ESR 12:263-272 (2010)  -  doi:10.3354/esr00308

Satellite-tracking of female loggerhead turtles highlights fidelity behavior in northeastern Brazil

Maria Ângela Marcovaldi1,*, Gustave G. Lopez1, Luciano S. Soares1, Eduardo H. S. M. Lima1, João C. A. Thomé2, Antonio P. Almeida2

1Fundação Pró-TAMAR, Caixa Postal 2219, 41950-970 Salvador, BA, Brazil
2Projeto TAMAR/ICMBio, Cx Postal 105, 29900-970 Linhares, ES, Brazil

ABSTRACT: We studied inter- and postnesting movements in the major loggerhead Caretta caretta nesting population in Brazil. Ten breeding females were satellite-tracked from nesting grounds in the state of Bahia, northeastern Brazil, for up to 1284 d. Eight females stayed in the nesting area after deployment, showing fidelity between internesting home ranges and nesting locations, even at a local scale. During postnesting movements, all of the turtles migrated to the northern coast of Brazil to individual foraging areas on the continental shelf. Distances between nesting and foraging areas reached up to 2400 km, and migration lasted from 28 to 47 d. Five females were tracked during subsequent breeding migrations to the nesting area at different remigration intervals of 2 or 3 yr. Females were also tracked during a second postnesting migration back to foraging areas, and these showed strong fidelity to foraging grounds. Movements to and from foraging grounds occurred along the shelf, clearly delineating a migratory corridor. The northern coast of Brazil, specifically the coast of the state of Ceará, is an important foraging ground for loggerheads nesting along the northern coast of Bahia.


KEY WORDS: Satellite-tracking · Caretta caretta · Internesting · Postnesting · Migration · Brazil


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Cite this article as: Marcovaldi MÂ, Lopez GG, Soares LS, Lima EHSM, Thomé JCA, Almeida AP (2010) Satellite-tracking of female loggerhead turtles highlights fidelity behavior in northeastern Brazil. Endang Species Res 12:263-272

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