NYK Sponsors Endangered Sea Turtle Research
Comment by the project's chief researcher, Yoshimasa Matsuzawa
Currently, the number of loggerhead turtles laying eggs in Japan has declined significantly. In Senrihama, Minabe-cho, spawning declined from 350 confirmed in 1990 to 31 in 2021. 2022 saw a slight rebound, but only 49. On the other hand, the return rate of spawning turtles is also poor. Even after taking into account the shedding of tags, about 70% of the turtles in Minabe-cho will never return. Since females stick to certain beaches, this means a high mortality rate after spawning. To improve the return rate, the most important issue is to clarify where and what threats female loggerheads are exposed to after laying eggs. In this sense, the accumulation of data through continued satellite tracking by this project is expected to play a vital role in the conservation of this species in the future.
Earthwatch, a non-profit organization established in 1971 in Boston, is an international nongovernmental organization. It provides researchers with both human and financial support for overseas field research and surveys. Volunteers dispatched all over the world by Earthwatch have taken active roles at cutting-edge scientific sites, receiving instruction from world-class scientists. Earthwatch Institute - Japan was established in 1993 to promote Earthwatch activities in Japan.
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