The filters below control the list in the right panel, or click a photo below to quick select that turtle.
Welcome to Turtle Watch, a tracking site where you can follow turtles that SEA LIFE Australia/NZ have rescued, rehabilitated and released back into the wild. Turtle Watch was created as an epicentre of turtle tracking for all SEA LIFE sites in Australia and New Zealand.
Each of these sites is actively involved in rescuing and rehabilitating injured, stranded or sick turtles found or brought to us. Once brought back to health the turtles are then tagged and released back into the wild. Whether it’s Melbourne, Sydney, Manly, Mooloolaba, or Auckland, turtles are found injured, malnourished or sick.
Turtles are facing unprecedented threats in the wild and run a gauntlet of risk just trying to survive. Fishing nets, plastic pollution, boat strikes, habitat loss and coastal development are individually and cumulatively impacting upon turtle numbers around the world.
By raising awareness of the plight of our turtles we can help protect remaining critical habitats and reduce our impacts like plastic ending up in the sea. The tracking data being collected will be used to inform conservation and management strategies for turtles in Australia and New Zealand.
The tracking system simply connects the most recent data points and draws a line even though the turtle did not travel over land.
No, the tag transmits all the data points (from each surfacing throughout the day) to a satellite once per day which is then sent to a collection point once per week. We receive this data weekly and then update each turtle’s journey.
No, as with the over land scenario the tracking system draws a line between the last data points transmitted. The turtle is likely to have meandered quite a lot in between.
Sea turtles are air breathing reptiles. They can hold their breath for several hours, depending upon their level of activity. A resting or sleeping turtle can remain underwater for up to 7 hours. However, a stressed turtle, such as one that becomes entangled in fishing gear or a shark net, quickly uses up oxygen stored within its body and may drown within minutes.
Sirtrack Fastloc™ tags are fast acquisition GPS technology designed for marine animals which only surface briefly. Raw locations are then relayed back to the researcher via the Argos satellite system.
The tags cost approximately AUD $3,500 each. Satellite time costs around 100 Euro per month. Tracking a turtle for the life of the tag (from 12 to 18 months) can cost in excess of AUD $5,000.
The life of a satellite tag is constrained by its battery life which is typically from 12 to 18 months. Sometimes tags can be lost based on animals dislodging it when entering or exiting crevices or become deployed if the animal gets caught in fishing gear or shark nets. Turtles can also lose their tags when they shed their scutes. For most species, as the turtle and its shell grows, the scutes on the shell shed or peel away to make way for new, larger scutes. Shedding is a natural process, and scutes are cast off intermittently during daily activities such as swimming and basking. Many of the turtles we tag are juveniles, which means they’ll grow and shed their scutes. The tag can be dislodged in this process.
Sexing a turtle can be tricky; a few indicators are often used but it still may not be apparent until the animal reaches sexual maturity. Males of many sea turtle species have long and curved claws. It is unknown why these claws exist, but some scientists suggest it is to grasp the female's shell during mating. It does not hold for all species though. Also in many species the tail is longer in the male than the female but the difference may not become apparent until the turtles become sexually mature. Sexual maturation occurs at vastly different stages for different species of sea turtles, from three years old for hawksbill turtles to 50 years old in green sea turtles.
Seven. These include:
All seven species are listed as ‘endangered’ or ‘critically endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species.
Click on a turtle to view more details about each turtle, and see it's location data on the map.