Oceanic survival and movements of wild and captive-reared immature green turtles (Chelonia mydas) in the Indian Ocean

  • Pelletier D
  • Roos D
  • Ciccione S
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Abstract

The ability of captive-reared turtles to survive in the wild is not precisely known, nor are movements of immature turtles in the open ocean. To provide information on these issues, a satellite tracking experiment was conducted in the western Indian Ocean to monitor oceanic movements of immature green turtles. Two wild turtles and four captive-reared individuals were tracked. The latter had been displaced after birth from nesting sites to a distant rearing site. Wild turtles survived after release, but did not move far away from release site. We hypothesize that this resident behaviour may be explained by stage-specific habitat requirements. Captive-reared turtles survived after release and migrated over thousands of kilometres. Among these, the oldest immature turtles retrieved the foraging sites of their native population, with movement patterns similar to those displayed by adults. Observed movements may be linked to hydrographic conditions such as general oceanic circulation, sea temperature and thermal fronts. © 2003 Éditions scientifiques et médicales Elsevier SAS and Ifremer/IRD/Inra/Cemagref. All rights reserved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Captive-reared
  • Chelonia mydas
  • Indian Ocean
  • Marine turtle
  • Migration pattern
  • Satellite telemetry

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Authors

  • Dominique Pelletier

  • David Roos

  • Stéphane Ciccione

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