Over the last few decades, various institutions throughout the Asia-Pacific and the Pacific Islands region have been tagging turtles and collecting a variety of data. While these efforts have generated large volumes of information, there has been little overall coordination of the work. In 2002, based on recommendations from participants who attended the
Western Pacific Sea Turtle Cooperative Research and Management Workshop, the Hawaii-based Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council began coordinating and supporting the development of TREDs.
The Turtle Research and Monitoring Database System (TREDS) was developed to be the overarching database system for turtle research and monitoring conducted by member countries and territories of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP). Although TREDs was developed for SPREP member countries and territories, it can be downloaded and used readily by individuals, research organizations and non-government Organisations that are conducting marine turtle research anywhere in the world.
TREDS is a joint initiative of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, SPREP, the South-East Asia Fisheries Development Centre, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, the Queensland Environmental Protection Agency, and the US National Marine Fisheries Service Pacific Islands Fishery Science Centre, coordinated by the Marine Research Foundation-Malaysia.
TREDS is a tool that can be used to compile and manage data from various governments, NGO’s, community groups and researchers who undertake turtle research, monitoring and tagging. The use of TREDS ranges from simple turtle tagging surveys (recording basic information) to more complex research that collect genetics samples, uses laparoscopy to determine reproductive status, and satellite telemetry for tracking migration movements.
The types of information that can be entered in TREDS include nesting beach survey summaries or detailed nesting, foraging and unique encounter data.
Information that can be entered into the database includes tagging details, site and habitat information and specific encounter details such as capture method, tagging status, activity, age class and standard morphometric measurements. The detailed nesting, foraging and unique encounters in TREDS further allows data inventory for nests, additional morphometrics, additional egg/nest information, environmental conditions and experimental details on specific research activities, such as genetics sampling, laparoscopy, fibropapilloma sampling and satellite tagging details. The hatchling and emergence data in TREDS may be used in TREDS for the calculation of emergence success of clutches, as well as the entry of hatchling measurements.
TREDS has become an invaluable tool for the Pacific. TREDS is currently being used by 15 government agencies and local and international NGOs. A standardised database system means that data can be easily shared amongst turtle researchers using a single format. The master TREDS database is housed at SPREP while each group using TREDS in the SPREP region uses a remote version. Each remote TREDS holds data associated with a particular group and is a subset of the master database. Data are exchanged readily between the master and each of the remote TREDS. A country or project sends a TREDS exchange file to SPREP, and SPREP in turn imports this exchange file into the master TREDS. SPREP compiles reports for each country, territory, or project from which the data were received, including tag recovery reports and other information sent directly to SPREP. These reports provide TREDS users with an overview of their turtle populations based on the information that they have entered into the database. The master database housed at SPREP also acts as a backup for all remote TREDS databases for the region.
The most current version of TREDS can be downloaded at http://www.sprep.org/treds/TREDSnews.aspx. The development of TREDS is an ongoing effort and the setup files are updated regularly at the above website address. A TREDS user manual is also available from SPREP. For further enquiries regarding TREDS please contact the SPREP Turtle Database Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The development of the TREDs database and coordination efforts by MRF were funded by the Western Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Council.