Ascension : Conservation Weekly
Submitted by The Islander (Conservation Office) 05.04.2012 (Article Archived on 19.04.2012)
Last week we were busy with visitors Dr Norbert Maczey and Mr Robert Tanner from CABI Institution
Ascension Island Conservation Department
Dr Norbert Maczey and Mr Robert Tanner
Last week we were busy with visitors Dr Norbert Maczey and Mr Robert Tanner from CABI Institution.
They were here to meet with Ascension Island Conservation and local orgnisations to discuss the invasive species and biological control. They also had the opportunity to study in the field and see the impacts that invasives have on our natural habitat.
Thank you to Norbert and Robert for your interest and support with Asensions flora and fauna.
We would like to welcome back our team Jolene Sim, Liza White, Catherine Supple and Dane Wade from their training at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, UK. An update will be in the next islander.
Thank you to Drew Avery for helping with the watering of our endemic plant site at Mars Bay during the absence of our Plant Project staff, and also for your continuous assistance with the Turtle Project.
We would like to thank Vetannie Morton who has been volunteering with us since December, assiting us with clearing invasives in the Green Mountain Restoration Site, and with the RSPB Seabird Restoration Monitoring programme.
Thank you to Roy Smith who volunteered with us these past weeks helping also with the seabird restoration and turtle monitoring. We wish you the best on your future endeavours!
Thank you to Sefton Yon for volunteering with Ascesion Island Conservation. Sefton has been assisting us with seabird restoration and turtle monitoring. Also for contructiong restoration sites for our endemic and indigenous plants.
Thank you to Shaun, Liam and Sophie Bray for helping to rescue a green turtle on Saturday 24th March. Well done getting it back to the sea!
A hawksbill turtle has a narrow head and a long, tapered beak shaped like a hawk’s bill. They have a beautifully coloured and patterned shell marbled with brown, amber and yellow.
Hawksbill turtles feed almost exclusively on sponges. Their narrow heads and sharp beaks allow them to prose sponges from crevices on coral reefs.
Adult hawksbills are one of the smaller turtle species, usually about 1m long and weighing about 60kg.
Hawksbills are usually found in the torpics, living atoung the coral reefs ans rocky areas, estuaries and lagoons in the tropical Atlantic, Pacific and Iandian Oceans. Hawksbills nest through out the tropics with significant rookeries at sites in Australia, the Seychelles, the Carribean and Mexico. Hawksbills rarely nest in large colonies and there are only a few sites in the world where more than 1,000 females nest each year.
Hawksbill turtles are critically endangered. While they are under pressure from habitat destruction, they are also hunted for their beautiful shells,which are turned into tortoiseshell jewellery and other curios. International trade in tortoisesheel is banned under CITES.
Hawksbills can be seen around the coasts on Ascension, but does not come ashore for nesting.
A hawksbill turtle was caught by Chris York and the RAF Exped team on 26th March, it was a recapture, and hadn’t been caught to record since 28th November 2004, since it’s first capture, it had almost double in size from 38cm in length to 64 cm.
It is now the land crab breeding season, please take care when driving on roads due to land crabs migrating down to the beaches. Please try to avoid crushing our Ascension indigenous land crab.
Thank you for your co-operation.
The Conservation Centre will be closed Good Friday 6th April – Easter Monday
9th April 2012. We will resume normal opening hours from Tuesday 10th April.
Sorry for any in convenience caused.
Cats - Would like to remind all cat owners to ensure that your cats are wearing their collars. Thank you!
Turtle tours can now be booked either at the Conservation Office on telephone number 6359, or via the Obsidian Hotel on 6246. You may also email us on the below email addresses:
Please be advised that due to on-going field work the Conservation Office will open from 7.30am -10am during week days. We open as normal on Saturdays, 10am-12noon, signs will be posted on the door when the office is closed.
Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.
Volunteers welcome. Please contact Natasha Williams or Jolene Sim. Ascension Island Conservation Department. Georgetown. Tel: 6359. Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org