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, July 15, 2011

Five years left for turtles on Sal?

A little bit of controversy has been created with an article in A Semana today which states that turtles could disappear from Sal in five years time.

There are a number of inaccuracies in the article, such as the fact that hunting has increased and that there have already been turtles killed this summer - neither of these comments are true and we will be asking A Semana to correct them.  In addition, the figures quoted at the end reflect what is probably a natural fluctuation in nesting on Sal.

However, it is true to state that extinction could be possible in this time frame, since Sal has a relatively small population of turtles (compared to Boa Vista for example) and they are being killed at the rate of 40-50 a year, even with increased protection. 

In previous years the mortality rate could have been a lot higher and since turtles only nest every 2-3 or 4 years, we could now start to see the effects of this large-scale hunting.

Add to this the fact that almost the entire south and west coast of Sal has become unsuitable for turtles to nest due to construction and bright lights.  Nesting on the west coast of Ponta Preta and Algodoeiro declined by 18% in 2010 in the areas of the new resorts (Tortuga, Dunas and Paradise Beach) and 2011 is expected to be far worse.

It's not hard to see that extinction is a very real possibility. 

Read the A Semana article

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