Report from the Turtle Protection Team in 2017/2018

This year we had a great season. Leatherbacks reappeared in good numbers, and the wildlife department intervened to support us for the first time in many years. Their support made a considerable difference and saved the lives of many turtles.

This year we came into contact with 93 turtles. This is so much better than the 57 turtles we encountered last year.

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From September to November we had our normal problem of half the turtles appearing on the beach to lay their eggs being killed. In early December the Ghanaian government declared war on all people who kill turtles. Our local wildlife officer, Karim, came to join the turtle team and cautioned everyone locally who is know to be killing turtles. He advised them that if they killed turtles again they would be prosecuted and face up to 10 years in prison.

This had an immediate effect so that the death rates dropped dramatically. I will continue to work with Karim and the wildlife department to encourage them to continue their work locally.

These are the season’s results:

Olive Ridley

19 turtles protected

12 known to be killed

Leatherback

47 protected

14 known to be killed

Hawksbill

1 protected (this is the first time this species of turtle has appeared on the coast).

We protected and hid a number of nests, and relocated and protected several hundred eggs. We numbers of baby turtles hatch and we made sure these got into the sea. 12799260_1158667147486402_3459150704344385969_n

This year we found that some of the turtles that were dead seemed to have died from eating plastic.