Movement mysteries unveiled: spatial ecology of juvenile green sea turtles

By: , and 
Edited by: William I. Lutterschmidt



Locations of important foraging areas are not well defined for many marine species. Unraveling these mysteries is vital to develop conservation strategies for these species, many of which are threatened or endangered. Satellite-tracking is a tool that can reveal movement patterns at both broad and fine spatial scales, in all marine environments. This chapter presents records of the longest duration track of an individual juvenile green turtle (434 days) and highest number of tracking days in any juvenile green turtle study (5483 tracking days) published to date. In this chapter, we use spatial modeling techniques to describe movements and identify foraging areas for juvenile green turtles (Chelonia mydas) captured in a developmental habitat in south Texas, USA. Some green turtles established residency in the vicinity of their capture and release site, but most used a specific habitat feature (i.e., a jettied pass) to travel between the Gulf of Mexico and a nearby bay. Still others moved southward within the Gulf of Mexico into Mexican coastal waters, likely in response to decreasing water temperatures. These movements to waters off the coast of Mexico highlight the importance of international cooperation in restoration efforts undertaken on behalf of this imperiled species.

Study Area

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Movement mysteries unveiled: spatial ecology of juvenile green sea turtles
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
Publisher location Hauppauge, NY
Contributing office(s) Southeast Ecological Science Center
Description 22 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Other Government Series
Larger Work Title Reptiles in research: investigations of ecology, physiology, and behavior from desert to sea
First page 463
Last page 484
Country Mexico;United States
State Texas
Other Geospatial Gulf Of Mexico
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