Spatial movements and foraging habitat of leatherback sea turtles from the St. Croix, USVI nesting population
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Life Stage: Adult
Release Date: 2008-05-18 07:30:00
Last Location: 2008-06-02 00:26:58
This adult female leatherback (156cm CCL/115cm CCW) was tagged with a satellite transmitter and given a stomach temperature pill on 18-May-2008. The turtle, named "Penelope", was tracked at sea for 14.7 d, but returned to nest at SPNWR after 28.9 d. Penelope traveled a minimum straight-line distance of 849 km in the Caribbean Sea, traveled in a clockwise pattern, and had a mean traveling rate (not corrected for currents) of 61.3 ± 27.6 km/d during the 14.7 d tracking period.
After departing from SPNWR, Penelope traveled west southwestward for 4 d (traveling rate range: 52.2 to 74.5 km/d). The turtle’s maximum displacement from SPNWR was 224.3 km and was recorded on day 3 of her tracking period. Between her days 5-8 at sea, Penelope traveled mainly north northwestward toward Puerto Rico (traveling rate range: 25.6 to 61.1 km/d). On the night of day 8 at sea, Penelope was located in waters < 12 km offshore of Puerto Rico’s southern coastline and was tracked traveling east northeastward. Penelope continued traveling generally east northeastward over her internesting tracking days 9-12 (traveling rate range: 47.4 to 101.1 km/d). By mid-day on day 14 of her tracking period, Penelope began shifting from a southeastward to a westward traveling direction, and headed toward the east coast of St. Croix. The turtle’s last available satellite location was on her tracking day 14 at 20:26, and she was located (Argos LC 0) 4.0 km offshore of SPNWR. The turtle returned to nest at SPNWR without her PTT approximately 14 d after her last available satellite location.
Penelope began nesting at SPNWR in 2004.