A project of Marine Turtle Research Group.
click map for full-size version
Life Stage: Adult
Release Date: 2004-06-23 07:00:00
Release Location: Cayman Islands
Last Location: 2005-07-10 03:13:47
Woody & Wendy Green
James H. O'Kane
Tom & Linda Scott
"Ambassador," is the first turtle to be tagged in the 2004 Cayman Islands Satellite Tracking Project! She is an Endangered adult female loggerhead, with a shell measuring 100 centimeters (over 3 feet) in length. The Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman, sponsored a Satellite Transmitter to tag Ambassador this summer.
Ambassador was first was seen late at night on 23 June 2004, when she came out of the ocean to nest in Grand Cayman. After she finished laying her eggs on the beach and covering them over with sand, scientists from the Cayman Islands Department of Environment and the UK Marine Turtle Research Group attached a SMRU satellite transmitter to Ambassador’s shell. To attach her transmitter, we used a special kind of glue (called epoxy), which is very lightweight and harmless to turtles. After the epoxy dried, we released Ambassador and she swam off in the ocean with her new satellite transmitter.
When Ambassador comes to the surface to breath, her transmitter sends us information on her position and her diving behavior. Click to see a pre-launch photo of one of the satellites used to monitor Ambassador's position!
Why is she migrating? This is part of the natural life cycle of wild turtles. At the beginning of the summer, adult male and female turtles travel to the Cayman Islands to breed and nest on our beaches. Then, the turtles travel back to their feeding grounds in other countries where they live for the rest of the year.
Ambassador was tagged after she laid her third nest for the summer, so she is ready to travel back to her feeding ground. Satellite tracking is the only way to follow her migration through the open ocean. We are using the SMRU Satellite Transmitter sponsored by the Ritz Carlton to find out where Ambassador will live until it is time for her to nest again.
Be sure to follow her journey on SEATURTLE.ORG to find out where she will go!
After release, Ambassador visited Cayman Brac --- and then returned to lay another nest in Grand Cayman. This was her second trip away from her nesting beach in Grand Cayman! Previously, she swam south west along the edge of the Cayman Trench (this submarine canyon is the deepest part of the Caribbean Sea). Then, she reached an area in the middle of the ocean known as the Misteriosa Bank -- and suddenly began circling back to Grand Cayman.