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International movements of immature and adult hawksbill turtles in the Caribbean region


, : International movements of immature and adult hawksbill turtles in the Caribbean region. Chelonian Conservation & Biology 3(2): 189-194, April

International movements of 19 adult and 9 immature hawksbills in the Caribbean region are summarized. Adult hawksbills traveled minimum distances of 110-1936 km, immatures traveled 46-900 km. These data and results of molecular genetic studies in the Caribbean refute the hypothesis that hawksbills are non-migratory. Compared with other marine turtle species, relatively few hawksbills have been tagged-an approximate cumulative total of 2500 individuals at the major nesting sites in the Caribbean during the last 40 years. International recapture rates of adult female hawksbills tagged on the nesting beach are on the order of 0-3.5%, which is comparable to those of other species of marine turtles that are considered to be highly migratory. High rates of local recapture of immatures on feeding grounds suggest long-term residency in developmental habitats. Knowledge of the schedules and routes of migrations is crucial to the effective management of hawksbills on both regional and multinational levels.

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