Good News and Bad News Regarding Lydia

Yesterday, I posted an update about Lydia, the great white shark who’s been tracked near Abaco. Lydia’s tag hasn’t “pinged” revealing her location in close to 18 months. That seemed unusual, so I contacted OCEARCH to ask if they were concerned.

lydia, bahamas, great white, shark
Lydia (photo courtesy of OCEARCH)

They were kind enough to reply promptly, and the news is mixed.

The good news is that OCEARCH researchers believe that Lydia is fine and there’s no reason to think she’s not frequenting all her usual hangout spots.

The bad news? OCEARCH believes that the batteries in Lydia’s tracking tag, which allowed them to monitor her by satellite, have likely died. 

Lydia was tagged in 2013, and OCEARCH says the tracker batteries have a normal life of about 5 years. When an animal “pings” as much as Lydia did, though, it can significantly shorten the battery lifespan. And unfortunately, once the battery is dead, it’s virtually impossible to pinpoint Lydia’s location, let alone get her to sit still for a battery change. 

So, there likely there will be no further updates from Lydia. She will spend her remaining days — great whites can live up to 40 years! — in privacy. I’ll miss checking to see where her travels have taken her, but here’s wishing her a long and healthy life, wherever she is! 

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