Marine turtles have existed for approximately 200 million years, making them older than the dinosaurs by some considerable timeframe. Through the ages turtles have survived and adapted, until recent human activities began to seriously threaten their existence.
Marine turtles in the Middle East are especially at risk, through habitat loss and accidental capture in fishing nets. Given this, the Emirates Wildlife Society-WWF (EWS-WWF) and the Marine Research Foundation (MRF) have launched a project to promote their conservation at a regional level.
To conserve these ancient treasures, we need to understand the needs of the turtle population and the habitats they use as well as how, when and how far they travel. For these highly migratory animals, today’s advanced technology makes it possible to determine the turtle’s surprisingly long journeys through satellite tracking. This will help us understand the linkages between critical nesting and feeding grounds, which will in turn help in the design of national and regional conservation management plans and policies.