Monday, July 21, 2008

Tracking the leatherbacks

Great new article in PLoS showing leatherback tracks in the eastern Pacific. Shillinger et al fitted turtles with tracking harnesses and found that they fought the currents to stay on a SSW track from their nesting beaches. Why that direction is so important is unclear, since it doesn't seem to correspond with fronts or bathymetric features. Perhaps we need to develop a jellyfish harness to track their prey? In any case, that gives us a better picture of where the turtles are so fishing boats can avoid them. Here's to field work illuminating the sea!

photo of a leatherback reporting for duty from the Florida Loggerhead Marine Life Center, which has regular updates on tagged turtles

1 comment:

Jives said...

Three leatherbacks have been found on Mass. beaches recently with propeller wounds in the head and back area.

They were too badly decomposed to determine if the propeller actually killed them though.

This is slightly more than a typical season at this time.