Where in the world is shehyn?

Two days ago, FLI researchers attached a transmitter to a nesting leatherback to monitor her movements during the internesting period. Leatherbacks nest up to 9 times in a season and typically nest every 9-11 days. Not much is known about their behavior in this short window so our team is tracking them during this time to get a better idea of what they’re doing. We are now in our 3rd year of looking at this behavior. We have to be very selective about the turtle we choose for a transmitter. These turtles get two types of tags – one that collects location and another that collects dive movement and behavior. While some of the locations are transmitted back to us via satellite, most of the information is stored on the tag. That means we have to get it back! So we have to choose a turtle that we’re fairly certain will come back again this season and hopefully in a somewhat accessible area so that we can remove the tags and download all of the valuable data. We got lucky and came across Shehyn on Sunday night. Shehyn was tagged by our team in June of 2014 so we know she has a history of nesting late into the season. We’ve also seen her 5 times on Jupiter Island this year so she should be pretty easy to find again. Follow along as we give you daily updates about Shehyn’s location. Just two hours ago she was 25 miles off the coast of Sebastian. Why is this area so important? Keep reading below…

tracking

 

Over the years, we’ve learned that after nesting, leatherbacks head straight to the Florida Current and head north. They take 2-3 days to swim north and eventually reach the Cape Canaveral area. There they do something very important that we call “The Turn.” If leatherbacks don’t turn there, it could mean that they’re done for the season and they’ll keep heading north. But if they make “the turn,” then we know they’re heading back this way for at least one more nest. So keep your eyes peeled on our WEBSITE and keep your fingers crossed that Shehyn makes “the turn!” If not, in about 25 days, her transmitter will fall to the bottom of the Ocean (as a safety measure) with all of its valuable data with it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.