University of Antofagasta — Chile (2014)


The presence of sea turtles in northern Chile has been registered for more than two centuries, but knowledge regarding their ecology is poor. Ricardo Andrés Sarmiento, a doctoral student at the University of Antofagasta in Chile, will use a 2014 SWOT grant to advance research and monitoring in two coastal bays in the Antofagasta region that are heavily influenced by upwelling and other features of the Humboldt Current System. The project will focus on completing abundance estimations and spatial and temporal distribution of turtles, as well as the relationship with some environmental variables. All data will be based on monthly visual surveys from artisanal fishermen. Stable isotope analysis will examine the consumption and proportions of neritic or pelagic foods that contribute to the turtles’ diet.