Home range, habitat use, and migrations of hawksbill turtles tracked from Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida, USA

Marine Ecology Progress Series
By: , and 

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Abstract

To determine habitat-use patterns of sub-adult hawksbills Eretmochelys imbricata, we conducted satellite- and acoustic-tracking of 3 turtles captured in August 2008 within Dry Tortugas National Park (DRTO), south Florida, USA, in the Gulf of Mexico; turtles ranged in size from 51.9 to 69.8 cm straight carapace length. After 263, 699, and 655 d of residence in the park, turtles migrated out of the DRTO. Within the park, core-use areas (i.e. 50% kernel density estimates) were 9.2 to 21.5 km2; all 3 turtle core-use areas overlapped in an area 6.1 km2 within a zone of the park with multiple human uses (e.g. fishing, anchoring). Two turtles migrated to Cuba and ceased transmitting after 320 and 687 tracking days; the third turtle migrated toward Key West, Florida, and ceased transmitting after 884 tracking days. The present study highlights previously unknown regional connections for hawksbills, possible turtle-harvest incidents, and fine-scale habitat use of sub-adult hawksbills within a United States National Park.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Home range, habitat use, and migrations of hawksbill turtles tracked from Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida, USA
Series title Marine Ecology Progress Series
DOI 10.3354/meps09744
Volume 457
Year Published 2012
Language English
Publisher Inter-Research
Publisher location Oldendorf/Luhe, Germany
Contributing office(s) Southeast Ecological Science Center
Description 15 p.
First page 193
Last page 207
Country United States
State Florida
Other Geospatial Dry Tortugas National Park
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N