A R$ 1.4 million contract was signed to implement the project. It is the first time that this loggerhead species monitoring is carried out on such scale in Brazil
The TAMAR Project has been monitoring sea turtles since 1980, but this was expanded and intensified in 2017 by the Renova Foundation, as part of the aquatic biodiversity monitoring actions. The monitoring of nests and females along about 160 km of beaches in Espirito Santo is now supported by satellite transmitters. The transmitters will be installed on 20 females in order to map migratory routes, identify feeding areas and assess changes in reproductive behavior. This is the first time that this work is developed for loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) in Brazil. The initiative integrates the actions of aquatic biodiversity monitoring in areas affected by the collapse of the Fundao dam (MG) and assessment of environmental impacts.
The installation of the transmitters began in November, during the reproductive period of this species. With the help of transmitters, it will be possible to collect data yet unknown, such as the area that females use in the period between laying one clutch of eggs and another, the number of clutches in the reproductive season, time, and depth of the dives, among other information.
Approximately R$ 1.4 million will be disbursed, in total, for the acquisition and installation of equipment, training, and hiring professionals. The transmitters work for up to 500 days. It is expected that the first results will be available in 2021. Among the monitored sites are the Biological Reserve of Comboios, the Indigenous Territory of Comboios, Povoaçao, Monsaras, Cacimbas, Ipiranga, Ipiranguinha, Pontal do Ipiranga, Barra Seca/Urussuquara, Campo Grande, Barra Nova, and Guriri. The study will provide more insight into the distribution and use of the area by the females.
About loggerhead sea turtles
Threatened with extinction, the loggerhead sea turtle is the species with the highest spawning frequency on the coast of Espirito Santo (about 90% of the spawning in the state are of this species). Monitoring the spawning, which takes place between September and March, is considered one of the most important strategies for protecting the nests and assessing the conservation status of the sea turtle populations in the region.