BerNews spotlights the work of the Bermuda Turtle Project:
Baby loggerheads hatched by the Bermuda Turtle Project — seen being released and scrambling into the sea in this video – underscore the initiative’s ongoing efforts to repopulate the island’s waters.
Five of the world’s seven sea turtle species are known to occur in Bermuda waters. And nearly all sea turtles found in Bermuda waters are immature.
Bermuda appears to be a location where young sea turtles grow up separate from adult animals.
The shallow reefs and seagrass meadows of the Bermuda Platform provide foraging grounds for immature hawksbill and green turtles, among the most common species found near the island.
And hatchling loggerheads spend their first months well camouflaged in floating rafts of Sargassum weed off Bermuda. During the winter months, juvenile loggerheads are frequently found stranded on Bermuda shores after heavy storms.
Bermuda’s juvenile green turtles have been the focus of a specific tagging study initiated in 1968 by Dr. H.C. Frick, a trustee of the Caribbean Conservation Corporation.
One of the first scientific investigations of this species in their developmental habitat, the Bermuda Turtle Project [BTP] continues today as a joint effort between the Bermuda Zoological Society, the Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo [BAMZ] and the Caribbean Conservation Corporation.
The project’s mission is to further the understanding of the biology of highly migratory, endangered marine turtles in order to promote their conservation in both Bermuda and worldwide.
Since the project’s inception more than 40 years ago, more than 2500 juvenile greens have been captured in a 2000 foot long net designed specifically to trap them.
They are tagged and studied on board a research vessel before being released at the capture site.
This project is also one of the longest-running projects of its kind in the world.