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Saving Sea Turtles

By Jeanette Wyneken, 13th June 2011

Saving sea turtles starts with the fundamentals. What are the risks? Where do they occur? What turtles are vulnerable? These sound like simple questions, but they are tough to answer where the turtles spend 99.9% of their lives — in the water, often far from land. Dr. Jeanette Wyneken, Associate Professor at Florida Atlantic University (FAU), and Dr. Kate Mansfield, Postdoctoral Research Associate with NOAA Fisheries, teamed up to understand oceanic movements, habitats, and eventually risks that the smallest sizes of sea turtles experience. The first step is tracking them. Not much is known about how sea turtles spend their first years in the ocean because of technological limitations. Drs. Mansfield and Wyneken pioneered the use of small scale satellite tags to identify areas where the young turtles travel, and from that information start to develop answers to the other two questions.

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