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Heavy rainfall affecting Rupununi’s turtle nest – SRCS Programme Coordinator

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The heavy rainfall in deep south Rupununi area of Guyana, has caused significant distress to local turtle populations there.
This is according to Programme Coordinator of the South Rupununi Conservation Society (SRCS), Neal Millar, who said that SRCS has been undergoing various initiatives in hopes to mitigate against these issues.
He was at the time speaking during an interview with Guyana Times, noting that heavy rainfalls, coupled with other effects of climate changes, can interrupt the breeding and nesting cycles of the turtles, which the conservation has experienced.

Neal Millar – Programme Coordinator (SRCS)

He also stated that while the SRCS is no stranger to heavy rainfalls, the recent deluges have been particularly problematic, leading to a marked decrease in their turtle counts.
“This kind of heavy rainfall is not uncommon in the usual cycles,” Millar explained.
“Wildlife, including turtles, are generally accustomed to these patterns. They have natural cycles and movements throughout the year. From our perspective, this recent weather isn’t necessarily out of the ordinary for natural wildlife movement.”
Millar highlighted the dual impact of the flooding, stating, “It is important when the Rupununi floods as it allows connectivity for different species of wildlife, particularly fish. However, for our turtle project in 2022 and 2021, the early rainy seasons flooded out all their nests. Without our rangers relocating the nests, all those turtles would have perished.”
Despite the challenges, Millar expressed a silver lining.
“While the rainy season brings difficulties, it also prevents the harsh conditions that continued droughts would impose on wildlife. Without this rain, we would face even more severe negative impacts on wildlife movement.”


Millar also spoke on the broader implications of climate change, noting that constant weather changing pattern makes it difficult for wildlife to continue in their usual natural cycles.
“Erratic weather patterns make it difficult for wildlife to follow their natural cycles. This can disrupt breeding and nesting cycles in regions along the Rupununi River where eggs weren’t removed, all the nests would have died. Continuous erratic weather due to climate change could lead to a decrease in turtle populations and likely affect other species we haven’t studied yet,” Millar explained
Addressing climate change directly, Millar shared, “since 2020, we’ve been working with UNICEF to develop the Young Climate Change Leaders Program. We’re increasingly seeing the effects of climate change worldwide—more droughts, more floods,” he stated whilst then also explaining that this program aims to raise awareness and understanding of climate change among young people in all indigenous communities in Region Nine. All of these initiatives stand as a statement for helping communities build climate resilience in their communities.
Millar on a hopeful note, announced that funding by New Zealand High Commission which will encompass plans to teach and empower persons about environment related matters. “We recently received funding from the New Zealand High Commission to further support this initiative. As the younger generation will be most affected by climate change, empowering them with knowledge and resilience is crucial,” he revealed.

The post Heavy rainfall affecting Rupununi’s turtle nest – SRCS Programme Coordinator appeared first on Guyana Times.

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