Biodiversity and Ecosystem (EO 1)

Common indicator 5: Population demographic characteristics - Marine Reptiles

Geographical scale of the assessment:
Regional, Mediterranean Sea
Contributing countries:
Mid-Term Strategy (MTS) Core Theme:
2-Biodiversity and Ecosystems
Ecological Objective:
EO1: Biological diversity is maintained or enhanced. The quality and occurrence of coastal and marine habitats and the distribution and abundance of coastal and marine species are in line with prevailing physiographic, hydrographic, geographic and climatic conditions.
IMAP Common Indicator:
Common Indicator 5 (CI5): Population demographic characteristics (e.g. body size or age class structure, sex ratio, fecundity rates, survival/mortality rates related to marine reptiles)
Indicator Assessment Factsheet Code:

GES Definition: Low mortality induced by incidental catch, favourable sex ratio and no decline in hatching rates.

GES Targets:

  • State: Measures to mitigate incidental catches in turtles implemented.



This assessment presents a brief overview of demographical parameters that are used to monitor loggerhead and green sea turtles at breeding, foraging and wintering grounds in the Mediterranean, based on published data, to determine what knowledge gaps need to be filled to realise the objective of this indicator. Demographic information helps to identify the stage(s) in the life cycle that affect(s) most population growth, and may be applied to (1) quantify the effectiveness of conservation measures or extent of exploitation (e.g. fisheries management), (2) understand the evolution of life history traits and (3) indicate fitness with respect to the surrounding environment.

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Assessment methods                           

This assessment presents a brief and general overview of the distributional range of two marine turtle species to identify existing knowledge and knowledge gaps for use in elaborating the national monitoring programmes for biodiversity. Published information by regional and national surveys and research projects were used to compile the review, but this overview does not present a comprehensive assessment of existing knowledge.

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Results and Status, including trends

Knowledge about the various demographic parameters of sea turtles remains patchy throughout the Mediterranean, with detailed information being available at some sites and no information at other sites. To develop comprehensive models, knowledge about all aspects of demography across a range of representative populations of different sizes is required.

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At present our knowledge on sea turtle demography is patchy at best for each component, with certain information being more widely available than other information. To understand the demography of loggerhead and green turtle populations in the Mediterranean, greater effort needs to be placed on filling existing gaps. Only then can we predict with any certainty the future viability of sea turtle populations in the Mediterranean.

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Key messages 

  • This general overview, indicates that at present our knowledge on sea turtle demography is patchy at best for each component and that effort needs to be placed on filling existing gaps in order to predict with any certainty the future viability of sea turtle populations in the Mediterranean

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