South Pacific

An epic Pacific survey reveals mixed fortunes for green and hawksbill turtles

First the good news: A sweeping survey of the Pacific Basin has found the population of endangered green turtles (Chelonia mydas) there is increasing.

29 April 2019

Global Dugong Genetics Project

The Global Dugong Genetics Project aims to examine the phylogeography of the dugong based on historical samples from throughout the dugong’s range. It will update conservation and management actions through mapping the distribution of discrete dugong populations; identifying historical and potential migratory routes; and highlighting small populations as a priority for conservation. The Project was a collaboration between James Cook University and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.

16 July 2018

GEF Dugong and Seagrass Conservation Project

The GEF-5 Project represents a major international collaboration. It is unique in being the first coordinated approach to enhance the effectiveness of conservation of dugongs and their seagrass ecosystems through community-based stewardship, incentive-based conservation, removal of knowledge barriers and national and regional mainstreaming activities. The project covers 38 national projects, managed in collaboration with 26 local partners in Indonesia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mozambique, Sri Lanka, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste and Vanuatu.

16 July 2018

Dugong and Seagrass Research Toolkit

The Dugong and Seagrass Research Toolkit is an initiative by TOTAL, Total Abu Al Bukhoosh, Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi and CMS Dugong MOU to provide an easily accessible online resource that incorporates decision-making for the selection of the most appropriate methodologies for studies of dugongs, seagrasses and the associated human communities.

16 July 2018

Thousands of turtles netted off South America

Tens of thousands of sea turtles are caught each year by small-scale fishers off South America's Pacific coast, new research shows.

05 June 2018

Growth Rates of Adult Sea Turtles

Indeterminate growth, i.e. growth that persists throughout life, is common in long-lived reptiles. Because fecundity and body size tend to be correlated in such species, individuals face a life-history trade-off at sexual maturity. Saturation tagging and intensive monitoring at nesting grounds can potentially provide opportunities to accumulate data on individual measurements and reproductive output.

17 September 2018

Incidental Catch of Seabirds and Sea Turtles by Taiwanese Longline Fleets in the Pacific Ocean

To understand the sea turtle and seabird bycatch of Taiwanese tuna longline fleets for conservation purposes, this research analyzed the data collected by onboard observers between 2008 and 2013. In total, data from 149 trips and 24.3 million hooks were analyzed, including 50 albacore large-scale tuna longline vessel (LTLVs) trips, 72 bigeye LTLVs trips, and 27 small-scale tuna longline vessel (STLVs) trips. Seabird bycatch was mostly from the albacore LTLVs.

14 September 2018

Marine Macrophytes and Plastics Consumed by Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas) in Hong Kong, South China Sea Region

This is the first identification of marine macrophytes consumed by green turtles in Hong Kong, South China Sea: 6 red algae species (Pterocladiella tenuis, Gelidium pusillum, Chondrus ocellatus, Gracilaria chorda, Grateloupia filicina, and Amansia glomerata), 1 brown alga species (Lobophora variegata), and 1 sea grass (Halophila ovalis) were identified. Plastics and other foreign materials were also found in the stomach contents of 2 of the 8 individuals sampled.

14 September 2018

Genetic Structure and Diversity of Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) from South China Sea inferred by mtDNA control region sequence

We analyzed 88 control region sequences of green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) from around Hainan Island in the South China Sea. These sequences had a length of 489 bp and revealed 8 mtDNA haplotypes of which four haplotypes (CMC1, CMC4, CMC7, and CMC8) had not been discovered before. Haplotype diversity (h) and nucleotide diversity (π) were 0.45 ± 0.054 and 0.0035 ± 0.0014, respectively. Neighbor-Joining tree based on control region sequences revealed that genetic relationship between green sea turtles from the South China Sea and from Japan Sea were very close.

13 September 2018

Global analysis of the effect of local climate on the hatchling output of leatherback turtles. Scientific reports

The most recent climate change projections show a global increase in temperatures along with precipitation changes throughout the 21st century. However, regional projections do not always match global projections and species with global distributions may exhibit varying regional susceptibility to climate change. Here we show the effect of local climatic conditions on the hatchling output of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) at four nesting sites encompassing the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans. We found a heterogeneous effect of climate.

13 September 2018