Turtle Protection Program
After the passing of Hurricane Maria the coastline just north of Soufriere up to Champagne beach area was transformed. A large amount of sand had been deposited restoring the beaches to how they looked almost 20 years ago. Almost immediately hawksbill and green turtles started using these areas once again for nesting.
REZDM partnered with DOMSETCO (Dominica South Eastern Turtle Conservation), a local Turtle conservation NGO, to help with the conservation of these areas. We were very fortunate to hire someone passionate about animals to become our first beach patroller on the West Coast: Morrison has become an important part of the amazing DOMSETCO team. He now patrols Champagne and Point Guirnard Beach, watching out for nesting turtles. He ensures the protection of the nests with wire enclosures which keep at bay any stray dogs and other predators. With his training now completed, he also knows how to measure the turtles, record the data and tag the turtle before it returns to the water.
To date, this partnership between REZDM and DOMSETCO together with the hard work of Morrison has resulted in the protection of 25 nests, 18 at Champagne and 7 at Point Guirnard. The first nest has hatched with 65 new hatchlings successfully making their way into the sea. Since then we have had 5 other successful evacuations of nests. It is certainly great to see hawksbills and green turtles successfully nesting in the south much as they used to over a decade ago.