Concept, Benefits and Research Information
It is one of the project’s goals to release as many of our turtles as economically possible with satellite transmitters. To date, four turtles have been fitted with satellite transmitters to enable us to track their journey. All the transmitters were sponsored by Jumeirah Group and more tagging is planned.
One of the turtles that was tagged and released on 14 February 2008 named ‘Dibba’, due to the location where she was found, made the second longest tracked recording of a Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas). She travelled an amazing 8,600 kilometres and was the first example of a marine turtle migrating from the Middle East to South East Asia where her last location was recorded off the coast of Thailand. Unfortunately transmissions are governed by the battery life of the transmitter and Dibba stopped transmitting on 01 November 2008.
Further tracking is important for us to build a picture of where the turtles that are found in the waters of the Emirates, travel to reach their feeding, breeding and nesting grounds as without protection of all of these sites, the turtle population will surely decline further. All of the transmitter data is publicly available on this link which provides a powerful educational tool, made free by the project to all interested.
The Big Jumeirah Sea Turtle Race
The Big Jumeirah Sea Turtle Race is a fun yet scientifically important and valuable initiative conceived to track and monitor Jumeirah’s rehabilitated sea turtles in the wild, after their release. Each year Jumeirah hotels get together and sponsor a satellite tag for one of our rehabilitated turtles. After release, the distance each turtle travels is monitored via satellite and the turtle which travels the greatest distance during the race is crowned the winner.
Turtles from three different species including the endangered green and loggerhead turtle and critically endangered hawksbill turtle have so far been tagged in the races. The purpose of the tagging is to investigate the success of our rehabilitation protocols and integration of the animals back into the wild. The tags also allow us to compare habitat, temperature choice and migration patterns for these three species, information which is crucial for governments to be able to formulate conservation plans.
Current Race Update
Visit us at www.facebook.com/turtle.rehabilitation for up to date race information.