Large-scale movement patterns of male loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in Shark Bay, Australia

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The Shark Bay World Heritage Property is home to the largest breeding population of loggerhead turtles in Australia. With little known about the movements of males in this population, I assessed the large-scale movement and habitat use patterns of adult male loggerhead turtles to inform conservation strategies. I tagged nine male loggerhead turtles with SPOT satellite tags and tracked them for seven months. Turtles exhibited fidelity to foraging areas considerably smaller than anticipated, with activity space sizes (85 pvc) that were on average 186.0 km2 (± 206.0 sd). To complement tracking data, I interviewed eight Aboriginal fishermen and local ecotourism operators and recorded their traditional and local ecological knowledge concerning loggerhead turtle movements and habitat use. Respondents suggested loggerheads stay within small areas and that there are some areas in the bay where loggerheads are more abundant. Traditional and local ecological knowledge therefore corroborated quantitative satellite tracking data.
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