Loggerhead turtle equipped with a satellite tag. Source: Miquel Gomila/SOCIB
24.09.2018 EUCAW Speakers

Oceanographic Turtles: Integration of sea turtle tracking with ocean observing systems

At the European User Conference on Argos Wildlife (EUCAW), David March will present the “Oceanographic Turtles” project which aims to provide the scientific basis to support the development of risk mitigation techniques based on new ocean observing and forecasting systems and contribute to the conservation of marine turtles.

Argos satellite tracking and ocean observing systems

He will focus on the integration of Argos satellite tracking of sea turtles with ocean observing systems (OOS). More specifically, he will present the most significant advances that have been developed in the three key parts of the project:

  • Analysis of satellite trajectories in relation to environmental factors and human impacts.
  • Real-time multiplatform experiments that combine data from animal-borne sensors with different ocean observing platforms (submarine drones, drifting buoys, remote sensing) and numerical models of oceanographic conditions.
  • Development of technical applications, like Tweeting Turtles, to automate the processing of Argos tags in real-time and delayed mode.

He will illustrate this approach using time–temperature–depth recorders (TTDR), Fastloc-GPS, and ARGOS platform terminal transmitters (PTT) on juvenile loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) in the Mediterranean Sea.

 


 

Dr. David March

For the past 3 years, together with the NGO Alnitak and Fundación Palma Aquarium, we have deployed 16 Argos-PTT on loggerhead turtles in the Balearic Islands. Turtles ranged 46-83 cm (curved carapace length, CCL) and the longest journey corresponded to a juvenile turtle that travelled more than 11,000 km across all the Mediterranean during 279 days.

At SOCIB, we are working towards the integration of animal-borne sensors on ocean observing systems using SPLASH tags (Wildlife Computers) equipped with time-temperature-depth recorders (TTDR). Having access to turtle tags in real-time throughout the Argos system has allowed us to develop new exciting projects, like adapting the path of ocean gliders (a type of underwater autonomous vehicles) along the trajectory of the turtles or transmitting their location using their own twitter accounts!”

 

 


 

Oceanographic Turtles project. Animal-borne sensors collect information about sea temperature and send the information throughout the Argos System. Source: SOCIB.
Oceanographic Turtles project. Animal-borne sensors collect information about sea temperature and send the information throughout the Argos System. Source: SOCIB.

Useful links:

David March, dmarch@socib.es, SOCIB

“Oceanographic Turtles” Project website

SOCIB Multi-platform map viewer

Tweeting turtles: @TortugaLasi

News on Argos website

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