Α long- distance voyage on the back of a sea turtle
The satellite transmitter placed by ARCHELON on the carapace of a loggerhead sea turtle has been broadcasting for 20 months now.
Let’s take a look at the “itinerary” of this turtle, which was given the symbolic name Ella, as recorded by the satellite transmitter placed in Kyparissia bay on 12 June 2019, by the specialized team of ARCHELON.
After its nesting season in Kyparissia bay in 2019 was over, Ella moved to the western part of the Mediterranean basin, and stayed on for 17 months, reaching close to the French and Spanish coasts. This is not so usual, as most of the loggerheads that lay eggs in western Greece tend to remain in the eastern Mediterranean basin.
The turtle of our story returned into the eastern basin towards the end of 2020. It spent several days in the Gulf of Gabes, a known feeding habitat of sea turtles, close to the Tunisian and Libyan coast. It now seem to be heading towards Kyparissia bay for the coming reproductory season.
In Kyparissia bay Ella will meet male turtles, which usually arrive there in March-April. If all goes well, we expect Ella to mate and lay eggs there next summer.
From the long term tagging project and the records kept by ARCHELON, it is known that female turtles in Kyparissia bay lay eggs 3-4 times in average during the summer. Sea turtles nest every 2-3 years, whenever they accumulate enough energy reserves for their migration and reproduction.
The systematic nest monitoring and tagging project of ARCHELON is the oldest in the Mediterranean and one of the longest running projects in the world. Placing satellite tags in Kyparissia bay in 2019 was possible through ARCHELON’s participation in the project “Conservation of sea turtles in the Mediterranean Region”, funded by MAVA Foundation.
You can watch the moves of the sea turtles with satellite tags online from our website https://bit.ly/3oZDZS5