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Cape Verde | Determined conservation efforts drive huge increase in sea turtle nests

It’s nearly midnight as Delvis Semedo strolls along an empty beach on the Cape Verdean island of Maio. Overhead, the dense Milky Way pierces the darkness. A sea turtle emerges from the crashing waves and lumbers up the shore. Then another. And another.

Semedo is one of about 100 local people who patrol Maio’s beaches each night during nesting season to collect data on the turtles and protect them from poachers. This year has been busier than usual. Sea turtle nests on the islands of Sal, Maio and Boa Vista – the primary nesting grounds for loggerheads in Cape Verde – have soared in the last five years. Cape Verde’s environment ministry puts nest numbers in 2020 across all 10 islands at almost 200,000, up from 10,725 in 2015.

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