A project of Mote Marine Laboratory.
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Species: Kemp's Ridley
Life Stage: Subadult
Release Date: 2012-12-06 17:00:00
Release Location: Honeymoon Island
Last Location: 2013-04-05 02:27:39
Allison measured 47.2 cm curved carapace length. Allison was found in Estero Bay which is part of the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary. She had stranded during a red tide and was taken for recovery to the Mote Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital. She had been feeding on tunicates (aka sea squirts) which is different than the usual diet of spider crabs seen for ridleys by a ongoing diet study conducted by the Conservancy of Southwest Florida and Mote Marine Laboratory. Allison was released north of Clearwater to avoid exposure to the ongoing red tide. The satellite tag is sponsored by Wayne and Rebecca Meland.
A week after release, Allison began traveling northward to waters off Homosassa Bay and then moved inshore. Compare this to the locations of Cora, an adult Kempï¿½s ridley captured in Charlotte Harbor during the spring 2011 that moved north and occupied waters further offshore. A strong cold front passed on 20 December 2012 and Allison responded by traveling offshore and southward. She then moved inshore to the release site before continuing her southward trek. Allison paused in the waters off Venice when she once again encountered the red tide bloom that has persisted off the Florida west coast. She then continued southward through the bloom boundary and, as of 16 January, has returned to Estero Bay.
Allison and Squeaky were an opportunistic test of feeding ground fidelity that has been observed for Kempï¿½s ridleys inhabiting Charlotte Harbor and other west Florida estuaries. The turtles were displaced/released 200 km north of Estero Bay, the area they had presumably been occupying prior to red tide exposure. Allison has returned to Estero Bay, thus exhibiting fidelity to a previously inhabited area. Squeaky has returned to Charlotte Harbor but remains in an area approximately 30 km to the north.