LAKE PARK, Fla. - When she talks about sea turtles, FAU scientist Jeanette Wyneken sounds like a proud parent.
"I need to know that turtle is swimming normally…and is able to dive and surface," she says.
And as any parent might, she’d like to keep tabs on the little guys when they’re out of her sight. She's using tiny transmitters to help her do that. Traditionally scientists have used them to track adult turtles, dolphins and other species, but the technology has improved so much and gotten so small now they can track every move a baby turtle makes from the moment it takes its first swim.
"The reason we’re putting these transmitters on is because we know very little about the habitat use where these turtles are going, how they’re getting there, are they just riding the Gulf Stream out to the other side of the Atlantic or are they getting out and using some of the important ocean features?" says Wyneken.
Monday Wyneken traveled 10 miles into the Gulf Stream and along with her students released a dozen baby loggerhead turtles, equipped with transmitters that were originally designed for birds.
She says the tiny transmitters will help tell the story of what challenges these turtles face in the wild so scientists can understand how best to protect this threatened species.
"We’re going to use a mapping tool and set up a website so people can follow the tracks of these turtles as they go on their journeys," she says.
The transmitters will provide updates every 2 days.
The turtle tracking site won’t be up for another 2 weeks. When it goes on, it can be accessed from Dr Wyneken’s home page
In the meantime, you can click on the Nov 9th Turtle Movie Gala website for the movie trailer – “Turtle the Incredible Journey” from Emmy Award Winning Director- Nick Stringer.
Miranda Richardson is the narrator. There is additional information about the key role that Dr Wyneken played as the scientific advisor to the film which is making its Palm Beach debut and only showing that evening.
Copyright (c) 2010 The E. W . Scripps Company and Angie's List
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