2024 SVGEF Sea Turtle Project

A nesting leatherback sea turtle, under the watchful eye of Maria , turtle monitor for Colonaire.

The SVGEF has been engaged in sea turtle conservation since its inception in 2015. Having worked with various other NGOs and government departments to pass the ban on sea turtle hunting, and to bolster efforts on protection of the species and habitat. In 2022 the SVGEF decided to create their in-house project to spearhead conservation efforts outside of established programmes. After two years of active engagement in sea turtle conservation projects supported by the Edmiston Foundation, under the project titles: the 2022 Leeward and South Coast Sea Turtle Programme and the 2023 Sea Turtle Network, the SVGEF is focusing on the year 2024 continuing with support from Edmiston. These preceding projects have successfully assembled a dedicated team of monitors and garnered substantial community and local government support for ongoing sea turtle conservation efforts in St. Vincent & the Grenadines.

A poached sea turtle, by spear gun

For the upcoming year, the project is proposed to transition into the ‘SVGEF Sea Turtle Project’. The broader title reflects the expanding scope and the diversification of activities dedicated to sea turtle conservation while continuing to develop the established work over the previous years.

A group photo after a 12 hour night patrol, with participants from: Forestry wildlife officers, Fisheries Turtle monitor, Barbados Field Director and SVGEF Team.
Anti-Poaching Night Patrols will be the first and foremost goal of this year 2024. Monitors will make their presence known on the beaches with their signature red lights, which not only are safer to use when working around sea turtles than white lights, but also a warning to poachers. We will also be utilising our experienced network of monitors, who come from various backgrounds within the coastal communities. Some of our monitors have experience hunting sea turtles before the ban and are now extremely valuable team players in understanding the minds of poachers as we patrol the beaches under darkness. Knowing who might be watching, and from where, while also recognising and creating strategies against poaching efforts. Our monitors will be patrolling from April to November, encompassing the leatherback, green, and hawksbill seasons. To protect nesting sea turtles, their hatchlings, and their habitat. Every one of our sea turtles, from egg to adult must be protected to restore the populations which we see ever so increasingly threatened by the illegal activities which take place on our shores.
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