Qatar Natural History Group

People, Nature, Culture

May Talk: Sea turtles in Qatar: past, present and future by Dr. Nicolas J. Pilcher, Executive Director, Marine Research Foundation, Sabah, Malaysia

Message From Chairman

After our April Talk on COViD-19, this month, we’re very grateful to have Dr. Nicolas Pilcher as our speaker. He will present another timely issue, since we’re in the middle of turtle nesting season, and the Ministry of Municipality and Environment has just reported record numbers of nests for the start of the season.

Because of the current crisis, we’ll use the Zoom communication suite for video conferencing. It is easy to set up and use from all Operating Systems on Desktops (PC, Mac, Linux) and Mobile devices (iOS, and Android).

Please note that Dr. Pilcher will be presenting on May 20th, from Malaysia, and because of the time difference, and the Ramadan, we had to move our regular time to 4:00pm.
Make sure to register in advance, using this link, you’ll then receive the details to connect to the meeting room.

Thank you for your understanding,

On behalf of the Steering Committee,


Speakers:  Dr. Nicolas J. Pilcher, Executive Director, Marine Research Foundation, Sabah, Malaysia

Date & Time: Wednesday, May 20th video Conferencing  


Synopsis of talk 

Sea turtles are iconic in Qatar. Since the early 2000s their profile was significantly elevated through work by Qatar University, then later via the Supreme Council for Environment and Natural Resources (SCENR), and finally with a joint programme between the Ministry of Municipalities and Environment (MME) and Qatar University’s Environment Science Centre (ESC). While nationally renown Fuwairit is recognised as ‘the’ turtle beach there are actually more places where critically endangered hawksbill turtles nest, and moreover, Qatar is an important development ground for juvenile turtles, both Green and Hawksbill, and even occasionally graced by a visit from a Loggerhead turtle.

This talk will detail some interesting aspects of the biology of sea turtles in Qatar, their susceptibility to impacts from climate change, their connectivity with other sea turtle populations in the Arabian Gulf, and current conservation and management challenges.

When: May 20, 2020 04:00 PM Qatar

Please, register in advance for this special talk: Register link

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Speaker biography

Dr. Nicolas J. Pilcher is a British marine biologist based in Sabah (Malaysia), where he established and runs his own research and conservation agency – the Marine Research Foundation. Dr. Nick received his Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Technology from Florida Institute of Technology, and his Ph.D. from Southern Cross University in Australia. Dr. Nick has worked extensively on conservation projects across the Indo-Pacific region, including Qatar, focusing his energies on saving endangered sea turtles, dugongs, and other marine species. He has over 30 years of experience on sea turtle biology and ecology, and in recent years he has also studied impacts of climate change on sea turtles in Qatar and Iran, tracked turtles across the Middle Eastern region, and investigated turtle use and trade in part of Africa.

Dr. Nick served as the Co-Chair of the IUCN Marine Turtle Specialist Group (MTSG) for 13 years, and currently remains as an MTSG member, a member of its Red List Committee, and is a Technical Advisor to the UNEP-CMS Dugong Secretariat and a member of the advisory boards of a number of international organisations.

In his (copious) spare time he is a diver, a boat captain, and even a small airplane pilot, and more recently builds and flies drones to collect marine science data.





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