Amazing Turtle Rescue and Release in San Pedro – A few months ago an Olive Ridley Turtle (also commonly known as the Pacific Ridley Turtle) was rescued at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and has been rehabilitated at the Bacalar Chico National Reserve. The staff at Hol Chan aptly named the turtle “Olive” and she was tagged with a satellite tracking device and released at Hol Chan Marine Reserve on Monday, August 8, 2011.
Dr. Todd Rimkus, a biology teacher from Marymount University, has been working with Kevin Andrewin at Gales Point tagging turtles; Dr. Rimkus donated the tag for Olive to monitor her tracking. Members of the Belize Sea Turtle Conservation Network, including Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Fisheries, Gales Point, CORAL and ECOMAR members were present for the tagging and releasing of Olive.
This was a great opportunity to raise awareness of sea turtle standings, rehabilitations, awareness and other local efforts on-going in Belize with sea turtle conservation. Kevin Andrewin from Gales Point applied the satellite tag on Olive as he has the most experience and has recently tagged two hawksbill turtles at Gales Point.
The tagging of Olive was a historical moment for sea turtles in Belize since this was the first confirmed Olive Ridley Turtle and the fourth ever turtle tagged with a satellite tag in the country. Sea turtles are the great ocean migrates and don’t follow country boundaries.
The Olive Ridley Current Population and Distribution is in the Antilles, around the north coast of South America, in West Africa, the Indian Ocean, Australia and Southeast Asia. There are also many important nesting and feeding grounds on the east Pacific coast from as far north as Canada to as far south as southern Peru.
With the tagging and tracking of Olive biologist will be able to see if Olive will return to the Caribbean Shores for nesting or if it will return to its native waters in South America. You can track the turtles on seaturtle.org or on Facebook; just look for the Belize Sea Turtle Conservation Network page.