Marine Biology

, Volume 160, Issue 3, pp 617–627 | Cite as

Home range of immature green turtles tracked at an offshore tropical reef using automated passive acoustic technology

  • Julia HazelEmail author
  • Mark Hamann
  • Ivan R. Lawler
Original Paper


Seventeen immature green turtles Chelonia mydas were tracked concurrently by automated ultrasonic receivers at a coral reef off North-Eastern Australia (September–December 2010, 16.4°S, 145.6°E). The majority (n = 11) were tracked for the entire 100-day study, the remainder for 23–85 days. Detection data aggregated at 30-min intervals produced median 6.5–35 daily locations for individual turtles. Home range areas (95 % utilisation distribution) were ≤1 km2, \( {\bar{\text{x}}} \) ± SD = 0.74 km2 ± 0.159. To the best of our knowledge, these are the first home range estimates for C. mydas foraging at offshore tropical reefs. The findings are important for conservation in revealing near-continuous presence of the same individuals within a small geographic area. Time between detections was very short (median <3 min) demonstrating passive ultrasonic technology can track multiple turtles in a foraging environment with higher temporal resolution than typically achieved by satellite tracking.


Home Range Great Barrier Reef Reef Flat Green Turtle Satellite Tracking 
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.



Equipment and logistical support were provided by private donors, James Cook University, Queensland Parks and Wildlife and Quicksilver Connections. Grateful thanks to Ian Bell, Col Limpus, Colin Simpfendorfer and Michelle Heupel for expert advice, to Sam Dibella and volunteers for fieldwork assistance, to Clement Calenge and colleagues for adehabitatHR and to peer reviewers for helpful suggestions. Field research was conducted under the authority of James Cook University Ethics Approval A1474 and scientific research permits G10/33206.1, G10/33897.1 and WISP06563509.

Supplementary material

227_2012_2117_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1.1 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 1155 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Earth and Environmental SciencesJames Cook UniversityTownsvilleAustralia
  2. 2.Centre for Tropical Water and Aquatic Ecosystem ResearchTownsvilleAustralia

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