Marine turtles of the African east coast: current knowledge and priorities for conservation and research

Type Article
Date 2022
Language English
Author(s) Van De Geer Casper H.1, 2, Bourjea Jerome3, Broderick Annette C.1, Dalleau Mayeul4, Fernandes Raquel S.5, Harris Linda R.6, Inteca Gelica E.7, Kiponda Fikiri K.2, Louro Cristina M. M.6, Mortimer Jeanne A.8, 9, Msangameno Daudi10, Mwasi Lily D.11, Ner Ronel6, Okemwa Gladys M.12, Olendo Mike13, Pereira Marcos A. M.5, Rees Alan F.1, Silva Isabel7, Singh Sonal14, West Lindsey15, Williams Jessica L.16, Godley Brendan J.1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ Exeter, Coll Life & Environm Sci, Ctr Ecol & Conservat, Marine Turtle Res Grp, Penryn TR10 9FE, England.
2 : Local Ocean Conservat, Watamu 80202, Kenya.
3 : Univ Montpellier, IFREMER, CNRS, MARBEC,IRD, F-34200 Sete, France.
4 : Seanopsis, F-97411 St Paul, Reunion Island, France.
5 : Ctr Terra Viva Estudos & Advocacia Ambiental, Maputo, Mozambique.
6 : Nelson Mandela Univ, Inst Coastal & Marine Res, Dept Zool, ZA-6031 Gqeberha, South Africa.
7 : Univ Lurio, Fac Ciencias Nat, Pemba, Mozambique.
8 : POB 1443, Victoria, Mahe, Seychelles.
9 : Univ Florida, Dept Biol, Gainesville, FL 32611 USA.
10 : Univ Dar Es Salaam, Inst Marine Sci, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.
11 : World Wide Fund Nat Kenya, Nairobi 00200, Kenya.
12 : Kenya Marine & Fisheries Res Inst, English Point, Mombasa 80100, Kenya.
13 : Conservat Int, Watermark Business Pk, Nairobi 00502, Kenya.
14 : Baobab Trust, Mombasa 80100, Kenya.
15 : Sea Sense, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.
16 : Tartarugas Amanha, Tofo Beach, Mozambique.
Source Endangered Species Research (1863-5407) (Inter-research), 2022 , Vol. 47 , P. 297-331
DOI 10.3354/esr01180
WOS© Times Cited 1
Keyword(s) Marine turtle, Illegal take, Bycatch, Western Indian Ocean, Nesting, Migration, Conservation, Africa
Abstract Although published literature regarding the 5 species of marine turtle found along the continental African east coast has grown substantially over the last decades, a comprehensive synthesis of their status and ecology is lacking. Using a mixed methods approach, which combined an exhaustive literature review and expert elicitation, we assessed the distribution and magnitude of nesting, foraging areas, connectivity, and anthropogenic threats for these species in Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, and South Africa. A complex pattern of nesting sites, foraging areas, and migration pathways emerged that identified areas of high importance in all 5 countries, although significant data gaps remain, especially for Somalia. Illegal take, bycatch, and loss of foraging and nesting habitat were identified as the most serious anthropogenic threats. Although these threats are broadly similar along most of the coast, robust data that enable quantification of the impacts are scarce. Experts identified regional strengths and opportunities, as well as impediments to turtle conservation. Topics such as legislation and enforcement, collaboration, local stakeholders, and funding are discussed, and future directions suggested. Given the projected growth in human population along the continental African east coast and expected accompanying development, anthropogenic pressures on turtle populations are set to increase. Stronger regional collaboration and coordination within conservation and research efforts are needed if current and future challenges are to be tackled effectively.
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Van De Geer Casper H., Bourjea Jerome, Broderick Annette C., Dalleau Mayeul, Fernandes Raquel S., Harris Linda R., Inteca Gelica E., Kiponda Fikiri K., Louro Cristina M. M., Mortimer Jeanne A., Msangameno Daudi, Mwasi Lily D., Ner Ronel, Okemwa Gladys M., Olendo Mike, Pereira Marcos A. M., Rees Alan F., Silva Isabel, Singh Sonal, West Lindsey, Williams Jessica L., Godley Brendan J. (2022). Marine turtles of the African east coast: current knowledge and priorities for conservation and research. Endangered Species Research, 47, 297-331. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :