Rev. biol. mar. oceanogr. 49(3): 589-593

Nota Científica

Estudio poblacional y genético de la tortuga Chelonia mydas agassizii (Sauria: Cheloniidae) en la Playa Chinchorro, Arica, Chile

David Veliz1, Paula Salinas2, Walter Sielfeld2, Darío Contreras2, Cristian Azocar2, Marcos Tobar2 y Jesús Gallardo2

1Departamento de Ciencias Ecológicas, Instituto de Ecología y Biodiversidad y Núcleo Milenio de Ecología y Manejo Sustentable de Islas Oceánicas, Universidad de Chile, Casilla 653, Ñuñoa, Santiago, Chile
2Departamento de Ciencias del Mar, Universidad Arturo Prat, Casilla 121, Iquique, Chile

E-mail:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Observations on Chelonia mydas agassizii have been carried out on a monthly basis for the last 2 years along the Chinchorro beach in Arica (northern Chile), with the aim of monitoring and describing genetic and population parameters in this group of turtles. Eighteen Ch. mydas agassizii individuals were captured and marked from December 2011, to July 2013. These individuals had long carapace of 47 to 75.7 cm, of which 11 were identified as females and the rest were of undetermined sex (individuals of smaller sizes). We were only able to recapture one of such individuals 6 months later in the same feeding area. Sequencing of the mtDNA Control Region showed 4 haplotypes: 3 that had never been described before and one observed in several regions of the Pacific (Japan, Mexico and Ecuador). This information suggests that Ch. mydas agassizii may stay in the same feeding zone for months. Nevertheless, the genetic information did not indicate any association between the individuals captured from the Chinchorro Beach and a nesting area in the Pacific.

Key words:  mtDNA, northern Chile, feeding area, sandy beach