Fidelity to foraging sites after long migrations

Shimada, Takahiro, Limpus, Colin J., Hamann, Mark, Bell, Ian, Esteban, Nicole, Groom, Rachel, and Hays, Graeme C. (2020) Fidelity to foraging sites after long migrations. Journal of Animal Ecology, 89 (4). pp. 1008-1016.

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Abstract

Patterns of animal movement associated with foraging lie at the heart of many ecological studies and often animals face decisions of staying in an environment they know versus relocating to new sites.

The lack of knowledge of new foraging sites means there is risk associated with a decision to relocate (e.g. poor foraging) as well as a potential benefit (e.g. improved foraging).

Using a unique long‐term satellite tracking dataset for several sea turtle species, combined with capture–mark–recapture data extending over 50 years, we show how, across species, individuals generally maintain tight fidelity to specific foraging sites after extended (up to almost 10,000 km) migration to and from distant breeding sites as well as across many decades.

Migrating individuals often travelled through suitable foraging areas en route to their ‘home’ site and so extended their journeys to maintain foraging site fidelity. We explore the likely mechanistic underpinnings of this trait, which is also seen in some migrating birds, and suggest that individuals will forgo areas of suitable forage encountered en route during migration when they have poor knowledge of the long‐term suitability of those sites, making relocation to those sites risky.

Item ID: 65062
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1365-2656
Keywords: Argos, biologging, Caretta caretta, Chelonia mydas, Eretmochelys imbricata, Fastloc-GPS, Natator depressus, risk taking
Copyright Information: © 2019 British Ecological Society
Funders: Bertarelli Programme in Marine Science (BPMS), Queensland Department of Environment and Science, Gladstone Ports Corporation (GPC), Sea World Australia, Healthy Waterways, Bundaberg Brewed Drinks
Projects and Grants: BPMS2017‐7-4
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2020 23:58
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0608 Zoology > 060801 Animal Behaviour @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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