ponedeljek, 22. september 2008

Turles! (Tortoises)

© WWF-EARPO/Kimunya Mugo
Tagging Turtles in Kenya

The Lamu Archipelago is one of the most important marine turtle nesting grounds in Kenya. Five of the seven sea turtle species that range in the Western Indian Ocean are found within the Lamu Seascape.

Three among these species - Green turtle (Chelonia mydas), Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) and Olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) nest and the other two - Loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and Leatherback (Dermochelys choriacea) have been reported to feed within the Lamu Archipelago.

Over the years, WWF has mobilized the communities to protect the marine turtles both at sea and on the beaches. This August marked the official launch of the sea turtle satellite radio telemetry program in Kiunga Marine National Reserve. Learn more about this turtle tagging program and how the strategic use of scientific monitoring is helping to improve management and conservation of natural resources along the Kenyan Coast.

WWF, in partnership with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has been running a successful conservation and development project in Kiunga Marine National Reserve (KMNR). Among the key components of the project is species protection, under which the green turtle is a flagship species. The main threats endangering turtles in the Lamu Archipelago are:

1. By-catch by local fishermen as well as semi¬-industrial fisheries
2. Poaching of turtle meat and eggs
3. Marine pollution
4. Disturbance from new tourism developments
5. Targeted catching (turtling culture) by coastal communities
6. International trade in turtle products
7. Alteration and destruction of nesting beaches and habitats
8. Naturally slow rate of recovery of various populations under different levels of exploitation and stress.

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