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Sea Turtle Tracking: Caribbean Leatherback Tracking & Conservation Project

Turtle Tracking: Caribbean Leatherbacks
Sea Turtle Conservancy

In 2003 the Sea Turtle Conservancy began to study the migration patterns of critically endangered leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) nesting along the Caribbean coasts of Costa Rica and Panama. The study will reveal important information about the turtle's migratory behavior, which will help both conservationists and natural resource managers to improve protection efforts for this endangered species.

The satellite transmitter attached to each leatherback sends signals to orbiting satellites each time the turtles surface to breath. The data will be collected and downloaded to STC researchers. Educational migration maps will show the best location points of the turtle's movements and locations. This will allow interested persons all over the world to watch along as researchers discover where the giant leatherback turtles travel after nesting. Through STC's Sea Turtle Migration-Tracking Education Program, the public is invited to watch along on the Internet as we learn more about these amazing animals.

For more information on sea turtles, check out the Sea Turtles Information section of our website.


Click on the turtle's name to see a map of its movements.

2016 Turtles

CALYPSO BLUE V - An adult female leatherback sea turtle released with a satellite transmitter from Soropta Beach, Panama on May 30, 2016. She measured 149.7 cm in curved carapace (shell) length and 108.1 cm in curved carapace width. She was previously flipper tagged on Soropta Beach. Calypso Blue V was seen nesting again 9 days later on Soropta Beach. She was named by her sponsor, Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island, Bahamas.

LADY AURELIA - An adult female leatherback sea turtle released with a satellite transmitter from Soropta Beach, Panama on May 28, 2016. She measured 151.1 cm in curved carapace (shell) length and 112.6 cm in curved carapace width. She was originally flipper tagged by beach monitors on Pacuare beach in Costa Rica, over 75 miles (120 km) away. Lady Aurelia was seen nesting again two more times, about 9 days apart, on Soropta Beach. Named by her sponsor, New England Cord Blood Bank, Inc.

TORTUGA TURISTA - An adult female leatherback sea turtle released with a satellite transmitter from Chiriqui Beach, Panama on May 31, 2016. She measured 152.5 cm in curved carapace (shell) length and 102.8 cm in curved carapace width. She was previously flipper tagged by beach monitors on Chiriqui Beach earlier in 2016 nesting season. Tortuga Turista was seen nesting again 9 days later on Chiriqui Beach. Named by her sponsor, USF Patel College of Global Sustainability.

2015 Turtles

CALYPSO BLUE IV - Calypso Blue IV is an adult female leatherback sea turtle released with a satellite transmitter from Soropta Beach, Panama on May 24, 2015. She measured 143.3 cm in curved carapace (shell) length. She was named by her sponsor, Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island, Bahamas.

INSOLITES - Insolites is an adult female leatherback sea turtle released with a satellite transmitter from Chiriquí Beach, Panama on May 26, 2015. She measured 144.2 cm in curved carapace (shell) length. She was named by her sponsor, Continents Insolites SAS.

CANA - Cana is an adult female leatherback sea turtle released with a satellite transmitter from Chiriqui Beach, Panama on May 27, 2015. She measured 132.0 cm in curved carapace (shell) length.

2014 Turtles

CALYPSO BLUE III - Calypso Blue III is an adult female leatherback sea turtle encountered nesting on May 27, 2014, on Soropta Beach, Panama. She measured 144.6 cm in curved carapace (shell) length. Calypso Blue III was named by her sponsor, Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island, Bahamas.

PANAMA JACK - An adult female leatherback sea turtle released with a satellite transmitter from Punta Rincon Beach, Panama on May 25, 2014. She measured 145.0 cm in curved carapace (shell) length and 108.0 cm in curved carapace width. Taking part in the 2014 Tour de Turtles and named by her sponsor, Turtle & Hughes, Inc. Seen nesting again on July 15, 2014.

Sponsors:
Atlantis ResortTurtle & Hughes, Inc.

2013 Turtles

CALYPSO BLUE II - Calypso Blue II is an adult female leatherback sea turtle encountered nesting on May 26, 2013, on Soropta Beach, Panama. She measured 150.9 cm in curved carapace (shell) length and 114.3 cm curved carapace width. Calypso Blue II was named by her sponsor, Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island, Bahamas

PANAMA JACKIE - Panama Jackie is an adult female leatherback sea turtle encountered nesting on May 25, 2013, on Soropta Beach, Panama. She measured 133.3 cm in curved carapace (shell) length and 103.4 cm curved carapace width. She was first flipper tagged on May 6, 2010 and was seen nesting a second time in 2010 on May 14.

Sponsor:
Atlantis Resort

2012 Turtles

KARMA - Karma is an adult female leatherback sea turtle encountered nesting on May 31, 2012, on Chiriquí Beach, Panama. She measured 158.0 cm in curved carapace (shell) length and 111.0 cm curved carapace width. Karma was named by her sponsor, RFQ-hub.

SAILA - Saila is an adult female leatherback sea turtle encountered nesting on May 31, 2012, on Chiriquí Beach, Panama. She measured 159.3 cm in curved carapace (shell) length and 112.5 cm curved carapace width. She laid a nest with 82 eggs. Saila was named by her sponsor, Casa Tortuga

CALYPSO BLUE - Calypso Blue is an adult female leatherback sea turtle encountered nesting on Bluff Beach, in Panama on the night of May 28, 2012. She measured 150.9 cm in curved carapace (shell) length and 112.5 cm curved carapace width. She had been flipper tagged while nesting in a previous year. Calypso Blue was named by her sponsor, Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island, Bahamas.

Sponsors:
Casa Tortuga Atlantis Resort RFQ-hub

2011 Turtles

CRYSTAL - Crystal is an adult female leatherback sea turtle encountered nesting on May 27, 2011, on Chiriquí Beach in Panama. She measured 159 cm in curved carapace (shell) length and 113 cm curved carapace width. She was first observered by STC researchers nesting in the 2009 season.

GROOVE - Groove is an adult female leatherback sea turtle encountered nesting on May 27, 2011, on Chiriquí Beach in Panama. She measured 164 cm in curved carapace (shell) length and 115 cm curved carapace width. She was first observered by STC researchers nesting earlier in the 2004 season. She was also seen during the 2006 nesting season.

SHELLE - Shelle is an adult female leatherback sea turtle encountered nesting on Chiriquí Beach in Panama. She measured 162 cm in curved carapace (shell) length.

ATAMAR - Atamar is an adult female leatherback sea turtle encountered nesting on May 12, 2010, on Maunabo Beach, Puerto Rico in cooperation with Departamento de Recursos Naturales y Ambientales and Amigos Tortuguas Marinas. She measured 160 cm in curved carapace (shell) length and 116 cm in curved carapace width.

Sponsors:
Casa Tortuga Atlantis Resort

2010 Turtles

DAWN - Dawn is an adult female leatherback sea turtle encountered nesting on June 5, 2010, in Zone 7 on Chiriquí Beach in Panama. She measured 145.5 cm in curved carapace (shell) length, smaller than average for a female leatherback that nests on Chiriquí Beach. She was first observered by STC researchers nesting earlier in the 2010 season. Dawn was named by her sponsor, Casa Tortuga.

MELIDI - Melidi is an adult female leatherback sea turtle encountered nesting on June 4, 2010, on Chiriquí Beach in Panama. She measured 136.2 cm in curved carapace (shell) length, smaller than average for a female leatherback that nests on Chiriquí Beach. She was first observered by STC researchers nesting earlier in the 2010 season. Melidi was named by the local turtle monitors.

BIMINI - Bimini is an adult female leatherback sea turtle encountered nesting on June 12, 2010, on Luquillo-Fajardo Beach, Puerto Rico in cooperation with Departamento de Recursos Naturales y Ambientales. She measured 166.6 cm in curved carapace (shell) length. Bimini was named by her sponsor, Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas.

Sponsors:
Casa Tortuga Atlantis Resort

2009 Turtles

LUNA - Luna is an adult female leatherback sea turtle encountered nesting on May 31, 2009, in Zone 6 on Chiriquí Beach in Panama. She measured 157 cm in curved carapace (shell) length, larger than average for a female leatherback that nests on Chiriquí Beach. She was first observered by STC researchers nesting in 2003. Luna was named by the transmitter sponsor, Casa Tortuga.
Update: Luna has been seen nesting at Chiriquí Beach during the start of the 2011 nesting season. We were all happy to see her again!

NAYA - Naya is an adult female leatherback sea turtle encountered nesting on June 1, 2009, in Zone 6 on Chiriquí Beach in Panama. She measured 152.5 cm in curved carapace (shell) length, smaller than average for a female leatherback that nests on Chiriquí Beach. She was first observered by STCresearchers nesting in 2002, and observered nesting again in 2004. A harness with a satellite transmitter was applied after nesting. Naya, which means "Earth" in the native Taino language, was named by the transmitter sponsor, InterContinental Hotel & Resorts - San Juan.

2008 Turtles

MARITIME - Maritime is an adult leatherback sea turtle that was encountered nesting on June 9, 2008, in Zone 2 on Chiriquí Beach in Panama. Named "Yessica" (pronounced "Jessica") by the local turtle monitors, she measured 157.2 cm in curved carapace (shell) length, which is larger than the average size (152 cm), and 112.3 cm curved carapace width. A harness with a satellite transmitter was applied after she finished nesting. Maritime was named by the transmitter sponsor, The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, CT.

MILLANA - Millana is an adult female leatherback sea turtle encountered nesting on June 8, 2008, in Zone 4 on Chiriquí Beach in Panama. Named "Delfina" by the local turtle monitors, she measured 151.3 cm in curved carapace (shell) length and 106.1 cm curved carapace width, an average size for female leatherbacks seen on Chiriquí Beach. A harness with a satellite transmitter was applied after nesting. Millana was named by the transmitter sponsor, Casa Tortuga.

Sponsors:
Casa Tortuga The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk

2007 Turtles

JAMUR - Jamur is an adult female leatherback sea turtle encountered nesting on May 29, 2007, in Zone 9 on Chiriquí Beach in Panama. She measured 151.4 cm in curved carapace (shell) length, close to average size (152 cm) for female leatherbacks seen on Chiriquí Beach, but she was much wider than average at 113 cm. She had first been flipper tagged with metal flipper tags in 2004. A harness with a satellite transmitter was applied after nesting. Jamur was named by the transmitter sponsor, BRUNNEN.

CHOROEÜO - Choroeüo (pronounced "cho-ro-guro"), is an adult leatherback sea turtle that was encountered nesting on May 30, 2007, in Zone 5 on Chiriquí Beach in Panama. Her name means "watched by many eyes" in the local tribal language. She measured 157.2 cm in curved carapace (shell) length which is larger than the average size (152 cm). Choreüo had first been encountered nesting and was flipper tagged with Monel metal tags earlier in the season on Chiriquí Beach on April 3. A harness with a satellite transmitter was applied after she finished nesting. Choroeüo transmitter was funded by a grant from the Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund.

2006 Turtles

RICKIE - Rickie is an adult female leatherback sea turtle encountered nesting on June 15, 2006, in Zone 2 on Chiriquí Beach in Panama. She measured 150 cm in curved carapace (shell) length, slightly smaller than the average leatherback female seen on Chiriquí Beach. She had first been flipper tagged with metal flipper tags at Long Beach, Panama on April 20, 2006. She then nested two more times at Long Beach. She then nested once at Chiriquí Beach previous to June 15th. A harness with a satellite transmitter was applied after nesting. Rickie was named by the transmitter sponsor, The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, CT.

IBÉLICE (aka Ibé Zaju) - Ibélice is an adult female leatherback sea turtle that was encountered nesting on June 16, 2006, in Zone 4 on Chiriquí Beach in Panama. She measured 156.1 cm in curved carapace (shell) length which is slightly larger than the average size (152 cm). Ibélice had first been encountered nesting and was flipper tagged with Monel metal tags on Chiriquí Beach in 2001. Since then she had lost one of her flipper tags and was retagged earlier in 2006 while nesting on Long Beach, Panama, located about 70 km north, and had also been seen earlier during the 2005 season. A harness with a satellite transmitter was applied after she finished nesting. Ibélice's transmitter was funded by grants from the WWF Tortugas Marinas Program and the Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund.

2005 Turtles

UNSULI FERMINA - Fermina is an adult female leatherback sea turtle that was encountered nesting on June 18, 2005, in Zone 3 on Chiriquí Beach in Panama. She measured 163 cm in curved carapace (shell) length, larger than the average leatherback female seen on Chiriqui Beach. She had already been flipper tagged with metal flipper tags at Chiriquí Beach earlier during the 2005 nesting season. A harness with a satellite transmitter was applied after she finished laying 72 normal eggs and 44 yolkless eggs. Unsuli Fermina was named by a team of beach monitors working with STC in Rio Cana. Fermina's transmitter was funded by a grant from the Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund.

SHELLDON - Shelldon is an adult female leatherback sea turtle that was encountered nesting on June 14, 2005, in Zone 3 on Chiriquí Beach in Panama. She measured 164.2 cm in curved carapace (shell) length which is larger than the average size (152 cm). Shelldon had already been flipper tagged with Monel metal flipper tags on Chiriquí Beach during the 2003 nesting season, and had also been seen earlier during the 2005 season. A harness with a satellite transmitter was applied after she finished laying 88 eggs and 20 yolkless eggs. The turtle was named by the transmitter sponsor, Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay.

IDUN - Idun (pronounced "e-den") is an adult female leatherback sea turtle. She was encountered nesting on June 17, 2005, in Zone 3 on Chiriquí Beach in Panama. She measured 152 cm in curved carapace (shell) length. Idun had not previously been encountered on this beach and did not have flipper id tags. A harness with a satellite transmitter was applied after she finished laying 52 eggs. Idun's transmitter was sponsored by WWF-International, Nokia and WWF-United States.

CRISTINA - Cristina is an adult female leatherback sea turtle. She was encountered nesting on June 18, 2005, in Zone 3 on Chiriquí Beach in Panama. She measured 152 cm in curved carapace (shell) length, the same as leatherback female "Idun". Cristina had already been flipper tagged with metal flipper tags at Chiriquí Beach during the 2003 nesting season, and had also been seen on Chiriqui Beach earlier during the 2005 season. A harness with a satellite transmitter was applied after she finished laying 70 normal eggs and 8 yolkless eggs. Cristina's transmitter was sponsored by WWF-International, Nokia and WWF-United States.

ROAMIN' ROMANA - Romana is an adult female leatherback turtle and was encountered nesting on the night of July 7, 2005, in Zone 3 on Chiriquí Beach in Panama. She measured 152 cm in carapace length and 103.7 cm in carapace width. She carried two metal flipper tags, one applied during the 2002 nesting season and the other applied earlier during the 2005 nesting season at Chiriquí Beach. A harness with a satellite transmitter was applied after she finished laying 67 normal eggs and 45 yolkless eggs. Roamin' Romana was named by the Roman School in Washington D.C., which provided the funds for her satellite transmitter.

View maps of all the leatherbacks being tracked through STC's cooperative educational project with the World Wildlife Fund, Tracking the Movement of Leatherbacks in the Atlantic.

2004 Turtles

BRITANNIA - Britannia is an adult female leatherback sea turtle and was encountered nesting on May 27, 2004, at mile 16 4/8 (near Jalova) of the Tortuguero beach. She measured 143.5 cm in curved carapace (shell) length, small for a leatherback. She had already been flipper tagged with metal id tags at the Pacuare Nature Reserve, south of Tortuguero, on March 29, 2001. She had also been seen earlier this season nesting in Tortuguero on April 12, 2004. A leatherback harness with a satellite transmitter was applied after she finished nesting. Britannia's transmitter was funded by the British Embassy - San Jose, Costa Rica.

MARINA - Marina is an adult female leatherback sea turtle and was encountered nesting on May 26, 2004, at mile 16 2/8 (near Jalova) of the Tortuguero beach. She measured 160 cm in curved carapace (shell) length and was previously flipper tagged on April 13, 1996. She was seen again by CCC researchers on April 11, 1998 and then again on March 25, 2002. A leatherback harness with a satellite transmitter was applied after she finished nesting. Marina's transmitter was funded by the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay.

PURRUJA (also known as "Purra") - Purruja is an adult female leatherback sea turtle that was encountered nesting near marker 48 on the morning of May 30, 2004, in Gandoca Nature Reserve, Costa Rica (near the border with Panama). She measured 163 cm in curved carapace (shell) length and had been previously flipper tagged with metal id tags VA2121 and V1920. A leatherback harness with a satellite transmitter was applied after she finished nesting. The leatherback project at the Gandoca Reserve is coodinated by ANAI. Purruja's transmitter was funded by the National Aquarium in Baltimore and PADI Project Aware.

2003 Turtles

2003: The first year of this project was a cooperative effort between Caribbean Conservation Corporation, Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute, and University of Central Florida. The satellite transmitters and attachment harnesses were funded and supplied by Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute. Satellite attachment training was provided by researchers with the University of Central Florida. The harnesses and satellite transmitters were attached by Caribbean Conservation Corporation staff in Tortuguero, Costa Rica.

CHICA TICA - Chica Tica ("Costa Rican Girl") is an adult female leatherback sea turtle and was encountered nesting on June 7, 2003, at mile 17 (near Jalova) of the Tortuguero beach. She measured 138.5 cm in curved carapace (shell) length, small for a leatherback. She had already been flipper tagged with metal id tags VA1784 and VA1785 at the Pacuare Nature Reserve, about 12 miles south of Tortuguero, on April 9, 2003. A leatherback harness with a satellite transmitter was applied after she finished nesting.

UPDATE: Chica Tica returned to nest on April 3, 2005, almost two years after being attached with a satellite transmitter & harness. She successfully laid 77 eggs on a beach just south of Tortuguero, Costa Rica. Her transmitter harness was removed after she nested.

FLORA - Flora ("Flower") is an adult female leatherback sea turtle and was encountered nesting on June 5, 2003, at mile 17 (near Jalova) of the Tortuguero beach. She measured 155 cm in curved carapace (shell) length and was flipper tagged, with metal id tags VA2872 and VA2873, the same night. A leatherback harness with a satellite transmitter was applied after she finished nesting.


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