The hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) has a circumtropical distribution and plays an important role in maintaining the health of coral reefs. Unfortunately, hawksbill populations have been decimated, and estimated numbers in the Caribbean are less than 10% of populations a century ago. The hawksbill is considered Critically Endangered, and researchers are coordinating worldwide efforts to protect this species. One country where we lack knowledge regarding hawksbills is Honduras. This study aimed to increase our understanding of hawksbill nesting ecology in Caribbean Honduras. Characteristics of hawksbill nesting activity and a nesting beach on the island of Utila were elucidated using satellite telemetry, beach profiling, vegetation surveys, beach monitoring, and nest temperature profiles. We affixed satellite transmitters to two nesting hawksbills, and found the turtles migrated to different countries. One turtle traveled 403 km to a bay in Mexico, and the other traveled 181 km to a Marine Protected Area off Belize. This study presents the first description of hawksbill migration routes from Honduras, facilitating protection efforts for turtles that traverse international waters.
School of Medicine
Dunbar, Stephen G.
Gibson, L. James
Hayes, William K.
Wright, Kenneth R.
Master of Science (MS)
Year Degree Awarded
Date (Title Page)
Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings
Hawksbill Turtle--Utila--Honduras; Sea Turtles--Ecology; Home Range (Animal Geography); Coral Reef Biology--Caribbean Sea
Subject - Local
Hawksbill Sea Turtle; Coral Reefs; Nesting Ecology; Migration Routes
Loma Linda University Libraries
This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.
Damazo, Lindsey Renee Eggers, "Nesting Ecology of Hawksbill Sea Turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) on Utila, Honduras" (2014). Loma Linda University Electronic Theses, Dissertations & Projects. 176.
Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives