The months June till October are my favourite here in Cape Verde because there are these amazing creatures from approximately 80 cm who come to Cape Verde to lay their eggs. Every night hundred off Loggerhead turtles enter the beach during the night searching for a good place to lay their eggs, not one nest but 4-5 nests per season. One nest can include around 80 eggs.
The wonderful thing about sea turtles is that they have the ability to find their way to the beach where they hatched even after 20-25 years of living in the ocean. They use earth’s magnetic fields to find their way back to the beach. The sex is determined by temperature, around 29 degrees and above females will be born and when the temperature is less than 29 degrees Celcius males will be created. These subpopulation Loggerheads is the most threatened population in the world due to pollution, by-catch and poaching.
Unfortunately, this still happens in Cape Verde too. That’s why the organization ‘Project Biodiversity’ set up a conservation program to protect them, every night rangers patrol the beaches to protect the turtles from poaching and check if the nests lay on the right place (not to close to the sea and make sure that they will not be disturbed by light pollution).
I have an amazing job because I work as a guide for Explore Cape Verde on Sal. During the nesting season, I guide the Dutch Turtle walks. Every night I’m out at the beach with a small group of people to find nesting Loggerhead turtles. During the Turtle walk, I give the guests general information about the turtles and why it is so important to protect them. Mid-August, it starts to be even more fun the job already is because then nests start to hatch, so sometimes we are lucky to see baby turtles. Seeing these animals nesting is so special, the whole process and their behaviour surprise me over and over again. It is definitely an experience you will never forget, a few more weeks to go and then I will have to miss the turtles again for a whole year!