Japanese Journal of Veterinary Research;Volume 48, Number 2-3

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An analysis of the growth based on the size and age distributions of the hawksbill sea turtle inhabiting Cuban waters

KOBAYASHI, Mari

Permalink : http://hdl.handle.net/2115/2853
JaLCDOI : 10.14943/jjvr.48.2-3.129
KEYWORDS : age distribution;Cuba;growth;hawksbill turtle;size distribution

Abstract

The first costal scute (C1) collected from 2,749 hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata ) captured in Cuban waters in 1993 and 1994 were analyzed to determine their body size and age distributions. The C1 width (C1W) was converted to the straight carapace length (SCL) using a formula, SCL=4.3527 (C1W)^<0.8484>, to examine its body size distribution. The SCL ranged from 51.3 to 96.1 cm with 68.8 cm of mean and 68.6 cm of median. Ages of captured turtles estimated from the C1 surface patterns were ranged from 3. 3 to 61. 5 years old with 15.8 years of mean and 14.5 years of median. A growth function of van Bertalanffy, M(t)=A (1-Be^<-kt>), was applied to determine the relationship between the age and body size (SCL). A formula, SCL=80.4 (1-0.663e^<-0.118(Age)>), was derived and indicated a slowdown in the growth after about 14 years old. The maturation age and the rate of sexually matured Cuban hawksbill turtles were also discussed based on these results.

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