On 9th October 2021, loggerhead turtles Genoveffa and Gavino were released back to the sea off the coast of western Sardinia, after many years held in poor conditions at an aquarium. Both turtles were satellite-tagged to enable post-release monitoring via GPS. This allowed their movements to be tracked for just over a year, confirming that they were able to locate wild feeding grounds and look after themselves, independent of any human intervention.
See below Genoveffa and Gavino’s reported movements post-release.
After a year of tracking Genoveffa and Gavino’s movements over thousands of miles, the batteries in their GPS satellite tags finally came to an end, as predicted by the release team.
Both turtles were still reportedly swimming free, covering large areas of the wild seas. Of note was Gavino’s last recorded location, showing him heading towards the Caribbean.
We wish them both the best of luck as they stay swimming free – where they belong.
Gavino and Genoveffa are still swimming free and have been covering some ground. Gavino has moved away from the coast of Africa and headed towards America. Since release, he has now travelled about 5500 km, regularly diving down 40 meters. Genoveffa remained for a few weeks in the stretch of sea between Sardinia, Tunisia, and Algeria, approaching the coast of North Africa. She has now covered a total of 2100 km since release and is regularly diving to depths of 60 metres.
19 May 2022
After 7 months since their release, Genoveffa and Gavino’s satellite tags have continued to transmit data on their movements and their diving behaviour. Gavino has continued to swim free in the Atlantic Ocean, continuing west and traveling over 4500 km. Whilst not recording dives of an overly large depth, he continues to dive regularly. Genoveffa, after remaining close to the coasts of Sardinia since her release, has reportedly finally ventured out about 50 miles west. It is believed that she has probably been attracted by the large number of jellyfish in the area presently. She has covered a total area of over 1000 km.
7 February 2022
Four months have now passed since Genoveffa and Gavino’s release, and their satellite tags are still transmitting their position and other data. Genoveffa continues to move along the coast of Sardinia. She is currently a few kms from San Giovanni di Sinis, the site of her release back in October, within the Sinis protected marine area. She continues to make long, regular movements and dives, which suggests that she is in good health. After a lengthy stop in the west of the Mediterranean Sea, Gavino has crossed the busy Strait of Gibraltar and has been swimming in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. He has travelled over 2500 km since his release: just over 20 km per day.
13 January 2022
It is now over three months after release. Latest satellite data shows that Gavino has approached the Strait of Gibraltar, alternating between the coasts of Spain and Africa. He has covered more than 2000 km since release and continues to regularly dive to depths of 45 metres. Genoveffa still stays close to the coast of Sardinia, travelling north and south around the island. She spent almost a month near the bay of Porto Corto in the protected marine area of Capo Caccia. She has made dives tens of metres deep and has been sighted in the port of Alghero.
4 November 2021
Almost a month after release, Genoveffa and Gavino’s satellite tags have continued to produce data showing that they are swimming freely and travelling over large distances. Gavino has travelled about 850 km eastwards, reaching first the island of Mallorca and then Ibiza (Balearic Islands – Spain). He is reaching swimming depths of 60 metres. Genoveffa has travelled along the southern coast of Sardinia, covering about 500 km, reaching Porto Corallo and then returning back to the Gulf of Cagliari. Data showed that she stopped for several days in a few areas, exploring the seabed and diving regularly to depths of 60 metres.
21 October 2021
The turtles, after some initial settling, moved away from the point of release, taking different directions. Gavino has travelled over 420km towards the South-West, regularly diving to over 40 metres. Genoveffa is moving southwards along a route parallel to the coast of Sardinia and has travelled over 300km. GPS tracking shows she regularly dives to depths of more than 60 metres.
Data from https://portal.sardegnasira.it/