Tracking turtles at sea

Follow the progress of five endangered marine turtles off the Kenyan coast and beyond.
Four green turtles and one hawksbill turtle have been tagged with satellite tracking devices on their shells at Kenya’s Kiunga Marine National Reserve - one of the country's most important marine turtle nesting grounds.

The relatively pristine and isolated Kiunga beaches provide a key refuge for the turtles.

WWF, together with the Kenya Wildlife Service and the local Kiunga community, are protecting these nests, which see over 11,000 hatchlings make a dash to the sea each year.

But how many will survive?

Marine turtles face a number of threats ranging from poaching to natural predation. Each year, tens of thousands of turtles are caught accidentally in fishing trawls, on long-line hooks and in fishing nets. 

Six of the seven species of marine turtles are listed as "endangered" or "critically endangered".

WWF’s turtle satellite tracking programme will monitor the five turtles released in Kenya to learn more about their migration routes, feeding habits and threats. Information fed back to scientists on land will help improve conservation efforts to protect these majestic species of the sea.
Turtle Frances makes her way to the Indian Ocean with a satellite tag attached to her back on ... / ©: WWF-EARPO / Kimunya Mugo
Frances, one of the tagged green turtles, making her way to sea. Kiunga, Kenya.
© WWF-EARPO / Kimunya Mugo

Meet the turtles

Frances, the first marine turtle to be tagged with a satellite transmitter in Kenya. Released on 28 July 2008 from the Kiunga Marine National Reserve, this green turtle has laid 161 eggs at the reserve’s Mongoni Beach.

Mwanabule, another green turtle, released the following day. She has laid 76 eggs in her second clutch of the breeding season.

Elizabeth, the only hawksbill of the group, released on 11 August 2008 together with two other green turtles - Mark and Fatma.

Find out where the turtles are now

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