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Biology of the Green Turtle, Chelonia mydas, on an Arabian Feeding Ground

James Perran Ross
Journal of Herpetology
Vol. 19, No. 4 (Dec., 1985), pp. 459-468
DOI: 10.2307/1564198
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1564198
Page Count: 10
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Biology of the Green Turtle, Chelonia mydas, on an Arabian Feeding Ground
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Abstract

A population of Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas) from the Masirah Channel in the northern Indian Ocean is described. Aerial surveys and a mark and recapture program establish that between 1000 and 3000 turtles are present throughout the year. An analysis of stomach contents shows that these turtles feed on both seagrasses (Halophila ovalis and Halodule uninervis) and algae (Sargassum illicifolium and Chaetomorpha aerea). Standing crops of suitable turtle food are low and the mixed diet of this population is considered to be a response to low food availability. Captures of turtles by local fishermen are analyzed. The relationship of turtles on this feeding ground to nesting areas in the northern Indian Ocean are discussed and the effects of the observed dietary preferences on the productivity of the population are considered in relation to management needs.

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