A project of Emirates Wildlife Society-WWF in conjunction with the partners and sponsors detailed below.
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Marine turtles are integral components of the Arabian region marine ecosystems, and a priority conservation component of national and regional conservation programmes. Sea turtles are protected in all countries bordering the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, and are a priority species in EWS-WWF's Strategy 2015-2020, as well as WWF’s Global Marine Turtle Strategy 2012-2020 (WWF, 2012).
Turtles are in danger from accidental bycatch of juveniles and adults in fishing operations, marine habitat alteration and degradation, exploitation of eggs, loss of nesting beaches, and potentially through rising temperatures with climate change. Younger turtles are also impacted by cold-stunning events during winter months.
A small number of protected areas exist which encompass certain life stages of sea turtles in the Gulf region, but these are spatially-limited given the state of knowledge on turtle habitat use - we have little information on where green turtles migrate to following nesting areas, and where key foraging and development grounds are found.
The Gulf Green Turtle Project will allow us to decipher the migration paths of green sea turtles, as these comprise the most abundant turtle species in the inner Gulf region and the second most abundant in Oman, and will identify linkages between foraging and nesting populations within the important Gulf biogeographic region, allowing us to guide conservation actions and raise awareness of the importance of marine turtle populations.
Data resulting from this work will inform managers of critical in–water habitats utilised by Arabian turtles, and allow them to aim concerted conservation activities, including fishery regulation where applicable, to preserve turtles through all phases of their live cycle.
This project is implemented by the Emirates Wildlife Society - WWF (EWS-WWF) with scientific advice from the Marine Research Foundation (MRF).
The Emirates Wildlife Society is an environmental non-governmental organization registered in the United Arab Emirates. Since its establishment in 2001, EWS has been working in association with WWF. The mission of EWS-WWF is to work with people and institutions within the UAE and the region, to conserve biodiversity, tackle climate change and reduce the ecological footprint through education, awareness, policy, and science-based conservation initiatives. So far, projects have included the establishment of protected areas, protection of species and habitats and increasing environmental awareness through education programmes.
The Marine Research Foundation conducts management-oriented research to support conservation of marine resources, particularly sea turtles and dugongs, in Southeast Asia and other Indo-Pacific sites. The Foundation carries out a number of projects related to biodiversity assessment and conservation, and provides management-oriented solutions to Government administrations and conservationists. Based in Malaysia, MRF runs projects in numerous countries and has a key focus area in the Middle East, with current direct involvement in marine turtle projects in Qatar, UAE, and Oman, and past involvement in projects in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Yemen.
This project is implemented with the gracious and generous participation of the following agencies:
The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi
The Environment Protection & Development Authority- Ras Al Khaimah
The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment - United Arab Emirates
The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change - Sultanate of Oman
The Environment Society of Oman
Five Oceans Environmental Services