Biodiversity Conservation in Carriacou through Nesting Sea Turtles and Wetland Bird Monitoring
Biodiversity Conservation in Carriacou through Nesting Sea Turtles and Wetland Bird Monitoring
In Carriacou island, Sparrow bay, Anse La Roche and Petit Carenage beaches & Mangrove Wetlands (60 acres) host the largest nesting sites of the Grenadines Archipelago for Critically Endangered Sea Turtles (Hawksbills & Leatherbacks). Petit Carenage Mangrove Wetlands is the most developed mangrove ecosystem of Grenada (OAS - Gov. of Grenada 1988) and is a Bird Sanctuary, a shelter, safe breeding & nesting ground and sustenance for diverse and rare species of migratory, resident and endemic shorebirds. Anse La Roche & Petit Carenage beaches and mangroves are part of the High North proposed National Park (600 acres – OAS - Gov. of Grenada 1988). The main problems negatively impacting turtle nesting and bird habitats are:
• Illegal turtle & turtle eggs poaching;
• Rising level of sea water;
• Illegal sand mining;
• Beach solid waste pollution;
• Mangrove destruction ;
• Hunting and egg harvesting of birds (regardless of closed/open hunting season);
Since 2002 KIDO Foundation, part of the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST), has successfully been preventing turtle & turtle eggs poaching activities by monitoring the beaches and mangroves at night, disguising & relocating nests threatened by poaching, sand mining, pollution and flooding. KIDO planting of thousands of mangroves and area clean-ups have been ongoing programs in Petit Carenage since 1995, to help to restore nesting turtles and bird habitats.
The challenge for KIDO is to be able to continue these conservation activities and to empower community groups to protect Carriacou’s biodiversity, its endangered species and their habitats, benefiting from eco-tourism activities (turtle and bird watching)
The consumption of sea turtle meat and eggs is still practiced in Carriacou (and Grenada), as well as the use of turtle backs as ornamental raw material. Turtle eggs are mostly consumed as ‘aphrodisiacs’. In Carriacou illegal sand mining still exists in spite of recent efforts to enforce the law. The sea water level is noticeably rising due to global warming, increasing coastal/beach erosion and deforestation of near shore mangroves, while debris and waste carried by ocean currents and higher impact waves on beaches and wetlands pose a threat to hatchlings and shorebirds.
Eating birds and bird eggs is also part of the local bush meat tradition. This practice depleted Grenada’s wildlife to the point that, a few years ago, the Grenada Hunters Association suggested and supported a new law prohibiting wildlife hunting for 9 months a year (previously bush meat hunting was unregulated), but in Carriacou this practice is still endangering the bird endemic population as well as the migratory species.

The project goal is to conserve Carriacou’s nesting sea turtle population and migratory, resident, endemic wetland birds and their habitat in the Petit Carenage nature hot spot, by consistent monitoring, conservation strategies and developing the capacity of community groups in related conservation and income generating eco-tourism sustainable activities (e.g.: bird watching, grocery bags production with recycled waste, etc.). Without these activities the Carriacou nesting sea turtle population, the island’s biodiversity and endangered and rare bird species will suffer critical losses.
The expected outcome will be:
• the conservation of sea turtles affecting the Caribbean region and the Atlantic (Carriacou nesting leatherbacks nest also in Trinidad, Grenada, Barbados, St. Vincent and forage as far as Nova Scotia, Canada; hawksbills forage as far as Nicaragua)
• the conservation of endemic, resident and migratory birds, which travel from Alaska to South America (like the Whimbrel) and use Petit Carenage wetlands as a stop-over oasis
• the creation of a data-base of birds present in Petit Carenage wetland, and of hawksbill & leatherback turtles nesting in Carriacou during one year of monitoring (photos/videos/report)
• the establishment of a local Carriacou Bird Watching Club and Youth Eco-Club
• the establishment of a local cooperative producing useful items recycled from solid waste

Since 2002 KIDO Foundation has developed the successful strategy establishing efficient nesting sea turtle monitoring/tagging teams composed of trained local guides and volunteers, operating in all-night patrols seven days a week. KIDO teams, following WIDECAST/UWI Department of Biology, Barbados protocol for nesting monitoring and turtle tagging, collect scientific data, record IDs, measurements and movements of nesting turtles to/from the region and international migrations. The presence of the teams on nesting beaches at night, and their acquired techniques of disguising nests and tracks, make it difficult for poachers to find the eggs.
Petit Carenage beach and the mangrove wetland will be also monitored during the day (dawn and dusk) by trained nature guides, technically equipped to collect scientific data (keeping record of species, numbers, nesting, feeding, etc) of endemic, resident and migratory birds, as well as leading Bird Watching tours for eco-tourists and interested local citizens. The nature guides will follow BirdSleuth Caribbean (Cornell University - Cornell Lab of Ornithology) protocol for collecting and sharing of data with the scientific community.
The final results will be the development of a database and yearly report on biodiversity, including nesting turtles, birds and other wildlife species recorded in their habitats in Carriacou.
Professional quality photos-video of nesting turtles and birds taken by a professional photographer will be included in the project website/blog.
Bird Watching patrols will protect the bird species and monitor their coastal habitats (mangroves, wetland and beaches), while the promoted nature areas will attract eco-visitors to take part in Bird Watching tours, providing new job opportunities for conservation trained youths, and generating significant income for nature guides, guest houses, taxi operators, restaurants and local markets.
3-day workshop/seminars on sea turtles and birds for 20 persons will be the base for the formation of the Bird Watching Club and the Youth Eco-Club
4 Capacity Development workshops will teach Account Management, Conflict Management, Fund Raising and Strategic Planning to 10 local persons for the establishment of cooperatives for the local production of useful items from recycled solid waste.
The upgrading and maintenance of an existing eco-trail and wooden structures (2002) for turtle and bird monitoring will facilitate the monitoring activities, including Bird Watching tours, as well as the ongoing replanting of mangroves to slow or prevent erosion in coastal critical spots.
KIDO Foundation will utilize its office facility for data processing and report making, in collaboration with WIDECAST / UWI Department of Biology (Barbados) for Turtles and BirdSleuth Caribbean for Avian Fauna. The facility also provides safe storage for patrol equipment and field electronics.


 
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Project Snapshot

Grantee:
YWF-KIDO Foundation Inc.
Country:
Grenada
Area Of Work:
Biodiversity
Climate Change Mitigation
Grant Amount:
US$ 27,083.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 15,831.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 16,882.00
Project Number:
GRD/SGP/OP5/Y4/CORE/CD/15/08
Status:
Satisfactorily Completed

Grantee Contact

Mr System Administrator
 

Address

Sanctuary
Prospect , Carriacou / Grenada ,

SGP Country office contact

Ms. Kadijah Paula Edwards
Phone:
14734201540
Email:
Ms Akarda Ventour
Email:

Address

P.O. Box 3486
St. George's