Notes from the Field - August 2021

In early July the Conservancy’s Sea Turtle Protection Team (STPT) applied a satellite tag to one of our Legacy Turtles, Scarlett, in collaboration with Dr. Simona Ceriani from the Florida Fish & Wildlife Research Institute. Scarlett has been nesting on BHI since June 28 th, 2010, when she was first observed nesting on East Beach near access 42. This is the second time Scarlett has been satellite tagged in an effort to better understand how loggerhead sea turtles use the eastern seaboard to migrate between their foraging and nesting grounds.
Under the light of the Milky Way, Scarlett laid her 3 rd nest of the season on the west end of South Beach. After depositing her eggs and covering them ever so carefully, the STPT jumped into action and corralled her as she was heading back into the water. Once Scarlett settled within the corral, our Sea Turtle Program Coordinator, Paul Hillbrand, started cleaning off her carapace to make it a more suitable surface for the installation of the tag. Once the tag was in place the team waited for the tagging material to set and then released Scarlett back into the ocean! Upon her return to the ocean, Scarlett hung out off South Beach for 10-14 days before heading over to East Beach to lay her 4th nest of the 2021 season.
We have been fortunate enough to follow Scarlett’s journey north from Bald Head Island. Scarlett is currently hanging off the coast of Assateague Island, MD, between Chesapeake Bay and Delaware Bay.
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