Research and Monitoring Report 2012 - Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire
Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire proudly presents its 2012 Bonaire Sea Turtle Research and Monitoring Report.
In this report you will read about the methods and results of our sea turtle research and monitoring activities, which include nesting beach monitoring, foraging ground surveys, turtle migration tracking, and responding to reports of turtle strandings. With our nesting beach monitoring, we track turtle nesting activity, determine nest size and productivity, and estimate the number of hatchlings produced. With our foraging ground surveys we capture, tag, measure and photograph individual turtles and establish catch-per-unit-effort measures of turtle abundance. We inspect the turtles for signs of illness or injury, including fibropapillomatosis. Our recapture of previously tagged turtles provides valuable insight into turtle residency duration, home range, growth rates, and habitat quality. With satellite telemetry, we are able to identify the migration paths and distant feeding grounds used by our breeding and nesting turtles. Our follow-up on reports of turtle strandings has resulted in the occasional rescue of sea turtles and has helped us to identify threats and take actions to mitigate problems.
New research was started in 2012 with funding from IMARES (the Institute for Marine Resources and Ecosystem Studies in the Netherlands). Using abundance surveys and deploying dataloggers we began to study the foraging use of Lac by hawksbill turtles. The results so far demonstrate that these turtles regularly move in and out of the bay, and indicate that this area is an important turtle foraging area for not only green but hawksbill turtles as well. This continuing research will be helpful in strengthening our case for the importance of protecting Lac.
We use the information gathered in our research and monitoring activities to identify and implement conservation, education, and advocacy efforts needed to ensure protection of Bonaire’s sea turtles. We also use sea turtle conservation as a focal point to drive and stimulate general conservation awareness and efforts. For information about these other important activities of STCB, please visit our STCB website.