Due to recent and rapidly advancing bridge construction on the La Digue Island of Seychelles, a cherished national heritage site – L’Union Estate must double its efforts towards the vital preservation of its two remaining species of turtle; which have featured on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s Red List of Threatened species.
The NPTS (Nature Protection Trust of Seychelles), specialists in the island’s biodiversity, revealed that two Seychelles species of freshwater turtles, Pelusios castanoides intergularis and Pelusios subniger parietalis, are on the edge of extinction and that fewer than two hundred and fifty of each species remain due to increased pollution, predation and land depletion.
These statistics are devastating.
The NPTS has now initiated an emergency rescue program, characterised by captive breeding and reintroduction to secure reserves, and feels that such action is imperative in order to preserve the existing numbers of both the black and yellow-bellied freshwater turtles of the Seychelles marshlands. Hajira Amla and Sharon Meriton Jean of Seychelles News Agency believe that the efforts of NPTS chairman, Ron Gerlach and his team will offer the little turtles “another chance at survival” and confirm that “the imminent arrival of heavy-duty machinery will put them at risk.”
Hope still remains!
The local creole children, who call the little turtles “‘torti soupap” have been recruited and have gracefully volunteered to help evacuate the remaining species from the treacherous marshlands until the completion of the bridge construction.
One can only hope that the construction on the island is completed soon and that no further developments place strain on the precious ecosystems which inhabit it. Catching the nifty little turtle critters, to evacuate them, isn’t an easy task. Baited fishing traps must lie in wait for several days before the turtles can be coaxed from their comfort zones and the species must be handled with the utmost care on the journey to safety.
Thankfully, a larger number of saltwater turtles, the hawksbill and green turtles, of Seychelles still frequent the warm tropical waters that surround the islands and show no sign of retreat. Seychelles Yacht Charter can offer visitors close encounters with these saltwater beauties on the various extensive fishing charter trips that we run during the year.
Visit the Seychelles Yacht Charter website to book your exclusive fishing holiday in the Seychelles Archipelago today. We support freshwater turtle conservation.
Preserve the marshes and wade in the shallows with Seychelles Yacht Charter!