Satellite fixes

Red dots on the map below will indicate the turtles location from clear readings taken from the tracking device. Dates shown on will be in year/month/day format, i.e. 20020917 means 17 September 2002.

    Premiere makes her debut

    Satellite telemetry results for PREMIERE (adult female loggerhead turtle, K33061).

    Figure 1. Satellite telemetry results for PREMIERE (adult female loggerhead turtle, K33061).

    Dr Col Limpus with K33061

    Dr Col Limpus with K33061

    "Premiere" update: 10 March 2004

    PREMIERE is an adult female loggerhead turtle originally tagged as a hatchling at Mon Repos Beach in January-February 1975. She is the first of the tagged loggerhead hatchlings recorded returning as a breeding adult. She was recaptured laying eggs on four occasions during November 2003–January 2004. After laying her third clutch for the season she was removed from Mon Repos Beach, fitted with a satellite tracking radio transmitter (PTT) and released from Mon Repos beach on 28 December 2003 (see map).

    • 28 December: Released at 16.10 hours with the PTT attached to carapace at Mon Repos beach. She moved to the inter-nesting habitat offshore from Burnett Heads.
    • 28 December–14 January: In inter-nesting habitat. Four good locations were received showing her to be about 1.3km offshore from the coast between Burnett Heads and Mon Repos. Numerous imprecise locations were obtained that indicate she was in this general area throughout this period.
    • 14 January: Ashore laying her 4th and final clutch for the season at Mon Repos. No signals received from the beach because the nesting occurred outside the duty cycle transmission times.
    • 15–16 January: Post-breeding migration commenced. Travelling north off Moore Park and Kolan River.
    • 19 January: Travelling north off Curtis Island, Gladstone.
    • 21–22 January: Passing Keppell Islands off Yeppoon.
    • 23–25 January: Passing Shoalwater Bay Army Training area.
    • 28 January: North of Shoalwater Bay.
    • 29–30 January: Off Percy Islands. In the 16 days since she laid her last clutch she has travelled ~416km north from Mon Repos.
    • 4 February: 8km south of Brampton Island near Mackay. Approximately 550km north from Mon Repos and still travelling north.
      Poor reception of signals from Premiere because of rough water conditions associated with cyclonic conditions.
    • 10 February: Approaching C. Bowling Green.
    • 25 February: 34km east of Cape Grafton off Cairns, north Queensland. 1105km north from Mon Repos and still travelling north.
    • 2 March: 1260km north from Mon Repos, approaching Archer Point south of Cooktown.
    • 11 March: Off Howick Island, north of Lizard Island in North Queensland: 1426km north from Mon Repos. Appears to be slowing her swimming.

    Background information

    PREMIERE is the first of a series of loggerhead turtles that were marked as hatchlings using carapace mutilation tagging at Mon Repos during the 1970s and which have returned to the nesting beaches as breeding adults. She was fitted with a radio tag (PPT) and released for tracking studies using satellite telemetry via the ARGOS satellite system during December 2003 and into early 2004.

    The objectives of this telemetry study are, battery life permitting:

    • To quantify the home range for a loggerhead turtle in her internesting habitat adjacent to the nesting beach(es) of the Woongarra Coast;
    • To identify the path and duration of the post-breeding migration from the nesting area to her distant foraging area;
    • To quantify the post-breeding foraging home range of this turtle and determine its fidelity to a specific feeding area(s) across breeding migrations.

    K33061, Caretta caretta (PREMIERE)

    • One of 7381 hatchling loggerhead turtles marked at Mon Repos Beach during January - February 1975.
    • She was recorded for her first breeding season on the nesting beaches of the Woongarra Coast in December 2003 at ~29 year old.
      • CCL = 96.5cm (SCL = 86.8cm, Carr SCL = 88.6cm); weight = 105kg; no tag scars.
      • Laid four clutches of eggs for the breeding season.
    DateBeach & sectorNesting successClutchEmergence success
    24 Nov 2003Mon Repos 6.0Laid136 eggs 
    11 Dec 2003Mon Repos 7.0LaidNot counted 
    26 Dec 2003Oaks BeachDid not lay  
    26 Dec 2003Mon Repos 6.0Laid120 eggs 
    28 Dec 2003Mon Repos 14.0Released  
    14 Jan 2004Mon Repos 7.1Laid130 eggs 

    Gonad examinations, 26 Dec 2003: after completion of laying she was removed from the beach and held at the Mon Repos Conservation Park research laboratory where her gonads were examined using ultrasound and laparoscopy before she was fitted with the PPT.

    • Ultrasound examination: No oviducal eggs - she had not been disturbed during her nesting. There were sufficient mature follicles in the ovaries for her to return to lay probably only one more clutch; some mature-sized follicles had begun resorption (atresia).
    • Laparoscopic examination: No oviducal eggs. Numerous mature follicles on the ovaries, sufficient to produce one more clutch. Numerous mature-sized follicles and all less-than-mature-sized follicles had begun resorption (atresia). No corpora albicantia visible.
      Conclusions: This was indeed her first breeding season. She prepared five clutches of mature follicles for her breeding migration but she will lay only four clutches of eggs. The remaining clutch of follicles is being resorbed.
    • PTT identification = 7224.
      • Telonics ST14 that has been re-batteried by Sirtrack with D cell batteries.
      • Duty cycle: 6 hours on, 6 hours off; switched on at 03.00hr EST on 27 December 2003.
      • Repetition cycle: =30 seconds.
      • PTT weight = 0.63kg
    • 28 December 2003: released from Mon Repos beach sector 14.0 at 16.10hr EST.

    Jimmy's journey

    Satellite telemetry results for JIMMY (adult male loggerhead turtle, T53798)

    Figure 1: Satellite telemetry results for JIMMY (adult male loggerhead turtle, T53798)

    Leisel Jones and Minister Dean Wells with JIMMY, an adult male loggerhead turtle fitted with a satellite tag for tracking his movements within Moreton Bay. Jimmy was named after Leisel's grandfather.

    Leisel Jones and Minister Dean Wells with JIMMY, an adult male loggerhead turtle fitted with a satellite tag for tracking his movements within Moreton Bay. Jimmy was named after Leisel's grandfather.

    "JIMMY" update: 30 September 2003

    JIMMY is an adult male loggerhead turtle originally captured while feeding on 6 September 1991 on the southern Moreton Banks. He was recaptured on four additional occasions while feeding on 15 September 1996, 5 April 1998, 4 May 1998 and 20 May 2003 over a period of 11.7 years. All captures have occurred within the southern Moreton Banks. He was released with a satellite tracking radio transmitter (PTT) in Moreton Bay on 24 May 2003 (Figure 1) at Cleveland Point. This release site was 16.63 km from the site at which he was most recently captured on the Moreton Banks:

    • 24 May: Released at 15.27 hours with the PTT attached to carapace at Cleveland in south-western Moreton Bay. He moved offshore into Raby Bay.
    • 25-31 May: Moved within a small area (6 km diameter) in central Moreton Bay within 10-25m depth range.
    • 1 June: Jimmy swam east across the southern Moreton Banks in the area where he had been previously captured. He continued eastward to exit Moreton Bay via South Passage between Moreton Island and North Stradbroke Island.
    • 2 -16 June: Arrived at and remained within a 2km radius of Flat Rock Reef with its surrounding waters in the 10-50m depth range.
    • 17-30 June: Unexplained change in transmissions. No new good quality fixes many poor quality fixes received.
    • 6 July: Seen at the surface by Alan Goldezen while he was at Flat Rock for a dive. The PTT appeared to be in good condition.
    • 7-31 July: Only one accurate fix received from Jimmy in this period: approximately 5km northwest of Flat rock and approximately 9.5km east of the southern tip of Moreton Island. Poor fixes were received on most days.
    • 1-31 August: Four accurate fixes received from Jimmy in this period. He has generally remained in the vicinity of Flat Rock. On 31 August, he was 10km east of Flat Rock. This is the greatest distance off shore recorded for Jimmy. Poor fixes were received on most days.
    • 1-3 September: Nine accurate fixes received from Jimmy in this period. Jimmy has returned back inside Moreton Bay after 3 months outside around Flat Rock. Within the Bay, while he has visited scattered sites on the Maroom Banks and Chain Banks, Jimmy has been mostly recorded in the vicinity of Browns Gutter on the southern Moreton Banks. The improvement in reception of signals is probably the result of him moving back into calmer water.
    • November - December: Batteries running down. No further locations received.

    Background information

    JIMMY is one of a series of six adult male loggerhead turtles resident in Moreton Bay that have been fitted with radio tags (PPT) and released for tracking studies using satellite telemetry via the ARGOS satellite system during 1998-2003. The first five turtles were in an active spermatogenic cycle, i.e. males preparing to breed in spring 2002, when selected for this study. The objectives of this study are, battery life permitting:

    • To quantify the home range for a loggerhead turtle foraging in subtropical waters in Moreton Bay;
    • To identify the path and duration of the breeding migration from the feeding area to his courtship area during spring 2002;
    • To quantify the home range of the courtship area and the duration of the courtship period.
    • To identify the path and duration of the post-breeding migration from the courtship area to his post-breeding foraging area;
    • To quantify the post-breeding foraging home range of this turtle and determine its fidelity to a specific feeding area(s) across breeding migrations.

    JIMMY was selected as a male not preparing for a breeding season, to ascertain whether non-breeding males have a similar sized home range as males that are preparing for a breeding season.T53798, Caretta caretta (JIMMY)

    • 6 September 1991: adult male captured while feeding on southern Moreton Banks in Browns Gutter; carapace length = 94.6 cm.
    • 15 September 1996: captured while feeding on southern Moreton Banks in Fisherman's Gutter; he had been hit by a boat since his last capture.
    • 5 April 1998: captured while feeding on southern Moreton Banks adjacent to Rous Channel.
    • 4 May 1998: captured while feeding on southern Moreton Banks captured while feeding on southern Moreton Banks adjacent to Rous Channel.
    • 20 May 2003: adult male not in an active spermatogenic cycle (= not preparing to breed in spring 2003), CCL=95.0 cm; weight=105 kg; captured in inter-tidal waters of the southern Moreton Banks, sector 1 at Weedy Gutter. He had been hooked with gang-hooks in the right hind flipper since his last capture.
    • During the 11.7 years since his first capture, this adult turtle grew 0.4 cm.
    • PTT identification = 41563.
      • Sirtrack Kiwisat 101 PTT powered with c cell batteries.
      • Duty cycle: Continuous operation for the first 30 days followed by 6 hours on / 18 hours on for the remainder of its battery life. Switched on at 0215hr EST on 19 May 2003.
      • Repetition cycle: =30 seconds.
      • PTT weight = 0.63 kg
    • 24 May 2003: released from Cleveland Point at 15.27hr EST, 16.63 km from his recent capture site.

    Moreton's meanderings

    Moreton is an adult male green turtle weighing nearly 140kg and ready to breed this spring. He was released into Moreton Bay at Cleveland on 13 September 2002.

    "MORETON-the-Turtle" update

    Ted the Turtle's trek

    Ted the Turtle is an adult male green turtle weighing about 138kg. He was released at Deception Bay on 24 August 2002 and swam back into Moreton Bay.

    The red dots on the map below indicate Ted's location from clear readings taken from his tracking device. Dates shown on Ted's trek are in year/month/day format, i.e. 20020903 means 3 September 2002.

    Since his release Ted has moved offshore into the bay. No clear readings have been recorded. His general whereabouts are denoted by the question mark symbol on the map below. Further updates will be provided once clear readings have been recorded.

    "TED-the-Turtle" update