Four new turtles added to Marine Conservation Project
The first two hawksbills ‘Amrana’ and ‘Lujain’ were fitted with satellite transmitters on April 2nd and 3rd on the Damaniyat Islands, just north of Muscat, Oman. The second two, ‘Rawyah’ and ‘Aziza’ were tagged on Masirah Island in southern Oman on the 3rd and 4th of May. Hawksbill turtles are one of the four species of sea turtles known to nest along the coastline of Oman alongside other species including: Loggerhead, Green and Olive Ridley turtles.
Ever since the initiation of the Marine Turtle Conservation Project in 2010, EWS-WWF has worked closely with the Environment Society of Oman as well as the Omani Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs, to collect data on feeding grounds of hawksbill turtles in the region using satellite tracking technology.
Marina Antonopoulou, Marine Turtle Conservation Project Manager at EWS-WWF said: “The kind help, logistical support and local knowledge provided by our partners (including the Environment Society of Oman and the Omani Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs) throughout the course of our project has been crucial in accessing the nesting grounds and tracking the movements of this critically endangered species in the region. Oman is a hugely important site for tagging, as we can see the movements of Hawksbill turtles based in the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea, of which very little tracking has before been done”.
“By adding four more turtles to the project data, thanks to our partners in Oman, we will be able to draw on even more information as to where the prime locations for Omani turtle foraging grounds are, feeding into our overall project to capture data on this species in the region.”
With increasing numbers of turtles added to the Marine Turtle Conservation Project, it is possible that we could see them travel to new areas, previously uncharted by the turtles already fitted with satellite trackers as part of the project. This would help to create a clearer picture of critical foraging grounds for Hawksbill turtles in the region, which will be used to inform decision-makers and develop conservation strategies for their conservation.