RFLPs OF THE MITOCHONDRIAL GENE COI: A STRATEGY TO IDENTIFY SPECIMENS OF HAWKSBILL TURTLES Eretmochelys imbricata (Cheloniidae
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The hawksbill turtle Eretemochelys imbricata circumtropical is a species associated with coral reefs and other coastal habitats of the Atlantic Ocean, in the Colombian Caribbean. During their life cycle, the turtles migrate thousands of miles, traveling regularly to the high seas and territorial waters of different countries.
Due to human pressures, bycatch in fishing gear industry, demand for the shell and the plaston for its handicrafts, the marketing of eggs, meat, oil and habitat degradation have made this species is critically endangered with extinction (IUCN, 1994). This condition is very important to identify any level of this chain to the hawksbill turtle, and thus contribute to their conservation. In this study we used the COI gene as a molecular tag for identification using RFLP and sequencing. In the short term, this methodology will allow combat the illegal trade in specimens of E. imbricata and the use of derivatives.
Materials and Methods
We used blood samples from 15 juvenile hawksbill turtle from the island of St. Martin de Pajarales (Colombian ...