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Male sea turtle tracked by satellite

Nirash Tipsri 06.09.2009 20:00
The official team installing a detective device on the 6th sea-turtle before releasing it to the sea.

The official team installing a detective device on the 6th sea-turtle before releasing it to the sea.

The Royal Thai Navy and Sea and Coastal Resource Department have installed a satellite tracking device in a male sea turtle.

The sea turtle preservation project was recently activated after the male sea turtles’ numbers were found to have dramatically decreased. There is an imbalance between numbers of male and female sea turtles and the tracking device was fitted in order to follow and study their lives and movements.


Bar owners are saying there is also a shortage of male customers, although the two situations are likely not related.


The project was recently conducted with the cooperation of Captain Montree Chuengmun-khong, Director of Coastal Defense Department at the Sattahip Naval Base, and Dr. Kongkiat Kittiwattanawong of the Fishing Academy of Coastal Resources Development Institute, the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment and Mr. Somchai Mananansab of the Fishing Academy 8 in the Eastern Thai Bay Sea and Coastal Research Development, Rayong’s Glang District.


A satellite detection device, GPS Code 27566, was fitted onto the male sea turtle’s shell before it was released back to the sea.


Dr. Kongkiat revealed that this was Thailand’s’ sixth sea turtle raised by humans to be installed with a satellite detection device. It will be followed and studied similarly to the other five previously released. The study will look at its living behavior and to see if it is able to survive the long journey to other countries, as was done with the other five sea turtles released before.


Another objective was to prepare for any changes that might occur in the future in light of current unstable climactic conditions resulting from global warming.


Captain Montree Chuengmun-khong said that the satellite detective devices were supported and provided by Japan’s Kyoto University, by Dr. Kongkiat Kittiwattanawong who also pays the $15 US daily rental fee for the satellite.


An additional 778 baby sea turtles will be released at the ToeyNgam Beach, Sattahip Naval Base, for the upcoming celebratory event for HM the Queen, called “Ruam Duang Jai Terd Tai OngRachinee (Unity for HM the Queen)”.


Admiral Chakkrachai Phucharoenyod, Commander of Coastal Defense, said that due to the global warming situation, turtle genders have appeared to be affected as more females are born in high temperatures and males in low temperatures.

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