SREL Reprint #1803

 

 

 

 

DIET OF JUVENILE KEMP'S RIDLEY AND LOGGERHEAD SEA TURTLES FROM LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK

Vincent J. Burke and Edward A. Standora

Effective management and conservation of endangered or threatened sea turtle species require extensive knowledge of habitat use. Incorporation of' information on sea turtle foraging habitat requirements into management plans has been hampered, however, because of limited data on diets of sea turtles. Consequently, the diets of Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) and loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtles are poorly known in most of the habitats within their ranges.

Within the coastal United States, data on the diets of Kemp's ridleys and loggerheads are available from three locales. Plotkin (1989) found that sea pens (Virgularia presbytes) were a major portion of the diets of loggerheads in Gulf of Mexico waters adjacent to Texas. Other prey items included calico crabs (Hepatus epheliticus), purse crabs (Persephona mediterranea), and spider crabs (Libinia spp.). In the Chesapeake Bay, however, the diet of juvenile loggerheads was reported to consist mainly of horseshoe crabs (Limulus Polyphemus) and rock crabs (Cancer irroratus) (Lutcavage, 1981; Lutcavage and Musick, 1985).

SREL Reprint #1803

Burke, V.J., E.A. Standora, and S.J. Morreale. 1993. Diet of juvenile Kemp's ridley and loggerhead sea turtles from Long Island, New York. Copeia 1993:1176-1180.

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