Conservation of a Remnant Hawksbill (Eretmochelys Imbricata) Population Nesting in Punta Dumalag, Barangay Matina Aplaya, Davao City, Philippines

Abstract / Excerpt:

A total of 313 hawkbills (61.2% of total eggs) hatched from four clutches laid in July-August 2003 in Punta Dumalag, Matina Aplaya, Davao City. Key informants perceived that sea turtle nest abundance in this site declined 80-90% since the 1950s due to directed take and habitat degradation. Responding to this information, institutional arrangements were formed to address the sea turtle conservation agenda of Davao City's government, schools and private institutions as well as national agencies and Punta Dumalag's coastal community.

Full Text

A total of 313 hawkbills (61.2% of total eggs) hatched from four clutches laid in July-August 2003 in Punta Dumalag, Matina Aplaya, Davao City. Key informants perceived that sea turtle nest abundance in this site declined 80-90% since the 1950s due to directed take and habitat degradation. Responding to this information, institutional arrangements were formed to address the sea turtle conservation agenda of Davao City's government, schools and private institutions as well as national agencies and Punta Dumalag's coastal community.
Introduction
Hawksbill turtles are listed as critically endangered (IUCN 2003), a status reflecting centuries of intense exploitation across its circumtropical range to supply international demand (Meylan 1999; Meylan and Donnelly 1999). In the Philippines, hawksbill nest distribution has been reduced (De Celis 1995) from its historical abundance (Seale, 1917, 1911) due to the harvest of eggs and turtles by locals (Palma 1994; Alcala 1980) and foreign fishers (Cruz 2002; Lacuarta 2002; Gomez 1996). However, updates are needed. Some populations have increased even with hunting (Mrosovsky 2000 as cited in Ross 2000). Interventions designed to raise population size need to be adjusted with reference to new information. Managing nesting beaches is an important component of efforts to increase sea turtle populations.

Accessibility is a major constraint to managing hawksbill nesting beaches in the Philippines, as hawksbills tend to nest in isolated islands (De Veyra 1997) at low densities (Cruz 2002; Palma 1994; Alcala 1980) (Figure 1). We report on the nestings in Punta Dumalag, a relatively accessible site, and its role in the recovery of this hawksbill population.

Info
Source JournalAgham Mindanaw
Journal VolumeAgham Mindanaw Vol. 2
AuthorsDaniel S. Torres, Ernesto T. Santa Cruz, Lea Ivy O. Manzanero, Gabrielle Anne T. Santa Cruz
Page Count5
Place of PublicationDavao City
Original Publication DateJanuary 1, 2004
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