Fidelity to foraging sites, consistency of migration routes and habitat modulation of home range by sea turtles

Schofield, Gail, Hobson, Victoria J., Fossette, Sabrina, Lilley, Martin K.S., Katselidis, Kostas A. and Hays, Graeme C. 2010, Fidelity to foraging sites, consistency of migration routes and habitat modulation of home range by sea turtles, Diversity and distributions, vol. 16, no. 5, pp. 840-853, doi: 10.1111/j.1472-4642.2010.00694.x.

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Title Fidelity to foraging sites, consistency of migration routes and habitat modulation of home range by sea turtles
Author(s) Schofield, Gail
Hobson, Victoria J.
Fossette, Sabrina
Lilley, Martin K.S.
Katselidis, Kostas A.
Hays, Graeme C.ORCID iD for Hays, Graeme C.
Journal name Diversity and distributions
Volume number 16
Issue number 5
Start page 840
End page 853
Total pages 14
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2010-09
ISSN 1366-9516
Keyword(s) Biodiversity scale
conservation management
marine vertebrate
remote technology
Summary Aim  Resources can shape patterns of habitat utilization. Recently a broad foraging dichotomy between oceanic and coastal sites has been revealed for loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta). Since oceanic and coastal foraging sites differ in prey availability, we might expect a gross difference in home-range size across these habitats. We tested this hypothesis by equipping nine adult male loggerhead sea turtles with GPS tracking devices. Location  National Marine Park of Zakynthos (NMPZ) Greece, central and eastern Mediterranean (Adriatic, Ionian and Aegean seas). Methods  In 2007, 2008 and 2009, Fastloc GPS-Argos transmitters were attached to nine male loggerheads. In addition, a Sirtrack PTT unit was attached to one male in 2007. Four of the turtles were tracked on successive years. We filtered the GPS data to ensure comparable data volumes. Route consistency between breeding and foraging sites of the four re-tracked turtles was conducted. Foraging site home range areas and within site movement patterns were investigated by the fixed kernel density method. Results  Foraging home range size ranged between circa 10 km2 at neritic habitats (coastal and open-sea on the continental shelf) to circa 1000 km2 at oceanic sites (using 90% kernel estimates), the latter most probably reflecting sparsely distributed oceanic prey. Across different years individuals did not follow exactly the same migration routes, but did show fidelity to their previous foraging sites, whether oceanic or neritic, with accurate homing in the final stages of migration. Main conclusions  The broad distribution and diverse life-history strategies of this population could complicate the identification of priority marine protected areas beyond the core breeding site.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/j.1472-4642.2010.00694.x
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 ©2010, Wiley
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