Loggerhead Sea Turtles
Pacific Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Caretta caretta) reach about 82 to 105 cm (32-41 in.) and 66 to 101 kg (146-223 lb.) in size. Loggerhead turtles are considered a threatened species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act of 1973.
Some loggerheads breed and lay eggs in Japan. Soon after the breeding season, turtles may leave the area, heading to far away feeding grounds. Some these turtles may swim nearly 11,000 km to areas near Baja California to grow for a number of years before returning to Japan to breed and live. Scientists still dont know exactly how they get there, or how they navigate their return. Dr. Scott Eckert of the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute hopes to learn about loggerhead migration by tracking reintroduced turtles.
In a similar study, Antonio Resendez, a sea turtle biologist in Mexico, released two loggerhead sea turtles from Baja California Norte. One was later reported from the coast of Japan. In a follow-up study with University of Arizona graduate student Wallace J. Nicholsan additional loggerhead was released with a satellite transmitter. It too, journeyed back to Japan.
Not all loggerhead turtles are from Japan. Only recently developed scientific tests can identify a turtles original nesting grounds. Tests conducted by Dr. Peter Dutton of the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service revealed the two recently released turtles to be conclusively from Japanese nesting colonies.
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