Cook Islands Turtle Project — Cook Islands (2010)

The Cook Islands form a vast archipelago of 15 islands in the South Pacific Ocean, and the Cook Islands Turtle Project is responsible for studying marine turtles throughout this expansive region. Little research has been done in recent years on the sea turtle populations that nest and feed here, and the resulting lack of information hinders efforts to protect not only sea turtles, but also the atoll ecosystems on which the local marine life depends.

It took three weeks by sea for the researchers to reach the study zone. But with the help of a 2010 SWOT grant, the Cook Islands Turtle Project was able to conduct the first sea turtle survey in decades, enabling scientists to support and advance conservation practices throughout the islands.