Photos from Florida Leatherbacks Inc.
As you may remember reading here, biologists with the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation discovered a rare leatherback sea turtle on Sanibel Island last month. Leatherbacks very rarely nest on Florida’s Gulf Coast and are typically found more often along Atlantic Ocean shorelines in Southeast Florida.
The team named her “Juniper” and worked with scientists from Florida Leatherbacks Inc. to determine how to best gain research data about her behavior and movements in the Gulf of Mexico, a location never before tracked with leatherbacks.
Based on timing between nests, the biologists say Juniper may already have laid six nests this season.
On May 19, a team from FLI and SCCF found Juniper nesting once again on Sanibel Island and placed a small satellite transmitter on her carapace. The batteries in the transmitter have the capacity to transmit for as long as two years, but FLI biologists realistically expect to be able to follow Juniper for 9-12 months.
This transmitter will allow FLI to track Juniper, locate additional nests if she nests again, and follow her travels after nesting season is over.
Now for the fun part: They’re sharing her travels online, so to catch up with Juniper, simply click here!