The second quarter of 2022 saw the continuation of Curieuse turtle and shark conservation projects.
We finished the peak of turtle and shark seasons, with daily checks of the turtle nesting beaches for new nests and the excavation of nests as well as assessing the nesting success, and continued monitoring of the Lemon shark juveniles.
The second quarter showed healthy populations of both species. A total of 62 nests were excavated whilst 8 female Hawksbill turtles were tagged and a further 70 turtle activities recorded.
For the juvenile lemon sharks in the marine national park, the numbers slowed down which is to be expected. A total of 29 were caught and tagged. In toal 3 Scalloped Hammerheads were caught in the second quarter which is record high. We’re still in the process of analysing this rare occurrence and finding out why it’s happened.
We're planning to retrieve the 12 acoustic receivers from the seabed surrounding Curieuse Island in the coming months so that we can further analyse the juvenile sicklefin Lemon sharks behavioural patterns so assess if the marine park boundaries are sufficient.
For the second quarter of 2022 we continued the great progress in research and conservation of sharks and turtles in Curieuse Marine National Park. We are so fortunate to have incredible people supporting our work, and without that we wouldn’t be able to continue to successfully conserve these endangered species. We want to thank you so much on behalf of the park for helping, and hope that you continue to support our work into the future too.
The beginning of 2022 saw the continuation of all of the GVI Curieuse turtle and shark conservation projects. We were in the peak of turtle and shark seasons, with daily checks of the turtle nesting beaches for new nests and the excavation of nests in full swing to assess the nesting success, and continued monitoring of the Lemon shark juveniles.
The start of the year started off strongly with turtle hatchlings being discovered from 8th Januar. In total 31 adult female Hawksbill turtles were tagged whilst a total of 302 total turtle activities were recorded.
The juvenile sharks were also busy tracking themselves after the implantation of 20 acoustic transmitters, with their acoustic signals being automatically recorded on 12 fixed receivers throughout their habitat. The preliminary results showed that out of 329,208 acoustic detections, only 1,203 of those detections were in the deeper waters off of Curieuse. This shows that the juvenile sharks strongly prefer the shallow waters of the island and further highlights the importance of protecting it, especially the mangrove areas. Due to the success of this tracking project we’re currently in the process of extending the project to discover where the small population of sharks that leave the Marine National Park go.
For the first quarter of 2022 we continued the great progress in research and conservation of sharks and turtles in Curieuse Marine National Park. We are so fortunate to have incredible people supporting our work, and without that we wouldn’t be able to continue to successfully conserve these endangered species. We want to thank you so much on behalf of the park for helping, and hope that you continue to support our work into the future too.
Over the last 3 months we've been supporting the Seychelles National Park Authority focusing on their research efforts involving the Aldabra Giant Tortoises, Beach Profiling and Mangroves on Curieuse Island.
Our annual Aldabra Giant Tortoise study which collects the biometrics of the species has been changed so that it is conducted once every five years in order to make space for an additional Aldabra Giant Tortoise study which focuses on their behavioral habits.Curieuse Island is home to 150 free-roaming Aldabra Giant Tortoises which puts us in a unique position to conduct such a study as no such study has been done with this amount of free-foaming Aldabra Giant Tortoises on the Inner Islands of Seychelles. Activities being observed are diet, exercise and sleeping patterns and social interactions in accordance with time, location and weather.
Our Beach Profiling initiative consists of measuring accretion and erosion on six beaches on Curieuse Island. Previously this study was conducted bi-annually however with current climate stresses alongside noticeable changes in the beaches this study has been moved to monthly. The results we’ve measured have correlated with our monsoon seasons. In South East wind season between April and September we’ve measured more accretion on the beaches and in North West wind season between October and March we’ve measured more erosion. Overall there is higher erosion taking place on all beaches compared to accretion.
We continue to study and monitor the health and wellbeing of the mangrove forest - analysing the health of the forest through abundance and diversity of the six species found on Curieuse Island. Eight 10x10 quadrats are analysed over a period of time to assess the species and the part of life cycle they’re in (seedling, sapling or tree). The results have shown that our mangrove forest is in a healthy state and the life stages of the mangroves are progressing at a healthy rate. Rhizophora mucronata is still the most commonly found mangrove in the forest followed by Bruguiera Gymnorrhiza and Avicennia marina.
Thank you for your generous and continued support as we work with our local and governmental partners to ensure the continued well being the sharks, tortoises and the local marine ecosystem in Seychelles.
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