Sea Turtle Conservation

We protect sea turtles.

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Sea Turtles are a keystone species. Conservation organizations report that only 1 in 1000 survive to adulthood. It means that the other 999 feed entire ecosystems, on land and in sea. Adult sea turtles graze on sea grass beds, keeping them healthy and balanced. Those sea grass beds serve as developmental grounds for multiple marine species, such as fish or crustaceans. If we lose turtles, all species that depend on them will crumble. That’s us too – commercial fishing relies on these food chains.

 

Climate change and human activity distorted the natural balance of these feeding chains. Adults are slaughtered for shells, leather, and meat; die in fishing nets; or get sick from plastic pollution. With rising sea levels, mature females can’t find enough sand to safely lay eggs. Ironically, salt water nourishes adult turtles yet kills their embryos. They crawl, dig until hitting salty water, and often return to sea, exhausted and weakened. When they do lay eggs, the nests are vulnerable.

 

Most land predators – such as raccoons, coatis, dogs, birds, and humans – have stable large populations. They are not endangered when we protect nests. Conserving nests and releasing hatchlings help restore critically endangered turtle populations– not only for their own sake, but to help hundreds of other species that depend on them to thrive, including us.

 

Together with Corcovado Foundation, we work to protect sea turtles.

 

Our sea turtle conservation project (and others all over the country and the world) remove many of these threats by relocating the eggs to a nursery, where they are protected 24/7 and then released to the ocean as soon as they are born.  (Don’t miss our video. It’s amazing to see them rushing to the water).

By removing all the threats until the hatchlings make it to the sea, we are giving them a better chance to make it to adulthood and reproduce, which is key to the survival of the species. By doing this, experts think that their odds improve from 1 in a 1000 to 1 in a 100. We are giving sea turtles a better chance of survival. 
 

Since 2006, our main partner, Corcovado Foundation, has been working with biologists, local and international volunteers to protect and relocate sea turtle nests in four beach sites: Progreso, Rincon, Rio Oro and Playa Hermosa – Punta Mala Wildlife Refuge.

  • Over 10,600 nests identified and protected.

  • More than 113,000 hatchings released into the sea

  • Approximately 641,000 hatchlings potentially hatched unharmed

 

Additionally, sea turtle conservation required managing a network of local and international volunteers. This work allowed local communities to derive income from hosting volunteers. Since 2010, the El Progreso network of Homestays generated more than $90,000 USD for local families from hosting volunteers into their homes. In total, the program generated more than $125,000 in income for the community.

 

This is what working together with communities means: Empowering and supporting people to find more income and meaning in protecting environment, rather than in activities that destroy it.