Cyprus Mail

Turtles tracked in same way police monitor criminals

File photo

Scientists from a UK university are using techniques more commonly used by police to track the movements of turtles nesting on the island.

According to the Press Association, University of Exeter researchers used satellite tracking and a crime-scene method to discover which foraging grounds green turtles had been in before breeding in Cyprus.

Stable isotope ratios – a chemical signature also used by forensic scientists – the team measures showed that Lake Bardawil on Egypt’s north coast is the most important foraging ground for turtles that breed at Alagadi in Kyrenia.

“Our satellite tracking of turtles breeding in Cyprus has been going on for some years,” Professor Brendan Godley, director of the Centre for Ecology and Conservation on the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus in Cornwall told PA.

“This meant we knew where many of the turtles went to forage for food, but our preliminary analysis showed a major foraging area had been missed.

“A large proportion of turtles had isotope ratios that did not correspond to sites previously identified, and we tracked five of them. Five out of five went to Lake Bardawil,” he added.

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