Margaret nests!

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It was almost 4 a.m. when my cell phone rang. We had been up late following Margaret’s tracks over the previous few days, so I was sleeping soundly. It took me a minute to figure out what was going on. It was Stephen Poon, from the wildlife division of the government of Trinidad and Tobago, on the phone with the great news that Margaret was, at that moment, nesting. The team from Grande Rivière had seen her as she hauled up onto the beach and were waiting until she had begun laying her eggs before they removed her transmitter.

Dr. Mike James, our scientific advisor, talked to Nicholas Alexander from the Grand Rivière team shortly after Margaret was finished her nest and had returned to the sea.

“Your turtle looked great!” Nicholas said immediately.

One of the things I love about sea turtle people is how they intuitively know—amongst all of the things that there are to talk about on an occasion like this—what is most important: How was Margaret herself? Because as critical as the data and the transmitter are, it is the turtle we care about the most. And Nicholas, with years of experience observing leatherbacks on the beach, was an excellent person to judge.

Next, Nicholas assured Mike that the transmitter was also in good shape. Stephen Poon would make sure we received it. At some point soon, we hope we will also get photographs of the event. (I’ll post them as soon as we have them.)

Margaret laid her eggs, covered up her nest, and headed back out to sea. She’ll be off in the ocean for another 10 days and then will come back to nest again—about eight times in total this season. With luck, the team at Grande Rivière will see her again, allowing us to hear a little bit more about our girl—and to know that she’s safe out there.

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4 thoughts on “Margaret nests!

  1. Faize A Mohammed says:

    Thank you for sharing this information to the world
    How can we as an individual track the movement of the turtle s
    are we allowed to see where they are in the ocean
    .
    how do you know in came from Canada ??

    • Although we are finished tracking Margaret (we removed her transmitter when she nested), we are planning on satellite tagging another turtle this summer. We will post her maps online as we did for Margaret, and you will be able to follow her movements there. We know that Margaret came from Canada because we caught her off the coast of Nova Scotia last August and put the satellite tag on her so we could follow her. Thanks for your interest!

  2. […] we went to Grande Rivière, the beach where Margaret nested. It is a two-hour drive up the winding Toco Main Road from Matura. It took us a little longer […]

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