Although sea turtles spend most of their time in the ocean, we still know very little about their migration patterns. Satellite tracking helps fill that knowledge gap, allowing researchers to track marine turtles as they swim from place to place. Learn more.
WWF places satellite tags on marine turtles in many areas around the world. The information collected from the tags helps us to design better management strategies for their conservation, such as creating marine protected areas for important feeding areas or addressing threats to nesting beaches. Knowledge of marine turtle migration pathways is also important to reduce interaction with fisheries, when turtles too often become victims of bycatch.
Satellite tracking involves attaching a special piece of equipment to a marine turtle's shell. The transmitter, or 'tag,' sends a message to a satellite each time the turtle comes to the surface to breathe. We then know the location of the turtle and plot it onto a map.