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Consolidation of Sea Turtle Conservation in the Bijagós Archipelago, Guinea-Bissau


The Bijagós Archipelago provide nesting beaches to four of the five species of sea turtles, the green turtle, the hawksbill, the leatherback and the olive Ridley. Its coastal waters serve as foraging grounds for adult and juvenile green and hawksbill turtles. The green turtle is by far the most abundant, with one of the largest rookeries worldwide located at Poilão Island, where 15,000 to 30,000 clutches are laid annually.


This project, funded by the MAVA Foundation, aims to consolidate sea turtle conservation in the region, through research, training and advance education (partners: MARE-ISPA, FCUL, Univ. of Exeter), awareness raising (partners: Palmeirinha, Programa Tatô), and improved MPA management, surveillance and monitoring (IBAP - Guinea-Bissau)."

Project goals:


1. Erradicate sea turtle mortality at breeding sites

2. Erradicate habitat disturbance at breeding sites

The project will involve enhanced law enforcement, land use planning, raised awareness and participation of local communities in sea turtle conservation work, better management of Protected Areas, capacity building of national and local teams, and advanced scientific research to improve the knowledge on the conservation status of sea turtle populations in Guinea-Bissau.

Project strategies:

1. Patrolling and surveillance of priority breeding sites

2. Effective management of Protected Areas

3. Community engagement

4. Revision of legal framework and law enforcement

5. Mitigation of habitat disturbance and associated impacts

6. Coastal development and tourism planning

7. Research and monitoring

8. Environmental awareness, communication and education

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