Conserve Sea Turtles and Mangrove Populations in Guatemala

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1 Field SiteHawaii, 000000GT


Tragically, the Pacific leatherback turtle is nearing extinction with only 2000 individuals remaining in the entire Pacific ocean. Turtle populations are declining rapidly due to the industrial longline tuna and swordfish fisheries as well as unregulated egg poaching on nesting beaches. In response to the urgency of the situation, this conservation organization, in cooperation with other groups, has worked to impose a total ban on leatherback and hawksbill egg collecting in Guatemala. Located on a 3 hectare protected area of beach on Guatemala’s south shore, this sea turtle conservation program was initiated as an attempt to counteract threats to turtle populations by over-harvesting of eggs by collectors. Despite their endangered status, virtually all sea turtle nests in Guatemala are poached and the eggs sold as a supposed aphrodisiac. The conservation program operates successful sea turtle hatcheries, carries out research on sea turtles, and educates local communities about the need to conserve the natural resources on which they depend. Other conservation initiatives at this site include mangrove conservation and an iguana and spectacled caiman captive-breeding and release program.


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