Between June and December is the nesting season, which means the busiest time of the year. Before sea turtles are nesting, we are checking and cleaning up beaches. We are patrolling the nesting beaches every night/morning to look for tracks and nests. If we locate a nest, we check the surrounding conditions and decide if it is necessary to relocate it. We make sure the nest is safe and protected by marking the area around the nest. After the newborn sea turtles hatched, we excavate the nest and count the amount of successful and unsuccessful hatchlings. Our nest patrols and the collected data are fundamental to better understand and protect these endangered species and help to improve future measurements and actions.
During our snorkel surveys, a group of volunteers is swimming in a line next to each other and counting the number of individuals. This helps us to gain more knowledge about the sea turtle population and the different species around Curaçao.
Multiple times a year, we capture sea turtles with the help of a net in different bays around the island. All the individuals we catch will be measured, weighted, tagged, and health checked. In addition, we take tissue- and/or blood samples as well as photos for our photo ID database. As soon as the individuals are checked, they will be released immediately back to the sea.
We apply photo identification during our rescues, snorkel surveys and net captures to identify the different individuals and create a database about the sea turtles around the island.
Our sea turtles are facing an unprecedented threat called Fibropapillomatosis (FP). This debilitating disease has been spreading rapidly among sea turtle populations, causing concern among scientists and conservationists worldwide. FP poses a significant threat to the already vulnerable sea turtle population on Curacao. As research continue to investigate the disease and how to treat it, concerted efforts are necessary to mitigate its impact. (read the article)
In june 2023 we started a scientific research in cooperation with Jefferson University in Philadelphia. 8 turtles were tagged and a transmitter was placed to get a view into their habits. Data is now being investigated. (Read more here)