Thursday, December 20, 2012

Raffle to support Turtle Foundation - over $20,000 USD in prizes!

Try your luck and win one of our fantastic prizes!

The popular Turtle Foundation raffle has been launched again! The entire revenue from this raffle (CHF 20'000, which is more than $20,000 USD) if all tickets are sold!) will be used for our two conservation and protection projects in Indonesia and in the Cape Verde Islands.
  • Total value of all the prizes is more than $20,000USD!
  • 200 lottery tickets and 15 prizes; i.e. VERY HIGH CHANCES to win a prize
  • Price per ticktet USD 110 / EUR 85 / CHF 100
  • Drawing will be February 3, 2013 at 4pm, FESPO Zurich; winners need not be present to win.
These attractive prizes can be won:
1. PRIZE: Pindito diving safari to Komodo, Indonesia, CHF 4’525.00 ($4955 USD)
11 nights diving safari "Komodo" for 1 person on the MV Pindito (basis half a double cabin) incl. harbour tax. Excl. flights. Valid until end of 2014. 

2.    PRIZE - Raja 4 Divers, Indonesia – CHF 3'051.00 ($3340 USD)
 7 nights for 1 person in a bungalow (basis double room), incl. full board, unlimited diving, kayaking and transfers from/to Sorong (arrival Saturday/departure Friday). Excl. flight & national park fee. Valid until end of 2014.
3.    PRIZE - Theia diving safari, Maldives - CHF 1'943.00 ($2127 USD)
7 nights for 1 person in the „Superior Cabin“ (basis half a double cabin) incl. full board, 17 dives and airport transfers. Excl. flights, fuel surcharge of USD 100, bed-tax of USD 56 and GST-Tax of currently 8%. Valid until end of 2014.
4.    PRIZE - Mares Icon HD net ready with transponder - EUR 1'149.00 ($1519 USD)
1 diving computer ICON HD net ready with transponder.
5.    PRIZE - Manta Ray Bay Resort, Yap, Mikronesia – CHF 1’260.00 ($1379 USD)
7 nights for 1 person in a "Standard Room" (basis double room), incl. breakfast, 5-days-dive-package and airport transfers. Excl. flights. Valid until end of 2014.
6.    PRIZE - Alam Batu Resort, Bali, Indonesia – CHF 1'137.00 ($1245 USD)
14 nights for 1 person in a "Fan Bungalow" (basis double room), incl. breakfast, 10 dives and SPA package and airport transfers. Excl. flights. Valid until end of 2014.
7.    PRIZE - Minahasa Lagoon, Manado, Indonesia – CHF 1’107.00 ($1212 USD)
7 nights for 1 person in a "Garden View Room" (basis double room), incl. full board, 10 dives and airport transfers. Excl. Bunaken Marine Park fee, flights. Valid until end of 2014.
8.    PRIZE - Statia Lodge, St. Eustatius , Caribbean – CHF 1’033.00 ($1130 USD)
7 nights for 1 person in a "Hibiscus Cottage" (basis double room), incl. airport transfers, 10 dives with Scubaqua. Excl. flights, Marine Protected Area fee and diving equipment. Valid until end of 2014.
9.    PRIZE - Yucatek Divers, Playa del Carmen, Mexico – CHF 756.00 ($827 USD)
5 nights for 2 persons at the Hotel Paraiso Azul (basis double room) incl. 3 diving days (6 dives) at sea per person. Excl. transfers, breakfast & flights. Valid until end of 2014 (excl. 21.12.13-07.01.14 and 19.12.14-31.12.14).
10.    PRIZE - Mares Matrix black – EUR 479.00 ($633 USD)
1 diving computer MATRIX black.
11.  PRIZE - Mares INSTINCT 12 S + OCT. INSTINCT – EUR 429.00 ($567 USD)
1 diving set first and second stage with octopus INSTINCT 12S + OCT. INSTINCT.
12.  PRIZE - Sea Explorers PhilippinesCHF 366.00 ($400 USD)
1 diving package for 1 person incl. 12 dives incl. tank, weights and boat. Excl. accomodation & flights. Valid for all diving bases of Sea Explorers until end of 2014.
13.  PRIZE - Mares Mission Chrono – EUR 299.00 ($395 USD)
1 divers watch MISSION CHRONO.
14.  PRIZE - Ducks Diving El Quseir, Egypt – CHF 275.00 ($301 USD)
1 diving package for 1 person incl. 5 diving days (10 dives) incl. boat, tank and weights. Excl. accomodation & flights. Valid for the dive base at the Mangrove Bay Resort until end of 2014.
15.  PRIZE - DiverDesign Taffline Schildkröte – CHF 203.00 ($222 USD)
1 Taffline titanium pendant sea turtle with silicone necklace.

15 prizes with a total value of more than USD $20,000.00 - Try your luck! 
Please support this promotion and use your chance to win one of these fantastic prizes! 

The prizes were generously donated by:





Sunday, December 9, 2012

New Turtle Species??

New species of turtles have been born in Vaduz, Liechtenstein.  
We need some help identifying them…

As they are endangered by hungry people, temperatures below zero and snow we will do our best to protect them.

 - Dedicated Turtle Foundation members and master chefs Frank, Gigi, Martin and Margaret will be at the Christmas Market in Vaduz, Liechtenstein this Saturday and Sunday to raise awareness for this new and very delicious turtle species - yes, you can eat THESE turtles.  If you are anywhere near Liechtenstein this weekend, check it out!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Update from Boavista

If you are wondering what we are doing on Boavista after the turtles have's a little update:

Ranger training
For the second year we are offering a theoretical professional training program for our local assistants during the off-season. Rangers that worked with Turtle Foundation during the season receive classes in five modules to round-off their practical experience they gained in summer. The classes are free of charge and open to the public - five of our rangers - our "top men" - receive a stipend for joining and completing the program. They are swotting for Biology, English, Capeverdian History, IT and Social Development. For six weeks  it's like being back in school!  The program will end in mid December and we are hoping for many happy graduates, well prepared for the turtle season 2013 and their further careers.

Biology class
Food donation to Primary school an Kindergarden in Norte
After the camp were dismantled in October, we still had some left over food-supply. Rice, beans, jelly, juice...all kind of delicious camp food, ideal for big groups of hungry mouths :)
So we decided to give it to the school and kindergarden in Fundo das Figueras to support the lunch special for the kids. We had some good fun at our visit and the teachers and kids were happy about our little gift.

TAOLA Tourism work group
As the last post shows, there is finally some first steps taken into the direction of a more regulated form of nature and turtle tourism on Boavista. Turtle Foundation is happy to be part of the team that will elaborate a proposal to submit to the Cape Verde government. We are currently working on some first suggestions, hoping to be able to have a model ready for the coming turtle season.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Turtle watching in Cape Verde - Rules and regulations needed

Awareness is increasing, that turtle-watching activities on the nesting beaches of Cape Verde are in need for better regulations in order to protect nesting turtles from over-exploitation and harassment by visitors. Recently first steps have been done in the right direction - please find out more in the following article, published on november 18 by capeverdian online newspaper A Semana:

TAOLA prepares ecotourism legislation proposal

The national sea turtle protection network TAOLA is elaborating ecotourism legislation proposals to submit to the government. On Friday, November 16, all of the network’s members met on the island of Sal with the proposals as the main item on the table for debate.

In TAOLA president Júlio Rocha’s opinion, ecotourism is disorganized in Cape Verde, at least in part due to the lack of specific legislation for the activity. And in the case of sea turtle watching “there are no regulations clearly defining who may provide this type of service or how to do it on our beaches.” For this very reason, “there have been constant conflicts between tourist agencies, as well as with conservation organizations.”
As such, the network is preparing proposals for analysis alongside the government and the Directorate General of the Environment. “We’re going to submit proposals for regulations, in which we may begin with a pilot project on Sal. Through these regulations, we’ll begin with a new approach, in which only those with specific training may promote these types of excursions,” he explains.
TAOLA, affirms Rocha, wants turtle observation activities to be an alternative for locals. “There’s also a certain degree of laxness with regards to the people who see turtle watching as a way of making money without thinking about the impact that it may have on the species. I think we’ll only be able to have an more aware population if the population itself benefits from the profits of its country’s natural products.”
Other proposals will be presented in terms of the application of the law prohibiting the hunting and killing of sea turtles, as well as in the area of inspections and surveillance. “There is a problem with the formalization of the law, which is open to various different interpretations and which often slows down court cases. In other words, lawbreakers are often not punished,” he says.
Surveillance are another weakness in terms of the protection and preservation of sea turtles, suggestions for the regulation of which the network is also analyzing. “There are major faults in surveillance. We have laws, but proper surveillance and inspection work is needed,” notes Júlio Rocha.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Final Festa in Fundo

Last weekend, it was time to say "Thank you and see you next year" to the community of Fundo das Figueras, where we had lived and worked for the past four months again. We invited the community members over to a farewell "Cape Verdian style" with plenty of Cachupa (hearty stew and the traditional national dish) and Funana (Cape Verdian dance and music style). Here some of the pics - the whole album you find on our facebook page.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

photo of our visit to Berau (Indonesia)

This is our team on the islands of Mataha and Bilang-Bilangan with visitors from Germany: (from left to right) Yusuf, Ben, Mudhar, Otto, Aidin, Thomas, Thorsten, Girboy, Ayoub (wants to go to Boavista next year!), Petra, Agung, Hilli

Monday, November 5, 2012

Sangalaki in danger!

Project manager Dr. Hiltrud Cordes and scientific director Dr. Thomas Reischig just arrived from a three weeks project visit in eastern Borneo. We were very glad to experience the strong dedication and commitment of our local collaborators for the sake of sea turtle protection, and to witness the excellent work they are doing. Our collaborators often live for several months on these remote islands before they take their well-deserved vacation on their home islandsSangalaki in danger! or on the mainland. Due to their activity, illegal egg theft is nearly history on our monitored islands of Sangalaki, Bilang-Bilangan, and Mataha. Until end of 2012, we have saved about 6,200,000 turtle hatchlings within our twelve years of activity.

However, recently our work is overshadowed by some unfortunate events. In late September, our staff has unexpectedly been expelled from the island by the local government, thus rendering the island unprotected against egg collectors from the neighboring island. So far, the future of our ranger station on Sangalaki is unclear. Of course, we will try everything that is possible for us to continue our work on this so important nesting island of the green sea turtle. In the meantime, we sent an urgent request to the appropriate ministry in Jakarta to clarify the situation on Sangalaki. Should there be no quick solution to continue our protection program we will soon launch a campaign to save Sangalaki. We will immediately inform you about any new development in this case.

Sangalaki in Gefahr!

Gerade sind wir, Projektmanagerin Dr. Hiltrud Cordes und wissenschaftlicher Leiter Dr. Thomas Reischig, von einem dreiwöchigen Projektbesuch in Ost-Borneo zurückgekehrt. Es freute uns sehr zu sehen, mit welcher Hingabe und Engagement unsere Mitarbeiter vor Ort im Sinne des Schildkrötenschutzes tätig sind und welch hervorragende Arbeit sie dort leisten. Unsere Mitarbeiter sind teils mehrere Monate ununterbrochen auf den einsamen Inseln stationiert, bevor sie ihren wohlverdienten Urlaub auf dem Festland antreten. Durch ihre Tätigkeit gehört der illegale Eierdiebstahl auf den von ihnen bewachten Inseln Sangalaki, Bilang-Bilangan und Mataha praktisch der Vergangenheit an. Bis zum Ende des Jahres 2012 konnten damit in der dann zwölfjährigen Tätigkeit der Turtle Foundation auf diesen Inseln etwa 6.200.000 Schildkrötenschlüpflinge gerettet werden!

Leider wird aber unsere Arbeit derzeit von einem unerfreulichen Ereignis überschattet. Völlig unerwartet sind unsere Mitarbeiter durch die Lokalregierung Ende September von der Insel Sangalaki verwiesen worden. Damit sind unsere Schildkröten vorerst wieder schutzlos den Eiersammlern von der Nachbarinsel ausgesetzt. Die Zukunft unserer Rangerstation auf Sangalaki und die der Schildkröten ist im Moment leider völlig ungewiß. Selbstverständlich werden wir alle uns zur Verfügung stehenden Hebel in Bewegung setzen, um den Fortgang unserer Arbeit auf dieser wichtigen Nistinsel sicherzustellen. Unterdessen haben wir eine dringende Anfrage zur Klärung der Situation auf Sangalaki beim zuständigen Ministerium in Jakarta eingereicht. Sollte sich keine rasche Lösung abzeichnen, die es möglich macht, das Schutzprogramm wieder aufzunehmen, werden wir in Kürze eine Kampagne zur Rettung von Sangalaki starten. Über neue Entwicklungen zur Sangalaki-Frage werden wir Sie hier auf dem Laufenden halten.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Good Bye Amanda

After one last push on Friday the Lacacão camp got packed down and put away in the storage, waiting for the next turtle season to come.

It has been a season of plenty: Plenty of turtles, plenty of work that came with them, plenty of rain, adventures, good memories and plenty of amazing people with great spirits that helped to make this year's project very special.

One of those people and our dearest turtle foundation friend, has decided to go for new adventures starting this November. We would like to take this opportunity to say good-bye to our ever-smiling guardian angel of the volunteers, Amanda. Amanda just had her last working day with us and is now on a her way to a well-earned little holiday to Santiago island.

We want to say THANK YOU SO MUCH! For the support you gave to the Foundation in the past seasons... we are still amazed how easy you made it look! We will miss your passion for the conservation work, your patience and of course your cute Brazilian accent. Have a great time - wherever your next project will take you.

The TF Team

Amanda and Nusco

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Record number of nesting turtles on Boavista

Translation of article.  Original article can be found at:

17 October 2012
A record number of about six thousand turtles visited the beaches of Boa Vista island to nest during this summer, according to data presented today by the two NGOs working with the turtles on the island.
The numbers were presented this morning to celebrate the International Day of Sea Turtles at the headquarters of Project Consolidation System of Protected Areas of Boa Vista, in the presence of the Director General of the Environment, Moses Borges, and representatives of two NGOs, Natura 2000 and Turtle Foundation.
The estimated number of female turtles comes from dividing the approximately 30 thousand nests counted by five, since females nest an average of 5 times per season, approximately 15 days between nesting events, and then wait two years before returning for another nesting season, according to Ana Liria, scientific coordinator of the project Natura 2000.
According to the same data, about 30 turtles were killed for their meat on the beaches where these NGO’s work.
The two organizations have approached the Director General for the Environment in an ongoing effort to raise awareness in the local community and to help continue to reduce the slaughtering of turtles in Cape Verde.
The Natura 2000 Project covers an area of ​​20 kilometers and Turtle Foundation is responsible for protecting 25 miles of beach. (The original text has a typo in the expanse of beach protected by TF - the correct is 25 km and not 225).
The number of turtles coming to nest in Boavista, according to Natura 2000, increased from 1998 to 2009, but decreased significantly in the following two years.
Ana Liria explained that the life cycle of turtles is very complex, but the temperature of the currents is directly linked with reproduction.  Liria pointed out, "if the water is cold and they feed poorly, their digestion is slow and they do not get the energy needed to produce eggs. "
The island of Boa Vista has the third most important nesting ground for loggerhead turtles in the world and the only nesting on the east coast of the Atlantic.  
According Liria, the number 80 is special for turtles: they lay about 80 eggs at a time; live about 80 years and weigh about 80 kgs.
Liria explained that out of every thousand hatchlings born, an average of only one reaches adulthood, and stressed it is very important to carry out long-term studies on the turtle populations.
Males arrive in Cape Verde in May and in June the females arrive to nest.  The hatchlings begin to emerge in late August and hatching can last up to the end of November, but most hatchlings are born during the month of September after an incubation of about two months.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Cape Verde 2012: Record Nesting Season - Temporada de Desova Recorde em Cabo Verde

A record number of nesting turtles (6000!) visited Boavista this year. 

Cerca de seis mil tartarugas desovaram este ano nas praias da ilha da Boa Vista

17 de Outubro de 2012, 16:50
Um número recorde de cerca de seis mil tartarugas visitaram as praias da ilha da Boa Vista para nidificarem durante o Verão, de acordo dados apresentados hoje pelas duas ONG que trabalham com as tartarugas na ilha.
Os números foram apresentados esta manhã em comemoração ao Dia Internacional das Tartarugas Marinhas, na sede do Projecto de Consolidação do Sistema das Áreas protegidas da Boa Vista, na presença do director -geral do Ambiente, Moisés Borges, e de representantes das duas ONG, Natura 2000 e Fundação Tartaruga.
O número apresentado advém da contagem dos cerca de 30 mil ninhos divididos por cinco, segundo Ana Liria, coordenadora científica do Projecto Natura 2000, que explico que mesmo ano a fêmea nidifica cinco vezes a cada 15 dias e depois espera dois anos para voltar às praias.
De acordo com os mesmos dados, cerca de 30 tartarugas foram mortas para consumo/venda da carne, nas praias onde trabalham.
As duas organizações apresentaram queixaram-se unto ao Director Geral do Ambiente das dificuldades na sensibilização da comunidade civil, embora reconheçam que o número de abates esteja a diminuir  a cada ano.
O Projecto Natura 2000 cobre uma área de 20 quilómetros e a Fundação Tartaruga está encarregue pela protecção de 25 km de praia. (o texto original apresenta erro de digitaçao na extensao de praia protegida pela TF - o correto é 25 km, e nao 225).
O número de tartarugas que visita a ilha vinha, segundo a Natura 2000, aumentando desde 1998 até 2009, tendo este número sofrido uma “grande queda” nos dois anos seguintes.
Ana Liria explicou que o ciclo de vida das tartarugas é muito complexo, mas a temperatura das correntes está directamente ligada com a reprodução, ou seja, assinalou, “se apanham águas frias alimentam-se mal, a digestão é lenta e não produzem a energia necessário para produzir os ovos”. 
A ilha da Boa Vista tem a terceira população mais importante do mundo e a única nidificante na costa Este do Atlântico, abriga cerca de 70 por dos ninhos do país. A frente da Boa Vista estão a Costa Este, dos EUA,  e Omã, na Península Arábica.
Segundo Liria, o numero 80 é especial para as tartarugas: colocam cerca de 80 ovos de cada vez; vivem  mais ou menos 80 anos e pesam aproximadamente 80 quilos.
Explicou ainda que a cada mil tartarugas que nascem, só uma chega à idade adulta, ainda sublinhou, “é muito importante fazer estudos a largo prazo”.
Os machos chegam a Cabo Verde em Maio e as fêmeas em Junho, as tartarugas começam a nascer em finais de Agosto e pode estender –se até finais de Novembro, mas, a maior parte nasce durante o mês de Setembro, sendo que a eclosão dá-se em dois meses.


Friday, September 28, 2012

Globe Trotting with Turtles, by Claire Tanner

Claire Tanner was our Research Assistant in Lacacao camp this season. She has just left the Loggerheads in Cape Verde to help out another sea turtle conservation project in Ghana - all after coming from 3 months of work in the Leatherback season in Costa Rica!

Claire at the Turtle Foundation Shop, Lacacao beach
Tireless, Claire gave an invaluable contribution to our project in Boavista.

A big thanks to her (and a special thanks for the help with data!) :-)

Check out Claire's article here:

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Turtle Foundation supports initiative for the development of horticulture in Cape Verde

"Cabo Verde Seeds Experience" is a French association which aims to assist the development of horticulture in Cape Verde, first and mainly in Boavista Island.

Turtle Foundation had the pleasure of meeting the founding members Nicolas Prévost and Chrystelle Fabre during their visit to Boavista last July. We helped them to find the right partners for their project, so that this great initiative can achieve its goals in the best and most productive way.

The first meeting in Joao Galego

The association's goals are:

  • to provide seeds adapted to the climate of the Island;
  • the construction of an area for growing  and drying the seeds and a building to store seeds and tools.  
  • to study a water recovery system by sea water distillation.

Visit Cabo Verde Seeds Experience's website for more information (in French): 

They also have a blog where they tell details of the first visit to Cape Verde (in French):

Tempestade atinge Boavista - Storm reaches Boavista


Boa Vista: Ponte Ribeira d’água cai e deixa populações isoladas26 Setembro 2012

A ponte de Ribeira d’Água, na Boa Vista, caiu na manhã desta quarta-feira, na sequência das fortes chuvas ocorridas durante a madrugada na ilha. Com a estrada cortada, está impossibilitado o trânsito via terrestre de Sal Rei para o Aeroporto Internacional Aristides Pereira, Rabil e Estância de Baixo.

Boa Vista: Ponte  Ribeira d’água cai e deixa populações isoladas
A estrutura não resistiu à força das águas. Segundo informações chegadas à nossa redacção, choveu durante toda a madrugada, com trovoadas e relâmpagos. De manhã, enquanto muitas pessoas e viaturas aguardavam que a água baixasse para poderem atravessar, a ponte ruiu. Felizmente ninguém se encontrava em cima da infra-estrutura.
Até este momento não se consegue transitar via terrestre entre a cidade de Sal Rei, o Aeroporto e as localidades de Rabil, Estância de Baixo e Povoação Velha. A única alternativa é a estrada nova que liga a capital do município a Bofareira, pelo que moradores do Norte devem tomar esta via para fugir ao isolamento, mas o percurso fica duas vezes mais longo. Este diário digital apurou também que os habitantes de Rabil, Povoação Velha e Estância de Baixo também estão a tentar esta alternativa.
Os hotéis que ficam na zona de Chaves, bem como o Riu Touareg, em Lacacão, também estão isolados e tiveram problemas de funcionamento. É que muitos dos funcionários residem em Sal Rei, e não conseguiram entrar no turno desta manhã. O Asemanaonline apurou ainda que as direcções destas unidades hoteleiras estão a negociar o transporte dos seus trabalhadores através de uma empresa de catamarã, de forma a assegurar o serviço aos turistas.
Os voos domésticos para a Boa Vista foram todos cancelados, apurou este diário online. Os operadores de transportes de aluguer já estão a somar prejuízos, há dificuldades de escoamento de produtos e o acesso aos serviços de saúde é precário. Muitos alunos do Norte faltaram as aulas no Liceu que também encontra-se ilhado com problemas de acesso. A ilha está sem energia eléctrica desde a madrugada e em algumas zonas as comunicações via Internet e telefone fixo estão cortadas.
Neste momento encontra-se no terreno uma equipa técnica da Câmara Municipal a estudar alternativas de acesso Sal Rei/Aeroporto/Rabil. A autarquia vai reunir ainda hoje com empresas locais de forma a encontrar uma solução rápida para o problema de acesso. Entretanto, a chuva continua a cair na Boa Vista o que pode dificultar os trabalhos.

Bridge collapsed, phone and internet down, no water or electricity at some places, roads blocked, airport and camps isolated, flights cancelled... Crazy morning in Boavista, after a night of heavy rain, thunder and lightning.

Luckily, no one got hurt, as far as we know. Boa Esperança and Norte are reachable by phone, only Lacacao area (south of Boavista, including the RIU Touareg Hotel) still has no phone reception. 

By Giggling Gecko Adventures - Boa Vista, Cape Verde

To learn more about the tropical storms in the Atlantic Ocean, check the links below:

And for more pictures, go to - Facebook page.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Scientists Analyze Loggerhead Sea Turtle Blood to Reveal Migration Route


Blood Tests Show Where Loggerhead Turtles Go

Every year, thousands of endangered loggerhead sea turtles crawl ashore at Florida's Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge to lay eggs before dragging their leathery bodies back into the sea. But where they go after their trek isn't well-known. 

Scientists can use GPS devices to record turtles' travels, but these geolocator tags are expensive, and may be lost if turtles die. A group of researchers has come up with a less expensive, easier way to find out where loggerheads voyage : testing their blood. A new study, published Sept. 20 in the journal PLoS ONE, found that this technique is just as accurate as using GPS tags. 

The technique examines carbon isotopes in the turtles' blood, which come from the food the animals eat. Carbon has different isotopes, or variants, present in all living things, and the exact mix of isotopes varies by region; for example, the mixture in the mid-Atlantic is different from that of the Caribbean. By examining the mixture of carbon isotopes in the turtles' blood, scientists could determine the region to which the turtles migrated. 

The study found that some turtles head for the water off the shores of Virginia and Delaware while others go to the Bahamas and the Gulf of Mexico. Some also stay nearby, off Florida's coasts. Previously, scientists thought that the majority of the loggerheads headed south, according to a release from the University of Central Florida. 

"Think of these turtles as Florida tourists and snowbirds," Simona Ceriani, a University of Central Florida graduate student and study co-author, said in a statement. "They come and nest and then go back to lots of different places. And while we knew some went back north, we had no idea that this was a popular destination." 

While there are efforts to protect the turtle nests on the beaches, protecting the foraging grounds of this endangered species is also important, the release noted.  Many turtles die because they get tangled in fishing nets or encounter other dangers while out at sea. 

"This research helps scientists and conservation managers identify key feeding areas for loggerhead turtles and helps direct policy and regulations that protect sea turtles in these specific areas," said Daniel R. Evans, a researcher at the Sea Turtle Conservancy and study co-author, in a statement. 

The Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge is home to the second-largest population of loggerheads in the world and to about one of every four nests those turtles lay in the United States. While populations of other turtles have increased in the refuge, loggerhead numbers there have declined for unknown reasons. 

Reach Douglas Main at Follow him on Twitter @Douglas_Main. Follow OurAmazingPlanet on Twitter @OAPlanet. We're also on Facebook andGoogle+.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

News (and more photos) from the field

Our Facebook page has lots of new pictures from the latest events in Boavista.

We had a very nice mid-season celebration on September 2nd at Cabral beach. Finally the teams from all the camps got together for a Barbecue and a football competition.

Click here for photos "Turtle Foundation Mid-Season BBQ 2012"

School in Nature had its second and third weekends of activities. On August 31st, 22 school kids from Joao Galego (9 to 12 years old) and their teacher Maria, went with the Turtle Foundation team to Canto beach for an afternoon of educational activities, beach clean up and turtle talks and walks at night. They learn more about the nesting sea turtles and the threats they face. On the following day, we all met at the main square of Joao Galego to paint a wall, talk about the importance of taking good care of our world and also to have fun with games and drawings.

Check the photo album here: "Escola na Natureza 2/2012 Joao Galego"

And last weekend, was the time to kids from the communities of Boa Esperança and Rabil to join the School in Nature. 26 kids (3 to 12 years old), plus 3 local volunteers and 2 teachers from kindergarten spent 3 days and 2 nights in Boa Esperança camp with our teams. We all got our faces painted to participate of the World Clean up Day (September 15th) and do our bit by collecting the garbage at the beach. Theater plays, games, talks and videos exhibitions completed the educational weekend. They went back home happily after seeing 4 nesting turtles each group on the Saturday night patrol!

Click here to see the pics: "Escola na Natureza 3/2012 Boa Esperança Camp"

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Photos from 2012 season

Hey all, there are lots of new photos from the 2012 nesting season on Boavista on our Facebook page Turtle Foundation Cabo Verde.  It's been an amazing season (and it's not over yet). Check out the photos  - it will make you want to go there and volunteer with Turtle Foundation to help save this amazing species and amazing place.  Turtle Foundation Cabo Verde

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Turtles nesting all over Boavista

Turtles are nesting in extraordinary numbers throughout Boavista this season, so much so that even the beaches around Sal Rei are receiving nesting turtles every night. 

This remarkable development deserves a special protection strategy.  The Turtle Foundation team was eager to get involved in this new challenge and support local initiatives! 

Mr Roque and a turtle track in Baia do Ervatao
 We recently met Mr. Roque, the guardian of Cabral beach, who for the past three years has been voluntarily protecting Cabral beach and Ervatao bay, a small rocky beach behind the hotel Marine Club.  Both beaches pose problems to nesting sea turtles.  Cabral is one of the busiest beaches for locals and tourists on the weekends.  Unfortunately, in addition to city light pollution, people drive and park their cars on the beach and quad tours pass through every day.  Ervatao Bay is hard to access and very rocky, but turtles do come to nest and spend a long time searching for suitable places to dig, making them easy targets for poachers. 

Because this is such a busy season, Mr. Roque needs help to protect these beaches, and the turtles, nests and hatchlings on them. 

In addition, Estoril beach has been also receiving regular visits from nesting turtles.  On this beach, besides the light pollution from bars, restaurants and hotels, there are quad tours compacting the sand, destroying the dunes and their vegetation and affecting nests and hatchlings.
Poaching activities of both turtles and eggs has already been recorded on these three beaches, heightening the risks for turtles and their offspring.

Praia Cabral

Cabral beach - nests and cars tracks
Barroso and Roque, Cabral beach
Turtle Foundation promptly began to help Mr. Roque and a group of vocal volunteers from Estoril beach (Rudy and Joao were the first ones!) to protect these beaches. First, we gathered people from Sal Rei and the surrounding regions interested in helping protect the urban beaches and their nesting turtles. We went for a survey in Ervatao Bay with Mr. Roque to count the activities. The following night, volunteers did the first night patrol. Mr. Roque and his volunteers (Nito and Rubens, from Sal Rei, and Eva and Amanda, from Turtle Foundation) went to these beaches in the night of August 1st to check the nesting activities and ensure the safety of any potential nesting turtle. 

Census in Ervatao Bay

This group engaged in the protection of the urban beaches close to Boavista's capital is still in need of volunteers for turtle protection patrols at night as well as help building nest protection to prevent them from being destroyed by quad bikes and other vehicles.

a protected nest, Cabral beach
If you are in Sal Rei and want to help, please contact Mr. Roque (+238) 994 49 66 or Turtle Foundation (+238)  955 69 51, or meet the team at the open air gymnasium in Cabral at 9pm, every night.