2022 nesting season welcomes 114,000 loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings in Cape Verde

 Tuesday, March 28, 2023 


Projeto Biodiversidade and Bios.CV, two environmental conservation organisations from Cape Verde, recently announced the success of the 2022 loggerhead sea turtle nesting season. RIU Hotels & Resorts, which operates six hotels in the destination and prioritises the protection and conservation of its biodiversity as part of its CSR objectives, has supported these organisations for years. Hatching took place on the islands of Sal and Boa Vista in Cape Verde, an archipelago that has established itself as one of this species’ most important breeding grounds in the world.

This season, the island of Boa Vista became home to 60% of the total number of turtle hatchlings in Cape Verde, with 32,868 nests. Of this total, 6,091 have remained under the care of Bios.CV within the Reserva Natural das Tartarugas. The hatchery had a high success rate, with 38,480 hatchlings being released into the sea. Bios.CV also monitored 2,595 of these turtles and rescued 13 from death. In addition, the organisation carried out experiments in the nests to find solutions to the serious threat of global warming.

Projeto Biodiversidade recorded a total of 16,033 nests on the island of Sal. Of these, 1,715were distributed among the organisation’s 5 hatcheries, which released 76,231 hatchlings into the sea. The largest, located on the beach in front of RIU’s hotels on the island, was home to more than half of these nests. What’s more, the organisation patrolled 24.2 km of the island’s coastline and monitored 4,266 turtles. On the island of Sal, all nests in built-up areas are protected in hatcheries, which play a key role in minimising the impact of tourism and light pollution.

Another important achievement this season was the reduction in turtle hunting, falling from 440catches in 2021 to 135 in 2022. To better protect the nests, the hatcheries are monitored and supervised by Bios.CV and Projeto Biodiversidade volunteers. Thanks to the hotel chain’s support, part of the surveillance team, which is made up of some twenty people, have a camp on the beach. In this way, the company helps protect the loggerhead sea turtle, which is classified as vulnerable in the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List of Threatened Species. This means that it is at high risk of becoming an endangered species. RIU’s contribution to this project is part of its objective to increase social investment in all destinations where it operates, striking a balance between its business presence and involvement in local development.

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