We’ve made it; the fundraising for Cape Verde’s projects is closed!
Thanks a lot to the Community of Ecofund for its support to the projects of Jose and Tommy. In particular, we would like to thank the singer Mariana Ramos, ambassador of the Cape Verde’s music. From the early beginning of the fundraising, Mariana joined our side to help protect the biodiversity of its native Cap Verde ilands.
Big “abrazo” and many thanks to Mariana!
Follow Marianna on www.mariana-ramos.com
With your donation, Jose and Tommy will be able to acquire the necessary equipment, in particular portable units for desalination of seawater, for the monitoring campaign for the birds on the island of Razo and turtles on the island of Santa Luzia. The monitoring campaign will start in Mai and last till November.
Many thanks to the 21 contributors from Norway, Germany, France, UK and Senegal !
Biosfera I has started its monitoring and surveillance program on the island of Santa Luzia. We have just received some photos showing the camp and the protected turtle nests.
Wild cats on the island can be a serious predator to the turtles. Nuno Oliveira from Portugal is coaching Biosfera I staff on monitoring the cats in order to prevent them from eating the young turtles.
Our Cape Verde Champions celebrated on 22nd Mai the World Biodiversity Day:
Tommy and José met with all school children of Sao Vicente on the beach to show case Cape Verde’s biodiversity, discuss their problems and motivate the children to preserve their beautiful natural heritage.
We want our Cape Verde champions, Tommy and Jose, to succeed with their ecoprojects. Thus, we have prolonged the deadline to give you enough time to contribute to their ecoproject, and to so to help protecting sea birds and marine turtles of the Santa Luzia archipelago.
Remember: Mariana Ramos, Cape Verde’s music ambassador offers the 25 most generous donors an autographed copy of her latest album!
The Ecofund-team met with Jorge Melo, a well-known environmental activist in Calhau, Sao Vincente, one of Cape Verde’s islands. Jorge is the brother of our champion José Melo.
Each year he saves about 50 see turtles from the death caused by fisher nets.
In this video, he shows us 3 loggerhead turtles he recently saved.
A shark has cut off the turtles’ front leg (the flipper) while they were imprisoned by a fisher net. After several weeks of recuperation in “Jorge’s turtles’ hospital”, the youngest and the most active turtle will be released tomorrow to its natural environment.
The loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) is one of five species of sea turtle recorded from Cape Verde, but the only one that breeds there, on many of the islands' beaches. The Cape Verde loggerhead turtle population is considered the third largest in the world, after Florida and Oman. Most of the population breeds on Boavista, but the species also breeds on the island of Santa Luzia, one of the three islands forming the Protected Sea Area of Santa Luzia in Cape Verde.
If the sea area might be officially protected, sea turtles are nonetheless regularly threatened by natural predators ... and by the action of man. Despite full legal protection of the adults and eggs throughout Cape Verde since 2005 and the development of a National Plan for the Conservation of Marine Turtles in 2010, which have reduced pressures, poachers do continue to hunt adults for meat, collect their eggs and there is some use of sea turtle shells for local crafts and of parts as aphrodisiacs. Uncontrolled tourist activity on some nesting beaches is also a concern. These practices reduce the population of loggerhead turtles and if left as such, could have severe effects on the eastern Atlantic Ocean population, for which Cape Verde is by a long way the most important breeding area.
For six years now, Jose and his son Tommy have decided to react and protect the turtles of Santa Luzia. They created their association Biosfera I in 2006 and have led campaigns for surveillance and monitoring. These campaigns raise awareness among fishermen on the negative impacts of their actions. They gradually cease to collect turtle eggs and eventually also contribute to their protection. The surveillance and monitoring campaigns help create a database to better understand trends in the populations of turtles and the threats they face.
In the words of Tommy, the purpose of these campaigns is to "protect the nests against human and natural threats to ensure the reproduction of turtles. Everyone wins: the turtles, the ecosystem and the general public! "
Julien Sémelin and Simon Mériaux work at FIBA for projects dedicated to protecting the West African coast. Their activities put them in contact with local people, providing technical and financial support as well as field training. Thus, Julien and Simon contribute to the creation and management of Marine Protected Areas, for the benefit of local populations who depend on marine and coastal resources.