hays-globalpatternsforupper-2013.pdf (326.35 kB)
Global patterns for upper ceilings on migration distance in sea turtles and comparisons with fish, birds and mammals
journal contributionposted on 2013-01-01, 00:00 authored by Graeme HaysGraeme Hays, R Scott
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.
Pagination748 - 756
PublisherWiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Publication classificationC1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice2013, Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
CategoriesNo categories selected