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Satellite Tracking

Why did animal X stop transmitting?

Spencer - New England Aquarium Sea Turtle Release 2013

A project of New England Aquarium.

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As some of you have noticed, Spencer's tag is no longer transmitting. There are many reasons for tag failure and we are looking into all of these. We are working with data collected from Spencer's tag to analyze his behavior prior to the loss of tag signals. We will also be analyzing information about the tag itself before it stopped. We will be able to determine battery power and other parameters that will help determine the problem. I want to be clear that while I am concerned, it does not mean that Spencer is dead. Those of you who have followed other turtles I have tagged in the past will know that sometimes the tags stop for a while but then start up again. In some cases all it takes is a piece of trash (there is a lot of this in our oceans) that gets stuck on the tag and covers the salt water switch. If you look on the opening page of this project or others, offers a link that provides explanations of the reasons why a tag may fail or stop transmitting. Please see that link for more information. Thank you for supporting sea turtles! - Connie (10/26/13)


This sea turtle "Spencer", named after the lead character in Robert B. Parker's series Spencer for Hire, was released from Dowses Beach in Osterville on 8.14.13. Spencer, a Kemp�s Ridley turtle, arrived at NEAq with a body temperature of 60.5 degrees. While his body temperature was not that low compared to other cold stun sea turtles, he arrived with serious pneumonia. Spencer underwent several procedures, including X-rays and even a CT scan to determine the extent of his pneumonia. His treatment was long and involved but he is now rehabilitated and pneumonia free.

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  • For more information please visit the project website.
  • This map connects positions generated by the ARGOS system designated as location class (lc) '3', '2', '1'. Locations that have been "filtered" are displayed as small red dots.
  • This maps also shows locations of class '0', 'A' as small black dots which are not connected by a route line.
  • Bathymetry layers are derived from the GEBCO One Minute Grid.
  • Sea surface temperature and chlorophyll are derived from NASA's Ocean Color data.
  • Ocean currents and sea surface heights are derived from AVISO's Ssalto/Duacs Gridded Absolute Dynamic Topography & absolute geostrophic velocities data.

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