Locator Super: Marathon, Florida Keys
Video: Video is available on the Florida Keys News Bureau’s FTP server (see details below) or via Google Link here.
Spot video of satellite transmitting tag being affixed to turtle shell, children looking at turtle before release and turtle release. SOTs with Dan Evans, senior research biologist with Sea Turtle Conservancy; and Bette Zirkelbach (pronounced Betty ZIR kull back), general manager of Turtle Hospital.
Video Source: Florida Keys News Bureau
MARATHON, Florida Keys -- A juvenile green sea turtle rehabilitated at the Florida Keys-based Turtle Hospital was fitted with a satellite-tracking transmitter and released from a Keys beach Friday to join the 16th annual Tour de Turtles, a marathon-like “race” that follows the long-distance migration of sea turtles over three months.
The educational outreach program is organized annually by the Sea Turtle Conservancy to raise awareness about sea turtles and threats to their survival.
“Marcia,” named by her rescuers after being found floating off Vaca Key in March 2023, is swimming to raise awareness about positive buoyancy disorder. The condition, which leaves sea turtles unable to dive down for food, has numerous causes that include internal infection, gastrointestinal tract obstruction and spinal or lung injuries, sometimes caused by boat strikes.
After being treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics, fluids, vitamins and a healthy diet of greens and mixed seafood, Marcia is back in good health, weighs 50 pounds, and is swimming strongly and diving.
According to the staff at the Turtle Hospital, green sea turtles are a threatened species, meaning they could go extinct in our lifetime.
“It’s really important to protect sea turtles like Marcia, and this tracking and the information it brings to scientists through Tour de Turtles, it really is going to help this species survive,” said Bette Zirkelbach (pronounced Betty ZIR kull back), general manager of the Turtle Hospital.
Hundreds of spectators cheered and applauded when Marcia swam away from Marathon’s Sombrero Beach into the Atlantic Ocean.
Marcia’s progress — and that of 11 other hard-shell turtles that have been released to participate in the Tour de Turtles — can be monitored online at TourDeTurtles.org from Aug. 1 through Oct. 31.
The information gained from monitoring each sea turtle’s journey helps researchers protect sea turtles’ health and provides invaluable information about turtle habitat worldwide.
“The Tour de Turtles is raising awareness about sea turtles and the threats to their survival,” said Dr. Dan Evans, the senior research biologist with the Sea Turtle Conservancy. “We are also learning about where they’re going, where they’re finding food, and what the possible threats to those areas are.”
The Turtle Hospital in the Florida Keys has been rescuing, rehabilitating and returning sea turtles to the wild for over 35 years.
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