Cape Verde has the third largest population of loggerhead turtles in the world and the only major nesting area for loggerhead turtles along the entire eastern Atlantic coast.
In 2015 the global status for the Loggerhead sea turtles was downgraded, from endangered to venerable, however, the North East Atlantic population (Cabo Verde) was left as endangered. In the season, from June to November 2018, Sal had a record high of 14,940 nests, this was 12 times greater than in 2015.
The not for profit organisation Project Biodiversity has made a huge impact on their protection from poachers and other human-driven threats. Unfortunately, the consumption of sea turtle meat is a long-standing tradition, as is the consumption of eggs on some islands and the hunting of males for aphrodisiacs. In 2005, possession, hunting, consumption and exploitation of sea turtles and their eggs became explicitly prohibited by law. Thankfully it is rare today and the population of turtles is increasing year on year.
On a quad bike tour this week, we found a large female turtle stranded on her back. We carried it back to the waters edge to swim away to freedom, we may have thankfully disturbed poachers. If you decide to do a turtle experience tour, please ensure you book with a reputable company that will protect and look after these beautiful animals.