Brazilian Journal of Biology
Print version ISSN 1519-6984
ALVES-JUNIOR, JRF et al. Reproductive indices in natural nests of giant Amazon river turtles Podocnemis expansa (Schweigger, 1812) (Testudines, Podocnemididae) in the Environmental Protection Area Meanders of the Araguaia river. Braz. J. Biol. [online]. 2012, vol.72, n.1, pp. 199-203. ISSN 1519-6984. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-69842012000100024.
A count was made of unhatched eggs and hatchling live and dead Podocnemis expansa turtles in 327 natural nests located on the beaches of the Environmental Protection Area (EPA) Meanders of the Araguaia River, to determine the percentage of hatching (94.63%), non-hatching (5.37%), survival (94.24%) and hatchling mortality (5.76%), and the average percentage of dead hatchlings during the 15 days in the nursery (0.97%). The mean number of hatchlings per nest was determined from the sum of the number of live and dead hatchlings divided by the total number of nests, while the mean number of eggs per nest was determined from the sum of live and dead hatchlings and unhatched eggs divided by the number of nests. These calculations yielded the following mean values: live hatchlings (88.98 ± 23.94), dead hatchlings (0.37 ± 0.93), unhatched eggs (5.07 ± 9.57), and total number of eggs (94.42 ± 21.30). The reproductive efficiency of the wild population of P. expansa can be affected by many environmental factors such as temperature, humidity and rainfall. In addition, man-made factors like the presence of chemicals in the water and the potential for infectious disease also have significant impact. The reproductive indices data obtained from this study are indispensable for future investigations of hatching anomalies.
Keywords : hatching; nests; reproduction; reptile; survival.