Marine Biology

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 97–107

The nesting of the Pacific ridley turtle Lepidochelys olivacea on Playa Nancite, Costa Rica

  • D. A. Hughes
  • J. D. Richard
Article

Abstract

A study of the nesting of the Pacific ridley turtle Lepidochelys olivacea was undertaken in Costa Rica on Playa Nancite — one of two beaches on which the authors had, the previous year, discovered large nesting aggregations of this species. During the 3 1/2-month period of this study, approximately 288,000 turtles nested on the 1300 m-long beach. About 99% of these nested during 3 periods of mass-nesting (arribadas). The predictability of the arribadas was investigated by observing and recording environmental parameters with which they may be correlated. The mass-nesting phenomenon, aspects of nesting behavior, and the adaptive advantages of mass-nesting are discussed. During the period of study, nearly 2,000 turtles were tagged, 102 of which were subsequently recovered. Carapace lengths and widths of 251 tagged turtles were measured. The emergence of hatchlings was recorded daily and, from these data, the incubation period and an indication of egg and hatchling survival was obtained. The activities of the various predators on eggs, hatchlings, and adults are described.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. A. Hughes
    • 1
  • J. D. Richard
    • 1
  1. 1.Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric ScienceUniversity of MiamiMiamiUSA
  2. 2.Barberton E. TransvaalSouth Africa

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