Radio and Sonic Telemetry
During the 1977 - 1979 nesting season, sonic and radio transmitters were placed on 37 adult female loggerheads by Wildlife Diversity biologists. This study was the first successful attempt to acquire at-sea information on activity patterns, movements, and habitat utilization. The adult female loggerheads remained in near-shore waters during the entire nesting season. Internesting movements tended to be parallel to the coast and were primarily to the south of the nesting beach. Shoals and areas of high relief were found to receive concentrated use by the turtles during the internesting period, while the areas immediately adjacent to the nesting beaches had high use only by turtles about to nest or following a night when egg deposition was not accomplished. Turtles were inactive at night, and daylight activity involved either long, straight-line movements or unpatterned activities in core areas. The high use of near-shore waters by adult female loggerheads throughout the nesting season clearly demonstrates the potential for conflict with commercial shrimping activities. This potential may be reduced somewhat by the turtles utilizing areas around shoals where trawler operation is not possible. Finally, concentration areas do occur around obvious physical features that can be considered essential internesting habitats.