Last night we attached the first satellite transmitter to a female flatback sea turtle named “Sarah J”. She was named by Scott’s son and my nephew Jack (the J in the name represents Jack)!! We were very excited as we watched her make her way down the beach and into the ocean and saw the orange light blink to say it was sending signals to the satellite.
Sarah J nested successfully just 50m from our camp. When she completed laying her eggs and started covering we tagged, measured and collected Dna, before lifting her out of her nest to attach the transmitter. This is the first flatback sea turtle to be tracked in Queensland. We have designed the attachment harness from scratch so this was a case of trial and error to ensure that the first one fit ok. After an hour and a half we were confident that it was set up right and soon after we let her on her way.
Soon we will find where she migrates to, which could be possibly up to 3000km away and may cross international borders, and Sarah J will (hopefully) provide the first information on what feeding grounds supply the largest flatback sea turtle rookery in the World.