Turtle Foundation – An initiative for the protection of the endangered sea turtles
Since 2000: Rangers are protecting green turtle nesting islands in the Derawan archipelago.
Project Cape Verde
Since 2008: Turtle Foundation is protecting almost 30 km of nesting beaches on Boavista in Cape Verde.
Become a member of Turtle Foundation Friends! The association is open to everybody.
The Turtle Foundation newsletter: Sign in to stay informed about our work and our progress.
(Status March 2020)
Suddenly everything is different – the pandemic is keeping everyone under its spell and of course it is not going to pass us by. On our project island Boa Vista in the Atlantic island state of Cape Verde, the first COVID-19 cases of the country have just been detected; we are observing how the situation develops. In Indonesia, our rangers on the remote islands are largely protected for the time being, and their supplies are secure. For our office staff in Europe and in the projects the usual precautions apply – home office is the order of the day. We will continue to pursue our mission to protect the sea turtles and their habitats with the usual commitment as best we can, but of course our first priority now is the safety of our staff and helpers.
For the time at home we have some reading material for you: Our Annual Report 2019 has just been published and presents itself in a new look on the 20th anniversary of Turtle Foundation. Inform yourself about our protection projects for loggerhead turtles, green sea turtles, leatherback turtles, and hawksbill turtles in Cape Verde and Indonesia. The report is available for you under this link:
Download Annual Report 2019
Turtle Foundation on ARTE TV!
In summer 2019, a film crew of the German/French television network ARTE visited our project on Boa Vista. The team documented in detail the arrival and training of our conservation dogs Karetta and Kelo as well as our further activities for the protection of the sea turtles on the Cape Verde island.
On saturday, 2nd of may at 08:30 am a 10 minute longer version of the film will be broadcast on ARTE TV for the first time. It tells an additional exciting story, which takes place in a small, wobbly fishing boat at sea. Scientists and divers try to catch and tag a male loggerhead turtle in order to learn more about the activities and threats of the turtles at sea. Will they have success?
Until the 19th of may the documentary film will also be available in the ARTE media library and can then be viewed directly here on our website (french version):
Beach cleaning on Boa Vista
The nesting beaches of the loggerhead turtles on Boa Vista are among the most beautiful beaches in the world – if it weren’t for the omnipresent pollution caused by washed up plastic waste. As planned, we would currently be carrying out a large-scale beach cleaning project in the north and east of the island, but this is now suspended for the time being due to the pandemic. Since December, our drone team has been mapping the most polluted beach sections in the north and east of the island with aerial photographs, which are assembled into picture maps and allow for a detailed documentation of the waste
contamination and later the success of the cleaning – on these maps every plastic bottle can be recognised. As soon as the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic has considerably eased, we will continue the project together with local organisations.
(Picture: Plastic waste on the beach of Boa Esperança, Boa Vista Island)
New ranger station on Belambangan, East Borneo
Our new protection project for the green sea turtles on the coral island Belambangan off East Borneo is now entering its second year. Our rangers have been living there in a well-equipped, but still provisional camp. Since for a full protection of the nesting beaches a Ranger crew must be present the whole year, we established a permanent station on the otherwise uninhabited island, which was just finished. The main premise is to minimise the impact on the sensitive ecosystem of the island through careful selection of the building site, use of sustainable materials for the construction and operation of the
station, electricity production using a solar system, and operation of a biogas toilet. Last year we recorded more than 3,000 nests of green sea turtles on the island, all of which we were able to save from illegal egg collectors on the previously unprotected island; so it’s worth the effort!
(Picture: The station on Belambangan shortly before completion)
Although for many people the extinction of species and environmental crises are understandably less the focus of attention at present, these problems are also real and must not be forgotten. Taking the necessary precautions, we will continue our commitment to protecting sea turtles.
Our first wish for you is that you remain healthy! Please follow the recommended and prescribed precautions, only then will we be able to get through this crisis as soon as possible!
(Picture: (c) OceanX)
“The Summer of your Life!” We are searching conservation volunteers for the sea turtle turtle nesting on Boavista, Republic of Cape Verde!
Attention: In view of the Corona crisis, we have temporarily suspended the application procedure for volunteers for this season. Should you nevertheless be interested in our volunteer program, we look forward to hearing from you at
We will inform you when we can continue the program.
On Boavista there are jobs available for active turtle conservationists: camp coordinators, field coordinators, and a volunteer coordinator.
Here you can download the bi-weekly newsletter of our Boavista team: Turtle Times
Please help protecting!
• 13th-19th Feb. 2021 | International Sea Turtle Symposium (ISTS) – Cartagena (Columbia)
• Spring 2022 | International Sea Turtle Symposium (ISTS) – Perth (Australia)
Mijke de Waal volunteered for Turtle Foundation on Boavista, Cape Verde, in September 2018, after she accomplished the famous Four Days March of Nijmegen (“Vierdaagse”) in July of that year, which she dedicated to Turtle Foundation in form of a great fundraising campaign. She immortalised her memories of Boavista and her time at Camp Lacacão protecting endangered loggerhead sea turtles in this wonderful and atmospheric video.
In 2017, Turtle Foundation discovered a so far unknown nesting site of the critically endangered Northeast Indian Ocean leatherback sea turtles on Sipora, one of the Mentawai Islands off Sumatra, Indonesia. Unfortunately, the turtles there are heavily exploited for meat and eggs. Since December 2017 we are running an integrated protection project in collaboration with the local communities on Sipora to save the leatherbacks.
Please find more videos in our Youtube channel!
Turtle Foundation USA is registered as a charitable nonprofit organization according to USC 26 § 501 (c)(3). The registration number is UBI 602642586.
Turtle Foundation Germany: Trust foundation under German law, tax-exempt due to non-profit status according to the exemption notice of the tax office Köln-Süd dated 20.10.2017. Tax number: 219/5891/2089
Turtle Foundation Switzerland: Non-profit, tax-exempt foundation under Swiss law. Registration number: CH-320.7.059.335-7
Turtle Foundation Liechtenstein: Non-profit, tax-exempt foundation with its own legal personality pursuant to Art. 552 §§ 1 ff. of the Liechtenstein Person and Company Law (PGR)