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Encouraging outlook for recovery of a once severely exploited marine megaherbivore

Chaloupka, Milani; Bjorndal, Karen A; Balazs, George H; Bolten, Alan B; Ehrhart, Llewellyn M; Limpus, Colin J; Suganuma, Hiroyuki; Troëng, Sebastian LU and Yamaguchi, Manami (2008) In Global Ecology and Biogeography 17(2). p.297-304
Abstract
Aim To critically review the status of the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) using the best available scientific studies as there is a prevailing view that this species is globally endangered and its marine ecosystem functions compromised. Location Ogasawara (Japan), Hawaii (USA), Great Barrier Reef (Australia), Florida (USA), Tortuguero (Costa Rica). Methods We compiled seasonal nesting activity data from all reliable continuous long-term studies (> 25 years), which comprised data series for six of the world's major green turtle rookeries. We estimated the underlying time-specific trend in these six rookery-specific nester or nest abundance series using a generalized smoothing spline regression approach. Results Estimated rates of... (More)
Aim To critically review the status of the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) using the best available scientific studies as there is a prevailing view that this species is globally endangered and its marine ecosystem functions compromised. Location Ogasawara (Japan), Hawaii (USA), Great Barrier Reef (Australia), Florida (USA), Tortuguero (Costa Rica). Methods We compiled seasonal nesting activity data from all reliable continuous long-term studies (> 25 years), which comprised data series for six of the world's major green turtle rookeries. We estimated the underlying time-specific trend in these six rookery-specific nester or nest abundance series using a generalized smoothing spline regression approach. Results Estimated rates of nesting population increase ranged from c. 4-14% per annum over the past two to three decades. These rates varied considerably among the rookeries, reflecting the level of historical exploitation. Similar increases in nesting population were also evident for many other green turtle stocks that have been monitored for shorter durations than the long-term studies presented here. Main conclusions We show that six of the major green turtle nesting populations in the world have been increasing over the past two to three decades following protection from human hazards such as exploitation of eggs and turtles. This population recovery or rebound capacity is encouraging and suggests that the green turtle is not on the brink of global extinction even though some stocks have been seriously depleted and are still below historical abundance levels. This demonstrates that relatively simple conservation strategies can have a profound effect on the recovery of once-depleted green turtle stocks and presumably the restoration of their ecological function as major marine consumers. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas, conservation, stock recovery, marine
in
Global Ecology and Biogeography
volume
17
issue
2
pages
297 - 304
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • wos:000252966000015
  • scopus:39049158387
ISSN
1466-8238
DOI
10.1111/j.1466-8238.2007.00367.x
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
b74436c1-6d6b-44e9-ac81-1310b84a6aca (old id 1198694)
date added to LUP
2008-09-10 16:22:10
date last changed
2017-10-22 03:38:26
@article{b74436c1-6d6b-44e9-ac81-1310b84a6aca,
  abstract     = {Aim To critically review the status of the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) using the best available scientific studies as there is a prevailing view that this species is globally endangered and its marine ecosystem functions compromised. Location Ogasawara (Japan), Hawaii (USA), Great Barrier Reef (Australia), Florida (USA), Tortuguero (Costa Rica). Methods We compiled seasonal nesting activity data from all reliable continuous long-term studies (> 25 years), which comprised data series for six of the world's major green turtle rookeries. We estimated the underlying time-specific trend in these six rookery-specific nester or nest abundance series using a generalized smoothing spline regression approach. Results Estimated rates of nesting population increase ranged from c. 4-14% per annum over the past two to three decades. These rates varied considerably among the rookeries, reflecting the level of historical exploitation. Similar increases in nesting population were also evident for many other green turtle stocks that have been monitored for shorter durations than the long-term studies presented here. Main conclusions We show that six of the major green turtle nesting populations in the world have been increasing over the past two to three decades following protection from human hazards such as exploitation of eggs and turtles. This population recovery or rebound capacity is encouraging and suggests that the green turtle is not on the brink of global extinction even though some stocks have been seriously depleted and are still below historical abundance levels. This demonstrates that relatively simple conservation strategies can have a profound effect on the recovery of once-depleted green turtle stocks and presumably the restoration of their ecological function as major marine consumers.},
  author       = {Chaloupka, Milani and Bjorndal, Karen A and Balazs, George H and Bolten, Alan B and Ehrhart, Llewellyn M and Limpus, Colin J and Suganuma, Hiroyuki and Troëng, Sebastian and Yamaguchi, Manami},
  issn         = {1466-8238},
  keyword      = {green sea turtle,Chelonia mydas,conservation,stock recovery,marine},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {297--304},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Global Ecology and Biogeography},
  title        = {Encouraging outlook for recovery of a once severely exploited marine megaherbivore},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1466-8238.2007.00367.x},
  volume       = {17},
  year         = {2008},
}