09.09.2010: Turtles tracked 3000km in search for place to breed

Three loggerhead turtles have swam the equivalent of a Sydney to Hobart yacht race in search of the best place to breed, new satellite data shows.

A special GPS tracking system launched by the Queensland government last year has been mapping three female loggerhead turtles' migration along the state's southern coast.

Climate Change and Sustainability Minister Kate Jones said they'd travelled a surprisingly long distance over five months.

"In total the three tracked turtles travelled about 3250km over five months, equivalent to the route of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race," Ms Jones said.

"This is quite a lot of ground for the small creatures to travel, demonstrating the depth of their quest to find the best place to feed, mate and then lay their eggs."

She said loggerhead turtles usually travel to their nesting sites in the Wide Bay area in October, and back to the feeding grounds in Moreton Bay in late summer. The latest tracking has found a well-defined, narrow migratory corridor the turtles use. Ms Jones said this information would help keep boats away from their migratory path.

Loggerhead turtles are endangered with about 600 adult females breeding annually in southeast Queensland.

 

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

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