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Technoscience

Men and turtles

A study by the Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE) estimates that close to fifty marine turtles end up dead every year as a consequence of the action of fishermen and of the researchers themselves. Already on the list of the  endangered animals, these reptiles can be caught in trawl and brought ashore along with fish and other animals. For this reason, the specialists of the Study Group of Sirenians, Cetaceans  and Chelonians (GESCQ) of UFPE are looking to convince the fishermen to stop the use of these types of nets. There has already been an advance: the fishermen have become into important assistants in describing the habits of each species. On the Pernambucano coast the team came across even giant turtles (Dermochely cariaceia), as well as the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), the big-headed turtle (Careta careta) and the hawksbill turtle of the comb (Eretmochely imbricata). The study group, which has for two years been following the reproductive cycle of the turtles, realized also that human action, even when well intentioned, can damage the expansion of the number of turtles: in re-organizing the nests to improve the conditions of survival of the eggs, the researchers themselves noted that the manipulation itself reduced the hatching of the eggs.

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