Sea Turtles Nesting Population protection and rehabilitation project in Nigeria
A Wildlife Africa Initiative CREW Action
The four-species of the Seven Species said to be distributed to Nigeria are as follows:
1.Chelonia mydas (Green Turtle),
2.Eretmochelys imbricata (Hawksbill Turtle),
3.Lepidochelys olivacea (Olive Ridley)
4.Dermochelys coriacea (Leatherback Turtle)
Summary of the issue to address and of the planned intervention strategy:
The detrimental threat of humans who intentionally harvests the eggs and adults from nesting beaches and juveniles and adults from foraging grounds for trade, food and tourist amusement.
Intervention strategy is to gather data that can then be used to determining which areas of the Nigerian beaches, Protection of nests and populations of sea turtles will be focused on and to rescue and rehabilitate vulnerable and threatened ones within the period of study.
Project Location: Lagos, Nigeria
Main contextual information:
Lagos, is Nigeria’s largest city, sprawls inland from the Gulf of Guinea across Lagos Lagoon. Victoria Island, the financial center of the metropolis, is known for its beach resorts, boutiques and night-life. Lagos beaches stretches up to 100 km (60 mi) east and west of the mouth of the Atlantic Ocean.
The main problem is that adult sea turtles and eggs are hunted and harvested for sale in the fish markets in the adjoining coastal communities of the nesting beaches. They are also sold on the streets and to high end customers at major 5-star hotel and to staffs of multinational companies that can afford it. Though Sea Turtles are protected under the Endangered Species act of the country, protection and enforcement is not effectively because no one really knows which sections of the beaches or communities the sea turtles come up and where harvested from. There is need to do a monitoring study to determine which area we should focus on for protection.
Project Main objective:
The main objective is to mitigate the decline of marine turtle populations worldwide and the serious threats to their long-term survival, such as unsafe nesting beaches and injuries human activities of hunting, fishing and wastes in the sea.
Projects Secondary objective(s):
- Determine which sections of the Nigeria beaches that can be focused on for Protection of nesting Sea Turtles by monitoring the entire shoreline and gathering of data.
- Establishment of a Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Centre which will primarily serve as a sea turtle Alert, Information, Data and rescue Centre, providing sea turtle care and husbandry, fishery interaction with sea turtles, cooperation with fisherman and communities.
- Generate Data that can be presented to members of the International Sea Turtle Society.
Summary of planned activities according to objectives to be reached (not in any particular order of priority:
- Train the team on data gathering, monitoring, sea turtles identification, care and husbandry.
- Nest Monitoring, Patrol, data collection, Protection by shoreline guards employed from the local communities as a sustainable approach and University student Volunteers.
- Continued Coastal Communities Outreach, Education and Awareness programs
- Renovate the already secured Rehabilitation Centre in Lekki, Lagos to receive sea turtles at any time,
- Acquire Project Vehicles to facilitate monitoring, search and rescue, transportation of sea turtles and rapid response to any incident that portends dangers to the sea turtle.
- Advocacy for a domestic law in addition to the country’s endangered species act to protect identified sea turtles nesting beaches, that will lead to the establishment of shoreline guards that will provide 1st line of defense for sea turtles.
- Secure a project office for administration, training, project facilitation and accommodation for data-gatherers, volunteers and both local and international technical partners who come to visit the project.
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- Wildlife Africa Initiative
- AGA (Aktionsgemeinschaft Artenschutz e.V.), a registered non-profit organization in Germany.
- Anna Stamatiou, Board Member, MEDASSET
- Chinwe J. Ugwuzor, Founder, Eco-BioSpatial Africa and #ProjectAriyike Manager
- Oluwatoyosi Bakare, Founder ActionGx and #ProjectAriyike Asst Manager (Proposed)
- Federal Ministry of Environment (Proposed)
- Nigeria Institute of Oceanography and Marine Research (Proposed)
- Lagos State Government (Proposed)
- Department of Zoology, University of Lagos. (Proposed).
- Department of Zoology, Covenant University, Ota. (Proposed).
- Department of Zoology, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye. (Proposed).
- All Registered Volunteers of Wildlife Africa Initiative.