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Navigation by green turtles: which strategy do displaced adults use to find Ascension Island?

Åkesson, Susanne LU ; Broderick, A. C.; Glen, F.; Godley, B. J.; Luschi, P.; Papi, F. and Hays, G. C. (2003) In Oikos 103(2). p.363-372
Abstract
Sea turtles are known to perform long-distance, oceanic migrations between disparate feeding areas and breeding sites, some of them located on isolated oceanic islands. These migrations demonstrate impressive navigational abilities, but the sensory mechanisms used are still largely unknown. Green turtles breeding at Ascension Island perform long oceanic migrations (>2200 km) between foraging areas along the Brazilian coast and the isolated island. By performing displacement experiments of female green turtles tracked by satellite telemetry in the waters around Ascension Island we investigated which strategies most probably are used by the turtles in locating the island. In the present paper we analysed the search trajectories in... (More)
Sea turtles are known to perform long-distance, oceanic migrations between disparate feeding areas and breeding sites, some of them located on isolated oceanic islands. These migrations demonstrate impressive navigational abilities, but the sensory mechanisms used are still largely unknown. Green turtles breeding at Ascension Island perform long oceanic migrations (>2200 km) between foraging areas along the Brazilian coast and the isolated island. By performing displacement experiments of female green turtles tracked by satellite telemetry in the waters around Ascension Island we investigated which strategies most probably are used by the turtles in locating the island. In the present paper we analysed the search trajectories in relation to alternative navigation strategies including the use of global geomagnetic cues, ocean currents, celestial cues and wind. The results suggest that the turtles did not use chemical information transported with ocean currents. Neither did the results indicate that the turtles use true bi-coordinate geomagnetic navigation nor did they use indirect navigation with respect to any of the available magnetic gradients (total field intensity, horizontal field intensity, vertical field intensity, inclination and declination) or celestial cues. The female green turtles successfully locating Ascension Island seemed to use a combination of searching followed by beaconing, since they searched for sensory contact with the island until they reached positions NW and N of the Island and from there presumably used cues transported by wind to locate the island during the final stages of the search. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Oikos
volume
103
issue
2
pages
363 - 372
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • wos:000186985700011
  • scopus:0345047718
ISSN
1600-0706
DOI
10.1034/j.1600-0706.2003.12207.x
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
fe79fcd5-0edc-47f4-bba2-a1ca740ab5f4 (old id 131266)
date added to LUP
2007-06-25 12:59:52
date last changed
2018-05-29 09:40:16
@article{fe79fcd5-0edc-47f4-bba2-a1ca740ab5f4,
  abstract     = {Sea turtles are known to perform long-distance, oceanic migrations between disparate feeding areas and breeding sites, some of them located on isolated oceanic islands. These migrations demonstrate impressive navigational abilities, but the sensory mechanisms used are still largely unknown. Green turtles breeding at Ascension Island perform long oceanic migrations (>2200 km) between foraging areas along the Brazilian coast and the isolated island. By performing displacement experiments of female green turtles tracked by satellite telemetry in the waters around Ascension Island we investigated which strategies most probably are used by the turtles in locating the island. In the present paper we analysed the search trajectories in relation to alternative navigation strategies including the use of global geomagnetic cues, ocean currents, celestial cues and wind. The results suggest that the turtles did not use chemical information transported with ocean currents. Neither did the results indicate that the turtles use true bi-coordinate geomagnetic navigation nor did they use indirect navigation with respect to any of the available magnetic gradients (total field intensity, horizontal field intensity, vertical field intensity, inclination and declination) or celestial cues. The female green turtles successfully locating Ascension Island seemed to use a combination of searching followed by beaconing, since they searched for sensory contact with the island until they reached positions NW and N of the Island and from there presumably used cues transported by wind to locate the island during the final stages of the search.},
  author       = {Åkesson, Susanne and Broderick, A. C. and Glen, F. and Godley, B. J. and Luschi, P. and Papi, F. and Hays, G. C.},
  issn         = {1600-0706},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {363--372},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Oikos},
  title        = {Navigation by green turtles: which strategy do displaced adults use to find Ascension Island?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1034/j.1600-0706.2003.12207.x},
  volume       = {103},
  year         = {2003},
}