Ascension : Ascension Island Conservation Department
Submitted by The Islander (Conservation Office) 28.01.2010 (Article Archived on 18.03.2010)
Ascension Island is a globally important nesting site of the endangered Green Turtle.
Turtle Nesting Season- Guidelines
Ascension Island is a globally important nesting site of the endangered Green Turtle. They are protected by local and international laws. It has been brought to our attention recently that the nesting turtles are frequently being disturbed. We have received reports that large groups of visitors have been making a lot of noise and shining bright torches close to the turtles. This has resulted in turtles turning back into the sea before nesting. This is not acceptable. Dogs should be kept on a lead at all times on the beach after dark. Cars should be left at the Long Beach car park and not driven past the gates at any time during the nesting season. Please can the following guidelines be adhered to when turtle-watching. Thank you for your cooperation.
· Do not shine torches/flashlights on the beach.
· Do not approach or photograph turtles when they are leaving or entering the sea or digging. Turtles should not be approached at any time whilst moving.
· Do not touch the turtles.
· Do not make excessive noise or sudden movements.
· Do not drive vehicles onto the beach.
· Please park only in designated areas facing away from the beach.
· Only approach a turtle from her rear, when she has started to lay
· Please refrain from using flash photography. This will disorientate the turtle whilst she is laying. Cameras may be used with a ‘night shoot’ setting.
· From December to August, at all times of the day, please keep dogs under control on beaches following the Dogs and Cats Ordinance, CAP A10.
We would like to welcome Len Coleman to the Island. Len is a GIS (Geographical Information System) specialist from St Helena. He is spending three weeks with our department to train staff on the use of GIS. AEIOU (Ascension Environmental Information Operations Utility) is Ascension’s first integrative GIS. The training has been offered to all AIG departments, as well as VT Group and Cable and Wireless staff. The purpose of the system is to assimilate available geographic information about the Island for environmental monitoring, management and planning to meet a range of obligations within Ascension Island’s Environment Charter. Len’s trip has been funded by our OTEP (Overseas Territories Environmental Programme) Endemic Plants Project. The plant census data from 2009 will be entered into the system, allowing us to map the current distribution of all the Islands endemic plants. This takes place on an annual basis and allows the distribution and populations of our endemic plants to be closely monitored. This data will assist with the updating of the endemic plants IUCN Red List category.
Volunteers welcome. Please contact Olivia Renshaw or Natasha Williams. Ascension Island Conservation Department. Georgetown. Tel: 6359. Email: email@example.com