Selected patients of the National Marine Life Center are equipped with satellite tags so that we can follow their progress in the wild. Learning how these endangered and protected marine animals use the ocean habitat and discovering the post-release behavior of bellwether species provide critical information about them and about the health of the ocean itself.
Townsend is a juvenile male harbor seal that stranded at Old Orchard Beach, Maine on September 6 suffering from respiratory distress and cuts to his face and chin. He was rescued by Marine Mammals of Maine and received initial care at the University of New England’s Marine Animal Rehabilitation Center. On October 9 he was transferred to the National Marine Life Center for continued rehabilitation. Once at NMLC, he was diagnosed with a serious middle ear infection, otitis media, that required surgery. With the assistance of Cape Cod Veterinary Specialists, two surgeries, one on November 28 and one on April 10 were performed to address the disease. Three CT scans were performed at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s Computerized Scanning and Imaging Facility to confirm the disease and monitor results of the surgeries. WHOI scientists also performed a hearing test after the second surgery. Finally, after eight months of rehabilitation, Townsend was approved for release. To monitor his progress, he was fitted with a satellite tag and released on June 27, 2013. You can follow his journey here.
View Townsend’s Track as of July 27, 2013 in a larger map
Thank you to NOAA Fisheries, Marine Mammals of Maine, the University of New England’s Marine Animal Rehabilitation Center, Cape Cod Veterinary Specialists, Dr. Darlene Ketten and the WHOI Computerized Scanning and Imaging Facility, Dr. T. Aran Mooney of WHOI, Wildlife Computers, and all who donated towards Townsend’s rehabilitation, surgeries, and tag.
We still need your support! Even now, new seals are being admitted with the same kind of serious middle ear disease from which Townsend suffered. You can help these animals get well. Please, donate today.
Kemp’s Ridley “Lavender” Released with Satellite Tag
Sea turtles with satellite tags are tracked through the National Marine Life Center page on SeaTurtle.Org. Those tracks will be mirrored on this web site and can be accessed through this page by clicking on the image below. If it’s the first time that you have visited the SeaTurtle.Org site, the server may ask you to accept the conditions of use for the tracking data. Once you accept those conditions, you will be taken to the appropriate place on the web site.
Click on Image or on These Words to Track NMLC Patients
To check the location or track of a specific released animal, click on one of the names below.
Fletcher (Loggerhead Sea Turtle, released May 18, 2009)
Lavender (Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle, released July 30, 2008)
Smarty (Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle, released August 24, 2006)