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

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Presenting Sea Turtles at the WIOMSA symposium

The next item GVI Kenya is presenting at the WIOMSA scientific symposium in Mombasa this week is the seasonal occurance and distribution of sea turtle sightings in and around the Kisite Mpunguti Marine Protected Area (KMMPA). We most commonly see Green and Hawksbill turtles both from the vessel and in-water while snorkelling, during our research days; with 41% and 53% of sightings prospectively.

Sea turtles are often seen surfacing from our research boat.
Sea turtles were most commonly seen in two focal areas; the KMMPA and the Wasini Channel. We also conducted interviews with 75 fishermen whose responses corresponded with this, indicating that they encounter sea turtles most frequently (61%) in the Mpunguti Marine Reserve, and in the kaskazi season (January to March) with 29.5% of responses. We will be discussing the importance of the KMMPA and surrounding waters as critical habitats for Hawksbill and Green turtles, and how community education and awareness programmes will play an important role in conserving local populations.