An old friend

Last night, Niki, one of our permitted volunteers and a staff member at Ecological Associates was conducting some monitoring on Hutchinson Island and ran into an old friend. Actually, it was a turtle that she had tagged on that very same beach 11 years ago while working for Ecological Associates conducting monitoring for a nourishment event. She tagged her on April 25th, 2005 and named her Gale. She said she even recognized her when she came across her last night! Gale hasn’t been back since that year so it was great to have her back. She’s only been encountered on Hutchinson Island which has sporadic leatherback monitoring so I guess that is her beach. We had five leatherbacks in addition to Gale last night, including a turtle that was found nesting in Melbourne just 9 days ago. The University of Central Florida tagging crew in Melbourne has found 2 other turtles that we tagged down here as well. Wildfire was tagged by our crew in 2014 and has been observed in Melbourne and Jupiter Island this year. Squeaky, one of our new girls that got her name from the funny squeaks she makes while nesting, was found in Melbourne 11 days after we tagged her here. We’ve got some wandering turtles this year! In other exciting news – hatchlings are here! There have now been several reported hatched nests in the last few days. One of our crew members even spotted one last weekend! We’re just a night or two away from our 200th encounter of the year. Stay tuned!

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