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 http://seaturtle.org/tracking/ 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: Russian, American ready for a year in space

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Russian, American ready for a year in space

2 hours ago

The Russian astronaut heading off for a year in space says he'll miss the natural landscapes on Earth. His American counterpart jokes he won't miss his twin brother.

Galaxy clusters collide—dark matter still a mystery

8 hours ago

When galaxy clusters collide, their dark matters pass through each other, with very little interaction. Deepening the mystery, a study by scientists at EPFL and the University of Edinburgh challenges the ...

Using 19th century technology to time travel to the stars

13 hours ago

In the late 19th century, astronomers developed the technique of capturing telescopic images of stars and galaxies on glass photographic plates. This allowed them to study the night sky in detail. Over 500,000 ...

Image: The colors of sunset over the ISS

15 hours ago

ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti took these images from the International Space Station during her six-month mission. The Progress cargo ship and Soyuz crew spacecraft reflect sunlight as our star sets ...

Feud on Earth but peace in space for US and Russia

17 hours ago

Hundreds of kilometres below on Earth, their governments are locked in a standoff over Ukraine—but up in space, Russian cosmonauts and American astronauts are still working together side by side.

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.