Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Australian marine reserves provide safe passageway for endangered species

Date:
April 28, 2014
Source:
Springer Science+Business Media
Summary:
The value of Australia's newly established network of marine parks has been highlighted by an international project that used satellites to track the vulnerable flatback sea turtle. In the study, researchers used advanced satellite tracking systems to record the passage of more than 70 flatbacks off the north-west Australian coastline. A high value migratory corridor, more than 1,000 kilometres in length, was pinpointed, with about half the corridor contained within the network of marine reserves.

Female flatback turtle initiating migration along the northwest Australian coast after nesting.
Credit: Paul Whittock

The value of Australia's newly established network of marine parks has been highlighted by an international project that used satellites to track the vulnerable flatback sea turtle. The findings are published in Springer's journal Marine Biology. In the study, researchers from Deakin University (Australia), Swansea University (U.K.) and Pendoley Environmental consultancy (Australia) used advanced satellite tracking systems to record the passage of more than 70 flatbacks off the north-west Australian coastline.

A high value migratory corridor, more than 1,000 kilometres in length, was pinpointed, with about half the corridor contained within the network of marine reserves.

"Our findings show that much of the flatback turtle's transit passage -- between its breeding colonies and foraging grounds -- falls within the newly established Commonwealth Marine Reserve network," said Deakin University animal movement expert Professor Graeme Hays, co-author of the study.

These findings will help refine ongoing conservation planning to protect this wide-ranging turtle species using the Australian coast, including the identification of high-use areas outside the existing reserve network. The migration corridor is located tens of kilometres from the Australian mainland and spans tens of kilometres in width. The flatback and other marine species in the area may be susceptible to accidental mortality, such as collision with vessels and fishery bycatch.

Tracking devices were attached to the turtle's soft shell using a flexible harness that detached after about 12 months use. A signal, depicting the turtle's position, was transmitted in real-time to a constellation of satellites known as the 'Argos system' as turtles surfaced to breathe -- about once every 10 to 15 minutes.

The research also highlights how whales, sharks and turtles share a common migration corridor, which was previously unknown. Professor Hays says the team's findings can help inform conservation planning to ensure the flatback turtle is protected throughout its range -- which may span many hundreds or even thousands of kilometres.

"The network of Australian marine reserves may also serve as a template for marine conservation elsewhere in the world. In recognition of the plight of the vulnerable flatback turtle, long-term conservation research programs are being developed to help protect this iconic species," concludes Hays.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer Science+Business Media. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kellie L. Pendoley, Gail Schofield, Paul A. Whittock, Daniel Ierodiaconou, Graeme C. Hays. Protected species use of a coastal marine migratory corridor connecting marine protected areas. Marine Biology, 2014; DOI: 10.1007/s00227-014-2433-7

Cite This Page:

Springer Science+Business Media. "Australian marine reserves provide safe passageway for endangered species." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140428094209.htm>.
Springer Science+Business Media. (2014, April 28). Australian marine reserves provide safe passageway for endangered species. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140428094209.htm
Springer Science+Business Media. "Australian marine reserves provide safe passageway for endangered species." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140428094209.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Newsy (July 27, 2014) The satellite is back under ground control after a tense few days, but with a gecko sex experiment on board, the media just couldn't help themselves. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. 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