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Freeing loggerhead turtles comes at a price
Date:4/20/2012

of this project is when it is worthwhile recuperating and treating a turtle" the UB expert asks. At a time of limited resources and for the good of the animal itself, "the scientists have to work with veterinarians in the rehabilitation centres to establish protocols to determine when a turtle should be treated and when not" Cardona says.

Accidental captures

The six turtles in the study were rehabilitated in the Balearic Islands by the Aspro-Natura Foundation between 2004 and 2007. Of those, two had been hit by boats, two had throat and stomach injuries from fishing hooks, and the last two had injured their flippers in fishing nets.

"Most of these animals are caught accidentally by fishing hooks or trapped in trawler or trammel nets" the scientist explains. "A smaller percentage collides with boats or gets caught in abandoned nets or plastic".

However, the number of turtles caught by fishing hooks has reduced. "This decrease is due to the fact that fishermen fish at a deeper level at which there are fewer turtles, although they are still researching this final aspect" the biologist points out.

90% of turtles in the Balearic Islands' waters come from the USA. "In this country, the number of nesting females of this species has dropped" Cardona warns.


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FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

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