Unusual behaviour of an immature loggerhead turtle released in the Alboran Sea

Bellido, J. J.  Báez, J. C.  Castillo, J. J.  Martín, J. J.  Mons, J. L.  Real, R. 

Abstract

A juvenile loggerhead turtle with buoyancy problems was captured in the Alboran Sea (Mediterranean Sea, south of Spain) and released 14 months later after healing. Six days after the release, the turtle was seen swimming 42 km from the point of release, displaying unusual behaviour. We re-captured and released it again, 95 nautical miles offshore, near the Alboran Island. Ten days later the turtle arrived at the beach close to where it had been maintained in captivity. We discuss these findings in the context of behavioural alteration and habituation in released sea turtles. Capture-mark-recapture studies of sea turtles should be approached with caution as manipulated animals may modify their usual behaviour.

Key words

Sea turtle, Captivity, Capture-mark-recapture, Post-release, Mediterranean Sea

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Índex de Volume 33.1 (2010)

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