Sunday, 28 June 2015

DPaW shells out for Sea turtle transmitters - via Herp Digest

by Rourke Walsh- June 1, 2015, The West Australian

Baby flatback turtles carrying tiny satellite transmitters were released into Kimberley waters on Tuesday.

Department of Parks and Wildlife principal scientist Scott Whiting said the transmitters would provide vital information about the "lost years" after flatback hatchlings entered the sea.
"Evidence suggests flatback turtles are unique among marine turtles and do not spend their early years in the open ocean, but remain on the continental shelf during their development," he said.
"This project will help fill in the knowledge gaps about their early movements, important habitats and may provide some insight into why they don't venture into the open ocean.
"We plan to release 35 four-month-old turtles 4km offshore at Eighty Mile Beach Marine Park, so they are not exposed to inshore predators and have the best chance of surviving."
Dr Whiting said it was the first time neonate, or juvenile, flatback turtles had been tracked with satellite technology.
"These hatchlings were collected at Eighty Mile Beach in January and were raised at AQWA until they each weighed 300 grams or more, so they were big enough to hold a small solar-powered satellite transmitter," Dr Whiting said.
"This is the smallest technology currently available, but it is too large to attach to hatchlings straight from the nest." 

Dr Whiting said people could track some of the released turtles at http://www.seaturtle.org/trackinghttp://www.seaturtle.org/tracking.

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