Seacology is funding the construction of a display facility/office for conservation and ecotourism programs in exchange for the local community's commitment to undertake sea turtle conservation activities for a minimum duration of 10 years.
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Funzi Island is located off the Kenyan South Coast and has a population of about 1,500 inhabitants. The island plays host to an array of ecosystem types including undisturbed coastal wetlands, mangrove forests, swaying palms, sandy beaches, creeks, estuary and undisturbed lowland coastal mixed forests. Five sea turtle species - Leatherback, Loggerhead, Green, Hawksbill and Olive ridley turtle - are found foraging or nesting on and around the island. Poaching, habitat degradation, soil erosion, destructive fishing practices, incidental capture and development are threats to these sea turtles. Working with the Kenya Sea Turtle Conservation Committee (KESCOM), Seacology will fund construction of a display facility which will also serve as an office for the Funzi Turtle Club's activities, as well as support for community based-sea turtle monitoring activities, nest protection and translocation, adoption of tagged nesting turtles and turtle release programs. The community work will also include income generating projects such as developing turtle souvenirs - earrings, doormats and turtle models - from flip flop sandals washed ashore. Conservation activities will take place in a 15,073-acre area including both terrestrial and marine ecosystems, that serve as important feeding and nesting sites of the five locally-found species of turtles.
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