Adult female sea turtles are highly migratory, moving between foraging and nesting areas that can be thousands of kilometers apart. Conserving sea turtles and their habitats therefore depends on knowledge of space use across these migration-linked environments. Here, we describe migratory behavior of hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata), a globally imperiled species. We used satellite telemetry to characterize the movements of females from nesting areas in Jamaica (n = 4) and Antigua (n = 4), West Indies, over 1998–2001. We mapped migrations and summarized space use during inter-nesting and foraging periods with kernel utilization distributions (UDs) and minimum convex polygons. Seven of eight turtles made post-nesting migrations, with paths ranging 56–1324 km in length, representing straight-line displacements of 68–1206 km. Two turtles sampled in southern Jamaica made short-range migrations within southern Jamaican waters, whereas two from northern Jamaica migrated further to foraging areas in the waters of Belize and Honduras. Three migrants sampled at Long Island, Antigua migrated to St. Eustatius, St. Kitts, and Redonda, respectively, with a fourth individual remaining resident in northeastern Antigua. Inter-nesting movements observed for three turtles produced 50% UDs ranging 12–44 km2, with centroid depths between 4–13 m. Foraging UDs for seven turtles spanned 8–111 km2 and 2–161 m in depth. Our results reveal variable migratory strategies, demonstrate international connectivity between hawksbill foraging and nesting habitats, and provide important information for Caribbean conservation efforts such as the design of protected areas or fisheries policies.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 52 • No. 1