Understanding the effects of climate change on Caribbean hawksbill turtles: satellite tracking hawksbill migrations
World Wildlife Fund

Dataset credit

Data provider
Originating data center
Satellite Tracking and Analysis Tool (STAT)
Project partner
This project is a collaborative partnership between:

1. The World Wildlife Fund
The LAC (Latin America and Caribbean) works to achieve an action based approach to the regional conservation challenge of marine turtle conservation. They have collaborated with the WWF Ottawa (Canada) office to orchestrate the deployment of satellite transmitters on Caribbean hawksbill turtles. Based in the Costa Rica office, the staff there will collaborate with:

2. The Marine Turtle Research Group (University of Exeter)
The MTRG has dedicated specialists in many aspects of marine turtle ecology and have a demonstrated success in successful deployment of satellite transmitters on a variety of marine turtle species. In collaboration with the University of Valencia, Spain, Dr Jesus Tomas will represent the MTRG.

3. Grupo Jaragua project, Dominican Republic
Represented and staffed by Dr Jesus Tomas and Dr Yolanda Leon, Grupo Jaragua will provide the local expertise and logistical support for the deployment of the units. Grupo Jaragua has been monitoring nesting by hawksbill and leatherback turtles on the beaches of the DR for many years.

4. The ACT initiative
Funded by the MacArthur Foundation, and formed in December 2007, the ACT initiative is trying to help understand the effects of climate change to marine turtle populations. By highlighting current knowledge and information gaps, ACT hopes to be able to design ways to mitigate the negative effects of climate change to turtles and to help to incorporate them into coastal planning.

Project sponsor or sponsor description
This project is funded by the J M Kaplan Fund, the Spanish Ministry of Education and Sciences.
Support was also provided by the AECI (Araucaria programme Spanish Cooperation Agency, Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and the Foundation of the University of Valencia (UV).


Primary contact Lucy Drews WWF Canada/LAC
Data entry Michael Coyne seaturtle.org


Drews L. 2016. Understanding the effects of climate change on Caribbean hawksbill turtles: satellite tracking hawksbill migrations. Data downloaded from OBIS-SEAMAP (http://seamap.env.duke.edu/dataset/469) on yyyy-mm-dd and originated from Satellite Tracking and Analysis Tool (STAT; http://www.seaturtle.org/tracking/index.shtml?project_id=291).


The ecological decisions that influence hawksbill turtle migration are little understood and have not been investigated. Understanding the environmental and biological parameters that guide hawksbill migration (environmental features such as thermal fronts, sea surface currents and ocean depth) is key to understanding how hawksbill turtle populations may be able to cope with the adverse affects of climate change in the future. The only means by which this information currently can be obtained for migrating turtles at large is through satellite telemetry. Using ARGOS linked satellite transmitting units, an individual can be deployed and its locations tracked, environmental variables of its habitat obtained and a greater understanding of hawksbill migratory ecology gained. This information will then be used in conjunction with available information from other tracking studies to quantify the environmental “envelope” that Caribbean hawksbill turtles generally occupy. Future predicted changes in surface temperatures and currents can then be modeled more accurately and realistically

To date, no units have been deployed from the Dominican Republic, an island nation that receives a significant number of leatherback nests as well as hawksbill nests. The Dominican Republic is ideally situated to investigate the environmental parameters that may influence hawksbill migration: relatively central to the insular Caribbean, the Dominican Republic is surrounded by important Caribbean oceanographic features which may be important factors in determining the migratory paths.



Supplemental information

Visit STAT's project page for additional information.




Attributes described below represent those in the original dataset provided by the provider.
Only minimum required attributes are visible and downlodable online. Other attributes may be obtained upon provider's permission unless otherwise noted below.

Attributes in dataset provided

Attribute (table column)Description
project_idSTAT Project ID
prognumProgram number
tag_idPTT ID
datetime_utcDate and time in UTC
lcLocation class
iqQuality indicator
latitudeLatitude 1
longitudeLongitude 1
dir1Dir 1
nb_mesNumber of messages received
big_nb_mesdefinition not provided
best_levelBest signal strength in dB
pass_durationPass duration in seconds
nopcNumber Of Plausibility Checks successful (from 0-4)
calcul_freqCalculated frequency
altitudeAltitude used for location calculation
speciesSpecies name
sp_tsnITIS Taxonomic Serial Number
lc_filterParameters to location filtering
speed_filterParameters to speed filtering
distance_filterParameters to distance filtering
topo_filterParameters to topo filtering
time_filterParameters to time filtering
angle_filterParameters to angle filtering
life_stageLife stage of the animal
genderGender of the animal
wetdryWet or dry
wetdry_filterParameters to Wet or dry filterint
obs_datetimeDate and time (local time zone)
timezone_hTime difference from UTC
obs_countAnimal count (always 1)
Marine mammals0
Sea turtles2,835
Rays and sharks0
Other species0
Non spatial0
Non species0
Date, Begin2008-08-12
Date, End2010-09-25
Temporal prec.111111
Latitude11.35 - 23.18
Longitude-95.03 - -42.49
Coord. prec.3 decimal digits
Data typeTelemetry location
TracklinesYES (ID: 471)
Contr. throughSatellite Tracking and Analysis Tool
Sharing policy Permission required
Also availalbe from None
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See metadata in FGDC XML
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