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Rare turtles leave scientists shell-shocked

Rare turtles leave scientists shell-shocked

SCIENTISTS in East Africa we’re left astounded when they found a group of extremely rare albino baby turtles.

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The pale hatchlings had to be helped out of their nest by biologist Joana Trindade, who has been looking after rare green turtles on the island of Vamizi  for the last ten years.Green turtles are listed as endangered and this island off the coast of Mozambique, is their biggest nesting site with each of some 200 nests vital for the species survival.

Lee's Summit dating a christian guy when youre not Threats from poaching and a high mortality rate when young mean every batch of new eggs is closely monitored every day.

Rosh Ha‘Ayin m777 casino Luckily these little ones were given a helping hand to make it from the beach to the sea after getting stuck behind their siblings in the nest.

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Very often the term albinism is incorrectly used. If you Google albino sea turtle you will come across a lot of photos of turtles with white pigmentation in their skin but normal pigmentation in their eyes, a sign that the condition is not albinism

Joana Trindade

Joana said: « I have seen a few references to albinism in green turtles, and was just not able to see photo evidence. »Very often the term albinism is incorrectly used. If you Google albino sea turtle you will come across a lot of photos of turtles with white pigmentation in their skin but normal pigmentation in their eyes, a sign that the condition is not albinism.

« So without photographs is hard to know for sure.

« A conservation project has been running in Vamizi for over 10 years now, and turtles were how the project started.

« We work with different species and ecosystems, but green turtles are one of our flagship species.

Vamizi is the biggest known nesting beach for green turtles in Mozambique, and one of the biggest in East Africa, with close to 200 nests a year.

« Because greenturtles are considers endangered in IUCN’s red list of threatened species, every nesting population is important. On a daily basis we monitor nest activity, recording new nests and nests that have hatched.

« By working with local communities and engaging them in our activities, we work to reduce poaching and bycatch. Right now, there is no poaching of females or nests in Vamizi.

« When we see that a nest has hatched and hatchlings have emerged, we dig it up to analyse the contents. »Because the numbers associated with hatchling survival to adulthood are quite low, when we come across something like this, we help these hatchlings out and help make sure they make it to the ocean. This is when we found the albino hatchlings.

« The ecosystem around Vamizi is extremely healthy and biodiverse, particularly the coral reefs and species that inhabit them. Vamizi is found on what is believed to be the second hotspot of coral biodiversity – the Mozambican Channel – and is home to a number of endangered species.

« The aim of our project is to, through research and work with communities, ensure the protection of this area.

« This involves learning more and more about it, engaging with experts on different fields, helping the communities improve their livelihoods while ensuring the sustainable use of resources, as well as engaging with the local government local institutions such as universities. »