They may not have the 'cute' factor of tigers or penguins, but sea turtles are one of nature's real survivors. When only one in 1,000 newly hatched turtles survives to adulthood, it becomes clear how important it is to increase efforts to protect them.
That's why, thanks to players of People's Postcode Lottery, WWF-UK is to receive £250,000 funding towards the protection of endangered sea turtles along a vital stretch of coastline in Kenya.
The Lamu region of Kenya, known as the 'Jewel of Africa', is home to vibrant coral reefs and a plethora of endangered species and is of incredible importance for global conservation. Five of the seven species of sea turtle - including the Leatherback, which visits Scottish waters - nest and feed along its beaches, which are home to a staggering 50% of all turtle nests along the Kenyan coastline.
The turtles are under threat due to population and infrastructure growth and indiscriminate fishing taking place in this remote and under-developed part of Kenya.
The WWF project will scale up sea turtle conservation work in Lamu, working closely with local communities. At its heart will be a range of important activities, including:
TV presenter and New York Times best-selling author Simon Reeve, an ambassador for WWF's work in Coastal East Africa, said, "Having seen the Lamu seascape first-hand when filming in the Indian Ocean, I'm acutely aware how spectacular and precious this ecosystem is, and the crucial role that sea turtles play in the health of the coral reef habitat – which in turn sustains the livelihoods of coastal communities under serious pressures. A huge thank you to players of People's Postcode Lottery for their special support of this project at such a critical time."
Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People's Postcode Lottery, added, "We are delighted to be able to help bring this project to life, which will deliver positive impacts not just for turtle conservation but the wider marine resources, wildlife and communities of Kenya and a more sustainable future for the country."
This new award brings the total funding offered to WWF-UK to over £1 Million - with an amazing £56.1 Million awarded to charities and good causes to date.