Neve, a 350-pound green sea turtle, had quite a send-off as she made her way back to the Caribbean Sea on Monday, tagged with a satellite transmitter to track her future travels. Cheered on by wildlife conservationists, guests and staff of the Four Seasons Resort in Nevis, Neve made history as the first green sea turtle of 11 turtles to be tagged and released by the Nevis Turtle Group in collaboration with the Sea Turtle Conservancy and the resort since turtle monitoring began on Nevis in 2006.
Moments after she swam away, President of the Nevis Turtle Group Lemuel Pemberton lent insight into Nevis’ monitoring programme. “Her name is Neve which I think is the Italian word for Nevis. This is the first time that a green sea turtle is being tagged on the island of Nevis with a satellite transmitter. Previously we have had hawksbills and we have tagged a total of 10 hawksbill sea turtles on Nevis.
“Two in 2006, two in 2008 and then we started the programme again in 2011 and we did two more and then we did a third because we had an extra transmitter so that would be nine. Yesterday morning we attached another satellite transmitter to another hawksbill sea turtle that was the 10th one and this morning we attached a satellite transmitter to a green turtle that we found at Lovers Beach,” the conservationist said. Pemberton explained that the satellite transmitters in the past had assisted them to follow the migratory patterns of the hawksbill turtles. Now, however, they have the opportunity to learn more about the green turtle.
Prior to Neve’s release, David Godfrey, executive director of the Sea Turtle Conservancy based in Miami, spoke on the work of his organisation. “We do sea turtle research and conservation all over the Caribbean, and over almost the last decade we have had a fantastic relationship with the Four Seasons and the Nevis Turtle Group to help learn about where the turtles go when they leave this island, because very few of them nest here and then stay here. They travel to far-off places and one of the things we try to do is learn where they go, where they live when they are away from the beach, so we can do our best to track them at all times because they are really only here for a short period of time. So the research is very important for that reason,” he said. Godfrey also revealed a related education awareness programme Tour of the Turtles that was established to monitor the tagged turtles which could be tracked on the internet.
“We have also developed a fun education programme so all of you can watch along with us as we learn where these turtles go. The Tour of the Turtles is a fun programme. It tracks these turtles as well as many others that we track around the Caribbean and in Florida. You can log on [to http://www.conserveturtles.org/] for free and watch Neve and Penny [the turtle tagged the previous day] from yesterday and a number of other turtles and adopt them if you want to support sea turtle conservation,” Godfrey disclosed.
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