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The Incredible Journey

November 8, 2017

 The research team at the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project have today published results from one of their ongoing studies in the scientific journal Plos One. The manuscript focuses on the satellite tagging of eight rehabilitated green sea turtles from the United Arab Emirates and, includes details of the longest tracked journey ever recorded for the species. This amazing journey was made by Dibba who travelled from Fujairah to the Andaman Sea, a total distance of an amazing 8283km. This journey is also the first regional movement linking sea turtles from the Middle East to South East Asia. The results of the tagging showed that the green turtles in this study utilised the shallow coastal waters between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, where they washed ashore before being rescued. The Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project is based at Burj Al Arab and Jumeirah Al Naseem. It is run by Burj Al Arab's dedicated aquarium team in collaboration with the Dubai Wildlife Protection Office, with essential veterinary support provided by the Dubai Falcon Clinic and the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory. Through the project, the team have treated and released over 1300 sea turtles back into UAE waters and have satellite tagged over 50 sea turtles. The team have been satellite tagging sea turtles for over 12 years with their first tag placed on a green sea turtle called 'Maju' in 2005. Warren Baverstock, Burj Al Arab's Aquarium Operations Manager, said 'We are very proud of our achievements to date through the project and this scientific paper shows the results from our early years of tagging green sea turtles. Dibba's journey is particularly exciting and, demonstrates that international collaboration is needed to help manage and conserve sea turtle populations. The paper also demonstrates that sea turtles can be successfully re-introduced into the wild after sustaining injuries and undergoing prolonged periods of rehabilitation.' This scientific paper is the first in the UAE to document the long term satellite tracking of Green Turtles and is a massive achievement for the Jumeirah Groups sea turtle conservation work with the collation of nearly 12 years of green sea turtle tracking data. The paper is open access so that anybody can download it from the Plos One website for free.

 

Satellite tagging of rehabilitated green sea turtles Chelonia mydas from the United Arab Emirates, including the longest tracked journey for the species

We collected movement data for eight rehabilitated and satellite-tagged green sea turtles Chelonia mydas released off the United Arab Emirates between 2005 and 2013. Rehabilitation periods ranged from 96 to 1353 days (mean = 437 ± 399 days). Seven of the eight tagged turtles survived after release; one turtle was killed by what is thought to be a post-release spear gun wound. The majority of turtles (63%) used shallow-water core habitats and established home ranges between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the same area in which they had originally washed ashore prior to rescue. Four turtles made movements across international boundaries, highlighting that regional cooperation is necessary for the management of the species. One turtle swam from Fujairah to the Andaman Sea, a total distance of 8283 km, which is the longest published track of a green turtle. This study demonstrates that sea turtles can be successfully reintroduced into the wild after sustaining serious injury and undergoing prolonged periods of intense rehabilitation.

 

This scientific paper is the first in the UAE to document the long term satellite tracking of Green Turtles and is a massive achievement to the Jumeirah Groups turtle conservation work with the collation of nearly 15 years of green sea turtle tracking data.

 

Naturally, this is a great publicity opportunity for Jumeirah and the project but before you can proceed we have received the following notification from the Journal:

 

Date: Sat, Aug 26, 2017 at 12:14 AM - If your institution or institutions have a press office, please notify them about your upcoming paper at this point, to enable them to help maximize its impact. If they will be preparing press materials for this manuscript, please inform our press team within the next 48 hours. Your manuscript will remain under strict press embargo until 2 pm Eastern Time on the date of publication. For more information please contact onepress@plos.org.

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