This map is an example of a relocated turtle who has not yet ventured far from its release site. Some turtles show remarkable “site fidelity” during the first years following release; other turtles immediately abandon the site.

 

We originally presumed that if a released turtle remained within a relatively confined piece of habitat for 2 or 3 years, we could assume that the turtle had “adopted” the sanctuary and established a stable home range … and that we would not need to continue tracking the turtle.  

 

However, our long term studies have shown that even turtles who have used very small pieces of habitat for 5 years or more will sometimes decide to move FAR (e.g.1 mile or more) off and settle into a new piece of habitat.

 

Because of this finding, we have decided to track released turtles for many more years so that we get a better understanding of what their habitat-use looks like over a span of decades.