereas C. caretta × E. imbricata crossings present F1 and backcrosses with both parental species. In addition, the C. caretta × E. imbricata hybridization seems to be gender and species biased, and we also found one individual with evidence of multispecies hybridization among C. caretta × E. imbricata × Chelonia mydas. The overall results also indicate that hybridization in this area is a recent phenomenon, spanning at least two generations or ~40 years.

  2. Migration, Foraging, and Residency Patterns for Northern Gulf Loggerheads: Implications of Local Threats and International Movements

    PubMed Central

    Hart, Kristen M.; Lamont, Margaret M.; Sartain, Autumn R.; Fujisaki, Ikuko

    2014-01-01

    Northern Gulf of Mexico (NGoM) loggerheads (Caretta caretta) make up one of the smallest subpopulations of this threatened species and have declining nest numbers. We used satellite telemetry and a switching state-space model to identify distinct foraging areas used by 59 NGoM loggerheads tagged during 2010–2013. We tagged turtles after nesting at three sites, 1 in Alabama (Gulf Shores; n = 37) and 2 in Florida (St. Joseph Peninsula; n = 20 and Eglin Air Force Base; n = 2). Peak migration time was 22 July to 9 August during which >40% of turtles were in migration mode; the mean post-nesting migration period was 23.0 d (±13.8 d SD). After displacement from nesting beaches, 44 turtles traveled to foraging sites where they remained resident throughout tracking durations. Selected foraging locations were variable distances from tagging sites, and in 5 geographic regions; no turtles selected foraging sites outside the Gulf of Mexico (GoM). Foraging sites delineated using 50% kernel density estimation were located a mean distance of 47.6 km from land and in water with mean depth of −32.5 m; other foraging sites, delineated using minimum convex polygons, were located a mean distance of 43.0 km from land and in water with a mean depth of −24.9 m. Foraging sites overlapped with known trawling activities, oil and gas extraction activities, and the footprint of surface oiling during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill (n = 10). Our results highlight the year-round use of habitats in the GoM by loggerheads that nest in the NGoM. Our findings indicate that protection of females in this subpopulation requires both international collaborations and management of threats that spatially overlap with distinct foraging habitats. PMID:25076053

  3. Migration, foraging, and residency patterns for Northern Gulf loggerheads: implications of local threats and international movements

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

    Northern Gulf of Mexico (NGoM) loggerheads (Caretta caretta) make up one of the smallest subpopulations of this threatened species and have declining nest numbers. We used satellite telemetry and a switching state-space model to identify distinct foraging areas used by 59 NGoM loggerheads tagged during 2010–2013. We tagged turtles after nesting at three sites, 1 in Alabama (Gulf Shores; n = 37) and 2 in Florida (St. Joseph Peninsula; n = 20 and Eglin Air Force Base; n = 2). Peak migration time was 22 July to 9 August during which >40% of turtles were in migration mode; the mean post-nesting migration period was 23.0 d (±13.8 d SD). After displacement from nesting beaches, 44 turtles traveled to foraging sites where they remained resident throughout tracking durations. Selected foraging locations were variable distances from tagging sites, and in 5 geographic regions; no turtles selected foraging sites outside the Gulf of Mexico (GoM). Foraging sites delineated using 50% kernel density estimation were located a mean distance of 47.6 km from land and in water with mean depth of −32.5 m; other foraging sites, delineated using minimum convex polygons, were located a mean distance of 43.0 km from land and in water with a mean depth of −24.9 m. Foraging sites overlapped with known trawling activities, oil and gas extraction activities, and the footprint of surface oiling during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill (n = 10). Our results highlight the year-round use of habitats in the GoM by loggerheads that nest in the NGoM. Our findings indicate that protection of females in this subpopulation requires both international collaborations and management of threats that spatially overlap with distinct foraging habitats.

  4. 77 FR 72882 - Endangered Species; Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-12-06

    ... specimens from loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta), hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata), and leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) that occur in the wild at Tetepare Island, Solomon Islands,...

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-15

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

  6. Analysis of chorioallantoic membranes to assess PCB accumulation in American alligators and Loggerhead sea turtles from the coast of South Carolina

    SciTech Connect

    Cobb, G.P.; Wood, P.D.; O`Quinn, M.

    1995-12-31

    Investigation of contaminant burdens in threatened and endangered species is difficult due to the small number of samples that can be collected. Many samples can be collected if the sampling methods are non-lethal and more specifically non-invasive. Analysis of chorioallantoic membranes is demonstrated for American alligators and Loggerhead sea turtles. Significant differences were found in PCB, uptake by alligators from the Ashepoo-Combahee-Edisto Basin reference site and a contaminated site in Winyah Bay. Intrasite and intersite differences in uptake and distribution of PCB homologues were noted. These data will be discussed as they relate to egg viability and embryo development.

  7. Environmental Impact Research Program. Life History and Environmental Requirements of Loggerhead Sea Turtles.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1986-01-01

    coast they swim until ? °... they encounter sargassum rafts in the Gulf Stream (Caidwell 1968; Smith 1968; . ’’ Fletemeyer 1978a, 1978b; Carr and...K. A., Meylan, A. B., and Turner, F. J. 1983. "Sea Turtles Nesting at Melbourne Beach, Florida; I: Size, Growth, and Reproductive Biology...Associated with Sargassum Weed," -’ Quarterly Journal of the Florida Academy of Science, Vol 31, No. 4, ..... pp 271-272. 1969. "Addition of the Leatherback

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

    Sato, Katsufumi

    2014-10-15

    To investigate the thermal characteristics of large reptiles living in water, temperature data were continuously recorded from 16 free-ranging loggerhead turtles, Caretta caretta, during internesting periods using data loggers. Core body temperatures were 0.7-1.7°C higher than ambient water temperatures and were kept relatively constant. Unsteady numerical simulations using a spherical thermodynamic model provided mechanistic explanations for these phenomena, and the body temperature responses to fluctuating water temperature can be simply explained by a large body mass with a constant thermal diffusivity and a heat production rate rather than physiological thermoregulation. By contrast, body temperatures increased 2.6-5.1°C in 107-152 min during their emergences to nest on land. The estimated heat production rates on land were 7.4-10.5 times the calculated values in the sea. The theoretical prediction that temperature difference between body and water temperatures would increase according to the body size was confirmed by empirical data recorded from several species of sea turtles. Comparing previously reported data, the internesting intervals of leatherback, green and loggerhead turtles were shorter when the body temperatures were higher. Sea turtles seem to benefit from a passive thermoregulatory strategy, which depends primarily on the physical attributes of their large body masses. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  15. Allometric growth in juvenile marine turtles: possible role as an antipredator adaptation.

    PubMed

    Salmon, Michael; Scholl, Joshua

    2014-04-01

    Female marine turtles produce hundreds of offspring during their lifetime but few survive because small turtles have limited defenses and are vulnerable to many predators. Little is known about how small turtles improve their survival probabilities with growth though it is assumed that they do. We reared green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and loggerheads (Caretta caretta) from hatchlings to 13 weeks of age and documented that they grew wider faster than they grew longer. This pattern of allometric growth might enable small turtles to more quickly achieve protection from gape-limited predators, such as the dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus). As a test of that hypothesis, we measured how dolphinfish gape increased with length, reviewed the literature to determine how dolphinfish populations were size/age structured in nearby waters, and then determined the probability that a small turtle would encounter a fish large enough to consume it if it grew by allometry vs. by isometry (in which case it retained its hatchling proportions). Allometric growth more quickly reduced the probability of a lethal encounter than did isometric growth. On that basis, we suggest that allometry during early ontogeny may have evolved because it provides a survival benefit for small turtles.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. An immunohistochemical approach to identify the sex of young marine turtles.

    PubMed

    Tezak, Boris M; Guthrie, Kathleen; Wyneken, Jeanette

    2017-03-13

    Marine turtles exhibit temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD). During critical periods of embryonic development, the nest's thermal environment directs whether an embryo will develop as a male or female. At warmer sand temperatures nests tend to produce female-biased sex ratios. The rapid increase of global temperature highlights the need for a clear assessment of its effects on sea turtle sex ratios. However, estimating hatchling sex ratios at rookeries remains imprecise due to the lack of sexual dimorphism in young marine turtles. We rely mainly upon laparoscopic procedures to verify hatchling sex; however, in some species, morphological sex can be ambiguous even at the histological level. Recent studies using immunohistochemical (IHC) techniques identified that embryonic snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) ovaries over-expressed a particular Cold-induced RNA Binding Protein in comparison to testes. This feature allows the identification of females vs. males. We modified this technique to successfully identify the sexes of loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) hatchlings, and independently confirmed the results by standard histological and laparoscopic methods that reliably identify sex in this species. We next tested the CIRBP IHC method on gonad samples from leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea). Leatherbacks display delayed gonad differentiation, when compared to other sea turtles, making hatchling gonads difficult to sex using standard H and E stain histology. The IHC approach was successful in both C. caretta and D. coriacea samples, offering a much-needed tool to establish baseline hatchling sex ratios, particularly for assessing impacts of climate change effects on leatherback turtle hatchlings and sea turtle demographics. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  20. Environmental Assessment for Public-Private Venture Housing, South Texas Region

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2001-12-01

    green sea turtle ( Chelonia mydas ), hawksbill...coriacea) are federally listed as endangered. The loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) and green sea turtle ( Chelonia mydas ) are federally listed as...Loggerhead sea turtle Caretta caretta Threatened Green sea turtle Chelonia mydas Threatened Leatherback sea turtle Dermochelys

  1. When surfacers do not dive: multiple significance of extended surface times in marine turtles.

    PubMed

    Hochscheid, S; Bentivegna, F; Hamza, A; Hays, G C

    2010-04-01

    Marine turtles spend more than 90% of their life underwater and have been termed surfacers as opposed to divers. Nonetheless turtles have been reported occasionally to float motionless at the surface but the reasons for this behaviour are not clear. We investigated the location, timing and duration of extended surface times (ESTs) in 10 free-ranging loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) and the possible relationship to water temperature and diving activity recorded via satellite relay data loggers for 101-450 days. For one turtle that dived only in offshore areas, ESTs contributed 12% of the time whereas for the other turtles ESTs contributed 0.4-1.8% of the time. ESTs lasted on average 90 min but were mostly infrequent and irregular, excluding the involvement of a fundamental regulatory function. However, 82% of the ESTs occurred during daylight, mostly around noon, suggesting a dependence on solar radiation. For three turtles, there was an appreciable (7 degrees C to 10.5 degrees C) temperature decrease with depth for dives during periods when ESTs occurred frequently, suggesting a re-warming function of EST to compensate for decreased body temperatures, possibly to enhance digestive efficiency. A positive correlation between body mass and EST duration supported this explanation. By contrast, night-active turtles that exceeded their calculated aerobic dive limits in 7.6-16% of the dives engaged in nocturnal ESTs, probably for lactate clearance. This is the first evidence that loggerhead turtles may refrain from diving for at least two reasons, either to absorb solar radiation or to recover from anaerobic activity.

  2. 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.

  3. Pascagoula Harbor, Mississippi, Feasibility Report on Improvement of the Federal Deep-Draft Navigation Channel. Volume 1. Main Report and Environmental Impact Statement.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1985-03-01

    turtle (Caretta caretta caretta), green sea turtle (Chelonia mdas), eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi), peregrine falcon (Falco... sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) and the Atlantic ridley (Lepidochelys kempi), may enter Mississippi Sound. The loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta caretta... sea turtle , eastern indigo snake, peregrine falcon, bald eagle, brown pelican, Bachman’s warbler, Florida panther, Atlantic sturgeon, the southern

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    We investigated the extent that the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill potentially affected oceanic-stage sea turtles from populations across the Atlantic. Within an ocean-circulation model, particles were backtracked from the Gulf of Mexico spill site to determine the probability of young turtles arriving in this area from major nesting beaches. The abundance of turtles in the vicinity of the oil spill was derived by forward-tracking particles from focal beaches and integrating population size, oceanic-stage duration and stage-specific survival rates. Simulations indicated that 321 401 (66 199-397 864) green (Chelonia mydas), loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) turtles were likely within the spill site. These predictions compared favourably with estimates from in-water observations recently made available to the public (though our initial predictions for Kemp's ridley were substantially lower than in-water estimates, better agreement was obtained with modifications to mimic behaviour of young Kemp's ridley turtles in the northern Gulf). Simulations predicted 75.2% (71.9-76.3%) of turtles came from Mexico, 14.8% (11-18%) from Costa Rica, 5.9% (4.8-7.9%) from countries in northern South America, 3.4% (2.4-3.5%) from the United States and 1.6% (0.6-2.0%) from West African countries. Thus, the spill's impacts may extend far beyond the current focus on the northern Gulf of Mexico.

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

    PubMed Central

    Vasapollo, Claudio; Virgili, Massimo

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Lucchetti, Alessandro; Vasapollo, Claudio; Virgili, Massimo

    2017-01-01

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

  7. Common coastal foraging areas for loggerheads in the Gulf of Mexico: Opportunities for marine conservation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hart, Kristen M.; Lamont, Margaret M.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Tucker, Anton D.; Carthy, Raymond R.

    2012-01-01

    Designing conservation strategies that protect wide-ranging marine species is a significant challenge, but integrating regional telemetry datasets and synthesizing modeled movements and behavior offer promise for uncovering distinct at-sea areas that are important habitats for imperiled marine species. Movement paths of 10 satellite-tracked female loggerheads (Caretta caretta) from three separate subpopulations in the Gulf of Mexico, USA, revealed migration to discrete foraging sites in two common areas at-sea in 2008, 2009, and 2010. Foraging sites were 102–904 km away from nesting and tagging sites, and located off southwest Florida and the northern Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. Within 3–35 days, turtles migrated to foraging sites where they all displayed high site fidelity over time. Core-use foraging areas were 13.0–335.2 km2 in size, in water <50 m deep, within a mean distance to nearest coastline of 58.5 km, and in areas of relatively high net primary productivity. The existence of shared regional foraging sites highlights an opportunity for marine conservation strategies to protect important at-sea habitats for these imperiled marine turtles, in both USA and international waters. Until now, knowledge of important at-sea foraging areas for adult loggerheads in the Gulf of Mexico has been limited. To better understand the spatial distribution of marine turtles that have complex life-histories, we propose further integration of disparate tracking data-sets at the oceanic scale along with modeling of movements to identify critical at-sea foraging habitats where individuals may be resident during non-nesting periods.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-22

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

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Richardson, Kristine L; Schlenk, Daniel

    2011-05-16

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

  11. The effect of thermal variance on the phenotype of marine turtle offspring.

    PubMed

    Horne, C R; Fuller, W J; Godley, B J; Rhodes, K A; Snape, R; Stokes, K L; Broderick, A C

    2014-01-01

    Temperature can have a profound effect on the phenotype of reptilian offspring, yet the bulk of current research considers the effects of constant incubation temperatures on offspring morphology, with few studies examining the natural thermal variance that occurs in the wild. Over two consecutive nesting seasons, we placed temperature data loggers in 57 naturally incubating clutches of loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta and found that greater diel thermal variance during incubation significantly reduced offspring mass, potentially reducing survival of hatchlings during their journey from the nest to offshore waters and beyond. With predicted scenarios of climate change, behavioral plasticity in nest site selection may be key for the survival of ectothermic species, particularly those with temperature-dependent sex determination.

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

    PubMed

    Brothers, J Roger; Lohmann, Kenneth J

    2015-02-02

    Natal homing is a pattern of behavior in which animals migrate away from their geographic area of origin and then return to reproduce in the same location where they began life [1-3]. Although diverse long-distance migrants accomplish natal homing [1-8], little is known about how they do so. The enigma is epitomized by loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta), which leave their home beaches as hatchlings and migrate across entire ocean basins before returning to nest in the same coastal area where they originated [9, 10]. One hypothesis is that turtles imprint on the unique geomagnetic signature of their natal area and use this information to return [1]. Because Earth's field changes over time, geomagnetic imprinting should cause turtles to change their nesting locations as magnetic signatures drift slightly along coastlines. To investigate, we analyzed a 19-year database of loggerhead nesting sites in the largest sea turtle rookery in North America. Here we report a strong association between the spatial distribution of turtle nests and subtle changes in Earth's magnetic field. Nesting density increased significantly in coastal areas where magnetic signatures of adjacent beach locations converged over time, whereas nesting density decreased in places where magnetic signatures diverged. These findings confirm central predictions of the geomagnetic imprinting hypothesis and provide strong evidence that such imprinting plays an important role in natal homing in sea turtles. The results give credence to initial reports of geomagnetic imprinting in salmon [11, 12] and suggest that similar mechanisms might underlie long-distance natal homing in diverse animals. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Who are the important predators of sea turtle nests at Wreck Rock beach?

    PubMed Central

    Booth, David T.

    2017-01-01

    Excessive sea turtle nest predation is a problem for conservation management of sea turtle populations. This study assessed predation on nests of the endangered loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) at Wreck Rock beach adjacent to Deepwater National Park in Southeast Queensland, Australia after a control program for feral foxes was instigated. The presence of predators on the nesting dune was evaluated by tracking plots (2 × 1 m) every 100 m along the dune front. There were 21 (2014–2015) and 41 (2015–2016) plots established along the dune, and these were monitored for predator tracks daily over three consecutive months in both nesting seasons. Predator activities at nests were also recorded by the presence of tracks on top of nests until hatchlings emerged. In addition, camera traps were set to record the predator activity around selected nests. The tracks of the fox (Vulpes vulpes) and goanna (Varanus spp) were found on tracking plots. Tracking plots, nest tracks and camera traps indicated goanna abundance varied strongly between years. Goannas were widely distributed along the beach and had a Passive Activity Index (PAI) (0.31 in 2014–2015 and 0.16 in 2015–2016) approximately seven times higher than that of foxes (PAI 0.04 in 2014–2015 and 0.02 in 2015–2016). Five hundred and twenty goanna nest visitation events were recorded by tracks but no fox tracks were found at turtle nests. Camera trap data indicated that yellow-spotted goannas (Varanus panoptes) appeared at loggerhead turtle nests more frequently than lace monitors (V. varius) did, and further that lace monitors only predated nests previously opened by yellow-spotted goannas. No foxes were recorded at nests with camera traps. This study suggests that large male yellow-spotted goannas are the major predator of sea turtle nests at the Wreck Rock beach nesting aggregation and that goanna activity varies between years. PMID:28674666

  14. Who are the important predators of sea turtle nests at Wreck Rock beach?

    PubMed

    Lei, Juan; Booth, David T

    2017-01-01

    Excessive sea turtle nest predation is a problem for conservation management of sea turtle populations. This study assessed predation on nests of the endangered loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) at Wreck Rock beach adjacent to Deepwater National Park in Southeast Queensland, Australia after a control program for feral foxes was instigated. The presence of predators on the nesting dune was evaluated by tracking plots (2 × 1 m) every 100 m along the dune front. There were 21 (2014-2015) and 41 (2015-2016) plots established along the dune, and these were monitored for predator tracks daily over three consecutive months in both nesting seasons. Predator activities at nests were also recorded by the presence of tracks on top of nests until hatchlings emerged. In addition, camera traps were set to record the predator activity around selected nests. The tracks of the fox (Vulpes vulpes) and goanna (Varanus spp) were found on tracking plots. Tracking plots, nest tracks and camera traps indicated goanna abundance varied strongly between years. Goannas were widely distributed along the beach and had a Passive Activity Index (PAI) (0.31 in 2014-2015 and 0.16 in 2015-2016) approximately seven times higher than that of foxes (PAI 0.04 in 2014-2015 and 0.02 in 2015-2016). Five hundred and twenty goanna nest visitation events were recorded by tracks but no fox tracks were found at turtle nests. Camera trap data indicated that yellow-spotted goannas (Varanus panoptes) appeared at loggerhead turtle nests more frequently than lace monitors (V. varius) did, and further that lace monitors only predated nests previously opened by yellow-spotted goannas. No foxes were recorded at nests with camera traps. This study suggests that large male yellow-spotted goannas are the major predator of sea turtle nests at the Wreck Rock beach nesting aggregation and that goanna activity varies between years.

  15. Geographic Patterns of Genetic Variation in a Broadly Distributed Marine Vertebrate: New Insights into Loggerhead Turtle Stock Structure from Expanded Mitochondrial DNA Sequences

    PubMed Central

    Shamblin, Brian M.; Bolten, Alan B.; Abreu-Grobois, F. Alberto; Bjorndal, Karen A.; Cardona, Luis; Carreras, Carlos; Clusa, Marcel; Monzón-Argüello, Catalina; Nairn, Campbell J.; Nielsen, Janne T.; Nel, Ronel; Soares, Luciano S.; Stewart, Kelly R.; Vilaça, Sibelle T.; Türkozan, Oguz; Yilmaz, Can; Dutton, Peter H.

    2014-01-01

    Previous genetic studies have demonstrated that natal homing shapes the stock structure of marine turtle nesting populations. However, widespread sharing of common haplotypes based on short segments of the mitochondrial control region often limits resolution of the demographic connectivity of populations. Recent studies employing longer control region sequences to resolve haplotype sharing have focused on regional assessments of genetic structure and phylogeography. Here we synthesize available control region sequences for loggerhead turtles from the Mediterranean Sea, Atlantic, and western Indian Ocean basins. These data represent six of the nine globally significant regional management units (RMUs) for the species and include novel sequence data from Brazil, Cape Verde, South Africa and Oman. Genetic tests of differentiation among 42 rookeries represented by short sequences (380 bp haplotypes from 3,486 samples) and 40 rookeries represented by long sequences (∼800 bp haplotypes from 3,434 samples) supported the distinction of the six RMUs analyzed as well as recognition of at least 18 demographically independent management units (MUs) with respect to female natal homing. A total of 59 haplotypes were resolved. These haplotypes belonged to two highly divergent global lineages, with haplogroup I represented primarily by CC-A1, CC-A4, and CC-A11 variants and haplogroup II represented by CC-A2 and derived variants. Geographic distribution patterns of haplogroup II haplotypes and the nested position of CC-A11.6 from Oman among the Atlantic haplotypes invoke recent colonization of the Indian Ocean from the Atlantic for both global lineages. The haplotypes we confirmed for western Indian Ocean RMUs allow reinterpretation of previous mixed stock analysis and further suggest that contemporary migratory connectivity between the Indian and Atlantic Oceans occurs on a broader scale than previously hypothesized. This study represents a valuable model for conducting

  16. Geographic patterns of genetic variation in a broadly distributed marine vertebrate: new insights into loggerhead turtle stock structure from expanded mitochondrial DNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Shamblin, Brian M; Bolten, Alan B; Abreu-Grobois, F Alberto; Bjorndal, Karen A; Cardona, Luis; Carreras, Carlos; Clusa, Marcel; Monzón-Argüello, Catalina; Nairn, Campbell J; Nielsen, Janne T; Nel, Ronel; Soares, Luciano S; Stewart, Kelly R; Vilaça, Sibelle T; Türkozan, Oguz; Yilmaz, Can; Dutton, Peter H

    2014-01-01

    Previous genetic studies have demonstrated that natal homing shapes the stock structure of marine turtle nesting populations. However, widespread sharing of common haplotypes based on short segments of the mitochondrial control region often limits resolution of the demographic connectivity of populations. Recent studies employing longer control region sequences to resolve haplotype sharing have focused on regional assessments of genetic structure and phylogeography. Here we synthesize available control region sequences for loggerhead turtles from the Mediterranean Sea, Atlantic, and western Indian Ocean basins. These data represent six of the nine globally significant regional management units (RMUs) for the species and include novel sequence data from Brazil, Cape Verde, South Africa and Oman. Genetic tests of differentiation among 42 rookeries represented by short sequences (380 bp haplotypes from 3,486 samples) and 40 rookeries represented by long sequences (∼800 bp haplotypes from 3,434 samples) supported the distinction of the six RMUs analyzed as well as recognition of at least 18 demographically independent management units (MUs) with respect to female natal homing. A total of 59 haplotypes were resolved. These haplotypes belonged to two highly divergent global lineages, with haplogroup I represented primarily by CC-A1, CC-A4, and CC-A11 variants and haplogroup II represented by CC-A2 and derived variants. Geographic distribution patterns of haplogroup II haplotypes and the nested position of CC-A11.6 from Oman among the Atlantic haplotypes invoke recent colonization of the Indian Ocean from the Atlantic for both global lineages. The haplotypes we confirmed for western Indian Ocean RMUs allow reinterpretation of previous mixed stock analysis and further suggest that contemporary migratory connectivity between the Indian and Atlantic Oceans occurs on a broader scale than previously hypothesized. This study represents a valuable model for conducting

  17. 78 FR 13642 - Endangered Species; File No. 17506

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-02-28

    ... captures, green, loggerhead, hawksbill, Kemp's ridley, and leatherback sea turtles would be counted during... to take green (Chelonia mydas), loggerhead (Caretta caretta), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), and leatherback (Dermochelys coriaceae) sea turtles for...

  18. 76 FR 76950 - Endangered Species; File No. 16134

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-12-09

    ... permit to conduct research on leatherback, loggerhead, green, hawksbill, and Kemp's ridley sea turtles in... a permit to take green (Chelonia mydas), Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), and loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtles...

  19. Accounting for imperfect detection is critical for inferring marine turtle nesting population trends.

    PubMed

    Pfaller, Joseph B; Bjorndal, Karen A; Chaloupka, Milani; Williams, Kristina L; Frick, Michael G; Bolten, Alan B

    2013-01-01

    Assessments of population trends based on time-series counts of individuals are complicated by imperfect detection, which can lead to serious misinterpretations of data. Population trends of threatened marine turtles worldwide are usually based on counts of nests or nesting females. We analyze 39 years of nest-count, female-count, and capture-mark-recapture (CMR) data for nesting loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) on Wassaw Island, Georgia, USA. Annual counts of nests and females, not corrected for imperfect detection, yield significant, positive trends in abundance. However, multistate open robust design modeling of CMR data that accounts for changes in imperfect detection reveals that the annual abundance of nesting females has remained essentially constant over the 39-year period. The dichotomy could result from improvements in surveys or increased within-season nest-site fidelity in females, either of which would increase detection probability. For the first time in a marine turtle population, we compare results of population trend analyses that do and do not account for imperfect detection and demonstrate the potential for erroneous conclusions. Past assessments of marine turtle population trends based exclusively on count data should be interpreted with caution and re-evaluated when possible. These concerns apply equally to population assessments of all species with imperfect detection.

  20. 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.

  1. Environmental Assessment of Building Demolition at Test Area A-15, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-03-24

    SC Threatened Terrestrial Mammals Santa Rosa beach mouse Peromyscus polionotus leucocephalus SC -- Turtles Green sea turtle Chelonia mydas Endangered...NRB, 2003). The threatened Atlantic loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta), and the endangered Atlantic green turtle ( Chelonia mydas ), typically nest

  2. 76 FR 77781 - Endangered Species; File No. 15802

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-12-14

    ... authorization to capture green (Chelonia mydas), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), and loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtles. Sea...

  3. Population genetics and phylogeography of sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Bowen, B W; Karl, S A

    2007-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Müller, Christin; Townsend, Kathy; Matschullat, Jörg

    2012-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-13

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

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-12-07

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

  9. Presence of plastic debris in loggerhead turtle stranded along the Tuscany coasts of the Pelagos Sanctuary for Mediterranean Marine Mammals (Italy).

    PubMed

    Campani, Tommaso; Baini, Matteo; Giannetti, Matteo; Cancelli, Fabrizio; Mancusi, Cecilia; Serena, Fabrizio; Marsili, Letizia; Casini, Silvia; Fossi, Maria Cristina

    2013-09-15

    This work evaluated the presence and the frequency of occurrence of marine litter in the gastrointestinal tract of 31 Caretta caretta found stranded or accidentally bycaught in the North Tyrrhenian Sea. Marine debris were present in 71% of specimens and were subdivided in different categories according to Fulmar Protocol (OSPAR 2008). The main type of marine debris found was user plastic, with the main occurrence of sheetlike user plastic. The small juveniles showed a mean±SD of marine debris items of 19.00±23.84, while the adult specimens showed higher values of marine litter if compared with the juveniles (26.87±35.85). The occurrence of marine debris observed in this work confirms the high impact of marine debris in the Mediterranean Sea in respect to other seas and oceans, and highlights the importance of Caretta caretta as good indicator for marine litter in the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) of European Union.

  10. Environmental Assessment for the Orbital/Sub-Orbital Program

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-07-01

    Dermochelys coriacea E E Green sea turtle Chelonia mydas E E Loggerhead sea turtle Caretta caretta T T Hawksbill sea turtle Eretmochelys imbricata...the waters offshore at Cape Canaveral AFS (Table 3-14), all but the Hawksbill and Kemp’s ridley sea turtles are known to nest on station beaches...Green sea turtle Chelonia mydas E, T X X Hawksbill sea turtle Eretmochelys imbricata E X X Loggerhead sea turtle Caretta caretta T X X Olive

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    We investigated the extent that the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill potentially affected oceanic-stage sea turtles from populations across the Atlantic. Within an ocean-circulation model, particles were backtracked from the Gulf of Mexico spill site to determine the probability of young turtles arriving in this area from major nesting beaches. The abundance of turtles in the vicinity of the oil spill was derived by forward-tracking particles from focal beaches and integrating population size, oceanic-stage duration and stage-specific survival rates. Simulations indicated that 321 401 (66 199–397 864) green (Chelonia mydas), loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) turtles were likely within the spill site. These predictions compared favourably with estimates from in-water observations recently made available to the public (though our initial predictions for Kemp's ridley were substantially lower than in-water estimates, better agreement was obtained with modifications to mimic behaviour of young Kemp's ridley turtles in the northern Gulf). Simulations predicted 75.2% (71.9–76.3%) of turtles came from Mexico, 14.8% (11–18%) from Costa Rica, 5.9% (4.8–7.9%) from countries in northern South America, 3.4% (2.4–3.5%) from the United States and 1.6% (0.6–2.0%) from West African countries. Thus, the spill's impacts may extend far beyond the current focus on the northern Gulf of Mexico. PMID:26701754

  13. Phenological response of sea turtles to environmental variation across a species' northern range.

    PubMed

    Mazaris, Antonios D; Kallimanis, Athanasios S; Pantis, John D; Hays, Graeme C

    2013-01-22

    Variations in environmental parameters (e.g. temperature) that form part of global climate change have been associated with shifts in the timing of seasonal events for a broad range of organisms. Most studies evaluating such phenological shifts of individual taxa have focused on a limited number of locations, making it difficult to assess how such shifts vary regionally across a species range. Here, by using 1445 records of the date of first nesting for loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) at different breeding sites, on different continents and in different years across a broad latitudinal range (25-39° 'N), we demonstrate that the gradient of the relationship between temperature and the date of first breeding is steeper at higher latitudes, i.e. the phenological responses to temperature appear strongest at the poleward range limit. These findings support the hypothesis that biological changes in response to climate change will be most acute at the poleward range limits and are in accordance with the predictions of MacArthur's hypothesis that poleward range limit for species range is environmentally limited. Our findings imply that the poleward populations of loggerheads are more sensitive to climate variations and thus they might display the impacts of climate change sooner and more prominently.

  14. The geomagnetic environment in which sea turtle eggs incubate affects subsequent magnetic navigation behaviour of hatchlings

    PubMed Central

    Fuxjager, Matthew J.; Davidoff, Kyla R.; Mangiamele, Lisa A.; Lohmann, Kenneth J.

    2014-01-01

    Loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings (Caretta caretta) use regional magnetic fields as open-ocean navigational markers during trans-oceanic migrations. Little is known, however, about the ontogeny of this behaviour. As a first step towards investigating whether the magnetic environment in which hatchlings develop affects subsequent magnetic orientation behaviour, eggs deposited by nesting female loggerheads were permitted to develop in situ either in the natural ambient magnetic field or in a magnetic field distorted by magnets placed around the nest. In orientation experiments, hatchlings that developed in the normal ambient field oriented approximately south when exposed to a field that exists near the northern coast of Portugal, a direction consistent with their migratory route in the northeastern Atlantic. By contrast, hatchlings that developed in a distorted magnetic field had orientation indistinguishable from random when tested in the same north Portugal field. No differences existed between the two groups in orientation assays involving responses to orbital movements of waves or sea-finding, neither of which involves magnetic field perception. These findings, to our knowledge, demonstrate for the first time that the magnetic environment present during early development can influence the magnetic orientation behaviour of a neonatal migratory animal. PMID:25100699

  15. The geomagnetic environment in which sea turtle eggs incubate affects subsequent magnetic navigation behaviour of hatchlings.

    PubMed

    Fuxjager, Matthew J; Davidoff, Kyla R; Mangiamele, Lisa A; Lohmann, Kenneth J

    2014-09-22

    Loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings (Caretta caretta) use regional magnetic fields as open-ocean navigational markers during trans-oceanic migrations. Little is known, however, about the ontogeny of this behaviour. As a first step towards investigating whether the magnetic environment in which hatchlings develop affects subsequent magnetic orientation behaviour, eggs deposited by nesting female loggerheads were permitted to develop in situ either in the natural ambient magnetic field or in a magnetic field distorted by magnets placed around the nest. In orientation experiments, hatchlings that developed in the normal ambient field oriented approximately south when exposed to a field that exists near the northern coast of Portugal, a direction consistent with their migratory route in the northeastern Atlantic. By contrast, hatchlings that developed in a distorted magnetic field had orientation indistinguishable from random when tested in the same north Portugal field. No differences existed between the two groups in orientation assays involving responses to orbital movements of waves or sea-finding, neither of which involves magnetic field perception. These findings, to our knowledge, demonstrate for the first time that the magnetic environment present during early development can influence the magnetic orientation behaviour of a neonatal migratory animal.

  16. 77 FR 17494 - Endangered Species; Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-03-26

    ..., CA; PRT-60610A The applicant requests a permit to import biological specimens of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta), leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), and leatherback sea turtles... eldii), barasingha (Rucervus duvaucelii), Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx), scimitar-horned oryx...

  17. Evaluating the landscape of fear between apex predatory sharks and mobile sea turtles across a large dynamic seascape.

    PubMed

    Hammerschlag, Neil; Broderick, Annette C; Coker, John W; Coyne, Michael S; Dodd, Mark; Frick, Michael G; Godfrey, Matthew H; Godley, Brendan J; Griffin, DuBose B; Hartog, Kyra; Murphy, Sally R; Murphy, Thomas M; Nelson, Emily Rose; Williams, Kristina L; Witt, Matthew J; Hawkes, Lucy A

    2015-08-01

    The "landscape of fear" model has been proposed as a unifying concept in ecology, describing, in part, how animals behave and move about in their environment. The basic model predicts that as an animal's landscape changes from low to high risk of predation, prey species will alter their behavior to risk avoidance. However, studies investigating and evaluating the landscape of fear model across large spatial scales (tens to hundreds of thousands of square kilometers) in dynamic, open, aquatic systems involving apex predators and highly mobile prey are lacking. To address this knowledge gap, we investigated predator-prey relationships between. tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier) and loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) in the North Atlantic Ocean. This included the use of satellite tracking to examine shark and turtle distributions as well as their surfacing behaviors under varying levels of home range overlap. Our findings revealed patterns that deviated from our a priori predictions based on the landscape of fear model. Specifically, turtles did not alter their surfacing behaviors to risk avoidance when overlap in shark-turtle core home range was high. However, in areas of high overlap with turtles, sharks exhibited modified surfacing behaviors that may enhance predation opportunity. We suggest that turtles may be an important factor in determining shark,distribution, whereas for turtles, other life history trade-offs may play a larger role in defining their habitat use. We propose that these findings are a result of both biotic and physically driven factors that independently or synergistically affect predator-prey interactions in this system. These results have implications for evolutionary biology, community ecology; and wildlife conservation. Further, given the difficulty in studying highly migratory marine species, our approach and conclusions may be applied to the study of other predator-prey systems.

  18. The current situation of inorganic elements in marine turtles: A general review and meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Cortés-Gómez, Adriana A; Romero, Diego; Girondot, Marc

    2017-10-01

    Inorganic elements (Pb, Cd, Hg, Al, As, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Se and Zn) are present globally in aquatic systems and their potential transfer to marine turtles can be a serious threat to their health status. The environmental fate of these contaminants may be traced by the analysis of turtle tissues. Loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) are the most frequently investigated of all the sea turtle species with regards to inorganic elements, followed by Green turtles (Chelonia mydas); all the other species have considerably fewer studies. Literature shows that blood, liver, kidney and muscle are the tissues most frequently used for the quantification of inorganic elements, with Pb, Cd, Cu and Zn being the most studied elements. Chelonia mydas showed the highest concentrations of Cr in muscle (4.8 ± 0.12), Cu in liver (37 ± 7) and Mg in kidney (17 μg g(-1) ww), Cr and Cu from the Gulf of Mexico and Mg from Japanese coasts; Lepidochelys olivacea presented the highest concentrations of Pb in blood (4.46 5) and Cd in kidney (150 ± 110 μg g(-1) ww), both from the Mexican Pacific; Caretta caretta from the Mediterranean Egyptian coast had the highest report of Hg in blood (0.66 ± 0.13 μg g(-1) ww); and Eretmochelys imbricata from Japan had the highest concentration of As in muscle (30 ± 13 13 μg g(-1) ww). The meta-analysis allows us to examine some features that were not visible when data was analyzed alone. For instance, Leatherbacks show a unique pattern of concentration compared to other species. Additionally, contamination of different tissues shows some tendencies independent of the species with liver and kidney on one side and bone on the other being different from other tissues. This review provides a general perspective on the accumulation and distribution of these inorganic elements alongside existing information for the 7 sea turtle species. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    Pike, David A

    2014-01-01

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

  20. 76 FR 45781 - Endangered Species; File No. 15552

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-08-01

    ... to take green (Chelonia mydas), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), loggerhead (Caretta caretta... coriacea), and ] unidentified hardshell sea turtles for the purposes of scientific research. ADDRESSES: The... a scientific research permit to take green, loggerhead, hawksbill, leatherback, Kemp's ridley,...

  1. 77 FR 54566 - Endangered Species; File No. 16134

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-09-05

    ... (Chelonia mydas), Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), and loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtles for purposes of scientific research... 222-226). The five-year permit authorizes research on leatherback, loggerhead, green, hawksbill,...

  2. Mother–egg stable isotope conversions and effects of lipid extraction and ethanol preservation on loggerhead eggs

    PubMed Central

    Kaufman, Temma J.; Pajuelo, Mariela; Bjorndal, Karen A.; Bolten, Alan B.; Pfaller, Joseph B.; Williams, Kristina L.; Vander Zanden, Hannah B.

    2014-01-01

    Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope (δ13C and δ15N) analysis has been used to elucidate foraging and migration behaviours of endangered sea turtle populations. Isotopic analysis of tissue samples from nesting females can provide information about their foraging locations before reproduction. To determine whether loggerhead (Caretta caretta) eggs provide a good proxy for maternal isotope values, we addressed the following three objectives: (i) we evaluated isotopic effects of ethanol preservation and lipid extraction on yolk; (ii) we examined the isotopic offset between maternal epidermis and corresponding egg yolk and albumen tissue δ13C and δ15N values; and (iii) we assessed the accuracy of foraging ground assignment using egg yolk and albumen stable isotope values as a proxy for maternal epidermis. Epidermis (n = 61), albumen (n = 61) and yolk samples (n = 24) were collected in 2011 from nesting females at Wassaw Island, GA, USA. Subsamples from frozen and ethanol-preserved yolk samples were lipid extracted. Both lipid extraction and ethanol preservation significantly affected yolk δ13C, while δ15N values were not altered at a biologically relevant level. The mathematical corrections provided here allow for normalization of yolk δ13C values with these treatments. Significant tissue conversion equations were found between δ13C and δ15N values of maternal epidermis and corresponding yolk and albumen. Finally, the consistency in assignment to a foraging area was high (up to 84%), indicating that these conversion equations can be used in future studies where stable isotopes are measured to determine female foraging behaviour and trophic relationships by assessing egg components. Loggerhead eggs can thus provide reliable isotopic information when samples from nesting females cannot be obtained. PMID:27293670

  3. Mother-egg stable isotope conversions and effects of lipid extraction and ethanol preservation on loggerhead eggs.

    PubMed

    Kaufman, Temma J; Pajuelo, Mariela; Bjorndal, Karen A; Bolten, Alan B; Pfaller, Joseph B; Williams, Kristina L; Vander Zanden, Hannah B

    2014-01-01

    Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope (δ(13)C and δ(15)N) analysis has been used to elucidate foraging and migration behaviours of endangered sea turtle populations. Isotopic analysis of tissue samples from nesting females can provide information about their foraging locations before reproduction. To determine whether loggerhead (Caretta caretta) eggs provide a good proxy for maternal isotope values, we addressed the following three objectives: (i) we evaluated isotopic effects of ethanol preservation and lipid extraction on yolk; (ii) we examined the isotopic offset between maternal epidermis and corresponding egg yolk and albumen tissue δ(13)C and δ(15)N values; and (iii) we assessed the accuracy of foraging ground assignment using egg yolk and albumen stable isotope values as a proxy for maternal epidermis. Epidermis (n = 61), albumen (n = 61) and yolk samples (n = 24) were collected in 2011 from nesting females at Wassaw Island, GA, USA. Subsamples from frozen and ethanol-preserved yolk samples were lipid extracted. Both lipid extraction and ethanol preservation significantly affected yolk δ(13)C, while δ(15)N values were not altered at a biologically relevant level. The mathematical corrections provided here allow for normalization of yolk δ(13)C values with these treatments. Significant tissue conversion equations were found between δ(13)C and δ(15)N values of maternal epidermis and corresponding yolk and albumen. Finally, the consistency in assignment to a foraging area was high (up to 84%), indicating that these conversion equations can be used in future studies where stable isotopes are measured to determine female foraging behaviour and trophic relationships by assessing egg components. Loggerhead eggs can thus provide reliable isotopic information when samples from nesting females cannot be obtained.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-11-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

  7. Climate change increases the production of female hatchlings at a northern sea turtle rookery.

    PubMed

    Reneker, J L; Kamel, S J

    2016-12-01

    The most recent climate change projections show a global increase in temperatures, along with major adjustments to precipitation, throughout the 21st century. Species exhibiting temperature-dependent sex determination are highly susceptible to such changes since the incubation environment influences critical offspring characteristics such as survival and sex ratio. Here we show that the mean incubation duration of loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) nests from a high-density nesting beach on Bald Head Island, North Carolina, USA has decreased significantly over the past 25 yr. This decrease in incubation duration is significantly positively correlated with mean air temperature and negatively correlated with mean precipitation during the nesting season. Additionally, although no change in hatching success was detected during this same period, a potentially detrimental consequence of shorter incubation durations is that they lead to the production of primarily female offspring. Given that global temperatures are predicted to increase by as much as 4°C over the next century, the mass feminization of sea turtle hatchlings is a high-priority concern. While presently limited in number, studies using long-term data sets to examine the temporal correlation between offspring characteristics and climatic trends are essential for understanding the scope and direction of climate change effects on species persistence. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  8. Climate Impacts on Sea Turtle Breeding Phenology in Greece and Associated Foraging Habitats in the Wider Mediterranean Region.

    PubMed

    Patel, Samir H; Morreale, Stephen J; Saba, Vincent S; Panagopoulou, Aliki; Margaritoulis, Dimitris; Spotila, James R

    2016-01-01

    Sea turtles are vulnerable to climate change impacts in both their terrestrial (nesting beach) and oceanic habitats. From 1982 to 2012, air and sea surface temperatures at major high use foraging and nesting regions (n = 5) of loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) nesting in Greece have steadily increased. Here, we update the established relationships between sea surface temperature and nesting data from Zakynthos (latitude: 37.7°N), a major nesting beach, while also expanding these analyses to include precipitation and air temperature and additional nesting data from two other key beaches in Greece: Kyparissia Bay (latitude: 37.3°N) and Rethymno, Crete (latitude: 35.4°N). We confirmed that nesting phenology at Zakynthos has continued to be impacted by breeding season temperature; however, temperature has no consistent relationship with nest numbers, which are declining on Zakynthos and Crete but increasing at Kyparissia. Then using statistically downscaled outputs of 14 climate models assessed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), we projected future shifts in nesting for these populations. Based on the climate models, we projected that temperature at the key foraging and breeding sites (Adriatic Sea, Aegean Sea, Crete, Gulf of Gabès and Zakynthos/Kyparissia Bay; overall latitudinal range: 33.0°-45.8°N) for loggerhead turtles nesting in Greece will rise by 3-5°C by 2100. Our calculations indicate that the projected rise in air and ocean temperature at Zakynthos could cause the nesting season in this major rookery to shift to an earlier date by as much as 50-74 days by 2100. Although an earlier onset of the nesting season may provide minor relief for nest success as temperatures rise, the overall climatic changes to the various important habitats will most likely have an overall negative impact on this population.

  9. Climate Impacts on Sea Turtle Breeding Phenology in Greece and Associated Foraging Habitats in the Wider Mediterranean Region

    PubMed Central

    Morreale, Stephen J.; Saba, Vincent S.; Panagopoulou, Aliki; Margaritoulis, Dimitris; Spotila, James R.

    2016-01-01

    Sea turtles are vulnerable to climate change impacts in both their terrestrial (nesting beach) and oceanic habitats. From 1982 to 2012, air and sea surface temperatures at major high use foraging and nesting regions (n = 5) of loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) nesting in Greece have steadily increased. Here, we update the established relationships between sea surface temperature and nesting data from Zakynthos (latitude: 37.7°N), a major nesting beach, while also expanding these analyses to include precipitation and air temperature and additional nesting data from two other key beaches in Greece: Kyparissia Bay (latitude: 37.3°N) and Rethymno, Crete (latitude: 35.4°N). We confirmed that nesting phenology at Zakynthos has continued to be impacted by breeding season temperature; however, temperature has no consistent relationship with nest numbers, which are declining on Zakynthos and Crete but increasing at Kyparissia. Then using statistically downscaled outputs of 14 climate models assessed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), we projected future shifts in nesting for these populations. Based on the climate models, we projected that temperature at the key foraging and breeding sites (Adriatic Sea, Aegean Sea, Crete, Gulf of Gabès and Zakynthos/Kyparissia Bay; overall latitudinal range: 33.0°—45.8°N) for loggerhead turtles nesting in Greece will rise by 3–5°C by 2100. Our calculations indicate that the projected rise in air and ocean temperature at Zakynthos could cause the nesting season in this major rookery to shift to an earlier date by as much as 50–74 days by 2100. Although an earlier onset of the nesting season may provide minor relief for nest success as temperatures rise, the overall climatic changes to the various important habitats will most likely have an overall negative impact on this population. PMID:27332550

  10. Turtles

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1995-01-01

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

  11. Use of baculovirus-expressed glycoprotein H in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay developed to assess exposure to chelonid fibropapillomatosis-associated herpesvirus and its relationship to the prevalence of fibropapillomatosis in sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Herbst, Lawrence H; Lemaire, Shefali; Ene, Ada R; Heslin, David J; Ehrhart, Llewellyn M; Bagley, Dean A; Klein, Paul A; Lenz, Jack

    2008-05-01

    Chelonid fibropapillomatosis-associated herpesvirus (CFPHV) is an alphaherpesvirus believed to cause marine turtle fibropapillomatosis (FP). A serodiagnostic assay was developed for monitoring sea turtle populations for CFPHV exposure. CFPHV glycoprotein H (gH) expressed in recombinant baculovirus was used in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to detect virus-specific 7S turtle antibodies. Using captive-reared green turtles (Chelonia mydas) with no history of virus exposure as "known negatives" and others with experimentally induced FP as "known positives," the assay had 100% specificity but low sensitivity, as seroconversion was detected in only half of the turtles bearing experimentally induced tumors. Antibodies were detected only in samples collected after cutaneous fibropapillomas appeared, consistent with observations that tumors are significant sites of virion production and antigen expression and the possibility that prolonged/repeated virus shedding may be required for adequate stimulation of 7S antibody responses to gH. Natural routes of infection, however, may produce higher seroconversion rates. High gH antibody seroprevalences ( approximately 80%) were found among wild green turtles in three Florida localities with different FP prevalences, including one site with no history of FP. In addition, all eight loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) tested were seropositive despite FP being uncommon in this species. The possibility that CFPHV infection may be common relative to disease suggests roles for environmental and host factors as modulators of disease expression. Alternatively, the possibility of other antigenically similar herpesviruses present in wild populations cannot be excluded, although antibody cross-reactivity with the lung/eye/trachea disease-associated herpesvirus was ruled out in this study.

  12. Conservation hotspots for marine turtle nesting in the United States based on coastal development.

    PubMed

    Fuentes, Mariana M P B; Gredzens, Christian; Bateman, Brooke L; Boettcher, Ruth; Ceriani, Simona A; Godfrey, Matthew H; Helmers, David; Ingram, Dianne K; Kamrowski, Ruth L; Pate, Michelle; Pressey, Robert L; Radeloff, Volker C

    2016-12-01

    Coastal areas provide nesting habitat for marine turtles that is critical for the persistence of their populations. However, many coastal areas are highly affected by coastal development, which affects the reproductive success of marine turtles. Knowing the extent to which nesting areas are exposed to these threats is essential to guide management initiatives. This information is particularly important for coastal areas with both high nesting density and dense human development, a combination that is common in the United States. We assessed the extent to which nesting areas of the loggerhead (Caretta caretta), the green (Chelonia mydas), the Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), and leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) in the continental United States are exposed to coastal development and identified conservation hotspots that currently have high reproductive importance and either face high exposure to coastal development (needing intervention), or have low exposure to coastal development, and are good candidates for continued and future protection. Night-time light, housing, and population density were used as proxies for coastal development and human disturbance. About 81.6% of nesting areas were exposed to housing and human population, and 97.8% were exposed to light pollution. Further, most (>65%) of the very high- and high-density nesting areas for each species/subpopulation, except for the Kemp's ridley, were exposed to coastal development. Forty-nine nesting sites were selected as conservation hotspots; of those high-density nesting sites, 49% were sites with no/low exposure to coastal development and the other 51% were exposed to high-density coastal development. Conservation strategies need to account for ~66.8% of all marine turtle nesting areas being on private land and for nesting sites being exposed to large numbers of seasonal residents. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  13. 76 FR 61670 - Receipt of an Application for Incidental Take Permit (16230)

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-10-05

    ... application is for the incidental take of ESA- listed adult and juvenile sea turtles associated with otherwise...: Loggerhead (Caretta caretta), green (Chelonia mydas), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), and Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) sea turtles. Background NMFS issued Permit...

  14. 76 FR 63322 - Endangered and Threatened Species Permit Applications

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-10-12

    ...), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), green (Chelonia mydas), and loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtles.... Applicant requests a new permit for husbandry and holding of green (Chelonia mydas) sea turtles within the...

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Utilization of granular solidification during terrestrial locomotion of hatchling sea turtles

    PubMed Central

    Mazouchova, Nicole; Gravish, Nick; Savu, Andrei; Goldman, Daniel I.

    2010-01-01

    Biological terrestrial locomotion occurs on substrate materials with a range of rheological behaviour, which can affect limb-ground interaction, locomotor mode and performance. Surfaces like sand, a granular medium, can display solid or fluid-like behaviour in response to stress. Based on our previous experiments and models of a robot moving on granular media, we hypothesize that solidification properties of granular media allow organisms to achieve performance on sand comparable to that on hard ground. We test this hypothesis by performing a field study examining locomotor performance (average speed) of an animal that can both swim aquatically and move on land, the hatchling Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta). Hatchlings were challenged to traverse a trackway with two surface treatments: hard ground (sandpaper) and loosely packed sand. On hard ground, the claw use enables no-slip locomotion. Comparable performance on sand was achieved by creation of a solid region behind the flipper that prevents slipping. Yielding forces measured in laboratory drag experiments were sufficient to support the inertial forces at each step, consistent with our solidification hypothesis. PMID:20147312

  18. Genomic characterization of two novel reptilian papillomaviruses, Chelonia mydas papillomavirus 1 and Caretta caretta papillomavirus 1.

    PubMed

    Herbst, Lawrence H; Lenz, Jack; Van Doorslaer, Koenraad; Chen, Zigui; Stacy, Brian A; Wellehan, James F X; Manire, Charles A; Burk, Robert D

    2009-01-05

    In this paper we describe the characterization of the genomes of two sea turtle papillomaviruses, Chelonia mydas PV (CmPV-1) and Caretta caretta PV (CcPV-1). The isolation and sequencing of the first non-avian reptilian PVs extend the evolutionary history of PVs to include all amniotes. PVs have now been described in mammals, birds and non-avian reptiles. The chelonian PVs form a distinct clade most closely related to the avian PVs. Unlike the avian PVs, both chelonian PVs have canonical E6 and E7 ORFs, indicating that these genes were present in the common ancestor to mammalian and non-mammalian amniote PVs. Rates of evolution among the non-mammalian PVs were generally slower than those estimated for mammalian PVs, perhaps due to lower metabolic rates among the ectothermic reptiles.

  19. Molecular phylogeny for marine turtles based on sequences of the ND4-leucine tRNA and control regions of mitochondrial DNA.

    PubMed

    Dutton, P H; Davis, S K; Guerra, T; Owens, D

    1996-06-01

    Marine turtles are divided into two families, the Dermochelyidae and the Cheloniidae. The majority of species are currently placed within the two tribes of the Cheloniidae, the Chelonini and the Carettini, but debate continues over generic and tribal affinities as well as species boundaries. We used nucleotide sequences (907 bp) from the ND4-LEU tRNA region and the control region (526 bp) of mitochondrial DNA to resolve areas of uncertainty in marine turtle (Chelonioidae) systematics. The ND4-LEU tRNA fragment was more conserved than the fragment from the control region, with sequence divergences ranging from 0.026 to 0.148 and 0.067 to 0.267, respectively. Parsimony analysis based only on the ND4-LEU tRNA data suggests that the hawksbill, Eretmochelys imbricata, lies within the tribe Carettni and is closely related to the genus Caretta, but could not resolve the position of the flatback, Natator depressus. A similar analysis based only on the control region sequence data suggested that N. depressus is affiliated with the Chelonini, but failed to resolve the position of E. imbricata and the loggerhead, Caretta caretta. In contrast to these results, the combination of both data sets with published cytochrome b data produced a phylogeny based on 1924 bp of sequence data which resolves the position of E. imbricata relative to Caretta and Lepidochelys and joins N. depressus as sister to the Carettini. Based on the molecular data, the Chelonini contains the Chelonia species, while the Carettini contains the remaining species of Cheloniidae. The control region sequence divergence between Pacific and Atlantic populations of the leatherback, Dermochelys coriacea, was relatively low (0.0081) when compared with the green turtle, Chelonia mydas (0.071-0.074). Atlantic and Pacific populations of Ch. mydas were found to be paraphyletic with respect to the black turtle, Ch. agassizi, suggesting that the current taxonomic designations within the Pacific Chelonia are questionable

  20. 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,…

  1. Monoclonal antibodies for the measurement of class-specific antibody responses in the green turtle, Chelonia mydas.

    PubMed

    Herbst, L H; Klein, P A

    1995-06-01

    Monoclonal antibodies (Mabs) were developed against the known immunoglobulin classes of the green turtle, Chelonia mydas. Plasma protein fractions enriched for 5.7S IgY, 7S IgY, and IgM turtle immunoglobulins were used to immunize Balb/c mice for hybridoma production and for hybridoma screening. Fifteen hybridomas produced Mabs with specificity for turtle immunoglobulins and for affinity purified dinitrophenol (DNP) specific turtle antibodies. Three Mabs specific for either turtle 5.7S IgY heavy chain (HL814), 7S IgY heavy chain (HL857), or IgM heavy chain (HL846) were purified and used in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to measure antibody responses in two turtles immunized with 2,4-dinitrophenylated bovine serum albumin (DNP-BSA) over a 10 month period. In both turtles the 7S IgY antibody response developed within 5 weeks of the first inoculation and remained high over the following 9 months. The 5.7S IgY antibody response was detected in one turtle at 3-4 months and in the other at 8 months, and reached high levels in both individuals by 10 months. The IgM responses were difficult to interpret. One turtle had pre-inoculation anti-DNP IgM antibody in its plasma and the other developed only a weak, transient response at about 4 months. The class-specific antibody activity in immune turtle plasma could be strongly inhibited by soluble DNP or by rabbit anti-DNP specific antiserum, showing that these antibody responses were directed predominantly to the DNP hapten on the DNP-BSA antigen. Antibody responses to the BSA carrier could not be detected in either turtle over the course of the immunization. Mab HL814, specific for an epitope on the 5.7S green turtle immunoglobulin heavy chain, will be useful for characterizing the molecular relationships of 5.7S, 7S and IgM heavy chains and the role of 5.7S antibody in humoral immunity in this species. All anti-turtle Ig Mabs were screened against the plasma globulins of Loggerhead (Caretta caretta), Olive

  2. 75 FR 22106 - Endangered Species; File No. 14510

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-04-27

    ... (Chelonia mydas), loggerhead (Caretta caretta), olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea), and leatherback..., inject tetracycline, and release up to: ten green, one olive ridley, and three loggerhead sea turtles taken in power plant entrainments; four green, one olive ridley, one loggerhead, and two leatherback...

  3. Learning with Loggerheads

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lener, Christine; Pinou, Theodora

    2007-01-01

    Kids tracking sea turtles? No, it's not a description for a new nature show on TV, it's a lesson, and it could be happening in your classroom! Sea turtle biologists worldwide are currently working together to track turtles to learn about sea turtle behavior and migration in an effort to conserve these endangered animals. A unit was developed using…

  4. Learning with Loggerheads

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lener, Christine; Pinou, Theodora

    2007-01-01

    Kids tracking sea turtles? No, it's not a description for a new nature show on TV, it's a lesson, and it could be happening in your classroom! Sea turtle biologists worldwide are currently working together to track turtles to learn about sea turtle behavior and migration in an effort to conserve these endangered animals. A unit was developed using…

  5. 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

  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

    2016-06-16

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  8. Effects of pH, CO2 and organic phosphates on oxygen affinity of sea turtle hemoglobins.

    PubMed

    Lutz, P L; Lapennas, G N

    1982-04-01

    The affinities of adult-type hemoglobins of green (Chelonia mydas) and loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtles were determined at 25.7 degrees C as a function of pH, PCO2 and each of the organic phosphates found in erythrocytes of these species (ATP, IHP (substitute for IPP) and DPG). Each species showed a single hemoglobin band in cellulose acetate electrophoresis which isoelectric focusing resolved into one major and three minor components having isoelectric points near pH 7.2. Oxygen binding curves were recorded using a modified 'Hemoscan' (Instrument Division, Travenol Laboratories, Savage, MD). Hemolysates were kept saturated with CO during preparation to prevent methemoglobin formation. CO was driven off immediately before performing each oxygen binding determination, using the photodissociative effect of the Hemoscan light beam. In both species, phosphate-free hemoglobin has higher affinity than whole blood, and had lower pH sensitivity. CO2 (37 Torr) reduces affinity, particularly in the green sea turtle, and eliminates pH sensitivity. Each organic phosphate tested reduces affinity, with IHP being most effective at a given concentration and DPG least effective. Organic phosphates are most effective at low pH, and restore both pH sensitivity and oxygen affinity to whole-blood levels taking into account the difference between plasma and intracellular pH. Reasons are suggested why the organic phosphate effect was not detected in a previous study. Hemolysates of both species are distinctive in giving upward-curving Hill plots, with n = 1 asymptotes at low saturation that are insensitive to pH, CO2 and organic phosphates. The oxygen affinities corresponding to these asymptotes are about 100 Torr in both species. Results are compared to oxygen dissociation curves obtained from whole blood.

  9. Bahamas connection: residence areas selected by breeding female loggerheads tagged in Dry Tortugas National Park, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

    We demonstrate a previously unknown link between Dry Tortugas nesting beaches and Bahamas residence areas; 17/39 (43.6%) of nesting loggerheads tagged in and tracked from the Dry Tortugas take up residence at sites in the Bahamas. Residence area estimates for these turtles were similar in size to previous foraging area estimates for two turtles tracked to the Bahamas in other studies. We show inter-annual residence area repeatability, and that residence areas of different individuals generally did not overlap. We suggest that these loggerheads possibly establish territories.

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

    PubMed

    Avens, Larisa; Lohmann, Kenneth J

    2004-05-01

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

  11. Breeding periodicity for male sea turtles, operational sex ratios, and implications in the face of climate change.

    PubMed

    Hays, Graeme C; Fossette, Sabrina; Katselidis, Kostas A; Schofield, Gail; Gravenor, Mike B

    2010-12-01

    Species that have temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) often produce highly skewed offspring sex ratios contrary to long-standing theoretical predictions. This ecological enigma has provoked concern that climate change may induce the production of single-sex generations and hence lead to population extirpation. All species of sea turtles exhibit TSD, many are already endangered, and most already produce sex ratios skewed to the sex produced at warmer temperatures (females). We tracked male loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) from Zakynthos, Greece, throughout the entire interval between successive breeding seasons and identified individuals on their breeding grounds, using photoidentification, to determine breeding periodicity and operational sex ratios. Males returned to breed at least twice as frequently as females. We estimated that the hatchling sex ratio of 70:30 female to male for this rookery will translate into an overall operational sex ratio (OSR) (i.e., ratio of total number of males vs females breeding each year) of close to 50:50 female to male. We followed three male turtles for between 10 and 12 months during which time they all traveled back to the breeding grounds. Flipper tagging revealed the proportion of females returning to nest after intervals of 1, 2, 3, and 4 years were 0.21, 0.38, 0.29, and 0.12, respectively (mean interval 2.3 years). A further nine male turtles were tracked for short periods to determine their departure date from the breeding grounds. These departure dates were combined with a photoidentification data set of 165 individuals identified on in-water transect surveys at the start of the breeding season to develop a statistical model of the population dynamics. This model produced a maximum likelihood estimate that males visit the breeding site 2.6 times more often than females (95%CI 2.1, 3.1), which was consistent with the data from satellite tracking and flipper tagging. Increased frequency of male breeding will

  12. Environmental Assessment: Navy Lightweight Exoatmospheric Projectile (LEAP) Technology Demonstration

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-11-02

    E Whale, Right Balaena glacialis E E Whale Sperm Phseter catodon REPTILES E E Turtle hawksbill Eretmochelys imbricata E E Turtle Kemps...Lepidochelys kempii E E Turtle leatherback Dermochelys coriacea E E Turtle loggerhead Caretta caretta T Note: Data derived from U.S. Fish and Wildlife

  13. 78 FR 77428 - 2014 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle Observer Requirement

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-12-23

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

  14. Use of Dry Tortugas National Park by threatened and endangered marine turtles: Chapter 5

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

    Satellite and acoustic tracking results for green turtles, hawksbills, and loggerheads have revealed patterns in the proportion of time that tagged turtles spend within various zones of the park, including the RNA. Green turtles primarily utilize the shallow areas in the northern portion of the park. Hawksbills were mostly observed near Garden Key and loggerheads were observed throughout DRTO. Our record of turtle captures, recaptures, and sightings over the last 4 years serves as a baseline database for understanding the size classes of each species present in the park, as well as species-specific habitats in DRTO waters.

  15. 75 FR 25840 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plans; Recovery Plan for the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-05-10

    ... Plans; Recovery Plan for the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle AGENCIES: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS... Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys kempii). The Kemp's Ridley Recovery Plan is a bi-national plan developed... and interested parties to assist in the recovery of loggerhead turtles. The Plan...

  16. 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.

  17. Forelimb muscle function in pig-nosed turtles, Carettochelys insculpta: testing neuromotor conservation between rowing and flapping in swimming turtles

    PubMed Central

    Rivera, Angela R. V.; Blob, Richard W.

    2013-01-01

    Changes in muscle activation patterns can lead to new locomotor modes; however, neuromotor conservation—the evolution of new forms of locomotion through changes in structure without concurrent changes to underlying motor patterns—has been documented across diverse styles of locomotion. Animals that swim using appendages do so via rowing (anteroposterior oscilations) or flapping (dorsoventral oscilations). Yet few studies have compared motor patterns between these swimming modes. In swimming turtles, propulsion is generated exclusively by limbs. Kinematically, turtles swim using multiple styles of rowing (freshwater species), flapping (sea turtles) and a unique hybrid style with superficial similarity to flapping by sea turtles and characterized by increased dorsoventral motions of synchronously oscillated forelimbs that have been modified into flippers (Carettochelys insculpta). We compared forelimb motor patterns in four species of turtle (two rowers, Apalone ferox and Trachemys scripta; one flapper, Caretta caretta; and Carettochelys) and found that, despite kinematic differences, motor patterns were generally similar among species with a few notable exceptions: specifically, presence of variable bursts for pectoralis and triceps in Trachemys (though timing of the non-variable pectoralis burst was similar), and the timing of deltoideus activity in Carettochelys and Caretta compared with other taxa. The similarities in motor patterns we find for several muscles provide partial support for neuromotor conservation among turtles using diverse locomotor styles, but the differences implicate deltoideus as a prime contributor to flapping limb motions. PMID:23966596

  18. 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.

  19. Development of the orbital region in the chondrocranium of Caretta caretta. Reconsideration of the vertebrate neurocranium configuration.

    PubMed

    Kuratani, S

    1989-01-01

    By studying the development of the orbital region in the Loggarhead turtle (Caretta caretta) and some placental mammals, it has become clear that the orbital region of the neurocranium should not be regarded as merely a "bowl" to contain the brain, but rather that its ventral part is originally flexured along with the cephalic flexure of the neural tube. At this flexure, the neurocranium is to be divided into 2 parts, the anterior and posterior. The anterior part of the neurocranial sheet is medially perforated by the infundibulum and gives rise to pila metoptica laterally. The post orbital cartilage represents the posterior part. From the above "Bauplan" of the neurocranium, the following conclusions can be drawn: (1) the simple homology of the reptilian and placental mammalian pila metoptica is questionable; (2) the pila antotica is produced by the absorption of the mid-dorsal part of the postorbital cartilage, while the dorsum sellae in mammals is produce by the chondrification of the middle part of the same anlage; (3) homology of the ala hypochiasmatica in mammals with the supratrabecular cartilage in reptiles is more feasible than with the cartilago hypochiasmatica; and (4) the crista sellaris in reptiles is not a part of the primary cranial wall but probably of secondary production.

  20. Geographic variation in marine turtle fibropapillomatosis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Greenblatt, R.J.; Work, Thierry 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.

  1. Geographic variation in marine turtle fibropapillomatosis.

    PubMed

    Greenblatt, Rebecca J; Work, Thierry M; Dutton, Peter; Sutton, Claudia A; Spraker, Terry R; Casey, Rufina N; Diez, Carlos E; Parker, Denise; St Leger, Judy; Balazs, George H; Casey, James W

    2005-09-01

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. Three closely related herpesviruses are associated with fibropapillomatosis in marine turtles

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Quackenbush, S.L.; Work, T.M.; Balazs, G.H.; Casey, R.N.; Rovnak, J.; Chaves, A.; duToit, L.; Baines, J.D.; Parrish, C.R.; Bowser, P.R.; Casey, J.W.

    1998-01-01

    Green turtle fibropapillomatosis is a neoplastic disease of increasingly significant threat to the survivability of this species. Degenerate PCR primers that target highly conserved regions of genes encoding herpesvirus DNA polymerases were used to amplify a DNA sequence from fibropapillomas and fibromas from Hawaiian and Florida green turtles. All of the tumors tested (n= 23) were found to harbor viral DNA, whereas no viral DNA was detected in skin biopsies from tumor-negative turtles. The tissue distribution of the green turtle herpesvirus appears to be generally limited to tumors where viral DNA was found to accumulate at approximately two to five copies per cell and is occasionally detected, only by PCR, in some tissues normally associated with tumor development. In addition, herpesviral DNA was detected in fibropapillomas from two loggerhead and four olive ridley turtles. Nucleotide sequencing of a 483-bp fragment of the turtle herpesvirus DNA polymerase gene determined that the Florida green turtle and loggerhead turtle sequences are identical and differ from the Hawaiian green turtle sequence by five nucleotide changes, which results in two amino acid substitutions. The olive ridley sequence differs from the Florida and Hawaiian green turtle sequences by 15 and 16 nucleotide changes, respectively, resulting in four amino acid substitutions, three of which are unique to the olive ridley sequence. Our data suggest that these closely related turtle herpesviruses are intimately involved in the genesis of fibropapillomatosis.

  4. Three closely related herpesviruses are associated with fibropapillomatosis in marine turtles

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Quackenbush, S.L.; Work, Thierry M.; Balazs, George H.; Casey, Rufina N.; Rovnak, J.; Chaves, A.; duToit, L.; Baines, J.D.; Parrish, C.R.; Bowser, Paul R.; Casey, James W.

    1998-01-01

    Green turtle fibropapillomatosis is a neoplastic disease of increasingly significant threat to the survivability of this species. Degenerate PCR primers that target highly conserved regions of genes encoding herpesvirus DNA polymerases were used to amplify a DNA sequence from fibropapillomas and fibromas from Hawaiian and Florida green turtles. All of the tumors tested (n= 23) were found to harbor viral DNA, whereas no viral DNA was detected in skin biopsies from tumor-negative turtles. The tissue distribution of the green turtle herpesvirus appears to be generally limited to tumors where viral DNA was found to accumulate at approximately two to five copies per cell and is occasionally detected, only by PCR, in some tissues normally associated with tumor development. In addition, herpesviral DNA was detected in fibropapillomas from two loggerhead and four olive ridley turtles. Nucleotide sequencing of a 483-bp fragment of the turtle herpesvirus DNA polymerase gene determined that the Florida green turtle and loggerhead turtle sequences are identical and differ from the Hawaiian green turtle sequence by five nucleotide changes, which results in two amino acid substitutions. The olive ridley sequence differs from the Florida and Hawaiian green turtle sequences by 15 and 16 nucleotide changes, respectively, resulting in four amino acid substitutions, three of which are unique to the olive ridley sequence. Our data suggest that these closely related turtle herpesviruses are intimately involved in the genesis of fibropapillomatosis.

  5. Forelimb kinematics during swimming in the pig-nosed turtle, Carettochelys insculpta, compared with other turtle taxa: rowing versus flapping, convergence versus intermediacy

    PubMed Central

    Rivera, Angela R. V.; Rivera, Gabriel; Blob, Richard W.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Animals that swim using appendages do so by way of rowing and/or flapping motions. Often considered discrete categories, rowing and flapping are more appropriately regarded as points along a continuum. The pig-nosed turtle, Carettochelys insculpta, is unusual in that it is the only freshwater turtle to have limbs modified into flippers and swim via synchronous forelimb motions that resemble dorsoventral flapping, traits that evolved independently from their presence in sea turtles. We used high-speed videography to quantify forelimb kinematics in C. insculpta and a closely related, highly aquatic rower (Apalone ferox). Comparisons of our new data with those previously collected for a generalized freshwater rower (Trachemys scripta) and a flapping sea turtle (Caretta caretta) allow us to: (1) more precisely quantify and characterize the range of limb motions used by flappers versus rowers, and (2) assess whether the synchronous forelimb motions of C. insculpta can be classified as flapping (i.e. whether they exhibit forelimb kinematics and angles of attack more similar to closely related rowing species or more distantly related flapping sea turtles). We found that the forelimb kinematics of previously recognized rowers (T. scripta and A. ferox) were most similar to each other, but that those of C. insculpta were more similar to rowers than to flapping C. caretta. Nevertheless, of the three freshwater species, C. insculpta was most similar to flapping C. caretta. ‘Flapping’ in C. insculpta is achieved through humeral kinematics very different from those in C. caretta, with C. insculpta exhibiting significantly more anteroposterior humeral motion and protraction, and significantly less dorsoventral humeral motion and depression. Based on several intermediate kinematic parameters and angle of attack data, C. insculpta may in fact represent a synchronous rower or hybrid rower-flapper, suggesting that traditional views of C. insculpta as a flapper should be

  6. Forelimb kinematics during swimming in the pig-nosed turtle, Carettochelys insculpta, compared with other turtle taxa: rowing versus flapping, convergence versus intermediacy.

    PubMed

    Rivera, Angela R V; Rivera, Gabriel; Blob, Richard W

    2013-02-15

    Animals that swim using appendages do so by way of rowing and/or flapping motions. Often considered discrete categories, rowing and flapping are more appropriately regarded as points along a continuum. The pig-nosed turtle, Carettochelys insculpta, is unusual in that it is the only freshwater turtle to have limbs modified into flippers and swim via synchronous forelimb motions that resemble dorsoventral flapping, traits that evolved independently from their presence in sea turtles. We used high-speed videography to quantify forelimb kinematics in C. insculpta and a closely related, highly aquatic rower (Apalone ferox). Comparisons of our new data with those previously collected for a generalized freshwater rower (Trachemys scripta) and a flapping sea turtle (Caretta caretta) allow us to: (1) more precisely quantify and characterize the range of limb motions used by flappers versus rowers, and (2) assess whether the synchronous forelimb motions of C. insculpta can be classified as flapping (i.e. whether they exhibit forelimb kinematics and angles of attack more similar to closely related rowing species or more distantly related flapping sea turtles). We found that the forelimb kinematics of previously recognized rowers (T. scripta and A. ferox) were most similar to each other, but that those of C. insculpta were more similar to rowers than to flapping C. caretta. Nevertheless, of the three freshwater species, C. insculpta was most similar to flapping C. caretta. 'Flapping' in C. insculpta is achieved through humeral kinematics very different from those in C. caretta, with C. insculpta exhibiting significantly more anteroposterior humeral motion and protraction, and significantly less dorsoventral humeral motion and depression. Based on several intermediate kinematic parameters and angle of attack data, C. insculpta may in fact represent a synchronous rower or hybrid rower-flapper, suggesting that traditional views of C. insculpta as a flapper should be revised.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  8. 75 FR 33578 - Endangered Species; File Nos. 14508 and 14655

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-06-14

    ...Notice is hereby given that Inwater Research Group, Inc. [Permit no. 14508, Principal Investigator, Michael Bresette] Jensen Beach, FL and Jane Provancha [Permit No. 14655], Cape Canaveral, FL have been issued permits to take take green (Chelonia mydas), loggerhead (Caretta caretta), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), and Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) sea turtles for purposes of scientific research.

  9. 76 FR 58867 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Determination of Nine Distinct Population Segments of...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-09-22

    ...We (NMFS and USFWS; also collectively referred to as the Services) have determined that the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) is composed of nine distinct population segments (DPSs) that constitute ``species'' that may be listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). In this final rule, we are listing four DPSs as threatened and five as endangered under the......

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Intrapopulation variability in the timing of ontogenetic habitat shifts in sea turtles revealed using δ(15) N values from bone growth rings.

    PubMed

    Turner Tomaszewicz, Calandra N; Seminoff, Jeffrey A; Peckham, S Hoyt; Avens, Larisa; Kurle, Carolyn M

    2017-05-01

    Determining location and timing of ontogenetic shifts in the habitat use of highly migratory species, along with possible intrapopulation variation in these shifts, is essential for understanding mechanisms driving alternate life histories and assessing overall population trends. Measuring variations in multi-year habitat-use patterns is especially difficult for remote oceanic species. To investigate the potential for differential habitat use among migratory marine vertebrates, we measured the naturally occurring stable nitrogen isotope (δ(15) N) patterns that differentiate distinct ocean regions to create a 'regional isotope characterization', analysed the δ(15) N values from annual bone growth layer rings from dead-stranded animals, and then combined the bone and regional isotope data to track individual animal movement patterns over multiple years. We used humeri from juvenile North Pacific loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta), animals that undergo long migrations across the North Pacific Ocean (NPO), using multiple discrete regions as they develop to adulthood. Typical of many migratory marine species, ontogenetic changes in habitat use throughout their decades-long juvenile stage is poorly understood, but each potential habitat has unique foraging opportunities and spatially explicit natural and anthropogenic threats that could affect key life-history parameters. We found a bimodal size/age distribution in the timing that juveniles underwent an ontogenetic habitat shift from the oceanic central North Pacific (CNP) to the neritic east Pacific region near the Baja California Peninsula (BCP) (42·7 ± 7·2 vs. 68·3 ± 3·4 cm carapace length, 7·5 ± 2·7 vs. 15·6 ± 1·7 years). Important to the survival of this population, these disparate habitats differ considerably in their food availability, energy requirements and threats, and these differences can influence life-history parameters such as growth, survival and future fecundity. This is the

  13. Elucidation of the first definitively identified life cycle for a marine turtle blood fluke (Trematoda: Spirorchiidae) enables informed control.

    PubMed

    Cribb, Thomas H; Crespo-Picazo, Jose L; Cutmore, Scott C; Stacy, Brian A; Chapman, Phoebe A; García-Párraga, Daniel

    2017-01-01

    Blood flukes of the family Spirorchiidae are significant pathogens of both free-ranging and captive marine turtles. Despite a significant proportion of marine turtle mortality being attributable to spirorchiid infections, details of their life cycles remain almost entirely unknown. Here we report on the molecular elucidation of the complete life cycle of a marine spirorchiid, identified as Amphiorchis sp., infecting vermetid gastropods and captive hatched neonate Caretta caretta in the Oceanogràfic Aquarium, in Valencia, Spain. Specimens of a vermetid gastropod, Thylaeodus cf. rugulosus (Monterosato, 1878), collected from the aquarium filtration system housing diseased C. caretta, were infected with sporocysts and cercariae consistent with the family Spirorchiidae. We generated rDNA sequence data [internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) and partial 28S rDNA] from infections from the vermetid which were identical to sequences generated from eggs from the serosa of the intestine of neonate C. caretta, and an adult spirorchiid from the liver of a C. caretta from Florida, USA. Given the reliability of these markers in the delineation of trematode species, we consider all three stages to represent the same species and tentatively identify it as a species of Amphiorchis Price, 1934. The source of infection at the Oceanogràfic Foundation Rehabilitation Centre, Valencia, Spain, is inferred to be an adult C. caretta from the western Mediterranean being rehabilitated in the same facility. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that this Amphiorchis sp. is closely related to other spirorchiids of marine turtles (species of Carettacola Manter & Larson, 1950, Hapalotrema Looss, 1899 and Learedius Price, 1934). We discuss implications of the present findings for the control of spirorchiidiasis in captivity, for the better understanding of epidemiology in wild individuals, and the elucidation of further life cycles. Copyright © 2016 Australian Society for Parasitology. Published by

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. Genomic variation of the fibropapilloma-associated marine turtle herpes virus across seven geographic areas and three host species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Greenblatt, R.J.; Quackenbush, S.L.; Casey, R.N.; Rovnak, J.; Balazs, G.H.; Work, Thierry M.; Casey, J.W.; Sutton, C.A.

    2005-01-01

    Fibropapillomatosis (FP) of marine turtles is an emerging neoplastic disease associated with infection by a novel turtle herpesvirus, fibropapilloma-associated turtle herpesvirus (FPTHV). This report presents 23 kb of the genome of an FPTHV infecting a Hawaiian green turtle (Chelonia mydas). By sequence homology, the open reading frames in this contig correspond to herpes simplex virus genes UL23 through UL36. The order, orientation, and homology of these putative genes indicate that FPTHV is a member of the Alphaherpesvirinae. The UL27-, UL30-, and UL34-homologous open reading frames from FPTHVs infecting nine FP-affected marine turtles from seven geographic areas and three turtle species (C. mydas, Caretta caretta, and Lepidochelys olivacea) were compared. A high degree of nucleotide sequence conservation was found among these virus variants. However, geographic variations were also found: the FPTHVs examined here form four groups, corresponding to the Atlantic Ocean, West pacific, mid-Pacific, and east Pacific. Our results indicate that FPTHV was established in marine turtle populations prior to the emergence of FP as it is currently known.

  17. Study of the effects of oil on marine turtles. Volume 1. Executive summary. Final report, 30 September 1983-1 October 1985

    SciTech Connect

    Vargo, S.; Lutz, P.; Odell, D.; Van Vleet, E.; Bossart, G.

    1986-09-15

    The objective of the study was to determine the effects of oil on marine turtles. An experimental program was carried out on 3-20 month old loggerhead and 3-16 month old green turtles to determine behavioral and physiological effects of oil using South Louisiana Crude Oil (SLCO) preweathered for 48 hrs. The behavioral experiments indicated that both species of marine turtles had a limited ability to avoid oil slicks, but experiments to determine avoidance/attraction to floating tar balls were inconclusive. The physiological experiments showed that the respiration, skin, some aspects of blood chemistry and composition, and salt gland function of 15-18 month old loggerhead sea turtles were significantly affected.

  18. Study of the effects of oil on marine turtles. Volume 3. Appendices. Final report, 30 September 1983-1 October 1985

    SciTech Connect

    Vargo, S.; Lutz, P.; Odell, D.; Van Vleet, E.; Bossart, G.

    1986-09-15

    The objective of the study was to determine the effects of oil on marine turtles. An experimental program was carried out on 3-20 month old loggerhead and 3-16 month old green turtles to determine behavioral and physiological effects of oil using South Louisiana Crude Oil (SLCO) preweathered for 48 hrs. The behavioral experiments indicated that both species of marine turtles had a limited ability to avoid oil slicks, but experiments to determine avoidance/attraction to floating tar balls were inconclusive. The physiological experiments showed that the respiration, skin, some aspects of blood chemistry and composition, and salt gland function of 15-18 month old loggerhead sea turtles were significantly affected.

  19. Study of the effects of oil on marine turtles. Volume 2. Technical report. Final report, 30 September 1983-1 October 1985

    SciTech Connect

    Vargo, S.; Lutz, P.; Odell, D.; Van Vleet, E.; Bossart, G.

    1986-09-15

    The objective of the study was to determine the effects of oil on marine turtles. An experimental program was carried out on 3-20 month old loggerhead and 3-16 month old green turtles to determine behavioral and physiological effects of oil using South Louisiana Crude Oil (SLCO) preweathered for 48 hrs. The behavioral experiments indicated that both species of marine turtles had a limited ability to avoid oil slicks, but experiments to determine avoidance/attraction to floating tar balls were inconclusive. The physiological experiments showed that the respiration, skin, some aspects of blood chemistry and composition, and salt gland function of 15-18 month old loggerhead sea turtles were significantly affected. Spills in the vicinity of nesting beaches are of special concern.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-02-01

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

  1. Caretta: Integrating Personal and Shared Workspaces to Support Group Activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hosoi, Kazuhiro; Sugimoto, Masanori; Hashizume, Hiromichi

    In this paper, a system called Caretta that integrates personal and shared workspaces to support face-to-face collaboration is described. We use PDAs for individual users' personal workspaces that enable them to reflect on their own idea. A shared workspace has been implemented by using a multiple-input sensing board, which allows a group of users to simultaneously manipulate physical objects. In order to raise the level of awareness among users, we have used augmented reality technologies and created an immersive environment for the users' shared workspace. Users of Caretta can discuss and negotiate with each other in the shared workspace, while they individually examine their ideas in their own personal workspaces. Therefore, Caretta allows users to participate in group activities interchangeably and seamlessly by using both these workspaces. Caretta can be used for several types of group activities. In this paper, it is used for supporting a group of users in urban planning tasks by allowing the users to actually construct a town on the shared space and evaluate the town through computer simulations. User studies to evaluate Caretta were conducted. Usage logs of Caretta, video analyses, and comments from users proved that each user could utilize personal and shared space interchangeably at their own pace and without being hindered by other users.

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Hydrodynamic stability of the painted turtle (Chrysemys picta): effects of four-limbed rowing versus forelimb flapping in rigid-bodied tetrapods

    PubMed Central

    Rivera, Gabriel; Rivera, Angela R. V.; Blob, Richard W.

    2011-01-01

    Hydrodynamic stability is the ability to resist recoil motions of the body produced by destabilizing forces. Previous studies have suggested that recoil motions can decrease locomotor performance, efficiency and sensory perception and that swimming animals might utilize kinematic strategies or possess morphological adaptations that reduce recoil motions and produce more stable trajectories. We used high-speed video to assess hydrodynamic stability during rectilinear swimming in the freshwater painted turtle (Chrysemys picta). Parameters of vertical stability (heave and pitch) were non-cyclic and variable, whereas measures of lateral stability (sideslip and yaw) showed repeatable cyclic patterns. In addition, because freshwater and marine turtles use different swimming styles, we tested the effects of propulsive mode on hydrodynamic stability during rectilinear swimming, by comparing our data from painted turtles with previously collected data from two species of marine turtle (Caretta caretta and Chelonia mydas). Painted turtles had higher levels of stability than both species of marine turtle for six of the eight parameters tested, highlighting potential disadvantages associated with ‘aquatic flight’. Finally, available data on hydrodynamic stability of other rigid-bodied vertebrates indicate that turtles are less stable than boxfish and pufferfish. PMID:21389201

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Anatomy of the fully formed chondrocranium of Emydura subglobosa (Chelidae): a pleurodiran turtle.

    PubMed

    Daniel J, Paluh; Christopher A, Sheil

    2013-01-01

    The chondrocranium is a cartilaginous structure that forms around and protects the brain and sensory organs of the head. Through ontogeny, this skeletal structure may become more elaborate, remodeled and reabsorbed, and/or ossified. Though considerable attention has been given to the formation of the chondrocranium and a great amount of data has been gathered on the development of this structure among many craniates, the anatomy of this structure in turtles often is neglected. We describe the mature chondrocranium of the pleurodiran turtle, Emydura subglobosa (Chelidae) based on hatchling specimens. Though formation and ossification of bony elements has been studied previously in this species, a detailed description of the chondrocranium of this pleurodiran turtle has not been presented. Anatomy of the chondrocranium was described for E. subglobosa by examination of cleared and double-stained specimens. The orbitotemporal region of E. subglobosa is dramatically different from that of other described turtles (e.g., Apalone spinifera, Pelodiscus sinensis, Chelydra serpentina, Macrochelys temminckii, Trachemys scripta, Chrysemys picta, and Eretmochelys imbricata) in that a prominent taenia marginalis spans the space between the planum supraseptale and otic capsules, and the pila antotica (which becomes modified and ossified through ontogeny to form the processus clinoideus) is greatly reduced and essentially absent in hatchling specimens. The morphology seen in E. subglobosa is similar to that of Caretta caretta, particularly as it relates to the taenia marginalis. Variation in the orbitotemporal region is briefly discussed in the context of the taenia marginalis, taenia medialis, pila metoptica, and pila antotica.

  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. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  11. Population structure of loggerhead shrikes in the California Channel Islands.

    PubMed

    Eggert, Lori S; Mundy, Nicholas I; Woodruff, David S

    2004-08-01

    The loggerhead shrike (Lanius ludovicianus), a songbird that hunts like a small raptor, maintains breeding populations on seven of the eight California Channel Islands. One of the two subspecies, L. l. anthonyi, was described as having breeding populations on six of the islands while a second subspecies, L. l. mearnsi, was described as being endemic to San Clemente Island. Previous genetic studies have demonstrated that the San Clemente Island loggerhead shrike is well differentiated genetically from both L. l. anthonyi and mainland populations, despite the fact that birds from outside the population are regular visitors to the island. Those studies, however, did not include a comparison between San Clemente Island shrikes and the breeding population on Santa Catalina Island, the closest island to San Clemente. Here we use mitochondrial control region sequences and nuclear microsatellites to investigate the population structure of loggerhead shrikes in the Channel Islands. We confirm the genetic distinctiveness of the San Clemente Island loggerhead shrike and, using Bayesian clustering analysis, demonstrate the presence and infer the source of the nonbreeding visitors. Our results indicate that Channel Island loggerhead shrikes comprise three distinct genetic clusters that inhabit: (i) San Clemente Island, (ii) Santa Catalina Island and (iii) the Northern Channel Islands and nearby mainland; they do not support a recent suggestion that all Channel Island loggerhead shrikes should be managed as a single entity.

  12. CONSPECIFIC ATTRACTION IN LOGGERHEAD SHRIKES: IMPLICATIONS FOR HABITAT CONSERVATION AND REINTRODUCTION

    EPA Science Inventory

    The loggerhead shrike, Lanius ludovicianus, is a declining songbird that forms breeding aggregations. Despite such reports from several populations, only one statistical analysis of loggerhead shrike territory distribution has been published to date. I use a spatio-temporal sim...

  13. CONSPECIFIC ATTRACTION IN LOGGERHEAD SHRIKES: IMPLICATIONS FOR HABITAT CONSERVATION AND REINTRODUCTION

    EPA Science Inventory

    The loggerhead shrike, Lanius ludovicianus, is a declining songbird that forms breeding aggregations. Despite such reports from several populations, only one statistical analysis of loggerhead shrike territory distribution has been published to date. I use a spatio-temporal sim...

  14. 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.

  15. The development of the orbital region of Caretta caretta (Chelonia, Reptilia).

    PubMed Central

    Kuratani, S

    1987-01-01

    In the development of the orbital region of the Caretta chondrocranium, the rearrangement of the several eye muscles seems to be correlated with the apparent anterior shift of the neurocranial element, the pila metoptica. The pila consists of the main part, the supratrabecular cartilage, and five processes, the superior, middle, anteromedial, antero-inferior and the postero-inferior. The superior process forms the attachment of the superior rectus muscle and, together with the muscle, moves anteriorly during development. In the course of the anterosuperior shift of the inferior rectus muscle, the antero-inferior process degenerates and the anteromedial process is newly formed. The postero-inferior process gives origin to the posterior rectus muscle and regresses as a result of the upward shift of the muscle. All these changes are the result of the secondary arrangement of the eye muscles gathered around the secondary optic foramen which has been newly formed through the pila metoptica deformation. The elevation of the optic nerve which is brought about through the formation of the interorbital septum, is another factor that brings about the above changes. Because of these changes, the anterior part of the cranial flexure, the pila metoptica, lies in a longitudinal plane and consequently it, as well as the cavum epiptericum, is obliterated and a large antero-inferiorly opening extracranial space, the orbit of the reptile, is produced. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 6 PMID:3446659

  16. Emendation and new species of Hapalorhynchus Stunkard, 1922 (Digenea: Schistosomatoidea) from musk turtles (Kinosternidae: Sternotherus) in Alabama and Florida rivers.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Jackson R; Halanych, Kenneth M; Arias, Cova R; Folt, Brian; Goessling, Jeffrey M; Bullard, Stephen A

    2017-09-08

    Hapalorhynchus Stunkard, 1922 is emended based on morphological study of existing museum specimens (type and voucher specimens) and newly-collected specimens infecting musk turtles (Testudines: Kinosternidae: Sternotherus spp.) from rivers in Alabama and Florida (USA). Hapalorhynchus conecuhensis n. sp. is described from an innominate musk turtle, Sternotherus cf. minor, (type host) from Blue Spring (31°5'27.64″N, 86°30'53.21″W; Pensacola Bay Basin, Alabama) and the loggerhead musk turtle, Sternotherus minor (Agassiz, 1857) from the Wacissa River (30°20'24.73″N, 83°59'27.56″W; Apalachee Bay Basin, Florida). It differs from congeners by lacking a body constriction at level of the ventral sucker, paired anterior caeca, and a transverse ovary as well as by having a small ventral sucker, proportionally short posterior caeca, nearly equally-sized anterior and posterior testes, a small cirrus sac, and a uterus extending dorsal to the ovary and the anterior testis. Specimens of Hapalorhynchus reelfooti Byrd, 1939 infected loggerhead musk turtles, stripe-necked musk turtles (Sternotherus peltifer Smith and Glass, 1947), Eastern musk turtles (Sternotherus odoratus [Latreille in Sonnini and Latreille, 1801]), and S. cf. minor. Those of Hapalorhynchus cf. stunkardi infected S. minor and S. odoratus. Sternothorus minor, S. peltifer, and S. cf. minor plus S. minor and S. odoratus are new host records for H. reelfooti and H. cf. stunkardi, respectively. This is the first report of an infected musk turtle from the Coosa and Tallapoosa Rivers (Mobile-Tensaw River Basin), Pensacola Bay Basin, or Apalachee Bay Basin. Sequence analysis of the large subunit rDNA (28S) showed a strongly-supported clade for Hapalorhynchus. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-01

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

  18. Individual specialists in a generalist population: results from a long-term stable isotope series

    PubMed Central

    Vander Zanden, Hannah B.; Bjorndal, Karen A.; Reich, Kimberly J.; Bolten, Alan B.

    2010-01-01

    Individual variation in resource use has often been ignored in ecological studies, but closer examination of individual patterns through time may reveal significant intrapopulation differences. Adult loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) are generalist carnivores with a wide geographical range, resulting in a broad isotopic niche. We microsampled scute, a persistent and continuously growing tissue, to examine long-term variation in resource use (up to 12 years) in 15 nesting loggerhead turtles. Using stable isotopes of nitrogen and carbon, we examined the resource use patterns (integration of diet, habitat and geographical location) and demonstrate that individual loggerheads are long-term specialists within a generalist population. We present our results in the context of a conceptual model comparing isotopic niches in specialist and generalist populations. Individual consistency may have important ecological, evolutionary and conservation consequences, such as the reduction of intraspecific competition. PMID:20335202

  19. 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)

  20. 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)

  1. 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)

  2. 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)

  3. Taxonomy of the Loggerhead Kingbird (Tyrannus caudifasciatus) complex (Aves: Tyrannidae)

    Treesearch

    Orlando H. Garrido; James W. Wiley; George B. Reynard

    2009-01-01

    We examined the complex of populations of the Loggerhead Kingbird (Tyrannus caudifasciatus), a West Indian endemic. We separate populations in Puerto Rico and Isla Vieques (T. taylori), and Hispaniola (T. gabbii) as distinct species. Subspecific distinction is assigned to populations in Cuba, Isla de Pinos, and Cuban satellites (T. caudifasciatus caudifasciatus);...

  4. 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.

  5. Reproduction in shark-attacked sea turtles is supported by stress-reduction mechanisms.

    PubMed Central

    Jessop, Tim; Sumner, Joanna; Lance, Val; Limpus, Col

    2004-01-01

    Vertebrates exhibit varied behavioural and physiological tactics to promote reproductive success. We examined mechanisms that could enable female loggerhead turtles to undertake nesting activities and maintain seasonal reproduction despite recent shark injuries of varying severity. We proposed that endocrinal mechanisms that regulate both a turtle's stress response and reproductive ability are modified to promote successful and continued reproduction. Irrespective of the degree of injury, females did not exhibit increased levels of the stress hormone corticosterone, nor decreased levels of the reproductive steroid testosterone; hormone responses consistent with stress. When exposed to a capture stressor, females with shark injury did not exhibit any greater corticosterone response than controls. In addition, breeding females showed a reduced corticosterone stress response compared to non-breeding females. Reduced endocrinal responses following shark injury, and during breeding in general may, in part, enable females to maintain behavioural and physiological commitment to reproduction. PMID:15101429

  6. Reproduction in shark-attacked sea turtles is supported by stress-reduction mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Jessop, Tim; Sumner, Joanna; Lance, Val; Limpus, Col

    2004-02-07

    Vertebrates exhibit varied behavioural and physiological tactics to promote reproductive success. We examined mechanisms that could enable female loggerhead turtles to undertake nesting activities and maintain seasonal reproduction despite recent shark injuries of varying severity. We proposed that endocrinal mechanisms that regulate both a turtle's stress response and reproductive ability are modified to promote successful and continued reproduction. Irrespective of the degree of injury, females did not exhibit increased levels of the stress hormone corticosterone, nor decreased levels of the reproductive steroid testosterone; hormone responses consistent with stress. When exposed to a capture stressor, females with shark injury did not exhibit any greater corticosterone response than controls. In addition, breeding females showed a reduced corticosterone stress response compared to non-breeding females. Reduced endocrinal responses following shark injury, and during breeding in general may, in part, enable females to maintain behavioural and physiological commitment to reproduction.

  7. Prime time for turtle conservation

    Treesearch

    A. Ross Kiester; Deanna H. Olson

    2011-01-01

    Our turtle heritage is diminishing at a rate outpacing that of other main animal groups. The 2011-Year of the Turtle partnership and campaign is an opportunity to raise awareness for turtles, celebrate our turtle heritage, herald conservation and research successes, and identify gaps in our understanding that can be the focus of future work. We outline seven...

  8. Florida snapping turtle

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2007-10-22

    A rare photo of a Florida snapping turtle out in the open on Beach Road, near NASA's Kennedy Space Center. Found only in Florida and Georgia, this species is related to the common snapping turtle. It is considered a dangerous turtle because it can snap very quickly with its extremely strong jaws. Its tail, which is almost as long as its shell, has saw-edges along the top. The shell also has rough points down the middle. The shell is tan to dark brown and may have green algae growing on it. It can grow to 17 inches long and weigh 45 pounds. Snapping turtles usually live in ponds under the shadows and don’t like to rest in the sun like most turtles. They eat almost anything: water bugs, fish, lizards, small birds, mice, plants and even dead animals

  9. Florida snapping turtle

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2007-10-22

    A rare photo of a Florida snapping turtle out in the open on Beach Road, near NASA's Kennedy Space Center. Found only in Florida and Georgia, this species is related to the common snapping turtle. It is considered a dangerous turtle because it can snap very quickly with its extremely strong jaws. Its tail, which is almost as long as its shell, has saw-edges along the top. The shell also has rough points down the middle. The shell is tan to dark brown and may have green algae growing on it. It can grow to 17 inches long and weigh 45 pounds. Snapping turtles usually live in ponds under the shadows and don’t like to rest in the sun like most turtles. They eat almost anything: water bugs, fish, lizards, small birds, mice, plants and even dead animals.

  10. Hatching behavior in turtles.

    PubMed

    Spencer, Ricky-John; Janzen, Fredric J

    2011-07-01

    Incubation temperature plays a prominent role in shaping the phenotypes and fitness of embryos, including affecting developmental rates. In many taxa, including turtles, eggs are deposited in layers such that thermal gradients alter developmental rates within a nest. Despite this thermal effect, a nascent body of experimental work on environmentally cued hatching in turtles has revealed unexpected synchronicity in hatching behavior. This review discusses environmental cues for hatching, physiological mechanisms behind synchronous hatching, proximate and ultimate causes for this behavior, and future directions for research. Four freshwater turtle species have been investigated experimentally, with hatching in each species elicited by different environmental cues and responding via various physiological mechanisms. Hatching of groups of eggs in turtles apparently involves some level of embryo-embryo communication and thus is not a purely passive activity. Although turtles are not icons of complex social behavior, life-history theory predicts that the group environment of the nest can drive the evolution of environmentally cued hatching.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Massive consumption of gelatinous plankton by Mediterranean apex predators.

    PubMed

    Cardona, Luis; Álvarez de Quevedo, Irene; Borrell, Assumpció; Aguilar, Alex

    2012-01-01

    Stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen were used to test the hypothesis that stomach content analysis has systematically overlooked the consumption of gelatinous zooplankton by pelagic mesopredators and apex predators. The results strongly supported a major role of gelatinous plankton in the diet of bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus), little tunny (Euthynnus alletteratus), spearfish (Tetrapturus belone) and swordfish (Xiphias gladius). Loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in the oceanic stage and ocean sunfish (Mola mola) also primarily relied on gelatinous zooplankton. In contrast, stable isotope ratios ruled out any relevant consumption of gelatinous plankton by bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix), blue shark (Prionace glauca), leerfish (Lichia amia), bonito (Sarda sarda), striped dolphin (Stenella caerueloalba) and loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in the neritic stage, all of which primarily relied on fish and squid. Fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) were confirmed as crustacean consumers. The ratios of stable isotopes in albacore (Thunnus alalunga), amberjack (Seriola dumerili), blue butterfish (Stromaeus fiatola), bullet tuna (Auxis rochei), dolphinfish (Coryphaena hyppurus), horse mackerel (Trachurus trachurus), mackerel (Scomber scombrus) and pompano (Trachinotus ovatus) were consistent with mixed diets revealed by stomach content analysis, including nekton and crustaceans, but the consumption of gelatinous plankton could not be ruled out completely. In conclusion, the jellyvorous guild in the Mediterranean integrates two specialists (ocean sunfish and loggerhead sea turtles in the oceanic stage) and several opportunists (bluefin tuna, little tunny, spearfish, swordfish and, perhaps, blue butterfish), most of them with shrinking populations due to overfishing.

  13. Massive Consumption of Gelatinous Plankton by Mediterranean Apex Predators

    PubMed Central

    Cardona, Luis; Álvarez de Quevedo, Irene; Borrell, Assumpció; Aguilar, Alex

    2012-01-01

    Stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen were used to test the hypothesis that stomach content analysis has systematically overlooked the consumption of gelatinous zooplankton by pelagic mesopredators and apex predators. The results strongly supported a major role of gelatinous plankton in the diet of bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus), little tunny (Euthynnus alletteratus), spearfish (Tetrapturus belone) and swordfish (Xiphias gladius). Loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in the oceanic stage and ocean sunfish (Mola mola) also primarily relied on gelatinous zooplankton. In contrast, stable isotope ratios ruled out any relevant consumption of gelatinous plankton by bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix), blue shark (Prionace glauca), leerfish (Lichia amia), bonito (Sarda sarda), striped dolphin (Stenella caerueloalba) and loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in the neritic stage, all of which primarily relied on fish and squid. Fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) were confirmed as crustacean consumers. The ratios of stable isotopes in albacore (Thunnus alalunga), amberjack (Seriola dumerili), blue butterfish (Stromaeus fiatola), bullet tuna (Auxis rochei), dolphinfish (Coryphaena hyppurus), horse mackerel (Trachurus trachurus), mackerel (Scomber scombrus) and pompano (Trachinotus ovatus) were consistent with mixed diets revealed by stomach content analysis, including nekton and crustaceans, but the consumption of gelatinous plankton could not be ruled out completely. In conclusion, the jellyvorous guild in the Mediterranean integrates two specialists (ocean sunfish and loggerhead sea turtles in the oceanic stage) and several opportunists (bluefin tuna, little tunny, spearfish, swordfish and, perhaps, blue butterfish), most of them with shrinking populations due to overfishing. PMID:22470416

  14. 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.

  15. Metabolic scaling in turtles.

    PubMed

    Ultsch, Gordon R

    2013-04-01

    Bennett and Dawson (1976) presented an analysis of the relationship of metabolic rate (MR) and body mass among turtles, based on 10 studies, but unlike most of other groups of ectotherms, there has been no update to include the many later reports on turtles. Here I present a review of the data on turtle metabolic rates at 20, 25, and 30°C, along with regression equations and graphical analyses from a large number of studies. Two generalities emerge: (1) reported metabolic rates for sea turtles are higher than for other chelonians, although it is not certain whether this is an intrinsic characteristic of sea turtles or an artifact related to experimental conditions (such as greater activity of sea turtles in metabolic chambers and the fact that a number of studies were done with the turtles out of water), and (2) the slopes of the log-log plots of metabolic rate (MR) vs. body mass [b in the allometric equation MR=a(mass)(b)] are mostly lower than previously reported in smaller studies.

  16. Sea turtle symbiosis facilitates social monogamy in oceanic crabs via refuge size

    PubMed Central

    Gil, Michael A.

    2016-01-01

    The capacity for resource monopolization by individuals often dictates the size and composition of animal groups, and ultimately, the adoption of mating strategies. For refuge-dwelling animals, the ability (or inability) of individuals to monopolize refuges should depend on the relative size of the refuge. In theory, groups should be larger and more inclusive when refuges are large, and smaller and more exclusive when refuges are small, regardless of refuge type. We test this prediction by comparing the size and composition of groups of oceanic crabs (Planes minutus) living on plastic flotsam and loggerhead sea turtles. We found that (i) surface area of refuges (barnacle colonies on flotsam and supracaudal space on turtles) is a better predictor of crab number than total surface area and (ii) flotsam and turtles with similar refuge surface area host a similar number (1–2) and composition (adult male–female pairs) of crabs. These results indicate that group size and composition of refuge-dwelling animals are modulated by refuge size and the capacity for refuge monopolization. Moreover, these results suggest that sea turtle symbiosis facilitates social monogamy in oceanic crabs, providing insights into how symbiosis can promote specific mating strategies. PMID:27651538

  17. A loggerhead shrike in the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    A loggerhead shrike perches on a branch in the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, which shares a boundary with Kennedy Space Center. The loggerhead shrike prefers grasslands, orchards and open areas with scattered trees throughout a range extending from southern Canada to southern Florida and the Gulf Coast. The Refuge encompasses 92,000 acres that are a habitat for more than 331 species of birds, 31 mammals, 117 fishes, and 65 amphibians and reptiles. The marshes and open water of the refuge provide wintering areas for 23 species of migratory waterfowl, as well as a year-round home for great blue herons, great egrets, wood storks, cormorants, brown pelicans and other species of marsh and shore birds, as well as a variety of insects.

  18. A loggerhead shrike in the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    A loggerhead shrike perches on a branch in the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, which shares a boundary with Kennedy Space Center. The loggerhead shrike prefers grasslands, orchards and open areas with scattered trees throughout a range extending from southern Canada to southern Florida and the Gulf Coast. The Refuge encompasses 92,000 acres that are a habitat for more than 331 species of birds, 31 mammals, 117 fishes, and 65 amphibians and reptiles. The marshes and open water of the refuge provide wintering areas for 23 species of migratory waterfowl, as well as a year-round home for great blue herons, great egrets, wood storks, cormorants, brown pelicans and other species of marsh and shore birds, as well as a variety of insects.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2017-01-01

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

  20. Tracing the biosynthetic source of essential amino acids in marine turtles using delta13C fingerprints.

    PubMed

    Arthur, Karen E; Kelez, Shaleyla; Larsen, Thomas; Choy, C Anela; Popp, Brian N

    2014-05-01

    Plants, bacteria, and fungi produce essential amino acids (EAAs) with distinctive patterns of delta13C values that can be used as naturally occurring fingerprints of biosynthetic origin of EAAs in a food web. Because animals cannot synthesize EAAs and must obtain them from food, their tissues reflect delta13C(EAA) patterns found in diet, but it is not known how microbes responsible for hindgut fermentation in some herbivores influence the delta13C values of EAAs in their hosts' tissues. We examined whether distinctive delta13C fingerprints of hindgut flora are evident in the tissues of green turtles (Chelonia mydas), which are known to be facultative hindgut fermenters. We determined delta13C(EAA) values in tissues of green turtles foraging herbivorously in neritic habitats of Hawaii and compared them with those from green, olive ridley, and loggerhead turtles foraging carnivorously in oceanic environments of the central and southeast Pacific Ocean. Results of multivariate statistical analysis revealed two distinct groups that could be distinguished based on unique delta13C(EAA) patterns. A three-end-member predictive linear discriminant model indicated that delta13C(EAA) fingerprints existed in the tissues of carnivorous turtles that resembled patterns found in microalgae, which form the base of an oceanic food web, whereas herbivorous turtles derive EAAs from a bacterial or seagrass source. This study demonstrates the capacity for delta13C fingerprinting to establish the biosynthetic origin of EAAs in higher consumers, and that marine turtles foraging on macroalgal diets appear to receive nutritional supplementation from bacterial symbionts in their digestive system.

  1. Turtles as hopeful monsters.

    PubMed

    Rieppel, O

    2001-11-01

    A recently published study on the development of the turtle shell highlights the important role that development plays in the origin of evolutionary novelties. The evolution of the highly derived adult anatomy of turtles is a prime example of a macroevolutionary event triggered by changes in early embryonic development. Early ontogenetic deviation may cause patterns of morphological change that are not compatible with scenarios of gradualistic, stepwise transformation. Copyright 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cuneo, Diane O.

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

  3. 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)

  4. Turtle Watch: Community Engagement and Action

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lewis, Elaine; Baudains, Catherine

    2015-01-01

    Many threats face the freshwater turtle, Chelodina colliei, also known as the oblong turtle. A community education project, Turtle Watch, focused on this target species and enabled effective conservation action to be implemented. Turtle Watch was conducted in the Perth Metropolitan Area of Western Australia, as the oblong turtle inhabits the…

  5. Turtle Watch: Community Engagement and Action

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lewis, Elaine; Baudains, Catherine

    2015-01-01

    Many threats face the freshwater turtle, Chelodina colliei, also known as the oblong turtle. A community education project, Turtle Watch, focused on this target species and enabled effective conservation action to be implemented. Turtle Watch was conducted in the Perth Metropolitan Area of Western Australia, as the oblong turtle inhabits the…

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

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

  7. Landscape and fine scale habitat associations of the Loggerhead Shrike

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Michaels, H.L.; Cully, J.E.

    1998-01-01

    This study was conducted to determine landscape and fine-scale vegetative variables associated with breeding Loggerhead Shrikes (Lanius ludovicianus) on Fort Riley Military Reservation, Kansas. Because Fort Riley is an Army training site, the influences of training disturbance to the vegetation, and range management practices on bird habitat patterns were also investigated. Breeding birds were surveyed in 1995 and 1996 using point counts. Survey plots were identified, a priori, at the landscape scale as either grassland, savannah, or woodland edge according to cover by woody vegetation. In 1996, fine-scale habitat at survey points and at bird use sites was measured and a principal components analysis used to characterize the fine-scale herbaceous vegetation structure. A military disturbance index was developed to quantify the severity of vehicle disturbance to the vegetation at survey and bird use sites. Shrikes were associated with savannah habitat at the landscape scale. Sites used by Loggerhead Shrikes were characterized at the fine-scale by tall, sparse, structurally heterogeneous herbaceous vegetation with high standing dead plant cover and low litter cover. At the fine-scale, tree and shrub density did not differ between sites used and not used by shrikes. Used sites did not differ from survey sites with respect to military training disturbance, hay harvest, or the number of years since a site was last burned. Our results in this study suggest that the shifting mosaic of vegetation on Fort Riley resulting from training and range management practices maintains adequate habitat for breeding shrikes.

  8. Contrasting reactions of loggerhead shrikes to two types of chemically defended insect prey.

    PubMed

    Yosef, R; Carrel, J E; Eisner, T

    1996-02-01

    Feeding tests with loggerhead shrikes (Lanius ludovicianus) showed this bird to acceptUtetheisa ornatrix, a moth (Arctiidae) protected by pyrrolizidine alkaloids, but to avoidLytta polita, a beetle (Meloidae) containing cantharidin.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Neurologic examination of sea turtles.

    PubMed

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

    1997-10-15

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

  12. "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…

  13. "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…

  14. Risk assessment reveals high exposure of sea turtles to marine debris in French Mediterranean and metropolitan Atlantic waters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Darmon, Gaëlle; Miaud, Claude; Claro, Françoise; Doremus, Ghislain; Galgani, François

    2017-07-01

    Debris impact on marine wildlife has become a major issue of concern. Mainy species have been identified as being threatened by collision, entanglement or ingestion of debris, generally plastics, which constitute the predominant part of the recorded marine debris. Assessing sensitive areas, where exposure to debris are high, is thus crucial, in particular for sea turtles which have been proposed as sentinels of debris levels for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and for the Unep-MedPol convention. Our objective here was to assess sea turtle exposure to marine debris in the 3 metropolitan French fronts. Using aerial surveys performed in the Channel, the Atlantic and the Mediterranean regions in winter and summer 2011-2012, we evaluated exposure areas and magnitude in terms of spatial overlap, encounter probability and density of surrounding debris at various spatial scales. Major overlapping areas appeared in the Atlantic and Mediterranean fronts, concerning mostly the leatherback and the loggerhead turtles respectively. The probability for individuals to be in contact with debris (around 90% of individuals within a radius of 2 km) and the density of debris surrounding individuals (up to 16 items with a radius of 2 km, 88 items within a radius of 10 km) were very high, whatever the considered spatial scale, especially in the Mediterranean region and during the summer season. The comparison of the observed mean debris density with random distribution suggested that turtles selected debris areas. This may occur if both debris and turtles drift to the same areas due to currents, if turtles meet debris accidentally by selecting high food concentration areas, and/or if turtles actively seek debris out, confounding them with their preys. Various factors such as species-specific foraging strategies or oceanic features which condition the passive diffusion of debris, and sea turtles in part, may explain spatio-temporal variations in sensitive areas. Further research

  15. Sea turtles: navigating with magnetism.

    PubMed

    Lohmann, Kenneth J

    2007-02-06

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

  16. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  17. Quantitative analysis of herpes virus sequences from normal tissue and fibropapillomas of marine turtles with real-time PCR

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Quackenbush, S.L.; Casey, R.N.; Murcek, R.J.; Paul, T.A.; Work, T.M.; Limpus, C.J.; Chaves, A.; duToit, L.; Perez, J.V.; Aguirre, A.A.; Spraker, T.R.; Horrocks, J.A.; Vermeer, L.A.; Balazs, G.S.; Casey, J.W.

    2001-01-01

    Quantitative real-time PCR has been used to measure fibropapilloma-associated turtle herpesvirus (FPTHV) pol DNA loads in fibropapillomas, fibromas, and uninvolved tissues of green, loggerhead, and olive ridley turtles from Hawaii, Florida, Costa Rica, Australia, Mexico, and the West Indies. The viral DNA loads from tumors obtained from terminal animals were relatively homogenous (range 2a??20 copies/cell), whereas DNA copy numbers from biopsied tumors and skin of otherwise healthy turtles displayed a wide variation (range 0.001a??170 copies/cell) and may reflect the stage of tumor development. FPTHV DNA loads in tumors were 2.5a??4.5 logs higher than in uninvolved skin from the same animal regardless of geographic location, further implying a role for FPTHV in the etiology of fibropapillomatosis. Although FPTHV pol sequences amplified from tumors are highly related to each other, single signature amino acid substitutions distinguish the Australia/Hawaii, Mexico/Costa Rica, and Florida/Caribbean groups.

  18. Quantitative analysis of herpes virus sequences from normal tissue and fibropapillomas of marine turtles with real-time PCR

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Quackenbush, S.L.; Casey, R.N.; Murcek, R.J.; Paul, T.A.; Work, Thierry M.; Limpus, C.J.; Chaves, A.; duToit, L.; Perez, J.V.; Aguirre, A.A.; Spraker, T.R.; Horrocks, J.A.; Vermeer, L.A.; Balazs, G.S.; Casey, J.W.

    2001-01-01

    Quantitative real-time PCR has been used to measure fibropapilloma-associated turtle herpesvirus (FPTHV) pol DNA loads in fibropapillomas, fibromas, and uninvolved tissues of green, loggerhead, and olive ridley turtles from Hawaii, Florida, Costa Rica, Australia, Mexico, and the West Indies. The viral DNA loads from tumors obtained from terminal animals were relatively homogenous (range 2a??20 copies/cell), whereas DNA copy numbers from biopsied tumors and skin of otherwise healthy turtles displayed a wide variation (range 0.001a??170 copies/cell) and may reflect the stage of tumor development. FPTHV DNA loads in tumors were 2.5a??4.5 logs higher than in uninvolved skin from the same animal regardless of geographic location, further implying a role for FPTHV in the etiology of fibropapillomatosis. Although FPTHV pol sequences amplified from tumors are highly related to each other, single signature amino acid substitutions distinguish the Australia/Hawaii, Mexico/Costa Rica, and Florida/Caribbean groups.

  19. Turtle Mtns., ND

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2015-04-24

    This image from NASA Terra spacecraft shows the Turtle Mountains, which straddle the US-Canada border in central North Dakota. Underlain by 55 million year old sandstones and shales of the Cannonball Formation, the upland surface was sculpted by glaciations. Due to the mountain's 150m elevation above the surrounding lowlands, glacial ice tended to stagnate, forming thousands of lakes and sloughs. The image was acquired May 19, 2006, covers an area of 43.5 x 53.1 km, and is located at 49 degrees north, 100.1 degrees west. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA19435

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-11-01

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

  1. Is arsenobetaine the major arsenic compound in the liver of birds marine mammals, and sea turtles?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kubota, R.; Kunito, T.; Tanabe, S.

    2003-05-01

    Concentrations of total arsenic and individual arsenic compounds were determined in the livers of birds, marine mammals, and sea turtles by using hydride generation-atomic absorption spectrometry (HG-AAS) and high performance liquid chromatography/inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (HPLC/ICP-MS). Marine mammals feeding on cephalopods and crustaceans accumulated higher arsenic concentrations than the species feeding on fishes. No significant age and gender differences in arsenic concentrations were observed for most of the species of marine mammals. Elevated total arsenic concentrations were found in livers of black-footed albatross and loggerhead turtles and these values were comparable to those of lower trophic marine animals. Arsenobetaine was the major arsenical in the livers of most of the species examined. Particularly, in seabirds, mean proportions of arsenobetaine was more than90% of total extractable arsenic In contast, arsenobetaine was a minor constituent in dugong. The compositions of arsenic compounds were different among the species examined. These results might be due to the differences in the metabolic capacity among species and/or the different compositions of arsenic compounds in their preys.

  2. Marine turtles are not fussy nesters: a novel test of small-scale nest site selection using structure from motion beach terrain information

    PubMed Central

    Leon, Javier X.; Gilby, Ben L.; Olds, Andrew D.; Schlacher, Thomas A.

    2017-01-01

    Background Nest selection is widely regarded as a key process determining the fitness of individuals and viability of animal populations. For marine turtles that nest on beaches, this is particularly pivotal as the nesting environment can significantly control reproductive success.The aim of this study was to identify the environmental attributes of beaches (i.e., morphology, vegetation, urbanisation) that may be associated with successful oviposition in green and loggerhead turtle nests. Methods We quantified the proximity of turtle nests (and surrounding beach locations) to urban areas, measured their exposure to artificial light, and used ultra-high resolution (cm-scale) digital surface models derived from Structure-from-Motion (SfM) algorithms, to characterise geomorphic and vegetation features of beaches on the Sunshine Coast, eastern Australia. Results At small spatial scales (i.e., <100 m), we found no evidence that turtles selected nest sites based on a particular suite of environmental attributes (i.e., the attributes of nest sites were not consistently different from those of surrounding beach locations). Nest sites were, however, typically characterised by occurring close to vegetation, on parts of the shore where the beach- and dune-face was concave and not highly rugged, and in areas with moderate exposure to artificial light. Conclusion This study used a novel empirical approach to identify the attributes of turtle nest sites from a broader ‘envelope’ of environmental nest traits, and is the first step towards optimizing conservation actions to mitigate, at the local scale, present and emerging human impacts on turtle nesting beaches. PMID:28070454

  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. Mapping the western pond turtle (Actinemys marmorata) and painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) in western North America

    Treesearch

    Kimberly L. Barela; Deanna H. Olson

    2014-01-01

    We georeferenced Western Pond Turtle (Actinemys marmorata) and Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta) locality records in western North America, compiling diverse institutional data sets, including data from 9 US states and Canadian provinces. For the entire range of the Western Pond Turtle and the western range of the Painted Turtle...

  5. Climate change and temperature-linked hatchling mortality at a globally important sea turtle nesting site.

    PubMed

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

    2017-11-01

    The study of temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) in vertebrates has attracted major scientific interest. Recently, concerns for species with TSD in a warming world have increased because imbalanced sex ratios could potentially threaten population viability. In contrast, relatively little attention has been given to the direct effects of increased temperatures on successful embryonic development. Using 6603 days of sand temperature data recorded across 6 years at a globally important loggerhead sea turtle rookery-the Cape Verde Islands-we show the effects of warming incubation temperatures on the survival of hatchlings in nests. Incorporating published data (n = 110 data points for three species across 12 sites globally), we show the generality of relationships between hatchling mortality and incubation temperature and hence the broad applicability of our findings to sea turtles in general. We use a mechanistic approach supplemented by empirical data to consider the linked effects of warming temperatures on hatchling output and on sex ratios for these species that exhibit TSD. Our results show that higher temperatures increase the natural growth rate of the population as more females are produced. As a result, we project that numbers of nests at this globally important site will increase by approximately 30% by the year 2100. However, as incubation temperatures near lethal levels, the natural growth rate of the population decreases and the long-term survival of this turtle population is threatened. Our results highlight concerns for species with TSD in a warming world and underline the need for research to extend from a focus on temperature-dependent sex determination to a focus on temperature-linked hatchling mortalities. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. 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…

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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…

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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…

  13. 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

  14. Global sea turtle conservation successes

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Joyce, Walter G; Gauthier, Jacques A

    2004-01-07

    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.

  16. 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

  17. Patterning of the turtle shell.

    PubMed

    Moustakas-Verho, Jacqueline E; Cebra-Thomas, Judith; Gilbert, Scott F

    2017-08-01

    Interest in the origin and evolution of the turtle shell has resulted in a most unlikely clade becoming an important research group for investigating morphological diversity in developmental biology. Many turtles generate a two-component shell that nearly surrounds the body in a bony exoskeleton. The ectoderm covering the shell produces epidermal scutes that form a phylogenetically stable pattern. In some lineages, the bones of the shell and their ectodermal covering become reduced or lost, and this is generally associated with different ecological habits. The similarity and diversity of turtles allows research into how changes in development create evolutionary novelty, interacting modules, and adaptive physiology and anatomy. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. 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. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. 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.

  20. Nano-tags for neonates and ocean-mediated swimming behaviours linked to rapid dispersal of hatchling sea turtles

    PubMed Central

    Scott, Rebecca; Biastoch, Arne; Roder, Christian; Stiebens, Victor A.; Eizaguirre, Christophe

    2014-01-01

    Dispersal during juvenile life stages drives the life-history evolution and dynamics of many marine vertebrate populations. However, the movements of juvenile organisms, too small to track using conventional satellite telemetry devices, remain enigmatic. For sea turtles, this led to the paradigm of the ‘lost years' since hatchlings disperse widely with ocean currents. Recently, advances in the miniaturization of tracking technology have permitted the application of nano-tags to track cryptic organisms. Here, the novel use of acoustic nano-tags on neonate loggerhead turtle hatchlings enabled us to witness first-hand their dispersal and behaviour during their first day at sea. We tracked hatchlings distances of up to 15 km and documented their rapid transport (up to 60 m min−1) with surface current flows passing their natal areas. Tracking was complemented with laboratory observations to monitor swimming behaviours over longer periods which highlighted (i) a positive correlation between swimming activity levels and body size and (ii) population-specific swimming behaviours (e.g. nocturnal inactivity) suggesting local oceanic conditions drive the evolution of innate swimming behaviours. Knowledge of the swimming behaviours of small organisms is crucial to improve the accuracy of ocean model simulations used to predict the fate of these organisms and determine resultant population-level implications into adulthood. PMID:25339720

  1. Nano-tags for neonates and ocean-mediated swimming behaviours linked to rapid dispersal of hatchling sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Scott, Rebecca; Biastoch, Arne; Roder, Christian; Stiebens, Victor A; Eizaguirre, Christophe

    2014-12-07

    Dispersal during juvenile life stages drives the life-history evolution and dynamics of many marine vertebrate populations. However, the movements of juvenile organisms, too small to track using conventional satellite telemetry devices, remain enigmatic. For sea turtles, this led to the paradigm of the 'lost years' since hatchlings disperse widely with ocean currents. Recently, advances in the miniaturization of tracking technology have permitted the application of nano-tags to track cryptic organisms. Here, the novel use of acoustic nano-tags on neonate loggerhead turtle hatchlings enabled us to witness first-hand their dispersal and behaviour during their first day at sea. We tracked hatchlings distances of up to 15 km and documented their rapid transport (up to 60 m min(-1)) with surface current flows passing their natal areas. Tracking was complemented with laboratory observations to monitor swimming behaviours over longer periods which highlighted (i) a positive correlation between swimming activity levels and body size and (ii) population-specific swimming behaviours (e.g. nocturnal inactivity) suggesting local oceanic conditions drive the evolution of innate swimming behaviours. Knowledge of the swimming behaviours of small organisms is crucial to improve the accuracy of ocean model simulations used to predict the fate of these organisms and determine resultant population-level implications into adulthood.

  2. Basking Behavior of Painted Turtles.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zipko, Stephen J.

    1982-01-01

    Examines the basking postures of captive eastern painted turtles exposed to two different sources of illumination (white floor lamps and infrared heat lamps) and three types of substrates (sphagnum, rock, wood) and discusses possible ecological and evolutionary significance of these behaviors. (Author/JN)

  3. Basking Behavior of Painted Turtles.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zipko, Stephen J.

    1982-01-01

    Examines the basking postures of captive eastern painted turtles exposed to two different sources of illumination (white floor lamps and infrared heat lamps) and three types of substrates (sphagnum, rock, wood) and discusses possible ecological and evolutionary significance of these behaviors. (Author/JN)

  4. 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.

  5. Sea-surface temperature gradients across blue whale and sea turtle foraging trajectories off the Baja California Peninsula, Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Etnoyer, Peter; Canny, David; Mate, Bruce R.; Morgan, Lance E.; Ortega-Ortiz, Joel G.; Nichols, Wallace J.

    2006-02-01

    Sea-surface temperature (SST) fronts are integral to pelagic ecology in the North Pacific Ocean, so it is necessary to understand their character and distribution, and the way these features influence the behavior of endangered and highly migratory species. Here, telemetry data from sixteen satellite-tagged blue whales ( Balaenoptera musculus) and sea turtles ( Caretta caretta, Chelonia mydas, and Lepidochelys olivacea) are employed to characterize 'biologically relevant' SST fronts off Baja California Sur. High residence times are used to identify presumed foraging areas, and SST gradients are calculated across advanced very high resolution radiometer (AVHRR) images of these regions. The resulting values are compared to classic definitions of SST fronts in the oceanographic literature. We find subtle changes in surface temperature (between 0.01 and 0.10 °C/km) across the foraging trajectories, near the lowest end of the oceanographic scale (between 0.03 and 0.3 °C/km), suggesting that edge-detection algorithms using gradient thresholds >0.10 °C/km may overlook pelagic habitats in tropical waters. We use this information to sensitize our edge-detection algorithm, and to identify persistent concentrations of subtle SST fronts in the Northeast Pacific Ocean between 2002 and 2004. The lower-gradient threshold increases the number of fronts detected, revealing more potential habitats in different places than we find with a higher-gradient threshold. This is the expected result, but it confirms that pelagic habitat can be overlooked, and that the temperature gradient parameter is an important one.

  6. The endoskeletal origin of the turtle carapace.

    PubMed

    Hirasawa, Tatsuya; Nagashima, Hiroshi; Kuratani, Shigeru

    2013-01-01

    The turtle body plan, with its solid shell, deviates radically from those of other tetrapods. The dorsal part of the turtle shell, or the carapace, consists mainly of costal and neural bony plates, which are continuous with the underlying thoracic ribs and vertebrae, respectively. Because of their superficial position, the evolutionary origins of these costo-neural elements have long remained elusive. Here we show, through comparative morphological and embryological analyses, that the major part of the carapace is derived purely from endoskeletal ribs. We examine turtle embryos and find that the costal and neural plates develop not within the dermis, but within deeper connective tissue where the rib and intercostal muscle anlagen develop. We also examine the fossils of an outgroup of turtles to confirm that the structure equivalent to the turtle carapace developed independently of the true osteoderm. Our results highlight the hitherto unravelled evolutionary course of the turtle shell.

  7. The endoskeletal origin of the turtle carapace

    PubMed Central

    Hirasawa, Tatsuya; Nagashima, Hiroshi; Kuratani, Shigeru

    2013-01-01

    The turtle body plan, with its solid shell, deviates radically from those of other tetrapods. The dorsal part of the turtle shell, or the carapace, consists mainly of costal and neural bony plates, which are continuous with the underlying thoracic ribs and vertebrae, respectively. Because of their superficial position, the evolutionary origins of these costo-neural elements have long remained elusive. Here we show, through comparative morphological and embryological analyses, that the major part of the carapace is derived purely from endoskeletal ribs. We examine turtle embryos and find that the costal and neural plates develop not within the dermis, but within deeper connective tissue where the rib and intercostal muscle anlagen develop. We also examine the fossils of an outgroup of turtles to confirm that the structure equivalent to the turtle carapace developed independently of the true osteoderm. Our results highlight the hitherto unravelled evolutionary course of the turtle shell. PMID:23836118

  8. Functional Measures of Sea Turtle Hearing

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-09-01

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

  9. Status of marine turtle rehabilitation in Queensland

    PubMed Central

    Flint, Mark; Limpus, Colin James; Mills, Paul

    2017-01-01

    Rehabilitation of marine turtles in Queensland has multifaceted objectives. It treats individual animals, serves to educate the public, and contributes to conservation. We examined the outcome from rehabilitation, time in rehabilitation, and subsequent recapture and restranding rates of stranded marine turtles between 1996 and 2013 to determine if the benefits associated with this practice are cost-effective as a conservation tool. Of 13,854 marine turtles reported as stranded during this 18-year period, 5,022 of these turtles were stranded alive with the remainder verified as dead or of unknown condition. A total of 2,970 (59%) of these live strandings were transported to a rehabilitation facility. Overall, 1,173/2,970 (39%) turtles were released over 18 years, 101 of which were recaptured: 77 reported as restrandings (20 dead, 13 alive subsequently died, 11 alive subsequently euthanized, 33 alive) and 24 recaptured during normal marine turtle population monitoring or fishing activities. Of the turtles admitted to rehabilitation exhibiting signs of disease, 88% of them died, either unassisted or by euthanasia and 66% of turtles admitted for unknown causes of stranding died either unassisted or by euthanasia. All turtles recorded as having a buoyancy disorder with no other presenting problem or disorder recorded, were released alive. In Queensland, rehabilitation costs approximately $1,000 per animal per year admitted to a center, $2,583 per animal per year released, and $123,750 per animal per year for marine turtles which are presumably successfully returned to the functional population. This practice may not be economically viable in its present configuration, but may be more cost effective as a mobile response unit. Further there is certainly benefit giving individual turtles a chance at survival and educating the public in the perils facing marine turtles. As well, rehabilitation can provide insight into the diseases and environmental stressors causing

  10. Status of marine turtle rehabilitation in Queensland.

    PubMed

    Flint, Jaylene; Flint, Mark; Limpus, Colin James; Mills, Paul

    2017-01-01

    Rehabilitation of marine turtles in Queensland has multifaceted objectives. It treats individual animals, serves to educate the public, and contributes to conservation. We examined the outcome from rehabilitation, time in rehabilitation, and subsequent recapture and restranding rates of stranded marine turtles between 1996 and 2013 to determine if the benefits associated with this practice are cost-effective as a conservation tool. Of 13,854 marine turtles reported as stranded during this 18-year period, 5,022 of these turtles were stranded alive with the remainder verified as dead or of unknown condition. A total of 2,970 (59%) of these live strandings were transported to a rehabilitation facility. Overall, 1,173/2,970 (39%) turtles were released over 18 years, 101 of which were recaptured: 77 reported as restrandings (20 dead, 13 alive subsequently died, 11 alive subsequently euthanized, 33 alive) and 24 recaptured during normal marine turtle population monitoring or fishing activities. Of the turtles admitted to rehabilitation exhibiting signs of disease, 88% of them died, either unassisted or by euthanasia and 66% of turtles admitted for unknown causes of stranding died either unassisted or by euthanasia. All turtles recorded as having a buoyancy disorder with no other presenting problem or disorder recorded, were released alive. In Queensland, rehabilitation costs approximately $1,000 per animal per year admitted to a center, $2,583 per animal per year released, and $123,750 per animal per year for marine turtles which are presumably successfully returned to the functional population. This practice may not be economically viable in its present configuration, but may be more cost effective as a mobile response unit. Further there is certainly benefit giving individual turtles a chance at survival and educating the public in the perils facing marine turtles. As well, rehabilitation can provide insight into the diseases and environmental stressors causing

  11. Amniote phylogeny and the position of turtles.

    PubMed

    Hedges, S Blair

    2012-07-27

    The position of turtles among amniotes remains in dispute, with morphological and molecular comparisons giving different results. Morphological analyses align turtles with either lizards and their relatives, or at the base of the reptile tree, whereas molecular analyses, including a recent study by Chiari et al. in BMC Biology, place turtles with birds and crocodilians. Molecular studies have not wavered as the numbers of genes and species have increased, but morphologists have been reluctant to embrace the molecular tree.

  12. Turtle groups or turtle soup: dispersal patterns of hawksbill turtles in the Caribbean.

    PubMed

    Blumenthal, J M; Abreu-Grobois, F A; Austin, T J; Broderick, A C; Bruford, M W; Coyne, M S; Ebanks-Petrie, G; Formia, A; Meylan, P A; Meylan, A B; Godley, B J

    2009-12-01

    Despite intense interest in conservation of marine turtles, spatial ecology during the oceanic juvenile phase remains relatively unknown. Here, we used mixed stock analysis and examination of oceanic drift to elucidate movements of hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) and address management implications within the Caribbean. Among samples collected from 92 neritic juvenile hawksbills in the Cayman Islands we detected 11 mtDNA control region haplotypes. To estimate contributions to the aggregation, we performed 'many-to-many' mixed stock analysis, incorporating published hawksbill genetic and population data. The Cayman Islands aggregation represents a diverse mixed stock: potentially contributing source rookeries spanned the Caribbean basin, delineating a scale of recruitment of 200-2500 km. As hawksbills undergo an extended phase of oceanic dispersal, ocean c