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Turtle Foundation Newsletter May 2017

Dear friends and supporters of the Turtle Foundation,

Easter is already long over, but for our staff and volunteers in our sea turtle protection projects, egg searching is a long-term activity!

Bild: Nistende Unechte Karettschildkröte auf Boavista

When a female sea turtle comes ashore for egg laying, she follows ancient instincts to find the ideal place for the development of her clutch. If she does not manage to do so soon, she will, despite the difficulties and dangers of her foray onto land, interrupt her nesting attempt, return to the sea, and start over again somewhere else.

However, sometimes her choice of nest site is flawed. Sometimes the eggs are buried too close to the water line, where a subsequent high tide inundates the nest, killing the eggs. Under natural circumstances, the high numbers of offspring that sea turtles generate would compensate for such losses. In the past decades, however, human activities have decimated the global populations of sea turtles to such an extent that species conservation organizations are often trying to save endangered nests. This is especially true for beaches that historically were very suitable for turtle nesting, but due to habitat alteration or destruction are now unsuitable for the regular development of the turtle offspring.

Bild: Turtle Foundation Mitarbeiter auf Boavista gräbt Schildkrötennest aus, um es in die Brutstation zu bringen

For this reason, an important part of our protection work that we do on the beaches indeed is – egg searching. We excavate nests that are particularly endangered and either move them to a safe place on the beach, or transfer them to semi-artificial breeding stations (hatcheries) where the eggs can develop undisturbed. These measures require a great deal of expertise, since incorrect handling can damage the eggs. Given these challenges, we are especially proud of the very high hatching rates in our hatcheries, which speak for the success of our activities.

The continuous relocation of endangered nests requires considerable effort in addition to the regular protection of the beaches from poachers. We are, however, convinced that this will make a long-term contribution to the recovery of the highly depleted sea turtle populations. Please help us with your donation to allow us to continue working at all levels for the protection of endangered sea turtles!

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If you would like to learn more about the Turtle Foundation and our projects, please download our Annual Report 2016 (PDF, 1,5 MB).

You can find up-to-date reports and information on our Facebook page and in the blog of our website:

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Student project for the Turtle Foundation in Zirndorf, Germany. A biologist teacher and his students support the Turtle Foundation with a great action. Read report...

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Members of the Cape Verdean parliament are concerned about local sea turtle conservation. Finally, the case of the endangered sea turtles in Cape Verde receive more attention in local politics. Read report...

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The Turtle Foundation at the big European fairs Boot Düsseldorf and FESPO Zurich 2017. The highlight was the draw of the winning tickets of our annual Turtle Foundation Raffle in Zurich. Read report...

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Toothed turtles survived longer than scientists thought. The turtles living today don’t have teeth, but they evolved from toothed ancestors. There is interesting news about this important step in the evolution of turtles. Read report...

Portrait Dr. Hiltrud Cordes

With warmest regards,

Dr. Hiltrud Cordes
Program Director of the Turtle Foundation

PS: Please consider supporting us through the symbolic adoption of a sea turtle, and demonstrate your commitment with an adoption certificate issued in your name! Click here for the adoption form...