Saturday, July 31, 2010

Excavation for the nation!!!!

Hello to all you turtle followers out there - I am sorry that it has taken me a while to announce this excavation for today but better late than never!!

We do have an excavation on this evening, and we ask that visitors who would like to come watch tonight, to meet at the goatshed at around 6:15pm where we hope to start the exo around 6:30pm. For those who have mobility problems the excavation this evening is right next to the beach bar so alternatively you can meet us there, just look for a mass of red t-shirts.

We strongly ask visitors who would like to take pictures to make sure that the flash is off as the light is so intense that it can damage the sight of the hatchlings.

I forgot to say one more thing - we will not be releasing the hatchlings that come out of the nest today, as our protocol has changed from last year. Any hatchings that we excavate will be taken back to our base and will be released at 9 that night. For future excavations we will be taking bookings for hatchling releases of up to 30 visitors. However, for the rest of this week we are still having visitors down on the beach for night work and thus we can not take any more people down to the beach until this has finished on the 4th of next month (August).

So please come down and visit us and the hatchlings!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Public excavation

There is going to be public excavation at 7:30 PM.Meet at Goatshed

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

This season so far.......By John Larner

Volunteers from North Cyprus, UK and other countries have been working hard on the beaches across North Cyprus since May 2010. This mid season update will hopefully give you a good idea of how the project is going and more importantly some useful information on how the turtles are doing this season.

The Loggerheads and Greens are laying their final egg clutches for the season. To date there have been 35 loggerhead nests and 70 green nests on the primary nesting ground of Alagadi. In addition to this there have been 184 loggerhead nests and 29 green nests on the other beaches along the West and Northern Cyprus coastline. Furthermore the locally led turtle conservation project operating on the Karpas peninsula has recorded many Green nests this year.

One of the primary successes to surface from this season so far is the relationship that has been established by the MTRG with the local fishermen. Communication has vastly improved which has lead to an improved relationship and has acted as a catalyst for improved conservation efforts and new branches of research into how fishing affects sea turtles in the Mediterranean. This morning a loggerhead turtle was caught in a net by a fisherman at Kaplica. After the fishermen contacted us we received the turtle at the harbour, tagged it and released it at Kaplica. Perhaps the adult female turtle will some day lay eggs on Alagadi beach, or it may be recaptured by fishermen in the future, providing information on her movements.

As the season moves into the second phase, we are starting to see the first hatchlings emerge from the beaches. Clearly this is a massively rewarding part of the project, and we invite people to come down to Alagadi beach to experience the hatchlings bravely making it to the sea for themselves.

Anyone wanting to see the hatchlings is advised to ring the MTRG project base (AKA the goatshed) to find out when the next hatchling excavation will be. As the season moves into August, this will be an almost daily occurrence! Remember only one hatchling in a thousand will survive to adulthood, so we welcome you to egg them on! The telephone number is: 0090 (0)5338798533. Also keep an eye on this blog, which will be updated daily by 9am with details of any excavations planned day to day.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Farid's Story

I belong to Pakistan where I live in a big city, Lahore, where you can’t see the wonders of nature and wildlife. Since my childhood I was deeply attached to nature and wildlife. Being a shy guy most of my time I spend in my home with my plants and pets. They are very close to my heart. I always wanted to work for wildlife and the environment, but never had a chance. I studied Journalism and Sociology, which doesn’t connect me with my passion and dreams. But I believe if passion is true you can achieve everything. So my Life took a new turn when I applied for this project. Most of the volunteers are from Europe. I asked the project leader Robin Snape before applying and he suggested I give it a try. In the beginning of 2010 I got email from Robin. He asked will I be free in summer. After reading this I was jumping.

This happiness brought worries. How was I going to arrange money? I was in need of 2 hundred thousand rupees! But God sent a miracle. My cousin agreed to lend me some of the money and for the rest I had to sell my most precious thing, my motorbike. It was so hard. There was only one thing in my mind I have to make it. There were so many hurdles in my way to get North Cyprus money, visa and biggest problem was how to send Robin my contribution to the project? It took weeks to figure it out. But in the end I was finally ready to fly.

The hardest thing was to leave my mother. I had not been away from my mother for a single day in the past 20 years. But that’s life and I left home and travelled to another big city called Karachi where I took the long journey to Isatanbul. I was so happy to see Istanbul airport and then travel onwards to Ercan. After a number of hours dealing with visa issues, I took a long breath in the fresh air of North Cyprus. I hadn’t seen the Sea in my whole life so it was mind blowing.

When I arrived there was just me and 3 more people. In the beginning I was terribly home sick and I shed a thousand tears on the roof top of Goatshed. The worst thing was that I wasn’t able to call my mother for 5 days. When I finally talked to my mother it was a great relief. The first 3 weeks were hardest weeks of my life. But now I am getting to know everyone.

Seeing turtles and working with them makes me feel like I am living in the National Geographic Channel. Everything is amazing. This project is very important and special to me. I know in the end its going to open new door in my destiny. I love the struggle of female turtles how much effort they put to give birth to new life. They spend hours and hours to secure their hatchlings. Its amazing and makes me realize the importance of struggle. Now the Goat Shed is full of people. But its good. We have so many differences because I came from another part of the world. Many of their views and ideas are different to mine but its good because I am learning so many things from them. Everyday is new lesson here. When I am done with this project I hope I’ll have changed a lot. The turtles are now special part of my life and always will be. I hope my journey will go well. I am going to see the Karpas soon. So I can see other sides of North Cyprus.