Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Finding out more about turtle conservation

The partner relationship between GVI and Msambweni Turtle and Marine Conservation Group continues to grow through 2011, this week with a visit from the intern team to discuss current activities of the group and their personal experiences with sea turtle conservation. We were joined by Douglas, from KESCOM who gave a presentation about turtle conservation in Kenya, including maps and data on the key threats facing sea turtles up and down the Kenyan coast.

Excitingly MTMCG are starting the construction of bandas (cabins) to provide accommodation for their eco-tourism project, helping to generate income for the ongoing voluntary activities carried out by the group, such as beach patrols to check for turtle nests and prevent poaching.

KESCOM edcucation presentation about their work
So far this year MTMCG have had no turtles nesting visit their beach, which is unusual but with the peak of nesting expected through June and July we will keep checking in. The members of the group believe the bright lighting put up by hotels in the area is reducing the appeal/ desirability of the nesting beach and are campaigning to get this removed. Another key task of the group is to provide a safe location for nests relocated from other areas - quite recently GVI members were lucky enough to spot a huge female Green Turtle make her way up Diani beach to choose a nesting site – in the end she decided not to lay her eggs there, but if she had Msambweni would have been ready to move the nest to a safer location.

The community group and GVI interns admire the view of Msambweni beach

GVI will give continued support and training to such dedicated conservation groups, who are so vital in protecting the important species and habitats in Kenya.