Eva Marie Saint - starring in N by NW
A project of Sandy Cape Turtle Volunteers.
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Species: Green Turtle
Life Stage: Breeding Female
Release Date: 2016-10-28 13:29:00
Release Location: Fraser Island
Last Location: 2017-02-22 22:32:16
Adopt Eva Marie Saint - starring in N by NW
"Eva Marie Saint" was first tagged when nesting on Wreck Island, North by Northwest of Heron Island, at the northern end of the Capricorn Bunker Island group in the Southern Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, on 22 December 1998 and she measured 98.7cm CCL.
She was next seen 18 years later when we beach jumped her on 28 October 2016 while she was basking on the water's edge south of Sandy Cape, on the Northern tip of Fraser Island.
She had the slight skin and shell damage at the front of the carapace typically seen on female turtles who have been courting. Her suitors "Cary Grant" and "James Mason" were swimming in the shallows a few yards away, with "Alfred Hitchcock" directing the scene from not far behind.
She is now 98.9cm long, and so has not grown larger in 18 years.
She was taken to the Sandy Cape Lighthouse, where the tracker was attached and a large red "N' was added behind it for easy ID at a distance. Skin biopsy samples were taken for DNA and stable isotope analysis.
As you can see from the photo when she was released, she still is a star, attracting big adoring crowds.
After release she swam, as was expected, in a Nor-Nor-Westerly direction - but only for two days - stopping at Boult Reef just north of Lady Musgrave Island for 10 days, probably for more courting.
She then moved N by NW again and had a brief look at One Tree Island, Heron Island, and Broomfield Reef, and arrived at, and has hung out within 1km to the NW of Wilson Island since - nesting there on 18 November and again on 2 December 2016.
We are interested to see if she changes nesting beaches within this season to perhaps nest again on Wreck Island as Wilson Island is only 3 miles/5.5km to the NW of Wreck Island.
Wreck Island has had a two week mid-season census most years since 1998, so she should probably have been seen again if she nested there each year - on average greens in this population nest roughly every 5 years - so her nesting at Wreck Island in 1998 may prove to have been a lucky one-off, for her to get a flipper tag and entry into the database.
When found at Sandy Cape in October 2016 Eva Marie had a very fine sheen of hard green algae all over her carapace, which suggests an estuary nearby her foraging home - so we are keen to see her migratory route back, and find the location of that home range at the end of the nesting season.