Foraging of the green sea turtle Chelonia mydas on seagrass beds at Mayotte Island (Indian Ocean), determined by acoustic transmitters
|Author(s)||Taquet Coralie1, 2, Taquet Marc1, Dempster T3, Soria M4, Ciccione S5, Roos David1, Dagorn L6|
|Affiliation(s)||1 : IFREMER, Inst Francais Rech Exploitat Mer, F-97822 Le Port, France.
2 : INA PG, Inst Natl Agron Paris Grignon, F-75005 Paris, France.
3 : SINTEF, N-7465 Trondheim, Norway.
4 : IRD, F-97492 St Clotilde, Reunion.
5 : CEDTM, F-97898 St Leu, France.
6 : IRD, Victoria, Mahe, Seychelles.
|Source||Marine Ecology Progress Series (0171-8630) (Inter-Research), 2006 , Vol. 306 , P. 295-302|
|WOS© Times Cited||50|
|Keyword(s)||Foraging rhythm, Listening station, Acoustic transmitter, Green sea turtle, Mayotte, Southwestern Indian Ocean, Chelonia mydas|
|Abstract||We studied the foraging rhythms of green sea turtles Chelonia mydas on the seagrass beds of N'Gouja Bay, Mayotte Island (Comoros Archipelago) with acoustic transmitters and moored listening stations. We monitored 8 tagged turtles (4 probable males, 3 probable females and 1 immature), from 70 to 109 cm curved carapace length (CCL), for durations ranging from 5 to 92 d. The turtles exhibited a regular diel pattern: they foraged mainly during the day (on average 87% of seagrass detections were between 06:00 and 18:00 h) and rested on the inner reef slope during the night. Night time feeding activities were observed on the seagrass bed when the night light was high. The presence of turtles on the seagrass bed at night was significantly correlated with a night light index (r = 0.54, p = 0.002), which included both moon light and cloudiness indices. Behaviour of the only immature individual observed was similar to adult turtles, although it rested more frequently around noon. All turtles displayed a high fidelity to 1 foraging site within the seagrass bed. Acoustic transmitters and permanent listening stations are an appropriate technique for long-term behavioural studies of turtles, with no human interaction with turtles during tracking, and represent a suitable technique to assess the possible effects of environmental changes or human activities upon green turtle behaviour.|