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Iheringia. Série Zoologia

Print version ISSN 0073-4721

Abstract

MOURA, Carina C. de M. et al. Spatio-temporal distribution and reproductive success of Eretmochelys imbricata on the beaches of Ipojuca, Pernambuco, Brazil. Iheringia, Sér. Zool. [online]. 2012, vol.102, n.3, pp. 254-260.  Epub Sep 11, 2012. ISSN 0073-4721.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0073-47212012005000003.

This study aimed to verify the spatio-temporal distribution of Eretmochelys imbricata (Linnaeus, 1766) and aspects of its reproductive biology, such as incubation time, reproductive success, biometric measurements of females, number of nests and fecundity. Data were collected during 2007 to 2010, on the beaches of Muro Alto, Cupe, Merepe, Porto de Galinhas, and Maracaípe, all of them located in the city of Ipojuca, state of Pernambuco, Brazil. Parameters relating to reproductive biology and nesting areas of the species were comparatively analyzed. Eretmochelys imbricata was recorded nesting between October and May, when 350 nests were monitored through three seasons. The spawning peak happened from January to March, also revealing a seasonal pattern. The number of nests differed significantly between seasons. The Merepe beach presented an elevated occurrence of nests (46 nests/km) if compared to the other monitored beaches. On the aspects of reproductive biology, the reproductive success was 65,6% and the incubation time interval ranged from 54 to 56 days. Biometric measurements were collected from 59 specimens, resulting in an average of 92,5 cm ± 4,5 for the curved carapace length, and of 83,4 cm ± 5 for the curved carapace width. The results can be used for subsidize conservation plans and demonstrate that the beaches recorded in this study are relevant as nesting areas for E. imbricata.

Keywords : Hawksbill turtle; seasons; reproduction; ecology; Testudine.

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