Premiere, the first loggerhead turtle tagged as a hatchling at Mon Repos to later return as a nesting female, once again left the region’s shores today.
A small crowd gathered along the beach to watch the release, led by Dr Col Limpus.
She was tagged in 1975 on Mon Repos Beach and recaptured laying eggs on four occasions between November 2003 and January 2004.
According to the Department of Environment and Science, Premiere was just one of 7381 hatchling loggerhead turtles marked at Mon Repos between January and February of 1975.
Her first breeding season on the nesting beaches of the Woongarra coastline were recorded, with four clutches of eggs laid.
While not all eggs were counted, Premiere laid at least 386 eggs between November 2003 and January 2004 and nested at both Mon Repos and Oaks Beach.
When she finished laying, she was taken to the Mon Repos Conservation Park research laboratory where she was examined and it was confirmed to be her first breeding season.
After laying her third clutch Preimere was fitted with a satellite tracking radio transmitter and released from Mon Repos beach on 28 December 2003.
Tracking results recorded up to 10 March 2004 show that from December to March she travelled 1426km north of Mon Repos, making it north of Lizard Island in North Queensland where her swimming appeared to slow.
By tracking turtles like Premiere, researchers aimed to quantify the “home range” of a loggerhead turtle, identify the duration of and path taken for post-breeding migration and to determine whether or not its feeding areas varied from season to season.
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