Mote Marine Laboratory scientists tagged an adult male loggerhead sea turtle nicknamed “Intrepid” with a satellite transmitter and released him this morning, July 27 from Lido Beach, Sarasota County, as part of a conservation-focused research effort.
The turtle was rescued June 7 when citizens found him floating and lethargic, west of Longboat Pass in the Gulf of Mexico, and called trained wildlife responders in Mote’s Stranding Investigations Program. Mote responders rescued and transported the turtle to Mote’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital on City Island, Sarasota, where exams revealed signs of neurologic issues and lethargy, potentially caused by red tide toxicity. The turtle was given fluids and placed in a shallow rehab pool until he gained more strength.
The turtle was nicknamed “Intrepid” after the boat that a Manatee County Sheriff’s officer used to transport Mote responders to retrieve the animal and return it to a boat ramp for transport to Mote’s hospital.
After more than a month in Mote’s hospital, Intrepid was recently medically cleared for release. Before release, he was fitted with a Wildlife Computers SPOT satellite tag, which will transmit his location via satellite when he comes to the surface. The tag was deployed by staff in Mote’s Sea Turtle Conservation & Research Program as part of a study of male loggerhead turtles’ migratory behavior after release from rehabilitation.
“Intrepid’s tag will give us even more insight into the life history of male sea turtles, which is a priority for conservation-focused research,” said Kristen Mazzarella, Senior Biologist for Mote's Sea Turtle Conservation & Research Program. “Unlike female sea turtles, males do not come back to land after hatching. Rehabilitation patients like Intrepid give us excellent opportunities to learn more about these less-studied adult males.”
Satellite tracking is beneficial for research purposes including the migration of sea turtles, their foraging behavior and much more. To sponsor a satellite tag and help Mote expand its research efforts, please contact Mote’s Development Division at 941-388-4441, ext. 309.
For more information on Intrepid’s time in Mote’s hospital, visit: https://mote.org/hospital/patient/intrepid