Species: Foraging greens and hawksbills
Objectives: The Bermuda Turtle Project is a collaborative effort between the Bermuda Zoological Society and the Sea Turtle Conservancy with Drs. Peter and Anne Meylan as scientific directors. The goal of the project is to promote the conservation of marine turtles in Bermuda and elsewhere, through research and education. Efforts are focused on foraging green and hawksbill turtles in the developmental habitat. Following our research objectives, the Bermuda Turtle Project gathers information on genetic identity, population structure, sex ratios, growth rates, seasonality, site fidelity, habitat use, population size and migration. BTP uses satellite telemetry to study aspects of residency in Bermuda and departure to the next life history stage.
Contact Info: Bermuda Zoological Society:
Bermuda Turtle Project
P. O. Box FL145
Phone: 441 293 2727
Fax: 441 203 3176
Caribbean Conservation Corporation
4424 NW 13th St.
Gainesville, FL 32609
Dr. Anne Meylan
Florida Marine Research Institute
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
100 8th Ave. SE
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Phone: 727-896-8626 X1916
4200 54th Ave. S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33711
Phone: 727-864-8497; 727-864-8432 (department office)
Bermuda Aquarium Museum & Zoo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre
Location: Flatts, Bermuda
Objectives: Treats sick and injured sea turtles and monitors trends in threats to the population in addition to collecting data on genetic identity, size structure, maturity status, sex ratios, diet, symbionts and other medical data. Public awareness and education are an offshoot of this project.
Bermuda Turtle Project
P. O. Box FL145
Phone: 441 293 2727
Fax: 441 203 3176
Offered by: The Bermuda Turtle Project
Taught By: Dr. Peter Meylan and the Project Team
This intensive, 2-week course provides participants with an introduction to marine turtle biology and conservation and practical experience with in-water turtle research. Students will participate in the Bermuda Turtle Project (BTP), which is a joint project of the Bermuda Zoological Society and the Sea Turtle Conservancy. Its mission is to study the juvenile marine turtles that inhabit the near-shore waters around Bermuda. Drs. Anne and Peter Meylan serve as principal investigators for the project. Students will assist with the in-water capture of turtles, tagging and data collection, and learn about current sea turtle research techniques, including satellite telemetry. In addition, a hands-on overview of sea turtle anatomy will be gained during a necropsy session.
Students will engage daily in a group discussion of the papers included in the course reading list, and participants will be expected to lead one class discussion. Weather permitting, these talks will take place on board the research vessel, RV Endurance, on route to/from the day’s sampling site. Topics include: life history, feeding biology, physiology, reproduction, migration, conservation genetics, threats and conservation options and solutions.
Information about other sea turtle research projects will be exchanged, and students will have an opportunity to discuss issues or methods of particular relevance to their home country or turtle conservation project.
Enrollment is limited to 10 students, ages 18 and older. While applications are accepted from all over the world, priority will be given to those from the Caribbean region or those who are in the best position to implement the methods learned during the course.
The course is physically demanding; fieldwork is scheduled Monday through Friday (8.00am – 5.00pm, with occasional evening classes if necessary), for both weeks, with the necropsy session planned for the weekend in between. Students must be strong swimmers, able to swim two or more miles a day (with fins and snorkel gear), and be comfortable diving to depths of 20 feet to retrieve turtles from the net. Each net deployment can last up to two hours, and there can be up to three sets per day.
Further information and application forms are available from Jennifer Gray at the Bermuda Zoological Society (BZS)
2) Become a member of the Bermuda Zoological Society and support education, conservation and research on sea turtles. Our American visitors may wish to join the Atlantic Conservation Partnership. Go to the website at www.bamz.org
Godley, B. J., A. C. Broderick, L. M. Campbell, S. Ranger, and P. B. Richardson. 2004. 5. An assessment of the status and exploitation of marine turtles in Bermuda. In: An assessment of the status and exploitation of marine turtles in the UK Overseas Territories in the Wider Caribbean. pp 78-95. Final Project Report for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Commonwealth Office.
Godley BJ, Broderick AC, Campbell LM, Ranger S, Richardson PB (2004) 10. Towards a Molecular Profile of Marine Turtles in the Caribbean Overseas Territories. In: An Assessment of the Status and Exploitation of Marine Turtles in the UK Overseas Territories in the Wider Caribbean. pp 223-236. Final Project Report for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Mowbray et al, 1958. First Record of the Ridley Turtle from Bermuda, with Notes on Other Sea Turtles and the Turtle Fishery in the Islands. Source: Copeia, Vol. 1958, No. 2, (Jun. 18, 1958), pp. 147-148. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.
Returns of Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas Linnaeus) Tagged at Bermuda, Biological Conservation, Vol. 6, No. 4, October 1974
1992. A. B. Meylan, P. Meylan, H.C. Frick, and J.N. Burnett-Herkes. Abstract. Population structure of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) on foraging grounds in Bermuda. In: M. Salmon and J. Wyneken (compilers), Proceedings of the Eleventh Annual Workshop on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation, p. 73. NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-SEFC-302.
1994 A. Meylan, P. Meylan, and A. Mosier. Abstract. Green turtles in developmental habitat: An update on the Bermuda Turtle Project. In: B. Schroeder and B. Witherington (editors), Proceedings of the Thirteenth Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation, p. 254. NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-SEFC-341.
1998 P. A. Meylan & A. B. Meylan. Abstract. Corroboration of the developmental habitat hypothesis for marine turtles. In: S. Epperly and J. Braun (editors), Proceedings of the 17th Annual Sea Turtle Symposium, p. 68. NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-SEFC-415.
1998 J. Gray, W. H. Mitchell, J. A. Ward, H. C. Frick II, P.A. Meylan, and A.B. Meylan. Abstract. The Bermuda Turtle Project: Studies of immature green turtles at an oceanic feeding ground, 1968-1997. In: S. Epperly and J. Braun (editors), Proceedings of the 17th Annual Sea Turtle Symposium, p. 59. NOAA Tech. Memorandum NMFS-SEFC-415.
1998. A. B. Meylan, P. A. Meylan and J. Gray. Density and biomass of green turtles in developmental habitat in Bermuda. Abstract. In: S. Epperly and J. Braun (editors), Proceedings of the 17th Annual Sea Turtle Symposium, p. 68. NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-SEFC-415.
1998. T. N. Engstrom, W. G. Bradley, J. A. Gray, A. B. Meylan, P. A. Meylan and W. B. Roess. Genetic identity of green turtles in Bermuda waters. Abstract. In: S. Epperly and J. Braun (editors), Proceedings of the 17th Annual Sea Turtle Symposium, p. 50. NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-SEFC-415.
2000 S. Denison, P. Meylan, and W. Roess. mtDNA haplotype determination by students in genetics laboratory course elucidates sea turtle ecological geography. Abstract. Suppl. to Molecular Biology of the Cell 11:25a.
2000 A. Meylan P. Meylan, and J. Gray-Conklin. Departure of marine turtles from developmental habitats:evidence from Bermuda and Panama. Abstract. In: Kalbb, H. J., Wibbels, T. S. (editors), Proceedings of the 19th Annual Sea Turtle Symposium, p. 68. NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-SEFC-415. BAMZ #928
2002 M. Vierros, A. Meylan, P. Meylan, J. Gray and J. Ward. Evaluation of green turtle habitat, population size and distribution using remote sensing and GIS techniques. In: A. Mosier, A. Foley and B. Brost (compilers), Proceedings of the Twentieth Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation, p. 52-54. NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-SEFSC-477. BAMZ “940. BBP “031
2002 L. K. Estep, A. B. Meylan, P. A. Meylan and J. Gray. Surfacing and submergence behavior of the green turtle (Chelonia mydas). Abstract. In: A. Mosier, A. Foley and B. Brost (compilers), Proceedings of the Twentieth Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation, p.34. NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-SEFSC-477.
2003 P. A. Meylan, A. Meylan, J. Gray and J. Ward. The hawksbill turtle in Bermuda. Abstract. p. 26 In: J. Seminoff (Compiler), Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation, p. 26. NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-SEFSC-503.
2004 P. Meylan, A. Meylan, and J. Gray. The Bermuda turtle project’s international course on the biology and conservation of sea turtles, 2003. Marine Turtle Newsletter 103:14-15.
2006 J. Gray, A. Meylan, and B. Outerbridge. Two decades of stranding data from Bermuda, an island in the Sargasso Sea. Abstract. In: M. Frick, A. Panagopoulou, A. Rees and K. Williams (compilers), Book of Abstracts. 26th Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation, International Sea Turtle Society, Athens Greece, 374 pp.
2006 Bacon, J. P., Gray, J. A. & Kitson, L. Status and conservation of the reptiles and amphibians of the Bermuda islands: Applied Herpetology 3:323–344. BBB#110
2007 T. Murdoch, A.Glasspool, M. Outerbridge, J. Ward, S. Manuel, J. Gray, A. Nash, K. Coates, J. Pitt, J. Fourqurean, P. Barnes, M. Vierros, K. Holzer, S. Smith. Large-scale decline in offshore seagrass meadows in Bermuda. In. Marine Ecology Progress Series Vol. 339:123-130
2010 A. Meylan, P. Meylan, J. Gray, B. Brost, P. Kubilis, G. Blanvillain, and D. Owens. Changes in sex ratios of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) at a mid-ocean developmental foraging site (1990 – 2007). Abstract. In K. Dama and M. Lopez-Castro (compilers), Proceedings of the 28th Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation, p. 135. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOAA NMFS-SEFSC-602.
2011 P. Meylan, A. Meylan and J. Gray. 2011. The ecology and migrations of sea turtles. 8. Tests of the developmental habitat hypothesis. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, no. 357, pp. 1-70.
2012 B. Shamblin, B. Berry, D. Lennon, A. Meylan, P. Meylan, M. Outerbridge and C. Nairn, Tetranucleotide microsatellite loci from the critically endangered hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata). Conservation Genetics Resources 5:23-26.
2014 A. Meylan, A. Arenas, J. Zurita, E. Harrison, J. Gray, and P. A. Meylan. Green turtles tagged in developmental habitat in Bermuda nest in Mexico and Costa Rica. Marine Turtle Newsletter 141:15-17.
2014 Ministry of Health Seniors and Environment. Department of Conservation Services Management Plan for Bermuda’s Resident Green and Hawksbill Sea Turtles
2015 C. D. Allen, M. N. Robbins, T. Eguchi, D. W. Owens, A. B. Meylan, P. A. Meylan, N. M. Kellar, J. A. Schwenter, H. H. Nollens, R. A. LeRoux, P. H. Dutton, and J. A. Seminoff. First assessment of the sex ratio for an East Pacific green sea turtle foraging aggregation: Validation and application of a testosterone ELISA. PLoS ONE 10(10):30138861
2015 IAC Sargasso Sea Concept Note: CIT-SSC-2015.Concept Note on the importance of Sargassum and the Sargasso Sea for Atlantic Sea Turtles. CIT-CCE7-2014-Tec.9 – SSC/2014/1/Doc. 2. (This publication is available electronically at: www.iacseaturtle.org)
2016 Bjorndal, K. A., M. Chaloupka, V. S. Saba, C. E. Diez, R. P. van Dam, B. H. Krueger, J. A. Horrocks, A. J. B. Santos, C. Bellini, M. A. G. Marcovaldi, M. Nava, S. Willis, B. J. Godley, S. Gore, L. A. Hawkes, A. McGowan, M. J. Witt, T. B. Stringell, A. Sanghera, P. B. Richardson, A. C. Broderick, Q. Phillips, M. C. Calosso, J. A. B. Claydon, J. Blumenthal, F. Moncada, G. Nodarse, Y. Medina, S. G. Dunbar, L. D. Wood, C. J. Lagueux, C. L. Campbell, A. B. Meylan, P. A. Meylan, V. R. Burns Perez, R. A. Coleman, S. Strindberg, V. Guzmán-H., K. M. Hart, M. S. Cherkiss, Z. Hillis-Starr, I. F. Lundgren, R. H. Boulon Jr., S. Connett, M. E. Outerbridge, and A. B. Bolten. 2016. Somatic growth dynamics of West Atlantic hawksbill sea turtles: a spatio-temporal perspective. Ecosphere 7(5): e01279.