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Born Free USA Global Field Projects

Tracking the Turtles

Published 08/07/12

Over the past two months, Sea Sense has employed the latest satellite technology to determine post nesting movements of four green turtles. All four were tagged in Juani Island, which is the most important nesting site for green turtles in Tanzania.

Each turtle was tagged after laying three clutches of eggs so were expected to start their migrations soon after tagging. The turtles had different plans! All four stayed close to the nesting beaches for a month after tagging and went on to lay additional clutches. One turtle, named Sunday, went on to lay an impressive seven clutches of eggs, which is four more than the average number of clutches for green turtles!

A month after tagging, our patience was rewarded when Sunday, Zianna, Tulia and Mwisho started their migrations. Sunday and Tulia have stayed in Tanzanian waters, supporting the theory that there is a "resident" population of green turtles in Tanzania. In contrast, Zianna and Mwisho headed north along the Tanzanian coast and crossed the border into Kenya. Mwisho is currently foraging just north of Mombasa, but Zianna shows no sign of stopping and passed Mogadishu in Somalia yesterday! These are the first migratory corridors ever identified for turtles nesting in Tanzania and the Sea Sense team is so proud to be leading this vital research.

Read updates about our Sea Sense project.

See the Sea Sense project's photo gallery.

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