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Daniel Godoy

Doctor of Philosophy, (Marine Ecology)
Study Completed: 2017
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
The ecology and conservation of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) in New Zealand

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Despite being endangered internationally and protected nationally, little consideration has been given to the occurrence of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) in New Zealand. Historically, individuals encountered in New Zealand's waters were considered occasional visitors or stragglers incidentally blown ashore by storms. To test the 'occasional visitor' hypothesis, Mr Godoy investigated the population structure, genetic origin, diet and anthropogenic impacts of green turtles in New Zealand. In contrast to the prevailing view, he found that immature green turtles recruit to Northland's coastal inshore habitats consistent with natural settlement behaviour. Thus, he showed that New Zealand's northern waters provide a transitional developmental habitat for immature green turtles. Genetic analyses revealed the New Zealand aggregation represents a unique assemblage of green turtles originating from widely dispersed rookeries throughout the Pacific Ocean. Critically, results showed that green turtles in New Zealand are exposed to various anthropogenic effects which have notable management implications for this species.

Associate Professor Karen Stockin
Professor Dianne Brunton

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