After a short trip to Varandinha and Santa Mónia beaches, it was appalling the see the quantity of quad bikes and cars on these beaches! Some people have turned these beaches into real motorways, regardless of the the fact that riding quads on the beaches is not only forbidden, but it is also detrimental for sea turtle nesting beaches.

Recently, guides serving the Marine Club in Sal Rei drove at least 8 cars through Curral Velho beach, destroying nests on their way to the nearby beach of João Barrosa, ironically to show nesting turtles at night time… This beach has also been heavily used as a road by locals, tourists and possibly independent tour companies. Other problem areas include Boa Esperança beach, and all the local beaches around Sal Rei. Its time to put a stop to it!!

Turtle Foundation and several other entities have been meeting in the last week in order to define quad bike and car routes to the most important touristic spots in the islands, in such a way that tourists still have easy access and views of the beaches, without entering them with their vehicles. This initiative will involve placing official signs in most entry points, informative signs, route signaling and media campaign.

However, it is important to spread the message around: IT IS ILLEGAL TO DRIVE MOTORIZED VEHICLES ON THE BEACHES!

Please keep this is mind:

– If you want to rent a quad bike or car, follow this rule at all times, and try to stay well in well-defined roads – DON’T DRIVE OFF ROAD, especially not in the dunes and beaches

– If you join a quad tour, make sure your guide follows these rules, if they don’t, talk to the company or make a complaint to the police or Turtle Foundation.

Please help spread the word, this is important not only for the preservation of delicate dune ecosystems, but as well as the sea turtle nesting beaches. Be a responsible tourist or resident, and start making the difference. Thank you!!!

Note: Pictures used were found on the internet, both used to publicize quad tours in Boa Vista island!!!! Obviously there’s a lot of work to do ahead…

(Originally posted/written by Joana Hancock)