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Two Turtles, Mateo and Gabriela, Fitted with Satellite Transmitters

by | Aug 1, 2023 | Local News, Nature, Sea Turtles

STCB waiting patiently to fit one of the turtles with a satellite transmitter

STCB placed satellite transmitters on two turtles to track their movements. 

Recently, Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire (STCB) attached satellite transmitters to two turtles on Bonaire after they laid their eggs. The transmitters provide real-time data during their migration and it’s quite interesting to see their whereabouts!  I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see their movements!

Mateo, the Green Sea Turtle.

On July 21st, STCB staff went to Playa Chikitu to wait for one of the expected green turtles to come ashore to lay her nest. They were quite surprised that she came onto shore as early as 9:00 PM. They patiently waited until she had laid her nest, which took several hours. Around 11:30 PM she was finally done covering up her nest so they could start the process of attaching the satellite transmitter. She is a beautiful big green turtle with a carapace of 1.10m. This turtle is named Mateo. She is named in memory of Joshua Mateo Fortes-Jordan, who loved the sea turtles of Bonaire.

Gabriela, the Loggerhead.

A couple of days later on July 23rd, STCB found a loggerhead attempting to lay eggs on a Sunday morning in the south of Bonaire. Since it was only an attempt, the staff expected her to return Sunday night. Later that night, they headed to the south and she returned to lay her nest! This loggerhead took less time to lay her nest and was a little smaller than the green turtle with a carapace of 95 cm. This sea turtle is named Gabriela.


We already have an update on Mateo and Gabriela!

Yesterday, an update was received on their whereabouts!

Mateo is staying close to Bonaire and is still in the area of Chikitu. It’s possibly that she will come back ashore to lay another nest and is currently resting.

Gabriela, on the other hand, is well on her way. After the nesting season, the adult females will return to their foraging grounds. These are often deeper reefs with more food sources than the shallow reefs. She has already passed Aruba and is still heading west.

Satellite Images of Mateo and Gabriela's location on July, 31, 2023

Where do you think Gabriela will swim to? Let’s follow Mateo and Gabriela on their journey!

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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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