Differential geographical trends for loggerhead turtles stranding dead or alive along the Andalusian coast, South Spain
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AuthorsBellido, J.J. (Juan Jesús); Castillo, J.J. (Juan José); Pinto, F.; Martín, J.J.; Mons, J.L. (José Luis); Báez, J.C. (José Carlos); Real, R. (Raimundo)
Every year, an undetermined number of loggerhead turtles cross the Gibraltar Strait entering and going out of the Mediterranean Sea. An unknown percentage of them strand on the Andalusian beaches, alive or dead, with an unequal distribution along the coast. We found a geographical pattern in the density of strandings, as well as in the proportion of them that were alive and dead. Atlantic areas receive a higher number of strandings, although most of them correspond to dead individuals, especially on the west coast (province of Huelva), whereas on the Mediterranean coast there is less difference between the number of alive and dead turtles stranded. The causes of stranding also presented a spatial segregation along these coasts: net fisheries were concentrated in Huelva, cold stunning was more frequent in Atlantic Cádiz, and debilitated turtle syndrome and longline were biased to the Mediterranean coast. The Atlantic areas might be an important accumulation zone for turtles, but where ...