Vessel-related mortality of sea turtles in Queensland, Australia

Hazel, Julia, and Gyuris, Emma (2006) Vessel-related mortality of sea turtles in Queensland, Australia. Wildlife Research, 33 (2). pp. 149-154.

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Identification of threats is a standard component of conservation planning and the ability to rank threats may improve the allocation of scarce resources in threat-mitigation programs. For vulnerable and endangered sea turtles in Australia, vessel strike is recognised as an important threat but its severity relative to other threats remains speculative. Documented evidence for this problem is available only in stranding records collected by the Queensland Environment Protection Authority. With the authority’s support we assessed the scope and quality of the data and analysed vessel-related records. We found adequate evidence that during the period 1999–2002 at least 65 turtles were killed annually as a result of collisions with vessels on the Queensland east coast. This level of mortality appears broadly comparable to that recorded in the Queensland East Coast Trawl Fishery before the introduction of mandatory turtle-exclusion devices in that fishery. Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) comprised the majority of vessel-related records, followed by loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta), and 72% of cases concerned adult or subadult turtles. The majority of vessel-related records came from the greater Moreton Bay area, followed by Hervey Bay and Cleveland Bay. The waters of all three areas are subject to variable levels of commercial and recreational vessel traffic, and their shores are both populated and unpopulated.

Item ID: 3810
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1448-5494
Keywords: sea turtles; threat management; vessel strike
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2009 00:00
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960503 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 70%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960802 Coastal and Estuarine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 30%
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