Tracking post-nesting movements of loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) with sonic and radio telemetry on the southwest coast of Florida, USA
- 104 Downloads
Nine post-nesting loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) were tracked using sonic and radio telemetry. Tracking began immediately after the turtles left the beach and continued until contact was either lost or terminated. As sonic tags transmit continuously underwater, they were much more effective than the radio tags in determining the paths of the turtles. Radio tags transmit only at the surface and were useful in ascertaining submergence durations. For nine of the ten turtles tracked with sonic signals, the gross movement was away from the beach in a westerly direction. The tracking periods ranged from 3.35 to 8.25 h, while the straight-line movements ranged from 3.05 to 12.88 km, respectively. Sixty-seven percent of the submergence durations recorded were <3 min. This respiratory behavior suggests continuous swimming, and the paths of the turtles suggested directed movement offshore immediately after nesting. The gradual littoral slope and lack of nearshore structure in this part of the Gulf of Mexico could be contributing factors to the patterns of dispersal observed, as benthic structures provide resting and foraging habitat for loggerheads.
KeywordsBeach Contribute Factor Directed Movement Westerly Direction Southwest Coast
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.