Rare turtles leave scientists shell-shocked
Baby albino green turtle
Threats from poaching and a high mortality rate when young mean every batch of new eggs is closely monitored every day.
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.
Albino green turtle hatchlings found in East Africa
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.
« 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. »