Initiated by the African Chelonian Institute, the inaugural African Scholarship Program (ASP), a training course for Africa’s turtle biologists, will take place between January 31 – February 7, 2022. This initiative is a vital response to the ongoing and unsustainable loss of turtle populations throughout the African continent due to severe bushmeat consumption, commercial exploitation and numerous other threats. Extirpation of many of Africa’s turtle & tortoise populations and extinction of several species is inevitable unless concerted and efficient conservation measures are taken.
The movement of “African Turtle Conservation,” as it has come to be called, has started to receive global attention and support from an ever-increasing number of conservation organizations. What makes the African Scholarship Program so wonderfully unique is that turtle conservationists from throughout West Africa will come to Senegal for an intensive program of research, workshops, and field trips to learn from the community-based chelonian conservation programs led by the African Chelonian Institute. This program is meant to promote local conservationists and will be led by local instructors (Tomas Diagne, Dr. Luca Luiselli, Pearson McGovern, Josea Dossou), creating a local collaborative and cohesive conservation coalition within West Africa.