Tagging and tracking the Tour de Turtles

first_imgConservation, Conservation Solutions, data, GPS, Oceans, Remote Sensing, satellite data, Sea Turtles, Tagging, Technology, Tracking, Wildtech Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored The Sea Turtle Conservancy’s Tour de Turtles kicked off last month, tagging and tracking 17 sea turtles during a marathon migration.Turtles wear small transmitters during the annual event as they travel thousands of miles to from their nesting beaches to feeding grounds.Data collected from satellite telemetry help scientists gain a clearer understanding of how four species of turtles behave at sea, furthering efforts to protect endangered species. Last year, a loggerhead named Eliza Ann took the crown. This year, Lucaya, the speedy leatherback, has pulled ahead to take an early lead. Every summer, a handful of sea turtles take to the water to compete in the Sea Turtle Conservancy’s, Tour de Turtles – an underwater marathon that blends competition with conservation.This year, 17 sea turtles entered the Tour de Turtles, and the line-up is diverse, encompassing leatherbacks, loggerheads, green sea turtles and hawksbills. Organizers released the competitors from nesting grounds in Costa Rica, Panama, Nevis and Florida. The winner will be the turtle that swims the farthest during its three-month long migration.A loggerhead turtle named Turtlette is equipped with a satellite transmitter on her carapace and released from Melbourne Beach, Florida for this year’s Tour de Turtles. Image by Celeste McWilliams.Small tags tracking over large areas Tagged and monitored remotely, these turtles aren’t just racing towards the finish line, they’re also providing scientists with key data collected via satellite telemetry.Sea turtles spend the majority of their lives in the water – feeding, mating and roaming huge distances – but in the vast ocean it’s difficult for scientists to observe their behavior, leading them to turn to technology for answers.Every turtle participating in the Tour de Turtles is fitted with a small, low-wattage Platform Terminal Transmitter (PTT) tag, which is controlled by a micro-processor.These devices, which are designed to safely fall off the turtle after about a year and a half, send signals to Argos tracking instruments attached to orbiting satellites every time the turtle comes up for air. The satellite then relays this information back to earth where it can be accessed via computer.Turtles must surface for at least three minutes to be detected, and once it detects a PTT, a satellite takes three to five minutes to record the location.Sea Turtle Conservancy research biologist Dan Evans tracks a turtle’s progress online. The satellite tag beams the turtle’s positions to instruments on a satellite, which send them on to Evans and his colleagues. Image by Ben Hicks.This tags provides the Tour de Turtles’ research partners, the University of Central Florida and the Nevis Turtle Group, with up-to-date location information so they can keep a watchful eye on the competitors through every stage of the race.The researchers plot turtles’ routes on an online map so sponsors, donors and supporters can follow along in near-real time.Turtles swim several thousands of miles in a typical Tour, but there’s more to the event than just distance travelled. The PTT data collected from each turtle delivers a goldmine of useful information, including an estimate of the number of dives the turtle has taken in the preceding 24 hours, duration of its most recent dive and the water temperature.“We can estimate turtle behavior based on the information from the transmitters, and from that we can also look at the environmental characteristics, such as water depth and temperature,” said Dan Evans, Research Biologist with the Sea Turtle Conservancy. “There are definitely patterns and pathways we are learning about, but we are also learning their behavior.”“We get confirmation of things we know, but every now and then we get something really interesting. There’s a lot of variation, even within species. It seems like every year one turtle does something different.”Lucaya the leatherback’s current route from her nesting grounds in Panama across the Caribbean Sea, and north along the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S. Image courtesy of Google Maps and the Sea Turtle Conservancy.This year, researchers are watching Lucaya, a leatherback who is hugging the East Coast of the United States rather than heading into the deep Atlantic as expected. Through his work with the Tour, Evans has discovered that leatherbacks move between a primary and a secondary foraging area, rather than sticking to a single feeding ground. He has also noted that leatherbacks spend more time in the Gulf of Mexico than previously thought and that hawksbills, a species that tends to stay local, are actually travelling all the way across the Caribbean in some instances.“That was really cool to see,” he said. “It is a pretty incredible migration.”Technology evolutionTagging turtles is not a new science, but as technology evolves, the research has become more efficient, more streamlined and more effective. When the Tour de Turtles first launched in 2008, transmitters were bulkier and more vulnerable to the elements than the modern-day version.“They started out as bricks with antennae sticking out of the top,” Evans said. “We had to build a barrier to protect them in the water, but now they have built-in barriers. The transmitters have become smaller, more compact and more hydrodynamic.”Tilly, a hawksbill turtle, heads to sea after her release from the island of Nevis. Image by Ben Hicks.They also have a longer battery life that allows them to function for up to five years.“That means we are able to track turtles for longer than we used to and can find out about their full migration, from their nesting beaches to the foraging areas,” Evans said.Scientists still have a lot to learn, however, and Evans hopes that as the technology expands, it will paint a more complete picture of what sea turtles are up to in the deep ocean.“I think the accuracy of the transmitters will improve over time. My dream transmitter would include a camera that would allow us to really see what kind of interactions the turtles are having with their environment and each other.”A team at The Turtle Hospital fits sea turtles with transmitters in July 2018. The team spread epoxy to secure the satellite transmitters to Little Money, a 365-pound female green sea turtle (left), and Coco, a male loggerhead. The two turtles were simultaneously released off the Florida Keys to become part of the “Tour de Turtles.” Image by Andy Newman.He would also like to make better use of GIS mapping technology, creating a program that can superimpose layers of variables on the turtles’ route such as water temperatures and chlorophyll levels.Raising awarenessSix out of seven sea turtle species are listed as endangered or critically endangered. Human hunting , fishing lines, and plastic debris all kill adult turtles. Natural predators and various human threats to sea turtle hatchlings and nesting beaches result in very low nestling survival rates. The Sea Turtle Conservancy estimates that as few as one in a 1,000 survive to adulthood.The data amassed through the Tour de Turtles focus on promoting sea turtle conservation and education. In 2010, findings from the Tour were used to educate stakeholders on the need to protect sea turtles from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.“Leatherbacks from Costa Rica and Panama are utilizing the Gulf of Mexico much more than anybody thought, [but] leatherbacks had not been in the discussions until we shared the tracking information that we had,” Evans said. “That provided support for including them in discussions about what species need to be protected.”Lucaya, a leatherback now leading the Tour de Turtles, was released from Panama in May and has traveled north via Cuba and the Caribbean to the U.S. (see map above). Image by Ben Hicks.Raising awareness is a key part of the Tour’s message. Turtles are sponsored and/or adopted by donors, and each swims for a specific cause. This year’s turtles are swimming to highlight the threats of commercial trawl fisheries, water quality, pollution, beach erosion, and adult and egg harvesting.The Tour’s tracking efforts have made one thing very apparent: turtles do not respect boundaries, making their survival an international issue.“Turtles are international travelers, they do not have borders or passports. They go where they need to go, so cooperation among nations is really important,” Evans said. “With our data, we can identify foraging areas and be able to see whether they are in protected areas. If they are in protected areas, we can then look at whether the protections are good enough for sea turtles.”Follow this year’s Tour de Turtles, which ends November 2, 2018. Article published by Sue Palminteri FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.last_img

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