Friday, April 29, 2011

Claire Ferguson draws us a picture

This beautiful drawing was sent to Turtle Foundation by Claire Ferguson, 8 years old, from Rochester Hills, Michigan.  We are so happy Claire thought of us, and that she loves turtles as much as we do.  Claire is helping us speak for the turtles, and the turtles are saying "save me".  We're doing our best, for Claire and the turtles.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lighting specialist travels to Cape Verde for Turtle Foundation

Erik Martin, a specialist in turtle-friendly lighting for hotels and other beach-front construction projects on turtle nesting beaches, will be traveling to Cape Verde in May to meet with representatives of the RIU hotel and TUI, a German travel agency that books most of the guests that stay at the RIU hotels on Boavista Island.  There is already a RIU hotel near the capital, but a second hotel is opening in May called RIU Touareg on Lacacao Beach on the southern part of the island.  Situated on a section of the beach heavily used by the nesting loggerhead turtles, the RIU Touareg has 880 rooms, 5 restaurants, 5 fresh-water and 3 salt-water swimming pools, and hundreds of lounge chairs on the beach.  The lights from the hotel, the presence of tourists, lights, and vehicles on the beach, and the building and construction itself threaten the success of the nesting turtles and hatchlings.  Adult female turtles may avoid emerging on the beach due to the lights, or become disoriented before or after nesting and have difficulty finding their way back to the sea. Hatchlings are attracted to light, which on a dark beach is the direction of the ocean, but when they see artificial lights they go the wrong way and often die of dehydration or being eaten by crabs, birds, or other predators.  Erik and Turtle Foundation hope that RIU and TUI will work with us to find the most turtle-friendly lighting options for the RIU Touareg that will minimize the negative impact on the nesting turtles.  Turtle Foundation will be collecting data on the effects of the hotel's lights on the turtles and hatchlings during this year's nesting season.

Friday, April 22, 2011

International Sea Turtle Symposium


Dr. Thomas Reisching, Joana Hancock, and I were at the 31st ISTS in San Diego last week.  There were over 1000 researchers, conservationists, and sea turtle lovers there. Thomas presented a poster about our Berau project, and Joana presented a poster about our School in Nature program working with youth on Boavista.  And I got to meet and talk with one of my turtle heroes, Dr. Wallace 'J' Nichols (I couldn't resist a photo posing in our matching t-shirts).
 It is people like those who inspire us, encourage us, and make us realize that we can, and do, make a difference.  I posted a brief description of the symposium by Thomas, who works with our Berau project, on our Cause page and our website blog.  With folks like that on the side of sea turtles, the future looks a little brighter.

Grant Award from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Turtle Foundation is happy to announce that for the 3rd year we have been awarded a grant from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Marine Turtle Conservation Fund (under the Wildlife without Borders program) for our Cape Verde loggerhead sea turtle protection project.  We could not be happier to be partnering with such a wonderful organization.  Nesting season starts in June, and we are looking forward to another successful season of protecting sea turtles and working with the local community to benefit both the turtles and the local people.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Welcome to Turtle Foundation Cabo Verde's blog

Well hello turtle-lovers.  Happy almost Earth Day, and welcome to our new online blog.  Turtle Foundation, as you know, is dedicated to saving sea turtles.  We have several projects, but this blog is dedicated to our project in Cabo Verde, protecting the female loggerhead sea turtles as they come ashore to nest.  Currently they are threatened primarily by being slaughtered for meat.  Turtle Foundation patrols the beaches during nesting season, protecting the turtles and collecting vital data on their biology to learn more about the population.  International volunteers help us each summer with our patrols, as well as the Cape Verde military.  Other threats include an inordinate amount of trash on the beaches and in the water which the turtles mistake for food, and which hinders both nesting and the hatchlings' run to the sea. Rampant beach construction results in habitat loss, and turtles are accidentally caught on fishing lines.  Turtle Foundation is dedicated not only to helping save this 3rd most important nesting population of loggerhead turtles in the world, but in benefiting the community by doing so.  We work with educating youth, assisting local communities in finding alternative sources of income, and involving the government, community, tourists, conservation volunteers, schools, and anyone else we can reach in the goal of preserving this magnificent treasure of Cape Verde.  Join us!  Connect with us on Facebook, come and volunteer with us during nesting season, spread the word about our work, donate, sell turtle-shaped cookies to help sea turtles, and post comments and questions right here!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Turtle Foundation visits S. Nicolau

It was with great joy that Turtle foundation accepted the invitation of the Municipalities of Ribeira Brava and Tarrafal de S. Nicolau to attend a series of workshops that took place in São Nicolau island in the last weekend.

São Nicolau is thought to be the forth most important island for loggerhead sea turtle nesting in Cape Verde, recording each year 300 nests or more on its tiny beaches.

The two workshops counted with the participation of local volunteers, authorities, government representatives, a representative of INDP and one representative of Turtle Foundation, Joana Hancock. Turtle Foundation was asked to talk about sea turtle biology, beach monitoring protocol, and the importance of conservation projects as well as socio-economic alternatives.

Participants in the workshop that took place in Ribeira Brava

We were pleased to see so much interest from the local municipalities and authorities in collaborating with the local efforts.

Currently several iniciatives are taking place in the island, including "Esperança" project, with the collaboration of Camara Municipal de Ribeira Brava and the INDP, while the protection of the north of the island is assured by Camara Municiapl do Tarrafal de S. Nicolau.

Original article announcing the worshop in S. Nicolau:

For more ifnormation about the Esperança project, visit their blog (in Portuguese):

For more background information about the porject in Tarrafal de S. Nicolau:

Turtle Foundation visita S. Nicolau

Foi com muito orgulho que a Turtle Foundation aceitou o convite para participar numa série de workshops organizados pelas Camaras Municipais da Ribeira Brava e Tarrafal de S. Nicolau, no ambito do inicio de mais uma campanha de protecção e conservação de Tartarugas Marinhas nesta ilha.

Em S.Nicolau há várias iniciativas, entre elas o projecto "Esperança", nas comunidades de Carriçal e Preguiça, no Concelho de Ribeira Grande, e nas praias na zona do Tarrafal, com o apoio da Camara Municipal do mesmo nome. São Nicolau é um dos locais onde há mais desova das tartarugas marinhas em Cabo Verde, atrás apenas da Boa Vista, do Maio e Sal.

Durante os dois dias atenderam aos workshops entre 30 a 50 pessoas, entre elas membros do governo local, autoridades, voluntários dos projectos, professores. Pessoal do INDP permaneceu uns dias mais na ilha, para oferecer formação na área de recolha de dados e sensibilização adicional.

A Turtle Foundation e representantes das duas camaras municipais discutiram a possibilidade de assinar um protocolo de colaboração na área de formação e apoio técnico-logistico, já para a próxima temporada.

Para mais informações sobre o projecto Esperança ver o seu Blog:

Para mais informações sobre a desova na zona do Tarrafal, ver noticia publicada em 2010 que contem bastantes detalhes sobre a realidade da zona: