The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

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pdf 01.Marine turtles ([I]Chelonia mydas[/i] and Caretta caretta) nesting along the eastern Mediterranean coast of Turkey: Results from six years of surveying


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pp. 197-204

Authors: [I]Can Yılmaz, Ayşe Oruç & Oğuz Türkozan[/I]

Abstract: The nesting biology of green and loggerhead sea turtles (Chelonia mydas and Caretta caretta) on Akyatan, Ağyatan, Tuzla and Yumurtalık Nature Reserve beaches along the eastern Mediterranean coast of Turkey was investigated during six consecutive nesting seasons (2006–2011). A total of 2198 C. mydas and 104 C. caretta nests were recorded, with an annual mean of 366 and 17 nests, respectively. Akyatan was the main breeding site for both species. We recorded a total of 5879 C. mydas emergences, with 2171 (37%) resulting in nests (mean of 362 nests per year); the mean nesting density was 16 nests km-1. A total of 1335 (61%) C. mydas nests from Akyatan beach were excavated. We recorded 151,758 eggs, 116,309 of which (77%) hatched, producing 88,673 hatchlings which were able to reach the sea. The annual number of nests ranged from 170 (2007) to 562 (2006), with a statistically non-significant decrease throughout the study period (Spearman r=-0.20, p>0.05). The main threats were predation of eggs and hatchlings by jackals, plastic pollution and vehicle ruts that hindered the hatchlings progress to the sea.

Keywords: Chelonia mydas, Caretta caretta, marine turtles, Mediterranean, Turkey

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