St. Eustatius Sea Turtle Conservation Programme - Annual Report 2013
The 2013 Sea Turtle nesting season was a varied season whereby there was as in previous years not much in the way of leatherback activity but towards the end of the season there was a marked increase in hard shell activity. There were also at least 22 sightings of sea turtles during 50 odd hours of night patrols thereby giving the program a “catch” per unit effort of just under 50%.
The objective of the St Eustatius Sea Turtle Conservation Program is to promote long-term survival of the sea turtle populations on and around the island. This goal is achieved by safeguarding critical sea turtle habitats, conducting research to provide policy and decision makers with current, relevant data on the status of sea turtles in the region, and limiting environmental impacts on nesting beaches and near-shore waters. One of the most important factors to ensure the success of the project is the direct involvement of the local community in the program to promote a better understanding of the importance of long-term conservation, not just for sea turtles but for other locally threatened species.
The aims of this Annual Report include the following:
- Summarize the activities of the 2013 Sea Turtle Conservation Program.
- Review the accomplishments and deficiencies of the program in 2013.
- Suggest recommendations for the 2014 program.
- Present information locally, regionally and internationally about the research and monitoring program on the island.
- Produce a progress report for the Island Government, potential program funding organizations, the local community and international volunteers