Satellite telemetric Transmitters on Olive Ridleys

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Kendrapada, Nov 18 (UNI) Platform Transmitter Terminals (PTTs), commonly known as Satellite Telemetric Transmitter, will be fitted on 40 Olive Ridley sea turtle to monitor the movement of the endangered species and conduct more research work.

Scientists of Derhadun-based Wildlife Institute of India(WII) with the help of State Forest Department are all set to fit the PPT on the turtles in the three nesting sites-the Gahirmatha, Devi river mouth and Rushikulya mouth during this season, according to WII Dean Dr V V Mathur.

Two years back the scientists of WII had fitted 30 transmitters on the carapace of the turtles, including ten at Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary.

But this year it had been decided to fit the PPT on another 40 turtles to get more important information regarding the turtle's behaviour and movement and their annual sojourn to the Orissa coast.

Sources said the base of the transmitters and the most anterior part of the carapace will be covered with epoxy and the transmitters will be pushed into the place.

The PTTs had temperature sensors and surface time counters to indicate the proportion of time spent on the surface. If the turtle spends 30 per cent of its time on the surface, the scientists would manage to receive data, analyse and map it at the WII, Dr Mathur said.

Earlier during 2001 under UNDP programme, the WII had fitted four satellite transmitter in an experimental basis on female Olive Ridley sea turtles and released them in the sea to observe their movement.

However, except locating the turtles' movement inside the sea, the scientist did not find much on the behaviour of the turtle inside the sea.

The scientists are now optimistic that with the PPT on 40 turtles, they would be able to ascertain more data on the life history of the endangered turtles, which had so far remained a mystery for the researchers and wildlife scientists.

UNI XC-DP SJC RN1658

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