Hawksbill Turtle Swimming
Photo courtesy of Carolyne LaCerte
All sea turtles are endangered and their populations are declining at an alarming rate (1). Recent data show that metal levels are elevated in sea turtles (2). Thus it is possible that environmental pollution may be impairing the reproduction of sea turtles by damaging their DNA.
We are currently obtaining the permits and developing the collaborations to allow us to study the levels and effects of environmental pollutants in sea turtles. We hope to begin these experiments soon.
1. IUCN/SSC Marine Turtle Specialist Group. (1995). A global strategy for the conservation of marine turtles. UICN, Cambridge CB# ODL;UK.
2. Gardner SC. Fitzgerald SL. Vargas BA. Rodriguez LM. Heavy metal accumulation in four species of sea turtles from the Baja California peninsula, Mexico. BioMetals 19(1):91-9, 2006.
The Wise Laboratory is assisted in this work by Dr. Tania Zenteno-Savín who is the Investigador Titular A of CIBNOR – Programa de Planeación Ambiental y Conservación. She will provide expertise and access to sea turtle samples.
We are currently seeking funding for this work.