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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Friday, October 30, 2009

Are you sure you are finished?

We thought it was all over - but no, the turtles had other ideas. We had two more nests on Costa Fragata this week. We are wondering how these nests will fare, since the temperature will drop considerably. Last year late nests in the hatchery took more than 70 days to develop (compared to the more usual 51-53 in the summer) but they still did ok. Time will tell ....

Meanwhile there are still lots of nests keeping us busy on the beach and in the hatchery.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Emails like this make it really worthwhile!

Dear Neal,
Thank you so much for sending us news and fantastic photos of baby Tajo the Turtle. My Mum and Dad have not stopped raving about the amazing work you guys do and how privileged they felt to experience and be part of it whilst they were out there. It is without a doubt the best holiday present we have ever had and hope to come out and visit you soon to see for ourselves and give you our support.
Thanks again it has made our day ;-)
Tara and John aka adoptive parents of Tajo the Turtle xx

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Final tracks

About a week has gone by since we saw the last adult tracks. There was a nest on Ponta Jelonga (Costa Fragata) - unfortunately by the time the Rangers arrived a dog had already dug it up - the eggs were all broken and scattered over the beach. What a sad fate for our final nest of the 2009 season.

On the plus side, we have been in the peak of the hatching season, often with over a hundred hatchlings being born in the hatchery each night. The beaches are full of miniature turtle tracks from the hatchlings dashing from the nest to the sea (hopefully in the right direction).

We expect the last nest in the hatchery to hatch around the 10th December, so we will be finishing up quite a lot earlier than last year.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Happy volunteers!

A message from some brilliant volunteers who spent a couple of weeks with us in August. Aaahh, the feeling's mutual!

"Des, Jack and I wish to say a huge 'thank you' to yourself, Neil and all my almost-housemates. We were made to feel incredibly welcome and your willingness to share your knowledge and experience meant that we really felt a part of the team. We feel very privileged to have been given the opportunity to be part of the project and experience first hand the valuable work you do. The levels of dedication are truly inspiring.

We are certainly far better informed than we were three weeks ago. It would be great to find some way of putting our experience to good use in future and it goes without saying that if there is ever anything we can do to help, all you need to do is ask."

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Our dog Rasher

You may have heard that our beautiful dog, Rasher was poisoned and died in agony next to the hatchery on the 8th October. Many of you knew him and would have seen him when you visited us. We are campaigning to stop this disgusting and cruel practice. Join our fight at

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Who is respsonsible for turtles in Sal?

In situ nest number 342 hatched last night on Praia Antonio Sousa. Unfortunately the majority did not make it to the sea. It wasn't a big surprise to find that so many went to the big floodlight in front of Josh Angulo's surf shack.

You can see in the photos tracks leading directly there and then actually coming inside the shack where the windsurf sails are kept. The nest they came from is way off in the distance at the other end of the beach.

We kept some nests on this beach for two reasons - because it is better for the nests and so that everybody could enjoy having and seeing turtles on public beaches. Unfortunately it's something we probably won't be repeating next year.

So, in answer to the question "Who is responsible for turtles in Sal?" the answer is that ALL of us are and those with beachfront properties have extra responsibility.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Demi - a turtle that goes her own way

On the 25th September Demi nested outside the Paradise Beach construction site (witnessed by Peter, Linda and Stephen). Demi is a very special turtle and clearly likes to do things a little differently. Back in July she was abandoned by tour guide who makes his money out of turtle tours - she was about to be killed by hunters. Luckily our team were also on the beach and she was saved. Not easily put off she nested once more in August and again in September in almost the same spot. Her final nest, exactly 15 days later was one that made us all scratch our heads - she dug two egg chambers, one with each flipper and then deposited her eggs in the middle so some rolled down into each nest!
Not exactly ideal, so Stephen helped her out and built a third chamber so the eggs could incubate together!

(Thanks for the photos, Linda)

Monday, October 5, 2009

We like getting feedback like this!

Hi Heidi
Thank you so much for the photos, really awesome and helped us to appreciate the size of her. We had a wonderful holiday but the turtles made it for us. Good luck with your project and we would really appreciate any future photographs.
Ian and Barbara Wilson

Duo the two headed turtle

The day before yesterday this little turtle was born in our hatchery. Named 'Duo' the hatchling has two heads that both work although the left side is dominant. Two headedness does occasionally happen in all species and is usually the result of incomplete separation of twins. Unfortunately Duo will probably not survive in the wild as he/she is not able to swim very well.