EA begins satellite tracking of turtles in southern Sharqiyah

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Muscat – The Department of Environment Authority of South Sharqiyah Governorate on Wednesday launched a turtle monitoring project to study the nesting conditions and natural habitat of sea turtles.

The project also aims to train 20 specialists on how to install satellite tracking devices in Ras al Hadd and Ras al Jinz nature reserves in southern Sharqiyah.

Aida bint Khalaf al Jabriya, EA’s marine environment specialist and project manager, told ONA: “The satellite tracking of turtles aims to monitor the migration of sea turtles, apply best practices to protect them , study their nesting conditions and natural habitats, as well as understand their behavior in nesting and feeding areas.

The project includes the participation of specialists from the Marine Environment Conservation Department, the Environmental Conservation Bureau, the Environmental Monitoring Bureau, environmental monitors and supervisors from coastal governorates and service specialists. of Five Oceans.

Sea turtles are among the most important sea creatures that characterize the Sultanate’s conservation credentials. Oman is home to four of the world’s seven turtle species, including the second largest population of loggerhead turtles in the world. Others include the green turtle, hawksbill turtle and olive ridley turtle, which nest in Oman.

The leatherback turtle, a fifth species, can sometimes be found in Omani waters for food or during migration. All of these species are listed as threatened on the IUCN Red List and face a high risk of extinction in the wild.

To protect turtles and raise awareness about their conservation, EA launched the second edition of the “Turtle Commandos” program in August. The program aims to encourage young people to volunteer for environmental causes, to rid beaches of fishing and plastic waste, to set up workshops to find solutions to the challenges that threaten turtles, to educate participants on the importance of turtles and in turn transfer knowledge to the community.

The second edition of the program will run for six months with the participation of a group of volunteers each week from different governorates. “They will participate in a unique and rewarding experience by protecting turtles, educating visitors and deterring violators,” EA said.

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