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German Journal of Herpetology

Hama, F. L., C. Dyc, A. S. Ould Bilal, M. M. Wagne, W. Mullie, Z. A. Ould Sidaty & J. Fretey

In Issues 2018

Chelonia mydas and Caretta caretta nesting activity along the Mauritanian coast. pp. 45-55 plus Supplementary material.

Abstract. Our study on sea turtle nesting along the Mauritanian coast covers the period from June 2010 until October 2015 and provides the first evidence of occasionally high Chelonia mydas nest concentrations along the Mauritanian coast. Between 2010 and 2013, sea turtle nests were rarely observed suggesting that nesting events along the Mauritanian coast were sporadic and scattered. In September 2011, a nest of C. mydas on the beach near the Diawling National Park with 36 eggs was translocated to an enclosure at Mouily locality. This was the first attempt to establish an optimal translocation procedure along the Mauritanian coast. In October 2014, a total of 127 C. mydas nests or nesting activities were recorded of which 99 were closely inspected. The majority of the nests were located on the beach between 28 and 65 km south of Nouakchott. Embryos from most nests were estimated to be within 30 days of their emergence, but three were estimated to be at the start of their embryonic development. From August until October 2015, one Caretta caretta and 25 C. mydas nesting activities were recorded. Numerous tracks of African golden wolves, ghost crabs and humans were recorded around sea turtle nests suggesting predation and poaching activity on their eggs. During our study we noticed that sea turtles are readily captured and killed onshore and offshore by local fishermen and natives who still use their meat, fat and eggs for various purposes.

Key words. Mauritania, West Africa, Sea turtles, nesting season, temperature, predation.

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