Dr. Brooks points out a sea turtle
This February, Earthwatch’s Swimming With Sea Turtles in the Bahamas research expedition dove into its second year of data collection. We expect close to 100 volunteers to participate in the research this year, including two teams of energetic teens who are considering pursuing the sciences as a career path. We will begin sharing results from this year’s research later in the year. In the meantime, here’s a message from Dr. Annabelle Brooks as she looks back on 2014:
"Many thanks to you all for your support in this first year of our study. 92 Earthwatch volunteers came to South Eleuthera and assisted us in tagging 88 new turtles, in 5 locations as well as 60 abundance surveys, and 199 baited video surveys! Our habitat mapping project, although a tedious task, has resulted in close to 1,000 data points and we are in the process of creating digital high resolution maps of all our sites which will be a great help for our continuing studies. From the BRUV surveys we’ve recorded at least 6 different species of shark – but just as exciting were the swimming crabs, stingrays and turtles we also managed to capture!
We had quite a variety of field conditions from “chilly” winter temperatures to a blazing hot summer and the odd storm and tropical depression but every team was able to contribute to our large study and we’re very grateful for that. Some personal highlights were catching our first hawksbill turtle in Half Sound, seeing an attempted predation on a turtle by a shark right before our very eyes in Winding Bay, and watching Cassidy (our Bahamian research intern Sept – Dec) finally get into the water and nearly catch her first turtle after several months of swimming lessons! Thank you all for making this a fantastic first year and I’ll keep you updated as we head into the second.
Cape Eleuthera Institute"
None of these accomplishments would be possible without the ongoing support you provide as a caring and committed conservationist. On behalf of Dr. Brooks, our volunteers and staff, thank you again for all that you do for Earthwatch and for sea turtle rescue. We look forward to sharing more results and updates later this year!
Director of Annual Giving & Advancement Services
P.S. Remember, you don't just have to read about this exciting research from afar... you can dive right in yourself as an Earthwatch research volunteer! Please follow the link below to see which teams are still accepting volunteers.
Seine netting for turtles at the creek mouth
Caught one! A volunteer guides turtle to boat.
Every turtle is measured...
... and weighed.