Insights into habitat utilization by green turtles (Chelonia mydas) during the inter-nesting period using animal-borne digital cameras

W. J. Fuller, A. C. Broderick, S. K. Hooker, M. J. Witt, B. J. Godley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many marine turtle habitat utilization studies have historically relied on inferences from logged data or direct visual observation. Here we remotely investigate aspects of the habitat utilization of inter nesting female green turtles (Chelonia mydas) nesting on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. Using an animal-borne digital video camera set to take only still images with an integrated time-depth recorder, we recorded a total of 2,375 images and 2,899 dives for two nesting female green turtles. Both turtles spent over 80% of their time at depths of 5m or less. Photographic evidence allowed us to categorize sub-surface behaviors from 66 of the deeper dives (turtle A, with 40 dives and turtle B with 26 dives) containing more than 900 images into three categories swimming, portable foraging and resting. Methodologically, our study highlights future utility in using camera technologies to clarify at-sea behavior of marine organisms, with a view to generating reliable time budgets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-59
Number of pages9
JournalMarine Technology Society Journal
Volume43
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Keywords

  • Green turtles
  • Foraging behavior
  • Digital imagery
  • Dive behavior
  • Mediterranean
  • DIVING BEHAVIOR
  • SEA-TURTLES
  • ASCENSION-ISLAND
  • VIDEO CAMERAS
  • DIVE PROFILES
  • DEPTH
  • MOVEMENTS
  • PATTERNS
  • CRITTERCAM
  • MIGRATION

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