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Charlotte Harbor - Kemp's ridleys

A project of Mote Marine Laboratory in conjunction with the partners and sponsors detailed below.

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NameSpeciesLife StageRelease DateLast LocationDays Transmitted
Allison Kemp's RidleySubadult2012-12-062013-04-05120
BFC Kemp's RidleySubadult2013-03-212013-04-2434
Barbee Kemp's RidleySub-Adult2012-04-132012-07-0886
Bunker Kemp's RidleyAdult2011-09-232011-12-1987
Chipotle Kemp's RidleySubadult2011-11-182012-02-2094
Cora Kemp's RidleyAdult2011-03-172011-06-0479
Demere Kemp's RidleySubadult2013-04-192013-04-289
Dorothy Kemp's RidleySub-Adult2011-09-212011-10-2938
Erin Kemp's RidleySubadult2011-10-212012-03-06137
Evie Kemp's RidleySubadult2011-11-182012-02-1185
Fiji Kemp's RidleySubadult2013-04-172013-05-1225
KC Kemp's RidleyJuvenile2012-11-162013-01-1661
Kyra Kemp's RidleySub-Adult2010-11-192011-03-13114
Missy Kemp's RidleySubadult2011-11-182012-03-24127
Pfffttt Kemp's RidleyAdult2012-03-232012-07-26125
Radar Kemp's RidleySubadult2011-11-162012-04-13149
Recon Kemp's RidleyJuvenile2012-09-212012-10-0514
Recon2 Kemp's RidleyJuvenile2012-10-262012-12-1752
Red's Kemp's RidleySub-Adult2012-09-212012-10-1827
Squeaky Kemp's RidleyJuvenile2012-12-062013-02-1369
Swifty Kemp's RidleyJuvenile2012-10-262012-12-2560

Click on an animal's name for maps and more information.


A number of long-term tagging studies have been conducted to characterize aggregations of marine turtles in nearshore areas of western Florida, but information gaps still exist along the extensive west coast. These gaps are of importance as this region represents developmental habitat that is critical to the viability of the endangered Kemp’s ridley turtle. Mote Marine Laboratory has collected extensive sighting data and conducted field surveys to study the in-water ecology of marine turtles in the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary. These surveys have documented habitat partitioning among the species and identified certain areas in estuarine complex as foraging habitat for Kemp’s ridleys, but efforts have been hampered by the after effects of hurricanes and the ineffectiveness of set nets in capturing turtles. Conservancy of Southwest Florida and Mote Marine Laboratory are currently collaborating on in-water studies to characterize marine turtle aggregations inhabiting eastern Pine Island Sound using active fishing methods (i.e., strike netting).

Kemp's ridley turtles in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico exhibit seasonal occurrence in nearshore waters and satellite telemetry has been used to investigate their winter migration along the west coast of Florida. Similar studies are needed to determine their seasonal distribution and possible migrations in the relatively warmer waters of the southwestern Florida. Locational data from satellite telemetry can also be used to assess the potential impacts from storm water management in upland areas (i.e., release of Lake Okeechobee water via Caloosahatchee River), harmful algal blooms in nearshore and offshore waters (i.e., red tide events), as well as interactions with fisheries and petroleum exploration/extraction in offshore waters. Tracking efforts will provide a better understanding of how Kemp’s ridleys use Charlotte Harbor estuary and surrounding waters.

Research activities are conducted under NMFS permit #13544 and FFWCC permit #136.

A red tide bloom affected southwest Florida from September 2011 through January 2012. The highest concentrations were in the Gulf waters south of Sanibel Island and a number of Kemp's ridley turtles stranded in this area. Another red tide bloom affected this region from October 2012 through March 2013. The harmful algae moved into Pine Island Sound during the latter event. Updates on the status of Florida red tides are available at the following:

Project Partners

Conservancy of Southwest Florida

Mote Marine Laboratory

NOAA Southeast Fisheries Science Center



Project Sponsors

This project was supported in part by grants awarded to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida from the Sea Turtle Grants Program. The Sea Turtle Grants Program is funded from proceeds from the sale of the Florida Sea Turtle License Plate. Learn more at

Our sincere thanks to the generous support provided by the following:

Naples Best Addresses at

Turtle Club Restaurant at

Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation at

The Brooks Fishing Club at

National Save The Sea Turtle Foundation


Pineview School

Jan Bachrach

Christopher and Jeannie Smith

David and Vicky Smith

Wayne and Rebecca Meland

Thomas and Vickie Snead

Richard and Beverly Smith



  • The presentation of data here does not constitute publication. All data remain copyright of the project partners. Maps or data on this website may not be used or referenced without explicit written consent.
  • For more information please visit the project website.
  • If you have questions or would like to request the use of maps or data for this project please contact

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