Repeat nesters

We’ve had quite a productive start to our week out on Juno Beach!  The loggerheads started nesting last week, so we are seeing quite a few of them each night in addition to our leatherbacks.  On Sunday night, we encountered a leatherback that was tagged but not in LMC’s database; we will reach out to collaborators to find out her history.  Also on Sunday night, AbbyRae nested again; she was encountered just nine nights before!  We were happy that she returned to Juno, still looking beautiful.  Encountering the same turtles in one season not only builds their long-term nesting history here at LMC, but it also benefits our sampling.

This year, we are working in collaboration with North Carolina State University on a project that examines the health of leatherback turtles across the season (see blog post from 3/24 entitled “The Leatherback Project at LMC: New Beginnings” for more information).  By encountering the same turtle multiple times in one season, we can more accurately compare how that individual’s health changes with time and as she lays each additional nest.

Last night, LMC biologists encountered Dallara as she was emerging from the surf.  Dallara was first tagged in 2012 when she nested in MacArthur Beach State Park.  She was seen a second time in 2012 nesting in Hobe Sound two weeks after her first encounter.  Will we encounter Dallara again this season?  Keep checking back for updates!