Tracking sea turtles for science

Satellite tags allow us to track sea turtle migration for science.

Since 1975 thousands of turtles have been tagged to help scientists understand more about the various stages in their life cycles.

In 1975 more than 7,000 Loggerhead hatchlings were tagged at Mon Repos in southeast Queensland. One of the returning turtles, named Premiere, was fitted with a satellite tracker in 2003 to assist scientists to understand more about her home ranges during the nesting period and outside of nesting time.

Premiere joined three green turtles, Dean, Ted and Moreton, all of which were fitted with satellite trackers in 2002 and another loggerhead, Jimmy, fitted with one in May 2003.

To learn more about the adventures of Premiere, Dean, Moreton, Jimmy and Ted visit the Queensland DES website.

All the research and tracking projects undertaken around the world are contributing to a growing bank of knowledge that is helping us understand and protect the endangered sea turtles. Council is also monitoring marine turtle nesting along the coast line, see the marine turtle nest monitoring map for more details.

Tracking sea turtles on the Sunshine Coast

Loggerhead Turtles, Bullumby (133768) and First Lady (236574) tracking results from the 2022/2023 nesting season on the Sunshine Coast.The first Loggerhead turtle tracked with Sunshine Coast Council’s TurtleCare program in 2012, and again in 2018. In 2022, Council again partnered with Dr Col Limpus from the Department of Environment and Science to track two nesting Loggerheads and follow their movements during the inter-nesting and post-nesting migrations from the nesting beaches of the Sunshine Coast. This project contributes to the growing research on Loggerhead turtles in eastern Australia.

Find out more by reading this scientific paper "Satellite tagging and flipper tag recoveries reveal migration patterns and foraging distribution of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from eastern Australia | SpringerLink".

An update on their stories, including their movements from the 2022-23 season of tracking to date is shown in their stories.

Bullumby’s story (2022-23)

Bullumby was first tagged in the 2009 nesting season at Buddina Beach.

First Lady's story (2022-23)

First Lady was first tagged on 17th November 2015 at Buddina Beach in the 2015-16 nesting season.

Matilda's story (2012-13)

Matilda was one of the first Loggerhead Turtles that was tracked by the TurtleCare team and volunteers.

Sunshine Coast Council acknowledges the Sunshine Coast Country, home of the Kabi Kabi peoples and the Jinibara peoples, the Traditional Custodians, whose lands and waters we all now share.
We commit to working in partnership with the Traditional Custodians and the broader First Nations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) community to support self-determination through economic and community development.
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