Cayman Turtle Gets High Tech Help to Recover Population

Historically, the Cayman Islands have always densely populated by turtles. The nesting population, counted at millions, made it one of the biggest in the Atlantic.

Over the years though, the nesting populations were declining. This led to the species being listed as Endangered in 1975 by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. And in the 1980s, the green sea turtle breeding population of the Cayman Islands was recognized to be on the verge of extinction, with only several animals reported in the waters surrounding the Islands.

The Cayman Islands Government made many efforts to recover the population of the sea reptiles. With this mission in mind, they reached out to LITSLINK, a prestigious software development company. They had a special request: that the company build a user-friendly application that would enable volunteers to track turtle nests, monitor their activities and protect the newly hatched turtles from predators on their way from the nest to the sea.

The newly built application “TurtleNest” enables volunteers to provide the geolocation of a nest, the number of eggs, a written description and a picture of the environment. This helps their colleagues to find the nest’s place during further checks and also to prevent tourists and local people from damaging turtles’ nests accidentally.

Then, 45 days after the eggs are discovered and ready to be hatched, users get a notification on their devices and come to the place to help the infant turtles get to the water safely.

Equipped with a top-notch mobile application, volunteers do a lot of night work, which hasn’t been practiced before. They also make statistics on the number of nests, track hatched eggs and estimate the population of turtles on all three islands.

Thus, the dedicated people armed with a smart software solution caused a real boom in the Cayman Islands. The local Department of Environment reported that 2019 had become a record year with the biggest number of turtle nests over the last 20 years. ◊

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