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Date of Issue: July 26, 2007

'Mumble' makes nest in Bradenton Beach

Mumble emerged from the Gulf of Mexico July 17 to nest.

Most of the loggerhead sea turtles that nest on Anna Maria Island during the summer months do not have a name.

Mumble does.

Most of the loggerhead sea turtles that emerge from the sea and lumber up the beach to nest on the Island in the shadowy dark do not have an audience.

Mumble did.

Last Tuesday evening, some members of Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch spied Mumble making a nest on the beach near Third Street South in Bradenton Beach. AMITW executive director Suzi Fox said Mumble possibly built a nest over another nest that was laid July 17.

AMITW members also spied on the turtle’s back a large satellite tag. By looking up tag number 34032 at www.seaturtle.org, AMITW identified Mumble as the mother-in-waiting.

The tag was placed on Mumble as part of Mote Marine Laboratory’s sea turtle-tracking program. The study devices were placed on Mumble and 15 other loggerheads on Casey Key earlier in the nesting season.

Mote has conducted tagging studies on Casey Key since 1982, mostly during the months of June and July - the peak of the loggerhead nesting season. The studies confirm that loggerhead turtles migrate to nest every two to four years and have reproductive lifespans measured in decades. Besides tracking the turtles’ daily locations, researchers can use the tracking data to determine how fast the turtles swim, the water temperatures they prefer, and the water depths they inhabit.

Mumble, named by New Canaan Country School in Connecticut, was tagged in early May. Researchers hope that in addition to being able to follow the turtle’s whereabouts, they can keep count of the nests laid. Mumble may have deposited three clutches so far this season.

As of July 21, AMITW had documented 112 nests and 113 false crawls, aborted attempts by the giant turtles to nest. The first nest hatched on July 12.

On Thursday, July 26, members of the group will gather at the Bayside Banquet Hall in Cortez to discuss the season, socialize and participate in an awards program, according to Fox.

AMITW also will hold an end-of-season celebration in the fall.