Saturday, December 31, 2011

Cape Verde: African good news story - on BBC

"The remarkable economic and political progress of Cape Verde is seen as a blueprint for the rest of Africa, writes BBC Today programme presenter Evan Davis after a visit to the tiny island state.

Contrary to the impression you might have had of African nations, here is one where democracy flourishes

I have to admit, I couldn't have told you three interesting facts about Cape Verde until I was asked to go there for the Today programme.
I didn't know where it was - 570km (354 miles) off the coast of West Africa. I didn't even know how to pronounce its name.
And then I found myself sent there on a three-day mission to investigate a startling story: That sub-Saharan Africa is not just a region of starving children and warring dictators."

Read the rest of the article at:

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

New Turtle Foundation mural painting at the main-place of Sal Rei/ Boa Vista

Looking at the run-down walls of the main square in Sal Rei, we decided it was time to repaint an old mural we had done in 2008 in front of the kid's corner, this time with an image of underwater-sea-life with sea turtles, fish, corals etc to remind everyone of the beauty and importance of the incredible marine biodiversity of Boa Vista.

To do this, we collaborated once again with our artistic mentor, Titu Ramos, a local artist who has worked with us many times before, the participants of the Turtle Foundation Ranger Training – Márcio, Ronny, João and Énio, and a group of school kids. And it was a lot of fun!

After preparing the wall during the week before and giving it a bright blue coat in the morning of Saturday the 17th of December, Titu and the school kids got started by drawing the images with a pencil on the wall and colored them afterwards. All the participants seemed to have a lot of fun and the process of painting the wall only got interrupted by the occasional paint-fight between the kids. All the kids got a little present at the end of the activity and some of them were already asking the next day when we are going to do the next painting.

Now the main square in Sal Rei is more colourful and cheerful again, we hope this mural will not only make the square look nicer, but also pass on an important message, which is also our slogan - “Protejamos as tartarugas – junte-se a nos” – “Lets protect the sea turtles – join us!”.

For now, we just have to find the next wall and the right image…

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Second tropical sea turtle washes up on Vancouver Island.

from CTV news:

An endangered green sea turtle died early Monday at the Vancouver Aquarium after being rescued four nights earlier on Vancouver Island.

The tropical turtle was found Wednesday and is the second in a week to wash up on the shores of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve near Tofino. Scientists are baffled as to why.

Dr. Dennis Thoney, director of animal operations at the aquarium, said it is unknown where the turtles came from exactly and how they ended up in cold B.C. waters during a La Nina year.

"Normally when we see turtles up here it's during times of El Nino when the waters are much warmer and they tend to move further north. But this year, it's the opposite," he said.

On Wednesday, a park visitor spotted the sick turtle stranded on the beach and immediately notified Fisheries and Oceans Canada's Marine Mammal Response Network, which rushed to the scene and transferred the reptile to Vancouver.

Aquarium veterinarian Dr. Martin Haulena and his team provided emergency treatment to the young male sea turtle including feeding him fluids and antibiotics.

The cold-shocked animal also had severe eye injuries that seemed to be improving with rehydration. However, the turtle's lack of response and slow movements led veterinarians to believe he may have been brain dead.

Last week, an olive ridley sea turtle was found in the same region but was declared dead the day after it was brought to the aquarium.

Aquarium veterinarians were hoping for a better outcome for the second young sea turtle but with such a slow heart rate, they were skeptical of his recovery.

"Reptiles have a capability of slowing down to hibernate over winter and then come out," Thoney said. "But they're tropical animals so it's not a normal thing. It could kill him."

To see the short news video:   video of cold-stunned green turtle

Friday, December 9, 2011

Turtle Cookies for sale at Vaduz, Liechtenstein Christmas market

Home-made turtle cookies for sale to benefit sea turtles this Saturday (1-8 pm) and Sunday (11-5) at the Christmas market in Vaduz, Liechtenstein.  You're all invited to come!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Turtle Foundation lottery to benefit sea turtles

It’s time again:

Due to the big success of our lottery on behalf of the sea turtles in 2010 and 2011, TURTLE FOUNDATION and SOS Seaturtles (founded by the famous underwater photographer Kurt Amsler) are doing it again this year. This year again 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the lottery tickets will be used for Turtle Foundation’s sea turtle conservation work.  

These are the prizes you can win:

12-day dive safari “Komodo” for 1 person on the sailing dive boat Pindito (based on shared twin-bed cabin). Flights not included. Valid until end of 2012. Value USD 4,590.00
1 week stay for 1 person (ocean view room), including breakfast and 5 days diving with Nitrox, including transfers from/to airport. Flights not included. Valid until end of 2013. Value USD 1,450.00 / EUR 1’210.00
1 week stay for 1 person (garden view room), including full board, 10 dives and transfers. Flights not included. Valid until end of 2013. Value USD 1’121.00 / EUR 935.00

4th PRIZE:
Statia Lodge, St. Eustatius (Netherlands Antilles)
1 week stay (7 nights) for one person at the Hibiscus Bungalow (with kitchen), incl. a dive package (10 dives) with Scubaqua. Flights, marine park fee and diving equipment not included. Valid until end of 2013. Value: USD 1,185.00

5th PRIZE:
Lembeh Resort, Sulawesi, Indonesien
1 week stay (5 nights) for one person, including full board, 11 dives and transfers to/from airport. Flights not included. Valid until end of 2013. Value: USD 1,038 / EUR 865.00
1 week stay for one person (ventilator bungalow), including breakfast, 10 dives at the house reef and transfers. Flights not included. Valid until end of 2013. Value USD 738.00 / EUR 615.00

12 dives (in Dauin, Malapascua, Alona Beach or Cabilao). Valid until end of 2013.
Value: USD 324.00 / EUR 270.00

8th PRIZE:
DiverDesign Schmuckstück
1 “Amulet” sea turtle pendant, curved (made of high-grade Titanium), incl. silicone necklace.
Value USD 295.00 / EUR 245.00 (Additional >DiverDesign Special Offer for ALL Turtle Foundation members and friends valid until 29 January 2012!)

9th PRIZE: Diving Centers Werner Lau, Indonesien & Ägypten
5 day dive package for one person at the Diving Center Werner Lau in Indonesia or Egypt. Valid until end of 2013. Value USD 288.00 - 432.00 / EUR 240.00 - 360.00 (depending on destination). 

By purchasing a lottery ticket for USD 100.00 / EUR 75.00 you will have a chance to win one of these fantastic prizes. The number of lottery tickets issued is limited to only 200! (Good chance of winning!) This year again 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the lottery tickets will be used for Turtle Foundation’s sea turtle conservation work. 

Come join in!
Support this campaign and don’t miss the chance to win one of these amazing prizes! 

> End of lottery: 20. January 2012
> The drawing of the winners is going to take place on Sunday, 29 January 2012, at the FESPO in Zürich (the Vacation and Sports Fair) at the stall of Schöner Tauchen (Dive Travel and Tours).

Click here to get to the lottery ticket order form:  Lottery ticket order form

Lost Kemp's Ridley turtle swims from Gulf to Netherlands

To see video of this story, go to:  Johnny the Kemp's Ridley Turtle
The following text comes from Live Science:

Credit: Mote Marine Laboratory
When Johnny Vasco de Gama showed up in the Netherlands three years ago, he was a nameless, frigid sea turtle with little chance of surviving much longer in the icy waters of the North Sea. But now, this accidental world traveler is back in the United States and will soon be released into the warm waters his species calls home.

The turtle, dubbed "Johnny" by rescuers in the Netherlands, had "Vasco de Gama" appended to his name in Portugal, where marine biologists at the ocean theme park Zoomarine nursed him back to health. The turtle is a Kemp's ridley sea turtle, a critically endangered species and the rarest of all sea turtles. For that reason, an international team of conservationists has worked hard to bring Johnny back to the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. On Tuesday (Nov. 29), Johnny arrived at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Fla., where staff checked him out and placed him in a holding tank in preparation to release him into the Gulf.

No one knows exactly how Johnny made it all the way to the Netherlands, thousands of miles from his home territory in the Gulf of Mexico and along the eastern coast of the U.S. According to Mote Marine Lab, the turtle likely got caught in cold currents and become "cold-stunned," a condition that can shut down turtles' organs and even kill the animals. In that state, Johnny may have drifted hundreds or thousands of miles before being found in November 2008.

Once rescued, Johnny was stabilized by Rotterdam Zoo employees and then sent to the aquarium Oceanário de Lisboa in Portugal the following summer. The aquarium, in turn, sent the turtle to Zoomarine for rehabilitation.

After an international process of permit-getting and transport-organizing, Johnny the turtle made it back to the U.S. side of the pond in considerably greater style than his outbound journey: He flew in a specially adapted plane donated by the Portuguese airline TAP.
At Mote Marine Lab, Johnny underwent a veterinary exam on Tuesday and is now on medical hold to be sure that he's ready for release back into the wild. As soon as he's cleared, Johnny will be set free in southwest Florida waters.