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ESR 48:67-86 (2022)  -  DOI:

Biology and conservation of marine turtles in the northwestern Indian Ocean: a review

H. M. Al Ameri1,2,*, S. Al Harthi3, A. Al Kiyumi4, T. S. Al Sariri5, A. S. Y. Al-Zaidan6, M. Antonopoulou7, A. C. Broderick1, M. Chatting8, H. S. Das2, M. A. Hesni9, A. Mancini10, J. D. Miller11, A. Mobaraki12, M. Rezaie-Atagholipour13, N. J. Pilcher14, A. F. Rees1, C. J. Rodríguez-Zárate15, D. M. Smyth16, L. K. Tanabe17, F. Yaghmour18, A. A. Yusuf19, B. J. Godley1

1Centre for Ecology and Conservation, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Penryn Campus, University of Exeter, Cornwall TR10 9FE, UK
2Marine Assessment and Conservation Section, Terrestrial and Marine Biodiversity Sector, Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi, PO Box 45553, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
3Environment Society of Oman, PO Box 3955, Ruwi PC112, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
4PO Box 106 PC134, Jawharat Al Shatie, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
5Environment Authority, PO Box 323, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
6Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Kuwait University, Safat 13060, Kuwait
7Emirates Nature-WWF, PO Box 73323, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
8Environmental Science Centre, Qatar University, PO Box 2713, Doha, Qatar
9Zoological Museum of Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran
10Grupo Tortuguero de las Californias AC, Calle Seis 141, 23098 La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico
11Biological Research and Education Consultants, Missoula, Montana 59801, USA
12Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Hesarak Boulevard, Tehran, Iran
13Qeshm Environmental Conservation Institute (QECI), Qeshm Island, Hormozgan Province, Iran
14Marine Research Foundation, 88450 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
15Sharjah Desert Park, Scientific Research Department, Environment and Protected Areas Authority, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
16School of Ocean Science, Marine Centre Wales, Bangor University, Bangor LL59 5AB, UK
17Red Sea Research Center, Division of Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal 23955, Saudi Arabia
18Scientific Research Department, Hefaiyah Mountain Conservation Centre, Environment and Protected Areas Authority, Kalba, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
19Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Wardhiigley, Mogadishu, Somalia
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The northwestern Indian Ocean hosts globally crucial marine biodiversity, which is relatively understudied. There has, however, been significant research and conservation effort focused on marine turtles across the region in recent decades. We undertook an exhaustive review of 251 relevant publications to extract and collate the current information concerning marine turtles. To ensure completeness, we received input on a preliminary draft from a large group of experts who have worked extensively in the region. Data presented here are from all 13 countries with significant coastlines in the region (Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Iran, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen) on occurrence, nesting biology, morphology, foraging areas, population status, threats, and relevant national legislation and international conservation strategies. The experts independently provided details on what they felt were the (1) most significant threats to marine turtles, (2) most critical knowledge gaps for marine turtle ecology, (3) impediments to practical conservation, and (4) essential strengths and opportunities in the region.

KEY WORDS: Northwestern Indian Ocean · Nesting areas · Conservation · Reproductive parameters · Threats · Impediments · Opportunities

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Cite this article as: Al Ameri HM, Al Harthi S, Al Kiyumi A, Al Sariri TS and others (2022) Biology and conservation of marine turtles in the northwestern Indian Ocean: a review. Endang Species Res 48:67-86.

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