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Decoy sea turtle eggs help track down illegal wildlife traffickers

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Green sea turtle eggs in sand hole at hatchery site
Green sea turtle eggs in sand hole at hatchery site   -   Copyright  ymgerman/Getty Images
By Doloresz Katanich with AP

An international group of conservationists have used GPS-enabled decoys to track the illegal trade of sea turtle eggs in Central America.

Conservation organisation Paso Pacifico developed the 'InvestEggators' after being inspired by TV crime series like Breaking Bad. The decoys emit a signal around once an hour, allowing conservationists to track their movements.

So far the InvestEggators have uncovered five smuggling routes, with one showing a near-complete trade chain.

In countries like Costa Rica, eggs are illegally smuggled from beaches to be consumed as seasonal snacks. It's an added burden to the endangered species, already threatened by other dangers such as plastic ingestion, fishing gear entanglement, and boat strikes.