Navigation Links
How satellite tracking revealed the migratory mysteries of endangered Atlantic loggerhead turtles

Their journeys are among the longest in the animal kingdom and they have largely remained a mystery until now. An international team of scientists led by the University of Exeter have uncovered the migratory secrets of endangered loggerhead turtles in West Africa and the results could have huge implications for strategies to protect them.

In a paper in the journal Current Biology, Dr Brendan Godley and an international team describe how they used satellite tracking systems to follow the journeys of ten turtles from Cape Verde, West Africa, which is one of the world's largest nesting sites for loggerheads and a hotspot for industrial fishing. What they found could turn current conservation strategies upside down, as the team discovered the turtles adopted two distinct approaches to finding food, linked to their size.

Previously it was thought that hatchlings left the coastal region to forage far out at sea before returning, later in life, to find food closer to shore. However the new findings show that the oceanic habitats contained far larger animals than was previously thought. The team tracked the turtles as they left nesting sites, following them for up to two years over ranges that covered more than half a million square kilometres.

Dr Brendan Godley, of the University of Exeter, said: "We were surprised to find such large turtles looking for food out in the open ocean, as it was previously thought that animals of this size would have moved back to forage in coastal zones. This means there are much greater numbers of the breeding population out at sea and far more that are vulnerable to the intensive longline fishing effort that occurs in that region."

Dr Michael Coyne, of Duke University, added:"From the information collected, we have been able to determine how much time these animals are spending within the sovereign boundaries of each country in the region. This research highlights how complicated the migration of marine vertebr ates really is and how sophisticated our conservation efforts must be to safeguard these animals. Given the range these reptiles can cover an international cooperative effort in seven African states is needed to create a strategy that would protect them."

Research* shows that in 2000 1.4 billion hooks were cast into the world's oceans through industrial fishing. It's thought that globally more than 200,000 loggerhead turtles were incidentally caught by fisherman scouring the waters for other species such as tuna and swordfish. Of these, tens of thousands are thought to die as a result. 37% of this fishing effort was in the Atlantic and a major hotspot for fishing is found off West Africa, the region where the Cape Verdean turtles reside.

In recent years marine turtle researchers have been using satellite telemetry to track turtle migrations. Satellite transmitter tags are attached to the shell of the turtle so that every time the turtle surfaces to breathe, the tag transmits the turtle's position, as well as other information (e.g. depth and duration of dives), to satellites orbiting above, which then relay the data by e-mail to the computer of the scientist who attached the tag. For more information about tracking sea turtles, visit http://www.seaturtle.org/tracking


'"/>

Source:University of Exeter


Related biology news :

1. NASA satellite data provides rapid analysis of Amazon deforestation
2. NASAs AURA satellite peers into Earths ozone hole
3. NASA satellite data helps assess the health of Floridas coral reef
4. Findings have implications for tracking disease, drugs at the molecular level
5. Radio-tracking associated with dramatic shift in water vole sex ratio
6. UQ researcher tracking key to healing the brain
7. Concern over fast tracking of new drugs
8. New way of tracking muscle damage from radiation
9. Elusive HIV shape change revealed; Key clue to how virus infects cells
10. Timing is everything: First step in protein building revealed
11. Iron exporter revealed that may explain common human disorder
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/28/2016)... -- First quarter 2016:   , Revenues ... first quarter of 2015 The gross margin was 49% ... and the operating margin was 40% (-13) Earnings per ... from operations was SEK 249.9 M (21.2) , Outlook ... 7,000-8,500 M. The operating margin for 2016 is estimated ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... Research and Markets has announced ... 2016-2020"  report to their offering.  , ,     (Logo: ... analysts forecast the global multimodal biometrics market to ... period 2016-2020.  Multimodal biometrics is being ... the healthcare, BFSI, transportation, automotive, and government for ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... -- A new partnership announced today will help life ... a fraction of the time it takes today, ... insurance policies to consumers without requiring inconvenient and ... rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and HIV) and higi,s ... pulse, BMI, and activity data) available at local ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/3/2016)... ... May 03, 2016 , ... Kerafast Inc., developers of an ... across the globe, today announced the availability of a Zika virus antibody from ... treatment and prevention measures for the Zika virus, the virus’s geographical distribution continues ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... ... May 03, 2016 , ... ... and IVF laboratories. A contingency of reproductive endocrinologists, including Dr. George Hill ... experiencing infertility and to help them build families. , Ovation Fertility is a ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... ... The MIT bioLogic design team has won multiple A' Design Awards ... applied to fabric and formed into living interfaces between body and environment. They found ... team harvested Natto cells and applied them to fabric with custom 3D printers.The cell-infused ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... Summit for Stem Cell has received a $250,000 ... patient-specific stem cell therapy for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. The Summit research project ... The Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, CA. , The aim of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: