Each year, along many beaches of the Mozambican coast many people work together to patrol, report and protect the three species of nesting turtles (Loggerhead, Leatherback and Green) that haul themselves ashore to dig their nests and lay eggs. Each year, these efforts are summarized and reported and general trends are made about the season. Consistent and long term monitoring of nesting sea turtles provides us with crucial information on the status of the population. However, given the conservative life history (late age to maturity, ~30 years of age), and the fact that females only nest every 2-4 years, it is not enough to look at single year nesting season trends to indicate whether the population is stable, increasing or decreasing. The monitoring conducted throughout the year, to report nesting turtles, the number of nests they lay, hatching success of these nests and numbers of poached animals is integral for effectively managing sea turtle populations along the coast and using this information to guide conservation actions.
Approximately 5% of the country’s coastline was patrolled during the 2013/14 nesting season. This clearly not comprehensive of the total area of coastal habitat utilized by sea turtles. This limited data set more accurately reflects a lack of resources and personnel to efficiently survey a more representative portion of the nesting habitat. The information presented in the following status report, offers a brief snapshot into the status of nesting turtles within the country. We need your help along the coast line to report all encounters of nests laid, nesting females, entangled and poached animals. The nesting season has already began, (October 2014) and will run through to March 2015, keeps your eyes open and please report any turtles you encounter.
Please enjoy the attached status reports, in both English and Portuguese.
Happy nesting turtle season to All!