Marine Biology

, Volume 151, Issue 5, pp 1743–1749 | Cite as

Emergence pattern of loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) hatchlings from Kyparissia Bay, Greece

  • Victoria Adam
  • Carlos Tur
  • Alan F. Rees
  • Jesús TomásEmail author
Research Article


The present study describes the emergence pattern of loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings (Caretta caretta) from a nesting beach in Kyparissia Bay (Greece). We try to establish the role played by hatchling biometry, nest relocation and distance from nest to the sea on this emergence pattern. We surveyed a total of 32 nests, and found long emergence periods (mean = 6.7 nights). The majority of emergences occurred at night, mainly between 0030 and 0100 hours, and in small groups. Most of the hatchlings emerged from the nests the first night. We found no clear trend when we studied the effect of hatchling biometry between successive emergence days. We also found that relocation of the nests did not significantly affect the emergence pattern. However, we noted that in the relocated nests, hatchlings emerged in smaller groups. Emergence periods were inversely related to distance from the sea. In short, factors such as climate conditions, relocation and nest distance to the sea appear to have some effect on the emergence pattern. Therefore, they should be taken into account in both biological studies and management plans for sea turtle nesting beaches. Our results suggest leaving an extended period between the first emergence of hatchlings and the excavation of nests by researchers in future studies in the area.


Emergence Period Emergence Event Nest Beach Ghost Crab Straight Carapace Length 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors wish to thank Dimitris Margaritoulis for his comments on this article and his valuable suggestions. Thanks are due to all the volunteers of ARCHELON that helped during sampling, and also to Ernesto López-Baeza, Demetrio Segarra-Gomar, Juan A. Raga and David Conesa-Guillén for providing valuable help for the study. Sandra Durá, Jordi Colonques and Rafel Moner are gratefully acknowledged. J. Tomás is supported by a Marie Curie Post doctoral Fellowship. The experiments comply with the current laws concerning protected species in Greece.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Victoria Adam
    • 1
  • Carlos Tur
    • 1
  • Alan F. Rees
    • 2
  • Jesús Tomás
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.ValenciaSpain
  2. 2.ARCHELONThe Sea Turtle Protection Society of GreeceAthensGreece
  3. 3.Cavanilles Institute of Biodiversity and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of ValenciaValenciaSpain

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