[MARMAM] Effectiveness of MPAs (Global Ecolgy and Biogeography manuscript)

rebecca scott beckyscott130 at hotmail.com
Tue Apr 3 04:21:03 PDT 2012

Hi all, 
In response to the recent distribution of Andrew Gormley's paper on the effectiveness of MPAs for marine mammals, I thought some of you might be interested in our recent paper in Global Ecology and Biogeography on the effectiveness of MPAs for another marine megavertebtrate:
Scott et al. (2012)  Global analysis of satellite tracking data shows that adult green turtles are significantly aggregated in Marine Protected Areas. Global Ecology and Biogeography. DOI: 10.1111/j.1466-8238.2011.00757.x http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1466-8238.2011.00757.x/abstract
Please see abstract below/contact me if you are interested in receiving a PDF copy of this manuscript. 
Aim Tracking technologies are often proposed as a method to elucidate the complex migratory life histories of migratory marine vertebrates, allowing spatially explicit threats to be identified and mitigated. We conducted a global analysis of foraging areas of adult green turtles (Chelonia mydas) subject to satellite tracking (n= 145) and the conservation designation of these areas according to International Union for Conservation of Nature criteria.
Location The green turtle has a largely circumtropical distribution, with adults migrating up to thousands of kilometres between nesting beaches and foraging areas, typically in neritic seagrass or algal beds. Methods We undertook an assessment of satellite tracking projects that followed the movements of green turtles in tropical and subtropical habitats. This approach was facilitated by the use of the Satellite Tracking and Analysis Tool (http://www.seaturtle.org) and the integration of publicly available data on Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).
Results We show that turtles aggregate in designated MPAs far more than would be expected by chance when considered globally (35% of all turtles were located within MPAs) or separately by ocean basin (Atlantic 67%, Indian 34%,Mediterranean 19%, Pacific 16%). Furthermore,we show that the size, level of protection and time of establishment of MPAs affects the likelihood of MPAs containing foraging turtles, highlighting the importance of large, well-established reserves. 
Main conclusions Our findings constitute compelling evidence of the worldwide effectiveness of extant MPAs in circumscribing important foraging habitats for a marine megavertebrate
Best wishes,

Rebecca Scott, 

NERC funded PhD student,
Supervisors: Professor Graeme Hays, Professor Rory Wilson and Dr Robert Marsh
School of Bioscience,
Swansea University, 
Singleton Park


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