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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]ebd.csic.es: Marco et al (2020) Sea turtle bycatch by different types of fisheries in southern Spain. Basic and Applied Herpetology https://doi.org/10.11160/bah.187


http://ojs.herpetologica.org/index.php/bah/article/view/187
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A new species of bat was hiding in our forests

A new species of bat was hiding in our forests

While it is believed that European biodiversity no longer brings surprises, an unusual discovery has just been made: in Western Europe a new species of bat has been described. More exactly, it is distributed along the northern mountain forests of Iberia, south of France and Italy. How did it go unnoticed so far? Bats are represented by more than 50 species in Europe (according to www.Eurobats.org), but many of them look alike and it is mainly through molecular genetic comparisons that the identity is confirmed for these otherwise alike species. Indeed, the new species now described, called the cryptic myotis (Myotis crypticus), was until now confused in Iberia with the closely related species, the Escalera's bat (Myotis escalerai), from which it differs only by subtle external characters. The information of the DNA sequences, on the other hand, is indisputable: these two species do not mix despite sharing many areas in the mountain forests of the northern half of the Peninsula. This discovery has consequences for species conservation, since not only its identification in nature is very difficult, but its geographical distribution and the status of its populations are still largely unknown. As the new species lives in forested areas of Italy, Switzerland, France and Spain under increasing human pressure, it is urgent to study it in more detail to determine its protection status. In Northern Africa, where a second new species, the Zenati myotis (Myotis zenatius), is also described in the same publication, the conservation situation is even more critical. In fact, the species is extremely rare and vulnerable. Only a few caves are known to house it and human disturbances are frequent. Just after being discovered, it could therefore already be included in the too long list of endangered species. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Juste et al (2019) Two new cryptic bat species within the Myotis nattereri species complex (Vespertilionidae, Chiroptera) from the Western Palaearctic. Acta Chiropterol https://doi.org/10.3161/15081109ACC2018.20.2.001


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