Posts in SWOT Report vol. 9
Invisible Records Reveal New Understandings

Sea turtles, like all other organisms in the natural world, carry invisible records of their biological history. Researchers simply need to know where and how to look for these records. Stable isotopes are among a growing number of intrinsic markers biologists use to extract information about organisms’ environments without having to observe their actions directly.

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Bold Innovations Set the Pace for Research and Conservation

The very word innovation excites some people and simultaneously imparts fear of the unknown in others. Throughout history, innovators have constantly been met with resistance, but those who innovate ultimately achieve success far beyond the dreams of others, and they set the stage for worldwide changes. Innovation is the future, and without it our lives would not be what they are today. The same is true for sea turtle conservation.

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Hawaiian Nesting Range Shift Offers Rare Learning Opportunity

Green turtles are among the most iconic species in the Hawaiian Islands, and they have been the subject of scientific study for more than four decades. Extensive research on the Hawaiian green turtle population has enabled us to observe changes in Hawaiian green turtle nesting distribution that may suggest the foundation of a new, distinct nesting population, thus offering a unique learning opportunity.

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Sea Turtle Nesting Expansion into Peru Brings New Management Challenges

Before 2000, there had been only a single published account of sea turtle nesting in Peru. The prevailing notion was that Peru is too far south—too cold—for successful sea turtle nesting. Thanks to the efforts of ecOceanica, we now know that nesting seems to be on the rise along Peru’s coast.

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Rising Seas: Addressing Eroding Habitats on St. Catherines Island, Georgia

On St. Catherines Island, Georgia (U.S.A.), three geologists involved in sea turtle conservation—have been documenting the deterioration of sea turtle nesting habitat caused by sea-level rise since 1998. The extreme shoreline changes on St. Catherines Island produce difficult conditions for nesting loggerhead sea turtles and challenge conservation efforts; however, these conditions also create an opportunity to develop, evaluate, and optimize conservation methods on this sentinel island.

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Continuity in a Community Setting: The Ulithi Marine Turtle Program

The Ulithi Marine Turtle Program is a community conservation project based in Ulithi Atoll, located 115 miles northeast of Yap, Federated States of Micronesia. Green and hawksbill turtles forage and nest here, and play an important part of the local culture, revered by the Ulithian people and carefully managed to this day by tribal law and age-old tradition.

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How the U.S. Government Defines Recovery of Endangered Species

A species being listed under the Endangered Species Act is like a patient being taken to a hospital emergency room. The patient has become so ill or has been so critically injured that immediate and serious action is necessary to ensure his or her survival. 6 species of sea turtle are listed under the ESA, which has many implications for their conservation.

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The Importance of Setting Baselines for Assessing the Direct Take of Turtles

Baseline data on direct takes of turtles are vital for conservationists to measure their projects’ successes or failures and to help us avoid, or at least be aware of, shifting baselines, in which our perception of what is normal is influenced by what we have witnessed in our lifetimes. Having baseline data enables us to assess the impact of management strategies, conservation programs, or new policies and allows us to say with confidence: this is working, we are winning.

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