Some aspects of the ecology of the leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea at Laguna Jalova, Costa Rica

Hirth, Harold F. and Ogren, Larry H. (1987) Some aspects of the ecology of the leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea at Laguna Jalova, Costa Rica. NOAA/National Marine Fisheries Service, (NOAA Technical Report NMFS, 56)

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Abstract

The ecology and reproductive biology of the leatherback turtle (Dennochelys coriacea) was studied on a high-energy nesting beach near Laguna Jalova, Costa Rica, between 28 March and 8 June 1985. The peak of nesting was between 15 April and 21 May. Leatherbacks here measured an average 146.6 cm straightline standard carapace length and laid an average 81.57 eggs. The eggs measured a mean 52.12 mm diameter and weighed an average of 85.01 g. Significant positive relationships were found between the carapace lengths of nesters and their clutch sizes and average diameter and weight of eggs. The total clutch weighed between 4.02 and 13.39 kg, and yolkless eggs accounted for an average 12.4% of this weight. The majority of nesters dug shallow (<24 cm) body pits and spent an average 81 minutes at the nest site. A significant number of c1utcbes were laid below the berm crest. In a hatchery 42.2% of the eggs hatched, while in natural nests 70.2% hatched. The average hatchling carapace length was 59.8 mm and weight was 44.6 g. The longevity of leatherback tracks and nests on the beach was affected by weather. One nester was recaptured about one year later off the coast of Mississippi, U.S.A. Egg poaching was intense on some sections of the Costa Rican coast. Four aerial surveys in four different months provided the basis for comparing density of nesting on seven sectors of the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. The beach at Jalova is heavily used by green turtles (Chelonia mydJJs) after the leatherback nesting season. The role of the Parque Nacional Tortuguero in conserving the leatherback and green turtle is discussed.(PDF file contains 20 pages.)

Item Type: Monograph or Serial Issue
Title: Some aspects of the ecology of the leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea at Laguna Jalova, Costa Rica
Personal Creator/Author:
CreatorsEmail
Hirth, Harold F.
Ogren, Larry H.
Series Name: NOAA Technical Report NMFS
Number: 56
Date: 1987
Publisher: NOAA/National Marine Fisheries Service
Issuing Agency: United States National Marine Fisheries Service
Subjects: Ecology
Management
Fisheries
Biology
Item ID: 2766
Depositing User: Patti M. Marraro
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2009 12:28
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2011 18:26
URI: http://aquaticcommons.org/id/eprint/2766

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