The green turtle (Chelonia mydas) has experienced drastic declines over the last four decades and is presently listed as endangered throughout its range (IUCN 2000). Data collected by Karumbé since 1999 indicated that green turtles in Uruguay are subject to a number of threats, the primary cause of mortality being incidental capture by fishing activities. This follow-up proposal intends to integrate different components (research, public awareness and local community education and training) to achieve the conservation and protection of the green turtle in Uruguay. One of our objectives is to study the activity patterns and local movements of C. mydas at one of its most important foraging grounds (Cerro Verde area) using telemetry techniques, in order to make grounded decisions regarding the designation of protected areas. At the 'Bajos del Solis' fishing zone we will carry out another type of study to determine which fishing areas represent an actual threat to these endangered populations due to the fact that this coastal fringe harbours the highest number of active artisan boats in the country. Assessing the number of turtles that get incidentally caught will provide valuable data to add in future management plans to minimize the incidental capture of turtles. Finally we intend to encourage community members to place greater value on these areas and natural resources, and show them its relevance to their lives and families through an environmental education programme for the long-term conservation of this species and habitats.
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