Organochlorines Contaminants in Eggs of Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) and Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas) from Mexico coast

  • Patricia I. SalvaraniEmail author
  • Fernando Morgado
  • Luis R. Vieira
  • Jaime Rendón-von Osten


The investigation of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) levels in sea turtles is an important issue in conservation research, due to the harmful effects of these chemicals. In the present study, OCPs concentrations were determined in the eggs of two sea turtle species (Eretmochelys imbricata and Chelonia mydas) collected from the Punta Xen and Isla Aguada (Mexican coast) in 2014 and 2015. Concentrations of 20 OCPs were analysed, including isomers of hexachlorocyclohexane, aldrin, chlordanes, endosulfans, methoxychlor, DDTs, and heptachlor. From the group of contaminants considered (analysed as families), the results revealed higher concentrations of ΣHCH and ΣDienes on both selected species. We analysed the relationship between turtle size and the OCPs concentrations; no correlation was found between the size of the female and concentrations in the eggs. In addition, principal component analysis indicated pattern differences between species and years, in good agreement with concentrations differences.



The license (SGPA/DGVS/03974/14) to collect the eggs samples of 120 turtles was provided by the Secretaria de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT). The authors want to thank the turtle camp Grupo Ecologista Quelonios A.C., Punta Xen and Campamento Tortuguero de Isla Aguada, who aided in the fieldwork. This work was supported by Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES Brazil), (1201/2013-01).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biology and The Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies (CESAM)University of AveiroAveiroPortugal
  2. 2.CIIMAR – Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental ResearchUniversity of Porto, Research Group of Ecotoxicology, Stress Ecology and Environmental Health (ECOTOX)MatosinhosPortugal
  3. 3.ICBAS – Institute of Biomedical Sciences of Abel SalazarUniversity of Porto, Department of Populations Study, Laboratory of Ecotoxicology (ECOTOX)PortoPortugal
  4. 4.Instituto EpomexUniversidad Autónoma de CampecheCampecheMexico

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