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Reproductive Biology of the Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) at Tern Island, French Frigate Shoals, Hawai'i

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Title: Reproductive Biology of the Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) at Tern Island, French Frigate Shoals, Hawai'i
Authors: Niethammer, Kenneth R.
Balazs, George H.
Hatfield, Jeff S.
Nakai, Glynnis L.
Megyesu, Jennifer L.
Issue Date: Jan 1997
Publisher: University of Hawaii Press
Citation: Niethammer KR, Balazs GH, Hatfield JS, Nakai GL, Megyesi JL. 1997. Reproductive biology of the green turtle (Chelonia mydas) at Tern Island, French Frigate Shoals, Hawai'i. Pac Sci 51(1): 36-47.
Abstract: We monitored nesting of the green turtle (Chelonia mydas Linnaeus)
on Tern Island, French Frigate Shoals, in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands from
1986 through 1991. Egg oviposition occurred between 26 April and 20 October.
Nesting peaked between mid-June and early August. Hatchlings emerged between
8 July and 27 December. Hatchling emergence peaked between mid-August and
early October. Mean incubation period was 66.0 (range 53-97) days. Mean clutch
size was 92.4 (range 33-150) eggs. Mean hatching success was 78.6% when averaged
over success of individual nests and 81.1% when calculated as percentage of total
number of eggs. Natural hatchling emergence was 71.1 %, based on percentage of
total number of eggs. Live and dead hatchlings were found when nests were excavated
and accounted for 10.0% of the eggs. Incubation periods tended to be longer
in early and late portions of the season than in midseason, and incubation periods
tended to decrease the farther inland the nest was situated from the high tide line.
Maximum hatching success occurred at an incubation length of 66.7 days. Other
trends indicated that nesting peaked near 5 July when conditions produced a near
optimal incubation period for yielding maximum hatching success.
ISSN: 0030-8870
Appears in Collections:Pacific Science Volume 51, Number 1, 1997

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