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1 May 2005 Fine-Scale Tracking of Marine Turtles Using GPS-Argos PTTs
Tohya Yasuda, Nobuaki Arai
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High-accuracy location data of wildlife telemetry using conventional satellite location systems are difficult to obtain. However, such data are necessary to clarify the nature of movements and home range sizes of animals. In order to measure the high-accuracy location data, we developed new GPS-Argos Platform Terminal Transmitters (PTTs) which transmit both the conventional location and GPS location simultaneously. Two experiments, one in an artificial rearing pond and the other in the open sea, were performed. First, two hawksbill turtles were tracked with the PTTs in a 5 ha breeding pond in Thailand. Their home ranges using both data were calculated and found to be 2.96 ha and 0.93 ha by the GPS data, and 156,740 ha and 184,478 ha by a conventional data. Secondly, a female green turtle attached with the GPS-Argos was released from the coast of Pangnga Province, Thailand. There was a relationship between depth and speed of travel based on the GPS data. The data from the PTT showed that the turtle moved south along the coastline at the depth of less than 20 m for 5 days, and then stayed at a depth of less than 10 m for 4 days. However, we could not find any clear relationship using conventional data. Only a meandering movement at a variety of depths was observed. The results of the two experiments indicated the PTTs have an enormous potential for enhancing our understanding of fine-scale movement patterns and home ranges of marine turtles.

Tohya Yasuda and Nobuaki Arai "Fine-Scale Tracking of Marine Turtles Using GPS-Argos PTTs," Zoological Science 22(5), 547-553, (1 May 2005).
Received: 3 February 2005; Accepted: 1 March 2005; Published: 1 May 2005
Argos system
home range
marine turtles
satellite tracking
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