We have had a couple of busy weeks here at Sandy Point! Our team of researchers and rangers have been identifying new and returning turtles since our last update. Here are our nesters found in the last couple weeks. Thanks to our adopted families for naming these turtles!
Evy is Turtle #7, first seen on 5 April. She was first tagged in 2009 (tag: YYX165). She is one of our smaller turtles at 148 cm carapace (shell length). She was adopted by Anne Gonzales for Evy.
On 6 April, Max showed up! Max (VI1291) was also adopted by Anne Gonzales, this time for Rachel. Max is another one of our amazing turtles! She first nested in 1988, and she ties the record with Caroline for being a champion 31-year returning turtle!
Turtle #9 is Kai, adopted by Martha Henderson for her friend Ashley. Kai (SPP234) first nested on 7 April and was last seen in 2014.
Also appearing on 7 April was Kea (SPP425)! Kea was our second neophyte (which means this is her first time nesting) of the season. She was adopted by volunteer Tawnya Merritt for her daughter Olivia. Olivia chose the name Kea, for her little dog.
Maggie (UUK911) arrived on 13 April, and carried tags from 2011, when she was first tagged and identified. She nested again in 2016. Maggie was adopted by Annabelle Orme for Tim Degraff and she’s Turtle #11.
On 16 April, we were visited by Barbara Ann (adopted by Gregg Tepe for volunteer Tracy Cole). Barbara Ann (SPP831) was another new turtle this year (neophyte). Barbara Ann did not nest this time but we hope to catch her the next time she visits Sandy Point.
And finally, we found Carol (PPQ272) nesting on 18 April. Carol was adopted by the wonderful Benedict family (owners of Cottages by the Sea – our home base), in honor of their dear mother Carol. Carol is another champion nester, she’s been visiting Sandy Point since 2002, so it’s fitting that she’s a long-time resident, just like the Benedicts!
The St. Croix Leatherback Project is supported by the Sea Turtle Census Initiative, which is sponsored by The Ocean Foundation, which is a 501(c)(3) organization, based in Washington, D.C., but working globally to protect our oceans.