Published On: Wed, Mar 2nd, 2016

Parasite is killing sea turtles along Mexican Pacific coast

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The Special Prosecutor’s Office for Environmental Protection (Profepa) received an opinion from experts that concludes that the cause of death of sea turtles in the coastal region of Oaxaca is due to a parasite called Spirochidae trematode.

In coordination with specialists from the Laboratory for the Research of Animal Reproduction (LIRA) of the Benito Juárez Autonomous University of Oaxaca (UABJO), the Mexican Turtle Center (CMT) and the University of the Sea (Umar), the  corresponding studies were performed in the state of Oaxaca in order to determine the causes of sea turtle deaths.

These studies were carried out after 118 sea turtles were beached in the coastal region of the state.

Specialists from the LIRA conducted autopsies on turtles and performed histopathological studies.

Specialists conducted autopsies on turtles found dead in Oaxaca’s coast. (PHOTO: SPECIAL TO THE NEWS)

Specialists conducted autopsies on turtles found dead in Oaxaca’s coast. (PHOTO: SPECIAL TO THE NEWS)

The results showed the presence of the Spirochidae trematode parasite, which has been known to cause micro thrombosis in the brain and other organs of turtles, causing respiratory problems and eventually death.

The Profepa and the rest of the experts still do not rule out the additional presence of other primary factors for the animals’  deaths such as changes in temperature or a concentration of nutrients that may have increased the proliferation of bacteria and  parasites like the trematode.

The autopsies and corresponding studies were performed by members and collaborators of the LIRA, who reported the presence of the trematode parasite in the turtles’ tissues.


Source: the

Mexico Travel Care



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