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Satellite Tracking

Why did animal X stop transmitting?

Buck Island Turtles

A project of NPS and USGS in conjunction with the partners and sponsors detailed below.

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NameSpeciesLife StageRelease DateLast LocationDays Transmitted
Abbey Green TurtleAdult2012-08-082012-12-28142
Aileen HawksbillAdult2012-08-032013-07-03334
Ali*- Green TurtleAdult2014-08-062015-11-11462
Angela HawksbillAdult2011-08-272012-10-17417
Ashley HawksbillAdult2012-08-042012-11-0694
Aurelie HawksbillAdult2011-08-282012-09-20389
Aurora Green TurtleAdult2013-08-142014-05-23282
Beatrice HawksbillAdult2012-08-012013-08-19383
Billie HawksbillAdult2012-08-012013-04-04246
Brittany HawksbillAdult2012-08-052013-09-19410
Carrie HawksbillAdult2012-08-092013-05-04268
Chiquita HawksbillAdult2012-07-312013-12-27514
Conrad HawksbillAdult2017-11-042018-03-24140
Consuela*- Green TurtleAdult2015-08-042016-03-14223
Cyndi HawksbillAdult2011-08-232011-10-2260
Danielle Green TurtleAdult2012-07-312013-11-20477
Diana HawksbillAdult2013-07-312014-01-13166
Dot* HawksbillAdult2014-08-072015-05-28294
Emily Green TurtleAdult2012-08-012013-08-06370
Hermione*- HawksbillAdult2014-08-052015-09-27418
Irene HawksbillAdult2011-08-272012-05-09256
Iris* HawksbillAdult2015-08-042016-09-03396
Jeanie Green TurtleAdult2013-08-142014-10-09421
Jessica*- HawksbillAdult2015-08-062016-07-27356
Joanna Green TurtleAdult2013-08-022014-07-01333
Joycelyn HawksbillAdult2013-07-312014-05-13286
Judy HawksbillAdult2012-08-042014-10-18805
Lavender HawksbillAdult2013-08-032013-12-21140
Lee*- HawksbillAdult2015-08-092017-01-13523
Liza Green TurtleAdult2011-08-242012-03-04193
Madaline HawksbillAdult2012-08-032013-10-20443
Marlena HawksbillAdult2012-08-092012-11-0689
Martie* HawksbillAdult2015-08-062016-05-03271
Melanie HawksbillAdult2011-08-262012-09-10381
Mollie*- HawksbillAdult2014-08-052015-11-11463
Nuna HawksbillAdult2013-08-022016-09-171142
Olivia Green TurtleAdult2012-08-012013-04-10252
Pocahantas Green TurtleAdult2013-08-012013-11-15106
Rebekah HawksbillAdult2013-08-012014-06-20323
Roo HawksbillAdult2012-07-312013-06-04308
Saturn LoggerheadAdult2016-09-262018-03-11531
Scarlet HawksbillAdult2011-08-252013-02-10535
Shuli HawksbillAdult2012-08-082015-10-091157
Smurfette-recap* HawksbillAdult2013-07-302016-03-28972
Smurfette HawksbillAdult2011-08-282013-03-31581
Sophie*- Green TurtleAdult2015-08-092015-08-090
Sophie-retag Green TurtleAdult2015-08-202016-02-28192
Sweet Bea HawksbillAdult2013-07-302016-05-251030
Tina HawksbillAdult2013-07-302013-11-14107
Ursula HawksbillAdult2011-08-262013-04-16599
Willa* HawksbillAdult2015-08-072016-04-09246
Zandy HawksbillAdult2011-08-252011-11-0370

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


Buck Island Reef National Monument (BIRNM), a marine protected area located in the US Virgin Islands, is a crucial nesting area for endangered hawksbills, green turtles, leatherback turtles, and loggerheads. Since the recent expansion of the USVI marine protected area at BIRNM, newly included areas have not yet been investigated for sea turtle habitat use. Thus, we are conducting a sea turtle tagging and tracking project to quantify real-time habitat-use of sea turtles within and around BIRNM.

We capture reproductive females on nesting beaches and perform a standard workup procedure on each one, including marking each turtle with internal PIT tags and taking standard measurements, blood samples, photographs, and a biopsy punch for isotope (diet) analysis. We are using these data sets to determine whether current BIRNM boundaries encompass habitats most preferred by sea turtles, determine connections between turtles at BIRNM and other protected areas, identify core areas of turtle use, and quantify time spent in and around BIRNM. Our research addresses specific Recovery Objectives outlined in the Federal Recovery Plans for multiple protected species. Our data can be used as the basis for future adaptive management of BIRNM boundaries and also assist in nesting beach surveys conducted by National Park Service (NPS). We received financial support from NPS and USGS, and substantial in-kind support from NPS, without which this project would not have been possible.

In a concurrent study, we deployed an array of 19 acoustic receivers within BIRNM to identify patterns of habitat use for nesting females and turtles captured in the water; an overarching goal of that project is to determine which areas of BIRNM turtles use most often. The NPS and other university colleagues (UMass, UVI) have initiated additional BIRNM acoustic tracking projects, which have substantially augmented and expanded our existing array of receivers to extend past BIRNM borders. We have been maintaining our receivers while collaborating with NPS and other colleagues to get the most out of the expanding array of receivers in the region. By doing so, we can identify core areas of use by all turtles (by species and life stage) and determine the amount of time spent within and outside of the BIRNM.

  • 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.

SEATURTLE.ORG collaborates with Argos to help scientists and conservationists manage and analyse their valuable animal tracking data.

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