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 01:49:00
Release Location: St. Croix, USVI
Last Location: 2008-09-18 15:42:42
This adult female leatherback (151cm CCL/111cm CCW) was tagged with a satellite transmitter and given a stomach temperature pill on 17-May-2008. The turtle, named "Olivia", traveled a minimum straight-line distance of 7526 km over a 123 d post-nesting tracking period, which included a post-nesting migration in the Atlantic Ocean.
Olivia was located (Argos LC 0) 2.4 km offshore of the southern coast of Vieques, Puerto Rico on day 3 (16 May 2008) of her post-nesting tracking period. She traveled westward for the following 3 d and remained < 35 km offshore of Puerto Rico. On day 6 (27 May 2008) of her tracking period, Olivia traveled east northeastward and was < 25 km offshore of Puerto Rico. The turtle was located (Argos LC 0) < 5 km offshore of Puerto Rico on day 9 of her tracking period (27 May 2008). Thereafter, Olivia moved east northeastward and was located (Argos LC 0) < 5 km offshore of Vieques Puerto Rico on day 10 of her tracking period (28 May 2008). Although Olivia's satellite locations suggest that she may have attempted to nest on day 9 or 10 of her tracking period at mainland Puerto Rico or Vieques, Puerto Rico, the turtle’s satellite records did not indicate that she was hauled out during these days.
Olivia traveled east southeastward during her post-nesting tracking days 11-12, and was located > 90 km offshore of St. Croix’s east coast on day 12 of her tracking period (30 May 2008). Thereafter, Olivia traveled northward and between the British Virgin Islands and Anguilla and St. Martin/St. Maarten. Olivia was located north of 19º0'0'' N on day 18 (5 June 2008) of her post-nesting tracking period and was tracked for the following 106 d (5 June 2008 to September 18 2008) on a pan-Atlantic post-nesting migration. The turtle’s mean daily traveling rate (not corrected for currents) ranged from 37.9 to 100.6 km/d during her post-nesting migration period (overall mean: 67.7 ± 13.9 km/d). The turtle traveled across the Atlantic Ocean basin, along a similar track as Natasha (also tracked in this study). The turtle’s last available satellite location (Argos LC 0) was on 18 September 2008 at 13º58'19'' W, 48º05' 06'' N, which is ~660 km offshore of the northwestern coast of Spain. Olivia's tracking period ended due to satellite transmitter battery failure.
Olivia has laid seven nests at SPNWR since 2003.