Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Scientist warns of threat to last stronghold of endangered turtle


A major conservation effort, led by Dr Brendan Godley of the University of Exeter, has just got underway to help protect endangered leatherback turtles which nest in Gabon, West Africa. The region is thought to be the animals’ last global stronghold, as pacific populations dwindle precariously.

It’s hoped the project, to tag and track the animals, will uncover their migratory secrets and provide the basis for efforts to safeguard them. After fitting them with satellite trackers the team are using the internet to follow their journeys, which are among the longest in the animal kingdom.

Dr Brendan Godley, of the University of Exeter, said: "Pacific leatherbacks have been decimated by incidental capture at sea and overexploitation so it’s vital that we protect the Atlantic population.

This project is crucial to our understanding of the geographical range of the leatherback as so little is currently known about their travels. We think turtles from Gabon could be traveling as far afield as South America, Europe and even the Indian Ocean to feed on their jellyfish prey.

Once we have detailed information our tracking work will feed directly into strategies for marine protected areas in Gabon and farther afield and more sustainable fisheries.

We are just beginning to understand the importance of the leatherbacks of West Africa as a global stronghold but we need to know where they live to protect them."

The tracking data is publicly available online and is creating much interest with more than 100,000 hits from over 150 countries on the site each month.

It’s thought that globally more than 50,000 leatherback turtles are incidentally caught by fisherman trawling for other species each year. Of these, thousands are thought to die as a result. Approximately 1.4 billion hooks are cast into the world’s oceans as part of industrial long-line fishing, with 37% of this fishing effort in the Atlantic. A major hotspot is found off West Africa, the focus of this study.

With fishing yields decreasing in European seas the EU has struck up a number of agreements with African nations to fish their waters. Amazingly, most EU fishing concessions don’t even incorporate compulsory bycatch monitoring programmes.

Scientists from the University of Exeter’s Cornwall Campus are working with a consortium of partners in Gabon (Aventures Sans Frontieres, Parcs Gabon and Wildlife Conservation Society) and the USA (Duke University, to try to solve the mystery of where the turtles’ spend their time.

Rachel Hoad-Robson | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>