Turtle Tracks

by Helen Pheasey in Canterbury

We did it
On 17th February 2017 we successfully raised £5,226 with 213 supporters in 21 days

Decoy sea turtle eggs containing GPS transmitters will be placed in vulnerable nests to track poachers.

by Helen Pheasey in Canterbury

A long overdue up date

Hi everyone,

Thank you for your patience while we have been on radio silence bringing Phase 1 of the Turtle Tracks field trial to its conclusion. However we haven’t forgotten our fabulous supports and here is a long overdue update from the steamy jungles of Central America.

As you may recall the aim is to deploy fake eggs at 2 secret locations. Our original plan was to do both deployments this summer, however it was much easier to get research permits for the first beach than the second (for some reason the two beaches have different permit requirements and the second permit needs to be hand delivered to the other-side of the country!). This was beyond the scope of our logistics at the time so we postponed Phase 2. All the balls are now rolling for the second permit and we are quietly confident that this will happen. One of the reasons we are so confident is that we have enlisted the help of the BBC! Yes you read that right, we are currently in talks with the BBC about contributing to a documentary on sea turtles to be screened in 2018. This is very exciting as you can imagine and we are delighted to be invited to this. Watch this space as they say!

Going back to Phase 1. We have been using this mostly as a thorough pilot before we go all out in Phase 2. The aims of the pilot were to answer three questions:

  • Do the eggs work after being in the turtle nest?
  • Will poachers find them?
  • Are they safe?

I am delighted to be able to tell you that we can answer all three questions with confidence. Yes the eggs work, we had some move inland after they were deployed and amusingly one gave its last signal from the middle of a river (you can imagine the emotion that went with the discovery of that one!). No, the poachers didn’t find them, we had eggs move and some that were poached gave us a signal from the local area so we know they left the beach. And finally were they safe? This is obviously extremely important because in the event the nest wasn’t poached the decoy egg was in the nest for the whole of the incubation period. Would this cause anything to go seriously wrong in the nest, an increase of deformed hatchlings or lower hatching success of the nest for example? To test this we excavate the nest once the hatchlings have left and see how many hatched and what happened to the unhatched eggs. We still have a few of the last eggs to be excavated but so far comparing nests with and without 3d eggs has shown there to be no difference between the success of the nests.

So to summarise, I know you are all keen to hear about the progress of your eggs and we are very much looking forward to sharing this as well. Phase 2 is due to take place next summer and you will definitely be the first to hear the results. 

Finally here is a photo of just some of the kit you guys paid for with surplus donations to turtle tracks. This kit is staying with the Caño Palma Biological Station (coterc.org) that supported us in Phase 1 and works tirelessly round the clock all season helping to keep turtles alive while they come ashore to nest.

Thank you again for all your support.

All the best

Helen


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Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation

£10 or more

£10 Reward

A personalised thank you on the Turtle Tracks Wall of Supporters

£35 or more

£35 Reward

£35 buys 1 egg, you get name the egg and receive a report on its movements.

£100 or more

£100 Reward

£100 buys 3 eggs, report and an invitation to the Turtle Tracks 2019 end of season event.

£500 or more

£500 Reward

10 eggs, report and invitation to the Turtle Tracks 2019 event + 1 hour skype time from the field

£1,000 or more

£1,000 Reward

Invitation to visit site to deploy eggs, includes 2 day’s accommodation, food and night patrol training.

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