Cool Science
Turtle Patrol

November 4, 2016

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Photo Credit: ©WCS

Early last month, 48 staffers from WCS and the Congolese conservation group RENATURA learned how to identify the different turtle species that frequent Congo's coastline, as well as how to measure and tag turtles, how to identify tracks and mark nests, and how to interact with local fishermen.

From now until April, the six turtle teams will patrol the 35 miles of beach in Conkouati-Douli National Park at night, watching for the presence of nesting female turtles. They'll mark nest locations, maintain contact with nearby fishing camps, discourage poaching, and help release any turtles caught in fishing nets (the project pays for the repair of any nets damaged in freeing trapped turtles).

The nesting beaches in Conkouati are among most important in the world for nesting leatherback turtles, and are also home to green, hawksbill, loggerhead, and olive ridley turtles.

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