New insights into pelagic migrations: Implicatios for ecology and conservation

Pay-walled Peer Reviewed Publication 2012

The Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics

Highly pelagic large marine vertebrates have evolved the capability of moving across large expanses of the marine environment; some species routinely move across entire ocean basins. Our understanding of these movements has been enhanced by new technologies that now allow us to follow their movements over great distances and long time periods in great detail. This technology provides not only detailed information on the movements of a wide variety of marine species, but also detailed characteristics of the habitats they use and clues to their navigation abilities. Advances in electronic tracking technologies have been coupled with rapid development of statistical and analytical techniques. With these developments, conservation of highly migratory species has been aided by providing new information on where uncommon or endangered species go, what behaviors they perform and why, which habitats are critical, and where they range, as well as, in many cases, better estimates of their population size and the interconnectedness of subpopulations. Together these tools are providing critical insights into the ecology of highly pelagic marine vertebrates that are key for their conservation and management.

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