Turtle Tracks

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The Adventures of "Wrinklebutt"

Did you know that the largest Eastern Pacific green sea turtle ever recorded has been known to spend time in San Diego Bay? The turtle, affectionately known to local scientists as “Wrinklebutt” due to the unique deformity of her shell, weighs in at a hefty 550 pounds!


Researchers from the Marine Turtle Research Program at the NOAA - Fisheries (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Southwest Fisheries Science Center captured, weighed, and released her on February 1, 2006, as part of an ongoing green turtle research project in South Bay. A satellite transmitter was attached to her shell, allowing researchers to track her movements for several months until the transmitter's battery expired in late June 2006.

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Turtle Tracks - History and Conservation

San Diego Bay’s green sea turtles were first studied by Margie Stinson, who was completing her graduate studies at San Diego State University. Stinson is currently a Biology professor at Southwestern College in Chula Vista and continues to visit her old study site with her students. Her 1984 Master’s Thesis1 includes an exhaustive review of this species’ presence in San Diego Bay throughout the past two centuries, and is summarized below.

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