06/10/2010

Seven monitoring research projects for Caretta caretta during 2010, with ARCHELON support

seven-monitoring-research-projects-for-caretta-caretta-during-2010-with-archelon-support-Research_Projects1.jpg

  1. Environmental attitudes of volunteer conservationists. Hannah OʼMahoney, Cardiff University, UK

Hannah OʼMahoney is undertaking research funded by the British Economic and Social Research Council for an MSc in Social Science Research Methods at Cardiff University. Ιn-depth interviews will be conducted with volunteers participating in the Kyparissia Bay project, in order to explore their environmental beliefs and values. The analysis of data collected will help Hannah to make preliminary insights in order to pursue further research when she embarks on her PhD next September. Her interest at this point is to investigate the degree to which participantsʼ engagement with sea turtle conservation can be related to underlying pro-environmental values, and, through narrative analysis methods, investigate the relationship between environmentalism and self-perception.

  1. Effects of Artificial Light on Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Caretta caretta) at Nesting Beaches in Rethymno on Crete, Greece: A Case Study. Sebastian Richter, Phillipps-University Marburg, Germany

3) Impacts of Global Warming on the Ecology of Loggerhead Turtles in the Mediterranean Sea Samir Patel, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Samir Patelʼs PhD project will span the next three seasons and includes attaching satellite telemetry systems on 30 adult female loggerheads nesting in Rethymno, Crete, in order to determine their post-nesting behavior. The telemetry systems provide several a variety of data, including locations, sea temperatures and depths experienced by each turtle. These data will allow Samir to determine how the turtles react and make use of the various conditions in the Mediterranean when returning from their nesting beaches to foraging sites. The ultimate goal is to use this information to predict how loggerhead turtles of the Mediterranean may react to the changing conditions of the sea associated with global warming. This project is undertaken under the guidance of Dr. Jim Spotila of Drexel University in Philadelphia, and Dr Steve Morreale of Cornell University, Ithaca New York for Samirʼs doctoral degree.

4) Thermal and spatial tracking of internesting loggerheads in Kyparissia Bay Tom Backof, Indiana Purdue University, Indiana, USA

5) An investigation of the gap between environmental awareness and environmentally friendly behaviour of tourists in Rethymno Natalie Pears, University of Nottingham, UK

The research is part of Natalieʼs dissertation for an MSc in Environmental Management. It is on environmentally responsible tourism, increasingly used to help protect the environment of holiday destinations by informing the tourists of the appropriate behaviour required. The project is taking place in Rethymno, Crete. As a nesting beach that is so heavily developed due to tourist activities, responsible tourism is extremely important. The study aims to analyse the information available on environmentally responsible tourism, how efficient it is and how effective it is at influencing tourist knowledge, attitudes and behaviours. Interviews will be conducted with those providing the information to determine their perspectives on responsible tourism. Using questionnaires, Natalie aims to determine efficiency, and how it affects tourist behaviour and attitudes towards the environment of their holiday destination.

6) Metabolism and gas exchange of loggerhead sea turtle nests in Zakynthos and Kyparissia Bay Jack Suss, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA USA

7) Inter-nesting behavior of loggerhead turtles in Rethymno, Crete, Greece Aliki Panagopoulou, Drexel University, Philadelphia PA, USA

This research is undertaken as part of Alikiʼs Masterʼs Thesis at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA, USA. The study aims to look at the behaviour of sea turtles nesting in Rethymno, Crete during the period between two nesting events. Loggerhead sea turtles lay on average 1-4 clutches in a single season, with 13 – 22 days between each nesting event. The main objective of this project is to potentially identify areas these turtles prefer to be in and their swimming/diving patterns during those inter-nesting periods. To achieve this, radio transmitters and Time-Depth recorders are placed on nesting females during night survey work already undertaken by ARCHELON. This equipment is retrieved when the turtle returns to the beach about 15 days later. During the day, the location of the turtles is identified through radio tracking. The results of the study may play an important role in the compilation of management measures within the marine zone off the Rethymno nesting beach, helping to prevent casualties from speed boats or fishing activities.

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