Latest Updates on the STRETCH Project
|The 23 loggerheads (blue dots) still transmitting are arrayed along the 15 degree C isotherm from 37 to 40 degrees latitude and from 126 to 159 degrees longitude.|
|The Nov. 6 locations of 23 juvenile loggerheads are shown above as black dots... each dot has an associated lat-lon. All 23 are north of the edge of the TZCF (see below).|
Above is an animation of the 6 loggerheads that continue to move to the southeast (Chuy, Ka La Ula, Nadesiko, Pua Sakura, Tsubaki and Victor). They have traveled an average of ~ 3000 km since their release on July 11, 2023.
|The image on the right is the enlarged section of the image shown on the left. This section spans the time mentioned by Jeff above (8/4 to 8/12/2023).|
|Pelagic snail (Janthina sp.).|
|By-the-wind sailor, Velella velella, a colonial siphonophore.|
|Gooseneck barnacles living on a float that has washed up on the beach but can be found out in the open ocean where our littel turtles can get at them.|
|The photo above is of one of our juvenile loggerheads released on 7/11/23 from a ship into the north central pacific. Note the Wildlife Computer tag on its back. It is on the ship's deck while its carrier is cleaned and fresh sea water added. |
This is an update on the tracks of our juvenile loggerhead turtles as of 8/15/23. Twenty four of the twenty five turtles are still transmitting and continue to move northward. Ayame (PTT id no. 243198) has not transmitted since 8/10/23. While we do not know why Ayame has stopped transmitting, previous work (Parker, Balazs, Rice and Tomkeiwicz (2014) Variability in reception duration of dual satellite tags on sea turtles tracked in the Pacific Ocean. Micronesica.) indicates that there could be a multitude of factors that impact signal transmission. The first thing that comes to mind, of course, is that the animal died and sank, but it could also be that there was damage to the tag antenna from an impact, overgrowth by marine algae and invertebrates attached to the tag, tag loss (for some reason it came lose and was lost), tag malfunction because of internal electronics and any combinations of the above. We have had similar situations during our more than 200 previous deployments where a tag stops transmitting. The good news is that we still have 24 loggerheads transmitting strongly. Hopefully, Ayame is ok and still out there doing what turtles do.
Hau'oli continues to move to the north while the rest of the juvenile loggerheads continue moving to higher latitudes.
As of 7/19/2023, all 25 juvenile loggerheads continue to move northward(map below). The reason for this northward migration is unknown but may be related to water temperature (cooler waters to the north) and the availability of food.
|All 25 of the satellite tagged juvenile loggerheads are moving northwards. See the map where you can click on individual turtles and view their names and tracks.|
|One of the juvenile loggerhead turtles with a spot 6-387 Wildlife Computers tag attached.|
|Masanori Mori (Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium) holding one of the juvenile loggerheads.|
|Noah Yamaguchi (Kochi University) holding one of the satellite tagged juvenile loggerheads.|
|Each of the 25 turtles has a name and can be viewed separately as soon as the web site become publicly available (should be available on 7/13).|
seawater temperature is 24.8℃
|The ship's crew gets ready to lower the turtles in a basket by rope from the mid-deck of the ship to get them closer to the water's surface. (photo credit Masanori Mori)|
|Each turtle was carefully lowered in its basket and then, when the turtle was very near the waters surface, the basket was "tipped up" and the turtle fell out into the North Pacific Ocean to begin its new life. (photo credit Masanori Mori)|
|Lowering the turtle in the basket down to the waters surface. (photo credit Masanori Mori)|
|The little loggerhead is free and swimming in the North Pacific ocean. (photo credit Masanori Mori)|
|Another loggerhead just went "splash"! (photo credit Masanori Mori)|
|The proud and happy Masanori Mori displays a STRETCH t shirt after all 25 loggerhead turtles were successfully released into the ocean. (photo credit Noah Yamaguchi)|
|An equally proud, Noah Yamagushi!!! (photo credit Masanori Mori)|
|And the very supportive and helpful crew pose for a group picture after the release.|
Up at 0600 and headed out to breakfast. We are going to try and get an earlier start at the aquarium as we have 9 turtles to do today.
Below is the video of the attachment of 9 more satellite tags.
Video of todays attachment for a higher resolution video.
|From left to right, George Balazs, Laura Jim, Haruno and Rico work on organizing and cataloging the Spot 6-387 satellite tags.|
The team assembled at 1900 h and made their way to an introductory dinner at one of our favorite sushi restaurants. Larry Crowder and Dan Briscoe met our two HPA student volunteers and discussed the project and life over some great Japanese sushi dishes.
|The white circle indicates the approximately location where the satellite tagged juvenile loggerhead turtles will be released.|
|The red marker indicates where the juvenile loggerhead was sighted (images below).|
|Loggerhead turtles sighted off of Southern California (34, -117). Photo provided by Cali Turner.|
|Closeup of turtle shown above. Photo provided by Cali Turner.|
|Sea Surface Temperature (SST) and the location of the loggerhead turtle observed (above). (https://www.ospo.noaa.gov/data/sst/contour/californ.cf.gif)|
|This Wildlife Computer map shows the locations of 24 Spot 6 tags activated and |
placed out in the open to initialize them and test for communications with the Argos satellites.
This test occurred on 5/19/23 from 1730 hours to 1900 hours.
|Satellite tags arrayed on the lawn and cement wall. Tags were turned on at 15-30 second intervals to avoid overlapping signals.|
|Single spot 6 tag with identification tag.|
|Spot 6 tags lined up on the wall in the start mode.|
|Above is a Spot 6 tag, one of 27 we hope to deploy on juvenile loggerheads raised by the Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium.|
|Satellite tagging juvenile loggerhead turtles.|
The STRETCH team has been working on a new website that should come online in the next couple of months. This interactive website will feature information about the North Pacific loggerhead turtle, its life cycle and Pacific wide distribution and a description of the STRETCH project and what we hope to learn. There will be brief bios of the STRETCH team members and much more.
The schedule for the project is moving forward also. It is projected that our "turtle deployment" ship will sail some time in June, and we are planning to have the first cohort of 25 juvenile loggerhead turtles (being raised at the Port of Nagoya Public aquarium) equipped with their Wildlife Computer's Spot 387 satellite tags in time for them to make it to the ship for departure. The sat tag attachment team is on standby for a quick departure to Nagoya once we learn of the sailing date for the ship.
Attaching 25 satellite tags will take roughly 4 days to accomplish (doing 8 or 9 turtles each day). Tagged turtles will be placed into an individual "basket" that is in sea water while the rest of the tag attachments are completed. This will keep each turtle separated so that they don't damage the tag antennas before they are deployed in the Central North Pacific ocean somewhere between 140 and 160 degrees west longitude. The site of deployment will depend on the sea surface temperature and the weather (it must be fairly calm to deploy the turtles safely from the ship).
Once the turtles are safely released, we should be getting location fixes from the ARGOS satellites within a few days and those locations will be posted on the loggerhead stretch website as they become available.
The website will be found at http://loggerheadstrech.org once it becomes available and there will be an email address for communications (loggerheadstretch.gmail.com).