Inter-Research > ESR > v10 > p123-133  

ESR 10:123-133 (2008)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/esr00128

Post-nesting migratory movements of hawksbill turtles Eretmochelys imbricata in waters adjacent to the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

Eduardo Cuevas1,*, F. Alberto Abreu-Grobois2, Vicente Guzmán-Hernández3, M. A. Liceaga-Correa1, Robert P. van Dam4

1CINVESTAV-IPN, Km. 6 Antig Carr. Progreso, A. P. 73 Cordemex, C. P. 97310, Mérida, Yucatán, México
2Unidad Académica Mazatlán, Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología, UNAM. Calz. Joel Montes Camarena s/n, C.P. 82320, Mazatlán, Sinaloa, México
3Área de Protección de Flora y Fauna Laguna de Términos, Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas, Av. Adolfo López Mateos, Prolongación Playa Norte, C. P. 24140, Ciudad del Carmen, Campeche, México
4Chelonia Inc., PO Box 902708, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00902-0708, USA

ABSTRACT: The Yucatan Peninsula harbors the largest nesting population of hawksbill turtle Eretmochelys imbricata in the Atlantic Basin. In Mexico, one of the most significant conservation problems for this species is the lack of knowledge on migratory patterns and the location of feeding grounds for post-nesting hawksbill females. The main goal of this study was to gather information on the hawksbill’s migratory patterns and the location of their feeding grounds by tracking 3 post-nesting females from Campeche state, Mexico. We attached satellite transmitters and tracked the 3 turtles for 166, 446 and 510 d, respectively. The turtles remained within Mexican territorial waters, reaching separate foraging grounds off the coast of Campeche and in the Mexican Caribbean. No significant relationships were observed between turtles’ migrating behavior and sea-surface temperature or geostrophic currents. Spatial analysis of the data recorded in this study has generated novel information on hawksbill turtle migratory patterns and feeding grounds, which will aid in decision-making for hawksbill turtle conservation in the Yucatan Peninsula.


KEY WORDS: Hawksbill turtle · Yucatan Peninsula · Migration · Post-nesting


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Cite this article as: Cuevas E, Abreu-Grobois FA, Guzmán-Hernández V, Liceaga-Correa MA, van Dam RP (2008) Post-nesting migratory movements of hawksbill turtles Eretmochelys imbricata in waters adjacent to the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. Endang Species Res 10:123-133. https://doi.org/10.3354/esr00128

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