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:6/1/2016)... Favorable Government Initiatives Coupled With ... Identification to Boost Global Biometrics System Market Through 2021  ... report, " Global Biometrics Market By Type, By ... 2011 - 2021", the global biometrics market is projected ... of growing security concerns across various end use sectors ...
(Date:5/9/2016)... -- Elevay is currently known as the ... high net worth professionals seeking travel for work   ... there is still no substitute for a face-to-face meeting. ... deal with a firm handshake. This is why wealthy ... citizenship via investment programs like those offered by the ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... DUBLIN , April 27, 2016 ... of the  "Global Multi-modal Biometrics Market 2016-2020"  report ... ) , The analysts forecast ... a CAGR of 15.49% during the period 2016-2020.  ... a number of sectors such as the healthcare, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... HOUSTON , June 23, 2016 ... agreement with the Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve ... of the agreement, Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide ... education and connectivity with association coaches, volunteers, athletes ... partner with the Cy-Fair Sports Association and to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... MONICA, Calif. , June 23, 2016  The Prostate Cancer Foundation ... pioneer increasingly precise treatments and faster cures for prostate cancer. Members of the ... institutions across 15 countries. Read More About the Class ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... --  EpiBiome , a precision microbiome engineering company, today ... from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). The financing will allow ... drug development efforts, as well as purchase additional lab ... been an incredible strategic partner to us – one ... provide," said Dr. Aeron Tynes Hammack , EpiBiome,s ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., the sample tracking software company, ... Crime Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA as a Field Application Specialist. , “I ... President and COO of STACS DNA. “In further expanding our capacity as a scientific ...
Breaking Biology Technology: