Turtle Transport: Tagging!

Throughout this past record-breaking season we have had many transports. Come this Saturday, April 6, we are starting one more. This long transport south will be to release 28 sea turtles that have completed their rehabilitation at the NEAq Animal Care Center in Quincy. For those keeping count that leaves us with 16 turtles still in-house.

Some of the 27 Kemp's ridley sea turtles that will be released on Sunday!
One loggerhead and twenty seven critically endangered Kemp’sridley sea turtles will be heading home to the Atlantic Ocean on Sunday morning!

Lindsay (one of our spring interns) holding 256 our loggerhead that will be released.
However, prior to the release every turtle needs to get a PIT tag.

Applying the tag into the front flipper triceps. 
This tag is the same type that people can have their cats and dogs receive, so if lost they can be returned to their owners when found. If these turtles are found again (hopefully nesting females) then the field researcher equipped with a PIT tag scanner will be able to read the unique number and alert the Cooperative Marine Turtle Tagging Program out of the University of Florida at Gainesville. [Learn more about tagging our sea turtles in this Google+ Hangout!]

PIT tag reader scanning for the inserted PIT tag.

If the turtle is large enough they also get tagged in the rear flipper. These are called Inconel tags. These tags are quite obvious and do not need a scanner to find. We do not have to tag small turtles so as not to increase drag on the turtle.

Applying the inconel tag

After the application
This transport will also include turtles from NationalAquarium in Baltimore, University of New England in Biddeford ME, NationalMarine Life Center of Bourne, the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research andPreservation Long Island, and the Virginia Aquarium.

From our release last year in NY. Multiply this by 6 and add a few more turtles and it will give you a rough idea of  what Sunday will look like! 
We hope to be including some special features for you all. We are still working out some last minute details. But for now, watch our Twitterverse #seaturtletrek  


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