Sea Turtle Underwater POV
See St. Joseph Bay in the Florida Panhandle through the eyes of two young adult female loggerheads as they swim, surface to breathe, dive, forage on underwater grasses and spend time with other sea turtles. Three species of threatened or endangered sea turtles congregate in St. Joseph Bay. They surface only briefly to breathe, and rarely come ashore except when females return to their natal beaches to lay their eggs, so most of their lives take place out of our sight. USGS scientists have studied federally protected sea turtle populations in the northern Gulf for more than 25 years. Though tools like satellite tags have helped scientists better understand sea turtle movement, researchers could provide more information to guide species and habitat management if they had more information about the animals’ behavior when they are submerged. USGS biologist Margaret Lamont and others are now piloting the use of small, waterproof cameras attached to the shells of seven turtles - five loggerheads, one green, and one Kemp’s Ridley. No sea turtles were harmed and all research was conducted through strict animal care/use guidelines, with appropriate permits. Learn more about USGS sea turtle science.