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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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Recent shift in the pigmentation phenotype of a wild Neotropical primate

Recent shift in the pigmentation phenotype of a wild Neotropical primate

The colors of primates are among the most diverse phenotypes in mammals. These colors are mostly produced by the deposition of melanin pigments in hairs. Many species show considerable variability in pigmentation, but this is always temporarily fixed. Here the first rapid change in the pigmentation phenotype of a primate is reported. In the last five years, the pelage of mantled howler monkeys Alouatta palliata inhabiting Costa Rica has started to change from fully black to yellowish, constituting a conspicuous color change. Raman spectroscopy analyses of hairs show that the change is due to a shift toward the production of the sulphurated form of melanin, termed pheomelanin. Most animals with anomalous coloration have been observed in forests surrounding intensive cultivations where sulfur-containing pesticides are frequently used. Exposure to environmental sulfur may increase the availability of sulfhydryls to cells, which may favor pheomelanin synthesis in melanocytes and explain the pigmentation shift. informacion[at] Galván et al (2018) A recent shift in the pigmentation phenotype of a wild Neotropical primate. Mammalian Biol. Doi 10.1016/j.mambio.2018.10.007