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Capture and study of marine turtles in Martinique

Mar 14, 2018

Martinique hosts key areas defined as development habitats for green and hawksbill turtles. In this context, the local wildlife management and conservation structures and the National Action Plans recommend to study the importance of these feeding sites for sea turtles, in order to determine the dynamics of the populations and the identify the threats to them.

Conducted in partnership with the local institutions concerned, this project is part of the National Action Plan for the Protection of Marine Turtles in Martinique (coordinated by DEAL Martinique (Direction of the Environment, Planning and Housing of Martinique) and the ONF (Office National Des Forets). This project will allow the study of the evolution of sea turtle numbers in feeding areas, the study of turtle feeding areas nesting in Martinique by satellite tracking, the production of a synthesis of data on the range of turtles feeding in the French West Indies, and a study on fidelity to feeding sites by individual identification.

The project was initiated in 2010 by DEAL Martinique and the ONCFS (National Office for Hunting and Wildlife). To do this, turtles are caught on different sites such as the Preacher or St. Peter. They are then studied, by measurements and sampling, including by marking (via banding or beacons), 2 ARGOS SPOT 352A and 375 An tags have been deployed on green turtles to allow their tracking via the ARGOS satellite system.

It is not less than 101 turtles that were captured including 97 green turtles and 4 hawksbill turtles.