Global patterns for upper ceilings on migration distance in sea turtles and comparisons with fish, birds and mammals

Hays, Graeme C. and Scott, Rebecca 2013, Global patterns for upper ceilings on migration distance in sea turtles and comparisons with fish, birds and mammals, Functional ecology, vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 748-756.

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Title Global patterns for upper ceilings on migration distance in sea turtles and comparisons with fish, birds and mammals
Author(s) Hays, Graeme C.
Scott, Rebecca
Journal name Functional ecology
Volume number 27
Issue number 3
Start page 748
End page 756
Total pages 9
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Place of publication Oxford, England
Publication date 2013
ISSN 0269-8463
1365-2435
Keyword(s) biologging
Fastloc GPS
migration
movement ecology
movement models
tracking
Summary 1. Some animals migrate huge distances in search of resources with locomotory mode (flying/swimming/walking) thought to drive the upper ceilings on migration distance. Yet in cross-taxa comparisons, upper ceilings on migration distance have been ignored for one important group, sea turtles. 2. Using migration distances recorded for 407 adult and 4715 juvenile sea turtles across five species, we show that for adult cheloniid turtles, the upper ceiling on species migration distances between breeding and foraging habitats (1050–2850 km across species) is similar to that predicted for equivalent-sized marine mammals and fish. 3. In contrast, by feeding in the open ocean, adult leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) and juveniles of all turtle species can travel around 12 000 km from their natal regions, travelling across the widest ocean basins. For juvenile turtles, this puts their maximum migration distances well beyond those expected for equivalent-sized marine mammals and fish, but not those found in some similar sized birds. 4. Post-hatchling turtles perform these long-distance migrations to juvenile foraging sites only once in their lifetime, while adult turtles return to their breeding sites every few (generally ?2) years. Our results highlight the important roles migration periodicity and foraging mode can play in driving the longest migrations, and the implications for Marine Protected Area planning are considered in terms of sea turtle conservation.
Language eng
Field of Research 070402 Aquatic Ecosystem Studies and Stock Assessment
060299 Ecology not elsewhere classified
060899 Zoology not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2013, Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30055259

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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