Population Dynamics of Marine Turtles Under Harvest
Stringell, Thomas B.
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Reason for embargo
embargo the thesis/dissertation for a standard period of up to 18 months to enable any papers, etc., to be published.
Understanding the ecology and life history of marine turtle populations is fundamental for their effective conservation, especially for those that are harvested for food. This thesis presents a collection of six chapters that progress from the applied to the pure; conservation and management in the first chapters through to animal ecology in the latter. A variety of contemporary and multidisciplinary techniques are utilised to explore the structure, populations dynamics and ecology of two marine turtle species, the green turtle (Chelonia mydas) and the hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), under harvest in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), Caribbean. The work first focuses on the structure of TCI’s small-scale fishery and the demographics of turtles landed and incorporates nesting seasonality, adult take, satellite tracking and genetic structure to suggest evidence-based legislative amendments. As part of the study of this fishery, this work reports on how the harvest might increase prevalence of disease in green turtles. As an exploration into the ecology of turtle stocks found in TCI, the work then describes and compares in- water immature and adult sex ratios, genetic differentiation and sex biased dispersal. Finally, stomach content and habitat matching, and stable isotope analyses provide insights into the foraging ecology and suggested keystone roles of sympatric green and hawksbill turtles.
NERC / MCS
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) CASE PhD
PhD in Biological Sciences