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Turtle Headstarting

For endangered Green Turtles

amphibs and reptiles


When we began working in The Gambia over 20 years ago, there were four main areas in which green turtles (Chelonia mydas) nested. Two of these areas have been lost to rising sea levels. in 2022, we received deeply concerning news regarding the remaining two with My Gambia highlighting within an article that no nesting has been identified in Sanyang in the previous couple of years. 

We work with the two local turtle groups, creating the biggest conservation initiative for turtles in The Gambia, ever... Our work with CETAG in the Gunjur area found two nests in 2022, but both of these were lost to high tides. 

The groups have keen Gambian staff but require technical support - which is where we come in. To achieve success, the projects need to be designed and monitored using the best scientific information available.


We have agreed to help with their hatchery designs, head-starting facilities and scientific monitoring. We will also train their staff in data recording, allowing them to continue collecting valuable data when we are not there.


We have always recorded any turtles or remains to increase our understanding of these hardly studied species in West Africa but this will be our first big involvement! This new project will be led by our head of research Roy Armstrong who has plenty of experience with setting up hatcheries in Sri Lanka!



The headstarting tank foundations being built in 2023.


One of our groups painting the headstarting facility.


CETAG being interviewed by local news spreading the word of turtle conservation ramping up in The Gambia!

Why its Important

In many parts of the world, through poor practices, turtle projects achieve little to conserve turtles and may even damage populations by wasting valuable eggs. We aim to work with the groups to ensure that the best possible practices are followed, leading to them making significant contributions to the population of the endangered green turtles.

The headstarting facility is also a means of education and awareness within communities, with local schools bringing their students to learn about the biology and conservation importance of turtles, as well as other marine life. It also highlights to poachers that turtle conservation initiatives are going from strength to strength, especially combined with night-time patrols to look out for illegal activities during the nesting season. 


Nesting turtle surveys conducted with CETAG. 


Egg translocations from a high risk poaching area.


How Can You Help

You can support our conservation work by getting onboard and joining one of our research expeditions (open-group) or organising your own academic fieldcourse (for academic professionals).

By joining our annual Marine Research expedition, or in turn, any other upcoming expedition, whereby these projects are still funded, you will be directly contributing to the conservation and research of endangered green turtles in The Gambia.

if you're interested in finding out about other upcoming expeditions, please subscribe below. 

Alternatively, you can donate to us to support our projects and in turn, support the local communities in the Smiling Coast.

Be the first to know about our research expeditions!

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