HISTORY: Angie had seen turtles come to shore on a few occasions to nest when she permanently moved to the area in 1999 and when she was approached by a young Mozambican by the name of Osvaldo who was a student at UEM she jumped at the opportunity of supporting and initiating a longterm turtle monitoring project in Ponta. Later years found Dolphin teaming up with local Mozambique organizations AICM, CTV and the Mozambique Turtle working group to further the monitoring. Together with All Out Africa and a number of volunteers the project continued under the wings of Dolphin until 2009, after-which management was taken over by the newly proclaimed reserve who’s partnership with the PeaceParks foundation guaranteed greater coverage and more man-power.
Dolphin continues to support the turtle monitoring project by means of partial salaries for the three monitors in Ponta do Ouro and data management and entry. Guided walks are not available in Ponta do Ouro at this stage and one is asked not to disturb turtles when seen on the beach. Failure to comply with this will result in a large fine by the reserve if caught.
Threats to turtles in the area:
lighting of the beachfront properties
The project runs annually between October & March and involves monitoring nesting females & hatchling sites. The Turtle Monitoring Program requires regular monitoring of an 8km stretch of beach (Kosi Bay border to Ponat Malongane Point). This is done through nightly walks during the turtle nesting and hatchling seasons (October to January & January to March, respectively).
Local monitors & volunteers ensure the collection of data the safe tagging of nesting females. Species monitored include Loggerhead and Leatherbacks turtles. The purpose is to locate new turtle nests, measure nesting females, record the tag number for previously tagged individuals, tag those that are not, check nest locations as hatching time approaches, examine recently emerged nests for number of eggs laid, number of non-viable eggs, hatchlings that did not make it out of the nest, and assist those that are struggling to emerge.
We educate on the risks and negatives of poaching turtles and their eggs, and the impact of human actions on turtles (i.e. rubbish, quad bikes, driving on the beach, lights, disturbance, etc). Local monitoring provides a presence on the beach to deter turtle and turtle egg poaching activities.