Galapagos and the Green Turtle | November 6th, 2008

In March of this year, six CDF volunteers visited Quinta Playa on southern Isabela, to help monitor green turtle Chelonia mydas, nesting activity. This was a renewal of a nest monitoring programme that had been discontinued 17 years ago for lack of resources. The research into the nesting activity of the Green Turtle is currently possible thanks to the collaboration of dozens of local, national and international volunteers who work next to the biologist Patricia Zárate, a marine ecologist at the CDF. These young people, the majority with biology backgrounds, spend two months of the year of collecting data, hatching success rates, threats and the causes of mortality. In the last case, the information can only be obtained through a post-mortem examination. Thanks to these studies, it is clear that the main threats for this species of turtle are human activities, such as collisions with boats or getting tangled in fishing equipment. Other vital data that has been collected by these studies shows that Galapagos is the most significant Green Turtle nesting area in the Eastern Pacific.