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On June 16th, people around the world celebrate the beauty of sea turtles and their importance to the marine ecosystem. CLS, unique operator of the Argos system since 1986, would like to take this occasion to honor the scientists working to understand and protect sea turtles globally. 

The Argos system is one of the principal technologies used by scientists and conservationists, to identify feeding and nesting areas, and to better understand turtles’ migratory patterns. In 2018, more than 1,000 turtles were tracked using the Argos satellite telemetry system worldwide. The data collected via the Argos system are crucial to developing conservation strategies and also help with public awareness campaigns, demonstrating to the public how vulnerable these protected species are.

Protecting turtles during their migration

Since 1982, when the first turtle tracking studies were initiated, all seven species of marine turtles have been tracked with Argos.

Nevertheless, six out of seven species of marine turtles today are threatened with extinction. (source WWF).

Sea turtles can migrate long distances – Damien Chevallier, scientist at the CNRS-IPHC, reveals a migratory journey of more than 20,000 km undertaken by a leatherback turtle. This turtle left Martinique in June 2018 to arrive in Senegalese waters (close to Cape Verde) in January 2019. Its six month journey alternated between feeding and travelling.

Scientists are making exciting new discoveries about the behavior of sea turtles using Argos tracking beacons as data relayers. Below, please find a selection of articles highlighting the importance of Argos satellite tracking for understanding and protecting sea turtles.

Satellite Tracking Sea Turtles: Opportunities and Challenges to Address Key Questions

This fascinating article by Graeme C. Hays of the Centre for Integrative Ecology, Deakin Univsersty, and Lucy A. Hawkes, of University of Exeter College of Life and Environmental Sciences, published in Frontiers in Marine Science (Hays GC and Hawkes LA, 2018) explores 25 years of sea turtle satellite tracking studies. It highlights the evolution in Argos satellite tracking technology and how tracking technologies are being used to tackle key questions. It also looks at the opportunities arising from increased spatial resolution of data, increased robustness and miniaturization of tags, and the availability of environmental data. And to conclude, the authors highlight the huge potential for big-data studies to make use of the thousands of tracks that exist. A must read!

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Understanding the tracking of three loggerhead turtles with ocean data

loggerhead turtle
Copyright Aquarium La Rochelle SAS.

Florence Dell’Amico of the La Rochelle Aquarium (Center for Studies and Care for Marine Turtles CESTM, France) shows how, by combining Argos satellite tracking with environmental data, especially sea level, we can obtain new evidence on the behavior of loggerhead turtles, including Icarus, released in 2018 and Antioch, followed between 2009-2010. David March, from SOCIB in the Balearic Islands, also shows this type of correlation between environment and animal movements on the loggerhead turtle, Vita, in the Mediterranean (released in 2018).

 

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Argos system contributes to French National Action Plan to protect Marine turtles in the Caribbean

In the French West Indies, five turtle species are threatened. This includes the hawksbill turtle, green turtle, leatherback turtle, loggerhead turtle and olive Ridley turtle. Three of these species are tracked using Argos by national and local authorities. Damien Chevallier, IPHC-CNRS, reveals the incredible distances travelled by one of these leatherback turtles.

 

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polar bear

18.04.2019 Animal tracking applications Argos sheds light on polar bears’ changing summer habits

For some years one of the major problems of polar bears has been the dramatic reduction of their habitat, i.e. Arctic sea ice, during the summer time. The bears are thus faced with extreme conditions and must go inland, since the sea ice is retreating North too quickly. Argos PTTs…
Ocean Business

08.04.2019 Argos news & events Argos at Ocean Business in Southampton

The CLS Telemetry team will attend the Ocean Business trade fair in Southampton, UK, one of the UK’s premier ocean science and technology events, from April 9th-11th. Our teams will be present on Booth A12. Stop by to discuss your upcoming projects and learn about how…
An Asian houbara equipped with an Argos PTT (Credits R. J. Burnside)

02.04.2019 Animal tracking applications Asian Houbara conservation

The Asian houbara is a bird highly adapted to its arid environment, with perfect camouflaging feathers and few natural predators. However, it is traditionally hunted using falcons in the Arabic peninsula, and with the increase of this hunting they are now threatened. Argos helps in defining a conservation strategy. A…

28.03.2019 Argos news & events Monaco Blue Initiative: Putting MPAs on the international agenda

The tenth edition of the Monaco Blue Initiative took place on March 24th-25th in Monaco under the presidency of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco. This edition, like the previous editions, was was dedicated to Marine Protected Areas. The attendees supported ambitious goals for the protection of…
metoc data

25.03.2019 Oceanography and meteorological applications What Argos users are saying about MetOc data on ArgosWeb

Since February 21st, 2019, all Argos users benefit from a 3-month free access to meteorological and oceanographic data via the ArgosWeb mapping function. This data is easy to display, and is designed to be overlaid with tracking data, helping biologists make a quick, visual link with animal’s…

20.03.2019 Maritime security applications Argos buoys help clean-up efforts after the Grande America

The CEPPOL (http://ceppol.fr/fr/), the French Navy’s Practical center of expertise for pollution control, uses Argos buoys to track pollution when an oil spill occurs at sea. This has been the case in the Atlantic Ocean since March 13, following the sinking of the Italian ship, Grande America, which…

18.03.2019 Argos news & events Argos, satellite telemetry solution for new low-cost European WAVY drifters

The Argos system made it possible to relay the first in-situ observations of the open ocean by satellite in the early 1980s and continues to be a relevant technology for ocean science today, especially given that the new Kinéis constellation will launch 20 Argos-compatible…
One of the tagged white shark (Credits OCEARCH)

25.02.2019 Animal tracking applications White sharks in eddies and meanders

Top predators play a key role in maintaining the health of open ocean ecosystems. Understanding how they relate to their environment is fundamental in order to monitor their populations and the state of the marine environment. White sharks, among others, have been tracked using Argos satellite telemetry, and their path…
whale

15.02.2019 Animal tracking applications Argos celebrates World Whale Day

Whales are some of the most fascinating creatures on Earth. They inhabit all of the world’s major oceans, including the Arctic, the Antarctic and the tropical waters of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. From the blue whale, which is the world’s largest, to the elegant narwhal, these enigmatic marine…
narwhal

15.02.2019 Animal tracking applications Understanding the impact of human activity on narwhals in the Arctic

Wide-scale changes are taking place in the Arctic, with warmer temperatures leading to shrinking summer ice coverage.  More ice-free water means easier access for vessels and industrial operations, such as exploration for oil and gas, shipping, sand dredging and fisheries. Faced with these changes, how can we protect vulnerable…
Magellanic penguins, including one with an Argos tag on its back, and one Humboldt penguin (credits Antarctic Research Trust)

15.02.2019 Animal tracking applications Shedding new light on South American penguins home range

Humboldt and Magellanic penguins live in the southern tip of South America. On the Pacific coast, they benefit from the high productivity of the Humboldt Current but are also threatened by artisanal fisheries. They are thus considered as either vulnerable or near threatened, and conservation measures should be taken. Their…
A drifting CO2 measuring buoy just before deployment (Credits JAMSTEC)

31.01.2019 Oceanography and meteorological applications Measuring CO2 in faraway regions of the ocean

The ocean is one of the most important carbon sinks on Earth. Thus, accurate estimation of CO2 uptake by the ocean is important for predicting global climate change. Automated buoys with data collected by Argos satellite telemetry make it possible to measure CO2 over the whole ocean during long periods,…

24.01.2019 Oceanography and meteorological applications Argos system contributes to Argo program milestone

Last month, the international Argo program reached a very important milestone: Over 2 million ocean profiles have been collected by Argo since 1999, greatly improving the understanding of the world’s oceans. The Argos satellite telemetry system has contributed to this success, by relaying 70% (1.5 million) of these precious ocean…

08.01.2019 Animal tracking applications Argos system contributes to French National Action Plan to protect Marine turtles in the Caribbean

In the French West Indies, five turtle species are threatened. This includes the hawksbill turtle, green turtle, leatherback turtle, loggerhead turtle and olive Ridley turtle. Three of these species are tracked closely by national and local authorities.   Protecting wildlife with Argos The Argos system is…
shark fin

18.12.2018 Animal tracking applications Argos satellite telemetry, an important tool for conserving migratory sharks

The 3rd Meeting of the Signatories of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Sharks took place from December 10-14th at the Museum for Oceanography of Monaco. It was hosted by the Principality of Monaco. This high-level meeting united government representatives, non-governmental…
EUCAW attendees

27.11.2018 Argos news & events The European User Conference on Argos Wildlife : A success

From November 21st to 22nd a group of biologists and Argos tag manufacturers from many countries gathered in Toulouse to share their work using the Argos system at the European Users Conference on Argos Wildlife (EUCAW). Presentations concentrated on more than 80 species and touched on topics as…

20.11.2018 Argos news & events Argos-3 instrument successfully activated on EUMETSAT’s Metop-C satellite

On 16 November 2018, EUMETSAT’s control centre (European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites) successfully activated the Argos-3 instrument on the Metop-C satellite. The first signal received came from a beacon installed on a Senegalese fishing boat off Dakar, a tracking : first step for a sustainable management of…

20.11.2018 Animal tracking applications European Users Conference on Argos Wildlife

 Argos Forum #85 contents : Updates on Argos system & services Using Argos in the polar regions Tags & hardware Innovative techniques in bird tracking Using Argos to track the movements of large pelagics Long time-series of Argos data for historic bird studies Using Argos for research and conservation Future…

20.11.2018 Argos news & events European Users Conference on Argos Wildlife

  The European User Conference on Argos Wildlife will be held in Toulouse, France, on November 21st & 22nd, 2018.  Fifty users from 15 countries will present their fascinating projects for protecting biodiversity.   To discover the exciting work covered at this event, take a look at…
Whale shark with Argos tag (Photo S. Pierce)

12.11.2018 Animal tracking applications Whale sharks in Madagascar

Whale sharks are living in all the warm oceans of our planet. Population repartition and behavior still need to be understood, as well as their movements. Example of a new feeding area for juvenile whale sharks in Madagascar was described and their movements monitored using Argos PTTs. Whale sharks…

07.11.2018 Argos news & events New Argos-3 payload to launch on MetOp-C satellite in the night of November 6th – November 7th

CLS is pleased to announce that a new Argos-3 (A-DCS) payload is in orbit, as of 0h47 UTC on November 7th. This new Argos instrument, designed by the French Space Agency (CNES), is launched onboard MetOp-C, the third and final MetOp satellite of our partner, the European Organization…
female Asian Houbara

23.10.2018 Birds tracking Satellite-tracking to create the demographic evidence-base for the sustainable management of hunted Asian Houbara

As Robert J. Burnside of the University of East Anglia explains in his presentation at the European User Conference on Argos Wildlife, the migratory Asian Houbara …

19.10.2018 Argos news & events The revolutionary new Argos chipset from CLS and its partners

CLS and its partners have developed revolutionary new technology, an Argos chipset for uplink and downlink communication. Its small size and weight, just 7 mm x 7 mm and under 1 gram, are noteworthy. Low cost and easy to integrate, it gives Argos satellite connectivity to the…
A snowy owl (

18.10.2018 Animal tracking applications Where snowy owls are wintering?

Snowy owls are large birds living North of America and Eurasia, with white / spotted white feathers. They are migrant birds, but in an unpredictable way – they can winter as south as the American Midwest, as well as in the Artic circle.   A…
Argos nanosat prototype

16.10.2018 EUCAW Speakers Argos-4 coming soon: a new momentum for the Argos system

Argos is a collaborative, international satellite system dedicated to environmental monitoring that has been flying for 40 years. Today, thanks to 6 operational satellites, it provides global coverage via its polar orbits, a unique robustness thanks to a communication protocol fitted for harsh conditions, — one of its main advantages…
hammerhead shark

16.10.2018 Animal tracking applications Hammerhead Shark research: Knowledge from the populations in the Canary Islands

HAMMERHEAD SHARK RESEARCH is a project that studies hammerhead sharks Sphyrna spp in the Canary Islands with the aim to contribute scientific base knowledge of these species in an understudied distribution. Information of hammerheads in this distribution is limited to the presence of two species (S. lewini and S. zygaena),…

15.10.2018 Animal tracking applications The annual cycle of German adult Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) – studies in the breeding and wintering areas as well as during migration since 1995 by means of satellite telemetry

During 1995 – 2011 we marked 28 adult Ospreys in NE-Germany with satellite tags working up to eight years. All except three males wintered in West Africa. The migratory paths followed while in Europe seemed much straighter and more directional compared to the migratory paths followed in Africa. This pattern was…

15.10.2018 Animal tracking applications Year-round Satellite Tracking of Amur Falcon (Falco amurensis) reveals the longest migration of any raptor species across the open sea

The title for undertaking the most arduous of all raptor migrations, belongs certainly to the Amur Falcon, which is a complete transcontinental, transequatorial, long-distance flocking migrant. The principal breeding (mainly NE China) and wintering (mainly S. Africa) ranges are separated by both 70° of latitude and longitude. Details of the…
Photo_tortue_CHAMBAULT

09.10.2018 Animal tracking applications Combining Argos and genetics to reveal connecting paths between juvenile and adult habitats in the Atlantic green turtle

At the European User Conference on Argos Wildlife, Philippine Chambault of IFREMER presents this fascinating project of the French Research agency IPHC-CNRS. Although it is commonly assumed that female sea turtles always return to the beach they hatched, the pathways they use during the years preceding their first reproduction and…
Tracking turtle brendan godley

04.10.2018 Animal tracking applications Tracking turtles to inform conservation

Brendan Godley, of University of Exeter has been tracking turtles using the ARGOS system for 20 years and has been involved in collaborative projects that have tagged over 500 hundred animals across the world. This has led to fundamental and applied insights for the populations in question but also provided…