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2019 Leatherback Nesting Season: Week Five Recap

Week five is a wrap! Leatherbacks are now up to 78 nests. Night crew encountered 9 individuals this week, some returners and some new nesters. The first encounter was Kitty. This is our first time seeing her this season, but was originally tagged in 2010. Her carapace was 143.2cm (4.69 ft) long.

Kitty nesting (Photo Credit: Derek Aoki).

Virginia was the next encounter with a carapace length of 155.3 cm (5.09 ft). She was first tagged in 2009 and we last saw her in 2011. Next up are two girls who we have already seen this season! Panda (tagged this year) and Juno (tagged way back in 2001) showed up in the same night. This is most likely their 3rd nest each since we haven’t seen them in a while. Desta was found nesting shortly after with a carapace length of 159.3 cm (5.22 ft).

Juno nesting (Photo Credit: Kate Fraser).

Ember (tagged in 2015) and Windy (tagged in 2003) were other returners this week! We love seeing the same girls come back in the same season. Marion and Yoshimi were new girls this week. Marion was tagged in 2014 with a carapace length of 143.8 cm (4.17 ft). Yoshimi had a carapace length of 158.2 cm (5.19 ft).

Ember laying her eggs (Photo Credit: Derek Aoki).

Night crew has also been seeing lots of loggerheads nesting along side leatherbacks!]. Morning technicians have documented 272 nests so far this season! Check back next week to see who we encounter.

Loggerhead nesting (Photo Credit: Derek Aoki).

Disclaimer: All marine turtle images taken in Florida were obtained with the approval of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) under conditions not harmful to this or other turtles. Images were acquired while conducting authorized research activities pursuant to FWC MTP-19-205.