Not Only People Get Wireless, Turtles Too

Sep 24, 2004
Not Only People Get Wireless, Turtles Too

Ground-breaking work to investigate the migratory movements of marine turtles in the UK Overseas Territories began on the Caribbean “Emerald Isle” of Montserrat this week. Staff from Government of Montserrat (GoM) attached a satellite transmitter to “Montserrat”, a 150kg green turtle, which will enable her migratory movements to be logged from space and followed live on the internet at Since leaving Montserrat’s shores she has already passed through the waters of St Kitts and Nevis but where will she stop?

The satellite tracking is part of a 2-year UK Government funded OTEP project spearheaded by staff from the University of Exeter in Cornwall’s, Marine Turtle Research Group in association with the UK’s Marine Conservation Society. The project involves a coalition of organisations in Anguilla, Ascension Island, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Montserrat and the Turks and Caicos Islands and aims to continue to build upon existing capacity for management of marine turtles and their habitats. In tandem with these efforts, extensive awareness raising activities will be undertaken. The project is given IT backup by the online US based NGO SEATURTLE.ORG

“We have been working for over 20 years to find out about the turtles nesting on our shores but this is the first time we have been able to gain insights as to where turtles nesting in Montserrat might live. It is most exciting.” said Mr. John Jeffers of Montserrat’s Department of Fisheries and long term co-ordinator of the sea turtle monitoring project.

“Through this project we will start to chip away at some of the great unknowns in the biology of marine turtles in each of the UK Overseas Territories but, perhaps more importantly, we hope to raise awareness as to how, given their migratory nature, regional approaches to their conservation must be taken” said Dr Brendan Godley of the Marine Turtle Research Group. “In addition, in global terms the vast majority of the biodiversity of the UK and its Territories is contained within the small and relatively under-resourced islands such as Montserrat. We hope to highlight this importance both to attract further conservation funding and lend support to the burgeoning ecotourism sector. Nature tourism holds tremendous potential as part of a stronger economic future in Montserrat as the island begin to return to normal following the cessation of volcanic eruptions.”

“The nesting turtle populations in Montserrat and the other UK Overseas Territories in the Caribbean are critically small following hundreds of years of harvest, and finding out which nations share responsibility of nesting populations is a great start towards an integrated conservation strategy. ” said Peter Richardson, Species Policy Officer with MCS. “We hope that the public both in Montserrat and further afield will log on to the tracking pages and we look forward to announcing the deployment of additional transmitters in Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, Cayman and Turks and Caicos Islands over the next year ”

Explore further: Manchester scientists boost NASA's missions to Mars

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Orion on track at T MINUS 1 Week to first blastoff

38 minutes ago

At T MINUS 1 Week on this Thanksgiving Holiday, all launch processing events remain on track for the first blast off of NASA's new Orion crew vehicle on Dec. 4, 2014 which marks the first step on the long ...

Staying warm: The hot gas in clusters of galaxies

2 hours ago

Most galaxies lie in clusters, groupings of a few to many thousands of galaxies. Our Milky Way galaxy itself is a member of the "Local Group," a band of about fifty galaxies whose other large member is the ...

Bad weather delays Japan asteroid probe lift off

6 hours ago

Bad weather will delay the launch of a Japanese space probe on a six-year mission to mine a distant asteroid, just weeks after a European spacecraft's historic landing on a comet captivated the world.

Manchester scientists boost NASA's missions to Mars

15 hours ago

Computer Scientists from The University of Manchester have boosted NASA space missions by pioneering a global project to develop programs that efficiently test and control NASA spacecraft.

ESA image: The gold standard

16 hours ago

The Eutelsat-9B satellite with its EDRS-A payload is shown in the anechoic test chamber of Airbus Defence and Space in Toulouse, France, having completed its final antenna pattern tests today.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.