3 years ago

Satellite tagging of rehabilitated green sea turtles <i>Chelonia mydas</i> from the United Arab Emirates, including the longest tracked journey for the species

David P. Robinson, Simon J. Pierce, Christoph A. Rohner, Warren R. Baverstock, Rima W. Jabado, Kevin P. Hyland

by David P. Robinson, Rima W. Jabado, Christoph A. Rohner, Simon J. Pierce, Kevin P. Hyland, Warren R. Baverstock

We collected movement data for eight rehabilitated and satellite-tagged green sea turtles Chelonia mydas released off the United Arab Emirates between 2005 and 2013. Rehabilitation periods ranged from 96 to 1353 days (mean = 437 ± 399 days). Seven of the eight tagged turtles survived after release; one turtle was killed by what is thought to be a post-release spear gun wound. The majority of turtles (63%) used shallow-water core habitats and established home ranges between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the same area in which they had originally washed ashore prior to rescue. Four turtles made movements across international boundaries, highlighting that regional cooperation is necessary for the management of the species. One turtle swam from Fujairah to the Andaman Sea, a total distance of 8283 km, which is the longest published track of a green turtle. This study demonstrates that sea turtles can be successfully reintroduced into the wild after sustaining serious injury and undergoing prolonged periods of intense rehabilitation.

Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0184286

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