Loggerhead Tracking Map
This map shows both the path of the turtles and the surface temperature of the ocean. The turtles are behaving in a manner typical for turtles on the west coast and staying in 20 - 22 degree (C) water. This was the same thermal preference Dr. Eckert documented for Corrigan, the "Wrong Way Turtle," both by direct measure from the transmitters' on-board sensors as well as by sea surface temperature imagery. Since turtles are cold-blooded reptiles, Dr. Eckert is interested to see if this thermal preference holds true all the way across the Pacific. In cold-blooded animals, external temperature controls body temperature and thus is one of the most critical factors in determining where turtles can live and perform best.
Julie is half-way there, and is currently 4200 km (2600 miles) along the journey. She is also holding true to the 19° C (66° F) temperature path but as she travels west she is slowing down. Her initial rate of travel was about 40 km/ day (25 miles/ day), but she is now averaging closer to 30 km / day (19 miles/ day). Thus we'll need to extend her ETA out a few more weeks.
Carie's transmitter may have stopped functioning or fallen off. We haven't heard from her for almost a month, which is quite out of the ordinary for this turtle. Dr. Eckert isn't sure what has happened, since these transmitters are very limited in their capacity to let me know how they are doing. There should have been plenty of battery left as this transmitter has quite a bit more capacity than Julie's, and the quality of the transmissions up to this point have been excellent. Dr. Eckert thinks either the transmitter fell off, or something has failed. We may get lucky and she may simply be travelling more underwater than previously, so we aren't getting data uplinks, but this is probably a long-shot. It does appear that her behavior changed slightly on the last few days before the end of transmissions (she slowed down, and seem to be hanging about in the same spot), and Dr. Eckert will review the data in detail to see if this perception is true. Julie on the other hand is still swimming on, and in fact has caught up to the last place we heard from Carie. Further, she is holding true to the temperature band that should take her to Japan. So, cross your fingers and lets hope she gets past this location and that her transmitter holds together for the rest of the journey!
Julie has seen the wisdom of Carie's route and is now following closely behind on the 19 degree isotherm. Since Julie sped up a bit lately, she may actually catch up with Carie. We'll watch and see.
Distance traveled to date is 1926 km for Carie and 1769 km for turtle Julie. This puts them both about halfway to Hawaii. Carie is swimming a bit faster and is averaging 51 km per day to Julie's 45 km per day. At these rates Carie should take about 174 days to swim the 8900 km to Japan (a little less than 6 months) and Julie should take 197 days (about 6.5 months). They should reach Japan between mid March and mid April 1999.
how do satillite transmitters work?
back to turtle travels
SeaWorld/Busch Gardens Animal Information Database
www.seaworld.org / www.buschgardens.org
©2002 SeaWorld, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.