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Movement patterns for a critically endangered species, the Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), linked to foraging success and population status

Bailey, Helen, Fossette, Sabrina, Bograd, Steven J., Shillinger, George L., Swithenbank, Alan M., Georges, Jean-Yves, Gaspar, Philippe, Patrik, Stromberg K.H., Paladino, Frank V., Spotila, James R., Block, Barbara A. and Hays, Graeme C. 2012, Movement patterns for a critically endangered species, the Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), linked to foraging success and population status, PLOS one, vol. 7, no. 5, pp. 1-8, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0036401.

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Title Movement patterns for a critically endangered species, the Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), linked to foraging success and population status
Author(s) Bailey, Helen
Fossette, Sabrina
Bograd, Steven J.
Shillinger, George L.
Swithenbank, Alan M.
Georges, Jean-Yves
Gaspar, Philippe
Patrik, Stromberg K.H.
Paladino, Frank V.
Spotila, James R.
Block, Barbara A.
Hays, Graeme C.ORCID iD for Hays, Graeme C. orcid.org/0000-0002-3314-8189
Journal name PLOS one
Volume number 7
Issue number 5
Start page 1
End page 8
Total pages 8
Publisher Public Library of Science
Place of publication San Francisco, Calif.
Publication date 2012
ISSN 1932-6203
Summary Foraging success for pelagic vertebrates may be revealed by horizontal and vertical movement patterns. We show markedly different patterns for leatherback turtles in the North Atlantic versus Eastern Pacific, which feed on gelatinous zooplankton that are only occasionally found in high densities. In the Atlantic, travel speed was characterized by two modes, indicative of high foraging success at low speeds (<15 km d−1) and transit at high speeds (20–45 km d−1). Only a single mode was evident in the Pacific, which occurred at speeds of 21 km d−1 indicative of transit. The mean dive depth was more variable in relation to latitude but closer to the mean annual depth of the thermocline and nutricline for North Atlantic than Eastern Pacific turtles. The most parsimonious explanation for these findings is that Eastern Pacific turtles rarely achieve high foraging success. This is the first support for foraging behaviour differences between populations of this critically endangered species and suggests that longer periods searching for prey may be hindering population recovery in the Pacific while aiding population maintenance in the Atlantic.
Language eng
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0036401
Field of Research 069999 Biological Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2012, Public Library of Science
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30058211

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.