Abstract

This study was conducted in São Sebastião Channel, along the Southern Brazil Platform, and describes the occurrence of 3 species of sea turtles in the area, their main behavioral patterns, and the anthropogenic-related threats. Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) showed a preference for a site covered by Halodule spp. seagrass and hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) showed a preference for a sheltered bay with little wave action and the presence of rocks covered with Palythoa caribaeorum. These sites exhibited different characteristics due to the presence of ocean currents and variable habitat types in the Channel. This study enabled the description of the São Sebastião Channel as a foraging and resting area for sea turtles. We also suggest changing the category of the local marine protected area to enable better protection of turtles.

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