Sea turtles

Global analysis of the effect of local climate on the hatchling output of leatherback turtles

The most recent climate change projections show a global increase in temperatures along with precipitation changes throughout the 21st century. However, regional projections do not always match global projections and species with global distributions may exhibit varying regional susceptibility to climate change. Here we show the e ect of local climatic conditions on the hatchling output of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) at four nesting sites encompassing the Paci c, Atlantic and Indian Oceans. We found a heterogeneous e ect of climate. Hatchling output increased with long-term precipitation in areas with dry climatic conditions (Playa Grande, Paci c Ocean and Sandy Point, Caribbean Sea), but the e ect varied in areas where precipitation was high (Pacuare, Caribbean Sea) and was not detected at the temperate site (Maputaland, Indian Ocean). High air temperature reduced hatchling output only at the area experiencing seasonal droughts (Playa Grande). Climatic projections showed a drastic increase in air temperature and a mild decreas in precipitation at all sites by 2100. The most unfavorable conditions were projected for Sandy Point where hatching success has already declined over time along with precipitation levels. The heterogeneous e ect of climate may lead to local extinctions of leatherback turtles in some areas but survival in others by 2100. 

Date
2015
Data type
Scientific article
Theme
Research and monitoring
Document

St. Eustatius Sea Turtle Conservation Programme - Annual Report 2010

The St Eustatius National Parks Foundation (STENAPA) established the Sea Turtle Conservation Program following concerns that the island’s sea turtle populations were being threatened by anthropogenic disturbance and destruction of nesting beach habitats through sand mining, joy riding and pollution.

A community outreach campaign was organized in 2001 to begin raising public awareness about sea turtle conservation issues. Subsequent to this initiative, a beach monitoring program was started in 2002 in affiliation with the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST). The first two years of the program saw very sporadic monitoring of the index beach due to a lack of personnel. In 2003 however, regular night patrols were conducted following the introduction of the Working Abroad Program, which brings groups of international volunteers to assist with projects in the National and Marine Parks. By 2004 the program had expanded to include morning track surveys on several of the island’s nesting beaches, with a dedicated vehicle and a full- time project coordinator during the nesting season.

Data from the Sea Turtle Conservation Program have shown that three species of sea turtle regularly nest on St Eustatius; the leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), the green (Chelonia mydas) and the hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), all of which are classified as either endangered or critically endangered by the IUCN. There was also an unconfirmed 2004 report of nesting by a fourth species, the loggerhead (Caretta caretta), which IUCN classes as threatened. In the 2010 season, two Loggerhead nests were excavated confirming for the first time that species’ use of Statia’s beaches.

The ultimate objective of the St Eustatius Sea Turtle Conservation Program is to promote long-term survival of the sea turtle populations on and around the island. This goal is achieved by safeguarding critical sea turtle habitats, conducting research to provide policy and decision makers with current, relevant data on the status of sea turtles in the region, and limiting environmental impacts on nesting beaches and near-shore waters. One of the most important factors to ensure the success of the project is the direct involvement of the local community in the program to promote a better understanding of the importance of long-term conservation, not just for sea turtles but for other locally threatened species.

The aims of this Annual Report include the following:

  • Summarize the activities of the 2010 Sea Turtle Conservation Program.
  • Review the accomplishments and deficiencies of the program in 2010.
  • Suggest recommendations for the 2011 program.
  • Provide a summary of the data from 2010 research initiatives.
  • Present information locally, regionally and internationally about the research and monitoring program on the island.
  • Produce a progress report for the Island Government, potential program funding organizations, the local community and international volunteers. 
Date
2010
Data type
Research report
Geographic location
St. Eustatius
Author

St. Eustatius Sea Turtle Conservation Programme - Annual Report 2012

The St Eustatius National Parks Foundation (STENAPA) established the Sea Turtle Conservation Program following concerns that the island‟s sea turtle populations were being threatened by anthropogenic disturbance and destruction of nesting beach habitats through sand mining, joy riding and pollution.

A community outreach campaign was organized in 2001 to begin raising public awareness about sea turtle conservation issues. Subsequent to this initiative, a beach monitoring program was started in 2002 in affiliation with the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST). The first two years of the program saw very sporadic monitoring of the index beach due to a lack of personnel. In 2003 however, regular night patrols were conducted following the introduction of the Working Abroad Program, which brings groups of international volunteers to assist with projects in the National and Marine Parks. By 2004 the program had expanded to include morning track surveys on several of the island‟s nesting beaches, with a dedicated vehicle and a full- time project coordinator during the nesting season.

Data from the Sea Turtle Conservation Program have shown that three species of sea turtle regularly nest on St Eustatius; the leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), the green (Chelonia mydas) and the hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), all of which are classified as either endangered or critically endangered by the IUCN. There was also an unconfirmed 2004 report of nesting by a fourth species, the loggerhead (Caretta caretta), which IUCN classes as threatened.

The ultimate objective of the St Eustatius Sea Turtle Conservation Program is to promote long-term survival of the sea turtle populations on and around the island. This goal is achieved by safeguarding critical sea turtle habitats, conducting research to provide policy and decision makers with current, relevant data on the status of sea turtles in the region, and limiting environmental impacts on nesting beaches and near-shore waters. One of the most important factors to ensure the success of the project is the direct involvement of the local community in the program to promote a better understanding of the importance of long-term conservation, not just for sea turtles but for other locally threatened species.

The aims of this Annual Report include the following:

  •  Summarize the activities of the 2012 Sea Turtle Conservation Program.
  •  Review the accomplishments and deficiencies of the program in 2012.
  •  Suggest recommendations for the 2013 program.
  •  Provide a summary of the data from 2012 research initiatives.
  •  Present information locally, regionally and internationally about the research and monitoring program on the island.
  •  Produce a progress report for the Island Government, potential program funding organizations, the local community and international volunteers. 
Date
2012
Data type
Research report
Theme
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
St. Eustatius
Author

St. Eustatius Sea Turtle Conservation Programme - Annual Report 2009

The St Eustatius National Parks Foundation (STENAPA) established the Sea Turtle Conservation Program following concerns that the island’s sea turtle populations were being threatened by anthropogenic disturbance and destruction of nesting beach habitats through sand mining, joy riding and pollution.

A community outreach campaign was organized in 2001 to begin raising public awareness about sea turtle conservation issues. Subsequent to this initiative, a beach monitoring program was started in 2002 in affiliation with the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST). The first two years of the program saw very sporadic monitoring of the index beach due to a lack of personnel. In 2003 however, regular night patrols were conducted following the introduction of the Working Abroad Program, which brings groups of international volunteers to assist with projects in the National and Marine Parks. By 2004 the program had expanded to include morning track surveys on several of the island’s nesting beaches, with a dedicated vehicle and a full- time project coordinator during the nesting season.

Data from the Sea Turtle Conservation Program have shown that three species of sea turtle regularly nest on St Eustatius; the leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), the green (Chelonia mydas) and the hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), all of which are classified as either endangered or critically endangered by the IUCN. There has also been an unconfirmed report of nesting by a fourth species, the loggerhead (Caretta caretta), which IUCN classes as threatened.

The ultimate objective of the St Eustatius Sea Turtle Conservation Program is to promote long-term survival of the sea turtle populations on and around the island. This goal is achieved by safeguarding critical sea turtle habitats, conducting research to provide policy and decision makers with current, relevant data on the status of sea turtles in the region, and limiting environmental impacts on nesting beaches and near-shore waters. One of the most important factors to ensure the success of the project is the direct involvement of the local community in the program to promote a better understanding of the importance of long-term conservation, not just for sea turtles but for other locally threatened species.

The aims of this Annual Report include the following:

  • Summarize the activities of the 2009 Sea Turtle Conservation Program.
  • Review the accomplishments and deficiencies of the program in 2009.
  • Suggest recommendations for the 2010 program.
  • Provide a summary of the data from 2009 research initiatives.
  • Present information locally, regionally and internationally about the research and monitoring program on the island.
  • Produce a progress report for the Island Government, potential program funding organizations, the local community and international volunteers. 
Date
2009
Data type
Research report
Geographic location
St. Eustatius

Conservation of amphibians and reptiles in Aruba, Curaçao and Bonaire

Curaçao and Bonaire form part of the Netherlands Antilles, while Aruba has a “status aparte” within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. All three islands are relatively arid compared to a typical Caribbean island, with mean annual rainfall of 409-553 mm, and experience several periods of drought lasting two or more years each century. A short history of the islands is given, and protected areas are described. The laws and regulations protecting amphibians and reptiles are complex, with general laws originating from the Kingdom of the Netherlands participation in international conventions (such as CITES) together with supplemental laws of the Netherlands Antilles and individual islands. Sea turtles are generally well protected, although their nesting beaches would be vulnerable to a rise in sea level. Among the terrestrial herpetofauna, only the Aruba Island rattlesnake (Crotalus unicolor) is on the IUCN Red List, being Critically Endangered. The status of this species and others of particular interest is described. The Curaçao Island snake (Liophis triscalis) should probably be included as Vulnerable or even Endangered, though there is insufficient information at present. Iguana iguana populations on the different islands, and the Curaçao whiptail (Cnemidophorus murinus murinus) on Klein Curaçao, are distinctive and significant for conservation. An overview is given of introduced amphibians and reptiles and their possible effects on the native fauna. The arid climate of the islands may hinder the establishment of invasive species, which are often not able to survive in the bush and thus reduces their impact on native species.

Date
2006
Data type
Scientific article
Theme
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
Aruba
Bonaire
Curacao
Author

Raw data of turtle nesting monitoring on St.Maarten by Nature Foundation

Raw data of turtle nest observations, including: nest identification, species, false crawls, etc.

Please contact Nature Foundation St.Maarten for more information.

Date
2019
Data type
Raw data
Theme
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
St. Maarten

Raw data of turtle observations on St.Eustatius 2004-2016

Raw data of turtle observations, both nesting and in-water surveys. Information includes: nest identification, species, weather, moonphase, size of carapace, number of eggs, number of hatchlings, etc; location of in-water transect, dive time, visibility, water temperature, etc.

Please contact STENAPA for more information.

Date
2016
Data type
Raw data
Theme
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
St. Eustatius
Author
Private Document

Raw data of turtle, sharks and fish inwater observations by SeaSaba

Observations by SeaSaba dive instructors which include turtles, sharks, rays, snappers, groupers and marine mammals. Observations are made during every dive (and at surface). Dive instructors are at minimum level 3 REEF fish identifiers.   

Please contact SeaSaba for more information.

The handtyped observations (no species picklist) is interpreted into a Comma Separated Values file by a java program which is included in the download.

Date
2019
Data type
Raw data
Theme
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
Saba

St. Eustatius Sea Turtle Conservation Programme - Annual Report 2014

The 2014 Sea Turtle nesting season continued in the up and down trend of busy and slow years. It was a year with less than 50 activities per species. With 8 recorded leatherback activities it was a small improvement as the past years have seen only 1 or no nesting activity by that species. A greater effort was made to perform excavations as soon as possible and this year every confirmed nest was excavated and checked for outcome. One nest was lost to Tropical Storm Gonzalo and 1 nest was destroyed by a cliff fall.

Date
2015
Data type
Other resources
Theme
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
St. Eustatius
Author

St. Eustatius Sea Turtle Conservation Programme - Annual Report 2013

The 2013 Sea Turtle nesting season was a varied season whereby there was as in previous years not much in the way of leatherback activity but towards the end of the season there was a marked increase in hard shell activity. There were also at least 22 sightings of sea turtles during 50 odd hours of night patrols thereby giving the program a “catch” per unit effort of just under 50%.

The objective of the St Eustatius Sea Turtle Conservation Program is to promote long-term survival of the sea turtle populations on and around the island. This goal is achieved by safeguarding critical sea turtle habitats, conducting research to provide policy and decision makers with current, relevant data on the status of sea turtles in the region, and limiting environmental impacts on nesting beaches and near-shore waters. One of the most important factors to ensure the success of the project is the direct involvement of the local community in the program to promote a better understanding of the importance of long-term conservation, not just for sea turtles but for other locally threatened species.
The aims of this Annual Report include the following:

  • Summarize the activities of the 2013 Sea Turtle Conservation Program.
  • Review the accomplishments and deficiencies of the program in 2013.
  • Suggest recommendations for the 2014 program.
  • Present information locally, regionally and internationally about the research and monitoring program on the island.
  • Produce a progress report for the Island Government, potential program funding organizations, the local community and international volunteers

 

Date
2014
Data type
Other resources
Theme
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
St. Eustatius
Author