by Earth & Sky
In the summer of 2006, 14 healthy sea turtles were released into the surf on Cape Cod. These turtles — from populations listed as endangered or threatened — had been rescued after strandings on New England beaches the previous fall.
They’d spent the winter in local aquariums. Connie Merigo is the marine animal rescue program coordinator at the New England Aquarium. She told Earth & Sky that five of the turtles were fitted with tags attached to their shells that let the turtles’ locations be tracked by satellite. Merigo wants to learn about turtle migration routes. She wants to know how well the aquarium’s rehabilitation methods are working. "Are these animals surviving, or are they going back out into the wild and within a month or a few months or weeks are they dying?" asks Merigo.
Merigo told us that the rehabbed turtles seemed to be doing well. Then, suddenly the tags stopped transmitting. Still, Merigo said she’s not too concerned. "Maybe the turtles are spending a lot more time underwater and when they come up, they’re only coming up and sticking their noses out and not clearing the whole tag. The entire tag has to actually clear the water so the saltwater switches will click on, and that’s what tells the tag to send a message to the satellite."
If you want to track turtles online, visit SeaTurtle.org. Original podcast.