I'm recommending this New York Times article about turtles and their amazing abilities to withstand adversity. They can go without food and water for months at a time, their armored bodies can withstand the impact of a stampeding wildebeast, and they're among the longest-living creatures on Earth. And they don't succumb to old age: if they didn't get eaten, smashed by cars, or pick up diseases, they just might live indefinitely. But for all that, at least half of all turtle species are in trouble, and some of them may be extinct within the next decade.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Liza's picture
Liza says:

SMM's own Reneé Mensing-Solick sent me this message:

"Hi all,

We are writing on behalf of our good friends Phil and Karyn Allman, who are initiating a sea turtle conservation organization in Ghana, and who would greatly appreciate your help getting started. The organization is called HATCH (Hlamihi Association for Turtle Conservation and Hope) and is dedicated to the conservation of sea turtles (known as hlamihi in the local dialect) through research, education, and responsible ecotourism/stewardship. You can learn more about the project, including conservation updates and Phil & Karyn’s adventures in Ghana by visiting Phil’s blogsite.

Over the past few months, HATCH has organized workshops for people living in the seven fishing villages located within the study area to educate locals on sea turtle conservation and the potential this area has to develop ecotourism. HATCH has also met with resorts in the area to promote the idea of organizing guided turtle walks for tourists. The main focus, however, has been on patrolling 10 km of beach each night to find, monitor, and protect nests, observe and collect biological information on egg-laying females, and deter poaching.

As of Nov 24th, HATCH has located 73 nests for leatherback and olive ridley turtles and collected data on 32 nesting individuals. In October, through collaboration with scientists from the Danish Galathea 3 Expedition, satellite transmitters were placed on 5 olive ridleys, the first turtles to ever be tracked in Ghana. (Want to follow their movements?) These are impressive results, but to expand their search effort, HATCH recently acquired a new ATV that will enable Phil and Karyn to survey an additional 35 km of beach each night! However, running the ATV costs approximately $19 per night for fuel alone (and you thought our gas prices were high!). Over the course of a breeding season, this gets expensive, which is why they need your help.

How You Can Help
Right now there are 3 different ways you can help:

  1. Buy a T-Shirt! They cost $15, $5 of which goes directly into an account used only for fuel purchases. They are available in sizes: small, medium, large, extra large and in the following colors: white, black (with white print), brown (with white print), or khaki/tan. For details on how to pay, contact Phil at ghanaturtles @ animail.net.
  2. Adopt a Night! For $20 you can choose a night (any date from Aug 15 to Apr 15) to sponsor. You will receive a certificate with your name and date of sponsor as well as email updates of the night's activity, including information for each turtle that nested during your chosen day (species, tag numbers, size, number of eggs, etc...), the fate of each nest produced that night, and the number of hatchlings you helped protect by adopting that night. So pick your special nights (birthdays, Anniversaries, holidays, etc...) and support HATCH! All $20 goes directly to gas for the ATV. If you would like to purchase adoptions, please email Phil at ghanaturtles @ animail.net.
  3. Pass this information along to others! As we all know, conservation is not a solitary effort, so please pass this message along to others you think may be able to support conservation in Ghana.

Hope all is well,

Donal and Reneé"

posted on Wed, 12/13/2006 - 10:42am

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