How Can an ACR Data Logger Help Protect Sea Turtles?

How Can an ACR Data Logger Help Protect Sea Turtles?

Posted by Tove Schulz


A sea turtle’s life is a struggle starting from the day it is hatched. Did you know that for every one thousand sea turtle eggs laid, only one turtle reaches full adulthood? This reduced rate is due to an increasing number of external stressors. For instance, some turtles are hunted for their shells, eggs, and meat. Others lose their beach habitats to human developmental plans. Oil spills and harmful marine debris also add to contaminating their beaches and waters. Today’s deteriorating environmental state due to climate change is putting our turtles at an ever-increasing existential threat. Stronger storms lead to rising sea levels, which further destroys and erodes their habitats. Warming seas change sea currents, possibly introducing turtles to new predators.

Since the temperature of the sand on beaches where female turtles nest determines the gender of turtle offspring during incubation, scientists have believed for a long time that sea turtles might be entering the extinction phase due to a shortage of male turtles.

The use of temperature loggers, such as ACR data loggers, is used to study their environment and protect sea turtles to prevent extinction. Data loggers are small battery-powered devices used for sensing and storing data in different situations, including underwater conditions.  Using single or multiple sensors, microprocessors, and underwater data logger capability, these devices read and record information for an extensive amount of time.

One of the many case studies that piqued our interest reads as follows:

Mr. Ruben Vinueza, a Ph.D. candidate from Ecuador, is completing his thesis project examining climate change factors and the potential effects on sea turtles by monitoring beach sand temperatures where the sea turtles nest.  At first, he used a garden stick thermometer to read and record beach sand temperature. Unfortunately, he had to manually record these readings as the garden stick device couldn’t store the readings. He then switched to using ACR’s SmartButton, an advanced temperature data logger with the ability to measure and record temperatures overtime in his absence. The SmartButton data was found to be more reliable and more accurate than the garden stick thermometer was able to provide.

He further highlighted the fact that SmartButton data loggers were an essential tool as the temperatures they recorded helped him to predict the sexual proportions of the turtles being born. SmartButtons also made it possible for him to learn about the stability of the internal temperature of nests that have been both relocated as well as the natural nests that have not been moved.

The SmartButton data logging technology has been creating a buzz for its ability to create a database. The database is essential to have continued and abundant data points to understand the effects of climate change on sea turtles and various other animals and environments being affected.

Ruben was confident that the Smart Buttons were recording the data that he needed so effectively on his behalf that he didn't have to be on the beach manually recording data.

Modern-day climate change data logging solution

Today’s temperature data loggers are designed to be more accurate and store records for extended periods. These data loggers are self-powered, portable, and compact for discreet placement, even when space is at a premium.  To protect the sea turtles and help them procreate both male and female offspring turtles at nearly an equal rate, we need to keep monitoring current climate change conditions with the right data logger.

Many organizations are taking the initiative of monitoring sea temperatures and keeping native species safe and sound. To use data loggers for monitoring sea temperatures is to be able to plan for the future. Data collected by these data loggers are being used to determine what actions can be taken to protect various species around the world including the magnificent sea turtle.

Choosing the right data logger is an important decision to consider. ACR data loggers are a popular choice. Robust with a waterproof capability, long battery life, high memory capacity, and lasting reliability, you can deploy an ACR data logger for long-term data collection in even remote exposed conditions.