Emergence pattern of loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) hatchlings from Kyparissia Bay, Greece

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2007
Authors:Adam, V., Tur, C., Rees, A. F., Tomás, J.
Journal:Marine Biology (Berlin)
Date Published:June
ISBN Number:0025-3162
Accession Number:ZOOREC:ZOOR14311072710
Keywords:emergence, hatchlings, Kyparissia Bay, εμφάνιση, νεοσσοί, ο κόλπος της Κυπαρισσίας

The present study describes the emergence pattern of loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings (Caretta caretta) from a nesting beach in Kyparissia Bay (Greece). We try to establish the role played by hatchling biometry, nest relocation and distance from nest to the sea on this emergence pattern. We surveyed a total of 32 nests, and found long emergence periods (mean=6.7 nights). The majority of emergences occurred at night, mainly between 0030 and 0100hours, and in small groups. Most of the hatchlings emerged from the nests the first night. We found no clear trend when we studied the effect of hatchling biometry between successive emergence days. We also found that relocation of the nests did not significantly affect the emergence pattern. However, we noted that in the relocated nests, hatchlings emerged in smaller groups. Emergence periods were inversely related to distance from the sea. In short, factors such as climate conditions, relocation and nest distance to the sea appear to have some effect on the emergence pattern. Therefore, they should be taken into account in both biological studies and management plans for sea turtle nesting beaches. Our results suggest leaving an extended period between the first emergence of hatchlings and the excavation of nests by researchers in future studies in the area.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith