Marine Biology

, Volume 159, Issue 1, pp 113–125 | Cite as

Migration, distribution, and diving behavior of adult male loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) following dispersal from a major breeding aggregation in the Western North Atlantic

  • Michael D. ArendtEmail author
  • Albert L. Segars
  • Julia I. Byrd
  • Jessica Boynton
  • Jeffrey A. Schwenter
  • J. David Whitaker
  • Lindsey Parker
Original Paper


Sixteen satellite-tagged adult male loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) dispersed widely from an aggregation near Port Canaveral, Florida, USA (28°23′N, −80°32′W) after breeding. Northbound males migrated further (990 ± 303 km) than southbound males (577 ± 168 km) and transited more rapidly (median initial dive duration = 6 (IQR = 4–16) versus 19 (IQR = 10–31) min, respectively).. Migration occurred along a depth corridor (20–40 m) except where constricted by a narrow continental shelf width. Males foraged in areas 27 ± 41 km2 day−1 at locations <1–80 km from shore for 100.1 ± 60.6 days, with variability in foraging patterns not explained by turtle size or geography. Post-breeding dispersal patterns were similar to patterns reported for adult female loggerhead sea turtles in this region and adult male loggerhead sea turtles elsewhere in the northern hemisphere; however, foraging ground distributions were most similar to adult female loggerhead sea turtles in this region.


Continental Shelf Location Class Minimum Convex Polygon Diving Behavior Dive Duration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank R. Brill (Virginia Institute of Marine Science) and anonymous reviewers for critical edits to earlier versions of this manuscript and subsequent contribution to this manuscript. Funding was provided by NOAA Fisheries grant NA03NMF4720281, and this research was conducted under Section 10(a)(1)(A) permit #1540 and Florida Marine Turtle Permit #163. This is contribution #686 of the Marine Resources Division of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

Supplementary material

227_2011_1826_MOESM1_ESM.doc (36 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 35 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael D. Arendt
    • 1
    Email author
  • Albert L. Segars
    • 1
  • Julia I. Byrd
    • 1
  • Jessica Boynton
    • 1
  • Jeffrey A. Schwenter
    • 1
  • J. David Whitaker
    • 1
  • Lindsey Parker
    • 2
  1. 1.Marine Resources DivisionSouth Carolina Department of Natural ResourcesCharlestonUSA
  2. 2.University of Georgia, Marine Extension ServiceBrunswickUSA

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