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Predicting the distribution of oceanic-stage Kemp's ridley sea turtles

TitlePredicting the distribution of oceanic-stage Kemp's ridley sea turtles
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsPutman, NF, Mansfield, KL, He, R, Shaver, DJ, Verley, P
JournalBiology Letters
Volume9
Pagination20130345
Date Publishedoct
ISSN1744-9561, 1744-957X
Keywordsdistribution, Gulf of Mexico, movement ecology, ocean circulation model, sea turtle
Abstract

The inaccessibility of open ocean habitat and the cryptic nature of small animals are fundamental problems when assessing the distribution of oceanic-stage sea turtles and other marine animals sharing similar life-history traits. Most methods that estimate patterns of abundance cannot be applied in situations that are extremely data limited. Here, we use a movement ecology framework to generate the first predicted distributions for the oceanic stage of the Kemp's ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii). Our simulations of particle dispersal within ocean circulation models reveal substantial annual variation in distribution and survival among simulated cohorts. Such techniques can help prioritize areas for conservation, and supply inputs for more realistic demographic models attempting to characterize population trends.

URLhttp://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/9/5/20130345
DOI10.1098/rsbl.2013.0345