Tuesday, 26 May 2015

PIT tagging of giant tortoises on Denis Island

Denis Private Island has obtained equipment for tagging the tortoises on Denis Private Island with micro-chips — i.e. Passive Induced Transponder (PIT) tags. Green Islands Foundation arranged for Dr. Jeanne Mortimer to visit the Denis Private Island Conservation Team to train them on how to deploy the PIT tags on the giant tortoises.

Dr. Janske van de Crommenacker (Environment Manager) and Dr. Martijn van Dinther (Biosecurity and Habitat Manager) recently joined the Denis Island Conservation team and this was their first training exercise on the island.

Tagging the tortoises makes it possible to individually recognize them without giving them a marking that is visible from the outside. 

The PIT tags were applied just above the tail. Once placed, they are invisible and are read with an electronic scanner. They are relatively easy to apply, and the tortoises don’t seem to mind their application. The individual mark makes it possible to monitor them individually (growth, health, behaviour). 

This exercise was co-funded by the GEF-UNDP-GoS ‘mainstreaming biodiversity’ project.

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