A new study highlights the decrease in marine turtle nesting in Madagascar, and the role that community-based monitoring could play in monitoring and protecting remaining nesting sites.
Madagascar is an important foraging ground for marine turtles in the Western Indian Ocean, yet the status of the country’s nesting aggregations remains poorly documented. A new study, carried out by Blue Ventures Conservation and Exeter University, assessed the current status and trend in nesting throughout Madagascar, including the results of the first long-term community-based turtle nest monitoring programme from the Barren Isles (western Madagascar).
The study revealed that nesting levels have declined at many coastal sites, with no known recordings since 2000 at over 40 sites. The majority of remaining nesting aggregations, including those recorded by the community-based project in the Barren Isles, are relatively small, in the order of <50 nests per year.
The Barren Isles is an archipelago of 10 islands off the west coast of Madagascar in the Mozambique Channel, and is thought to be home to some of the country’s healthiest reefs. The study discusses the importance of protecting small marine turtle nesting populations, and how community-based monitoring could be an important tool for conserving remote and vulnerable populations and building capacity for natural resource management.
Find out more about the publication: Placing Madagascar’s marine turtle populations in a regional context using community-based monitoring
Humber, F., Godley, B.J., Nicolas, T., Raynaud, O., Pichon, F. and Broderick, A.C. (2016) Placing Madagascar’s marine turtle populations in a regional context using community-based monitoring, Oryx, 2016, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0030605315001398