Marine Biology

, Volume 159, Issue 7, pp 1527–1535 | Cite as

Foraging grounds, movement patterns and habitat connectivity of juvenile loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) tracked from the Adriatic Sea

  • Paolo Casale
  • Marco Affronte
  • Dino Scaravelli
  • Bojan Lazar
  • Carola Vallini
  • Paolo Luschi
Original Paper

Abstract

Knowledge about migratory routes and highly frequented areas is a priority for sea turtle conservation, but the movement patterns of juveniles frequenting the Adriatic have not been investigated yet, although juveniles represent the bulk of populations. We tracked by satellite six juvenile and one adult female loggerhead from the north Adriatic. The results indicated that loggerhead juveniles (1) can either show a residential behaviour remaining in the Adriatic throughout the year or perform seasonal migrations to other areas, (2) can remain even in the coldest, northernmost area during winter, (3) can frequent relatively small foraging areas, (4) mostly frequent the eastern part of the Adriatic, and (5) follow preferred migratory routes along the western and eastern Adriatic coasts. The movements of the adult turtle also revealed (6) a behavioural polymorphism in Mediterranean adults, which included a lack of area fidelity and connection between distant neritic foraging grounds.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paolo Casale
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marco Affronte
    • 3
  • Dino Scaravelli
    • 4
  • Bojan Lazar
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
  • Carola Vallini
    • 8
  • Paolo Luschi
    • 9
  1. 1.Department of Biology and Biotechnologies “Charles Darwin”University of Rome “La Sapienza”RomeItaly
  2. 2.WWF ItalyRomeItaly
  3. 3.Fondazione Cetacea onlusRiccioneItaly
  4. 4.Large Pelagic Vertebrates Research Group, Faculty of VeterinaryUniversity of BolognaCesenaticoItaly
  5. 5.Department of Biology, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of ZagrebZagrebCroatia
  6. 6.Institute for Biodiversity Studies, Science and Research CentreUniversity of PrimorskaKoperSlovenia
  7. 7.Department of Biodiversity, Faculty of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Information TechnologiesUniversity of PrimorskaKoperSlovenia
  8. 8.A.R.C.H.E.’, Research and Educational Activities for Chelonian Conservation OnlusFerraraItaly
  9. 9.Dipartimento di BiologiaUniversity of PisaPisaItaly

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