, Volume 160, Issue 3, pp 703-718
Date: 25 Nov 2012

Spatio-temporal distribution and migration of adult male loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in the Mediterranean Sea: further evidence of the importance of neritic habitats off North Africa

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Abstract

Ten adult male loggerhead sea turtles, captured by trawlers or dip nets, were satellite-tracked from a neritic foraging ground in the Mediterranean in order to investigate adult spatio-temporal distribution and breeding migration. Five individuals migrated to potential breeding sites in Libya and one to Greece. The results complement previous studies and show that: (1) the Tunisian shelf may be more important for turtles from Libyan rookeries than previously thought; (2) male tracks corroborate a conservation hotspot previously identified for juveniles; (3) the north African coast represents a preferred migratory corridor, unless open sea routes are more direct; (4) adult males may exhibit high fidelity to relatively small areas, without evident seasonal differences; (5) adults home ranges were smaller and more neritic than juveniles frequenting the same area; (6) males may frequent multiple courtship areas; (7) the average remigration interval of males frequenting this region is longer than 1 year.

Communicated by J. D. R. Houghton.