Satellite tracking large numbers of individuals to infer population level dispersal and core areas for the protection of an endangered species

Schofield, Gail, Dimadi, Alexandra, Fossette, Sabrina, Katselidis, Kostas A., Koutsoubas, Drosos, Lilley, Martin K.S., Luckman, Adrian, Pantis, John D., Karagouni, Amalia D. and Hays, Graeme C. 2013, Satellite tracking large numbers of individuals to infer population level dispersal and core areas for the protection of an endangered species, Diversity and distributions, vol. 19, no. 7, pp. 834-844.

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Title Satellite tracking large numbers of individuals to infer population level dispersal and core areas for the protection of an endangered species
Author(s) Schofield, Gail
Dimadi, Alexandra
Fossette, Sabrina
Katselidis, Kostas A.
Koutsoubas, Drosos
Lilley, Martin K.S.
Luckman, Adrian
Pantis, John D.
Karagouni, Amalia D.
Hays, Graeme C.
Journal name Diversity and distributions
Volume number 19
Issue number 7
Start page 834
End page 844
Total pages 11
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2013
ISSN 1366-9516
1472-4642
Keyword(s) adaptive behaviour
conservation management
dispersal
predictive models
sample size
spatial ecology
telemetry
Summary Aim: Tracking the dispersal patterns and habitat use of migratory species is necessary to delineate optimal areas for protection, with large sample sizes being more representative of the population. Here, we examine the dispersal patterns of a key Mediterranean loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) breeding population to identify priority foraging sites for protection. Location: Zakynthos Island, Greece and the wider Mediterranean. Method: We examined the dispersal patterns and foraging sites of 75 adult loggerheads (n = 38 males and 37 females) tracked from the breeding area of Zakynthos Island (Greece) from 2004 to 2011. We then combined our data with published sea turtle literature to identify key foraging sites for protection. Results: While both males and females exhibited similar dispersal patterns, about 25% males remained < 100 km of Zakynthos, whereas all females (except one) migrated > 200 km. Integration of our data with the wider literature isolated 10 core sites in proximity to existing protected areas, which could potentially protect 64% of the Zakynthos population, while five sites support individuals from at least 10 other loggerhead breeding populations. Main conclusions: Due to the widespread availability of neritic foraging grounds across the Mediterranean, sea turtles from Zakynthos exhibit disparate dispersal patterns. However, protecting only a few objectively defined important sites can encompass a large proportion of the foraging areas used and hence have considerable conservation benefit.
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
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30055339

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