Raquel Fernandes, Centro Terra Viva, has kindly forwarded a copy of the ninth annual report on monitoring, tagging and conservation of marine turtles in Mozambique. The report presents the results of the 2015/16 nesting season, ongoing and published studies, as well as priorities for future research and a list of relevant events.
Monitoring took place from September 2015 to March 2016, in the southern part of the country, and from June 2015 to May 2016 in the northern part. In general, when compared with the previous seasons, 2015/16 had slightly less loggerhead and leatherback tracks and more green turtles tracks. The explanation is not clear and may simply be a result of monitoring effort or natural seasonal variation. The impacts of environmental changes and seasonal variation are not yet understood and future efforts should be made in this subject area. In addition to this, identifying and quantifying the extent of anthropogenic impacts (particularly fisheries-related mortality) to sea turtles in Mozambique is needed to inform conservation and management decisions.
Tracks and nests of loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) turtles were recorded along the stretch of coastline between Ponta do Ouro and São Sebastião, and green turtles (Chelonia mydas) were reported at Vamizi island. Interestingly, not a single hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) was reported this season. Hawksbill turtles are rarely observed in Vamizi, with only one track found in the 2012-2013 nesting season. A total of 1868 tracks and 1005 nests were recorded during 2015-16 nesting season. The most abundant were loggerhead turtles (1600 tracks; 752 nests), followed by greens (215 tracks; 207 nests) and fewer leatherbacks (53 tracks; 46 nests).
The Ponta do Ouro Partial Marine Reserve (POMPR) was an important nesting area for loggerheads (98.6% and 99.7 % of all loggerhead tracks and nests reported) and leatherbacks (94.3% and 95.6% of all leatherback tracks and nests reported). Vamizi Island was the only monitoring area to report green turtles tracks.
As in the previous years, titanium flipper tagging only took place at the POPMR, with 83.8% of the total tagging undertaken in the Ponta Malongane-Ponta Dobela section. Fewer turtles (147 loggerheads and 7 leatherbacks) were recaptured and tagged when compared with the previous season (177 loggerheads and 3 leatherbacks) in the Malongane section of the coast.
Click here to download the full report
(26 pp - 2.2 MB).