Abundance and distribution of the endangered loggerhead turtle in Spanish Mediterranean waters and the conservation implications

Authors
Gómez de Segura, A.; Tomás, J.; Pedraza, Susana Noemi; Crespo, Enrique Alberto; Raga, Juan Antonio
Publication Year
2006
Language
English
Format
article
Status
Published version
Description
During 2 years (2001–2003), we performed seasonal aerial surveys in the central Spanish Mediterranean following the transect line methodology in order to determine the abundance and distribution patterns of loggerhead turtles Caretta caretta. We surveyed a total of 16 700 km, accounting for 770 turtle sightings. Loggerhead turtles were present with high abundance all year round. No seasonal differences in abundance were found, except in spring 2001, where the density of turtles was higher than in the other seasons. Our results show that the Western Mediterranean is not a ‘summer’ feeding area as proposed previously, as a high number of turtles are present throughout the year. The average surface density of turtles in the whole study area was 0.21 turtles km 2 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.17–0.25], and the mean abundance was 6653 turtles (95% CI: 5514–8027). The data relate to the number of turtles on the surface only, as diving turtles escape observation. Correcting our estimations of diving behaviour data in the area, the absolute abundance was 18 954 turtles (95% CI: 6679–53 786). Bearing in mind that around 25 000 loggerheads are caught per year in the Spanish Mediterranean, our results indicate that accidental captures seem to be a significant threat for this species, and conservation measures have to be implemented to avoid a non- sustainable situation.
Fil: Gómez de Segura, A.. Cavanilles Institute of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology. Marine Zoology Unit; España
Fil: Tomás, J.. Cavanilles Institute of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology. Marine Zoology Unit; España. L’Oceanográfic; España
Fil: Pedraza, Susana Noemi. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Centro Científico Tecnológico Conicet - Centro Nacional Patagónico; Argentina
Fil: Crespo, Enrique Alberto. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Centro Científico Tecnológico Conicet - Centro Nacional Patagónico; Argentina
Fil: Raga, Juan Antonio. Cavanilles Institute of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology. Marine Zoology Unit; España
Subject
Ecología
Ciencias Biológicas
CIENCIAS NATURALES Y EXACTAS
Access level
Restricted access
License
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/ar/
Repository
CONICET Digital (CONICET)
Institution
Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas
OAI Identifier
oai:ri.conicet.gov.ar:11336/16787