Terug naar het overzicht

An epic Pacific survey reveals mixed fortunes for green and hawksbill turtles

29 / 04 / 2019, Mongabaycom News

First the good news: A sweeping survey of the Pacific Basin has found the population of endangered green turtles (Chelonia mydas) there is increasing. However, the hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), the other target species of the survey, is still very much critically endangered. In an unprecedented undertaking, a team of scientists scoured a vast swath of ocean dotted with 53 islands, atolls and reefs over a period of 13 years, clocking up to 7,300 linear kilometers (4,000 nautical miles) in an effort to generate comprehensive data about the two turtle species. They were rewarded with sightings of more than 3,400 turtles, most of them green turtles. “The increase in densities over time is encouraging, and indicates that conservation practices can achieve results over time,” Sarah L. Becker of the Monterey Bay Aquarium in the U.S. and first author of a new paper in PLOS ONE, told Mongabay in an email. Most turtle surveys focus on breeding sites and are able to capture female turtles and the hatchlings. However, the in-water survey was able to observe males, females, juveniles and sub-adults. Present-day populations of both green and hawksbill turtles are only a fraction of their historical levels. Green turtles are targeted for their meat, while hawksbill turtles are captured for their shells, a heavily trafficked wildlife item. The illegal trade persists despite the species being afforded the highest level of protection under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Their populations continue to be directly imperiled by overexploitation, fisheries…

Naar artikel