Skip to comments.Endangered hawksbill turtles make a surprise appearance ["unexpected"]
Posted on 09/01/2011 2:58:13 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
...turtles unexpectedly making a go of it in mangrove estuaries.
Scientists have made the surprise discovery that a population of critically endangered hawksbill turtles, thought to have been wiped out in the eastern Pacific from Mexico to Peru, has survived by occupying a novel habitat mangrove estuaries rather than coral reefs where they have been slaughtered for their exquisite shells.
The finding is particularly significant because it suggests a potentially unique evolutionary trajectory, said Alexander Gaos, lead author of a report being released Thursday in the online scientific journal Biology Letters.
"We now know there are about 500 adult female hawksbill turtles in at least four inland mangrove saltwater forests in El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Ecuador...They are among the last remaining strongholds for this species. If these estuaries are destroyed by development of aquaculture and housing, the hawksbill turtle will disappear with them...
Scientists are collaborating with coastal villages in the vicinity of the mangroves to "create community-based conservation programs," said Bryan Wallace, director of science and strategy for Conservation International's marine flagship species program. "All egg clutches are being relocated to hatcheries," he said.
Until now, Eretmochelys imbricata was believed to prefer open coasts and coral reefs in the Caribbean and Indo-Pacific regions. As recently as 2007, hawksbill turtles were considered nearly wiped out, based on research and scarce sightings.
To map the movements of the eastern Pacific's remnant turtle population, a team of scientists attached satellite transmitters to the backs of 12 adult females. Gaos said 83% of those turtles remained settled in the mangrove forests, contrary to the long-held notion that hawksbills are coral reef dwellers.
...Although adaptation has become a central concern of climate scientists because of global warming, there is no apparent connection between the habitat change and climate shifts, Gaos said.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
Does anyone know where I can buy one of the tortoise shells? I need to make a new supply of guitar picks.
Can’t help you out.
I wonder if Rush can turn his outside lights on now?
Well, none that we can think up to sound plausible, right now
“coral reefs ... slaughtered for their exquisite shells”.
Ha, ha ,ha ,ha ,ha!
Darwin’s Sacred Imposter: The Illusion That Natural Selection Operates on Organisms
Interesting Central America facts.
"Oh wow!" Says villager, as he runs back to hut to collect spear and net...