Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientist Warns Of Threat To Last Stronghold Of Endangered Turtle

Date:
March 8, 2006
Source:
University of Exeter
Summary:
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.

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.
Credit: Image courtesy of NOAA/National Marine Fisheries Service

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 http://www.seaturtle.org/tracking 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.

The work is supported by a range of UK and international funding bodies including the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) 2004/5 Shellshock Campaign http://www.eaza.net


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Exeter. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Exeter. "Scientist Warns Of Threat To Last Stronghold Of Endangered Turtle." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 March 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060308083706.htm>.
University of Exeter. (2006, March 8). Scientist Warns Of Threat To Last Stronghold Of Endangered Turtle. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060308083706.htm
University of Exeter. "Scientist Warns Of Threat To Last Stronghold Of Endangered Turtle." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060308083706.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Hoping to break the record for world's wooliest, Shaun the sheep came up 10 pounds shy with his fleece weighing over 50 pounds after being shorn for the first time in years. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Minds Blown: Scientists Develop Fish That Walk On Land

Minds Blown: Scientists Develop Fish That Walk On Land

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) Canadian scientists looking into the very first land animals took a fish out of water and forced it to walk. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Ancient Wine Cellar Found In Israel

Huge Ancient Wine Cellar Found In Israel

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) An international team uncovered a large ancient wine celler that likely belonged to a Cannonite ruler. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins