Date: July 31, 2007
Contact: Rocio Johnson
Phone: (325) 373-6441
NEVIS, WEST INDIES— CCC researchers traveled to Nevis, an island in the Caribbean, from July 28-30 to attach satellite transmitters on two endangered hawksbill sea turtles as part of a unique public-private partnership between CCC, the Nevis Turtle Group and the Four Seasons Resort Nevis. These turtles are now available for adoption and can be tracked here!
CCC researchers joined volunteers from the Nevis Turtle Group and the Four Seasons on Nevis to look for nesting hawksbill turtles. Hawksbills are considered “critically endangered,” yet they continue to nest in large numbers in Nevis. The two hawksbill turtles were, “Calypso” and “Ginger”. Each turtle received a satellite transmitter that was harmlessly attached to the carapace. These transmitters permit scientists to track their movements at sea. The research data collected will aide in efforts to conserve this species in the Caribbean by learning where they travel when away from nesting beaches.
Initiated in August 2006, the Eastern Caribbean Hawksbill Tracking & Conservation Project already has revealed important information about the migratory behavior of hawksbills. Since last year, the program has been tracking the movements of two adult female hawksbills, named “Mango” and “Nevis.” Each hawksbill was outfitted with a satellite transmitter, which sends signals to orbiting satellites each time the turtles surface to breathe. CCC scientists then download information from the satellites, which includes detailed location data for turtle. This information is plotted on digital maps of the Caribbean showing the last known location of the animals. Since the time of her release, “Mango” has traveled 1,603 cumulative miles to the Miskito Coast of Nicaragua. Unlike Mango’s straight trajectory, “Nevis” chose to stay close to Nevis, traveling only 488 cumulative miles in the surrounding area.
Thousands of people around the world log on daily to CCC’s website at www.conserveturtles.org to view regularly-updated maps showing the turtles’ latest locations. Researchers with CCC expect the transmitters on Mango and Nevis to work for up to six more months, while the transmitters being deployed this year should last for up to 18 months before falling easily off the turtles.
The Sea Turtle Conservancy, formerly known as the Caribbean Conservation Corporation, is a not-for-profit, 501(c)3 organization based in Florida with offices and projects in several other locations. The Sea Turtle Conservancy is the oldest and most accomplished sea turtle organization in the world. Since its founding in 1959, the Sea Turtle Conservancy’s work has greatly improved the survival outlook for several species of sea turtles. The Sea Turtle Conservancy has as its mission the protection of sea turtles and the habitats upon which they depend. To achieve its mission, the Sea Turtle Conservancy uses research, habitat protection, public education, community outreach, networking and advocacy as its basic tools. These tools are applied in both international and domestic programs focusing on geographic areas that are globally important to sea turtle survival. For more information, visit the STC website atwww.conserveturtles.org or call (800) 678-7853.