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Satellite Tracking

Why did animal X stop transmitting?

Track Me at the ESC II

A project of Environmental Studies Center in conjunction with the partners and sponsors detailed below.

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NameSpeciesLife StageRelease DateLast LocationDays Transmitted
Sandy LoggerheadJuvenile2013-07-122014-01-25197

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Introduction



Sandy is a juvenile loggerhead that has made its home at the Environmental Studies Center (ESC) in Jensen Beach, Florida, for the past two years. This little loggerhead was left on the doorstep of Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center (FOCC) on Hutchinson Island in Martin County, Florida, on January 19, 2011. A note stated that it was found as a hatchling, probably less than a day old, on August 14, 2010, being pursued by a gull, taken home and reared in an aquarium until taken to FOCC. The name given to the turtle there, Squirt, was changed to Sandy in a contest among school district kindergarten classes when it arrived at the Environmental Studies Center. At the time of its arrival at the Center, Sandy measured 19.9 cm and weighed 1.5 kg. At the last weigh-in, Sandy measured 48.5 cm. straight carapace length and 17.5 kg. Sandy’s gender has not been determined. Sandy was released into the Indian River Lagoon north of the St. Lucie Inlet on Florida’s east coast on 12 July 2013. The ESC in Jensen Beach, Florida, is owned by the Martin County School District. The Center provides hands-on environmental and educational experiences for each of the more than 10.000 school age children that visit each year. Every child between kindergarten and seventh grade enrolled in Martin County schools comes to learn about terrestrial and marine habitats (including sea turtles) during the school year, and many return for summer camp. Sandy has been fitted with a Wildlife Computers SPOT5 satellite transmitter, programmed to transmit data every other day. The transmitter was attached by Inwater Research Group, Inc., which also provided start-up funding for the project. Loggerheads of this size are most commonly found on the opposite side of the Atlantic. Never having lived in the open ocean, Sandy was released with a satellite transmitter in order to understand how a captive-reared loggerhead will respond to its new environment. This is a unique opportunity to see whether this turtle will try to make the life history migration it has already missed or whether it will find suitable habitat and remain in Florida. These data are essential to understanding the cost/benefit of holding captive loggerheads for educational display purposes and will help the State of Florida make decisions about future display animals. It will also provide a wonderful opportunity for the thousands of school children who have known Sandy for the last two years to be able to watch and learn from Sandy’s “travels”. Learn more about Sandy and the Center at http://esc.martinschools.org.

Project Partners

The ESC in Jensen Beach, Florida, is owned by the Martin County School District. The Center provides hands-on environmental and educational experiences for each of the more than 10,000 school age children that visit each year. Every child between kindergarten and seventh grade enrolled in Martin County schools comes to learn about terrestrial and marine habitats (including sea turtles) during the school year, and many return for summer camp. Satellite tagging Sandy not also provides valuable information about the cost /benefit of holding captive loggerheads for educational display, but provides a wonderful opportunity for the thousands of school children who have known Sandy for the last two years to be able to watch and learn from Sandy’s “travels”. Learn more about Sandy and the Center at http://esc.martinschools.org.

Project Sponsors

Inwater Research Group (IRG) partnered with the ESC to provide the means to satellite track this captive-reared loggerhead. IRG has been studying sea turtles in Florida waters since 2001, and has recently been involved with the recovery of oiled turtles during the oil spill in 2010. They continue to work in the Key West NWR and in several Florida coastal counties. Learn more at www.inwater.org.

   

  • 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 pierced@martin.k12.fl.us; dbagley@ucf.edu.

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