2 January 2017
Summertime is uber chaotic in the reserve. This is prime loggerhead and leatherback turtle nesting territory in Mozambique, and they are monitored through the night every night from October to March. Forty-two community members have been trained as turtle monitors, and numbered poles have been planted along the beach 500m apart. So monitors log turtle information from their tags, take measurements and give the pole number as the location.
As we continue driving the 100 km stretch of beach from Ponta to Santa Maria, Miguel calls out GPS coordinates whenever he sees any beach activity. The two marine guards sitting right behind him log it all for later analyses. This ongoing and accurate data collection has built a valuable body of research for this coastline, and serves to keep it impeccably managed and conserved.
What will completely change the fortune of the reserve, however, is if it’s given World Heritage Status. 'That’s my big wish for the future,' smiles Miguel, as he does a U-turn on the beach and points the Land Cruiser back towards Ponta do Ouro. There is no time to waste. The tide is coming in.
Story by Keri Harvey
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