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Free Content Transpacific Migration of a Loggerhead Turtle Monitored by Satellite Telemetry

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The oceanic movements of a captive-raised adult loggerhead turtle ( Caretta caretta) were monitored with satellite telemetry for 368 d from 10 August 1996 to 12 August 1997. During this time the turtle migrated across the Pacific Ocean, covering more than 11,500 km between Santa Rosaliita, Baja California, Mexico (28°40'N, 114°14'W), and Sendai Bay, Japan (37°54'N, 140°56'E). The average speed during the migration was 1.3 km h−1 and the maximum recorded speed was 1.84 km h−1. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that loggerheads feeding in the eastern Pacific eventually return to nest on western Pacific beaches, a relationship previously inferred from molecular genetic analysis and flipper tag returns. We conclude that loggerhead turtles are capable of transpacific migrations and propose that the band of water between 25° and 30°N, the Subtropical Frontal Zone, may be an important transpacific migratory corridor.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2000

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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