It’s time to track Jack and Apollo
By Dean Bagley, UCF Marine Turtle Research Group
Editor’s Note: The Sea Turtle Preservation Society has provided funding to assist with two transmitters for Dean Bagley’s research in 2019. Each was placed on a male green sea turtle. One transmitter was made possible through a donation by Justin Osborne and family to honor his late father.
Welcome to a new year of tracking, and thank you again for providing the funds for these tags! Thanks to the board members who got out of bed at some ridiculous hour to join us for the send off!
Jack, named for Jack Osborne (husband to Pamela, who we honored last year) was released/deployed on May 25, 2019, at about 5:40 a.m. across from the Mobile station next door to the Driftwood Plaza (in front of the recently demolished UCF beach house) in Melbourne Beach. Justin Osborne and family asked that we name him to honor his late father. What a lovely sentiment to have turtles/transmitters named for both of his parents! Jack was a gorgeous male green turtle. Jack has been busy since deployment, traveling as far north as Patrick AFB and as far south as Sebastian Inlet, but stopped short of crossing over into Indian River County. His last GPS location on June 1 puts him off Marks’ Landing, in the very center of the Brevard County portion of the Carr Refuge. In the attached map, the dark green hits are the oldest, then lighter green, to yellow, orange, and the most recent locations are in bright red. You will notice a couple of red lines going west from the locations on the map. These are erroneous locations that I am not able to remove from the data. I’ll work with Wildlife Computers to get them taken out of the dataset. For now, please ignore them. Board members in attendance were Dori Hughes, Noelle Villanueva and Jax Maisto, and they were joined by Carol Hansen.
Apollo… wow! Whoever came up with this name must have had some intuition. Apollo was named to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo program, and to honor the program workers and astronauts. (As an aside, my uncle worked on the Apollo program all those years ago). Apollo was released/deployed on May 28, 2019, at 6:20 a.m., less than half a kilometer north of the release location for Jack, about 200 meters north of the Driftwood Plaza. Two photos attached, taken with low light camera. Living up to his name, Apollo swam directly north and has been hanging out off the Cape since May 29. How could he know? The color system described above is the same for all maps. I’ve sent a map of his movements, as well as a closeup of his locations at the Cape. Again you will notice a red track near the bottom of the map. This is another of those erroneous locations that I will endeavor to have removed from the data. Board member Kathy LeBresco joined us for the attachment and release.
Stay tuned for the adventures of Jack and Apollo!