Editor’s Note: In 2022, the STPS Board of Directors provided funding for satellite transmitters for Dean Bagley, a researcher with the University of Central Florida’s Marine Turtle Research Group (MTRG). STPS has supported Bagley’s work researching male green sea turtles for several years. She has been providing periodic updates to STPS as she tracks the turtles.
By DEAN BAGLEY
UCF Marine Turtle Research Group (MTRG) Researcher
October 4, 2023
Wonders apparently never cease, and this is the wonder of wonders… After we deployed the last transmitter on a male green turtle with Inwater Research Group on 4 August, I left for an extended vacation in New York. Knowing that he would be the last, I put away all of the tracking gear and shut down the remaining transmitter and put it in the freezer for storage until next year. I returned to Melbourne Beach on 20 September to help with some night work in Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge. On 24 September, I got a call from Ryan Welsh at Inwater Research that they had captured an adult male green turtle and did I want to attach my last transmitter to it…?
Needless to say, while the transmitter thawed, I called Janet Hochella, pulled the gear back together and loaded it into the truck, plugged the transmitter into the computer to wake it up and set it to standby mode, picked up Janet, and went to St. Lucie County. There, we found a beautiful 95cm, 275lb male green turtle sitting in a tub waiting for us. This turtle became “Rattlesnake” for Doc Ehrhart’s self-imposed nickname. Thanks to the ongoing collaborations with Sea Turtle Preservation Society (funding) and Inwater Research Group (turtles), we’ve been able to deploy Llewellyn, Ehrhart, McDowell and Rattlesnake all in one summer in our tribute to honor the late and great Doc Ehrhart. He is missed but not forgotten, and I can’t thank each of you enough for the parts you played in making this happen. Thanks especially to Ryan Welsh (also a UCF PhD student) for coordinating this effort, and for capturing Rattlesnake along with Andie. I apologize that this email didn’t come sooner. There was an issue with the map-making data and it took until this morning to get it straightened out. During this time, Rattlesnake made it to the Keys. With any luck, he’s not quite home yet and we’ll get to watch him swim a while longer. If he is home, he is very near the same location that one of our previously tagged turtles (Redfoot, 2017) settled. You can follow each turtle’s track here: