A project of Grupo Tortuguero Tracking Project.
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Life Stage: Sub-Adult
Release Date: 2005-09-03 00:00:00
Release Location: Bahia de Ulloa
Last Location: 2006-01-03 02:00:01
Beth and Emma
Bert and Ben Schrecongost
Zapata was hand-captured, instrumented, and released by Rodrigo Donadi, Natalia Rossi, David Maldonado, Dana Wingfield, Pakiko Sanchez, Capitan Cheque Garcia, and Hoyt Peckham of PROYECTO CAGUAMA on 2 September 2005 off Puerto Lopez Mateos, BCS Mexico. Zapata is the first sub-adult male of over 1100 loggerheads we have hand-captured or recovered stranded along the BCS coast since 1999. Zapata may prove to be the first wild caught turtle to swim all the way back to Japan. Yamilet set out from the Baja California peninsula in 1999 much like Zapata but stopped northwest of Hawaii. The beloved Adelita swam over 10,000 km all the way to Japan from the BCS coast, confirming that loggerheads cross the pacific and setting a new transoceanic migration record. Adelita was instrumented and released by Wallace J. Nichols, Antonio Resendiz, and Jeff Seminoff in 1996 after being held for research purposes by Resendiz for the prior 10 years. Zapata, Yamilet and Adelita’s transpacific migrations remind us that the oceans are connected and that we need to work together to protect sea turtles and their habitats. ProCaguama and Zapata’s tracking are made possible with support from the National Marine Fisheries Service with full permission of the Mexican government.
To see photos of ZAPATA's release, search his name in the seaturtle.org image library. For more information, email Hoyt Peckham firstname.lastname@example.org and see www.grupotortuguero.org.
Loggerhead turtles, known locally as caguamas, connect the ecosystems and cultures of the Pacific Rim through their migrations; as juveniles they travel from Japan to Mexico via the Hawaiian archipelago, and at maturity they return to their Japanese nesting beaches to reproduce. These Pacific ambassadors gather for decades at the coast of Baja California Sur to feed and mature. Off Puerto Lopez Mateos, they forage especially close to shore where artisanal gillnet and longline fishing is intense. This unfortunate overlap of fishing and foraging results in severe loggerhead bycatch, contributing more than any other known source to their critically endangered status and distinguishing them as among the most endangered of sea creatures. ProCaguama, a community-based campaign of the grassroots conservation network Grupo Tortuguero linked text, is empowering fishers and other costeños to protect endangered sea turtles and the threatened ecosystems they inhabit through partnerships to eliminate bycatch.