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Community conservation of the loggerhead turtle on the east coast of Sal Island

ICON/BTN/arrow/2/arrow-down Created with Sketch. Community conservation of the loggerhead turtle on the east coast of Sal Island

Sal Island is the northern-east island of Cape Verde. Cape Verde supports the third largest aggregation of nesting Loggerhead turtles (Caretta, VU) in the world, with Sal Island supporting the second largest nesting group in the archipelago (13% of the nesting) making this location not only of local but also of global importance.

 

Illegal poaching of sea turtles for meat consumption is the main threat for this species. Although, in 2015, the global status for the Loggerhead sea turtles was changed from endangered to vulnerable by the IUCN.  The North East Atlantic subpopulation, (Cape Verde), was maintained as endangered because of illegal harvest. Noteworthy, the IUCN Marine Turtle Specialist Group listed this subpopulation one of the eleven most threatened populations of sea turtles worldwide.

 

In 2017, mortality rate for Loggerhead turtle in the area of Pedra de Lume, in the North East coast of Sal Island, was estimated between around 80% due to poaching when protection patrols are not in place. This means that almost the totality of the females going to nest on that area are killed for consumption.