Decline of the Sea Turtles : Causes and Prevention. by National Research Council, Committee on Sea Turtle

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By National Research Council, Committee on Sea Turtle Conservation

This booklet explores intimately threats to the world's sea turtle inhabitants to supply sound, medical conclusions on which risks are maximum and the way they are often addressed so much successfully. delivering a desirable and informative assessment of 5 sea turtle species, the quantity discusses sea turtles' feeding conduct, hottest nesting components, and migration routes; examines their prestige in U.S. waters; and cites examples of conservation measures lower than means and below consideration.

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Extra info for Decline of the Sea Turtles : Causes and Prevention.

Sample text

The green turtle is famous for ''turtle soup'' and steaks, and the hawksbills "tortoiseshell" has been used for centuries in making ornamental articles. The olive ridley has been used for leather in recent decades and has served as a source of both flesh and eggs for human consumption. The loggerhead, whose shell lacks decorative appeal, is sought in some areas for its flesh and eggs. This chapter describes five of the eight species of sea turtles (Figure 2-1) each in terms of its distribution, its population and habitats, its food habits, its reproduction and growth, and major threats to its survival.

Larger juveniles and adults probably forage in open gulf waters. Byles (1988) radio-tracked juvenile Kemp's ridleys in Chesapeake Bay, where he reported that they used the estuary for summer feeding, but differed in habitat preference and behavior from loggerheads, which he also tracked: "The loggerheads ... fed primarily on horseshoe crabs, Limulus polyphemus. The [Kemp's] ridleys, in contrast, occupied shallower foraging areas over extensive seagrass beds (Zostera marina and Ruppia maritima), did not range as far with the tide and fed mostly on blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus).

J. Fuller, Antigua, 1989). Presumably, these animals are foraging, their presence suggesting an ability to dive to considerable depths to feed on live bottom-sponges. During the pelagic phase, hatchlings presumably associate with sargassum rafts in the Caribbean. Young individuals first appear as foraging residents of shallow reef systems when they reach 15-25 cm SCL. , 1985). When a young hawksbill changes from a pelagic feeder to a benthic-reef feeder, it apparently uses a foraging territory that it stays in until it shifts its foraging territory, probably moving from shallow to deep water as it becomes capable of deeper dives.

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