Alternate Title

Estimating Queen Conch (Strombus gigas) Home Ranges Using Acoustic Telemetry: Implications for the Design of Marine Fishery Reserves

Document Type



Marine reserves (MRs) may function as a vital tool in the conservation and management of marine resources if source populations are managed for the benefit of those downstream. Consequently, it is critical to evaluate the home range of marine animals to ensure that MRs are large enough to protect source populations. We used acoustic telemetry to study movements of adult queen conch (Strombus gigas) within aggregations at two sites in the Florida Keys from June 1997 through July 1998. A total of 68 conch were tagged and tracked for up to one year. Latitude and longitude of each conch were recorded biweekly and data used to estimate the minimum speed, degree of site fidelity, and home range of each animal. Conch showed significantly greater displacement/ time during the summer. There were no significant differences in movement rate, site fidelity, or size of home range between males and females. Mean home range was 5.98 ha. Based on estimated home ranges of the aggregations, the size and location of the existing reserves at these two sites were inadequate to protect the conch aggregations should the fishery reopen.

First Page


Last Page