HAWKSBILL SEA TURTLE MONITORING & CONSERVATION
The sea turtles in Cayos Cochinos began to be studied from 1998 to the present under a Research and Conservation Program managed by the Honduras Coral Reef Fund (HCRF), collecting data through the application of a Research Protocol in which the guidelines are described. technicians required to standardize the information.
In Cayos Cochinos, the only sea turtle that has been recorded nesting is the hawksbill turtle Eretmochelys imbricata, which is a medium-sized species reaching 89.6 cm (ranges 83.6-96), has a hawk-like beak and thick shields on the shell. .- Its distribution is mainly in tropical waters and it nests in at least 60 countries.- Hawksbill turtles, like other sea turtles, migrate considerable distances from nesting sites to feeding sites and other habitats.- The The site with the highest nesting of hawksbill turtles in Cayos Cochinos is Cayo Menor, followed by Cayo Mayor and then the coral cays and they lay multiple clutches with around 150 eggs, with an average interval of 17 days (range 13 to 29 days) and no they return to nest for two or three years. They feed on organisms associated with coral reefs and sponges are the most frequent food selection. They mature very slowly and it is estimated that they reach sexual maturity between 20 and 40 years. Cayos Cochinos began to be studied from 1998 to the currently under a Research and Conservation Program managed by the Honduras Coral Reef Fund (HCRF), collecting data through the application of a Research Protocol that describes the technical guidelines required to standardize the information.
You will be able to assist as a researcher volunteer in monitoring activities on beaches and islands such as night and day patrols (see protocol), turtle data will be recorded such as morphometric characteristics, nesting behavior, biophysical characteristics of nesting beaches, they will learn to perform tagging with monel-type steel tags assigned by the WIDECAST Sea Turtle Tagging Program.
Under controlled environmental conditions and strict supervision by HCRF personnel, they will be able to carry out egg handling activities in an incubation pen, to daily record parameters such as temperature and relative humidity of the soil, in the same way they will monitor the hatching process and the release of eggs. the turtles, registering morphometric data of hatchlings and other data related to the mortality of hatchlings in situ and exitu.-
We have recently started monitoring turtles in their marine environment, through underwater censuses, they will be able to participate in the collection of data to determine population parameters such as abundance, distribution and others, information will be collected on the characteristics of the habitats where the turtles are observed. turtles in different stages of life.