Thursday, May 06, 2010

Protecting the sea turtles of El Salvador

A new program called a "Billion Baby Turtles" will be announced in El Salvador on the 100th anniversary of the birth of Jacques Coustean on June 11. The program is described on the blog of SEE Turtles:

[T]the beaches of El Salvador ... are home to one of the most endangered sea turtle populations in the world, the Pacific Hawksbill turtle. Until last year, virtually 100% of the Central American nation's sea turtle eggs were collected for sale or eaten in bars and restaurants. Thanks to recently passed conservation laws and innovative public-private partnerships, that's all changed. In 2009, for the first time in decades, nearly one million baby sea turtles found their way to the ocean in El Salvador and 2010 should see a continuation of that success. The innovative approach of Billion Baby Turtles involves collaboration between former egg collectors, local non-profit organizations, government agencies, the tourism sector and international foundations around the world.

According to FUNZEL, the Salvadorean partner with USAID working to coordinate the expanded sea turtle network, there are now dozens of communities, hundreds of turtle volunteers—or "tortugueros” as they like to be called—and numerous agencies and non-profit organizations committed to the recovery of Hawksbills and the three other sea turtle species known to live in El Salvador. (Read more)

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