Nest Protection and Population Evaluation of the Critically Endangered Big-Headed Turtle or the Rere (Erymnochelys madagascariensis) at Lake Kinkony

5 Sep 2017 Complexe Mahavavy-Kinkony, Madagascar, Africa Reptiles | Turtles

CHECHIA Alexandros Marignandro

To protect and restore the population of E. madagascariensis and to engage the locale communities in Rere conservation at NPA of Complex Wetland Mahavavy Kinkony are the main aims of this project. The protection work will be started at nests’ and hatchlings’ protection and adult females must be protected during nesting season in order to restore rere’s population. Excavation is included in rere’s protection ‘cause to rescue any hatchlings that are unable to dig their way out of the soil on their own and after hatch to count the number of infertile eggs. Community local cannot separate with conservation ‘causes everyday they live with natural resources that why they must be integrated within turtle conservation for motivate and support them to wisely manage the lake and their resources.

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The Madagascar Big-headed Turtle (Erymnochelys madagascariensis) is Critically Endangered and endemic to eight major watersheds in western Madagascar. Lake Kinkony is the island malagasy’s second large lake found in watershed Mahavavy-Kinkony of the NPA Complexe Mahavavy Kinkony. At the moment this lake becomes have had small populations ‘cause of some threat. Major threats are loss of wetlands and turtle consumption by impoverished local communities. Both sexes and all age classes are consumed.

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Most of the small populations of E. madagascariensis inside the new protected area Complex Wetland Mahavavy Kinkony are under pressure from exploitation also and are rapidly being depleted. For avoid overexploitation, this project aims are to protect the female adults, eggs, hatchlings and their habitats and restore the population. ‘Cause the nest protection work and nest monitoring have never done there so an absence of an appropriate conservation work is one of the causes population decline and population depleted. That why this project has been proposed and it has a title like Nest protection and population evaluation of the critically endangered Big-headed Turtle or the Rere (Erymnochelys madagascariensis) at Lake Kinkony.

We aim to use the citizen science participatory action research method to search for, and protect Rere nests with villagers. For motivate them, they will be paid for each nest they found and received half of the money when the nest is found and the rest after the nest had hatched. If as soon as anyone accepts to look for the nest rere or agree with protection nest, he/she has been engaging to rere conservation. To hope that, there are local conservation associations in there ‘cause this site is New Protected Area, they will be supported their activities that can protect the habitat of the Rere and public awareness for stopping the illegal exploitation of critically endangered species such as Erymnochelys madagascariensis. Therefore, the outputs from this project are engaged the local community to protect the female adult, eggs, hatchlings and their habitats. Restoring the local population of E. madagascariensis and pressure decrease are the overall consequences of this project.