A project of Mote Marine Laboratory.
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Life Stage: Adult
Release Date: 2007-05-19 09:30:00
Release Location: Casey Key
Last Location: 2008-05-28 12:22:00
John & Jo Pickrell
Ciaran & Shealyn & Donovan
Hannah, Jacob and Keturah Neukom
Bessie is a big female, 108.1 cm curved carapace length. She nested on Casey Key in 2005. Because she shows site fidelity and will probably lay several more nests this year, she is a good specimen to attach data-loggers with high probability of recovery as she nests about every 14 days over the summer. How many nests do you think she will lay? Will all nests be on Casey Key? As a citizen scientist, you will learn as Bessie's tracking history unfolds over the summer.
Bessie carries a time depth recorder that will record dive behavior. We want to discover what proportion of time she spends in an upper zone of the water column where she might be at risk of boat strikes. Those data are relevant because of the offshore boat races and boat traffic near Sarasota nesting beaches in the middle of the nesting season. http://www.suncoastoffshore.org/
Bessie also has an acoustic recorder/accelerometer that will record the underwater soundscape (fish noises, boat sounds) and turtle responses (sudden diving at an approaching boat). Similar work with manatees and dolphins has detailed the frequency of interactions from boat traffic.
Bessie will be included in studies on epibiota (the barnacles on her shell), a genetic study, surveys of heavy metal contaminants, and the thermal determinants of nest site selection. Tag is a Kiwisat 101, on continuously for 60 days, then duty cycled 8 hr on/16 hr. off.
Swim on, Miss Bessie!