News from Turtle Foundation
© Paul Hilton
© Paul Hilton
Our Annual Report 2021 is out!
Dear friends of Turtle Foundation,
The latest tragic events in Ukraine are deeply touching for all of us and we hope that the war will come to an end soon. After all, peace between people and countries is a prerequisite for both humans and animals to have a secure livelihood.
Nevertheless, our work must continue, as the other challenges facing the world’s biodiversity continue unabated.
In our Annual Report 2021, you can read all about the achievements that we were able to accomplish within the last year to not only protect the sea turtles, but also to support the people in Indonesia and on the Cape Verdean Island of Boa Vista.
Among other things, you will find out about the challenges we faced in the second year of the pandemic and about the importance of working closely with the people in our project areas. Not only did we provide safe jobs, but we also completed a major school renovation and carried out frequent beach clean-up activities.
40th Annual Meeting of the International Sea Turtle Society
After a forced break caused by the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, the annual meeting of the International Sea Turtle Society (ISTS) was held again for the first time this year. It was hosted in Perth, Western Australia, between 25 and 28 March, but was conducted as a live-virtual online conference for the first time. It promotes exchange between organizations and scientists to advance the global conservation of sea turtles.
Turtle Foundation was represented at this year’s ISTS by a total of five staff members who introduced our project to identify risk areas for sea turtle poaching on the island of Boa Vista, Cape Verde. For the project, conducted in part in collaboration with the local organization Cabo Verde Natura 2000, we conducted interviews with former poachers and used geographic features to determine how poachers select their sites. The results revealed that most poachers are avoiding roads, hotels, and beach camps, preferring to visit beaches that are close to their homes. Another result of this project was that our drone team is an effective deterrent against poaching. It was also shown that a positive relationship between NGOs and local communities, as well as the involvement of community members in conservation activities in the field, leads to a decrease in poaching. Surveys and evaluations of this kind are important to help ensure that we can protect sea turtles in a better and more targeted way in the future. The poster about the project is available for download on our website.
End of the leatherback turtle nesting season in our Sumatra projects!
In 2019, we were still very concerned about the extinction of the population of the particularly threatened leatherback turtles nesting on the Indonesian island of Sipora. Fortunately, in the last nesting season (from October 2021 to March 2022), we counted 29 nests again on the beach of Buggeisiata on Sipora. In our second Sumatra project on the remote island of Selaut Besar, which started in early 2021, we counted 18 leatherback turtle nests in the same period. This was the first leatherback turtle nesting season in which we were able to collect nesting data from both project sites. From now on, we can observe how the nesting populations in West Sumatra will continue to evolve.
Turtle Foundation on German TV
In early February, a new travel documentary called “Experience Cape Verde” was broadcast for the first time on German TV. In the documentary, two filmmakers from the German public broadcasting station “Hessischer Rundfunk” not only embark on the adventure of island hopping, but they also visited our Boa Esperança Camp on Boa Vista as part of their trip at the end of the nesting season! Together with our staff member Kate Yeoman, the two were able to help the newly hatched turtles on their way into life. The documentary can be found within the ARD Media Library (in German). (Image © hr/Jonas Weinhold)
Freiwillige Helferinnen und Helfer gesucht
Since the last two years of our volunteer program were strongly affected by the pandemic, we now hope to be able to return to more normality this year. In the meantime, international travel has become increasingly practicable again, which is why we are again seeking many motivated volunteers for 2022 to help us protect the loggerhead turtles during their nesting season from June to October on the beaches of Boa Vista.
If you are interested in joining our volunteer program, feel free to check out our website or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org