In the US, sea turtle rangers are gaining new insights about the critically endangered hawksbill sea turtle through a mobile app called TURT (Turtles Uniting Researchers and Tourists).
Divers log on to record where they saw a turtle, along with other information such as time of day and weather conditions. Tourists are also encouraged to photograph and upload pictures of any turtles they see.
The map is accessible through the website for the Protective Turtle Ecology Center for Training, Outreach and Research, Inc. (ProTECTOR, Inc.). By using GPS, photography and an artificial intelligence (AI) component to track and help identify turtles, scientists are able to determine the size of a juvenile hawksbill’s typical home range—the area in which it forages for most of its food.