Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Annual Turtle Foundation Raffle on again!

Dear friends and supporters of the Turtle Foundation,

The year 2013 is about to end now and we would like to draw your attention to our popular Turtle Raffle, which we will hold in February 2014 for the fifth time. With a ticket for our raffle you not only have excellent chances to win one of our 13 valuable prizes, but you also contribute directly to the protection of the endangered sea turtles. Every dollar/euro of revenue goes directly into our conservation projects in Indonesia and on the Cape Verde Islands!

You can win diving trips and scuba equipment comprising a total value of over 17,500 US$/13,000 euros. With only 200 tickets sold for 110 US$/ 85 euro each, the chance of winning is extremely high! In the last year’s Turtle Raffle, we celebrated Mrs. Corina Pauli as the lucky winner of the first prize, to whom I handed over the prize last February at the FESPO 2013. She was very excited winning a 12-day diving safari in Indonesia on the luxurious liveaboard Pindito, which was worth 5,100 US$/3700 euros, and which is again first prize for the 2014 raffle!

The Turtle Raffle will take place on 2 February 2014, where it is publicly held at Switzerland's biggest travel fair FESPO in Zurich. Although we are of course very glad to welcome you on site, participants need not be present, and the winners will be notified immediately.

Start into the New Year with a ticket of the Turtle Raffle!


Our special thank goes to the sponsors of the many great prizes: Schöner Tauchen, Raja4Divers, Siladen Resort & Spa, Manta Ray Bay Resort, Alam Batu Resort Bali, MARES, Yucatek Divers, Sea Explorers Philippines, Diving Centers Werner Lau, Ducks Diving, Diver Design

On behalf of the team of the Turtle Foundation, I wish you a very happy and prosperous New Year!

Dr. Frank Zindel
Foundation Chairman Turtle Foundation Switzerland

PS: You don’t dive but you have passionate divers among your family and friends? Why not surprise them with a ticket for our Turtle Raffle!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Leatherback hatchlings emerging from their nest

Here is a video that someone took when they came across leatherback hatchlings emerging from their nest.  From the accent, it sounds like it is on the southern coast of the U.S., perhaps Florida?  See how tiny they are?  Adult leatherbacks can reach 8 feet in length and 500-2000 lbs weight!  They are endangered throughout their range, as all sea turtle species are.
But you don't need to know anything about turtles to appreciate the wonder and magic of 100 hatchlings erupting from their subterranean nest and running for the open sea.  Watch and smile (and sorry for the occasional profanity, it's a home-made video!)

                    click here to see leatherback hatchling video

And if you WOULD like to learn more about leatherbacks:
leatherback turtle fact sheet

Turtle Foundation's popular annual raffle is back for 2014

Turtle Foundation is holding its annual raffle to raise funds for our protection projects.  As always, the prizes are fantastic.  Only 200 tickets are sold, with 13 prizes and a total value of over $17000 USD, so the chances of winning are fairly high. 

Prizes include dive trips and dive gear.  For full information check out our website page:
Turtle Foundation 2014 raffle

The drawing will take place on February 2, 2014.  You don't need to be present to win!

Thank you, as always, for your support of Turtle Foundation

Thursday, October 3, 2013

News from our Turtle Conservation Project in Berau, Indonesia

From Dr. Hiltrud Cordes, Project Manager/ October 2, 2013: 


Dear turtle friends,

last week I arrived in the town Tanjung Redeb, capital of Berau regency in East Kalimantan, where the head office of our project is based. We had a very good start with introducing a  new accounting software. Our office staff Rachmad and Vera (carefully supervised by „best boy“ Aang) find the new software very handy and easy to understand.

Since we have a guest room at the office, I am living there, too. Early this morning around 4 a.m. I woke up because of a heavy thunderstorm, but since the sound of rain makes me sleepy anyway, I fall asleep again soon. Aang woke me up an hour later (it was still dark), shouting „banjiiiir“, meaning ‚flooding‘ in indonesian. I got up quickly and found myself standing in water. Using the tourches of our mobile phones, the first thing we did, was unplug all electric devices and lift them from the floor. It was still raining and daylight was still dim at around 6.30 a.m. This is what I saw:

The water was slowy running from the street through our house, with a water level of about 30 centimeters (12 inches). Since there was not much we could do anyway, I took some photos of the traffic in front of our house which was more or less „business as usual“:

Office work will now stop for some days until everything is dry and clean again. I was evacuated into a nearby hotel. We rented this office last year with a contract until september 2014. The house was flooded two times before, but water level was much lower then. Since it is common in Indonesia to pay the contract of a house in advance without any possibility to get the money back, we have to stay in this office for another year – unless we want to lose our money.

Flooding like this is a quite new phenomenon in Tanjung Redeb. A heavy rainfall of about 2 hours, in combination with high tide,is enough to flood the lower parts of the town. Newer houses in these areas are now built on elevated construction.

The reason why these floodings occur now is quite clear and everybody knows it. Destruction of the forests for palm oil plantations and coal mining results in rainwater not being held back by the vegetation, but running on the surface into the river systems. The natural drainage system is not able to deal with such amounts of water anymore.

I have been flying to Berau for 13 years now, always trying to take areal pictures when approaching the airport of Tanjung Redeb, if weather conditions are good enough. Here are two pictures of the same region – 2004 and 2013:

Sediments washed into the ocean as a result of this development have already reached the coral reefs of the Derawan islands. We therefore have to work hand in hand with our colleagues who are working for conservation of the tropical rainforests. I hope with programs such as REDD+ we will be able to make a change!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Some impressions from our environmental education and awareness activities from this season

Our crew for a beach clean-up at Estoril beach in Sal Rei

 We also did a clean-up activity in the "barracas" - a shanti-town area just outside Sal Rei

More cleaning :) Here in the Ribeira de Rabil

 A participant of Turtle Foundation's poetry contest reads her turtle poem to the public

This happy bunch is a group of kids living in the communities in the North of the island. They spent a day with our Crew in Fundo das Figueiras for our "School in Nature" program

 Kids from Sal in a "School in Nature" activity in our Boa Esperanca beach camp

A theatre group from the barracas performs a play about turtle conservation on an open-air stage in their neighbourhood

A handicraft workshop showing fun ways to recycle plastic waste

The result of a looong beach clean-up day in Boa Esperanca


The ladies from our crochet handicraft workshop. The carrier bags they are making are sold to tourists as souvenirs - the benefit goes back to the producers

Friday, September 13, 2013

The rain came - the bridge went...again

On Tuesday night the rainy season finally found us. Hurricane Humberto, who later hit the US coast, was forming and getting angry just a few 100 kilometers off the Cape Verde archipelago. Boavista only received some heavy rain - but enough to take down the improvised bridge, that has been in place since last years rainfalls. After a night of downpour  the dam had gone and a mighty river of rainwater was eating away trees and tons of soil. Absolutely spectacular to watch!
Luckily, our camp staff was well prepared and got through the wet night well - the only casualties were some wet sleeping bags.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Happy Birthday Fundação Tartaruga!!!

Since one year now the Turtle Foundation is operating in Cape Verde as a nationally registered and approved charity. We are happy and proud to celebrate our first birthday as " Fundação Tartaruga". Here some pics from our birthday party last  weekend at Boa Esperança campsite.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Some results of our collaborative research with GEOMAR

Turtle Foundation has been partnering with a research organization from Kiel, Germany for the last couple seasons, including satellite tagging turtles and collecting skin samples for population genetics.  You can read about the results of some of the research here:
Cape Verde sea turtle research

Monday, July 15, 2013

Previously on the beaches of Norte...

...last week we organized our first Kids Activity Day of the season together with our partner NGO Natura 2000 and the Protected Areas Management of Boavista. Porto Ferreira beach, a protected Area patrolled by Natura 2000 was turned into a outdoor playground for the schoolkids from the villages of Norte, who learned about nature protection and - of course - sea turtles. We are very proud of our new Capeverdian colleague Ivanilde who did a fab first job in her Education and Awareness work.    

Monday, July 1, 2013

...Previously in Lacacao beach camp...

Our project is now up and running since two weeks. Time to show you what we have been doing so far. We will keep you updated with some impressions from our different project sites - starting today with the Lacacao camp.

Theoretical training in the volunteer's tent in Lacacao
A presentation about tourism development on BV

TF's best ever Infopoint and shop at Lacacao beach :)

shell turtle parachuting from the camp's kitchen ceiling

camp staff Zeddy, Patrick and Miguel

Heike and Lauren started the beach profile study

Ginshu hard at work during morning censo