Diversity, Habitat Distribution, and Indigenous Hunting of Marine Turtles in the Calamian Islands, Palawan, Republic of the Philippines

Description: 

All of the world’s seven species of marine turtle are threatened by a multitude of anthropogenic pressures across all stages of their life history. The Calamian Islands, Palawan, Philippines provide important foraging and nesting grounds for four species: green turtles (Chelonia mydas), hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata), loggerheads (Caretta caretta), and leatherbacks (Dermochelys coriacea). This work aimed to assess the relative importance of turtle nesting beaches and local threats using a combination of social science and ecological research approaches. Endangered green turtles and critically endangered hawksbills were found to nest in the Calamianes. The most important nesting sites were located on the islands off the west of Busuanga and Culion, particularly Pamalican and Galoc and along the north coast of Coron, particularly Linamodio Island. Opportunistic hunting and egg collection, conducted legally by indigenous communities, is the most significant threat to sea turtles in the area. Sites particularly vulnerable to hunting were found to be Galoc Island, Pamalican Island, and Panlaitan Island. Raising awareness, community engagement, and understanding of socio-cultural drivers of sea turtle exploitation, particularly among indigenous communities, are essential to gain support for any effective conservation program. Additionally, more effective enforcement of laws related to the trade in sea turtle products is required to close the commercial and export markets.



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Author(s)Poonian CN
Ramilo RV
Lopez DD
Published Date2016
Publication LanguageEnglish
TypeScientific Article
CMS InstrumentIOSEA Marine Turtles
Sourcehttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.japb.2015.12.006

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