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GPS Tracking Turtles

GPS Tracking Endangered Turtles

Wanting to learn more about the living, feeding, and migration patterns of underwater sea turtles, scientists have begun using GPS tracking systems to follow their movements from the area surrounding the Cayman Islands and Florida coastal region all the way to the Pacific Ocean. The study, which is part of one of the largest conservation challenges in the area, is focusing on an endangered species known as the loggerhead sea turtle. The marine biologists conducting the study are equipping a small group of female sea turtles with GPS tracking systems that will be glued to the shell of the turtles with a strong form of epoxy glue. Each tortoise tracking system will record the sea turtles journey for approximately one year as the scientists gather the data essential to the experiment.

Tortoise Tracking Device

Why GPS Trackers On Turtles?

With a dramatic 50% reduction in the population of loggerhead sea turtles in just the last ten years, scientists are desperately seeking to learn more about the marine animals’ nesting migration patterns. For many years hunters would kill the sea turtles for their meat and eggs, but now the biggest threats to the sea turtle population are fishing nets, boats, and fishing hooks, all of which are human-related.

Real-time GPS tracking system technology is now providing marine biologists key information about where the sea turtles’ nesting areas are, allowing people to protect the animal from fishermen and other hunters. David Addison, an environmental scientist, explained that for years marine biologists struggled to accurately calculate where the sea turtle’s nesting areas were, but now with GPS tracking system technology the scientists need only a computer to locate the sea turtle’s movements and nesting areas.

Monitoring the movements of the sea turtles, who live roughly 30-50 years, has never been easier for marine biologists studying the animal because of the assistance of real time location technology.

Scientists believe each tracking system will provide valuable data and answers about:

  • The number of sea turtles who die from the disease.
  • The effect of marine pollution on the sea turtle population.
  • Where the sea turtles live, and where they like to kick it in their spare time.

Learn more about how scientists are using GPS trackers on bears!

The Price Of A Turtle Tracking System

Although each mini GPS costs approximately $2900, conservationists and marine biologists believe the tracking systems are money well spent. The cost would easily be at least 10 times as much to monitor the sea turtles without the GPS trackers, and the collected data would be far less accurate. Not to mention, being able to effectively secure the sea turtles’ existence at such a low cost is a responsible course of action, considering humans are the main threat to their existence.

Personal GPS trackers have proven to be very beneficial to marine biologists and loggerhead sea turtles.

  • Do you think the money should be spent on monitoring the sea turtles?
  • Should people simply let nature run its course?
  • Should there be heavier fines for hunting or accidentally killing the marine animal?
  • Should people help just finish off the sea turtles and kill the remaining population?

Sources: Wikipedia

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