When Miss Pearl finally returned to the Pearl Cays in Nicaragua last month after a three-year hiatus, it was cause for celebration. Best of all, her transmitter was still attached.
Named "Miss Pearl" by Nicaraguans and Wildlife Conservation Society researchers, this adult female hawksbill turtle has returned to her nesting beach on the Pearl Cays off the coast of Nicaragua after three years of travel. Scientists were able to follow Miss Pearls movements throughout the Caribbean via a satellite transmitter, which was affixed to the turtles back during her last visit to shore. She traveled farther than any other hawksbill with a satellite transmitter, reaching the border of Honduras waters. She is alive and well
Named by local Nicaraguan participants and scientists from the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Miss Pearl is a female hawksbill sea turtle, one of the most endangered of this ancient tribe of sea-going reptiles. In 2000, she had already distinguished herself by traveling farther than any other hawksbill WCS had tagged, venturing nearly 250 miles to the Honduras border. Now that she made the return trip back to the nesting beach where scientists originally tagged her, those working on the project were ecstatic.
"This is fantastic and incredible," said WCS conservationist Dr. Cynthia Lagueux, who runs WCSs sea turtle project in Nicaragua. "We are really starting to get some good data about this nesting population."
Stephen Sautner | EurekAlert!
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