A project of Cayman Turtle Farm.
click map for full-size version
Species: Green Turtle
Life Stage: Juvenile
Release Date: 2012-02-19 19:30:00
Release Location: Grand Cayman Island
Last Location: 2012-04-15 22:12:47
"Jerry" is a 2-year-old Green Sea Turtle that is of the 2nd generation bred and raised in captivity at Cayman Turtle Farm. "Jerry's" gender is unknown as it is too young to distinguish from external observation.
"Jerry" is the first juvenile captive-bred Green Sea Turtle to be released with a satellite tag, known as a Position Tracking Transponder (PTT). To conserve battery life, "Jerry's" PTT is programmed to transmit during a 6-hour window every 54 hours. In addition to ARGOS satellite position data, "Jerry's" PTT is able to obtain GPS position fixes and transmit those in coded form via the ARGOS uplink during its transmission window. Positions displayed as coloured circles on the map above include ARGOS Location Class A through 3, as well as GPS locations.
"Jerry" was also fitted with a passive inductive transponder (PIT) tag prior to release, a type of radio frequency identification (RFID) device with a unique individual code for each animal so fitted. The PIT tag is embedded under the skin of "Jerry's" "shoulder" of the right front fin, where it should remain for the rest of "Jerry's" life so it can be read and identified if and when "Jerry" is spotted by an observer equipped with a PIT tag scanner.
"Jerry" joins over 31,000 captive-bred Green Sea Turtles released from the Cayman Turtle Farm since 1968. Tagging studies (living tags) have shown that females reared from eggs on the farm and released in the 1980s are now returning to beaches on the Cayman Islands to nest and complete their life cycles.
Cayman Turtle Farm in West Bay, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands is the first commercial sea turtle farm in the world to have achieved the 2nd generation of Green Sea turtles bred, laid, hatched and raised in captivity. Given that it typically takes two decades or more for Green Sea Turtles to reach sexual maturity and the ability to reproduce, this is a major achievement in assisting the conservation of this species. Visitors are welcomed to Cayman Turtle Farm: Island Wildlife Encounter which has been developed into a "mini theme park" attraction featuring island wildlife such as birds, fish, sharks, and crocodile in addition to sea turtles of all ages. Its "Turtle Lagoon" is one place in the world where visitors are guaranteed to be able to swim and snorkel amongst ten or more juvenile sea turtles as well as hundreds of reef fish.
Cayman Turtle Farm also participates in leading research on the biology and care of sea turtles. In 1984 Cayman Turtle Farm participated in an international project to help conserve Kemp's Ridley sea turtles, and the farm achieved the first successful captive breeding of that species for later release in that species' native territory to help boost the wild population. Cayman Turtle Farm's stock of Green Sea turtles of a wide range of known ages from hatchlings to over 40 years old, and the CTF experts' experience in the husbandry of these exotic animals, have created unique opportunities for learning more about these magnificent creatures. Some 100 scientific papers have been published or presented based on research in which Cayman Turtle Farm was involved, and there are currently a number of research projects in progress.
The release of satellite-tagged 2nd-generation juvenile captive-bred turtles will help expand knowledge of the adaptation and behaviour of captive-bred turtles released into the wild. "Jerry" was sponsored by a family from Louisiana, USA, who participated in "Jerry's" release on February 19, 2012. Cayman Turtle Farm is now seeking sponsors for imminent future releases of PTT-equipped captive-bred Green Sea turtles to continue to expand this knowledge.
More information about Cayman Turtle Farm and its programmes is available at www.turtle.ky