Beverly is Back!

Exciting news everyone! Beverly, one of our competitors from the 2015-2016 Great Canadian Turtle Race was found on a nesting beach in Trinidad! For those who followed the Great Canadian Turtle Race, you’ll remember that she was a little different than the rest of our turtles! In the fall of 2014, Bev left the eastern coast of Canada and decided to go due east, all the way to the Azores, crossing the Atlantic Ocean – our partners from the Canadian Sea Turtle Network had never seen anything like it! Since she hadn’t nested in two seasons, we were hoping that 2015-2016 would be her season! When we started to track her for the turtle race, using the satellite tag that was attached to her back, we found her out in the middle of the Atlantic! As we monitored her movement, we noticed that she was headed south – was nesting finally on her mind this season? Bev was very different from our other racers, as she was migrating south in the middle of the Atlantic, which made us wonder if she was bound to be a South American or even African nester! Unfortunately, December 9th was the last time that we received a transmission from her with her last known location being in the mid-Atlantic.

Beverly's last known location from her satellite tag on December 9th 2015.
Beverly’s last known location, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, received from her satellite tag on December 9th 2015.

As nesting season approached, we crossed our fingers that one of our four speedy racers would be found nesting. Last week, our partners Canadian Sea Turtle Network, received word from their partners in Trinidad, Nature Seekers, that Beverly had nested!! Our amazing Beverly had managed to make it to Matura Beach in Trinidad! Nature Seekers found her without her satellite tag, which explains why we stopped receiving transmissions from her in December. Despite not having her satellite tag, Nature Seekers were able to identify Beverly from her metal flipper tags. Although, we don’t know exactly how Bev lost her tag, the fact that the satellite tag didn’t make it with Beverly is a testament to how physical and rough this migration journey is! Leatherback turtles truly are marathon migrators and encounter many obstacles, many of which we are unaware of along their incredible journey. Knowing that Beverly nested, despite her tag going “offline” early in the race, is good news and hope for our other three racers, Abigail, Christie and Sharon, who also went offline during the race. Similar to Bev, we hope that they all made it successfully to their nesting grounds and we will hear about them in years to come. Additionally, Beverly’s story highlights the importance of partnerships and collaboration with other conservation groups, especially when working on a such a global animal like leatherback turtles. Without the help of groups like Nature Seekers, we would only have part of the story of Beverly’s amazing journey!