In 2010 Turtle Foundation continued patrols on Norte, Canto, Lacacão and Curral Velho, and expanded to include Boa Esperança in the north. Preliminary results from the 2010 nesting season indicate that only 10 turtles were killed on beaches patrolled by Turtle Foundation once the patrols were initiated. Also in 2010, a data collection program was implemented. In accordance with the goals of the Cape Verde Sea Turtle Network, now known as TAOLA (Tartaruga Criola), protocols were standardized with the existing data collection methods used by Natura 2000.
Turtle Foundation also continued the school and community education programs, organizing beach clean-ups, participating in the International Day of Biodiversity Festival in Sal Rei, continuing to provide training for tour agencies to conduct turtle tours, etc. With support from UNDP’s Small Grant Program, Turtle Foundation also held six beach camps for school age children. These camps were held on the weekends in July and August, and up to 25 children participated in each camp, which brought the children out of the classroom to a beach-front setting to learn about biodiversity, sea turtle biology, the effects of trash on sea turtles and the environment, as well as children and family issues. Children participated in beach clean-ups and night patrols, and learned to collect biological data on the turtles encountered on the patrols.
Turtle Foundation hosted the 2nd annual meeting of the Cape Verde Sea Turtle Network, now known as TAOLA (Tartaruga Criola), of which Turtle Foundation is a founding member. The meeting was held from June 28-30, 2010, and again brought together the stakeholders involved in turtle conservation on Boavista - NGO’s, university research organizations, the Cape Verde Ministries of Environment, Land Planning and Marine Resources, the Institute for Development of Fisheries, and local conservation organizations. Natura 2000 and Turtle Foundation have standardized research and data collection methods, and have optimized a national strategy for efficient beach patrols.
In 2011, Turtle Foundation plans to continue direct protection efforts, expand the project to include monitoring patrols on Varandinha beach, and build 2 hatcheries, on Boa Esperança and Lacacão, to protect nests at risk from inundation and other threats. Turtle Foundation will also continue our extensive education and community participation projects. Additional plans include working with RIU hotels to keep the current construction on Lacacão beach as turtle-friendly as possible, and working to enforce legal requirements that the planned Lacacão Golf and Beach Resort conform to environmental regulations affecting the turtles and the beach habitat.
As in the past, our short-term goal is to reduce or completely stop the killing of the turtles. Our long-term goal is to create a sustainable protection program that benefits not only the turtles but the local community in the form of jobs in tourism, resource management, etc.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, AND TO FIND OUT HOW YOU CAN HELP SAVE CAPE VERDE’S ENDANGERED SEA TURTLES, GO TO WWW.TURTLE-FOUNDATION.ORG, CHECK OUT OUR FACEBOOK PAGE "TURTLE FOUNDATION-CABO VERDE", AND READ THE FORUM ON THIS WEBSITE. THANK YOU!