Turtle Watch the Adventure continues
The HEPCA Turtle Team have just returned from the field with lots of exciting news and sightings including 173 turtles both hawksbill and green, one dugong and a black tip reef shark!
The team was joined on this occasion by Rafel, a student from El Gouna International School who was completing his work experience with the project, and we would like to thank him for his help in collecting data.
During this trip we found four new tracks on nesting beaches in the Wadi Gemal National Park, which announces the beginning of the nesting season for green turtles in the South.
Also on one survey in Torfa (Wadi Gemal National Park), we observed a green turtle with a metal tag on the left front flipper. Flipper tags are specially designed to mark and identify individuals as they have a unique identification number engraved on the upper side of the ring. This technique is used to monitor population trends, habitat residency, movement patterns, individual growth rates, reproductive life history (for example remigration intervals and nesting frequency) and strandings. In the past, Park Rangers from the Red Sea Protectorates have been tagging nesting females on Zabargad Island in order to better understand their reproductive biology. The sighting of the tagged turtle highlights a direct connection between nesting grounds in Zabargad Island and feeding grounds in Wadi Gemal National Park, which underlines the importance of preserving both in-shore and off-shore habitats to protect marine turtles.
If you see a tagged turtle during your dives/snorkeling trips, please do not try to remove it, but record the number without touching the turtle and report it to the HEPCA team.
The HEPCA Turtle Team are very grateful to all the people and dive centers that support us whilst in the field and without whom we would not be able to carry out our invaluable research.
For more information about our Red Sea Turtle Project, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org