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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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Females mate with males with diminished pheomelanin-based coloration in the Eurasian nuthatch Sitta europaea

Females mate with males with diminished pheomelanin-based coloration in the Eurasian nuthatch Sitta europaea

Sexual selection can drive the evolution of phenotypic traits because of female preferences for exaggerated trait expression in males. Sexual selection can also lead to the evolutionary loss of traits, a process to which female preferences for diminished male trait expression are hypothesized to contribute. However, empirical evidence of female preferences for diminished male traits is virtually lacking. Eurasian nuthatches Sitta europaea provide an opportunity to test this possibility, as a chestnut flank patch produced by the pigment pheomelanin is present since the first plumage of these birds and its color is more intense in nestlings in poor condition in our study population. It has been proposed that developing birds in poor condition may increase their production of pheomelanin as a detoxifying strategy. Female nuthatches may thus prefer mating with males showing flank feathers of diminished color, as this could indicate that males experienced good conditions early in development, which can positively affect the fitness of future generations. Here results according with this prediction in a wild population of Eurasian nuthatches are shown, as adult males with lighter chestnut feathers paired earlier in the season, while chestnut coloration had no effect on female mating success. Chestnut color expression was not affected by the body condition of birds, suggesting that females obtain information on the body condition in early life of their potential mates and not on their current body condition. This constitutes one of the few examples of females mating with males showing diminished traits and provides the only explanation so far by which this process can occur. informacion[at] Galvan & Rodríguez-Martinez (2018) Females mate with males with diminished pheomelanin?based coloration in the Eurasian nuthatch Sitta europaea. J Avian Biol. Doi 10.1111/jav.01854