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Nesting estimation and analysis of threats for Critically Endangered leatherback Dermochelys coriacea and Endangered olive ridley Lepidochelys olivacea marine turtles nesting in Congo

  • Marie-Clélia Godgenger (a1), Nathalie Bréheret (a2), Gaëlle Bal (a2), Karine N'Damité (a3), Alexandre Girard (a2) and Marc Girondot (a1)...

Abstract

Six marine turtle species are reported from the coastal waters of the Republic of the Congo. Among them, nesting by the Critically Endangered leatherback Dermochelys coriacea and Endangered olive ridley Lepidochelys olivacea marine turtles occurs annually from September to April on Congolese beaches. We developed a methodology to model the nesting season of marine turtles and apply it to the time series of nest counts for six nesting beaches monitored over 2–4 years. There is a peak of nesting activity in early January for leatherback turtles and early December for olive ridley turtles. We show a decline of olive ridley nests during this period whereas leatherback nesting increased, and propose that differential threats for these two species explain such a contrasted pattern.

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      Nesting estimation and analysis of threats for Critically Endangered leatherback Dermochelys coriacea and Endangered olive ridley Lepidochelys olivacea marine turtles nesting in Congo
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Copyright

Corresponding author

Université Paris-Sud, Laboratoire Ecologie, Systématique et Evolution, UMR 8079, Orsay F-91405, France, and CNRS, Orsay F-91405, France. E-mail marc.girondot@u-psud.fr

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