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Blue News
photo: Andrew Slater
Turtle barcodes
Marine life experts have been studying turtle ‘barcodes’ in a bid to
try to greater understand the migratory patterns of this endangered
marine creature and to prevent illegal trading of products. Identifying
DNA barcodes collected from 249 turtles of seven species around the
world, scientists hope to document biological diversity patterns to
help conservation efforts.
‘This is the first study to document DNA barcodes of all species of sea
turtles,’ said Eugenia Naro-Maciel, Marine Biodiversity Scientist at the
Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of
Natural History. ‘By identifying these animals to species and providing
a standardized registry for documenting genetic diversity within
this group, DNA bar-coding promises to advance conservation and
research.’
Up to now illegal trade of endangered species has been hard to
investigate, as the origin of products has always been difficult to
ascertain. However, scientists say bar-coding items collected by
wildlife management could provide vital information and means of
tracking international trade in wildlife products.
Bar coding has already been successfully used to identify the presence
of endangered whales in Asian markets and to check the accuracy of
caviar and red snapper labeling
To find out more about turtle conservation around the Red Sea and
download an information pack about the projects in Egypt, see the
Red Sea Turtle Project website: www.redseaturtles.com.
photo: Andrew Slater
Issue 4 January - February ‘10 www.cdws.travel 13
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