The west coast of Galathea Bay, Great Nicobar Island, was previously a significant nesting site for leatherback turtles despite pressure from anthropogenic activities and natural predators. The nesting population has the potential to recover from disturbance resulting from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, as human all settlements have gone and the region is, therefore, free of anthropogenic predation and light pollution which might affect nesting turtles. However, there is still predation of turtle nests by Nicobari pigs. Bhaskar (1994) also concluded that wild pigs were the chief predator of sea turtle eggs and hatchlings in this area, followed by the water monitor lizard (Varanus salvator), which was not sighted during the current survey. Predation by pigs may have increased since the tsunami, as human settlements may have deterred individual animals or controlled population numbers. A program to control pig numbers or protect turtle nests from pigs could help re-establish sea turtle populations at this site. There is no pre-tsunami substrate analysis from Galathea Bay with which to compare our results, but future substrate analysis may indicate changes as beaches re-stabilise.
No pictures for First Nesting Record of Leatherback Sea Turtles on the West Coast of Galathea bay, Great Nicobar Island, after the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami with Notes on Nest Predation
|Publisher||Indian Ocean Turtle Newsletter|
|CMS Instrument||IOSEA Marine Turtles|