The Green turtle (Chelonia Mydas) is the main turtle to use the beaches of the West coast region to lay its eggs.
Its called the green turtle because of the green colouration of the scales on its carapace which unfortunately can make it desirable for use in jewellery and ornaments.
Adults can grow to around one meter in carapace length. The female turtles come back to the beach they were hatched upon to lay their eggs approximately every two years.
Adult females lay 3-5 nests a year with a couple of weeks between each nest. There are between 100-130 eggs per nest and incubation is round 60 days.
At Gepadg we move all nests to hatcheries to stop predation from crabs, dogs, monitor lizards, birds and humans
Working with local and international volunteers GEPADG carry out beach monitoring during the nesting season. Due to human predation on Green Turtles night monitoring is necessary with a number of groups patrolling to ensure a protective presence all night.
Here GEPADG volunteers carefully remove eggs from a nest to be transported to purpose built hatcheries on Gunjur beach
As protecting and managing our coastal and marine mammals/Aquatic Turtles in particular is increasingly becoming a daunting task with lots of challenges and conflict of interest on the Gambian coast. GEPADG is under staff and most of our people are working on voluntary basis, most of them are breadwinners in their families. It is very urgent to create monthly wages to some of our already active volunteers to avoid losing them. Continued or one off support will be indeed appreciated, welcoming and helpful.
The turtle monitoring programme is always in need of volunteers and donations of funds and equipment. Please use our contact page to find out how you can help or alternatively donate using the button at the bottom of the page.