Scientists will monitor a rare hawksbill turtle as it lives out its life along the coast of Ecuador, the government says.
The satellite strapped to this turtle’s back will help the turtle’s whereabouts and hopefully shed some light on the habits, migration routes and development of this critically endangered species.
The turtle has been kept at the marine life rescue center at the Machalilla National Park in Santa Elena province in western Ecuador before being set free.
“Ecuador is one of the few countries on the Pacific coast that has been identified as a nesting site,” the presidential press office said.
Ecuador, El Salvador and Nicaragua are home to more than 90 percent of the hawksbill turtle’s nesting sites, which are affected by the destruction of coastal beaches.
“While the turtle lives a part of its life in the open ocean, it is most often encountered in shallow lagoons and coral reefs where it feeds on its chosen prey, sea sponges. Some of the sponges eaten by E. imbricata are known to be highly toxic and lethal when eaten by other organisms. In addition, the sponges that hawksbills eat are usually those with high silica content, making the turtles one of few animals capable of eating siliceous organisms. They also feed on other invertebrates, such as comb jellies and jellyfish. Because of human fishing practices, Eretmochelys imbricata populations around the world are threatened with extinction and the turtle has been classified as critically endangered by the World Conservation Union.”
Satellite to keep eye on Ecuadoran turtle – Staff, EARTH OBSERVATION SpaceBank
Quito, Ecuador (UPI) January 13, 2009.