Tom's Islet | 47 Sec | 2.7 MB
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Turtle nesting survey at Palmerston
In response to concerns of Palmerston Islanders, CCRC launched a community-based turtle conservation project at Palmerston Atoll at the beginning of the nesting season. The project is providing the people of Palmerston with the skills and information necessary to conserve the Palmerston turtle population and to manage it as a potential ecotourism attraction and a sustainable supplementary source of food.

Measuring, tagging, and labelling turtles.

CCRC Researchers, with the enthusiastic help of 12 Palmerston research assistants, conducted a consecutive 25-night survey of the nesting beaches of Cook's Islet, Palmerston Atoll in November, 2000. The survey involved genetic sampling, flipper tagging, counting, measuring and health screening of nesting green turtles. Weekly surveys of all nesting beaches on the atoll commenced in early November and were continued through the end of the nesting season.

Tagging and biopsying nesting turtles.
Project Objectives
to conserve the Palmerston turtle population by:
  • determining the status of Palmerston turtles by obtaining an annual index of their nesting abundance
  • training the Palmerston Islanders to monitor the rookery through annual surveys
  • informing the Palmerston community of survey results
  • proposing a turtle management plan, including harvesting guidelines, to the Palmerston government
  • determining the migratory routes of the Palmerston turtles
  • identifying the turtle population genetically

Scenes from the nocturnal survey (all photos were taken after the turtles nested).

© Center for Cetacean Research and Conservation, 2004