Project shines light on turtle activity
Conservationists captured and released one hawksbill turtle and more than 250 green turtles as part of a research programme this year.
The Bermuda Turtle Project team caught 259 green turtles and the hawksbill in a bid to monitor the population and find out about their behaviour.
Environmental officers and biologists from Belize, Brazil, Colombia and the United States were involved in the project with the Bermuda Zoological Society and the Gainesville, Florida-based Sea Turtle Conservancy. The BTP, which has been running since 1968, has that sea turtles arrive in Bermuda at a very young age and spend up to 20 years as juveniles on local seagrass flats and reefs.
Genetic analysis has shown they hatched on beaches in Costa Rica, Florida, Mexico, Cuba, Surinam, Venezuela’s Aves Island just west of the Windward Islands, and Guinea Bissau in West Africa. Turtles tagged in Bermuda have been found on the coasts of the US, Mexico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Grenada, St Lucia, Hispaniola, Cuba and the Bahamas.
Jennifer Gray, Bermuda director of the BTP, said: “The most powerful message from our findings is that sea turtles are a peaceful shared resource crossing many geographic and political boundaries.
“Vigilant management, protection and international co-operation throughout the region is essential to long-term survival of the species.”
The Bermuda Turtle Project will hold the “Sea Turtle Soirée” at Axa XL’s O’Hara House, Bermudiana Road, Hamilton on November 2 from 6.30pm to 11.30pm. Tickets are available through the Bermuda Zoological Society. Regular tickets are $250.