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Impact of fisheries on sea turtles

The bycatch of sea turtles by industrial fisheries is receiving an increasing attention in recent years due to the high impact it causes on these endangered species. This issue was evaluated in southern Spain waters that harbors an important feeding ground of loggerhead and leatherback turtles, including the endangered Eastern Atlantic loggerhead population. To quantify the impact that different fisheries represents to sea turtles, 272 fishermen answered to detailed illustrated questionnaires in all the main ports of Andalusia and Murcia (Spain) during 2014. This study has updated the knowledge of turtle bycatch in the southwestern Mediterranean revealing a widespread impact of fisheries on sea turtles. Fishermen recognized an annual catch of 2.3 turtles per boat. Considering the census of industrial fishing boats in the study area (1182), more than 2840 sea turtles could be bycaught per year in the study area. Most of captures (96.2%) were produced during the summer. These results suggest a severe impact of most of legal fisheries (surface longline, pursue seine, trawling and small scale fisheries) on loggerhead feeding grounds in the southwestern Mediterranean. Fishermen suggests that drift fishing conducted by foreign or illegal fishermen and almadrabas are also causing a significant bycatch of turtles. Several measures such as reviewing compliance of current fishing and environmental regulations, modifying turtle technics to reduce turtle bycatch (e.g. reduction of the use of squid as bait and disposal of hooks deeper in the water column), facilitating the rescue and handle of wound turtles and their transport to the port for recovery, and recognizing the efforts of anglers to perform a more sustainable fishing, are recommended to mitigate this impact. informacion[at] Marco et al (2020) Sea turtle bycatch by different types of fisheries in southern Spain. Basic and Applied Herpetology
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Context dependence of road-use behaviours

Context dependence of road-use behaviours

Many animals avoid roads due to traffic disturbance, but there are also some species that use roads in their everyday life and even obtain resources from them. Understanding the factors that influence the intensity of road use by these species can help understand temporal patterns of road mortality and thereby maximize the cost-effectiveness of mitigation measures. This study, conducted between 2009 and 2017 in Doñana, investigates the environmental factors influencing road use in the red-necked nightjar Caprimulgus ruficollis, a nocturnal insectivorous bird that frequents roads to forage and thermoregulate. Nightjar abundance on roads was affected by ambient temperature, amount of moonlight, and wind conditions, all factors known to influence their foraging efficiency and thermoregulatory requirements. Specifically, the highest numbers of nightjars on roads occurred during no-wind conditions and on either dark-cold or bright-warm nights, suggesting that they preferentially use roads (i) for thermoregulation under unfavourable weather conditions or (ii) to maximize food intake during periods of increased insect abundance (warm nights) and improved conditions for visual prey detection (full moon). These results illustrate the role of environmental conditions as drivers of rapid changes in the use of roads by animals and suggest that analogous studies can be used to inform mitigation measures, so that mitigation efforts to prevent roadkills can be concentrated during periods of expected peaks in animal use of roads. informacion[at] De Felipe et al. (2019) Environmental factors influencing road use in a nocturnal insectivorous bird. Eur J Wildl Res