High fidelity of sea turtles to their foraging grounds revealed by satellite tracking and capture-mark-recapture: New insights for the establishment of key marine conservation areas

Type Article
Date 2020-10
Language English
Author(s) Siegwalt Flora1, Benhamou Simon2, Girondot Marc3, Jeantet Lorène1, Martin Jordan1, Bonola Marc1, Lelong Pierre1, Grand Clément1, Chambault Philippine4, Benhalilou Abdelwahab5, Murgale Céline5, Maillet Thomas5, Andreani Lucas5, Campistron Guilhem5, Jacaria François5, Hielard Gaëlle6, Arqué Alexandre6, Etienne Denis7, Gresser Julie7, Régis Sidney1, Lecerf Nicolas1, Frouin Cédric1, Lefebvre Fabien8, Aubert Nathalie8, Vedie Fabien7, Barnerias Cyrille7, Thieulle Laurent1, Guimera Christelle1, Bouaziz Myriam1, Pinson Adrien9, Flora Frédéric1, George Francis10, Eggenspieler Joffrey10, Woignier Thierry11, Allenou Jean-PierreORCID12, Louis-Jean Laurent13, Chanteur Bénédicte13, Béranger Christelle13, Crillon Jessica14, Brador Aude14, Habold Caroline1, Le Maho Yvon1, Robin Jean Patrice1, Chevallier Damien1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Université de Strasbourg, CNRS, IPHC UMR 7178, 23 rue Becquerel, 67000 Strasbourg, France
2 : Centre d'Écologie Fonctionnelle et Évolutive, CNRS, 1919 route de Mende, 34293 Montpellier, France
3 : Laboratoire Écologie, Systématique, Évolution, AgroParisTech, CNRS, Université Paris Saclay, 91405 Orsay, France
4 : UMR MARBEC, IFREMER, CNRS, IRD, University of Montpellier, avenue Jean Monnet, 34200 Sète, France
5 : Association POEMM, 73 lot papayers, Anse à l'âne, 97229 Les Trois Ilets, France
6 : Office de l'Eau Martinique, 7 avenue Condorcet, 97200 Fort-de-France, France
7 : DEAL Martinique, Pointe de Jaham, 97274 Schœlcher, France
8 : Association ACWAA, rue grand fleur, quartier Epinay, 97228 Sainte-Luce, France
9 : Surfrider Foundation Europe Martinique, France
10 : ONF International, 78 route de Moutte, 97207 Fort-de-France, France
11 : Aix Marseille University, University Avignon, CNRS, IRD, IMBE, 13397 Marseille, France
12 : IFREMER Délégation de Martinique, 79 route de Pointe-Fort, 97231 Le Robert, France
13 : PNR Martinique, Maison du Parc, 97205 Fort-de-France, France
14 : Parc naturel marin de Martinique, Office Français de la Biodiversité, 97233 Schœlcher, France
Source Biological Conservation (0006-3207) (Elsevier BV), 2020-10 , Vol. 250 , P. 108742 (8p.)
DOI 10.1016/j.biocon.2020.108742
WOS© Times Cited 19
Keyword(s) Green turtle, Habitat use, Home range, Residency, Developmental area, Seagrass

Movement ecology studies are essential to protect highly mobile threatened species such as the green turtle (Chelonia mydas), classified as an endangered species by the IUCN. In 2019, the South Atlantic subpopulation has been downlisted to ‘Least Concern’, but the maintenance of this status strongly relies on the pursuit of research and conservation, especially on immatures, which contribute to the demographic renewal of this subpopulation. Identifying marine areas used by immatures is therefore crucial to implement efficient measures for the conservation of sea turtles in the Caribbean. We analysed data of capture-mark-recapture of 107 (out of 299) immatures recaptured at least once in Martinique, and satellite tracked 24 immatures to investigate their site fidelity and habitat use. Our results revealed a strong fidelity to foraging grounds, with mean residence times higher than 2 years, and with a high degree of affinity for specific areas within the coastal marine vegetation strip. Home ranges (95% kernel contour) and core areas (50% kernel contour) varied from 0.17 to 235.13 km2 (mean ± SD = 30.73 ± 54.34 km2) and from 0.03 to 22.66 km2 (mean ± SD = 2.95 ± 5.06 km2), respectively. Our findings shed light on a critical developmental area for immature green turtles in the French West Indies, and should help to refine Regional Management Units and reinforce the cooperative network aiming at ensuring conservation of the species at international scale.

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Siegwalt Flora, Benhamou Simon, Girondot Marc, Jeantet Lorène, Martin Jordan, Bonola Marc, Lelong Pierre, Grand Clément, Chambault Philippine, Benhalilou Abdelwahab, Murgale Céline, Maillet Thomas, Andreani Lucas, Campistron Guilhem, Jacaria François, Hielard Gaëlle, Arqué Alexandre, Etienne Denis, Gresser Julie, Régis Sidney, Lecerf Nicolas, Frouin Cédric, Lefebvre Fabien, Aubert Nathalie, Vedie Fabien, Barnerias Cyrille, Thieulle Laurent, Guimera Christelle, Bouaziz Myriam, Pinson Adrien, Flora Frédéric, George Francis, Eggenspieler Joffrey, Woignier Thierry, Allenou Jean-Pierre, Louis-Jean Laurent, Chanteur Bénédicte, Béranger Christelle, Crillon Jessica, Brador Aude, Habold Caroline, Le Maho Yvon, Robin Jean Patrice, Chevallier Damien (2020). High fidelity of sea turtles to their foraging grounds revealed by satellite tracking and capture-mark-recapture: New insights for the establishment of key marine conservation areas. Biological Conservation, 250, 108742 (8p.). Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2020.108742 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00644/75651/