The LOC Watmu Turtle Watch programme protects sea turtles coming to lay their eggs on Watamu beach and monitors the nests throughout their incubation period. Newton, Samuel, Carlos and Jefa are our nest monitors in Watamu who patrol the Marine Park beach every night of the year looking out for the sea turtles. For a minimum of 6 hours every night they are on the beach before, during and after high tide when the sea turtles are most likely to come and lay their eggs.
Since the beginning of the programme in 1997 until 2017 we have monitored 897 nests. In 2018 we have monitored 75 nests. This figure has broken the record for the total number of nests laid in any of the past years by an increase of 20%. The highest number we have ever managed before is 59.
From the 75 nests, 18 have been laid outside the Marine Park beach. The nests outside the Marine Park beach have been reported to us by the local community who work with the project to protect the sea turtles. An estimated 18 nesting females have made the nests. Can you imagine that 20-25 years ago these 18 nesting turtles once hatched from the beach in Watamu?
In the dark, windy and sometimes rainy weather the nest monitors will be dressed in their head torches and bright rain jackets ready to save the turtles. Often, they have been joined by eco visitors (you can become an eco visitor here) and partner organisations during the patrols. With passion and dedication LOC continues to make a difference, one turtle nest at a time!
That is how we have done it 2018 and look forward to what lies ahead in 2019!
It’s another great reminder that our efforts help play a positive role for the sea turtles and contribute to the knowledge that the future generations will enjoy and reap from the efforts we make today.
~ Gladys Kimani