As we reported in our last newsletter, we have successfully placed satellite transmitters on two female leatherback turtles on Simeulue in December last year. The background to this is that we also want to study the endangered subpopulation in the eastern Indian Ocean outside their nesting areas.

Involvement of the local village in the naming

During this campaign, we invited the villagers of Along to an information evening and suggested that they give the animals their names. Then, the two animals were named Putri Along and Putri Lele Puti, based on local fairytale characters.

Over the next few weeks, we and the villagers followed the movements of the leatherbacks which were brought to us by the satellite transmitters. Until the end of March and the end of April, we were able to watch live as the animals moved southeast towards Australia after they had finished laying their eggs. Possibly their favourite feeding ground. Unfortunately, both animals have since stopped transmitting. Putri Lele Puti last sent a signal off the Great Australian Bight on 27 April 2024. This may have very different reasons which we have not yet been able to identify.

Journey led to Western Australia

We are currently focussing on this spectacular discovery, as until now we could only assume that the majestic animals swim towards Western Australia after egg-laying. At the last sea turtle conference – the ISTS in Thailand – we shared the new findings with other experts. As expected, this caused quite a stir. Since then, we have been working with an Australian marine biologist on a funding proposal to further investigate the migration routes of leatherback turtles in Western Australia.

Would you like to make a contribution to one of the next campaigns of this kind? We look forward to your donation.

Routen des Satellitentrackings zweier Lederschildkröten
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