Ascension : ASCENSION ISLAND CONSERVATION DEPARTMENT
Submitted by The Islander (Mario Anthony) 16.01.2014 (Article Archived on 30.01.2014)
NAME THE TURTLES
You may remember from updates last year that we attached 3 satellite transmitters to green turtles nesting on Long Beach to be able to track their movements while they were nesting at Ascension and then their migration back to Brazil. We found that between laying each clutch of eggs, the Long Beach turtles stayed close to shore in Clarence Bay presumably to conserve their energy reserves for hauling themselves up onto the beach at night to lay their eggs, and for the journey to Brazil at the end of the nesting season. To complete the picture, this year we wanted to study the movements of the female green turtles that nest on North East Bay. Professor Brendan Godley and Dr Annette Broderick from the University of Exeter who have worked on the turtles here for a number of years were spending Christmas on the Island and so deployed 3 satellite transmitters onto the turtles pictured here. Once these tags go live, everybody will be able to follow their movements online at www.seaturtle.org – but first, they each need a name! If you have a name for one of the turtles then please come along to the Conservation Office in Georgetown to let us know, or email Natasha (firstname.lastname@example.org). We will let you know their names in next week’s Islander andthe first three people to name the satellite-tagged turtles above will receive a free Ascension Conservation turtle bag! We would also like to take this opportunity to introduce our new interns who will be working with AIG Conservation Department throughout this year’s turtle nesting season. Daniel and Emily, who are now on-island, have worked with turtles before in Sri Lanka and are the intern project coordinators, and they will be joined on the 16th January by Maria and Maddie. You will see them out monitoring the beaches – counting the numbers of nesting turtles, dealing with strandings and carrying out turtle tours (as well as getting involved in other Conservation work). They would all like to get involved in the community, so please chat with them if you have any turtle-related questions! Daniel and Emily are partially funded by the Darwin Initiative and Maria and Maddie are volunteering their time to gain more experience of biodiversity and conservation work. Turtle Tours With the turtle nesting season now in full swing, we will be commencing turtle tours this week. It is important to minimise disturbance during nesting season and so we advise the public to visit our beaches with an experienced guide. Tours can be booked at the Conservation Office (Tel: 6359) or Obsidian Hotel (Tel: 6246) or by emailing Natasha on the address below.