Wishing you all a happy and peaceful 2016.
Join us for a New Year and a New NatureFiji Mareqeti-Viti.
Help us to make 2016 a fantastic year for Fiji and our wildlife!
On the seventh day of Christmas NFMV shared with me:
Seven turtles swimming
Six ducks a-laying
Four calling kulas
Three flying foxes
Two friendly ground doves
And a fruit dove in a mango tree.
It is our endemic species whose conservation NFMV and Fijians are exclusively responsible for – no other country can do this for us.
On the other hand, we share responsibility for the conservation of turtles and other marine species with tens if not hundreds of other countries. This does not mean that conserving marine habitats and species is unimportant, so for the 7th day of Christmas, we have chosen to share a little about TURTLES found around our shores and how you can help them!
• Five species of turtles can be seen around the coasts of Fiji.
• Three of these species nest in Fiji: green turtle (vonu dina) which nest in the Ringgold Islands and certain reefs in N. Lau, hawksbill (taku), and leatherback which nest on the Natewa Peninsular. You can find out more about these in the endangered species section of our website.
• Loggerheads (tuvonu) and olive ridley turtles also occur in our waters but there are no records or them nesting.
• Turtles form part of many of our legends, songs and traditions
• Turtle meat has traditionally been a sacred chiefly food
• Marine turtles spend most of their lives in coastal waters and feed in coral reefs
• They come ashore to nest on certain beaches where their eggs incubate. Young hatchlings must face many hazards on their journey across the beach to the ocean…few survive the waiting hungry predators
• A hawksbill has a narrow head with jaws meeting at an acute angle, adapted for getting food from crevices in coral reefs. They eat sponges, sea squirts, shrimps, and squids.
• Leatherbacks have delicate scissor-like jaws that would be damaged by anything other than their normal diet of jellyfish and other soft-bodied animals. The mouth cavity and throat are lined with spine-like projections (papillae) pointed backward to help them swallow soft foods.
Green sea turtles are mainly carnivorous from hatching until juvenile size when they progressively change to an herbivorous diet. Their finely serrated jaws are adapted for a vegetarian diet of sea grasses and algae. As adults, green sea turtles are the only herbivorous sea turtles.
Turtles in Danger – Dangerous Rubbish And How YOU Can Help
Plastic bags and other plastic are responsible for the deaths of sea turtles (and whales too) every year. A carrier bag in the sea looks and moves like a jelly fish and so, many are eaten by mistake. Other plastic waste is mistaken for other sea creatures that form part of a sea turtle’s diet.
PLEASE dispose of carrier bags and other plastic carefully in bins. Don’t drop it where it might be blown or washed into the sea. Re-use plastic bags or better still, use a re-useable bag. Tell all of your friends, family and neighbours too.
Why not make your own reuseable shopping bag from recycled fabrics? There are lots of patterns on the web or you can make up your own. One bag could save hundreds of carrier bags being used! You can also buy a Suva Recycle Bag (made in Fiji from waste materials) from Suva Market. Mine has lasted for 3 years and I still use it!
Here are a couple of websites:
As it is the School Holidays, why not make turtles from natural materials (stones and leaves or sand and other finds on the beach).
We would love to see photos of your recycled bags and sculptures. Please post them on our Facebook page.
Join us tomorrow for incredible iguanas