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Tour de Turtles allows the public to follow the marathon migrations of four species of sea turtles

Crowd cheers on satellite tagged green turtle as it departs on its journey.
Sea Turtle Conservancy
Crowd cheers on satellite tagged green turtle as it departs on its journey.

The 2022 Tour de Turtles is underway. It’s a race, of sorts, that allows people to follow along as a group of sea turtles travel thousands of miles from their home beaches to their foraging grounds.

Since 2008 the Gainesville-based Sea Turtle Conservancy has held the 'race'. Part public outreach, part fundraiser, the annual event is an outgrowth of the work they do researching sea turtles in their mission to protect them around the world.

The Conservancy’s Executive Director, David Godfrey, said they’ve been using satellites to track sea turtles for about 20 years, and the Tour De Turtles gives the public a front row seat.

“You know, there’s just something really cool about being able to watch what this animal is doing as it navigates great distances around the globe, practically.”

This year’s Tour de Turtles follows the migration of 21 turtles of four different species: leatherback, green, hawksbill, and loggerhead — all of which are protected under the Endangered Species Act as endangered or threatened.

It kicked off on Aug. 1 and runs through the end of October. Whichever turtle travels the furthest over that time is declared the winner.

You can hear a full conversation about the tour and the work being done by the Conservancy on Gulf Coast Life.

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