'A very rare record'! Green turtle switch nesting grounds from Seychelles atoll of Aldabra to Tanzanian island

Published on by Boniventure Mchomvu

~~(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles, an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean provides feeding grounds for five species of marine turtles but the islands are nesting grounds for only two species - the hawksbill and green turtles. According to research adult female turtles of both varieties 'often' travel long distances to return to the very same beaches where they themselves were hatched in order to lay their own eggs and repeat the life cycle. This has been determined through both tagging and genetic studies. Due to the ‘faithfulness’ to a particular nesting site according to local researchers, in Seychelles hawksbill turtles are seen returning to the same site every two to four years while for green turtles the interval can be much longer. One recent discovery however has shown that though it is common occurrence, it's not always the case that sea turtles remain faithful to a particular nesting site. This follows the sighting of an adult female green turtle at a nesting site located more than 700 kilometres away from the Seychelles atoll of Aldabra, the nesting site where it was tagged in 2012. The turtle was in fact spotted not only at a different nesting site but also in another country, at Juani island in the eastern African country of Tanzania. According to the Seychelles Islands Foundation SIF, the discovery was made by staff of ‘Sea Sense’ a not-for profit Organisation based in Tanzania, which is involved in the conservation and protection of endangered marine species including sea turtles, dugongs, whales, dolphins and whale sharks. An SIF spokesperson told SNA that 'Sea Sense' had contacted Seychelles-based researcher, Dr. Jeanne Mortimer, after they identified a metal flipper tag on the turtle that originated from Seychelles. "The contacted me because they know I work with turtles in Seychelles and the tag said 'return to Seychelles' and I contacted SIF after recognising that it was one of their tags," Mortimer told SNA. Green turtles which are listed as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature, IUCN’s red list, are more commonly seen on the Seychelles outer islands, including on Aldabra, one of Seychelles’ most far-flung atoll located in the westernmost part of the Indian Ocean archipelago, some 1,100 kilometres from the main island of Mahé.

See more at: http://www.seychellesnewsagency.com/articles/4053/'A+very+rare+record'+Green+turtle+switch+nesting+grounds+from+Seychelles+atoll+of+Aldabra+to+Tanzanian+island#sthash.vJ4RB1iT.dpuf

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