Marine turtles are long lived species that have decadal lifecycles that span ocean basins. Adults show natal philopatry, typically returning every few years from disparate foraging areas to breed in the coastal area where they hatched.
Their size and accessibility during nesting has meant that, with the advent of satellite telemetry, high precision tracking at a global scale has been possible for several decades. While sample sizes were initially somewhat limited due to cost, these have been increasing over time. Datasets have been combined, and sample sizes have been scaled up using techniques such as stable isotope analysis.
This talk provides an overview of the satellite tracking work Brendan has been involved with and some of the key findings that have been elaborated as to the scale and patterns of movements and their subsequent implications for conservation. These include diversity in life history strategies within populations, highlighting the key national stakeholders with shared responsibility for single populations, increased insight into likely threats related to fisheries, and the importance and efficacy of marine protected area networks.
Biography: Brendan Godley is a marine conservation scientist who has been working on sea turtles since 1989. He is a Professor of Conservation Science at University of Exeter, UK.
Brendan was one of the early adopters of satellite tracking as a means of studying the ecology of marine turtles to afford conservation insights into these highly migratory species. Working closely with local governments and NGOs in host nations, he has been involved in long term projects in numerous regions, in particular the eastern Mediterranean, the Caribbean, and central Africa. In recent years, his work has extended into a broader range of studies including fisheries, marine plastics, marine renewable energy, marine protected areas as well as ecology of other taxa of marine megavertebrates.