Hawksbill Seaturtles have temperature-dependent sex determination. As such, the resulting sex ratios are of conservational and ecological significance. Buck Island Reef is an interesting location for sex ratio studies since it represents a natural and unexploited foraging ground for hawksbills in the Caribbean. To examine sex ratios, blood samples were obtained from juvenile Hawksbill Seaturtles captured on Buck Island Reef over a four-year period. We used a radioimmunoassay to determine testosterone levels in those samples and compared those values to testosterone levels of juvenile hawksbills from the Caribbean whose sex has been verified by laparoscopy. The results of this study reveal a significantly female-biased sex ratio (approximately 80% female) occurs in this juvenile aggregation inhabiting Buck Island Reef.
Additional publication details
Predicted sex ratio of juvenile Hawksbill Seaturtles inhabiting Buck Island Reef national monument, U.S. Virgin Islands