“Community-based conservation of loggerhead sea turtles in southern Nigeria”, Ikponke Nkanta, Tropical Research and Conservation Centre, Nigeria – $1,000.
Loggerhead sea turtles, found within the Uta Ewa coastal area in Southern Nigeria, are classified as endangered. Their major threats include illegal/excessive hunting, habitat destruction, and ocean bank erosion (accelerated by deforestation). With the help of a conservation grant from Sequoia Park Zoo, Ikponke Nkanta, of The Tropical Research and Conservation Centre, aimed to increase the protection of critical feeding, breeding, and nesting habitats along the Nigerian coast. His project mapped out several critical sites within the Uta Ewa estuary, enacted habitat restoration of those critical sites, and promoted community dialogues about conservation. He ultimately hopes to reduce habitat destruction and pollution, adopt alternative economic activities for hunters and poachers, and request that turtle poachers and hunters remove their traps.