Sea Turtle Nest Monitoring and Protection

Tanzania supports a small and extremely vulnerable population of nesting green and hawksbill turtles. Community Conservation Officers have received extensive training in sea turtle conservation methods and focus their efforts on the conservation of important nesting sites. Each Conservation Officer undertakes a daily patrol of their local beach to look for evidence of sea turtle nesting activity. Deep ‘tractor style’ tracks in the sand are a sure sign that a female turtle has come ashore the previous night. Each nest is checked to confirm it contains eggs and is allocated an individual identification number.

If the nest is at risk from predators, poachers or tidal inundation the Conservation Officer carefully translocates it to a safer area using internationally approved nest translocation protocols. Each nest is monitored during the two month incubation period and following hatching, the Conservation Officer calculates hatching success by excavating the nest to count the number of hatched eggs, rotten eggs and failed embryos. Data from all six districts are stored in a central database at the Sea Sense HQ and are used to identify important nesting sites, determine nesting seasonality and assess trends in nesting activity.

Since the programme started, over 5,900 nests have been monitored and more than 261,000 green and hawksbill hatchlings have safely reached the sea to begin their long journey to adulthood.

Did you know?

Sea turtles return each nesting season to lay their eggs on the same beach on which they themselves were born.


Getting recognition for Tanzania’s regional importance to marine turtles

The Secretariat of the Indian Ocean South-East Asian (IOSEA) Marine Turtle Memorandum of...

Expected Green Turtle Hatching Dates in December 2014

South Beach
Mafia Island