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Reproductive biology of the green turtle (Chelonia mydas) at Tern Island, French Frigate Shoals, Hawai`i

Pacific Science

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Abstract

We monitored nesting of the green turtle (Chelonia mydas Linnaeus) on Tern Island, French Frigate Shoals, in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands from 1986 through 1991. Egg oviposition occurred between 26 April and 20 October. Nesting peaked between mid-June and early August. Hatchlings emerged between mid-August and early October. Mean incubation period was 66.0 (range 53-97) days. Mean clutch size was 92.4 (range 33-150) eggs. Mean hatching success was 78.6% when averaged over success of individual nests and 81.1% when calculated as percentage of total number of eggs. Natural hatchling emergence was 71.1%, based on percentage of total number of eggs. Live and dead hatchlings were found when nests were excavated and accounted for 10.0% of the eggs. Incubation periods tended to be longer in early and later portions of the season than in midseason, and incubation periods tended to decrease the farther inland the nest was situated from the high tide line. Maximum hatching success occurred at an incubation length of 66.7 days. Other trends indicated that nesting peaked near 5 July when conditions produced a near optimal incubation period for yielding maximum hatching success.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Reproductive biology of the green turtle (Chelonia mydas) at Tern Island, French Frigate Shoals, Hawai`i
Series title:
Pacific Science
Volume
51
Issue:
1
Year Published:
1997
Language:
English
Contributing office(s):
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description:
36-47
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Pacific Science
First page:
36
Last page:
47
Number of Pages:
12