Turtle Tracker: 1999 Florida Atlantic Coast Loggerhead Turtle Tracking Project

Sea Turtle Conservancy

During late July and August 1999, researcher Barbara Schroeder (National Marine Fisheries Service) and Allen Foley (Florida Department of Environmental Protection), attached satellite transmitters to five loggerhead sea turtles in Florida. Three transmitters were attached to turtles on the Gulf coast near Manasota Key with the assistance of the Manasota Key Sea Turtle Patrol. The other two transmitters were placed on turtles that had nested in the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge near Melbourne, Florida with the assistance of Dr. Llew Ehrhart and his students (University of Central Florida). The research is aimed at locating principle foraging grounds and migratory routes used by Florida's loggerhead sea turtles.

In addition, while scouting for turtles at the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, researchers came across an old friend, a green turtle named Marjorie. Marjorie had been satellite tagged in 1997 and finding her again in 1998 gave researchers an opportunity to test a new type of transmitter and the chance to follow the same turtle for a second year.

Similar tracking experiments conducted by Barbara Schroeder on green sea turtles during the past four years yielded exciting new information about where female sea turtles travel after nesting on Florida's east coast. See the section titled "Results of 1994 & 1995 Migration-Tracking of Florida Green Turtles", "Results from 1996 Migration Tracking" and "Results from 1997 Green Tracking Project" for more details.

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

The National Marine Fisheries Service and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection would like to thank John McCarthy of the Manasota Key Turtle Patrol, Jerris Foote of Mote Marine Laboratory, and Lew Ehrhart and Dean Bagley of the University of Central Florida Marine Turtle Research Group for their assistance with this project.


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

DELTA - Delta is a female loggerhead that was first tagged on August 17, 1999 on the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge.

KAREN - Karen was first encountered nesting on August 18, 1999, on the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge. She had one tag scar, indicating that she had likely been encountered nesting on the Carr refuge during a previous nesting season but had since lost her tags. A satellite tag and flipper tags were applied after she finished nesting. Karen measured 99.1 cm in curved carapace (shell) length.

SANDY - Sandy was first encountered nesting on August 18, 1999, on the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge. A satellite tag and flipper tags were applied after she finished nesting. Sandy measured 107.8 cm in curved carapace (shell) length.

FRANCIS - Francis was first flipper tagged on May 10, 1999, when she was discovered nesting on the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge by the University of Central Florida marine turtle group. She had two tag scars, which likely means she had been encountered nesting at the Carr refuge during a previous nesting season but had since lost her tags. On August 19, Francis again was encountered on the refuge, and a satellite tag was applied after she finished nesting. Francis measured 100.7 cm in curved carapace (shell) length.

DESTINY - Destiny was first flipper tagged on June 20, 1999, when she was discovered nesting on the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge by the University of Central Florida marine turtle group. On August 19, she was encountered on the refuge, and a satellite tag was applied after she finished nesting. Destiny was made a celebrity by several television news stations and newspapers that covered her satellite tag application. She measured 102.0 cm in curved carapace (shell) length.

Thanks to Sakona Ly of Orlando, Florida for suggesting the name Destiny. And thanks to the over 300 people who submitted a suggestion.


Funding for the 1999 Florida Atlantic Coast Turtle Satellite Tracking Project was provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the NOAA/National Marine Fisheries Service. Maps created by the Sea Turtle Conservancy.