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:3/9/2017)... VIEW, Calif. , March 9, 2017 ... 23andMe , the leading personal genetics company, are using ... now provide customers with personalized nutrition plans that consider ... but also genetic markers impacting how their body may ... food decision support platform uses biometrics such as Body ...
(Date:3/2/2017)... Summary This report provides all ... and its partnering interests and activities since 2010. ... The Partnering Deals and Alliance since 2010 report provides ... of the world,s leading life sciences companies. ... ensure inclusion of the most up to date deal ...
(Date:2/28/2017)... Germany , February 28, 2017 News ... ... Amsterdam from 14 to 16 March, Materna ... destination, and show how seamless travel is a real benefit for ... has added biometrics to their passenger touch point solutions to take ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/28/2017)... Calif. , March 28, 2017 ... of international life sciences corporation Anpac Bio-Medical ... set a new, international record, processing and reporting ... "Cancer Differentiation Analysis" (CDA) liquid biopsy ... World Nobel Prize Laureate Summit publications, Anpac Bio,s ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... 2017 , ... LabKey and collaborator Just Biotherapeutics, Inc. (Just) ... LabKey Biologics . Built in collaboration with Just and designed with input from ... research teams tools for biological entity registration, assay data integration, and workflow management ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... , March 28, 2017 ... volatile and unpredictable sector due to the scientifically ... served include medical, agricultural, environmental, and industrial. In today,s ... stocks: Portola Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: PTLA), OvaScience Inc. ... Ocular Therapeutix Inc. (NASDAQ: OCUL ). ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... 2017 /PRNewswire/ -RepliCel Life Sciences Inc. (OTCQB: REPCF) (TSXV: RP) ... safety and clinical data from its phase 1/2 tendon repair ... follicle-derived fibroblasts (RCT-01) as a treatment for Achilles tendinosis. ... The ... profile at 6 months and showed no serious adverse events ...
Breaking Biology Technology: