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Long Distance Migration of Nesting Green Turtles

(Scientists: Assoc. Prof. Liew Hock Chark and Dr. Chan Eng Heng)

It is well documented through evidence obtained from tagging programs that sea turtles migrate long distances between nesting and feeding grounds. However, tag recovery data do not provide information on the routes taken, speed of migration and their activity patterns during migration.

Putting PTT’s (Platform Transmitter Terminals) or satellite transmitters on sea turtles make it possible to track their movements closely over long distances for a few months.

Green turtle equipped with a satellite transmitter
returning to the sea.

In a collaborative effort with scientists from the University of Pisa, Italy, five female green turtles nesting at Redang Island, Terengganu,Malaysia have been tracked successfully, four of them to their feeding grounds. All the turtles tracked ended up at different locations, hundreds of kilometers away from their nesting beach at Redang Island. They also exhibit exceptional abilities to navigate over open oceans to their destination feeding grounds.

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