Leatherback Tracking!

We have been tracking three Sandy Point leatherbacks! We use GPS and satellite technology to follow our turtles once they leave our nesting beaches to see where else they may be nesting and to follow their northward migration after the nesting season.

We are still tracking two of those turtles (Barb and Leona)! Here are their travels since early May.

See the individual turtle nesting loops below on each turtle’s tracking page! Click on each name to take you to their information.

Barb – A special turtle indeed! She was our champion nester this year!

Leona Nicole – Leona has two names – She was already named Nicole when she first nested in Maunabo, Puerto Rico in 2016, but she arrived here at Sandy Point and got her name Leona!

Winona – We tracked Winona over two nesting loops!

Sponsor a turtle! If you’d like to help our project with satellite tracking expenses, we would be grateful for any donation! Your name will appear on your turtle’s page as a sponsor. SPONSOR HERE!

Sponsors for 2021 Turtles (tagging should start in April). We thank you so much for this support!

Ann and Jim Mulder, James Stewart, Vicki and Steve Nelson, Scott and Marleen Karns, Lacey Dowden, and Denise Palladino.

Why Track Turtles?

In recent years, leatherback nest numbers have been seriously declining at our index beaches (those beaches regularly surveyed) around the Northern Caribbean. We need to  see if the turtles that we are expecting back (and not seeing) are choosing other places to nest that are not regularly surveyed. Satellite tags will help us do that.

This season, we launched our satellite tagging program to investigate leatherback nest site choices in the Northern Caribbean (Puerto Rico, St. Croix, Vieques etc.). Together with partners at the New England Aquarium’s Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life , Amigos de las Tortugas Marinas (ATMAR), The Ocean Foundation, Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, along with NOAA and the USFWS at Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge, we plan to deploy up to 20 satellite transmitters across our beaches on nesting leatherback turtles.

Major grants for this program came from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the National Save the Sea Turtle Foundation. Each turtle has their own individual sponsors – see their pages for more details!

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A dawn turtle heads back to the water after nesting at Sandy Point.

The St. Croix Leatherback Project is supported by the Sea Turtle Census Initiative, which is sponsored by  The Ocean Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, based in Washington, D.C., but working globally to protect our oceans.

All photos on this website were taken under appropriate Endangered Species Permits during the course of approved research. No photos may be reproduced, or copied and used without permission. Thank you.