Friday, July 31, 2009

Tour de Turtles!

This is going to be THE event of the summer! It starts tomorrow and I can hardly wait.

Tour de Turtles is a fun, educational journey through the science, research and geography of sea turtle migration using satellite telemetry. Created by
Caribbean Conservation Corporation, with help from sponsors and partners, this event follows the marathon migration of ten sea turtles, representing four different species, from their nesting beaches to their foraging grounds. How cool is that? Learning about sea turtle migration is important in determining conservation initiatives. Scientists need to know where the turtles go so that they can protect these areas. What better way to do it than with a race?

The Tour de Turtles follows each sea turtle as they complete a marathon migration of 1,628 miles. Wow! That's really far. I hope they don't get tired. Each turtle is swimming for a cause to raise awareness about a specific threat to sea turtles. The turtle I'm following (and rooting for) is Squirt. Did you see Finding Nemo? If you did, then you know Squirt was the name of the little turtle in the movie. I have loved that little guy ever since I saw the movie and was so excited when I saw there was a turtle in the race named Squirt.
This is Squirt. Squirt is an adult loggerhead sea turtle that was encountered nesting on May 21, 2009, in the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, Florida. So Squirt is a girl. Her shell (curved) length measured 107.5 cm. That may seem big, but Mom tells me that this is about average size for an adult female. Mom measures turtles when she goes to Wassaw Island so she should know about this stuff. A satellite transmitter was applied to Squirt's shell after she finished nesting so that she could participate in the Tour de Turtles.

So you may be thinking that I picked Squirt to follow because of her name. Wrong! I picked her because of her cause. She is swimming to raise awareness about the threat of commercial longline fisheries. You guys know how I feel about longline fishing, so it only made sense to follow Squirt. She is sponsored by the Academy at Ocean Reef which is in Key Largo, FL.


All the causes the turtles are swimming for are important. You can watch short video clips about some of the causes and release videos of the turtles on the Tour de Turtles website. Squirt doesn't have a release video - she wanted her release to be private. You can also check out Squirt's migration map, where you can follow her along as she swims.


So go check out the race, meet the turtles, and learn about their causes at http://www.tourdeturtles.org/. You can also learn about sea turtle migration and the science of tracking turtles on the website. The coolest part of the website may just be the turtle player, but I'm not going to tell you what it is - you will have to check it out for yourself. And remember - while we may not know which turtle will swim the distance first, one thing is certain: Saving sea turtles - it's a marathon, not a sprint!

6 comments:

Tweedles -- that's me... said...

Hi Stubby
That is wayyyyy cool!
I love turtles , big and small.
Thank you for sharring all this information. My computer is so slow, so I can't join in the tracking fun!

love
tweedles

Heather and Walter said...

We love Stubby!

Stubby said...

Hi Tweedles! I'm so glad you love turtles as much as I do. Too bad about your computer because it's cool to track the turtles. Try to check and maybe your computer will cooperate.

Stubby xoxo

Stubby said...

Hi Heather & Walter! Thanks so much for stopping by. I'm so happy that Walter is feeling better and getting stronger every day. It's only a matter of time before he's up and running around causing trouble.

I love you guys!

Stubby xoxo

Melissa and Emmitt said...

hi stubby!
oh my goodness! how wonderful is this? we love squirt and her cause! we are going to support her too!
thank you soooooo much for coming to my party. having you there meant the world to us.
xoxoxoxo
m & e

Stubby said...

Hi Melissa & Emmitt! I'm so glad you stopped by to check out the Tour de Turtles and that you are going to support Squirt. This marathon/challenge is such a great way to get people interested in sea turtle conservation.

I am going to spend today recovering from the party. I hope my 13th birthday party next year is as great as yours was Emmitt!

Stubby xoxo