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


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.


Green Turtle Fishing Gear Satellite Tracking Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite Loggerhead Turtle 
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 all the collaborating fishermen in Italy, Slovenia and Croatia for help in the collection of turtles, the staff of ARCHE’, the Blue World Institute of Marine Research and Conservation, Fondazione Cetacea, the Sea Turtle Rescue Centre of the Aquarium Pula and the Aquarium Piran for keeping the turtles and organisation of public release events, and the Porto Garibaldi Coast Guard and Videosubitalia for their support of the project. PTTs were provided in the framework of the Adria-Watch project (funded by EU Interreg IIIA programme), coordinated by Provincia di Rimini. The study was carried out in accordance with research permits Nos. 531-06/1-02-2 of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Physical Planning of Croatia, and 35701-94/2006 of the Ministry of the Environment, Spatial Planning and Energy of Slovenia. We also thank Resi Mencacci for her help in processing data, and two reviewers for their constructive comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paolo Casale
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • 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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