Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Turtle Nesting Threatened By Logging Practices In Gabon, Smithsonian Warns

Date:
March 19, 2008
Source:
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Summary:
Endangered sea turtles are victims of sloppy logging practices in the west central African country Gabon, according to a new study. Sea turtle nesting attempts are impeded by lost or abandoned logs that accumulate along the country's coastal beaches. Logs are floated downriver from forests to coastal lumberyards in the Gabonese Republic, but some float out to sea and then wash ashore, where they form large tangles.

The logs are lost during down-river transport to coastal shipping yards, and often end up washed up on beaches, where they create a barrier to nesting turtles.
Credit: Image courtesy of Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Endangered sea turtles are victims of sloppy logging practices in the west central African country Gabon, according to a study led by William Laurance, staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

Sea turtle nesting attempts are impeded by lost or abandoned logs that accumulate along the country's coastal beaches. Logs are floated downriver from forests to coastal lumberyards in the Gabonese Republic, but some float out to sea and then wash ashore, where they form large tangles.

In an aerial survey, Laurance's team--co-coordinated by J. Michael Fay of the Wildlife Conservation Society--counted more than 11,000 logs along Gabon's beaches. In the most important area for turtle nesting, Pongara Beach, more than one-third of the beach was blocked by logs. In some places, scientists found up to 247 logs per kilometer of beach.

"It's really sad to see what the logs are doing to the turtles," Laurance said. "Sea turtles move very slowly on land. When a log blocks their path, sometimes they just give up and return to the sea. In other cases they lay their eggs too close to the waterline, where the eggs are killed by seawater. Turtles also become entangled among the logs and die."

The authors estimated that 8 to 14 percent of all turtle nesting attempts are thwarted by logs, sometimes with fatal results for the female. Most of the turtles nesting in this area are leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), a critically endangered species according to the IUCN Red Data Book.

"Survival of the leatherback turtle is threatened by fishing, environmental degradation and predation. It's really unfortunate that logging is a threat as well, because plans are afoot to dramatically increase the logging of African rainforests," said Laurance.

The study authors include scientists and staff from the Smithsonian Institution, the Wildlife Conservation Society in Gabon and Adventures Sans Frontiers in Gabon.

Journal reference: Laurance, WF (2008) Does Rainforest Logging Threaten Marine Turtles" Oryx 42(2), 1-6 doi: 10.1017/S003060530800


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. "Turtle Nesting Threatened By Logging Practices In Gabon, Smithsonian Warns." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 March 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080314160222.htm>.
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. (2008, March 19). Turtle Nesting Threatened By Logging Practices In Gabon, Smithsonian Warns. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080314160222.htm
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. "Turtle Nesting Threatened By Logging Practices In Gabon, Smithsonian Warns." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080314160222.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) How to make a pumpkin pom-pom. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) The pair of rare white northern rhinos bring hope for their species as only six remain in the world. Elly Park reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Bear Cub Strolls Through Oregon Drug Store

Raw: Bear Cub Strolls Through Oregon Drug Store

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Shoppers at an Oregon drug store were surprised by a bear cub scurrying down the aisles this past weekend. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Family Pleads for Pet Pig to Stay at Home

Family Pleads for Pet Pig to Stay at Home

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) The Johnson family lost their battle with the Chesterfield County, Virginia Planning Commission to allow Tucker, their pet pig, to stay in their home, but refuse to let the board keep Tucker away. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins