Sea turtles are one of the Earth’s most ancient and charismatic creatures. They are so-called “keystone species” and have played vital roles in maintaining the health of the world’s oceans for more than 100 million years.
These roles range from maintaining productive coral reef ecosystems to transporting essential nutrients from oceans to beaches and coastal dunes. Major changes have occurred in the oceans because sea turtles have been virtually eliminated from many areas of the globe.
Commercial fishing, poaching, eggs taken from beaches, sold on the black market and later eaten as a delicacy, loss of nesting habitat and climate change are amongst human-caused threats pushing sea turtles towards extinction.
As sea turtle populations decline, so does their ability to fulfil vital functions in ocean ecosystems. Our oceans are unhealthy and under significant threat from overfishing, pollution and climate change.
It is time for us to protect sea turtles and rebuild their populations to the healthy levels as a vital step in ensuring healthy and resilient oceans for the future.
Making sure that sea turtle hatchlings can safely make their way to the ocean is one of the best ways to bring sea turtles back from the edge of extinction.
order to make this possible.
A difficult year for all of us is entering its final month, and the pandemic continues to keep us in its grip. We are all feeling the effects of the pandemic in our lives, jobs and projects but we didn’t lose hope for a better future.
Despite the situation in the world, Gunjur Conservationists Ecotourism Association protection project working on restoring the population of endangered sea turtle species in the Gambia carried out by local environment & sea turtle protection volunteers is ongoing. Animals and nature have been protected due to their tireless efforts.
With very limited sources and free time, a group of enthusiastic Gunjurian volunteers has been beach patrolling, rescuing nesting sea turtles, saving turtle nests from human or wildlife predation and implementing beach protection measures in Gunjur.
However, it soon became clear that this nesting season of turtles, beginning in June every year, would be extraordinary in other respects as well.
There has been a very large number of turtles climbing the beaches since the beginning of the nesting season. This year will probably end with a new record number of nests!
In addition to establishing much needed aquarium and basic income for locals in the near future there is a need of a new turtle hatchery on Gunjur beach today.
At the moment Gunjur Conservationists Ecotourism Association is operating a turtle hatchery which is in a very bad condition. While they are trying to preserve sea turtle species, protecting their habitat, collecting their eggs and relocating them to a hatchery some don’t make it due to the current state of hatchery which is no longer safe.
Turtles are being stuck in the net, snakes and other predators are able to enter hatchery and eggs are being stolen.
This creates cost which can’t be paid by Gunjurian volunteers.
Timbers, net, cement, nails, transport, labour, construction and bank fees (credit/debit cards/paypal/bank transfer from EU to Gambia) in total will cost:
33.600 GMD 610 EUR 535 GBP 645 USD
Gunjur Conservationists Ecotourism Association is also developing a new and innovative concept of community-based conservation tourism and volunteer program to finance this amazing project and to continue supporting locals and sea turtles.
Your support will help to preserve sea turtle species, protect their habitat and get collected turtle eggs to be relocated to a safe hatchery.
Since 2016 they have helped to save more than 91 nests, 8330 eggs and 2540 hatchlings at Gunjur beach, hoping to increase the number of hatchlings up to 4000 this year.
All the money raised will be directly donated to Gunjur Conservationists Ecotourism Association.
Activities will be recorded, followed and published on www.traveltogambia.com, our social pages (Facebook, Instagram), My Gambia Youtube channel and My Magazine. As well as all Gunjur Environment Interest Group social platforms.
WE MADE IT!
MyGambia team & Gunjur Conservationists Ecotourism Association (Eco Travel Gambia, Dalaba Eco Lodge, Gunjur Conservation Group and others)