Genetics and satellites to the rescue of marine turtles
More than 100 million years ago, marine turtles roamed the earth alongside dinosaurs. Today, of the mere seven remaining species of marine turtle, six are threatened with extinction. The EU-funded SeaTGen project will focus on the green turtles (Chelonia mydas) in the south-west Indian Ocean. It will research how populations interact and how they could be impacted by threats in nesting ground and foraging areas as well as along their migratory corridors. Specifically, the project will employ genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms combined with traditional mtDNA markers. Novel genetic methods with data from movement ecology (satellite telemetry) and oceanography will be used to assess population structure and recent demographic history. The results will prove useful for future conservation actions.