Depending on their size and carapace shape, the tortoises have been fitted with either a satellite tracker, a data logger (with satellite and VHF capabilities) or a VHF tag. The LARGE tortoise below is sporting a satellite tracker)
Additionally, since tortoises are reptiles and temperature is an important factor for where they decide to go, we have attached to all tortoises an "iButton" which is a small device that records the temperature of the tortoise through time. On the photo below the vhf tag on one of the tortoises and the ibuttons are visible on top of their shells)
Part of the preparation of the tortoises involved a health assessment, which involved measuring them, weighing them, taking a blood sample, and giving them a de-wormer. Below, Joe and James liffting a tortoise to weigh it. Many are in the 90kg range.
Finally, this is the "Before" shot from the entire Pinta Team. From left to right, Ben, Garrison, Elizabeth, and me (Francisco). We will stay behind on Pinta to monitor turtle movements and their effect on vegetation for two and a half month.
Now we must go meet the ministrer of the environment and say hello to the cameras. Wish us luck!!!
Francisco, Santa Cruz, Galapagos