Saturday, August 22, 2009

Will Sea Turtles Avoid Hurricane Bill

I find the sea turtle, satellite tracking very interesting. It is amazing how many miles the turtles travel. I have posted before about Tour de Turtles, which was started by the Caribbean Conservation Corp., an environmental group, with help from partners and sponsors. A 10 turtle marathon is done by releasing sea turtles that have satellite tracking devices placed on them and monitoring them to determine which turtle travels 1,628 miles first. The race is to study sea turtle migration and raise awareness about turtle conservation.

If you watched the Tour de Turtles, last year, you know that a Loggerhead, Bree Varda was one of the turtles in that marathon. Bree Varda was released last month from Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge. She has been closely monitored since that time.

It is not expected that storms would be harmful to sea turtles, but research is being done to see what impact they might have on the turtles' migrations and behavior.

With Hurricane Bill moving north-northwest with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph, on Thursday, Bree Varda, was paddling due south at a maximum sustained speed fast enough to put her in third place in the 10 turtle marathon. She swam well west of Hurricane Bill on Thursday. She had traveled about 314 miles in 19 days and was heading south toward Grand Bahama. It seems as though she is moving as fast as she can, to stay away from Bill. There are 2 Leatherbacks leading the marathon and those two seem to be heading toward the hurricane. I am curious to see how this plays out.

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