Marine turtles of the Leeward Islands, Lesser Antilles

Although marine turtles are conspicuous members of the Caribbean fauna, significant gaps remain in our knowledge of their distribution and status within the region. Nowhere is knkledge more fragmentary than for the Lesser Antilles which, following the definition of Bond (1978) , include those islands fro:> Saba and Anguilla south and east to Barbados and Grenada. Comprising 17 major islands and 16 banks, the Lesser Antilles lie in an arc some 630 km long, and provide nesting and foraging habitats for four species of marine turtles: the green turtle (Chelonia mydas) , hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) , leatherback (Dermochelys cor iacea) and loggerhead (Caretta caretta) . Although the olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) .occurs peripherally in the wider Caribbean region, it is considered a waif in the Lesser Antilles. Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempi) has not been recorded from this region.

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