Advertisement

Marine Biology

, Volume 151, Issue 5, pp 1721–1730 | Cite as

Variation in adult annual survival probability and remigration intervals of sea turtles

  • Sebastian TroëngEmail author
  • Milani Chaloupka
Research Article

Abstract

We analyzed a large dataset to quantify adult annual survival probability and remigration intervals for the Tortuguero, Costa Rica green turtle population. Annual survival probability was estimated at 0.85 (95% CI 0.75–0.92) using a recovery model and at 0.85 (95% CI 0.83–0.87) using an open robust design model. The two most common modes of remigration are 2 and 3 years. Annual survival probability is lower and remigration intervals are shorter than for other green turtle populations. Explanations for short remigration intervals include reproductive compensation due to historic population declines, availability of better quality food items, favorable environmental conditions, and short distance to the main foraging grounds. Variation in survival and remigration intervals have profound consequences for management and life history evolution. The short remigration intervals of Tortuguero green turtles partly offset mortality caused by turtle fishing in Nicaragua and mean that low juvenile survival represents a more urgent threat to the population than low adult survival. Low adult survival probability could result in selective pressure for earlier age at maturity.

Keywords

Green Turtle Recovery Model Nest Beach Abundant Food Resource Lifetime Reproductive Output 
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.

Notes

Acknowledgments

Thomas Alerstam, Jan-Åke Nilsson and two anonymous reviewers provided useful comments on a draft manuscript. Emma Harrison, Jeff Mangel, Catalina Reyes, Roldán Valverde and numerous research assistants and volunteers with CCC’s Green Turtle Program are acknowledged for their hard work to patrol and tag turtles. Tag recoveries were reported by fishers and other observers. We thank Cynthia Lagueux (WCS) for collecting the vast majority of tag recovery information. Peter Eliazar’s (ACCSTR) facilitating of tag information also deserves special mention. This study was conducted under a research permit issued by the Ministry of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica and complied with all relevant national legislation.

References

  1. Balazs GH (1994) Homeward bound: satellite tracking of Hawaiian green turtles from nesting beaches to foraging pastures. NOAA Tech Memo NMFS-SEFSC-341:205–208Google Scholar
  2. Balazs GH, Chaloupka M (2004) Spatial and temporal variability in somatic growth of green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) resident in the Hawaiian Archipelago. Mar Biol 145:1043–1059CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Balazs GH, Craig P, Winton BR, Miya RK (1994) Satellite telemetry of green turtles nesting at French Frigate Shoals, Hawaii, and Rose Atoll, American Samoa. NOAA Tech Memo NMFS-SEFSC-351:184–187Google Scholar
  4. Bjorndal KA (1980) Demography of the breeding population of the green turtle, Chelonia mydas, at Tortuguero, Costa Rica. Copeia 1980(3):525–530CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bjorndal KA, Bolten AB, Chaloupka MY (2000) Green turtle somatic growth model: evidence for density dependence. Ecol Appl 10(1):269–282Google Scholar
  6. Bjorndal KA, Bolten AB, Chaloupka MY (2003) Survival probability estimates for immature green turtles Chelonia mydas in the Bahamas. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 252:273–281CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Broderick AC, Glen F, Godley BJ, Hays GC (2002) Estimating the number of green and loggerhead turtles nesting annually in the Mediterranean. Oryx 36(3):227–235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Broderick AC, Glen F, Godley BJ, Hays GC (2003) Variation in reproductive output of marine turtles. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 288:95–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Campbell CL (2003) Population assessment and management needs of a green turtle, Chelonia mydas, population in the western Caribbean. PhD dissertation, University of Florida GainesvilleGoogle Scholar
  10. Campbell CL, Lagueux CJ (2005) Survival probability estimates for large juvenile and adult green turtles (Chelonia mydas) exposed to an artisanal marine turtle fishery in the western Caribbean. Herpetologica 61(2):91–103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Carr A, Carr MH (1970) Modulated reproductive periodicity in Chelonia. Ecology 51(2):335–337CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Carr A, Carr MH, Meylan AB (1978) The ecology and migrations of sea turtles, 7. The west Caribbean green turtle colony. B Am Mus Nat Hist 162:1–46Google Scholar
  13. Chaloupka M (2002) Stochastic simulation modelling of southern Great Barrier Reef green turtle population dynamics. Ecol Model 148:79–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Chaloupka M, Limpus C (2005) Estimates of sex- and age-class-specific survival probabilities for a southern Great Barrier Reef green sea turtle population. Mar Biol 146:1251–1261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Chaloupka M, Limpus C, Miller J (2004a) Green turtle somatic growth dynamics in a spatially disjunct Great Barrier Reef metapopulation. Coral Reefs 23:325–335CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Chaloupka M, Parker D, Balazs G (2004b) Modelling post-release mortality of loggerhead sea turtles exposed to the Hawaii-based pelagic longline fishery. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 280:285–293CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Cilimburg AB, Lindberg MS, Tewksbury JJ, Hejl SJ (2002) Effects of dispersal on survival probability of adult yellow warblers (Dendroica petechia). Auk 119(3):778–789CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Congdon JD, Dunham AE, Van Loben Sels RC (1993) Delayed sexual maturity and demographics of Blanding’s turtles (Emydoidea blandingii): implications for conservation and management of long-lived organisms. Conserv Biol 7:826–833CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Diaz JA, Delgado C, Figueroa A (2000) Reproductive biology of the black turtle in Michoacan, Mexico. NOAA Tech Memo NMFS-SEFSC-436:159Google Scholar
  20. Dutton DL, Dutton PH, Chaloupka M, Boulon R (2005) Increase of a Caribbean leatherback Dermochelys coriacea nesting population linked to long-term nest protection. Biol Conserv 126:186–194CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Frazer NB, Ladner RC (1986) A growth curve for green sea turtles, Chelonia mydas, in the U.S. Virgin Islands, 1913–1914. Copeia 1986:798–802CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Godley BC, Richardson S, Broderick AC, Coyne MS, Glen F, Hays GC (2002) Long-term satellite telemetry of the movements and habitat utilisation by green turtles in the Mediterranean. Ecography 25:352–362CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hays GC (2000) The implications of variable remigration intervals for the assessment of population size in marine turtles. J Theor Biol 206:221–227CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hays GC (2004) Good news for sea turtles. TREE 19:349–351PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Hays GC, Broderick AC, Godley BJ, Luschi P, Nichols WJ (2003) Satellite telemetry suggests high levels of fishing-induced mortality in marine turtles. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 262:305–309CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hirth HF (1997) Synopsis of the biological data on the green turtle Chelonia mydas (Linnaeus 1758). USFWS Biol Rep 97(1):1–120Google Scholar
  27. IUCN (2004) 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. http://www.redlist.org. Downloaded on 06 September 2005
  28. Jackson JBC, Kirby MX, Berger WG, Bjorndal KA, Botsford LW, Bourque BJ, Bradbury RH, Cooke R, Erlandson J, Estes JA, Hughes TP, Kidwell S, Lange CB, Lenihan HS, Pandolfi JM, Peterson CH, Steneck RS, Tegner MJ, Warner RR (2001) Historical overfishing and the recent collapse of coastal ecosystems. Science 293:629–638CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kendall WL, Bjorkland R (2001) Using open robust design models to estimate temporary emigration from capture-recapture data. Biometrics 57:1113–1122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lagueux CJ (1998) Marine turtle fishery of Caribbean Nicaragua: human use patterns and harvest trends. PhD dissertation, University of Florida GainesvilleGoogle Scholar
  31. Limpus C, Nicholls N (2000) ENSO regulation of Indo-Pacific green turtle populations. In: Hammer GL, Nicholls N, Mitchell C (eds) The Australian experience. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, pp 399–408Google Scholar
  32. Limpus CJ, Eggler P, Miller JD (1994) Long interval remigration in Eastern Australia Chelonia. NOAA Tech Memo NMFS-SEFSC-341:85–88Google Scholar
  33. Limpus CJ, Miller JD, Parmenter CJ, Limpus DJ (2003) The green turtle, Chelonia mydas, population of Raine Island and the northern Great Barrier Reef: 1843–2001. Mem Qld Mus 49(1):349–440Google Scholar
  34. Luschi P, Hays GC, Del Seppia C, Marsh R, Papi F (1998) The navigational feats of green sea turtles migrating from Ascension Island investigated by satellite telemetry. Proc Roy Soc Lond B 265:2279–2284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Mortimer JA (1981) The feeding ecology of the west Caribbean green turtle (Chelonia mydas) in Nicaragua. Biotropica 13(1):49–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Mortimer JA, Carr AF (1987) Reproduction and migrations of the Ascension Island green turtle (Chelonia mydas). Copeia 1987(1):103–113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Pradel R, Hines JE, Lebreton JD, Nichols JD (1997) Capture-recapture survival models taking account of transients. Biometrics 53:60–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Reina RD, Mayor PA, Spotila JR, Piedra R, Paladino FV (2002) Nesting ecology of the leatherback turtle, Dermochelys coriacea, at Parque Nacional Marino Las Baulas, Costa Rica: 1988–1989 to 1999–2000. Copeia 2002:653–664CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Rivalan P, Prévot-Julliard AC, Girondot M (2004) The North Atlantic Oscillation drives the leatherback nesting season in French Guiana. NOAA Tech Memo (in press)Google Scholar
  40. Rivalan P, Prévot-Julliard AC, Choquet R, Pradel R, Jacquemin B, Girondot M (2005) Trade-off between current reproductive effort and delay to next reproduction in the leatherback sea turtle. Oecologia 145:564–574CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Seminoff J (2004) Marine Turtle Specialist Group Chelonia mydas Assessment. IUCN Marine Turtle Specialist GroupGoogle Scholar
  42. Seminoff JA, Resendiz A, Nichols WJ (2002) Home range of green turtles Chelonia mydas at a coastal foraging area in the Gulf of California, Mexico. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 242:253–265CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Seminoff JA, Jones TT, Resendiz A, Nichols WJ, Chaloupka MY (2003) Monitoring green turtles (Chelonia mydas) at a coastal foraging area in Baja California, Mexico: multiple indices to describe population status. J Mar Biol Assoc UK 83:1355–1362CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Shepherd TD, Myers RA (2005) Direct and indirect fishery effects on small coastal elasmobranchs in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Ecol Lett 8:1095–1104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Solow AR, Bjorndal KA, Bolten AB (2002) Annual variation in nesting numbers of marine turtles: the effect of sea surface temperature on remigration intervals. Ecol Lett 5:742–746CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Spotila JR, Reina RD, Steyermark AC, Plotkin PT, Paladino FV (2000) Pacific leatherback turtles face extinction. Nature 405:529–530CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Spring CS (1994) Satellite tracking green turtles in Australian waters—preliminary results. In: James R (comp) Proceedings of the Australian marine turtle conservation workshop. Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service, Canberra, pp 192–197Google Scholar
  48. Tiwari M, Bjorndal KA, Bolten AB, Bolker BM (2005) Intraspecific application of the mid-domain effect model: spatial and temporal nest distributions of green turtles, Chelonia mydas, at Tortuguero, Costa Rica. Ecol Lett 8:918–924CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Troëng S, Chaloupka M (2006) Evaluation of remigration intervals as indicators for how well sea turtle populations fulfill their ecological roles. In: Frick M, Panagopoulou A, Rees AF, Williams K (compilers) Book of abstracts. 26th annual symposium on sea turtle biology and conservation. International Sea Turtle Symposium, Athens, pp 176–177Google Scholar
  50. Troëng S, Rankin E (2005) Long-term conservation of the green turtle Chelonia mydas nesting population at Tortuguero, Costa Rica. Biol Conserv 121:111–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Troëng S, Chacón D, Dick B (2004) Possible decline in leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea nesting along the coast of Caribbean Central America. Oryx 38(4):395–403CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Troëng S, Mangel J, Reyes C (2003) Comparison of Monel #49 and Inconel #681 tags loss in green turtles Chelonia mydas nesting at Tortuguero, Costa Rica. NOAA Tech Memo NMFS-SEFSC-503:121–122Google Scholar
  53. Troëng S, Evans D, Harrison E, Lagueux C (2005) Migration of green turtles Chelonia mydas nesting at Tortuguero, Costa Rica. Mar Biol 148:435–447CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Wetherall JA (1982) Analysis of double-tagging experiments. Fish Bull 80:687–701Google Scholar
  55. White GC, Burnham KP (1999) Program MARK: Survival estimation from populations of marked animals. Bird Study 46(Suppl):120–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Yasuda T, Arai N (2005) Fine-scale tracking of marine turtles using GPS-Argos PTTs. Zool Sci 22:547–553CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Yasuda T, Tanaka H, Kittiwattanawong K, Mitamura H, Klom-in W, Arai N (2006) Do female green turtles (Chelonia mydas) exhibit reproductive seasonality in a year-round nesting rookery? J Zool 269:451–457CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Zug GR, Balazs GH, Wetherall JA, Parker DM, Murakawa SKK (2002) Age and growth of Hawaiian green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas): an analysis based on skeletochronology. Fish B-NOAA 100:117–127Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Animal EcologyLund UniversityLundSweden
  2. 2.Caribbean Conservation CorporationSan PedroCosta Rica
  3. 3.Ecological Modelling Services Pty LtdUniversity of QueenslandSt LuciaAustralia
  4. 4.Regional Marine Strategies, Conservation InternationalArlingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations