Cookies Policy
X

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Shark scavenging and predation on sea turtles in northeastern Brazil

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Amphibia-Reptilia

Large sharks have the potential to help structure ecosystem dynamics through top-down impacts on their prey, including sea turtles. Studies of interactions between large sharks and sea turtles, however, are practically nonexistent along the Brazilian coast. Between September 2002 and May 2011 we examined 655 sea turtles – including green turtles Chelonia mydas (n = 607), olive ridleys Lepidochelys olivacea (n = 10), hawksbills Eretmochelys imbricata (n = 33), and loggerheads Caretta caretta (n = 5) – that stranded on Paraíba coast, northeastern Brazil. A total of 63 green turtles (10.4%), two olive ridleys (20.0%) and one hawksbill (3.0%) had shark-inflicted bites. Most bites could not be definitively attributed to scavenging or attacks on living turtles, but the presence of healed shark bites and freshly bleeding bites suggests that some attacks occurred pre-mortem. Bite characteristics suggest that tiger sharks Galeocerdo cuvier were responsible for most bites that could be identified to a particular species. Within green turtles, the only species with sufficient sample size, the probability of carcasses having been bitten increased with carapace length but did not vary across seasons and years. However, there was spatial variation in the probability of a carcass having been bitten by sharks. Our estimates of the minimum proportion of turtles attacked while alive (∼4%) and bitten overall are similar to other areas where shark-turtle interactions have been studied. Turtles likely are an important food for tiger sharks in northeastern Brazil, but further studies are needed to determine the relative frequencies of scavenging and predation.

Affiliations: 1: 3Department of Biological Sciences, Florida International University, 3000 NE 151st, North Miami, Florida 33181, USA; 2: 5Associação Guajiru: Ciência-Educação-Meio Ambiente, Paraíba, Brasil

Loading

Full text loading...

/content/journals/10.1163/15685381-00002852
Loading

Data & Media loading...

1. Almeida A.P. , Santos A.J.B. , Thomé J.C.A. , Belini C. , Baptistotte C. , Marcovaldi M.A. , Santos A.S.S. , Lopez M. ( 2011): "Avaliação do estado de conservação da tartaruga marinha Chelonia mydas(Linnaeus, 1758) no Brasil". Biodiversidade Brasileira Vol 1: 12- 19.
2. Balazs G.H. ( 2006): The Sea Turtle Stranding Research Network in the Hawaiian Islands, Marine Turtle Research Program, NOAA, Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC).
3. Bjorndal K.A. , Jackson J.B.C. ( 2003): "Roles of sea turtles in marine ecosystems: reconstructing the past". In: The Biology of Sea Turtles, p.  259- 273. Lutz P.L. , Musick J.A. , Wyneken J. , Eds, CRC Press, Boca Raton.
4. Bornatowski H. , Robert M.C. , Costa L. ( 2007): "Data on the food of juveniles Tiger Shark, Galeocerdo cuvier(Péron and Lesueur) (Elasmobranchii, Carcharhinidae), from southern Brazil". Pan-Am. J. Aquat. Sci. Vol 2: 10- 13.
5. Bornatowski H. , Wedekin L.L. , Heithaus M.R. , Marcondes M.C.C. , Rossi-Santos M.R. ( 2012): "Shark scavenging and predation on cetaceans at Abrolhos Bank, eastern Brazil". J. Mar. Biol. Assoc. UK. DOI: .
6. Chaloupka M. , Work T.M. , Balazs G.H. , Murakawa S.K.K. , Morris R. ( 2008): "Cause-specific temporal and spatial trends in green sea turtle strandings in the Hawaiian Archipelago". Mar. Biol. Vol 154: 887- 898. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00227-008-0981-4
7. Chan V. ( 2004): Spatial and temporal trends in sea turtle strandings in North Carolina, 1980-2003. Master thesis, Environmental Management (Coastal), Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University.
8. Ferretti F. , Worm B. , Britten G.L. , Heithaus M.R. , Lotze H.K. ( 2010): "Patterns and ecosystem consequences of shark declines in the ocean". Ecol. Lett. Vol 13: 1055- 1071.
9. Gasparini J.L. , Sazima I. ( 1995): "Natural history notes: Eretmochelys imbricata(Hawksbill)". Predation. Herp. Revi. Vol 26( 1): 34.
10. Heithaus M.R. ( 2001): "Shark attacks on bottlenose dolphins ( Tursiops aduncus) in Shark Bay, Western Australia: attack rate, bite scar frequencies, and attack seasonality". Mar. Mamm. Sci. Vol 17: 526- 539. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1748-7692.2001.tb01002.x
11. Heithaus M.R. , Frid A. , Dill L.M. ( 2002): "Species and sex-class differences in shark-inflicted injury frequencies, escape ability, and habitat use of green and loggerhead turtles". Mar. Biol. Vol 140: 229- 236. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00227-001-0712-6
12. Heithaus M.R. , Frid A. , Wirsing A.J. , Bejder L. , Dill L.M. ( 2005): "Biology of sea turtles under risk from tiger sharks at a foraging ground". Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. Vol 288: 285- 294. http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/meps288285
13. Heithaus M.R. , Frid A. , Wirsing A.J. , Dill L.M. , Fourqueran J.W. , Burkholder D. , Thomson J. , Bejder L. ( 2007): "State-dependent risk-taking by green sea turtles mediates top-down effects of tiger shark intimidation in a marine ecosystem". J. Anim. Ecol. Vol 76: 837- 844. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2656.2007.01260.x
14. Heithaus M.R. , Wirsing A.J. , Thomson J.A. , Burkholder D.A. ( 2008): "A review of lethal and non-lethal effects of predators on adult marine turtles". J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. Vol 356: 43- 51. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jembe.2007.12.013
15. Lal A. , Arthur R. , Marba N. , Lill A. , Alcoverro T. ( 2010): "Implications of conserving an ecosystem modifier: increasing green turtle densities substantially alters seagrass meadow structure and dynamics". Biol. Conserv. Vol 143: 2730- 2738. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2010.07.020
16. Long D.J. , Jones R.E. ( 1996): "White shark predation and scavenging on cetaceans in the eastern north Pacific Ocean". In: Great White Sharks: The Biology of Carcharodon carcharias , p.  293- 307. Klimley A.P. , Ainley D.G. , Eds, Academic Press, New York, NY. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-012415031-7/50028-8
17. Lowe C.G. , Wetherbee B.M. , Crow G.L. , Tester A.L. ( 1996): "Ontogenetic dietary shifts and feeding behavior of the tiger shark, Galeocerdo cuvier, in Hawaiian waters". Env. Biol. Fish. Vol 47: 203- 211. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00005044
18. Lowry D. , Castro A.L.F. , Mara K. , Whitenack L.B. , Delius B. , Burgess G.H. , Motta P. ( 2009): "Determining shark size from forensic analysis of bite damage". Mar. Biol. Vol 156: 2483- 2492. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00227-009-1273-3
19. Marcovaldi M.A. , Marcovaldi G.G. ( 1999): "Marine turtles of Brazil: the history and structure of Projeto TAMAR-IBAMA". Biol. Conserv. Vol 91: 35- 41. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0006-3207(99)00043-9
20. Marcovaldi M.A. , Lopez G.G. , Soares L.S. , Belini C. , Santos A.S. , Lopez M. ( 2011): "Avaliação do estado de conservação da tartaruga marinha Eretmochelys imbricata(Linnaeus, 1766) no Brasil". Biodiversidade Brasileira. Ano I Vol 1: 20- 27. Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade.
21. Mascarenhas R. , Gonçalves R. , Zeppelini D. ( 2005): "Stranded sea turtles on the coast of Paraiba – Brazil". Mar. Turtle Newsletter Vol 107: 13- 14.
22. Nakaoka M. ( 2005): "Plant-animal interactions in seagrass beds: ongoing and future challenges for understanding population and community dynamics". Popul. Ecol. Vol 47: 167- 177. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10144-005-0226-z
23. Proietti M.C. , Lara-Ruiz P. , Reisser J.W. , Pinto L.S. , Dellagostin O.A. , Marins L.F. ( 2009): "Green turtles ( Chelonia mydas) foraging at Arvoredo Island in Southern Brazil: Genetic characterization and mixed stock analysis through mtDNA control region haplotypes". Genet. Mol. Biol. Vol 32: 613- 618. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1415-47572009000300027
24. Sales G. , Giffoni B.B. , Barata P.C.R. ( 2008): "Incidental catch of sea turtles by the Brazilian pelagic longline fishery". J. Mar. Biol. Assoc. UK Vol 88( 4): 853- 864. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0025315408000441
25. Santos A.S. , Soares L.S. , Marcovaldi M.A. , Monteiro D.S. , Giffoni B. , Almeida A.P. ( 2011): "Avaliação do estado de conservação da tartaruga marinha Caretta carettaLinnaeus, 1758 no Brasil". Biodiversidade Brasileira Vol 1: 3- 11.
26. Shaver D.J. ( 1998): Sea turtle strandings along the Texas coast, 1980-94. United States Department of Commerce, NOAA Tec. Rep. NMFS. 143: 57-72.
27. Shibuya A. , Rosa R.S. , Gadig O.B.F. ( 2005): "Stomach contents of Galeocerdo cuvierand Carcharhinus plumbeus(Elasmobranchii: Carcharhinidae) caught of Paraíba State, Brazil". Arq. Ciênc. Mar. Vol 38: 105- 107.
28. Silva A.C.C.D. , Castilhos J.C. , Lopez G.G. , Barata P.C.R. ( 2007): "Nesting biology and conservation of the olive ridley sea turtle ( Lepidochelys olivacea) in Brazil, 1991/1992 to 2002/2003". J. Mar. Biol. Assoc. UK Vol 87: 1047- 1056. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0025315407056378
29. Simpfendorfer C.A. , Goodreid A.B. , McAuley R.B. ( 2001): "Size, sex and geographic variation in the diet of the tiger shark, Galeocerdo cuvier, from Western Australian waters". Env. Biol. Fish. Vol 61: 37- 46. http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1011021710183
30. Witzell W.N. ( 1987): "Selective predation on large cheloniid sea turtles by tiger sharks ( Galeocerdo cuvier)". Japan. J. Herp. Vol 12: 22- 29.
31. Witzell W.N. ( 2007): "Kemp’s Ridley ( Lepidochelys kempi) shell damage". Mar. Turtle Newsletter Vol 115: 16- 17.
32. Wyneken J. ( 2001): The anatomy of sea turtles. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. US Department of Commerce, NOAA Tec. Mem. NMFS-SEFSC-470.
http://brill.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1163/15685381-00002852
Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1163/15685381-00002852
2012-01-03
2016-12-03

Sign-in

Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
     
    Amphibia-Reptilia — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation