Malaysia Turtle Excluder Device Programme

What is a TED? A Turtles Excluder Device (TED) is a device inserted into shrimp trawl nets to reduce accidental bycatch of turtles. TEDs consist of a frame, usually oval, with vertical bars set at precise spacing that allows shrimp and fish to pass through and collect in the net while turtles and other large…

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Capacity building in the Solomon Islands to enhance leatherback sea turtle conservation (2014-2015)

Pacific leatherback turtle populations have declined alarmingly over the past 25 years, and for management and recovery efforts to be effective, obtaining accurate estimates of current abundance and distribution of critical habitats is essential. In some locations there are summer nesting turtles which remain unstudied and which are of particular interest to conservationists today, as…

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Science-based expansion of the tri-national turtle corridor, Sulu Sulawesi Seascape (2014-present)

Marine turtles are critical members of marine ecosystems. Green turtles are important for maintaining healthy seagrass beds and coral reefs. Without constant grazing, seagrass beds become overgrown, obstructing currents, shading the bottom, or decomposing. Seagrass beds are nurseries for a number of species of commercial fish and crustaceans, including shrimp. On coral reefs, green turtles…

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Reproductive Biology of Endangered Marine Turtles under Extreme Climatic Conditions, Qatar (2013-present)

Knowledge of the interrelationships between habitats and life-stage development in marine turtles requires an understanding of recruitment, size and age at maturity, sex ratios, growth and sexual development rates, survivorship and nesting probabilities. These data may be used to determine the status and survival of turtle populations during earlier life stages and for the development…

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TED trial monitoring and estimation of sea turtles mortality along the Coast of Pakistan (2012-2014)

Marine turtle populations in Pakistan are being been depleted through harvests of eggs and adults and as bycatch in shrimp trawl fisheries. Trawl fisheries are considered one of the world’s greatest fisheries-related threats to sea turtles but Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) offer practical low-cost solutions allowing catch to be retained while turtles are excluded. Pakistan…

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Arabian Gulf Marine Turtle Conservation Project (2010-2014)

Until recently nothing was known of hawksbill at-sea habitat in the Arabian region other than the location of nesting sites and inferences drawn from their spongivorous diet which suggested they inhabited only coral reef habitats. MRF served as the lead scientific authority for a four-year effort spearheaded by the Emirates Wildlife Society to understand sea…

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Dugong Questionnaire (2010 to present)

Dugongs are seagrass-dependent marine mammals found in tropical and subtropical coastal waters, broadly coincident with the tropical Indo–Pacific distribution of seagrasses. Their conservation is complicated by fragmented populations distributed over vast ocean areas, substantial changes in life history parameters associated with seagrass availability; high costs of real-time monitoring; and the small-scale artisanal nature of the…

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Papua New Guinea Leatherbacks (2004-2014)

  With the decline of the leatherback turtle throughout the Western Pacific region, the Huon coast is one of the last remaining bastions of the species. The major threats to turtles nesting in Papua New Guinea are depredation of nests by dogs, local consumption of eggs and occasional slaughter of adult nesting females. Monitoring and…

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Dhamra Port Project, India (2005-2010)

The Dhamra Port project was controversial from its very inception. It met with opposition at all levels of science and conservation, but also garnered the support of the International union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Acting in his (then) capacity as Co-Chair of the IUCN Marine Turtle Specialist Group, MRF’s Executive Director Dr. Nicolas…

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Population structure and dynamics of marine turtles in the Tubbataha Reefs, Cagayancillo, Palawan, Philippines (2010-present)

Marine turtles are integral components of marine ecosystems at the Tubbataha Marine Park World Heritage Site, and priority conservation species Nationally and within the Sulu-Sulawesi Seascape programme, the IOSEA MoU, the CTI Regional Action Plan, and the ASEAN Sea Turtle MoU. The reefs at Tubbataha, Cagayancillo, Palawan, Philippines, are a developmental and nesting habitat for…

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Aerial Surveys, Palawan, Philippines (2010-present)

Western Pacific leatherback sea turtle populations have declined 83% over the last five decades and are considered Critically Endangered according to IUCN. Protection of the remaining leatherback sea turtles in the Western Pacific is essential for population recovery, and this protection needs to extend to in-water habitats, where turtles spend the vast portion of their…

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Tracking Loggerhead Turtles from Masirah Island, Oman (2008)

This project tracked the post-reproduction movements of loggerhead turtles at one of the world’s largest nesting aggregation of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta), Masirah Island, Sultanate of Oman, including investigation of clutch frequency, site fidelity, migration routes. The latter also helped to reveal intersections with threats, such as those associated with fisheries, hydrocarbon exploration, shipping…

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