North of Carnarvon in Western Australia, the Loggerhead sea turtle likes to chill on the beach, and maybe lay a few eggs. Where they go after that, we simply don't know, but now we'll be able to find out — and spectate as scientists collect data not only on their travel patterns, but also why so very few of those turtle eggs end up turning into grown turtles.
The Gnaraloo Wilderness Foundation and Caring for Country have commissioned an app that will not only track the female turtles, discovering where they go after they nest, but also allows you or I to follow along on our smartphones. That part thus far has been a mystery to science. So go on, then. You pick a turtle, and I'll pick a turtle, and we'll have the slowest race imaginable (jokes aside, they can actually swim up to 24kmph!).
Tourism and coastal development has become a problem for the sea turtles, who already face a few challenges getting out to sea when they first hatch. The trouble with these little guys is, when they hatch, they head for the lowest light they can see on the horizon. And if that just happens to be the light from a nearby hotel, that means they go inland, dry up, and perish.
Nesting every three to four years, the survival rate of Loggerheads getting to sexual maturity, which takes around 30 years, is 1 in 1,500.
Together with the shark proximity notification system, Western Australia is doing quite well with its sea monitoring tech.
If you'd like to find out where the secret Loggerhead meeting is that they all adjourn to between nesting seasons at the exact same time as SCIENCE, you can download the app on Windows phones, Android, or iOS.