This holiday season, a team of scientists have been tracking the whereabouts of two leatherback turtles off the west coast of Africa. The turtles, Noelle and Darwinia, were fitted with satellite transmitters that enable precise tracking of the animals' movements.
Scientists hope to learn more about where these large sea turtles go while at sea. A clear understanding of the leatherbacks' oceanic movements will enable conservationists to better protect the species from various threats such as commercial fishing and oil extraction activities.
"Sea turtles are the ancient mariners of the world" said Dr Howard Rosenbaum, Director of the Wildlife Conservation Society's Ocean Giants Program. "Understanding broader migration patterns and use of the nearshore habitat around their nesting beaches is a key component to their conservation."
So far, the two turtles have travelled a total distance of 1241 miles. You can follow Noelle and Darwinia's oceanic travels online at the Seaturtle.org website:
Photo © Dr. Matthew Witt / University of Exeter.
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