Tracking Morgan


Release Date: 3-27-2010
Transmitter Type: Wildlife ComputersSpot5
Data Collected: Location and Water Temperature
Expected Lifespan of Tag: 6 months to 1 year, depending on battery life


Distance From Juno Beach: 138 Kilometers (86 miles)
Current Water Temperature: 33.14 °C
Nearest City: Key Biscayne, Florida
Recent Coordinates: 25.6439, -80.0520



Click map to download PDF.

10/13/2010 – Morgan’s Final Update

As of today, we do not think that we will be receiving any more quality data from Morgan’s transmitter.  While the battery is strong, it appears that the transmitter is fouling with algae and barnacles.  We may receive sporadic transmission from Morgan over the next few weeks, and will update the site when we do, but we feel that this was a successful rehab and Morgan is behaving normally.


Morgan is still located in the waters of Biscayne, south of Key Biscayne.


Not much to update!  Morgan is still in the same area near Biscayne Bay.


Morgan is still near the waters of Biscayne Bay where he has been spending his time for the past few months.


Tropical Storm Bonnie passed almost directly over Morgan, but it did not seem to affect him at all – he is a turtle after all!  Morgan is still located in the waters of Biscayne Bay which is about 90 miles south of Juno Beach.


Morgan has not really moved much in the past few weeks.  Morgan is still near Key Biscayne about 85 miles south of Juno Beach.


Morgan is near Biscayne National Park and is now heading south.  It appears that Morgan is in a bit deeper water now as he is transmitting more often.  Morgan’s transmitter also records water temperature and is now recording a much wider range of temperatures than over the past month. Where do you think Morgan is heading?


Morgan is likely spending time in the same location as his last location message which was transmitted on 5/21/2010.  The water temperature is currently 30.0 Celsius.  Morgan is spending very little time at the surface right now which is a pretty good indication that the water he is in is pretty shallow.


Morgan has finally revealed his location! Morgan seems to be spending his time in the Bahamas.  We received a location point from his transmitter that indicates he is between Grand Bahama Island and Andros Island.  Morgan has been transmitting regularly but these transmissions have not indicated location.  As previously stated, this is likely because Morgan is not surfacing often or for very long.  It is possible that Morgan is in shallow water and often, turtles will surface for shorter periods of time than if they were in deep water.  While this may not be the only reason that we are not getting regular locations, it is one possibility.  We are happy to see that Morgan is still transmitting and that we’ve finally received a clue to his whereabouts.


Gilda checked in as planned on Thursday the 20th. We did not receive a location during this check in but she appears to be behaving normally based on temperature, depth and dive profile data received from her tag. The water temperature where she is currently swimming ranges from 18 to 22 degrees celcius and the average water depth throughout the past three days is 2.6 meters. Where do you suppose she is? Gilda will send transmissions each Thursday. Check in with us again next week for more Gilda updates!


We are still not receiving good location data from Morgan.  We are receiving transmissions that indicate that the tag is still on the turtle but not enough information to determine location.  There are a few reasons for this.  The tag works by communicating with satellites that are passing overhead.  These passes occur in this area approximately 8-10 times per day.  Each pass lasts anywhere from 5-12 minutes.  To receive a location, the turtle must surface to breathe at least twice during a single pass.  Morgan appears to be surfacing only once, therefore we are receiving data from the tag but we lack the second surface that is required to obtain a location.  Because of his injuries, Morgan’s swimming and diving behavior may be slightly different than other turtles that have previously worn these tags.  This may help us achieve some of the goals of the project – one of the purposes of tagging Morgan was to determine if injuries and rehabilitation result in changes in behavior.


We have not received very good quality of the past few days, but this morning Morgan seems to have settled down a bit and is sending data once again.  Morgan is currently in Biscayne Bay which is a good foraging area for Loggerhead turtles.  If he spends some time there, we should be getting data more often in the coming days.


Morgan heads south!  After spending some time up near the St. Lucie Inlet, Morgan has headed south and is now off the coast of Pompano Beach.


Morgan appears to have entered the Indian River Lagoon via the St. Lucie Inlet.  The quality of the position we are currently receiving are not that great, but Morgan appears to be behaving normally and is quite active.  Quite often there will be large gaps of data between locations sent to us via the Argos satellite system.  It does appear that Morgan travelled over land to enter the lagoon, but we did not receive data from a period of several hours and Morgan likely snuck in during that time.


Morgan was successfully released yesterday at 12:30pm.  He is already transmitting and currently located 27 miles from the Loggerhead Marinelife Center off Jensen Beach, north of the St. Lucie Inlet. Upon release, Morgan headed straight for the Florida Current which he used to move north along the coast. Upon reaching the Jensen Beach area, he left the current system and headed west.


Morgan’s tag was attached last night at around 10:30pm. The small tag is attached to his carapace with epoxy and we anticipate that it will stay on for six months to a year. The tag will be activated this morning and we will begin tracking him as soon as he is released.

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