[Coral-List] Hawskbill turtles predating corals

Helen Sykes helenthereef at gmail.com
Mon May 12 18:55:56 EDT 2008

In Fiji we've seen them grazing on silicaceous soft corals, Dendronepthea
and Chironepthea spp, but never noticed hard corals,

-----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
[mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of William Allison
Sent: Tuesday, May 13, 2008 12:26 AM
To: David Obura
Cc: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Hawskbill turtles predating corals

Hi David,
I observed this behaviour once in Maldives where I have also seen hawksbills
grazing on false corals.

On Sat, May 10, 2008 at 3:14 PM, David Obura <dobura at africaonline.co.ke>

> Hi all,
> While in Aldabra and Alphonse islands (Seychelles) I noted a 
> behaviour/effect of hawskbill turtles that I've never heard mentioned 
> before. I had noted dead patches/scars on a bubble coral in the genus 
> Physogyra that were widespread, though not covering a large proportion 
> of the coral. I was watching a hawksbill turtle swimming out from 
> behind one of these heads and noticed that it had tissue in its mouth, 
> and it bent down and took a bite from the coral. I then observed the 
> same behaviour and coral-scars on Alphonse.
> Has anyone reported hard coral tissue in hawksbill gut contents, or 
> damage to corals from turtle predation? I'm intrigued, as though the 
> impact was not huge to the corals, this was definitely a stable food 
> source for the turtles, and impact on the corals.
> Best,
> David Obura
> CORDIO East Africa
> 9 Kibaki Flats, Kenyatta Public Beach
> P.O.BOX 10135 Mombasa 80101, Kenya
> Tel/fax: +254-20-3548549; mobile 0733-851656 dobura at cordioea.org, 
> dobura at africaonline.co.ke
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