Mumbai: Transmitter batteries of lost Ridley turtles died 570 days sooner

Regarding the battery life of the transmitter, Mangrove Foundation of Maharashtra’s marine biologist Harshal Karve said, “We are speculating that the cause of the lost connection is battery exhaustion.”

Sherine RajUpdated: Saturday, July 02, 2022, 11:43 PM IST
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Mumbai: Transmitter batteries of lost Ridley turtles died 570 days sooner | FPJ

Researchers from the state-run Mangrove Foundation of Maharashtra, who have reportedly confirmed losing contact with three of the five Olive Ridley turtles tagged with transmitters, said it is possible that the inbuilt battery of the device exhausted 570 days earlier than expected (the lifespan of the battery is 700 days).

After having their location actively transmitted for 130 days, the testudines (scientific name) were lost – while one is thought to have perished, the devices of the other two are not responding; they were stuck to the shells with a special resin. The third turtle, named Saavani, stopped responding as recently as June 5.

Regarding the battery life of the transmitter, Mangrove Foundation of Maharashtra’s marine biologist Harshal Karve said, “We are speculating that the cause of the lost connection is battery exhaustion.”

Under the sea turtle conservation programme, these animals were tagged at the beginning of this year for a better understanding of their movement pattern and to identify their migration path off western coast after congregating and nesting.

The five turtles were tagged at the Ratnagiri coastline and were named Prathama and Saavani (January 25), Vanashree and Laxmi (February 13) and Rewa (February 16). Saavani had travelled from Anjarle to its last location, which was around 100 km off the coast of Kumta in Karnataka.

Karve told the Free Press Journal, “Earlier, we had lost signal from Prathama, which was the first turtle tagged with the transmitter, at the Velas beach and had covered a distance of 2,700 km. The last transmitted signal was located 60 km off the coast of Kunkeshwar in Sindhudurg.”

On March 2, the first turtle, Laxmi, lost contact with the researchers; it’s suspected that the transmitter may have malfunctioned or the turtle may have died.

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