A project of Conservancy of Southwest Florida.
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Life Stage: Adult
Release Date: 2016-06-17 23:30:00
Release Location: Keewaydin Island, Florida
Last Location: 2017-02-17 15:36:09
Steve and Helen Dierdorf
Susan Patricia Taylor
We encountered Yurtle a little after midnight on June 18 last summer. We hadn’t seen her previously on Keewaydin. She had no flipper tags. There was also no evidence of her being previously flipper tagged. Scanning her appendages with a bar code reader revealed that she didn’t have a PIT either so she, like many other nesting loggerheads in 2016, was a neophyte to the island. Yurtle’s carapace was free of barnacles, algae and other epibionts so we decided to satellite tag her to see where she would go after she finished nesting this summer. It was also a clear, breezy night so the mosquitos and no-see-ums weren’t as suffocating as they usually are, and her carapace was be easy to clean off before affixing the satellite tag. Everything went smoothly and we released her at 3:35 am.
It turned out this was the only time we saw her on Keewaydin. The 97 eggs in her nest resulted in 68 hatchlings reaching the Gulf of Mexico. Later in the summer, she migrated to the Bahamas and is currently located on the Little Bahamas Bank in an area of shallow water between Grand Bahama Island and Little Abaco Island. This appears to be her foraging area. She is quite the rover.
Funding for Yurtle’s satellite tag along with her name was generously provided by Dr. J.P. and Annette van Dongen. The continuation of this satellite tracking project would not be possible without donors like the van Dongens as well as from other supporters and members of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. Portions of this project have also been funded through a series of grants from the Marine Turtle Grants Program, which is ably administered by The Sea Turtle Conservancy. Our sincere thanks to you all!