Veterinarians, students and researchers have come together for control, study and awareness activities for the protection of sea turtles in the Maldives.
A task force is promoting initiatives for the protection, analysis and control of sea turtles living in the Maldives , in the Indian Ocean. This is the program foreseen by an agreement signed between the University of Milano-Bicocca and ABA – Association of Animal Welfare. A union of forces between the ABA veterinarians and the marine ecology experts of the MaRHE Center, the research center of excellence of the Milanese University.
Paolo Galli, professor of Ecology in the University’s Department of Environmental and Earth Sciences and director of the MaRHE Center, will be at the top of the task force. Collaborating with Galli is veterinarian Giordano Nardini, president of ABA. The study research will focus on molecular markers of stress in sea turtles. Through a blood test, experts will be able to understand the health of the animals. Everything will happen with cutting-edge tools.
The presence of infectious diseases or trauma will also be analyzed from this. The results of the analyzes will then be placed in a database. A sort of census for aquatic reptiles . Then the study will be implemented on reproduction, on nesting sites, sexual behavior and reduction of mortality caused by professional fishing. Another objective will be guidelines for the behavior of tourists and citizens with sea turtles, but also with other types of aquatic animals. Respect for the environment, habitat and habits will be analyzed.
I am very proud of this new collaboration aimed at the care and protection, monitoring and care of the sea turtles of the Maldivian Archipelago. The research and conservation activities will begin in the Faafu Atoll and then move, thanks also to the dense network of collaborations we have with the Resorts, in all the Maldivian Atolls. We also plan to involve university students enrolled in Marine Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Biology in the activities.
Paolo Galli, at the top of the task force
We hope to obtain the first epidemiological data on the state of health of the turtles within a year and to be able to proceed, if necessary, to treat and operate the first turtles. Given the conformation of the Maldives, consisting of about 1,200 small islands that are difficult to reach, we will try to provide a veterinary telemedicine service.
Giordano Nardini, veterinarian president of ABA
- A task force to save sea turtles in the Maldives (scientificult.it)