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The Adventures of Mateo and Gabriela, Two Sea Turtles

by | Sep 15, 2023 | Local News, Nature, Sea Turtles

Mateo and Gabriela, two sea turtles tracked by satellite from Bonaire.

Where in the world are Mateo and Gabriela?

Have you been wondering about the whereabouts of Mateo and Gabriela, the two turtles fitted with satellite transmitters by Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire (STCB)? In our last article about a month ago, Mateo was staying around Bonaire, but Gabriela had already decided to move on to different waters and was heading west.

An update on Mateo

Shortly after the last article was published, STCB received a message that Mateo, a green sea turtle, had left Bonaire. However, she tricked us and didn’t go far as she still wanted to enjoy Bonaire’s waters a little longer. It seems like she wasn’t done laying her nests yet! She ended up returning to Playa Chikitu for a while and laid her 5th nest, which was discovered in the last days of August.

After Mateo laid her 5th and final nest of the season, she officially left Bonaire and headed north. Once she departed, she swam over 500 nautical miles in only two weeks! Mateo ended up reaching Haiti a couple days ago. Will she stay in Haiti or move on even further north? Maybe she will continue north to Cuba and meet up with a previously tracked turtle from 2012 named Anneke. Where Mateo’s foraging grounds are located is still an unsolved mystery.

An update on Gabriela

At the beginning of August, Gabriela, a Loggerhead, started her long swim. After first swimming to Bonaire’s east coast and passing by Mateo, Gabriela headed west and reached the Columbian waters after swimming 205 nautical miles (380 km). Since then, she has remained within that area and seems to be content. STCB thinks it’s safe to say that she has found her foraging grounds for the season on the northern peninsula of Colombia.

Stay tuned for more information

Since Mateo’s foraging grounds are still a mystery, I’m looking forward to following her journey. Where do you think her foraging area is located? Stay tuned!

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Tanya Deen has been living in Bonaire since December 2016. She is a PADI Master Scuba Diver Instructor and enjoys underwater and bird photography. Tanya is the Editor-in-Chief of the Bonaire Insider tourism news blog.
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