AbstractThe migratory movements of 14 olive ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) in the Bay of Bengal were studied using satellite telemetry during 20092010. Tracking data show that olive ridley turtles undertake open-ocean migrations in the bay and exhibit migratory corridor between foraging habitat of Sri Lanka and nesting sites along the Odisha coast of India. Tracking durations ranged 7331 d (mean 15195.9 d). The tracked turtles had a mean traveling speed of 2.490.02 km/hr and moved an average of 31.7 km/d, remaining within a mean distance of 163.2850.9 km (range, 1535 km) from the east coast of India. Turtles occupied waters with sea surface temperature (SST) ranging from 24C to 31C with chlorophyll concentrations of 0 to 3.9 mg/m3. Our study confirms that olive ridley turtles in the Bay of Bengal move within a broad range of SSTs and chlorophyll a concentrations; no correlation was found between turtle movements and these 2 oceanographic parameters (r20.02, n77). Our data indicate that many habitats within the Bay of Bengal are important for olive ridley turtles and that the entire bay should be considered a priority conservation region for this vulnerable species.
Chelonian Conservation and Biology – Allen Press
Published: Jun 15, 2018
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