WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO ADOPT?

Adopting or sponsoring some of our marine animals is one of the funnest and most interactive ways of supporting our work remotely. All your money goes directly to funding our research and work to protect these amazing animals. Thank you for your support.

ADOPT A WHALE SHARK

The global population of whale sharks has declined by 50% in the last 75 years, they’re now Endangered. 

Wild about whale sharks? Adopt a whale shark today and you’ll be supporting crucial whale shark research in Mozambique.

What's in the pack?

Within 24hrs of adopting a whale shark, you will receive a digital adoption pack. Each pack includes: 

  • A personalised certificate of adoption
  • An info sheet on your adopted whale shark
  • A fact pack
  • A mindfulness whale shark colouring sheet
  • A digital whale shark poster

About whale sharks

Whale sharks are the biggest fish in the sea, the largest reaching as much as 20m long and weighing 42t! Despite their size, they are gentle, plankton feeding giants. Plankton are among the smallest organisms in the sea, and whale sharks feed on them by filtering the water and everything in it’s path.

Whale sharks prefer warmer waters and the nutrient rich currents on our coastline make Mozambique an optimal home for some. However, populations of these amazing animals are declining globally, and have declined as far as 63% in the indo-pacific. This has led to them being listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List which means that the species faces a very high risk of extinction in the wild. We need your help to protect them! 

Whale sharks are famous for the beautiful white spots that cover their bodies. These spot patterns can also be used to identify individuals – like humans with our fingerprints! This information allows us to track migration patterns, study population trends, and help conserve these magnificent animals.

 

Threats

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Biological resource use

One of the biggest threats to whale sharks are fisheries and bycatch. Whale sharks are often targeted for their fins which are sold on the black market. These animals can also get caught accidentally in tuna fishing equipment.

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Human intrusions and disturbance

Inappropriate tourism may be an indirect threat to whale sharks. This can include interference, crowding, or provisioning which can lead to changes in behaviour and negatively affect the health of the shark.

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Transportation and service corridors

Vessel strikes are a common threat to whale sharks. If a boat goes too close to an animal or drives over it the propellors and the boat can cause damage. Whale sharks often feed at the surface and they are therefore susceptible to these strikes. 

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Energy production and mining

Marine pollution events in whale shark hotspots can cause mortality or displacement from preferred habitats. This combined with the increasing worry of climate change and it’s impacts are growing areas of whale shark research. 

How are we helping?

Love The Oceans has already developed and rolled out responsible tourism guidelines to protect these animals in our region and we work with the local fishermen to ensure none are caught in fisheries. Proving the presence of these animals in this region provides a financial incentive, through ecotourism, to establish the region as a Marine Protrected Area; providing protection for not only whale sharks, but a multitude of other animals and habitats crucial to this area.

Your adoption and support will help us: 

Choose your whale shark

Nemo

MZ-LTO-001 Sex: Male

This male was first sighted in December 2010 in Mozambique and has been sighted both in Tofo and further south from our research base. Because Nemo is a smaller shark, he doesn't like as many people in the water with him and doesn't hang around to swim with humans.

Munchkin

MZ-LTO-002 Sex: Male

This small male was first spotted in November 2011 and has been sighted in the coastal waters of Tofo, north of our base, as well as right on our doorstep! Munchkin has been spotted feeding numerous times, hence his name.

Wolfgang

MZ-LTO-003 Sex: Unknown

Wolfgang was spotted at Island Rock, further south from our research base, on 10th August 2018. We don't know which sex Wolfgang is yet, and so far there are no matches in the database. Wolfgang was travelling when they were spotted, hanging out with a few Prodigal Son fish.

Dougie

MZ-LTO-011 Sex: Male

Dougie is quite the traveller, having been spotted in both South Africa and Mozambique. Before being spotted near the LTO base in 2020, he was last spotted in 6 years ago! We have no idea what he was doing in this 6 year gap. It's a mystery, but we're glad he's back!

Anton

MZ-LTO-004 Sex: Unknown

Anton was first spotted 12th September 2014 by our Founder, and was one of the first ever whale sharks recorded by LTO! We're not sure of Anton's sex yet but when sighted he seemed to be going places, travelling quite fast!

Pergo

MZ-LTO-015 Sex: Male

Pergo was first spotted in Mozambique in 2012, about an hour north of our base. He is a fairly well documented individual with over 28 sightings since 2012. Pergo likes to eat - almost every time he's been spotted he's been actively feeding at the surface.

Chica

MZ-LTO-005 Sex: Unknown

Named for our amazing, whale-shark-spotting skipper by 2 of our volunteers, Chica is 6m in size. Chica hasn't been matched with any previous records yet, and was first spotted swimming very slowly in Guinjata, by our research base, having a rest.

Moana

MZ-LTO-014 Sex: Unknown

Moana is a mysterious whale shark. In comparison to most of our sharks that have been spotted many times, Moana was spotted for the first time in 2020! We do know they're not boat shy and they loves to eat, as they were spotted feeding.

BECOME A TURTLE HERO

Turtley obsessed with turtles? Adopt or sponsor one of our nests and save 100s of loggerhead or leatherback hatchling’s lives*. 

We have two types of sponsorship:
1. Nest adoption: the nest is solely yours, you can name it and you’ll be the sole sponsor
2. Guard sponsorship: where you sponsor one guard. There are 3 guards on each nest so you’ll be sponsoring a third of the nest costs.

PLEASE NOTE: These are REAL nests that are alive RIGHT NOW. 

What does nest adoption involve?

Within 24hrs of adopting one of our turtle nests, you will receive a digital adoption pack, videos and images. Each pack includes: 

  • A personalised certificate of adoption
  • An info sheet on your adopted turtle nest including detailed information on the guards you’ve sponsored.
  • A fact pack
  • A mindfulness turtle colouring sheet
  • A digital turtle poster
  • A video from the turtle nest itself!
  • Regular updates on nest activity and hatching info
  • Signed copy of Somebody Swallowed Stanley by Sarah Roberts
  • Love The Oceans stainless steel re-usable water bottle

If you’d like to name the nest, we can do that for you too.

What does guard sponsorship involve?

We post 3 guards on each nest, working 8hr shifts to provide 24/7 turtle guarding. We pay them hourly to ensure people aren’t late or miss their shifts. This means you can sponsor a guard – you’ll pay their wage for the duration of the nest incubation.

Within 24hrs of sponsoring one of our turtle guards, you will receive a digital sponsorship pack. Each pack includes: 

  • A letter from our Founder
  • An info sheet on the nest your guard is watching, including detailed information on the guard you’ve sponsored.
  • A turtle fact pack
  • A mindfulness turtle colouring sheet
  • A digital turtle poster
  • Regular updates on nest activity and hatching info

*PLEASE NOTE: Sponsorship and adoption does not 100% guarantee hatchling survival. There are many factors that can influence a nest’s survival rate including cyclones, freak high tides, sly poaching, irresponsible drivers, and sometimes nests just don’t hatch and we’re not sure why. However, your sponsorship and adoption significantly increases the chances of hatchling survival. You could save the lives of 100s of baby turtles.

About our turtle nests

There are 7 species of sea turtles around the globe. We’re lucky enough that 5 of these are found in Mozambique’s waters! Of those 5, 2 species nest on our shores: loggerheads and leatherbacks. Currently there is no protection for these animals in our area and the nests are vulnerable to poaching, foot traffic, cars, light pollution and scavengers. With your help, we can post 24/7 guards to ensure the hatchlings get as good of a chance as possible to make it back to the ocean.

Clutch sizes vary a lot, but leatherbacks generally lay 50 – 100 eggs, whereas loggerheads lay slightly more, averaging 100 – 150. The eggs are soft so whilst there are some projects around the world that relocate nests, LTO has decided not to do this because of the high mortality rates when turtle eggs are touched.

Females will generally return to the same beach they were laid on, to nest themselves! However, turtles are slow growers – it takes loggerheads 20 – 25 years to reach maturity, and leatherbacks 15 – 25 years. Turtles also have low survival rates, it’s estimated about 1 in 1000 hatchlings make it to adulthood. That is why it is so important to protect these animals by adopting or sponsoring a nest! 

Our turtle patrols are out every morning, before sunrise to locate and post guards at any new nests found. We’re aiming for as close to 100% survival rate as possible. With the combination of patrols, guards and educational workshops we’re optimistic we’ll achieve this!

Threats

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Poaching

One of the biggest threats to turtle nests in our region is illegal poaching. Turtle eggs are poached for food, especially when they’re at their most fresh. This is why it’s so important we have our team there as soon as possible.

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Car traffic

Although driving on the beach is illegal in our region, it unfortunately doesn’t stop some people. It is common to see irresponsible drivers driving on the beaches for fun. Of course, if a turtle nest lies undiscovered or has not yet had guards posted this would kill the nest.

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Light pollution

With the growing human population beach fronts are becoming more and more developed. This means there are more developments lit up at night. Turtles have evolved to go towards the light when they hatch. This has lead to many turtles never reaching the sea when they hatch.

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Scavengers

Mozambique has jackals and a lot of people in the area have dogs who are not kept on leads. These animals can smell the turtle eggs and often try to dig them up. This is another reason posting a guard is so important: to scare off the scavengers. 

How are we helping?

Love The Oceans has already developed and rolled out a turtle patrol team, managed by Pascoal, our Community Outreach Manager. We also delivered a conservation workshop on turtles with the fishermen. 

Your adoption and sponsorship will help us: 

Choose your turtle nest

LTO-MZ-JNG-001

Loggerhead

This nest was laid on the 28th of November and is expected to hatch sometime between 18th - 31st January 2021.

LTO-MZ-JNG-002

Leatherback

This nest was laid on 8th December and is expected to hatch 1st - 11th of February.

LTO-MZ-JNG-004

Loggerhead

This nest was laid on 23rd December and is expected to hatch 11th - 21st of February.

LTO-MZ-JNG-005

Loggerhead

This nest was laid on 3rd January and is expected to hatch 22nd Feb - 3rd of March.

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© Copyright 2019 Love The Oceans

Love The Oceans Conservation charity number 1184402 
Registered in England and Wales

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