Marine turtles programs in the South West Indian Ocean (SWIO) are part of the oldest of the world and have resulted in the production of a large amount of data on the biology, ecology and behaviour of these animals. Hence, managing this enormous quantity of information is becoming ever-more difficult.

To promote the harmonization and standardization of on-going and future data collection, the strengthening of existing collaborations and development of new ones, and also to facilitate data exchange, the TORSOOI database has been developed (in French: TOrtues marines du Sud Ouest de l'Océan Indien, or TORSOOI). This initiative compliments and strengthens already existing data bases, particularly the IOSEA (Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia Marine Turtle MoU) and Quadrige 2 (French) data base. This database was developed to promote standardization of protocols and data formats as recommended by organisations such as IOSEA and the IUCN Marine Turtle Specialist Group.

TORSOOI is available to researchers and organizations in various countries of the region who are conducting research and monitoring programmes on marine turtles in the SWIO, including all five species encountered in this region: Green (Chelonia mydas), Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), Loggerhead (Caretta caretta), Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) and Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea).

TORSOOI is a tool that can store and organise information on tags (flipper, PIT and satellite), measurements of clutches, hatchlings, and individuals (nesting females, immature…) biological samples (genetics, isotopes…), photos for individual identification, and data on threats (bycatch, stranding, poaching, boat strike…). It can organise, synthesise and produce preliminary reports and graphs from nesting beach and tagging projects.

In accordance with recommendations of the IUCN MTSG and IOSEA, TORSOOI has developed a proposal for standardized field data sheets which corresponds completely with, and sustain, the protocols captured in the data base.

Data ownership in TORSOOI is fully protected by restricted access through unique login and password self-defined by each user. Data can be accessed only by their owner, and this person is the only one who can decide whether and with who they want to share what information.

A second initiative in progress, which is associated with the TORSOOI database, is a GIS database. This will allow users to characterize and localize marine turtle habitats in the SWIO region at multiple scales, with the ability to include additional layers of data (biology and behaviour). This mapping and spatial analyses tool will offer the opportunity to create communication and synthesis visual supports for scientists, stakeholders, and the public.

TORSOOI was developed by Kélonia and Ifremer, associated with Reunion University (IREMIA) and IRD (UMR Espace-Dev).
TORSOOI was co-supported by the European Union (ERDF), the French State (ANR), Reunion Regional Council (Région Réunion), and Kelonia.

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  • Kelonia
  • Ifremer
  • Union Européenne
  • Région Réunion
  • ANR
  • Université de La Réunion
  • ETIC
  • DEAL
  • AFB