A green sea turtle is gently captured and measured
With your support, Tracking Sea Turtles in The Bahamas has completed another year of critical data collection with Earthwatch Institute. This year, 7 teams of 68 total volunteers joined Dr. Annabelle Brooks and her research team on Cape Eleuthera to help tag and release turtles, conduct Baited Remote Underwater Video surveys, and map shelter and food resource availability across mangrove, coral and seagrass bed habitats. Three of these teams were specially designed and reserved for teenagers to give them an opportunity to test the waters of a future career in science.
Unfortunately, no volunteers signed up during the months of September, October and November. This has been a challenging year for volunteer travel, which is quite susceptible to severe weather, health scares, terror threats, political unrest and economic downturn. However, the research must go on. This is why your financial support is so incredibly helpful and impactful: donations like yours give Dr. Brooks and her staff the resources they need to continue their data collection, even in the absence of volunteers.
Dr. Brooks says:
We have gained insight into the seasonal trends of sea turtles and their predators and are able to start addressing some of the larger questions posed by this project. As we complete the third year of research in 2016, the large data set compiled will be analyzed and the insight gained will be ready to publish.
Looking ahead to 2017, 37 volunteers have already signed up to join several expeditions, so we are hopeful that this is a sign of volunteerism rebounding. In the meantime, thank you again for your ongoing support of Earthwatch’s sea turtle conservation efforts in the Bahamas. Your involvement will help researchers and the government create management plans that will protect the right habitats from development and give these threatened turtles the best chance at survival and recovery. We look forward to sharing Dr. Brooks’ analysis and conclusions from her 2016 work early next year.
Director of Annual Giving & Advancement Services
P.S. Remember, you don't just have to read about this research from afar... you can be at the center of the action as an Earthwatch research volunteer! Please follow the link below to see which teams are accepting volunteers for 2017.
Measuring a Captured Sea Turtle
Seagrass beds - a favorite habitat of sea turtles
A Baited Remote Underwater Video (BRUV) system
A captured sea turtle gets ready to be released
A school of fish
View from the research center