Green turtle nests discovered in Senegal

This video shows a green turtle, swimming near Tahiti.

From WWF:

Green turtle nesting sites discovered in Senegal

31 Oct 2007

Dakar, Senegal – A WWF survey has discovered several marine turtle nesting sites on the beaches of Senegal, prompting calls from conservationists to improve protection of the endangered species.

The survey — conducted by WWF staff, Senegalese wildlife officials and the local community between July and September — discovered nine new green turtle nests on the beaches of Joal-Fadiouth in the Saloum Delta south of the capital, Dakar. …

In addition to green turtles, the waters of Senegal, and the greater West African Marine Ecoregion, are also home to other marine turtle species, including the loggerhead [see also here], hawksbill, olive ridley, Kemp’s ridley and leatherback.

Loggerhead turtle nests in Spain: here.

Marine turtles in British waters: here.

Thousands of olive ridley sea turtles, an endangered species, have emerged from their nests in the Mexico sand; video here.

Green turtles of the Cocos islands: here.

A leatherback turtle was tracked by satellite traveling 12,774 miles (20,558 kilometers) from Indonesia to Oregon, one of the longest recorded migrations of any vertebrate animal, scientists announced in a new report on sea turtle conservation: here.

Leatherback Turtle Nesting Threatened By Logging Practices in Gabon: here.

10 thoughts on “Green turtle nests discovered in Senegal

  1. Second sea turtle washes ashore in Southeast

    Fri, January 4, 2008
    Posted in Alaska News

    A female green sea turtle found dead near Sitka last week traveled thousands of miles to reach Southeast Alaska shores. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the turtle likely originated from Mexico or the Galapagos Islands. About four weeks earlier, a sea turtle was recovered near Ketchikan.

    Melissa Marconi-Wentzel, KCAW – Sitka


  2. Kenya: People Saving the Turtle

    The East African (Nairobi)
    1 January 2008
    Posted to the web 2 January 2008

    Bamuturaki Musinguzi

    The once threatened turtle breeding grounds at the Kiunga Marine National Reserve are now enjoying a revival.

    Turtles come to this Kenyan Coastal area to nest; their eggs have been prey for poachers, but all that is no more now that the community has been recruited into the fight to save the endangered species. They track the gentle creatures to their nests not only to report the new nests to KMNR for a reward of of $3 apiece but also to personally protect the nests from predators.

    According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the reporting rate of conserving the endangered species by the coastal fishing community has improved. This is due to the intervention of international non-governmental organisation under the KMNR Projects and joint nest protection and surveillance with partners.

    “The community is now more receptive to our conservation project because it has been involved, and we have witnessed a 67 per cent reporting rate of turtle nests by the people. We have reduced marine turtle poaching through effective awareness campaigns, surveillance and enforcement,” said KMNR Project co-ordinator Sam Weru.

    Marine turtles, the project’s flagship species, are endangered and protected under the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (Cites). This listing prohibits commercial trade in the animal and its parts.

    The uniquely pristine environment around Kiunga provides ideal nesting beaches for the hawksbill, green and Olive Ridley turtles. About 12,000 turtles hatch every season along the beaches of Kiunga.

    “The annual number of nests is 100 and the annual number of hatchings is 10,000. Over the past four years, this number has always been exceeded. Currently, we are at 117 nests per year,” Mr Weru said. “The peak breeding season is May-August, which also happens to be the cool and rainy season of the year.”

    “The hatchings could result from any number of mothers as a mother can lay 2-3 nests in a breeding season, usually spanning 3-8 weeks after the first nest. Each nest can contain between 50 and 200 eggs depending on the age and size of the female.”

    THE SHELL PLATES OF THE hawksbill turtle are the most beautiful among all marine turtles, making them a sought-after item for jewellery. Bekko (tortoise shell) items are much coveted in Japan, where bekko processing dates back more than 300 years. For centuries, bekko, which is actually the shell plate of the hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) has been delicately worked into ornaments and other fine objects. Till today, bekko combs remain an integral part of the traditional Japanese wedding dress.

    In addition to marine pollution, overfishing and loss of nesting grounds, netting of hawksbill turtles for their shell plates has contributed to their status as an endangered species. It is estimated that more than 600,000 hawksbill turtles were required to produce all the bekko imported by Japan between 1970 and 1986. One hawksbill turtle can yield about 80 grammes of bekko.

    Japan, which imported an average of 38,700 kilogrammes of bekko annually between 1980 and 1989, gradually cut back on imports until a total ban was imposed in 1993.

    But because consumers still ask for and purchase bekko products, the trade continues illegally. Investigators from Traffic, the wildlife trade monitoring network, surveyed locations in Indonesia and Vietnam in 2001 and 2002. These two countries have been known to export bekko to Japan in the past.

    The KMNR Project was launched in 1995. It was established as a protected area in 1979, and designated a Unesco Biosphere Reserve in 1980 together with the adjacent Dodori National Reserve. In 1996, WWF and the Kenya Wildlife Service established a working partnership to develop a long-term management strategy, integrating conservation and development priorities.

    Kiunga is a globally outstanding marine and coastal resource. Biologically rich marine habitats such as mangroves, sea grass beds and coral reefs are under threat from destructive and unsustainable fishing practices, coastal erosion, tourism development, deliberate habitat alteration, pollution by plastic debris from all over the world and coral bleaching caused by rising sea temperatures.

    THE PROJECT’S OBJECTIVE is to safeguard biodiversity and integrity of physical and ecological processes of the marine ecosystem for the health, welfare, enjoyment and inspiration of present and future generations. As a result, there has been improved health and education and provision of safe drinking water.

    The Kiunga Project seeks sustainable and equitable methods of using the reserve’s resources in collaboration with a wide range of partners and stakeholders that include KWS, the Fisheries Department, district government officials, and local communities, in order to safeguard the area’s exceptional marine resources for future generations.

    Officials of WWF say that what has saved this Unesco site from further destruction due to mass tourism is that it is still practising exclusive tourism, charging $600 per night.

    “We are looking at integrating the turtle conservation programme with tourism. This can be a viable alternative with tourists coming to see the turtles hatching at the breeding grounds,” Mr Weru says.

    The community has also been empowered with skills to transform waste materials into handicrafts for sale to tourists. This has increased monthly household income to about $130 from livelihood opportunities created through the WWF Flip-Flop Art Project. “The $130 is for only those families participating in this project, whose biggest market is global,” said Mr Weru.

    The KMNR Conservation and Development Project was among several successful integrated approaches to conservation programmes in the region presented during a conference held in Adis Ababa, Ethiopia from November 14-16. The conference brought together field practitioners, policy makers, researchers, the media, community leaders and advocates from Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Uganda.

    They explored concrete ways to address development priorities such as poverty reduction, improved health and natural resource management through an integrated approach.

    The conference explored concrete ways to address development priorities such as poverty reduction, improved health, and natural resources management through an integrated approach.

    The desired outcome of the conference was improved planning, implementing, and support for integrated population, health and environment (PHE) programmes and policies in East Africa.

    The PHE approach to development recognises the interconnectedness between people and their environment and supports cross-sectoral collaboration and co-ordination. The approach places particular emphasis on the population, health, and environment sectors; however, the underlying philosophy is one of integration.

    It can accommodate other sectors such as agriculture and education and can be successfully applied to achieve a range of development goals, from poverty reduction to food security and gender equity.

    The number of people, where they live and how they live affect the condition of the environment. People alter the environment by clearing land for development, using natural resources and producing wastes. Changes in environmental conditions, in turn, affect human health and well-being. Rural poverty, high population growth, deforestation, and fresh water scarcity, for example, fall under PHE.

    THERE ARE HEALTHY CORAL reefs and pristine mangrove stands in Kiunga today as a result of collaborative management efforts with partners. The community has been mobilised to clean up the beach regularly. There has been an increase in the average size of fish caught as a result of the WWF fishing gear exchange programme in collaboration with the Fisheries Department and the fishing community.

    “Through integrated approaches, we have managed to put up mobile clinics with the Ministry of Health and Family Health International to provide immunisation and healthcare,” Mr Weru said.

    The project now boasts 100 per cent immunisation of children below five years, care for expectant mothers, and reduced malaria incidence through the provision of mosquito nets, increased HIV and Aids awareness and 45 per cent increase in use of contraceptives.

    It has also built a health unit using local labour.


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