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Nesting and at-sea distribution of marine turtles in Angola, West Africa, 2000–2006: occurrence, threats and conservation implications

  • Caroline R. Weir (a1), Tamar Ron (a2), Miguel Morais (a3) and Agostinho Domingos C. Duarte (a4)

Abstract

The status of marine turtles in Angola, West Africa, is poorly known, and therefore during 2000–2006 a combination of both dedicated and opportunistic beach and at-sea turtle surveys were carried out, and interviews conducted with fishing communities and at markets. Green Chelonia mydas, olive ridley Lepidochelys olivacea, leatherback Dermochelys coriacea and loggerhead turtles Caretta caretta were recorded, and nesting of the first three species confirmed during September–March (peaking November–December). Green turtles nested mainly in the south, leatherback turtles in north and central Angola, and olive ridley turtle nesting was widespread. Olive ridley turtle nest density at Palmeirinhas averaged 32 nests km−1. At-sea surveys produced 298 turtle records, with peak occurrence during August. Significant anthropogenic-related mortality (including exploitation of meat and eggs and fishing bycatch) was recorded, in addition to natural predation and other threats. Maintenance of the long-term sustainability of these turtle populations should focus on the involvement of fishing communities and increasing awareness throughout Angola.

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Nesting and at-sea distribution of marine turtles in Angola, West Africa, 2000–2006: occurrence, threats and conservation implications

  • Caroline R. Weir (a1), Tamar Ron (a2), Miguel Morais (a3) and Agostinho Domingos C. Duarte (a4)

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