Update: Margaret Returns to Trinidad to Nest
Update: Margaret Returns to Trinidad to Nest
Margaret was tagged off the coast of Nova Scotia last summer. Photo: Canadian Sea Turtle Network
By CBC Docs  

Margaret, a leathback sea turtle featured in Trek of the Titans, who after spending the summer feasting on jellyfish off Canada's east coast, was determined to escape winter like the rest of us. She made an incredible 4000 kilometre solo journey to Trinidad and landed on Grande Rivière beach in the early hours of March 22nd.

In August 2013 The Canadian Sea Turtle Network tagged two female leatherback turtles, Jacqueline and Margaret, to learn more about their journey south. While they lost track of Jacqueline's signal back back in January, they've watched as Margaret has moved closer and closer to her destination. 

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Female leatherbacks return to the same area, often to the same beach, to bury their eggs deep into the sand. Unlike most turtles, Margaret keep researchers guessing as she zigged and zagged off the coast of Trinidad for weeks. Finally, the time was right, and she came ashore. She was welcomed by a very excited research team.

Margaret (in front) and (from left to right) Sheldon Murray, Kevin Muhammad, Trishara Hernandez, Latresa Mayers and Ria Steward– our friends in Trinidad from the Grande Rivière Nature Tour Guide Association and Stakeholders Against Destruction. Photo courtesy of Kevin Muhammad.

In late April, Margaret was spotted on Matura beach along with seven other turtles that had been tagged in Canada - including one that researchers pulled out of the water only a few hours before Margaret. The 'Canadian' turtles will probably nest another 5-7 times before they head back up to the nutrient rich waters off Nova Scotia in late summer. Female leatherbacks drop a clutch of 80-100 eggs that take a couple of months to hatch. Once hatched, the young are on their own; it's estimated that only one in 1000 survive to adulthood. 

The team has removed Margaret's tracker for now - and will be studying the data to learn more about her trip.


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