Few long-term mark-recapture tagging datasets exist to estimate population parameters for loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) recovery units. Using a two-state open robust design model, we analyzed a 20-year (1990-2009) mark-recapture dataset from the Keewaydin Island loggerhead nesting assemblage off the southwest coast of Florida (USA) in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. For this analysis, 2,292 turtle encounters were evaluated, representing 841 individual nesting turtles. Survival was estimated at 0.73 (95 % CI 0.69-0.76). This estimate is comparable with survival estimates elsewhere in the Peninsular Florida subpopulation and is among the lowest estimates for the Northwest Atlantic loggerhead population. We documented no changes in remigration rates or clutch frequency over time. These are the first survival and remigration probabilities estimated for a loggerhead nesting assemblage in the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Aquatic Science