Plasma biochemistry values in wild female hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata), during nesting and foraging seasons in Qeshm Island, Persian Gulf
Normal reference ranges of biochemical parameters are considered important for assessing and monitoring the health status of sea turtles. For this study, plasma biochemistry determinations were analyzed in normal adult nesting and foraging hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata). Blood samples were collected in March–April during (nesting season) and December–November (foraging season). Differences in plasma biochemistry values, except for creatinine and lipase, were statistically different (P < 0.05) between the two periods. Glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides, ALP (alkaline phosphates), AST (aspartate aminotransferase), bilirubin, total protein, LDH (lactate dehydrogenize), CK (creatine kinase), and amylase were significantly higher in nesting season than foraging season (P < 0.05). Whereas, urea, ALT (alanine aminotransferase), and albumin in the nesting season were significantly lower than during the foraging season (P < 0.05). It was concluded that the nesting E. imbricata showed significant variation in their biochemical profile due to reproductive output. This study has produced working reference intervals useful for hawksbill turtles for future conservation and rehabilitation projects in the Persian Gulf and may be of assistance in similar programs worldwide.