Olive ridley sea turtles are constantly on the move, so protective zones should follow them

Many of the ocean’s most charismatic animals spend their lives swimming, flying or gliding thousands of miles, from the coasts to the high seas. Arctic terns, humpback whales and sea turtles are examples. Scientists have spent many years documenting and studying these magnificent journeys.

Chronicling where these species go is just the beginning. The next steps are understanding when and how far each animal travels and what triggers it to roam.

We are a marine biologist and an evolutionary ecologist and have worked together to study the nesting and migration habits of endangered olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea). This information is vital for managing the turtles’ recovery – but our research shows that two identical-looking olive ridleys may follow very different paths.