Jennifer Gray 2013-04-16 01:31:12
Leading the way in sea turtle conservation and research for more than 45 years, the Bermuda Turtle Project joined forces with scientific partners recently to deploy satellite transmitters and video cameras on multiple sea turtles in an effort to learn more about their life history. Three of the turtles fitted with transmitters stuck close to home on seagrass beds nestled between Bermuda’s reefs, but two others departed our shores on long-distance migrations. The green turtle named Tucker travelled to the southern tip of Florida via the Bahamas after an epic 1,000-mile swim that included a head-on encounter with Hurricane Sandy, whilst the turtle named Catherine made a similar journey and was last tracked in the Bahamas. These two turtles will likely spend some time visiting sea turtle feeding and resident areas in the company of other semi-adult turtles. Lightweight video cameras mounted on some thirteen resident turtles were fitted with “pop-off” devices that released the cameras after several hours of filming. The retrieved cameras revealed new insights, recording details of potential sleeping rocks, preferred foraging areas, behaviour and interactions with nature. We have long known that Bermuda’s nesting sea turtle population was extirpated by man many decades ago and that today Bermuda serves as a nurturing habitat for young sea turtles born in the wider Caribbean and south Americas. We still have much to learn about how they specifically use the habitats upon which they rest and feed, and when and where they go when they leave our shores. One can liken our local sea turtles to adventurous teenagers being called by the forces of nature on a continued life history journey. After arriving as juveniles and growing strong in our pristine waters, their next migration will lead them to resident feeding grounds well to our south and eventually back to the very beaches where they were hatched to reproduce and start the cycle all over again. Sea turtles in Bermuda have been protected by law since 1620, with refined protection in 1978. A better understanding of the interconnections between sea turtles and their critical habitats is fundamental to an unfailing conservation strategy that protects both the turtles and their habitat. Learn more by visiting the partners in this exciting study of sea turtles, including the Bermuda Turtle Project (conserveturtles.org/bermuda); Bermuda’s Department of Conservation Services (conservation.Bm); the Sea Turtle Conservancy (conserveturtles.org); the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo (bamz.org); and the Bermuda Zoological Society (bamz.org).
Published by HCP Media. View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://experiencebermuda.customtravelmags.com/article/High-Tech+Turtles/1376692/155285/article.html.