Rise and fall over 26 years of a marine epizootic in Hawaiian green sea turtles

Chaloupka, Milani, Balazs, George H. and Work, Thirry M. (2009) Rise and fall over 26 years of a marine epizootic in Hawaiian green sea turtles. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 45 4: 1138-1142.

Author Chaloupka, Milani
Balazs, George H.
Work, Thirry M.
Title Rise and fall over 26 years of a marine epizootic in Hawaiian green sea turtles
Journal name Journal of Wildlife Diseases   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0090-3558
Publication date 2009-10
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 45
Issue 4
Start page 1138
End page 1142
Total pages 5
Place of publication United States
Publisher Wildlife Disease Association
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Estimates of chronic disease prevalence are needed to improve our understanding
of marine disease epizootiology, which is poorly known for marine megafauna such as
marine turtles. An emerging worldwide threat to green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) is
fibropapillomatosis (FP), which is a pandemic tumor-forming disease associated with herpesviruses.  We report on a 26-yr FP epidemic in the Hawaiian Archipelago and show that apparent disease prevalence in the world’s main endemic hot spot increased rapidly
following a late 1980s outbreak, peaked during the mid-1990s, and then declined steadily ever since. While this disease is a major cause of sea turtle stranding in Hawaiian waters and can be fatal, we also show that long-term tumor regression can occur even for turtles with advanced FP. The endemic Hawaiian green turtle stock was severely depleted by overexploitation prior to protection under the US Endangered Species Act in 1978. This stock has increased significantly ever since, despite exposure to a major chronic disease epidemic that is currently declining.
Keyword Chelonia mydas
Green sea turtle
Marine epizootic
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Ecology Centre Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 15 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 06 Dec 2009, 00:04:41 EST