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https://faunafocus.com/home/november-2018-ring-tailed-lemur/#jp-carousel-11951

Along with other species of lemurs, ring-tailed lemurs are responsible for several wildlife reserves being put into place and protecting all other plant and animal species in the area.

Along with other species of lemurs, ring-tailed lemurs are responsible for several wildlife reserves being put into place. These reserves help preserve the environment and protect all other plant and animal species in the area.

Sources: (Baumhofer, 2017; Sauther, 2012; Wilson & Hanlon, 2010)
Image: Mathias Appel

https://faunafocus.com/home/november-2018-ring-tailed-lemur/#jp-carousel-11952

Female ring-tailed lemurs typically mate with multiple males during estrous, so males will compete amongst themselves for the right to mate.

Female ring-tailed lemurs typically mate with more than one male during estrous, so males will compete amongst themselves for the right to mate with the females.

Sources: (Baumhofer, 2017; Cawthon Lang, 2005; Gould, Sussman, & Sauther, 2003; Sauther, 2012; Wilson & Hanlon, 2010)
Image: Mathias Appel

Ring-Tailed Lemur

https://faunafocus.com/home/november-2018-ring-tailed-lemur/#jp-carousel-11941

Ring-tailed lemurs have improved the economy of Madagascar as they are a common draw for ecotourism.

Ring-tailed lemurs have improved the economy of Madagascar. Ring-tailed lemurs are a common draw for ecotourism in the southern and southwestern portion of the island country.

Sources: (Baumhofer, 2017; Cawthon Lang, 2005; Gould, Sussman, & Sauther, 2003; Sauther, 2012)
Image: Mathias Appel

https://faunafocus.com/home/november-2018-ring-tailed-lemur/#jp-carousel-11943

Ring-tailed lemurs begin mating in April and give birth to 1-2 offspring between August and September after a gestation of 130-144 days.

Ring-tailed lemurs begin mating in April.

After a gestation period of 130 to 144 days, females will give birth beginning in August and finishing in September. They typically give birth to one or two offspring, but more commonly will only have one child.

Sources: (Baumhofer, 2017; Cawthon Lang, 2005; Gould, Sussman, & Sauther, 2003; Sauther, 2012; Wilson & Hanlon, 2010)
Image: Mathias Appel

https://faunafocus.com/home/november-2018-ring-tailed-lemur/#jp-carousel-11948

Because the ring-tailed lemur’s habitat has been altered by humans, their range is large, but their distribution is patchy and dependent on forest cover.

Because much of the ring-tailed lemur’s habitat has been altered by human impact through clearing for agriculture, burning for charcoal production, and deforesting areas to create settlements, the total range occupied by the lemurs is large, but their distribution is patchy and dependent on forest cover.

Ring-tailed lemurs require some forest cover and are not successful at resettling in secondary growth areas once they have been cleared, therefore troops will have larger home ranges if their habitats have more sparse resources.

Sources: (Cawthon Lang, 2005; Jolly, 2003; Sussman, et al., 2003)
Image: Mathias Appel

https://faunafocus.com/home/november-2018-ring-tailed-lemur/#jp-carousel-11950

Ring-tailed lemurs are diurnal and search for food dawn until dusk before huddling together at night to sleep.

Ring-tailed lemurs are diurnal and start their day waking before dawn and moving about in the branches of the group’s sleeping tree.

After spending the early morning feeding and “sunning” on the exposed ground away from the sleeping tree, the group moves again around noon and settles in the shade for a brief rest period.

They become active again in the early afternoon, foraging, feeding and traveling until the late afternoon. Depending on the time of year, they may take another rest in the mid-afternoon on particularly hot days.

After intensely feeding in the late afternoon, the entire group travels back to the sleeping tree where, as a group, they remain for the rest of the night. One group splits into two sleeping parties each night, huddling together while sleeping. Throughout the night, individuals may move about the tree, groom, and interact.

Sources: (Baumhofer, 2017; Cawthon Lang, 2005; Gould, Sussman, & Sauther, 2003; Jolly, 1966; Sussman, 2000)
Image: Mathias Appel

https://faunafocus.com/home/november-2018-ring-tailed-lemur/#jp-carousel-11932

Ring-tailed lemurs have four thin fingers and a thumb, with an opposable first toe on the lower appendage to help with climbing trees.

Ring-tailed Lemurs have four thin fingers and a thumb on their upper and lower appendages, each ending in a dark colored nail.

The thumbs on the upper appendages are not opposable as the joint is fixed. The first toe on the lower appendage is opposable and is used while climbing trees in the mid- and upper-level canopies.

Sources: (Baumhofer, 2017; Cawthon Lang, 2005; Gould, Sussman, & Sauther, 2003; Sussman, 1991; Wilson & Hanlon, 2010)
Image: Mathias Appel

https://faunafocus.com/home/november-2018-ring-tailed-lemur/#jp-carousel-11954

Ring-tailed lemurs have a complex social hierarchy in which females are dominant over males and stay within their native troop.

Ring-tailed lemurs live in groups of 15 to 30 individuals called troops.

These troops are highly social with complex interactions. All females are dominant over all males as the lowest ranking femlae is still higher in the social hierarchy than the highest ranking male. Hierarchy is typically established in a lemur’s youth through rough-and-tumble play.

Females stay with the same troop they were born into, while the males will typically move between troops every 2 to 5 years.

Sources: (Baumhofer, 2017; Gould, Sussman, & Sauther, 2003; Sauther, 2012; Wilson & Hanlon, 2010)
Image: Mathias Appel

https://faunafocus.com/home/november-2018-ring-tailed-lemur/#jp-carousel-11926

Ring-tailed lemurs are well-known for their thermoregulatory “sunning” postures, in which they sit upright with their forearms on their knees.

In the early mornings, usually between 5:30 and 8:30 a.m., ring-tailed lemurs move into the sun, away from their sleeping trees and onto exposed ground. There, they begin feeding and “sunning.”

The “sunning” posture is distinctive and stereotyped. Ring-tailed lemurs sit upright on their haunches, spread-eagle, and rest their forearms on their knees, exposing their undersides to direct sunlight. This behavior is probably linked to thermoregulation as it is often seen following cold nights or during cold mornings.

Sources: (Cawthon Lang, 2005; Jolly, 1966)
Image: Mathias Appel

https://faunafocus.com/home/november-2018-ring-tailed-lemur/#jp-carousel-11924

Because of their highly seasonal environment, ring-tailed lemurs are opportunistic omnivores and must exploit a wide variety of food sources throughout the year.

Because of the highly seasonal environment in which they live, wild ring-tailed lemurs must exploit a wide variety of food sources throughout the year. They are best characterized as opportunistic omnivores and will eat whatever is easily available to them.

Ring-tailed lemurs have been known to eat ripe fruits, leaves, leaf stems, flowers, flower stems, exudates, (such as resin, latex and sap,) spiders, spider webs, caterpillars, cicadas, insects and their cocoons, small birds, chameleons, cicadas, grasshoppers, and even dirt from termite mounds.

Sources: (Baumhofer, 2017; Budnitz & Dainis, 1975; Cawthon Lang, 2005; Gould, Sussman, & Sauther, 2003; Jolly, 2003; Oda, 1996; Sauther, 2012; Wilson & Hanlon, 2010)
Image: Mathias Appel

https://faunafocus.com/home/november-2018-ring-tailed-lemur/#jp-carousel-11946

There is no physical sexual dimorphism in the ring-tailed lemur as male and females average the same size of 42.5cm and 2.2kg.

Male and female ring-tailed lemurs average the same size in the wild.

Ring-tailed lemurs have a body length ranging from 39 to 46 centimeters from head to rump and averaging 42.5 centimeters, or 1.39 feet. They have a tail ranging in length from 56 to 63 centimeters and an average body weight of 2.2 kilograms, ranging between 2,207 and 2,213 grams (4.85-4.89 pounds) on average.

In captivity, ring-tailed lemurs weigh slightly more than their wild counterparts with males weighing, on average, 2,705 grams, or 5.96 pounds and females averaging 2,678 grams, or 5.90 pounds.

Sources: (Baumhofer, 2017; Cawthon Lang, 2005; Gould, Sussman, & Sauther, 2003; Kappeler, 1991; Mittermeier, Konstant, Nicoll, & Langrand, 1992; Mittermeier, et al., 2010; Sauther, 2012; Sussman, 2000; Wilson & Hanlon, 2010)
Image: Mathias Appel

https://faunafocus.com/home/november-2018-ring-tailed-lemur/#jp-carousel-11953

The fur of a ring-tailed lemur is thick and dense and is a solid color ranging from gray to brown being lighter around the face and underbelly.

A ring-tailed lemur’s body is covered in a thick, dense fur and is a solid color ranging from a light reddish gray to dark red-brown with light gray to dark brown rumps and light gray to gray-brown limbs. They have a lighter colored underbelly, hands, and feet ranging from light gray or brown to white.

Typically, individuals have a white face mask, with dark brown or black triangular patches outlining the eyes and nose. They have light brown eyes and black muzzles. Their ears are white and angular, similar to a cat’s.

Sources: (Baumhofer, 2017; Cawthon Lang, 2005; Gould, Sussman, & Sauther, 2003; Sauther, 2012; Wilson & Hanlon, 2010)
Image: Mathias Appel

https://faunafocus.com/home/november-2018-ring-tailed-lemur/#jp-carousel-11922

Ring-tailed lemurs have overlapping home ranges, averaging 1,000m, that are seasonally expanded depending on habitat and habitat quality.

Ring-tailed lemurs are nomadic and travel daily in search of food. They have a daily home range of 1,000 meters, or 0.621 miles from where they awoke as they slowly meander from just before dawn until dusk. One group will use the same part of its home range for three or four days before moving to another part.

The home range size of the ring-tailed lemur varies, depending on habitat, and average size ranges from 0.1 to 0.35 kilometers², or 0.039 to 0.135 miles². In drier or more disturbed habitats, home range sizes are larger, averaging 0.32 kilometers², or 0.124 miles², compared to wetter habitats where ring-tailed lemurs have home ranges averaging 0.17 kilometers², or0.066 miles².

Ring-tailed lemurs seasonally expand their home ranges. During the dry season they utilize larger areas because of the resource scarcity.

The home ranges of multiple groups of ring-tailed lemurs tend to overlap, and there are few areas that are exclusively used by only one group.

Population density is also linked to habitat quality. In wetter, lusher areas, there are more ring-tailed lemurs per square kilometer, up to 350 per kilometers² (135 per miles²), compared to dry or disturbed areas that can have densities as low as 17 per kilometers², or 6.56 per miles².

Sources: (Cawthon Lang, 2005; Sauther & Sussman 1993; Sussman, 1991, 2000; Mertl-Millhollen et al. 2003)
Image: Mathias Appel

https://faunafocus.com/home/november-2018-ring-tailed-lemur/#jp-carousel-11923

Madagascar’s lemurs, including the ring-tailed lemur, are the most endangered group of mammals and represent the highest primate conservation priority in the world.

Madagascar’s lemurs, including the ring-tailed lemur, are now deemed the most endangered group of mammals and represent the highest primate conservation priority in the world. There are almost 2,000 ring-tailed lemurs in captivity, but the wild population is unknown.

The ring-tailed lemur is listed as “Endangered” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species and now occupies primarily fragmented forest habitats. Due to anthropogenic disturbances, an estimated 10% of Malagasy forest cover remains.

Due to ongoing anthropogenic threats faced by ring-tailed lemurs, continued conservation and research initiatives are imperative for long-term viability of the species.

Sources: (Andriaholinirina, et al., 2014; Clarke, Gray, Gould, & Burrell, 2015; Harcourt & Thornback, 1990)
Image: Mathias Appel

https://faunafocus.com/home/november-2018-ring-tailed-lemur/#jp-carousel-11934

The ring-tailed lemur is named for its long, thick, black-and-white-ringed tail and is the only lemur species to possess a striped tail.

The conspicuous characteristic for which ring-tailed lemurs are known and named after is their long, thick tail that has alternating well-defined bands of black and white rings from stem to tip. These tails range in length from 56-63 centimeters, but average 60 centimeters, or 23.6 inches.

The ring-tailed lemur is the only species of lemur to possess a striped tail.

Sources: (Baumhofer, 2017; Cawthon Lang, 2005; Gould, Sussman, & Sauther, 2003; Mittermeier, et al., 2010; Sussman, 1991; Wilson & Hanlon, 2010)
Image: Mathias Appel

https://faunafocus.com/home/november-2018-ring-tailed-lemur/#jp-carousel-11942

Ring-tailed lemurs are found in rainforests, continuous canopy, humid montane, subalpine, dry deciduous, gallery, mixed, dry brush, and spiny thorn, scrub bush forests.

Madagascar is a 1,650 kilometer-, 1,025 mile-long island divided by a mountain chain running the length of the island from north to south. This mountainous divide partitions Madagascar into eastern and western parts, each of which has distinctive climate, topography, and vegetation.

Ring-tailed lemurs are found in the southeastern portion of the island at elevations from sea level to 2,600 meters (8,530 feet) in a variety of habitat types including rainforests, continuous canopy, humid montane, subalpine, dry deciduous, gallery, mixed, dry brush, and spiny thorn scrub bush forests at temperatures of -12 to 48° Celsius.

Continuous canopy forests in this region are dominated by Tamarind trees (Tamarindas indica) and other large trees reaching 20-25 meters in height.

In the southwestern part of the country, rainfall can be as little as 30 to 50 millimeters (1.18 to 1.97 inches) per year and the habitat is mainly desert or thorny scrub with plants adapted to very low levels of rainfall. The driest and coldest times of the year last in winter, from May to September, and the wetter, warmer months are in summer, from December to March. Average temperatures in this area are about 30° Celsius (86° Fahrenheit) during January and 24° Celsius (75.2° Fahrenheit) during July. Southwestern Madagascar is subject to periodic drought that can have serious impacts on the ring-tailed lemur and other mammalian inhabitants.

From west to east across Madagascar, rainfall increases and vegetation becomes lusher. Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve is composed of both xerophytic forests, characteristic of the extreme southwest, and greener gallery forests with taller, more densely forested areas along the banks and tributaries of the Mandrare River, which ring-tailed lemurs especially prefer. Annual rainfall at Beza Mahafaly averages about 750 millimeters (2.46 feet), most of which falls during the rainy season that lasts from November to March. The temperatures in this part of the island average between 34° and 35° Celsius (93.2° and 95° Fahrenheit) but can reach highs of 48° Celsius (118.4° Fahrenheit). During the coolest months of the year, June through August, very little rain falls and temperatures average between 23° and 30° Celsius (73.3° and 86° Fahrenheit), but can be as low as 3° Celsius (5.4° Fahrenheit) at night.

Gallery forests are found throughout southern and southwestern Madagascar along seasonally inundated rivers and their tributaries such as the Mangoky and Onilahy Rivers, as well as the Mandrare River.

Continuing eastward through the ring-tailed lemur’s range toward the central highlands that run north to south on the island, elevation increases and the lemurs are found at altitudes up to 2,600 meters (8,530 feet). In these areas, subalpine forests, exposed rock, and savanna dominate the landscape. Temperatures can range between -7° to 26° Celsius (19.4° to 78.8° Fahrenheit) and this area is considered the most meteorologically extreme site on the island.

Sources: (Baumhofer, 2017; Budnitz & Dainis, 1975; Cawthon Lang, 2005; Goodman & Langrand, 1996; Goodman, Ganzhorn, & Rakotondravony, 2003; Gould, Sussman, & Sauther, 1999, 2003; Harcourt & Thornback, 1990; Jolly, 1966; Jury, 2003; Mertl-Millhollen, et al., 2003; Sauther, 1991, 2012; Sussman, 1991; Sussman, Green, Porton, Andrianasolondraibe, & Ratsirarson, 2003; Tattersall, 1982; Wilson & Hanlon, 2010)
Image: Mathias Appel

https://faunafocus.com/home/november-2018-ring-tailed-lemur/#jp-carousel-11925

Ring-tailed lemurs are endemic to 9 forests in southern and southwestern Madagascar on the continent of Africa.

The only place where members of the Superfamily Lemuroidea, including ring-tailed lemurs, can be found in the wild is Madagascar, the fourth largest island in the world situated in the Indian Ocean to the southeast of Africa.

Ring-tailed lemurs are restricted to the south and southwestern portion of the island, reaching a northern limit near the town of Morondava on the west coast and the town of Ambalavao in the east. The southeastern limit is the town of Tolagnaro on the southern coast.

Ring-tailed lemurs are found in the vicinity of nine forests: Andohahela, Andringitra, Ankilitelo, Berenty, Beza Mahafaly, Isalo, Tsimanampetsotsa, Tsirave, and Zombitse.

Ring-tailed lemurs have also been introduced to the United States on St. Catherine’s Island, Georgia as part of a project to establish a free-ranging, breeding population that could be studied and in the future could potentially serve as a source to restock parks in Madagascar.

Most field studies of ring-tailed lemurs have been conducted at Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve and Berenty Private Reserve, a family-owned forest set aside in the 1940s. They’ve also been studied at Andringitra National Park, Isalo National Park, and Andohahela Nature Reserve. One particularly notable field researcher, Alison Jolly, has been conducting long-term ecological and behavioral research on ring-tailed lemurs at Berenty since the early 1960s and has contributed greatly to the knowledge of wild ring-tailed lemurs. Long-term studies have also been ongoing at Beza Mahafaly most notably conducted by Robert Sussman, Lisa Gould, and Michelle Sauther. Captive research has been conducted at the Duke University Primate Center in North Carolina since the mid-1980s and also has provided invaluable information about the species.

Sources: (Baumhofer, 2017; Cawthon Lang, 2005; Clarke, Gray, Gould, & Burrell, 2015; Godfrey, Jungers, Simons, Chatrath, & Rakotosamimanana, 1999; Gould, Sussman, & Sauther, 2003; Jolly, 2003; Mittermeier, et al., 2010; Sauther, 2012; Sussman, 1991; Swindler, 2002; Wilson & Hanlon, 2010)
Image: Mathias Appel

https://faunafocus.com/home/november-2018-ring-tailed-lemur/#jp-carousel-11949

Ring-tailed lemurs are highly social and live in groups of 15 to 30 called troops, the largest of any lemur species.

Ring-tailed lemurs live in groups of 15 to 30 individuals called troops. These expansive troops are the largest groups of any lemur species.

These troops are highly social with complex interactions. All females are dominant over all males as the lowest ranking femlae is still higher in the social hierarchy than the highest ranking male. Hierarchy is typically established in a lemur’s youth through rough-and-tumble play.

Females stay with the same troop they were born into, while the males will typically move between troops every 2 to 5 years.

Sources: (Baumhofer, 2017; Gould, Sussman, & Sauther, 2003; Sauther, 2012; Wilson & Hanlon, 2010)
Image: Mathias Appel

https://faunafocus.com/home/november-2018-ring-tailed-lemur/#jp-carousel-11934

Ring-Tailed Lemur (Lemur catta)

With another first for FaunaFocus, November 2018 will feature the ring-tailed lemur, our first primate featured species! This striped mammal is endemic to the island of Madagascar from the continent of Africa and is listed as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

 

GET INVOLVED

Create art inspired by the ring-tailed lemur and share it in the FaunaFocus Discord Server or on social media with #faunafocus. Learn about more ways to get involved with FaunaFocus!

 

EVENTS
Event Date Time (CST)
SketchAlong November 9 9:00 pm
Throwback Thursday November 15 All Day!
CreateAlong November 23 9:00 pm
Free-For-All Deadline November 28 12:00 pm
Free-For-All Livestream November 29 9:00 pm

Image: Mathias Appel

Judges
Noelle M. Brooks PhilthyTurtle Eternity
Date October 2018 Theme Hawksbill Turtle
Entries 6 Winner Zoe

As Halloween passes, FaunaFocus finishes with yet another Free-For-All. Six artists drew inspiration from the hawksbill turtle and presented several artworks created in inks, acrylics, and other media. All highlighted the beautiful scutes, scales, and textures of this aquatic reptile.

Congratulations to October 2018’s FaunaFocus Free-For-All Winner, Zoe, who presented us with a mostly achromatic, stylized illustration that beautifully honored the complicated textures and patterns of the hawksbill turtle. The judges were enamored with the intricate linework and attention to detail in this piece and enjoyed the calming, rhythmic feelings that it delivered.

Zoe will choose the final FaunaFocus of 2018 for the month of December, which will be announced at the end of November’s Free-For-All critique livestream. Last month’s Free-For-All winner, Mahle Lynn has chosen the FaunaFocus for November, our first primate, the ring-tailed lemur!

 


FaunaFocus Calendar | Free-For-All | Free-For-All Archives

Holiday Art Trade 2018

The holiday season is approaching and FaunaFocus wants to spread the cheer!

Throughout the months of November and December, FaunaFocus will be hosting a Holiday Art Trade and all are welcome to join! Surprise someone with an animal-themed artwork of their choice and receive an artwork yourself, “Secret Santa” style!

 

GET INVOLVED
  1. Sign Up: Submit your information using the form below by Friday, November 16th.
  2. Receive Email: On Saturday, November 17th, you’ll receive an email with the name of the person you’ll be creating artwork for and the animal to feature in the art. Please keep this information private until the artwork is complete.
  3. Create Art: Create artwork featuring the requested animal that abides by the rules.
  4. Give Art: Post the completed artwork to the FaunaFocus Discord Server in the #holiday-art-trade channel, tagging the person it was created for, any time before the deadline.
  5. Receive Art: Check the FaunaFocus Discord Server for the artwork created for you!

 

RULES

Traded artworks must abide by the following rules.

  1. Eligibility: All artists, media, and art forms are eligible.
  2. Theme: Artworks must feature the requested animal. If multiple animals were requested, only one is required.
  3. Originality: Artworks must be of original construction and must not copy another source or violate any copyrights.
  4. Tasteful Intent: Artworks should not have negative intentions or contain excessive gore, violence, nudity, profanity, etc.
  5. Anonymity: Don’t reveal the person you were assigned until the artwork is completed and posted.
  6. Deadline: All artworks must be submitted to the FaunaFocus Discord Server in the #holiday-art-trade channel by 12:00pm (noon) Central Standard Time on Tuesday, January 1st, 2019. Artworks may be gifted early.

 

SIGN UP

Submit the following information to participate in the FaunaFocus Holiday Art Trade!
The deadline to sign up is 12:00pm (noon) Central Standard Time  on Friday, November 16th, 2018.

https://faunafocus.com/home/october-2018/#jp-carousel-11218

The hawksbill turtle communicates by the use of ritual mating behaviors and breeds in shallow waters near the shore.

The hawksbill turtle communicates by the use of ritual mating behaviors.

Copulation usually begins in shallow waters near the shore where males lie and wait for the females to return. At times, males have been seen following the females on shore. However, this behavior is rarely observed.

Sources: (Edelman, 2004; Ernst, Lovich, Barbour, 1994; Pope, 1939)
Image: Christian Gloor

https://faunafocus.com/home/october-2018/#jp-carousel-11232

Male hawksbill turtles are distinguished from females by a brighter pigmentation, a concave plastron, long claws, and a thicker tail.

There is sexual dimorphism in the physiology of the hawksbill turtle.

Male hawksbill turtles are distinguished from females by a brighter pigmentation, a concave plastron, long claws, and a thicker tail.

Sources: (Edelman, 2004; Turtle Trax, 2005)
Image: Markus Fritze

https://faunafocus.com/home/october-2018/#jp-carousel-11221

Hawksbill turtles are found in shoals, sea grass, algal beds, mangrove bays, lagoons, islands, creeks, mud flats, continental shelves, and hard-bottomed and reef habitats containing sponges.

Hawksbill turtles are most commonly found in neritic developmental foraging habitats that may comprise coral reefs or other hard-bottom habitats containing sponges.

They also reside in shoals, sea grass, algal beds, mangrove bays, lagoons of oceanic islands, creeks, mud flats, and continental shelves.

Sources: (Edelman, 2004; Lutz and Musick, 1997; Mortimer & Donnelly, 2008; Musick & Limpus, 1997; Pope, 1939; WWF)
Image: Christian Gloor

https://faunafocus.com/home/october-2018/#jp-carousel-11231

Once sexually mature, most hawksbill turtles undertake complex movements and become highly migratory, but some may settle near their natal beaches.

Hawksbill turtles were once thought to have remained in one local area for the duration of their lives, however, recent studies have proven that they migrate very long distances during their lifetimes.

Hawksbill turtles are now known to be highly migratory individuals that undertake complex movements through geographically disparate habitats during their lifetimes. Once sexually mature, they undertake breeding migrations between a wide range of broadly separated localities, habitats, foraging grounds, and breeding areas at intervals of several years.

While most hawksbill turtles undertake long migrations, some portion of immature animals may settle into foraging habitats near their beaches of origin.

Sources: (Bowen, et al., 2007; Edelman, 2004; Dobbs, Miller, Limpus, & Landry, 1999; Mortimer & Bresson 1999; Mortimer & Donnelly, 2008; Witzell, 1983)
Image: Mal B

https://faunafocus.com/home/october-2018/#jp-carousel-11236

The hawksbill turtle inhabits the tropical and subtropical waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, and Pacific Ocean and reside on the coasts of more than 108 countries.

The hawksbill turtle has a circumglobal distribution throughout tropical and, to a lesser extent, subtropical waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, and Pacific Ocean.

Hawksbill nesting occurs in at least 70 countries, although much of it now only at low densities. Their movements within the marine environment are less understood, but hawksbills are believed to inhabit coastal waters in more than 108 countries.

In the western hemisphere, they have been reported to have nests as far north as Woods Hole, Massachusetts. They are also present in the Long Island Sound. However, between the Carolinas and New Jersey, very few hawksbill turtles have been recorded.

Sources: (Edelman, 2004; Lutz and Musick, 1997; Mortimer & Donnelly, 2008; Pope, 1939; Wikimedia Foundation, 2018; WWF)
Image: Roban Kramer

https://faunafocus.com/home/october-2018/#jp-carousel-11220

Hawksbill turtle mating occurs in shallow waters every 2-3 years, but it’s unknown whether the turtles are promiscuous or monogamous.

Hawksbill turtle mating occurs roughly every 2 to 3 years and occurs mainly in shallow waters. No information is available as to whether or not these turtles have life-long partners or are promiscuous.

In northeastern Australia, first breeding is estimated to occur at 31-36 years for females and 38 years for males.

Data on reproductive longevity in Hawksbills is limited, but becoming available with increasing numbers of intensively monitored, long-term projects on protected beaches.

During the last decade, numerous individual Caribbean hawksbills have been recorded actively nesting over a period of 14-22 years. In the Indo-Pacific, Mortimer, Bresson, and Limpus have reported nesting over 17-20 years, comparable to other Chelonid turtles which range from 20 to 30 years.

Sources: (Carr, Carr, & Meylan, 1978; Edelman, 2004; Fitzsimmons, Tucker, & Limpus, 1995; Limpus, 1992; Limpus & Miller, 2008; Mortimer & Bresson, 1999; Mortimer & Donnelly, 2008; Parrish & Goodman, 2006; Pilcher; Pope, 1939; Ripple, 1996)
Image: Christian Gloor

https://faunafocus.com/home/october-2018/#jp-carousel-11246

Young hawksbill turtles are unable to dive into deep water and gather in masses of floating sea plants until they’re older.

Having survived the dash to the sea, hawksbill turtle hatchlings are believed to spend their first few years in the open ocean before returning to more sheltered coastal waters. Recent studies indicate that the oceanic phase may be shorter for hawksbills, or even omitted in certain regions, as hatchlings swim less vigorously than those of other species.

When hawksbill turtles are young, they are unable to dive into deep water, and therefore are forced to live in masses of floating sea plants, such as sargassum.

Available data indicate that newly emerged hawksbill turtle hatchlings enter the sea and are carried by offshore currents into major gyre systems where they remain until reaching a carapace length of some 20 to 30 centimeters. At that point, they recruit into a neritic developmental foraging habitat that may comprise coral reefs or other hard-bottom habitats.

Sources: (Edelman, 2004; Lutz & Musick, 1997; Mortimer & Donnelly, 2008; Musick & Limpus, 1997; Pilcher; Pope, 1939)
Image: USAID Biodiversity & Forestry

https://faunafocus.com/home/october-2018/#jp-carousel-11239

Hawksbill turtles play a positive role in the ecosystem by contributing to marine and coastal food webs and transporting nutrients within the oceans.

Hawksbill turtles play a positive role in the ecosystem and help create habitats. They are important components of healthy coral reef ecosystems.

Like other species of sea turtles, hawksbills contribute to marine and coastal food webs and transport nutrients within the oceans. Oftentimes, they feed on sponges, causing succession to occur in the reef and freeing up space for settlement of other organisms.

At sites where they are primarily spongivorous, hawksbills have been found to support healthy reefs by controlling sponges which would otherwise out-compete reef-building corals for space.

Sources: (Bjorndal & Jackson 2003; Bouchard & Bjorndal, 2000; Edelman, 2004; Hill, 1998; León & Bjorndal 2002; Meylan, 1988; Mortimer & Donnelly, 2008; Turtle Trax, 2005; WWF)
Image: Tchami

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The entire hawksbill turtle nesting process takes roughly 1-3 hours in which the turtles dig pits, lay their eggs, then cover the nests and return to the sea.

Hawksbill turtles nest on insular and mainland sandy beaches throughout the tropics and subtropics in at least 70 countries, although much nesting now only occurs at low densities. The entire nesting process takes roughly one to three hours and involves similar steps as most other species of sea turtles.

The turtles come out of the sea and select a site in which to lay their eggs. They then clear the area and dig a pit in the sand. Next, they lay their eggs and proceed to fill in the pit with sand using their hind limbs. After the eggs have been laid and the site has been disguised, the female turtles return to the sea.

Sources: (Edelman, 2004; Ernst, Lovich, Barbour, 1994; Groombridge & Luxmoore, 1989; Mortimer & Donnelly, 2008)
Image: Gerwin Sturm

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Only about 1 in 1,000 hawksbill turtles will survive to adulthood because they must scramble to the ocean, directly after hatching, while avoiding predators.

After about 60 days, newborn hawksbill turtles hatch out of their eggs and make a perilous dash for the water where they will mature. This journey to the water is the most dangerous time of a hawksbill turtle’s life.

Although this scramble only lasts a few minutes, countless hatchlings are preyed on by flocks of gulls and large crabs.

Probably less than one out of 1,000 eggs will survive and reach adulthood.

Sources: (Bjorndal, 1999; Edelman, 2004; Ernst, Lovich, Barbour, 1994; Pilcher)
Image: USAID Biodiversity & Forestry

The second FaunaFocus 24-Hour Host Train has come to an end! FaunaFocus partnered with the WWF-Australia‘s Wild-Livestream event and featured 11 different artists on Twitch over the course of 24 hours spanning the entirety of Saturday, October 20th. Each artist created artwork inspired by sea turtles, most focusing on the endangered green turtle and the critically endangered hawksbill turtle.

Together, viewers and artists were able to raise $836 (including Mehvaro fundraising $185 separately,) to help conservationists gather demographic data from sea turtles, such as nesting activity, migration patterns, and population trends. These funds will help cover expenses and gather supplies for turtle expeditions in which turtles are studied, tagged, and monitored in order to better understand their needs and how we can protect them and their habitats. The campaign doesn’t officially end until October 28th, so there’s still time to make a donation on the FaunaFocus Tiltify page!

Thank you to the moderators that helped organize this event, the artists that volunteered their time and creative skills, and the viewers who attended the event and donated to the cause. FaunaFocus is always eager to put together similar events for the conservation of endangered species!

 

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Hawksbill turtles are believed to be guided inland to their nesting beaches by magnetic fields and the lunar phases and positioning of the moon.

The mechanisms that aid hawksbill turtles in returning to their nesting beaches are still unknown.

It has been thought that these turtles are guided inland by magnetic fields and the lunar phases and positioning of the moon.

Sources: (Edelman, 2004; Ernst, Lovich, Barbour, 1994)
Image: Gerwin Sturm