British scientists have come up with an interesting and unusual way of tracking the movements of turtles, one of the planet’s most cherished and appreciated species. Researchers at the University of Exeter are using techniques which investigators usually use to track robbers not reptiles. Among those techniques are crime-scene methods and satellite tracking. The purpose of this detailed investigation is to find out where did the turtles that are currently breeding in Cyprus come from.
By using those unusual methods, the experts managed to establish the exact place where they came from. According to Brendan Godley, director of the Centre for Ecology and Conservation at the University of Exeter, they have been studying the turtles that are breeding in Cyprus via satellite tracking for a number of years. So, this is not something that they have only recently discovered.
Unusual methods of tracking turtles
At first, the team of experts measured the stable isotope ratios. Interestingly enough, forensic investigators also use this chemical signature in their cases. By doing this, they managed to reveal the exact place where the reptiles came from: Lake Bardawil, which is located on the north coast of Egypt. It seems like this is the biggest foraging ground for the turtles that came to Cyprus to breed at Alagadi. This is an area which is famous for its extended turtle population.
Godley also explained that they knew for some time where those turtles were travelling to find food. However, their previous researches failed to reveal one of the most important foraging grounds. Now, thanks to those stable isotope ratios, everything is much clearer than ever before.
Doctor Phil Bradshaw, another professor at Exeter, said that this new research proves that this unusual method can also be used to find out more about the mysterious lives of various species. Among them being green turtles.
Image source: wikimedia