Monday, October 15, 2012
Anneke, the Green Turtle, Speedily Heads for Home
It has been less than one week since the Bonaire Insider reported on Anneke, the green turtle, being outfitted with her new transmitter and departing Bonaire’s nesting beach at Playa Chikitu for her home waters...........somewhere unknown. Anneke has, however, made a beeline for the coastline of the Dominican Republic, but we don’t know yet if she’s home or just resting for a while.
Anneke has set the bar one notch higher, attaining monumental speeds for crossing the entire Caribbean in less than one week after laying her fourth nest on Bonaire. Averaging over 120 km (75 miles) per day, our “full power” female green sea turtle traveled a total of 750 km (465 miles) to reach the coastal waters of the Dominican Republic in six days. It was just one year ago that STCB was tracking Jklynn, who also headed “home” to the Dominican Republic, to the coastal waters of Jaragua National Park, her home foraging grounds. Jklynn took 13 days to cross the Caribbean, and then spent the next 352 days in an area not much bigger than 20 square kilometers. Despite traveling hundreds and even thousands of kilometers, it is normal for adult sea turtles to have very precise home areas: their breeding/nesting grounds and their home foraging grounds (the exception is the Leatherback turtle, which feeds on open ocean prey such as jellyfish and thus must travel with its food). (View Anneke’s migration in the image above in green, compared to Jklynn’s migration one year ago in orange.)
Anneke is just off the coast of the Dominican Republic, but it’s too early to confirm if this is Anneke’s home foraging grounds. After arriving in Dominican Republic waters just southwest of Santo Domingo on the 13th October (Saturday evening), Anneke, has slowed down her movements. This does not necessarily mean that she is home as sea turtles often stop to rest and eat, refueling for continued migration. The most recent signals from Anneke show her moving even closer to the coast, near the mouth of Bahia de Las Calderas. This semi-enclosed bay appears to be deep and covered with seagrass. STCB will continue to monitor her movements closely. (Source: STCB)