Ginger Tracked 1,670 days, Longest On Record
Ginger, one of STC's satellite-tracked hawksbill sea turtles, has been tracked continuously by satellite for almost five years, possibly the longest tracked sea turtle migration on record.
The female hawksbill turtle was encountered in 2007 on a secluded stretch of beach on the Caribbean island of Nevis and equipped with a satellite transmitter as part of a conservation partnership between STC, Four Seasons Resort Nevis and the Nevis Turtle Group.
Hawksbills migrate between nesting and feeding sites every two to three years and have adapted to living on coral reefs. Using their hawk-like beaks, these turtles eat sponges, anemones, squid and shrimp found in the waters around Nevis.
'We expected that she would stay close to Nevis, since hawksbills are not known for their long-distance migrations,' said Daniel Evans, STC Research and Technology Specialist. 'But we never expected her transmitter to send signals for almost five years.'
Satellite-transmitters are designed to last one to two years based on the battery life. When asked about the longevity of Ginger's transmitters, SirTrack, which manufactures the transmitters, expressed that it 'has to be close to a world record.'
Before Ginger stopped sending signals on February 23, 2012, the longest tracked migration was of a sub-adult loggerhead sea turtle tagged in the Chesapeake Bay by researcher Kate Mansfield. Mansfield was able to follow this sea turtle for 1,415 days before the unit stopped transmitting. (Source seaturtle.org)
Cumulative distance traveled: 3,750 km (2,330 miles)
Distance covered since last location: 11.68 km (7.25 miles)
Time tracked: 1,670 days
Average speed since release: 0.09 kph (0.06 mph)
Average speed since last location: 0.49 kph (0.30 mph)
Time since last location update: 11,589 hours