Local differentiation in the origin of stranded loggerhead turtles, Caretta caretta, within an eastern Turkey foraging area

Turkozan O., YILMAZ C., Uçar A. H., Carreras C., Ergene S., Aymak C., ...More

Ocean and Coastal Management, vol.153, pp.70-75, 2018 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 153
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2017.12.011
  • Journal Name: Ocean and Coastal Management
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.70-75
  • Keywords: Caretta caretta, foraging ground, Mediterranean, Mixed stock analysis, mtDNA
  • Hakkari University Affiliated: Yes


The eastern Mediterranean Sea is frequently visited by nesting and foraging loggerhead turtles and is also a nursery zone although the origin of these foraging animals has not yet been assessed. In order to estimate the natal origin of eastern Turkey foraging individuals we analysed a long fragment of the mtDNA control region from 135 loggerhead turtles and we performed a Bayesian mixed stock analysis to estimate the contributions from rookeries in the Mediterranean to the foraging grounds studied. A total of 5 haplotypes were identified but they were not homogeniously distributed across the sampling geographical range thus suggesting an east-west differentiation. The mixed stock analysis revealed that the turtles from the eastern feeding ground come mostly from the western nesting populations of Turkey (49%), while those from the western feeding ground come from Cypriot stocks (62%). These results show that anthropogenic activities on this area may have an impact on different populations depending on were this activities are located and overall pose threat to the survival of the western Turkish and Cypriot nesting beaches.