Sea turtles are reptiles that have inhabited the earth for 100 million years. These are divided into 2 families (Cheloniidae and Dermochelyidae) and 7 species of sea turtles in the world: the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea); hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata); Kemp’s ridley (Lepidochelys kempii); olive ridley (L. olivacea); Loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta); flatback sea turtle (Natator depressus) and green turtle (Chelonia mydas). In particular, Kemp’s ridley is included in the red list of IUCN categorized as “critically endangered”. The most important site around the Word is in Rancho Nuevo, Tamaulipas, Mexico. Where 80–95% of the world’s nesting is concentrated. Other nesting areas are Tepeguajes and Barra del Tordo, in Tamaulipas, and with less intensity in Veracruz (Lechuguillas and El Raudal beaches) and South Padre Island, Texas, USA. They deposit an average of about 90 eggs and hatching takes 40 to 60 days. Therefore, they are vulnerable to different anthropogenic activities and sources of pollution, such as heavy metals, which can cause toxic effects that are harmful to the turtles, damage their physiology and health. To understand the real situation about health and genetic parameters it is necessary to analyze biochemical and molecular factors in this species.
Part of the book: Natural History and Ecology of Mexico and Central America