This video says about itself:
23 December 2009
From Wildlife Extra:
Australia’s new marine parks are a boon for flatback turtles
The value of Australia’s newly established network of marine parks has been highlighted by an international project that used satellites to track the vulnerable flatback sea turtle.
A valuable migration corridor of more than 1,000km in length, tens of kilometres in width and tens of kilometres from the mainland, has been identified by researchers tracking 70 flatback sea turtles by satellite. Tracking devices were attached to the turtles’ soft shells using a flexible harness that detached after about 12 months. A signal depicting the turtle’s position was transmitted in real-time every 10 to 15 minutes as the turtles surfaced to breath, to a constellation of satellites known as the ‘Argos system’.
Encouragingly, the scientists found that about half of this important corridor falls within Australia’s new network of marine reserves, according to findings published in the journal Marine Biology.
“Our findings show that much of the flatback turtle’s transit passage – between its breeding colonies and foraging grounds – falls within the newly established Commonwealth Marine Reserve network,” said animal movement expert Professor Graeme Hays from Deakin University in Australia, co-author of the study.
These findings will help refine ongoing conservation planning along the Australian coast to protect this wide-ranging turtle species. The study will also help identify high-use areas outside the existing reserve network.
Being so close to the mainland, the flatback and other marine species in the area may be susceptible to accidental mortality, such as collision with vessels and fishery bycatch. The research also highlights how whales, sharks and turtles share a common migration corridor, something that was previously unknown.
“The network of Australian marine reserves may also serve as a template for marine conservation elsewhere in the world,” said Hays. “In recognition of the plight of the vulnerable flatback turtle, long-term conservation research programmes are being developed to help protect this iconic species.”