Cameroon's Atlantic waters host a variety of threatened marine animals, including five species of marine turtles. Despite the international importance of Central African sea turtle populations, status and trends of sea turtles occurring in Cameroon has not been properly assessed to date.
With technical support from the Network of Actors for the Protection of Marine Turtles in Central Africa (RASTOMA), four civil society organizations (CSOs)—including the Cameroonian Association of Marine Biology, KUDU A TUBE, the African Marine Mammal Conservation Organization and TUBE AWU—have been collecting data on marine turtles in a synchronous and homogeneous way. These data already feed the world database of marine turtles and the Marine Turtle Specialist Group reports for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
The goal of this project is to establish a reliable and functional database of marine turtles in Cameroon using national and GBIF standards for the benefit of Cameroonian institutions. The above four CSOs will have the competence to digitize and centralize the data of marine turtles, feeding the national database.
By the end of the project the database will have information on the number of nesting events, marine turtle bycatch, strandings and other observations—also accessible through GBIF. The database will allow for out the first population trend assessment of marine turtles in Cameroon. Results will feed the national strategies for Coastal Biodiversity and Marine Protected Areas Management and influence coastal development policies.