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, February 24, 2009

Sea Turtle Symposium

It's a whole new world for me... who would have thought that every year thousands of 'turtlers' meet at a symposium to tell each other what they and the turtles have been up to? This year it was in Brisbane, a fine excuse for me to come over and visit friends and family at the same time. Four days of really interesting presentations and discussion, catching up with friends and making some new ones too. I had the opportunity to make a short presentation and display two posters. Enjoyed the good food too, especially the cakes!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

More captive turtles

Please help us to end the practice of captive turtles on Sal by discouraging visitors from going. Here are the facts about the 'attraction' at Fontona :

Keeping captive turtles is against the law in Cabo Verde and is punishable by imprisonment and fines.

The turtles are kept in sweet water, usually very dirty, this causes them many problems including blindness and parasites.

They are fed fish which is not their natural diet.

Turtles that are not free to swim the ocean grow weak and will be unable to survive if they are ever released.

Turtle hatchlings that are released later are unlikely to survive since they will not have the strength to swim the long distances, they will not know how to forage for their own food and they will have lost all sense of direction as they did not have the opportunity to imprint on the sand when they were first born.

Manuel (the owner) has signed a contract with us which means we pay him as a Ranger. For this he has committed to not keeping turtles. Supporting this activity encourages Manuel to take the easy option of not working.
Despite what he says, these turtles are not destined for release and do not have problems that requires them to be rehabilitated.

Supporting this activity perpetuates a lack of understanding about the best way to conserve Cape Verde's turtles. If visitors continue to go, it will continue to seem like a good thing to do.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Nice to be appreciated!

From Shirley and Charlie, Santa Maria, Sal
Was just reading your end of year results.I would just like to say you have done a marvellous job,Well Done!!!

From Alvin, Margaret and Jenny, adopters of the last nest to hatch :
Please continue to do such great work in helping all turtle species survive, not only the hunters but their ever changing environment. We all like holidays and lovely beaches but we never think at what cost

From the Captain of the port in Palmeira, Sal
Sra. Jacquie e a sua equipa, Bom Dia!
Eu, Cabo Verde e o futuro agradecemos-lhe muito pelo vosso grande trabalho. Aquela força de sempre e que continuem! Espero que um dia darei mais do que essa força. Melhores Cumprimentos!
Dear Jacquie, Good Morning!
I could just say and write those nice things in English, but the nicest of all is: The Truth. You are, really, doing a great job! We all must be greatfull for this.
My Best Regards! Carlos Melquíades Soares

From Celeste Benchimol, head of WWF Cabo Verde
Estimada jacquie
Muito obrigada pelas informacoes e Parabens pelo Trabalho resalizado. Forca para esta nova época.
Thank you very much for the information and congratulations on your work. Strength for the new year.

From Adolfo Marco, head of Natura 2000 turtle project, Boa Vista, Cabo Verde
Dear Jacquie
I have watched your web page and I am really impressed. Your work is
fantastic. On so small time you have done a lot of progress and really
attractive and efective activities. My most sincere congratulations.

From Matthias Schmelz, our Patron
Wow! It is truly amazing what you were able to achieve!
Congratulations Jacquie! You are a star!
I wish you a wonderful year!

From Brendan Godley, Senior Lecturer in Conservation Biology, University of Exeter, UK
Just skim read annual report. It is with a sense of pride that I see our very own students (from Uni and Cyprus Project) working on such a fantastic project. Well done!
I would like to help support your efforts in whatever way I can with modest time and other resources at my disposal as CV is so very important for turtles.

A small rant

As Santa Maria gears up for the Professional Windsurfing Association's world tour it is really sad to see that in setting up for it, heavy lorries have churned up the beach. Ironically narrowly missing our sign asking people not to drive on turtle nesting beaches. (Should be grateful that they didn't just plough into I suppose). Surely this is the time to be showcasing the beauty of Ponta Preta, not inviting people to come and see it's destruction? Even worse is that there is a perfectly good road that goes to exactly the same place, you just have to drive 200m further on to get to it. What a shame the organisers of an environmentally friendly sport don't make the connection.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Make 2009 an amazing year

If you want an amazing experience doing something really worthwhile, join us on Sal during the summer and train to be a Ranger. We have lots of different positions from full time to working a couple of days during your holiday. See our website for full details.

First season results

What an amazing season. This time last year when we were dreaming of a small project that could help to reduce the number of turtles killed here on Sal and get people talking about all the threats to their habitat, I had no idea what we were about to start. 12 full time Rangers and many volunteers combining with colleagues from the Camara Municipal, Dept of Environment, Police and numerous others really changed the situation here forever.

Everyone who was involved can feel really proud of what was achieved - a 72% reduction in mortality of nesting turtles on the beaches of Sal. This means we went from 1 in 9 turtles killed to 1 in 62. Our sincere thanks to everyone who supported us in any way.

Here are a few other interesting statistics :

Total number of turtle emergences : 1,238
Beach with the most activities : Black Sand Beach (Algodoeiro/West Coast in front of Cotton Bay)
The beach with the most nests was Ponta Jelonga with 47 (just north of Igrijinha)
Most surprising area was to the east of Santa Maria (beyond Leme Bedje) where 36 turtles came ashore among all the rocks and rubbish (oh yes, the turtles are crazy)
Total number of turtles killed was 39, the majority at Mont Leao (13)
The number of turtles saved by direct action by Rangers or police was 19
The total number of turtles tagged was 101.
Total number of nests 346
Total number of nests in the hatchery 89 (26% of nests relocated)
The largest nest recorded had 153 eggs, the smallest had 15 eggs (average 81 eggs).
The first nest hatched on the 12th August and the last on Christmas Day, December 25th
The average incubation time in the hatchery was 59 days.
The average incubation time for nests on the beach was 56 days.
Babies born in the hatchery - 5,517

The full report in English and Portuguese can be downloaded from our website or