Origin and dispersal routes of foreign green and Kemp’s ridley turtles in Spanish Atlantic and Mediterranean waters

in Amphibia-Reptilia
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The presence of the green and Kemp’s ridley turtles is rare at Atlantic and Mediterranean Spanish waters, but the records have increased during the last decades. We reported a new set of records and reviewed all the historical observations of these species. The analysis of a mitochondrial DNA fragment of the newest records provided insights about the origin of the individuals. The Kemp’s ridley turtles arrived from the western Atlantic nesting beaches, although the discovering of a new haplotype suggested the existence of an unknown or low sampled nesting area of origin. Furthermore, the genetic analysis was crucial for the species identification in one specimen, hence recommending the use of genetic markers to confirm the presence of a rare species. All green turtles presented haplotypes exclusive from Atlantic nesting beaches and concentrated in the African populations. Thus, the closest eastern Mediterranean nesting areas were discarded as source populations and a new migration route for this species was described.

Origin and dispersal routes of foreign green and Kemp’s ridley turtles in Spanish Atlantic and Mediterranean waters

in Amphibia-Reptilia

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References

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Figures

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    Location of all records of the green turtle (white) and the Kemp’s ridley turtle (black) in Spanish coasts as detailed in tables 1 and 2. Circles indicate individuals without genetic data (table 1) and stars indicate individuals with genetic data (table 2). The four individuals with exact location not specified (ns) have not been mapped. Inner square shows the Canary Islands, Spanish territory in the eastern Atlantic. Map created using MAPTOOL (SEATURTLE.ORG Maptool, 2002).

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    Dorsal view of the Lepidochelys kempii individual found in the Cadiz Bay (05/09/2005) showing an abnormal number of seven dorsal and six costal scutes. This figure is published in colour in the online version.

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    Frequency of the green turtle CM-A8 and CM-A5 haplotypes in Mediterranean, Atlantic and Indic nesting populations. Each pie graph indicates the relative frequency of the haplotypes in a green turtle nesting populations (n = sample size). The five sampling sites of all seven green turtles with mtDNA data from this study (table 2) are represented by the black stars. Nesting population size are coded as superscripts for each population as 1: <25 females/year; 2: 25-100 females/year; 3: 100-500 females/year; 4: 500-1000 females/year; 5: >1000 females/year and n: not quantified (data from DiMatteo et al., 2009). FLO: Florida; MXC: Mexico; CR: Costa Rica; AVE: Aves; SUR: Surinam; BRZ: Brazil (Encalada et al., 1996); ASC: Ascension Island; GB: Guinea Bissau; PRI: Principe; BIO: Bioko; COR: Corisco; ST: São Tome; COM: Comoros (Formia et al., 2006); EUR: Europa; JDN: Juan de Nova; TRO: Tromelin; MOH: Mohéli; MAY: Mayotte; FAR: Farquhar; COS: Cosmoledo; ALD: Aldabra; GLO: Glorieuses; NI: Nosy Iranja (Bourjea et al., 2007); AKY: Akyatan; ALA: Alata; KAZ: Kazanli; SAM: Samandağ; YUM; Yumurtalik (Bagda et al., 2012); CYP: Cyprus (Encalada et al., 1996; Bagda et al., 2012). The Indic populations of COM, COS, ALD, GLO and NI and the Turkish populations of AKY, ALA, KAZ, SAM and YUM are represented each one by a single pie graph due to the geographical proximity between them and considering that CM-A8 and CM-A5 were absent from these populations. Map created using MAPTOOL (SEATURTLE.ORG Maptool, 2002).

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