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NWO grant for sea turtle research in the Caribbean

13 May 2014

Prof. P.J. (Per) Palsbøll of the Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Studies (CEES) has been awarded a grant by NWO for his research on ‘Caribische cruisers in het Koninkrijk: ecologie en bescherming van zeeschildpadden’ [Caribbean cruisers in the Kingdom: ecology and protection of sea turtles].

A number of important nesting and foraging areas for sea turtles can be found around the six islands of the Caribbean Netherlands. Sea turtles have strongly decreased in numbers as a result of human activity since Columbus’s time. International treaties have recently been drawn up to help protect the species, resulting in national and international commitments for the Netherlands to protect the sea turtle populations in the Caribbean Netherlands. This requires knowledge of their migration routes, population structures and habitat use. The researchers will use ecological experiments, satellite transmitters and new molecular analysis techniques to establish what the populations before Columbus’s time may have been, as well as to determine the current population status and migration patterns. They will also study the threats that populations are faced with and the effects of climate change on their habitats. The research results will contribute to a scientifically grounded and thus responsible nature policy for sea turtles in the Caribbean Netherlands.

Last modified:15 September 2017 3.33 p.m.
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