Diani Turtle Watch

Protecting the nests of the South Coast

Since 2012, a team of volunteers in Diani, on Kenya’s South Coast, have been working hard to protect nesting turtles and their eggs.

Diani has undergone a lot of beach front development over the years and as a result, nesting female turtles struggle to lay their eggs in viable nesting sites. Fortunately, Juma, Francis, Ali, Masud, Ndio and Ali are on hand to carefully relocate nests to safer areas and ensure that the eggs have the best chance of hatching and making it safely to the ocean.

These 6 volunteers have been trained by our Watamu Beach Monitors and are doing an amazing job as our satellite programme, Diani Turtle Watch. Not only are they protecting the turtles and their nests, but they are also collecting valuable data. Once the eggs have hatched, the team exhume the nest and record how many empty shells, undeveloped eggs or hatchlings at various stages of development there are. This helps us to determine the success rate of each nest and add the information to our database in order to get a wider picture of nesting activities and success rates in Kenya.

In April, LOT manager, Casper, Watamu Turtle Watch coordinator, Fikiri, and Data and Research coordinator, Dennis, headed down to Diani to meet up with the Diani team. The trip was a valuable opportunity for the teams to come together for training and problem solving.

This is an incredible extension of the work we do here in Watamu and could not happen without the support of the Diani community. One group of very special ladies in particular have such passion for the programme and are constantly fundraising to ensure it continues. Thank you to the Diani residents who support this programme so whole-heartedly.