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Stable Isotope Tracking of Endangered Sea Turtles: Validation with Satellite Telemetry and d15N Analysis of Amino Acids

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dc.contributor.author Tapilatu, Ricardo F.
dc.date.accessioned 2019-05-01T08:12:43Z
dc.date.available 2019-05-01T08:12:43Z
dc.date.issued 2012-05
dc.identifier.citation https://scholar.google.co.id/citations?user=Rc6TcPMAAAAJ&hl=id&oi=ao en_US
dc.identifier.issn 1932-6203.
dc.identifier.uri http://repository.unipa.ac.id:8080/xmlui/handle/123456789/129
dc.description.abstract Effective conservation strategies for highly migratory species must incorporate information about long-distance movements and locations of high-use foraging areas. However, the inherent challenges of directly monitoring these factors call for creative research approaches and innovative application of existing tools. Highly migratory marine species, such as marine turtles, regularly travel hundreds or thousands of kilometers between breeding and feeding areas, but identification of migratory routes and habitat use patterns remains elusive. Here we use satellite telemetry in combination with compound- specific isotope analysis of amino acids to confirm that insights from bulk tissue stable isotope analysis can reveal divergent migratory strategies and within-population segregation of foraging groups of critically endangered leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) across the Pacific Ocean. Among the 78 turtles studied, we found a distinct dichotomy in d15N values of bulk skin, with distinct ‘‘low d15N’’ and ‘‘high d15N’’ groups. d15N analysis of amino acids confirmed that this disparity resulted from isotopic differences at the base of the food chain and not from differences in trophic position between the two groups. Satellite tracking of 13 individuals indicated that their bulk skin d15N value was linked to the particular foraging region of each turtle. These findings confirm that prevailing marine isoscapes of foraging areas can be reflected in the isotopic compositions of marine turtle body tissues sampled at nesting beaches. We use a Bayesian mixture model to show that between 82 and 100% of the 78 skin-sampled turtles could be assigned with confidence to either the eastern Pacific or western Pacific, with 33 to 66% of all turtles foraging in the eastern Pacific. Our forensic approach validates the use of stable isotopes to depict leatherback turtle movements over broad spatial ranges and is timely for establishing wise conservation efforts in light of this species’ imminent risk of extinction in the Pacific. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service and the University of Hawai’i en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher PLoS ONE en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries ;Vol. 7 No. 5
dc.subject Sea Turtles en_US
dc.subject Isotope Tracking en_US
dc.subject Satellite Telemetry en_US
dc.title Stable Isotope Tracking of Endangered Sea Turtles: Validation with Satellite Telemetry and d15N Analysis of Amino Acids en_US
dc.type Article en_US

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