Navigation Links
Leatherback turtles go with the flow
Date:7/14/2008

Not much is known about the world's largest living turtle, the leatherback. So-called for its tough, oily skin and lack of a hard shell, the behavior and habitats of this critically endangered turtle have remained a mystery. In this week's PLoS Biology, marine biologist Barbara Block and colleagues give us the largest study to date on leatherback turtles, unveiling the turtles' behavior, in doing so, providing methods that could be used to protect them.

The authors tagged the turtles at a major nesting ground at in Costa Rica, then tracked 46 female leatherbacks from 2004 to 2007, showing their habits and migration routes in the Eastern Pacific over the course of three years. Block et al. found that after nesting, the turtles headed south into the open ocean in search of food. After passing the warm waters of the equator, where the turtles responded to strong ocean currents with rapid, directed movements to maintain their southern route, they continued on to the low-energy and low-productivity region of the south waters. Here, the authors reveal that the turtles succumbed to the physical forces of the ocean, as their migration routes were influenced by the ocean's currents. From the study, the authors were able to identify to specific high-use areas that the turtles occupy.

The leatherback turtle population in the Eastern Pacific has declined by 90% in the past two decades. Leatherbacks begin life as eggs on the beach and are subject to predation the minute they hatch and attempt to crawl to the ocean. From birth through adolescence, they are vulnerable to birds and other sea creatures. By the time they are full-grown, however, leatherbacks don't face many threats from predators. Those that do make it to adulthood have one major concern: humans. The massive decrease in the leatherback population is due in large part to fisheries turtles get caught as bycatch in long-line fishing nets meant for other sea creatures.

In organizing a multi-national study over several years is no easy feat, and in charting the patterns, behaviors and migration paths of leatherback turtles, Block et al. shed light on these mysterious sea creatures. This new information will help existing multinational conservation programs identify regions in the migration corridor that will benefit from immediate conservation action, including improved monitoring to help leatherbacks steer clear of them on their journeys and regulation of long-line fishing to prevent the leatherbacks from becoming even more endangeredand ultimately set them on the path to recovery.


'/>"/>

Contact: Natalie Bouaravong
press@plos.org
Public Library of Science
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Isotope analysis reveals foraging area dichotomy for Atlantic leatherback turtles
2. Research shows loggerhead sea turtles threatened by small-scale fishing operations
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/6/2017)... -- Forecasts by Product Type (EAC), Biometrics, ... (Transportation & Logistics, Government & Public Sector, Utilities / ... Facility, Nuclear Power), Industrial, Retail, Business Organisation (BFSI), Hospitality ... looking for a definitive report on the $27.9bn Access ... ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... April 4, 2017 KEY FINDINGS ... expand at a CAGR of 25.76% during the forecast ... the primary factor for the growth of the stem ... https://www.reportbuyer.com/product/4807905/ MARKET INSIGHTS The global stem cell ... application, and geography. The stem cell market of the ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... LOS ANGELES , March 30, 2017  On ... Hack the Genome hackathon at ... This exciting two-day competition will focus on developing health ... experience. Hack the Genome is ... has been tremendous. The world,s largest companies in the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/16/2017)... ... 16, 2017 , ... While art and science are often thought of as ... might think. A Mesh Is Also a Snare, a group exhibition presented by ... Esther Klein Gallery (EKG) on August 17 and run through September 30. An opening ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... Aug. 15, 2017 After spending the past two years ... crowdsourced data collection, GeneFo now offers this platform to healthcare stakeholders ... amplifying support, adherence, and data collection vis a vis their members, ... the successful launch of this offer. ... GeneFo ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... Kenall, a leader in sealed ... stay tightly sealed and perform efficiently for years. The downlights are ideal for ... aren't enough, such as: hospitals; behavioral health facilities; cleanrooms; containment areas; food and ...
(Date:8/14/2017)... ... August 14, 2017 , ... Opal ... using USB or PCI Express, announced the release of SYZYGY™, a new open ... satisfy the need for a compact, low cost, low pin-count, high-performance connectivity solution ...
Breaking Biology Technology: