SOS Tartarugas works in Cape Verde protecting nesting loggerheads turtles (Caretta caretta) and their habitat. Cape Verde is the third most important nesting area for loggerheads in the world. Turtles are at risk from hunting for meat, stealing of eggs, removal of sand for building and unregulated tourism development. Our email is
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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Ana makes a lucky escape!

Following much confusion this morning, we took possession of an 80cm female loggerhead. Earlier we believed that we were being handed three yearlings that are being held captive in Calheta Funda (west coast of Sal). This lucky turtle had been captured by a hunter in Feijoal, one of the northern beaches, some time last night. She had been kept upside in his house, presumably, until he was ready to kill and eat her. By good fortune someone called the police who reacted immediately and recovered the turtle at the same time as arresting the man involved. Euclides Gonçalves from the Camara Municipal do Sal tagged her before she was released on Praia Antonio de Sousa in Santa Maria. She was named Ana after Euclides's wife.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Waves of Art

Waves of Art are making a donation to SOS Tartarugas from all sales of this beautiful pendant. Rob and Tammy who joined us on patrol in 2008 where they were struck by the plight of the loggerheads here.

CVSTN join forces with INDP in Sao Nicolau

INDP (Institute for the development of fisheries) and CVSTN (Capeverdian Sea Turtle Network) start joint activities this week in an effort to diminish the slaughter of turtles on the island of Sao Nicolau.  Limited data exists for this island, but CVSTN and INDP together with the local government authorities hope to develop and train guards who will not only protect turtles but will collect data and tag them as well.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Top volunteer....

Hi Jacquie,
Had a really fantastic time, thanks so much for the luxury accomodation! I found the turtles so impressive and looking at the whys and whereabouts of the tracks certainly brought out the detective in me! I got to tag two of them, one I named after my friend who is actually obsessed with tortoises. She feels very honoured to have a fellow 'Katharina' swimming around in Cabo Verde!
(Katie Quinn - new turtle convert)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Victory for captive turtles in Cabo Verde

In the first case of its kind today, the owner of Fontona received a fine of €300 for persistently breaking the law by keeping marine turtles and charging tourists to witness their slow death.
SOS had previously compensated him €50 a month for loss of income on the understanding that he never kept turtles again. If he doesn't pay the fine he will go to jail for 66 days.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Six men arrested for possessing turtle meat

Following an anonymous tip-off we were able to track down some men selling turtle meat and eggs door to door in Santa Maria. The police responded very quickly and were able to apprehend the men. Although they did not have the meat with them, they quickly confessed that they had killed three turtles in the last two days in Serra Negra. To get to Serra Negra requires 4WD and we rely on our partners at the Camara Municipal & WWF to assist with this. So far we have not been able to patrol this beach at night and have been powerless to prevent the slaughter. Neal accompanied the policemen to a house near Serra Negra where there was turtle meat and eggs cooking. The man who had killed the turtle was forced to recover the carapaces as evidence. All six men involved are in custody and will go to a hearing on the 10 July.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Hunters out in force

The last week has been a running battle with hunters. Our usual military support has been missing due to money not being released from the DGA (Dept of Environment) and the Camara Municipal. Even though we wanted to give what money we could, this was not accepted. Without this extra support the beaches are too long for us to control alone. So far ten turtles have been taken to our knowledge and it is sometimes only luck that helps us to be in the right place at the right time. This turtle was only moments from death when we found a track, running towards the hunters we were in time to scare them away. Unfortunately the police in Santa Maria who are doing all they can to help us are so under-resourced that they do not have transport to assist us. All the Rangers are working extra patrols until we get some support and many people have stepped forward to volunteer.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Debra is free again!

After a good night's sleep Debra the turtle was ready for release. We barely had time to take photos and she was off. Neal was in the water but only managed to catch a fleeting glimpse as she raced past him, seemingly fully recovered and heading back round to Costa Fragata where we hope to see her laying a nest very soon. Great team effort everyone.

Two turtles saved from drowning in net

Reports from Francesco of Surf Activity the house where the rangers live ( about a turtle in difficulty in the sea on Costa Fragata sent the SOS team running. After battling strong currents and huge surf, two turtles were found completely encased in a fishing net and struggling to move. The turtles, one male and one female, were eventually brought back to shore and cut free. The male still had strength and was released after being tagged but the smaller female was exhausted. It was decided to rest her overnight at Hatchery 2 (near the Sab Sab Hotel) where Josh Angulo ( kindly allows us to use his kiddies swimming pool for this kind of emergency. Debra, named after Francesco's wife, should be strong enough to be released later today.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Milagre - the miracle turtle

We have a small loggerhead in our care at the moment. It is approximately 8 months old, born in the 2008 season and held captive in a 'tourist attraction' in Fontona. As it was kept in sweet water and fed an inappropriate diet, it is not in very good shape. It is unable to dive, covered in algae, it is also unwilling to eat unless hand fed. We are going to monitor it for a while until we can see it will take live food by itself and then release it offshore.