State of the World's Sea Turtles (SWOT)

Ocean Biogeographical Information System - Spatial Ecological Analysis of Megavertebrate Populations (OBIS-SEAMAP)


SWOT has recently transferred the storage of its database to the OBIS-SEAMAP system (  As such, we require that you adhere to the OBIS-SEAMAP Terms of Use as well as the SWOT Terms of Use formalized by the SWOT Science Advisory Board (SAB) to use this online application. In addition, in order to begin the process of acquiring authorized use of the SWOT database, you will be required to fill in Data Request Form and email a copy to Connie Kot,

Note that the use of data for distributions, RMUs, mtDNA, nDNA and habitat suitability (HS) requires to adhere additional terms of use which will be presented upon download processes.

SWOT Terms of Use

  1. Prior to delivery of data from SWOT, the Researcher will provide to the SWOT SAB a detailed prospectusof the planned methodology and analyses in which the SWOT data will be used. Included in the prospectus should be an outline of anticipated products (e.g., journal articles, tools, models) or other public presentation of results. Pending approval from the SAB of the Project’s scientific justification and methodological approach, the SWOT database manager will release the described data to the Researcher.
    1. Individual nesting beach locations will be not be shown in any figures relating to the Project whether in online or printed format, unless permission is requested and granted from the SAB.
    2. No attempt will be made by the Researcher to include associated count data from SWOT maps into any analyses or products of the Project, unless permission to do so is obtained from the current primary data contact. (While the beach locations belong to SWOT as a whole, count and effort data belong to the individuals and organizations that provided them and individual permissions would need to be acquired for each record.) If count data are also required for the Project, SWOT will be notified.
    3. Any significant changes in the methodology of the Project MUST be reported to the SAB and could prompt another review as to whether data use will be permitted.
  2. SWOT gives no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of these data. The researcher understands that the nesting locations do not always represent accurate GPS locations of nesting beach center points and in some cases can be considered to be qualitative approximations of nesting beach locations where more accurate information was unavailable.
  3. Data provided for this Project may not be modified, copied, or distributed to individuals outside of the Project described in the prospectus, or to be used for any purposes other than what was described here without prior consent of the SWOT SAB.
  4. In all products of the Project in which SWOT data was used explicitly or peripherally, SWOT Reports I – IX and the OBIS-SEAMAP/SWOT website must be explicitly cited. These, along with an OBIS-SEAMAP citation, satisfy #2 of the OBIS-SEAMAP Terms of Use.

    Required citation format:
    • SWOT Report - State of the World’s Sea Turtles, vol. I (2006);
    • SWOT Report - State of the World’s Sea Turtles, vol. II (2007);
    • SWOT Report - State of the World’s Sea Turtles, vol. III (2008);
    • SWOT Report - State of the World’s Sea Turtles, vol. IV (2009);
    • SWOT Report - State of the World’s Sea Turtles, vol. V (2010);
    • SWOT Report - State of the World’s Sea Turtles, vol. VI (2011);
    • SWOT Report - State of the World’s Sea Turtles, vol. VII (2012);
    • SWOT Report - State of the World’s Sea Turtles, vol. VIII (2013);
    • SWOT Report - State of the World’s Sea Turtles, vol. IX (2014);
    • SWOT Report - State of the World’s Sea Turtles, vol. X (2015);
    • Kot, C.Y., E. Fujioka, A.D. DiMatteo, B.P. Wallace, B.J. Hutchinson, J. Cleary, P.N. Halpin and R.B. Mast. 2015. The State of the World's Sea Turtles Online Database: Data provided by the SWOT Team and hosted on OBIS-SEAMAP. Oceanic Society, Conservation International, IUCN Marine Turtle Specialist Group (MTSG), and Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab, Duke University.
  5. Citations and electronic or hard copies of any final products from the Project will be provided to SWOT (e-mail

OBIS SEAMAP Terms of Use

  1. Not to use data contained in OBIS-SEAMAP in any publication, product, or commercial application without prior written consent of the original data provider.
  2. To cite both the data provider and OBIS-SEAMAP appropriately after approval of use is obtained.

    Example citation for a dataset: Read, A.J. and A.J. Westgate. 1997. Monitoring the movements of harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) with satellite telemetry. Marine Biology, 130: 315-322.

    Required citation
    Halpin, P.N., A.J. Read, E. Fujioka, B.D. Best, B. Donnelly, L.J. Hazen, C. Kot, K. Urian, E. LaBrecque, A. Dimatteo, J. Cleary, C. Good, L.B. Crowder, and K.D. Hyrenbach. 2009. OBIS-SEAMAP: The world data center for marine mammal, sea bird, and sea turtle distributions. Oceanography 22(2):104-115.
  3. To forward the citation of any publication / report that made use of the data / tools provided by OBIS-SEAMAP for inclusion in our list of references.
  4. Not to hold to OBIS-SEAMAP or the original data providers liable for errors in the data. While we have made every effort to ensure the quality of the database, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of these datasets.