The research, funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), shows for the first time that marine turtles appear to be as loyal to specific foraging sites and migratory routes as they are to nesting sites. Published today (25 April) in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, the findings strengthen the argument for the protection of key foraging sites of these endangered species.
‘The extent to which turtles showed fidelity to specific foraging sites and routes was a surprise,’ said Dr Annette Broderick of the University of Exeter. ‘Marine turtles migrate hundreds of miles between breeding and foraging grounds, so it is amazing that they are able to return to exactly the same sites via very similar routes. We do not yet know why they return to the same sites, but these findings give us a much better picture of the behaviour of adult turtles at sea, where they spend the majority of their life cycle.’
Scientists have long known that marine turtles return to the same breeding sites each year, but did not know until now that they also revisited foraging sites. Dr Broderick and her team tracked twenty green and loggerhead turtles nesting at two beaches on Cyprus, using satellite transmitters. All females tracked for more than six months remained in the same foraging grounds, moving to deeper water for the winter where they conducted dives of up to a record breaking 10.2 hours. Five females were also tracked when they nested again up to five years later and returned to the same foraging sites.
Green turtles have been observed cropping sea grass gardens to encourage new growth, so there could be a benefit to them returning to foraging grounds. Loggerheads have an omnivorous diet, including molluscs and crustacea, so the benefit to them revisiting feeding areas is unclear. Scientists do not yet know why this behaviour has evolved, but it is possible that sea turtles are territorial or are responding to limited food resources by sticking to their own feeding patches.
‘There are estimated to be as few as 300 female green turtles breeding annually in the Mediterranean,’ continued Dr Broderick. ‘This new information is timely and our research findings strengthen the case for the protection of key migratory and foraging areas. We have shared our findings with the Libyan authorities and are encouraging them to investigate these ‘hotspots’ further.
One of the major threats to marine turtles globally is fisheries bycatch. Hundreds of thousands of marine turtles die each year as a result of fisheries interactions. Identifying and protecting key habitats is critical for the future of these endangered species.
Sarah Hoyle | alfa
A Map of the Cell’s Power Station
18.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
On the way to developing a new active ingredient against chronic infections
18.08.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
18.08.2017 | Life Sciences
18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences