Friday, April 20, 2012

And the Archie Carr Student Award goes to...

We would like to give a big congratulations to Joana Hancock, who was awarded the Archie Carr Student Award for best Conservation poster by the International Sea Turtle Society, with her thesis results: "Drivers of the illegal trade and consumption of sea turtle products in Cape Verde - Are we taking the right approach?". The study was co-funded by Turtle Foundation and Exeter University, and had logistic support from INDP, from Santiago, Cape Verde.
The recipients. Joana is standing behind, with her nice purple dress.

photo by Alejandro Fallabrino 

In Joana's words: "The work would have been impossible without the people from INDP in Santiago! The help from colleagues and the funding from Turtle Foundation were essential. I would like to thank them all for their support, I share this award with all of them."

The Archie Carr Award for the best student presentation is given annually at the International Sea Turtle Symposium in recognition of excellence in graduate student research.  More information about the Archie Carr Student Award can be found here: 

"Drivers of the illegal trade and consumption of sea turtle products in Cape Verde -     
Are we taking the right approach?" - by Joana Hancock

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Benefits of Marine Protected Areas

 (Photo from "Save Green Sea Turtles")
Marine Protected Areas (MPA) around the world are showing what a little environmental stewardship can do!
MPAs are government or NGO regulated areas in tropical waters and coastal seas around the world that restrict human activity, providing a safe haven for all types of oceanic wildlife. As study last month showed, MPAs provide a safe habitat for many (more than was expected) sea turtles to forage and travel to their breeding grounds.
Are MPAs a good idea or What!?!
For the short and simple article visit this EU link.
For those of you with more time to read the full study you can access it here!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Meet our camp coordinator - Águeda Alcalde

After the hard work of selecting only one of the several suitable applications we received, we finally have our camp coordinator for the Lacacão camp.

A big thank you to all those who applied for the position. It is encouraging to know that there are so many good people interested in the conservation of our seas and their inhabitants. We wish we could have them all in the team.

The camp coordination team is now complete: Julie Walmsley for Boa Esperança Camp, Joana Nicolau for Fundo das Figueiras Community Stay and Águeda Alcalde for Lacacão Camp. Julie and Joana will be coming back for their second season as the coordinators of their camps, Águeda will be for the first time on Boavista. She is a biologist from Galícia, Spain, and has experienced living and working in different places, such as in Ecuador, South Africa, Italy and UK.

Next step will be the selection of the local coordinators and assistants, who have an extremely important role in the management of the work in the project sites.

We are looking forward to the start of the season and to get the team together in Boavista!

Meet Águeda, 2012 Lacacão
Camp Coordinator 
"A few days ago, while I was taking breakfast, I was looking to an interview in the television, to the Spanish spokeswoman of the NGO “Doctors without Borders”, Paula Farias. She was talking about a nice history tolled by a friend of her where 2 boys arrived to a beach that due to a tide, hundreds of starfishes have been moved out of the sea. One of those boys started to pick up starfishes and putting them back into the water. The other boy asked him what he was doing as it was impossible to save them, as they were sentenced to death. The friend answered him that “it was true” and at the same time he was taking a starfish and putting it back saves into the water and he said “but this one is going to live, and also this one, and this one…”

I would like to help to do something similar with the loggerhead sea turtles in Boavista. Unfortunately, I know I would not save all the endangered and threatened animals in the world, but at least I can do my bit.

Moreover I love meeting new people, cultures and places and I have never been in Cabo Verde before, so I am looking forward to be there and have the experience of working with sea turtles while I am enjoying my time with the Turtle Foundation team and volunteers in a beautiful spot of the world. After all, at the end of the day, I also want to have a good time, while I know I am doing the right thing."  Águeda Alcalde

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Nesting season just around the corner

 Loggerhead Sea Turtle, sporting a new flipper tag, returning to the ocean after nesting on Boa Vista
Photo by Stephanie Köhnk photo at
Quick Facts about Loggerheads:
1. Most loggerheads nesting occurs in warm temperate and subtropical areas.
2. Every 10 to 15 days females come ashore at night build nests and lay eggs.
3. Females lay on average 100 eggs per nest.

The Turtle Foundation's Boa Vista, Cape Verde project is working to protect female loggerheads as they come ashore to nest, giving them a chance to lay their eggs, and a chance for future generations of sea turtles.  In Boa Vista, nesting will start about mid-June and last through September, and nests will hatch from August through November.  We are already starting to get ready for the season!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Sea Turtles Stranded on Beaches Increasing

Warmer ocean temperatures are being blamed for the large number of stranded sea turtles being found on the beaches of Georgia. Through the first 12 weeks of 2012 25 turtles have been stranded, more than double the number in a typical year. See the article HERE.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Turtle Foundation's Annual Meeting in Liechtenstein

Turtle Foundation USA, Germany, and Switzerland meet in Liechtenstein, 2012

Turtle Foundation held our annual meeting in Liechtenstein over the weekend of March 22-24th.  (The majority of our group lives in Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Germany, so it's closer for most people to meet there).  The wonderful food cooked by Gigi and Margrit was surpassed only by the company - some of us only get to see each other face to face once a year, and it is so encouraging and motivating to get together and talk about our progress and our plans.  Our projects have been expanding every year,  and we are so proud of what we have accomplished already, but of course there is so much more we want to do.  If you have any questions about our work, or want to support our turtle conservation projects, don't hesitate to contact us!  Thanks.

The first documented sighting of the rare Liechtensteinian Snow Turtle
Gigi cooks us dinner
Frank, Margrit and Hilli at the computer
Christian preparing for his presentation to the local dive club

Kevin, Martin and Otto still talking budgets at dinner