© Andrew Snyder


Species conservation

Under this program our focus is to ensure viable populations of wildlife, such as marine turtles and river dolphins.

Marine Turtles

The globally significant number of nesting marine turtles attracted WWF to the Guianas in the 1960s. The beaches of the Guianas remain a haven for nesting turtles today, and ensuring marine turtle protection continues to be a top priority for WWF Guianas. Green, Leatherback, Olive Ridley and Hawksbill turtles all nest on our shores – by the thousands. However, many threats are growing: climate change (eroding beaches); off-shore oil and gas development, turtle egg consumption; high levels of fishing bycatch; and dog predation of nests.

WWF Guianas manages a long-term nesting beach monitoring program, together with the relevant government agencies in the Guianas, to build enforcement capacity through beach patrolling. In addition, prominent Surinamese citizens targeted turtle egg consumption in a year-long awareness campaign. Finally, we promote community-based tourism among WWF’s local and international members, provide resources on responsible turtle watching, and hold awareness campaigns to decrease disturbance for the nesting females.

Embedded in our outreach strategies to fishermen is a strong component to reduce bycatch, particularly of turtles, sharks, rays and estuarine dolphin populations. Priorities include helping fishermen:
  • Adopt Trash and Turtle Excluding Devices (TTED) in industrial shrimp trawlers;
  • Develop and adopt Flexible Turtle Excluding Devices in fish trawlers;
  • Reduce length of drift nets, soak time, and increase mesh size; and
  • Replace J hooks with G hooks for long-line fisheries.
© Roger Leguen / WWF
Roger Leguen / WWF
© Roger Leguen / WWF