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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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Birds of Sal

Although Sal may be overshadowed by Santo Antão and other islands for birdwatching, we still have an excellent array of species to be proud of!  The birds can be viewed around the salinas, along the foreshore and in the desert.  Although as residents we consider most of the birds to be every day, for visitors from Europe they could be on their life list of birds to see.

Our favourites include the Kentish plover which nests in the salinas, the Red Tailed Tropicbird whose distinctive call can be heard at our camp at Serra Negra and the magnificent ospreys, a massive sea eagle, one of which lives close to Turtle House.

Since we often get asked by visitors to the hatchery about birds as well as turtles we have produced our own little guide to the most frequently seen birds on Sal.  Thanks to Neal Clayton & Guido Vermeulen for their hard work in compiling the list.

Download The Birds of Sal Turtle SOS 2012 here

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

People of Sal swap plastic for cloth / Pessoas de Sal trocar plástico para pano

Each week thousands of plastic bags are used in the bakeries on Sal - how many of those end up on the streets or in the sea?

Why not get everyone using traditional cloth bags instead.  Functional, reusable and beautiful.

Here is a small start!

SOS Tartarugas collected unwanted cloth and clothes at Padaria Dado (in Santa Maria) to be made into bread bags by the women's association RA-AMAO.  In return we gave those who donated a hand decorated (with turtles of course!) bread bag.

This small promotion was a great success and will be repeated soon in Espargos.  More photos.

Monday, July 2, 2012

First nest of the season! / Primero ninho de 2012!

It was a long time coming, but finally the first nest was laid on Sal on Saturday 30th June on the northern part of Algodoeiro.

Amanda with the very first egg
Amanda & Nick had only just started their patrol when they came across a the tracks.  Fortunately for us, it was a perfect example of a loggerhead nest.  Clear up and down tracks and a straightforward body pit.

Unfortunately we could not leave the nest in its original position because it would have been at risk from the strong lights of Paradise Beach and Melia Tortuga Beach.  When the nest hatched, the hatchlings would become disorientated and head inland instead of into the sea.  

An explanation of how to dig a nest like a turtle
Amanda had the honour of looking for the egg chamber in preparation for moving it to the hatchery.  Despite her nerves, she found it really easily and the team all helped with the transfer.  The turtle had laid 123 eggs which is a bit higher than our average of 80-100.

For our team as well as for all the excited visitors to the hatchery, it was a very emotional and exciting day.  Now Abigail and Yasmin are the proud parents of Nest 1 of the 2012 season and we will all be waiting impatiently for it to hatch around the 23rd August.

You can see some more photos here.