GREEN SEA TURTLE

U R U G U A Y A N
MARINE PROTECTED AREAS
RELATIVE DENSITY OF JUVENILE GREEN SEA TURTLE (Chelonia mydas) IN THE MPA CABO
POLONIO-BARRA DE VALIZAS, URUGUAY.
Cecilia Lezama
1
, Daniel González-Paredes
1,2
, Mariana Rios
3
, Alejandro Fallabrino
1
, Gabriela Vélez-Rubio
1,4
,
Gustavo Martínez-Souza
1,5
1)Karumbé, Biodiversidad y Conservación. Av.Rivera 3245. 11600. Montevideo. Uruguay. karumbemail@gmail.com
2)Hombre y Territorio Association. C/ Castellar 54-56 #2, 41003. Seville, Andalusia, Spain. contacto@hombreyterritorio.org
3)Area de biodiversidad y conservación, Museo Nacional de Historia Natural, MEC. Montevideo, Uruguay.
4)Instituto Cavanilles de Biodiversidad y Biologia Evolutiva, Universidad de Valencia, Aptdo. 22085, 46071 Valencia, Spain
5)Programa de Pós-Graduação em Oceanografia Biológica, IO, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
UY
UY
(Catch per Unit of Effort)
number of captured turtles
guillnet soak time x guillnet unit (75m
2
)
CPUE
S O N D J F M A M J J A
50
*CCL (mean±SD = 38’5 ± 4’5 cm)
**[stranding turtles/month (N= 643). Karumbé database 1999-2010]
* *
Chelonia mydas
Uruguayan coast represents an important fee-
ding area for a mixed stock of juvenile* green sea turtle
into the Southwestern Atlantic Ocean
1,2
.
The occurrence of green turtles in Uruguay is determina-
ted by the abundance of algae (its main food resource)
and warm water temperatures (optimal for its
metabolism)
1
.
Therefore, the occurrence of green turtles in Uruguay is
seasonally with a remarkable peak during the summer
months
3,4
.
The aim of this research is to analyze the green turtle
density population in MPA Cabo Polonio-Barra de Vali-
zas compared with the MPA Cerro Verde e Islas de la
Coronilla, which is considered a critical habitat
1
for
green turtles.
The study period ran in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2013, from
January to March.
REFERENCES
1.- López-Mendilaharsu et al.(2006).Biología, Ecología y Etología de las tortugas marinas en la zona costera uruguaya.(eds)
2.- Bolten, A.B. (1999). Techniques for Measuring Sea Turtles.(eds)
3.- Vélez-Rubio et al.(2013).Marine turtle threats in Uruguayan waters: insights from 12 years of stranding data. MB.
4.- Martínez-Souza et al.(2011). Cerro Verde, Uruguay, can be a year-round feeding area for juvenile green turtles? Proceedings of the 31 ISTS.
ACKNOWLEGMENTS
Authors are really grateful to all Karumbé members and volunteers who once formed part of the NGO.
Thanks for the support of Sea Turtle Conservation, CLS America, ISSF, EBS, EAI.
Karumbé NGO
We performed scientific captures
of the green turtles when they
came to feed on algae on the
coastal rocky points. We used the
CPUE index (Catch per Unit of
Effort) to estimate the turtle abun-
dance in both MPAs.

Considering the CPUE as abundance index, this means
that MPA Cabo Polonio-Barra de Valizas supports a re-
lative density of green turtles similar to MPA Cerro
Verde e Islas de La Coronilla.
The rocky points and surrounding waters in both MPAs
represent a critical habitat for green turtles. These
linked spots confirm an important foraging network
that supports a juvenile stock in its growing stage.
MPA Cabo Polonio
Karumbé NGO achieved to
capture 46 juvenile green
turtles in a total of 55 captu-
re events during the study
period.
CPUE = 0’60 ± 0’81
338 46
MPA Cerro Verde
In this important feeding
spot, Karumbé NGO mana-
ged to capture 338 juveni-
le green turtles in a total of
157 capture events during
the study period.
CPUE = 0’47 ± 0’91
2005 2006 2007 2013 2005 2006 2007 2013
KARUMBÉ
SCIENTIFIC BASE
AMP CABO POLONIO
BARRA DE VALIZAS
0’60
±0’81
CPUE
0’47
±0’91
CPUE
AMP CERRO VERDE
ISLAS DE LA CORONILLA

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