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Green Turtle Slowly Recovering

After a nearly going extinct of sea turtles, the green sea turtles are slowly recovering populations in breeding grounds.
The turtles have been exploited for centuries for meat, eggs and shells.
Because the turtle spend most of thier lives in the sea it is difficult to calculate thier population numbers, we make an effort on counting egg-laying females, no. of tagged turtles brought to us and the no. of hatchlings per nest per year.
Green turtle



Lamu Marine Conservation Trust tagged an Olive Ridley on 17th March 09 accidentally caught by the fisherman. The turtle was very ill,could not even swim when we had to release her back to the sea.

The project had to take in the turtle for a treatment, and she was provided with all the project could do; feeding her with balance diet in every meal, proper medications and changing of water as required.

 Fortunately her condition improved in the first three days of two weeks under Lamu Marines’ care, but then it worsen and we had to fly her to Malindi for more advanced treatment.  Here is the report of our Olive Ridley from Malindi……

Rehabilitation report and  Autopsy Results for Lamu Marine Conservation Trust for the 26th of April, 09 to the 2nd of May, 09.
Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea)   
CCL – 53.2 Centimetres
CCW – 52.6 Centimetres
Tag number KE2619

General condition analysis

On admittance to the rehab centre the turtle was assessed looking at external body condition, in water turtle behaviour and responses was then assessed.

External appearance of the turtle and condition showed it to be Dehydrated and appeared sick.Once in water (50 centimetre depth) the turtle was suffering from floating syndrome. The carapace was soft particularly along the joint between the Lateral and the marginal scutes. After external analysis the turtle was taken for x-rays to determine if there was any internal damage or blockages

X-ray analysis
The x ray revealed numerous gas packages were lodged in the intestines which as attributing to its dehydrated and malnourished state.

Treatment and rehabilitation activities

Initial treatment consisted of;
• 60mls of re-hydration fluid
• de-gassing
• A series of 60mls of vegetable puree that had a combination of multi – vitamin, cod liver oil and calcium ( medication was administered 3 times daily)
• A dose of praziquantel, medicine that control blood flukes was served together with Metamide (medicine that stimulates the effect of intestine and de-gas (for expelling stranded gas in the intestines)

Response to treatment

1-2 days, swimming gentle on the surface using the rear flippers more to guide the body taking the targeted direction as she had 100% of one of the front flipper missing.

2-3 days, in the morning before feeding, she was resting still in a corner of the tank with half of the rear body seating on the base. She passed small slimy greenish defecate while feeding. She was buoyant and gently swimming when placed back in the tank.

3-4 days, she was exactly like day 2-3 only that in the evening whist relaxing on the surface the right side of the body was more submerged and appeared hanging at an angle.

4-5 days, in the same corner of the tank, she was resting at an angle with the right rear body more submerged in the morning. Passed small slimy defecate while taking her out of the tank for feeding. Again she was buoyant when placed back in the tank.

5-6 days, in the morning she was gently swimming on the surface and in circles. She was of similar behaviour in the afternoon and relaxing on the surface in the evening.

6-7 days, in the morning, the right rear body was resting on the floor of the tank and the head elevate onto the surface. More relaxed than usual even the time of feeding. In the evening, both rear flippers had come together tight and the right front flipper fold under the plastron / chest. Water in the tank was lowered to only the depth of covering the carapace and a towel placed under the head for easy breathing. She deceased in a little while after these efforts.

Results of rehabilitation

Despite the regular administration of medication and feeding which initially resulted in an improvement the patient died on Saturday 26th of April 2009. The belief is that the medication administered was too late to totally arrest the condition and whilst the turtle showed an initial improvement it was only in response to rehydration and feeding

Internal organs appeared normal. Rehab food was half way in the digestive system. Presences of few air packages plus very small amount of greenish liquefy food in the colon. The web tissues holding the veins and arteries that are connected to the intestines had lots of green colouring as opposed to brownish or creamy. This indicates presence of infection (Still gathering information what specific infection it is). 
Presence of infection in the tissues connecting the intestines. Food was perfectly half way flowing system.

NB//: Due to the duration of ailment the turtle had undergone, she had a short time to allow the medication take effect.
If you require any further information reading the turtle, its treatment or autopsy please contact

Kahindi Changawa
Phone – 0728 994299
Field Manager
Local Ocean Trust- Watamu Turtle Watch





As an MSc Ecotourism student from the University of Portsmouth I set out to come to Kenya to do my dissertation on community involvement in turtle conservation. I found out about the Lamu Marine Conservation Trust (LAMCOT) through Tusk Trust. The decision to visit LAMCOT was based on their achievement to involve the community and to link ecotourism with conservation. My aim was to find out more how the community benefits and what is being done to involve the community with turtle conservation.

My experience at LAMCOT was beyond expectation. The pioneer Carol Korshen has set up a conservation group that links tourism with conservation and which has resulted in benefits both for the community and for the wildlife. The hard work that is being done by the coordinator Atwaa Salim, the field officer Famau and the project assistant Hasanaat is very impressive. The benefits seem to extend to a large group of the community members, and there is a focus on education and awareness amongst children and adults which has made a difference in changing people’s perception of conservation. There is an extended network of people involved from tourism stakeholders, community members and local fisherman in the area who all work together to protect the turtles, which seems to be the key to success. The team has managed to build the trust and relationship with community members and as a result the benefits have extended to a large group.

One of the days spent at LAMCOT was particularly special as I got to adopt a turtle which was brought to Peponi Hotel by a group of fishermen. The whole procedure was fascinating, from measuring, tagging and releasing the turtles safely back into the sea. I could sense the excitement from the guests at Peponi Hotel and it is truly a unique experience for the guests to encounter and be part of. I also took a trip through the mangroves to Manda Island where I saw one of the nesting sites and met with the patrollers. It was amazing to see how untouched and beautiful the area is, a peaceful and natural sanctuary for the turtles to lay their eggs. As an Ecotourism student I was very pleased to witness the first hand benefit of ecotourism and community conservation, it is an experience which I highly recommend. I would like to say thank you to the people involved at LAMCOT for the unforgettable experience and their warm hospitality. My research was a huge success as LAMCOT seems to be a leader in involving the community to benefit from turtle conservation.




The environmental club of Shella primary school, an adviser from PUM project, Fer von der Assen from Holland  & three administrative staff from Lamu Marine Trust did a fantastic job by collecting almost half a tone of marine litters along takwa beach; our main nesting site.
The debris was mainly rubber sandals (flip flops) and plastics from as far as Indonesia, Australia, Somalia, Madagascar and other countries within the Indian Ocean are deposited on these pristine turtle nesting beaches. The flip flops rubbish was taken to Kiunga Marine National Reserve (KMNR), is located in Kiunga division of Lamu district at the Kenyan coast. They do the conservation and recycling effort with world wide fund for nature (WWF).

        May be this …………………………………        can become this…….

Turtle Adoption Scheme

Lamu Marine Conservation Trust appreciates any form of adoption scheme from all of you.

Turtle Nest sponsorship.
If anyone is interested to sponsor a turtle nest is $40.
This money goes to the patrol team at Takwa as their bonus
plus project communication cost.The sponsor will be updated on the success of his/her nest.
Later on a certificate will sent through his postal address plus picture of his nest.

Turtle Tag sponsorship.
Sometime a turtles have been caught accidentally by a fisherman.These are measured tagged and release,
Instead of the fishermen slaughtering them for meat we give them incentives.
To sponsor a turtle is $25.
Certificate  and picture will be sent.
This sponsorship goes towards capacity building, community networking and fishermen rewards.
All tag sponsors are updated on their turtle when is going to be recaptured.

All update will be available on
This is our blog address in the wildlife direct.( Dr.Richard Leakey Associates)
Tusk Trust is the main sponsor of Lamu Marine Conservation Trust(