Jul 20, 2021

2021 - a slow recovery

nests saved this year!
nests saved this year!

The nesting processes of sea turtles have been recorded in Costa Rica since the 1950´s , and before. The first project to work with sea turtles was the Caribbean Conservation Corporation , the CCC, located in Tortuguero, not very far from where LAST, with the support of  WIDECAST work in Pacuare.

For centuries,  people have being using and consuming a wide variety of sea turtles products . However the human population growth and thesubsequent  increase of the black market has put pressure upon the sea turtle populations along the Caribbean coast. 

 Due to this, many projects have decided to protect the populations of sea turtles in Costa Rica.  One of these projects is the Conservation Project of Sea Turtles in the North Pacuare beach run by Latin American Sea Turtles.

In this project, local community and international staff work together not only  to avoid the poaching of eggs, but also in the  non stop job of scientific research .  The more data we have the stronger our conclusions will be. Balancing society and science is fundamental within the objectives of the project. Local Assistants from the community work alongside international  Research Assistants in patrols, hatchery and other activities.

After COVID paralised the world in 2020, it has been a slow recovery.

We have been patrolling the beach since the 25 of February this year. Our patrols follow the protocols for the research information and the COVID protocol as well.  Thanks  to the hard work done by every patrol we have protected a total of 84 leatherback nests along the way, some of them have being relocated on the beach, while the majority were relocated on the hatchery.

The hatchery is home to 2969 eggs , those that have hatched, hatched with a success percentage of 80,5% which is a very good number, however we are still waiting for many nests to hatch still.

After 2020 , 2021 was a year to fix and rebuild many things, including our cabins which provide housing to our vital volunteers and research assistants. Thanks to the support, we changed the roofs of many cabins, as well, we have painted, changed walls, and with this we have improved the whole station. 

Within the many things we do here at the station one of our most important task is the social aspect. We have worked alongside the community and for the community. This year we havehelped local youths with their distance learning for school. We have also started English lessons for our local assistants.

The hard work that we do in Pacuare is complemented by the support we receive, conservation is always a shared task, and in that sense we have all managed to work together for a noble cause.

training staff and volunteers
training staff and volunteers
local community members involved in conservation
local community members involved in conservation
Mar 24, 2021

Bouncing back from COVID

freshly painted cabins!
freshly painted cabins!

We face this season with great enthusiasm but with hesitation, to advance in the conservation of sea turtles and their critical habitats,  in the midst of a difficult social and economic situation for the Costa Rican, and especially coastal,  society.

 GG's vital resources have allowed us to paint the station cabins; change the roofs damaged by sea salt;  fix the solar panel to power the project's electronic equipment (such as the microchip scanner for chips installed on the turtles). 

It has also allowed us to buy some kitchen equipment such as a new stove and cutlery for 30 people. These resources have also made it possible to repair the outboard motor starter and give our boat complete maintenance, with which we can not only go out to civilization to buy supplies but also to bring volunteers to support us.

Thanks to these resources we have been able to recruit 16 research assistants, employ a beach coordinator and plan so that at least during April we can have a workforce of about 20 volunteers. During February and March we have also been able to give a little help in food to some people in the community who have supported us with their volunteer work in the construction of the hatchery.

To date and since March 1, we have patrolled the beach and achieved the protection of more than 10 leatherback turtle nests, and it seems that due to this early number of nests,  we will be facing a good season thanks to YOUR support!

new roof being installed
new roof being installed

Links:

Nov 30, 2020

Conservation in times of a pandemic

the unfinished  cabins
the unfinished cabins

Amid numerous reports on social media of thriving wildlife populations due to the absence of quaranteening humans, we are actually seeing the complete opposite happen on our turtle nesting beach.

Latin America has been hit hard economically, unemployment levels are at a record high and there are still hundreds of thousands of people with "suspended" contracts or reduced contracts - and no financial support from the government. This has resulted in many families  struggling to make ends meet, and in turn people have resorted back to poaching eggs in order to feed their families.

 2020 has been a tremendously difficult year for many, and NGO´s are not the exception. There have been no subsidies from local authorities in order to continue doing our work, donations are becoming increasingly rare as many people around the word are affected economocally, and our volunteers - who in normal times provide us with over 90% of our fundng, have disappreared due to travel restrictions and closures.

However, its not all bad news!

The Pacuare project has contnued operatng through this whole pandemic - because we have a commitment. Not only to the Ministry of Environemnt, whom overee our research and provide us with the permits to do so; but also to the local community of Pacuare, who in more ways than we think, depend on the project for economic sustenance and cultural interaction.

We also have a commitment to the turtles. 

Withour our albeit limited presence on the beach, we are sure that 100% of the nests laid in 2020 would have been poached.

Therefore we are immensly proud to give our supporters an excllusive preview of our official report for 2020

This year we managed to save 95 nests from three species of Sea turtle - the endangered leatherback turtle, the critically endangered hawksbill turtlle, and the vulnerable green turtle.

This accounts to us saving 50% of leatherback nests, 47% of green turtle nests, and an incredible 80% of hawksbill nests.

We estimate to release 4565 hatchlings from the 3 species this year. (we estimate, as there are still two nests waiting to hatch!).

This is an amazing acheivement , considering that since March we have received no outside help, and this work was undertaken by our dedicated biologist, Eduardo, and our fabulous local and international Research Assistants.

We also must give credit to the community of Pacuare , who despite not being able to earn a salary this year, have continued to support the project and work the beach with us.

If you have been supporting us, we still need you.

2021 is going to be an even bigger challenge as we try to recover and raise funds to be able to continue our work. Unfortunately, the construction of the facilities at the station has been put on hold until we have to funds to complte them.

So please, share with freinds, family and colleagues, and help us continue protecting the turtles of Pacuare!

Links:

 
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