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Sea Turtle GPS

Insert GPS tracking devices into sea turtles and other large marine animals to combat poachers
  [vote for,

Apparently it's now possible to track the fate of chairs abandoned on the streets of New York using GPS (see link).

Now, no one really cares about the fate of discarded furniture, but a whole lot of people care about, say, the poaching of sea turtles.

So this idea is to insert GPS tracking devices into the shells of baby sea turtles (they are bred, for example, in the Cayman Islands; in other places, they are "helped" by volunteers to cross the dangerous gauntlet of the beach).

Then not only will the tracking information be of immense value to researchers, but when the signals stray onto dry land, the local police authorities can be alerted to capture the poachers. (I envisage the locations being tracked programmatically.)

This approach can also be used for other large marine animals, at least where we can easily get our hands on them.

DrCurry, Jan 10 2010

Tracking Endangered Chairs http://www.boingboi...-placed-on-str.html
(Link courtesy subtractadddivide) [DrCurry, Jan 10 2010]

Sea turtle tracking via satellite http://www.seaturtle.org/tracking/
They can sort of tell when a turtle suddenly moves fast in a straight line (i.e. on a ship), but don't react in the way this idea proposes. [jutta, Jan 10 2010]


       Hail the return of the great DrCurry... and with a first class idea! (where've you been?)   

       I'd also like to see devices planted inside whales (probably a bit hard to do) that would explode when the scum of the sea Japanese Whalers started cutting them up, after they had dragged them on board the factory ship of death, The Nisshin Maru.
xenzag, Jan 10 2010

So, how would this improve the existing satellite sea turtle tracking programs?
jutta, Jan 10 2010

       I'm not sure this would be good for the turtles. Most species of turtle are quite intelligent and sensitive creatures (indeed, for their brain size, they are particularly intelligent, perhaps as a result of their longevity). Loggerhead turtles have been shown to be trainable to solve puzzles as complex as those tackled by macaques.   

       In particular, their mating rituals are often complex and tender, involving a long courtship and lots of subtle signalling, testing and responding by both partners. Now, imagine the scene: several miles off the coast of some tropical island, male and female turtle are swimming slowly around eachother, circling and swooping, and drawing gradually closer and closer together. After minutes - almost an hour - of this, they are almost ready to make the embrace that will finalize their courtship and see the start of a new generation of tiny, perfect turtles. Then, just as the critical moment approaches, the male's shell reverberates with "in two hundred yards, turn left". The moment is lost, and another tiny step is taken on the road to extinction.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 10 2010

       Brilliant, [MB]!
pertinax, Jan 13 2010

       //a whole lot of people care about, say, the poaching of sea turtles//   

       lol, I hope that's true. I suppose a whole lot do, in an absolute sense, but a sadly small percentage of people.
bnip, Jan 18 2010

       Poaching turtles is criminal - they should really be lightly simmered, otherwise the meat is too tough.
coprocephalous, Jan 18 2010

       Perhaps a more 'proactive' approach could be taken: Sea Turtle RPG launcher?
Jinbish, Jan 18 2010

a) smaller tracking device (possibly magically so - not sure of the range/seaworthiness of the devices used for the chairs).
b) quantity of turtles tracked (lots more) (of course, this assumes there are lots more we can track - maybe that's all there are).
c) most importantly, automated alerts about poached turtles and, hopefully, bringing the poachers to justice, thus deterring further depredation.

       (Not sure how poached turtle compares to turtle soup.)
DrCurry, Jan 19 2010


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