Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists celebrate a sea turtle’s homecoming

13.08.2003


When Miss Pearl finally returned to the Pearl Cays in Nicaragua last month after a three-year hiatus, it was cause for celebration. Best of all, her transmitter was still attached.


Named "Miss Pearl" by Nicaraguans and Wildlife Conservation Society researchers, this adult female hawksbill turtle has returned to her nesting beach on the Pearl Cays off the coast of Nicaragua after three years of travel. Scientists were able to follow Miss Pearl’s movements throughout the Caribbean via a satellite transmitter, which was affixed to the turtle’s back during her last visit to shore. She traveled farther than any other hawksbill with a satellite transmitter, reaching the border of Honduras waters. She is alive and well



Named by local Nicaraguan participants and scientists from the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Miss Pearl is a female hawksbill sea turtle, one of the most endangered of this ancient tribe of sea-going reptiles. In 2000, she had already distinguished herself by traveling farther than any other hawksbill WCS had tagged, venturing nearly 250 miles to the Honduras border. Now that she made the return trip back to the nesting beach where scientists originally tagged her, those working on the project were ecstatic.

"This is fantastic and incredible," said WCS conservationist Dr. Cynthia Lagueux, who runs WCS’s sea turtle project in Nicaragua. "We are really starting to get some good data about this nesting population."


A week earlier, WCS scientists had another pleasant surprise, when a previously tagged turtle named "Midsi" came ashore to nest. Though her transmitter had been removed by a lobster diver in 2001 and returned, along with two flipper tags, scientists were unsure if she was still alive until her return to the nesting beach this year.

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) supplied several transmitters in a cooperative effort to protect hawksbills, which sometimes venture into U.S. waters. Attached to the turtle’s carapace, the devices send signals on location and diving patterns to researchers’ computers via orbiting satellites. WCS uses the data to focus its efforts on where Pearl Cays hawksbill sea turtles need the most protection.

More important than high-tech tools, however, is the education of local people about protecting sea turtles, both at sea and when they are laying eggs on nesting beaches, which may in fact be doing more to bolster local populations.

"Most everyone is really cooperating with our plea to stop killing hawksbills and taking their eggs," Lagueux said. "We’ve had several local fishers and divers tell us they understand what we are trying to do and that they won’t take anymore eggs."

Before the WCS project began, virtually all hawksbill sea turtle nests were poached for their eggs. Recent surveys have shown that the number has dropped to an amazing ten percent or less, due almost entirely to education efforts.

But Lagueux warns that loss of sea turtle nesting habitat now looms as one of the largest threats. Recent development of several of the nesting cays by foreign investors is destroying many prime nesting beaches.

According to WCS scientists, the Nicaragua government has made recent attempts to combat these threats, however, stronger measures are needed, as they have not yet been successful at protecting this invaluable sea turtle nesting habitat.


CONTACT:
Stephen Sautner 718-220-3682; ssautner@wcs.org
John Delaney 718-220-3275; jdelaney@wcs.org

Stephen Sautner | EurekAlert!

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Upcycling of PET Bottles: New Ideas for Resource Cycles in Germany
25.06.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Betriebsfestigkeit und Systemzuverlässigkeit LBF

nachricht Dry landscapes can increase disease transmission
20.06.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

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: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Subaru Telescope helps pinpoint origin of ultra-high energy neutrino

16.07.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Barium ruthenate: A high-yield, easy-to-handle perovskite catalyst for the oxidation of sulfides

16.07.2018 | Life Sciences

New research calculates capacity of North American forests to sequester carbon

16.07.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>