Temporal Nesting Variation of Sea Turtles Species at the Eastern Coast of Inhaca Island
Vera Cristina de Menezes Julien1, Almeida Tomás Guissamulo2, Armindo Filipe da Silva3, Adriano Afonso Macia Júnior1
1. Department of Biological Sciences, University Eduardo Mondlane, CP. 257, Maputo, Mozambique.
2. Natural History Museum, University Eduardo Mondlane, CP. 257, Maputo, Mozambique.
3. Department of Mapping Sciences, National Statistics Institute, CP.493, Maputo, Mozambique.
Understanding the temporal variation of sea turtles nests and the processes driving those variations is of extreme importance to improve the efficiency of the monitoring and management measures at the nesting beaches. In that perspective the present study aimed to describe the temporal nesting activity of two sea turtle species at Inhaca island based on the long-term database on sea turtle nidification (~27 years).
A total of 530 loggerhead and leatherback nests were recorded, of which approximately 64% (equivalent to 340 nests) were loggerhead’s (15.45 ± 10.41 per year) and 36% (equivalent to 190 nests) were leatherback’s (8.64 ± 7.72 per year). the mean annual nest numbers between both species were significantly different (t = 2.467, df = 42 and p < 0.05). loggerhead turtles laid more nests than leatherback turtles.
Results showed that the number of nests was not equally distributed along the nesting seasons. Inter-annual variability in the number of nests laid by loggerhead and leatherback turtles was observed during the study period.
Loggerhead and leatherback nesting activities were restricted to the summer months (October-March). The nesting peaks of loggerhead turtles occurred a month later and were shorter (November and December) than those of leatherback turtles which spanned through October, November and December.
Keywords: Nesting activity, temporal nest distribution, annual nest distribution, seasonal nest distribution, re-migration intervals, sea turtles, Inhaca Island.
Pages: 43 – 55 | Full PDF Paper