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Alabama Sea Turtles

A project of USGS Alabama-NRDA Sea Turtles in conjunction with the partners and sponsors detailed below.

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NameSpeciesLife StageRelease DateLast LocationDays Transmitted
Ileana NRDALoggerheadAdult2011-06-112011-08-3181
Sandy NRDALoggerheadAdult2011-06-092011-11-11155
Katharine NRDALoggerheadAdult2011-06-142011-09-1391
Amy NRDALoggerheadAdult2011-06-072011-12-24200
Sherry NRDALoggerheadAdult2011-06-152012-06-18369
Ella NRDALoggerheadAdult2011-06-062012-09-24476
Linda NRDALoggerheadAdult2011-06-092012-09-20469
Angie NRDALoggerheadAdult2011-06-082012-02-25262
Maddie NRDALoggerheadAdult2011-06-112012-04-03297
Lulu NRDALoggerheadAdult2011-06-132011-11-07147
SeaSpree LoggerheadAdult2011-07-232011-11-13113
Kaitlyn LoggerheadAdult2011-07-302011-09-1446
Hannah LoggerheadAdult2011-07-312012-07-22357
Wilma NRDALoggerheadAdult2012-06-132013-01-07208
Shirley NRDALoggerheadAdult2012-06-052012-09-1097
Donna Kemp's RidleyAdult2012-06-052012-09-0188
Georgia NRDALoggerheadAdult2012-06-042013-02-22263
Martha*- NRDALoggerheadAdult2012-06-022012-08-0867
Janet* NRDALoggerheadAdult2012-06-032014-02-19626
Betty NRDALoggerheadAdult2012-06-042012-11-21170
Sandy-recap NRDALoggerheadAdult2012-06-072013-07-15403
Storm NRDALoggerheadAdult2012-06-092012-08-0860
Charlene NRDALoggerheadAdult2012-06-092012-09-0487
Randi NRDALoggerheadAdult2012-06-132012-08-1260
Maggie*- NRDALoggerheadAdult2013-06-082013-08-3184
Faith* NRDALoggerheadAdult2013-06-042013-10-19137
Shelly* NRDALoggerheadAdult2013-06-082013-11-28173
Grace* NRDALoggerheadAdult2013-06-102014-03-01264
Constantine*- NRDALoggerheadAdult2013-06-102014-04-07301
Sammie* NRDALoggerheadAdult2013-06-112014-01-07210
Sophia*- NRDALoggerheadAdult2013-06-112013-11-04146
Gloria* NRDALoggerheadAdult2013-06-122013-12-25196
Carolyn* NRDALoggerheadAdult2013-06-122014-01-16218
Marley*- NRDALoggerheadAdult2013-06-142013-10-15123
Crystal NRDALoggerheadAdult2013-06-192013-09-2396
Anne NRDALoggerheadAdult2013-06-162013-11-04141
Genevieve NRDALoggerheadAdult2013-06-172013-08-1357
Theresa NRDALoggerheadAdult2013-06-232013-09-2291
Ella-recap LoggerheadAdult2014-06-162015-06-07356
Debra LoggerheadAdult2014-06-222014-08-0443
Stimpy LoggerheadAdult2014-06-242014-09-2290
Lacey LoggerheadAdult2015-06-112015-09-0485
Korra LoggerheadAdult2015-06-112015-09-0485
Sophia-recap LoggerheadAdult2015-06-032015-09-0190
Allison LoggerheadAdult2015-06-082015-08-2376

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


Northern Gulf of Mexico (NGoM) loggerheads (Caretta caretta) make up one of the smallest subpopulations of this threatened species and have declining nest numbers. Declines in nest abundance for the NGoM subpopulation may be attributed to several factors, such as commercial fisheries and oil pollution. Little is known about nest site fidelity, movements, or locations of in-water inter-nesting habitat for loggerheads in the Northern Gulf of Mexico.

We used satellite telemetry and a switching state-space model to identify distinct foraging areas used by 59 NGoM loggerheads tagged during 20102013. We tagged turtles after nesting at three sites, 1 in Alabama (Gulf Shores; n = 37) and 2 in Florida (St. Joseph Peninsula; n = 20 and Eglin Air Force Base; n = 2). After displacement from nesting beaches, to date (July 31, 2014) 44 turtles traveled to foraging sites where they remained resident throughout tracking durations; the remaining turtles were either not tracked long enough to determine foraging site, or their transmissions ceased abruptly (i.e., off Cuba). Selected foraging locations were variable distances from tagging sites, and in 5 geographic regions; no turtles selected foraging sites outside the Gulf of Mexico (GoM). Foraging sites overlapped with known trawling activities, oil and gas extraction activities, and the footprint of surface oiling during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill (n = 10). Our results highlight the year-round use of habitats in the GoM by loggerheads that nest in the NGoM. Our findings indicate that protection of females in this subpopulation requires both international collaborations and management of threats that spatially overlap with distinct foraging habitats.

We would like to thank the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Share The Beach volunteers for assistance on this project. This telemetry data was generated as part of the ongoing Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment (publicly available from

  • 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.

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