Tracking Turtles from Space
June 26, 2012
UMCES Staff Cited:
A satellite study pinpoints where leatherbacks and fishing trawlers cross paths
At 2,000 pounds and six and a half feet in length, leatherback turtles are the largest living reptiles. Their size, however, belies their fragility: among the leatherbacks that live in the Pacific Ocean, populations have dropped by 90 percent in the past 20 years. Biologists already knew that fishing gear posed a problem for the endangered turtles, which can get entangled in trawlers' nets, but they were not sure exactly where and when they were running into trouble.
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