Green turtles have made a comeback in the Cayman Islands due to reintroduction programmes

Green Turtle, Cayman Islands. Image: Pete.
Biodiversity

Science Daily reports on the success of a programme to reintroduce the green turtle (Chelonia mydas) to the Cayman Islands:

During the eighties, overexploitation of the green turtle in the Cayman Islands caused the disappearance of nesting populations. To recover this endangered population, a program of reintroduction of the species was launched, with individuals of the Cayman Turtle Farm (CTF). Forty years later, data show that the nesting population of the Cayman Islands has been restored but researchers did not know if this was the result of the reintroduction process or the natural recovery of the population for the improvement of threatening factors.

In the new study, experts analyse several genetic markers to see the degree of parentage of the natural population of the green turtle in the Cayman Islands with the breeding individuals in the farm, and therefore evaluate the effect of the reintroduction process on wild population.

The population of the wild green turtle has a tight genetic relationship with the ones in CTF, the new study reveals. According to [researchers], “90 % of the wild individuals were related to the captive stock. This means the reintroduction process was very important in the recovery of threatened populations.”

Read more in the Science Daily article Green turtle: The success of the reintroduction program in Cayman Islands.

[Image: Pete]

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