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Two hundred years after a commercial marine turtle fishery: the current status of marine turtles nesting in the Cayman Islands

  • Jonathan J. Aiken (a1), Brendan J. Godley, Annette C. Broderick (a2), Timothy Austin (a1), Gina Ebanks-Petrie (a1) and Graeme C. Hays (a2)...

Abstract

Large populations of marine turtles breeding in the Cayman Islands were drastically reduced in the early 1800s. However, marine turtle nesting still occurs in the islands. The present-day status of this nesting population provides insight into the conservation of marine turtles, a long-lived species. In 1998 and 1999, the first systematic survey of marine turtle nesting in the Cayman Islands found 38 nests on 22 beaches scattered through the three islands. Three species were found: the green Chelonia mydas, hawksbill Eretmochelys imbricata and loggerhead Caretta caretta turtles. Comparison with other rookeries suggests that the small number of sexually mature adults surviving Cayman's huge perturbations may be impeding population recovery. This shows the need to implement conservation measures prior to massive reductions in population size.

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Corresponding author

Marine Turtle Research Group, School of Biological Sciences, University of Wales Swansea, Swansea, SA2 8PP, UK. E-mail: mtn@swan.ac.uk

References

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Two hundred years after a commercial marine turtle fishery: the current status of marine turtles nesting in the Cayman Islands

  • Jonathan J. Aiken (a1), Brendan J. Godley, Annette C. Broderick (a2), Timothy Austin (a1), Gina Ebanks-Petrie (a1) and Graeme C. Hays (a2)...

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