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Decoy turtle eggs put in nests to track illegal trade in Costa Rica


Decoy eggs made by a 3D-printer and fitted with satellite tags have been placed in sea turtle nests on beaches in Costa Rica to track the illegal trade of their eggs.

A quarter of the fake eggs put among 101 turtle nests on four beaches in Costa Rica were stolen, with some eggs successfully tracked as they moved from thief to trafficker to consumer.

The egg decoy, dubbed the InvestEggator, was developed by the conservation organisation Paso Pacifico to track the illegal raiding of eggs from nests buried in the sand for trafficking and sale to restaurants, bars and individuals as a delicacy.

Researchers found that the decoys did not damage incubating embryos and could successfully track the illegal trade of green and olive ridley turtles eggs and identify trafficking routes, according to a study published in Current Biology.



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