Biodiv Sci ›› 2023, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (6): 23082.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2023082

• Original Papers: Animal Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Records and population status of sea turtles in the Zhejiang sea area of China

Jingxuan Chen1, Jiajun Zhou2,3,*(), Baoquan Liu2   

  1. 1. College of Life Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058
    2. Zhejiang Forest Resource Monitoring Center, Hangzhou 310020
    3. Zhejiang Forestry Survey Planning and Design Company Limited, Hangzhou 310020
  • Received:2023-03-18 Accepted:2023-06-13 Online:2023-06-20 Published:2023-06-21
  • Contact: * E-mail:


Aims: The waters of Zhejiang Province in China host five species of sea turtles under first class protection in the List of National Key Protected Wildlife: the leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), the green turtle (Chelonia mydas), the loggerhead (Caretta caretta), the hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), and the olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea). Due to insufficient studies of sea turtles in the area, sea turtles in this region are not well understood. Therefore, we conducted a large-scale survey in the region and explored the population status of the five species.

Methods: We retrieved and collected records of sea turtles in Zhejiang Province from various internet platforms, especially short-form video records from Chinese fishermen taken from August 1st, 2018 to December 31st, 2022, and thereby analyzed species composition and abundance in the region.

Results: In total, we identified 109 records of sea turtles in this region from April 1st, 1981 to December 31st, 2022, comprising 234 individuals, among which 79.1% are loggerheads, 9.4% are green turtles, 6.0% are leatherbacks, 4.3% are olive ridleys and 1.3% are hawksbills. The majority of the records were obtained from short-form video platforms.

Conclusions: These results indicate that loggerheads make up the largest proportion of the sea turtle population in the sea areas of Zhejiang Province, followed by the green, the leatherback, the olive ridley, and finally the hawksbill. The results prove that the East China Sea is of great importance to the turtles, especially the loggerhead. The study also proves the significance of citizen science projects in the daily monitoring of marine reptiles.

Key words: Zhejiang Province, East China Sea, sea turtles, short-form video, marine reptiles monitoring