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Home » Marine Turtle Interactive Mapping System

Note: IMapS has been taken offline indefinitely while considerations are made on a potential upgrade of the mapping interface  (October 2010)

The Marine Turtle Interactive Mapping System (or Marine Turtle IMapS) provides user-friendly, public access to reliable and current information on marine turtles.

The Marine Turtle IMapS is being developed by the United Nations Environment Programme - World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), on behalf of the Convention on Migratory Species (UNEP/CMS) and its associated Agreements. The system is global in scope, while being developed on a regional basis, and is concerned with all species of marine turtles. It is designed as an interactive facility to enable the exchange of data, while enabling contributors to retain ownership and credit for their work.

The system is designed to facilitate the integration of public-domain field data, such as distribution, abundance, migration, trends, status, photographs, and information on index beaches, together with habitat information such as presence and extent of sea grasses, coral reefs, mangroves, priority areas such as Internationally and Nationally Protected Areas, and physical background parameters.

The system enables the user to combine and print the various available data and layers on demand. It provides a zoom-in/zoom-out function to reduce or amplify the area under analysis and, when available, provides links to specialised sites on the internet.


The Marine Turtle IMapS in the Indian Ocean and Australasian Region has been developed in support of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation and Management of Marine Turtles and their Habitats of the Indian Ocean and South-East Asia (IOSEA Marine Turtle MoU).

This region constitutes the first phase of the global Marine Turtle IMapS and provides a web-based interface to the Marine Turtle Database already developed by Dr Colin Limpus, of the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service. Dr. Limpus is the CMS Scientific Councillor on marine turtles, an IOSEA Advisory Committee member and part of the IUCN/SSC Marine Turtle Specialist Group.

The approach being used here is to develop a working model for the Indian Ocean and Australasian region, using quality-assured data, the latest technology for GIS and web presentation, and existing environmental data at UNEP-WCMC relevant to turtle management programmes. The system includes information on the Loggerhead (Caretta caretta), Flatback (Natator depressus), Green turtle (Chelonia mydas), Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea), and Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea).

The Marine Turtle IMapS enables experts to inform others of their activities in the field, their monitoring protocols, and of general data such as nest counts and migration data. These data are intended to enable all users to draw up larger-scale assessments on issues such as distribution, abundance and trends. Credit to contributors is given for each and all contributions to the system. Links to the websites of contributors are also provided when available.

Scientists and conservation organisations working with marine turtles in the field are encouraged to register their activities and contribute general information to the system. To register as a contributor, contribute data, or for further enquiries, please write to species@unep-wcmc.org.

A Help Page to aid the navigation of the Marine Turtle IMapS is linked from the words 'help page' on the right-hand side of the IMapS.


UNEP © IOSEA Marine Turtle MoU Secretariat, c/o UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific,
United Nations Building, Rajdamnern Nok Avenue, Bangkok, 10200, Thailand
Tel: + (662) 288 1471 ; Fax: + (662) 288 3041 / 288 1029; E-mail: IOSEA Secretariat
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