We tracked 16 green turtles (Chelonia mydas) during their post-nesting migration.
The tracking covered the total migration for 14 turtles.
Their path is exclusively coastal, maybe to enable some stopover.
There is a relation between turtle speed and current velocity to deal with in depth.
The corridor crosses three Regional Management Units of the Atlantic basin.
The green turtle (Chelonia mydas) is classified as an endangered species on the IUCN Red List since 1986. This species is especially threatened in South America due to bycatch by fisheries along the northeastern coasts. It is particularly crucial to identify specific marine areas for conservation measures to safeguard green turtle rookeries in Suriname and French Guiana. Our study provides valuable information to attain this goal, describing the satellite tracking of post-nesting migration routes used by 16 green turtles fitted with Argos/GPS Fastloc satellite tags at the end of the nesting season. The data we obtained show a single migratory corridor: all the turtles followed a similar eastward route along the Guianan and the Brazilian coast. The GPS signal was lost for two individuals a few weeks after tracking commenced, suggesting that they were caught by fishermen. Thirteen turtles reached the coast of the state of Ceará (Brazil), where they spent at least one month. One turtle continued 700 km further to the coastal regions of Natal and Recife (Brazil), which are known feeding areas of the green turtle populations nesting on Ascension Island. The migratory corridor is essentially narrow, with a width of 22 km for most of the distance covered. It constitutes a major dynamic link between the nesting and feeding areas and crosses three Regional Management Units of the Atlantic basin. Since green turtles face a high risk of being caught in fishing nets, measures of protection should be implemented along this corridor.