Honors College Thesis


Surfacing Behavior of Juvenile Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Caretta caretta) in North Carolina Public Deposited

Downloadable Content

Download PDF


Attribute NameValues
  • Sea turtles are endangered species that can be censused with aerial surveys, but the number of turtles in an area must be extrapolated to include animals that are submerged. Twenty-one satellite tags were attached to juvenile loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in North Carolina. I analyzed surfacing and dive behavior recorded by the tags to determine whether time of day, time of year, location or wave height were important factors for development of more accurate population estimates in aerial surveys. I also analyzed differences in percent time at the surface based on a tag’s salt water switch and its depth gauge. I found significantly greater surfacing during the day during April-June for two turtles and greater surfacing during the night during October-December for four turtles. Turtles in offshore habitats surfaced more often than those in inshore and nearshore habitats. Only one turtle that experienced wave heights greater than 2.5m showed a negative correlation between surfacing and wave height. The depth gauge consistently recorded an order of magnitude greater percent time near the surface than the salt water switch, and overall trends in behavior were different, suggesting the salt water switch is inadequate for recording surfacing events for aerial survey extrapolations.
Resource Type
Date Available
Date Issued
Degree Level
Degree Name
Degree Field
Degree Grantor
Commencement Year
Committee Member
Non-Academic Affiliation
Rights Statement
Peer Reviewed
Additional Information
  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2011-04-13T21:26:02Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1PATTON_Honors_Thesis_FINAL.pdf: 1922643 bytes, checksum: 47a2b69771339e5872e183a67cacdc68 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Submitted by Heather Boren (heather.boren@oregonstate.edu) on 2011-04-13T21:26:02ZNo. of bitstreams: 1PATTON_Honors_Thesis_FINAL.pdf: 1922643 bytes, checksum: 47a2b69771339e5872e183a67cacdc68 (MD5)



This work has no parents.

In Collection: