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  • Writer's pictureAlly Landes

TRANSMITTING DATA | 42 Turtles Released Back into the Wild

On the 14th of May, 42 critically endangered hawksbil turtles from the DTRP were released back into the wild, including 2 satellite tagged turtles named Raphael and Sandy.

Raphael and Sandy had been very sick and had washed up during the winter in Dubai where they were found and brought in to the DTRP. Their rehabilitation process had been a success, so they were fitted with satellite transmitters, one purchased by the Dubai British School and the other by Jumeirah Group.

Foundation Stage One students from the Dubai British School had been invited to come and experience the release of the turtles. The children had been on a visit to the DTRP’s centre back in November last year and since then, they had worked hard to collect dirham coins into smartie tubes to pay for their own satellite tag.

Both Raphael and Sandy weigh less than 2kg each. Having satellite tagged them allows the DTRP to track where these animals travel to and how they utilise their habitat. The tags are so small, that they only weigh in at 37 grams, but size does not deter them from being able to collect data on temperature, as well as location. Small things, can do big things!

The battery life of these transmitters will not last long due to their size, but the turtles are young and at this stage, they grow very fast, so the tag attachment will break off quite quickly as the turtles' carapace changes size. It is expected to give at least 90 days of data, but only time and the environmental challenges they face, will tell how long they last.

The DTRP Team

As Sandy and Raphael are still so young, they have a tough journey ahead of them. There are many threats out there, including garbage ingestion, boat strikes, construction work and predators. They were last headed North toward the Palm Deira.

Tracking more juvenile hawksbill turtles is very important to the DTRP and the efforts put in by those who share an avid interest in protecting these marine animals does not go amiss.

You can track Raphael and Sandy’s journey via the following link:

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