Four species of marine turtles (leatherback, Dermochelys coriacea; green, Chelonia mydas; olive Ridley, Lepidochelys olivacea; and, hawksbill, Eretmochelys imbricata) are known to nest on the 19 km of black sand beaches along the southern shores of Bioko Island’s Gran Caldera and Southern Highlands Scientific Reserve. The nesting season, which peaks in January, corresponds to the dry season on the Island, beginning in September and extending through April.
The first systematic record of Bioko Island turtle nesting took place from 1996 to 1998. Trained local people from the village of Ureca were responsible for daily counts from all the southern beaches
After a two year hiatus (1998/1999 and 1999/2000) seasonal nest counts were resumed, done by the same villagers, under the auspices of the Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program, an academic partnership between Arcadia University (2000-2006) and subsequently, Drexel University (2007-present) and the Universidad Nacional de Guinea Ecuatorial. Since 2007, Dr. Shaya Honarvar has been directing this project, which currently focuses on the nesting ecology of the sea turtles and also seeks to improve and continue the data collection on the Island.