Selection of nesting habitat of hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) in two coral islands of Qeshm and Hengam in the Persian Gulf, Iran

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 Azad university

2 Department of Environment, Azad University, Bandarabbas, Iran.

Abstract

The Persian Gulf islands are of the nesting regions for the severely endangered Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) species. Therefore, the selection of the nesting habitat of this species in the two islands of Qeshm and Hengam was studied by a five-member working group in the spring of 2013 and 2015. Ultimately, 23 and 17 nests were identified in the south of Qeshm Island and in the south and south-west of  Hengam Island over two consecutive years, respectively. The habitat variables were measured around 24 nests (12 selected in Qeshm Island and 12 in Hengam Island) and compared with absence points. The results showed that the nests in the two islands were established in wide and deep beaches with a low slope near light sources. Due to its wider and deeper beaches, Qeshm Island compared with Hengam Island is more favorable for the nesting of this species. There was no significant difference in terms of average weight, diameter, and the number of normal eggs of the 12 nests selected in Hengam Island (31/10+0/30; g38/19+0/14; cm87+4) compared with those in Qeshm Island (30/59+0/29; g 38/09 + 0/17; cm 79/07+5/39), respectively (P>0.05).

Keywords