Web users can track rehabilitated sea turtle
August 31, 1998
By Environmental News Network staff
The juvenile turtle, named Perdida, which means lost in Spanish, was found cold stunned -- hypothermic -- 10 months ago, after she washed up nearly dead on Roosevelt Beach, Del.
Perdida was rescued and nursed back to health at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. "We're glad this animal has a second chance at life in the wild. Unfortunately, many animals that strand aren't so lucky," said David Schofield, coordinator of the aquarium's Marine Animal Rescue Program.
Perdida was returned to the wild off Assateague Island, just off of Delaware's coast, on Aug. 14. She has been fitted with a satellite transmitter that will allow the public and researchers to monitor her migration on the Internet.
By studying the movements of this particular turtle, researchers with the Sea Turtle Survival League and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers hope to learn more about the areas used by sea turtles to feed and forage along the East Coast.
"The more we understand about the habitats used by these turtles," said Dan Evans, coordinator of the Sea Turtle Survival League, "the better we will be able to protect them."
Perdida, who so far is hanging around Assateague Island, is showing the researchers that sea turtles do indeed inhabit northern waters.
"Sea turtles are very global, very migratory," said Evans. "They utilize habitat in many locations. This proves that we should have people working to protect coastal areas in general, not just the sub-tropical nesting areas of sea turtles."
The researchers don't know where Perdida will go, but Evans said it was likely she will head south, down the coast to Florida where there are known sea turtle feeding areas.
The Sea Turtle Survival League's Sea Turtle Migration-Tracking Education Program uses the tracking of sea turtles as a hook for getting kids and others interested in learning more about the species.
Perdida is one of more than 20 sea turtles being actively monitored by the program. The program is aimed at helping people around the world, especially school children, learn about the migration of turtles, the global range of the species and the importance of protecting all coastal waters and habitats.
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