The Florida State Department of Natural Resources has been conducting an experimental project designed to achieve a higher survival rate among young turtles which are reared in captivity and then released into the ocean.
CU Turtles being off-loaded from truck
MV Pat Foster removing turtles from crate
CU Turtles moving through sand
CU Pat Foster interviewed:
CU & MV turtles with metal tags on sand
MV Mother holding young child and watches turtles swimming off
"These turtles are eight months old now, and we've been keeping them in captivity until this age because they're a better size now. They can withstand probation better than when they were two inches long. Turtles are on the endangered-species list right now, and we're hoping to re-populate the oceans with turtles."
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Background: The Florida State Department of Natural Resources has been conducting an experimental project designed to achieve a higher survival rate among young turtles which are reared in captivity and then released into the ocean.
In several parts of the world turtles are in danger f becoming extinct. They have been officially designated an "endangered species". Conservation organisations and environmentalists are therefore keen to develop a system to increase their population -- and to protect the balance of nature.
The previously-usual practice has been to collect turtle eggs before they can be devoured by predators and to keep them in suitable conditions until the hatch. When the baby amphibians are a few inches long, they are then taken out to sea beyond the reach of most of their natural enemies and dropped into the ocean. Even with this method,however, the number lost in unacceptably high.
The natural Resources Department in Florida has been conducting an experiment in which the baby turtles are reared in captivity until they are eight months old. Because of their greater maturity, it is thought that they are better able to protect themselves, and can therefore be released on the shore.
A young biology student -- 20-year-old Pat Foster -- has played a key part in the project by looking after the youngsters. When she released them she told a reporter:
Before being released, each turtle is tagged and its weight and measurements are recorded. If people who find them report back to the Natural Resources Department, marine biologists will be able to plot their migration habits and other relevant details.
SYNOPSIS: Crates of young turtles arrive at the beach at Key Biscayne, Florida, after being reared by the Florida State Department of Natural Resources. It's part of an experiment to increase the number of turtles. And twenty-year-old biology student, Pat Foster, has played a major role.
Each turtle is tagged its weight and measurements recorded. People who find them in the future are asked to report back to the Natural Resources Department. The information will help marine biologists to determine their migration patterns and other relevant information.