Blood biochemistry of olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) sea turtles foraging in northern Sinaloa, Mexico.

Research paper by B A BA Espinoza-Romo, J C JC Sainz-Hernández, C P CP Ley-Quiñónez, C E CE Hart, R R Leal-Moreno, A A AA Aguirre, A A AA Zavala-Norzagaray

Indexed on: 26 Jul '18Published on: 26 Jul '18Published in: PloS one


Blood parameters provide an excellent tool to evaluate the health status of wildlife. However, there are few studies about health parameters of sea turtles in Mexico. For olive ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea), no information was available to establish the health baseline for the species. The objective of this study was to establish reference blood biochemistry values for olive ridley turtles in the northern Sinaloa foraging area. Between 2013 and 2015, 82 olive ridley turtles were captured. Body condition index (BCI) presented a mean of 1.46 ± 0.14 (1.17-2.02) that categorized the population with excellent body condition; in addition, 99% of the turtles captured had a good physical appearance. Blood was collected for biochemistry analysis from 60 turtles. Significantly higher values of total protein, albumin, A/G ratio (albumin/globulin) and PCV (packed cell volume or hematocrit) were observed in adult when compared to subadult turtles. On the other hand, no significant differences were found when females and males were compared. Based on the BCI, physical assessment, and blood parameters, and compared to other sea turtle species, olive ridley turtles in northern Sinaloa were considered in excellent health. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to establish normal blood biochemistry values of foraging olive ridley turtles in northern Sinaloa.