A nest-recording programme has collected data over five years from turtles nesting on Misali Island, off the west coast of Pemba, Tanzania. Five species of sea turtle are known to occur in Zanzibar waters, two of these species nested regularly on the island, with green turtle nests outnumbering hawksbill turtle nests by a factor of roughly 3 to 1. The highest number of nests in one year was recorded in 1999 (66) with as few as 8 in 2001. Most green turtles nested in April whilst most hawksbills nested in March. 58% of nests were found on a single beach (Mpapaini). The hatching success of nests over the study period exceeded 70%. Data indicate that Misali Island is an important nesting site within Zanzibar and also suggest that it may be of East African regional importance.
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Vol. 92 • No. 1