On Friday July 22, 2016 United States of America Ambassador Hyatt and USDA –NRCS Paul Lake partook in a great joint effort between Palau Conservation Society (PCS), Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) and Koror State Government.
The trip started with PCS staff Yalap Yalap and Phillip from Koror State Government introducing her to the U.S. State Department Funded Turtle Monitoring Project that they have been doing for the past couple of years. The outing was a fun filled day, with the Ambassador and Mr. Lake able to see a Manta Ray while on the boat. They were also able to see a number of turtles swimming in the clear waters of the RISL.
While enjoying the beautiful environment that the Rock Island Southern Lagoon provides, the Ambassador and Mr. Lake were also got a chance to see firsthand the work the KSG and PCS are doing in terms of monitoring the number of turtle nests and trying to address poaching. The team identified 2 new nests and a hatching event that occurred 2 weeks ago, unfortunately one nest was poached. A nest that contained turtle egg shells was found with at least 90 turtle eggs that have been naturally and successfully hatched.
After the turtle monitoring, Ambassador Hyatt and Paul Lake also got a chance to work with PICRC’s Researcher Marine Gouezo on their Regular Tourist Site Monitoring at The Big Drop off to observe the tourist snorkeling activities. The objective of PICRC’s work was to see if the site was overpopulated, if proper briefing was done at the sites, and to see if coral fragmentation occurred and is increasing in correlation with the increasing number of visitors in the site.
Palau Conservation Society, Palau International Coral Reef Center and Koror State Government have always partnered in so many activities and projects that Transform Conservation and promote a healthy ecosystem for the benefit of Palauan’s and everyone. [/restrict]