Over 36,000 Green Sea Turtles released into the wild by Turtle Centre Loop Cayman Islands

The content originally appeared on: Cayman Compass

Cayman Turtle Conservation and Education Centre (CTCEC) is proud to announce that its conservation initiatives have achieved a new milestone with the number of Green sea turtles released into the wild by the Centre since its release programmes began back in 1980, now reaching over 36,000.

The Centre is dedicated to protecting and conserving Green sea turtles, as well as other native species, and their captive breeding programme has played an essential role in the recovery of Cayman’s wild sea turtle population. In recent years, a Darwin Plus study, in collaboration with the University of Barcelona, revealed by DNA analysis that a minimum of 90% of Grand Cayman’s nesting Green sea turtle population shows genetic relationships to the Centre’s breeder turtles: in other words, at least 90% of Cayman’s current breeding population originates from turtles that CTCEC has released in prior years.

“We are thrilled to have released over 36,000 Green sea turtles into the wild,” Mr Christopher Jackson, Acting CEO at CTCEC, said. “Our conservation initiatives are vital to the survival of this endangered species, and we are proud of the impact we have made in protecting and conserving Green sea turtles here in the Cayman Islands.”

The release of these turtles is a significant milestone for CTCEC and comes as the Centre celebrates its 55th year of operations, having been established in 1968.

“This achievement represents decades of dedication and hard work from our team of experts, volunteers, and supporters within the industry.” Dr. Walter Mustin, Chief Research and Conservation Officer at CTCEC, said.

The Centre’s mission is to provide a unique and lasting experience with endangered sea turtles and other wildlife through conservation, education, research, and sustainability in the Cayman Islands and beyond. In addition to the captive breeding and release of the Green sea turtles, the CTCEC has also been involved in other conservation efforts, including the restoration of mangroves and the breeding of our National Bird, the Cayman parrot.

For more information on the Cayman Turtle Conservation and Education Centre, please visit www.turtle.ky.