Update: “Frank” the Green Turtle Heads for the Islands
Dean Bagley, Research Associate
University of Central Florida Marine Turtle Research Group
and Vice President, Inwater Research Group, Inc.
As we described in the last issue of Outreach Magazine, the research myself and my team are conducting at the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge represents the first look at how adult male green turtles in Florida move during pre- and post-breeding migrations. Using data generated by satellite transmitters, we are identifying foraging and sleeping areas that will be more closely examined during future trips to the Keys.

Our first transmitter turtle of 2017, “Frank”, was named for Frank Wojcik, the Founder and Director of the National Save The Sea Turtle Foundation and a supporter of our work. “Frank” was released just after sunrise at the Carr Refuge on the morning of 28 May 2017. He began moving south on the 29th, and continued on that course until he reached Jupiter, Florida, at which point he moved offshore and began returning north. His movements were very different from any of the previously tagged males.
Frank’s transmitter
“Frank” the green sea turtle and the biologists from the University of Central Florida. Though the transmitter did not remain on Frank for as long as expected, he taught us a lot about the movements of adult green turtles.
Frank’s transmitter
“Frank” the adult male green turtle’s movements while he carried a satellite transmitter. He was originally tagged in Melbourne Beach (near top of map) during the breeding season, then gradually made his way south and west over the next couple of months. It is likely he is returning to his favorite foraging grounds west of Key West. Frank’s transmitter was underwritten by The National Save The Sea Turtle Foundation.
Unfortunately, he was at the east (north) end of the 7-mile bridge when we received his last coordinates on August 1st. Obviously, this is much earlier than expected, but it is likely that he loosened the transmitter on a reef structure, as another turtle did a couple of years ago. Judging by what other adult green turtles often do after breeding season, Frank will probably continue heading west toward the expansive foraging areas near the islands of Key West, the Marquesas, and Dry Tortugas.
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