nesting sea turtle monitoring & conservation
KIDO Foundation monitors nesting sea turtles in the proposed National Park area of High North, in Carriacou and adjacent relevant nesting beaches. KIDO is affiliated with WIDECAST (Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network) and follows its tagging and data collection protocol procedures since 2002.
Prior to the beginning of KIDO Foundation monitoring and tagging activities, sea turtle eggs were poached indiscriminately, but our ongoing night and morning nesting monitoring program has demonstrated that effective protection of nesting beaches enables a general increase in nesting activities and a relevant reduction of poaching. From 35 nests counted and poached in 2001 to 500 nesting activities in 2017, this reflects a remarkable success in turtle monitoring for Carriacou.
During these 16 years of monitoring, tagged leatherbacks and hawksbills showed a nesting site fidelity (they return after 2 or 3 years to nest on the same beach), with exceptions showing them nesting on different beaches in other islands (including Grenada, Union Island, Barbados, and Trinidad) sometimes during the same nesting season.
As the nesting habitats of sea turtles become increasingly threatened and reduced by the effects of climate change, land development, dumping, sand mining, coastal erosion, rising high water levels and other anthropogenic impacts, small secluded beaches on islands like Carriacou offer critically important patches of alternative nesting habitat for sea turtles in the region.
Additionally, our ongoing project offers training, subsistence salaries for local nature guides and volunteer positions to local and foreign students and research assistants. All of these activities help to establish a culture of nature and wildlife conservation on and around our islands.
Marine biologist, Piero, gazes at a hawksbill after her nesting (photo: L. Zelaya)
Hawksbill hatchling (photo by P. Becker)
Post-nesting Leatherback (photo by A. Liikala
Guide Z. James ecstatic of this leatherback hatchling, emerged at dawn (photo P. Becker)
Under the seagrape leaves at dawn (photo by P. Becker)
Unusual encounter, rescued Leatherback & Hawksbill hatchlings (photo by P. Becker)
Hawksbill hatchlings (photo by P. Becker)
A big leap into the Ocean, Leatherback hatchling (photo by P. Becker)
Post-nesting Hawksbill leaving Petit Carenage beach (photo by T. Duerden)
Close encounter (photo by P. Becker)
Nesting Hawksbill lays 212 eggs (photo A. Peters)
Marine biologist L. Zelaya measures post-nesting leatherback carapace width in Petit Carenage (photo P. Becker)
Leatherback eggs get counted as 1000 lbs Mom lays them (photos A. Peters)
Guides R. Alexander and A. Peters with volunteers (father & daughter) (photo by D.Sandrini)
Guide Antonia Peters measures the Curved Carapace Length of the post-nesting Hawksbill (photo by P. Becker)
KIDO guide, Zoya, tagging a post-nesting hawksbill. (photo: Piero Becker)
Turtle guides, Rickie and Antonia, with Dario of KIDO relocating a bucketful of leatherback eggs (photo by M.Fastigi)
KIDO guide, M. Charles, takes a notch-to-tail straight carapace length measurement of a post-nesting hawksbill (photo P. Becker)
KIDO volunteer, Dana, holds a leatherback hatchling during a night patrol (photo P. Becker)
Post-nesting leatherback leaves Petit Carenage beach (photo by A. Liikala)
Rescued poached nesting hawksbill (photo by D. Sandrini)
Poached & Rescued nesting hawksbill free at last (photo by Everett Wise)
Noah Matthew, valuable junior assistant to KIDO Turtle Rescue operations (photo by M.Fastigi)
Measuring rescued hawksbill before release (photo by M.Fastigi)