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Biology and Conservation of Ridley Sea Turtles

, 368 pages

64 b&w illus.

February 2007



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Biology and Conservation of Ridley Sea Turtles

The smallest of the sea turtles, olive and Kemp’s ridleys are the only marine turtles to exhibit mass-nesting behavior, known as arribadas. This fascinating phenomenon, during which one could literally walk shell-to-shell across a beach, is considered one of the most amazing wonders of nature.

In Biology and Conservation of Ridley Sea Turtles, Pamela T. Plotkin brings together the world’s experts on the genus Lepidochelys to present the first comprehensive, book-length examination of these fascinating animals. Featuring the writings of noted experts including Peter C. H. Pritchard, Jack Frazier, Rene Márquez-M., and Donna J. Shaver, the volume synthesizes over a half century of research. With chapters focused on evolution, development, genetics, physiology, reproduction, migration, and conservation, this book combines a wealth of knowledge and describes an agenda for further research.

An integral part of oceanic ecosystems, ridleys present challenges for conservation. Olive ridleys are abundant in some areas and declining in others, whereas Kemp’s ridleys are endangered but slowly recovering. Both face beach-based threats and are prone to capture by commercial fisheries. Here Plotkin and her colleagues reveal the nature of these species and the steps needed to make sure they remain a permanent part of the marine environment.

Pamela T. Plotkin has published widely on olive ridley turtles in the Pacific and serves on the sea turtle survival commission for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. She is assistant vice president for research at East Tennessee State University.

"Extraordinary contribution to sea turtle literature. The value of this book lies in the fact that '…much of what we know about ridleys is summarized in the chapters herein…,' as stated by the editor, and I echo her hopes that this book will stimulate some much needed research on ridleys."

"An excellent book that fulfills a real and substantive need in the areas of marine biology, vertebrate biology, and conservation biology. Pamela Plotkin has assembled the top experts and created a book that contains a remarkable series of chapters. Informative and engaging, it will be of value to both the general and specialist reader and is certainly a 'must read' for anyone interested in marine turtles."

"An excellent overview of these two species, this long-awaited volume provides a wealth of information. It will be a critical addition to the libraries of those interested in the fields of marine biology and conservation."

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