Hi All, Below I'm posting a news release that went out earlier in the week. If you are interested in following the course of our turtles this year, I strongly suggest that you subscribe to the STCB E-Newsletter. Go to
Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire and click on "Newsletter". I seriously doubt that time will allow for me to post here on a regular basis.
PRESS RELEASE - For immediate release
Thursday, June 9, 2005 - Kralendijk, Bonaire
SATELLITE TRACKING OF TURTLES FROM BONAIRE STARTS WITH RELEASE OF ADULT MALE HAWKSBILL
Sea turtles have started to breed on Bonaire again, which means that the big adult turtles are back on the reefs of Klein Bonaire and along Bonaire’s southwest coast. Adult turtles visit Klein Bonaire for only a few months every 2 to 3 years, coming from their feeding grounds far away. To adequately protect sea turtles in all their habitats, we must learn more about their migratory patterns, their behavior at sea, and where their marine habitats are located. This is where the technology of satellite telemetry becomes useful and important in protecting sea turtles.
Building on the success of the last two years of tracking turtles from Bonaire, Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire (STCB) plans to place up to four transmitters on turtles in 2005. On June 8, the first of these transmitters was attached on a large adult male hawksbill turtle. This animal was found swimming just off the nesting beach at Klein Bonaire, then caught by STCB staff and lifted on board the research boat “Nancy Too” for transmitter attachment.
The male hawksbill has a shell length of 83 cm and is estimated to weigh about 70 kg. The turtle remained calm throughout the tagging, measurement and transmitter application procedures. After fitting the transmitter, the turtle was released where he was found near Klein Bonaire’s “No Name” beach.
Tracking of this male hawksbill is made possible by a full sponsorship provided by the cruise ship “Freewinds”. The turtle will be given a name by the sponsor soon. STCB staff expects that this hawksbill will remain near Klein Bonaire to breed for possibly one or two months and then depart to return to his feeding grounds.
Turtle tracking works through signals sent out by the transmitter, which is switched on whenever the turtle comes to the surface to breathe. These transmissions are then collected by Argos system receivers onboard weather satellites that circle the globe, yielding location data for each turtle that are e-mailed daily to Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire. Turtle locations are mapped frequently and available on the website www.bonaireturtles.org.
Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire exists to ensure the protection and recovery of Bonaire's sea turtle populations throughout their range. Founded in 1992, the STCB is a Bonaire-based, non-governmental and non-profit organization, part of the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network.
Press contact: Mabel Nava, Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire, telephone 599 717 2225 and 790 0433, e-mail email@example.com
Photo legends (photo credit STCB):
Volunteer Isaiah J. Pardo and STCB staff Gielmon “Funchi” Egbreghts releasing the adult male hawksbill fitted with a transmitter sponsored by cruise ship “Freewinds”.
Adult male hawksbill swimming at Klein Bonaire after attachment of a transmitter sponsored by cruise ship “Freewinds”.