World Turtle Day At The Brando Private Island
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On May 23, The Brando celebrated World Turtle Day, the perfect occasion to share some scientific data regarding the green sea turtle presence on the atoll.
In collaboration with Tetiaroa Society, the NGO TE MANA O TE MOANA « spirit of the ocean » is proud to share its data on a 10-year long scientific monitoring study of the green sea turtle nesting on the atoll of Tetiaroa.
Initiated and directed by Dr. Cécile Gaspar, founder and president of the NGO, the Tetiaroa Turtle Sanctuary has been supported since 2004 by the Brando family with a very strong collaboration with Teihotu Brando long before the resort opened in 2014.
Teams of biologists, veterinarians, and volunteers have patrolled the atoll’s beaches to monitor the nesting trends between the months of September and April for more than 10 years. Tetiaroa can now be considered as one of the most important places for green sea turtle nesting in the central South Pacific!
The NGO has been able to confirm the observation of 600 turtle tracks during this past season on the entire atoll; and more than 118 of them took place on the motu Onetahi where the resort is located, allowing guests to make incredible observations at night.
Female turtle protection has been reinforced with the joint efforts of The Brando resort and Tetiaroa Society to help Te mana o te moana in conducting the survey. After their nesting season on Tetiaroa, some female turtles were followed by satellite tracking all the way to Fiji—a journey of over 3,500 kilometers covered in less than 3 months.
This last season, more than 25,000 baby green sea turtles were born on Tetiaroa and this monitoring program also enabled the NGO to take care of deformed turtles found in nests after hatching or ones that were wounded by crabs on the beach, by bringing them to the Sea Turtle Care Center located on the island of Moorea and giving them appropriate care.
This month, the Tetiaroa Society hosted scientists and technicians from the IDEA (Island Digital Ecosystem Avatar) research program last week, who were conducting a LiDAR Survey of the island. This technology uses laser beam reflections from a helicopter-borne instrument off of plants, ground, water, and underwater substrate to create a map of the island that will a have vertical and horizontal accuracy of 6 centimeters (2.4 inches). Also, as part of the survey, high-resolution aerial photos are taken at short intervals so that they can be used to create both 2D and 3D imaging of the island.
There was also a ground team that set up and measured reference points on the motu. The resulting data will be used as a baseline for all further research on the island, as well as to create some spectacular images and 3D models of the atoll.
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