Non-Migrant: No. All populations of this species make significant seasonal migrations.
Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).
Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.
Moves hundreds or thousands of kilometers between nesting beaches and distant marine waters; transequatorial migrations have been documented. Pattern of epibiont colonization in Caribbean suggests that gravid turtles do not arrive from temperate latitudes until just prior to nesting, and that they go directly to a preferred nesting beach; nesters apparently arrive asynchronously (Eckert and Eckert 1988). Individual females may nest on multiple islands within a region; a female that nested on St. Croix, Virgin Islands, during the next 18 days, nested also on Isla Vieques and Isla Culebra (Keinath and Musick 1993); see also Boulon et al. (1996). Caribbean nesters apparently move north along Atlantic coast after nesting (appear at least as far north as the northeastern U.S. in late summer; Boulon et al. 1988). A leatherback tagged in Chesapeake Bay in late May 1985 was captured off southern Cuba in late July 1986 (Keinath and Musick 1990). Leatherbacks from nesting areas in Suriname and Costa Rica (Caribbean coast) were found in summer off Nova Scotia (James 2004).
Morreale et al. (1996) documented a migration corridor extending from the Pacific coast of Costa Rica through the vicinity of the Galapagos Islands.
A nesting female tagged in Suriname was captured off Ghana, West Africa, less than 1 year later (Eckert 1992).