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‘Turtle Wrangling’ for Conservation: Dive in and Grab a Turtle!

Turtle wrangling might be the undersea equivalent of the old ‘catching a greased pig’ contest.

Dr. Nicolas Pilcher admits that he is “a sea turtle guy through and through.” He’s one of the figures at the forefront of sea turtle conservation, and has developed a unique method of capturing turtles in order to document and study them.

It’s called turtle wrangling and looks like it might be at least as much fun as it is an effective turtle capture method.

Pilcher believes that turtle wrangling is not only a more effective way to catch turtles, but also causes the reptiles the least amount of stress. One has to wonder though, how stress-free can it be for a turtle to see a giant dark form hurtling towards it from sky above.

The captured turtles are weighed and measured, identified as to sex, and tagged. The information is used to predict population numbers, which in turn are used to formulate conservation strategies.

All seven species of sea turtles are listed as endangered. Pilcher’s and others’ work is instrumental to understanding sea turtle biology and what threats they face.

Pilcher is the founder of Malaysia based Marine Research Foundation, and also works with the Save Our Seas Foundation, a marine conservation organization. Read more about what exactly Pilcher and his team do in their quest to save sea turtles, at the Save Our Seas website.

It is noble work, and who says that noble work cannot also be good fun as well?

NEXT: Will Greater Sage Grouse Be the Next Big Wildlife Conservation Victory?

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‘Turtle Wrangling’ for Conservation: Dive in and Grab a Turtle!