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Home » Feature Stories


UAE to track green sea turtles for four years 22 May 2016

Photo credit: EWS-WWF Emirates Wildlife Society in association with the World Wide Fund for Nature (EWS-WWF), marked World Biodiversity Day (May 22) by launching a ground-breaking scientific research project – The Gulf Green Turtle Conservation Project. The initiative follows a previous four-year Marine Turtle Conservation Project that tracked 75 female hawksbill turtles nesting in the UAE, Qatar, Oman, and Iran. The 2010-2014 study helped identify Important Turtle Areas (ITAs) in need of conservation action. Up to 60 green turtles will be fitted with satellite transmitters at various nesting and foraging sites across the region, and tissue samples from the turtles will be analysed to detect linkages between feeding and nesting populations. More »


Australian scientists: GBR could be beyond repair within five years 19 May 2016

Photo c/o Reuters (via telesur) Australian scientists say that the world’s largest coral reef system, the Great Barrier Reef, could be beyond repair within five years. A report by researchers at James Cook University suggests that at least $US7.2 billion of government spending is required over the next decade to ensure the reef’s survival. The report recommends investing in better farming practices for sugarcane and cattle industries close to the reef. The authors also propose to invest in a number of water quality improvement projects in catchment areas, particularly in areas which are vulnerable to nitrogen-rich agricultural runoff. The report also recommends stronger government regulation from various environmental acts to prevent activities on land that are polluting the reef’s water. More »


Sharjah Island reserve open to public for two days 18 May 2016

Photo credit: Gulf News archives The nature reserve on Sharjah’s remote Sir Bu Nair Island will be opened to the public from 19-20 May 2016. A host of leisure activities await visitors during the annual festival. The activities include scuba-diving, sightseeing, boating, dhow racing and heritage shows. The Sharjah Environment and Protected Areas Authority is organising the 17th edition of the festival, which is expected to draw 4,000 visitors and will include the release of green turtles. Sir Bu Nair is included in the IOSEA Network of Important Sites for Marine Turtles.  More »


Light pollution is confusing baby sea turtles 17 May 2016

Photo credit: Australian Geographic (Michele Thums) Reporting for Australian Geographic, Gemma Chilton says that researchers in Western Australia have found artificial lighting at sea is interfering with the ability of hatchlings to reach the relative safety of deeper waters as quickly as possible. While previous studies have found similar results when looking at the journey from nest to the water’s edge, the new research shows that hatchlings also continue to be attracted to artificial light after entering the sea. 40 green turtles were tracked using miniature acoustic transmitters. A majority of those exposed to artificial light on the water swam towards the light source and lingered in the risky in-shore waters for longer – increasing their risk of being eaten by predators such as sharks and fish. More »


Marine spatial planning addresses Terengganu turtle-fishing conflict 16 May 2016

Photo credit: WWF-Malaysia Universiti Malaysia Terengganu and WWF-Malaysia have collaborated to organise a seminar and training on Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) to address the turtle-fishing conflict in Terengganu. The initiative arose from concern over increased mortality of adult turtles in Terengganu in the past few years as well as the coastal development in Melaka, threatening the only hawksbill population in the area. The 3-day gathering targeted relevant state government agencies and was the first of a series of MSP events to be held in Peninsular Malaysia. More »


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