Data from: Natal foraging philopatry in eastern Pacific hawksbill turtles
Gaos, Alexander R. et al. (2017), Data from: Natal foraging philopatry in eastern Pacific hawksbill turtles, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.38t23
The complex processes involved with animal migration have long been a subject of biological interest and broad-scale movement patterns of many marine turtle populations still remain unresolved. While it is widely accepted that once marine turtles reach sexual maturity they home to natal areas for nesting or reproduction, the role of philopatry to natal areas during other life stages has received less scrutiny, despite widespread evidence across the taxa. Here we report on genetic research that indicates that juvenile hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) in the eastern Pacific Ocean use foraging grounds in the region of their natal beaches, a pattern we term natal foraging philopatry (NFP). Our findings confirm that traditional views of natal homing solely for reproduction are incomplete and that many marine turtle species exhibit philopatry to natal areas to forage. Our results have important implications for life-history research and conservation of marine turtles and may extend to other wide-ranging marine vertebrates that demonstrate natal philopatry.
Eastern Pacific Ocean