The PNBA, one of the most important areas for green turtles worldwide?

Sea turtle sightings during field experiment in the PNBA
Sea turtle sightings during field experiment in the PNBA

Some of the world’s largest populations of sea turtles breed in West Africa, making the region of global importance for green and loggerhead turtles. In partnership with local organisations, in particular IBAP in Guinea Bissau, Fundaçao Maio Biodiversidade (FMB), Fundaçao Tartaruga, CV Natura 2000 and BIOS CV in Cabo Verde, MAVA is working to protect the key breeding sites in the area.

As part of the collaboration between MARE – ISPA Lisbon, the University of Exeter and IBAP on the sea turtles in the Bijagos achipelago (Guinea-Bissau), the current sea turtle research team recently carried out a mission to the National Park of the Banc d’Arguin (PNBA) in Mauritania, in order to collect information about sea turtles. Satellite tracking data from the Bijagós had already shown green turtles’ migration from the archipelago northwards to the PNBA; in site field work was needed to get additional and more precise details.

The results are impressive. According to the scientists, it appears that hundreds of thousands of green turtles are in the PNBA, probably from many areas of the Atlantic. These are, of course, very preliminary results, which need a lot of refinement, but experts involved in the project have little doubt that the conclusions will be that PNBA is one of the most important areas for green turtles worldwide.

This is extremely important information which will help protect this vulnerable species and will lead the way to new discussions and regional collaboration among the partners involved.

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