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, January 27, 2010

Round up of the 2009 Season

2009 was an incredible season that saw the number of turtles nesting on the beaches of Sal and other islands increase threefold.  Only time will tell if this is an ongoing trend but we know one thing for sure – 2010 will be very dull if the numbers go down!

Here are a few interesting facts about this year on Sal (the full report will be available in February, email for more information).
Number of tracks / Número de rastos  3,638 (1,280 in 2008)
Number of nests / Número de Ninhos  1,037 (346 in 2008)
The number of turtles killed on Sal was 91, which is an estimated 20% of all turtles, compared to 30% in 2008.  A good result but still unacceptable and clearly if it continues extinction may be looming.  60% of those turtles were killed on unprotected beaches that we do not have the resources to patrol.  91 foi a quantidade de tartarugas mortas no Sal, que representa um acréscimo de cerca de 20% da população total em relação aos 30% de 2008. Foi um bom resultado, no entanto é ainda inaceitável e se assim continuar, a extinção será inevitável. 60% dessas tartarugas foram mortas em áreas desprotegidas devido á falta de recursos para efectuarmos as patrulhas.

An astonishing (estimated) 75,000 hatchlings were born, 15% of them (10,000) were released from our two hatcheries.
Outro número surpreendente foi o de 75 000 tartaruguinhas nascidas nestas praias, das quais 15% (cerca de 10 000) foram libertadas nos nossos 2 cercados.

Hatchlings born / Crias nascidas Sal 2009
In situ (known) / In situ (nºs confirmados)

In situ (estimated) (estimativa)
Main hatchery / Cercado principal

Surf Beach hatchery / Cercado



Once again, the area on the west coast in front of two of the major developments of Cotton Bay and Paradise Beach won the prize for the most nests, followed closely by the northern beach of Serra Negra and the east coast beach closest to Santa Maria – Ponta Jelonga.  One of the biggest surprises was Surf Beach (Praia Antonio de Sousa) – a tiny beach that had 26 nests but is under huge pressure from lights of businesses and residences – meaning all of those nests had to be removed.
Uma vez mais  a área Este da ilha, em frente a dois dos maiores empreendimentos da Cotton Bay e Paradise beach, foi onde se registou  o maior número de ninhos, seguindo-se (com valores muito próximos) da área da Serra Negra e da praia mais próxima de Santa Maria - Ponta Jelonga.  Uma da maiores surpresas foi a Praia António Sousa (Surf Beach) que, apesar do seu tamanho reduzido e da agressão da iluminação dos negócios e residências, registou o aparecimento de 26 ninhos que mais tarde tiveram de ser relocados.

And finally, hatching success improved this year both on the beaches and in our hatcheries – 80% up from 72% last year.  E finalmente o número do sucesso:  80% +8% foi o aumento do nascimento de tartarugas registado tanto nas praias como nas nossas 2 incubadoras em relação ao ano passado.

Thank you all for your interest and support during the season.
A SOS Tartarugas agradece a todos os interesse e apoio demonstrado durante esta época.

This post is dedicated to Rasher, well loved team member and mascot, killed through strychnine poisoning at the main hatchery 8th October 2009, aged only six and missed greatly.
Esta edição é dedicada ao nosso querido Rasher, a mascote, amigo e indispensável membro da nossa equipa que, para grande desgosto de todos foi morto através de envenenamento por estricnina. Aconteceu no passado  8 de Outubro na incubadora principal, tinha 6 anos e deixou muitas saudades.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Capeverdian loggerheads genetically different to others in Atlantic

A new study by Natura 2000, our Capeverdian Sea Turtle Network colleagues based on Boa Vista gives us new information about the genetic makeup of the turtles reproducing in our area and more information about where juveniles go after being born here.

"In the study we clearly demonstrate that loggerhead Cape Verde population is genetically different form the rest of relevant loggerhead populations of the Atlantic. Moreover, this population has a high genetic heterogeneity that should be especifically preserved, but we have no found differences among several islands from Cape Verde, indicating a significant genetic flux within the Archipelago.
Moreover, we have found juveniles form Cape Verde in all the Macaronesian islands (Canarias, Madeira, Azores) an the spanish coast including the Southwest Mediterranean (Andalucia, Baleares). In these areas near half of juveniles from Cape Verde may feed and growth until sexual maturation when they return to Cape Verde. However, we still do not know the destiny of a significant part of juveniles hatched in Cape Verde."

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Shellie's final resting place

Shellie was brutally killed at Serra Negra on the 28th September having already laid four nests on Sal.  (Follow this link for her story  It was a sickening blow for everyone.   Now thanks to great volunteers, Linda and Jean, Shellie has a properly marked grave on Bay 2.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Vacancy for Project Coordinator (Turtle Conservation)

The Project Coordinator is responsible for the overall management of the project, including responsibility for fieldwork, training, tourism, fundraising, outreach, co-ordination with partners and managing a diverse team. The Project Coordinator will be involved in every aspect of the project and will be expected to contribute significantly to improving our operation and success. You will also coordinate activities in other islands and liaise with government, law enforcement agencies, businesses and other turtle conservation projects.

For more information

Friday, January 1, 2010

SOS news in lots of languages!

Just found this cool translator widget, now you can read our blog in whatever language you want (almost). This is especially for Dada and Patty and all our great Italian supporters :-) Can't vouch for the quality of translation though!! The tool is in the sidebar.