Nature Foundation to Use Aerial Drones to Monitor Sea Turtle Nesting Activities

The Nature Foundation, through the generous support of Tech Hub St. Maarten and the RBC Bank, will be using aerial drones to monitor sea turtle nests and turtle nesting activities on St. Maarten Beaches. The Foundation will be using remote controlled aerial quadcopters, or drones as they are popularly referred to, to monitor sea turtle nests from a higher altitude than normal beach observations, giving a better idea of the nesting activities of the endangered animals. Once a nest is recorded the drones will be launched in order to get a view of the beach from a high altitude and determine where actual nest were laid. The drones will also be used to track sources of oil spills from in the sky and locate points of possible ocean pollution and poaching activities.


Due to human impacts the sea turtle population has plummeted to low numbers throughout the past century. Because of this, many species has been listed as critically endangered and causing them to be nearly extinct. To reverse this trend, all sea turtles species are now protected by international laws and treaties as well as local laws. Meaning it is illegal to kill, wound, capture or pick-up sea turtles. It is therefore forbidden to disturb damage or destroy sea turtles nest, lairs or breeding grounds.


The Foundation, together with the use of aerial drones, also relies on volunteers to assist in monitoring the sea turtles. Anyone and everyone is welcome to volunteer. In order to have another great turtle nesting season, the Nature Foundation is asking the public to not have any bonfires on the above mentioned beaches, not to drive on the nesting beaches and to walk their dogs on a leash.


The aerial drone was generously donated by Tech Hub located in Grand Marche who encouraged the Nature Foundation to use technology for nature conservation purposes.


Should you notice any nesting activity or illegal activity, do not hesitate to contact the Sea Turtle Hotline 9229 or the Sint Maarten Nature Foundation office at 5444267 or send an email to in**@na*****************.org.