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Satellite Tracking

Why did animal X stop transmitting?

Spatial distribution patterns of adult male loggerhead sea turtles captured by research trawling in the Southeast US

A project of SCDNR MRD in conjunction with the partners and sponsors detailed below.

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NameSpeciesLife StageRelease DateLast LocationDays Transmitted
Alan LoggerheadAdult2013-06-122013-10-30140
Chris LoggerheadAdult2015-06-222015-07-2028
Eastman LoggerheadAdult2013-07-172014-07-11359
Evans LoggerheadAdult2016-06-012016-09-28119
Ezra LoggerheadAdult2015-06-252015-09-2996
Fred LoggerheadAdult2016-05-272017-05-12350
Fuerte LoggerheadAdult2015-06-252016-03-26275
Jefe LoggerheadAdult2013-08-132014-04-28258
Jude LoggerheadAdult2016-05-272017-08-18448
Mariner LoggerheadAdult2015-07-162015-10-0581
Mater LoggerheadAdult2014-06-122015-06-10363
Matt LoggerheadAdult2013-06-122013-09-1494
Mellow LoggerheadAdult2016-06-012016-09-30121
Mickey LoggerheadAdult2013-07-092013-09-2477
O'Neal LoggerheadAdult2014-06-172014-08-0246

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


In the past decade, a wealth of knowledge has emerged with respect to satellite telemetry documentation of the spatial distribution patterns for adult male sea turtles of several species. Regarding loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in the northern hemisphere, adult males have been tracked following capture at breeding sites in both the NW Atlantic (Arendt et al. 2012a,b) and the Mediterranean Sea (Hays et al. 2010, Schofield et al. 2010) and on neritic foraging grounds off the coast of North Africa (Casale et al. 2013), West Africa (Varo-Cruz et al. 2013), and Japan (Sakamoto et al. 1997, Hatase et al. 2002).

Arendt et al. (2012) documented that 16 of 29 adult male loggerhead sea turtles captured at the Port Canaveral, FL breeding aggregation subsequently emigrated to distant foraging grounds where they became localized in a variety of habitats ranging from shallow, near-shore coastal waters to deeper waters on the middle continental shelf. Most migrant males moved north after breeding, and transit occurred between mid-May and late June. Because this transit coincides with the operational window of an important coastal trawl survey to assess the abundance, demographics, and health of sea turtles off SC, GA, and nFL, we wish to use satellite telemetry with adult male loggerhead sea turtles captured in this research survey to answer the following questions:

1) Are adult male loggerhead sea turtles captured in the trawl survey predominantly migrants or residents?

2) If migrant, do their foraging grounds overlap with those of adult male loggerheads captured in Port Canaveral?

3) If resident, do their foraging grounds overlap with satellite tracks of juvenile loggerhead sea turtles captured in the regional survey?

4) Do the over-wintering locations of adult male loggerheads overlap with known over-wintering locations of adult females and juveniles that use the the same seasonal foraging grounds?

5) Do individual adult male loggerheads use the same foraging grounds in subsequent years?

To answer these questions, we began attaching satellite transmitters to adult male loggerhead sea turtles captured in the coastal trawl survey in 2013. Through 2015, we deployed 11 of 15 transmitters and hope to deploy the last remaining transmitters in 2016.

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