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Keywords:

  • coastal;
  • conservation evaluation;
  • reptiles

Abstract

  1. This study provides the first ever baseline data on reproductive ecology and genetic identification of the endangered green turtle, Chelonia mydas, in the north-western Arabian Gulf, Kuwait.
  2. Two offshore islands were surveyed for nesting turtles in 2004 and 2005.
  3. The findings reveal that nesting (nest numbers, nesting season, incubation period, clutch size, and hatching success) by green turtles off the Kuwait coast is comparable with that of C. mydas worldwide.
  4. At Umm Al-Maradim Island, no turtles nested during 2005 because of excavation and dredging activities associated with the construction of a coastguard dock.
  5. Mitochondrial DNA control region sequences of 97 green turtles revealed six haplotypes, of which five have not previously been reported from rookeries in adjoining regional waters or adjacent oceans; this signifies the possibility of them being novel to the region.
  6. Prudent management approaches, represented mainly by the rehabilitation and restoration of Umm Al-Maradim Island and the designation of both foraging and nesting habitats as marine protected areas (MPAs), should be implemented by national as well as regional policy-makers to maintain the region's native biological diversity.

Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.