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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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cabo Verde Explorer - now Turtle Friendly!

Driving on beaches at any time of year is illegal but at this time of year it is critical for a number of reasons:
  • The heavy weight of vehicles compacts the sand and prevents turtles from nesting (as can be clearly seen on Praia Antonio de Sousa where there were NO nests this year compared to 27 last year)
  • Ruts in the sand cause hatchlings to walk parallel to the sea rather than go towards the sea as they are not big enough to see which direction they should go in
  • Driving over nests crushes the eggs and at this time of year also kills hatchlings that are waiting just below the surface for night to fall.  
Tyre tracks going directly over a nest (10 dead turtles found just underneath the sand)
Nests on the beach will continue to hatch until the end of December.

So when we saw deep tyre marks almost the entire length of Serra Negra we were very worried.  The distinctive new excursion 'Cabo Verde Explorer' was driving guests over and very close to numerous nests (Serra Negra is the highest density nesting beach on Sal).

Following a meeting with the organisers we are delighted that the excursion has now been changed to a peaceful walk on Serra Negra rather than a drive. 

 Proprietor Luigi Papa told us "I welcome your clarification and since our meeting we now walk the beach of Serra Negra.... I also welcome your suggestion to provide us with your guide so that you can be sure that we do not drive on Serra Negra beach and so you can give tourists more information about the beach, turtles and your work.  (In addition, if you like, you can also ask them for a donation to your foundation). We are happy to work with you in our tours of Serra Negra" 

We like happy endings and thank Luigi for his cooperation - the turtles appreciate it!

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