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International Sea Turtle Activities
Bureau of Marine Resources:
The Bureau of Marine Resources, Ministry of Resources and Development of the Republic of Palau (BMR), has an on-going NOAA Fisheries Service supported project to establish a monitoring system and conduct baseline studies on sea turtles and their habitats.
- Develop the technical capacity of the Bureau of Marine Resources, Ministry of Resources and Development, Palau;
- Conduct baseline studies on sea turtles and their habitats to identify site fidelity, migrations, nesting volume fluctuations and important developmental, foraging, nesting and migratory habits, and;
- Conduct assessments of distribution and status of populations which will serve as primary building blocks of a draft National Action Plan identifying population status and threats, and proposing recommendations for protection of sea turtles and their habitats.
- During fiscal year 2005, the BMR established the Palau Sea Turtle Conservation and Management Program with the appointment of a coordinator to manage field monitoring, data collection and overall project implementation. A sea turtle monitoring program was initiated in ten of Palauís sixteen states.
- Tagging programs were established in key green turtle nesting sites.
- On-going coastal surveys are being conducted with particular regard to identifying coastal and marine habitats suitable for turtle nesting and foraging.
- The turtle coordinator and a chief field officer from Helen Reef completed satellite telemetry training provided by NMFS PIFSC.
- Over two dozen conservation officers were trained in flipper tagging and field data collection methods for nesting turtles.
- During fiscal year 2005, 66 hawksbill turtle nests were found in Palau within the States of Angaur, Peleliu, Koror, Ngaraard, Ngarchelong and Kayangel.
- A total of 647 green turtle nests were recorded from Sonsorol, Hatohobei , Kayangel and Ngarchelong. Nesting green turtles were tagged at Hatohobei at Helen Island (40) and Sonsorol at Merir Island (36). Most nesting activity for green turtles occurred between April and August 2005 at Helen Reef and Merir Island. Wild pigs are a serious threat to green turtle nests at Ngerechur Island in Ngarchelong.
- During 2006, turtle activity was documented in nine states. One hawksbill and two nesting green turtles were fitted with satellite transmitters. One green traveled from Palau to Indonesia and is still being tracked by BMR. Click here to view two satelite tracks.
- Work continues on the draft turtle management plan and on public outreach activities. Natural changes in environmental conditions such as sea level, substrate, vegetation and predation are being monitored. Manmade changes including coastal development for homes, retaining wall construction, removal of vegetation and excavation of sand are also being recorded.
Bureau of Marine Resources: http://www.palaugov.net/