Marine Biology

, Volume 161, Issue 4, pp 863–870 | Cite as

Survival and remigration probabilities for loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) nesting in the eastern Gulf of Mexico

  • Katrina F. Phillips
  • Katherine L. Mansfield
  • David J. Die
  • David S. Addison
Original Paper


Few long-term mark-recapture tagging datasets exist to estimate population parameters for loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) recovery units. Using a two-state open robust design model, we analyzed a 20-year (1990–2009) mark-recapture dataset from the Keewaydin Island loggerhead nesting assemblage off the southwest coast of Florida (USA) in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. For this analysis, 2,292 turtle encounters were evaluated, representing 841 individual nesting turtles. Survival was estimated at 0.73 (95 % CI 0.69–0.76). This estimate is comparable with survival estimates elsewhere in the Peninsular Florida subpopulation and is among the lowest estimates for the Northwest Atlantic loggerhead population. We documented no changes in remigration rates or clutch frequency over time. These are the first survival and remigration probabilities estimated for a loggerhead nesting assemblage in the eastern Gulf of Mexico.


Nest Season Loggerhead Turtle Nest Beach Nest State Encounter Probability 



We especially thank the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, all the interns who have collected data on Keewaydin Island over the years, M. Kress and T. Tucker of Mote Marine Lab. Funding for this project was provided in part by the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS), a Cooperative Institute of the University of Miami and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, cooperative agreement #NA17RJ1226 and private donations from members and supporters of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida Sea Turtle Monitoring Project. Thanks also to D. Suman for his guidance and reviews.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katrina F. Phillips
    • 1
  • Katherine L. Mansfield
    • 2
    • 3
  • David J. Die
    • 1
  • David S. Addison
    • 4
  1. 1.Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric ScienceUniversity of MiamiMiamiUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyUniversity of Central FloridaOrlandoUSA
  3. 3.NOAA National Marine Fisheries ServiceSoutheast Fisheries Science CenterMiamiUSA
  4. 4.The Conservancy of Southwest FloridaNaplesUSA

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