Inspire’s transmitter has stopped working. She is officially offline now. This is particularly frustrating because she came so close to the nesting beach. We had hoped we could follow her until she nested. There were so many colleagues helping us in Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico—ready to find Inspire if she hauled ashore.
“I’m convinced that the transmitters are coming off because these leatherbacks are mating. The male turtles likely knock them off—or damage the antennas—when they approach,” says Canadian leatherback expert Dr. Mike James.
We know that leatherbacks mate near the nesting beaches. And we are glad that the turtles we tagged seem to be mating—this is exactly what a population of endangered species needs.
But we’re still disappointed to have lost contact with Inspire’s satellite tag.