In the course of their work, they came across extensive nesting grounds that bring new hope for the survival of the leatherback turtle. This species suffered a grave decline in the twentieth century and is among those considered by the World Conservation Union to be in critical danger of extinction.
The BBVA Foundation project, funded under its Call for Research Proposals in Conservation Biology, has been written up in the scientific journal Biological Conservation with the title: “Globally significant nesting of the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) on the Caribbean coast of Colombia and Panama”, citing as authors Juan Patiño, Adolfo Marco and Liliana Quiñones, researchers at Doñana Biological Station (CSIC), and Brendan Godley from the Centre for Ecology and Conservation at the University of Exeter, United Kingdom.
An exceptional creature
The leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) is the world’s largest turtle, with some individuals reaching two meters in length and weights of around 800 kilos. They can live up to 100 years, nest in topical zones and make the longest ocean crossings of any marine vertebrate, returning 11,000 kilometers to lay their eggs on the beach where they were born. They are also resistant to very low temperatures, meaning they can be found in all the world’s oceans. In fact, some have even been sighted near the polar regions.The leatherback turtle chooses hot tropical beaches to make its nest. It does not breed every year, but when it does so stands out for the large quantity of its nests—normally around seven (with cases of up to 11) per season, excavated at intervals of 15 days. Each nest has between 65 and 110 eggs and can weigh between 5 and 10 kilograms.
Exploration and discoveries
The exploration supported by the BBVA Foundation took place between the towns of Anachukuna (8º43`00`N, 77º32`50``W), in the Kunayala area of southeast Panama, and Mulatos in Colombia (8º38`55.33``N, 76º43`09.25``W) during the breeding seasons of the last three years.
Prior to the study, the zone was reckoned to harbor between 100 and 250 nesting females, though many beaches were virtually unexplored. But this latest census lifts their annual number to between 1,140 and 1,300, making it a major Atlantic Ocean breeding ground and refuge for the leatherback turtle.
Of the seven nesting beaches investigated, Armila (4.5 km length) is the most abundant in annual nests, which number from 3,600 to 4,040 units or 60% to 67% of the area-wide total. Armila’s nesting density, with an average of 900 nests per kilometer of beach, is also exceptional—the highest in the Central American Caribbean ahead of Playa Chiriquí, also in Panama, whose 128 nests per kilometer were until now considered the local maximum. Armila also stands out for the high survival rate of nests and the hatch rate of clutches, which borders on 70 %.
Javier Fernández | alfa
Scientists team up on study to save endangered African penguins
16.11.2017 | Florida Atlantic University
Climate change: Urban trees are growing faster worldwide
13.11.2017 | Technische Universität München
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine
17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses