Hawksbill satellite-tracking case study: Implications for remigration interval and population estimates

Marine Turtle Newsletter
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Abstract

Hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) are circumtropically distributed and listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN (Meylan & Donnelly 1999; NMFS & USFWS 1993). To aid in population recovery and protection, the Hawksbill Recovery Plan identified the need to determine demographic information for hawksbills, such as distribution, abundance, seasonal movements, foraging areas (sections 121 and 2211), growth rates, and survivorship (section 2213, NMFS & USFWS 1993). Mark-recapture analyses are helpful in estimating demographic parameters and have been used for hawksbills throughout the Caribbean (e.g., Richardson et al. 1999; Velez-Zuazo et al. 2008); integral to these studies are recaptures at the nesting site as well as remigration interval estimates (Hays 2000). Estimates of remigration intervals (the duration between nesting seasons) are critical to marine turtle population estimates and measures of nesting success (Hays 2000; Richardson et al. 1999). Although hawksbills in the Caribbean generally show natal philopatry and nesting-site fidelity (Bass et al. 1996; Bowen et al. 2007), exceptions to this have been observed for hawksbills and other marine turtles (Bowen & Karl 2007; Diamond 1976; Esteban et al. 2015; Hart et al. 2013). This flexibility in choosing a nesting beach could therefore affect the apparent remigration interval and subsequently, region-wide population counts.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Hawksbill satellite-tracking case study: Implications for remigration interval and population estimates
Series title Marine Turtle Newsletter
Volume 148
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher Marine Turtle Newsletter : seaturtle.org
Contributing office(s) Wetland and Aquatic Research Center
Description 6 p.
First page 2
Last page 7
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N