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Tracking the epic journey of sea turtles

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New data about Bermuda's sea turtles, including research tracing the journey of young animals from Bermuda to foreign shores, is to be presented at an upcoming talk.

Bermuda Turtle Project co-ordinator Jennifer Gray will host the talk at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute on March 26.

She told The Royal Gazette: “The talk will cover the amazing history of sea turtle research and how it has influenced the region. I'll be including all the new discoveries we have found through high tech tools. We have had our first recorded cases of sea turtles that grew up in Bermuda successfully reaching a nesting beach overseas and reproducing. I think there has only been one previous case of a turtle being followed from its immature status to a successful reproducing.”

The Bermuda Turtle Project is a partnership with Bermuda Zoological Society, Atlantic Conservation Partnership, Department of Conservation Services, Sea Turtle Conservancy and Chevron.

Ms Gray's illustrated talk will include details about the project's efforts in educating other countries to come up to the same standards of conservation that Bermuda has.

“We are teaching students, resource managers and conservation managers in other countries who share this resource with us.

“One thing Bermuda can be very proud of it is how we are sharing our knowledge and building the ability of these managers in other parts of the region to either engage in similar scientific research or influence positive policy and political change that leads to better conservation overseas.

“Every year we invite people from overseas as part of the project.”

There will be some information about the Critter Cams used on BAMZ turtles by the Sea Grass Group at Conservation Services.

“The two scientific projects dovetailed beautifully because their group studies the habitat and we study the turtles and there is a lot of overlap.”

Ms Gray said that Bermuda's turtle population is among the healthiest in the world.

“We have an extremely healthy population.

“We see none of the diseases you see in other populations — they are robust and their habitat is relatively healthy. We are still taking in injured animals from human activity, plastics, entanglement, and boat collisions but generally speaking it is one of the best places to be in the world if you are a sea turtle.”

Jennifer Gray

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Published March 13, 2015 at 9:00 am (Updated March 13, 2015 at 1:55 am)

Tracking the epic journey of sea turtles

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