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Turtle Conservation

Saving Sea Turtles

Travelling across the ocean expanse, five out of the seven species of sea turtles visit Mozambique’s waters to forage, shelter and nest. And they need our help. 

Each of the five species of sea turtles found in Southern Africa are listed on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species and are considered to be threatened with extinction globally. Sea turtles are slow to grow to adults and have a low reproductive rate. Only one in a thousand turtle hatchlings survive to adulthood to start the nesting process. This is where vital turtle conservation projects come in.

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Saving Sea Turtles

Travelling across the ocean expanse, five out of the seven species of sea turtles visit Mozambique’s waters to forage, shelter and nest. And they need our help. 

Each of the five species of sea turtles found in Southern Africa are listed on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species and are considered to be threatened with extinction globally. Sea turtles are slow to grow to adults and have a low reproductive rate. Only one in a thousand turtle hatchlings survive to adulthood to start the nesting process. This is where vital turtle conservation projects come in.

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Turtle Tours

One of the simplest and most rewarding ways to help turtles is to take part in a turtle tour to observe nesting or hatching turtles.

The magical moment when females heave themselves onto the shore to lay their egg clutches is a true bucket-list experience. Watching these charismatic animals carving out their nests, and laying dozens of eggs, before laboriously camouflaging the clutches with sand is remarkable.

Equally as exceptional is the moment when the hatchlings break free from the nests and embark on a hazardous trek across the beach to the ocean. Our teams will ensure that their path to the ocean is clear of objects that might impede their journey.  Through the dedicated work of the local community and conservationists, there are turtle monitoring projects set up at both Ilha do Fogo and Machangulo. We offer visitors an opportunity to join turtle monitoring tours, which provide crucial funds for monitoring, research, and patrol teams. 

We recommend that guests spend several days joining the patrols, who head out every 12 hours on low tide. As volunteers, you may get the opportunity to help with fieldwork, including data collection, ensuring that nesting areas are free of debris, tagging nesting turtles, and marking nests.

turtle tours

Why join a tour?

Why join a tour?

When is the best time to see turtles?

Dates to Visit

April – June = Nesting season

June – August = Hatching season

Dates to Visit

October – December = Nesting season

December – March = Hatching season

You may spot turtles foraging in the abundant reefs off of our coast. Ilha do Fogo has a unique population of hawksbill turtles that visit to nibble on the many sponges, as well as green and olive ridley turtles. Machangulo boasts a resident population of loggerhead turtles, a quick boat ride away at Inhaca Island, and leatherback turtles have been spotted just offshore by the whale-watching boats.

When is the best time to see turtles?

Dates to Visit

April – June = Nesting season

June – August = Hatching season

Dates to Visit

October – December = Nesting season

December – March = Hatching season

You may spot turtles foraging in the abundant reefs off of our coast. Ilha do Fogo has a unique population of hawksbill turtles that visit to nibble on the many sponges, as well as green and olive ridley turtles. Machangulo boasts a resident population of loggerhead turtles, a quick boat ride away at Inhaca Island, and leatherback turtles have been spotted just offshore by the whale-watching boats.

Challenges

Challenges

Why protect turtles?

At their current rate of decline, some species of turtles may not be around for future generations to enjoy. At both Ilha do Fogo and Machangulo, protecting turtles from further decline is integral to preserving the delicate balance of our fragile marine and terrestrial ecosystems.

Bio-Engineering

As bioengineers, turtles help maintain the health of seagrass beds and coral reefs that benefit other vital marine life.

Balance

Hawksbill turtles play an extra special role. They are one of the very few animals that consume sponges, ensuring a healthy balance of marine sponge populations, enabling other reef species to thrive. 

Nutrients

Turtle nests can benefit coastal fauna and flora by providing nutrients.

Migration

As migratory species, turtles provide nutrient transport, pollination, and seed dispersal.

Turtle Species and Information

Hawksbill Turtle

Hawksbill turtle - fire island conservation

Hawsbill Turtle Information

15 – 50 years old

Up to 60 years

Every 1 to 5 years

110 – 180 eggs

Around 60 days

2 – 4

15 days

IUCN Red List status
Critically Endangered

Green Turtle

Green turtle - fire island conservation

Green Turtle Information

20 – 35 years old

Up to 70 years

Every 2 to 5 years

110 – 130 eggs

Around 60 days

2 – 5

10 – 14 days

IUCN Red List status
Endangered

Olive Ridley Turtle

olive ridley turtle - fire island conservation

Olive Ridley Turtle Information

From 7 years old

Up to 50 years

Annually

105 -120 eggs

Around 60 days

1 – 3

20 – 28 days

IUCN Red List status
Vulnerable

Loggerhead Turtle

loggerhead turtle - fire island conservation

Loggerhead Turtle Information

30 – 35 years old

Up to 80 years

Every 2 to 3 years

100 – 130 eggs

Around 60 days

4 – 7

14 days

IUCN Red List status
Vulnerable

Leatherback Turtle

leatherback turtle - fire island conservation

Leatherback Turtle Information

From 14 years old

Up to 50 years

Every 2 to 4 years

80 – 100 eggs

Around 60 days

4 – 9

9 – 10 days

IUCN Red List status
Vulnerable

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