Ecologia e Conservação de Tartarugas Marinhas Através da Análise de Encalhes no Litoral Paraibano


IBICT - Instituto Brasileiro de Informação em Ciência e Tecnologia




Five sea turtle species use the Brazilian coast for reproduction and feeding: loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta), green turtle (Chelonia mydas), leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), olive turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) and hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata). These species are included in the threatened categories, as much globally, according to the Red List of Threatened Species, issued by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), as regionally, according to the Livro Vermelho da Fauna Brasileira Ameaçada de Extinção, published by the Ministério do Meio Ambiente. Sea turtles naturally face a wide variety of stressors, both natural and anthropogenic, like diseases, predation by other animals, incidental capture in fishing artifacts, marine pollution and the hunt. Systematic data collection from stranded sea turtles can provide useful biological information, such as seasonal and spatial patterns in their occurrence, and mortality, age structure, sex ratio, diet, interannual variations associated with climatic or anthropogenic events, as well as possible mortality causes. Thus, this study aimed to examine sea turtle strandings on the coast of Paraíba State, from August 2009 to July 2010, emphasizing the observation of the occurrence of ingestion of anthropogenic debris. In this period, 124 strandings were recorded. The species observed were C. mydas (n = 106), E. imbricata (n = 15), L. olivacea (n = 2) and C. caretta (n = 1). Of the total strandings that could be measured (n = 122), only twelve individuals (9.7%) could be considered adults. In 20 individuals, synthetic anthropogenic debris were found inside the gastrointestinal tract and of these, in 13 individuals it was concluded that the death cause was the ingestion of these residues. In 43 individuals, other traces of human interactions were observed, such as injuries caused by entanglement in fishing lines or nets, collisions with vessels, direct contact with oil spills, and lesions caused by knives and harpoons. In 28.5% of the stranded turtles, the presence of external tumors was noted, suggestive of fibropapillomatosis. Moreover, in 9.7%, shark bite marks were observed. A significant difference was found in the occurrence of strandings between males and females, being that the females were more frequent. Also, a significant difference was found in the occurrence of strandings between the different seasons, being that in the spring/summer (dry season), the strandings were more frequent. The most worrying result of this study was the observation of human interactions in half of the strandings analyzed. Stranding monitoring is necessary along the whole coast of Brazil and, indeed, along those of the entire world, because it has a fundamental role in studies of the ecology, biology and conservation of these species, generating benefits for local action, directed to the major problems observed.


detritos antropogênicos encalhes impactos antrópicos caretta caretta lepidochelys olivacea eretmochelys imbricata chelonia mydas ciencias biologicas chelonia mydas eretmochelys imbricata lepidochelys olivacea caretta caretta human impact strandings anthropogenic debris

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