HOWARD'S TRACKING STATISTICS
Release Date: October 17, 2019
Transmitter Type: Wildlife Computers Splash 10F
Data Collected: GPS location, Water Temperature, and Behavior Information
Expected Lifespan of Tag: 6 months to a year
Howard is an adult male loggerhead turtle that was found by the biologists with Inwater Research Group at FPL’s St. Lucie site on March 13, 2019. The turtle had an unintentional boat strike injury to the left rear flipper, tail and marginal carapace. The injury appeared to be about a week old. Due to blood loss the turtle was anemic upon arrival at the Sea Turtle Hospital at LMC, but fortunately did not need a blood transfusion. After seven months, Howard’s wounds were healed and the turtle was cleared for release. Howard was fitted with a satellite transmitter prior to release so that biologists can follow the turtle’s movements post-rehabilitation to ensure the turtle returns to normal behavior in the wild.
Final Update 9/30/2020
After almost a year of tracking Howard, the turtle’s tag sent its last transmission on September 13, 2020. Howard was still located in the East River on the Georgia coast when the last transmission was received. Dive behavior at the last transmission indicated that Howard was still behaving normally, making dives to the bottom of the river to forage and rest. Status updates from the tag indicate that the tags battery was still in good condition, but that the sensors may have begun to foul (e.g., algae growth that prevents the sensors from working properly).
Howard is still in the East River.
While it may appear like Howard is transmitting from land, his tag is sending highly accurate GPS locations and dive behavior information that confirms he is behaving normally and still in the East River.
While it might appear like Howard is transmitting from land, Howard actually swam into the East River a month ago and remains in the river. All data from the tag indicate that Howard is behaving normally.
On March 4, 2020, Howard began swimming north along the Atlantic coastline reaching the area around Jekyll Island, Georgia on March 21, 2020. While it might appear like Howard is now transmitting from land, Howard actually swam into the East River. While it is not unusual for loggerhead turtles to be found in salt marshes and river mouths, it is a little unusual for an adult male to be hanging out in that area during a time when he should be finding mates. We will continue to keep an eye on Howard’s track to see what he does, but for now Howard appears to be making normal dives.
Howard is still located just north of the Sebastian Inlet and is remaining close to shore. As loggerhead sea turtle nesting season approaches, Howard will likely start looking for mates in the area.
Howard is still located just north of the Sebastian Inlet in the Atlantic Ocean.
Howard is currently located just north of the Sebastian Inlet in the Atlantic Ocean.
After remaining in the Vero Beach, Florida area for around three weeks, Howard travel south to Stuart on November 5, 2019. Since then, Howard headed back north and on November 21, 2019, the turtle was located off the coast of North Beach/Wabasso Beach. As a result of the normal errors associated with the satellite locations, Howard’s track sometimes appears to be on land; however, dive behavior and highly accurate GPS locations indicate that Howard is in the Atlantic Ocean and is remaining close to shore.
Since his release, Howard has been traveling north along the coastline. He is so close to shore that his track sometimes appears to be on land as a result of errors in the satellite data. Rest assured the turtle is swimming in the big blue. In the six days since his release, Howard has made it to Vero Beach, Florida.
Howard was released from Juno Beach today!