In the coming weeks, it will be all-night action on Benguerra Island from 18:00 – 06:00 as a dedicated group, including two of our Oceans Without Borders Benguerra Island Community & Conservation rangers, are hoping to tag 5 female loggerhead sea turtles with satellite tags. These devices will provide valuable insights into their movements when they return to the sea after nesting. Fishing nets pose a significant threat to these vulnerable turtle populations; a better understanding of their movements will enable us to work proactively with local communities to avoid these identified location areas where the turtles frequent. Read more HERE.
The smiles of our Vamizi Island ‘Coconut Crabs’ marine ranger team say it all: “Mission accomplished!”. On 16 September, OWB teams from Vamizi, Benguerra and Mnemba Islands competed in this year’s culminating 21 km Wildlife Ranger Challenge, which closes for donations on 28 September. This annual event, undertaken by rangers for rangers, has generated significant grant funding for our marine programmes. In the collective spirit of this fundraiser, giving to one is giving to all: a portion of each donation goes into the collective Rangers Fund, for the benefit of every participating team. Click HERE to support, donations close on 29th September.
Meet Gilda Da Madelena Luis; a valued member of the OWB Benguerra Island Community & Conservation marine rangers, Mozambique. Gilda’s motivation to apply for this position was inspired by another woman who had made a similar career choice. She believes that “the more young women we can engage with on the importance of conservation, and the options of this as a career, the better.” She has taken to her diverse role and responsibilities like the proverbial duck to water. As she grows from strength to strength, she looks forward to empowering other young women with a voice in conservation. Learn more HERE.
With 6 turtle and star-shaped reef constructs now securely in place, and 1,523 coral colonies transplanted onto these structures by the OWB Community & Conservation ranger team, this new artificial reef site is set to flourish. All of these coral colonies were “home-grown” by the team in the flourishing coral nursery that they established at Mnemba Island House Reef, Zanzibar, in October 2021. A further 1,580 coral colonies from this nursery are regenerating degraded local reef sections in this multi-phased project that is going from strength to strength. Learn more here.
OWB’s sea turtle monitoring programmes on both Mnemba Island (Zanzibar) and Vamizi Island (Mozambique) have supported over 20 years of research on the ‘Endangered’ green and ‘Critically Endangered’ hawksbill turtles; this invaluable dataset both supports and informs their protection. In this image, OWB’s researcher Gelica Inteca is doing a quick vitals check and taking measurements of a female green turtle, who was found on the rocks at low tide, stranded and exhausted after laying her eggs on Vamizi Island. This beautiful turtle was then gently assisted back into the ocean. CLICK HERE to learn more.
It’s all in a day’s work for OWB Mnemba Island Community & Conservation ranger team. Their ‘ECHO’ programme of environmental education lessons to school learners, using locally relevant content, is key to our ‘Future Leaders’ focus point. In this image, Hija Khamis Uledi is teaching a group of learners from Mbuyamaji Primary School, Zanzibar. This is something very close to his heart. As Hija explains, “Young people wanting to be marine rangers must have a love for marine environments.” And understanding the importance of this environment is the first step. Read more HERE.
Will you join OWB for this year’s Wildlife Ranger Challenge (WRC) race on 16 September? Our teams of OWB Community & Conservation marine rangers from Vamizi, Benguerra and Mnemba Islands are set to take on the challenge again in this annual fundraising event by rangers for rangers across Africa. Your participation can make all the difference to their efforts. Run or walk the 21 km, or the shorter 10 km as an individual or group fundraiser, and any funds you raise will be doubled by the WRC funding partners. Contact us to find out more.
Cyclone Freddy made landfall in Mozambique in both February and March. Fortunately there was limited building damage on Benguerra Island, and minimal beach erosion impact. The regular surveys, conducted by our island Community & Conservation (C&C) rangers, not only create a baseline of local erosion patterning, but also monitor a beach’s natural resilience to dynamic forces like changing weather and climatic conditions. In this picture, (Left) Leo Gungulo, OWB field ranger and support manager, with Gilda and Afonso, Benguerra Island C&C rangers. Learn more here
In December 2022, East Africa’s dugong population, of which 90% occur in Mozambique’s Bazaruto Seascape, were re-classified by the IUCN as Critically Endangered in response to a significant body of research collated by African Parks and other respected Mozambique and South African researchers. This will not only raise the awareness of this unique sub-population, but also stimulate further protection measures. OWB aims to support the expanded monitoring of dugong behaviour and habitat use through collaborative acoustic monitoring and the development of visual surveys by a Benguerra Island team of Community & Conservation field monitors.
On 31 December, the first hydrophone (underwater microphone) in Mozambique’s Bazaruto Archipelago National Park was deployed by OWB’s Leo Gungulo. Sound is critical to marine research. A healthy coral reef, teeming in marine life, will have a ‘busy’ sound picture. The presence of key species, like migratory humpback whales, who use sound to navigate, communicate and capture prey, can be identified. And the sound signature of specific species like the critically endangered dugong can be established. This developing, collaborative project on Benguerra Island holds the promise of invaluable research data to guide conservation and protection measures. Click here to read more.