11 February, 2008

Sea Turtles Die In Kenya

I read this very disturbing report this morning:

"The killing of 28 sea turtles in less than month on the Kenyan coast has raised the alarm among conservationists.

Initial investigations portray a catastrophe of international proportions.

The deaths were not only the highest number recorded on the Kenyan coast in less than a month but the biggest set-back to conservation efforts.

According to data compiled by both the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and the Kenya Sea Turtle Conservation Committee (Kescom), 22 marine turtles have been killed at Vipingo and two at Kuruwitu both in Kilifi, three at Diani in Kwale and one in Mombasa last month.

The sea turtles are endangered species protected under the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (Cites) that prohibits commercial trade in the animal and its parts." Read more from the AllAfrica.com

Kenya Sea Turtle Conservation Committee officials say: '.....human impacts contributed to more than 85 per cent of turtle deaths in the country.' They add that: “Of the seven known species of marine turtles in the world, five are found in Kenya. They are loggerhead, leatherback, olive ridley, hawksbill and green turtle. Three of them, the green, the hawksbill and the olive ridley nest in Kenya while the others only come to forage...” and "...since 1997 more than 2,000 turtle nests have been reported in Kenya resulting in more than 150,000 hatchings. However, research has shown that out of 1,000 hatchings only one turtle reaches maturity."

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