A crowdfunder has been launched to raise much needed emergency funding for a turtle preservation programme that has been in operation in north Cyprus since 1992.
The current pandemic means that this year that the Exeter University backed Marine Turtle Conservation Project (MTCP) in northern Cyprus is struggling to fund the basic conservation and research activities owing to a lack of visitors and volunteers being able to travel there.
This project has been a flagship for both conservation and research and has resulted in the protection of nesting beaches, identification of important foraging areas, a greater understanding of the biology of turtles and a rise in the number of turtles nesting in recent years, says Annette Broderick, professor of marine conservation at the University of Exeter.
The majority of the projects funds, needed for food and vehicles and fuel to get to the beaches, normally come from volunteer and tourist donations and so the initiative is facing a large shortfall.
“We need to raise £20,000 through this funding appeal, to ensure we can at the very least get to the beaches to locate and protect the nests from predation by dogs and foxes. With over 50 beaches monitored around the entire coastline this is no small task and needs 20-30 people, several vehicles and associated fuel and food,” the organisers say.