Wednesday, July 25, 2012

As our turtle tagging adventures ended a few months ago, I've been curious to see what other programs might be doing similar work. An interesting project called Tagging of Pacific Predators ( provides an overview of publicly accessible tagged critters in real time. As the site title suggests, they cover more than turtles. Sharks, seals, even seabirds are also featured on the site. Hopefully we'll see some NMI turtles featured on the site in the future.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Saipan Community School students learn about sea turtles

Saipan Community School Education Outreach Event

These photos are of Kindergarten through 8th graders at Saipan Community School enjoying a presentation by the DLNR-DFW Sea Turtle Program staff. They were pretty excited when I told them they could jump online with their school laptops and visit to see themselves (and most importantly other sea turtle information of course!) So as promised SCS students, here are your classmates smiles...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

DLNR-DFW Sea Turtle Nearshore Surveys

Nearshore capture/tagging surveys draw crowd of observers at Fishing Base boat ramp

It was a bit choppy out on the water today so DLNR-DFW Sea Turtle Program staff decided to measure. tag, and release the turtles captured during morning reef dives in the protected waters at Fishing Base boat ramp, Saipan. Our turtles caught the eyes of several tour guides pulling their boats out of the water and visiting students from Brigham Young University, Honolulu HI. The students, Bobbie Hanohano and Kalie Johnson were in town to present their research on crabs at a conference hosted the past few days on Saipan. Kalie is studying Pea crabs that live as parasites on sea cucumbers while Bobbie is researching Xanthid crabs. They just happened to be at the boat ramp after taking photos on the reef for their BYU professor's field guide when they bumped into our team tagging sea turtles. They were happy to help us release a few juvenile green turtles back into the water and ended up learning about CNMI sea turtles in the process. The Sea Turtle Program staff would like to thank everyone who assisted us today!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Tanapag Elementary & Montessori Schools Education Outreach

Reaching Out to Local Schools

On November 22, 2011 CNMI DLNR Sea Turtle Program staff taught Bright Star Montessori School students how to make a sea turtle out of paper plates. Usually at this time of year turkeys are on everyone's minds but for these creative and crafty students, sea turtles were the star of the show! They learned about the different body parts that make up the turtle while they had fun decorating their plates. All 4-5th grade classes at Tanapag Elementary School participated in a presentation provided by DLNR-DFW Sea Turtle Program staff on November 15th. Many students had great questions, one that even stumped turtle staff was how many bones do sea turtles have in their body? Well, we have since found out that just the inner portion of the sea turtles shell is made up of 60 bones (which includes the backbone and the ribs)! We want to thank Tanapag Elementary students for keeping us on our toes...

Monday, October 24, 2011

San Francisco De Borja Parish--Rota Fiesta

The weekend of October 8-9, 2011 sea turtle program staff traveled to Rota for the San Francisco De Borja Parish Fiesta. There we collaborated with Brown Tree Snake program staff and the Fruit Bat biologist to organize a DFW education booth at the Fiesta. This successful event was a first for the sea turtle program and we were greeted warmly by Rota residents and schoolchildren. Freebies such as turtle coloring acitivity books, bat tattoos, and snake stickers were big hits with the kids! Although the rain put a damper on our sign, it didn't stop approximately 100 children from playing the turtle trivia game to win prizes and learn fun facts about sea turtles. We even had one Rota High School student drop by and ask where the school's satellite tagged turtle, Magas was last seen. We want to thank Rota residents for welcoming us and we hope to make this an annual event within the sea turtle program.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Shared International Resource

The satellite tracking project in Saipan was featured as the profile of the month in the Indian Ocean SouthEast Asian (IOSEA) newsletter: Saipan Sea Turtles An Internationally-Shared Resource. Please take a look when you have a chance and feel free to share:

Unfortunately we have stopped receiving transmissions from Kumiko - 1st turtle to reach the Philippines, but the other two are still transmitting and updates should be coming soon. Also, it appears that our international exchange goals are beginning to materialize with interest expressed from partners in the Philippines and a short documentary under development by a Japanese film crew currently filming in Saipan.

Needless to say, stay tuned for more...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Track update - Aug 10

This is track update for Aug 10, 2011. It looks like our first turtle, Kumiko, has finally reached the Philippines! We look forward to seeing which foraging habitat she finaly chooses. Our second turtle, Magas, appears to be heading north possibly Japan, although currently east of Taiwan. Our third female, Limwamway, just laid her 9th nest!! Amazing to say the least. She has yet to migrate, but her transmitter appears in good condition (paced after her 4th nesting event) and we await her impending migration; assuming she's done nesting! This season continues to teach us both about the biology of these amazing animals as well as provide valuable insights to their international migrations, connecting the Western Pacific and Asian regions!