Born Free USA Global Field Projects
Over the past two months, Sea Sense has employed the latest satellite technology to determine post nesting movements of four green turtles. All four were tagged in Juani Island, which is the most important nesting site for green turtles in Tanzania.
There is only one species of dugong. Dugongs are the smallest member of the order Sirenia, which also includes manatees (three species) and the Stellar sea cow (now extinct). Adults grow to less then 3 meters long long and can weigh up to 400 kilograms $mdash; as much as five men. They look similar to seals and walruses, but are in fact more closely related to the elephant.
(Taken from the Born Free Foundation website.)
The Born Free Foundation's David Jay talks to Catharine Muir, founder of Sea Sense, Tanzania.
How did your project begin?
I visited Mafia Island (close to Tanzania’s mainland) in 1990 to conduct a biodiversity survey and was struck by its beauty. But the pristine beaches were a slaughter ground for turtles and I wanted to do something to benefit the species and local communities.
Sea Sense is a Tanzanian organization that protects dugongs and sea turtles off the eastern coast of Africa. Born Free USA has provided Sea Sense with support for several years.
Sea Sense conducts both research and outreach programs. Its collection of data on sea turtle and dugong population sizes, incidents of egg poaching, and other information has been extremely helpful in guiding conservation projects. Armed with scientific data, Sea Sense has successfully educated local communities about threats to sea turtles and protecting their nests.