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Endangered Species Research

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ESR 15:77-86 (2011)  -  DOI:

Satellite-tracked movements of female Dermochelys coriacea from southeastern Brazil

Antonio P. Almeida1,*, Scott A. Eckert2, Soraya C. Bruno3, Juarez T. Scalfoni1, Bruno Giffoni4, Milagros López-Mendilaharsu5,6, João Carlos A. Thomé

1Projeto TAMAR/ICMBio, Linhares, ES, CEP 29900-970, Brazil
2Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST), Ballwin, Missouri 63011, USA
3Fundação Pró-TAMAR, Vitória, ES, CEP 29040-715, Brazil
4Fundação Pró-TAMAR, Ubatuba, São Paulo, CEP 11680-000, Brazil
5Fundação Pró-TAMAR, Salvador, BA, CEP 41815-135, Brazil
6Programa de Pos-Graduação em Ecologia e Evolução, Departamento de Ecologia, IBRAG, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, RJ, CEP 20550-019, Brazil

ABSTRACT: Four female leatherback sea turtles Dermochelys coriacea were satellite tracked from the southeastern coast of Brazil (3 from nesting beaches in the state of Espírito Santo, and 1 recovered from a driftnet off the coast of the state of São Paulo), representing the first study of movements of leatherbacks nesting on Brazilian grounds. The results suggest that during the internesting period, leatherbacks may disperse up to 160 km from the nesting beach using an area of 4400 km2. Tracking also revealed shared feeding areas in southern South America, comprising Brazilian, Uruguayan, and Argentinean waters, and highlighted important interactions with fisheries along nesting, migratory, and feeding habitats. The presence in migratory/foraging areas of turtles from at least 2 different nesting populations from both sides of the South Atlantic Ocean supports the concept that management efforts for this species must incorporate a broad regional perspective.

KEY WORDS: Dermochelys coriacea · Satellite telemetry · Migration · Internesting · Postnesting · Atlantic Ocean

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Cite this article as: Almeida AP, Eckert SA, Bruno SC, Scalfoni JT, Giffoni B, López-Mendilaharsu M, Thomé JCA (2011) Satellite-tracked movements of female Dermochelys coriacea from southeastern Brazil. Endang Species Res 15:77-86.

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