Turtle Tracker: Tracking the Movement of Leatherbacks in the Atlantic

WWF Tortugas Marinas
Sea Turtle Conservancy
Proyecto Karumbe
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Centre d´Ecologie et Physiologie Energétique
IUCN
PRICTMA

Criticaly endangered leatherbacks (Dermochelys coriacea) have been recorded migrating across the Atlantic between nesting grounds and feeding areas. The main threat to the Atlantic leatherbacks is believed to be incidental capture in coastal gill nets and longlines. The World Wildlife Fund is coordinating a multilateral project for the study of transatlantic leatherback movements from French Guiana, Panama, Uruguay, Suriname and Gabon. Satellite transmitters will be attached to several leatherback sea turtles at each study site. The project will reveal important information about the turtle's migratory behavior, which will help both conservationists and natural resource managers design bycatch reduction measures for the Atlantic Ocean.

This is a cooperative project between the WWF Tortugas Marinas - Programa para América Latina y el Caribe, the Sea Turtle Conservancy (Panama & Suriname), Proyecto Karumbé (Uruguay), WWF-France: Guianas Program (French Guiana), WWF-Gabon (Gabon), IUCN-France (Gabon), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Centre d´Ecologie et Physiologie Energétique (CEPE), and Bureau régional du Programme Kudu.


Single map with all current tracks. Click to enlarge.
The satellite transmitters being attached to the turtles will send signals to orbiting satellites each time the turtles surface to breathe. The data will be mapped by STC as part of its Sea Turtle Migration-Tracking Education Program. A map for each turtle listed below 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 the pathways of these giant leatherback turtles.

For more information on sea turtles, check out the Sea Turtles Information section of our website. Learn more about WWF's Tracking the movement of leatherbacks in the Atlantic.


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

Suriname Turtles - Sponsored by WWF-United Kingdom and SkyTV-UK
AITKANTI - Aitkanti (pronounced "eyet-can-tea") is an adult female leatherback sea turtle. She was encountered nesting on the morning of June 25, 2005, on Samsambo Beach in Suriname. She measured 147.5 cm in curved carapace (shell) length. Aitkanti had already been pit tagged during the 2001 nesting season. A harness with a satellite transmitter was applied after she finished nesting.

KAWANA - Kawana (pronouced "ka-wanna") is an adult female leatherback sea turtle. She was encountered nesting on the morning of June 26, 2005, on Samsambo Beach in Suriname. She measured 152 cm in curved carapace (shell) length. Kawana had not previously been encountered on this beach and was not pit or metal id tagged. A harness with a satellite transmitter was applied after she finished nesting.

Learn more about Satellite Tracking of Marine Turtles in the Guianas.

Argentina Turtles - Sponsored by WWF-International
NACHA - Nacha, a healthy adult leatherback, was incidentally captured by an entanglement net in the Sanborombon Bay on March 25, 2012. This research is within the framework of the trans-Atlantic Leatherback Conservation Initiative (TALCIN). The team of researchers included PRICTMA, the Aquamarina Foundation, Buenos Aires Zoo, Sea World Foundation, Bay Nature Reserve Sanborombon-OPDS and artisanal fishermen of San Clemente del tuyu.


GIOCONDA - Gioconda, a healthy adult leatherback, was incidentally captured by an entanglement net in the Sanborombon Bay on April 6, 2010. This research is within the framework of the trans-Atlantic Leatherback Conservation Initiative (TALCIN). The team of researchers included PRICTMA, the Aquamarina Foundation, Buenos Aires Zoo, Sea World Foundation, Bay Nature Reserve Sanborombon-OPDS and artisanal fishermen of San Clemente del tuyu.


ZOE - Zoe, a healthy adult female leatherback, was incidentally captured by an entaglement net in the Rio de la Plata estuary, Uruguay. Local fishermen brought the turtle to the coast and immediately contacted members of the Karumbé project. A satellite tag from PRICTMA (Argentina) was then brought from Buenos Aires, making possible to deploy the transmitter on the turtle after a tremendous team effort from both countries. Zoe's transmitter was attached as part of a cooperative project between Proyecto Karumbé and PRICTMA.

Panama Turtles - Sponsored by WWF-International, Nokia and WWF-United States
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.

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.

ROAMIN' ROMANA - Romana is an adult female leatherback turtle, and was encountered nesting on the night of July 7, 2005, in Zone 3 on Chiriqui 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.

Panama Turtles - Sponsored by Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay and the Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund
UNSULI FERMINA - Fermina is an adult female leatherback sea turtle, and was encountered nesting on June 18, 2005, in Zone 3 on Chiriquí Beach in Panama. She measured 163 cm in curved carapace (shell) length. She had already been flipper tagged with metal id tags earlier during the 2005 nesting season. A harness with a satellite transmitter was applied after she finished laying 72 eggs.

SHELLDON - Shelldon is an adult female leatherback sea turtle, and 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. She had already been flipper tagged with metal id tags during the 2003 nesting season, and had been seen earlier during the 2005 season. A harness with a satellite transmitter was applied after she finished laying 88 eggs.

Gabon Turtles - Sponsored by CMS & WWF-Netherlands
CAROLINE - Caroline is an adult female leatherback sea turtle. She was encountered nesting on March 4, 2006, on Kinguere Beach in the Pongara National Park in Gabon. Caroline measured 160 cm in shell length and had many shells on her carapace. A harness with a satellite transmitter was applied after she finished nesting.

IBONGA - Ibonga is an adult female leatherback sea turtle. She was encountered nesting on the morning of March 5, 2006, on Kinguere Beach in the Pongara National Park in Gabon. Ibonga measured 163 cm in shell length. A harness with a satellite transmitter was applied after she finished nesting.

QUASIMODA - Quasimoda is an adult female leatherback sea turtle. She was encountered nesting on the morning of March 5, 2006, on Kinguere Beach in the Pongara National Park in Gabon. Ibonga measured 143 cm in shell length. A harness with a satellite transmitter was applied after she finished nesting.

Uruguay Turtles - Sponsored by CMS and WWF-Germany
GURI - Onboard an uruguayan longline fishing vessel a new satellite transmitter was attached to "Gurí", a 159 cm male leatherback, on July 31, 2006. The position where the turtle was incidentally captured by the longliner was in international waters off the coast of Uruguay.

MARINA - Marina was the first of the Uruguay leatherbacks to be satellite tagged. A 148 cm leatherback female, Marina was tagged onboard a pelagic longliner by Philip Miller (Proyecto Karumbé), who will remain onboard the longliner for the next 2-3 months. The position where she was incidentally captured by the longliner was in International waters at 29.53° S and 41.7° W, with a water temperature of 23.7°C.

VICTORIA - Onboard an Uruguayan long-line fishing vessel another satellite transmitter was attached to a 126 cm juvenile leatherback, named "Victoria" by the crew of the vessel. The position where the turtle was incidentally captured by the long-liner off the coast of Uruguay.

French Guiana Turtles - Sponsored by CMS & WWF-Germany
PALANA - Palana is an adult female leatherback sea turtle. She was encountered nesting on July 28, 2005, in French Guiana. A harness with a satellite transmitter was applied after she finished nesting.

YALIMAPO - Yalimapo is an adult female leatherback sea turtle. She was encountered nesting on July 26, 2005, in French Guiana. A harness with a satellite transmitter was applied after she finished nesting.

APOTILÏ - Apotilï is an adult female leatherback sea turtle. She was encountered nesting on July 26, 2005, in French Guiana. A harness with a satellite transmitter was applied after she finished nesting.

Project Sponsors:
Nokia
SkyTV - UK