Creation of a network 𝚃𝙾𝚁𝚃𝚄𝙴𝚂 𝙼𝙰𝚁𝙸𝙽𝙴𝚂 𝙿𝙰𝙲𝙸𝙵𝙸𝚀𝚄𝙴 𝚂𝚄𝙳
As part of the TE ME UM companionship project our founder and Director of Conservation Strategy and Programs Dr. Cécile GASPAR undertook a week-long mission to Wallis and Futuna to meet with local partners with the aim of creating a network for sharing knowledge and data on Pacific marine turtles.
In particular, she had the opportunity to meet the association Les Enfants Du Lagon and its president Pascal Nicomette, who supported the SOS Tortues WF project launched by Dr. Bertrand Bouchard, who had visited us a year ago in Moorea and Tetiaroa as part of a companion project.
She also had the opportunity to talk at length with the Territorial Environment Service (STE) of Wallis and Futuna and its director Ateliana Maugateau. STE teams Kavapui Akau, Fanoi Ugatai, Sosefo Malau and Morgane Le Bris set up two nocturnal surveys on islets with the aim of observing turtle nesting. The gamble paid off: a green turtle measuring 85 cm in shell length on the Faioa islet and a hawksbill turtle measuring 83 cm in shell length on the Nukuteatea motu were observed laying eggs.
A team led by Marie Capdeviolle, SVT teacher at Collège de Te’esi, and Kolo Seuvea and Lorenzo from the Lifuka Rowing Club also surveyed the islets of Nukuhione (1 track) and Nukuihifala (5 tracks), as well as the islet of Faioa at night, with another turtle observed after egg-laying.
In all, 39 turtle tracks were recorded on site over 7 days.
Cécile GASPAR also gave a public lecture at the STE, 3 presentations in schools, including one with Chanel Lakalana’s CM1-CM2 class, which has been awarded the “Aire Marine Educative (AME)” label, and presentations at the A Vaka Heke Rowing Club.
A big thank you to everyone for the incredible welcome Cécile has received !
We would also like to thank the French Office for Biodiversity for their financial support of this crucial mission for Pacific turtle conservation.