The Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys Imbricata) in Western Samoa
A small population of hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) nest on three small islands off the eastern coast of Upolu Island, Western Samoa. The nesting season extends from September to July. Each nest averaged 149.5 eggs, of which 71.1% hatched. The average incubation period was 62 days, the incubating nest temperatures averaged a rise of 3.6°C over sand at equal depth. No natural predation on nests was seen, and only one instance of natural predation on neonate turtles was seen. Human predation upon eggs and nesting females was extensive; the predation pressure being directly proportional to beach accessibility, and the major factor leading to the decline of the Samoa turtle population. Market surveys indicate a year-round occurrence of hawksbills. In lieu of protective legislation, the Fisheries Division of Western Samoa initiated a turtle conservation project to reduce the incidence of human predation on eggs.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1980-07-01
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