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2020 State of the World’s Sea Turtles Report Released

By Amanda Townsel

We are thrilled to share that The State of the World's Sea Turtles—SWOT Report, vol. XV, is now available online and in print.

The State of the World’s Sea Turtles (SWOT) program is an effort led by Oceanic Society in partnership with the IUCN-SSC Marine Turtle Specialist Group, Duke University's OBIS-SEAMAP, and a growing international network of sea turtle researchers and conservationists. The SWOT program brings together people and programs worldwide to compile and publish global sea turtle data that support conservation and management efforts at the international, national, and local scales.

Published annually since 2006, SWOT Report features success stories, innovations, and new findings in sea turtle conservation, management, and research from around the world.

Some of the highlights from the newly released fifteenth volume of SWOT Report include:

  • A feature on the Sea Turtles of the Caribbean including the first comprehensive map of sea turtle telemetry data from the Wider Caribbean Region. The data consist of more than 350,000 locations from 626 individually tracked turtles and were contributed by more than 36 different partners. Combining the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, the Wider Caribbean Region is home to six of the seven sea turtle species, including the smallest and most critically endangered sea turtle, the Kemp’s ridley.
  • The first global map of loggerhead turtle telemetry displaying data from 650,000 locations from 1,273 individual loggerhead turtles, sourced from more than 80 different projects, as part of a feature article about Indian Ocean loggerheads. The article is the third in a series about loggerhead turtles in major ocean biomes.

The 2020 SWOT Report also showcases articles by leading sea turtle researchers and conservationists that cover topics including efforts to address plastic pollution, new technology to reduce sea turtle bycatch, using drones for sea turtle conservation, and more.

The new report contains the first global map of loggerhead turtle satellite data. © Hendrik Sauvignet/Ocean-OBS

Keep an eye out for photographs from conservation photographer Ben Hicks (including the beautiful cover image), who joined Oceanic Society on our Five for 50 expedition to Trinidad.

More recent SWOT Reports

2019: Vol. XIV
2018: Vol. XIII
2017: Vol. XII
2016: Vol. XI
2015: Vol. X

For more maps, photos, facts, and information about the SWOT Program, visit https://www.seaturtlestatus.org/

The report includes and article on jaguar and sea turtle interactions. © Ian Thomson


Amanda Townsel is an Oceanic Society communications strategist, copywriter, and community coordinator. Amanda earned a Bachelor’s in Psychology from the University of San Diego and a Master’s in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She is an avid traveler with a professional career that includes diving, marine ecotourism research, and strategic communications for conservation organizations.


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