Turtle Awareness and Protection Studies (TAPS)
The Turtle Awareness and Protection Studies (TAPS), was initiated in March, 2006 at the Reef House Resort, on Roatan, Honduras. The project was the development of Larry and Carol Stevenson, the Reef House owners, and myself. The Stevensons have seen the need for concerted conservation efforts for marine turtles on the island and began their own conservation by buying back captured hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) and green (Chelonia mydas) juvenile turtles from the local fishermen.
After searching for a marine scientist to work on the turtle project for nearly a year, the Stevensons, their daughter, Ashley, and son-in-law, Barry, and I partnered to begin research on the turtles. We have been working with the Proyecto Manejo Ambientales de Isla de Bahia (PMAIB)
We continue to work out plans and logistics for several projects and are urging the Ministry of Agriculture and Ranching to issue the permit as soon as possible. In the meantime, we are also doing as much PR and outreach as we can.
Our next, planned expedition will be in March, 2007, when I plan to carry out a pilot project on radio tagging and tracking with 2-3 animals. We trust that the permit issues will be settled by then and we can move forward.