Losing track of Everett
Editor’s Note: This year, the STPS Board of Directors has funded two satellite transmitters for Dean Bagley, a researcher with the University of Central Florida’s Marine Turtle Research Group. STPS has supported Bagley’s work researching male green sea turtles for several years. This year, the board has named the two male green sea turtles being tracked with the satellite transmitters. The first is named Everett, in honor of longtime STPS volunteer Everett Tindall who turned 91 in June. The second turtle has been named Peter, in honor of STPS founder Peter Bandre and the 35th anniversary of the organization in 2021. Dean Bagley will provide periodic updates to STPS as she tracks the turtles this summer.
By DEAN BAGLEY
UCF Marine Turtle Research Group researcher
I am so very sorry to have to say that we may have lost our first transmitter as of Sept. 23. Sometimes it is some kind of fouling that keeps an antenna from transmitting, and I’ve had that happen, but more often it means that the turtle has lost its transmitter. In this case, it’s our turtle named Everett. I’ll continue to watch for him and if he turns up again I’ll let you know right away.
Everett’s last GPS signal was received on Sept. 22, 2021, still in the same area as the last few weeks, just a little southwest of the Marquesas Keys. Everett was deployed on June 9, 2021, from Melbourne Beach near the Tuscany Sun Motel (formerly the Sand Gate Motel). I’ve sent three maps: one of his entire migration from June 9 to Sept. 22; one closeup of his movements around the Marquesas since arriving there on July 8, 2021, including the 11-day loop out to New Ground and his four-day stay there before returning to the Marquesas on July 20, 2021. I’ve also sent an extremely close look of his locations to the southwest of the Marquesas. I apologize for the quality of the maps. When I zoom in, the maps lose some of their quality.
While his transmitter did not send data for as long as I’d hoped, the fact that he completed his migration and settled in a specific foraging area gave us the data we needed for his trip to be successful. Blood, skin and scute samples collected before deployment will increase the sample size and knowledge of stable isotopes in green turtles being studied by Simona Ceriani at Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
While Peter was still in the same area north of Key Largo and Radabob Keys, I took this opportunity to send two maps. The first shows his entire migration from deployment on June 26, 2021, in Melbourne Beach on the south side of South Shores condominium (the “pink condo”) through the last location on Sept. 28 at 5:10 a.m. From the cluster of red dots, you can see that he has settled into a much smaller foraging area or home range. I’m hoping that he will continue to show us what he does for several months to come.
I am grateful to the board members of the Sea Turtle Preservation Society for their interest in this project and for wanting to support this work. I think it is important, and we continue to learn from each tracked turtle, but I also think it is fun for everyone to be able to watch the migrations and movements of the tracked turtles. It’s been a great collaboration!