Regional Management Units for Marine Turtles: A Novel Framework for Prioritizing Conservation and Research across Multiple Scales

Type Article
Date 2010-12
Language English
Author(s) Wallace Bryan P.1, 2, 3, Dimatteo Andrew D.1, 4, Hurley Brendan J.1, 2, Finkbeiner Elena M.1, 3, Bolten Alan B.1, 5, Chaloupka Milani Y.1, 6, Hutchinson Brian J.1, 2, Alberto Abreu-Grobois F.1, 7, Amorocho Diego1, 8, Bjorndal Karen A.1, 5, Bourjea JeromeORCID29, Bowen Brian W.1, 9, Briseno Duenas Raquel1, 10, Casale Paolo1, 11, 12, Choudhury B. C.1, 13, Costa Alice1, 14, Dutton Peter H.1, Fallabrino Alejandro1, 15, Girard Adrian1, 16, Girondot Marc1, 17, Godfrey Matthew H.1, 18, Hamann Meike1, 19, Lopez-Mendilaharsu Milagros1, 20, 21, Marcovaldi Maria Angela1, 20, Mortimer Jeanne A.1, Musick John A.1, 22, Nel Ronel1, 23, Pilcher Nicolas J.1, 24, Seminoff Jeffrey A.1, 25, Troeng Sebastian1, 2, 26, 27, Witherington Blair1, 28, Mast Roderic B.1, 2
Affiliation(s) 1 : IUCN, SSC Marine Turtle Specialist Grp, Burning Issues Working Grp, Arlington, VA USA.
2 : Conservat Int, Global Marine Div, Arlington, VA USA.
3 : Duke Univ, Ctr Marine Conservat, Beaufort, NC USA.
4 : Duke Univ, Marine Geospatial Ecol Lab, Durham, NC USA.
5 : Univ Florida, Dept Biol, Archie Carr Ctr Sea Turtle Res, Gainesville, FL USA.
6 : Univ Queensland, Ecol Modelling Serv Pty Ltd, Brisbane, Qld, Australia.
7 : Univ Nacl Autonoma Mexico, Inst Ciencias Mar & Limnol, Unidad Acad Mazatlan, Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico.
8 : Ctr Invest Medio Ambiente & Desarrollo, Cali, Colombia.
9 : Hawaii Inst Marine Biol, Kaneohe, HI USA.
10 : Univ Nacl Autonoma Mexico, Inst Ciencias Mar & Limnol, Unidad Mazatlan, Banco Informac Tortugas Marinas BITMAR, Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico.
11 : Univ Roma La Sapienza, Dept Biol & Biotechnol Charles Darwin, Rome, Italy.
12 : World Wildlife Fund Italy, World Wildlife Fund Mediterranean Turtle Programm, Rome, Italy.
13 : Wildlife Inst India, Dept Endangered Species Management, Dehra Dun, Uttarakhand, India.
14 : World Wildlife Fund Mozambique, Maputo, Mozambique.
15 : Karumbe, Montevideo, Uruguay.
16 : Assoc RENATURA, Albens, France.
17 : Univ Paris 11, Lab Ecol Systemat & Evolut, Orsay, France.
18 : N Carolina Wildlife Resources Commiss, Beaufort, NC USA.
19 : James Cook Univ, Sch Earth & Environm Sci, Townsville, Qld 4811, Australia.
20 : Fundacao Pro Tamar, Projeto Tamar ICMBio, Salvador, BA, Brazil.
21 : Univ Estado Rio de Janeiro, Dept Ecol, BR-20550011 Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
22 : Virginia Inst Marine Sci, Coll William & Mary, Gloucester Point, VA 23062 USA.
23 : Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Univ, Sch Environm Sci, Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
24 : Marine Res Fdn, Sabah, Malaysia.
25 : NOAA, Marine Turtle Ecol & Assessment Program, SW Fisheries Sci Ctr, Natl Marine Fisheries Serv, La Jolla, CA USA.
26 : Lund Univ, Dept Anim Ecol, S-22362 Lund, Sweden.
27 : Sea Turtle Conservancy, Sci Advisory Comm, Gainesville, FL USA.
28 : Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservat Commiss, Melbourne Beach, FL USA.
Source Plos One (1932-6203) (Public Library Science), 2010-12 , Vol. 5 , N. 12 , P. -
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0015465
WOS© Times Cited 336
Abstract Background: Resolving threats to widely distributed marine megafauna requires definition of the geographic distributions of both the threats as well as the population unit(s) of interest. In turn, because individual threats can operate on varying spatial scales, their impacts can affect different segments of a population of the same species. Therefore, integration of multiple tools and techniques - including site-based monitoring, genetic analyses, mark-recapture studies and telemetry - can facilitate robust definitions of population segments at multiple biological and spatial scales to address different management and research challenges. Methodology/Principal Findings: To address these issues for marine turtles, we collated all available studies on marine turtle biogeography, including nesting sites, population abundances and trends, population genetics, and satellite telemetry. We georeferenced this information to generate separate layers for nesting sites, genetic stocks, and core distributions of population segments of all marine turtle species. We then spatially integrated this information from fine-to coarse-spatial scales to develop nested envelope models, or Regional Management Units (RMUs), for marine turtles globally. Conclusions/Significance: The RMU framework is a solution to the challenge of how to organize marine turtles into units of protection above the level of nesting populations, but below the level of species, within regional entities that might be on independent evolutionary trajectories. Among many potential applications, RMUs provide a framework for identifying data gaps, assessing high diversity areas for multiple species and genetic stocks, and evaluating conservation status of marine turtles. Furthermore, RMUs allow for identification of geographic barriers to gene flow, and can provide valuable guidance to marine spatial planning initiatives that integrate spatial distributions of protected species and human activities. In addition, the RMU framework - including maps and supporting metadata - will be an iterative, user-driven tool made publicly available in an online application for comments, improvements, download and analysis.
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Wallace Bryan P., Dimatteo Andrew D., Hurley Brendan J., Finkbeiner Elena M., Bolten Alan B., Chaloupka Milani Y., Hutchinson Brian J., Alberto Abreu-Grobois F., Amorocho Diego, Bjorndal Karen A., Bourjea Jerome, Bowen Brian W., Briseno Duenas Raquel, Casale Paolo, Choudhury B. C., Costa Alice, Dutton Peter H., Fallabrino Alejandro, Girard Adrian, Girondot Marc, Godfrey Matthew H., Hamann Meike, Lopez-Mendilaharsu Milagros, Marcovaldi Maria Angela, Mortimer Jeanne A., Musick John A., Nel Ronel, Pilcher Nicolas J., Seminoff Jeffrey A., Troeng Sebastian, Witherington Blair, Mast Roderic B. (2010). Regional Management Units for Marine Turtles: A Novel Framework for Prioritizing Conservation and Research across Multiple Scales. Plos One, 5(12), -. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :