Sea snakes and marine turtles observed at the Chesterfield-Bellona reef complex in the Coral Sea Marine Park (Southwest Pacific)

The Chesterfield-Bellona atolls and reefs are a vast reef complex located in the Coral Sea Marine Park, established in 2014 in the New Caledonian Economic Exclusive Zone. In 2013, the New Caledonia government supported the first assessment of fish and benthic habitats conducted over the entire area. The assessment provided a primary knowledge base for establishing the importance of these atolls in terms of biodiversity and fished resources. This comprehensive survey relied on an unbaited underwater video technique that enabled to collect 185 successful camera drops distributed over all shallow habitats in the atolls.

Two snake species (Laticauda laticaudata, Aipysurus laevis) were recorded during the survey and one species from the genus Hydrophis). Sea snakes were observed at 8.6% of stations on sandy bottoms.

The green turtle (Chelonia mydas) was observed at five stations, all located in the live coral habitat in Chesterfield. This species is classified as endangered by IUCN.

Author(s) Pelletier DominiqueORCID1, 2, Powell Abigail1, Roman William1, Carpentier Liliane1
Affiliation(s) 1 : IFREMER, Unité Lagons, Ecosystèmes et Aquaculture Durable en Nouvelle-Calédonie , F-98897 Nouméa, Nouvelle-Calédonie
2 : IFREMER, Dept Ecologie et Modèles pour l’Halieutique, F-44311 Nantes, France
DOI 10.24351/78070
Date 2021-01-15
Temporal extent 2013/06/22 -2013/07/5
Species Aipysurus laevis
Laticauda laticaudata
Chelonia mydas (green sea turtle, green turtle)
Licence CC-BY

How to cite 

Pelletier Dominique, Powell Abigail, Roman William, Carpentier Liliane (2021). Sea snakes and marine turtles observed at the Chesterfield-Bellona reef complex in the Coral Sea Marine Park (Southwest Pacific). Ifremer. https://doi.org/10.24351/78070