Analysis of Growth of the Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia Mydas) in the Western Central Atlantic
Estimates of growth in weight at age have not been reported forthe green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas, yet this information is essential for describing the population dynamics of the species and to develop proper conservation programs to restore endangered populations. In this study, growth of immature turtles inhabiting the western central Atlantic was estimated by analyzing recaptures from tagging experiments carried out during thc period 1972-1987. More than 18,000 turtles were released during that period and 153 were recaptured with times at large varying between a few months to more than 12 years. However, only 52 turtles had appropriate information to study growth. Non linear least squares procedures were used to estimate a growth function in weight. Asymptotic weight (W∞) = 193 kg, growth parameter k = 0.073 per year, to = −0.1917 years, and the fitted parameter m = 0.54, were estimated from a generalized von Bertalanffy growth equation. Age at first maturity was estimated between 19 and 24 years. The range of age at first maturity corresponded exactly with ages at which estimated rates of growth appear to be decreasing at their maximum negative rates.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1992-03-01
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